Lionel Aldridge Champions Award

Hello beautiful people! I hope you guys are doing very well this week, and hope you’re liking the more frequent uploads. I have a favor to ask. You guys know more about me than most, and know I am a heavy advocate for mental health. Not only do I have our blog, my book, the Buddy Project, but I am also on an on-campus organization at my school called, “Cause 4 Conversation”, which focuses on reducing stigma surrounding mental illness on our campus. Needless to say, I take my work in the field of mental health, very seriously. It is a passion of mine to give back, and to help those who struggle exactly as I do. Anyways, there are awards being awarded to honor individuals and organizations for their work in furthering the goals of the NAMI movement, which is improving the lives of those whose lives, or loved one’s lives, are affected by mental illness. I am asking you guys, so humbly to nominate me for the ‘Lionel Aldridge Champions Award’. There are ten other awards being given out, but this one relates to me the most. The Lionel Aldridge Champions Award recognizes an individual living with mental illness who exhibits courage, leadership and service in their work to promote recovery and ensure that all people living with mental illness live full lives in their community, and not to sound conceited, but I am very proud of the work I do, so I would be honored to receive this award because I do, do this, not only for me, but to help you all in your recovery process too. Nominations are due February 16! If you all could do that for me, it would mean the absolute world. Thank y’all in advance! Hugs!

 

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The big news is…..

Hello beautiful people! I had some exciting news that I wanted to share with y’all, and it’s kind of late and behind, but better late than never. The news is…….. 

 

I came out with my first book! It is a memoir about living with mental illness, and everything I have endured and went through from the beginning of my diagnosis when I was 15, to now, me being 19. It is very raw and descriptive, as I wanted to give my all to you guys. It was very scary to write it, as anyone is able to read it, instead of just the Wordpress community. It is on Amazon, and kindle e-book. It’s not very long, but it has a lot of material, that I am extremely proud of. I came out with my book in November, yet I am just now telling you all. I apologize for the late exposure, as you guys should have been the first to know. If y’all could spread the word, or possibly buy the book, it would mean so much. Your support has always encouraged and inspired me, so I hope I make you guys proud with this memoir. Thank y’all again for the inspiration you gave me to write this book. Go and purchase! 🙂 

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Road-Recovery-experience-mental-illness/dp/1790160421/ref=nodl_

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Sleep and SSRI’s

SSRI’s or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are antidepressants usually used to treat Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety disorders. Although antidepressants are extremely helpful, they do come with side effects just like every other drug you take. One of the many side effects that affects me tremendously is drowsiness. It is such a problem that it hinders my everyday life. I have to drink coffee just to keep me awake at 3pm in the afternoon. I will go to sleep at 6pm on Friday and won’t wake up until 6pm Saturday night most weekends. I get drowsy 30 minutes into driving so much, that I will have to roll the windows down in 20-degree weather just to keep my eyes open. I cannot seem to stay awake in class without some sort of caffeine. It is a real issue. Although I love my antidepressants, because they keep me a functional human being, and in a good mindset, I absolutely hate the sleepiness effect that it gives me. Most of the time, people think that I’m just depressed when I cancel plans or choose not to hang out, just so I can sleep, when in fact, I just can’t stay awake long enough to go out. I often choose sleep over school and homework, church, outings, or anything else really. Most days you’ll catch me in my bed asleep, and I cannot stand it. I used to love naps, and I would joke about napping all the time, but it isn’t a joke, and it’s no longer funny. I have talked about it with my psychiatrist a few times, but she cannot seem to find the issue other than it being a side effect of one of my medicines. I don’t want a second opinion because I’m afraid they will change up my “cocktail” of medications which seems to be the holy trinity right now. If any of you guys have or are experiencing similar problems with your medications and have found ways to help your symptoms of these side effects, please feel free to share, it would be greatly appreciated. With all that being said, my medicines are the best thing to happen to me, so I am in no one shaming antidepressants or antipsychotics, I just have a particular issue with one that is being very persistent and life interfering.  

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

It gets better

*TRIGGER WARNING* 

Below contains my suicide note, that I wrote 5 years ago. If you are not in a good place to read this, I advise you to not to do so, thank you!

