Life Update

Sorry I haven’t been posting as much lately. I have been super busy with a new job and moving back to my hometown with my husband. Also, lately, I haven’t had to motivation, inspiration, or drive to write anything; here or on my own blog. I just feel drained. I don’t know if it is my depression that is coming back after months of me feeling great, or if I’m just blocked or preoccupied with other things.

Mentally, I’ve been feeling pretty good. But I am SO TIRED all of the time. I sleep 12+ hours a day and I’m still tired. For a while I thought I was sleeping too much so I would try not to but I would always end up taking a nap or going to bed ludicrously early. So, I think I will try to take some B-12 vitamins and maybe that will help.

School is starting soon and this will be my first semester back after taking a year off. I’m excited to go back, but also a little anxious. Last time, I was having a real hard time being motivated and was totally burned out. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again. I am so close to finishing my degree and I just wasn’t it done with! So, I’ve been trying to mentally prepare for that.

Well, this is basically all that has been going on in my life. I’ll try to write more. I promise!

Forgiveness

I have recently been listening to a podcast called “Ordinary People, Ordinary Things” by Melissa Radke. It talks about appreciating the small things and that “every day we have tiny miracles happen all around us and we call them ordinary things.” I definitely recommend it! You can find it on Spotify or iTunes. The episode I listened to today was about forgiveness.

Forgiving Others

Forgiving someone who has wronged you can be a really hard thing to do. I struggle with it all the time, as I’m sure all of us do. When someone has wronged me, my first instinct is to get back at them in some way; but that isn’t the best option. If we all did that, then it would be a never-ending cycle of hurting each other. Forgiving someone is something we should choose to do over and over and over; totally and completely. If you don’t forgive someone completely, then you will still be holding on to and I promise you, it will eat at you and will probably cause you to still have negative feelings to that that person.

I saw a video on Facebook by Jay Shetty that I think represents this well. I’ll put the link here.. It starts off with a professor holding a bottle of water and asking her students how much they think it weighs. They give various answers; but then she holds it out in front of her and asks what would happen if she held it like that for a few seconds. They all answered that nothing would happen. Then she asked about hours, and they said that her arm would start to hurt. The professor then said “This bottle represents our challenges, our problems, our worries, our stress and anxiety. It shows that the longer we hold onto them, the more damage and harm they could cause us.” Melissa, in her podcast says that “unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” The longer you put off forgiving someone, the more it will harm YOU. The person that betrayed you, will go on and live their life, and you will be stuck with all the negative feelings. LET. IT. GO.

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on” -Eckhart Tolle

Forgiveness is for yourself, not anyone else. You cannot change what already happened. But you can change how you respond. Do not hold on to the anger or hurt, it does not serve you. Hold on to things that lift you up, make you happy, and bring abundance to your life.

Forgiving Yourself

Now, forgiving others is hard, but forgiving yourself is harder. I’ll be the first to say that forgiving myself is not something I do often. I beat myself up over a lot of things- how I acted when I was up, my weight, school work, almost anything and everything. Jay Shetty, in his video says “Sometimes the weight you want to lose isn’t on our body. The most expensive real estate in the world isn’t Dubai, it’s not Singapore. It’s not New York or San Francisco, it’s your mind. Don’t let anything or anyone stay there for free. You have to understand that people come and go. Stop holding on to those that let go of you a long time ago.” Forgiving myself is hard. How do I apologize to something (myself), I spent half my life trying to break? As I’ve gotten older, especially in the last 6 months, I’ve really been focusing on myself and trying to forgive myself more for mistakes that I have made and will make. I don’t want to hold on the toxic feelings. It isn’t healthy. Which brings me to my next point.

Forgiveness and Mental Health

I know from first-hand experience, at least for me, that with mental illness forgiveness is one of THE hardest things. With depression, when someone wrongs you, you immediately think “What is wrong with me? Why don’t they like me? What did I do wrong?” We never even consider that it didn’t have anything to do with us. If someone wrongs you, that is on them. They made the mistake. Everyone makes them, forgive them. Now, I’m not saying that if someone does something to you that really hurts you, you have to continue being friends or whatever. You can choose to forgive someone but not keep in contact with someone. The forgiveness will bring you peace and you can move on with your life without them, if you so choose. On the flip side of this, if you wrong someone, including yourself, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and ask for forgiveness. That is basically all you can do. Or it will eat you alive.

“If we don’t heal the pain of our past, we will bleed all over our future. “ –Jay Shetty

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The Reality of Having Depression and Anxiety

This post is going to be a little hard to write because I really struggle with putting my mental illnesses into words; so bare with me.

The best way I can explain depression is numbing. You can’t feel anything at all, and anxiety is when you feel everything too much. I cannot tell you how hard it is to have both because they are constantly at war with each other and my head and sometimes I feel crazy.  Sometimes, I want to talk about my mental illness with my friends or family, but since they don’t have depression or anxiety, it is really hard for them to relate and it scares me that they will think I’m losing my mind!

