How to stop a mental breakdown

Step one: you don’t. The ebb and flow of emotions sometimes just need to happen. I wish I knew how to fix it. I wish I could look at myself in the mirror and just go: “Hey look, you’ve got your life together!”

Unfortunately, I don’t. In fact, I don’t even have today together. I’m looking at being broke for the next two weeks, my love life is not what I want, I live in a shitty basement in a house full of boys. I may or may not have mice in my room, and I’m currently writing with snot pouring out of my nose (awesome visual, I know) while I quietly sob hysterically.

In a way I know it has to look comical from the outside. Here is a semi-successful twenty-something year old who is complaining about stuff that truly does not matter. I have it easy. I know I do.

It’s hard to look past my current moment and get past the woe-is-me part. I want someone to hug me. I want my parents to help me out. Heck, I want my dog to become potty trained, but I also know that he’s a product of my own doing.

So what do I do? I write. I write so I can gain some semblance of sanity and refocus my energy into something else. I think mental breakdowns are your body’s way of saying, “Deal with the stuff in the box you’ve shoved to the back of your brain!!!”

It doesn’t help when you just mentally catalogue issues away to deal with later. If you’re like me, you just end up snot-bubbling (a phrase so eloquently used by my father) while watching the recap of a Grey’s Anatomy episode.

It sometimes helps to talk aloud and name five positive things in your life. It can help, though candidly it doesn’t always work for me.

Step two: Once you’ve calmed down enough to at least stop crying, focus on the next thing you have to do for the day. You can’t focus on all your problems at once, sometimes you just have to go one step at a time..

I don’t know if it’s like this for everyone. I know that this helps me to breathe. Writing helps me to remember myself. It helps me to stop crying. At least as long as my fingers keep moving.

Living life is hard. Being a twenty-something year old trying to balance all aspects of life can be really hard. It’s okay… I think. I think it’s okay to cry. I think it’s okay to be upset that your parents won’t help. I think it’s okay to feel utterly alone even when you know that you’ve got a lot of people willing to be there for you.

Try to breathe and stay calm for the next ten seconds. According to the wise words of Kimmy Schmidt, “You can do anything for ten seconds.”

I don’t even know if all of this makes sense, but at least I know I can breathe for the next ten seconds…

One thousand one… one thousand two….

You Just Can’t Make This Up…

I met a man that I fell in love with. A man that against all of my walls and defenses, I fell head over heels for. But then he died. No, I don’t mean I found out that he cheated and that he was dead to me, I mean he passed away 2 hours after my last text message to him. I wish that was the end. I wish that it was a tragic point that I was able to mourn the man I loved. But it didn’t happen that way…

It has been three months since he died. I can still remember the day vividly. I had just switched jobs and he sent me a text while he was at work. He was the type of man to wake me up every morning with a good morning text telling me how much he loved me and missed me. He worked as a cell tower service technician and had messaged me as he was going up the tower. I texted him two hours after that only to find out that two minutes prior to the text he fell. I found it odd that day that he never responded. I waited and called, but he never answered. I didn’t find out until two days later that he had passed away.

I was devastated. I lost it. I couldn’t believe that the man I had started to talk about marriage with was gone. I didn’t get to say goodbye. The worst part was that we hadn’t yet met each other’s families, so they didn’t know about me. I had to reach out via Facebook.

I messaged his mother and she allowed me to go to the funeral… Some days I wish I would have never gone. Then I wouldn’t have found out what I did. When I got there, I noticed a girl my age sitting not too far from the front. She was crying. A picture of the two of them sat next to the casket. At the time I didn’t think anything of it. He was a gorgeous man that women tended to gravitate towards, so I just assumed she was another one of his good friends.

She got up to speak and told the crowd about how she met him and how she loved him. I sat there in silence, crying in part because the man I loved was gone, and crying because suddenly I knew who she was.

Later that day I messaged her on Facebook only to find out that he had been dating both of us at the same time. He had told us he wanted to marry both of us and he had even met her family. It was a whole different aspect of heartbreak. I still don’t know how I feel about all of it.

