Looking In

I’ve been slacking on the writing again. I guess not technically because I have written a few small poems as I recently started a new, anonymous instagram account. My period was super late this month so I was feeling not the greatest and felt so tired, but now I’m on the upswing! I took a few of the photos I posted on this blog and wrote poems over them, which is something I always had wanted to do, so I am excited to be trying that out.

I am working hard on talking to myself and thinking through feelings. I have been having issues with someone in my life that I unfortunately cannot avoid currently, and I am trying my best to not give that person my energy, but I keep finding myself so bothered.

I try to remind myself that we are all humans who have our own issues and traumas, and it’s not up to me to determine how someone should act or treat others, all I can do is focus on how I treat others and how I react. I don’t want anyone to ruin my good mood or healing, so I won’t let them! I will continue to pinpoint my trigger and work through it internally and hopefully I will be able to tolerate this person more over time.

I hope everyone has a good upcoming weekend!

Being Intentional

Today is back to work after enjoying a long weekend, and I am looking forward to the week ahead! I definitely feel tired today, but I know that once I come home I can relax and do what I want to do with my time. I got to see my parents as well as a couple friends during my time off, and I am planning to see another friend during the week, and I am going to visit someone else this upcoming Sunday!

I know I didn’t really write about it here, but mid August I found out that one of my previous coworkers passed away during childbirth. Death is always hardest for me, and I always find myself questioning so many things and my anxiety always spikes. This time around I really tried to dig into my emotions and lay low, and even though her and I were not close or friends by any means, it still affected me.

I was feeling guilty for being sad, mainly because she wasn’t always my favorite person, but at the same time I would never wish death upon anyone and I couldn’t stop thinking about her family and children she was leaving behind. It kept reminding me that death truly is the only guarantee in life, and the only thing we can really do about that is be intentional with our time.

We can do our best to spend time with the people we love, so I am trying to make a more conscious effort to at least message friends more, if not see them in person. It’s also important that I do what I want in life, because I have no idea when I will pass on! When you think about it, we should truly be living like every day is our last. I mean I wouldn’t recommend taking out thousands of dollars of loans to go on an extended vacation in Greece (as tempting as that sounds), but if you always say you want to do more of something, start doing that thing!

For me, I always say I want to read more and write more, and this year I have been doing much more of those two things, but I can still do more! If I plan to fulfill my dream of writing a book, those are both things I should be investing my time into. I also say I want to be more mindful about my eating and overall health, so it is time that I start paying more attention to that.

Small, daily habits are what truly matter, and it’s important that you schedule some time for yourself. Whether it’s five or ten minutes to meditate, twenty minutes to read, or thirty for a workout, all of that time adds up over your life. Imagine how many days/weeks of our lives we have spent scrolling through online content, watching endless TikToks and reels- is any of that truly important? For some, that answer is yes, and that’s okay! For others, they are annoyed with how much time they spend on social media.

Everyone has different interests, but what matters is that you do what is important to you, and you live life intentionally for yourself. If you are constantly living for others, it becomes easy to lose yourself and go down a path you didn’t necessarily want. Life is always too short, so take some time to check in with yourself and start doing more of what you want to do!

Celebrate Yourself

Today is Friday and I am so excited for the weekend! My boyfriend and I are attending a friend’s wedding tomorrow, but other than that I am free to relax and take some time for myself. After how busy last weekend was for me, I am happy to be able to slow it down a bit while still having the opportunity to see friends and have a good time!

I was doing a bit of reflecting yesterday and I am honestly so proud of how far I have come on my mental health journey; I was thinking about how I was when I first moved out with my boyfriend and it truly feels like night and day. I still have plenty of work to do, but now it doesn’t feel so daunting and impossible!

When I first removed myself from an environment of constant chaos and unpredictability, my body didn’t even know how to handle the calm, peaceful life I was entering. My nervous system was stuck in a state of turmoil and I always felt like my mind was racing and I was running with it! I could never sit still and relax, instead I’d hyper focus on tasks that “needed to be completed,” and I’d feel out of control if I ever took a minute to breathe.

I still have days where it’s hard for me to sit down and unwind, but now my boyfriend and I both have learned how to handle it better. For example, earlier in the week was rough for me- I was starting my period and this time around my hormones felt super out of whack and I was feeling depressed. I honestly haven’t felt that low in quite a while, but instead of giving into that feeling, I was able to remind myself that this is temporary and has a lot to do with my cycle. I didn’t sit and think that I was going to be depressed forever, and I didn’t give myself a hard time for it.

