“Standing now in the mirror that I built myself…”-Halsey

Hey there.

I hope you are well. It’s been a minute since I’ve been here and damn have I missed it.

I had a friend ask me the other day why I stopped writing and I knew the answer. But once I said it out loud, I felt like a total jackass.

My answer was that I had started a new job and didn’t want my blog to be read by my new co-workers and boss, for fear that I’d get fired for it.

Like WHAT? Isn’t that what my whole blog is about? Isn’t that what I preach? Isn’t my main goal breaking the stigma? WTF was I thinking?

I wasn’t. I wasn’t thinking. You can say it with a me…HYPOCRITE.

So, I tuned into my feelings again. I tuned into my depression again. I stopped blocking out all the negative thoughts. And I cried. Not a full blown panic attack, but just lots and lots of tears. And it SUCKED. It SUCKED feeling that vulnerable. It SUCKED feeling that hateful towards myself. It SUCKED feeling that weak and dumb and useless and unaccomplished and EVERY NEGATIVE FEELING ALL AT ONCE.

It was overwhelming letting all those feelings back in. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still feeling that overwhelm today too. That’s what people who don’t suffer from this anxiety and depression daily cocktail don’t understand. This shit doesn’t just go away. It LINGERS. And “getting over it” or being told, “You’ll be fine. You always are,” doesn’t help. I know I’ll be fine. But I also know I’m hurting right now. And that’s OKAY. I’ll be OKAY. But right now, I’m not. And I’m OKAY with that.

So, I stand here, in the mirror looking at a body I hate, with a soul I’m not too fond of right now either, and I get one of those oh, so joyous messages. “Hey girl! I have a fitness group starting up and I’d love for you to join us!”

Thanks, Cold Message Colleen. Thanks for the reminder that I look large in my photos. Thanks for the reminder that I’ve gained weight over the last couple months. Thanks for insinuating that I look like I should be working out 7 days a week with you and all your skinny friends.

I have BEEN that girl sending those copy and paste messages. I know those people don’t mean it like that, but what those people don’t understand is that you messaging the wrong person at the wrong time makes ALL of those self hatred feelings SO much stronger.

So, to the Cold Messaging Colleen’s of the world, work your business, but remember, all those people you’re cold messaging…they’re going through something. They’re fighting a battle you have NO idea about and your copy and paste messages just might hurt them more than help.

Love, Me

The Reason

“I’m just not one to air my dirty laundry.”

That’s what someone told me a little over a week ago in regards to my blog.

I had already had a…tough… day. It was my last day at my old job. And it was absolutely my time for that chapter of my life to end, but it’s tough to leave people who you spent 50+ hours a week with for the last 3 years. Just to put it out there, the first week at my new job was absolutely incredible. But this post isn’t about that.

Anyway, after this tough day someone said to me, they don’t know why I do this (write in my blog). It’s just me airing my dirty laundry which is not what they would expect for me to do.

And when I got in the car to go home, I lost it. I started questioning everything. I questioned leaving my job. I questioned working my side business. I questioned writing my blog. I questioned all of the things that have made me who I am today.

And I almost deleted my blog.

I almost deleted the thing that provides me therapy and happiness and relief from how I feel. I almost deleted the thing that provides OTHERS with the comfort that they are not alone.

And then I said NO. I said, THIS is the reason that I do this!

Now, I don’t want this to be taken the wrong way because ALL of these are terrible and I would never wish them on anyone. BUT if I were a person with chronic physical illness writing a blog, I would be celebrated. If I were a mom with a baby in the NICU writing a blog, I would be comforted. If I were a heart surgery patient sharing my treatment story writing a blog, I would be supported.

Why is me as a person with mental illness and sharing my daily battle, writing a blog airing my dirty laundry? THIS is the stigma I am FIGHTING DAILY to destroy. Physical illness and mental illness are BOTH illnesses. EVERY FREAKING PERSON FIGHTS THEIR OWN BATTLES. Don’t discount one persons over another just because you can physically see their wounds.

I’m done being sorry for my depression. I’m done being sorry for my anxiety. I’m done being sorry for sharing my story.

Don’t give in to the shit society tells you is “not appropriate”. You don’t know how many lives you can save by sharing YOUR story and YOUR struggle. Don’t give up. Let’s DESTROY this STIGMA TOGETHER.

