Please Stop Calling Black Women Strong

Don't Call Me Strong

Hi, it’s me again. I wanted to get a post in before minority mental health month ends. I’ve been struggling this entire month with my mental health so I thought now would be a good time to finally open up about my struggles.

Last May I was hospitalized after a suicide attempt and diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1 with psychotic features. That basically means I swing between major depressive episodes and manic episodes (periods of extremely elevated moods). In addition, I rapid cycle meaning I cycle between these episodes extremely quickly. I could literally wake up extremely happy and energetic, spending all of my money on things I don’t need (those who have bipolar disorder have likely made a manic purchase or two) and end up stuck in bed lethargic and apathetic or weeping about my existence by 8 p.m. It’s like being stuck on a rollercoaster you just can’t get off of.

The past year has been tumultuous to say the least. In addition to struggling to accept my diagnosis, trying various meds, and continuing to cycle between various episodes, I’ve been simultaneously dealing with a separation, heartbreak, a major move, new job, caring for a special needs child, and a global pandemic. It’s safe to say things have been difficult.

If there is one thing I’ve learned throughout the process of finding stability it’s that healing is NOT linear and I AM allowed to feel weak. As a black woman it’s been engrained in me since childhood that I am not allowed to be weak. A black woman should be strong if not for herself than for those who need her. The world will not be kind to her so the only way to survive is to toughen up and accept that weakness is not an option. I can’t tell you how many times my struggles were dismissed throughout the years because others felt I was strong enough to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I am NOT always strong. I repeat I am NOT always strong and that is okay. I don’t always have to be.

To my fellow black women, your feelings matter. You are allowed to be vulnerable. You are allowed to cry. You are allowed to feel weak. You are allowed to be soft. You are human.

To those who have called me strong. I appreciate you but I’d also like you to know that I am not always strong and I don’t always have to be. I am completely allowed to feel weak, to be vulnerable, to be held, to be comforted. It’s detrimental to black women, especially those of us with mental illness to be constantly told we are strong. Even if it’s not intentional, it can be seen as dismissive for those of us who are struggling. Instead of calling us strong and leaving it at that, let us know you’re there to support us in our moments of weakness and remind us that having those moments is completely acceptable… because the world continues to tell us otherwise.

As I continue my journey to wellness and stability, I want to remember that while be strong is admirable, it’s not always required. Recovery and healing isn’t easy, it hurts, and sometimes I will feel like giving up. Life is hard sometimes and if I want to cry about it that’s okay. That does not make me a failure, it makes me human.

 

 

 

 

 

When loneliness is a good thing

Hi guys, lately I’ve been incredibly lonely. I’m going through some tough things in my life at the moment and it’s left me feeling empty and disconnected. While I’m trying my best to stay social and continuously connect with others, I can’t help but feel there is a reason it’s not fully helping me feel better. Here’s why I think that is.

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I think consistent loneliness is an opportunity for growth. The more time I spend alone the more I’m realizing how uncomfortable that makes me. I’ve avoided being alone with myself for so long that it makes me feel uneasy. I now know I need to take this time to get to know and love myself.

Lately “inner child” is something I’ve been hearing consistently. I’m in a lot of intensive therapy these days and everywhere I go I hear someone say “don’t forget to take care of your inner child”. As awkward as it may be, it’s actually necessary and when I’m alone with myself I’m more in tune with what my inner child needs.

The more time I spend alone, the more I realize just how much pain and stress I’m harboring. I keep myself busy to distract from those feelings but being forced to be alone and quiet with my thoughts always brings those feelings to light and guys it’s HARD to deal with. It’s hard but necessary and that’s what I’m getting at here.

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Take those times you feel super lonely to reflect on what you need, what your inner child needs. Are you avoiding something? Why are you so uncomfortable being alone with your thoughts? What messages are you hearing and how can you challenge them if they are negative?

