Spending Time With Family

This blog has become very personal recently, and honestly I like it. Sharing my ups and downs and more what’s going on with me, especially when there has been a lot going on with me recently is pretty cool. Being able to remain open and honest about my anxieties, depression from events that have past, and what I’m healing mentally is really awesome! I’m very grateful to have a platform where I can be real with others.

That being said today was another nice day. It’s a day I needed. It’s also a day I think my family needed too. Myself, my mom, and my sister went to visit some relatives on my mom’s side and it was a pretty chill (also cold) and relaxing day. I may have felt tired all day, but I ate some great food, learned how to play a game called Mexican Train, and got to go on a nice walk with my niece and nephew. We were on a quest to fly a drone that just didn’t pan out, but otherwise it was a nice walk.

It feels weird, but I’m relaxing into life after a long time of feeling afraid of it. Even when I was happy about it I was afraid that the happiness would go away, but now I’m really feeling cool with whatever comes and goes and that feeling is amazing.

2018 in general has been a big year for me, but I’ve grown a lot especially mentally this year. I’m more in tune now with what I want and how I feel then I’ve ever been and I’m genuinely excited for the first time to see what 2019 brings. Before I was honestly terrified, but now I have an odd peaceful feeling about it. It feels like a year I purged a lot of emotion. Old wounds that have now mostly healed. Especially wounds that I didn’t realize I had.

As crazy as it is to say I feel like I needed to go through all the difficult things I went through this year so that I could become stronger as a person. Because I do feel stronger. Yeah, I hurt a lot this year. I dealt with a lot of general unhappiness. I also didn’t deal with certain things in the best way. But, I’m human and I’m still learning. I think no matter how old you get there is still something to learn. I’m only 20, I’m going to make a lot of mistakes in my life. I just have to make it a point to try my best.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

What my State Of Mind is Right Now

At this moment in time my mind has come to a state that is much stronger then it’s ever been. After over a month of nonstop tears I’ve finally found a respite. It’s nice to feel this way as Christmas approaches. However, I don’t think the Christmas mood is going to find its way into my heart this year. I’ve made my peace with that. I’m focusing as much as I can on healing my hurt and slowly getting myself into a place where I let myself hope again.

Looking back on these past few months I’ve never had myself spiral this bad into depression and anxiety. I realized that decisions I made where not good and resulted in loosing something I never wanted to loose because instead of taking things calmly and trusting in fate and trusting in general I let worry and fear control me. I am never ever doing that again. In every situation that comes my way in the future I’m going to make better decisions and trust that things will work out as they should naturally. Things fall apart when you try so hard to make things work that you act so irrationally that the opposite happens.

As of right now, I have accepted my confusion about the events of the past few months. I have accepted that whatever is going to happen in the future is going to happen. I have come to realize that I’m very sorry for the things my anxiety led me to, but that my anxiety isn’t an excuse. If I work at it I can control it and I didn’t. I’m never making that mistake again.

I know now that when I fall in love with someone it’s permanent. That I’m going to feel that love in my heart for the rest of my life, but because of it I understand that sometimes the other person needs something else in life. That I can’t force a person to stay when they don’t want to and their reason is their reason and it’s not up to me to hold on. That my happiness can be overwhelming when I’m with someone, but I can find and be happy standing on my own. Because I’m a whole person. Love just makes me overflow.

I’ve also learned that break ups really can be as upsetting as tv would have you believe. If I let myself really think about it, as I have done a lot in the recent past, I can get to a state where I’m bawling and so I try not to so much.

Regardless of what happens in the future who stays in my life, who comes into it, or who leaves, or what random thing life has in store for me, I’m going to build up my armor, not necessarily to keep people away, but to get through any obstacles that may come my way in a healthy and better way. So instead of freaking out about things that are out of my control I leave it up to faith and trust that good is just around the corner.

I also have come to realize that my family and I have very different stances on a lot of things that I didn’t previously think we thought differently on. That as I grow in the future I have to trust how I feel more then getting lost in worries that aren’t even my own. To listen to concerns, but to trust in my own judgment more.

