Depression is Brutal

Every step forward follows three steps back. It never fails. I’ve come to accept that I’ll never be “normal” or that I’ll ever live a “normal” life. I’m okay with that. I could live being and feeling different than everyone else because I’ve done so all my life.

But here’s what I can’t do anymore and I am at a loss on where to go or what path to take. I absolutely cannot deal with the mental torture and imprisonment in my own mind. It’s almost as if I am watching myself die slowly.

I see so many other people happy in life and getting things (like the job they wanted) and seeing their hard work pay off. And please don’t think I want anything but that for them because I want everyone to find happiness and be content in their lives. I just find myself wondering “what did I do to deserve being imprisoned in my own head”?

I just really don’t think I was cut out for this life. At the same time, dying is easy and living is hard. I don’t want to give up the fight to live. And I won’t. But I’m writing this because so many people do not understand the depth of depression and the daily struggle it can be just to open and close your eyes.

At some point, enough is enough. People wonder “how could someone ever take their own life” or “I don’t understand why he/she just couldn’t push through it,”. Thankfully, those people don’t have the battle depression day in and day out and I wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy.

No one deserves to be trapped in their own mind. No one deserves the sheer torture and misery of not being able to escape their own unimaginable thoughts and feelings, even if temporarily.

It’s bone crushing. It’s like endless nails on a chalkboard. It is always there. It is there when you wake up and it’s there while you sleep through your dreams and nightmares. No matter how hard you try, depression comes and strips you of the little hope you have left.

I was too greedy to keep a job I loved for a job that pays well. I was too unhealthy to complete my education so now a student loan is in default after multiple attempts to try and get it out of default without going bankrupt. Taking a shower has become exhausting in and of itself let alone trying to be presentable in public.

I find myself questioning my purpose in life because I literally feel like I contribute nothing to this world and people in it. It’s almost like I’m this annoying mosquito that just won’t leave you or anyone else alone.

Every day I wake up is literally the one reminder that I’m still around to be miserable inside and take every fiber of my existence to fake it on the outside.

Oh and guess what Ms. MaryAnne Williamson? I take medication and go to therapy and guess what? This empty feeling, unexplainable and overwhelming sadness is still there. Your experience is different than mine and probably others so please, don’t act as if those of us with depression are just not capable of handling “every day life struggles” because we’ve battled wars against ourselves since the moment we knew we weren’t like everyone else and that it’s not normal to feel this empty, hollow and utterly useless.

And no I don’t think popping a pill fixes depression for all but for those of us with chemical imbalances in our brains, it definitely helps take the edge off. Love can’t fix what is scientifically and anatomically different from what it is supposed to be. Sorry to break that to you. If you are not a credible mental health professional, do not give your unsolicited advice or opinions about mental health. It is potentially damaging to many suffering from depression.

To those who are struggling with depression in this very moment, I feel you. I hear your silent screams. We are trapped in our own mind and no amount of screams or cries for help can be heard. Depression, also known as a monster, makes it so no one can hear you. But even though I can’t hear you, I feel you pounding through my chest, fighting for your life each and every day. And because of that, you are my heroes.

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What You Need To Know About Healing From Heartbreak

At one time or another, many of us are going to have our hearts crushed by someone else. You’ll feel as if someone literally punched you in the gut. You may feel betrayed, lost or hopeless for quite some time. And I’m sorry you feel those things because it sucks. Take what I’ve learned and had to endure for what not to do when you’re heart has been stomped on.

My ex-fiancé and I were having our issues but never was it communicated or hinted that wewere on the verge of breaking up. In hindsight, my ex-fiancés actions and distance from me should have been a clue or two.

At the age of 30, I had to move back in with my parents after my ex walked out and left me high and dry without a word. I was devastated, humiliated and ashamed. My world and everything in it came crashing down in the snap of a finger.

After my ex left, I waited at “our” home for a few weeks, hoping and wishing he would come back. He didn’t. When I realized he wasn’t coming back, I attempted to end my life. Thankfully I have an amazing family who found me and helped me accept that it was time to leave and start the grieving process.

To this day, I am still processing what happened in that relationship as well as what I have and have not done to truly make it a part of my past as well as a learning experience for the future. The following list is what and what not to do after you have had your heart broken. It is my hope that this will help save you from making mistakes so you can focus solely on the process of letting go and moving on.

You do not need to distract yourself

The last thing you need is something to distract you from heartbreak. You need to process what happened and grieve the loss of someone who was in your life and I assume was very important to you. The last thing you need are unresolved feelings that will affect your future relationships.

