These Shoes

These shoes have taken me to the place where I would get the diagnoses that would change my life. They have taken me to the place where I have met people that didn’t want the best for me; they wanted to take advantage of me, to see me fail.

These shoes have taken me to places I never want to go again. They have taken me to places where I’ve felt pain, where I’ve felt anxiety, where I’ve felt stuck.

These shoes have taken me to places where I would have to share my feelings with complete strangers and hope that they didn’t judge me. They have taken me to places where I’ve waited and waited to feel whole again, to feel something, anything at all.

But…

These shoes have taken me to places that I recover and try my best to feel significant. They have taken me to the place where I can speak my soul and help it to heal. They have taken me to the place where I can feel free, where I can feel whole, where I can feel human.

People can judge us. They can slander our name. They can look down on us because we’re different than them… but they can’t take our soul. They can’t take our voice. They don’t know our lives or how we live, why we do the things we do. What we have fought for up until this very moment.

These shoes are dirty, beat down, worn out… but nobody can take away what they’ve been through. What I have been through.

Keep fighting for you and I’ll keep fighting for me.

Just another cheesy post…

I was sitting at my desk today and was just thinking to myself while I mindlessly changed tabs… I have had a productive day today despite waking up in a terrible mood, pretty sure I was close to a mental breakdown, and really just wanting to throw myself a pity party. Last week, I had a horrific day; depressed, even harmful thoughts… I pulled myself out of it. Today, I pulled myself out of it.

I’ve been working my tail off in therapy, trying hard to make steps forward instead of steps backward. I’m working through my thoughts, through my depression, anxiety, OCD… but I still have my bad days. The difference between now and even just five years ago is that I am able to focus on getting out of that funk, that depression. I have a way to go with the anxiety, but I can tell I’m making progress and so can my therapist.

If you had asked me five years ago if I could pull myself out of a depressive episode and continue to fight and not give in to the harmful thoughts, I would have looked at you funny and probably laughed. I’ve also learned in therapy that it’s perfectly okay to be proud of myself and that it’s not selfish to be proud of myself like I always thought it was. Honestly, it feels weird…

My point is this: keep fighting. Yeah, I know I say that a lot. But if I had given in to those harmful thoughts last week, I would be back to square one. And guess what? I didn’t and I’m not back at square one. I had a horrific day, but I’m here. I’m alive. I’m not in any extra amount of pain.

I think you can do it too. I know you can do it too. Fighting this battle with depression is difficult, but I finally realize that it’s worth it.

I know it’s way more easy to say it than do it, but once you realize you can do it, and honestly you’ve done it before, then you can do anything you put your mind to.

I realize all of this sounds super cheesy, but I don’t care. I believe in myself now, especially after last week, and I believe in you!

Ali Vee

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Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

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

For Mama, on Mother’s Day

I could write an entire book on my mother because the things that she does for me, my dad, my sisters, and my nieces and nephews are unmeasurable. I won’t write a book (this time), but what I wanted to write today is too long for a Facebook post or Twitter update.

Since before I was born, my mom has worked her butt off to support the family. My dad was severely injured in 1989 in a construction accident, so it left my mom being the only one to work. Now, I could go into a whole different book about how amazing my dad is, but I won’t do that either. At least not until Father’s Day. 😉

I could also talk about how much she’s done for this entire family, but for this particular blog, I’ll write only about what she’s done for me. Hopefully my sisters and dad are okay with that this time. 🙂

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From the time I can remember, my mom always supported me, backed me up, stood up for me, talked for me… everything. See, I was born with some things wrong with my brain; a chemical imbalance. I was diagnosed with severe social anxiety and major depression, but those diagnoses didn’t even come about until I was 23. So for 23 years, despite my mom not knowing what was wrong with me, she still supported me, stood up for me, and talked for me.

It was rough, and I only know that now as an adult. I didn’t know what I was putting my mom through when I refused to get out of the car in middle school. I didn’t know what I was putting my mom through when the guidance counselors and teachers and principals called her and talked to her about how I wouldn’t speak to them. My mom went through so much when I was growing up. Keep in mind, she was doing all this while helping my dad with his injuries; doctor’s appointments, surgeries. My three sisters had their own lives that she helped them with as well.

To be straightforward, my mom is truly a super hero. Wonder Woman. Whatever you want to call her. And I mean that sincerely.

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We have been to concerts together, horse races, museums, a million road trips, hikes, and we even travelled the world together. She taught me to look at the sky for the moon and the stars and just stare at it in wonder. She taught me to always be myself, and to stay strong despite what was happening around me. She taught me to breathe during panic attacks and remind me that I would be okay. She taught me to love animals, to appreciate things, and to love God because He loves me.

As a college student, I started college because I wanted to prove the bullies that called me stupid all of my life wrong. But now two years in to my degree, I don’t care about proving them wrong. I want to prove my mom right, because she always told me I was smart and worth more than what anyone was calling me. I want to make my mom proud, I want to prove to her that all that stuff I put her through in my younger years wasn’t a waste and that she made me into the person I am today.

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The countless doctor’s appointments, taking me in for surgeries and ER visits last year, picking up my medications from the pharmacy, being active in how my therapy sessions went… all of that does not go unnoticed, I promise you. Mama, you deserve the world, but until I can give that to you, I hope all of this is okay.

Thank you for loving me.

Thank you for loving Daddy through sickness and in health.

Thank you for loving my sisters and their husbands and all of their children. I’m positive you’re the best grandmother in the world and I believe they’d all agree with me.

Thank you for loving Finn, helping me through the time when I was sure I was going to lose him.

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Thank you for everything; the things that I notice, the things that I don’t notice or even know about, and the things I take for granted.

