Today it won

Today was one of those days that started out great. Everything seemed to fall into place. Kids got themselves ready without me having to chase them down at all, everyone remembered everything they needed without anybody having to run like crazy back into the house to search like a maniac for one lost thing or another. I was able to quickly drive out to my walking spot and get in three miles before the heat tried its best to suffocate me.

I got back to my car and once I got in my mind started racing with all of the things that I needed to do during the day. I tried to map out the route between the different stores and plan my time line to make sure that I was able to get everything I needed done before the kids came home.

And then it happened.

For no reason whatsoever, Anxiety decided to join the party. The what if’s started creeping into my plans and I never took the lead after that.

What if I could find better shoes online? Didn’t I need to read as many reviews as possible, and search through all of the different sales and coupon codes first?

What if I bought my teenage son the sweater that I had seen online last night and he hated it. This is a boy who would never say to my face that he doesn’t like something, he will just out it into his closet with a fake smile and it wont surface again until I attempt to clean out his closet again. What a waste of money this could be.

On the other hand, what if I walk into that second-hand shop that I have had my eye on and I end up buying a bunch of things, thinking that they are all great deals, but I get it all home and no one else likes the things that I picked out?

What if my poor dog who seemingly got his anxiety straight from me, was at home eating things like the cereal box that was set next to the trash can instead of broke down and put into the actual recycling bin. He likes to do that.

I went to none of these places. I went home.

I found my favorite TV show and I binge watched it while I drug my computer out to be able to at least act like I was doing some work.

Stupid anxiety.

What did life chose for you?

We all like to think that every single thing about ourselves could be a choice. Doesn’t it make you feel a little helpless to realize that some things, no matter how much that we try to say otherwise, are just not our choice?

Is cancer a choice?

Is being born with a birth defect a choice? Yes I understand that a number of those come from a choice of a parent, some are also NOT.  Some are genetic. Some are just a rare thing that happens for unknown reasons.

Is naturally having red hair a choice?

Dyslexia?

Thyroid disease?

Brain disorders?

So how can we accept those to be problems that we are born with, but depression is something that we must have chosen? When did mental illness become so shameful?

Why has it ever been frowned upon like it was a choice? I guess I don’t understand the reasons that it was ever looked at like it was not just another disease that you need to fight with regular medication and therapy, just as one would need to do with diabetes or a medical disorder that affects the muscular system.

Who gets to make these decisions? Who gets to decide who is better than who because of the way that their genetics made them?  Who gets to decide who lives their lives in hiding and who gets to be loud and proud of the lifestyle their DNA setup for them? What about the judgmental people who later in life has life events that change circumstances? Like a woman dealing with postpartum, or a man trying to deal the loss of his parent. Now is it suddenly acceptable?

Were you chosen to be the lucky one who lives their whole childhood healthy, watching others have asthma attacks or seizures? Did you ever have to go back and ask your parent what childhood diabetes meant and why some people needed to check their blood sugars?

Only to grow older and get told that you have cancer and will have to fight for your life while they inject more and more poisons into your body to fight the poison that is already there?

I hope for you judgmental folks to have healthy babies who have healthy babies. I hope for all of you that life doesn’t sneak up on you and teach you the reality of most people in the world. I hope that you never have to be proven wrong.

However I know you will be.

Because that’s what life is all about.

Being born into a life where most of our health conditions are not a choice.

Here is to hoping that the health conditions that life choses for you is on the “ACCEPTABLE” list.

I was chosen to be a Suicide Survivor

November 18 is National Suicide Survivor Day.

I never even knew that. I walked in a Suicide Awareness walk recently and I spent the majority of the time being quite alarmed at how many people just in my area had been directly affected by the loss of a loved one or friend.

This is one of those events that unless you go through it, you can not really explain it well. Everybody says that about everything don’t they? It is true. It’s this strange out-of-body experience that is simply unexplainable.

I was 16. He was my first love. At 16 you are more innocent than you are ever willing to admit. You don’t have a grasp on how long life really can be. You have no ability to realize that things will change. You don’t realize that the pain goes away. You don’t realize how a change in scenery can make everything different.

A mother lost her firstborn. A father lost who he thought would be the leader of the pact. A grandmother lost her grandson. Siblings lost a brother. I lost a best friend. A boyfriend. My first love. And it changes us all. Rocked our world into being unrecognizable.

It has been 15 years and while it has changed, has been ignored and seemingly has been forgotten by everyone around me, I still remember. I still cry for the soul that was lost. I still miss who he could have been. I miss what my life could have been. I have spent more time imagining the what if’s then I was ever able to actually spend with him.

I have no idea who he would be today. I have no idea if our love would have survived. I have no idea if we even would have kept in touch.

I will never have the ability to know.