Right now, I’m building the blocks of a much steadier mind. I know how I feel and I know that I have to trust that things will turn out well in the future. I have learned many lessons and am now going to make sure they stick. I will create happiness for myself. I will be so much better as a person for all that’s happened. Even if I wished I could turn back and change a lot of it. Maybe then things wouldn’t have ended like they did (preferably not ended at all) , but all I can do is look forward.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Going to Be Better in December

This month I don’t really have any plans in particular. I’m just going to focus on getting my mind and body into a healthier state and doing things I love to do. It’s Christmas Season! I have a lot of things to look forward to.

One thing that is weird for me is that in two weeks time I will be 20 years old. This feels strange because it’s just a reminder that I’ve barely started my life. I’m not even if legal drinking age yet, I have so much future to live for.

I think this month I’m going to remember who I am. A girl who loves books and cares deeply about her family. Someone who dreams of being a writer and fears writing for very little real reason. Who loves music and dancing and having fun. Who loves Christmas. Who cares about people. I’m not going to let what has gone and past affect me anymore. I need to move forward. I will move forward. I will be a better me.

I have a lot to be grateful for. I have books yet to be read. I have a roof over my head. My Dad is still here. I have stories to be written. I just need to change my perspective.

So this December I’m going to dedicate myself to heal. To give myself a chance. To enjoy life again. To smile and mean it.

Thanks for reading! I’m sorry about all the life posts recently. I haven’t been reading as much recently and with everything that’s been going on, I’ve been struggling to get back on track. Things should be back on track very soon!

-Till next time!

Using Crisis Chat for the First Time

Yesterday, my mental health plummeted. I wasn’t and have never been suicidal so at least I’m still ok in that way, but I was in so much emotional pain that I felt like throwing up and I could barely eat. The only reason I didn’t throw up was because I hate that more then anything and I will avoid it at all costs. Hence the very minimal eating.

My dad is doing very poorly. Currently, my family and I are on our way to emergency and yesterday once I got off work (I don’t know how I managed to work in the mental state I was in) we went to urgent care and then got his chest X-rayed. However, on top of the already mounting health issues my dad now can barely see. Plus, the way he is talking.. it’s been really hard for me to cope.

Last night, and these past few days I’ve just desperately needed to talk to someone about how I was feeling about the craziness that has become my life. To be open about how lost I feel. How broken I feel I’ve become. How that doesn’t feel allowed for me due to my responsibilities. To talk about how I’m pretty sure I’ve already lost my relationship with someone who made me feel happier everyday.

Everything piled up all at once and I don’t quite know how to handle it. Yesterday I watched YouTube video after YouTube video trying desperately to find any happiness I could. To laugh so I would forget where I was and so I wouldn’t cry. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. All I know is that I need some healing mentally, but I know things seem to only be getting worse and I know that true healing is far away.

Right now, I wanted to talk a little about my conversation. Somehow, I was lucky enough to talk to a counselor who was also a writer! I didn’t find that out till the end, but it was still really cool to talk to someone who also wrote novels, but did something like volunteer to talk to people like me who are under a lot of stress and emotional turmoil.

One thing I noticed was how nice it was to be able to talk to someone who I could tell everything that was going on to. Honestly, I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to, but I didn’t really need to. It just felt good to tell someone what was going on and know that they would listen. I’ve increasingly come to the acknowledgement that I need therapy. There is just too much weight on my shoulders and I don’t want to ever be a burden on anyone. Right now, I feel like a burden. That I’m just going through so much that I’m not only emotionally drained, but that I could potential emotionally drain other people.

My situation feels very unfair, but it is what it is and I have to live this life that I’ve been given. I want to be able to make the most of it, but yesterday I was barely functioning. My mom responds to my tendency toward apathy with a cut it out sort of mentality. Which in a way, kind of works-ish. I have too much riding on my existence in terms of my family’s needs from me to have the ability to completely crumble. Yesterday, I didn’t want to go to work at all. I was having a break down and yet I worked anyway, because it’s not my choice, but I don’t have many choices to make. If it was my choice I would have gone to an actual councilor then and there.