“So by the time you get this I won’t be here anymore. I’m tired. Not the sleepy kind of tired, the emotional drainage I feel every waking moment I spend breathing. The kind of tired I feel that it feels like too much work to pick out clothes to wear to school, or take a shower, or take my medicine. I’m tired of standing in the mirror with a knife to my throat wondering if anyone would ever find my body if I went through with it, or even care for that matter. I’m so sick of being unhappy and not meaning a single thing to anyone on this earth. I will be much much much more happy when I’m sleeping with Jesus and it’s better this way. Now that im gone l hope you won’t be furious with me for pushing you away and never letting you in. I’m so sorry for the pain I caused you over the years. Dragging you down my tideous journey of this soul consuming depression. That was never fair to you and I’m so sorry.  my soul is rested in Jesus and I’m covered in the blood of Christ so I will be at peace, I’m not worried. I’m not scared anymore because I’ll be with him. This is truly what I want and I do not regret it at all. No one knew how truly I miserable I was although you may thought you did, you didn’t. What you thought was going on with me was far less worse than what was really going on. Everyday was a constant struggle to get out of bed, to take a shower everyday, go pee, small stuff like that. I don’t want to go out anymore, not even with friends. This is not a life I am trying to live everyday. I know I could have a worse life and there are people out there who do but I could also have a better one, better than the crappy one I am living in. There’s so much going on in my life that you have no idea about and how bad it really is because I was too embarrassed to tell you in fear you’d judge me.  It just hurts so much to the point where I’m feeling physically sick. I don’t want to leave the people that I do love but I possibly cannot keep going with this amount of pain going through me. I have been strong for so long, or so I thought, and there is only so much a person can take, and I have hit my limit, therefore I’ve exceeded my stay. It’s better this way, you’ll see. I didn’t intend for this note to be this long so I’m sorry I was never enough for you.

10.26.14”

This was the suicide note I wrote when I was 15 years old. I am sharing this very personal and vulnerable piece of me because it shows how far I have come. If you’re wondering why I still kept this 5 years later, it is to constantly remind me every day that I will strive to never get back to such a low place ever again. The whole point of my blog is to show how overcoming and dealing with mental illness is possible, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As you see in my above note, I couldn’t see light for miles. I didn’t have someone to share with me, their testimony, of how it gets better, and I wish I had. I want that for someone reading this. If you are reading this, I am here to tell you that it, in fact, does get better, 100%. I know you can’t see that because I definitely couldn’t. I didn’t want to hear someone tell me “it gets better” who didn’t know what I was going through, but I know what you’re going through, and yet here I am with a purpose, just like you. You have a purpose. I am so thankful for all of you. If you’re feeling hopeless please feel free to reach out to me, and we will talk through this together. You’ve got this. You’re a rock star.

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Having different mental illnesses

Having one mental illness can definitely lead to having another. Mental illnesses usually build on each other. For instance, if you have Depression, you are more likely to develop anxiety over any other mental illness (which is what happened to me), vice versa. Before I was started showing symptoms and was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, I was only nervous about one thing, and that was public speaking, which is common fear for most of the population. However, after being diagnosed with Depression, I started to get nervous and antsy about everything for no reason. Simple things like talking on the phone to someone other than my mom and dad, terrified me. Public speaking became a phobia, not just a fear, at this point. I became obsessed with pleasing people, even if it hurt me, just so I could avoid conflict, I’d say yes to just about anything, which can be dangerous. I developed a constant tremor in my head and hands that causes me to naturally shake. I avoided anything that put the attention on me. I worry about things, sometimes up to 6 months in advance, which causes constant worry and distress. Of course, along with anxiety comes with anxiety attacks. I had never experienced an anxiety attack before, or so I thought. Every time I get stressed, which is everyday it seems like, I can’t short of breath, and my chest has the sharpest pain possible. It has been so bad, that I have gone to the Emergency Room a few times and have had a doctor tell me that he thought I was having a slight heart attack because that’s what my EKG showed, but because I am so young, and otherwise healthy, that wasn’t logical. It turns out I was having anxiety attacks.

With my anxiety came anxiety of taking any form of pill, which includes my daily medications. I had developed a Somatoform Disorder—- Illness Anxiety Disorder, which is formally known as hypochondriasis. For about a year I would take my medicine very month, and that is only if my parents were shoving it down my throat because I was so scared that I would feel nauseas, like I had when I first started taking the medicine. Nausea is a symptom of new medications, and I didn’t like how I would get nauseas every time I’d take it, so I just stopped taking them all together. Of course, that was detrimental to my treatment because I started to develop other physical symptoms that piggy backed off my Somatoform Disorder.