How do you handle finding out that the man you thought you were going to share your life with was saying the same exact things to another woman? To add a little icing to the cake, I found out from a mutual friend that eight other women had come forward claiming to have been dating him.

It made me sick to my stomach.

Grief was hard enough without adding anger into it. However, I learned something. I learned that I was stronger than I thought I was. I learned that death could not crumple the woman I was.

I went to his grave later and told him what I thought about his lies. I had to smile. The man I thought to be slightly naive and a little uneducated was actually the best liar I had ever met.

He fooled me, but I cannot say I hate him for what he did. It’d be pointless, haha… He’s dead.

The funny thing is, I still miss him sometimes. If he were alive I would have broken up with him and never spoke to him again, but there is something about the permanence of death that gets to me. I had never dealt with death until he died.

I dealt with death in a scientific way. I studied it. I studied what happened to bodies when they die and when they’re buried. I studied a little deeper into my faith and took a serious look at the existence of Heaven and Hell. Still can’t say I’m sold on the idea, but I don’t like the idea that the man I knew is just completely gone.

It seems a waste of life and personality for the essence of a person to simply vanish after death.

 

I rant now, partly to vent and partly to let out the grief that I have a hard time putting into vocal words. It’s hard to understand grief and loss and love when everything is gone so suddenly.

Fight for Parkinson’s 

Hey guys, 

I don’t often make a giant call out to my fellow bloggers, but I’m asking you human to human to do me a favor. I read so many of the posts that pop up on my feed and I am humbled by the human connection and willingness to share with a community. 

I am a volunteer boxing coach for Parkinson’s patients. One of my boxers entered our little program into a competition to win $6000. This money would go to funding new equipment for our boxers to exercise with and covering monthly costs for those who couldn’t afford it. 

Why should you care? 

Our program, because it is an exercise program, is not funded by any national Parkinson’s foundations. We as boxing coaches do not take any money for ourself and have dedicated our time to helping our boxers fight against a disease that currently has no cure. 

How to help

All it takes is one vote per email address for Rock Steady Boxing Brownsburg. If you could vote every day up until March 31st, I would be eternally grateful to my WordPress community. 

Here’s the link: 

Vote for Rock Steady Brownsburg

Holiday blues 

Can I just start off with saying that emotions stink? Christmas is the best time of the year. The treats, the family time, the treats, the snow, and did I mention the treats?….I love it all. However, this year feels bittersweet to me. 

This is my first full set of holidays that I get to spend with my dad and this side of my family. I love it all. It’s a completely different atmosphere from how I grew up with my mother and it’s incredibly refreshing. But as the holidays approach I can’t help feeling a little forlorn. I miss my mom. It’s been two years since I’ve seen her. 

We had a falling out about a year and a half ago and it hasn’t been the same since. There is the part of me that understands that she needs help and that she is toxic to my well-being, but I miss her. I hate that I do, but it’s hard to know that things aren’t better between us and that she isn’t taking steps to fix our relationship. Granted, neither of us are willing to give in to the other and I’ve had to make the decision to distance myself from her issues since I can’t fix them. 

Does that make me a bad daughter? We went from being very close to rarely talking. I want nothing more than to get to a healthy point with her, but she’s got several problems with lying that create a toxic environment for me to be around. 

There isn’t any point to this post other than to vent and ramble about the small downside of the holiday season. 

Right now I’m listening to the country Christmas station watching my mom(stepmom) put up decorations with my brother and sister. I love this house, I love this family, and I love how close we all are. I just wish my mom and I were in a better place. 

Dating Myself

Being-Alone

Dating is hard. Being single is even harder… at least for me. The concept of having to be alone with myself is one that I have a hard time with. When I started college I got into a relationship pretty quickly that lasted for the better part of two years. After that, I went to another relationship that lasted for a while in which I thought I was dating “the one” for me. I was wrong.

The hardest part was not the breakup, however, it’s been the task of learning how to be by myself. Living in a different area far from my group of friends has left me with very few distractions. Alone time for me has never been something I’ve been good at. I’m still in the process of gaining strength and independence in that area of my life.