The reason I’m writing all this is because mental health is important to me. Sharing the experience of it is important to me. Being able to connect with others who have struggled and continue to struggle everyday is important to me. To be open in saying I’m struggling and hurting to show it’s normal. It’s not something to be ashamed of. Getting help when you need it is nothing to be ashamed of.

So please, if your ever struggling, please use a hotline or crisis chat.

Here is the link to the crisis chat.

If you need immediate help please call a crisis hotline. Here is a link to different numbers if need be.

Thank you for reading! Thank you all for being with me on my life’s journey. For caring. Many of you know my life has been up and down and crazy recently. I hope that this helps someone. I will continue to write posts like this one as time goes on. Helping someone with my story is all I hope for. Leave your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

The YA Sociopath: Why So Few Books?

Last night I went down a rabbit hole. I decided to watch the first few videos of Shane Dawson’s documentary about Jake Paul. In it, Shane touches on something that fascinates me, sociopaths. What it is. How many people have it. Some say 1 in 25. Some say 1 in 100. Really I should mention that there is a spectrum and 1 in 25 to 100 would fall somewhere on that spectrum.

The idea of someone who doesn’t know how to feel emotions. Who lives there life with different masks. Who are charismatic and enjoyable to be around. Master manipulators. That’s fascinating. However, I do need to point out that I don’t know much about this. It’s why I wish there were more ya that touched on this in a way that didn’t make them all out to be serial killers. Because most sociopaths aren’t serial killers. Apparently, they are often some of the world’s most successful people as well as the most liked.

The only ya book I found that has a sociopath main character that isn’t also a killer is ‘Don’t You Trust Me?’ By Patrice Kindl. Here is the link to the article I found this book on.

Patrice Kindl, best known for her romantic historical novels, steps into a new genre in this tale of a conniving teenager. Fifteen-year-old Morgan is blonde, blue eyed, and possesses a winning smile that instantly wins her the trust of everyone in the room. Oh, and she’s most definitely a sociopath. Emotions like love and fear are foreign to her, and she can’t recall ever having a conscience. When her parents ship her off to a school for troubled teens, she’s confident she can weasel her way out of it. That’s when she meets Janelle, a sobbing mess of a girl being torn from her boyfriend and sent to live with relatives she hasn’t seen since childhood. Originally dismissive of the other girl, Morgan changes her tune once she hears Janelle’s story and proposes that they switch places. Janelle runs off with her boyfriend, and Morgan settles in with a wealthy family who doesn’t have a clue that she isn’t their niece. Let the games begin. Fans of unreliable narrators and bad girls will eat this up.

Even still, the book above is a thriller in a sense. Just not one about a killer. If sociopaths are so common, why isn’t there more books written about them? I’m not talking thrillers and horror stories. I’m talking real world contemporary.. even historical, fantasy, etc. There has to be writers out there who are sociopaths. Who know what it’s like to live inside their own minds. Why not write a story more true to themselves?

I’m not trying to think of this as some sort of controversy. I’m just a fascinated person whose curiosity leads me to wanting to understand others who live lives totally unlike my own. Be it mentally, ethnically, of a different sexuality, or disability. I like to learn about these things, because not only does it make me more aware, but it makes it so I can be more compassionate and understanding. Realizing that sociopathic tendencies affect a ton more people then I ever realized was a huge eyeopener into a world that the majority of us cannot ever fully understand.

Thanks for reading! If you know any other books that are not thrillers that have a sociopathic main character let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this!

-Till next time!

Perks of Being A Wallflower: A Review

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 8/10 weirdly.. I really love this cover. It’s minimalist in a weird almost awkward way, but that really fits Charlie as a person. This cover just makes a lot of sense to me.

Publisher: MTV Books

Publish Date: February 1999

Number of Pages: 213

Received: Ebook gift from Andrew @Groovyglasses

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“Read the cult-favorite coming of age story that takes a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always honest look at high school in all its glory. Also a major motion picture starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a funny, touching, and haunting modern classic.

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky, Perks follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

A #1 New York Times best seller for more than a year, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults (2000) and Best Book for Reluctant Readers (2000), and with millions of copies in print, this novel for teen readers (or “wallflowers” of more-advanced age) will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps feel nostalgic for those moments when you, too, tiptoed onto the dance floor of life.”

