Struggles, Uncategorized

A Story From My Heart

  
I’ve been inspired a lot lately to write about something so close to me.  This has always been a difficult subject for me, and I’ve put off writing about it for many years. Not any longer. 

Anxiety and Depression.

This is not who I am, this is not a description of my personality. This is not something I suffer from, and is not something that controls my life. Anymore, anyway. I’ve had depression and anxiety since I can remember.  I was ashamed when it first took over my life. I was prescribed a medication when I was 11 that made me extremely violent. I was smart enough at such a young age to quit taking it. I was given Xanax for years, it was more of a quick fix for my parents. Even then, I knew this wouldn’t help me in the long run.  From ages 15-21 I made a brave effort.  Each day, I’d fight this battle myself. No help from doctors, little help from friends and family. They all did their best, but it’s just something too difficult to put on someone else’s shoulders. 

   I finally accepted the help I needed this past year. I was put on anti-depressants and it has made a world of a difference.  I still fight with my anxiety and depression, but now I have a little more strength. Each time I come out of an attack I feel stronger. I used to feel weaker after my battles.  In the past, these attacks have landed me in the hospital, in the arms of someone who cares, but more times than not, alone in my bed or my car. 

For those of you who don’t know what an anxiety or panic attack is, this is what it’s like for me.  It’s different for everyone.

It starts with feeling hot, faint, and the overwhelming feeling of someone grabbing my throat (feeling like I’m being choked).  Then, comes the hyperventilating and the inability to stand or sit still. Sometimes, if I feel like there is no one I can trust, I get extremely claustrophobic.  I cry uncontrollably, and my thoughts are battling each other. I try to calm myself down, but there’s this powerful feeling of defeat.  I get scared of everything, and only can say a few select phrases.  Usually, “help me,” “no one cares,” and, “I’m sorry.” This is where most of the confusion comes into play when dealing with someone watching me. The translation? Help me: comfort me, make me laugh. No one cares: whatever you’re doing is being perceived as an attack, I know you’re just freaked out and worried but please, change your approach. I’m sorry: I’m embarrassed, I know this is inconvenient for you, thank you for being here.

  
This is what someone who has suffered for a decade from an untreated mental illness looks like.  Completely normal. On the inside, there’s a big heart. There is someone who cares deep down into her soul.  Someone who, unfortunately takes everything  to heart. I cry when my plans get canceled, I cry when I disappoint someone, I cry when I disappoint myself. I laugh when I burn my hand with a curling iron, I laugh when I spill coffee on myself, I turn my life stories into something worthy of a stage shared with a comedian. I overcome a new battle every day when I get out of bed.  This is just part of what it’s like to share a life with anxiety and depression. At least, for me. 

I’m posting this to encourage others who have a mental illness. I’m posting this to inspire those who don’t.  Love one another, breathe and try to be compassionate.  Some of us have never felt a “normal” day.  Others, like me, have waited for decade to be truly happy. At this point in my life, I’m excited to see anxiety and depression less.  I’m looking forward to enjoying a life full of making my health a priority, helping others, and adopting as many animals as I can!  Please, remember one thing, it’s just a bad day… Not a bad life.

Xoxo, 

Liz

Note: this is not professional advice, please seek help from a doctor if fighting your own battles with mental illness.  It is not something to be taken lightly. 

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Positive Vibes, Uncategorized

Life is One Crazy Ride.

  
As many of you may have noticed, it’s been quite a while since I’ve published anything new.  To update all of you, I had taken a leave of absence from school, as well as from other things.  I spent time getting to know myself again.  As of this past Tuesday, I began school again, was offered a new job, and began laying down a plot for the next chapter in my life.

 
 While I was on my leave from school, I spent time enjoying life.  I re-watched all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls, made new friends, and visited old ones. The best thing to come out of my time off was a trip to California I took to visit the most important person in my life.  My best friend has always been there for me since kindergarten, she’s seen me at my worst and will be there when I’m at my best.  The connection we share is incredible and seeing her and her husband gave me the motivation I needed.  Also, visiting the town I’ve always called home brought me some peace.  There’s no reason to feel stuck, there’s no sense in being afraid of staying in a place that brings you pain.  I thank both of them so much for inviting me out to see them, I can’t wait to go back!

