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

Is it Needy or Is it Human?

I've wondered about "neediness." Is it "needy" to want people to support you when you're having an extremely trying time in your life and you already suffer from mental illness? I don't believe that it is. I already manage my OCD with reward-based exposure therapy, so I am working on being a healthy independent person. But, in addition to being independent, I tell other people when I need support and that's what I'm doing right now. Life has thrown me some serious curve balls and hit me right in the nose multiple times. Good analogy right? I obviously don't play baseball. I'm hurting and it's not because of me, it's because I am fighting for one of the small members of my family and my son needs me to do that for him. I am his person, I have armor, a sword, a shield and an arsenal of tools that I'm ready to go to war with for him. But just because I'm strong doesn't mean I'm not vulnerable and hurting. Just because I'm doing things doesn't mean I don't want to be taken care of and trust me, I do. I want someone to make me soup, I want someone to [...]

By | January 23rd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Is it Needy or Is it Human?

I’m staying up until forever o’clock to get things done

As a new mother, you don't sleep much. You've got an infant who is always crying because they need something and it's understandable for you to be exhausted. Having a baby is hard work and you're up every couple of hours feeding, changing or soothing this little baby. There's a myth out there that once your baby gets older, you start to sleep more. People need to stop saying this because it's a lie. You do not get more sleep as your child gets older. That's just not true at all. My kids are six and nine right now and it's almost 2 am and look at me! I'm still awake trying to get this blog post done. I'm writing because this is the only "free" time I have. I have to stay up until forever o'clock to get alone time to do my thing. But, in reality, my life is so packed with stuff, that I can barely get an opportunity to pee or eat. Today, I had yogurt, granola and cookie dough for dinner; not all together, the cookie dough was for dessert. I'm not a barbarian, okay? I save the cookie dough for later. Anyway, I am trying [...]

By | January 6th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I’m staying up until forever o’clock to get things done

Bobby McFerrin Was Wrong: I Need to Worry to Be Happy

I want to be happy with my whole body and soul. As much as I want to let depression go just “be happy,” I can’t force myself to stop being depressed because that’s not how depression works. Remember that Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t worry, Be happy?” I have always admired the simplicity of that song. I also loved the way that Bobby McFerrin was able to make music with his mouth like a bad ass. Whenever I heard the whistling in that song, I wished that I could follow simple instructions. It seemed like such a wonderful idea! It would be great if I just didn’t worry about things. If I could let go and be content, that would be wonderful and amazing. It would be a euphoric experience if I was able to just “be happy.” As much as I would love to be happy, snap my fingers and make that happen, I can’t do that. Happiness isn't a magical thing that occurs by willing it to happen. I can make the best effort to take actions that will help myself. I can learn and grow by being introspective and letting go of destructive thought patterns. Depression is fueled [...]

By | January 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |Comments Off on Bobby McFerrin Was Wrong: I Need to Worry to Be Happy

Facebook is the destroyer of people’s opinions

Do you have an opinion? Would you like it to be completely verbally eviscerated? Are you feeling great today? Would you like to stop feeling that way and have someone invalidate your feelings? Open your browser or get on your smartphone and head to Facebook! 1,2,3, your opinion is completely invalid. All you have to do is post something benign like "I love kittens!" Invariably someone will get uncontrollably angry or offended and say "I am allergic and I don't like cats anyway." Why is that necessary to say? I was so happy about my love for kittens and you fucking ruined my life. I hate you. Their anger is so potent that they could benefit from some serious anger management. If you ever have the thought "what is wrong with people?" look to Facebook and you will inevitably receive an answer to this age-old query. They want to fight, that's what's wrong with them. They want to be right, and they don't actually care what you just said. The "reply" feature on Facebook statuses was designed to facilitate arguments between users. I know they won't admit that to the public, but I am telling you that's what it's there for. I [...]

By | January 1st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Facebook is the destroyer of people’s opinions

I found my voice and I’m not afraid to use it

For many years I was an introverted child. I grew up to be an introverted adult in my 20's in particular. In my 30's I realized that I didn't have to be silent or hold back anymore. If people don't like that, they can fuck off. I'm not here to please people anymore or walk on egg shells. I've embraced myself, the real me who has been in there the whole time. It took me being silent and internalizing my pain for so long and tolerating people who made me hate myself and my life to get to this point. I'm not ashamed of the mental and emotional processes I went through to get to this point, in fact if I hadn't gone through that journey, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I welcome whatever comes my way, because it is helpful on my life path. We don't choose what happens to us, but we have the choice on how to cope with those events. I didn't choose to have OCD, but I have it. I didn't want a neurological disorder that makes me obsess and worry about things that probably will never happen. But I am learning [...]

By | December 31st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on I found my voice and I’m not afraid to use it

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
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