Opening Sentence:

” Dear Friend,

I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.”

Musings:

First of all, I can’t start this review without saying that this book was incredibly special to me. Not just because it was generally a really amazing book, but because it is the love of my life’s absolute favorite. I always wanted to read this book, but I’m really glad to not have had the opportunity till now, because reading it in the way I did felt really special. Discussing it all with him has been one of my favorite things ever.

What I Loved:

Charlie’s depression matches mine. Charlie isn’t suicidal. He is sad and quiet, but also doing his best to “participate”. Which is what I do. The thought spiraling he gets and the break downs and the pretty often bits of crying are all things I have. However, I’m lucky that I have a pretty good handle on it on my own. I haven’t had a major breakdown in a LONG time, but I used to get them more often then I’d like to admit.

How far the Wallflower description goes. Charlie is a Wallflower. He witnesses and he listens. He is ignored even in the most intense of circumstances. There is no other word that fits who he is as a person. However, I also really loved that it’s about the Perks of being a Wallflower, because it shows all that. The way Charlie thinks about a lot of things is SO beautiful. Even when he did something that frustrated me. Still, I appreciated a lot of how he saw the world.

This book is incredibly quotable. The one-liners and the thoughts were so beautiful that you can’t help, but become attached to certain lines.

“It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.”

“I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this. That’s why I’m trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning.”

“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.”

“please believe that things are good with me, and even when they’re not, they will be soon enough. And i will always believe the same about you.”

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”


Honestly, this whole review could be just a post about my favorite Perks quotes. I adored just how beautifully this book was written.

The format. I had no idea that Perks was written in letter format before I started it. I loved how it felt very journalistic yet at the same time like Charlie is speaking to you. It made the story come together in a really different and really nice way.

Patrick. My favorite character by far was Patrick. He wasn’t the poster child of good behavior, but he was always himself. While reading, I worried about him a few times.. even over-reacted a bit. He was just so himself and funny and just an overall great person. I really liked his personality. I loved that a secondary character felt like they had a genuine personality.

Perks discusses the important things. Family, relationships, unhealthy relationships, friendship, mental health, sexual assault, etc. This book covers a lot of really great topics. It discusses the things many don’t want to talk about and it does it in a very careful and thought-provoking way.

Final thoughts:

If you haven’t read ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ I highly recommend you do so. It is well-worth the read. In a lot of ways it felt validating for me as someone who suffers from depression in the way Charlie does. I think that I would recommend it to everyone I know based off of that fact alone. I hope that everyone gives this beautiful little book a chance.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Let’s Rant: Our Bodies, Not Yours

I got up this morning. Read some blog posts. Ate some waffles. Felt pretty generally happy. Then.. then I went on Twitter and I saw this tweet from Annie-Marie McLemore. An author whose books I’ve desperately wanted to read for ages now and her tweet made my skin grow cold.

Her words.. that’s a reality for almost every girl out there. You talk to any girl and they have stories like this. Even me.

But, what really made me upset was not only her age, but the audacity of the teacher to tell her “Well what did you do to make him do that?” That made my blood boil. It’s an absolutely disgusting mentality to have. She was a child.. and your giving her that mentality that it’s her fault that a guy got the idea in his head to lay claim on her body. That it was ok. It makes me want to scream.

Victim shaming is the single most awful thing I have ever seen. Because sometimes.. sometimes the victim does start to believe it was their fault. When it isn’t. The answer to that awful question is always nothing. No girl ever asks to be touched like that. The only time that any sexual activity is ok is when there is mutual consent. That’s it. No touchy.. feely.. nothing unless it’s what both parties want. I don’t care if a girl decides that she wants to wear the shortest mini-skirt and just a bra to go out.. it does not give a guy permission to feel her up.

The whole “what did you do?” Mentality just gives men a free pass to do whatever the hell they want and not get punished for it. That shit is just that complete and utter bull shit and everyone needs to cut the crap. As much as the “what did you do” mentality suggests that men are animals… they are not. They have brains. They can have self-control. They are not controlled solely by the thing in their pants. They can keep their hands to themselves and show some respect. It’s all a stupid game. It’s this mentality that so many people wear as armor so that they can fool people into thinking that it wasn’t their fault. That they couldn’t help themselves. That they couldn’t register the girl saying no. That somehow the actions that they took with their own hands wasn’t their fault.