With positivity always comes some sort of negativity, as well.  It may be instant, it maybe around the corner, but it will be there.  A lot of times in life I’ve felt afraid to be happy because of this fact.  What I’ve learned is that, you can’t live in that fear.  The best thing you can do for yourself is remain confident and positive.  When that negativity shows up, remain strong.  For me, I find my strength in my faith in God as well as the many mantras I keep in my heart.  When I came back from my trip, I was forced with the task of having to move out of one of my best friend’s houses.  Her and her family had opened their house to me when I moved back to Arizona.  And as always, there comes a point when things come to an end.  I’ve temporarily moved back in with my parents, which is a challenge of its own.  In the past, losing a dear friend and living back in this house would tear me apart.  Admittedly, it took a couple days of binge watching Netflix to get back to life.  Also taking a couple mistakes to knock my ego back down a bit, however now I’m back stronger than ever.  I’ve learned to refuse to stay knocked down, I’ve gotten real good at building myself back up stronger.  With the help of God, family, and friends.

  
Words I choose to live by: Positive, Wild, and Wander.  We all get this one life, why should we spend it in misery?  Yes, shit happens.  You go out of your way for ungrateful people, you get disappointed, people get mean and spread lies.  No one is a perfect human being, if we could all stop blaming each other for our own imperfections, life would be much more enjoyable.  By all means, cry it out.  Take an hour, or a day to accept the fact that you have emotions and they need to be respected.  However, stay positive.  Life continues on and it’s much easier to continue with it, than it is to try and pause it.  

Be Wild!  Don’t take life so damn seriously!  Cuss a little, (responsibily) drink a little too much every now and then, (legally) get a little stoned.  When life gets sad, crack a joke!  The other people in your class get into an inappropriate conversation, sit back and laugh.  That d*ck joke your friend just made?  Admit that it’s funny and laugh your ass off! Come on, we all know talking about d*cks is hilarious. Bring out Cards Against Humanity and let yourself enjoy making fun of this ridiculous world.  For those of you who prefer a more subtle way of being wild, drink too much coffee and spend all freakin’ day reading a book!  There is no day wasted when you spend it going on an adventure.

Don’t forget to Wander.  In my book, a road trip is never a waste.  There’s always something new to discover.  Even if the plans you made don’t work out once you get there, make the best of it.  Jam out to some music, have a conversation with God, call someone you miss.  My favorite memories from this life are all from traveling.  Whether I got on a plane and flew to another continent, or I drove 5 minutes down the road to the river, it was all an adventure.  Hell, sometimes just going to Walmart is an adventure all in its own! Be sure to see things in this life, talk to strangers, be a light in this crazy world. 

  
Before you move forward, sometimes you need to look back.  Always remember what made you who you are.  In the photo above, I was able to go back to my favorite place in the whole world.  My home.  When I was little, my dad was stationed in San Diego.  I will forever be a California Girl.  That bridge you see in the background was “my bridge.”  It’s my fondest memory of driving with my mom to pick up my dad.  I was such a sweet and loving little girl, excited about everything.  I constantly strive to unapologetically bring some of that personality back to who I am today.  In order to move forward with who I want to become, I need to remain true to myself.

  
Lastly, I took confidence away from my break.  Not only in looks, but personality as well.  Instead of focusing on the negative, I focus on the things I like.  Accepting that I will never be perfect in my eyes, but am already perfect in the eyes of God and those who truly love me.  I may have a bad habit of smoking cigarettes, my makeup may not last all day, and that’s okay.  I’m socially awkward, I do things without thinking them through, and I say things at the wrong time.  Usually saying them way too loudly.  I tend to over explain myself, but you know what?  That’s who I am.  I don’t play games, I say what’s in my heart.  I care about people who have hurt me and I tend to take years to truly forgive myself for hurting people.  I make no sense, I love working in a customer service environment, yet I am a complete introvert.  Life is just one big book you’re constantly writing.  With chapters small and big.  Pages full of sadness and joy.  Don’t be too hard on yourself, take the time you need for self care. 

I’m excited to get back to sharing inspiration, love, and adventure! My new posting schedule will be, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Please be patient as I try to create this new routine.  I love you all very much and thank you for everything you do!

Namaste. 

Xoxo,

Liz

Positive Vibes, Uncategorized

New Adventures!

  
Hi everyone!  I’ve missed y’all so much! Life got a little twisted upside down for a while.  I’ll explain and update you all tomorrow with my new post! I’m excited for the new adventures ahead, new inspiration, and new positive vibes that will be shared.  

I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart.  My readers mean the world to me. 

Xoxo,

Liz