Love,

Me ❤

Treatment

Hiii.

So, for months, maybe even a year now, my Psychiatrist has been telling me that I should see a therapist.

Don’t get me wrong, I 100% support going to see and talk with a therapist. I saw my therapist for 8 years and I loved her!

But I also am no longer naive to my illness, as well as what I need, and what I can handle at any given moment. Being officially diagnosed with depression and anxiety for 12 years, and suffering for much longer, I know what I need, when I need it. I’m not trying to sound like “I know it all”. Because I don’t. But, I also know that having to leave work early once a week to go to therapy would just cause me more stress and anxiety than talking through anything would help. It would be a complete moot point.

Anyways, I was talking with my Psychiatrist during my most recent appointment about a week and a half ago, and I asked him what suggestions he might have for me. He (again) suggested therapy, but after explaining why that wasn’t an option at this moment, he told me one thing he knows will help. Laugher.

I nodded because it seemed like the appropriate thing to do, but I was skeptical to say the least. I thought to myself on the drive home, “Laughing? Really? Maybe I’ll watch some Scooby Doo or something and that will make me laugh.” The thing is, I didn’t remember the last time I truly belly laughed. Of course, being the squirrel that I am, the thoughts of laughing left my brain and I went on with my life as normal.

I went to work Monday, Tuesday, and a half day on Wednesday, and then left for Knoxville on Thursday. If you know me, you know how much I love travel and airplanes, but also how much I hate being away from my husband and pups. Well, I was anxious to fly alone to a state I’d never been to with a bunch of women I had only interacted with over social media. I told myself that I needed this. That God was trying to show me something by bringing me here, so I needed to take the time to follow His plan and listen to him. And holy cow did He have a plan for me.

I have not laughed as hard as I did this past weekend, and I have not felt as loved by a group of friends as I did this past weekend. And dang it did it feel good. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I had a full (long) weekend full of laughter. And to be honest, I didn’t realize how it had impacted me and my depression until I got home and went back to work.

I didn’t feel an ounce of depression while I was in Knoxville. Yes, I was sad and missed my hubby and puppers, but depression did not consume me for one single stinking minute. Laughter, love, friendship, and happiness consumed me while I was there.

Coming back and rejoining the reality that is work made me realize how much laughter had prevented all of the bad feelings from overcoming me. I don’t laugh at work. At my work, if you’re laughing, you’re distracted from working, and if you’re distracted from working, you’re wasting company money.

Now, I’m not saying to waste company money, but I am saying that you deserve laughter in your life. And if you spend 10 hours a day at work, all 10 hours shouldn’t be spent holding back tears praying for 6:00 to arrive.

Wherever it is, find your laughter and make it your reality, because it can help make all the difference.

Love,

Me ❤

Drowning

Hiii.

I have been thinking for (literally) weeks about this post. I felt like a writer with writer’s block. No words I tried to form quite fit how I was feeling.

And then of course the thought of, “Well, what if this person, or that person sees it. I have to keep things PC.”

Well, fuck that. If I’m not being open, honest, raw, and real about how I’m feeling, then how the hell am I supposed to be fighting this stigma I am so determined to destroy?

So, here goes…

Guys, I’m drowning. I’m drowning in every freaking aspect of my life. And yes, that does sound dramatic, but it’s seriously all I can think about right now and for the past 8 weeks. I’m drowning at work. I’m drowning at home. I’m drowning walking through Target (and not in a good way). I’m drowning in anxiety. And I’m drowning in depression. D R O W N I N G, drowning.

And the funny thing about drowning is, people can ask you if you’re okay all they want, but when your head is being held under water, how to they expect you to respond? Sure, I’m good. Just choking on water and treading for my life, but no worries. Keep pouring MORE water on me. It’s cool. I got it.

People rarely seem to ask for favors or for help with the intention of you saying “no”. They ask because it’s polite. If you say no, then HOW RUDE ARE YOU? How DARE you not help out a friend, or a co-worker, or your spouse. What kind of person DOES THAT? A terrible one. That’s who.

When the fuck did it become merely courtesy to ask? Just PC to ask, although you’re truly disinterested in what the real answer is. You know you’ll get a “yes”, or that person will PAY for it. THIS is how we lose touch with the sea floor in the first place.

