It takes moments of weakness and sorrow to grow. 

My heart is hurting in a thousand different ways. In nearly four weeks time, I’ve lost everything. I’m slowly losing everyone. I don’t know what’s happening…

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Writing prompt • “Is there something people come to you to ask your opinion on?” 

Writing prompt • “Is there something people come to you to ask your opinion on?” 

There is once thing that I undeniably know a thing or two about, and that’s depression. On more than one occasion I’ve had people open up to me their hearts and tell me what’s going through their minds no matter how joyous and no matter how terribly sad. 

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from my post about living with anxiety and posted an image of myself dolled up and feeling great next to an image of myself during a manic episode. I’ve had people I didn’t even know suffered from depression come to me asking for advice – I feel like that post helped a lot of people. I feel like it encouraged people to reach out, even if it were to me, and ask for help or guidance. I think it let people know they are not alone. I feel like, even if they didn’t come to me, it made people feel like they weren’t alone. 

Depression isn’t something easy to talk about. Any time I have therapy and any time I have had to discuss how I’ve been the last few months, I always feel slightly embarrassed, weak, and alone. Feeling weak is an emotion I’ve never been okay of feeling. It’s not an emotion I’ve ever been okay with period. I feel belittled. Having people come to me and talk about their depression really meant a lot to me, and I’m sure it meant a lot to them as well. 

Writing prompt • “What is the most out of character choice you’ve made recently?”

Writing prompt • “What is the most out of character choice you’ve made recently?”

If anyone knows me, they know that I am the ‘forgive if you’re lucky, but never ever forget’ type, and it stresses me out. 

The most out of character choice I’ve made lately is letting go. 

I didn’t do it to try and rid other’s thoughts and opinions of me. Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to fight for you.. regardless of how you feel for them. 

I did it to cleanse my soul of anger and hate. I did it to lift my burdens, for there is no greater relief than the feeling of peace. I did it to make me feel better. I let go of all grudges to help me sleep better at night. At the end of the day, I know where I stand and I know where my heart lies. To me, thats all that matters.

Writing prompt: “How did you last show someone you love them?” 

Writing prompt: “How did you last show someone you love them?” 

My husband works hard. Even though he’s been frustrated, tired, and his body is sore, he has made sure we have been able to have everything we need despite me not working full time. I know it has been extremely hard on him and I’m sure there are times he’s wanted to rethink and take back his decision to encourage me to quit my full time job, so I try my hardest to help out in any way I can. 

He usually washes his own uniforms because he says if he gets a spot on them or messes them up, he can be upset and blame himself instead of thinking it was me. This week, I washed his uniforms and ironed them for him. His work uniforms are clean, pressed, and ready for wear. His undershirts are also clean and waiting for him. I tried to make it so he didn’t have as much resting on his shoulders as he usually does. 

Considering my husband works full time, I’m off a lot of days he has to work. This morning he was super tired and slept in a bit, which was fine. He asked me to make him a peanut butter sandwich for him to choke down while on the way to work, so I made him his sandwich. What he didn’t expect was the teensy love note I wrote for him on a napkin! It was short and sweet, simply telling him.to have a great day and I love him. He Thanked me for the note and I’d like to think it made him smile and encouraged him to go in with a smile and do his best. I know he appreciated it by him thanking me. 

Be your partner’s biggest fan. Support him or her in everything they do, and remind them you’re there for them. Do what you can to help make life easier for each other. Life is team work! 

No matter what, make sure to love your partner in everything you do. 

Writing Prompt: “If you could accomplish one more thing in life, what would it be?”

Writing Prompt: “If you could accomplish one more thing in life, what would it be?”

For the last year now I’ve begged the Lord to make finances feasible enough to save for a tubal reversal surgery and hopefully get one more shot at being a mom. However, if I knew this accomplishment would be 100% with no setbacks, I would choose to continue my education and continue in healthcare and be a dermatologist. 

I went to a community college after I graduated high school and focused on doing more of a healthcare administrative type education. It wasn’t until I was staring into the eyes of my newborn baby boy that I was graduating in a week with a degree for something I had suddenly realized I didn’t want to do. I was 21 then, married and welcoming my first child. I feel like at that age I was far from an adult, no matter what the life circumstances. I had no idea what I wanted to be; my mind has bounced from business, healthcare administration, transcriptionist, mortician, CSI, forensic science, and now, what I truly have my heart set on – dermatology. 

