Lifestyle, mental health

My Journey: Day 1


Today starts the serious effort needed to lift myself up from the haze of depression. Today starts the movement to regain my life back from depression. This is a bold statement, yes, but I have every intention to recreate my life without depression. And I want to take you all along with me on this journey. 

First, I want to get you all updated on how life has been these past few months. I have stopped writing previously, so there’s a bit to catch up on. 

It started in the beginning of June 2017. I did not want to get out of bed. And almost every day since then I have spent the majority of my days laying in bed. They started out terrible, with me just laying there doing nothing but sleeping. Eventually, and I’m talking more than a month of time, I started to at least look at Facebook. More recently, I’ve been spending my days watching various videos on Facebook. Everything from the serious and motivational to the stupid and light-hearted. While I’m probably going to continue this habit after I write this, I’m proud to say that I’ve at least acknowledged the bad habit and am attempting to accomplish some things throughout my day today as well. 

There have been many bumps in the road. Adopting new fur babies, having to give up fur babies, anger and frustration for no reason, and jealousy. I’d say that my biggest struggle coming from this would be the jealousy, as much as I fucking hate to admit it! I’ve been jealous of my boyfriend. He has a full time job, friends who invite him to spend time with them, and a chance to do a little bit of travel for work. I’ve instantly gotten angry every time he is invited to do something fun. I mean, I’ve been spending my days isolated and sad. Of course I’d be jealous but, that didn’t give me the right to take that out on him. I feel terrible about it. However, it’s no one’s fault but my own. 

Over the past 8 months I’ve lost my friends. No one talks to me anymore, no one invites me to spend time with them anymore. I know this is at least partially my own fault. I’ve pushed everyone away, especially within these last few months. I rarely even get the chance to talk to my best friend anymore. Not because I don’t want to but because I feel as though I bother her and add on unnecessary stress to her life with my own problems. It’s just felt easier to keep to myself and not bother others with the way my life has been going. 

On the bright side, I am grateful. I have an amazing boyfriend that has stuck by my side through this all. Through all my moods, self-pity, and just emotionless days. He has been there to make my coffee every morning, he has been there to walk our dog every day, he has been there to hold me through my rough times. He is a blessing. 

Now that you’re caught up a bit, I want to share with you how I plan to make my two goals come true. The first, to recover from this depression. And the second, to inspire others with my story. I made sure to set realistic goals without a time attached to them. They may take years to accomplish, and that’s okay. The important thing is that I don’t give up again. The important thing is that I keep fighting. Daily. 

Recovery From Depression. 

  1. Make the bed every day. 

This may seem a little silly but, it’s actually shown to be a great motivator. This idea came to me quite a while ago, back when I actually had a bed frame and it was easier to make the bed. But, even with the mattress on the floor in the living room, I’m going to give it a shot. My boyfriend first suggested this as it was something he learned in a sober living environment. I heard this idea again yesterday while watching a video of a former Navy man giving a speech. The point is, you wake up and you complete this first small task and it encourages you to then complete another task. If anything at all should go wrong, at least you have a clean and made up bed to crawl into at the end of the day. Another benefit for us struggling with mental health? It’ll help us to stay out of bed as to not mess up the task we completed. 

    2. Set daily goals. 


This is the list of things I have to accomplish today. It’s small, extremely small, yes. However, it’s best to start small and work your way to the bigger things. We all know something as simple as doing the dishes can be a challenge when you’re struggling with life. So, take baby steps and eventually you’ll get there. 

    3. Daily gratitude list. 

This has been one of my go to tasks when I’m struggling with depression. I usually write 10 things I’m grateful for. Some days it’s hard to come up with something. Other days, it’s easy. But this will help to remind you what good there is in your life. Here’s mine: 

  1. God’s patience
  2. My loving boyfriend
  3. Coffee
  4. Cigarettes 
  5. My fur babies
  6. Dinners with my boyfriend
  7. Today is Thursday, almost the weekend
  8. I’m writing again
  9. It’s not too ridiculously hot to sit outside even though I’m starting to sweat like crazy
  10. Taking the first step to recovery 

      4. Wake up earlier. 

I’ve been waking up around noon, smoking a couple cigarettes, and then heading back to bed to watch videos. Mostly, I want to wake up earlier so I feel better about myself, can write before it gets ducking hot as hell outside, and have more time to spend accomplishing my goals. 

These are just a few of the goals I have set to help me overcome this depression. I look forward to the outcome of this journey and I hope it inspires you to get up and make a change in your life as well. 