So what did I do when I was forced with being alone?

I’ve begun dating myself. I went to the movies alone, watched what I wanted to, and got dressed up for me. At first I felt silly, but the more I did it the more I felt empowered. I’m pretty awesome. I’m worth being taken out on dates and focusing on me every once in a while.

My blog is something that tends to get neglected when I’m with someone. I forget how therapeutic it is to rant and write and be supported by my WordPress community.

While this blog is a little squirrel brained, it’s my next step in dating myself. I love to write, so why stop?

I am not Jillian Michaels…

Alright. I admit it. I am out of shape. I know this because the first time I ran a few weeks ago I’m pretty sure I could hear my lungs screaming curse words at me. My “extra cushion” around my outer-thighs danced to their own beat as I jogged. Daydreams of bacon cheeseburgers and cheesecake floated through my brain as I struggled for air…
Okay, perhaps it wasn’t that dramatic but my body completely hated me as I forced it to move. For me, working out hasn’t been something that I’ve been consistent with as I’ve grown up. I’ve constantly struggled with self image and always comparing myself to friends who were tinier than me, even if they had completely different body types. With the new medication I was prescribed, I was told that a side effect would be weight gain.
As a twentysomething year old struggling with gaining confidence, the idea of gaining weight on top of how heavy I already am scared me. It shook what confidence I have.
So instead of sitting around and watching myself become more unhealthy, I decided to get myself fit. I didn’t workout to get the shape I desired. I decided to workout to be as healthy as I can be while still maintaining a diet and lifestyle that I could live happily with. 
I’ve been working out for about 4 weeks now and slowly but surely I can tell a difference. My weight hasn’t gone down, but for the first time since I was in 7th grade I was able to run a mile. I’ve now gotten to the point where I can run it in 12 minutes, which for me is a huge victory!! My goal is 10 minutes and 40 seconds. Slowly but surely I’ll get there. I’ve begun switching between running and yoga. 
Yoga is the shiznit, let me tell you. As a woman whose mind is constantly going in a million different directions, this is the first time that I’ve been able to quiet my mind and focus. My mom always makes fun of me because I walk out with a big goofy grin. I just get so relaxed! The women in there and the instructors have been so welcoming and helpful as I’ve learned all of the moves. At first I had the hardest time moving at certain angles, but lately in the past week I’ve noticed certain positions getting easier. 
Don’t get me wrong, wall yoga is still a hard class. I was unaware of certain muscles in my rump region until I did poses against the wall. Word of advice: find your happy place!
I think the hardest thing about working out and sticking with it is remembering that it takes time. It takes time to get to where you want to be and you have to stay committed even when you just don’t feel like it. I’m definitely not Jillian Michaels and chances are I will never get myself that fit. But that’s okay. Weight is not something to focus on. It’s your gravitational pull and I have to remind myself of that all the time. If you have to focus on a number, focus on the body fat percentage. Turn that weight into 150 pounds of muscle instead of cushion. 
At the end of the day, I will still be a food junkie. I’m a Funkie. But I’m accomplishing goals in my fitness that I haven’t been able to do in years. I think that’s the most important accomplishment.  

 

Perspective: Goodbye Bailey

 Yesterday Heaven got a new dog. My dog, Bailey. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

She was given lots of treats yesterday. There were dog cannolis, squirrel shaped cookies, and dog bones given to her throughout the day. She got her belly rubbed and behind her ears scratched. The collar was taken off and Bailey got scratched where we usually couldn’t reach underneath her collar. She even got to lay on the couch (something she wasn’t normally allowed to do). She looked up at us, tail wagging and tongue hanging from the side. The tumor enveloping her lower jaw and pushing out her teeth was painfully obvious. I knew that it had to be done.

Each family member got to whisper sweet things to her and love on her. Our other dog, Striker, napped by her side and wherever she went he followed. When 5 p.m. came along my mom and I piled into the truck with my grandpa and Bailey. My little sister scream cried as she left the house, unable to deal with the fact that Bailey had to go.

