Let’s Get Cooking: Introduction

Hello there! One thing I want to start doing is sharing some of my favorite healthy recipes with y’all! If you’ve been here for a while, you know that I have struggled with obsessive calorie counting and restricting what I eat. One thing that has helped me pull away from doing this as much is cooking healthy recipes. The whole process of cooking a good meal is therapeutic for me. SO, I want to start sharing some of my favorites with y’all. Now, if you’re looking for recipes with exact measurements then these are NOT the ones for you. Half of the ingredients in each of the recipes I enjoy making fall into the “just eyeball it” category. I know how to visually measure out the amount that works well for me and satisfies my tastebuds, so you may have to do the same. I will try to guide you as best I can, but in the spirit of keeping things honest, it is a lot of just “winging it.” Hopefully you will feel like trying some of these out and will enjoy them. Maybe I can even help you find another weeknight staple in your meal lineup 🙂

Checkout my journaling guide, Journey to Journaling: 36 Journaling Prompts to Inspire You & Promote Thoughtful Reflection, and my self-care guide, Worth It! A Guide to Helping You Practice Self-Care. Both are available on Amazon for $9.99 as a paperback and a Kindle edition. Both are also available for $9.99 on Payhip as a digital download if you prefer a digital copy but don’t have a Kindle. Click the links below to purchase:


Helpful Tips for Hard Mental Health Days

Living with mental illness sucks.  It’s hard, it’s lonely, and it can make the simplest tasks seem like the biggest challenges.  One thing I have learned is to be gentle with myself on the hard days when my anxiety and depression feel all-consuming, rather than beating myself up.  I’ve learned to just do what I can and try to give myself grace. Below are some of the things I do to help myself on the really hard days. Hopefully these can be helpful for you or someone you know.

Mouthwash – some days brushing your teeth can be too draining to attempt. On these days, I suggest just swishing a bit of mouthwash around for a few seconds. It’ll freshen your breath and help your mouth feel cleaner without requiring you to exert a lot of energy. It doesn’t clean your mouth as well as actually brushing your teeth, so I wouldn’t make a habit of it, but on the hard days it can be an easy way of making yourself feel better. 

Make up wipes – make up wipes can be super helpful on days when washing your face seems like too much. I highly recommend Burt’s Bees makeup wipes as they are a cruelty-free option with good-for-skin ingredients. Again, I wouldn’t recommend making a habit of doing this since using an actual face wash is MUCH better for your skin, but on the harder days this is a great alternative.

Dry shampoo – just like washing your face, finding the motivation to wash your hair can also be hard. On these days, dry shampoo can be your best friend. It will help to absorb some of the excess oil, while also giving your hair a bit of a refresh. My favorite is the Living Proof dry shampoo, but it is a bit pricier (so worth it though). For a more affordable drug store alternative, Batiste dry shampoo also works great.

Healthy snacks – eating an actual meal can be hard some days. You may not have the energy to feed yourself, you’ve lost your appetite, the thought of eating is nauseating, or nothing tastes good. Even if these things are happening, it’s still important to provide your body with nutrition. Some of my favorite healthy snacks to keep on hand are:

  • Protein bars (big fan of Power Crunch, Go Macro, and RX bars)
  • Sargento Balanced Breaks (gives you a nice little mix of nuts, dried fruit, and cheese)
  • Yogurt (Icelandic Provisions skyr is one of my favorites)

Meal prepping – On the good days, I like to meal prep for the week as much as possible. This allows me to pull something out of the fridge that can be eaten as is or eaten after heating it up in the microwave for a couple minutes. This way, I can enjoy an actual meal if I’m up for it without having to actually cook something from start to finish.

It’s a learning process to figure out what works best for you vs. what isn’t a good fit. Give yourself grace as you learn how to best care for yourself on the hard days. Hopefully these have been helpful for someone. If you have any tips of your own, feel free to comment them. Let’s all learn from each other. As always, I am here if anyone wants to talk. I want for this to be a safe space for anyone and everyone. Living with a mental health diagnosis is hard as hell sometimes, but it is so much easier when we have people to lean on. If you need someone to talk to, shoot me a message. I’d love to play part in supporting you if you’d like. We’re going to get through this.

