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

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

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