Just When I Thought I Was Getting Better (And A Letter To My Support System)


Last night I walked into my pharmacy holding my breath. I never got a call or text saying that my prescriptions were ready, and I was afraid. Turns out, one script was ready. However, the one I need was not even delivered today. Great. 

It’s a scary feeling not knowing when you’re going to be getting a much needed prescription. I’m almost out, I have enough to last one day if I take it correctly. But, I’ll try and make it last two days. So, that means tonight I will probably have an anxiety attack as it leaves my system. It beats not having it at all tomorrow. 

But, what if I don’t get it tomorrow? What if I have to go without? I haven’t been on this medication long. The way I feel when it stops working for the day is bad enough, what happens when I can’t take it for several days? Will I go through withdrawals? Maybe I’ll have to go to the hospital. Who knows. 


Dear friends and people who support me,

Please, be patient with me the next few days. As I am currently scared to death. I don’t know when I’ll get my refill, I don’t know what will happen if I can’t take it. 

My anxiety is high right now. I grew up watching my mother suffer withdrawals from not having her medication on time. I don’t want to go through that, but I’m afraid it’s a possibility. I’m terrified, I live alone, how will I function?

I ask you, please check on me. Make sure I’m alright. Notice my facebook posts, do they seem off to you? Let me know. 

I will try to get through this best I can. But, without your support it’s near impossible. Please, be the supportive voices I need to make it through this. If this does get bad, I’ll need you desperately. If it doesn’t get bad, then celebrate and thank God with me. 

Pray with me. Pray for me. Send good vibes my way. And hope that I do not have to suffer in pain because someone else doesn’t have their shit together. 

-Liz

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When Depression Strikes Again


To my friends and family:

Right now, I’m currently in what they call a “mixed state.” This could be due to my Bipolar type ll, or could be caused by my medication. Either way, a mixed state is the perfect way to describe my current phase of bipolar. 

What is a mixed state?

A mixed state is somewhere in between hypomania and a Depressive Episode. In other words, it’s both good feelings and bad. Fighting. Constantly. Between episodes, some people experience normalcy. I, however, am experiencing a mixed episode. This is my first time ever being aware of it, and it’s confusing the hell out of me. It’s a constant battle between the good in life, and the meaningless feelings in life. Towards the end of the day, the meaniningless feelings tend to take over more. I become less strong than I was earlier in the day, I’m exhausted from fighting off the bad. I can handle a mixed episode pretty well on my own. There are times I need help, but much of the time I’m okay. 


There’s no telling what will come next. I can’t garuntee that it’ll be hypomania, it may be depression. Hell, I don’t even know how long this mixed state will last. But they’re all coming and going on their own time. And in case the next phase happens to be depression, I’m letting you know now, I need your help. 

When I fall back into depression (I will, that’s just a fact of my illness) I’m going to need your love and support. I’m going to need someone to make sure I’ve eaten, someone to make sure I’ve gotten out of bed. I’m going to need a friend to call and check up on me, maybe even pray with me. I’m going to need help, I’m going to need you. 

When I’m depressed, I can’t do much on my own. Hell, I do good to make it outside to smoke a cigarette. I stop taking my dog on walks, I stop eating, I start chain smoking more, I start living solely off of coffee. It’s not healthy. I can’t draw, write, or even sing. Even though I know all of those things would help me. I can’t keep my eyes open, if you spend time with me you’ll see a real life zombie. I hate myself when I feel this way, I see no good. It convinces me I’m alone, that no one will help. It convinces me no one cares, even though you just told me you do. 


So, the next time I feel depressed, please be kind. I’ve noticed these Depressive Episodes tend to get worse with time. Suicidal thoughts have appeared where they used to never be. Self harm seems like a pretty and beautiful escape. Even now, in a mixed state, just the mention of self harm seems so enticing. I’m going to need your help. 

Keep me positive through this right now. Keep me going strong. But when I start to get desperate, hateful, numb, and pitiful, know that it is not me. It is my illness. 

-Liz

Seeing Reality



I thought it was all over for me. 

At age 17, I met the love of my life. At age 18, I was in a relationship with him. By age 19, we had broken up twice and tried to move on. At age 20, I was moving across the country to live with him. At age 21, I was driving back home because I had left him. At age 22, I finally changed my number and lost all toxic contact with him. 

