Forever Grateful

Hiiiii.

 

I hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate). This time of year is so so tough for so many people, and for a full spectrum of reasons. I used to HATE this time of year because prior to meeting my husband, I always found myself alone during Thanksgiving and Christmas. I no longer feel the discontent around this time of year that I used to, but I know that there are still so many people who do.

 

I should not, could not, would not judge those people because I used to be one just like them. Instead of projecting negative feelings onto them, we all need to take a step back and think about what they might be going through. All of their negative thoughts, words, and actions are stemming from something, and I wouldn’t dare take a guess at what that thing might be.

 

This is something we battle ALL the time, but it is often seen as more apparent during the time of year that we’re all supposed to be jolly and bright. But people all around us are CONSTANTLY fighting battles that we know nothing about.

 

It’s taken a lot of courage to write about this, which is why I’ve waited a few weeks to write it.

*Takes a deep breath*

A few weeks ago, someone in my extended family accused me of using my mental health blog and my religion as fuel to drive up my sales in my side hustle.

 

I was heart broken at this accusation. I do not believe I have ever pushed anyone on my blog to check out my business. I have never pushed anyone in my church to try my products. I don’t post about my mental health or my religion to draw any attention to myself to help increase my sales. Unless you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably didn’t even know I have a side hustle business.

 

I write about my issues with mental health because I wish I had someone like me to talk to when I was in a really dark place. I write in my blog because it’s therapeutic to me. I go to church because it teaches me skills that no one else has taught me. I go to church because God does unbelievable things and takes my natural human struggles, and does supernatural things to support them. I go to church because I love Him. Neither of these things has ANYTHING to do with my business.

 

I run my business because the products have changed my life. Just as sharing my story on my blog has changed my life. Just how Jesus has changed my life. So, no. I’m not using my diagnosis of MDD and GAD, nor my love of Jesus to boost my business. I do all of these things independently of one another because it is my life, and I am forever grateful for each and every part of it.

 

Love,

Me ❤

Game Face

Hiiii.

 

Ever wonder what would happen if you weren’t around? If you weren’t there to fix things? Or in some cases screw them all up? It’s the screw up moments that make me think about this the most.

 

No, let’s get this straight. I have no bad intentions, and all I mean from this is sometimes I think I could be of better assistance to the world if I had just stayed in my bed. Yeah, maybe a few things wouldn’t have gotten done that should have gotten done. But on the flip side, there is a lot that wouldn’t have gotten so royally messed up either.

 

I have to do a semi-annual performance review at work, with this upcoming one being my third in my current department and all I ever have to say is that I need to improve on my efficiencies and the amount of mistakes I make. I feel like not a day goes by at my job that I’m not apologizing for messing something up. And that’s not just because I’m an obsessive apologizer. Yes, I did just make up that word. You’re welcome to all my obsessive apologizers out there. I know that I hold myself to unusually high standards, but if I didn’t who would I be? How would I have gotten myself to the position I’m not at in life?

 

I truly do believe that I am who I am for a reason. That’s all there is to it. And like it or not, I’m not going to change for anyone or anything.

 

So, on all of my bad days, weeks, months, and years, my only option is to get up, put on my game face, and go. You gonna come with me?

 

Love,

Me ❤

Warrior

Hiiii.

 

So, I had super mixed feelings writing this post. Part of me felt like doing a hair flip. And the other part of me felt like I wanted to crawl in a hole and cry.

 

Let me preface this by saying that I do not work at a school, or for the government, or for any institution where this could cause me to get fired…I think.

 

So, I am a very open person (hence, the public blog I write about my Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder) and this applies to work as well. I help a lot of our employees (who technically are my students) who suffer from anxiety by providing them with anxiety fidgets and other coping skills to help them combat their issues throughout their employment, and honestly in life in general.

 

A student who is preparing for their licensing exam approached me this week about coping skills. They said, “How do you combat all of the adversity you face? What do you do to help keep your anxiety at bay? I’ve seen you keep your cool in times that I could not.” I was awestruck, and it took me a hot minute, but I conjured up the best response i could. I simply stated, “Time. Just time. I’ve been dealing with this for as long as I can remember and have been diagnosed for over a decade. I figured out how to handle my shit over time and by making A LOT of mistakes.” There is no recipe that works for everyone when it comes to anxiety and/or depression. I gave him all of the tips and tricks that I could think of. All of the little things that help calm me down. The deep breathing, the positive mantras, the essential oils, the rescue remedy, everything. I don’t know if any of it will help him, but he doesn’t have 12 years before his exam to learn how to wrangle this beast, so I armed him with the quickest and most effective solutions I could think of.

