I was watching a live Facebook video the other day and something really stuck out to the point of me needing to blog about it.
She had asked if you could look at yourself in the mirror and name ONE thing that you LOVED about yourself.
I want you to take a minute and really think about it.
Can you do it? Can you name multiple things?
It’s not easy, is it?
We are so damn hard on ourselves and one another. Naming our flaws is easy. I could name a hundred things I hate/dislike about myself. But when it comes to things that I truly love about myself, I could maybe name two...
Why is that? Why is self love so hard?
We need to give one another a little break and compliment each other. It’s ok to love yourself! It’s ok to love multiple things about yourself! It’s ok to tell others what you love about them! And it’s even ok to not love everything about yourself or someone else. But let’s work on it. Everyday. Yes?
I have severe Asthma, and just walking that length on my own causes heavy breathing. When I am carrying my son or anything else more than 5 pounds, I can hardly breathe by the time I get in my door (my son is 20lbs, mind you).
That is only one reason- a very good one, considering I tend to have anxiety that arrives as soon as I realize I have to make that trek again. I always become overwhelmed with worry and frustration at the thought of things that cause me discomfort. Lack of oxygen is most definitelysomething that causes discomfort.
Another reason is my neighbors. The walls are thin and directly on the other side of my son’s bedroom wall lives a family with 4 kids and 2 adults. Their apartment is a two-bedroom like ours, and just my husband, 1-year-old son and I are cramped- I cannot imagine what it’s like in that home.
Here is my main issue with that family: they are loud, undisciplined, and don’t care in the least that the kids run wild and the Mom openly disrespects anyone who has authority within our complex. They also mainly speak Spanish, and it gets frustrating when they will speak to each other while eyeing me and sometimes giggle. I don’t know what they are saying, however it is never a good feeling.
Over the last few weeks, the 4 kids that live next door have been randomly running through the halls knocking on my door and jiggling the handle. I didn’t think much of it, because I am so used to them being completely unruly and it seems that complaining will do no good.
That is, until yesterday.
My husband, son, niece and I had left our apartment to pick up my sister from work to take them home and passed one of the kids that lives next to us as he was going up the steps. Well, when we got to the car and settled with the kids all buckled in, I realized I forgot my phone in the house (that never happens- I always have it within reach). So, I went back inside to get it, and as I climbed the steps, I heard a door handle jiggling. As I rounded the second flight of stairs to the final set that led straight to my door (we live in a small building with three levels that each have a short, straight hallway with 2 apartments on both sides of the hall. My apartment is directly at the top of the stairs) I could see my door from the landing, and I saw the little boy we had passed on the stairs about 10 minutes earlier dart away from my door as soon as he heard me on the last flight. Obviously, he knew I had caught him- what made me really nervous was that he kept looking back and staring intently at me as I unlocked my door. The kid was watching me so much to the point that he was walking almost completely sideways down the hall, so he could stare at me. He watched me until he got inside his door, and I went into my mine right afterwards. I know it takes maybe a minute to get up the steps, so the fact that he was still in the hall was not lost on me in that moment, and he is old enough to be fully in control and aware of what he is doing.
I have always had anxiety surrounding people invading my space and either stealing from me or hurting me. It is not a completely invalid fear, either, because I have had too many experiences of this happening, particularly while I was living in a place that was not my own. I cannot handle the stress of the anxiety on top of a new and completely legitimate reason to be afraid of someone invading my space. I am unable to sleep without my husband in the apartment- I can’t even nap without him here, and now my body is constantly on high alert even when he is here.
I have a mixture of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and PTSD (plus Borderline Personality Disorder and Major Depression), and a part of my PTSD surrounds when I was only 20 and homeless in the heart of Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I was raised in a Christian Bubble. My parents protected me from a lot while I was growing up- much of which I thank them for and plan to use to raise my own child. Unfortunately, they sheltered me greatly from many of the cruel truths of the world (by no means on purpose. Every parent wants what is best for their child, and they had no way of knowing what the future will hold).
