Feelin Myself

I can’t lie, I have been pretty damn proud of myself this week. As Lizzo would put it I literally was 100% that bitch this week. Life has its ups and downs, but I am starting to feel (dare we say it) confidant. I am bumping up my self-trust and bumping down my guilt, and it has been great!

Who knows how long it is going to last, but I will tell you what I hope is forever…and a day. As any of us dealing with mental health disorders know it is an ongoing rollercoaster, but I say this if we allow ourselves to drive ourselves insane in the downs then we should make sure also to enjoy the highs.

I also want to re-emphasize two big points!

Numero uno: Having a trusted support system (friends, family, significant others, therapists, and beyond) is lifechanging. I spent almost thirty years of my life somewhat hiding everything I feel, and it is beautiful to know I can talk to my cheerleaders and confidants whenever I need to, and that I can be honest about where I am…and have that be ok.

Secondly, it is so essential for us to continue the conversation about mental health care and mental health conditions because of real talk none of us are alone in this!

This is a short post, but I love you all! Please let me know what you have accomplished recently that you are proud of. If your week isn’t going great, please understand that this is ok as well. I am frequently a ball of tears and tissues, and I know I will be one day again (hopefully far in the future).

I will talk to you all next week! ❤

Ugly Cry

Real talk this week has been an emotional storm. Trickling off of what I posted about last week, I am having a lot of mental walls come up with anxiety triggers.

Positive news boom anxiety attack
Bad news boom anxiety attack
Standing up for myself, boom…
Any slight whisper of conflict, boom…

It has not been easy for me in the slightest. However, I have been able to make some mental cliff notes along the way.

Note #1: Anxiety can’t break me no matter how much my brain tells me otherwise.

As I sat in bed ugly crying for about 5 hours feeling like the world was going to end because I sent an email, I realized it wasn’t breaking…yes I felt like shit…yes I had a sore face from power crying but the world itself, including the things I was interacting with, remained the same. I will note that it is not that I thought with my logical brain that things would explode but the part of my mind that thought jumping out of a window was a better alternative to just waiting it out and seeing what developed took note.

Note #2: My flaws do NOT make me less powerful.

It is easy to feel like less than when you are in a constant fear state. It is easy to think everyone’s thoughts on you match your inner dialog, and even though my brain does not want to accept it, neither of those things are true. Just because my anxiety can be a giant douche telling me I suck at most things daily, I am slowly becoming more comfortable embracing that I am badass. It is also good to mention IMO that even though I am engaging in regular power cry sessions, I am pretty fricken productive during that storm.

Note #3 Keep on considering support options.

Sometimes I know I can feel annoying telling loved ones about my anxiety or depression. I think oh man I must be a broken record to them, but I am always surprised and grateful at the fact that this is not the case. With that being said, I am being real and considering if talking to a therapist or an outside support aide as a way to find, even more, more effective coping skills. If there is one thing I hope people take from this blog, it is that no one is across the board perfect, and everything you are is okay, and you should never be ashamed to talk to people, and/or ask for help if you need it. Mental health care should not be shameful or hidden, and if you need support, the resources are out there! (Feel free to drop me a message at any point if you need help finding some resources on where to find help as well). Here is a quick list to save just in case:

This week has been hard, beautiful, and long. I want to send a special shout out to my amazing boyfriend who gives me a supportive ear, a shoulder to cry on, a blanket burrito to lay in and pretty sensational backrubs on the regular. He has made this week way less intense than it could have been.

To all my readers, we are all on our journey, we are all flawed in one beautiful way or another, and we are not alone. As Machine Gun Kelly put it

“Hold your head high, muthafucker
Don’t ever look down because of who you are
Our flaws are what makes us perfect.”

I am going to try practice some hardcore self-care over the weekend. I think you all should as well. Let me know in the comments how you are treating yourself to some love today or over the weekend, please! Love you all, and I will talk with you next week ❤

Smoke and Mirrors

First of all, let me say I am sorry I have been MIA for the last two weeks. The past month has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs for me, and I needed to practice what I preached with some good old fashioned self-care.

Now that I am back, there is so much I want to catch up on. While I have been away, I have aged up a year to 33 (which feels pretty neat). I spent a restorative unplugged birthday with my boyfriend camping on an Island with the wolves singing us to sleep. When the time came for us to return to the city (and real-life), I had to mentally prepare to face quite a few things that have been scary for me.

Number one is facing changes. Without going into detail, there is a ton of massive life change going on right now. Now much of this is still in flux, and outwardly much of it is positive, but I am going to be real AF and say I am freaking out. It is incredibly frustrating to have news that seems great throw me into panic attacks and tears on the regular. I am very aware that letting fear prevent us from growing as humans is a nono, but the perfect storm of imposter syndrome, general and social anxiety, bouts of low confidence and fear of instability are making me feel like I am on the edge of a tipping point over a black abyss.