I had told my boyfriend that I was going on a walk, which he encouraged, but I kept stalling and saying that I had things to do around the house and he could tell I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed. He looked at me and said “you need to go on your walk, and only think about your walk while you’re on your walk.” He was right, and I knew that already but just hearing it from him and out loud was something that I needed. I ended up going on my walk and I felt so much better when I came home. I cleaned up what I needed to, I showered, and then he helped me cut up veggies for the big salad I was making for the week.

It’s incredible how much of an impact that walk had on me, and I understand why everything I read and listen to about mental health says it is important to move your body every day. For me, just walking for 30-40 minutes made life feel so much more bearable, and it was nice to take some time to myself.

I feel so very blessed every day to have a wonderful man by my side who has grown with me over the years, who has learned how I operate and how to help me when I am struggling, and who loves me every step of the way. I used to feel like my brain was on fire and I was such a raging b*tch to him even when I didn’t want to be, and I knew he didn’t deserve it which made me hate myself/my brain quite a bit.

Lucky for me, he always saw the real me underneath all of the anxiety; and now I can finally see me as well. I am forgiving myself for past mistakes as I now understand why I was the way I was, and my goal is to continue healing and keeping this relationship strong, as I know we will have a solid foundation for our future together and our future as parents. That is still a couple years down the road, but that just gives me more time to work on myself!

Make sure you take time to look at who you were five years ago and then look where you are today; we all love to hate on ourselves and feel like we aren’t moving forward, but it’s a much nicer habit to celebrate yourself! Look at how you handle certain situations compared to how your past self would! Give yourself credit where it is due, and make a plan for the things you still want to work on. You deserve a happy life!

Another day, Another post

Today was my second Wednesday off after starting my new schedule! I got breakfast with a good friend for her birthday this morning, and once I was home I did some dishes and laundry. I made sure to get my groceries yesterday after work instead of today, so I had the whole day free to do whatever!

I listened to a few podcasts, went on a walk, and even was able to join Gabrielle Bernstein’s zoom call where she recorded an episode of “Dear Gabby!” I honestly almost chickened out, but I was so glad I didn’t! There were about 80 participants in the meeting, all of us could chat and we remained muted unless we were picked to ask her a question!

It was nice listening to other people and remembering that we are all truly so similar; imagine what we could accomplish if we’d just take the time to listen and have real conversations with others. I honestly even cried listening to her speak and answer questions, and again it was just happy tears feeling like I was where I was supposed to be!

Over the weekend I picked up a couple of Gabby’s books, one of which my mom was nice enough to get for me as an early birthday gift! We had gone out for breakfast together and went to the bookstore afterwards, and that’s where I picked up “Judgement Detox,” and then I found “Happy Days.” I was originally looking for “Happy Days,” so when I finally found it my mom said that would be my gift from her and my dad for my birthday, and I am so grateful!

I haven’t started them yet, as I am already currently reading two books, but I am ready to dedicate time to reading more again so I can move onto her books next! I have been feeling good lately and plan to keep it that way; I had to mute some accounts on instagram just to escape from some of the negativity and drama, and honestly I am proud of myself for setting that boundary.

For a while now I haven’t followed any news or radio shows, because I am tired of consuming tragedy after tragedy and feeling like everything I see is horrible. I’d rather feed my brain with positivity, growth, and happiness. I prefer to not be ignorant to the current events, but I can also seek information out on my own and try to find unbiased sources, rather than believing everything that people share on social media.

Social media definitely has major impacts on mental health (just google it), which is why I do my best to keep everything on my page positive and I like/save positive posts to help the algorithm share more of those things to my feed. We choose what we consume on a daily basis, make sure you pay attention to what you feed your brain.

Self-Care Sunday

I posted this photo on Instagram this morning and decided to share it here as well!

“self care means dedicating time to do the things that you love for yourself. self care means resting when your brain/body tells you that you need it. self care is deepening your awareness of your emotions and triggers, so you can be more in control of your own mindset. so many people will say they don’t have time for themselves, but this time is necessary. everyone deserves to be their best selves, not only for yourself, but for everyone around you. your partner deserves you at your best, your children deserve you at your best, and you deserve to feel you best. dedicate that time for yourself, because self care is NOT selfish, it is a necessity.”