There he went, it was over. You’re lucky if a passionate love comes once, right? How dare I expect it to come again. I blew it, I lost it. I had love, but I left it. 

Today, as I write this, I realize, maybe it wasn’t love. First, let me say that yes, I did actually love him. I care about him very deeply and probably always will. But maybe I had confused toxic love with the “real thing.”

The only time he ever made me feel safe was when he was calming me down out of an anxiety attack that he had started. He didn’t make me feel loved or wanted, I was never undoubtably his only girl. Every day I wondered who he was hiding in that phone he never let me see. Then, I found out. I stayed with him for months after that.

I did however feel comfort, but it wasn’t good comfort. It was normal. I grew up with an emotionally abusive mother. I found myself in an emotionally abusive relationship. Why did I stay so long? Because it was comfortable, it was normal, it was all I had known.

I would like to say that while in fact both of those relationships were emotionally abusive, that does not mean they did it on purpose. That is something I will never know. 


Now, as I sit here with my fur baby in my lap, I begin to realize that I’m getting my second chance. Well, maybe that’s not the right way to put it. I’m getting another chance? No, I’m being shown reality. Yes, I’m being shown reality. 

I’m surrounded by a mess. My shirt has a stain on it, I haven’t brushed my hair, and my patio is basically one giant ash tray. But there’s a man out there who’s thinking of me in the way I wish I could see myself. He smiles when he’s with me, he doesn’t look at the mess with disgust, he looks at me with pleasure. 

It’s too soon to tell where this is going, it’s too soon to tell if this is going to be something more. But God, do I hope it turns out for the best. 

I’m being shown reality, and it’s not at all dark or mean. Yes, it’s a little scary. Yes, I’m terrified because I’m uncomfortable. But at the same time, I’m completely comfortable. I genuinely smile again, I laugh without worrying what my crooked teeth look like. I look into his eyes and I feel peace. This is reality, it’s not all hatred and pain. 


In the short time we’ve spent together, he’s shown me that there is still good out there. 

For those of you who have suffered as I have, who have been made to feel worthless by the people we love, have hope. You are not your abuse. You are not the nasty things people have said and done to you. In reality, you’re beautiful and deserving of happiness. We all truly are. 

Hang in there, keep fighting to find that confidence and joy within yourself. Know that it doesn’t have to come from another person. But also know, it’s okay to allow someone to make you happy. It’s okay to allow someone close again. It’s okay to trust someone new. Not everyone has an evil plan to use and abuse you. Not everyone is full of hatred. Sometimes, you just got to wait for the person that shows you reality. And I’m thankful to have a couple people that do. 

My Grandma, she checks in on my daily. 

My best friend, she is my soul mate. 

My best friend since kindergarten, she is my sister. 

The guy that makes me smile, well, he makes me smile. 

-Liz

A Decent Day With Bipolar ll


“Damn! I look skinny!” That was my first thought as I got ready yesterday morning. Every medication I take has a side affect of weight loss. Which, I mean, I ain’t complaining about but, one day it might get to a point where I’m too skinny. Considering I don’t hardly eat anymore. 

By this point, I had taken my fur baby for a walk and drank some coffee. I had a psychiatrist appointment at 11am I needed to be ready for, and I was feeling pretty decent despite being nervous about the appointment. 


On a decent day, I enjoy putting on my makeup. I even wore fake eyelashes and did my hair. Something that has recently become increasingly difficult for me to accomplish lately. I felt pride in looking decent, I felt good that I took the time to myself to do this. 


I poured myself my 3rd cup of half card coffee and went on my way. I’d say I even dressed pretty decently yesterday as well. With makeup and hair being so difficult, I’ve been at least trying to make an effort to put together nice outfits. 

These things may not be a struggle for everyone, but for me the way I look and present myself has always been a huge part of my life. For a while, I wouldn’t even go to the grocery store without makeup on. It’s one of the ways I express myself, it’s meaningful to me. So, when I don’t have the energy to put into my looks, it doesn’t make me feel so great. 


I’m thankful for the drive into town. And I’m thankful I get to say, “into town.” I by no means, live outside the city. I live in a suburban area. But, it’s just on the outskirts of the city, so it makes drives through the desert possible. I love not seeing a single building when I drive. I love feeling as though I’m in the country. Out here, it’s called the beeline highway. But to me, it’ll always be the 4lane. 