While I was homeless, I was molested, raped, emotionally and verbally abused, and stolen from by many of the other homeless youth I came across in the shelters and Drop-In Center I spent my life in. That alone is enough to scar a person for life. Not to mention I have a hate to go downtown without my husband or a trusted friend/family member with me because of the memories that assault me just being there. So many places have negative memories of things that happened to me, being a naïve girl thinking that the boys that showed an interest in me actually liked me.They knew all the spots downtown to take me to make it impossible to be witnessed, and just hanging out with them while we wandered around has terrible memories attached to just being in that area.
I became homeless because my mother suffers from Bi-Polar disorder anddidn’t know how to control the extreme emotions caused by it. Therefore, when she was angry, she hit me. It got so bad that I finally made the decision to call the cops- I felt as though my mother was beating me and nobody bothered to save me. Even the cops treated me as though I was overreacting because by the time they got there, Mom was calm, and I was in hysterics. The thing is though, I was terrified, because my mom had been punching me and aiming blows at my face, while I blocked and yelled for help. Nobody came to help me. To this day it is my experience of the events against hers. Neither of us was innocent in it- I tended to egg her on after awhile because I resigned myself to the fact that she was so angry nothing I did would change what she was doing, so might as well just let her keep going and end my life if she couldn’t stop. When she finally stopped, I called the cops because she had always come back. It never ended with one attack- she would walk away and come back 2 or 3 times before it really stopped. The cops completely disregarded my fears and experience and told me without a care I had to leave. They didn’t care where I went, they just said I am no longer allowed in my parents’ house.
Yeah, those were dark times for us both. My Mother didn’t realize what she was doing, and while I was going through hell being hurt by her, she was going through hell knowing she was hurting me and not knowing how to stop. Fortunately, our relationship has improved back to the point of being a close-nit, happy family again. Sure, we still have disagreements, but none have been anywhere near physical since then. Plus, we have forgiven each other, and I only even think of that time when I have flashbacks of the events- always without negative feelings towards my Mom.
I have so many layers to my PTSD- physical, emotional, sexual and verbalabuse, rape, distrust, abandonment- the list continues to grow. It seems as though I cannot do anything in life without a flashback ruining the moment, and sometimes the day.
I am not letting it beat me, though. I am so much stronger than my illness, and I have spent years gaining the skills to counteract it and live a productive life.
I volunteered at a concert last week, on a Friday night, at the Target Center in Downtown Minneapolis- by myself. That’s right, I signed up and went to the concert to volunteer without hesitating, even though I would be alone. I literally didn’t even think about where the Concert was until about an hour before leaving. The best part? I had a blast. Being there alone gave me amazing opportunities to meet new people and share an even moreamazing night with people who I may never see again but will always be a part of my life.
I no longer let my fears fully control me. I have become able to stop my illness from stealing my joy, though it is not at all easy to do most of the time.
I have a crappy past, and a lot of hurt that will follow me for the rest of my life.
The thing is, I can choose to let it control me and live in fear or take control of it and live life to the fullest despite the pain I relive every day.
I am choosing to live in the moment and enjoy life to the fullest. Who’s with me?
Someday, when you are older and looking back at all that you've done, will you be satisfied? Will you like who you are? What about how you've treated people? How about your relationships, are they what you had wished?
I often think about this and I'll be 30 years old this year. I want to be retired and know in my mind that I lived a good life. The thing that hits me hard is knowing that I have the career, I have the family, I have so much freedom, great friends and in my mind that was not enough.
What is wrong with me? I try every day to be happy. Not just for my daughter or anyone around me, but for me. Anxiety is real. Depression is real.
Not until recently did I decide that I wasn't going to let it effect me everyday. Of course I have days or times where I have big feelings. Sadness, anger, panic and frustration will never just go away. But it sure won't keep me from pursuing happiness. Yes, I only have one life. And it's MINE. My decision is to stay positive and think good thoughts.
So when I have have a weak moment in time, I do cry and that's alright. But I pick myself up and keep going. How do I choose to feel better about myself or the situations I'm in? I start with positive thoughts. What motivates me is knowing I can be better and what my future looks like. I strive to be happy on the outside so why not feel it in the inside too?
One day you will look back and realize you changed for the better too.
Don't limit yourself. Do reflect. Know that you are the only one to make yourself happy and that you can be happy. You will be happy.