Sending light & love your way!

Checkout my journaling guide, Journey to Journaling: 36 Journaling Prompts to Inspire You & Promote Thoughtful Reflection, and my self-care guide, Worth It! A Guide to Helping You Practice Self-Care. Both are available on Amazon for $9.99 as a paperback and a Kindle edition. Both are also available for $9.99 on Payhip as a digital download if you prefer a digital copy but don’t have a Kindle. Click the links below to purchase:

Anxiety Updates

My anxiety has been so much worse lately. It’s weird. I’m currently living in California (something I have wanted for several years) for my fieldwork rotation, and while it has been one of the sweetest, most freeing experiences, I have also felt HIGH levels of anxiety. There are a few things I can DEFINITELY pinpoint as contributors to this.

  1. I don’t have my people. I’m on my own out here and all my family and friends are in timezones 2 or 3 hours ahead of me. By the time I get off work, get back to my Airbnb, and get settled, it’s going 9:00 for my parents. It definitely makes it hard to find convenient times to talk to my family or my friends. I’ve always been someone who has prided myself on being independent and confident in doing my own thing, but not being able to easily talk to my people is HARD.
  2. Lack of physical touch. I haven’t had a hug from anyone in over 3 weeks. Part of being human is the fact that we are wired for connection. Hugs are such a big part of supporting our health, as oxytocin is released (stress levels = lowered). The only form of physical touch I’ve had in the past 3 weeks is when patients have held onto me during transfers.
  3. Self-doubt. I have been hardcore doubting my abilities with becoming an OT. I’ve had days where I have been struggling not to cry at my fieldwork site because I just feel so incompetent and don’t know what to do. I don’t see how I’m going to pass fieldwork. I don’t see how I am going to learn all of this in time. I don’t see how I am going to remember it all by the time I graduate and am practicing in a clinical setting, as I still have one more fieldwork after this and two terms of my doctoral capstone. I just feel so incapable.

All this combined is making my anxiety sky rocket. It doesn’t help either that my therapist is back in Texas. That’s nothing that either of us has control over, but not having face-to-face appointments is really wearing me down. I’m grateful for telehealth, but I REALLY miss my face-to-face appointments with her. Another thing that doesn’t help is not having a prescription medication that works, even though I have been trying for over a year now. It’s just a lot. I know I’ll get through this, but it’s really hard right now…

Therapy Difficulties

I’m not sure what to do about my therapy appointments. I have my fieldwork rotation in California for the next 3 months but my therapist is back in Texas. She said before that we could do sessions over Zoom, but I don’t see how it’s going to work out with the 2 hour time difference. The times that I’m working just don’t align with the days and times she works, unfortunately. I could really use a session, but I don’t want to inconvenience her or be a burden by asking her to meet outside of when she typically works. I don’t know if I can wait until I get back to Texas in April to have a session again. That would be 3 months without a therapy appointment. I’ve been really happy here, I have…but it’s also been really hard. Learning how to be an OT is hard and overwhelming, and my anxiety is kicking into overdrive with all these self-doubts, feeling like I will never be good enough or smart enough to actually succeed and care for my patients well. I have been trying different medications for over a year now and still haven’t found one that works for helping manage my anxiety. I don’t have any support physically here with me. I am here on my own. All of my go-to people are 2 or 3 hours ahead of me, and after only one week I have been realizing how difficult it is to find time to talk to them with the differences in times/schedules. I’m not really sure what to, do but I know I’m not strong enough to make it 3 months without having my therapy sessions.

Lessons in the…Golden State???

I have experienced every emotion possible in the past week: self-doubt, frustration, sadness, overwhelming anxiety, fear, and exhaustion, but also pure joy, gratitude, peace, and contentment. It’s been a whirlwind, but I honestly cannot believe that this is actually my life right now.