I thought I needed to distract myself and I got nothing out of it. For me, I needed to prove (to no one in particular) that I was worthy and deserving. I started talking to different guys and ended up being in a “relationship” with one of them, if you can even call it that. The person I was with was absolutely awful. I think he was overall just not a good person. I think I stayed so long because I felt I wasn’t deserving of anything so proving my worth to whoever didn’t quite work out as I had planned.

The problem with distracting yourself is that you never heal the wounds of the past and they carry over into your current life. You need to feel the wide range of emotions you’ll feel if you ever have your heart broken. Distraction is only delaying the inevitable truth that you are going to have to deal with the breakup and heartbreak at some point so might as well do it now than later.

Allow yourself time to grieve

I know there are some people that do not fully understand what it means to grieve someone who is alive. Grief is commonly associated with death. According to dictionary.com, grief is “keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret,”. So, many of us attribute grief with the death of a loved one because that’s the only type of grief we grew up knowing.

In order to process the separation, you can think of grieving the loss of a loved one because even though they may be alive, they have departed your life and are no longer a part of it. Just by acknowledging it takes you one step further than you were a second ago. Acceptance is the harder part of working through the heartbreak but in my opinion, acceptance is an everyday type of thing.

Analyze the relationship

You’re dealing with the heartbreak of a relationship ending and now you’re probably thinking “why the hell would I want to do that”? This right here is taking a sucky situation and making it a learning experience so at least you get something out of it.

Go over what you did right and what you did wrong. Be sure to include what they did right and wrong. It’ll give you insight into why things didn’t work out and what things you won’t bring into the next relationship you’re in. It will also help you define things you want and don’t want in relationships as well as things you are willing to compromise on and things you won’t compromise on.

Do not call, text or social media stalk your ex

I cannot stress this enough because I’ve been in this place and it has made me resent social media and can’t enjoy using it as I once did. You do not need to know what the other person is doing, who they are with, how they are doing or anything of that sort. If you decide to accidentally stumble upon their Facebook page, ask yourself if they are wondering how you are doing or if they care what you are doing. I am not sorry for being blunt but it is something you need to ask yourself from time to time.

You do not need to know anything related to that person anymore and frankly, it is none of your business.

So, I used to go on my ex’s Facebook page to see if he had changed his profile picture or to see what or if he posted since the last time I was stalking his page. Let me tell you that I was not fond of seeing the picture of him and his new girlfriend the last time I ever went on his Facebook page. It didn’t make me feel good so why did I even go on in the first place?

I recommend blocking them on all social media platforms and your phones. You already feel crappy enough about the situation so why make it anymore crappy or difficult to deal with? It makes no sense to add fuel to that fire.

Final Words

While I could probably go on and on about what and what not to do during heartbreak, I’d rather provide you with the most crucial and critical things that helped me get to a point of acceptance and healing.

After my ex left, I became very bitter and resentful and not just toward him but everyone and everything in my life. It was unhealthy and led me down a scary path for a while. It was a lonely, dark and scary place to be in during that time.

The party isn’t fun when you’re locked inside of your room being pissed at the world. The world didn’t do this to you. It’s an unfortunate part of life most of us have to go through. The important part of the equation is which of you will take the time to heal or ignore it and have a lifetime of unhealthy relationships.

A Letter To My Best Friend, You Will Not Be Forgotten

It has taken me a year to start writing this and I don’t know why. Maybe writing this and seeing it in black and white will somehow make me accept that you are gone and never coming back. I am so angry and I don’t know what or who I am angry with because it is kind of pointless to be angry at someone who can’t and won’t ever be able to defend themselves.

I keep replaying conversations between you and I right before you left this world. What did I miss? Why didn’t I realize something wasn’t right and listen to my gut? Why couldn’t you just reach out to me, like you always did, when you were spiraling out of control? You know damn well I would have been wherever you needed me to be in a heartbeat because I always have been and vice-versa.

From the moment I met you over a decade ago, you had my heart. Yes, we dated first but first and foremost, we were best friends before and after our relationship. We saw each other through some of the worst and best times of our lives and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. When I found out you were gone and I was never going to hear your voice or see your bright, beautiful blue eyes again, I realized my life was never going to be the same without you.

You taught me what friendship was supposed to be and not what I had concocted in my twisted brain. You were one of my biggest cheerleaders and always one of the first to tell me how proud you were of me. I wish I told you how proud of you I was more than I did. I honestly just never thought this day would come. How naïve of me to think that way.

Since the day I met you, there was a demon you had been battling day in and day out and despite the outcome, you put up one hell of a fight my friend. But in the end, what caused you so much pain, agony and despair was the thing that killed you. Your fight against heroin is admirable and it took every ounce of strength and courage you had, even when you couldn’t find it. I can only hope that you are at peace now, but you will be missed every single day and you were always loved by me.

