Quote of the Month

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.”

– Bob Proctor

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Five Things That Make Me Happy.

Mental health can be exhausting, saddening, and overwhelming. I decided to take a break from my blog and focus on my life and it has been pretty beneficial. As one of my Get To Know The Blogger posts, I’ve decided to write Five Things That Make Me Happy.

Happiness is the state of being happy. Happy is feeling or showing pleasure and contentment. (Yes, I got that from the dictionary.) To me, happiness is a state of mind where you’re not wallowing in the dark recesses of your mind.

Now, the five things that make me happy…

1. My children. I love all four of their wonderful personalities. Raelynn is artistic and silly. Charlotte is sporty and sarcastic. Maverick is just a giggle monster. And Elijah, he’s just a happy baby. I love their curiosity, their wonder, their laughter, their ideas. They brighten my day.

2. Talking to my mom. My mother is my best friend. She praises my accomplishments and brags when I’m doing good. She’ll also give me a reality check when I’m being dumb. She loves me unconditionally and she’s my rock. Talking to her makes me happy. I miss our late night conversations on the porch.

3. Sleeping in on weekends. I don’t “sleep in” by much, maybe an extra 30 minutes from my work days, but that extra 30 minutes does wonders for my overall mood. I wake up with a smile rather than being a grumpy troll.

4. Reaching small goals. Each checkmark I make on my list of goals puts a smile on my face. Maybe its remembering to take the trash to the dumpster or its finishing a chapter of my book. If I manage to cross of three things of my to-do list, I’m pretty happy with myself. My next small goal is finishing two more chapters of Ghost of You.

5. My friends. I’m not using this as a cop-out answer either. My friends are some of the best people in the world. They know how to make my worst day into my best day with a simple text or a gif. And when the days are really dark, my best friends know exactly how to pull me out of it.

There are more than 5 things that make me happy. I’m sure this list could go on for a while if I tried.

But, these five things are the important ones. My kids, my mom, my friends… they are 3/4 of my heart. Sleep and reaching small goals are basic self-care for myself. I find myself smiling more and happier these days because I hold tight to my support people, I practice self-care when I can, and I’m reaching goals I’ve made for myself.

Little by little, day by day, one step at a time, I can do this. I can keep my happy state of mind.

Happy International Self Care Day!

July 24th is International Self Care Day! I hope you all took some time for yourselves and practiced a little self love. Sometimes we forget to allow ourselves to reset and we exhaust ourselves by trying to give when we are on empty.

In case you haven’t taken any time out today to practice a little self care, do so now. Drink a glass of water. Pick a movie and pop some popcorn. Color. Take a bubble bath. Give yourself a mani-pedi. Whatever it takes.

Remember, I’m always here if you need a friend. Drop a comment below with your favorite way to relax. Happy International Self Care Day!

Harsh Realities.

Divorce on television is nothing like divorce in real life. At least, not in my case. I did what I could to be civil. I tried to come to an agreement before filing. I tried to talk it out. When that didn’t work, I filed without help. I wrote out a parenting plan I thought would be fair. I tried to make it as easy as possible. Then when that nice-ness wasn’t being returned, I sunk to the petty level and returned the mean-spirited behavior. I’m not saying it was the right thing to do, I can accept I could have handled things better.

One day, I woke up and realized, this wasn’t what I wanted for my life. I didn’t want to be in a marriage that was 75% mental abuse and arguments, 15% stress, and only 10% happiness. I don’t want any of my children to believe that’s what love looks like. The moment I heard “why is Daddy so mean to you” and “why is Daddy always mad at me,” I was done. When I heard, “why do you and Daddy fight so much,” I knew that I was sending the wrong message to my girls.

Marriage isn’t fighting and lack of trust. Love isn’t constantly bickering over dirty dishes and clothes on the floor. And it definitely isn’t name calling and venomous words.

I take partial responsibility for my failed marriage. I did what I could to make it work for a long time. I let go of a lot of misplaced anger. I let go of small issues that were in the past. Unfortunately, it seemed like new problems kept coming to light. I wanted to make it to 50 years. I wanted to get old and gray and have two rocking chairs on a wrap around porch. I wanted the “white picket fence” life.

Sadly, it seemed like the more energy I put into it, I felt like I wasn’t getting that back. That hurt. I wasn’t being heard. What I wanted didn’t seem to matter. I wasn’t given a choice on where we lived – a story for another time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Oregon. It’s beautiful. But it was an ultimatum that got me here. I lost that spark within myself. I also lost sight of that spark between us.

I was prepared to end my marriage.

I was not prepare to lose my best friend.

I spent 4 years getting to know a person. I spent 4 years learning what made him tick, what made him smile, what he struggled with, what he excelled in… He introduced me to two of my favorite movies. I introduced him to the cult known as Gilmore Girls. I showed him Criminal Minds and NCIS and got him hooked. We shared a love for books, just different genres.

Four years of ups. Four years of downs. Four years of “no, you pick dinner” until we both got excessively hangry. We stayed up to late, talked about the world, dreamt of a better future. We made jokes, we laughed until we cried, we shared our secrets.

