Tag: mental health

Preaching Progress

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Credit to @revelatori for the drawing! (www.revelatori.com)
I can really relate to this. It’s not always easy to align what we believe with what we do. We are human, we slip, we make mistakes. It happens ALL the time and that’s okay. We pick ourselves up, we learn and we do better tomorrow.
I admit, I am guilty of being irrationally hard on myself for simple little mistakes and sometimes for the quirks that make me, me.
I look at all of these posts on social media and see beautiful people, fit people, rich people, happy people and sometimes, I compare myself.
“Why don’t I look like her?”
“I wish I were as successful as she is.”
“I wish I could do that!”
I would never tell a friend to compare them self to anyone else. So why is it okay when I do it myself? I am reminded not to compare my ‘behind the scenes’ to their ‘highlight reel.’
I am working towards becoming the person that I want to be and that takes time and patience (not yet a virtue of mine). I see a therapist because mental health is just as important as physical health. I honestly believe that everyone could benefit from some time in therapy.
Why are we so afraid of that word? Let’s eradicate the stigma because in this world of social media and false representation, too many of us fall into this trap of comparing. We are creating a culture of constant insecurity and implied inadequacy.
You are wonderful. My pictures, his pictures, her pictures…they don’t matter. You don’t know what led to those photos.
Be careful of what it is that you envy. Take the time to discover who you are and grow into the best version of yourself.
I will be doing the same.

Invisible Scars (Escaping the Abuse)

I wonder…how many of us know what constitutes emotional abuse?

In a world of fine lines, what is too much and what is normal?  Normal is such a relative word and sometimes, I find myself making excuses for those crossing that oh so fine, near invisible, line – myself included.

I know what it is to be in an abusive relationship, even though it took me years to recognize it.  I know how easy it is to ignore the signs.  I know how hard it can be to overcome.  I know the damage it can cause.  The scars don’t just disappear and if you’re not careful, they will only grow deeper.

I am not a psychologist and I will not pretend to know more than I do. You may agree with what I say or you may not.  That choice is yours.

That being said, I would like to point out that abuse does not reside only in romantic relationships.  Friends, family, co-workers, and employers are all capable of emotional and mental abuse.  I won’t belittle any one relationship by saying that one is easier to leave than another.  Who am I to say that you should quit your job because your boss is abusive?  You may not be financially stable enough to give up the paycheck.  But keep looking for new work, you WILL find something with persistence!  Breaking up with a friend can be just as difficult, if not more devastating than losing a romantic partner.  If you feel couples therapy (yes, for a friendship too) is worth it, then go for it.  If you feel that confrontation is dangerous, by all means, please don’t put yourself in harm’s way!

Life is not easy.  Asking for help is not easy.  Confronting an abuser is not easy (and not always recommended).  My wish for those suffering is that you realize that you are WORTH IT and that you find the strength to do what it takes to help yourself.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  YOU ARE SMART.  YOU ARE TALENTED.

YOU ARE WONDERFUL.

YOU ARE VALUED. 

If you think that you are in an abusive relationship (or if you recognize abusive qualities in yourself) and are having trouble , please seek help.  Please talk to a professional.  I know this is easier said than done but then again…what isn’t?

Check out the article here to review the signs of emotional abuse.  It may not leave the same scars as physical abuse, but the scars remain  just the same.

If you are suffering or know someone suffering from emotional abuse, please see these organizations below.  Both women AND men can be victims of abuse.

http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/types-of-violence/emotional-abuse.html

http://www.bandbacktogether.com/emotional-abuse-resources/

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm

http://www.people.com/article/california-moving-company-moves-domestic-violence-victism-free

Finally, A Note for Everyone- especially around the stressful holiday season- Remember to tell those you love that you love them.  Tell them what they mean to you.  Please don’t assume that they “just know.”  It is so important to TELL our loved ones how we feel.  You never know when you may lose that opportunity.

Take care of yourselves and those you love.  God bless.

❤ G

 

 

 

Who Invited You? (A Note About Unwanted Depression/Anxiety)

I am not having the best night due to reasons I’d rather not discuss.  (Ya know, cause I like to stay relatively elusive when posting personal struggles publicly on the internet).