On Thursday, I moved into an Airbnb in Santa Barbara, California. For the next 3 months, I will be doing a fieldwork rotation for my occupational therapy program. I am excited to finally be gaining some hands-on experience, but I am also extremely nervous. First of all, we have had basically no hands-on experience due to COVID. Second of all, I feel like I am nowhere near ready. I feel so inadequate. I feel like I’m not good enough. How am I supposed to plan entire treatments for patients? How am I supposed to plan entire treatments for multiple patients multiple times a week? By the end of the rotation, I am supposed to have a full caseload (like 8 patients per day). I’m just really scared. Another thing I’m scared for is that this site only takes level IIB fieldwork students (the second of 2 level II/full-time fieldwork rotations). You see, this was supposed to be my second level 2 fieldwork but now it’s my first. I got majorly f***ed over by my program and ended up having to delay the start of my fieldwork. So, instead of doing my level IIA (first level II fieldwork) in the fall and my second one right now, this one is now my first. I don’t know if this was communicated between my school’s fieldwork coordinator and clinical education associate and the fieldwork site. I’m scared I am going to get to my site and they’re going to get pissed at ME over this and it will just set a bad tone.

I don’t know…maybe it’s just my anxiety getting in the way. Maybe I’m stressing and making a big deal out of something I shouldn’t be. But there is so much I feel anxious for right now. Things that are causing me anxiety (because I know it’ll at least help me a bit to get it all out):

FINANCES. I am stressed over finances right now. I’ve had to pay for my Airbnb while still paying for my apartment back in Dallas. It ain’t cheap. Stuff is also more expensive out here. I knew California was more expensive BUT DAMN. Gas is still like $1.85/gallon in Dallas and then here it’s like $3.30/gallon. Everything seems to be a bit more expensive, but when everything is a bit more expensive it definitely adds up. I’ve decided to call it the “sunshine tax.” The weather is practically perfect here and the scenery is gorgeous, but it definitely comes at a price.

THERAPY. As mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, I am extremely anxious over the fact that I won’t be able to have any face-to-face appointments with my therapist over the next three months. I can still do telehealth appointments, but I am REALLY going to miss having face-to-face appointments and I am really going to miss her. Yay attachment. I’m also worried about how to find a time that will work with the difference in timezones. She’s two hours ahead of me and only works 9-5 Monday through Thursday. I’m not sure how this work out…

DISTANCE. I am worried about the difference in timezones. My family is all 3 hours ahead of me and all of my friends are 2 or 3 hours ahead of me. It’s definitely going to make it challenging to find times to talk, which is difficult since that’s a huge part of my support system.

There are other things causing me to feel uneasy, but those are the big ones right now.

There has been some good, though…a lot, actually. I am living in freaking California. What?!?! How cool is that?! I’ve gotten to go to the beach and relax, the weather is amazing, I have seen some incredible sunsets, I have driven on the PCH…I have experience pure bliss. This life…it’s what I’ve wanted and dreamed of for so long. To have easy access to both the beach and the mountains, to have have this perfect weather and sunshine, to have the opportunity to be out in nature so easily…it’s literally a dream come true. I have had so many moments of just being in awe at the fact that this is actually my life right now.

After all the stress and chaos of moving, it feels so amazing to actually be here. I’m really not sure where I am going with this or how I am going to wrap this up, but I just needed to get all this out. So with that, I’m going to bed. I am exhausted and have a big day coming up on Monday, so I need my rest. Hopefully I will get more consistent with this blogging thing but who knows?

As always, I am here for you if you need someone to talk to. Mental health struggles suck, but you don’t have to struggle alone. Reach out if needed.

With love, J 🙂

Thoughts on the Holiday Season as Someone Who Struggles with an Eating Disorder

***Trigger warning: If talk about eating disorders and body image is a sensitive subject for you, please do not read. The point in me writing this blog post is to shed light on a sensitive subject and hopefully show people that they are not alone in their struggles. I do not want to stir up anything negative in people.***

It’s taken me several attempts to write this. I’m still not entirely sure what to say. I’ve opened and closed this blog post so many times, but I don’t think I will ever truly figure out the best words to say on this topic. So here goes…

A few weeks ago was Thanksgiving – the holiday where eating a ridiculous amount of food is deemed perfectly acceptable. For many, the holiday can even involve multiple days of eating lots and lots of food; I know for my family it does. My parents and I always do our own little Thanksgiving on Tuesday or Wednesday (sometimes both days) where we eat a bunch of stuff from Honey Baked Ham, then on Thursday we spend the day with my dad’s family eating all the typical Thanksgiving foods, and of course after Thanksgiving there are leftovers. There are multiple days where we are eating a lot – multiple days where I am eating a lot. For some, this wouldn’t be a big deal. It IS just one week and it IS a holiday. However, for me, it is a big deal.