Deciding to change a toxic situation cost me someone I called my best friend.

One day I hope to look back, knowing I really did try, and smile. I don’t regret my decisions that got me to this place. I have no ill will or anger. Now, it’s time to focus on me and find the pieces of me that I lost along the way. It’s time to focus on my children and make sure they’re happy, healthy, and make sure they know they are very much loved.

Apology.

Ever wish there was just one more hour in the day? Or maybe you wish you had a clone.

I want to apologize to my faithful readers for not posting as often as normal. Aside from some life being a little busy, I’ve been working on my book. I’ve had a spike in inspiration lately and it helps unwind after a long day. Plus, I gave myself a deadline in hope to stay motivated.

I hope you all forgive me and understand. I will update with a much better post soon. The next one (I hope) will be something DIY related. I’m feeling artsy. My hands are itching to create something.

Tell me, when life gets busy, what do YOU do to unwind?

Five Ways To End The Stigma On Mental Illness.

Mental illness is a common issue in today’s world. 1 in 5 people suffer from some sort of mental illness. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I am one of the 1 in 10 adults who live with depression. In the 16 years since I’ve been diagnosed, I’ve learned a lot of not so wonderful things. One of those things is that there is a stigma that comes along with the diagnosis. A lot of people, whom are uneducated in what mental illness is or how it affects people, will label you a “psycho” without learning anything about the illness or the person diagnosed with it.

That brings me to this post – five ways to end the stigma on mental health.

One: Educate yourself. People are ignorant. It’s wise to educate yourself on all aspects of mental illness. Seek out resources. If someone you know has been diagnosed, focus on their diagnosis. I usually request that my friends or family do a little research on depression. It’s not just “feeling sad” or “being numb to the outside world.” Sometimes it’s needing a break between menial tasks because it took all your energy to do that one little thing. Sometimes it’s lack of motivation or passion for the things that you once loved. In my particular case, it’s a chemical imbalance. I’m not a “nutcase” or “someone who needs severe psychological help.”

Two: Learn to recognize the signs. If your friend or loved one is becoming more reclusive than normal or they are just “not themselves,” maybe it’s time to reach out to them. Maybe they stopped painting. Maybe they stopped hiking. Maybe they haven’t showered in a week or haven’t called you in a while. Maybe their dishes are piling up and their laundry has been sitting in the basket for a few days. These are all signs that they might just need a friend to reach out to them.

Three: Be encouraging. Be empathetic. Let them know you understand that they’re not okay and let them know that it’s okay to not be okay. Do not belittle them. Do not say “It’s all in your head.” (I mean, duh, mental illness.) Do not call them a “psycho” or a “nutcase.” Do not use labels such as: unstable, demented, wacko, or psychotic.

[Personal moment: Do NOT use their mental illness against them in an argument. Just because someone, like myself, has been diagnosed with depression does not mean we are terrible people. It does not mean I am a bad mother. It does not mean that I am psychologically unbalanced. My blog is not a cry for help. I promise you that I am more stable now than I was at seventeen. Making my blog seem like an unsafe place for me to write was a huge jerk move. But screw you. I’m going to keep writing anyway. Those who know me and are actually not ignorant on mental health will know the truth.]

Four: Challenge misconceptions. If you hear someone speaking about mental health in a derogatory way, challenge their viewpoint. Debate the myths. Educate them on the truth. It’s not laziness. It’s being exhausted and overwhelmed. It’s not being a Harley Quinn-esque “nut job,” it’s having a chemical imbalance or a misfire in the brain. Some pain isn’t physical and some wounds aren’t visible.

Five: Accept the person. Let them know that you love them and that their mental illness is not what defines them.

And there you have it. Five ways to end the stigma that sticks to mental illness. It’s time to stand together and knock out the bad misconceptions. It’s time to stop fearing mental illness. Stop assuming the worst in people with a mental illness. Build them up, don’t tear them down. Together, we can break the stigma.

Slacking.

It’s the middle of June. J U N E. 2019 is nearly halfway over and I feel like I had a list of things I wanted to do this year and none of it has been accomplished. More specifically, my book still isn’t 100% done. I’ve been in this editing/rewriting stage for months.

I’m losing motivation.

Add in a teensy bit of writer’s block and a slightly busy reality and you’ll have a small anti-writing cocktail. I’ve been slacking, hardcore. I need to write a few more chapters. I need to write up a couple blog posts. I need to work on building up my creativity level. I need to write more – I want to write more.

Unfortunately, staring at a screen for hours is doing nothing. I need a reset. I need to immerse myself in my fictional world… somehow.

Ghost of You has been my baby. I’ve been working on it for so long, it never seems good enough. I want it perfect. I want you, my readers, to read it and feel every emotion. I want you to understand why I wrote this book. I want you to enjoy every page. Maybe it’s a lack of confidence rather than a lack of motivation. Or both.

I promise to update with a release date soon. I promise I’ll find a way to get the creative juices flowing. Be patient with me.