I thought I was done with the personal posts for a while, but as it turns out I’m just getting started.

I didn’t think I’d ever share this on here, but I’m fed up and these stories need to be shared.

I have a few stories actually.

The first wasn’t that long ago. Several months ago their was a boy that I worked with. We used to talk about music and whatever else and I saw him as a friend. He was one of those people who liked to give hugs and at first I didn’t think much of it. However, I started to notice that he’d give these side hugs where his arm would go around my chest and then one night I was bagging up food to go into the display and he was leaving and he thought it was a good idea to hug me from behind placing his hands by where my ovaries are. I immediately felt this rush of panic and anger. It didn’t matter that it was quick. It didn’t matter that we’d talked and were sort of friends. Touching me like that.. so intimately.. I was livid. Before he left I yelled at him, “That was the most uncomfortable hug I’ve ever had… don’t ever ever do that again I said… don’t ever think of doing that to any girl ever.. It’s not ok… I don’t know how you could have thought that that was ok.”

He had the sense to back off.. he apologized profusely, but I had my personal space violated. A hug like that is one I want from my boyfriend and from my boyfriend only. It’s a kind of hug that signifies trust and love and intimacy. None of which I had with that guy at my work.. not even close. It wasn’t just me though. He hugged the other girl we both worked with the same way. It’s not ok.

The other.. much longer.. story is this:

In high school there was a boy I was nice to. He wasn’t liked by very many people and when we would pass in the hallway I thought it was a grand idea to be nice and say hi. I would chat with him and treat him like a person and I didn’t realize that it would make him think I wanted anything other then friendship and I was wrong. During summer of sophomore year I took pre-cal at a university so that I could be ahead and take more advanced classes at school. Apparently, this was the same university where this guys sister was taking classes. One day, he showed up hours before pick up and found me where I was eating lunch. I didn’t think much of it at the time since it was simply a surprise to me and I didn’t have anything against him. I had thought of him as a friend. So when he asked me for my number I gave it to him. Except.. every single day after that he’d show up early hours before pick up trying to catch me on my break. So instead of confronting him like I should have I stayed in class to eat lunch. When he called asking to hang out I told him that my mom wouldn’t like it (I should have just told him I didn’t want to). For the next several weeks of an intensive pre-cal class I would eat inside.. run the fastest route to where my mom would wait for me in her car and I blocked the guys number. To this day I don’t understand how he didn’t get the hint. When we were at school again he’d ask me to give him a hug and I’d brush him off and go in a different direction. In truth.. the whole thing terrified me. I lived my life in school finding ways to always be absent from wherever he was. The thing is I was at work yesterday and I saw that very same guy pass by and it filled me with the same dread as I had in school. The thing is.. a lot of people weren’t nice to him, because everyone could tell that he was mentally off. But being me.. knowing what it felt like not to have any friends it was always important to be nice. I didn’t expect for it to end up getting me a stalker. To this day I get all in my head and even though I know I could defend myself if I absolutely had to.. it’s the wonder of not knowing what someone is capable of. I’m not in the business of underestimating someone because I could physically take them on… or because they look harmless.. in this world of knifes and guns and awful situations I can’t help but feel afraid sometimes. I hate that this guy can make me feel that way. That just one look at his face filled me with dread. It’s not even a violation of the sexual kind, but a violation on my ability to live my life freely.. of not feeling like I have to be afraid. Of wondering if someone’s going to do something.. of having spent a lot of time being scarce so that none of those things had even a remote chance of happening.

Then there are the smaller stories.. guys asking me if I wanted a bite of the food they just bought at my work (that’s happened several times and it’s the weirdest thing ever). A guy who called me babe out of no where also while I was serving him food at work. I hate being called babe or baby anyway (my grandmother used to call me by them). Being called babe within a minute of someone looking at you feels so degrading. The guy that saw me walking to work and decided to walk next to me and complemented my eyes and when I finally was inside the safety of my work he stood there for a few seconds staring at me and said that he just wanted to stare at my eyes for a while. All this.. it makes me feel like I can’t be seen as a person. That all a guy can see is my face, my eyes, and take any smile as an invitation. It isn’t.

