Something Was Seriously Wrong After All

Yesterday, on our way to Sedona, AZ, I got a phone call from my new psychiatrist. She was calling with test results from an ADHD test she had me take. She told me my results were “exceptional” and that she even had to call the company for the testing just to make sure of the accuracy of the results. 

What’s the outcome? Well, I don’t have ADD/ADHD at all. I have slight hyperactivity that is probably caused by anxiety, and that’s it. Since June I have been on at least one stimulant, sometimes two. I have been treated for ADD for no reason. This begs the question, do I really have Bipolar Disorder, too?

I’m off of my ADD medications and my antidepressant. I’m feeling much better being on an antipsychotic and an anticonvulsant to help stabilize my moods. It’s a miracle that I’m off of these meds as my last psychiatrist wouldn’t even consider letting me off of them. 

This makes me wonder, how many people out there are being treated wrongly? How many people don’t want to do the research they need to in order to find the right psychiatrist? 

My advice, if your psychiatrist feels more like a legal drug dealer and not a therapist, look for someone new. The quality of your life depends on it. Trust me. 



Getting Back To The Basics

Lately, I’ve noticed something different. Something, small but, amazing. The moment I realized it was when I did my makeup for fun, not because I “had” to. What I realized is simple, I’m getting back to me. 

At first, I was going to title this, Signs I’m Getting Better (Even If I Don’t Feel It), but I figured that’s not the best way to describe what’s going on. I don’t know how long I’ll be “better.” I start a new medication tomorrow, it could take all of this away from me. Maybe I won’t start it, I don’t know. Anyway, I’m feeling pretty damn good today. And it’s rare that this feeling lasts beyond noon. I took my ADD meds at the right time, will take them again as the day goes on, and things seem to be looking up. 

But, how do I notice when I’m getting back to the basics of myself? What makes it obvious for me that things are looking up? Chances are, it’ll be different for everyone. But, maybe you can relate. Or, maybe you’ll begin to notice that things have been looking up for you, too. 

I look presentable. 

For the last few months it’s been nothing but no makeup or bare minimum makeup. Anytime I felt I had to go all out, I freaking dreaded it. And I’d never try anything new, it was always the same old routine. Now, I’m enjoying putting my makeup on for the day. I actually think about it, and try new ways of wearing it. 

I play with my makeup. 

I was in cosmetology school for a reason. And every time I get depressed, I lose sight of that reason. Truth is, I fucking love doing my hair and makeup. I find it creative and inspiring. Sure, in some cases it may be a bit vein but, if you truly find joy in something, do it. As long as it’s healthy for you. 

I write to-do lists. 

I write these even when I’m depressed but, they stress me out then. When I can look at a to do list and not feel anxious about it, I know something has changed for the better. And that I’ll probably complete it! (Btw, 10 Things is my list of 10 Things I’m Grateful For each day.) 

I walk my dog more often. 

When I’m feeling better, it’s easier to get out and go for a walk. I throw on my badass sunglasses and enjoy the sun on my face. Whether it’s to check the mail or just to get out, it’s beneficial. I do this even when depressed but, I’ll admit something. Some days he may only get one or two walks, others he won’t get any. It’s something I’ve had to work hard to become routine, but it’s finally working out. 

I do yoga. 

This is probably the most important thing on this list. Other than God, this is probably the reason the other things are even on this list. To be honest, nothing else was happening until I started my yoga practice back up again. I’m only on Day 3 and the mental and physical changes are amazing. I can feel my side muscles being sore, and my core tightening already. Other than that, it’s helped with my anxiety and created a more calm home for my mind. 

If you’re wondering what I do for yoga, I watch Yoga With Adrienne videos on YouTube. She’s the perfect instructor for me. She’s funny and kind. Right now, I’m doing her current 31 Day Challenge for the New Year. It’s helping ease me back into my practice. However, the other thing I love about her channel is the Yoga for Healing playlist. It has yoga sequences to help with anxiety, depression, anger, heartbrokeness, and even sleep. 

