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 ❤

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 ❤

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 ❤

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 ❤