I struggle with obsessively counting my calories and restricting what I eat. It began second semester of my freshman year of college. I struggled with it a lot from then on into midway my sophomore year. No one knew. None of my friends, not even my parents…actually, they still don’t know…but if you’ve read some of my other posts then you know that they don’t really see mental health as being something that should be taken seriously. Anyways, it all started with two key triggers that really sent me spiraling:

  1. Comparison. I’ve always struggled with body image, going through periods here and there of genuinely HATING my body. In college, I was suddenly surrounded by so many girls with seemingly perfect bodies. The SEC university/Greek life culture was surrounding me. Although I was not in a sorority myself, I was still surrounded by all the “perfect” girls who fit the “beautiful Southern Belle” mold. They all seemed to have SO MANY friends and were going to so many parties and nights out at the bars. I was not doing any of those things. I was trying to be content with doing my own thing and confidently march to the beat of my own drum, but being content and confident is much easier said than done. It seemed like everyone was prettier, smarter, thinner, fitting in better, making friends easier, etc. I would look around and felt like I was not enough.
  2. Control. I was in season where I felt so very out of control. I went from being an honors student at college prep schools all my life to suddenly just being average in college. The thing is, “average” wouldn’t get me into a super competitive graduate program. “Average” wouldn’t make me standout and have that stellar application. From the very being of my first semester of college, one thing they were ALWAYS telling us was that to have a competitive application for (insert health science professional program here) you had to be the best. You had to make the perfect grades, you had to make the high test scores, you needed to be do observation hours, interning, and conducting research. You needed to do it all, and do it all flawlessly. One thing I quickly realized I could control was how much I did, or didn’t, eat. It became a sort of fucked up competition with myself. How much can I restrict today? I was struggling to succeed in my biomedical sciences classes…if I couldn’t be smart anymore then at least I could be thin. So, somewhere along the way, I began obsessively counting my calories. I’m still not entirely sure of what EXACTLY led to that happening. It was probably several little things over time but still…what made me reach that point?

As I said, this continued until about halfway through my sophomore year of college. As cliche as it sounds, one thing that helped me kind of break out of the obsessive calorie counting was New Years…although I still wasn’t exhibiting healthy behaviors with eating. Like a lot of people, I kind of took on the “new year, new me” attitude and decided that I was just going to eat “clean.” Basically, I started labeling my foods. Instead of obsessively counting calories, I would label foods as “good” (fruits, veggies, grilled chicken) or “bad” (pizza, anything fried, sweets). As long as I was eating something I considered “good,” I was in the clear and didn’t need to obsess. I would allow myself to eat ONE “bad” food per week…only ONE. If I were to exceed that limit of one, then it would turn into a ride on the merry-go-round of shame.

It still wasn’t healthy but in my messed up little mind it seemed logical. I just had to eat the things that were “good.” It was almost like a loophole to avoid calorie counting, but really I just replaced one unhealthy behavior (restricting, obsessive calorie counting) with another unhealthy behavior (labeling my foods).

Last semester was one of the darkest seasons of my life. My anxiety was at one of highest points it has ever been and some other things happened that really sent me spiraling. My anxiety took over and my depression got really bad as well. Eventually, I became too nauseous to eat most of the time, resulting in my weight going down. Watching that number drop became very satisfying for me. Just like freshman year, I was back in a place where I felt so very out of control…and just like freshman year, my weight became the thing I could control. I could control how much I ate, or if I even ate at all. It got out of hand, and it got out of hand fast. 30 pounds. I was down 30 pounds in just a matter of weeks. I went from being a healthy weight of 124 pounds to being 94 pounds, all because I wasn’t eating. I was craving the chance to just be in control of something in my life while everything else felt like it was going to shit.