These are just a few things I’ve noticed about myself the past couple days. I’m excited to be able to write this post and I hope you all get to experience this joy of returning to yourself. 


The Hardest Pill I’ve Had To Swallow

I was just beginning to think, not too long ago, that maybe there is a cure for me. Maybe my depression and anxiety actually weren’t caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain. Maybe I’d developed these over the years because of the traumas I have experienced. Maybe if I learn to let those go, I’d be free from my struggles. 

That thought process came to a crashing hault yesterday morning. I was nervous about asking my psychiatrist for a medical card. I should have been nervous for a while other reason. That day, it changed my life. 

“I’m giving you the diagnosis of Bipolar 2.”

Excuse me, what was that?

There is no cure. There is only treatment. That’s all I knew about bipolar. This is something I’m going to deal with for the rest of my life. This is something probably inherited from a family member. This is something huge. 

While I know nothing has changed, I feel as though my entire world has been turned upside down. I’m starting to doubt myself, to doubt my future. 

Will I get worse? Will I turn into one of those women in movies with bipolar disorder? Will I ever make any sense? Will anyone ever want to love me? And if they do, how can I even begin to think about having a family? How would I be able to sleep at night knowing that my children will one day suffer as I have because I was selfish enough to bring them into this world, despite knowing mental illness runs in the family? How am I going to cope with this? Who is ever going to want someone like me in their life? Where did I go wrong? What did I do to deserve this? Will I ever accomplish anything? How do I keep myself from going crazy? 

I’m scared. I had just accepted the fact that I have mental illnesses. I just accepted my ADD. It took me a decade to get the help I’m getting now. And now, I’m bipolar? 

I don’t know what any of this means. I never thought this would happen to me. I feel like crying, but I can’t. My mind is telling me two things. One, “be calm, it’s not the end of the world. You could have worse, it’s not a big deal.” And two, “why are you not freaking the hell out right now? Your life is over! There’s another damn reason you shouldn’t continue to go on. Just go to bed and cry already!”

The worst part of all this is, they were right. My abusers, they’ve been right all along. There is something mentally wrong with me. I do need serious help. Fuck. They were right. 

I’m beginning to even understand them. No wonder they treated me in such horrible ways, I deserved it. I am worthless. I am crazy. They had every right to treat me as such. I’m ashamed. 

There’s a small part of me that’s saying, “stop” as I write this. It’s saying that I’m wrong. If anything, I deserved help, comfort, and love. It’s beginning to make me look at my abusers with even more disgust than before. How dare they take advantage of such a weak mind? What kind of person must they be to abuse someone for years who has suffered from mental illness? 

Then the argument continues, they didn’t know. It’s okay, they had no idea how bad you were. But they must have known. They must have seen it. I was a mess. I couldn’t function. What’s even going on in my mind right now? 

I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know what to do or how to cope with this. I don’t know how I’m going to continue living like this for the rest of my life. I’m strong, though. I’m a fighter. I know I won’t give in to it. But right now, I’m scared and I’m alone. I’m confused and I’m hopeless. 


In My Mind

Life with ADD/ADHD is a difficult one to process. Most of the information out there is for children with ADD. But those children, they do not grow out of it, ADD follows them into adulthood. So, what does that look like?

It looks like yourself, attacking your own mind. It looks like a perfectionist hovering over you, giving you ideas of what to do. One after another. 

It looks like taking a moment to go crazy. If only you could get the thoughts to stop. 

It’s taking a moment to close your eyes and breathe, to remind yourself you are okay. 

It’s going to do something you want to do. 

And then having another thought distract you entirely. Leaving you to wonder what to do next. 

It’s holding yourself together to not break down. 

It’s contemplating giving up. 

You grab whatever is your current vice to help ease the pain. 

You think twice, but do it anyway. 

Anything to make the thoughts and the pain go away. 

See, the thing about ADD is that you have all these crazy wonderful ideas. Creative projects, business ideas, you constantly think outside of the box. But, because you can’t focus on just one thought long enough, none of it, or only part of it gets accomplished. 