Take those lonely days and turn them into days of self-reflection and self-care. Go for a walk in nature, color or paint, watch your favorite movie or read your favorite book. Do something you love for yourself and slowly and surely you’ll learn to be comfortable being alone with you. You deserve some quality time with yourself and that’s a good thing.

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When happiness isn’t a choice

Happy New Year! With all of the inspirational quotes and “new year, new me” posts floating around I thought I’d talk a bit about why I WON’T be choosing happiness this year. Yes, you read that right.

You see for me and others who suffer from a mood disorder, happiness isn’t a choice. For most people, their moods are based on their circumstances. I get it, sometimes bad things happen and you just need to choose how to react to it. However, I believe sending messages that your happiness is a choice can leave a great number of us who have to cope with mood disorders, bipolar disorder etc. feeling guilty and lonely. For us, our moods will change regardless of what we do and don’t do and that is part of the illness.

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For those of you who don’t quite understand mood disorders and how they differ from other mental disorders, let me explain. We go through cycles called “manic” and “depressed” phases.

Manic phases consist of elevated mood and energy (but don’t get me wrong this can sometimes be a bad thing see my previous post for details), while depressed phases are pretty self-explanatory. These phases differ in severity and length depending on the person but these phases come and go regardless of what that person does.

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So when I’m in a depressed phase and someone says “choose happiness”, I feel worse. I can look for things that make me happy during these phases, but the truth of the matter is, I won’t feel happy no matter what I do. I just have to sit in that sadness until it passes… like a wave.

So for those of you who suffer from mood disorders I have a personal new year’s message for you. You will feel sad, angry, irritated, and confused this year but like a wave, those feelings won’t last. Don’t feel guilty for the way you feel but find ways to cope with those feelings while you’re feeling them. If you have the energy, do more of things you love. If you can’t get out of bed, that’s okay… rest.

For those of you who don’t have a mood disorder, please be understanding of those of us who do. Realize the things that help and inspire you may not be for everyone and that’s okay. Everyone has their own path to take to happiness or as those of us with a mood disorder like to say… stability.

Thanks for reading and happy new year!

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What it’s like having a mood disorder

It’s been a while since I’ve written but I thought I’d share a little glimpse of what’s been going on in my life. This past year I was diagnosed with a mood disorder. Doctors believe it’s bipolar disorder but are unsure if I’m type 1 or type 2. Either way, I struggle with my moods and have since I was an adolescent. I felt it’d be helpful to share a bit of my experience with this.

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I had my first suicidal thought at 14. I self-harmed during all four years of high school but if you asked those who knew me in high school they’d say I was chipper and full of energy. People who knew me in college might say the same.  They weren’t wrong, not completely anyway, I was a combination of chipper, happy and full of life but also depressed and suicidal. I had periods of activity when I’d be involved in everything and periods where I’d completely isolate myself. I quickly developed a reputation by those who just so happen to see me at my worst. I was “the crazy girl”.

Those who got close enough to me definitely noticed that my moods were not stable. I’d go from being completely happy and full of life to feeling worthless, lethargic and depressed. I either went to all of my classes and made good grades or skipped them all and stayed in bed. Many who grew up with me assumed I was just dramatic, sensitive, or thought it was a passing phase… they were wrong.

I’ll be 26 in less than a month, married for almost 6 years and the mom of a soon-to-be four-year-old toddler. I STILL struggle with my moods. On a typical day, I’m productive, organized, and outgoing. During depressed phases, I can’t even manage to get out of bed. I spend hours on end crying until my head pounds from the tension and all hygiene and self-care goes out of the window ( I’ll go weeks without doing my hair). I feel a deep sense of emptiness and it quite literally feels like there is a hole in my chest. Other times, I feel nothing at all, completely detached from the world around me like I’m watching someone else live it.

On the other hand, when I’m manic my thoughts are nonstop. I’m full of energy, full of ideas, and full of life. I get the most done when I’m in this phase. I feel like I can do anything. I consider learning a new language, or maybe 5 (hello Duolingo). I learn a new dance or two. I even consider the possibility of being psychic and pretend I’m moving my train home from work with my mind.  Take me out when I’m like this and I’ll definitely be a good time. I’ll dance the entire night.