-Liz

mental health

Surviving An Anxiety Hangover

As I wrote in my last post, I’m having an anxiety hangover day. I’m really not wanting it to ruin or control my whole day, but the leftover anxiety from last night is strong. 

I’ll admit, I don’t exactly know how to conquer days like this, I’ve never done that before. This is my first time trying to stand up to anxiety. And damn, is it hard. All I want to do is crawl back into bed and hide away. So, here is what I’m going to try to do. 

Ways To Overcome An Anxiety Hangover 

1. Don’t Do It

I know you want to crawl into bed, it’s the easiest way, just hide until the Anxiety passes. Well, if you’re like me, you got shit to do. Stay out of bed, just don’t do it. If you have to lay down, lay down on the floor. Just don’t get into bed! It’s all over from there. 

2. Let There Be Light

Open your windows, let some natural light in. Maybe even some fresh air. Don’t hide away in the dark. 

3. Come Up With A Mantra

Come up with a saying or mantra you can use throughout the day. Today, mine is, “everything is okay.” Just breathe, let it sink in, and know you are safe and so are your loved ones. 

4. A Little Goes A Long Way

If you have to do stuff like I have to, start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Do half the dishes, or even just one dish. Keep going if you feel strong enough, if not, take a break and try again. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as you try. 

5. Self-Care

Take care of yourself, please. Take a shower, a bath, wash your face, do some yoga. Whatever helps you feel loved by yourself. 

-Liz

mental health

Hungover


Today, I’m experiencing an anxiety hangover. Little bits from my attack last night have stuck with me through to this morning. I’m tired, I’m restless, and I’m hoping it won’t ruin my day. 

See, I had plans today. Clean up the house, do some laundry, do my hair and makeup, even contemplated going and getting a tattoo. But with an anxiety hangover, this could all be gone and I could end up in bed all damn day. 

I’m fighting off the thoughts best I can, but they’re still there. I have a pounding headache to remind me of them. 

When I have an anxiety hangover, everything just seems to be too much. It’s too much work to simply sit outside rather than lay in bed. It’s all too much and being overwhelmed will stop me from doing pretty much anything at all. 

I can’t even imagine doing the dishes right now, let alone take a shower. I just want to cry, I want to give in and let the anxiety take over again. But I need to stay strong, I need to fight through this. I need to get better. 

How do you survive an anxiety hangover day?

-Liz

mental health, travel

Preparing For Travel When You Have Anxiety


Anxiety can make travel seem so ridiculously scary. Even for someone who doesn’t normally have anxiety. But, you can also feel this anxiousness even if you’re excited. I’m counting down the days until I’m in Florida but, the anxiety of flying is creeping up on me. So, I did my flying research, and even have a few tips of my own for being away. 

Know the facts about flying

1. The dangerous taxi

I’ll get this part out of the way right now. When the plane is driving around on the ground, that’s the most dangerous part. This comforts me because we’re still on the ground. 

2. Dang, it’s windy

Ever fly and feel so certain that the turbulence is going to knock you right out of the air? Well, don’t be so scared anymore! I had a flight attendant tell me once that turbulence is just like your car being pushed around by wind on a freeway. It’s totally cool. It’s completely normal, no matter how many ups and downs there are. 

3. Sit with the cool kids 

The back of the plane is where you’ll find the most noise because of the engines. But, if you feel like being social will distract you enough, sit here. In my experience it’s where all the cool people sit and I love it. 

4. Smooth ride

If turbulence is something you just can not handle (I’ve been there) then sit on the wing of the plane. Not literally, that’d be kinda difficult. Bad joke. Anyway! You’ll have a much smoother ride sitting on the wing, a plane is like a see-saw, the middle kinda stays calm. 

5. Safe

Airplanes are actually the safest way to travel. Ignore the news stories, they go all out when something happens to a plane. But, it’s all okay. 

6. That plane has gone through some shit

That plane has been tested and retested. Here are some of the tests: 

  • Wing flexibility 
  • Ingestion testing (birds and stuff)
  • Temperature and altitude testing
  • Velocity minimum unstick testing (test pilot drags plane tail along runway to find minimum speed for take off)
  • Obviously, brake testing
  • Lightning strike testing
  • Low fuel testing 

7. Breathe 

Those oxygen masks, they actually do work. That’s all I got on that, but remember, put yours on first and then help anyone who needs it. 

8. One

Commercial planes can fly with only one engine, and can land safely with no engines. So, you’re all good. 