It took me a long time to convince my parents that I wasn’t ‘just’ over-exaggerating, but that It is an actual illness. Knowing my body, and wanting to get better, I got treatment for it.  Having multiple illnesses doesn’t make you weird, or a freak. Knowing you have them helps you get the treatment that you need.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Dealing with constant rejection

This post is more of a, “getting my feelings out in writing”, kind of post. I have been doing really good for the most part, these past few months, just minor hiccups, but nothing really major and traumatic has happened, thankfully. But something has been on my heart for a while now—–and that is rejection. It seems like at least once a week I am being rejected by someone who I love and/or care about, and I’m not coping well with it. It has brought my self-esteem to an all-time low. I haven’t talked about it or acknowledged it. It has just been an observation I have been making the last 3 years. A lot of my friends have left because they felt, I wasn’t a necessary part of their life anymore. I have dealt with heartbreak after heartbreak, whether it be romantically or non-romantically. My body used to physically hurt because my heart was hurting so much, but now I’m just numb to it all. All I can think about is what is wrong with me? Why am I never good enough for the people I care so much about? Am I not a good person? I thought I was, but maybe I’m not. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have done my dirt, and I am not innocent, but none of us are. But I didn’t think I was that bad of human being for me to lose every single person I care about. Guys, I’m just tired of the constant heartache, which I know comes with life. I’m not harming myself, but I am having a hard time coping with the fact that everyone keeps telling me how they don’t need me in their lives anymore. God, what did I do? I am trying my absolute hardest to push it to the back of my mind and forget about it, but I have been thinking about this for going on 3 years now, and I’m losing someone every week, it feels like. I start getting better, and then someone comes to me with rejection and it hurts so much. It’s starting to become unbearable. Does anyone have any tips or coping mechanisms I can use to get out of this funk and learn to accept the fact rejection is completely normal? If so, please let me know In the comments 🙂 .

5 simple healthy coping mechanisms

This was a requested post by one of my followers to do a post on different coping mechanisms, which I think is a great idea. We all struggle on coping with different situations. Some have healthy mechanisms that work perfectly for them, others, including myself, have either unhealthy coping mechanisms or none. I am going to talk about the coping mechanisms that all of us can use to better out mental health, and hopefully cut out the unhealthy ones.

The first coping mechanism is to focus on one object examine everything about it. This allows your brain to redirect itself from the negative thoughts you are having to focus solely on that object that you see in that very moment. For example, if you are at work thinking about all the stress you have, focus on the pen that is sitting in the pencil and pen holder and examine its shape, color, density, etc. This can be done with anything, anywhere, at any time. The second coping mechanism is focus on your heart rate at that very moment and count its beats per minute. While you are focusing on your heart rate you can learn to control your breathing and calm your self naturally. The faster you notice your rate is, the more you’re likely to do things to slow it down which usually includes something that relaxes you.

The third coping mechanism write down what your feeling at that exact moment. Always carry a sheet of paper and a pen with you. Write the time you’re feeling that specific emotion and write it down. Later that day, or when you get a chance to sit down, reflect on how you’re feeling what happened that made you feel that way. It makes you more self-aware by showing you your reactions to specific events, so you know what to do differently next time. The fourth mechanism is to listen to your favorite feel good song. The song you would turn on if you were in the best mood ever, if you had just won the lottery. Whichever song that is, play it repeatedly to get you out of the funk for the moment. Long enough to get you out of it temporarily so you could finish what you were doing that day. My favorite feel good song is ‘All Night’ by Beyoncé. What is yours?

The fifth and final coping mechanism is to just cry. Crying is usually seen as something sad or negative, but it isn’t. In fact, it is an action of relief. When you cry, endorphins are released in our brains that make us feel better. That is why you feel slightly better when you finish crying. Whether you’re crying about something happy or sad, just do it, and you will feel a little better. Of course, this isn’t every coping mechanism because there are hundreds out there, but these are a few positive ones that I really feel help me, and I know would help some of you.

Get your body 2019 ready!

Hi beautiful people! It’s now a new year and I know a lot of our resolutions have to do with living healthier lifestyles whether that be with eating better foods or working out more! I know one of my goals this year is to lose weight and get a better health regimen. I am a consultant for a pure ingredients company that I’ve talked about in a previous blog post. They make pure ingredient based makeup, skincare, and nutrition! There is a deal going on for the month of January where we have 50% off of the 30 day cleanse I have talked about AND you get a free gel mask, free shipping, on top of, a free item up to $98!! Who wouldn’t want that? This cleanse has worked wonders for my friends and family, and I wouldn’t recommend you guys something I didn’t believe worked. The results are unbelievable. If this is something you would be interested in doing, comment below or contact me to get started!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year beautiful people! It is day 1 of 365 which means that today is the first day to start your dreams and aspirations that you have been prolonging. Do the things you were too scared to do in 2018. Put your happiness and mental health first in 2019. Learn and work on self-love and acceptance. This is the year to go big or go home. Two-thousand nineteen is YOUR year! I am extremely excited to expand my blogging platform into something much bigger in the mental health community. I’m also very excited to get out of my comfort zone and be more productive to get what I need to get done to fulfill my dreams. I have a few new year’s resolutions that I already started working on today. What are your new years resolutions? Let me know in the comments below!

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