I am Depression, and I am Not Alone

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A friend of mine posted the above on FaceBook last night, and we awoke this morning to find another prominent celebrity has committed suicide.  That makes 2 publicized celebrity suicides in 48-hours. On average, 1 person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes, and each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people. (https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-suicideCheck on your strong friend.

 

In 2015, around 16.1 million adults aged 18 years or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year, which represented 6.7 percent of all American adults.  (Depression, https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression)

We post these things on Social Media with messages of hope and strong urgings to seek help, and we tell others that they are not alone, but we still don’t talk about the elephant in the room.  16.1 Million Adults in the US have experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year… Why don’t we have a hashtag movement? Why aren’t we talking about depression? We talked about rape and sexual assault which has been a taboo subject in his country for decades, but we can’t step up and let others know that they really and truly are not alone in this ultimate battle of the mind?

I am stepping up.  You are not alone.  You’ve got me.  I am probably the happiest and most positive person you might meet.  I find the positive in almost every situation, I am loved, people like me, and I have the most awesome family ever.  I encourage others, I build my friends and family up, and I take care of anyone that will let me do so.  I know these things about myself.  However, I struggle with the daily turmoil in my head.  I have bi-polar disorder. Check on your strong friend. I tried to kill myself when I was 15 years old, and I’ve thought about it at least 100 time since then. I spent the summer between my Junior and Senior year in a private mental hospital learning to cope, and survive. Because of this, I understand the power of therapy, and talking to others to get support.

Some days my depression is barely there, and other days I am scared to get in my car for fear I may drive off a bridge.  I do have a toolkit that I have earned from years and years of therapy that helps me, but some days, I loose my shit, and I cry and scream, and act like a complete baby.  Some days, I just lay in bed, and sleep.  Some days, I really struggle to keep putting one foot in front of the other, so I follow my check lists, and get through my day one task at a time.  I try very hard to be consciously aware of the jumbled mess that’s in my head.  I’ve learned throughout the 35 years of struggling with my mental illness, the signs that I am about to fall off of the deep end. When I recognize those signs, I talk to someone about how I am feeling.  I don’t care who, really, because I am not embarrassed, or ashamed.  I just know that I want to live through it, and I need to let someone know that I am not quite right. Check on your strong friend. You are not alone. Ever. Step up, step out, do something.  Go march, put up a sign, write a blog post, send an email, give someone a hug, shake a hand, be the smile that brightens a day, seek company, but don’t try to do this alone. There are at least 16.1 million of us that can band together and support one another. Let’s break this cycle.

#Iamdepression #Iammorethanmydepression #mentalhealthisgoodhealth #stopthestigma #checkonyourstrongfriend

 

 

 

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Sick of This Stupidity

I’ve eliminated most pages and people from my Facebook newsfeed that are politically charged, or that constantly post ignorance, but sometimes something slips through. Yesterday, this showed up on my feed:

The simple answer is NO. The gay couple winning a lawsuit against the bakery that violates their Civil Rights, does not mean you can demand a bacon sandwich at at Muslim sandwich shop.

Let me break this down for you, because you are obviously too stubborn and overtaken by your constitutionally protected religious freedoms to understand the simplicity of it.

You cannot demand a BLT from a Muslim sandwich shop or a shrimp cocktail at a Jewish Deli because those items aren’t already on the menu. The gay couple requested an item that is readily available to all other customers of that particular cake shop. They didn’t request a pizza, and beer then get upset because the owners said they wouldn’t provide that. They requested a wedding cake at a wedding cake shop. Although there is no formal law of protection, as there is for race, religion, and sex, the store owners violated a Civil right by refusing to provide a commodity that is available to any other person or couple that walks into that store.

How this man, and the people that are shaking their fists in the air agreeing with him don’t realize this, I just don’t understand.

I’m shaking my head so often these days, in pure amazement at the unquestioning stupidity, that I almost feel like a bobble head.

It’s Sad Really

The level of cluelessness some people possess is astounding. I was able to avoid a former coworker at an event today but others felt compelled to point out his presence to me and tell me what he was saying. He asked someone if they were really okay still working at their present job. What he doesn’t realize is that since he and his negative attitude (and followers) have left, things at work have been pretty awesome. It’s sad really. He has no idea part of the problem was him. Poor guy. I hope his ego wasn’t too crushed today.

What a mind blowing and life changing week

So much has happened in the last 10 days that I am not sure if I’m exhausted from lack of sleep, or pure emotional overload.

Out of the blue a few weeks ago, I was contacted by a company I had interviewed with last December asking if I was still interested in the job from December.  I said yes and within 72 hours, I was signing new hire paperwork and turning in my notice at my current job. 

We had a going away party with cup cakes, speeches, and everything. Little did I know that in less than 24- hours after that party, my life would completely change. 

Last Thursday, I received a phone call from my current employer (MHS) with an offer they were hoping I couldn’t refuse, and I didn’t.

I started my new job on Monday, July 17, and I didn’t even have to pack up my desk.  I am the new Director of the grants department for one of the largest non profit mental health and substance abuse organizations in Southern California! How cool is that? 

I am so excited, and beyond humbled by all of the well wishes, hugs from co-workers, and heartfelt congratulations I have received from everyone. I am thrilled to continue working for a company whose mission I whole heartedly believe in and strive to uphold. I know I am not equipped to be down in the trenches with the therapists, case workers, outreach, counsellors, and all of the other amazing people that serve our clients, but I am so happy to be helping them in the best way that I know how, and am capable of providing. 

