To me, 9 years ago…

Hi.

So, earlier today I saw on Facebook someone I am friends with posted a status that read, “What would you tell your 18 year old self?”

And that stopped me in my tracks. I’m not quite sure why it hit me the way it did, but it did.

It really got me thinking, “What would I tell 18 year old me?”—Who at this time would be working her butt off getting ready for her first year of collegiate lacrosse, had recently been broken up with by her high school boyfriend, and who was leaving behind the state and everyone inside of it that she has known her whole entire life. What would I tell this sad, yet excited, yet terrified girl to remember as she climbed the mountain of the next few months?

First semester of freshman year of college would turn out to be one of the most challenging of my whole life so far (but that’s a story for another day…) So, hindsight being 20/20, what would I say to this young, naïve girl? After some thought, here’s what I would tell her…

1. 𝒀𝑶𝑼 𝑨𝑹𝑬 𝑾𝑶𝑹𝑻𝑯𝒀.

2. 𝒀𝑶𝑼 𝑨𝑹𝑬 𝑳𝑶𝑽𝑬𝑫.

3. 𝒀𝑶𝑼 𝑾𝑰𝑳𝑳 𝑩𝑬 𝑯𝑨𝑷𝑷𝒀.

4. 𝑰𝑻 𝑾𝑰𝑳𝑳 𝑮𝑬𝑻 𝑩𝑬𝑻𝑻𝑬𝑹.

5. 𝒀𝑶𝑼𝑹 𝑷𝑶𝑷𝑼𝑳𝑨𝑹𝑰𝑻𝒀 𝑫𝑶𝑬𝑺 𝑵𝑶𝑻 𝑫𝑬𝑭𝑰𝑵𝑬 𝒀𝑶𝑼.

I don’t say any of these things to change my path. I met one of my best friends that first semester. I learned a lot about trust, doing what I want FOR ME, standing up for myself, and not taking any shit from anyone. I don’t regret a thing, and wouldn’t change that semester for the world, but these were things I wish I could have reminded this young girl.

What would you tell your 18 year old self if you could? Not to change your future, just as a guardian angel to give some guidance?

Love,

Me ✌🏼

Supesss positive.

Hi.

Earlier this evening I had someone ask me how I stay positive all the time.

I told her years and years of practice in turning the negative thoughts positive. Training my brain. And that’s not completely false. But it’s also not completely true.

The truth is I’m not positive all the time. Matter of fact, I’m positive like 30% of the time. And that 30% turns up on social media.

The other 70% is mainly in my head and it’s some heavy shit.

Having depression SUCKS. I know I’ve said this sooooo many times. But it’s the truth. I wouldn’t wish this shit on my worst enemy.

This is going to be a long one, so I hope you’re ready…Here goes nothing. My “positivity” started with middle school bullying.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Everyone was bullied. I’m just not strong enough to hold up to the “poking fun”. Or, it’s middle school—why do I still care? Think what you want, but this was so much more than “poking fun” and it’s not something an impressionable 12 year old just gets over.

I’m crying as I’m writing this because it wasn’t until so many people asked me about my positivity that it really made me think where it came from.

Back in middle school—7th grade to be exact—I had one of the worst years of my life. Sounds dramatic, and maybe I’m being over dramatic, but it’s my trauma—I’m allowed to feel that way. ANYWHO, I had these “friends” in middle school. They were all a lot smarter than me and didn’t have to study nearly as hard to get A’s (or sometimes B’s). These “friends” partnered with my perfectionism and anxiety weren’t a great match. Hindsight is always 2020, right?

I remember it like it was yesterday. We had a huuuuuuge biology exam coming up and I was seriously stressing. It was known to be “the hardest test in all of middle school”. Looking back, it really wasn’t that bad, but for someone with test anxiety and normal anxiety and perfectionist tendencies, it was a big deal.