My personal tips for being away from home

1. Find things to keep you busy 

You’re out of town! There’s so much to do! Find a cool place to get coffee, go be a tourist, enjoy your time. Explore!

 2. Look up cool restaurants

Every town and city is unique. Find a cool place to eat. My favorite place where I’m going (Longboat Key, Florida) is the Dry Dock Grill. They have outdoor seating, bar seating, and upstairs seating. I always sit upstairs by the window and while I’m waiting for my food I always get to see dolphins, sometimes even manatees! My favorite!

3. Room Service

If you’re staying in a nice hotel, check and see if they have room service. Not only will you feel fancy, but it’ll help on those anxious nights when you just can’t get out of the room. It’s okay, you’re on vacation, eat on the bed and watch a trashy rom-com. 

4. Bring a laptop and DVDs

Bring some of your favorite movies. Watch them on the plane. Or, if you’re having a rough night watch one that helps you calm down. 

5. Distract yourself by taking photos

Take pictures of everything. Literally. I’ve even taken pictures of trash on the beach. Like, just find the beautiful things (obviously, the trash photo wasn’t so pretty) and take photos. Anything that interests you. You’ll have some keepsakes of overcoming your anxiety. 

6. Know it won’t be long

Time goes by so quickly when you’re traveling. So just remember, it won’t be long until you’re home. 

7. Get things done ahead of time

Don’t wait until the last minute to do things like I have done. I still have to book a groomer’s appointment for my little fur baby so he looks all sorts of nice on vacation. But, do things like clean the house so you come back to a nice place, wash all the clothes you need, book things like a kennel stay for your dog, any therapy appointment you may need, or a salon appointment so you look fine as fuck on the beach. 

What are your vacation prep tips? How do you deal with anxiety surrounding travel? I’d love to hear your ideas! Comment and let us know!

-Liz

mental health, travel

A Simple Way To Track Your Mental Health On Vacation


The last two times I went on vacation I completely ignored my mental health. It’s just so easy to do on vacation because you’re always distracted from it. But, if you’re anything like me, anytime you ignore your depression it comes back the second you settle down and it comes back hard as fuck. I fell into some serious depressive episodes after getting back from my last two trips. 

That being said, I’ve come up with a way to hopefully prevent my depression from coming back and leaving me in a depressive episode.  I can’t promise this will work, but I’ll give it a shot. Another factors that might add to this is the likelihood I’ll be on new medication right before my trip. We’ll see what happens. 

I absolutely love Mental Health Bullet Journals. I don’t do them as often as I should because I absolutely hate setting them up. There’s so much detail that goes into them, especially the pretty ones you see all the time online. Mine is a bit different from those, a lot more simple. But, feel free to add your own personal touches. These bullet journals help with keeping you aware of your progress and are really great if you’re a busy person. I’m not normally, so it’s pretty simple for me to keep track of how I’m feeling without one. That’s why I’ve created it specifically for my travel when I will be busier than normal. However, these journals are great to use on an every day basis. 

How To Set Up A Simple Bullet Journal 

The pages


Supplies

To keep it as simple as possible, I grabbed just a lined notebook, a ruler, and my favorite type of pen. You can add colored pens, use pencil before going over it with pen, use highlighters, whatever your heart desires. I’ve even seen people use decorative tape to add some color.


The Beginning

I’ve used this notebook before for some mental health tracking. So, to keep things organized I create a page with the month on it. I also like to add a little quote to the page. 


Habit Tracker

These pages help keep you aware of what habits you’re doing. They also help remind you and keep you accountable for the things you need to be doing. I also like to use it for keeping track of my moods. You can personalize this to fit your needs but here are mine: 

Health

  • Headaches
  • Nausea 
  • Sleepiness
  • Insomnia 
  • Appetite 
  • Period

Little Things 

  • Medication #1
  • #2
  • #3
  • Spaces to add, just in case
  • Hours of sleep
  • Minutes exercising 
  • Minutes napping
  • Servings of coffee
  • Marijuana (sometimes I smoke, very rarely though)
  • Servings of alcohol 
  • Packs of cigarettes smoked
  • Minutes with friends
  • Sex (always a good thing to keep track of)

Self Care

  • Showered
  • Bath
  • Makeup 
  • Hair
  • Washed face

Moods 

  • Irritated 
  • Anxious
  • Stressed
  • Angry
  • Sensitive 
  • Sad
  • Focused
  • Distracted
  • Happy
  • Conflict
  • Hyper
  • Depressed 
  • Confidence
  • Content


Habit Tracker Notes

Sometimes, you need to add a little note to remind you of why you felt a certain way or why you did or didn’t do something. If I’m on a new medication, I usually add the amount that I took. Sometimes I add little things about the day that had an impact like, didn’t do a damn thing until noon. 


