Is This Our New Normal?

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Is this the new normal?

There’s no way to know that, but there is hope in knowing that this virus will die down. One thing that is important to remember: if we want to flatten the curve, we have to listen to the guidelines given to us. There are a lot of people out of work, so this causes a lot of anxiety for the future, but especially for the present. We are in a time when we do not know what tomorrow will be like; will it be better and the curve is flattened, or will it be bad with a lot more deaths?

These thoughts can definitely cause some anxiety. That’s normal. So if you’re experiencing some anxiety, stress, depression, etc., find some positive coping mechanisms to help you get through the days. For some, that might be tending to a garden and for others, it might be playing video games. There’s a lot of hobbies or things to do. Find something you have been wanting to try and do it and remember it’s okay if you’re not good at it in the beginning. Don’t let that stop you from trying. Do what it takes to keep your mental health as balanced as possible.

Some things I do are play video games, read books, watch movies/tv shows, go for walks with my dogs, write, go for rides with the dogs, sit outside and listen to music and/or natural nature sounds, and take pictures of blooming flowers. These are my regular hobbies, but especially while quarantined, they help keep my mind off of any negative thoughts that may be trying to develop.

Practicing meditation can be extremely beneficial as well. Meditation can be anything that puts your mind at ease: mindfulness meditation, prayer, even relaxing on your front porch.

It’s okay to admit that you might be experiencing anxiety. It makes you human. But making sure to distract yourself from those anxious thoughts, taking proper precautions to help flatten the curve, and even getting help from a professional are things you can do to help reduce those anxiety levels. Also, making sure to only share accurate information regarding the virus can help reduce anxiety levels.

The CDC has a lot of great information and list of resources to help you during this difficult time. Read it here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

This way of living does not have to be our new normal. If we take those proper precautions to reducing the spread of this virus, we can get back to living our normal lives. Remember, we’re all in this together.

Campfire Thoughts

Campfire with my boys

I’m sitting in front of a campfire with my two dogs next to me, I’m looking up at the night sky and I see the stars, I hear the crickets, I see the fireflies… and nothing could ever beat this feeling.

I haven’t felt this happy and content, stress free, no depression, no anxiety, since 2016 when I sat on the beach literally by myself in Okinawa, Japan. It’s a feeling I didn’t think I’d ever feel again. It’s a feeling I thought was just a once in a lifetime type of thing.

I say all of this because I’ve been depressed lately. It started right around my birthday, which is right on time, because I always start getting those holiday blues around my birthday, which is in early October. I didn’t think I’d get out of it. I kept up with my homework, but that’s about it. I was able to have enough energy to hike just once since it’s cooled off. I’m behind on my chores, like cleaning the house. I’ve just been depressed.

I sat at my desk last night and stared at the sand from the beach in Japan I went to (I collect sand from all the beaches I visit), and I thought to myself, “What if I never feel that feeling again? What if I’m stuck forever in this endless cycle of depression?” I can have great days, but it never fails that the bad days happen a day or two after. I have felt stuck in that endless cycle for a long time now. But that day at the beach in Japan proved to me that I can feel like I’m floating and feel like I have no stress or worries, even if only for an hour. But I always thought I’d never feel it again.

Tonight, while I sit around this campfire, I am feeling it again. There’s no better feeling in the world. Tomorrow, maybe it goes back to normal. Or maybe I can live my life like I’m on that beach or I’m sitting in front of a campfire.

It’s time to start living, man. I have to or I’ll feel stuck in this endless cycle forever. It’s time to start traveling, hiking more, camping more, writing more! I’m feeling so inspired to just… write. Everything. No matter how real or honest it gets. I just want to write. I want to live. I want to breathe and not feel trapped. Things are changing, my friends. Keep up with me or get left behind, because I’m not slowing down.

Answering Your Questions!

On Facebook and Twitter, I decided to ask my readers to ask me some questions and I got a great response. With those questions and a few I found floating around on the internet, I am going to start answering them! This will be a multiple part post because I’m still getting questions from readers. I’ll do 10 questions each post.

  • What would you love to learn how to do?

There’s a lot of things I would love to learn how to do. I can’t limit it to a certain number of things, because I love learning. One major thing, however, would be to learn how to better socialize with people.

  • What are your favorite books?

My favorite book would definitely have to be Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. The other four favorites would be Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty, From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty (I love her writing style, and she’s really made me respect the different cultures when it comes to dealing with their deceased loved ones), and Supermarket by Bobby Hall (aka Logic, the rapper).