If I had all my thoughts I have, but were able to focus on each one and give it the correct amount of time, I’d be on top of my dream world. I’d be a paid writer, I would be inspiring as many people as possible, and I could enjoy down time when it is given to me. But, I have ADD and my medication doesn’t cure it, but makes it bareable. 


When the Sun Sets

When the sun starts to set, the air gets a bit cooler, and everyone is on their way home to relax, this is when my mind goes crazy. 

I become controlled by my thoughts and my feelings, my negative voice grows louder and it gets difficult to ignore. I went shopping today at a craft store. Instead of coming home and working on those projects, I’m fighting an evil monster within my mind. Telling me how I wasted money, I’m not good enough, how none of this is worth it. 

See, about now is when my first ADD medication begins to wear off. I’m at a dose to where I don’t get the deep depression that I used to when I would crash, but it still definitely goes away. And then I’m left with a choice, to take my 2nd ADD medication or to not take it. Sometimes, there is no choice. I have to take it. 

Today is a day where I have to take it. Today is a day where my thoughts are running around like crazy. Everything from what artistic project could I work on to, my depressive and anxious thoughts. There’s no getting around it. 

On the way home, my mind was focused on creating a business plan, building an online business. Then, I went to a craft store and got easily distracted by things I did not need to buy. On my way home, I day dreamed. And now that I’m home, I struggled with the feelings of being lazy, unmotivated, and restless all at the same time. Do I take my medicine? Is it too late in the day? What if it doesn’t work? What will I do with myself if it does work?

My negative thoughts are clouding me. They’re holding me hostage. I’m trying to break free, trying to break free by thinking of creativity. What is simple that I could do to help fight these thoughts? Should I work on the new wood burning kit I got? Maybe I could draw? Oh, I could do some weaving. Better yet, lets do a self portrait photo shoot! 

The creative thoughts are endless. They either help or they drive me further into the negativity. Sometimes, with the right thought, I can pull myself out of this. I might go ahead and try with some photography. God, I hope it helps. 


Building Your Army

A lot of people like to say, “create a support system.” However, for the purpose of this post, let’s cut the crap, okay? Sure, a support system is a nice way to sugar coat it and make it sound all nice and helpful. But you’re not just sad. You’re not always helpless! You’re building a fucking army with soldiers and weapons. You’re fighting a daily battle in your own mind. You need more than a “support system” you need a damn army! People willing to stand up and fucking fight with you! And the tools to do it with! 

This subject isn’t coming out of just no where. Last night, I had a date with a man who tried telling me herbs would cure my depression.  He told me not to trust doctors, and that pills make you “fake happy.” At that point, I got on the defensive. I’m also posting this because recently I’ve had two women I care deeply about come to me for advice on taking Prozac. Something I have been on for a little less than a year. However, I’m very observant and self aware so I knew what to be able to tell them. 

I found out that one of them hasn’t been taking her Prozac like she was told. In fact, she only took one. She let her ego get in the way, that’s what she told me. And I understand that more than anyone knows. I spent over a decade fighting these illnesses without help. Why? Because I wasn’t “weak enough” to take medication. I had this shit. Well, I eventually found my strength, the support I needed, and the courage to talk to my doctor. My life was suffering, a relationship had ended partly due to my depression and anxiety. I needed to start building my army. 

My army started off small. It consisted of a few unreliable soldiers, and a few steady ones. No ones army starts off strong. My roommate at the time was my biggest support, as well as my ex and one of my close guy friends. My weapons weren’t much, they were alcohol and Prozac. While I was strong to make the first steps to building my army, my army and myself were not yet strong. We had the wrong weapons. We had the wrong soldiers. 

Eventually, I focused on making sure I had the right people to fight beside me. This list has grown, it has added and taken away people. 

My sister (best friend) is my right hand woman. I go to her with everything. Without her, I’d be a pile on the floor. I’ve learned that some battles are okay to fight without her, but I know she’ll be there when I need backup. Her sister is also in my army. We don’t talk as much, but she’s knowledgeable. I know I can go to her and trust her with anything. These two women are the rocks I built my army from. 