Daily Done List

This is a more positive way of keeping track of what you’ve accomplished during the day. Sure, to do lists are great and the feeling of checking something off is awesome, but what happens when you don’t do a damn thing on that list? Add what you did to the Daily Done List. No matter how small, you had to have done something. You can add, got out of bed, drank coffee, filled out this journal. Be sure to add what you did do on your to do list as well. 


Daily Gratitude

My favorite way of remaining grateful is to write down a list of 10 things I’m grateful for. But, sometimes I don’t do it. Okay, a lot of the time. So, at least picking one thing a day will help. Or you can add a list daily, whatever you like. This is a great way to remind you to look at the positives, and super easy if you’re busy. 


Therapy Notes

I know this is supposed to be for travel, but I’m starting this journal leading up to my vacation and I have therapy appointments before I leave. It’s always great to write down what you’ve talked about or what you need to talk about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten everything I was supposed to do for therapy homework. 


Fuck This, Fuck That

We all get angry sometimes. It’s good to have a place to vent. Keep it short and sweet. Don’t spend too long dwelling on the bad. Devote only two pages to this. 


Food Tracker

This one can seem a bit too detailed, but your health is directly dependent on what you eat, or don’t eat. It can help to figure out what foods are causing you to feel a certain way, and if you look back at all the junk food you ate you might feel motivated to change that bad habit. 


Ideas To Review

I get a lot of ideas, some seem so great that it feels super urgent and I have to do them all at once, perfectly. When those ideas come up, it’s good to write them down and revisit them at a later time to see if they still hold their importance. Also, little ideas like home improvements that you don’t want to forget. 


Memorable Moments 

This one is new to me, something I added for just the trip but it’d be good for daily use as well. Just write down anything that stuck out to you during the day, it’d be nice to look back on. 


Little Keepsakes

Ever go on a date and want to keep the concert ticket? Just stick little papers like that in between the pages. It’s always great to look back on those. If you want, create a little pocket for them. 

Bring It To Life

Plan Time

Plan some time each day to fill this out. I like making a space in there so I can fill out my habits Morning and night. Because, a lot of those habits happen twice during a day or your mood may change. 

Carry It With You

Carry it with you to put the little papers in, to update your food tracker, or whatever little things you want to write down during the day. You don’t have to do this, but it’s easy to do during little moments of down time. 

Do It Daily

The whole point of this is to do it daily, it won’t really work otherwise. 

Review It Daily

Look back over the days and see the patterns that happen. What causes you to feel a certain way? Find out by looking back each day. 

-Liz

Lifestyle, mental health, travel, Uncategorized

Taking You With Me

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta


I’m so excited to be writing this post! This is the beginning of my series on traveling with mental illnesses! Don’t worry, I’ll still be bringing you some non-travel related content. But, for the next little over a week, be prepared for lots of travel posts! 

It’s 4 days until we leave for Florida. I’m counting the days and anxiously waiting. You can look forward to posts about:

  • Preparing for traveling when you have anxiety 
  • Ideas to fight pre-vacation anxiety 
  • How to pack for vacation when you have a mental illness
  • Flying when you have anxiety
  • How anxiety affects traveling

       And,

  • Updates on how we’re spending our vacation 

I’m not gonna lie, mental illness can make traveling very difficult. Especially when you suffer from anxiety or depression. I mean, the fear of flying is totally normal for people who don’t normally have anxiety, so just imagine that fear in someone who does. It can be devastating. And if you’re in the middle of a Depressive Episode, just imagine doing something for days on end that society tells you you have to enjoy, but you just can’t find happiness in anything at all. 

I’ve got a couple anxiety related stories to do with travel. I also have a couple depression stories for when returning from traveling. 

1. Renting A Car

I don’t remember this very clearly. I guess I may have blocked it out of my head. I called my dad to ask to verify but he didn’t remember either. My mom’s phone was turned off so I couldn’t ask her. 