Sending positive vibes your way,
Have you ever felt like you are in a pit, and no matter how hard you try to climb out, that pit just seems to get deeper?
The last few weeks have been the worst of my life.
I have been feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, antsy, and incredibly worthless. I have had many moments in which the urge to self-harm or commit suicide has been overwhelming. The worst part is when I try to remind myself of all the reasons I have to live- those reasons are not a blessing in those moments, they are burdens. Being able to stay home and care for my son and niece while my husband works to support us is a huge blessing. In those moments, however, watching my husband be able to leave the house while I had to stay home and care for a cranky, needy child seems incredibly unfair and burden-esque.
I have had more thoughts of suicide this last week than I have in the last 5 years. I cannot even begin to explain why, or the reasons for such a negative feeling surging through me recently. I can, however, think of a few reasons to cause sadness in me.
Two weeks ago, I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant. Last week, I went to the hospital because I was bleeding and in pain. I had a miscarriage and it had almost completed it’s course by the time I left the hospital, as they found no evidence of my child when they did an ultrasound and my levels were at 7. At 6 weeks pregnant, a woman’s levels should be well beyond 1700. They cannot even see a baby on an ultrasound until the levels are at least 1500, hence them seeing nothing.
The 3-4 days following were filled with pain, blood, and feelings of inadequacy. Not only had God decided I wouldn’t get to raise my child in 2013, He apparently decided I was to lose yet another in 2018. At least I got to hold the body of my child and gain a bit of closure in 2013 since the baby was 16 weeks. This time, all I got was blood and pain. How on earth am I expected to grieve something I can’t even tell was supposed to be a human life?
I have been having a hard time climbing out of my pit of sadness. Most of the time, I don’t even have the energy to try.
Here’s the thing though: Despite the pain and deep sadness I have been feeling, I am still able to find the joy in my life.
When I get into those deep depression moments, I force myself to see the joy. Trust me, it is not easy. Personally, I need to dig into the specific, tiny pieces of my own life to find the joy.
Knowing my husband goes to work so I can stay home with my son is too broad of a statement to elicit the much-needed thoughts of joy. Remembering the look of pure happiness on my sons face and the sound of his adorable giggles while we play-wrestle on the floor brings me more joy than anything else in the world. Thinking about the way my husband will surprise me with my favorite kind of pop or snack when he gets home just because he wanted to do something nice for me is such an amazing feeling.
Climbing out of the pits in life isn’t about finding peace in the vague, bigger moments in life- it’s about clinging to the little, easily over-looked moments that are specific to you. We all have worries and stressors to distract us from the joy found in the little, every day moments. We just have to teach ourselves how to find those little joys in heat of the moment.
Trust me, it is not easy, and it takes a lot of practice to remember to do it every time. Just hang in there, though. Once you get it down, the pits won’t seem so deep anymore. And remember, there is always someone kneeling at the top of the pit, holding out their hand, just waiting to help you out. You are never alone in your journey, and I promise that once you find those people that are willing to help you out of that pit, no matter how dirty they may get, that pit will quickly become easier to climb out of whenever you find yourself in it again.
Mental illness is a constant battle- and luckily, it’s one we don’t have to face on our own.
Who needs sleep anyways...
“You can sleep when you’re dead”. Is what my husband tells me all the time. Sure, I can do that...but I won’t be able to enjoy it if I’m dead.
Before kids I had no problem staying up late and then sleeping half my day away. Now when I put my baby down for the “night” I am going to bed shortly after. Why? Because this kid has the most inconsistent sleep schedule ever. One night he’ll sleep for 10 hours straight while other nights he’s up every couple. My favorite nights (insert sarcasm) are the ones where he just wants to snuggle and not go back to sleep for over an hour, only to be up again in a couple more. It’s exhausting! I can’t be the only mom on this sleep struggle train, can I?
Now, I can hear it already from the peanut gallery. “Let him cry it out”, “you shouldn’t of had kids if you wanted to sleep”, “they’re only little once”. Yes. I know all of these things. No, I didn’t think I would have a stubborn, spitfire of a child who demands what he wants when he wants. If we let him cry it out- he usually pukes. Who wants to clean up puke at 3am? I sure don’t! I’ll take his snuggles over puke any day!