Once I got to my psychiatrist appointment, I was honest. I told her I can’t do this anymore, I feel numb and emotionless. I can’t even see the point in hurting myself to feel. Nothing has meaning. I need help. So, instead of taking me off of antipsychotics like I had hoped, she’s taking me off of one and putting me on another. God, I hope this new one works. I can’t handle anymore emotionless nights. 


I decided after my appointment, and not hearing what I wanted to, that I deserved some Starbucks coffee. Sometimes, you just have to do what you need to in order to feel a little better. No matter how small. Treating yourself is how you get through the battle. 


Speaking of treating yourself, I took a nice and warm bubble bath. (By the way, my tub isn’t really that dirty… it’s stained from black bath bombs. Never use black bath bombs. Ever.) I needed to melt my cares away and relax. My mind was starting to go too fast for me and I just needed to breathe. Sometimes, a little bath can do miracles. 


But then, my day went downhill after a phone call. I learned I have become a disappointment again. Someone I love is not proud of me. When you have anxiety and depression, having someone be disappointed in you is like them stabbing you in the heart. All you want to do is please people and make them proud of you, but sometimes you fail. I sat on the ground outside my bathtub and tried not to cry. I was so ashamed of myself, I still am. After that phone call, which was about my money habits, I went online and bought two new pairs of pants. That’s a mental illness for you. 


I began not to care, my day went downhill. The loneliness was setting in. I was all alone, and honestly, I was mad at God for letting me be all alone. Why do I have to struggle with this on my own? How is that fair? Why can’t someone just be with me? Why? 

I got to a point where nothing had meaning anymore. So, I laid on my sofa and cuddled up with my dog. And then, as if someone had told him I needed him, I got an offer to go get tacos. But even being invited to go out with the man I like didn’t make me feel happy. I smiled, because I knew somewhere in there I was happy, but I couldn’t feel it. I contemplated just going to bed at 5:30pm. 

Thankfully, I didn’t let myself wallow in self pity any longer. I gave myself 25 minutes of nothingness, then I got my ass up and fixed my makeup. I left the house hoping I had made the right choice. Still, feeling nothing. It wasn’t until I was the turn into his place that I felt something. Finally! I admit, I felt fucking butterflies pulling up to his place. Yes, I am a child. 

I finally enjoyed myself, and smiled so much my face hurt. You don’t need other people in order to feel. Your emotions don’t come from them. But, in times when you’re numb and emotionless, the best thing is to have someone show up and pull you out of it. It could save a life to just see that someone cares enough to want you to be happy. And that’s all I ask for, help when I can’t feel. Be there for me when I can’t be there for myself. 

Bipolar ll caused a lot of ups and downs. But, we can make it through. One day at a time. 

-Liz

Thank You For Your Patience


To all my friends and family, new and old, thank you. 

Yesterday, I discovered something earth shattering. I have lost myself. In the pursuit of “finding myself” and getting help, I lost who I am. For many reasons, I’m not the person I once was. And I thank you for sticking by my side.

My journey with taking medication for my mental illness has turned my life upside down. I’m unpredictable. I never know if I’ll wake up to a good and happy day, or to a low and depressed day. I’ve been all over the place. I’ve been desperate, I’ve been angry, and I’ve been self absorbed. And I am sorry. 


I finally put some puzzle pieces together and came to the realization that my mood stabilizer has not been helpful. In fact, it’s well on my way to turning me into a zombie. I don’t like that. I’ve become emotionless, I’ve lost sight of the meaning in anything. I’ve lost the joy that comes from my writing, half the time I don’t even enjoy drinking my coffee anymore!

Last night, I was too bad off to even think about possibly watching Netflix. All I could do was lay on my sofa and daydream the misery away. I tried calling my dad, but that didn’t help for the most part. I was told to go to the hospital if I needed to. I needed encouragement, not fear. 


For anyone who knows me, you know how I am. I’m full of emotion, love, kindness, and passion. I get excited over the smallest things. I dream big. I have goals for myself. I love to travel. I explore and have adventures every chance I get. I like to look up at the stars, and I like to dance in the rain. Or, hail if I’m not wearing my glasses and I think it’s raining!