This may seem fun, especially compared to the depressed phases, but I also become impulsive. This means I can always count on a manic phase to help me go broke. Severe mania can also lead to psychosis. During this phase, you can literally blank out. I’ve had this happen many times and they almost always end without someone getting hurt (I’ve also had to replace a few household items I broke after a period of psychosis). There are also studies that show mania can be linked with brain damage (not so fun after all).

These phases for me are always followed by a “crash”. I can easily say this is the worst feeling in the world. I can feel myself becoming hopeless, tired, depressed and there’s nothing I can do about it. No matter how great my week had been or how perfect everything around me may seem… when I crash into depression I know I’m going to feel worthless, exhausted, and empty. Even if deep inside I’m technically happy, my brain makes me feel sad or apathetic.

The suicidal thoughts are there whether I’m manic or depressed. Even if I feel completely happy and I had a perfectly good day they manage to come. The biggest difference between these thoughts during these phases is that when I’m manic I have absolutely no desire to act on them… they are just another one of many MANY thoughts. They come intrusively and then they’re gone. When I’m depressed it’s a different story. Especially right after a crash… this is a terrifying time for me because while a huge part of me knows I want to live… my brain tells me otherwise. Sometimes I believe it.

This disorder feels like a constant internal war. It feels like two extreme versions of myself wrapped into one and I wake up not knowing which I’m going to be. The worst is that I have adult responsibilities to tend to even while struggling with this. I can’t just stop being a wife, mom, employee… but my brain doesn’t stop for those things either. It affects every aspect of my life. Every relationship, both professional and personal. Because I’m usually either at work or home with a toddler, I have to always work to keep a calm head even when I feel like I’m going to explode. I’m constantly being fed lies about who I am by my own mind and end up quite defensive. To prevent this from impacting how I react to those around me, I usually shut down completely as a result and become extremely apathetic and detached. I stay as busy as possible in an attempt to distract myself from my own mind. If ever I have time to be idle I’m left alone with my thoughts, and for me, that’s the most dangerous thing. As a result, I never feel rested.

I’m not writing this to make anyone emotional or sad but to hopefully give people an idea of what this is like. It’s far from a choice, it’s a matter of brain chemistry and in my case, a result of previous trauma. I’m working on finding healing but this is something that I’ll always have to live, and work, and grow through.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and if you’re struggling I hope you know you’re not alone and that you take the time to seek help.

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< National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255 >

What it’s like to feel paranoid

For those of you who do not know I will be spending the summer in San Francisco away from my little family, while I’m excited for new opportunities to learn and build my career, it would be an understatement to say I am FREAKING out but the point of this post is that I always freak out.

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Because I hear time and time again to just “calm down” or “everything will be fine” I thought I would share my frustration with those statements by explaining how my brain works. My brain does not understand “calm down” my brain only hears “freak out” and “everything can and will go wrong.” That is the immediate response I have when faced with anything, whether it is routine or novel.

No matter how many times people tell me to relax I can’t. I literally feel like I have hands around my throat and can hardly breathe the majority of the time. You know that big lump you get in your throat when you feel like crying but can’t, the kind that leaves you with a pounding headache… that is how I feel 99% of the time.

Let me explain this a bit more because people typically see me and think I’m fearless or I have it all together and trust me I work VERY hard to keep that image. In reality that is far from the truth.

On the daily basis I freak out about everything that could possibly go wrong from car crashes to abduction (no exaggeration) and because of this I research and plan everything out beforehand (of course this is only sometimes helpful because we all know nothing ever goes as planned).