Oh, did I mention I’m pregnant? Add that exhaustion into these sleepless nights and I’m practically a walking mombie.
It’s 3am and this is the second time my baby has been up. The first time he was up for over an hour! He finally went to bed at 1:15. And here we are at 3:10 doing it all over again.
So, for now just give me all the coffee! I’ll be able to sleep again someday. Today is just not that day.
I hope if you’re reading this you can either relate to it OR you are actually getting a solid night of sleeping!
Tired mom is now signing off.
Xo, mama still needs a blogger name
Depression. Anxiety. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Like millions of others, I struggle with mental illnesses. It took years for me to start accepting myself for who I am and realize that I am not alone. I enjoy sharing my stories because I want to do all I can to help others understand that they are not alone and see that life truly is beautiful, no matter how difficult it can get.
I wake up late most days, work regular day hours Monday through Friday, and have very lowkey weekends. Life is simple, but oh wow, life is good. Yes, there are days that I want nothing more than to be alone in my room with the windows covered so no light can get in, but somehow those days remind me how good life really is and how bright my future is. I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe stop winter from being a thing).
I like poetry. Trader Joe’s Ginger Turmeric tea makes my soul happy. Nothing smells better than lilacs. There is no better way to spend a summer night than by a fire. Bourbon was made to sip while watching a storm roll through. No one is too old to regularly eat Kraft mac and cheese. Technology is cool. Odd numbers. You probably went back to count whether or not there is an odd number of statements.
Until next time!
Have you ever felt as though you are completely alone in the world? That despite how many people claim they understand, nobody truly understands what you are going through?
Well, I have a secret for you:
Everyone feels that way.
I know what you’re thinking- no way everyone feels this way.
Well, believe it.
I am a 25-year-old Wife, Mom of a 1-year old boy, and Caretaker of 2 other children ages 8 months and 1.5 years. I stay home with the kids, yet I am still very social. I go out on day trips when I can, we go to dinner with friends, we have playdates- I love to get out and have fun.
If you were to see me out and about, you probably wouldn’t even cast me a second glance. I am just a typical young mom who is enjoying life.
However, that isn’t even close to the whole story.
On the outside, I am a happy, loving, and semi-pulled-together woman.
On the inside, I am all kinds of crazy.
When I was 14 I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Minor Depression. The very first medication I was put on to combat the anxiety gave me hallucinations. If you have ever had hallucinations, you probably know how completely terrifying they can be. If you haven’t, I pray you never do. I was only 14 and was seeing monsters, then men shooting at me- and nobody else saw them. That was the first time I was hospitalized for mental health- and unfortunately not even close to the last.
Between 2007 and 2014, I was hospitalized 11 separate times for mental health. I have had numerous diagnoses- only half of which have actually stuck. I attempted suicide 3 times and I have scars from cutting all up my arm from self-harm.
I have severe anger-management problems, I hate when I don’t have full control over everything, I have meltdowns constantly, I can’t concentrate on more than one thing at a time, I cannot stand being interrupted, and God forbid I forget to eat (being hangrey is a real struggle with me).
I have been beaten by family, homeless in a world I knew nothing about, raped, abused, used for sex just to get pregnant and have a miscarriage at 16 weeks then dumped cold because of my instability- my life has been full of hurt and pain.
I am far from perfect. I am far from normal. I have a whole lot of struggles.
I am also human.
I have actually had many people look at me in shock when I tell them about my depression. I cannot count the number of times I have been told “But you don’t look like someone with mental illness.”
What exactly does someone with mental illness look like?
Mental illness looks like a Mom at the park laughing as she pushes her child on the swing.
Mental illness looks like an older gentleman speaking loudly on his phone while riding the bus.
Metal illness looks like the store clerk who helped millions of cranky customers on Back Friday and is still smiling at the end of their shift.
Mental illness looks like the teenagers walking around a mall on the weekend just having fun.
Mental illness is the kid sitting alone at lunch because she is too shy to ask others if she can join them.
Mental illness looks like a 25-year-old Wife, Mom of a 1 yearold boy, and Caretaker of 2 other children ages 8 months and 1.5 years who stays home with the kids, and is still very social.
