Mental Health · Positivity

I’m ready!!

I’m ready to kick some booty this semester, because last really kicked mine. Getting organized by labelling what to read and by when. I some how ended up with 3 heavy reading courses (rip me) but I’m ready!

Some awesome things that have happened recently: I have joined an OCD group, focused on exposure therapy. I’m super excited to learn strategies to handle things I didn’t even know were abnormal until recently!! Next, I joined a knitting club, lmao 😂 something I’ve always wanted to try. I’m kind of getting back into writing (poetry?) because doing it badly is better than not doing it all, right!?

Here is the latest:

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Lastly, I had a weird realization the other day: I’ve been learning all about myself the last few weeks. Like you know when you are becoming friends with someone new, and you learn about what they like and how they are, etc.? That’s what’s happening to me, but for me!! It’s hard to explain and probably sounds silly, but I didn’t realize how little love I had for myself until I was forced to face it.

I’m just doing me and forgetting about the rest. It’s 10/10. Highly recommend.

I hope spring semester, (or just January-April), has treated you all kindly thus far, and continues to be good for you. ♥️

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Mental Health · Wellness

Transitions

Hi it’s me with some more bungled thoughts. Sorry for the really long break; it’s been a really busy few weeks!!

Update: I feel like I’m running on a hamster wheel from the moment I wake up in the morning, until the moment I close my eyes at night. The last few weeks, adjusting to full time school and work, have been really overwhelming. (I’m just covering extra shifts at work right now because we are short staffed).

I am definitely discovering boundaries and limits which is really foreign territory for me. I always went on as a yes man, always saying yes and getting it done, until I’d crash and burn. I’m realizing that it’s one of my greatest weaknesses.

I’m FINALLY learning that it’s okay to say NO. It’s okay to skip out on something, to take time for you, and to prioritize your own mental health. It’s a little harder when it’s work and school, but the idea still stands.

To say I’m stressed at the moment is an understatement, but I lack the ability to self-sooth it, so I’m just running around in circles, (hence the hamster wheel metaphor). I feel myself falling into what I call “a bad luck spiral”, where it’s just constant bad things happening to you because they’re happening to you and you focus on them, so more bad things happen.

My bad luck spiral this week includes: making silly mistakes at work, having my car battery die, and then continue to die, and not having time to get a new battery so many many jump starts, having to cancel appointments, my referral for seeing a psychologist was cancelled because they were given the wrong phone number so I wasn’t answering their calls, forgetting things at home and being late, the list goes on. I know that these things are happening due to a lack of time and too many commitments. It’s my natural habitat, what can I say.

I’m trying to juggle everything, and be perfect for everyone, and I’m turn, not putting my best work out there. I’m making mistakes at work, being late for events, and falling behind in school. My anxiety is through the roof.

The good news is that I’ve put in a request for less hours ASAP because I’m mega struggling. I’m also talking to loved ones about what I’m going through which is really helping. I’m getting another referral to talk to someone. I’m trying so hard to solidify my boundaries and limits for future reference.

We will persevere. We will conquer. We will accomplish. ♥️

xo,

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Mental Health · Positivity

I Appreciate You

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I said yes to a movie date all those years ago, but I know for sure that it was the right decision. I often feel like I don’t deserve you, or that you’re too good for me, but I’m trying daily to remember that the universe doesn’t make mistakes. My anxiety tells me you’re going to leave, that it’s all too good to be true, and that you’re getting tired of me. You remind me that my anxiety tells me a lot of things, but it doesn’t make it true. I remind myself that you were sent to me for a reason, and you are still around for a reason.

You are far from perfect to a normal standard, but you are perfect for me. You grind my gears, but you help me become a better person every day. You take my broken pieces, and help me glue them back together.

I appreciate your time, patience, words, humour, kindness, love, effort, and commitment. Whatever I did to deserve you is something I thank the universe for everyday. Regardless of what happens I will always have someone in my corner of the ring to call me on my shit but hold me until it’s over, and that I wish for ever person out there. Everyone deserves to find the love that you have for me.

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

Mental Health · Wellness

#MakeupAndASmile

“But you don’t look…”

I’m gunna stop you right there, pal. Illness, mental health struggles, emotions, pain; they don’t always have a look. Sometimes the happiest looking people are the ones who need a hug the most.

