You Are The Only One Who Can Determine What Coping Strategy Works

Nobody Gets To Determine How You Cope With Trauma Except For You

If you are not going to support me through my healing process or believe "I am handling this all wrong," then please get out of my life.

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Obviously, if I am causing bodily harm to myself, I want someone to stop me. I want someone to be there to guide me towards a better coping mechanism where I can fully process the pain I've been through. However, nobody gets the right to stand in the way of processing my own trauma.

For me, writing has always been an outlet. I was able to describe to my mom the first counts of where I felt depressed through my writing. I wrote an open letter to a relative who emotionally abused me during my childhood as a way to cope. And now, I've used my writing to process the pain so called "best friends" put me through over the last year of my life. I didn't realize all the damage that has been done until I walked away.

I've never been good at verbalizing how I am feeling. I hate being vulnerable with people because I do not want to appear as weak nor do I feel comfortable opening up with people right away. I have trust issues I'm still learning to overcome.

Side note: if you're one of my friends and I have expressed how hurt I am or you have seen me cry congratulations. You're among the very few.

Anyways, writing is one of my coping mechanisms I learned in therapy helps me collect my thoughts, reflect, and process whatever situation I am going through.

I've also learned to use my writing as a form of advocation. I hope that people when they read my articles or whatever I publish, they can learn and grow from my mistakes. I also hope that if they are facing a similar scenario, they feel less alone. I've always turned towards blogs or YouTube videos where people openly discuss what they are going through. It's a form of emotional connection and just overall relief when someone feels the same.

That has always and will forever be my intention. Whether certain people want to believe that or not.

Recently, I've had people who I believed were close to me try to talk me out of my coping strategy. They haven't walked in my shoes and apparently haven't listened to my perspective on situations - how hurt I was. I've been called overdramatic or lying about a situation for pity. If that were only the case.

Sometimes, people do not like hearing the truth because they realize they are part of the problem. And that's on them, not me. It isn't my fault they feel guilty. Quite frankly, if you are a subject of my articles and I describe what you have put me through, I hope you feel uncomfortable. There are two sides to every story, and if they do not want to hear my side anymore, that's okay.

However, I hope you take what I say as an opportunity to learn and grow. I would if the roles were reversed because I would become aware that maybe things aren't the way I believe them to be. It's a chance to make right of the wrong, or at least give it a dam try. We all have progressed through life to be better versions of ourselves. That's the beauty of evolving.

If you are not going to support me through my healing process or believe "I am handling this all wrong," then please get out of my life. I do not need your negative energy any longer clouding up my well-being as I try moving on and being happier.

By messaging me your disapproval in my coping, that is a reflection on you. Not on me.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Anxiety Medications Aren't As Scary As You Might Think

It took me about 2 months to even find the right medication and dosage. It's truly a process.

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Before my journey with anxiety, I was very anti-medication. I truly didn't understand the purpose or need for it. Boy, have I learned a lot since then. Upon visiting the doctor, I learned that there are two types of medication that do two different things to the neurotransmitters in your brain. These are categorized as SSRI or SNRI. According to anxiety.org, "SSRIs increase serotonin in the brain. Neural systems affected by increased serotonin regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and digestion."

The medication that I am currently taking falls under the category of SSRI. As a result of taking this medication, "your brain is more capable of making changes that will lead to a decrease in anxiety" (anxiety.org). I don't know if that sounds nice to you, but I loved the sound of it.

On the other hand, per mayoclinic.org, SNRIs "ease depression by impacting chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) used to communicate between brain cells. Like most antidepressants, SNRIs work by ultimately effecting changes in brain chemistry and communication in brain nerve cell circuitry known to regulate mood, to help relieve depression."

From my understanding, the different types of medication focus on different neurotransmitters in your brain. I don't think that one of these is "bad" and one of these is "good." This is simply because anxiety and depression are very personal and impact people differently. My anxiety is not the same as my friend's anxiety. I think it's more of a spectrum.

There are a lot of misconceptions upon starting medication. I think the first is that it works instantly. I have some bad news and it's that some medications take up to a month to get into your system. I mean, you're chemically altering your brain, so it makes sense. It took me about 2 months to even find the right medication and dosage. It's truly a process.

Another misconception is that the pills are addicting- making them completely unnecessary or dangerous. That wasn't true for me. One of my dear friends told me that if you don't feel guilty for taking cold medicine when you have a cold, then you shouldn't feel guilty for taking medication that helps your anxiety. I think this really does boil down to knowing yourself and if there's a history of addiction in your family. However, as someone who's taken the heavy pain killers (via surgery) and now takes anxiety medication, I can testify to say that there's a difference.

The pain killers made me a zombie. The anxiety medication allows me to be the best version of myself. I like who I am when I'm not constantly worried about EVERYTHING. I used to not leave the house without makeup on because I constantly worried what people thought of me. I used to be terrified that my friends didn't want me around. I used to overthink every single decision that I made. Now, none of that is happening. I enjoy my friends and their company, I hardly wear makeup, and I'm getting better at making decisions.

Do I want to be able to thrive without having to correct my neurotransmitters? Sure. However, this is the way that I am, and I wouldn't have gotten better without both therapy and medication. I'm forever grateful for both.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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