It’s been quite a few years since I last did this, so please bear with me…
For a number of years several members of staff would post threads like this from time to time. During the Holiday season and after incredibly
traumatic events usually.
We often included terms like “mental health” or “mental wellness” in the titles of these threads as an inclusive message, not as an exclusive
one. All who were struggling or having a bad time were welcome. All who felt alone, worried, afraid or confused could participate.
Though I have not drafted a title for this thread I suspect it will be the same as this thread is being created for those same reasons.
If ever there were a proper time for a thread such as this – this is that time… So this is that thread.
With that in mind:
I am Hefficide on ATS and other places but my real name is John. I mostly am called Heff, here and in the offline world as well. I am happy to answer
to any of those three.
It has been awhile since I have discussed it here, but I am a mental health patient. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
was eighteen years old. Over the subsequent years the panic attacks and anxiety grew worse, things compounded and several other diagnoses were added,
primarily differing forms of depression
– including Bipolar II.
At times it has been a tough battle to fight. I have had some incredible wins and some devastating losses in my own little war. I have let people
down. I have let myself down. I have often failed to be the person I would like to think myself to be.
I have also overcome some incredibly difficult things.
Mostly I have spent a very long time learning not to be ashamed about any of that.
I have mentioned this about myself for that reason – because I understand the stigma and how it feels. To let any and all who read this know that it
is not just them and that it is OK. It is normal and something many endure and can relate to.
Especially at times like this.
People with problems often find coping mechanisms on their own and from any number of things… Becoming a workaholic, becoming an alcoholic, staying
busy and social at every possible moment so that they don’t ever have to be alone with their thoughts. Finding things to put into that empty place
or to quiet the invasive thoughts can be incredibly difficult. Once a distraction is found, losing it can be devastating.
Covid-19, unfortunately, is making many of these things impossible. It is leaving a lot of people alone without their coping tools.
I imagine that even people with relatively minor issues, who have never previously had much of a struggle are finding themselves having a difficult
time right now.
Uncertainty is not a comfortable thing. This storm hit fast and hard and we don’t yet know when it will relent. That is enough to humble even the
strongest of us.
This thread is here to provide the ATS community a place to freely discuss their feelings. To vent their frustrations, concerns and fears. To seek out
a bit of emotional support from others who might share and understand our worries. This is a safe environment where anyone who cares to can release
some of their stress without having to worry about being attacked. Any uncivil comments or judgmental nonsense will be removed from this thread. This
will not be a battleground, but a place of healing and sanctuary from the storm.
Please feel free to comment or post if you feel doing so will help you to some degree. Aside from the general idea that this is a community mutual
support thread, there really isn’t a topic. Your thoughts and feelings will be respected. We have some amazing, truly amazing people in this
community and I have absolutely no doubt that if you chose to reach out you will find many hands reaching back toward you.
We have been through so much together ATS. We will make it through this.
is always open to anyone here. I am a mess some or
most of the time but I am always happy to listen and to do what I can to offer a kind word to all of you.
edit on 3/17/20 by Hefficide because: Edited to add inbox hyperlink