It was awful. To make it worse, my therapist was threatening to have me hospitalized. I know she had to though. I completely understand that and I am honestly so thankful for her being so straightforward with me; it’s honestly one of the main things that helped to kind of force me out of it. The fear of actually being hospitalized for an eating disorder, the fear of my parents finding out, the fear of what others would think…it was enough for me to force myself to eat no matter how much my mind was trying to tell me otherwise, no matter how nauseous I would get.

Things have been on-and-off since then. I have good days and bad days. I have days where I will happily cook myself something really good and healthy, and thoroughly enjoy making it. I also have days where I eat a lot of not-so-healthy stuff. I’ll eat a bunch of pasta or enjoy some tacos and margs. I also have the days where I don’t eat as much. I restrict; I count the calories. I have the days where I check my weight multiple times. I have days where I am happy with my body, but also days where I genuinely hate myself. It’s a lot of ups and downs, and it’s draining.

One of the big problems now is that I’m still not at a healthy weight. Of the 30 I lost, only 10 of it has been gained…so I’m still 20 pounds down from where I was. I know I need to gain it back, but part of me finds it satisfying to watch the number drop; it’s like I’m doing something right. Part of me doesn’t want to see it go up, but deep down I know it needs to. Deep down I know that I need to gain weight and it will be healthy for me to do so. It’s still hard though.

I’m worried. Christmas is only a couple weeks away and I know it’s going to be the same thing all over again. We are going to be overindulging with meals. I’m going to be eating things I know I shouldn’t be. I always end up gaining a few pounds (5 or less, so it really shouldn’t be that big of a deal) when I visit my parents. I typically lose it pretty quickly when I get back home, but it still stresses me out knowing that I have gained weight and not knowing exactly how much since I don’t have access to a scale. It’s hard to enjoy the holidays and enjoy eating all the food when my mind is telling me to restrict. It’s hard to navigate family gatherings because I don’t want to eat so little that people comment on me not eating. But it’s also difficult because if anyone notices the weight loss, they see it as good. My family sees thin as good and I’ve had people say to me “Have you lost weight? You look good.” Part of me just wants to scream out and tell them because if they knew then they would understand that the weight loss isn’t good or healthy. It’s so hard because part of me wants to let people into my struggles with an eating disorder because I could really use some support and encouragement, but part of me is also too ashamed to do so. I am afraid of what people will think and I am afraid they won’t understand.

I really don’t know how to wrap this up. Honestly, this was therapeutic for me. I have never sat down to write about and reflect on my struggle with my eating disorder through the years, so this has been somewhat freeing for me to just get all of this out.

If you made it this far, thank you. Truly, thank you. I so hope that this was able to help at least one other person. I hope that there is one person out there who read this and can see that they are not alone. You are not alone. We are in this together. I am here for you and as always, I would love to connect and support each other in our journeys. We’ve got this.

With love, J.

Uncomfortable Confessions

I feel uncomfortable typing this…but I know that doing so will help me. So, here goes…

I’m temporarily moving to California during January through early April for a level 2 fieldwork rotation for school (hey, remember when my intent was to use this blog to talk about OT school and I’ve pretty much never done that). I’m excited. How could I not be??? 3 months of sunshine, great weather, and living close to the beach…YES PLEASE. Although I am excited, there are definitely some nerves. I don’t feel prepared at all to treat patients, especially with having no hands-on experience in my level 1 fieldworks (thanks COVID). I am also afraid I won’t know how to plan interventions to carry out a treatment session for multiple patients, multiple times a day. I’m also afraid of just not being good enough.

Although there are lots of nerves surrounding the clinical/OT aspect of my fieldwork rotation, the thing that is causing me the most anxiety isn’t exactly related to the fieldwork in and of itself. The thing that is making me the most anxious is being away from my therapist for those 12 weeks (more like 14 if you factor in traveling). I know I can do telehealth appointments with her, but I’m REALLY going to miss seeing her in-person. I addressed this during my appointment on Thursday and honestly felt so embarrassed. She was so kind and understanding, but I still felt so ashamed for feeling this way. It was one of those moments where my attachment to her really came out. I know it’s normal to get attached to your therapist; it’s part of the therapeutic process…but it didn’t change the fact that I felt truly ashamed to address how much I’m really going to miss her.