Anyway, if I remember correctly, I was about 12 or 13 and in order to fly from Phoenix to Los Angeles you had to fly on a pretty tiny plane. I made it out there with some anxiety, but the thought of flying back on that plane scared the shit out of me. That whole trip was anxiety filled because we went to Disneyland and I was afraid of the majority of the rides. The Jungle Cruise gave me anxiety. Everything but the train around the park, The Haunted Mansion, and Autotopia gave me this incredible fear. I think one day my parents even had to put me in a wheel chair so I could try and relax. 

But the thought of that small plane, I wasn’t going to do it. My anxiety was so bad that my dad had to rent a car in order to take us home. Yeah, that’s right, the plane tickets were already booked and we didn’t fly. I’ve been flying my whole life, since I was a baby. By this age I had already flown to Hawaii. There was no logical reasoning as to why I could not get on that plane. Anxiety can be a monster. 

2. I got my wings

One time, I was so anxious before getting on the plane that the pilots had to talk to me before boarding. I was so scared. I don’t really remember much about this instance, but I remember how nice those pilots were. I will always love strangers who go out of their way to comfort someone, especially a child, with severe anxiety. They also gave me wings as I got on the plane. 

3. I lost my house

A little backstory, when I was with my ex I made the stupidest decision ever, I bought a house with him. My grandparents paid the down payment, so the guy at the bank suggested that I put my name on the deed. Thinking this only gave me rights to the property. Only, it didn’t. It just made me financially responsible should my ex not be able to take care of it any longer. 

So, when summer came his AC broke. In order to get it replaced I had to take my name off of the deed so it didn’t go against my credit. I just did not want to fucking deal with this shit. Eventually, I had had enough and I said screw it and booked a ticket out there. Honestly, I could have done the paperwork from Arizona, but I was pissed. 

However, when I got back home I fell into a depression that cost me my education and any chance of having a job any time soon. I couldn’t leave the bed for a month and this depression is what caused me to start medication. At first, I thought it had to have been the fact that I gave up the house and I no longer had any reason to talk to my ex. It was officially over. But now that I think about it, while I’m sure that had something to do with it, it was the returning to reality that I couldn’t handle. I missed my friends out in Tennessee, they were the best friends I’d ever had and now I was so far away from them again. I missed life in a small town, where you know everyone. I didn’t want to face my reality of going to school with a bunch of fake people and being alone in my apartment. So, I stayed in bed binge watching Friends for a month. 

2. My most recent trip

My most recent trip was to Florida to visit my grandparents. I spent 10 days hanging out with my cousin. I had such a great time. I was surrounded by people who truly loved and cared about me. When I got home, I was afraid to face reality again and found myself in another month or so long Depressive Episode. I hadn’t been keeping up with all my mental health studies and journals, I wasn’t tracking my depression on the trip. It hit me hard when I got home. I sat outside on my patio and chain-smoked all day every day. I couldn’t do anything but just sit there, I started drawing hands almost constantly. Eventually, I got a medication change and that helped. Plus, I started online dating and that got me out of the house. Although, all the rejection from that eventually added up. 

Another problem I have with travel is that I’m just so damn excited I can’t contain myself! I’m so anxious to get to the airport and show such an important part of my life to my boyfriend who has never traveled anywhere. Dealing with this is tough, it takes a lot of patience which I’m not good at. Every day I’m watching the clock, “is this day over yet? Am I one more day closer to my trip?” I’ve been trying to keep myself busy, but it’s been hard. I’ll post more on this subject later. 

What’s your biggest issue with traveling? Whether you have a mental illness or not, what brings you worry or fear? How do you deal with it? Let me know in the comments!

-Liz

mental health, Uncategorized

Calm Yourself And Your Anxiety


The type of anxiety I’m talking about today is the kind that shows up for no reason at all and just. won’t. leave.

This isn’t advice for when you’re having a panic attack, but just that overwhelming feeling of anxiousness throughout your body. Maybe you’ve had some panic attacks because of it, but the feeling just won’t go away. It’s lasted for days, maybe weeks. God, I hope for your sake it hasn’t lasted months. Whether something’s bothering you or you just can’t get this feeling to go away, hopefully these ideas will help. 

Before I continue, let me say this one thing. I’m not going to suggest to fucking meditate or be mindful or any of that shit. Sure, it’s scientifically proven to work. And I fully believe that it does, for some people. For me, I can’t get my mind quiet enough to even attempt to try. I’ve tried several times, it worked once. And now I just have too many dogs to even begin to try again. So, if it works for you, great! Keep going! If it doesn’t and you’re tired of hearing about it, keep on reading my anxious friends. 