It’s important to remember that everyone is fighting a battle in their own mind, in their own way, at their own pace. Just because someone is smiling, it does not mean they are happy. Just because someone is wearing makeup, it does not mean that they are feeling confident.

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Processed with VSCO with aga3 preset

This photo represents happy me. It’s a selfie I would probably post on social media. The key here is that it represents my happiness. Looks can be deceiving.

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The following photo is a compilation of some thoughts that race through my head on the average day. My depression and anxiety often get the best of me, but putting these thoughts out there is helping me improve.

So here’s my #makeupandasmile post. I was so thankful when @lifeoflittlethings reached out to me about this campaign because these are conversations that NEED to happen more often. People need to know that they aren’t alone. Let’s start the conversation. Let’s see your #makeupandasmile post. Let’s hear your story.

xo,

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Mental Health · Positivity · Wellness

Dear Body,

I’m sorry. I’m still learning to love you. Every day I’m trying, now. I’ve spent so many years hating you when I was thin and when I was larger. I don’t want to hate you anymore, because you’ve never done me wrong. When you carried me through the best moments of my life, I still hated you. You did nothing but be there for me. You digest my favourite foods, allow me to feel so many things, let me see my surroundings. I’ve spent so much time trying to hide you from the world.

That ends today. You are nothing to be ashamed of. You are not something that needs to be hidden from the world. I don’t hate you anymore, at least I’m trying not to. I’m grateful for you. I’m trying every day to be grateful for you. You are always there when I need you to take me where I need to go. You are always there to calm me of my anxiety. I’m trying to love you body, and I will continue to try my best to love you each and everyday. All of you.

🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

Why is society’s standard to not be body positive? It’s like if you’re confident about your body you’re a narcissist or something. What is so wrong with showing ourselves some love?!

They tell you on the airplane to secure your mask before helping another. You take time off work if you’re sick. You go to work and/or school every day to better yourself.

So why is ~simply~ being positive about your body so hard? Why are we influenced and encouraged to be insecure, (not intentionally of course)?

It’s taken years of bullshit and vastly deteriorating mental health to get to this point. I’m still struggling everyday. The most important things is that we don’t give up. I’m hitting a point in life where there’s no way out but self love. The universe has slapped me in the face because I’ve neglected myself for so long, and I must grow.

We’re all on this together. Check yourself out. Drink water. Move your body. Fuel your body. Feed your soul. Buy yourself a cupcake. Eat the cupcake. Repeat.

xo,

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Mental Health · Positivity

“Sticks and stones”

I remember when I was younger, my mom would always tell me: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.

She told me to repeat it in my head over and over again. But the words do hurt. They really, hecking hurt. They encourage my mind to run through the miles and miles of negative thoughts and self doubt I harbour in my head.

A lot of things hurt. Some days just being awake hurts. Mental health is so hard to understand sometimes because not enough people are talking about it. There still remains stigma.

I encourage you to speak up, and speak out. Even if you just share your feelings, or what you deal with, it’s something. There is nothing more comforting than finding that you aren’t alone in how you feel.

A lot of things hurt, but there is comfort out there. There are others out there that feel the way you do. There are people who care about you. There is more to life than how you feel.

Words hurt, but this too shall pass. 🌷

xo,

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Mental Health · Wellness

My Body Rollercoaster

I try and camouflage how big 
I am on social media so no 
one else knows the shameful
truth: I’ve gained weight.

This past month has been really, really shitty; I won’t put it lightly. I hold myself to these ridiculous standards like: Summer months are your good months, why are you depressed? You’re supposed to be happy. You’re supposed to be skinny. You’re supposed to be organized. It’s been over 2 years, why can’t you let it go?

Today I’m going to dive into my body cycle over the past 8 years, and the experiences that accompanied it.

A little back story here: 2 1/2 years ago I experienced what to me was a traumatic experience, which shocked me to my core. I am still recovering from it. I’ve realized that until recently, I have been neglecting myself because of these standards I’ve placed on myself.