I really don’t know what to say in this post other than that. I just feel so anxious over the fact I won’t be able to have face to face sessions for a few months. I am grateful for the fact that I can do telehealth, but I really NEED the face-to-face. I feel so much more connected that way. I don’t even enjoy FaceTiming my best friends; I would just much prefer being in the person’s presence.

I know it’s going to be hard and I’m not exactly sure of what to do. I’m REALLY going to miss seeing her every week and that’s been really hard for me to admit. I don’t know what these next few months are going to look like; I guess I’ll just have to take things one day at a time.

(side note: thank goodness I still can get in to see her TWO more times before making the move to CA)

One year thoughts.

One year.

One year ago today, I finally worked up the nerve to seek help for my anxiety and start medication. For one year I have been playing what feels like a never-ending game of trial and error to find the “best fit” medication, and oh what a year it has been.

I remember that day so vividly. It was a Monday, and I had a 2 hour break in between my human movement lab and neuroscience lab. I had hit THE breaking point. I remember having a mental breakdown because it had just become too much – the anxiety had become all-consuming. I knew I couldn’t keep living like that, and knew it was time to speak up and get help. I got online and searched for a practitioner that I could get in to see that day. I knew I couldn’t wait because if I did, I might lose the courage to do so.

I was able to find someone who could see me at 3:40 that afternoon. I remember being so distracted during my neuroscience lab. I was so nervous to be actually doing this. There is so much stigma surrounding mental health, and I didn’t know what reaction I would get when I said the reason I was in was to get anxiety medication. I didn’t know if I would be met with judgment or if I would be able to easily get the help that I so deeply desired.

I remember being so nervous while driving there, being more nervous while sitting in the waiting room, and even more nervous once I was back in my private room. I was actually doing this. I was getting medication for anxiety.

The NP I saw was very helpful and nice. She decided to start me on Prozac. Part of me felt relieved – I had finally worked up the nerve to get medication after struggling with anxiety for so long – anxiety that had been getting increasingly worse. At the same time, part of me felt so broken – it felt like I was damaged. I wasn’t able to manage my mental health on my own, and part of me felt so ashamed it had come to that.

I’m not going to lie, I still feel that way sometimes – the shame. I can count on one hand the number of people I have talked about my mental health with, who know I am taking medication, who know that I am going to therapy. It’s still really hard for me to comfortably talk about. It’s hard for me to trust people with it, so it’s something I still hold close to me.

I’m trying to work on that though. I am trying to work on not being ashamed of it and being bold in sharing my struggles with my mental health. I know that good can come from vulnerability, and that is one thing that my mental health struggles have shown me. When I have been bold and willing to be vulnerable by letting people in, good has come from it. I haven’t been met with judgment but instead with acceptance and encouragement.

It’s been a weird year. It’s been a hard year – a REALLY hard year. It’s been a year of going through ups and downs, periods where my anxiety is not as bad and then periods where it is paralyzing. There are days where my depression takes over more so than my anxiety, making it hard to have the drive to do much of anything. There are also really awful days where both are simultaneously controlling me, and it sucks…a lot. It isn’t all bad though. There have also been really, really good days. There are days where I do feel really happy, days where I blast my music and ride with the windows down, days where food/eating/my weight isn’t controlling me, days where my anxiety and depression seem distant. On the good days, I really try to enjoy them – REALLY try to enjoy them, and on the hard days, I try to be gentle to myself. I try to practice self-care and give myself grace.