I have read thousands of people’s stories online. I have volunteered at suicide hotlines. I have answered phone calls at 2 in the morning and run out just to be the shoulder that someone needed at that moment. I have made it known to anybody  who has access to my social media that I am ALWAYS available when you think you are alone. My number is always there for you to call.

It isn’t enough I feel. I can’t bring him back.

And so here I was, standing in a crowd of people who all have their own stories. And I was moved to tears to see how COMMON this problem has become. How in the hell has this become SO NORMAL??

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2017. 

Each year 44,193 AMERICANS die by suicide.

Suicide costs the United stated $51 Billion annually. 

Men die of suicide 3.5 times more than women. 

The average age of suicide victims? MIDDLE AGED WHITE MEN

Never Stop trying to help. Keep your eyes and hearts open. Mental illness is not a CHOICE. It should not be a stigma. It should not have to be hidden. It should not be something that they have to be ashamed of.

When you just don’t want to

Did you know that it’s ok to just say no to things? 

You don’t have to always make up excuses. You don’t have to blame other people and say they cause you to miss something. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s your best friend, or the lady at work who throws too many parties. 

You can just say no. 

They can push, and not understand. Thats ok. They can even get mad. You can take the time and do the right thing and explain to them that these things just aren’t for you. You can explain that you don’t do crowds, you have anxiety, or you just needed some “me time”. They don’t normally care, but you can feel free to try it. 

But you don’t have to go to everything. 

Friends Family and Coworkers should all understand that you are your own person, with your own things that make you uncomfortable. You don’t have to miss everything. But sometimes it’s ok. 

Forgiven, but not forgotten

Relationships are hard.

Every one tells you this and it is so easy to nod you head and act like you understand because you have had relationships your whole life right? Right from the moment that you are in the womb, you are having a relationship with the woman who is carrying you. You may or may not be aware of any of it, but it is happening. You have a mother, a father, possibly siblings, grandparents, neighbors, pet, etc. Just to name a few.

You have been able to handle those haven’t you? Sure some have been easier, some harder. Likely have had some fights with some of them, maybe even stopped talking to one or two of them.

I guarantee that you have been hurt by at least one of them right? Maybe a parent not letting you do what you want, or a comment made by someone who struck the wrong cord with you.

These are all relationship’s though right?

Of course.

So you get into your first grown relationship and everything is butterflies, kisses and laughing right? So what happens when it isn’t?

I don’t mean bad as in fists, pushing  and hurting. I mean what happens when you have to WORK for it.

Yelling. Screaming. Tears. Anger. Hurt. HATE.

That same passion that brought you together causes you passionately fight too. Times like this call for some real love because these fights can get super ugly. You spend your whole life knowing that some people are absolutely born to play on the debate club, while others flounder. This is not the time to be floundering my friends.

It also isn’t the time to whip out that sharp shooting tongue either. It can be really easy to just let loose with every insult that you know, but there is a really important lesson to keep in mind here.

People remember what you said. You were hurt, or mad and lashing out, but they were listening.

Words hurt.

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Just say NO to anxiety

There is never a day that goes by that it doesn’t show its ugly head. Day in and day out I find a different way to panic over something small that has happened. Every day It seems as if I handle it worse than before. But how do I stop?

Anxiety is real.

It is the one that likes to be in charge. It thinks it can come and go as it pleases. It cares very little about the people who get hurt in the process of a fit.

In a world where mental illness has been looked down on for so long, this is still the one that people love to say people make it up just to excuse bad behavior. To those who believe that, I dare you to live in someone’s head when this happens. Try to explain to yourself that it is fake, that you are making it a bigger deal then what it really is. See if it listens to you any better than it listens to us. When you fail, which you will, then I would love for you to come back and apologize instead of mock us. I would love to see understanding in your eyes instead of disbelief that we CHOSE to do this AGAIN.

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It humbles me to realize that I have only just begun to fight this battle just in the last ten years or so, and it is still a very small fight in the grand scheme of people who deal with this. I can leave my house, go to work, be in social settings sometimes, and many of other things that I have heard can be problematic to others. I have very set triggers mostly now, in which I am learning coping mechanisms for. Sooner rather than later I may end up talking to a doctor about  better options. For now, it’s a day-to-day battle for me.

Anxiety is only a very small part of me. One that has been happening all along since I started having children more than likely, but was low-key enough that I didn’t recognize any warning signs. No one felt the need to bring it up to me. This could be because of the stigmata that came along with any mental illness, or it could be that I was masking it so well that it was truthfully not seen by anyone including myself.

I bring this up not because it is a topic I enjoy, but because it is something that I know is an everyday problem for many of people. I know that I am not alone, and I know that the only way to fix a stigmata is to speak about it instead of hide it.

It is a battle.

And I will win.

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