Posted in Pop Culture, Word Therapy

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Hi

Hi there. Its been a while. I’ve been adjusting to get up at 330 am for work. My anxiety and depression have been bullying me which has given me an excuse to not write. I lost my mojo, motivation, etc.(more on that next week). Here’s a little good for your weekend:

WE.DON’T.DESERVE.DOGS (or Captain America):

I always feel like the fuckin’ coolest when I know a musical guest on SNL:

We are all this baby:

Where I will forever be traumatized imagining Clint Eastwood having a threesome:

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

 

Posted in Wellness, Word Therapy

You are not alone

The first time I tried I was in my teens. The second I was a mom to two babies. I had lost all hope and I couldn’t see life getting any better. Everything that could go wrong did. I tried to lock myself in the bathroom with a mouthful of pills. I was stopped by the person who loves me the most. I was told to look at my children. I was asked if I really wanted to do this. He called family, telling them he didn’t know what to do. I spit the pills in the toilet. Things did eventually get better. I was lucky.

Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and countless others that we don’t know but don’t make them any less important. They took their own lives, no matter how happy they looked to us. “Within the past year, about 41,000 individuals died by suicide, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide, and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts.”-NAMI

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month. If you read or watch the news you know mental health is a hot topic. Finding help and getting the coverage for it is stigmatized. Speaking about it makes people uncomfortable. But we have all felt despair at times in our lives. Imagine feeling so hopeless that leaving this Earth feels like your only option? Here are some stats from NAMI that alarmed me as the mother of two kids with their teenage years around the corner:

  • 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 live with a mental condition
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24
  • 37 % of students with a mental health condition at age 14 and older drop out of school

Follow this to know what the 10 common warning signs are.

As much as I talk about anything and everything, I don’t like to talk about how I got to a place where I tried to end my life. Depression has definitely affected me my whole life but I never thought during those two times that it would lead to making that decision. It came on suddenly with such an overwhelming feeling of desperation. I wanted to do something drastic so I didn’t have to feel what I was feeling anymore. I am grateful every day that I failed. With my medicine, writing, and exercise, I can now identify when I am feeling bad and why. I can see things with perspective. I know I am strong enough to handle whatever is thrown at me. I didn’t before. Back then I felt all alone in the world. But I wasn’t then and I’m not now. None of us are. And if you don’t feel that you can reach out to friends or family, here are some places that you can:

NAMI

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Trevor Project

You are loved.

Posted in Word Therapy

Bear with Me

Just like the relatives that you see once or twice a year, the old holiday depression demons showed up for Thanksgiving and this is what they had to say as they pushed their way through the door:

“Nobody reads this blog.”  But its been a year of frustration, hopelessness, and fear and you’ve had enough of Uncle Gerry and his racist and ignorant rants.  So you scream right in that demon’s disgusting, long nose haired, bald headed face and say, “Who cares, you are writing for yourself and for those that can relate!Your nosey ass aunt who nobody likes comes back with, “You’re self centered, writing about what you’re going through.  You should be writing about what brings people up, not what brings them down.”  So you hand your spouse your Rock Star and vodka, take a deep breath, and calmly state, “This is reality.  I am making a path to happiness and getting through the hard is how I will find it.”

You’ve cut a lot family and friends out of your life because you feel you have been treated poorly.  Then you think about how it has been a fair amount of people you have let go.  The nasty voices of bratty cousins taunt you with, “Can they ALL be wrong?”  Kind of like The Beatles.  They are beloved by gajillions of people all over the world.  How can that many people be wrong?  So you force yourself  out of your own head and say, “You are who you are, good and bad.  Maybe some of those people are a loss, maybe some of them aren’t.  All you can do is move forward and learn from your experiences.”

Social media shows that all your favorites (Etst, We Rate Dogs, Busy Phillips) make you laugh and bring you joy.  Why can’t you be more positive and happy?  But just like the warm blanket your favorite grandma made you, you are able to relax by saying that you will keep going, knowing you will get there eventually.

As much as you want to tackle and work through all of it quickly, you know that’s not how it works.  You are not a cold turkey kind of gal and know that anxieties need to be dealt with head on and honestly.

You decide to try a new habit.  Every day you are going to have a grateful thought for every negative one.  For example: You woke up with pain in your arms and hands.  Your legs still work fine so you get up, eat breakfast, and go for a run.  The endorphins kick in, your hands and arms feel better, and all of the thoughts you had while exercising find their way to paper.  It doesn’t fix everything but it’s a start.  There are plenty of people in the world who love you and are there for you.  Those who aren’t and the vile demons are insignificant.  Whether it’s the holidays or not, you are important and can achieve your dreams.  It can be hard to remember that with depression.  But that doesn’t make it any less true.