As I’ve written before, depression isn’t always present but it is persistent.  I have my good days, (sometimes lots of them in a row!) but the bad days somehow always show up.  Depression is like that one relative whose invite to the party you always “lose” but they manage to show up anyway with a sidekick you like even less (AKA Anxiety).

Recently, a friend and fellow blogger posted a Buzzfeed Article about what it is to suffer from both anxiety and depression (Hey, that sounds familiar!).  She then followed up with her own piece about what it is to have a panic disorder.  She encouraged fellow sufferers to discuss and share in the comments (and while I will also post this there), I wanted to write a blog in response to both of these posts and remind her, and others like us, that we are not alone.

If you would like to read Kacey’s original blog- please click here.

The Buzzfeed article that I mentioned earlier, entitled Here’s What No One Tells You About Having Both Depression And Anxiety, is in essence just a list of symptoms to which all sufferers can immediately relate.  It always makes me wonder if there are people out there who DON’T feel these things.  If so, I envy them…just a tad (tad means a lot, right?).

In seriousness though, I wonder if this list is relatable.  If you’ve never been in the throes of depression and anxiety, can you understand?  Can you empathize?

In the event that you didn’t read through either of the aforementioned links (because I probably wouldn’t have either), I’ve included a few points that most resonated with me.  Depression & Anxiety Are:

“3. It’s feeling more tired the less you move, but your heart racing at the thought of taking the first step.”

This is one of the hardest things to combat when I am in a period of depression.  The desire to sleep and the need to get work done are in a state of constant battle.  I hate to say it but, sleep wins most of the time. Sleep means escaping emotions and the pain that comes with them if only for a little while.

“8.  It’s fearing every day that your partner will get fed up and leave, but your anxiety whispering in your ear that they deserve better and should.”

SO MUCH YES HERE.  My inner monologue when in a relationship is almost always “Please leave me and save yourself the trouble.” Actually, I’ve probably said that out loud before on numerous occasions.  

“17. It’s coping mechanisms and escapism, because when you’re not trying to hide from one part of your brain, you’re hiding from the other.”

Escapism- YES.  I need to avoid triggers that will upset me and often times that means avoiding (escaping) people and/or situations that will cause me pain.  

*Masochism and anxiety do not go hand in hand.

My anxiety manifests itself in rather obnoxious ways.  During a panic attack:

  1. My body will start to overheat (think hot flash x 10).
  2. I start to shake (so severely that my muscles begin to tense and I will be more sore than if I had spent 8 hours at the gym).
  3. I get nauseous, (which makes me even more anxious and so I cry).
  4. I cry a lot.

It’s not the end of the world but in that moment (and sometimes that moment can last hours), it sure as hell feels like it.

And my depression?  Well, like I mentioned before- it’s a lot of wanting to sleep.  It is fixating on how worthless I am and fearing that I will never amount to anything.

Sometimes, the depression and anxiety overlap.  Sometimes, they don’t.

But guys, guess what!  There is a light at the end of the tunnel!  I am NOT worthless.  I have already amounted to a lot and will continue to do so.  These annoying, unwanted house guests never stay forever.  They most certainly overstay their welcome, but eventually, I get to kick them to the curb and it is always a glorious moment of triumph.  So if I look at it that way, I get to have lots of extra triumphs in my life in addition to all of my non-depression related successes (because when I lay them all out there, I am pretty successful).

I AM FULL OF ALL THE TRIUMPHZ.

AND SO ARE YOU!

You will have bad days.  We all do (even those who don’t suffer from depression), but they won’t last forever.  Cliche as it may be, the sun WILL come up tomorrow (you can bet your bottom dollar).  I am not telling you that it will be easy.  It won’t be.  I am telling you that it is possible and I implore you to seek help if you need it.  There is NO shame in asking for help.  (A lot of people see it as a sign of strength and bravery.)

Talking about mental illness helps us shed the stigma.  So talk about it.  Surround yourself with people who support you and if you feel like you don’t have anyone- feel free to reach out.  Comment on my blog, comment on my Facebook- message me, whatever it is.  We can have a nice talk about it. 🙂

* * * * * *

Borrowed From the Aforementioned Article:

To learn more about depression and anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here and here.

If you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can speak to someone immediately here or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which you can reach at 1-800-273-8255.

If you want to speak with someone anonymously, go here for additional help.