Then, I added in my Father. While he’s not always able to help, it means the world to me that he’s by my side. He’s there for support and for prayer. My grandmother is also in my army. I call her daily, without her I would be homeless and without anything in this life. I would not have a thing. Also in my army is my lifelong best friend, I don’t talk to her often anymore, but I know she’ll forever be by my side. 

There’s a few other friends I have with me, too. A few close guy friends, one of which I can always turn to for comfort. Another I can turn to for distraction, and one I can turn to when I need a little help. One of my best friends is very into her faith, she’s one of my instant go to soldiers when I’m weak and low. She inspires me, builds me up. 

Most importantly, is my God. I’ve said before, I understand that not everyone is a Christian. But for me, my faith is huge. “He is my rock and my salvation. He is my fortress, I will never be shaken” Psalm 62:2. My God is always who I need to start turning to first. He is the one in which brings me love, comfort, purpose, and life. 

Also recently added to my army, is my therapist and my psychiatrist. Currently, I’m reevaluating whether or not my psychiatrist is the right one for me, but I know I found a damn good therapist. He lifts me up, gives me direction, and sound advice for when life gets to be too much. I report to him weekly about how my battles are going, he keeps me strong. 

That’s just half the army. That’s only the soldiers. You’ve also got your weapons and your resources. Damn, I bet right now I’m totally sounding like the navy brat I am! 

Anyway, you can’t go into battle unprepared and with the wrong weapons. I recently got rid of alcohol. Very rarely do I add marijuana to the list of things I fight with. But my weapons have grown. I still take Prozac, as well as others. I have 2 ADD medications and an antipsychotic. I’m currently using this as an antidepressant and it’s already shown to be working wonders. Another weapon in half caff coffee. It brings me just enough strength to get through the days. 

My resources include a self-help Workbook on anxiety, as well as one for depression. My Bible, of course. My daily planner, and a todo list app for when thoughts get to be too much. I blog, that’s a resource and a weapon. It helps beat the stigma of mental illness. 

I want to leave you encouraged and inspired. I want you to start thinking about what your army looks like, the changes that need to be made. 

Remember, building your army only makes you stronger. Which means, seeking help and taking medication (if that’s the right path for you) only makes you stronger. There is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing worth hiding. Let it known you’re fighting a battle, recruit soldiers, build your army against mental health issues. We’re all in this together, we’re all in each other’s armies. 


A Letter to Myself on Days When I Can’t Function

Dear Me, 

You will have days that start off like any other day. You will get your medication, drink your coffee, and sit outside in the morning air. Nothing will be different. But then, time ticks by quickly and you notice that. Your mind starts to get anxious about the things you said you would do this morning, you put them off for the sake of relaxing. 

As time goes on, your mind will grow weary. You’ll take your 2nd ADD medication in hopes it will help, but it won’t. Your mind is growing more and more clouded, full of to do lists and lists of things you’ve failed to accomplish. You will think up past events, even create some new ones in your mind. 

I want you to know, that you’ll be okay. Sure, the pain from this constant headache is getting you down. You don’t know what to do. Your body feels like moving, but your brain has no idea what direction to go in. You’re stuck listening to a thousand voices telling you a hundred different things. 

You will be okay. And you are okay. This will pass, and you need to remember that it’s okay to let it pass. It’s okay to lie down and let this take its ride through your mind, fighting it only wears you out more.

When the ADD and anxiety crazy train shows up, it’s okay to give up. Just don’t unpack and live there. It’s okay to take a day to yourself, where you do absolutely nothing. You got out of bed and sometimes, that is accomplishment enough. 

I want you to remember, you are making progress even if you don’t feel like you are. You’ve taken tremendous steps towards recovery. You’ve sought professional help, you seek God’s guidance, and you learn to love yourself each day. 

It’s okay to have days when you chain smoke 2 packs and you can’t remember the last thing you said. It’s okay to just breathe and wait for the day to be done and over with. Sometimes, you just need that fresh start of a new morning. And that’s okay. 