Ideas To Calm Your Anxiety Other Than Meditation 

1. Take a little stay-cation

Seriously, who has the time and money to take an actual vacation? I know I don’t have the money. If you’re wondering just how I’m going on an actual vacation next week, it’s because my grandparents are generous enough to pay for it. 

If you do have a little money, book a nice hotel room. I’m not talking a holiday inn here, pick the closest resort and book it for the weekend. Enjoy time by the pool, relax at the spa, order some damn room service. Treat yourself! 

If you have a little less than a little money, book a room at a normal hotel in a town a couple hours away for the weekend. Try and go somewhere new, or maybe somewhere with memories for you. Explore a little, get out and enjoy the fresh air. 

And, if you are like me and have less than a little less than a little money (damn, that confused me), take a stay-cation in your own home. Light some candles, make some fancy coffee, explore around your town, go out to eat, or have someone deliver food like one of those weird apps. Rent a movie and make your bed with clean sheets. Go all out! Maybe even disconnect for the weekend and turn your phone off! 

2. Face your fear

If your anxiety is because you’re afraid to do something, then do it. Face that fear head on. Believe in yourself. 

3. Read an inspiring book or blog

My favorite inspirational book is, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Or, you can read some lifestyle/self-improvement blogs. For example, keep on reading Positively Wild! A little less selfish advice would be to go on StumbleUpon and look in their self-improvement interest thing. It sometimes takes a while of searching, but I’ve found some pretty inspiring blogs to read. 

4. Take a damn nap

Anxiety means you are way too overwhelmed. So, take a nap. Escape the reality. You deserve it. Although, I know how it is when your anxiety just won’t leave you alone long enough to take a nap. And that’s okay. Try the next idea instead. 

5. Write it all out 

Grab a piece of paper and a pen, or open the notes on your phone, or maybe even try it in a Word document on your computer. However you prefer to write. And then, just write it all out. For your eyes only, or you can share it with someone to help you process it. Just get it out, that’s partially why I have this blog. 

6. Talk to someone

Sometimes just getting the words out in the air helps. Don’t text someone about it, call them up, invite them over for tea, invite them out for coffee, whatever it is you do. And then, just talk. It’s so comforting when someone sits and listens to your anxieties. Make sure it’s someone you can fully trust. 

7. Self-help workbooks

My favorite for anxiety is the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. It explains anxiety in a way that you will relate to, and it’ll help you explain it to others. It’ll also make you feel less alone. Try some of the workbook activities. Sure, it’s full of advice like, meditate and eat healthy, but hey, those actually help. I mean, I wouldn’t know, I haven’t stuck with them long enough to see, but I heard they’re great! They also have advice for negative self talk and self esteem. 

8. Cut back on the booze

I completely quit drinking. Like, no more alcohol. At first, I wondered what the hell I’d do with myself without it, but it’s not that bad. Alcohol helps to increase anxiety, even though you think it helps. Ever notice how anxious you feel after a night of binge drinking? Sure, this includes some big lifestyle changes, especially if you’re anything like me. And the harsh reality is, you’ll probably lose friends over it. But, if they stop hanging out with you because you’re sober, were they really worth having around in the first place?  Think about it. 

9. List the positives in your life

Just go on and list some damn good things in your life. Here, I’ll do it too:

  • My God
  • My boyfriend
  • My fur babies
  • Coffee
  • My apartment
  • My soon to be house
  • My patio
  • My bed
  • Having a laundry room in our new house 
  • My blog
  • My readers
  • The furniture I repainted
  • Traveling soon
  • The warm sun
  • Extension cords so I can charge my phone outside
  • My succulent plants because they don’t care if I forget to water them or go out of town for a week
  • Early mornings
  • Cuddles

I could probably go on, but I think you get the point. 

10. Just be fucking kind to yourself already

Just stop. Stop with the negativite self talk, the comparing yourself to other, just fucking stop it already. Okay? 

I’m not the best at this, I know. I mean, hell, right now I’m thinking about how the little bit of a belly I have is making a great resting place for my hands while I type this out on my phone. Or, this morning on the way to the grocery store I saw a woman driving with black hair and gauges and she just looked so badass and I was all like, “why can’t I look that badass?” As I sit there in my green shirt for St. Patty’s Day and wearing my house slippers. But, I mentally yelled at myself, “no! Stop comparing yourself to others!” And then, I went about my day. 

11. Trust in God (or the universe, or whoever you believe in)

Warning: I’m writing this from a Christian perspective. 