Let me give you an example, if I have to go somewhere I plan out my route beforehand. Last year I was interning in Little Rock, AR and had to drive alone for the first time to the city. Not only did I plan out my route beforehand but I literally took a virtual tour of the route via google maps (street view to be exact). I planned which parking lots I would use and which streets I would walk down. This may not sound like a big deal but trust me feeling that I HAVE to plan every tiny thing is a huge burden and honestly it’s only the beginning of my obsessive thoughts. If you think I don’t know exactly which ways I will have to get to my internship this time around, which streets to avoid, which areas have more crime in San Francisco already, you do not know me well my friends. I’ve already researched the exact buses, BART (bay area rapit transit) and which streets I should walk down versus when I will need to call an uber or taxi (something I have never done). It may sound like I’m just overly prepared but let me continue.

I’ve spent at least 4 hours reading stories of people who’d been mugged in San Francisco, I read so much I found there is a pattern, it seems people are typically mugged between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. Which means I won’t be out after dark. I may as well be a detective right? I already discovered that the majority of the people in the area have their car broken into and that petty theft is often ignored by the cops in the area so I’ve been planning ways to secure my belongings. Even looked up antitheft bags. I even considered dressing down on the way to work and then changing my clothes once I arrive so I don’t look like an easy target. I also considered what steps to take in case I do get mugged and oh what if they have a weapon? What if there is more than one mugger? Now you’re starting to get it. Do you understand how annoying it is to feel this way? A part of me knows I am overreacting but regardless I can’t make the thoughts go away.

My mind automatically goes to the worst possible thing that could happen. Last night I looked out of the window more than 20 times because I thought someone would break in. I literally jump out of bed anytime I hear a car door close. Because it can’t just be a neighbor or civilian right. Not in my head… in my head, it is most definitely a serial killer. The only time I ever get a full nights sleep is when I know someone else is home (my husband or relative). I have a son who I check on at least 10 times once I put him to bed to make sure he is still alive. I even check if my husband is still breathing in his sleep half of the time. He may think I’m being sweet if I lay on his chest but I am just checking for a pulse. Relaxing is not my strong suit.

I always feel like someone is watching me, or following me. It feels like I’m walking on eggshells everytime I leave the house. Every time I get into the car I imagine getting into an accident. Every time I go to the store alone I imagine getting mugged. I hate walking anywhere alone. Even just calling people to handle administrative things stresses me out. I literally plan out what I will say in my head before any phone call or meeting, even if it’s as simple as asking for directions. I get so anxious I physically get sick. The majority of the time I keep myself incredibly busy to distract myself from these thoughts.

Now you may think I sound like a hot mess and you’d never want to hang out with me but do not worry, the majority of the time people around me do not notice because I have mastered my poker face. Internally I may be freaking out but on the outside, I look like I have it together and trust me that is a talent in and of itself. Odds are if we met, you would probably never know I was feeling this way. Unless of course, I told you, but then you still wouldn’t understand to what extent.

Don’t get me wrong being overly paranoid does have its benefits, though very few. I tend to be overly prepared which means I am never lacking when it comes to school and work. However, dealing with everyday life can be a burden at times and it is especially worse when people who do not understand how difficult it is for me to relax, tell me to do just that.

When I was just a child my dad left and my mother was arrested. My oldest sister was murdered and my brother randomly died in a car crash 4 years ago. Many of the people I grew up knowing have passed away. It bothers me when people say “you will be fine” or “nothing like that will happen to you” because if it happened to them what makes me an exception. Bad things happen and I have reasons for feeling like they will happen to me. A part of me feels that it is inevitable and so I should just take chances and live life to the fullest but yet I still worry about everything. It’s a neverending battle that I deal with on the daily basis but I try very hard not to let those negative thoughts rule my life (even though at times it feels that way).

It is not fun to live inside your head considering all the horrible things that could possibly happen at any given moment but it’s also not fun to have people tell you to just stop worrying as if it’s that simple. I wrote this in hopes that people who do not experience this level of anxiety will understand how burdensome it can be. We need to switch the need to tell people to just “calm down” or “be happy” and shift that into understanding how others perceive the world. Those things aren’t simple for everyone. It is easy to tell someone not to worry when you don’t understand how it feels to be bombarded with intrusive thoughts on the regular basis. Instead just be present and be there to show support. I hope this post will offer some understanding to some of you and I hope you share this with others.