  • What is your motto for life?

I have quite a few actually, but the main one is Stay Strong. I have it tattooed on my wrists for a reason! On a more silly side, I love the quote from my all time favorite television show, Parks and Recreation: “I stand by my decision to avoid salads and other disgusting things.” Ah that Leslie Knope is a wise one.

  • What is the next vacation you’d love to take?

You don’t know how many vacations I have planned in my head, ha! I have a couple planned to visit friends in south Louisiana and Texas and I plan to do some hiking while I’m there. The big vacation I’m saving up for is a trip to Los Angeles! My dad grew up in LA, so I have family there that I want to visit, and I’m an LA Kings, Angels, and Clippers fan so I’d love to see them. Hollywood sign, all that cool stuff.

  • What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

Oh, this one is easy. My dog, Finn, is easily the best gift I’ve ever received. I got him for Christmas in 2016, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. He’s my therapy dog, too. He was supposed to be my service dog, but he’s too friendly and wants to greet everyone and say hello and service dogs can’t do that; they have to stay focused. Haha. He’s my best boy and I joke with my parents all the time that they’ll never top that gift in the coming years!

  • What is your favorite memory?

While I talk about bad memories of being bullied, I have good memories too! Hanging out with my best friends, making comedy videos, travelling across the country… it was all so much fun. Travelling to Japan with my mom was pretty amazing as well. I got to visit my sister, brother in law, and nieces while we were there and hanging out with them while sightseeing was really an unforgettable experience!

  • What are the top things you’ve learned over the past year?

I’ve learned a lot in the past year. The top things would have to be to listen to my gut and don’t disregard the red flags about someone. I’ve known that since I was a child, but the past year I got slapped in the face with it. I have trust issues, so I need to continue to listen to my gut rather than wanting to give people multiple chances only to be let down time and time again.

  • What is your dream job?

I’d love to work in the criminology field. I love the psychology behind crimes and criminals, so after 27 years I found that it is what I need to work for in college!

  • What is on your bucket list?

So. Many. Things. I am almost 29 years old and I feel like I haven’t done even 10% of the things on my bucket list, so I’m working on it. Travelling the world, trying new foods, health related things, etc. My main item is to truly inspire someone, so I’m hoping I can do that for someone.

  • What are your go-to phone apps?

I admit I am on my phone too much! My go to apps are Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and the camera app!

 

Thank you for the questions! I’ll answer ten more in another post soon!

Ali Vee

 

 

World Suicide Prevention Day

I should have died 5 years ago, but it was like an actual hand pulled the gun away from my head and a voice told me to call my mom. And life got better. It didn’t get perfect, and sometimes it doesn’t feel easier. But I promise you, it’s worth it. You’re worth it.

Stay alive for me. Stay alive for your pets, your parents, your siblings, your job, whatever it is. But most of all, Stay Alive for yourself. Give yourself the chance to experience new things. You are loved and you are worth taking up space in this world.

I never thought I’d ever be able to go to college. People (mostly classmates/bullies) always told me I was stupid because I didn’t talk until the 8th grade. They told me I’d never be able to do certain things because I didn’t talk. They told me I was ugly, stupid, mute, castoff… Teachers didn’t want to help because I was too much work, guidance counselors sent me to the school nurse and even therapists, doctors said “well she just needs to talk.” I had a teacher even send me to the principal’s office because I was too terrified to answer her question in front of the class.

I wasn’t supposed to be happy. That’s what everyone wanted. They enjoyed seeing me fail because it made them look better. It made them feel better when I would cry in front of the class. I caused people frustration, people took offense, they called me “their special project” and didn’t mean it in a good way…

I’ll be 29 in less than a month. Do you think I thought I’d ever make it to 29? I didn’t think I’d make it to 20, and I sure as hell didn’t think I’d make it to 25.

I’m a junior in college. I’ll be a senior in April, and I’ll be done with my Bachelor’s degree program in November 2020. I’m proving so many people wrong and I have no plans to stop.

Yeah I’m in therapy every week, I’ve been to a mental institution a couple times, so what? It helps me. Those things helped make me strong and I live now for myself. For my dog. For those drives in my Jeep. For the day I can say I graduated college and made my parents proud.

And that is why I continue to fight.

Don’t give up hope. The battles you’re fighting today will make you stronger in the future.

#WorldSuicidePreventionDay