At 27 years old I finally figured out what my calling was. I had never given dermatology a second look until my husband introduced me.to Dr. Sandra Lee on YouTube (you may know her as Dr. Pimple Popper). I’m kind of on the gross side of life, so watching her do her work (removing cysts, popping three year old blackheads, and draining whiteheads) was oddly satisfying to me. For months I had a comodone extractor on my wish list. My husband and I would watch Dr. Pimple Popper daily (and nightly) because of my growing obsession. Once I got a comodone extractor of my very own, I went to town on my husband’s face, digging and pressing at every open pore getting an even more satisfactory feeling watching the white cheese come from his screaming pores. Time after time of holding him down and digging at his skin, it finally occured to me that for once, besides motherhood, there was something in this world I was passionate about – skin. Skin and all its dirty secrets. Skin and all of the junk in it that you’re not supposed to see. 

So. That’s where my love for dermatology began, and if I had the chance tomorrow, that’s where I would be – continuing my education to obtain a career doing something I absolutely love doing. 

Living with mental illness: my story

Living with mental illness: my story

I’ve seen a couple posts floating around lately about people with mental illnesses and their stories. The posts are mainly the history of their illness, when it started, when they were diagnosed, and usually there are pictures documenting their mania and episodes. So, I decided to make my own. 

This is my story – this is me, living with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. 

That’s me – left being on a good day, and right being, well.. it’s obvious I was manic and in the middle of an episode. 

My depression started slowly in my middle teen years. I can remember feeling the overwhelming sadness, but I didn’t know what it was and it wasn’t anything I had a hard time keeping under control. It wasn’t until the birth of my daughter in December 2011 when it became unbearable. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression shortly after her birth. My OB said that we would try Prozac “for a month” and we would see how I was from there and he referred me to a psychiatrist. I was so embarassed. I was mortified. Even though I worked in the healthcare field and was fully aware of HIPPA, I cried and begged him to please not tell anyone. I felt like I should be ashamed of what was happening to me. Mental illness wasn’t really acknowledged and I didn’t want to have to explain any details; all I could say without crying was that “I was sick.” 

After my initial visit and intake with my psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety (I was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015). It was nice knowing that this was a real illness, there was a diagnosis for me, and there was treatment. I quickly started the medications and began therapy every week. Despite the relief I had after getting answers, I was still disheartened when my psychiatrist told me that I would most likely be taking these medications for the rest of my life. All at once I was immediately embarassed again and my anxiety kicked in and I was immediately exhausted and overwhelmed thinking about the medications I would have to take daily until I was dead. I was 22 years old and had a long life to live yet, and I was ready being told I was having to take medications daily. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, I couldn’t even live right; I couldn’t even be happy on my own. My happiness had to be medically induced.

So back to that picture of me. 

On the left we have a good day, no setbacks; woke up with energy and actually wanted to get out of bed at 7 a.m. to take Jacob to a doctor appointment. Had the energy and the motivation to shower, put on some makeup and got my hair to do something cool for once. I looked and felt normal. 

You would never guess that the picture on the right was taken of me just a few days before, during a week and a half long episode (mania). I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat. My main energy and “food” intake consisted of a Big Gulp filled with Cherry Coke from Double Kwik, and if my husband was lucky I would give in to his offer of a bowl of cereal. 

It was hard for me to communicate about anything – period. I couldn’t tell you what was wrong. I couldn’t tell you why I was crying for hours at a time, sobbing uncontrollably and barely able to catch my breath. I didn’t return the phone calls I ignored and I didn’t reply to texts unless it was my parents or Daniel. I didn’t leave the house unless I had to take Daniel to work or go get the kids. I didn’t even share the funny posts on Facebook that I seen. I was a zombie. I was a dead woman walking. 

The girl on the left and right are two completely and totally different people. The girl on the left knows the girl on the right very well, but for the life of the girl on the right, she just can’t place who the girl on the left is. It’s like she’s never met her a day in her life. 

This is life with depression. This is life with anxiety. This is life with bipolar disorder. This is real.. and it sucks. 

It’s hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. You just have to keep pushing and fighting, even when the two aren’t there and it seems impossible to move. You just live with faith, knowing at some point you’re going to feel better. It could be two days, it could be two weeks.. it could even be two months.

This is the harsh truth – having an episode and pushing myself to lay lifeless in bed without going to the bathroom to down an entire bottle of sleeping pills and quitting is the single hardest thing I have ever done and will ever do. 

On the bright side, girl on the left is back with a vengeance, raising that little dirty head.. Thank God. 

This is mental illness.

This is mental illness.

No sleep. The wheels are turning too hard. The thought of eating is tiring. I don’t want to leave the house. Taking Jacob to school is just about a two hour drive (both ways).. I just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t wait to get home. At some points I sped really high. I can barely be a mom. 

There’s like a veil over my mind and my thoughts. Everything is so cloudy. 

This is mental illness.