If you’re worried about something like I was, give it over to God. I’ve never done this before. So, here’s a little story time. 

I was so fucking worried about having a place to live when my lease was up. Yes, Christian perspective and I said fuck. Guess what, I ain’t trying to pretend I’m perfect. Anyway, I was fucking worried (okay, I’ll stop with the cussing). See, I don’t have a job, therefore, no proof of income. My boyfriend gets paid in cash as an independent contractor, therefore, no proof of income. I have an arrest on my record (see, not a perfect Christian) for drug paraphernalia. Don’t worry, guys. It was weed related. And my boyfriend, well, he was a hell of a lot more of a trouble maker than I ever was. So, basically, we were pretty screwed. I was told the only way we would get a place is if we somehow convinced someone renting their own home that we were trustworthy. And with that, I assumed we’d be homeless.

One day, after a week of breakdowns, something in me decided to give my anxiety over to God. I had never seriously done this before, I’ve half-assed said sure, God, take my worries. But then, I kept on worrying. Well, this time, I didn’t. I was driving to pick up my boyfriend from work and I prayed. I asked God to take it, told him that I wouldn’t worry about it, and then just kept on driving. To help me stay in that mindset, I turned on the old Christian rock radio station I used to love as a kid. I listened to the words, they were all about struggle and having God take over. I felt relief. I felt my burdens lifted off my shoulders, I almost cried. 

Then, the next day I got a comment from an old friend. She and her husband used to be high school leaders at my old church. I always thought they were kind of badass. But, the comment was asking if we’d had any luck with our renting search. I told her no, and that’s when she messaged me on Facebook. Turns out, they have a little townhouse they rent out. The people living there now are getting their asses kicked out. Calm down, she didn’t actually say that, that’s just my little flare, but they’re getting evicted. And guess what, the house will be ready to rent BEFORE my lease is up here at my apartment. We did a virtual handshake and now my boyfriend, our two fur babies, and I have a place to live. All thanks to my God. We get to see the townhouse around April 15th, and we get to move in on May 10th. 

What are your ideas to help with anxiety? What has helped you in the past? I love the inspiring things my readers comment! Let me know!

-Liz

mental health, Uncategorized

Friday Night Date Night, With Anxiety


It’s Friday! Yay!

Typically, after my boyfriend gets off of work we get ready to go out to dinner. Sure, we live together and could easily just make dinner at home and then watch some tv but, where’s the fun in that? It’s nice to get all dressed up and go out together. Even if it’s to the same restaurant every weekend. But it’s nice, I strongly believe that no matter how long you’re together or how often you’re with each other, you need to have date nights. Just keep dating, keep getting ready and going out. It can be fun!

But, what about if you have social anxiety? Or, really any anxiety at all? You may want to go out, but you just don’t know if you can deal with the anxious feelings that go along with it. So, you change your mind. You’re staying home in your yoga pants with no makeup on and that’s that. Or, for you men out there, staying home in your boxers and playing video games and that’s that. 

However, deep down you really want to go out and live life. You really do want to get ready, but you feel like you just can’t. It’s okay, I’m right there with you almost every time I decide to go do absolutely anything. Like right now, I need to go to the grocery store, but I’m wearing shorts that are way too unflattering and I want to do my makeup before I leave, but I just don’t feel like it. 

My best advice is this, don’t give into the fucking monster that is your negative thoughts creating anxiety. I mean, you’re going on date night! You’re not alone, you’ve got someone you trust with you. At least I hope you trust your date, if you don’t then stay home alone and binge watch Friends. 

Get ready, put that makeup on, do your hair, rock those heels. Or, if you’re a guy, put on a button up shirt, roll the sleeves up, and put some jeans on. God, you men have it easy. Like, how do you do that? 

This is to the women out there, enjoy the process of getting ready. Don’t make it a boring and dull routine. Try a new makeup look, try a new hairstyle, wear that dress you never get to wear. 

Most importantly, believe in yourself. You’re strong enough to go out and have fun, don’t let anxiety tell you otherwise. If it’s too bad, go to a drive thru, order your food, and eat together in the car. That’s what my man and I did yesterday. What’s important is getting out of the house together and having a good time. It doesn’t matter if you sit in the car and eat or if you go to a five star restaurant, the important thing is you’re together and you’re having a good time.

Trust your date, if they’re trustworthy. Again, if you don’t trust them then stay your ass at home. If it’s someone fairly new to your life, be honest with them. Let them know you’re anxious about going out. If they’re worth your time, they’ll understand and help out. If they don’t, stay your ass at home. 