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Because of this experience I developed panic disorder and very acute anxiety, which eventually lead to sleeping pills, antidepressants, and a whole lot of weight gain. Unfortunately, this all made it worse. I was feeling really good in November, and actually decided to come off of my medications, which was a HUGE victory for me.

I thought I was ready, but I see now that I wasn’t. “Just because you have high days, it doesn’t mean you are over your anxiety. It is always going to be there! You will just get better at dealing with it,” was something I was told back when I first started counselling. It was scary because I thought she was supposed to be able to fix me, and take it away!

Since then, I’ve come a long way, but I still have an even longer way to go.

Because of this weight gain, I’m experiencing the body that I’ve always convinced myself I already had. I’ve struggled with body image since back in grade 8 when I was severely tormented for my body, even though I wasn’t even big at all. Girls would throw toxic words st me like confetti, like “tank,” etc. I can assure you I was never a weaponized army vehicle, let alone big enough to be referred to as a tank. I was scared to go to school, and I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere.

I developed an eating disorder in grade 9, in which I would bend over in my bathroom mirror every morning, and if I saw any rolls, I wouldn’t eat that day. I would only nibble enough so my mom wouldn’t get suspicious. I’d throw up the remainder. I was so thin, and so unhealthy. The worst part of all of this? I didn’t even know it. I had been convinced that I was fat and that I was a problem.

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Luckily, I overcame this. I couldn’t actually tell you why, whether it was my soul revamping my path, my love for food overcoming my excessive need to be thin, or some other miracle; I overcame it.

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Young minds are so influential, and so vulnerable. I actually didn’t comprehend a lot of this damage until recently when I started councilling. It bites me in the ass to this day. Even after I overcame my disorder, and I was SO SMALL, I was convinced I was huge.

Fast forward 8 years, and I now see myself as that same girl in highschool, except this time, I am a tank. Or at least that’s what I’ve convinced myself because I actually am “fat” now.

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This is a new body for me and I’m trying to navigate my way through life in it. I try and camouflage how big I am on social media so no one else knows the shameful truth: I’ve gained weight. I’ll use poses and clothes. I’m in denial because I don’t see myself as that big, but then I see photos, and I realize how big I am. I have a tendency to lash out. It’s not right, it’s no one else’s fault.

You need to surround yourself with people who don’t treat your insecurities as inconvenient because they are what make you human. They are no one else’s problem but your own, but you also need support.

I decided to start taking care of myself, because no one else is going to. It is my responsibility to be there for me. I can’t wait to share my new journey that you guys soon!! Until now, I’m still holding myself accountable to a spot where I can share.

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Processed with VSCO with l3 preset

There’s my rollercoaster for the day. Some much needed back story for you guys to understand some of my past. This comparison was done to show myself something: what is similar in all of these pictures? I am unhappy!! I’ve been unhappy at any size. So it’s time for me to accept the skin I’m in and be happy REGARDLESS. I’m starting a happiness journey and I can’t wait to share!

Reminder: it’s OKAY to be skinny.
It’s OKAY to be fat. It’s OKAY 
to be ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE. 
But it’s IMPORTANT to make sure 
you’re happy, too.

This is My Body rollercoaster so far. It’s not perfect, but it’s what’s brought me to this moment in my life, so I’m grateful. I am so, so thankful for this community and everyone I’ve met so far. Thank you, thank you. ♥️

 

xo,

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Mental Health

Why do I even bother?

Same days I’m just FLOODED with ideas for articles I can write for this page! It’s overwhelming because I just want to share everything, and hope to help someone some day.

But then other days I wake up and doubt why I even try. Asking myself why I even started. I’ll never have anyone reading my content anyways. But why does THAT even matter?

At the end of the day, this page is for me, and not for anyone else. I would love for someone to read something and feel some kind of comfort, but is simply an outlet for my voice and experiences.

My depression and anxiety also have a spectrum, where some days it’s gunna be a high day, some days a low. Some days I’ll feel like I’m drowning in my mind, and self doubt seems to be my only ability.

Other days, it’s bright and sunny, even on the coldest day. My day is filled with motivation, and body confidence, and energy. And some days it’s an in between.

Get to know yourself! You are human, and not every day is going to be great for you. Some months are going to suck.