Posted in Calming the Voices, Word Therapy

Sometimes Joey McIntyre is Who it Takes

Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Ethnic cleansing. The White House. Is there anything in the news today that doesn’t stress us out? When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred I remember bawling while watching the television coverage and my boyfriend asking me, “Why do you care so much? You don’t know them”-he exited not long after. With anxiety and depression I have learned to identify when I’m feeling bad as a result of them. The next step has been learning to get through it and how. I have had to develop a certain set of skills for this.

Taken GIF

From ’07 to ’12 we moved a total of seven times. I had moving down pat. I didn’t get rid of moving boxes. I became obsessed with purging stuff so we could have less stuff to move. I even had a moving checklist on my hard drive. With our next move coming upon us, I can feel the pressure looming over me. I am in full coping mode: taking deep breaths, taking it one day at a time, and making ALL THE LISTS. To do lists broken down by day and week, address change notification list, what to purge, donate, and sell list, and my favorite-but-gives-my-husband-heart-palpitations list: What to buy for the new house.

As a child I used reading to deal with being bullied. When I would have a bad day I would daydream about a NKOTB member (preferably Joey) taking me to the Oscars where I would win for best actress and look perfect on the red carpet with my perfectly straight hair and fabulous formal gown. As an adult I still use reading to cope while my hubby takes me on dates that no red carpet or fabulous gown could measure up to. I would prefer to lose myself in a Stephen King novel than watch Sarah Huckabee Sanders be rude to the press during her daily bullshit briefings. If I want to be relaxed and focused, I meditate. Running stimulates my mind and helps me be creative. And all music makes me happy.

We all need coping skills, depressed or not. I am proud to say that my daughter will go to her room to color or read while listening to music if she gets annoyed with her brother or overwhelmed. This is in contrast from last year when she used to yell at anybody within shouting distance. Wesley chews his fingernails (he is a work in progress). Setting her and her brother up for success at a young age on how to deal with life’s obstacles is a gift I hope I can give them.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. If you are sad or feel alone, you aren’t. Here is the link to NAMI for you or anybody that you know is struggling:

https://www.nami.org/

I would like to leave you with a performance of “You Will Be Found” by the cast of Dear Evan Hansen. The show deals with teen suicide and the song makes me feel less alone every time I hear it.

Posted in Calming the Voices

The Arizona Effect

With anxiety and depression, stability is something I crave. A routine, bills paid on time/in advance, and a job that provides. I don’t need to be a millionaire or have expensive things. But in the past eight years, life has made sure that stability has alluded us. Some of it has been due to our choices and the rest is just life giving us a kick in the ass to build character.

Four months after my youngest was born, my family was living in one room in my sister’s house. The job situation was dire. A month after that we were renting two rooms in a friend’s house in Arizona. For the next 10 months we endured jobs coming and going. Money was tight to the point where I lost weight because I wasn’t eating to save money; all while nursing an infant (not one of my brighter moments). We finally made the decision to move back to California and tackle the job market, figuring we had nothing to lose by being where we felt we belonged. Luckily, hubby got a temp job that turned into a permanent one.

Fast forward four years and hubby’s job is making him sick and growth in the company is nonexistent. With my support he decides to fulfill his dream of owning a business. He quits his job and throws himself head first into the pool cleaning world.

It is now late 2017. We have sold the business after running it together successfully. We had our ups and downs with the business and learned so much. But with the election results in November, we gained a new perspective. The small community that we have been raising our kids in started to feel different. We witnessed ugliness that we didn’t see before or maybe we unconsciously ignored it. Friendships that we thought we could count on were lost in this new world. While we were down in the streets of Los Angeles protesting, people around us were saying we needed to accept this political environment and to “get over it.”

As a result, our life goals have changed. We have new wants and dreams. So rather than stay somewhere because we “should” and feel isolated, we are rolling the dice again. Hubby is ready to go back to an office environment. He wants to go back to his hometown where family will be.

This is the exact opposite of stable. New job, new town, new home, and new school (for the kids). Do we stay somewhere just because we have been there for a long period of time and it’s what our kids know? Is that what sacrifice is? Or do we show them that we are willing to take chances if it means the possibility of happiness and success?

The unknown and uncertainty of it grips me with terror. I imagine a new job not working out and us becoming homeless (this usually occurs at 4 am in the morning). Rationale reminds me in the light of day that we will be fine no matter what but my brain won’t allow to me let go of the worst case scenario.

So that’s where I’m at. We are throwing our whole life up in the air by taking this chance at happiness. We could fail miserably and have before. But I think as much as I want steadiness, taking a chance feels right.

