Blog 2017-08-30T17:30:57+00:00

Why Do People Self Harm?

Trigger warning - self harm When I was a teenager I used to have repetitive thoughts about cutting my wrists. They were intrusive and they scared me but I never engaged in self harm. I do have many friends who have self harmed and they've explained why they engaged in this behavior. Self harm is a response to experiencing an intense level of emotions, such as depression, loneliness, anger or rage. A person might self harm because their feelings are too much to bear. They want a break from the level of pain they are experiencing. Another reason for self harming is that seeing the harm on your body is an externalization of the pain the person is feeling. They want to somehow let out how they feel and seeing scars from the harm are a manifestation of these emotions. When people self harm they can also experience an absence of feeling altogether. They might feel completely numb, which is a distraction from the high level of pain they were previously experiencing. People who have Complex PTSD sometimes self harm due to their prolonged experiences of trauma. When the person is triggered, they want that intense feeling associated with their trigger to stop. Self harm [...]

By | December 29th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |Comments Off on Why Do People Self Harm?

The power belongs to the one who cares the least

The power belongs to the one who cares the least. This wisdom was brought to me by one of my best friends, Jen. She knows that I wear my heart on my sleeve and I care (sometimes too much) about what other people think. It's natural to care about what other people think about you, but when it's to an unhealthy degree that's when you get into trouble. I was getting so preoccupied with what other people thought about me that Jen decided to bestow some words of wisdom on me to help me out and they were: "the power belongs to the one who cares the least." So what does this mean? When you start to feel like you don't matter to someone else, that's when it's important to remember that you may be caring too much about the opinions of others. Your value is important, regardless of what other people think or feel about you. So what do you do? You care more about your feelings and less about what they think about you. If you start caring too much about pleasing other people, you will drive yourself crazy. Trust me, I have done this and has negatively [...]

By | December 27th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on The power belongs to the one who cares the least

Depression prepared me to be an emotional warrior

I have an invisible sword and shield. I carry them around and if anyone tries to mess with me, I am prepared to defend myself. The difficult thing is when someone tells me they are a safe person to be around when the person attempts to show that I could love them, and I put that shield on the ground, that's dangerous. It's emotionally extremely dangerous for me, as a sensitive person, and as someone who has been through trauma. I've been depressed and suicidal in my life. Despite having these intrusive thoughts I have been able to fight through them and live a beautifully productive life. It's extremely challenging to live with mental health issues and I wouldn't wish chronic depression specifically on anyone. It's a terrible feeling and extremely painful. What's one of the joyful human emotions in life? Love. Being loved, being in love or anything to do with love is a beautiful thing. Depression prevents us from seeing when we are loved. In order to see love, truly see it, you have to push the cloud of depression out of the way. I have become good at doing that because I've been depressed so often in my [...]

By | December 26th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Depression prepared me to be an emotional warrior

The Dangers of Codependency

Codependency is a type of relationship that is one-sided and has the potential to be abusive. That's why you often here addicts who are actively drinking associated with codependency. It's like a relationship addiction. The dynamic is the addict is needy for support but doesn't actually ask for it a lot of the time, but sometimes that is not the case if they are trying to get well. The other person is the enabler and validates their feelings or continues to feed into their addition, which doesn't help them but makes them sicker. It's a vicious cycle where the caretaker isn't getting what they need, but they believe that they are appreciated because it's an illusion. It's hard to break this dynamic because it's addictive to both people but in an unhealthy way. Healthy relationships are built on reciprocity and codependent ones are unfulfilling because one person is doing the majority of the work to maintain a toxic dynamic. The trouble is that the caretaker feels valued when they take care of the addict. It's difficult to leave that relationship when the illusion is that they're wanted. The reality is that the addict doesn't actually care about the person who is caring [...]

By | December 24th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |Comments Off on The Dangers of Codependency

I have a right to be angry

I have a right to be angry. Anger is a difficult emotion for me to express because I associate anger with instability and unpredictability. As women in society, we are told that we are allowed to be sad but not angry. Anger is a sign of a “bitch.” I once wrote an article called “stop calling assertive women bitches. “ I can’t say that I have been called a bitch to my face, but I'm fairly certain that people have thought this about me. I am an assertive woman but wasn't always the case. I've learned to assert myself more and more over time. When I was a child I was quite introverted and I had a rich internal world. Not much of what I thought in my head was expressed aloud. Anger was something I held inside because I didn’t feel entitled to have that emotion. It was hard to feel rage because I was afraid of what I could do in that state. I knew realistically that I would not lose control. But I had witnessed people in my life who had lost control when they were angry and it made me afraid that I could do the [...]

