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

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Cake Or Pie? (Suggested Reader Post)

Have an idea for something you’d like to read about, know about me, or learn about? Submit it in the comments or email me at: Liz.ashleyc@icloud.com


Cake. Cake is better than pie. Hands down, no doubt about it. 

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the real topic. 

So, what is the meaning of life?

I believe the meaning of life is different for everyone. Everyone has a unique purpose here on earth. For some people, it’s to become famous and inspire millions of others. For some people, it’s to grow up in a small town you’ll never leave and raise a cute little family. Everyone has a different purpose. I believe mine is to inspire others, be happy, and help in the mental health community. 

The biggest challenges for finding your life’s meaning is to find your purpose and to find out how you can be happy. Finding your purpose can be tough as hell. I’m lucky to believe I have found it at age 22. But who knows, my purpose could turn out to be something different than I think currently. Finding happiness is a little bit simpler in my opinion. Once you realize it doesn’t come from what you do or what you have, it comes from within you. 

Sure, my trip to Florida will make me happy, but it’s not lasting happiness. The comments I receive on my blog make me happy, but again, it’s not lasting happiness. What you do isn’t what makes you happy in the long term, it’s who you are. It’s what you tell yourself. Right now, I could sit here and see the mess there is on my patio, think of all the negativity surrounding me, and I wouldn’t be happy. Or, I can be grateful for the giant dog laying on the ground in front of me, happy I got to have Starbucks this morning, and thankful that on this St. Patrick’s Day I’m not getting wasted. Why? Because I’m happy with my life. 

I do believe that some parts of the meaning of life are the same for everyone. 

The first is to be kind. Everyone is struggling with something, and even if they’re not at the moment, kindness can only make them happier. The other day I saw the kindest gesture I’ve ever seen. At a stop light exiting the freeway I saw an officer get out of his cop car, reach for something in the back seat, pull out a box of fresh donuts (I loved the cliché stereotype of it all), and turn around to walk over to the man begging on the corner and hand him the box of donuts. He didn’t arrest him, he didn’t scold him, just offered him his box of donuts. The begging man rejoiced, he was so grateful. We need more of that in this life. Instead of wondering what that man’s actual intentions were, the officer acted out of the kindness of his heart. Something that stuck with me about people begging, sure they may not be homeless and there are other options, but at the end of the day, they’re still begging on the street. And that’s someone that needs love. 

Another thing we all share is love. We all have the ability to love and be loved. Love is what makes life worth living. Without it, what would be the point? What if you loved nothing? You didn’t love yourself, you didn’t love your hobby, you didn’t love your family? What would be the point? That’s such a dull existence. Love comes in the form of family, friends, partners, and strangers. Love thy neighbor. That’s something I strive for daily. Especially being a Christian in a world where so many Christians are full of hate and judgement. Love your gay neighbor, love your ethnic neighbor, love your feminist neighbor, love your homeless neighbor. Love everyone, damnit. This world is harsh, hateful, and scary. Everyone benefits from a little bit of love. 

And finally, to be a light in the darkness. Whether someone is in the darkness of depression, a hateful heart, or whatever, be the light they need. Be kind and be loving. Show them that happiness and purpose exsist. Show them that there is hope. Use your struggles to inspire others who may need it. Show them the world isn’t always so scary. Help each other out, we’re all here on this earth struggling in one way or another, be the light that shows them that pain does not last forever, there are moments of joy in even the darkest of times. 

Also, the meaning of life is coffee and cake. Even better, coffee cake. 

So, that’s what I think the meaning of life is. It may be different for you. I’d love to know what my lovely readers think. What would you add to the list that we all share? Or, what purpose did you find for yourself? I’d also love to know what you found to find happiness. Share your thoughts and opinions, I love nothing about blogging more than hearing what my readers have to say!

-Liz

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

New Series!

Hello, everyone!  I’ve been working on a new series for you all!  I’m excited to start publishing this series this coming weekend.  If all goes well, I may be able to get you a sneak peek later today!

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The series will be all about how to tackle challenges the day brings.  Some days will have kind of a, follow me vibe to them.  Other days may focus more on one specific thing.  So, keep an eye out for my new series of posts!  For everything from how to survive a sick day, to how to survive a photo shoot!  Love y’all!

XoXo, Elizabeth Ashley

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Positive Vibes Only, Please.

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Please excuse my wet hair, this was taken right before being a haircut model at school. 