Sometimes I get it. Two people have to meet somehow, but there are boundaries. A lot of the time those boundaries are crossed. It’s why it’s so important to me that I’m liked as a person first before anything more. That I’m respected. That if I say no I’m respected. That I can trust the person I choose to love. That I feel safe with them. There have been far too many times where others have made me feel the opposite.

One of the most powerful words I’ve heard someone say went something like this “most of the women I know have stories like these.. most of the men I know are good men.. but for every time a pass is made in a dining room 5 of the women in that same room could raise their hand and say me too.” The men that end up thinking that they can touch a women as much as they want tend to be repeat offenders. Most men are good men, but for the ones that take things many steps too far they hurt more the just one women. They touch multiple lives. Taint multiple lives. That’s a big part of why that tweet made me so upset. That boy who touched Annie.. how many more girls would he grow up to touch? What would he escalate to? Especially when he was taught at such a young age that he wouldn’t be punished for it.

Our bodies are our own. They are not meant for anyone, but ourselves. To be shared only with whom we choose to share it with. Our bodies are not meant to be claimed like that’s all we are good for. What we choose to do with our bodies is our choice and our choice alone. To have that taken away from us is a violation of basic human rights.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts down in the comments… I meant to put together my Most Anticipated post today, but this came about instead. I’m kinda glad though. It’s an important subject to me. I think we all should be able to speak up about these things.

-Till next time!

Hello everyone! I wanted to share a guest post I did with one of my all-time favorite people Andrew @GroovyGlasses. He asked me some questions about my mental health experience. Check it out!

Hey guys, welcome back to “Groovy Glasses”! I could not be more excited about today, because today I have a very special post, with a very special guest. (Although to be perfectly honest, I feel like the guest here!) As you all know, the mental illness community is something I actively work to contribute to. […]

via Fireside Talks #1 Interviewing Tiana, The Book Raven — Groovy Glasses

World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day and if it weren’t for Andrew’s amazing post where he created a Suicide Prevention Playlist. I would have missed it completely.

So, when I read his post, I spent the time from then till now listening to the playlist he put together. It’s full of heartbreaking, head banging, wonderful music. Some songs I’ve heard many times and others I had never listened to before. (I’m only surprised knowing him that he didn’t put in Iridescent (which I recommend all of you reading to listen to after you check out Andrew’s playlist).

So riffing off of his post. I want to talk a little bit about mental health and Suicide.

I’ve discussed on here before that I have some very personal experiences with this subject. Not just from suffering from depression, but from having an uncle who sadly committed suicide a few years ago.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand my uncle in a way that breaks my heart. He was a father, a great uncle, and an all around good guy to be around. He loved his family. He loved his daughters. But he also loved alcohol and smoking and because of divorce, financial struggle, and so many other things.. he had enough. I don’t think I ever blamed him. In truth, I blamed my grandmother. She had brought him to live with us and was supposed to help him and instead gave up on him. I wonder sometimes if he’d still be alive if she hadn’t.

My uncle was this super tall, heavily tattooed, mostly bald guy who terrified me when I first met him, but I watched one of my first horror movies with him and my cousins ‘the grudge’ and he taught me how to ride a bike, and he was always good to me. It really saddens me to know that he snuffed out his own light.

More then me, my cousins, his daughters, were devastated by the loss of their dad. Their hurt made mine deeper. I often cried for them.

On my own.. when my mind went darkest, I thought briefly about Suicide. Writing it, I know it’s the truth, but having it in black and white is surreal. Whenever I couldn’t handle my thoughts and I needed to be away I’d head into the bathroom, but every time, after a few minutes my mom would come knocking. She never ever left me alone. Even though the worst I ever did was cut off bits of hair.. she never let me get to a place where I could do more and when I realized that she knew before I did that my mind was going towards darkness it made me vow to myself never to act on those thoughts. For my family I made it a mission not to harm myself. To get my life together and to turn to positivity.