It’s been a journey. I still haven’t found the medication that is best for me. I’ve tried 4, at various doses, and still haven’t found one to really get things under control. I’ve been prioritizing my therapy appointments. There are things I want to address, and know I need to address, but am still working up the nerve to do so. There are just some things I’m not sure if I can actually speak out loud yet, because I know it’ll make some of my thoughts/fears real. I know it shouldn’t scare me. My therapist has been nothing but wonderful from day one (seriously hit the jackpot with my therapist; what a freaking angel), but there are some things that are still scary to say aloud. I know I need to though. I know it will help and only good and growth can come from it. It’s a process though…a long one at that.

I’m not really sure how to end this. I’ll just leave it at this: I am still learning, still growing. I know I still have a lot of progress to make, but gosh I am so proud of myself for how far I have come from this day last year. Good things are ahead. It won’t always be easy; hard days are inevitable, but I know that good things are in store for me. I can feel it.

Thoughts from World Mental Health Day

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day.

Yesterday I woke up before 9:00 on a Saturday (a RARE occurrence for me) and actually felt super well-rested.

Yesterday I went and got a salted caramel cream cold brew from Starbucks to have with breakfast and ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in SO LONG.

Yesterday I lit some fall-scented candles (all the warm, inviting pumpkin and sugary sweet scents), opened the windows, and cleaned my apartment.

Yesterday I was productive with my studying and got a lot done.

Yesterday I made a really good dinner.

Yesterday a really dear friend came over and we had drinks and got to hang out and talk.

Yesterday was a really good day.

Having good days has not been the norm lately. Most days have been hard as hell for me as of late. I’ve been having the “I don’t want to get out of bed” days, the “I have no appetite” days, and the “I have zero motivation to shower” days. The good days have been far and few.

Yesterday was different; yesterday was good. I felt happy. I felt motivated. Was my depression and anxiety still things that existed? Yes…but they seemed a little less heavy. I felt a little lighter. I was able to have real, honest conversations with a friend about where I’m at lately and I’ve been trying to deal with it all. Vulnerability has always been especially hard for me because I don’t trust easily, but my crappy mental health has shown me how much freedom can be found in letting people in and choosing to be real with them.

The thing is…it isn’t always that easy with having these conversations. There is still so much stigma surrounding mental health. People don’t want to talk about it because there are people who don’t provide the support and listening ear that is needed. Instead, they judge: They brush it off as being nothing significant, they think the person is being attention seeking, they try and belittle the person for their feelings, they don’t provide the care and compassion that is needed, etc. These are the types of behaviors that make it difficult to work up the courage to talk about it.

I know it sounds so basic at this point, but we really do need to do better. We need to END THE STIGMA. We need to normalize having conversations about mental health and we need to normalize acting like a decent human being when someone who is struggling comes to us. Education. Advocacy. These are the things that are needed. People need to be educated on just what these diagnoses can entail for someone and we need to do whatever it takes for people to get the supports they need.

We NEED to normalize this. Medication and therapy are both wonderful. They can make a world of difference, but there is still so much negativity surrounding them. Why is it that I still can’t comfortably talk to my parents about my mental health? Why is it that there are only a few of my friends I know I can go to about this? This HAS to change.

We need to do better; we all need to do better. We all need to work together to be bold, speak up, educate, provide support, and rally together to normalize having honest conversations about mental health and normalize being there for each other, in whatever way that may be.

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, but everyday should be a day where we can comfortably talk about mental health. Changes need to occur.

late night thoughts

My depression has been more intense than it’s ever been. I was supposed to have an appointment with my therapist on Thursday but she has to reschedule due to a family emergency. Completely understandable. Therapists deal with shit in their lives too…but I’m not sure how I’m going to make it until next week. I had an appointment last Monday and things were so bad last week that I thought about texting her to see if I could come in for a second appointment. Probably wasn’t my best choice since yesterday I was thinking about texting again to see if I could come in earlier this week because waiting until Thursday seemed impossible. Well, looks like it’ll be sometime next week now and I am not sure how I am going to do it exactly. It’s been a struggle to do anything…eat, shower, make my bed…basic tasks feel impossible. I just can’t keep going like this. Now, just to clarify, I do NOT want to end it. I do NOT want to hurt myself nor do I have plans to. I just want the pain to stop. I am tired of feeling like absolute shit all the time. I just want to feel normal again…whatever normal even is…