I’ve lived with depression for about 6-7 years. I noticed my senior year of high school that I was having symptoms like sleeping all the time, but I just thought it was normal teenage stuff. When my parents told me they were getting a divorce I told them that I wanted to see a therapist. The therapist diagnosed me with depression and ever since then, I’ve had it. A lot of people think depression is just sadness… but it’s so much more. There are days where I don’t want to get out of bed, days I’m too tired to do any cleaning around the house, days where I don’t want to talk to anyone, and I have had days where I literally wanted to die. I don’t have most of these days very often anymore because I am on medication, but they are there. I do still sleep constantly. Even if I try not to. It’s really hard to have school. work, and successful relationships when you don’t want to do anything or talk to anyone.

I’ve had anxiety for about 5-6 years. I developed anxiety in my past relationship. Without having to tell that whole story again, I will just say being in an abusive relationship is like constantly walking on eggshells. You are worried about what you say, what you do, everything. When my anxiety came out, I would get physically sick. I remember one night, we were having an argument and I was on my hands and knees in his back yard throwing up and sobbing. This would happen every time we got in a fight. The panic attacks were the worst.  I would lock myself in the bathroom and sit on the floor crying and hyperventilating. My heart would feel like it was beating out of my chest and I would feel dizzy. I thought I was going to die. Nothing could call me down until someone sat with me and held my face and had me breathe with them. Thankfully, I can usually calm myself down enough if I’m having a minor panic attack, but the major ones, it’s still hard.

Having these mental illnesses can make me really angry sometimes. Growing up is hard enough; I didn’t want to add this to my list of things to cope with throughout my life. I’m going to have the illnesses for the rest of my life. That is hard for me to accept.

Sometimes, I still wish I would wake up and I would be fine. But that isn’t and won’t ever be the case. While that is the case, I have to remember that having this is making me stronger. Now that I’m on medication, I feel a lot better! I’m more motivated, happier, more energetic, and determined. It has been great, and a lot of those in my life have noticed a change. This year has been dedicated to making myself better and I am finally seeing results. I want everyone to know, that you can do this. You can get through it!

 

Love,

Zoe

Social Media and Mental Health

Something I have really been noticing lately, is how bad my mental health (depression and anxiety) is after I spend a significant amount of time on social media. I see others and what they are doing and the accomplishments and success that they have and I feel so behind. I have to remember that 1) Social media is not an accurate depiction of someone’s life and 2) LIFE IS NOT A RACE! I’m exactly where I need to be, and I’m probably ahead of others in some aspects, such as being married at 23.

I also find myself comparing my looks to others online. Which I’m sure a lot of people do, but I think we often forget that most pictures on social media, has a filter or has been photoshopped. Remember, THAT ISN’T REAL! I try to post most of my pictures completely natural. I don’t even have any photoshopping apps on my phone or computer.

I’ve started to filter through who I follow on my accounts and delete people that either 1)posts negative things excessively or 2) I just really don’t care about knowing what is happening in their life. A lot of the people I follow are from high school and the people I want to know about, I keep in touch with anyways. Filtering out people has been somewhat helpful, but not completely. I have been contemplating completely deleting my social media accounts, but I honestly have serious FOMO, when it comes to that. I know that is silly and stupid, and I agree. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.

Another thing about social media, that I’m sure everyone is aware of, is the lack of human interaction we have with people. Everyone is focusing on a screen. I too am guilty of this, as I’m sure many people my age are. I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort on putting away my phone and soaking up the world around me and interacting with those around me. I think relationships with humans are much more fulfilling than a relationship with your phone.

That is another reason I like to blog. I like connecting and interacting with people, and blogging lets me do that. I have always been able to express myself better through writing, so at this point in my life, blogging is perfect for me. I haven’t been blogging very long, and I just started on this blog; but so far, I have loved it! I know this post is pretty short, but it was just something I was thinking about!

What do you think about social media?

Self Love

Self love to me is loving yourself, wholly and unconditionally. Loving the good parts of yourself and the bad. It is also taking time to care for your self and to make your self the best you can be.

Self-love is something that a lot of us struggle with, myself included. Loving myself is something I’ve struggled with for most of my adolescent/young adult life. Part of this is probably due to my abusive past relationship, and the rest is probably because of my mental illnesses of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I not only struggle with loving myself as a person, but loving the body I live in as well.

Something that really helps me is reading quotes that are meaningful, and I’d like to share a few of those.

“My first love was some insignificant boy, when it should’ve been myself. “

This one is interesting to me. When I was younger, I sought out validation with my relationships. But, if someone didn’t like me, it made me feel bad about myself as well. I later realized that I didn’t need validation from others, I needed it from myself. How can anyone else love me if I don’t in turn, love myself?

“Get into the habit of asking yourself: ‘Does this support the life I’m trying to create?'”

This is an important one. 2019 for me has been focusing on my own growth. Self love falls into that category. In order to grow and learn to love myself, I want to make decisions that support the life I want. This way, I am actively making decisions to better myself and decisions that make me happy.

Self love can be different for every person. It is basically taking some time to spend with yourself and do something that makes you happy. Some examples of what I do is

  • take a bubble bath
  • go for a walk
  • listen to your favorite song
  • have a dance party
  • read
  • go for a walk
  • cuddle a pet
  • exercise
  • journal

But really, what you do is totally up to you. It is really important to occasionally take time to give yourself love. If you are like me and constantly giving others love and attention, it can be rather draining. So, always make sure you are giving yourself some time as well.

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