I haven’t been fully me since I began my journey with medication. Honestly, yes, it helped me get out of bed during a Depressive Episode, but now what? It’s just causing me more misery. And costing a shit ton of money! Seriously, so much damn money!

My “cure” isn’t going to be found in a little white pill. It isn’t going to be found in a big self help Workbook. No, it’s going to be found by living life again. By starting school back up and by traveling. It’s going to come on a day when I’m alive and well. Not when I’m hiding away from the world on my little patio drinking coffee and chain smoking. 

So, to those of you who stand by my side, thank you. Thank you for being there even when I have not been myself. Thank you for reminding me of my strength and my love. I’ll get back to me soon enough, please continue being patient as I try to find myself in this mess again. 

-Liz

A New Kind of Thanksgiving


For me, the holidays seem to bring along some bad vibes. I try and stay as positive as I can, but sometimes I just get down. Remembering the good holidays, the times I was around loved ones, this year is very different. It’s just me and my parents for Thanksgiving. This was normal for me growing up. But now, it kinda makes me sad. 

So, I’ve been challenged to come up with new traditions. Something that’ll make me happy, and can become one of my own little holiday traditions. 


When you’re facing the challenge of creating new traditions, especially if you’re on your own, you can come up blank. I mean, it’s hard to think of something to do alone on Thanksgiving other than watch a sad Christmas movie and cry into your ice cream. So, I came up with my own little list of ideas. 

Make plans ahead of time

Don’t wait around for the day of Thanksgiving to figure out just what the hell you’re going to do. Try to come up with a plan before, get excited for it!

Decorate for the holiday

Get in the spirit, make your apartment or home feel warm and welcoming. Do little crafts or something to make the place feel a bit more like home. Or, at least get something from the dollar store that’s shaped like a pumpkin. 

Watch Movies

Curl up and watch some movies, have a movie marathon! Watch Christmas movies or just some of your favorites. 

Have a friendsgiving

Or, invite some friends over for a little after dinner get together! Have everyone bring some dessert and enjoy spending time together before you all go off Black Friday shopping! 


For me, I plan on going to my parent’s house for dinner and then coming home to have a few friends get together and just hang out. Honestly, I’m a little nervous. I really didn’t want to hit “invite” on the facebook event. But, I did. I’ve never, ever hosted a damn thing in my life. So, I don’t know what I just got myself into! 

Enjoy your Thanksgivings everyone! 

-Liz

A Whole Damn Year


Tomorrow marks a year since I left Tennessee. I can’t believe it’s been a whole damn year already. It’s been so fast. Just a year ago I was getting no sleep, finishing packing up my things, and wondering how I would say goodbye to the man I still loved. The morning I left, he packed my car for me and turned his head as I tried for one last kiss. I pulled out of the driveway and watched him in my rear view mirror just like every country song I had come to love. It was over. 


I went and picked up my best friend. She had a long goodbye with her new husband, and I held back tears as I gave him a hug goodbye. Everyone in that town had become close to me. I knew everyone, everyone knew who I was. It was a small town, I had grown to call it home. It’s still one of the few places I consider home. 

We went on our way, first stop? Starbucks in Murfreesboro, TN. To begin our long drive across country, I decided to accidentally scare the living hell out of Kayla by almost getting into a car accident! I’m sure that made for a suspenseful ride the next 3 days! Sorry, Kayla. 


The sad part is that, on the day that was supposed to kill me, I had the happiest day of my life! I was supposed to be heartbroken, but I wasn’t. I was excited for the road trip, and I was the happiest I had ever been when I visited Graceland. Seriously, I’m not even sure I’ll be that happy on my wedding day! Unless, of course, I get married at Graceland. 


As one lifelong dream was coming to an end, I was experiencing another just beginning. I was about to travel across country with a best friend. I was walking where Elvis Presley once lived. I couldn’t help but be the most happy I had ever been. I was bouncing all around the place, giggling. I had Kayla taking pictures of me everywhere! I was so incredibly happy. It was a bittersweet end to my time in Tennessee. 


Kayla is a small town girl. Grew up in the town she still lives in. Never been on a plane, never been bar hopping downtown. So, to try and get her used to the city I took her out on the town in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bless her heart, she was so uncomfortable. But she survived. It was the biggest city she’d been in other than Nashville. Which scared me a bit, because it was not a big city. Was she in for a surprise when we finally made it to Phoenix. The city that never freaking ends. 