This past week was a great and busy week!  At school, we had the opportunity to watch a demo by two very respected people in the beauty industry.  Well, I didn’t get to watch, I was too busy trying to not look like a crazy person in front of the entire school while one of them cut my hair!  Social anxiety at it’s best in that moment.  But, I enjoyed every second and love my new hair style!

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Thank you, for my lovely new hair cut!

Wherever you go, there will be someone who disagrees with you.  And that’s what happened to me at the end of my week.  It was a very frustrating moment for me. With any disagreement, it’s best to walk away, and calm your mind down.  Especially for someone with anxiety.  In the moment, it’s easy to assume that a disagreement is negative, it has all the signs pointing to negativity.  I always try to see the positive in every situation.  Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not.  And that’s all okay.  I will not be getting into details, nor will I name, names.  This is not about what went down, this is not about the others in any disagreeing situation.  With this, I am wanting to inspire thought, inspire positivity, and inspire respect.  Do not place blame on others, but hold yourself to a standard of these three things.  The only thing you can control, is your reaction to whatever may come your way.

When you get into a disagreement with someone, they may be open-minded, willing to listen and learn of another point of view.  Other times, they may be closed off, and set in their thoughts.  And that’s totally up to them.  As frustrating as it may be, don’t blame them.  Worry about what is coming out of your own mouth.  What vibes are you expressing to others?

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I like my shoes.

The best way to calm yourself down during a disagreement that is not heading for a positive outcome, is to walk away.  I got up, excused myself, and went and smoked a cigarette.  That was the best way for me to calm down.  I don’t encourage smoking, if you don’t do it, don’t ever do it.  After walking away, you’re in a position of being alone with your thoughts.  Text a friend and rant it all out for a moment, calm your mind, and think from their side.  Understand that no matter what, the best thing to do is to walk away without anger, without hate, only peace.

After talking with my roommate’s mom, she pointed out that this occasion was actually a positive one.  After holding onto it until I got home, I realized that she was right.  It wasn’t positive that there was a disagreement, but in the way I handled it and in the way that I got up and walked back in with my head held high.  No longer angry, no longer hurt, just letting it all roll off my shoulder.  I was able to end my day on a halfway decent note.  And I’m thankful for the way I can see the good in the bad.

And lastly, be respectful, guys!  I mean, come on.  It’s 2016, we’re grown adults, let’s act like it!  If someone has a different point of view than you do, don’t tell them they’re wrong.  Unless it’s something that’s factually wrong like, coffee doesn’t make people happy.  What I mean is, there’s different ways at approaching everything.  Just because someone has a different approach than you do, don’t put them down for it.  Don’t laugh and call that idea wrong.  Because, that’s just wrong.  What matters is the outcome, not the way you create.  In an industry where art is your career, your life, and your passion, you have to respect the way others create.  That’s what forms bonds between artists who can then continue to create masterpieces together!

At the end of the day, enjoy who you are, love yourself.  No matter where you are, or what you’re doing in life; be thoughtful, positive, and respectful.  There are too many people who are not, be the reason someone smiles.

-Elizabeth Ashley

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

When Life has it’s Own Plans.

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I apologize if the quality in this photo is not so great, was taken with my cell phone. 

Before my busy school week abruptly begins again tomorrow morning, 5am, I wanted to share one last weekend post.  Okay, I’ll be honest, I needed a serious study break and for many of you, it’s still a Monday.  However, as soon as I sat down at my table in my favorite coffee shop, I started having ideas come into mind.

The photo above is one that I hold very dear to my heart.  I took this photo in Tennessee, that was the building my ex and I were going to turn into his recording studio.  And yes, that is him.  I’m going to try with all my might to not get too sentimental as I write, as this is intended to be a post looking to the future, and recreating our present lives.

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This was also taken on my phone. 

Sometimes life changes drastically, one moment you’re dreaming of your future.  The next moment, you’re on a plane staring at the Grand Canyon, wondering what will happen next.  These changes don’t happen for just any reason.  They’re not random, they don’t just happen to make you miserable.  Sure, they may seem to come out of the blue, but one day you’ll realize what there is to learn from it.  That is, if you’re willing to learn from it.  I decided to take the drastic change of a break-up and moving across country as a major learning experience.  Yes, it was an uphill battle to get here.  Between the anger, denial, and sadness, it took a while.  But, here I am, willing to share what I have learned.