Early on, I often took to Instagram where they had posts that had quotes from people who felt as I did and I fell through the rabbit hole that showed me self-harm. I never got to the point where I cut myself. I’m lucky. When I told my mom recently that I used to look at those kinds of posts she looked at me like I was still in that place. She still worries. My interest in mental health and discussing it all worries her more.

Right now, I’m in the best place mentally that I’ve ever been in. It shocks me. I think of all the things that have happened recently that should weigh on me and I find that they don’t. I can’t believe that. I’m happy. I’m happy with my family. I’m happy with my future. I’m happy with the incredible guy that makes me feel like I could fly into the clouds. Instead of shutting down like I normally would in times where I feel like my problems are piled against me, I’m moving forward and I feel really good for the first time in forever.

Yet still, my mom tells me not to read some of the stuff that I read. Not to involve myself with labels and discuss what I have and how I had felt for the majority of my life. She doesn’t realize what it means to me. That the word depression gave me the answer I needed to know that I’m normal that the thoughts aren’t really me. To come to the realization that thoughts can lie to you. She doesn’t realize that since I’ve discussed my truth on this blog it’s been easier to deal with. Many of you out there know how I feel. Struggling together makes the weight of it so much less.

I dream of a world where Suicide isn’t something that touches people’s lives, sadly I know that that won’t happen any time soon, but discussing it. Discussing ways to heal. Getting help. Maybe we could make the Suicide rate smaller.

If you or anyone you know are thinking of Suicide. Please call the Suicide Prevention hotline for your country. Check out this international list for the number for your country.

If you can look up and donate to your local Suicide Prevention center. But, more importantly if you know of someone who is struggling, be there for them. Show the people you love you care. Even if someone doesn’t look like their struggling, give them love. Depression is invisible. Unless I talked about it no one could tell I was depressed. More then once I’ve been told by people around me that they think of me as a girl who is always smiling. I’m not.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

I hope we all take this time to be a little kinder to one another. I hope this post has helped you in some way.

-Till next time!

What I’ve Learned By Taking Time For Myself

I think one of my biggest problems was always not valuing myself. I always equated that with selfishness and equated selfishness with being ‘bad’. At home, this created a situation where I was either fully immersed in my own world and berating myself for it or the days after that happened where I put my everything into trying to be better and doing everything I could to ask my family for forgiveness because of what I would say when I was sad, angry, and frustrated with the things life gave us.

It got to the point where I had this all or nothing mindset.. I either was perfect that day or I wasn’t. I either did exactly as I should or I didn’t. I either fought against my thoughts or let them consume me. I didn’t know what balance was. All my life in front of others it was always easy to present myself as a person that had nothing wrong with her. When I look at my yearbook and the things others have said about me it touched my heart, because it showed that at least in public I was the person I wanted to be. That people could tell I tried. That I cared. Even when I thought I wasn’t much noticed at all.

If it always easy to show that other side of me in public why was it that I have always been so reclusive at home? What is it about being in my own mind that made it think that I was doomed to be a person that I hated? An angry person. A jaded person. Someone that could barely stand to look in the mirror.

When I am at work or when I go out and speak to anyone.. I always think to myself that if I could I would be kind. Everyone has something going on beneath the surface and we all deal with it differently. If I could make someone smile or lift some small burden or make them feel good for a moment I would always make sure to do that. Yet.. even if I knew that meant that I wanted to be someone good I couldn’t stop thinking that I wasn’t, but I think I realize now that it’s not something I could or can control, but that it is a lie. You’re own thoughts can lie to you. They can tell you you’re ugly. They can tell you you’re dumb. They can tell you that you lack worth. They can tell you that who you are at a basic level is wrong. Those are all lies. When we believe the lie that we are terrible and unworthy we do things to prove that those things are true till we believe them.

I see that when my sister (the most well dressed person I’ve ever known) looks in the mirror and changes outfit after outfit thinking that she doesn’t look good when she always looks beautiful. It makes me upset. Why do we lie to ourselves? What causes that? How is it that there have been countless times that I had convinced myself that I didn’t belong in my own family when I know that they love me?