But just remember that it’s just a bad day, not a bad life.

xo,

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Knowledge · Mental Health · Wellness

Self care?

So far my 20’s have been a mess, in the sense that the transition from living under the guidance and authority of my parents, to being completely my own person. Recently, I’ve hit a wall and come to some hard realizations: I have absolutely no skills in self care. I have no idea when to take a break, when to let things go, when to put myself first, or even what taking care of myself feels like.

I have a habit of imploding when things go bad, and instead of taking time to get trough it, I distract myself with everything and everything. This just leads to me burning out and bottling up the original problems, which is not super healthy. So, instead of continuing down this path and sulking about it, I’m deciding to research, speaking to loved ones, and figuring out how the fuck to be 22.

I need to figure out self care. This may sound silly, because some of you may have developed these skills when you were 5, but I’m realizing it’s okay to learn things later in life!

Step 1: What is self care?

I see people talking about self care days/routines. What does this even mean? When do you do this? What do I do? Well it’s different for everyone.

Self care for one person may not work for another, and that’s okay! Self care is about putting yourself first, and letting yourself grow and breathe.

For some people, that is bath bombs, a good book, and some alone time.

For others, it’s catching up with a loved one you haven’t seen in a while, and journaling your thoughts.

For me, I still don’t quite know yet, but realizing I need to find out is the first step!

Step 2: What makes you happy?

For the next week I’m going to write down things that make me feel good, and sift through and find ones that I can easily do when I’m not feeling great.

Example: Walks usually help me clear my head. I love to be in nature, and to even photograph it. So nature walks and photography can definitely be on that list.

Keep doing this until you have 5/6 items on your list, (which forces you to be creative and think deep), and then pick your top 3.

Step 3: When the heck do you use self care?

This is the hard one for me. I feel like I don’t deserve to take care of myself, or I need to take care of someone else. Well just like they say on airplanes: “secure your oxygen mask before assisting someone else”. How can you expect to be there for someone else if you’re a mess yourself?

It’s frickin hard I know, but you deserve to be happy, too; I promise.

To figure this one out, I thought back to the times I felt the worst:

  • Arguments with loved ones, whether parents, friends, significant others, etc. This is when I’d feel the most emotionally out of control and depressed.
  • When I’m on my period, o tend to feel really low energy, low mood. I know that this is a symptom of this time of the month, but I tend to convince myself that it’s just me and not what’s going on in my body. Big mistake! Don’t underestimate your hormones.
  • When a traumatic experience happens, whether a death, break up, loss of job, etc. These times are hard, and you need to be there for yourself more than ever.
  • When I’m overly stressed out about school or work I tend to feel really bad.
  • Some days, there is no reason. Some days I just wake up and feel like shit, and THAT’S OKAY TOO!
  • Your answers may be the exact same or different, but it’s important to think back to the times you’ve felt the worst. This is when you need self care the most.

Step 4: Remember!

You don’t have to be at your worst to practice self care, this is just the most important time to have these skills!
Sometimes it’s good to take care of yourself on a regular basis REGARDLESS of how you’re feeling.

Also remember that you deserve self care and love just as much as anyone else. You are human; you make mistakes.

Step 5: Is that it?

Pretty much. Sounds easy, right? Well it’s not going to be easy, but we have to try and stick with it. Whatever helps you stick to self care, use it.

I have a hard time doing things for myself because of my insecurities and self doubt, I tell myself I don’t deserve it. What is helping me is telling myself that I’m doing it for those around me. It is important, though, for me to teach myself that at the end of the day, it is for myself, too.

This was a hard thing to open up about because it’s pretty embarrassing to say at 22 I have no idea how to take care of myself. Realizing this is the first step. Then to act on it, and to continue to act on it.

We will get there. ♥️

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

Mental Health

I’m sorry, Mom pt2

I moved out of my parents house 1 year ago today. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I didn’t realize it then, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I have great parents. They are always there for me when I need them. Sometimes they just aren’t helping though; they’re making it worse. It’s not their fault though. They try, and that means the world to me.

We didn’t always see eye to eye, though. I was a stubborn child. I’d have different opinions than them, and I wouldn’t keep quiet about it. I spent a lot of time grounded, or in my room questioning if something was wrong with me.