As far as Warren baby goes, he gets it. He knows something isn’t right with his fur mom today. You’ve tried your best with him. You’ve cuddle him, you’ve loved him, and you’ve fed him. He knows you’re trying your best. He knows you’re struggling. Let him make you laugh, let him be the comfort you need. He’s your emotional support dog, let him do his job. 

At the end of the day, you’ll go to bed. You’ll curl up underneath the covers and fall asleep. The next morning waits for you with the promise of a new day. 


Remember to be Gentle

I have been beating myself up since first thing this morning. Yesterday, I had such a good and productive day. Today, I woke up at 10am and didn’t feel like doing a damn thing. My whole body aches from how long I stayed in bed. My head is killing me and all I want to do is go back in there and curl back up under the covers. 

Thankfully, I do have things I need to get done today so, I won’t be lounging in the house throwing s pity party all day. I’ve got to pay my rent, go to a psychiatrist appointment, and maybe try and stop by a coffee shop for a bit. 

I’m worn out, and I’ve got to somehow find the courage to be okay with that. I did so much yesterday, I’m trying so hard to be proud of myself for it. It’s hard to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished while fighting depression. I feel like kicking myself for not doing the things I needed to today, yet while I do them I think to myself, “what’s the point?” 

When we have depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, or whatever it may be, we need to not compare one day to another. We need to remember to be gentle with ourselves. One day we might have the strength to do what is needed of us, the next we may not have the same strength. And that’s okay. 

I made a list of 3 things I need to accomplish every day. However, I need to realize that it’s okay to adjust to each day. It’s not a set rule that my life will fall apart if I don’t do laundry today. I did enough yesterday that I can afford to put it off until tomorrow. So, maybe today I accomplish two things on my list. Maybe add a third from another day that I can easily do today. 

Life is about the ups and downs. No day is exactly the same as the one before. Remember when fighting, some days you need to save your strength for bigger battles in the future but, you will win. One day, the depression will go away. And that’s a promise I can believe in. 


What it’s Like to Chill With A New Group When You Have Mental Health Issues

This story is solely based off of just one social anxiety experience that I have had. It does not in any way reflect the life of others nor is it exactly equal to every situation anyone, including myself, has experienced. 

Last night, I went out on a date. It was a second date with a guy I had just officially met the day before. He had invited me to go out with him and his friends to a pub and then we went back to one of their houses to play Cards Against Humanity. I felt like I was back in fucking high school, guys. 

I don’t mean by the way him and his friends acted, I pride myself on being one of “the guys.” I’m the girl that wears high heels and a ton of makeup but can crack one of the dirtiest jokes around. I win every time at Cards Against Humanity. I’m freaking hilarious and I’m able to be that way without demeaning anyone or lowering my moral standards. I think I’m pretty badass about it, actually. That is, until I’m met with a group of guys I know nothing about. They don’t seem like my typical guy friends, and I’m way out of my league. Shit. 

We sat around the table last night at the pub. Everyone with a beer except for me, keeping my promise to my readers that I would no longer drink. I was tempted, but I didn’t. Every guy there was nice, with his own twisted sense of humor. The racist jokes flying, the sexist jokes being created, and laughter all around. Even me, I can have a twisted sense of humor at times, too. But, not on their level, and not with people I don’t know. 

I tried here and there to make a sarcastic comment, I think I made one joke that was laughed at. I know I come off as a bitch when I’m shy and when my jokes aren’t taken correctly, I was making an ass out of myself all night. I think my date even “ssh’d” me once. Which, was totally called for if no one understood the sarcasm of my joke. Without the humor, it was just a plain out bitchy ass, rude comment. Or maybe I’m just over thinking things, who knows.

When you’re with a group of unfamiliar people, and you have social anxiety, you crawl into your shell. You listen, you pretend to laugh, but the jokes aren’t being well received through that outer wall you’ve built up. To make things worse, my afternoon medication, as I like to call it, in reality it’s an ADD medication, isn’t working at all. So, being in a loud bar with lots going on, I kept zoning out. I was not pleasant company. 