 

But that’s the part that NO ONE remembers. Last week, I wrote about wearing a mask ALL THE TIME and the one time I take my mask off, it’s like I’m a leper who should be burned at the stake. Each year that I get further away from my cutting, my medication issues, my weight issues, everything, the stronger I get, but the more forgetful everyone around me gets. They forget the struggles, they forget the issues, they forget all of the stuff I hide on a daily basis. It’s almost like people think that I’m fixed. I’m cured. I no longer have depression and anxiety.

 

Now, I’m not a complete selfish idiot. I know it’s human nature to forget what’s not right in front of us, but for me, my depression and anxiety are NEVER not right in front of me. They NEVER go away. My symptoms, my struggles, my issues, my insecurities; they’re all right there. And they always will be. I truly don’t expect people to think about my issues all the time, ’cause damn would that make for a super depressed world. I just wish people knew that this doesn’t just go away. That for most of us, this will NEVER go away.

So, no. I’m NOT a survivor. I’m a W A R R I O R.

 

Love,

Me ❤

Mask Off

Hi.

 

Yes, I did choose that title because I listened to Future on my way home, and NO, this post is NOT about what he raps about. It came on my Spotify for a reason, and I thought it would be appropriate seeing that Halloween occurred this week as well. So, let’s get to it.

 

Ever feel like you’re so…EXTRA…that you can’t keep your cool. You’re extra sad, extra mad, extra overwhelmed, extra any negative emotion you can think of that you LITERALLY want to explode. Or implode. Either or. That was me today. It’s been a LONG week. So, long, that it’s honestly felt like two work weeks worth in one. And it’s been like that for a few weeks now.

 

It’s safe to say that I am a “Yes Woman”. And I’m fully aware and acknowledging of that. I do NOT LIKE saying no when people ask me to help them with something. If I think it’s at all possible, I will say yes to help that person out. Well, I mayyyyyy have taken on one too many things this week. Even when I woke up today, I was done. So, by the time I actually got to work, I was SOOOO done. I managed to somehow get through the day without totally blowing up or breaking down, but my mask was DEFINITELY off. And people could tell. I pride myself on being able to “black box” things and help pick others up 99% of the time, but that 1% that I can’t, it’s completely obvious. And I don’t know how to change it. I’m either hiding everything or nothing.

 

It’s so freaking cliché, but there’s a quote about being the one who helps pick everyone else up, even when YOU’RE the one who’s broken the whole time. I feel like that’s me. And that 1% of the time when I can’t be the one to pick everyone else up, it’s like I’m being too much to handle. I’m being unreasonable. I’m being too EXTRA. And that’s really freaking hard. People don’t realize the weight I carry by wearing my mask every damn day. And the one day I can’t seem to hold it up to my face, you judge, you get upset, you huff and you puff, and you show your disappointment. Not only is my depression making it hard to want to put one foot in front of the other, but my anxiety of letting everyone down and letting them see me is almost unbearable.

 

So, to the one who wears their mask every day, I’m telling you IT’S OKAY to take your mask off. Scream into the steering wheel, cry into the pillow, punch the punching bag. IT’S OKAY. Let it out. Forget about those people who judge you, scorn you, or become disappointed with you. If they can’t/won’t be there for you on your % days, they don’t deserve you at your 99% days.

 

So, don’t bottle it up. Let everything out. End that % day and fall asleep before you fall completely apart. Then wake up the next day and get back to your 99%. Let’s do this.

 

Love,

Me ❤

Rookie Year, EVERY Year

Ever feel like your stuck in your rookie year? I can’t be the only one, right? The only one that constantly feels like this whole adulthood thing is just a bunch of rookie years piled one on top of the other. Like, being the freshman on the team. The ones who do the clean up of the field after practice. The ones who fill the water bottles. The ones who do the grunt work. Well, unless you’re me. Then you do that freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year. Because I HATED being a freshman and I didn’t want to make anyone else like I did when I was their age. I also have this thing where I don’t like to tell people “no”. So, there’s that.

 

Regardless, it’s EXHAUSTING being the rookie all the time. And as a perfectionist with a NEED to constantly do things, well, perfect, being a rookie SUCKS. I hate feeling like I can’t do anything right. I FINALLY feel like I have things under control, and then a mistake pops up. And then another one. And another one. And another one. Just a snowball fight of mistakes being thrown RIGHT in my face. The more people tell me “it’s alright”, the more upset I get because I know it’s not alright and I always am afraid of what mistake will be the one that ends my employment? And all the while, my anxiety is through the freaking roof. Which, honestly, causes me to make more mistakes, or be more forgetful. Then I feel depressed. My depression tells me that everyone else thinks as little of me as I think of myself. It’s been true and it will always be true.