Posted in social media

You Don’t Want to Follow Me

I am on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I probably am on each of these social mediums at least 5 times/day. I like to post on Facebook and Instagram but Twitter makes me question every word I type. But that’s not the point. The point I want to make is this: You don’t want to follow or friend me on any of these. Unless you support the rights of all people, you like movies and dogs, and you want to read about the struggles of somebody with anxiety and depression.  You’ve been warned.

Take my politics for example. I support LGBTQIA rights, Black Lives Matter, and Planned Parenthood. I live by the Golden Rule: Do onto others as you would have done to you. Gross, right? I mean, are people really kind to one another these days? Do you smile at strangers when you are in public? I do. Lame sauce. I think as a rule if your life is working for you but it wouldn’t necessarily work for me, THAT’S OKAY. If I see somebody being wronged, I try and help. How nosy am I? As such, I share posts from time to time that will put a spotlight on people who are being oppressed. If you don’t want to be offended, make sure to keep it moving.

I also love movies and pop culture in general. I see every movie I can when they are in theaters, I binge watch Netflix shows, and I watch shows that are just trailers. I read movie reviews and make my choices based on some of them. If Entertainment Weekly says I need to read a book or that it is being made into a show or movie, I am most likely going to read it. If I find something to be good, I like to recommend it. Who needs somebody telling you to read or watch something that might be of enjoyment to you? So annoying.

Another thing: I love my kids and like to take pictures of them. They are smart, funny, and open. I brag about them and often. I revel in their love and accomplishments every single day. It really is obnoxious how much I like being around them, considering I wasn’t sure I wanted kids in my early 20s. Even if you’re a parent and can relate, my posts can be downright irritating. Nobody got time for that.

I am a California girl and you will know it if you follow me. Even worse, I live in Southern California, land of Los Angeles, Disneyland, beautiful mountains, beaches, and deserts. My family likes to go to all of them. We might as well be the effing poster family for California travel. Sunny weather and acting like tourists give us life. Ugh, ugh, and more ugh.

I am here for all the animals. I share dogs that need rescuing, missing kitties, goat videos, even birds getting down with their bad selves. I am one of those damaged people that likes animals over people on any day that ends in Y. My idea of heaven is winning the lotto and saving furry critters to my heart content. So if you aren’t down with furry babies, you probably don’t want to recognize my internet presence.

I have saved the worst for last (if you have even gotten this far). I have decided that I am not going to let my mental health problems such as anxiety and depression hold me back any longer. Happiness is within reach and I mean to grab it. The more I talk about it, the more real it feels. But it isn’t always unicorns and rainbows, even with my medication. I have bad days and am honest about it. So if you’re looking for perfection, this sure as hell isn’t it.

So that’s my deal. I’m a sometimes sad tree hugger who loves pop culture, Cali, doggos, and my kiddos. And if that sentence bothers you (which of course it does), you probably don’t want to follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Peace.

Posted in Calming the Voices

Prozac is my Stacy London

Today is day 38 of me taking Prozac. I have tried over the counter antidepressants, Xanax, and Buspirone before I was finally prescribed Prozac for my anxiety and depression. And just like that it was like Stacy London from What Not To Wear came in and showed me how to live my best life.

For those who don’t know, What Not to Wear was a reality show in the early 2000s where Stacy London and cohost Clinton Kelly would help out a person who was nominated by their friends/family to have an overhaul of their wardrobe. I always thought that was kind of mean for friends and family to do that but the nominated person was always thrilled by the end of the episode so what do I know?

The first thing they would do is to clean out their closet, getting rid of outdated clothes and/or styles that don’t flatter them. With Prozac, it has cleared the cobwebs from my brain. If something is bothering me but doesn’t have a major effect on my life (i.e., the little things), away they go. If a negative thought doesn’t serve a purpose (and what negativity does?), it is shown the door.

Next stop is to give their subject a budget and guidelines on buying a new wardrobe. These clothes ultimately should make this person feel good about themselves and help them accomplish a life goal. Prozac has become the cheerleader voice in my head. If I think that I suck at writing (which happens on a daily basis), Prozac replaces that with, “No you don’t. You just need to work hard, stay focused, and not be so hard on yourself.” If I think to myself, “I will just write tomorrow”, Prozac tells me, “You need to do it today because you can.” If I beat myself up over my parenting, Prozac tells me I am doing the best I can.

At the end of the episode Stacy and Clinton give the person a makeover and show her how to to make the most of her new wardrobe. Prozac has set me on a path where I believe I can be happy even when there are challenges. On the horizon there is the possibility of major life changes: a new job and moving to a new town. I know it will be hard and stressful. But now I have a voice in my head telling me I can handle it. And I can’t ask for more than that.