I have, do, and always will suffer from mental illness. There is no cure- however, there is treatment, and, above all, there is a HUGE community of support from, and for, every walk of life.
I have been through hell and back just so that I can be a positive advocate for mental health. I have had many difficult experiences- and many amazing ones- so that I can help others going through similar experiences.
I chose to blog because I have been blessed with the ability to communicate with words what I and many others are unable to otherwise communicate with speech. I hope through my posts, I am able to bring hope and support to everyone who suffers from mental health, as well as those who love someone who suffers.
I am unashamed and not easily embarrassed or offended. I will be completely open and honest, and I welcome questions and communication.
I look forward to sharing my life experiences with you and pray I can help you through your own experiences.
Hi! Welcome to my first ever blog. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do but never knew where to start. Being part of Speaking Our Mind is an awesome opportunity to spread my wings and grow more as an individual.
If you find my first few blogs awful, let me know. Actually don’t! They will get better. I hope haha.
It’s Friday afternoon and the sun is shining with almost Spring like weather at 40 degrees! In Minnesota anything above 40 is considered t-shirt weather. We have quite a bit of snow still and most people are anxiously awaiting the change of the season. I know I am! Spring cleaning and getting fresh air into the house are what I look forward to after a long and cold Winter. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Winter. The snow, the crisp air, Christmas, and etc. It’s beautiful. I’m just ready for warmer weather and flip flops. Who doesn’t love pedi’s and flip flops?! Amirite?
Anyways, enough about the weather...
I want to tell you a little bit about myself!
I am a wife, mom and a teacher. Along with many other roles, those are the main three that define who I am as a person.
Helping & teaching people has always been my passion in life. Ever since I was a little girl I would play house & school. It’s funny how you know what you were destined for at such a young age. Not everyone is as fortunate to know what they want to do with life and that’s ok! I’ve just always known what I was meant to be.
You might be thinking, “what else does this lady do? What does she do for fun? Hobbies?”. Well let me tell you! I enjoy reading, relaxing, snuggling in bed (and sleep), watching short track Racing at Elko Speedway, fishing, swimming (in a pool, not the lake) and being with family/friends. I am not a wine drinker- give me all the beer- and I enjoy steak, junk food & a good salad. How’s that for a little about me?
I could probably write (ramble) all day so I’ll leave it at this for now.
Xo, mama needs a blogger name ;)
Yes this is meant for you, yeah I’m talking to you. Do you know the pain you have caused me? I loved you, whether you believe it or not. And all I feel is heartache and pain... you seem perfectly fine and I guess that’s what hurts me even more.
But it’s my time to move on. It’s my time to be happy. It’s my time to be loved by someone who truly cares about me... yeah we had some great memories together but you don’t understand me and all you’ve done is hurt me.
I’m done allowing you to hurt me... I’m over it. I hope you are happy right now, one day you will realize how special I am. One day you’ll realize what you lost. One day you will regret it all.
But good luck. You have broken my heart for the last time. I am better off with out you in my life.
I will always love you, but you don’t deserve my love anymore.
What is true happiness? Do you know? Do I know? Does anyone know??
“Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything the world can give - pleasure, possessions, power - but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy.”
I read that quote over and over, only becoming more confused with the meaning of true happiness. Is anyone truly happy? I guess I don’t know the answer to that question. What I do believe is that true happiness to one person is completely different to another person. But really I don’t know what that means.
Baseball and racing have brought me what I would consider to be true happiness. But family is also the rock of true happiness in my life. With racing and baseball you could feel many ups and downs, and I believe that when you win or succeeded it feels that much better.
One of the darkest days of my life took place on Friday, August 26, 2016. I thought my life was over, I had given up. I had nothing left. Nothing worth living for. The following day I was supposed to be racing at Elko Speedway. I was done. Didn’t want to go and didn’t want to be there. Told my brother and Mom that I wasn’t going to race. My brother sat me down and said we are going racing and we are going to have fun.
We went out and I recall practice not going very well, car just wasn’t right. My brother made a few minor adjustments for the heat race, we drew pretty poorly and were going to be starting dead last... nothing could go my way. Everything was horrible. Starting 11th in a heat race and needing to finish 5th to even make inversion seemed like a stretch... especially with only 8 laps to do.