1 in 4 of all adults in America suffer from a form of mental illness.  21.5 million adults in America battle substance use disorder and 7 million Americans battle a drug  use disorder. If you are sad, depressed, or just aren’t feeling right, reach out to someone, to anyone.  You will  always have an ear from me.  

What Does it Mean to be a Good Person?

Good PersonThere have been a large number of head on fatality accidents on the two lane road getting into my little town this summer. As a result, there is a lot of speculation about the character of the people at fault. A lot of people assume the person at fault in a car accident is an irresponsible jerk, but at the same time, the very same people assuming this, roll through stop signs, and run stale yellow lights. Does that qualify as them being an irresponsible jerk too?

The traffic issues are in the forefront of my mind because of the many fatalities and also because people regularly run the stop sign in my neighborhood, and the stale yellow/red light on the crossroad of my neighborhood. The stop sign is pure laziness, and doesn’t really pose much of a risk, it’s the principal of it though. Running the light on the cross street though, is insanely dangerous. My family and I have almost been t-boned multiple times, and with so many teen drivers in our neighborhood, I’m really surprised more accidents don’t occur at the intersection.

This all got me thinking about being a good person, and what that might look like, or how far actions and intentions may need to seep into your life to apply. Is my neighbor a bad person because she never smiles back at me when we drive by? Am I a bad person for getting so irritated that she doesn’t smile back? I think it does make me a bad person – just a little. Now, wait a minute, before you start arguing, really think about what a good person is, does, and projects. What does that look like to you, and is that a reflection of you? Are you that good person?

I work hard every day to be the best version of me that I can be, but I am not as good of a person as I would like to be. To me, being a good person isn’t about being nice all the time.  It’s about being mindful and aware. A good person is mindful and aware of others, as well as their self and the energy they project into the world. This extends to all aspects of life – in the isle at the grocery store, while driving, in a crowd, at a restaurant, at the office, when you are home with your family, everywhere. There are a few areas where I struggle with this. I have a very difficult time letting go of my anger when I allow someone to hurt me. I also struggle with letting go of guilt when I feel like I’ve hurt someone (even after apologizing), and I obviously have a difficult time accepting others lack of friendliness, and courtesy.  😂  When I envision the best person I can imagine, that vision includes a person that is peaceful yet powerful, a person that makes others feel better about their day, and a person that when you mention their name, people almost swoon at the memory of how wonderful they are to everyone as well as themselves.   I want to be good to others as well as myself, and that is where I trip up.  I am not very good to myself.  What about you?  What is your vision of the best person?

I think that we all need to slow down and do some self reflection before we start passing judgement on others, no matter what the circumstances. What is the saying about glass houses?  Or if it’s more suiting to you, Matthew 7:1-2: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.” I am an atheist, but that bible quote totally makes sense to me.  Hold it close, keep it in mind.

Deck the Halls With Boughs of Stress

I posted this on my Instagram account a few weeks ago:


It is so true. Stress, especially stress brought on by others, can make it so hard to stay positive and feel good about yourself. It strips you of your defenses and makes you vulnerable to more abuse which in turn creates more stress. It’s a vicious cycle that will eventually break you. Unless you can get out. The problem is, sometimes it’s difficult to just walk away. Sometimes you just have to endure it until you can move on. The trick is to not loose sight of your own self worth while you are searching for a way out. That’s so very hard. 

In my case, I have to constantly remind myself that the issues I am encountering are not MY issues. They are someone else’s issues and I just happen to be the focus of their insecurities or whatever it is they are struggling with. 

I am good at what I do. I know that, but I need to constantly remind myself of this almost every 10 minutes just so I don’t get sucked into whatever power play is going on at any given moment. 

I wish people didn’t have so much ego. Go talk to a therapist, go rock climbing, or join a club or something and get that shit worked out, but I see no place for this transference onto others.  Lately, this struggle has been creeping into my life in the form of anxiety, stress, nightmares, and illness as a result of above. It’s so hard to let the negativity just roll off your back without living in fear of what is going to greet you tomorrow. What awesome rumor or report is going to be told today? What is going to be discussed behind closed doors to give the impression that I am not performing today? It’s a wonderful feeling <sarcasm> to be greeted with every evening while trying to enjoy dinner or a glass of wine. 

I’m good at what I do. I’m good at what I do. I’m good at what I do. I’m good at what I do. I’m good at what I do. If I say it enough, maybe I can start to believe it again. 

REVIEW: Whole Lava Love Face Exfoliator

All I can say is, thank goodness I wasn’t wearing socks when I tried this for the first time, because they would have been knocked off!!!

Whole Lava Love Volcanic Ash Face Exfoliator is amazing. It is  charcoal powder, sugar beads, and volcanic ash combined with natural tea tree and mint oils! So, amazing. 

The product was a little difficult to use out of a tiny sample foil, but once I figured out what was going on, all I could do was talk to myself about how great it smelled!


The tea tree and mint were so relaxing, and again, it washed off so easily!  The charcole, lava, and sugar beads mixed with the oils and went onto my damp face very nicely. It was gritty, but felt like the same grit I got with my morraccan facials when I lived in Abu Dhabi. I’ve had a difficult time duplicating that texture. It’s a very fine grit texture that doesn’t hurt or burn.  I can’t believe I’ve found it finally!  In addition to the gentle texture of this product, the smell is amazing. I know I’ve said this already, but it was that great!  

The best part is, now, my face is glowing! I followed it up with the awesom dynamic duo of Never Grow Up Anti Aging Serum, and Never Grow Up Face Creme, then a quick pass of my As Good As Gold skin stick under my eyes. You guys, my face feels like velvet. It’s amazing.