I learned about this acronym in therapy a little over 8 years ago. It’s one of the things I hold dear because it makes the most sense to me. It stands for:

Hungry

Angry

Lonely

Tired

Bored

Stressed

Why’s HALT BS so important? If you feel or are in any of these emotional/physical states of being, then you’re more likely to relapse into your self-destructive tendencies, whatever they may be. For me, they are:

  • Overeating
  • Over sleeping
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Being anti-social
  • Negative self-talk

When I first learned about HALT BS, I didn’t really understand it or believe it. Now that I’ve relapsed into my self-destructive ways several times since I’ve learned about it, I’ve realized how true this concept is. I relapse most often when I’m in one of these states of beings. All of these emotions, except anger, really affect me and push me over the edge, especially boredom.

I love that you can form the acronym HALT BS with these emotions. It helps me to remember to stop, think, and act instead of just continually BSing through life and acting toward my tendencies or what’s “normal” for me in moments of “distress.” It helps me to remember that I’m working to change my “normal” so that positive and healthy behaviors become second nature to me. It also reminds me why self-care is so important. As I’m engaged in one of my self-care methods, it’s harder for these states of beings to creep in and wreak havoc in my life.

When I first posted what it’s like living with depression, I had recently seen my psychiatrist and he put me on a new medication to replace the $1200/month one. It’s similar to it but less expensive. Unfortunately, it also have a nasty side effect of making me feel incredibly anxious and jittery so I also have to take another medication to prevent those effects. 🙄

Fortunately, the new medication plus one have been working and I’ve been feeling a lot better. Almost normal … almost. 😉 I’ve felt like I can manage my emotions a ton better. That is, until I started taking an antibiotic for an upper respiratory infection from Hell I’ve had this past week and a half. I think the antibiotic may be reacting or interfering with my anti-depressant and -anxiety medication because I have felt extremely agitated (anxious), jittery, depressed, and tired over the last five days. No amount of self-care, except spending time with loved ones and friends and a blessing from my Bishop has kept these feelings at bay. I nearly checked myself into to the ER because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do or what I was capable of.

Medication is great, but it’s not a cure all. It has limits and I’ve reached those limits many times. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t be here without medication. I’m very grateful for it. I’m grateful for modern science and its advances.

Only a few more days with this antibiotic and then hopefully, all will go back to the way it was before I started taking it.

I shared this on Instagram a few days ago and shared this on my blog pre-new direction. I wanted to share it again because I wrote it during another low-point. It helped helps me remember three very important things: 1) I’m not alone, 2) life has a purpose, and 3) to never give up.

Rising from the Ashes

Why? 
Why do I keep doing this? 
I am nothing. 
A failure. 
I try and try and try, never following through, never succeeding. 

Shame. 
Guilt. 
Weakness. 
Depression.

I’m sucked into the depths of despair. 
I crumple. 
I fall. 
I cry.

I feel nothing. 

I am lost. 
I am drifting in a tide of uncertainties.

I want to be happy. 
I want to be healthy. 
I want more in life.

I am impassioned. 
I am defiant.

I fight back. 
I try again and again and again, until I succeed.

The Refiner’s fire is agonizing. 
But, I wait for the ashes. 
The ashes of rebirth. 
I will rise. 
I will succeed. 
I will be reborn into a phoenix. 

Depression is hard. It’s unbearable at times. On a good day, I feel like I’m running through waist-deep water. On a bad day, I feel like I’m treading water. On a really bad day, I feel like I’m drowning.

A year and a half ago, I felt “normal.” I thought I had found the ultimate cocktail in medication because I knew what it was like to live without being depressed or feeling anxious.

I had to stop taking one of my medications because my insurance wouldn’t cover it. I appealed it and I had my doctor work with them to no avail. Also, when I quit my job last May, we lost our insurance coverage so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. This particular medication is around $1200/month. Since I’m not in the 1%, I could no longer continue to take it.

I’m really struggling right now. I’m at one of the lowest points in my life. It takes every ounce of my strength to get out of bed in the morning. Then, using what’s left over I have to navigate the day. Some days, I can’t do it. Some days, I don’t have the strength to do the things that most people take for granted.

I’ve been living my life one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, for the last two weeks because it’s all I can do to keep suicide from my thoughts. One minute I’m completely fine and the next, I’m completely broken, sobbing, wondering what I can do to lessen the pain and despair I’m feeling. I know suicide isn’t the answer. And, I don’t really want to die. Sometimes, I just wish I’d never been born.

Few people know I’m struggling and if they do, they don’t realize how much I am. The ones that do are the people that count–Corey, my bishop, my psychiatrist, my therapist, and a couple of friends.

Hi! I’m Jenni Elyse. I suffer from a whole host of mental illnesses. I have since I was a teenager. I experience lots of ups and downs. I have officially been diagnosed with:

  • Fibromyalgia (not a mental illness but it does affect how I feel)
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Dependent Personality Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My husband and I also suspect I have Asperger Syndrome (now called Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder). I’m currently in the diagnostic stage.

I know there are many people who live with mental illness like I do. I also know there are many people who don’t. And, I know there are people who think mental illness is something to be ashamed of because of the stigma surrounding it. Mental illness is a disease, a sickness. It should be treated the same as a physical disease. I hope that one day the world and, especially employers, will see it that way.

Writing about mental illness* isn’t my concept for this blog, but it’ll definitely be part of this blog. I look forward to sharing my journey with you. Hopefully, with what I have in mind, you and I’ll both learn something from this.

*As a trigger warning, some of my posts will be raw and emotional and not for the faint of heart.