Through all of this, through the thinking and wondering, I realized my lesson.  Self-care and Self-love.  I stopped caring for myself.  I stopped loving myself.  I had gained weight, I had gotten into a terrible routine, I even began to read so much that I would finish a novel in less than 2 days.  That meant for an entire 8 hours, I laid in bed reading.  I gave up.  Unfortunately, it took me moving back to my home town to realize just how badly I need to save myself.

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Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas. Also taken on my phone…

For anyone who is going through, or has at one point been through, a tough change like this, it’s easy to forget what will help us most.  Taking care of ourselves!  And guess what, that’s exactly what I needed to work on in the first place!  I realized through all of this, that we can’t be our best selves unless we put ourselves first.  I’m not talking in the selfish, I’m more important way, but in the way that’s healthy.  If we’re not okay on the inside, how do we expect to be able to help others?  How do we expect to be successful in our careers?  Whatever it may be, there comes a point when we need to make time for us.

I have this horrible habit, that I know many other people have, too.  Waking up with 10 minutes to spare before we head out the door to start the day.  This is the biggest thing in my personal life that I want to drastically change.  I’m at school when the sun rises, and home when it’s setting.  Those days, I have absolutely no time to myself.  There’s 10 minutes to take care of myself, and that short time is spent cussing myself out for waking up late and being in a rush.  It’s a terrible cycle!

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Yes, I took a selfie in the mirror ceiling at Graceland. Obviously, taken on my phone. Again.

So, my goal is to wake up an hour and a half earlier.  I’m going to use this time to do my yoga, perfect my make-up, actually do something other than brush my hair and leave.  I’m going to eat breakfast, enjoy a cup of coffee, and read the Bible.  One thing I want to start doing is writing a Gratitude List each morning.

What small step do y’all want to make to help yourself?  Let me know in the comments, if you want!  I encourage all of you to enjoy your time, take everyday one moment at a time.  Take care of yourself, love yourself, so you can love others better.

-Elizabeth Ashley

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Original Inspiration.

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Today I’ve been struggling with what I want to write.  I woke up today knowing that I wanted to get out of the house and drink coffee.  Okay, I wake up everyday knowing that!  I also knew I wanted to write a post for you all to read.  My original goal was to write a fashion post for tomorrow inspired by Audrey Hepburn.  I didn’t get done what I needed, due to it being an insanely crazy week.  So, I’m going to make up for it by posting a bunch this weekend and bringing y’all the fashion post next week!

I sat down and just started typing, rambling on and on until it didn’t make any sense.  Usually, I do this about 4 times before I type something I enjoy.  Thankfully, it only took one time of craziness before I came to a topic.  Inspiration.  I am in love with inspiration.  You can use it to create better works of art, to create a better life, and just about anything else.  Whenever I am lacking in inspiration for my blog, I go right back to the original source of it all, Free People BLDG 25 Blog.  I love the clothes the company makes, but even more, the inspiring posts that they produce.

I feel that it’s important to always go back to that first source of inspiration, it’s what made everything possible.  If you can’t physically get to it, go to it with your memories, this is about the one way it’s acceptable to revisit your past.  Bring you back to where you started, humble yourself.  Everything has a starting point, don’t forget it.

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A great way I’ve found, and I’m constantly trying to improve on, is to remain simple.  Let inspiration grab a hold of me and take me where it wants.  I tend to over-think everything, I read into others’ actions too much, and it makes me miserable.  The best thing to do is to sit back, calm your mind, and live in the moment.  Don’t worry about the future, set your goals, and live day by day working towards them.  By remaining in a simple state of mind, you’re allowing inspiration to sink in and you can enjoy it.  I’m not over thinking what I’m writing, I’m letting it take control.  When I go back into class on Tuesday, I won’t over think about my group photo shoot, I’ll let what happens, happen.  I’ll share my ideas, and let them mold with my teammates’ ideas.  I’ll enjoy creating with them, and I’ll enjoy the outcome of the final product.

So, let’s let inspiration helps us better ourselves.  Let’s let it take control for a moment, find the inspiration to make that healthy change in your life, or to bring you back to what you love.  Find the inspiration to be better at work, or to be a better parent.  Live every day with love in your souls, and inspiration in your heart.  Smile, find the reasons to be happy.

I wonder how many times I said the word, Inspiration in this post?

-Elizabeth Ashley