Thanks for reading!

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Five Signs You May Need Some Alone Time!

Five Signs You May Need Some Alone Time

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Lately I’ve been feeling irritable, cranky and tired constantly. I dread every time my alarm clock goes off in the morning, and Monday’s, oh Monday’s are the absolute worst!

If this resonates with you at all you may need some “YOU” time.

Now I’ve heard it all before, but it really clicked for me once I took the time to consciously consider my behavior and what it meant. Maybe that lightbulb will go off for you as well, and after reading the list below you’ll actually make time to do something for yourself.

Every little thing starts to irritate you

Now I’m a naturally impatient person and you may be too but this is different. You find every little thing starts to annoy you REALLY fast! I mean I even had a moment where I wanted to scream at my tv because Netflix paused for too long… yea definitely NOT normal person behavior right there. If you find yourself screaming at your tv, laptop or other inanimate object or maybe just snapping at the people you love… maybe just maybe you need a little break.

You’ve lost a great deal of motivation

Sometimes we all get a little worn out. Have you had those moments where you just don’t want to get out of bed. Maybe you have a huge to do list that you keep pushing off or maybe you’re just not feeling your daily routine anymore. Hey, I’ve been there! In fact I’m there right now so I feel you. Maybe it’s time to take a mental health day (can we make these mandatory please) and go for a walk or run alone, see a movie, visit a spa or pool or just bathe at home with a bath bomb and some candles. If you can’t afford to take a day off plan an evening just for you! You will thank yourself for it later.

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You’re feeling sluggish and fatigued

Your body will be the first to let you know that you need a break. We live in a noisy culture, between Iphones ringing and bosses or schoolwork we never get true rest. I’ll add that just because you may physically be alone doesn’t mean you’re necessarily getting the alone time you need. If you’re at a computer or on the phone the majority of the day you will still feel worn down. Our bodies react to stress and it has a great impact on us. Sometimes a little quiet time is important. If you’re like me and you have a child then quiet time is necessary to stay sane trust me. If you have a spouse or family to babysit schedule time during the day that you can use to have a little rest and this doesn’t necessarily have to be sleep. Just be sure to unplug for a bit and have a little quiet time.

You’re not enjoying your company

Do you find yourself forcing conversations lately? Do you cringe when your phone lights up or someone shows up at your door. If you’re not enjoying hanging out with the people in your life it may be that you’re just not getting enough time for yourself. It shouldn’t feel like a burden to be around your friends and family (unless they are insane). It is okay to say no sometimes and explain that you need a little rest. If they really care they will understand. If not, you’re better off anyway.

You’ve been extremely busy

Sometimes it’s just that simple; you’ve been working way too hard. Remember, we are humans and NOT robots. It’s okay to be proactive but when you start to experience the things above it becomes unhealthy. Sometimes staying busy is a coping mechanism. Take time to rest and consider what’s really going on. Maybe it’s nothing and you really just need rest or maybe it’s something deeper and you’re distracting yourself from it by working day and night. Taking time for yourself allows you to reflect and dig deep, without having time to do this we lose touch with ourselves. So take time to stop and rest!

I hope after reading this you decide to take a little time just for you. It is not selfish to think of your needs from time to time. Your body and mind will thank you for it later!

Comment below with some of the things you do to relax when you’re feeling worn out!

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Why detachment can sometimes be a good thing

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I wanted to write this post because I am hoping someone else out there can relate to it. I’ll start by saying we all know that there is so much negative energy in the world right now. The political issues, global disputes, social issues and so on. Many of us can’t go a day without hearing something controversial. It is exhausting to say the least.

There comes a time when it’s no longer possible to find a balance between staying informed with what’s happening in the world and in our communities and also remaining sane.