As we left the house, the concept of what was happening became real for me. God I wanted to cry. My baby had cancer, but she was still happy. She could still eat treats in the back of her mouth, but I knew that if we didn’t do something about it she’d get so much worse.

When we went got into the vet they already had a room ready for her. There was a flower-print blanket on the floor for us to sit with her. The vet came in. Bailey wouldn’t let him stick a needle in her paw so we all had to hold her down as he sedated her in the rear. She yelped and whined. I cried. I stood up and gave her a couple of treats from the jar on the counter. She happily accepted them before she began to shake and lose her balance.

My mom and I laid her on her side and whispered sweet words to her as she slept. The vet put the catheter in and injected the medication. I was beginning to shake and bawl at this point. She stiffened in her sleep and then relaxed. The vet warned us that she might twitch after she had passed as the sedative and the other medication reacted in her that way.

He leaned over after a moment or two and spoke the words that broke my heart: “She’s gone.”

I leaned down to kiss her head and hold her paw. She gasped. I couldn’t control my tears as my mom and the vet rapidly assured me that she was dead and it was an involuntary reaction. It happened two more times and I lost a little bit of myself each time. Then she stilled.

The odd thing about dogs when they die is that their eyes don’t close. I cried and held my dog. I couldn’t comprehend that the sweet pup that had pulled me out of my depression before and was the reason for so many decisions was gone. I petted her body, telling her how much I loved her, and trying to remind myself that we did the right thing.

My dog was gone. I felt the heat begin to fade from her body and we left. I cried in the back seat on the way home. I went outside with the whiskey and honored her in the oldest tradition I’d heard of. I poured a shot whispering, “Hail the victorious dead” and poured in the grass.

I poured a shot for myself and tried to take it. I threw it back up immediately and cried (I can’t take shots of whiskey). I wiped my tears quickly knowing my family was waiting for me back in the kitchen. I went back in and poured myself a drink.

Goodbye my sweet Bailey. You will forever be missed. You were the first big dog I ever had and one of the reasons I fought to have a relationship with my dad. You were my cuddle buddy during thunderstorms and the first face I saw when I woke up and opened my door each morning. You were the protector of my siblings when they were babies and you were my teddy bear when life got me down. You were my walking buddy, my hiking companion, and my four legged vacuum when I spilled food. You ate everything you saw, albeit cigars, pizza, medication, and yet you always managed to survive. You made me so angry yet you were the sunshine of my life and had the key to my heart. You got sick with mouth cancer and it spread to your brain. I didn’t want you to hurt anymore and I didn’t want you to suffer worse than you already were. I love you, I love you, I love you. You were my Bailey bug, my Bailey girl.

Goodbye sweet girl. You will not be forgotten.

IMG_0126

Perspective: My Boxes are Open

funny-pictures-i-cant-adult-today-dog

Well. Life has given me a lot of lemons lately. A lot of sour, beat up, soggy lemons. I don’t even want to make lemonade with them. In lieu of feeling like I’m losing my tiny little brain, I figured that I’d start a new mini series called Perspective. It’s the little reminder to myself that despite the hardships that I’m going through, I’m going to be okay.

There’s a certain analogy I’ve heard about men’s brains versus women’s brains. Men have all their thoughts in different boxes. One for family, one for sex, one for work, and so on and so forth. They open one box at a time. Women are much different. We have tons of boxes and every single one of those bad boys are open. We deal with everything all the time at the same time.  It’s really quite tiresome.

All my boxes have been open and I feel like I just need to purge.

I moved over the past week to an entirely different part of the US and I moved in with my dad. I’ve never lived with him before and after a week of being here I’m still not entirely convinced I made the right decision. I’m a twentysomething year old with depression and in order to get help I moved in for a support network.

That’s mature and adult-like…. Right?

Well, after a week of being here, I’ve found out that my dog has cancer. The one thing that had kept me glued together as I’ve dealt with my stress has been her and now we’re putting her down tomorrow evening. There was no other choice because of how aggressive it was and how old she is. We don’t want her to suffer.

But oh dear lord…. I’ve never had to put a dog down before.