Thursday Thoughts

Yesterday was a wonderful day off, and I know I’m going to love having this schedule! I felt like I got so much done yesterday, and still had so much time to do the stuff I enjoy! I listened to a couple podcasts and even went to the pool with a friend! Overall it was a great day and I’m ready to crank out these next two days and get to the weekend!

Summertime always makes me feel so much happier and more motivated, I absolutely love the warmth and sunshine. Just being able to stand on the balcony and feel the heat of the suns rays beaming onto my skin is enough to make the whole day better! I’m praying next week is nice instead of the current rain their predicting, but we will see what happens when we get there!

Happy Friday Eve!

An Off Day

Today just felt off, and honestly yesterday did too. I’m trying to be positive and remind myself that I’m allowed to rest and take breaks, but it’s not always easy. Today it’s 100 degrees outside and I started not feeling the greatest towards the end of my shift, so I ended up skipping the gym. I’ve been sleeping a lot more these past couple of days and I need to listen to my body.

I can’t help but feel guilty about it, and I’m trying to figure out why. Why am I so hard on myself? Is it because going to the gym is within my control and I’m not doing it? I already told myself that I’m going to the gym to feel better and be healthier, getting obsessive over it is not healthy! Honestly though, I’m stressed about life shit too.

We recently got a letter from our lovely homeowners association and they’re requiring some expensive work to be done. It’s annoying and honestly would never recommend anyone to live where there is an HOA. At a time where inflation is ridiculous, we’d rather not spend thousands of dollars on stuff that isn’t really that important (to us, but to them it’s not cosmetically pleasing), but we unfortunately don’t have that choice right now. I think the anxiety is coming from the fact that we don’t know what the pricing looks like yet, and I always have anxiety around money.

I am trying to remind myself that money comes and goes, and luckily my boyfriend and I are both working and are able to pay all of our bills. We truly are blessed and I am grateful for this every single day; I just need to keep reminding myself to turn to gratitude.

It’s not a bad life, it’s just a rough couple of days. I always come out of it and I will do the same this time. Day by day, I will learn to give myself grace, and I will learn how to be patient with myself. This is all part of the journey.

Self Care Sunday

Today felt like a very productive day, which always makes me feel very happy and accomplished. I love having days like this, and I know I only have many more to come if I keep working hard on focusing on the positives in every situation.

Grocery shopping is normally something I complain about, but I knew it was a task I had to complete today. I reminded myself that it is important to look at the situation with gratitude; I am thankful that I can afford to grocery shop for my home, and I am thankful that there are so many different food options to choose from! I felt a lot better getting ready to go to the grocery store than I normally would have, and I truly believe that is because I took that time to acknowledge the fact that grocery shopping is a blessing, and a privilege that I am lucky to have.

Something else that was a blessing today was I randomly got a notification on my phone that my aunt from out of town sent me money on venmo! The memo said: “Gas, groceries, meal out, whatever you want. :)” I was honestly taken aback, but immediately was so grateful and I sent her a message thanking her for this sweet gift. I put it right in our account to go towards groceries, and I’m currently making steaks in the air fryer for us! It’s truly incredible how it seems that when you pay attention to your blessings, that more seem to show up!

I may not have gone to the gym today or cleaned out my closet, but I did other productive things and I am happy for myself! I read some of my book (The Power is Within You- Louise Hay) out on my balcony, I listened to a Phil in the Blanks podcast, and I treated myself to an iced coffee! I keep reading posts and listening to podcasts about focusing on one thing at a time, and truly looking at life day by day instead of stressing about the “end goals,” and it’s truly has changed my perspective. For example, if I have the thought that I should go to the gym, but I truly don’t feel like going, I will at least take a few minutes to stretch or do a small workout with some dumbbells at home.

My past, perfectionist self wouldn’t have even done that because if I’m not going all in it’s not worth it, but that’s not true! If I would have done what I’m doing now each time that I didn’t go, I’d likely be a lot stronger/more toned now than I am! Instead of getting down on myself about that, I’m just making more conscious efforts and decisions moving forward; taking it day by day makes life feel a lot easier.

What did you do for yourself today? If nothing yet, please take some time for yourself! It doesn’t have to be something major, simply washing your face, reading a chapter of a book, or lighting your favorite candle can be an act of self care! You deserve time for yourself; remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup!