I have always been a bit of an overachiever, due to my anxiety, (I am still not sure if that is a pro or a con). Part of what comes with that is positive reinforcement and trust. It is very confusing to my brain when people trust me in ways that I do not trust myself, and it is something that I walk a tightrope line on almost daily currently.

I think overall the rollercoaster of up’s and down’s along with pushing myself outside of my comfort zone has put me into a mentally, emotionally, and creatively exhausted state. I feel like I have been spewing out every part of me and I am left with fumes and a long way to go (hence this weeks doodle).

There are so many things that I hope I can share with my readers in more detail soon, but all in good time.

I would love to know how do you guys deal with imposter syndrome? How do you learn how to trust yourself in places you don’t feel confident in? How do you work on building confidence, and has it been useful?

Thank you for your patience with me, and for supporting me by following and dropping messages! If anyone is stuck in their own emotional storm right now please know you are not alone, and if at the bare minimum you can always reach out here to talk things out in a safe space.

Love you all as always, and I will chat with you next Thursday (If I don’t implode) ❤

You-phoric (or phobic)?

This week I wanted to write about something a bit different than usual. A week or so ago I finished binging HBO’s Euphoria. This how describes itself as “An American adaptation of the Israeli show of the same name, “Euphoria” follows the troubled life of 17-year-old Rue, a drug addict fresh from rehab with no plans to stay clean.” The primary character deals with addiction, depression, and manic episodes. I will start this off by shouting in all caps THIS SHOW CAN BE VERY TRIGGERING, so proceed with caution if you are planning to watch.

What I was surprised to find is how much I related to on several layers with this character. While I am not addicted to drugs, I use different variables to control when I am feeling less in control of what is around me. This has bubbled up as anorexia and bulimia historically (which I am incredibly thankful to be 6+ years into remission for), drinking (in the past), and more presently list-making and organization. I still find myself attempting to unplug my brain in a multitude of ways when I get into depressive states. I also experience a wave of high highs and low lows regularly.

What this show also triggered for me is a glamorization at times of these mental health issues. This has been something I have seen for some time from Girl Interrupted when I was in high school to 13 Reasons Why today. It can be confusing to try to find the answer to what is the right balance here. As my readers know, I am a big believer in normalizing the conversation about mental health issues in general. I believe this extends to all ages, genders, and humans in general. However, I also feel uncomfortable with trying to make any of these issues “sexy.” As someone that actively struggles with depression and anxiety, I can confirm it is not sexy or cool at all. It is hard, exhausting and often downright ugly. I also find that it is easy to be “seduced” into old habits when viewing particular material if I am not careful. I don’t have the answers here, and I am not suggesting these shows should not be made by any means (I am a high key huge fan of Euphoria and think it is a beautifully made and essential in many ways to shine a light on addiction and mental illness). I do believe we need to be cautious and aware of a ripple effect content can have in general.

I am curious if any of you find shows that touch on mental health or triggering subjects more helpful or harmful? What do you think the right balance is?

As a side note, lots of interesting changing variables are coming up in life, and I am nervous but hopeful. I am looking forward to chatting about this in the upcoming weeks. Thanks for checking in, and I will talk with you next Thursday ❤

Imposter Cycle

Hey Everybody!

Sorry for being MIA last week, I have been working through some vicious anxiety and exhaustion cycles, and as you know self-care and love are number one in those times. I did want to chat with you all this week about something I have been trying to grapple with mentally.

I am not unfamiliar with imposter syndrome (it is something I grapple with daily). At times it can become so heavy that it motivates me to find ways to alleviate it (healthy ways, but definitely ways that take a lot of time and effort). There are, however, days like today, which I feel like I might not be an imposter. In these moments, I feel relief, and I think perhaps the possibility of change is less needed. These moments always fade away within a few days and melt into a new anxiety-ridden form of imposter syndrome.

And so begins the never-ending cycle of stress & anxiety -> drive to change -> momentary positivity -> fear of change -> stress & anxiety.
It can be an incredibly draining and frustrating cycle, and the fact that it IS a cycle makes the change feel like it is indeed the right path.

I don’t have advice on how to break this cycle today, but if you are also stuck in it, know that you are not alone! I would love to hear about what helped you break out of a similar cycle, and if that was a positive decision for you.

I am not going to lie change is something that is still very scary to me. I am still working on every day, and you all make me feel less alone in this journey, and I can’t thank you enough. Talk to you all next week ❤

I’ll Be Back

Hello everyone! Lots of big busy things this week so I don’t’ have a huge post per usual. I will be back to my regular scheduled posts next week. Thank you for the support and I will talk with you all then ♥️

Two-Faced

I wanted to talk about what I like to call “game face” with you all this week. To be absolutely honest, I have been struggling with both anxiety and depression for the past couple of weeks.

I have been in hiding under the covers mode almost 24/7, but I still needed to get shit done (work, appointments, etc.). A game face can so many things: it can mean smiling in a public-facing situation when you are really in a full-blown panic mode internally, putting on a brave face in front of people who need you to be strong for, or really any other flavor of having to act in a way that is entirely the opposite of what you are feeling.