But, please, try and enjoy yourself. Focus on your date, take time picking out what you will eat, and don’t let the noise get to you if you’re somewhere busy. Enjoy the moment, rest in the fact that you just took a HUGE step in telling your anxiety to fuck off. Smile, thank your date for getting you out of the house. You’ve made it. You can do it. 

As for me, I’ll probably be staying home tonight. Not because I’m anxious, but because my boyfriend wants to buy fancy boots this weekend and I want to make sure he has enough money to do so. Because I loves him. Plus, next weekend we will be in Florida and every night will be a date night!

What are your tips to conquer anxiety before going out? Even if it’s to the grocery store? Seriously, I need some advice on that one. Let me know in the comments!

-Liz

mental health, Uncategorized

How To Get Past A Mental Block


My biggest challenge to get past, the biggest thing holding me back, my mental blocks. I call them mental blocks, some people call them walls, it’s like hitting a wall and suddenly you can’t do anything. 

For me, when I get this way, it’s like nothing is worth it. Or, my mind tells me I’m not smart enough or competent enough to accomplish what I want. The biggest thing, which I fight to make sure no one else does, but do to myself, is hold my past against me. “You never finish anything, you never stick to a damn thing. Why even bother?”

This thinking comes into play with my writing, doing dishes, cooking dinner, doing laundry, sometimes even taking a freakin shower! I mean, come on, who doesn’t think a shower is worth it? Like, really Mr. Mental Block, a shower isn’t worth it? Screw you, I’m gonna take a damn shower. 


The best way to get past this, is to just do the fucking thing. Sounds simple, right? Well, we all know it’s not. Actually, normal people don’t know it’s not easy, they’ll just tell you to “push through” but do you realize how hard it is for someone with a mental illness to just do something? It’s damn near impossible some days!

Just how difficult is it? Well, it took my boyfriend all weekend, I’m talking all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to convince me to do the laundry. Sure, he offered to do it himself but I wanted to help. I didn’t want him to have to do it alone, I wanted to feel useful! I’m tired of not feeling useful. 

Well, it turns out I wasn’t that useful anyway. We finally did the laundry, one basket full (there was two), and I hardly did anything. He carried the basket to the laundry room at our complex, he loaded both washers, he paid for it, I just sat there on the counter and watched. I could have easily brought the other basket, hell it has fucking wheels! But, no. No, I couldn’t be bothered to help too much with the laundry. Why? Because my mental block told me I couldn’t do it. 

I did, however, help move the clothes to the dryer. Go me!

No matter what you do, it doesn’t have to be perfect when you’re fighting a mental block. Not at all. My helpfulness wasn’t perfect, but I went through the motions and saw that it wasn’t as difficult as my mind made it out to be. Now, maybe, just maybe, I can do that other laundry basket tomorrow. Also, a correction needs to be made. There was, in fact, three full laundry baskets. Now there’s two. Yeah, that mental block thing kept me from doing laundry for a while. Oops. 

If you have to put it down for a while, it’s okay. If you pick up whatever you were going to do and get overwhelmed by the thought of it all, it’s okay to set it back down. You can try again in a few minutes, hours, days, whatever. It’s okay. Don’t force yourself to do something that overwhelms you. Unless, of course, it’s time sensitive or super urgent. Then you might want to try forcing yourself a bit. But if you’ve got all the time in the world to tackle the project, give yourself the time you need. 

But, if worse comes to worse and you just can’t find it in you to do it, don’t hate yourself. My therapist suggested I start playing with clay. In my mind that meant to make things out of clay, simple, right? WRONG. Clay is bullshit guys. And my therapist had to explain to me that he meant just playing with it, I don’t have to make anything. Yeah, right. Like I’m going to sit down and just play with clay. Anything that makes me feel like a child just frustrates me. I have to be doing something with an outcome. That’s just how my mind has been lately. I need that outcome to feel productive and accomplished, like my time wasn’t wasted. 

So, it’s okay if you just can’t do it. Again, unless it’s urgent and important. Don’t beat yourself up over not being able to do something. I’m one to talk, I beat myself up for hours about not writing a good enough post. Then, I tried to work at it from a different angle and guess what, here we are. 

Things take time, work, and effort. But when you’re fighting a mental illness, you time, work, and effort tend to go towards fighting the mental health issues. There’s little left over for projects. And that’s okay, because you’re still breathing. That’s what matters. 

-Liz