So, how are you supposed to stop drowning when more and more water is being poured on you, with no way to stop it? And even if you somehow manage to hold your head above water long enough to ask for a life vest you’re judged for even asking. “Can you believe she asked for a life vest? She’s so lazy”.

No wonder people shut down completely. The only survival skill we have left is to give up, and hope our body floats to the top of the current, so we can swim out of the riptide to safety.

If this is you, just about to give up and shut down completely, don’t. I’m here. I’m here with biggest and most buoyant life vest you can imagine. I’m here to help you. Even though I am not always sure I can help myself. I got the most buoyant one for a reason. We’ll share. It won’t be a Titanic replay. Let’s float to safety together.

Love Always,

Me ❤

Irrelevant

Hiiii.

This week was one of those weeks where I felt like a complete ghost. Like I was walking the halls just a phantom of my normal self. Like no one actually saw me, and me being gone was irrelevant.

Now, I’m not saying this to get sympathy. I’m not saying this to attract attention. I’m saying this because it’s real. It’s on my heart. It’s on my mind.

I HATE feeling irrelevant. In my heart I know people would miss me when I’m gone, but my depression clouds my head and my heart. My depression is what’s telling me I’m irrelevant. My depression is what’s telling me I won’t be missed. My depression is what takes my head so far from reality that I get lost.

I lose my cause. I lose my purpose. I lose my why. I lose myself. I know that there is still a glimpse of me somewhere. But it’s like it’s locked behind a door and I have a whole ring full of hundreds of keys that all look alike.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I just have to find the right key. But, I don’t know how many keys I’ll have to go through, or how long it will take until I find the right one. All I know is the right key is there, I just have to keep going until I find it.

So, here’s the thing…giving up and giving in won’t open that door any faster. And breaking down the door will do you no good. You’re behind that locked door for a reason. Take your time, find the right key, and when you do, THAT is exactly when you’re meant to open the door. Not a minute sooner or a minute later.

So, here I am. Still looking. Still checking the keys on the key rings, and in turn, checking myself. Checking my surroundings. Checking my circle. Checking what makes me, me. Because when I find out WHY I’m here, when I find my purpose. THAT is when I’ll reach the right key.

Love,

Me ♥️

Why

Hiiiii.

Almost everyone has a “why”. People’s “why”s can range from family, to money, to success, to faith, and everything in between. In my humble opinion, NO ONE can tell you that you have a bad “why”. IT’S NOT YOUR WHY, SO YOU HONESTLY DON’T GET AN OPINION.

Sorry (not really sorry) for the caps lock, but it’s true. What drives me to act is different from what drives you to act, and that’s OKAY. We’re all different for a reason. If we were all driven by the same thing, I’m pretty sure the whole world would combust. We need to have different dreams, goals, and driving factors. It’s what keeps our society going.

Regardless of your “why”, and regardless of how close you feel to your “why” right this minute, I encourage you to zoom out, take a look around, and see if what you’re doing and how you’re acting is contributing to your “why” or detracting from it.

If you’re feeling down, unsuccessful, lacking motivation, or whatever, you’re probably too far away from your “why”. Whether it’s intentional or not, you’re not doing things with your “why” in mind. Meaning, there could be a subconscious selfish drive behind your actions. THIS is when things start to fall apart.

When you re-calibrate your mind to make your “why” your main focus, you’ll be surprised what you suddenly begin to accomplish. You might have even already accomplished these things, but your clouded mind didn’t allow you to grasp that you actually DID accomplish something. That you actually DID do the right thing. That you actually DID achieve success.

We focus SO MUCH on all of our failures, our flaws, our mistakes, our screw ups, and everywhere that we fell short. And those small little things CONSUME our mind to make us us blur out all of the good.