I am angry. I am angry because I moved here and out of all the pets we have, my dog had to be the one to go so soon. I am angry at life because I feel like I’m failing at being a productive member of society. I am angry because I am taking a break from college for a semester while all of my friends from high school are getting married and graduating early while I’m single (but definitely not ready to mingle).

I cannot adult! Who let me adult??

The important thing to remember I suppose are the positive things. As a natural pessimist prone to extreme bouts of cynicism, it’s a little hard for me to do. I’m trying to think of positive things as I purge my thoughts right now.

I do get to be there for my dog Bailey tomorrow. I get to be there to comfort her. I get to be there for my little sister, who has had Bailey in her life since the day she was born.

Being back at home means I can save some money for college and have time to get some counseling. I won’t have to worry about rent or grocery bills. I can be there for my little siblings’ events and parties like I never have before.

I tend to keep all my boxes open at once and stress about things that have not yet even come to pass. It’s something I’ve always struggled with, but I feel like it has gotten worse over the past year. I look at where I was even a year ago, and I struggle with feeling like a failure.

Being an adult is hard. Figuring out a path for the rest of my life is so overwhelming and moving here has been a huge step out of my comfort zone. There’s so much change. I just have to keep perspective. I think that’s been the biggest struggle of all: positive perspective.

When to Let Go

Relationships are hard. Knowing when to let go is even harder. How exactly do you know when it’s time to let something go and move on? Well, I’ve seen the signs in my relationship, but short of being hit in the head with literal signs I feel like I’ve been ignoring all the metaphorical ones.

For me, I have the tendency to hold on to something even when it’s probably no longer healthy to stick around. Why? It’s because I hate giving up on a relationship. It’s not that I’m looking for Mr. Right at this point in my life. Shoot, I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m in my twenties! It’s because I saw failed relationships growing up and I desperately want to be the type of person to work through problems so that way when I am to the point where I’m ready to be married I can make it last.

Relationships, however, seem to be my weak spot whether it’s being romantically involved with someone, a friendship, or a relationship with a family member. In reflecting over the past year and a half, I’ve noticed that there were certainly signs that I should have listened to, but in the midst of my depression I didn’t really take a stand when I should have. It’s not to say that my past relationship was a particularly terrible one (though if you ask my best friend or my dad I’m sure they’d have something to say), I just allowed him to think that I was okay with certain undesirable behaviors when I should have stood up for myself.

I think in relationships there are a few key signs into realizing when it’s time to move on:

  1. There’s distrust
    • For me, I probably should have broken it off with him the minute I stopped trusting him. I didn’t want to though. I felt like I was being paranoid and that I had nothing to worry about when in reality I was just ignoring his behaviors and his growing secrecy.
  2. Your friends stopping liking your significant other
    • About halfway through my relationship, the guy I was with owned up to doing some things that really broke my heart. Me being a dummy, however, stayed with him and forgave him. My friends didn’t see it as something to forgive. I didn’t want to listen to their thoughts on him, mostly because I didn’t want to admit that I was staying in something bad. At the time I felt like they just didn’t understand the dynamics of our relationship and that it wasn’t worth explaining.
  3. You’re no longer happy with him
    • It took me a ridiculously long time to accept it, but towards the end I just wasn’t happy. I didn’t trust him. I began to hate myself for staying with him, but also truly believed that what I felt for him was love and I wanted to give the type of love that I read about in church. The only time we really got along was when we were physically intimate, but otherwise we argued all the time and I could see his lack of trust towards me, which infuriated me. Why didn’t he trust me? It’s not like I had done anything to him other than get the courage to stand up for myself every once in a while. I couldn’t brag about him to friends anymore, because the times he tried to be a good guy felt like they were an afterthought after months and months of dealing with his mood swings and verbal abuse.

 

It wasn’t until I had a very dear friend be a perfect gentleman towards me and compliment me on my goofiness, that I realized I deserved better. I had been told that for months, but it took me a long time to truly believe it. If a friend that I had known for years, who saw me grow up during my awkward phase, could find me beautiful and funny because of my quirkiness rather than in spite of all of those things, then why couldn’t the guy I’d been dating?