I shared with my “friends” how stressed I was, asked for study tips, and if we wanted to study together since we all were in the same class. They blew me off and I figured it was just because they were stressing too.

A few days later, we got our grades back on that exam (I got a C by the way—my first C on an exam) and I was crushed. I swore this was going to be my grace for the whole quarter and there would be no going to high school in GT/AP classes with this kind of grade. Regardless of the dramatics, I was crushed and I shared with my “friends” how upset I was.

The next day I found a note in my locker. And although I don’t still have that note, it went something like this…

“Alyssa. Shut the f*ck up. No one cares about you or your stupid grade. It was just a test and you’re being a b*tch about it. Stop being a slut. No one likes to listen to you. Just grow the f*ck up. NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU, SO SHUT UP.”

There were a lot of other profanities, accusations, and honestly pure shit in this letter, but I figured you got the gist.

Did I mention I was in 7th grade? I had never even held hands with a boy, and I only said cuss words when I was jamming out to Avril Lavigne in my bedroom alone. And even then, I whispered them because I didn’t want to get in trouble.

It was after getting this letter that everything seemed to change for me. I started listening to “emo” music. Started wearing all black, and later that year started self harming through restricting my food/skipping meals. Then a few years later, I started cutting. (In case you haven’t read my previous posts, I haven’t self-harmed for the last 7 years.)

This is when I first remember feeling like other people saw in me the worthlessness that I saw in myself. And that realization destroyed me like a hurricane. It was this time I always came back to when I wanted to complain or bitch or just let off some steam. I kept remembering how “no one cares”. And how I should just “shut the f*ck up”.

Now, my conscious mind knows that I’m not worthless and that I’m not alone, but a million words later, THAT is why I’m so positive on socials. I don’t know how else to be. I spent most of my teenage—adult life being positive because I knew that no one wanted to hear my complaints and eventually the positivity stuck. Eventually I found that being a positive light for others helped me feel better about myself and I the positive mark I was leaving on the world.

So, in conclusion—a million years later—I’m positive for YOU. Because I want you to know you are loved, you matter, you are worthy, and I CARE.

Love,

Me 🖤

Really not sure…

Hi.

I’m really not sure what I’m going to write about.

I’ve been feeling drawn to write for weeks, but just don’t know what to say because I don’t want your time to go to waste. But I think that my lack of what to say something that needs to be heard (read).

I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. I don’t know how to feel with all the bull shit going on in the world. I don’t know to feel with all the depressing shit surrounding me. I don’t know how to feel about where I am in life. I don’t know how to feel about where our country is going. I don’t know where I am going next. I don’t know who is beside me now. And I don’t know who will be there beside me moving forward. I legit don’t know ANYTHING. And it SUCKS feeling this way.

It’s like feeling lost and alone and scared and mad and sad and confused ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

And I’m not saying all this to get messages saying, “You’re not alone.” And I’m DEFINITELY not saying all this to get messages about politics and other bull shit. I’m saying this because I can’t imagine I’m the only one out here feeling like this.

I’m close to tears (if not in tears) every single day. I’m so overwhelmed. I try to delete all the Toxic Tiffany’s off my timeline, but it’s hard. I know it’s all about having the right mindset and practicing gratitude. But when I can’t get out of bed in enough time to shower every morning, much less do affirmations and gratitude, I struggle. I know I need to get up earlier. I know I need to work out. I know I need to eat healthier. I GET IT, KAREN. But if you don’t have depression in the way I do, you don’t freaking get it. You’ll never get it. And truthfully, I hope you never do. I hope you never have to feel the pain and anguish I feel every freaking day. I wouldn’t wish this shit on anyone.

All this to say, you’re not alone babe. This rant probably didn’t accomplish anything for anyone other than letting me release my anxieties, but I do hope that someone, somewhere, reads this and feels a little bit of comfort that they’re not alone on this shitty ride called 2020 that we’re stuck on.

Take care of yourselves.

XX,

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 ❤

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 ❤