Overwhelmed with Emotions.

My last post was a week ago, a day after my mother’s stroke. I am blessed to say that my mother is home now and living a normal life. She is still having some minor mobility issues with her left hand/fingers, but overall she is recovering well! I feel so grateful every day that I still have my mother here, and honestly, things have already changed a lot for her since the stroke. My mother has smoked cigarettes for decades now, and she has not had one since her stroke. She will keep an unlit cigarette by her at home and will sometimes do the motion like she is smoking it, but she still hasn’t actually smoked one. She also has only had one beer- this is the woman who has been drinking beer and hard liquor every night since I was seven years old! She hasn’t had any feelings of withdrawal, and she is doing an amazing job.

Over this week I have had a bunch of emotions come up; I found myself crying randomly at home or driving to/from work. Every time that I found myself crying, I realized that there weren’t sad tears… they were tears of joy. I was feeling so overwhelmingly grateful to the universe that my mother is okay and still gets to live a normal life. I also felt a huge sense of accomplishment for myself, because I am no longer on anxiety medication and I handled this situation better than I ever expected to. My boyfriend said to me: “I am so proud of you. I feel like if this would have happened two years ago, you would have folded up like a lawn chair” (LOL), and he is right!

In the past, I would be thinking so far into the future about “what if she has another stroke and she isn’t so lucky that time?” or “what if she stops taking her medications and starts drinking/smoking again?” To be fair, these thoughts have obviously crossed my mind, but I am able to redirect them and remind myself that we can only take life day by day. The other day when I found myself asking those hypotheticals, I said to myself: “Today my mom is alive. She has not had a cigarette, and she hasn’t had any hard alcohol; today is a good day.” I am finding it easier and easier to rewire my bad thoughts into thoughts of gratitude or positivity, and realizing that made me break down in tears (more than once).

For a long time, I truly thought I would never be able to get off of my medication. I thought I would have to rely on them forever and I would never be able to truly handle my emotions or traumas on my own. And don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being on medications for life, especially if they are working to keep you alive and well. I just always have had this goal of being able to come off of my medications and truly see if I can handle things “on my own.” For this event to occur while I have been off my medication for seven months, and for me to be able to handle it well without shutting down, feeling guilty, or continuously looping terrible future scenarios over and over again in my head, I am impressed with myself.

I always find myself choking up when I tell my boyfriend that I never thought I could handle anything like this without medication or without having panic attacks. I am insanely proud of myself for continuing therapy, reading self-help books, and listening to some eye-opening self-reflection podcasts. I honestly feel like the hard truths and hard questions are what has helped me be able to make progress in my brain. I feel like I’ve just reached this goal that I once thought was unachievable, and I just want everyone else to be able to do the same thing. I want people to cry tears of joy because they can see and feel their own progress. I want people to see life in a new, more positive light. I want everyone to do the hard work for yourself, because you are always worth it! We all truly deserve to be the best versions of ourselves, and we deserve to be proud of ourselves. I hope everyone has a great week ahead. ♡

Back to Normal

I get to go back to work tomorrow, which is earlier than expected, because my PCR Covid test from Saturday came back negative! I had a positive rapid test and a negative PCR in the same day (well, honestly the same minute)! Although I am bummed that I just cancelled seeing my family for a false positive, I can only move forward and make plans to see them another time.

I am hopeful that this pandemic is coming close to an end; seeing endemic being talked about seems promising! Not to mention seeing the UK lift all vaccine/mask mandates after reaching their peak with Omicron, I can only pray we’re next. Maybe finally after nearly two years we can all get back to our normal lives. It’s been so sad to hear about the people who have committed suicide and overdosed during this pandemic, especially knowing someone who did.

We won’t know how this pandemic truly affected people until much later; I know we have the numbers on the CDC website in regards to Covid itself, but I’m referring to the mental health issues and suffering that people endured during the shut downs. Children locked up in abusive homes, suicidal people alone with their thoughts, addicts who are bored but have nothing to do so they fall back into what they know; I feel there were much bigger effects on the human species than we know at this time.

At this point, all we can do is be grateful that we’re still here. We are pushing through, and hopefully there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Until we reach the light, it is important that we take the time each day to count our blessings and make our own happiness. We need to be our own lights during the dark times.