For example, today was testing day for my “students” at work. There were 5 people who didn’t pass their exam. Now, at my job, you need to pass this exam in order to retain employment. Therefore, 5 people lost their jobs today. It is my job to teach them, aid them, and help them achieve success on this exam. I was and am so upset every time that I can’t get a student across the finish line. I am fully aware that although I can help, I can’t take the test for them. That I can only give them the vehicle and they’re the ones that need to drive it. Regardless, my guilt sets in, and I dwell on the ones I couldn’t get to pass. Now, I don’t say this to brag, but I think it helps put things in perspective for your own situation. Despite all the “thank you”s, the “I couldn’t have done this without you”s, etc, I’m still so intensely focused on the ones who didn’t pass. That was, until I was on my way home listening to Rachel Hollis’ podcast, “Rise”. First, it’s INCREDIBLE. Second, it really brought to light all of the things I was feeling about my failures that day. I had 5 failures. But I had 29 passes, including two students who I worked two on one with in order to give them more individualized workshops. I should be PROUD of that. I should CELEBRATE that. Not that I am the one who did all the work because I absolutely didn’t, but I should celebrate our collaboration and successes as a team.

So, moral of the long-winded story is: Stop. Zoom out. Look around. Re-calibrate. Reset your focus on your why. And then GO FOR IT.

However you define success, it’s right around the corner from you. Don’t give up.

Love,

Me ❤

Impostor Syndrome

Hiiii.

So, I’m reading this Self-Help book. I’m probably what they call a Self-Help Junkie. I love these books, maybe to a detriment to my mental health.

Well, regardless, the one I’m currently reading (AKA listening to on Audible ’cause who has time to read with an hour commute and a 12 hour work day?), the author was talking about a study that she read in the Journal of Behavioral Science that discusses Impostor Syndrome. No, it’s not in the DSM, and no, it’s not scientifically PROVEN, but it is real as can be.

When I first started listening to this chapter, I was almost turned off because I was convinced it didn’t apply to me.

The author explains that Impostor Syndrome is when you as a person are convinced, despite any factual evidence proving otherwise, that you are a fraud and that you don’t actually deserve the success you are achieving. Despite all of the performance reviews, despite all of the feedback, the compliments, and the growth you’ve seen in yourself, you believe you aren’t actually deserving of the success that you’re achieving. The author notes that the study showed that although Impostor Syndrome appears in people of all genders, it is found that women “own up” to it more often than everyone else.

I was convinced that this syndrome didn’t apply to me because I don’t think I’m a fraud. I’m super duper real, open, and honest (hence the blog). But the more I thought about it, I realized that I am 100% suffering from Imposter Syndrome. Not that I think that I’m a fraud, but I 100% sabotage myself by speaking poorly about myself, thinking negative things about myself, and expecting the worst things to happen to me.

THIS is Impostor Syndrome. And it can affect EVERYONE.

Why do we do this? WHY? I don’t know what it is for you, but for me, it’s a lack of self confidence. I’ve always lacked self confidence and I don’t know why. I’m getting better, but it’s still not 100%. On top of my self-help book addiction, I also went and saw Rachel Hollis’ “Made For More” movie and it was LIFE CHANGING. I put what I learned from Rachel Hollis and what I learned from my Audible together and I had an epiphany.

Instead of worrying about fixing myself and my confidence, I need to worry about standing up for my sisters. If I can’t stand up for myself, the least I can do is stand up for them. I’m taking this as my first step to combating my Imposter Syndrome. I’m ready to stop discounting myself and start adding back my tax. I’m ready to go.

Love,

Me ❤

Broken Record

Hiiii.

My mind is a broken record. It always has been.

Remember that time in second grade when you sat in orange paint during art class and the class bullies got the whole class to turn around, look, and laugh at you? Well, I do.

Remember that time your crush asked you to homecoming and then ditched you the morning of to go with another girl? Well, I do.

(Sorry about this last one, guys). Remember that time you got your period early and you bled all over your white shorts during your Christian youth group? Yeah. I remember that too.

These are things that I highly doubt ANYONE else remembers in the slightest, but they are BURNED in my brain. They don’t haunt me as much as I may be making it seem, but I will always remember them.

Do you remember times like this that you have had and you felt like your life was LITERALLY OVER? Yup. I swore that orange paint was going to be THE end of my life. Now, 20ish years later I’m sitting on my couch laughing at 2nd grade self.

These life ending embarrassments were far from life ending. Life ending losses of loved ones. Or life ending break ups (shout out to my exes). None of these things actually ended my life. Sometimes when I’ve thought about not being here anymore, I find myself thinking back to these times and it spirals me deeper (hence the broken record reference). But in other times, I think back to these times and smile alongside the tears because it’s a reminder that through all of that, I am a warrior. Through all of that, I am BETTER and STRONGER, and that none of the things that seem to be the end of it all mean nearly as much in the future.

