Nothing to be ashamed

When Chester died, I wrote a lot about the stigmatism surrounding mental illness. How it is very scary to openly talk about having a mental illness. That talking about it is like having the plague.

Seriously, I am still scared to openly talk about my illness because so many people have made it a joke. I have seen a lot of people who experience nervousness over something claim that they have an anxiety disorder However, after whatever makes them nervous, they no longer have a mental illness.

It is like having an anxiety disorder is something to joke about. It makes those of us who really have it afraid to come out with what is really going on.

There is also this type of stigmatism that if you have a mental illness you should be ashamed.. that you’re seeking attention or playing the victim.

We live in a world where it is so hard to have a mental disorder. I have anxiety disorder, panic attacks and mild depression. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am living with this and I am living with it my way. Why should I feel ashamed about it??? Seriously? Why should any of us feel ashamed about what is going on iside of our head. When you have a heart issue, your heart is sick. No one makes you feel ashamed of that. The brain is an organ. It can be sick like any other organ in your body.

Don’t be ashamed of it. Own it. You have a mental illness. And that is okay. If you’re on medication… THAT IS OKAY. Seriously. taking medication for your mental illness is brave. Because you had the courage to seek help. To get help. There are so many who have not been able to drum up the courage to ask for help.
When Chester died, many of those who knew him, came to the forefront to speak out for mental illness. To break the stigmatim. I think that the more that we talk about it, the more it will be accepted as normal. That it is nothing to be ashamed about. Because it’s not.

Open up. Tell me your story. Tell me what makes you overthink. Tell me what your anxious about. Because I am here. I will always be here. As a listening friend. As someone who shares your story. Who understands what it is like to have a mental illness. Who knows what it is like to be made ashamed of my illness. To know what it is like. So tell me your story.

I can’t answer

Honestly, who has voicemail messages these days? I mean as a teenager I used to put music as my message. Or one of those silly hey…..yeah you got my voicemail. leave a message. However, now its just ‘you have reached…..’ That is it. But it should really say ‘NO I cannot answer, I have kids, just text me like a normal person.’ I honestly don’t call unless its for an important reason, school, doctors or an emergency. Everytime I get a phone call from a number I don’t know… I either don’t answer or answer skeptically. And then I can barely ever hear what the other person is saying because I GOT KIDS. Do you know anyone with exceptionally quiet kids? Mine can be… occasionally. Either they’re playing loudly, telling me stories, asking me questions or fighting with each other. Do you really want to hear that in the background? And is it really safe to walk to a quiet place to have said phone conversation?And leave two kids by themselves especially when they’re fussing over the same toy even though they both have the same exact toy??? Nope!

I text everyone. I even text my oldest teacher. She is amazing. She moved up a grade with my kid. So this is her second year with her. She had her for both first and second grade and she tells the parents at the beginning of the year, if you have free texts, I will text you updates and important information. Since I knew we were going to have the same teacher again, said teacher actually sent me the school list in July so that we could beat out the stupid back to school shopping crowd. Yeah she is that amazing. And if they do something amazing i class like meet the Bojangles Chicken….she’ll send photos to us. She is amazing.

I am getting way off topic here. If you need me…..text. Don’t call. Because I am likely going to send you to voicemail and the voicemail really needs to tell you just to text. Heck, I don’t even call my husband unless I need to. Unless I have texted 20 times with no answer…. this actually happens. He is one of those that never pays attention to his phone. so he doesn’t always know when I have texted. I always text with my brother. We don’t have really deep conversations and it is usually about music. or the kids or something like that. However, if he calls…. I usually jump to the assumption that something has happened. He doesn’t ever call me unless it is too much to text or it is an emergency. HAHA so I usually, probably because of my anxious brain, jump to the conclusion something has happened. He works pretty much 12 hours 6 days a week so he doesn’t really have a lot of time to talk on the phone and he has been working this type of schedue for 13 years. So I have always just texted or IM’d him. We are not a big talker. I don’t really call my mom unless it is too much to text or an emergency. We do, however, text and talk every single day. I do face time her quite a bit because the girls love to face time their granny.