If you’re anything like me you stress A LOT. There is enough to deal with in day to day life without the added stresses of national and global issues. So you may get to a point where you avoid them. You cut off the news, take a break from social media and just pretend all is well.

I consider myself an empath so hearing and seeing the news literally feels like a thousand needles being jammed into my chest, that on top of the daily stresses of my own life can become overwhelming. As much as I believe we should stay informed sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is to pull yourself away.

For me that looks like days or weeks without acknowledging what’s happening in the world. I pretend racism, sexism, fascism and all the other “isms” don’t exist. You could say I push it to the side and live in la la land for a bit, and I find this to be healthy.

However, I find myself feeling defensive… like I’m waiting for someone to tell me I need to be paying attention to what’s happening, that I’m not allowed to forget (as if that were actually possible). What I’m saying is, it’s necessary to detach yourself for a while when it becomes such a burden that you begin to live in a constant state of worry.

Detachment has always been used negatively but I’m saying that sometimes detaching yourself is necessary for your own mental wellbeing. When you allow yourself to do so it also gives you the opportunity to see things more clearly when you feel comfortable enough to step back into the “real world.”

Now do not confuse this with ignorance, it IS important to know and understand what’s happening in our society but this post is focusing on when knowing becomes overwhelming and thus influences how you feel in your everyday activities. That is the case for me as of lately and I wanted to share that me separating myself from all the bad in the world doesn’t mean I’m ignoring it. I don’t want anyone to feel guilty for avoiding hearing bad things, nor do I want others judging those of us who may take time just forget it all.

It may look like we are pretending these things aren’t happening and that the bad in the world doesn’t exist and while that may be true for some, it is not the case for all of us. For some, it may be that they feel everything so deeply that they need to pull themselves away for their own health. Remember your mental well-being influences how your body reacts. Detachment is just another form of self-care for some.

Don’t be ashamed to pull away and find some clarity and peace. The stresses of life can have a lot of power over you and if it takes pulling away for sometime then that is absolutely okay! Not all of us are blessed with great coping skills. Do what works for you, whatever it takes to keep your mental health in check.

Thanks for reading!

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How to reach your mental health goals in 2017

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When we tend to focus on our physical fitness goals for the new year but overall wellness requires more. If you’re like me and struggle with poor mental health this post is for you.

I’ve struggled with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and intrusive thoughts for numerous years. While things have improved a bit I’d be lying if I said they were completely better.

A huge goal of mind is to truly heal and grow this year and here is how:

Connect with others

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This won’t be easy. If you’re like me and tend to distance yourself from others this will be your biggest challenge. Find support from others. I’ve learned nothing is more healing than having someone you can really talk to about the things you struggle with.

A key factor in this is finding someone who understands which I’ve found to be hard.

For example I can’t talk to others about the struggles I feel about being a black woman if they have no experience with that. They may be able to sympathize but not show true empathy because they don’t fully understand. Same goes for whatever you struggle with. If you struggle with depression or body image issues it’s helpful to talk to someone who has also dealt with that because they are more likely to understand.

It always helps to open up and to let what your feeling be known and have a safe space to do so.

You can seek people out in a group setting, therapy, church or other spiritual gatherings.

Find the root of your struggles

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Sometimes but not always poor mental health is caused by underlying pain that hasn’t been fully addressed. I understand this isn’t the case for everyone and in some cases it can simply be genetic or caused by chemical imbalances in the brain but for some it’s caused by trauma.

Being unsure of the cause of your pain is very conflicting and can make things more difficult. If you believe the source of your struggles is trauma, dig deep figure out exactly where these thoughts and feelings stem from and go from there.

This is something that will take years and years of work. Therapy helps in many of these situations but also finding others who can relate (as mentioned above). Knowing where you were in your life when your mental health started to take a turn is important because it allows you to understand your triggers and understanding your triggers can bring growth which brings me to my next point.

Avoid Triggers

Easier said than done but once you understand what triggers you and why they trigger you it’s easier to avoid situations that will cause you harm. This is difficult because those around you are not aware of your triggers, they may not understand how your brain works and this is not the same for everyone.