To top off the bar experience last night, not only was I struggling with my alcohol addiction, but my PTSD. See, normally I’d have absolutely no problem pulling someone aside and being like, you can’t make that joke around me. But, for some reason, I felt like I was being tested for how “cool” I was. So, I didn’t say anything. But then the date rape jokes came up and the nazi jokes ran wild, I wanted to break down. A little background on the PTSD and Nazi jokes, let’s just say that going to an old concentration camp will change a person forever. I believe everyone should go to at least a museum on the subject. 

After that was all said and done, we headed back to one of the guys’ houses. I thought this was my oppurtunity. There wouldn’t be the noisy bar to drown my thoughts, I could actually function. Damn, was I wrong. Turns out, my need for approval from this guy and his friends was so high, I could barely function still. He held my hand, he did small little physical things to show he was interested, but I was still a nervous wreck inside. I felt like every time I opened my mouth some comment would come out in a bitchy tone and I’d ruined everything. I kept apologizing to everyone, saying how sorry I was that I was awkward. I haven’t felt this way in a while. There were at least two times that night I just wanted to allow myself to have a panic attack. I didn’t want to seem overly emotional, so I kept quiet. 

After my date, I texted him to thank him for inviting me. I apologized again. And I’ll probably apologize again today. That’s just what anxiety has us do. 

I went to my best friend’s house last night at 3am because I needed to feel at peace. I needed to be around someone who understood me, so I didn’t feel so crazy and out of control. We hung out for a bit, cuddled up and watched some Netflix. Eventually, I passed the hell out. So did he. I woke up a couple hours later and came home. It felt good to be understood after that night, I needed it. 

Dating when you have a mental illness feels like a lot of mistakes, a lot of opening up quickly, and a lot of apologizing. I know I don’t need to do these things, but I genuinely like this guy, I want him to understand. I’ll try anything to help people understand. 

All in all, his friends were great and hilarious, I laughed and had fun. I just hadn’t been that shy since, well, my first boyfriend in high school. I was out of my comfort zone without the proper coping mechanisms. Okay, without my bad coping mechanisms. Guess that’s something to talk to my therapist about. Oh, also my date was super sweet, and I like his cuddles. 


Growing into Someone New.

It takes away your identity. It strips you of everything you once were and leaves you clinging onto anything. It exposes every weakness. It turns you into emptiness. It takes your mind and forces yourself against you. It becomes your worst enemy. It makes you lonely. It makes you terrified. It makes you helpless.

It is depression.

Depression effects many people in many different ways. For some, there’s a logical life event to create it. For others, it’s simply a chemical imbalance (which hilariously enough, always seems illogical). And for people like me, it’s a combination of the two. I have Major Depressive Disorder  (MDD). This means that even when life is perfect, I can still get depressed. This means I have a chemical imbalance. However, I’ve also suffered through my fair share of heartache. 

I’ve been depressed since I was about 10. This was the time my grandpa, Papa Leon, or as I called him, papa Elvis, had passed away. We were traveling to California a lot, my grades suffered. I was a student who made straight A’s. Not anymore. I had changed friend groups, and became friends with two girls who would prove themselves to be bullies. My anxiety attacks had just started and I was convinced I was mentally insane. And I had just suffered from severe dehydration, which left me in the hospital for many days. To top it all off, I was suffering from undiagnosed ADD. 

Back then, my parents still cared. They still supported me, they helped me try to help myself. They took me out of school in 6th grade. I haven’t had a decent education since that day. But, it was better than spending every day hiding with the nurse or locked up in the counselor’s office. I lost all of my friends except for one, but she still had her own life to live. She cared and always will, yet she couldn’t understand at that age just how badly I needed her. I became close friends with my stuffed animals, I became an avid Days of Our lives fan, and I ate ice cream for almost every meal. I was truly living the dream for anyone my age. Yet, I still suffered.