But seriously….. We live in an age where you can TEXT. Unless it is an important an emergency please just TEXT me.

Failure Alert!!!

 

It is amazing how something as simple as a 1st graders school project can make you feel like a failure.

 

Last week my daughter brought home that paper that tells you it is time for a project.

That dreadful paper.

This one said that our little kids would need to take a soda bottle and turn it into a famous person.

Now in my head… I have this amazing picture of how I want it to be.

But what is in my head and my ability to create anything…..is absolute crap.

Seriously.

I am the least artistic person in the entire world.

So I decide that for the clothing that this bottle is supposed to have for this project will need to be sewn.

I have sewn two things in my life. This project being one and a pillow for my ex being another. Both have been a disaster.

But I do it anyway because I love my daughter. And it is a miracle I did not stab myself with the needle.

I cut down the only size foam Walmart had to semi resemble a head and it is still too big for the body. So now the guy looks comical. Yay me.

I paint it and get paint all over my hands. I feel like I am a five year old in a grown persons body when I am painting. Ugh!!!

I hot glue the clothes to the bottle and put the arms on. Now I still have the shoes and legs as well as pants to put on but decide I will finish it when my kid gets home.

But then I look at it. I photograph it. I send the picture to my mother. And she starts to tell me little things that could be changed.

As if I didn’t already feel like shit about it.

Seriously.

It is amazing that a small little project can make me break down. Bawling. Wanting to sit in my bath tub with hot steamy water cascading over me. (Which honestly I did)

I don’t want my child to be embarrassed by this project. I don’t want my kid to get picked on because I honestly cannot create a simple project.

I worry how my kid is going to see the project. I worry how her teacher is going to grade it. I worry about the other kids picking on my kid. I don’t want her to be bullied because I am honestly a failure.

It is funny how a simple project can make you feel like you are a failure as a parent. I want her to turn in the best work she can. I don’t want her to get a bad grade because I suck. I swear if she comes home with a bad grade because of this project… I will probably hole up in my room for a month. Honestly. I am not joking.

I don’t know how to not feel this way.

It is weird how a simple project can remind you….

I am pretty much a failure at everything.

I played the flute in school….never made first chair.

I tried guitar….. I know one song and can barely play it right

I like photography….but I am constantly reminded that my cousin or father in law are better than me… Seriously… My daughter had a camera and was taking picture of my father in law and my step mother in law made the comment how my daughter might be a great photographer like her grandpa… Uhm… I do photography too. But of course every one forgets me.

I imagine art… I can’t create it.

I like to cook….only half my food is a hit.

I like to blog… I don’t put out great material. I am obviously not a writer.

I was hoping I could get a job at home since I do so much every single day. Being a stay at home mom is no walk in a park. But I can’t find anyone hiring and all the jobs I apply for…. I never get… another FAILURE.

It is just one of those nights where I want a pint of ice cream and a bottle of wine. But one kid is at my brothers and the other is awake so no drinking for me. And I say no drinking with my older kid at my brothers for the fact that I like to remain sober when my kids are awake and not here because there might be an emergency and I don’t want to be that parent that either drives drunk or says I can’t make it because I’ve been drinking.

 

Sorry for the rant guys. I am happy to say I now have 85 followers. It is pretty amazing that at least 85 people want to read what I write. You guys are awesome

Beneficial for Mental Health

So I used to love to take baths. A tub full of hot water, some candles and my laptop with netflix playing a binge worthy show like Gilmore Girls. It was a great way to relax. Which was fine because my oldest was just learning to potty train and had a separate potty that could be set in the hallway for when I really needed some down time. And my youngest wasn’t born yet.

But then my youngest was born. We had to take quick showers in between feeding, nap time, dirty diapers and making sure that the oldest didn’t feel like she was being replaced.

So now my favorite thing is a hot, steamy shower.