By | December 23rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I have a right to be angry

Blogging Made Me a Stronger Person

When I first started blogging back in 2009, I was conservative about what I shared. I talked about my kids and my life as a new mom. It was a fairly innocent blog at the time. I shared anecdotes about daily life raising children in New York City. It was a nice journal of what it was like to transition from being a single person to having a partner and kids. I loved being a mom and I still do, but it's not the entirety of my identity. I am Sarah Fader, a mom, a writer, a sensitive person, an author of several books, the founder of a mental health nonprofit organization and much more. But at the time that I started my blog, I was focused on being a mother. It was a new role for me and I didn't know what I was doing. I also didn't know what I was doing as a blogger, and I still don't actually "know." I'm sure that I am doing things differently than many other people do them. I have always been that sort of a person, though. I write what I write and I do what I want to do. [...]

By | December 21st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Blogging Made Me a Stronger Person

I didn’t realize it, but I was emotionally exhausted

I have a tendency to be a tenacious person. I give and give and go and go until I have no more gas in my brain tank. I am an extremely energetic passionate human being with a lot of feelings. I don't have the ability to regulate that passion at times. It comes out of me, seeping out of my pores. I don't know if there's something "wrong" with me or what's happening, but I do know that I am someone who gives her all to things. I give everything I have to relationships, friendships, causes I believe in and things that I am passionate about. When I love you, I love you. When I believe in your cause I'll fight for it. That's who I am and who I've always been. I'm afraid to stop. Go, go, go, fight the opponent, once I'm in that mode where I want to be heard my voice gets louder and louder. And the more invisible I feel, the more I persist in trying to get the other person to hear me. Feeling invisible or unheard makes so angry and I don't know how to cope with that level of anger, even in therapy. [...]

By | December 14th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I didn’t realize it, but I was emotionally exhausted

Words Cut

Never underestimate the power of words to hurt so deeply that you feel like you could die. I have experienced this first hand. Someone says "I was just angry." And that's why they said something so hurtful to me. I am not convinced that angry words aren't truthful. I think that surge of anger gives people the adrenaline so that they can tell the truth. The truth that they otherwise couldn't come to terms with. Maybe I'm just a judgmental person, but I wish that people could choose their words more carefully before speaking them. When you use words carelessly they injure people sometimes permanently. Today, I have been injured over and over again. I wanted it to stop and yet, it did not stop. I can't control the words of others. I can't make the pain of those words stop or relent. All I can do is nurse my wounds and decide what I am to do with those. It is painful to receive those injuries. It is brutal to believe that I did something to deserve this treatment. I didn't do anything. I was told that I try so hard to control things, but who doesn't? I was [...]

By | December 10th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Words Cut

Lately Being Misunderstood is What Causes My Depression

Recently, I've been dealing with the Oregon school system, who apparently hasn't read the Americans With Disabilities Act. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, OCD and ADHD. My son was also diagnosed with ADHD and OCD as well as anxiety. It's incredibly frustrating to watch my son deal with the same mental health issues that I have, but on the other hand, I know what he's going through and I'm available to help him through it. Unfortunately, the school system here doesn't seem to understand my high anxiety levels. When I get anxious I feel impatient. It's hard to wait for a response from people who refuse to answer direct questions in person. I have asked them about the qualifications of their employees to teach children with special needs. They don't answer directly and simply say that each teacher has the same level of training, which is a non-answer. It's extremely easy for these people to paint me as the angry parent because I am angry. I am angry that my son is being told he is lazy and work avoidant. I am upset that his symptoms of ADHD and OCD have not been validated and that he was publicly humiliated [...]

By | December 9th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Lately Being Misunderstood is What Causes My Depression

I Don’t Care if You Don’t Understand My Panic Attacks

I’m having a panic attack and it’s OK if you don’t get it. I used to care whether you got it or not but now I don’t mind either way. This is my panic attack and I own it. I didn’t necessarily buy it from the panic attack dealer but here it is! It was delivered to me without warning and I have to deal with it. I don’t need you to fix it I just need you to understand that I can’t talk to you right now because I can’t breathe. I’m not exaggerating or being dramatic when I say: I literally cannot talk to you. I am focusing on what is around me and practicing mindfulness so that I don’t pass out. I am being triggered by emotional abuse in my past and I need to deal with those issues so that I don’t feel worse later. At this moment I feel like I can't breathe. I have to deal with that before we can continue to talk to each other. At this second, right now, I’m working through that. It’s not your problem or your responsibility to fix me. I am trying my best to work it [...]