We all struggle differently but something sets us off. Whether it be a comment, someones tone of voice, failure… any of those things can cause a breakdown.

However, it’s also important to note that some triggers can’t be avoided and we simply have to learn effective coping mechanisms to deal with them in a healthier way. This is one of my biggest goals as I tend to lash out either internally or externally when I’ve been triggered.

Being connected to those who understand is helpful but we also have to be able to cope with those who don’t or can’t understand and that’s where things get a little complex. In order to do this you’ll need to work on building healthy coping skills.

Learn to cope

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This is something that you’ll learn as you heal but how you react to triggers is vital and in some situations can be the difference between life or death especially if you’re one who struggles with intrusive or suicidal thoughts. This is a tough cookie to swallow for those who don’t struggle with poor mental health but have close relationships with those who do because for them everything is an “overreaction” or they simply don’t understand.

My suggestions (other than the ones listed above) are to meditate or pray (if you’re religious). For me this is my go to coping mechanism when I’m triggered. Though I personally believe quiet time is important in general whether you pray or not because it gives you a safe space to clear your head.

Working out is also helpful. It’s actually incredible what exercise can do for your mental well-being. Ever heard of runners high? Yea that is a real thing.

Focus your energy into something you love. This can be therapeutic. For me it’s writing and dancing. Simply writing this post is helpful for me as I’m able to express myself. Find things you enjoy doing and in times where you find yourself really struggling do those things.

I want to remind you I am not a doctor or therapist or psychiatrist at all so these tips are just based on my opinion and what helps me personally. Everyone is different. If you find yourself in serious need of help please talk to someone you trust and seek real help. In the meantime if there is something I can do to encourage others who are struggling I will, that is why I write.

Thanks for reading.

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The Halloween Blues

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I felt it necessary to be honest about how I’m REALLY feeling today. I LOVE Halloween it’s my favorite Holiday but today I don’t feel excited or happy. I honestly just feel “BLEH” that’s the only word I could find to accurately describe how I’m feeling.

Poor mental health never takes a break. Overwhelming feelings of sadness or just general disinterest are an everyday thing for me and many others and it doesn’t take a break just because the Holiday’s arrive.

I think it’s important to address this right now because a lot of people tend to get even more frustrated with people like me around the Holiday season. You typically hear things like …

“So what are your plans”

“Why the long face”

“It’s *Insert Holiday here* Be happy!”

“What’s going on, why are you upset?”

I wanted to be honest about what I would most likely spend my Halloween doing.

It’ll go a little something like this…

Take care of my son, while simultaneously being frustrated that I can’t dress him up and take him out to trick or treat because it’s too hot where I live, my husband has to work, and my son has learned how to say “NO” and run away from me every chance he gets.

So I’ll most likely end up at home watching cartoons… alone. I’ll feed my son, bathe him and put him to sleep like usual.

Then I’ll probably snuggle up on the couch put on a scary movie on while I scroll through Instagram looking at everyones Halloween pictures from the weekend. Tweet “Happy Halloween” to everyone and go to bed.

It won’t be fun and sadly I won’t enjoy it.

I know it’s not fun to read posts like these but I feel like the internet is so curated to make it seem like everyone is having so much fun. People like me see that and wish there was someone we could relate to that shared what they REALLY feel. That’s why I wrote this.

I realize not everyone out there is a mom or wife, but I do know there are other people out there who have few friends, distant relatives, little money or just a general disinterest in being around other people and today like every other Holiday won’t be as great for those people.

I just want other who are dealing with anxiety or depression to know they are not alone. I know how it feels to always be trapped inside of your mind and I understand that even on days you really want to let loose and have fun it’s extremely difficult.

So if you find yourself on your couch, numb watching Netflix tonight alone. Just know I’ll be doing the same exact thing.

You’re not alone.

 For the rest of you.

Happy Halloween!