 

And the self-doubt is never ending. I keep telling myself that I should have the hang of this by now. I should have my life straight by now.

 

But I don’t.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE learning, growing, and becoming the person God made me to be. I’m just having trouble becoming who I was made to be because I never feel like I have a grip on the present. I spend ALL my time preparing for the future by reflecting on the past. I need time to STOP. I need everything to stop for one freaking minute. Just one. So, I can take a deep breath and listen to what I’m being told and where I’m being guided to. But that’s not possible. I just feel like I’m stuck in this never ending cycle of self obliteration. One where I don’t have time to build myself back up after I’ve been broken down. So, I put together what I can and keep trying to run on empty. When is this going to end? Maybe the better question is WILL it ever end? Or will I be stuck in my rookie year forever? God, I hope not.

 

Love,

Me ❤

Ripping Off The Bandage

Hi there!

 

So, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been on here. It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared my struggles. My triumphs. My happy times. My not so happy times.
Well, boy has a lot happened. I have been thinking what to say to get started all week. I’ve been thinking about what I want to say. What to write about. What to share. And even in this moment, I have no freaking clue what to write, but my heart is still being tugged to share my words. So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m ripping the bandage off the wound I’ve had covered up for over a year with the hopes this might reach you. The one who’s been feeling alone. The one who’s been feeling useless, unworthy, used, abused, hurt and any combination imaginable. Well, I’m here to let you know, for real, that you are NOT alone. You are NOT useless. You are NOT unworthy. You do NOT deserved to be used, abused, or hurt. Ever. So, here goes nothing.

 

I started this post by reading through all of my old posts and at first I felt embarrassed because, well, that’s how I feel about anything I’ve done. I rarely feel proud of something I’ve done because it could ALWAYS be better. We’re human. I’m human. But I don’t like to hold myself to human standards. Ever feel like you’re not enough? Yeah. Me too. Like all the time? Yeah. Me too.

 

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we push ourselves to work three jobs? Why do we push ourselves to ALWAYS say “yes”. Why do we let ourselves work over 50 hours a week, every week? Well, my friend, we do this because it’s our only mode of survival. We work ourselves to death because we’re scared of getting let go if we say “no”. Then, once our bodies shut down, we succumb to the idea that we’re failures. Cue the panic. Our anxiety TELLS us we’re failures. And that’s where the black hole opens. It opens up to our depression. And the depression TELLS us we’ve always been failures and we’ll always be failures. Why even try? Why even get out of bed? Whey even go to work? What’s the point. Everyone would be better off without us.

 

Then we talk to our psychiatrist that we see on a monthly basis and tell them we need more meds, because the meds are the only thing that’s worked. And, well, they tell us no. Well, damn. If my psych won’t even help me, then WHAT AM I DOING HERE? WHY AM I EVEN TRYING? They tell you that you need therapy. But you don’t WANT therapy because therapy means missing work. Missing work means work piles up. Work piling up means being fired. Being fired means losing the house. Losing the house means losing my family. Losing my family means the end of my everything. Again, cue the panic.

 

This is MY LIFE. Every damn day. I pray on it. I ask others to pray on it. I pray that one day I won’t feel this way. One day I’ll believe people when they say I’m enough. One day. One day. One day.

 

Today is not that day, but damn it feels good to be back. THIS is my therapy. Writing to YOU, whoever you are, is my therapy. And for that I thank you. Same time next week? Cool. I’ll be there. Until then, take care.

 

Love,

Me ❤

Revived

Hi.

 

So, again, it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’m sorry for that. 😦 This week, I had the opportunity to speak at Coppin State University about my personal struggle with mental illness and the affect it had on me as a college student. I was honored to be able to speak and truly amazed at the turn out and feedback I received. I have spoken many times before on many different platforms, but this one in particular resonated with me. The discussion was frank, the questions were deep, and the performances were heart breaking, yet beautiful.

 

I was once again revived.

 

I was reminded that I am not the only one who struggles. Depression and anxiety do not only affect me. It affects EVERYONE. These mental illnesses and other mental illnesses do not discriminate. They will go after you, no matter who you are, what you look like, where you live, or how strong you are. They will come after you, grab a hold, and not let go.