Game face is something that is not easy for me to achieve at all times. At times it can be downright impossible. I have spent mornings crying for a few hours, and I have to ice down my face to look like a “normal” functioning human for an event or to-do task. It is not only not intuitive, but it can be confusing and lead to dissociation and mood fluctuations.

Smiling depression, defined by Healthline as , “a term for someone living with depression on the inside while appearing perfectly happy or content on the outside. Their public life is usually one that’s “put together,” maybe even what some would call normal or perfect.”, is not uncommon, and can be a characteristic of many people struggling with intense depression.

I wanted to discuss this for a few reasons. The first reason being that if you are suffering from this, I want you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Secondly, I think it is important to remind ourselves that it is ok to feel what we are feeling and be where we are every day. I do believe it is essential to try to break out of pre-loading our daily outlook as unfavorable. It’s not always easy to wake up in a cheery mindset, I wake up in full-blown panic more frequently than I care to admit, but we should try to practice gratitude and mindfulness each morning to start on the right foot whenever possible.

I would love to hear any advice about best handling having to show up to required/unavoidable events when you are in an emotional shitstorm (for lack of a better word). I would also like to know if any of you are regularly experiencing smiling depression, and what triggers you to have to go into game face mode.

Have a wonderful Thursday, and I will chat with you all next week ❤

Free Falling

You know that feeling when you are dreaming, and you feel like you are suddenly falling (this is typically the moment when I knee jerk into waking up)…well these past few weeks have felt a lot like that. They have been productive, chaotic, terrifying, and unfamiliar. There have been many moments where I felt like giving up. Change and conflict have always been things that made me uncomfortable, and the near future contains possibly a healthy mix of both…which has been hard to prepare for when you are already pretty downright exhausted. However, now that I have made it through some of the high drops of my emotional rollercoaster, I see some faint rays of excitement about what things are to come.

Looking back on the past few weeks, I have the reinforced belief that there is no one way to live your life in the right direction. We spend so much time comparing ourselves to others, dreaming without action, and focusing on what makes things hard. We have no idea what happens after this life, and because life is so fleeting, it is essential to do what makes you happiest. It can be scary to make changes in your plan, and it honestly gets more frightening for me the older I get, but we need to continue to listen to our truths. Material things can come and go (and yes they can be great), but it is truly about what makes you happy and fulfilled healthily.

Do any of you have any advice for being brave in the face of change? Do you also have trouble with change? Thanks for listening, and I will chat with you all next week ❤

Hitting the Breaks

Hello All, I hope all of you are having amazing weeks (and if you aren’t it is ok too). I am sorry I am a day late this week. I am posing a short update today. I am having a heavier week and working through my ish (if you know what I mean). I am taking a slight recovery break this week but will be back to my usual posting self next Thursday <3. Thank you for your understanding and support!

Simmering On Low

Warning there is some life realness coming up in this post. This has been a rough week for so many reasons. It has been both mentally and physically exhausting.

I have been up to my ears with anxiety, to do tasks, I am PMSing, and overall, I am thoroughly exhausted. I know I am not alone reaching a point of burnout, and it is not easy to navigate. For me, this doesn’t only bubble up as extreme anxiety, disassociation at times, along with a fun crew of other mental symptoms…it also means migraines, nausea, and lack of appetite. As much as I have wanted to hide away and not deal with life, thanks to some of my support system, I have tacked what needed to be done somewhat head-on (with a few crying breakdowns sprinkled in between for fun).

What I have noticed is as this burnout “session” has been progressive over the past month or so I have been less and less productive in my downtime. I have been using the intensity of my weeks as an excuse to do nothing that even smells productive over the weekend. I have been doing as much as I can do not to engage, think or even move at times over the weekends, which takes us from the land of self-care into the territories of avoidance and escapism. With this helpful new nugget of self-discovery, I am going to make an active go of doing at least a day of productive project work over the weekend (drawing, writing, cleaning, trying new recipes, etc.) something that will get my brain stimulated and moving forward.

Despite all the griping this week was not all negative, there were several moments of laughing, love, and productiveness, which I am grateful for on so many levels. I want to take a quick moment just to shoutout how even when you might be feeling like you just went through the digestive system of an angry octopus it is incredibly essential to remain grateful for all of the good (big or small) that you are experiencing.

Going into the weekend with this new self-challenge is both exciting and a bit scary. It is comfortable and easy to stay in the patterns we know, and it is always possible we might slip up, but guess what y’all…That does not mean you shouldn’t try and try again till you reach your goals. Not to sound preachy but the older I get the more I think life is really about just trying learning and growing, and that is all done at our own individual paces my friends.

I will still be spending plenty of time to self-care, and get some R&R over the weekend because I earned it gosh darn it. I would love to know if you have any advice for dealing with burnout? Or, if any of you are feeling stuck in a burnout the situation and would like to talk about it (or anything else for that matter).

Have a wonderfully restful and productive weekend, and I will see you all next week ❤