It makes me upset because even as I am starting to come out of the lies I’ve told myself.. I want to scream at the girl that wrote the most desperate heartbreaking poetry that it would be okay. That she was going to be okay. That she could handle what was coming and that she wasn’t awful. I want to hug her. To tell her that her sister loves her. That her mom accepts her for who she is. That even as her dad seems like a whole different person that she would always be his little girl.

I always wanted to prove that I wasn’t my birth mother who couldn’t raise me and gave me to my grandmother whom took the little girl I once was and all the love I wanted to give her and crushed it.. crushed it by saying I wasn’t enough, that I didn’t matter, that the person I was raised to be was too much like the family that she sent me to live with and not enough like her, that gave me conditions to her love, that thought that the only way to get what you wanted in this life was by playing dirty. Everything in me that was like her I hated. How sometimes I held a pen between my index and middle finger when I signed my name, or how I would sometimes stand with one of my feet pressed on the inside of my leg, or the competitiveness in me that at times went too far, or that I had to have an explanation for everything.. had to analyze everything, I even came to hate my own smile the way my lips were thin like hers, or that the shapes of our faces were undeniably similar. To feel that way constantly.. it’s no wonder I turned to YouTube and movies and tv shows to drown out the sound of my own thoughts.

These past few days.. these past few months of just trying to be kinder to myself. Of trying to find happiness in my struggles. Of actually being happy. I can see the lies. I am not my grandmother. I will never be like her. Being this happy. I’ve been able to let myself take care of me. I’ve found value in myself. It reminded me that there are things on this blog I’d like to do. Things like actually reading the Bible and sharing what I actually think about each chapter. Things like returning to Beyond the Surface and doing posts on books that discuss mental health and what it feels like to live with the weight of it. Things like poetry. Or talking about music and shows that I’ve watched. Being as spontaneous with my blog as I once was when I first began.

I want to say that I feel like a different person, but that wouldn’t be the truth. I am the same as I always was. My mom always told me that I was too honest. That I trusted people too easily. That I wasn’t careful. Maybe, I have always been honest with others, because all I ever did was lie to myself. “Always be the change you want to see in the world.” I took that to heart. I’ve always wished that people could be more honest and open with each other, more understanding. I do that in public, but the irony was that I didn’t keep that truth for myself. I think that so much of my life I did whatever I could to make myself believe my own lies. I gave into them, but not completely. I was my own worst enemy.

I knew that the day everything fell threw and the relationship with my grandmother ended.. I had already forgiven her, but I hadn’t forgiven myself. In the things in me that were like her I couldn’t forgive myself. But I think now. I think now I have or at least I’ve started to. My grandmother let the things that happened to her turn her into someone that carried her anger like armor, shield, and weapon. I could not touch her, but I can choose to be a different sort of person. Who set anger aside and picked up compassion instead. Someone who could choose love for herself and for others, for the family that raised her. I can choose to be happy. To let myself feel that I deserve it. To watch shows that make me laugh, to learn from video games that tell stories (like Detroit become human), to be present with my family and joke with them, to take time to enjoy every moment.

Living life in anger and hatred and self-depreciation isn’t living.. it’s a life trying to imitate the motions. I want to share who I really am and live in every single moment. I want to love. That’s what these beautiful few days have taught me. To take every good thing as an opportunity for happiness and joy and every bad as a opportunity to respond with kindness.

We all need to value ourselves. To value the heart that never stops beating. The lungs that bring us air. To value our passions and dreams. Our desires for a better world. To remind ourselves that sometimes we are the ones that lie the best to ourselves. That sometimes we need to step back and let ourselves enjoy being alive.

I never expected for this to happen. To feel like the part of me I carried that was damaged and broken would start to heal itself. That it was starting to heal itself not just these past few days, but slowly over these past few months, but accelerated by the past few days.

I want to thank all of you. Every single one of you that likes one of my posts, reads it, comments on it. This community has given me the world. I would have never felt like this without all of you. I would have never felt so much like the real me. You are all so beautiful. The lights of friendship that I will always hold dear.

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts as always.

-Till next time!