Don’t let the fears, embarrassment, disappointments, losses, anger, or sadness be perpetuated into your future. Don’t self-sabotage, self-promote.

Love,

Me ❤

Invisible

Hiiii.

Do you ever feel invisible? Like if you were to not exist anymore, no one would even notice? You could completely be erased, and nothing would change for anyone?

Yeah. That’s been me this week. I honestly don’t even know why I say anything. Why I even have a voice. You might as well take it away. I honestly don’t know why I’m even trying to do anything half the time. I LITERALLY want to give up. Not in a dangerous way, I’m feeling safe, just in an…adult…kind of way. I want to quit being an adult. I want to go back to being a kid when I KNEW my voice didn’t matter because I was a dumb little kid who said dumb stuff. I’m almost 26 years old. Maybe it’s a quarter-life crisis kind of thing, but I feel like I should be entitled to some sort of opinion at this point. I’m old enough to rent a car without penalties for goodness sake. That’s gotta count for something. *facepalm*

I honestly feel like I’m worth more to my followers, friends, and teammates on the internet than I am anywhere else in the world. Those people see me more, know me better, and actually take the time to read my posts.

But it’s more of a fictional read than anything. It’s like my words, opinions, and thoughts are just fiction to be tossed aside when they’re done. There is no substance to anything this world does or says. Everyone is too busy being self-absorbed to consider words, thoughts, or opinions from everyone else. But even to my friends on the internet, if I were to one day disappear, nothing would change for anyone.

I know, I know. I’m throwing myself a pity party, but honestly, it’s really aggravating and depressing at the same time.

Why can’t people stop wearing their ass as a hat for one freaking minute to listen to someone other than themselves? It’s like everyone is so busy talking and NO ONE is listening. If no one is listening, then WHY ARE WE EVEN TALKING?

THIS is what’s wrong with society. People are too busy pointing fingers at everyone else. Too busy telling everyone else what they’re doing wrong and ordering them to fix it. Too busy to look in the mirror to see themselves for who they really are. Too busy to see what THEY are doing wrong and what THEY need to fix. They’re too busy wasting their energy building themselves up on their OWN pedestal to be the tallest and the best, that they don’t even see everyone else is building themselves up just as tall. Those of us not wasting our time boosting our own self-esteem are stuck at the bottom securing the foundations of everyone else’s pedestals.

Yes, sometimes it’s dark down there, but at least I didn’t sacrifice my morals and ethics just to try to beat everyone else out. You go ahead and puff out your chest. You won’t last long up there when your shaky foundation crumbles from underneath you.

I love listening to people, but I’m tired of listening to never be heard in return. I’m tired of being invisible.

Rant over.

Love,

Me ❤

The Waiting Room

We’ve all been there. We’ve all been in the waiting room tapping our leg, obsessively checking our phone, huffing and puffing because being in the waiting room is a waste of time. There are seasons where we are just sitting in the waiting room of life. 

And we often think that these waiting rooms are useless, demeaning, wasteful times in our lives, when really, its the exact opposite. Those are the times in which we are building ourselves. Whoever or whatever you believe in (if anything), that thing is building you. For me, it’s God. God is building me. He is building my trust. He is building my strength. He is building my faith. He is building my graciousness. He is building ME to be the ME that He says I am.

Sometimes that waiting room is dark and lonely. It’s a really scary place sometimes. It causes really scary thoughts sometimes. And that’s okay. Waiting rooms are just that. They’re just for waiting. They’re temporary. It’s not forever (thank God for that). Sometimes that dark, lonely, scary waiting room is really a storm shelter providing us safety from the outside world because things are tumultuous out there. Maybe He isn’t building me in that moment, maybe He is busy building up everything around me, so that my environment will be ready for me when I finally arrive. 

We will never ever know how long we will be in that waiting room. We will never ever know why we are there. We will never know how to get out. 

And in reality, we SHOULDN’T be looking to get out. It’s not our time. When our time comes, we will see all of the puzzle pieces finally put together. Hindsight is always 20/20 right?

Love,

Me ❤