stress Archive

When a Friend Threatens to Commit Suicide (Trigger Warnings)

Trigger Warning: Suicide, Self Harm, Relationship Abuse

It is three-thirty in the morning here and over the past twenty-four hours I have learnt a harsh lesson. It is a lesson that has left me feeling tired and drained, vulnerable and hurting, awful and selfish. Around twenty-four hours ago, a close friend (an online friend if you feel the need to know) threatened to commit suicide. She posted in a group saying that she could just not handle life any longer, that it was too much and that she was going to kill herself.

Self Preservation and Stress

The moment I made the decision to preserve myself, at the risk of possibly abandoning my friends who need me, I was again asked to help one of those friends. Perhaps this is my lot, to care for others at the expense of myself. If this is so, then the fates have been kind to me in their curse.

It goes without saying, I believe, that it is very much so against my nature to think of myself first, or, sometimes, at all. I’m not saying that I don’t buy myself things or spend or do for my pleasure – I freely admit that I do. What I am saying though is that when I am asked to choose between buying dinner for a friend, or knowing I’ll have enough money for the rest of the week, I will always choose buying dinner for that friend.

Activism and Me

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Jasper Moriarty. In xyr first post with us, xe discusses xyr struggle with balancing self-care with activist work. Thanks for sharing with us, Jasper!

Trigger Warnings: mention of death and rape threats

Alternatively titled: A Struggle For Balance

My activism is a crucial part of my life, despite my strange relationship with it. It’s not quite splitting (something that happens in Borderline Personality Disorder, where a person is unable to integrate the good and bad qualities of something/someone and therefore keeps them distinctly separate), but I would call it somewhat comparable.

Group Therapy – Panic and Anxiety, Session 1

Trigger Warning: mention of rape, sexual assault

This is the first of an 8 week series reviewing panic and anxiety from a group therapy point of view. It is based on the group therapy services available through Langley Memorial Hospital. Feel free to follow along and answer the questions posted in each section.

Session 1: Exploring Anxiety Disorders

Crisis Checklist

Inspired by work people have done on madness maps and mental health first aid kits, I decided to make a checklist/flowchart to use when I am having a particularly hard time or am in crisis. It was a good process for me to make because it helped me to really think about what has helped me or caused me trouble in the past. I really like that we can make these sorts of tools for ourselves instead of relying on more general (often judgmental) dos and don’ts or advice from people who never know us as well as we know ourselves.

DBT Skills: Distress Tolerance

I’m in a DBT group right now. It’s comprised of four modules, and I just finished my second, which is distress tolerance. Of all the things I could possibly say about it, the most accurate would be that it’s a lot of work. Think of it this way: it’s a lot of practicing things that are aimed at reducing distress, regardless of what mood or state of mind one might be in. Thankfully my emotions are still pretty distressing on a regular basis, so I was able to more or less have something to compare the results to.

Today, Like So Many Others, Is A Great Day

Editor’s note: This story mentions some severe triggers. Please be careful about reading this story if you are easily triggered by the topics mentioned in our trigger warning.

Trigger warnings: Abuse, including torture and child sexual assault, forced confinement, rape, violence, bullying, and hate crimes.

Yesterday/today was/is a great day. A day to celebrate. Any day that slaps me upside my head and and asks, “WTF you bitching about?” is always a great day!

“We Have a Process” or one TG/Intersexed/Lesbian/Decorated Veteran’s experience with the VHA

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Lisa O’Connor. In her first post with us, she tells us her story of dealing with the bureaucracy of the Veteran’s Health Administration. Thanks for sharing with us, Lisa!

New VA motto: “In VHA, Nos Pedicabo tu Cruda.” or “In the VHA, We Will Fuck You Raw.”
Very appropriate motto. Not necessarily needed, as anyone who has dealt with the VHA will attest, but it is kinda cool, almost akin to, “Spes, omnes qui ibi intra, – “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” (TY Dante)

Shrink Visit

I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Brynn Tannehill. In her first post with us, she tells us her story of seeing a military psychologist for her first and only time. Thanks for sharing with us, Brynn!

Late second semester of my youngster (second) year, my company officer asked if I had gone to the shrink as he had ordered, and I replied truthfully that I had not. He angrily told me that he didn’t want to write me up for disobeying a direct order, so I’d better f****** do it soon. So, I scheduled an appointment. I was worried what was going to happen when I went in. The psychologist I met was a Navy lieutenant.

Trans Activism and Burnout

Over the past few years, I’ve worked hard to try to participate in activism that was relevant to my interests and identities, and also to recruit others into that activism. Trans folk, and trans women in particular, have long had an inclination and good reason to hide from society, to “go stealth” as we call it in the community. Societal pressures pushed us into a permanent closet that more closely resembled a mausoleum than the relative comfort of the closet. Our past was dead and our present remained cold and isolated, with few if any places we could reveal our history in a safe and confidential space.