 

The key is to not give up, and to not feel bad for feeling this way. For a moment at the event at Coppin, I caught myself feeling like a terrible person for being depressed because so many people have it worse than me. And they do. But that should not discount my suffering. I don’t need to make excuses. I don’t want a pity party. But, I need to understand that I am a person who is suffering too, and that cannot be taken away from me.

 

Revival is a funny thing. It brings a sense of re-birth, but this particular revival did not give me a clean slate. Especially on (rainy) days like today. I find it super hard to get out of bed, to get to work, and to feel motivated. So, I continue to push forward; make myself get up, get dressed, get to work, and do my best. It’s not easy, but it can be done (most of the time).

 

Moral of this entry: Don’t give up, don’t discount yourself, and know it’s okay to be suffering, others are right there beside you.

 

Love,

Me ❤

Inadequate

Inadequate. That’s how I feel. And it sucks.

 

I feel inadequate in my work (all three jobs).

I feel inadequate as a fiancee.

I feel inadequate as a daughter.

I feel inadequate as an adult.

 

Now, I know that when my parents, fiance, friends, and co-workers read this, they will more than likely say, “You’re fine! You’re just overreacting!” but the bottom line is this is how I’m feeling.

I’m not going to put my business about my fiance and my parents out there because that is something I need to deal with internally. But as far as my jobs and my adult-ing, that I need to let out.

I make mistakes at work and I feel as if all of my mistakes are pointed out to me, and I am constantly judged for the decisions I make. I try to take on more responsibility and I am shunned. I try to help the patients and I am pulled away and told that I’m too soft. I try to help the clients and I’m told that I’m not pushy enough. When did being nice and “soft” become something to be ashamed of? All my life I wanted to help people, I wanted to make people happy. I went to college to get a Psychology degree to learn how to professionally help people and it got me a job that I’m looked down upon for attempting to treat the patients with the best care and compassion I can. I’m confused. Why does being soft have to be so negative. Why does showing that I care and that I understand have to be something that I should change? I’m so tired of me being me, not being enough.

I am constantly being reminded that I spend too much money, and I get it. I do. I am the first person to admit that I am an impulsive spender and I spend on stupid shit I do not need because I am more blessed and spoiled than anyone I know. I am a hard worker, but I have been given most things in life. I did earn my grades, and I earned my job by interviewing and showing my compassion, but a lot of other things, I was given. I understand that I have barely any bills right now, especially for a 23 year old, but I’m trying my best to deal with what I have. I do not want to get myself too deep in the hole, but I want to live a life full of things that bring me and my family happiness. Whether that be an evening together playing UNO, or a night out at dinner. I don’t want money to define my activities to a certain extent. I understand this is the perspective of a young, white, privileged female, but that is what I am and this is how I choose to live. I wish I had more self control when it came to spending, and I know that I will get there. I’ll get there when I am down to my last pack of Ramen Noodles and me and my fiance have to split it for dinner until we get paid the next day. I know that day will come, but for right now, I’m just trying to take things step by step and learn how to control my money as it comes. Until the day I have to skip dinner, I’m going to keep buying myself the McChickens and Subway subs to keep my body healthy.

 

I know this was a huge rant and none of it made any sense, but I had to write or I would not be able to fall asleep before my 16 hour shift tomorrow. And for that many hours of work and working on day 4 of a 10 day long streak without a break, I need as much sleep as I can get. Thanks for reading. I just needed someone to write to.

 

Love,

Me

Hello from the outside…

Hi friends.

I haven’t written in literally forever, and I apologize for that. I had been doing so well. Like so well. I was actually happy for what felt like once in my life. But, fall happened. And Adele’s new song happened. And job changes happened. And BIG life changes happened. These are all positive things. I mean who doesn’t like fall? And who doesn’t LOVE Adele’s new song (because I’ve had it on repeat for the entire night)? And who doesn’t like getting a job in your degree field? And lastly, who doesn’t like getting ENGAGED? All of these things have brought me so many blessings and such happiness, but there is still this lingering depression that, as soon as the sunlight began to disappear, came tapping me on the shoulder. My depression was like, “Oh hey there! Miss me? I’m back!”

I’ve had 3 days off this week, and I have one more off tomorrow before back to the work grind. Which is awesome! I mean, 4 days off? What is life? But as much as I have had my friends, family, and my fiance encouraging me to get out and go for a walk, or just sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather we’ve been having, I had trouble getting out of bed all week this week. I tried to brush it off, “Oh, you worked 50 hours last week, you’re just catching up,” but in reality I was beginning my vicious winter cycle of sleeping every chance I get. It did not hit me until I read this AMAZING article published on TWLOHA’s Facebook page.

https://twloha.com/blog/five-lies-depression-told-me/?utm_content=buffer5bc88&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

I lay in bed, listening to Adele (basic, I know), crying reading this article because it is so f***ing true, I could not hold my emotions back any longer. I had to let my depression in. I had to let it take over.