Every night I would have a panic attack. I couldn’t sleep alone, I couldn’t stop feeling sick. I was keeping my parents up at all hours of the night, every night. Some days my dad went to work without a minute of sleep. My mom would have to entertain me as she laid on the sofa half awake. I felt so guilty, so ashamed, I began to hate myself.

As years went on, I eventually moved and got new friends. Myspace and Facebook became a thing. And all of my friends were like older brothers to me, or so I felt like. As things worsened at home between my teenage acting up, the undiagnosed ADD, and the anxiety, my depression grew worse. I would post to my social media sites in hopes to find peace. To find a helping hand, a friend to comfort me. I didn’t find that, I found hate and anger. Bullies once again appeared, only this time they were anonymous and online. I couldn’t escape them.

I became friends with this sweet girl, she was going through depression as well. We became best friends and confided in each other. She shared how she would self harm, how she drank and smoked. I hadn’t even thought to do any of these things. My one vice I had will remain a personal one. Cutting yourself was getting popular and was everywhere online. I was so surrounded by it, I decided to try it.

When I would self harm, it started out as a pair of scissors and just barely scratching my leg. Then, I found a craft knife. I used it to cut my leg, then I began carving words into my thigh. “Bitch,” “Whore,” “Slut,” these were some of the words I remember. The funny thing is, I wasn’t a bitch. I just was angry at the world for not helping me. I wasn’t a slut or a whore either, I had only kissed one boy. He was my boyfriend when I kissed him. Eventually, I tried cutting on my wrist. I did it on the top of my arm because I didn’t want to accidentally die, I just wanted to feel something.  My parents knew, my friends knew, my church knew, and my therapist knew. I was 15/16 and to this day, I have still never gotten help for self harm. The only help I’ve gotten was from myself and God.

By the time I was 18 I had refused multiple different medication offers. Taken and quit Xanex. Started smoking cigarettes. Started binge drinking. And had begun to start using sex as a new way to self harm. 

I partied with my friends every possible chance I got. For the most part, it was all innocent for me. I only drank, the kids that did drugs were respectful and hid to do them, and the worst state I woke up in was cuddled up with two of my best guy friends. Nothing had happened between us.

Eventually, I got a boyfriend. He moved to Arizona to be with me, that’s what he told me. I found out he was planning on cheating on me, he had been talking to other girls. Even after knowing this, I stayed. I gave him a second chance, my heart stayed with him for 4 years. In between our many on-agains I fell into deep depression. 

When we broke up the second time, I lost it. I lost myself completely. I had just been kicked out of my parents’ house, this time for something more legit than laundry, and I was in my own apartment. I worked 2 jobs to support myself, I was never home. I began to wonder why not just sleep in my damn car? I broke down the day my dad helped me put my bed frame together. He and my mom had brought me Chipotle and I took one bite and threw it up. I was so upset. I even kicked my mother out of my apartment just to spite her. As if moving out on mother’s day wasn’t bad enough.

I wasn’t me, this time, I was a bitch. I was hurt and broken. The man I gave all of myself to, he didn’t want me. My mother had kicked me out, she didn’t want me. Thank God for my father. He’s always wanted me. 

Shortly after moving into my apartment in the shittiest part of town I could afford, I began going up to the college town up north. I was there every weekend, then every other day. I’d sometimes drive up there and call out of work, yet again, with food poisoning. I was so ashamed of myself, yet I kept on doing it. It came to a point where I quit both my jobs, ended my lease, and moved up north to party constantly. I made it sound okay by telling myself and others that I would get a job, live with a friend, and start community college. I did get a job, a delivery driver for a sandwich shop themed around smoking pot. I did live with a friend, who seemed to constantly lock me out of his dorm room. And I did not go to school. Instead, I partied. And I partied hard. I fell for the first guy to give me attention after my ex had left me. Then, I fell for another guy, who was in a relationship with someone else. I was put in a position to do drugs, to drink constantly, and to ruin my life for the next 5 years.