Some how on the last lap we got by two cars.. finishing 5th. That put us on the outside pole for the feature race. Car still wasn’t right and I still didn’t want to be at Elko that night. Didn’t care about damn thing and was still extremely depressed. My brother made a few more adjustments to the car and told me it was perfect. I couldn’t help but laugh with all the struggles we had over the last month racing. My girlfriend who was back at college at the time sent me a couple messages to try motivate me and get me going a little bit. I missed her so much at that time, all I wanted was for her to be home and to be with me. I told her I was going to go out and try win the feature race for her.
We took the green flag, lap one I took the lead and as the laps ticked off my lead continued to grow. The car was a rocket, my brother had it dialed in. I was beyond motivated inside that car, I was going to win this race and the first person I was going to call was my girlfriend. I looked up in my mirror with about 5 laps to go and saw my great uncle was running in 2nd. He was about a straight away behind me at the time. Couple laps went by and I looked up in my mirror and saw the guy who ended up winning the championship that year. Still a ways back from catching, I knew with only 2 laps to go he wasn’t going to catch me.
I took the white flag (one to go) and as I came out of turn two the caution lights came. No way... you’ve got to be kidding me, how could this happen?? I had led every lap and was half a lap away from getting the win... only to have it ripped out from underneath me. Fitting that this would be how I’d lose this race. It was a green, white, checkered... NASCAR Overtime. I tried to jump the start and I spun my tires... the 2nd place guy got to my outside going into turn one. I thought it was over. I pushed up a little coming out of turn two (never made contact) and it was enough to cause him to get a little lose. We came to the white flag and I was clear by about half a car length. We went into one and he got outside of me again, I got a little sideways off two but so did he. It was a drag race down the back straightaway. As we came out of turn 4 coming to the checkered flag I got all kinds of outta shape... yep... I won that son of a bitch.
I had no reaction. Nothing. I wasn’t excited, I wasn’t happy, I was nothing. All I wanted was for my girlfriend to be there and she wasn’t.
Writing this right now has brought tears to my eyes.
As I came around to pull up to the flag stand and do my interview with the track announcer I saw my mom, grandma, sister standing up against the fence by the flag stand. I still wished my girlfriend was there... it was the only thing on my mind. I didn’t see my brother but I knew he was standing there. I always looked for him.
During the on track interview I was kind of speechless, didn’t have much to say and was still pretty down. I had announced that morning that 2016 would be my last year racing (maybe...). I needed a break from it, and 2017 was my break. The announcer questioned me on if my win had changed my mind, I said we will have to just wait and see what the future brings. As I pulled off the track into victory lane which is located on the main grandstand concourse I finally saw my brother. Tears running down his face.
He knew the struggles I had been going through the last few weeks. Once I was parked he leaned in my window net as he was crying and gave me a hug. Everything was forgotten about at that moment. The only thing that matter was my brother and that moment we were in. I started sobbing as he held on to me. I can tell you that, that moment was one of the most special moments in my life. He has helped me through every struggle and no matter what our differences are he is always there. I couldn’t help but continue to cry... I couldn’t find it in me to even get out of the car.
I tried to regain my composure the best I could.. I finally got out and did my normal victory lane celebration (honoring Joey Logano). I jumped down from the door of my car and was greeted by many friends and family. I was still a wreck emotionally. Lot of people were crying (happy tears and sad tears). But we had done it. We had over come everything.
I just wish my girlfriend would have been there. I can only imagine how special that moment would have been. Once we got through tech and the win was made official I called her. I could feel the happiness in her voice and at that moment everything went away. I was happy. I felt perfect. I felt amazing. I had made it through weeks of darkness... talking to her and hearing her voice made everything better. It honestly made everything go away. I felt true happiness at that moment. I couldn’t believe we did it, was still in shock. I told her I did it. I did it for her, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Do I get the trophy then?” Yes.
The point of this blog post was to show that no matter how dark things get, no matter how down you are, things will get better. And you will find that checkered flag that makes everything go away, that makes everything better. And at that moment you will be truly happy.
See you soon,