And I like to take the in the mornings because well I can get one in when my toddler goes down for a nap. The oldest is at school and it frees up the evening for my husband to get a shower and my girls to get their baths. Have you ever tried to get 4 people in and out of a shower between the hours of 6 pm and 9 pm?? And keep a decent amount of hot water? It is not easy. Especially since I like the hottest amount of water and I stay in the shower for a while.

I know, I shouldn’t. I should conserve water. But I am not always in the running water. Sometimes I just sit there. in a steamy room and collect myself.

Mornings for me are the best way to do this since I typically remember my dreams very vividly. I can wash away last nights dreams and prepare my mental armor for the day ahead. It gives me time to prepare myself for any errands I have to run and anything that might come my way.

I haven’t exactly looked up any research about steam showers and mental health. But personally I feel it helps.

Also, since I do have kids…. I can cry in the shower from my anxiety and NO ONE knows. So I avoid questions like whats wrong or why are you crying and I can avoid explaining that mommy just feels anxious.

 

I love showers.

 

What about you?

Recovery 

I have learned that recovery means different things to different people. I cannot speak for anyone but myself. So here is what recovery means to me.

Recovery means not freaking out all the time.

Recovery means less panic attacks.

Recover means not overthinking as much.

Now I am not unrealistic. I have been a sufferer of anxiety disorder for over 10 years and I probably need professional help. Although I am constantly striving for recover, I know I will always battle anxiety.

My brother over came anxiety, but he is not me. He doesn’t have vivid dreams like I do. He doesn’t dream at all. I have such strong vivid dreams that I remember every detail for weeks. Sometimes I wake up crying from them. My brother doesn’t think as much as I do. i’m not saying he’s dumb. He is really smart actually. What I am referring to is that he can shut his mind off when he needs to, he doesn’t over think anything. I, however, blow every single thing out or proportion.

Recover means always having the will and strength to fight this battle!

What does recovery mean to you?

#Lyrics Last Resort-Papa Roach

 

Cut my life into pieces
This is my last resort
Suffocation
No breathing
Don’t give a fuck if I cut my arm, bleeding
This is my last resort
Cut my life into pieces
I’ve reached my last resort
Suffocation, no breathing
Don’t give a fuck if I cut my arm, bleeding
Do you even care if I die bleeding?
Would it be wrong?, would it be right?
If I took my life tonight
Chances are that I might
Mutilation outta sight
And I’m contemplating suicide
‘Cause I’m losing my sight
Losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine
Losing my sight
Losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine
I never realized I was spread too thin
Till it was too late
And I was empty within
Hungry!
Feeding on chaos
And living in sin
Downward spiral where do I begin?
It all started when I lost my mother
No love for myself
And no love for another.
Searching to find a love up on a higher level
Finding nothing but questions and devils
‘Cause I’m losing my sight
Losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine
Losing my sight
Losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine
Nothing’s alright
Nothing is fine
I’m running and I’m crying
I’m crying
I’m crying
I’m crying
I’m crying
I can’t go on living this way
Cut my life into pieces
This is my last resort
Suffocation
No breathing
Don’t give a fuck if I cut my arm, bleeding
Would it be wrong?
Would it be right?
If I took my life tonight
Chances are that I might
Mutilation outta sight
And I’m contemplating suicide
‘Cause I’m losing my sight
Losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine
Losing my sight
Losing my mind
Wish somebody would tell me I’m fine
Nothing’s alright
Nothing is fine
I’m running and I’m crying
I can’t go on living this way
Can’t go on
Living this way
Nothing’s alright
This song takes the perspective of someone who feels frustrated and confused to the point that suicide seems like a valid option…..It is never an option. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem… That’s something I have heard others say… Suicide doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t stop the pain. It just transfers that pain to those left behind.
This is a song that helped many people express their darkest thoughts and find a way to overcome their struggles.
I know personally…this is a song that I always find myself coming back to. When I feel like I am at my lowest…when I feel at my worst… this song is something that just allows you to scream. To yell. To just let go of everything. It is a song that you can get lost in.