I was more emotional than they were. Why couldn’t I keep my mouth shut like my twin brother? He’d just say okay and let it go. I couldn’t do that.

Anyways, it wasn’t until I developed my anxiety that this got a lot worse. My anxiety shortens my fuse. I have a temper, and when I’m feeling anxious, I can’t control it. I just snap and say whatever I’m feeling. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go over well when you have very sensitive parents.

They take everything personally. That’s just who they are and that’s fine. It just sucks when you feel insane because you say something you thought was totally fine, but it turns out it was “disrespectful”, and then you can’t understand what’s wrong with you.

I spent a lot of time hating myself for being as emotional as I was. I can’t let things go. My parents would go to bed after an argument we’d have, and then I’d never hear about it again. No closure; no resolution. Just thoughts questioning my entire make up as a being.

 

Today, August 1st, 2018, I sit in bed feeling unbelievably depressed. I feel useless and pathetic. The reason? I had to come home early.

I was staying with my parents, (a different city which takes approx. 4 hours to get to by car and ferry). Before I got to my parent’s house, I was on vacation with my boyfriend’s family for about a week. My mental state wasn’t the greatest, but I was excited to get home to see my parents.

I got home and it was great. We celebrated my birthday on July 30th, and everything was awesome. My boyfriend had to go back home to Burnaby a few days before me, so I was going to be at my parents house by myself.

I think, to a normal person, what’s the issue? I couldn’t tell you why there is an issue, but yes, staying at my childhood house without my boyfriend there makes me terribly anxious.

So at around 4pm, July 31, my anxiety is getting terrible and I make the decision to go home with Michael instead of staying with my parents for an additional 2 days.

I was bawling. I knew this would kill my parents. I had only stayed 2 nights so far and they had really been looking forward to spending time with me.

I slowly and carefully try and tell my mom, but can’t contain my emotion and just start bawling. She asks what’s wrong and I explain the decision I’ve made. She goes silent. Starts crying and doing stuff franticly. She’s hurt.

“Are you mad?” I ask her, looking for reassurance, she responds with “what do you expect me to say? Just do what you need to do”.

This one kills. The guilt. I get it mom, you’re hurt. I’m so fucking sorry. I feel so bad, I can’t stand it. But I need to look out for me right now. Sometimes I’m strong enough to deal with my anxiety, but tonight I’m not.

My brother texts me, “wtf, really?”. Yep, you have a pathetic, POS sister who can’t even sleep in her childhood bedroom by herself without having a panic attack. In his defense, he did book the following day off work to hangout with me. Yay, slap on some more guilt.

My dad gets home from work. He doesn’t realize I’m downstairs and can hear him. “So why did Jessica go home?” My mom responds, snappy, “anxiety. She’s still here, though”. It’s like it’s a joke to them. They just don’t get it. It’s real. I know it seems stupid, but it’s valid.

Great. I’ve completely screwed up everything. My parents and brother are all upset, all because I couldn’t just “get  over it”, and do the most natural fucking thing in what should be the most comforting place. Sleep in my childhood bed.

Dinner is awkward,  my parents are upset and barely talking to me. My dad asks what it was this time, and then asks why I’m crying again. I’m sorry dad, I can’t handle this guilt! It’s really hard to upset you guys and feel this way. I explain this to him and he tells me that it’s my own shit I need to accept.

My parents are great people. They only want what’s best for me. Unfortunately sometimes they just don’t understand. Sometimes I need to look out for myself, and that can sting.

I don’t know why I get anxious about the things I get anxious about. I don’t know why I am in a bad mental state right now. I do know though, that the last thing I’m trying to is upset you guys.

I cried nearly the whole ferry ride home, thinking over and over again whether I made the right decision to go home. Should I have stayed and faced my panic? Maybe I’m just making it worse by running away. I replay it over and over in my head. I ask Mike over and over again. My parents are hurt because they had little time with me but Mike’s parents had a whole week.

Why am I like this? I’m sorry mom and dad. I’m sorry that I hurt you. It’s the last thing I meant to do. Things are just hard right now. I need to face some of my own shit. I hope that one day you can understand. I wish I could make everything better.

xo,

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