We made our stop at Cadillac Ranch where I almost died. Seriously. So cold. So windy. No jacket. I couldn’t breathe! 

We made memories I’ll never forget on our trip. We sang songs I’d never in a million years think that sweet girl would ever listen to! (Ass, ass, ass, ass.) 

She made sure, in every state, that I could turn around if I wanted to. I didn’t have to leave my Tennessee. But she also knew, I had to do this. It was the only way I could save myself. I had to go back home, there were things left unfinished. I wasn’t meant to be in the country. 


God, I didn’t want this girl to leave me! She had become such a great friend in such a short amount of time. I’d gotten used to seeing her every damn day. She is the sweetest, most loving person in the world. She helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life. I love this girl! 


What have I done in this past year? I don’t currently have a job, and I’m not in school. It’s easy to just glance at my life and say that all I’ve done this past year is spend money and drink copious amounts of coffee. However, I have lived my life. 


I drank, and drank well! I watched football and became an all time champion at Cards Against Humanity. Seriously, just try and beat this sense of humor! I dare you! 


I went out on the weekends. I was a wing woman for my best guy friend. I danced with strangers, I learned how to two step, and I learned how, for the most part, to manage my drinking in a healthy way. Although, at some point I forgot that little bit and decided it’d be best to just quit drinking all together. But I’ve had some 21year old experiences that I don’t regret! 


I wore my red dress that I wasn’t allowed to wear in Tennessee. My ex was furious that I bought it. He decided it showed too much and I couldn’t wear it out. Well, I went to a fancy Christmas party and guess what. I wore my damn dress. I put on my highest heels, and did my makeup. I felt absolutely gorgeous and I loved every minute of it. Also, this photo was taken to send to him. Gotta remind ’em what they lost, right girls?


I spent time at coffee shops reading. I did what I enjoyed, without feeling guilty for it! For the first time in about a year, I was able to relax and do what I truly enjoyed. The simple act of reading at a coffee shop made my day. I can still remember how happy I felt in that moment. 


I visited Bass Pro Shop a few times. Even though I’m happy to be in the city again, I do miss my country life. Being able to come here lets me feel like it’s not so far away. It gives me memories of the good times, and sometimes I buy a little keepsake to remind me of the country girl that lies inside my soul. 


I attended cosmetology school. One of my passions, but not my life’s purpose. I ended up withdrawing, but I didn’t go down without a fight. I gave it my best, I enjoyed every moment I possibly could. But at the end of the day, it was time to let this dream fly away. And I’ve grown so much since I let go of this part of my life. 


While I was in school I got to be a makeup artist for a professional photo shoot. I got to accomplish one of my dreams before I left. And while I loved being able to say that I did that, I knew it wasn’t where I was meant to be. I was meant for more. 


I traveled. Alone. I went to Flagstaff, AZ for a weekend and enjoyed myself. I enjoyed breakfast alone and I enjoyed reading at a coffee shop. I had a great time just being myself and exploring, standing on my own two feet. It was nice to be back. 

While at the time, I didn’t support him, I went to a Bernie Sanders rally. Expecting to stand in the back and have it be pretty much pointless that I was there, I had another thing coming. My friend and I met up with his friend and we walked past all the little gates. All of them, until we found ourselves standing with some of the most powerful voices in local Arizona politics. It was a great way for me to deal with my anxiety in large crowds, and a wonderful once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. 


And then, I traveled some more. I traveled back to my true home, San Diego. I visited with my best friend since kindergarten and her husband. I drove out there alone, and had a wonderful weekend with them. I had planned on moving out there, however I feel my life is better off in Arizona at the moment. 


I danced in the rain through the immense pain I was feeling. I was back living with my parents and it went about as well as anyone could expect. So, yeah, not so well. But I survived. 


I burnt my hand. I got 2nd degree burns from holding the wrong end of a curling iron. I had to have my friend go with me to the hospital to help ease my anxiety. I powered through it. And while I felt a little sorry for myself that I had no one to help me take care of it, I managed to take care of myself pretty well. 