I have been forced to hide my depression at my new job for reasons that are totally understandable, but it is so hard. I want to help these girls by sharing my story because not only is it healing for me, but it may provide healing for them as well. But all of that is part of something that I cannot control. I’m sorry for the mini side rant.

Regardless, I need to just acknowledge my depression and accept it again. I had some idea in my head that finding my one, getting engaged and planning a wedding would solve my depression (knowing better, all the while). My fiance has been amazing, and takes the best care of me. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I am so thankful for him. He is always cognizant of my mental illness and forgives me when I sleep the day away regardless of what he wants to do among a gazillion other things. I love you, baby. Forever and Always.

So, for those of you who take the time to read this, thank you. And let me help you, help me accept my mental illness and work towards living in acceptance. Once I accept myself and my mental illness, maybe others will accept the idea of mental illness too. Who knows?

Love,

Me

P.S. My favorite part of the article on TWLOHA’s page was this…

“I wasn’t a good enough wife.

I wasn’t a good enough friend.

I wasn’t a good enough daughter/granddaughter/niece/co-worker.

The critical things people said to me or about me, the mean things they wrote — those were the truest parts of who I was. The niceties, the compliments, and the solid, unwavering support of those who always had my back were all instances of temporary kindness. I was and could only be an obligation,” (Jensen, 2015)

Dear No One.

“I don’t really like big crowds. I tend to shut people out. I like my space, yeah. But I’d love to have a soul mate, and God’ll give him to me someday, and I know it’ll be worth the wait.” -“Dear No One” by Tori Kelly

Hey.

I have been listening to this song on repeat recently. I am not sure why. I think it helps me feel okay that I do not know what the future holds, and that it is okay that I am suffering right now because it will end up okay.

I am sorry I have not written in a while. I have been suffering more than I ever expected to again. I have not been this bad since my first semester of college when I first went on anti-depressants. Today is the first day in three weeks that I have eaten a full three meals. I hate to get out of bed. The only reason I end up going to class is because I need to get out of my school and graduate. I try to occupy myself by scheduling lunches with friends before classes, so I have a better reason to get out of bed than just to go to class. I sleep all the time. I will come home even for an hour to be able to lay in my bed in my dark basement. I am back on my anti-depressants and have been for about two weeks, but as I am sure some of you know, they do not start fully working for at least four weeks. I am trying to keep myself together, but it is so freaking hard. I hate feeling like this.

When I had my first major battle with the disease we call depression, I was not as well versed in the symptoms and effects of depression. I did not realize that my first semester freshman year when I lost 10 pounds dropping me below 100 pounds, that was a sign. That when I took every chance I got to get into my bed and sleep, that was a sign. That when I cried myself to sleep every night, that was a sign. Now, almost a completed B.A. Psychology degree later, I know these things. I have not been eating, I have been sleeping as much as humanly possible, I have no motivation, and I am often holding back tears. Knowledge is definitely a double edged sword.

I find myself retreating further and further into my head with each day that passes, and I know that is not good, but it’s my only way of survival right now. This retreating kills me a little bit because I love helping others and I love being social, but I have no energy. I do not like to talk to people. I do not like to sit with people, I just want to be in my bed. Alone. Forever. I know that sounds so dramatic and so attention-seeking, but to anyone who has suffered from depression, you probably  understand. It’s more miserable than you can put words to. This whole disease is miserable.

Anyone who has seen me recently, with the exception of my sorority sisters who I disclosed all of this information to, you probably had no idea and that’s how I planned it to be. I pretend to be fine, and smile whenever I am around people I know. I do not need to tell you that I’m suffering more than I ever have. It’s not your load to carry, it is mine.

And now that I have had two major bouts of depression, I will most likely be on my medications for life. I am not sure how I feel about that, but I do not want to keep suffering like this, so I guess it is worth it.

I am sorry that I am not full of inspiring words right now, I am feeling pretty hopeless myself.

But if you are reading this and are suffering, know that it is okay to feel hopeless, but take it from someone in your shoes, there IS a light at the end. We will get there. It will just take some time and perseverance. Let’s kick this disease in the butt. But only whenever you’re ready. Take your time, I am not going anywhere.

Love,

Me