Mindful and mindless

Having a mental illness like anxiety can be tiresome. If you’re anything like me, your mind is on overdrive 24/7. Which can lead to some sleepless nights, my bags under my eyes are starting to get their own bags and extend up the side of my nose creeping towards to the top of my eyes. It’s sad really. I honestly need some sleep. Maybe just one day, all day. I once slept 13 hours. I was 15. My mom was really worried. But I was just tired.

So, for your health’s sake, it is important that you find mindful and mindless activities. This means to do things that lessen your anxiety.

I can’t remember where I read that coloring is a great activity to reduce anxiety and stress, but it does. I mean if you can focus on it long enough. Or if you’re like me, you try to color but have 2 kids who love to be glued to you. So much so that you have to wait til nap time or any other time they’re otherwise distracted to do anything on the computer.

There are a number of things that you could do before an attack that could prevent one. Grounding exercise, meditation, anything. I read once that laying on your back with your feet up on the wall is great for many things. You can do leg exercises without squats, relieve stress, relieve migraines and I found it to be great at calming the body down. It looks weird but if it works it works. You should give it a try and let me know what you think.

Another great anti anxiety activity idea came from the show Grey’s Anatomy. Have you seen it? Well Christina and Meredith do this thing called dance it out. It allows you to just let loose, dance however you want and just burn off that additional energy/adrenaline that anxiety attacks always bring our bodies. Also, music has always been thought of as a therapeutic technique. (or at least it has in my book)

Don’t suffer in silence 

There’s so much stigma around mental illness, it’s ridiculous honestly. I’m not even sure why 20% of Americans should feel like a burden because of a chemical imbalance in their brains, seriously. When you look at all the stigma (its everywhere, especially social media) It is no wonder why thousands upon thousands of Americans (and all over) suffer in silence.

We really shouldn’t have to though. Unfortunately, until the stigma ends, many will.

However, I think it is very important that anyone who has a mental illness has at least one person that they can talk to without any judgement.

I have 2 (3 if you count my husband wanting to help) Well my 2 is more like 1 1/2 because one is super busy.

My other 1 has a mental illness too. I’m her person and she’s mine. She told me once that just being able to hang out and talk lightened her mood. So you see having that kind of friendship is extremely important.

No one should ever suffer in silence. So if you need a person to talk to.. I’ll listen just drop a comment.

Worst case scenario 

I cannot speak for everyone, or anyone but myself really. But my anxiety has me constantly seeing/believing the worst case scenarios constantly.

At a stop light, if a car is approaching I think they’re not going to stop and rear end me. I’m 20 something years old and I still don’t like the dark. I always fear that someone is lurking in the dark (this stems back to my childhood and my brother thinking it would be funny to always scare me in the dark). Going to a big store at night alone is especially difficult because you hear all those stories about people getting robbed or attacked.

Growing up, I never really had an active imagination. But ever since anxiety reared its ugly head, my imagination has gotten quite vivid.

One thing I have learned is that when my anxiety takes my fears and magnify’s them by like a million. I need to rationalize. Step back, take a moment and assess what is really happening and what i’m blowing out of proportion. Am I really in any real danger?

I’m not perfect, so sometimes I forget to step back. This allows my anxiety to run rampant.

Do you forget to take a step back? Do you feel like you’re always being a pessimist? Leave me a comment and tell me how you rationalize your anxiety.

#Lyric Iris-Goo Goo Dolls

And I’d give up forever to touch you
‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be
And I don’t want to go home right now
And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
And sooner or later it’s over
I just don’t wanna miss you tonight
And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive
And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
I just want you to know who I am
This song came out in 1998. But it feels like it just came out. There was something about 90’s music that kind of just spoke to you. Nothing like some of the stuff they allow on the radio now. (I have very intense feelings about music)
The song appeared on the movie City of Angles starring Nicholas Cage. The song is initially about an invisible identity that no one understands. Te individual finds his true love. And he wants his true love to know that he exists. That she is the only one in the world that understands him and loves him.
I remember listening to this song since I was a kid. Back then I didn’t understand the meaning of the song until now.