Also during the time of the burnt hand, I lived out of hotels! I had been kicked out of my parent’s house. See, I told you it didn’t go so well. And I had no where to turn to. So, I stayed in two separate hotels while waiting for my apartment and still continuing attending school. I felt kind of badass for having made it through this tough time, although I couldn’t have made it without Friends. The TV show. And, well, one certain friend that helped me get the hotel rooms and made sure I was okay. He even brought me coffee one day. 


By the time it was May, I moved into my own apartment. For the first time in years, I had a place of my own. No one can kick me out (as long as I pay my bills) and no one can make me feel ashamed for the way in which I live. I’m on my own, with the help of my grandparents. But at the end of the day, I stand tall on my own two feet. Proud of the home I have made for myself. 


Also, I chopped my hair off and went blonde. Just thought I’d throw that one in there real quick. 


And then, I got a fur baby. His name is Warren. I named him after the county in Tennessee that I lived in. As all my previous dogs have been named after places I’ve lived. Just a few short days after adopting him, we headed out on an adventure. 


And, not even a year later I went back to Tennessee. I stayed with my Tennessee gay best friends, and their friend who was also crashing for the weekend. We went and got tattoos and we drank too much alcohol. They were there for fun and laughter during what was pretty much a divorce. Also, I almost got hit by a car driving through a wall while eating my breakfast. So, thank god that didn’t happen. 


Here’s a photo of the tattoo I got. It represents my new beginning. 


During the year, I also spent time in a recording studio. Just another dream I got to check off my list! I recorded a cover of I Wonder by Kellie Pickler. I’m so grateful for that weekend. 


I played Pokémon Go with the rest of the world. 


And, I saved a dog’s life. 


I accomplished another dream and went to a Joan Jett concert with one of my best friends. I guess 2016 may have been a rough year, but it was a year of dreams coming true. 


Most importantly, I grew closer with my family. My dad and I speak almost every day, my mother and I get along better, and my grandmother calls me each day to make sure I’m doing alright. I’m beyond blessed with the family I’ve been given, even if we aren’t perfect at all. 


I’ve also learned that I shouldn’t drink coffee while wearing anything white. 


I tried yoga again. While I’m not the best at continuing my practice, I know it helps incredibly. 


I tried to own a cat. But, my anxiety and my allergies decided no. Her name was Kitty. 


I traveled, again! This time, to Longboat Key, FL. I spent 10 days hanging out with my ridiculously tall cousin. It was great to get away from my mental health and daily issues, for the most part. 


Of course, Warren went with me again! He’s traveled around the country, and has many more plane trips in his little future!


I started dating. Pretty much for the first time. I went to things like Oktoberfest and to fancy dinners. I met a lot of interesting guys, some not so interesting. While it was nice for the time being, online dating isn’t for me. Which is okay, because I got me a date with an old high school friend tomorrow and that’s much more exciting than some random I’ve never met before! 


I started this blog, which turned out to mostly be a mental health blog. I’ve dealt with some shit this year, and being able to write and inspire makes it all worth it! 


I became a contributor on The Mighty. My writing has reached over 1,000 hearts. I can’t even describe how it makes me feel to know that I’ve finally made an impact on this world. Small, it may be, but an impact nonetheless. 


I’ve welcomed my new little niece into the world. I watched as my sister’s little belly grew into something huge. I visited the day she was born, and the next day I got to feed her. She’s another little miracle. I’m so glad that I was able to be apart of this. 


I began to draw, again. More emotion poured out into my drawings than ever before. 


I spent Halloween with my family. Family being my best friend and her husband and daughters. We were all Alice in Wonderland characters. I realized how much I used to love makeup again.


I voted. Of course, nothing I voted for passed. So, there’s that. But, I stood up for my beliefs and I refused to vote for someone I could not fully stand with. 


I face timed old friends in different states. Still keeping in contact with those that mean the world to me. 


I began a journey of photography again. While, it’s still in its early phase of not being the best, it’s still a passion that I love. 


And finally, I hung out with old friends. I reconnected with those that once meant everything to me. They still mean the world. I was able to be myself, feel like the girl I was in high school. I felt loved, I felt wanted. I was actually invited to hang out with people, something that doesn’t actually happen often.


This is me, a year later. A year after I had packed up and moved back to my hometown. A year after some of the worst and best things have happened to me. 