It was certainly a valuable lesson that I feel will help me in future relationships. Ladies, if you’ve ever been in my shoes, it’s important to remember this: You should never date a guy with the mindset that he’s out of your league. He should be proud to date you and flaunt it. If you ever feel like you’re not worthy of him and he’s made you feel that way, run! It’s something I have to constantly remind myself. I am worth more than a man who only found me worth caring for when it was convenient for him.

I am nerdy, curvy, goofy, and damn proud of it!!

I look forward to the future to focus on myself and become independent and happy for me. I know that the next man I date will appreciate it and I can stay in it for as long as it’s healthy. Growing up is hard. This whole “adult relationship” thing is hard too, but I feel like I learned a lot and I’m ready to pick myself up and see what’s in store for me.

 

Depression is draining

First off, I’d like to apologize over my absence. I must have written a dozen starts to blog posts, but they never seemed to come to an end I was happy with. So rather than tell a funny story(I’ve had a few these past few months) or write about some unspoken truth, I decided to talk about depression.

Depression sucks. It just does. It is one of the most crippling helpless feelings I’ve ever experienced in my life. To add to its joyous occurrence (I mean that in the most sarcastic way) I also got diagnosed with high anxiety too.

So basically I had no motivation and was panicking about my future and the possibility of failure.

I grew up in a home where counseling wasn’t an option. It was simply an insult if you were deemed too weak or acting “dramatic” as my mom would call it. The situation that I lived in wasn’t healthy and it took me until college to realize that. Well, that realization and the loss of a relationship with my mom was sickening.

What do you do when the one major contributing factor in your life (regardless of the good and bad) suddenly is exposed as a lie? For me, I just spiraled downwards a bit. I went through a period of saying I was fine and to be fair I had an amazing support system from my dad and stepmom’s side of the family. Over the summer they were there for me and kept me together, but when I went back to college that’s when I realized that I wasn’t fine.

I hated that I couldn’t talk to my mother anymore and that when we did talk, the conversations were more destructive than progressive. I was also struggling with balancing classes that were rather difficult and a job that was much more demanding than I had anticipated.

I felt thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread (LOTR reference!) and I had to come to the realization that I couldn’t handle it all.

It was when I was sitting outside of a classroom waiting for class to start and I started uncontrollably crying for no reason that I realized I needed help.

That was probably the toughest part: I had to swallow my pride and admit to myself that it was okay that I couldn’t handle everything on my own. I had friends to help me get through it all, but it wasn’t enough.

So I went to the counseling center and also had a long talk with my dad over the choices I had to make and I scaled down the amount of busyness I had in my life. I cut the classes that I couldn’t handle and I quit the job so I could focus on grades.

My blog fell to the wind because I couldn’t find the strength to write about this, let alone admit that I was going through a rough time.

However, I’ve begun to heal and for the first time in months the keyboard seems to be my friend again. I understand that things are not always going to be easy and I know there’s a long road ahead of me, but for the first time in a while I feel hope.

I have deep respect for those who continue to deal with depression. I used to be one of those people who wrote it off as weakness, but after dealing with it I have to say I’m sorry for ever thinking that.

Depression and anxiety really suck and dealing with them together is a nightmare. You can’t sleep because all you think about is what you need to do and you don’t want to get up because you don’t think there’s a point to trying.

I started to abuse alcohol just to sleep and then I started to abuse NyQuil when I ran out of alcohol. I drank just enough that I couldn’t think anymore simply so I could fall asleep. I took two doses of NyQuil or ZzzQuil just to pass out quicker. I knew it wasn’t healthy and I certainly didn’t tell anyone let alone my support group.

I’m better now and I don’t do that anymore. I’ve learned to fall asleep using healthier options. I won’t lie, there are still nights when I’m awake stressing and thinking uncontrollably of the same thing over and over again until I finally pass out.

I am sorry for taking so long to blog, but thank you to those who take the time to read this.

I’ve also taken up photography again, so the photo at the top is one of mine I’m most proud of.