Depression, in this moment in time, was from a life event. From outwardly feeling unloved and unwanted. But, two things saved my life. First, was God when he planned the night I was to be arrested. Secondly, was the best person I had ever met in my life. 

After I was arrested, I spent a couple more nights drinking until I had to pack my things and move back in with my parents. My best friend, Traci helped me get through this tough time and many since then. My depression was far from gone, but it was becoming manageable as I was no longer drinking.

Fast forward to 2015 and you’ll find my next greatest depressive episode. I had moved out to Tennessee to live with th same man that had taken my heart a couple years before. Again, I told myself it was the right thing because I was going to get a job and go to school. This time, I did actually do those things. They weren’t enough.

While I loved that man with all my heart, things began to fall apart after the 2014 holidays. He was working the most, and I had a little part time job. My nights were spent waiting for him to come home from work at 1-4 in the morning. I tried to work on this very blog, nothing came of it. I tried to clean, but I was terrified of being home alone. I spent my nights binge watching the same season of Gilmore Girls over and over. I spent my days having panic attacks after fighting with him because I didn’t keep the house clean. 

While I truly believe this wasn’t his intention, I found myself in an emotionally destructive relationship. It fed my anxiety, it secured my depression. What I mean by that is, this relationship told me everything negative that my brain was telling me. It was confirming all of my depression’s lies.

A year ago this month, I made the decision to end my relationship and, yet again, move back home. This time, I wasn’t allowed back at my parents’ house until my friend had decided to kick me out of her family’s house. Just a short week after living with my parents and I was being kicked out again. I had started using drinking as a way to escape the pain again. I lived in two different hotel rooms for two weeks all while going to school. I kept my head above water, and I survived with the help of one of my now best friends. He was there when literally no one else was to be found, I’ll always be grateful for that.

Now, in the present moment, my depression still lingers. While I consider myself to be on the path to recovery from my previous depressive episode, it shows up every once in a while.

I still have my vices, they’re a bit more healthy. I drink half caf and decaf coffee, I write about my personal life, and I have an Instagram about mental health (living.positivelywild). There are still some bad vices, I smoke too much, I occasionally drink, and I procrastinate my ass off! I’m getting better, though.

Depression looks like a living room full of boxes from when I moved in. It looks like a giant pile of laundry and two unpacked suitcases. It’s a sofa I hardly ever sit on. 

Depression is a table full of decor and clutter. It’s a shelf full of unread books. A stack of movies to cheer me up. It’s a positive sign that I spent $70 on because I was depressed when I bought it. Depression is hope buried under a mess.

Depression is cigarette butts and empty packs covering my patio floor. It’s a blanket of ash that gets my bare feet dirty when I step outside. It’s a lonely dog looking through the window wishing his mommy could take better care of him. It’s wondering why I can’t move from this spot even though that poor dog’s face makes me cry.

(For the record, Warren gets fed daily, spoiled with toys and treats, and cuddles every night. He is not poorly taken care of. I’m just unable to play and walk with him as much as he’d like.)

Depression steals your face. It takes away every ounce of who you are. You can’t enjoy a damn thing. You can’t even enjoy taking a nap. Sometimes depression leaves you feeling absolutely nothing at all. It can also leave you feeling like you’re drowning in saddness. Depression makes you desperate. I get desperate for someone to love me, for someone to show they care. I post to social media for encouragement, I beg my friend to come stay the night. Recently, I’ve contemplated going to a hospital, I did my research. My depression likes to sneak up on me in the middle of my days. It likes to steal all joy from my soul.

I keep going. I’m stronger each day. I fight harder each time. My mornings start out happy, my afternoons a little down, and my evenings are left up to fate. I pray each day for God to continue working in my life. I’m determined to not let this illness I have go to waste. I long to inspire and be happy. I want the people in the world to know they aren’t alone. I want the little kids struggling to grow up to know there is help. I want the strong men to know it’s okay to cry. I want the perfect women to know it’s okay to be broken.

There is help for us all, but we can only fully receive it when we are willing to let go of who we’ve been to grow into someone completely new.