I’ve grown so much, I’ve overcome so much. I’m so much more strong than I was this time last year, when I had to be the strongest I had ever been before. 

I finally know who I am. I finally realize my life’s purpose and my goals. I’m happy with who I am, and I’m finally in control of myself. It’s such a great feeling to be at this place. 

Thank you to all of those who have made sure that, without a doubt, I stayed alive. 

-Liz

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. 

-Liz

I am Not My Anxiety 


One of the hardest things to remember while I’m in recovery is that I am NOT my mental health issues. While in recovery I’m crazy aware of how each thing I do will affect my mental state. And sometimes, I forget I control myself. 

Yesterday, I was in a constant state of panic. Could have been caused by too much caffeine, not enough sleep, or the fact that nothing is wrong. I spent so much time making one little thing into this irrational state of panic, that I couldn’t do anything else at all. At one point, I couldn’t even smoke a cigarette. I had had it. I was fed up knowing the rational reasoning yet, still in a complete panic. 


This is what it looks like when I’ve about had it. I wanted so badly to just give in to the panic, but I couldn’t. I tried all day to keep it away, afraid I’d turn to someone for comfort when it was way too soon to turn to them. Eventually, I made a choice. I decided to force it. I decided not to give into the panic, but to force it to happen. This photo was going to be my “before a forced panic attack” photo. 

How do you force a panic attack? I’ve honestly got no clue. My entire life I have been accused of faking anxiety attacks to get attention. Then, I sat down and thought about it last night. I have no clue, after 10 years, how to force myself into panic. I had been right on the edge all damn day, I just needed something to push me over. I begged for something to send me falling into panic. 

I did what I knew had made me panic in the past. I turned off the lights in my bedroom, laid down, and turned up the music on my, “Cry, Cry, Cry” playlist. Name inspired by Johnny Cash, of course.

The first song that came on is one that usually makes me cry. “I Wonder” by Kellie Pickler. It talks about a girl whose mom wasn’t there for her, then she up and moves to Tennessee. My life, right? Well, usually it brings sadness but, ever since I was able to record a cover of that song in a studio, it brings joyful memories. Next, was a song called, “God Sent Me You.” Normally, this one makes me cry because, “I drink whiskey, and I’ve smoked weed.” The lyrics are also my life, and this man is breaking down calling out to God in forgiveness. And then, God sends him his angel. But, I don’t have my angel, so usually, I get sad. But this time, I was full of wishful thinking and hope. Nothing was working, and then I began to cry. 

Then, I got a text message. It had been one I had wanted all day to come. But, I know people have lives so I remained patient. Little does he know, not only did he save me from an anxiety attack, but he made me feel understood. We were able to talk about what was happening. I didn’t mention that I was trying to make myself have an attack, but I did say anxiety was kicking my ass. He put a smile on my face when there had been no emotions just hours earlier. I had felt like self harming again yesterday, I’m thankful I hung onto hope. 


While I’m not happy that someone else pulled me out of a panic attack, I’m also glad they did. What I mean by that is, I want to be strong enough to not have to turn to someone every time. It’s not healthy to have the number one thing on your go-to list being to turn to someone else. Because, eventually that becomes just one person. And if you turn to that person every time, you’re giving them too much power over your emotions. And, if they don’t answer, you’re stuck and it usually makes the panic worse.

However, I’m glad at the same time that it happened. I didn’t turn to him, he had no clue how I was feeling when he texted me. I was only honest when he asked how my day was. And he understood. I wasn’t desperate for his help, but I allowed him to help, even though he probably has no idea how much he helped. 


I could tell that something good was on it’s way yesterday. It may already be here, or it may be on its way. But, yesterday was too calm, the sky too perfect. When I looked up, it was as if God was trying to tell me to just trust in Him. Yesterday, I didn’t have the strength to. Today, I currently have the strength and will keep trying to remain strong in my faith. I’m giving my power of control over to Him. What happens next will not be because of my actions, but because of His grace and His promise. He truly does have a better plan for me, I just need to wait. 

I want everyone who is struggling to remember, these are just passing moments. The anxiousness, fear, doubt, whatever it may be, it’ll pass. Eventually, happiness will come and it will pass too. But, you can rest assured in hope that happiness will always find its way back to you. Why? Because we all deserve to be happy. 

-Liz

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. 

-Liz