I am so grateful to have had you in my life for as long as I did. At times, you really were my rock when I was unable to stand on my own. You gave me courage and strength when I was heading down a dark and dangerous path. I wish I could have done the same for you. You are NOT going to be just another statistic in the opioid epidemic. Your passing will be more than a number, I am giving you my word on that. Have I ever broken any promises I made? You know I take promises very seriously and when someone breaks a promise, it speaks volumes.

The opioid epidemic had officially crossed my path on a personal level the day you went away. I can only hope to have half of the strength you had during your fight and hopefully save a life. You know me, I want to save the world but I know that I can’t. But if one person can be spared the vicious and destructive path of addiction by mine and others advocacy and voices, I am okay with that. But I won’t stop there.

You and your life experiences WILL NOT be just a number that people use in research papers with no solutions or plan of action to attack this opioid epidemic straight on. I promise you that. I will miss you every day and I hope you know how much I loved you and cared about you. Be in peace, now.

The Ultimate Self-Care List for Everyone

Self-care is something that many of us don’t do enough of. I’ll admit that I have been slacking in the self-care department recently. I am going to work on that and now that this mega-list of ideas and activities is out there, I am hoping you can also work on your self-care.

Not every activity or idea is going to be for everyone. Pick and choose what you want. You do not have to do them all.

  • Watch your favorite movie
  • Go for a walk without your phone
  • Turn off your phone for a few hours
  • Take a bath or bubble bath
  • Do something you’ve always wanted to do for the first time
  • Read a good book
  • Take a nap
  • Get into some comfy clothes
  • Binge watch your favorite show on Netflix
  • Spend time with a friend or family member
  • Write down a list of things you are thankful for
  • Take time to be alone, away from other people
  • List 10 things you are grateful for
  • Unfollow negative people on social media
  • Write in a journal
  • Color in a coloring book
  • Play a board game
  • Get a mani/pedi
  • Go braless!
  • Call someone and check in
  • Create positive affirmations for yourself
  • Write yourself a love letter
  • Do something you love
  • Listen to music
  • Buy yourself something
  • Write a thank you letter or note to someone
  • Do some deep breathing
  • Write down 5 things you love about yourself
  • De-clutter something
  • Buy yourself flowers
  • Take a class for fun
  • Do a fun craft
  • Set up a boundary list for people in your life
  • Plan a mini staycation
  • Create a self-love jar or box
  • Go on a date – either with yourself or someone else
  • Watch the sunset or sunrise
  • Write down some things you have learned about yourself the past year
  • Plan a movie night
  • Sleep in on the weekend
  • Organize your closet
  • Try a new recipe
  • Do something that you’ve been putting off for a while
  • Slow down and be present
  • Treat yourself to your favorite dessert
  • Go to a museum
  • Watch a stand-up comedy show
  • Make a playlist of your favorite songs at the moment
  • Go to your favorite coffee shop and get your favorite kind
  • Spend some time in the sun
  • Get your hair done
  • Play with a pet (obviously if you have one)
  • Have a spa day
  • Play a sport
  • Go to a sporting event
  • Go for a long drive
  • Paint something
  • Bake something
  • Shop for a new outfit
  • Engage in a complete random act of kindness
  • Get a massage
  • Order your favorite takeout food
  • Go swimming
  • Write a poem
  • Watch the stars at night
  • Go to the library
  • Go to the park
  • Ride a bike
  • Read a self-improvement book
  • Listen to a new podcast
  • Create a bucket list
  • Visit somewhere new, anywhere!
  • Read inspirational quotes
  • Complete a simple reflection of your life
  • Unplug from social media
  • Make future plans for an event or something you’re excited about
  • Do yoga
  • No feeling guilty for turning down plans
  • Remind yourself that this too shall pass
  • Visit your favorite place around you
  • Identify and write down activities and things that you enjoy
  • Do not force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do
  • Take a day off of work if you need to
  • Go on a hike
  • Start a home improvement project
  • Do breathing exercises
  • Take a new fitness class
  • Go to see live music
  • Have a picnic
  • Say no to something
  • Go dancing!
  • Participate in guided meditation
  • Browse a bookstore
  • Go out and get some ice cream
  • Try a new craft beer
  • Volunteer at a place by you
  • Take a long shower
  • Look at pictures and reminisce about the good memories
  • Visit a winery
  • Buy a small gift for someone
  • Make a list of what makes you happy
  • Burn your favorite scented candle
  • Go to the beach
  • Pick a guilty pleasure and indulge it every so often
  • Visit an art gallery
  • Close your eyes for 5-10 minutes
  • Get dressed up for no reason
  • Take a walk in the forest
  • Give yourself a pep talk
  • Make a present for a friend
  • Make funny faces
  • Run outside when it’s raining
  • Re-purpose some old clothes
  • Set a realistic challenge for yourself for the next day
  • Rearrange some furniture
  • Have a candlelit dinner
  • Put your feet up for a night
  • Organize your workspace
  • Start a spare piggy pank
  • Be mindful of current feelings and emotions
  • Create a new Pinterest board
  • Sell some second hand stuff online
  • Pop some bubble wrap
  • Literally stop and smell the flowers
  • End a toxic relationship
  • Hire/get a life coach
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Drive around and sing in the car
  • Say “I love you” to yourself in the mirror
  • Forgive yourself
  • Give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing
  • Have a good cry (we all need a good cry every once in a while)
  • Play with stickers
  • Get your favorite stuffed animal or cuddle buddy and snuggle
  • Read some pick me up blogs
  • Write or type a short story
  • Do a crossword puzzle or some other puzzle type game
  • Start a blog
  • Cancel some subscriptions you are no longer using
  • Make a list of at least 10 things you want to do by the time the year is over
  • Take some pictures of anything your heart desires
  • Say “fuck it” to anything that is not contributing to your self-care
  • Watch funny videos on YouTube
  • Look at funny memes
  • Get a personal growth tarot reading
  • Get your groceries delivered
  • Eat cake for breakfast
  • Diffuse essential oils
  • Go through a stretching routine
  • Go on a retreat
  • Replace every negative thought with a positive one
  • Go to the ballet, theatre or comedy show
  • Celebrate a small achievement
  • Host a charity or something related fundraiser
  • Slow down
  • Go to a petting zoo or farm