By | December 8th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I Don’t Care if You Don’t Understand My Panic Attacks

What shit to buy for people this holiday season from people I like

Hello everyone, Here is a list of people to buy things from for this holiday season: Schizophrenic NYC - Awesome clothing and artwork that promotes mental health awareness and fights against stigma Check out her shop! Here's some info from the creator, my girl, Michelle Hammer: "Schizophrenic.NYC was created, founded, & designed by Michelle Hammer, a SchizophrenicNew Yorker who wants to make a difference in the way the mentally ill homeless are treated in NYC as well as change the way New Yorkers feel about mental illness.  The concept behind the designs is that when the unmedicated person with Schizophrenia looks at a basic regular Rorschach test they see it with a whole different perspective.  By redesigning the test with new colors and patterns, now everyone looks at the test with a whole new perspective. Worse than having Schizophrenia, is being Schizophrenic or have any mental illness and being homeless. There is nothing that upsets us more than seeing mentally ill people living on the streets of NYC. We want this to change now. Together we can make a difference. With every purchase made a portion of our profits get donated to organizations around NYC that support the struggle of the mentally ill homeless.  Together we can make a [...]

By | December 4th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on What shit to buy for people this holiday season from people I like

Should therapy last until you die?

The short answer to this question is: no. I know that people love to see their therapists. It feels good to be understood and validated. I get it, and I want to say this: yes, you're right and you are entitled to those feelings. Listen, after I see my therapist I feel awesome. She hears me, gives me homework, and is, in general, a wonderful human being. Sometimes we disagree on things but we talk about it when we do. It's so important to have an open and honest dialogue with your therapist. You want to be able to be yourself with them. The more you hide from your therapist, the less effective your treatment will be. It's important to make sure that you're an honest person in therapy so that your therapist knows you, otherwise what is the point of going to see them? Even though I believe therapy is great, I believe the best sort of therapy is time-limited. There are different forms of therapy that do last long periods of time, like psychoanalysis. And then there are shorter ones like CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). It depends on your individual needs. One reason, sadly, that therapy shouldn't last [...]

By | December 2nd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Should therapy last until you die?

When you ask for what you want, you might get it

As a child, teenager and young adult, I found it hard to ask for what I wanted. It was difficult for me to believe that my opinion matters enough to do that. I had wants and feelings but believing that anyone wanted to hear them was a different story. I was afraid that if I asked for what I wanted that the other person wouldn't give it to and/or they would be angry at me. I'm not sure why I thought this, but because I had this core belief I held my wants and needs inside. I swallowed them, literally, and it ended up resulting in me getting an ulcer. I realized that this wasn't a sustainable way to live. If I wanted to be healthy I needed to change how I was communicating with the people in my life. As hard as it was for me, I started (little by little) to express my feelings. It was hard at first because I was afraid. I was fearful that they wouldn't care about how I felt or that they would be upset with me. The hardest part of this process was accepting whatever the reaction the person had. I had [...]

By | December 1st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on When you ask for what you want, you might get it

When someone makes you feel invisible

When someone makes you feel invisible it is an awful feeling. I know that feeling well. I want them to see me, but as much as i try to make it happen, they simply cannot. I want them to tell me I'm beautiful but they look right through me. It breaks my heart into thousands of pieces and those shards fall to the floor. Still they cannot see me no matter how broken and hurting I am. I am not a tragedy, I am a person, but that doesn't matter to them. You don't have to accept invisiblity as an identity. You don’t have to stay in that realm forever. Today I felt invisible and it was painful. Today I felt like my feelings didn’t matter and it consumed every single cell in my body. I was boiling with frustration and anger, and I was triggered to the core. Those feelings are real but they don’t have to control me forever. Unfortunately it’s the people that are closest to us that can have the power to make us feel like we are unseen. When I feel invisible it’s because I am expressing myself and I don’t feel heard. My voice [...]

By | November 30th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on When someone makes you feel invisible

I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up

I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m already grown up and I still don’t know what I want to be. When I was a child I wanted to be a writer; that’s all I could think about. I had visions of signing books at bookstores and writing for a living. Little did I know that writing is not a lucrative career. I didn’t care about money when I was a child because I didn’t realize that you need to make money to survive. My parents (being the hippies that they were) encouraged me to pursue what I was passionate about, which was writing. Writing is the only thing that I’ve ever been confident at and sometimes I think that I’m not even that great of a writer. No, I’m not fishing for compliments. But, I was 25 when I finally learned to use a semicolon correctly. Growing up in New York City there were no classes in school to learn how to employ practical life skills like budgeting or finding a job. I wish they had had these things because I still don’t know how to do them. There were counselors within the school [...]

By | November 28th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up
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