There you have it ladies and gentleman! These are activities that should be recurrent whether it’s once a month or once a week. Some of the ideas and activities more than others, obviously. I truly believe that if you engage in just a little self-care, your overall mood and happiness will increase. I’m willing to try any challenges readers may have or if they just need someone to check in with!

Don’t Be Afraid To Date Someone Who’s Been Screwed Over

Why are some people so afraid of dating the girl who got screwed over? I’ve heard some people say “she’s probably too emotional and unstable right now” and “she’s probably crazy”. Well, she’s not.

She’s not broken and if she is, she isn’t asking you to fix her or put her back together. She is fully capable of doing that on her own. You can even join her journey of rebuilding herself. But do NOT interfere with that.

She’s not broken. She had some plans in life that didn’t go as expected. Does that really mean she’s broken? Does that mean she is emotionally unstable? Absolutely not.

If you decide to join her on her journey, you may find yourself learning from her and growing as a person. She may begin deciphering between what she wants and doesn’t want in a relationship or life in general.

Just because she’s in the process of rebuilding herself does not mean she doesn’t already love herself. There may just need to be some minor adjustments to her or her life. And if she loves herself, she is more capable of fully loving you than some others who don’t know who they are or who they want to be.

She’ll always have her core sense of self but life doesn’t always go according to plan. We also change throughout life, so we’re constantly revising ourselves and our wants/needs and likes/dislikes.

You think she’s emotionally fragile and vulnerable because she isn’t the person she fully wants to be today? She very well might be. But that’s the type of girl who is in tune with herself and capable of loving another selflessly.

She’s rebuilding herself in hopes for a better tomorrow and day after that. She is learning to grow and adapt to changes in her life. She is resilient.

While you doubt her ability to fully love you in a selfless manner, she’s slipping further and further away from you and you may lose your chance all together.

Maybe she considers herself broken. And that’s okay. It means the pieces are still around her so she can put them where they fit.

Someone who’s been broken or decided to rebuild themselves are the strongest and most dedicated people out there.

They see something isn’t right and they WANT to fix it. And the best part is that they’re doing it for themselves and those around them. The girl you think is so unstable may be the one who could change your entire world and you’re letting her slip by.

She will love you selflessly but also fearlessly. She will show you strength and she will show you vulnerability. This girl will show you many different ways of life that you’ll be speechless.

Don’t let her get away. Pursue her. Don’t try to fix her or repair her. She doesn’t need that. What she needs is support and a shoulder to lean on here and there.

She has been temporarily knocked down by this thing called life, but she has fought and conquered and will continue to do so as she rebuilds herself. This girl may not be her full self yet, but she is definitely ahead of others because she loves herself regardless of the changes needed to be made or what life has thrown her way.

She’s a fucking warrior. And warriors are capable of fully loving another person. They’re capable of selflessness. Because they know what it’s like to be knocked down and refuses to succumb to life’s curveballs.