Thank you for all that you’ve sacrificed.

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You and Daddy have made an amazing family and I hope you know how much you’re loved.

I love that I am half of you. I love that people recognize how amazing you are, because you are!

Thank you… for everything.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Addiction

I’ve struggled with the thought of posting this because I have been told not to “look up to someone with addiction problems.”

Demi Lovato, though, is more than that. I don’t want to sound like a “fan girl” but I guess I just will. Demi Lovato has saved my life a few times. She’s open about her mental health, addiction being one of the main things. She was sober for six years and recently relapsed and went into the hospital for a possible overdose. Luckily she is okay, and I think about how life would change without one of my role models in it.

I know… “You’ve never even met her.” I realize that. But the cool thing about social media or even speaking out is that you don’t have to meet someone for them to have a major impact on your life or for you to impact someone else.

I honestly have no idea how to even continue because I’m so terrified of how people will react to me freaking out, crying, and worrying so hard about a celebrity. Celebrities are human too though and I think people forget that.

I remember when I was in group therapy, I would drive there every morning listening to “Warrior” by Demi Lovato because it would give me a sense of power before I started my day. I would sing the words to myself when I could and it would help me fight. I was so scared of dying, but I wanted to die. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it’s the truth.

I’m done sounding like a “fan girl” as someone has told me in the past.

Someone with an addiction is crying out for help right now. Are you going to help them, or judge them and ignore them? Despite what some may think, addiction is not a choice. Addiction is a mental illness and people need our help. It doesn’t matter who it is. Demi Lovato is in the news right now, so let’s send her uplifting messages, not messages that put her down or messages saying that you don’t feel sorry for her.

How in the world would that help anyone dealing with an addiction? The human species are supposed to be in this together; this life. So let’s help each other. Really.

If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction, please seek help. There is no shame. Those that do shame you do not matter. There are so many resources to get help, so please take that first step! You are worth it!

Please Stay Alive!

 

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I’m sitting here at the computer trying to figure out what I want or need to say. Here goes nothing…

We’re losing too many people to suicide. We’re not reaching out enough. We’re not supporting enough. If you’re supporting someone close to you to the best of your ability, great. But we still need to try to do more. I know that’s asking a lot, but they need us.
I’m one of those people that need support. Honestly, I think everyone is.
I’m not making sense, am I? My thoughts are all over the place.

The chaos feels normal to some people. It feels inviting. It feels…something. And most of the time, they…us…we don’t feel anything. I don’t know how else to explain it. It feels good to feel something. But when someone is close to suicide, or least when I almost did it myself, I felt like the chaos of what was happening was the only thing I deserved. It was the only thing that could satisfy the high I so craved for myself.
Nobody should crave it so bad that they feel like suicide is the answer. Because simply put, suicide isn’t the answer. I want everyone reading this to read that again.

Suicide is not the answer.

Those cliché things you hear or read might be cliché, but they’re true. It sounds corny, but it’s not because those clichés might save someone’s life. So, say them to your loved one suffering. Tell them, “You are loved. You are strong. You are valid. You are worthy.”
The thing is, these days, those “fake supporters” are everywhere. They only care until someone dies by suicide. Then in a few days, they don’t care anymore. When a celebrity dies by suicide, they care only that day. They post all the Facebook statuses they can about mental health, retweet all those tweets, but then the next day, they’re nowhere to be found. We can’t care for only one day. We need to care every single day, every single minute of every single day. We can’t stop caring about something as serious as suicide. It’s taking too many of our loved ones.
Stop being in a competition all the time and love everyone around you. Stop judging people and just love them. No matter what color. No matter what religion. No matter what sexual orientation. No matter what they look like or sound like or what music they listen to or what age they are. Just love them.
And while you’re loving them, support their mental health. Everyone around you, whether you know it or not, is having problems. Try to look for the signs if they’re not showing them on the top layer. We’re losing too many of our loved ones.

Suicide is an assassin. It’s a monster.

People would rather dance with their demons than try to live their beautiful lives because they’re not getting the support they need.
There are people in depression so deep that they don’t even think to ask for help. They need us. They need us to ask them how they’re doing. They need us to make them laugh.
We have to show we care. We have to do better.

If you’re one of those people who need someone to ask how you’re doing, let me ask you… how are you? How’s your day going?
I want everyone to know that if you need anything, please come to me. Yes, I have my own problems, but that doesn’t mean I can’t listen just to give you someone to vent to. You can call the suicide hotline or the crisis text line, too. They’ve saved my life at one time.

Suicide isn’t the answer, friends.

Please stay alive.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

My Weight Loss Journey, part I

I mentioned last month that I was approved for weight loss surgery. Up until today, I was waiting to get psychiatric clearance. I got that clearance today so I will officially be having the surgery!

I promise this is not taking the “easy way out.” Just because people have this surgery doesn’t mean that it’s easy, so if you believe that, please keep reading this series. I’m going to continue to blog my experience during my weight loss journey. I’ve tried for years to lose weight, and nothing has worked because I give up so easily after not losing weight as fast as I want. I also feel as if my stomach is simply too big so I continue to eat until I’m full or sometimes even past full if it’s something I love eating.

So for almost 4 months, I’ve been exercising almost everyday. I even took up hiking, which I’m loving by the way. I got an Apple Watch so I can keep up with my workouts. I’ve been eating right, but with cheat days here and there. I even bought a basketball to get more cardio by playing a game with my niece and nephew.

People, when I say all that, I’m doing all that I can until my back pain gets too unbearable. It’s still not working. Surgery was the last resort, and I’m there now. Every single professional I have talked to about having weight loss surgery has said it’s a great idea for me and that’ll help me so much.

With all that being said, I’m going to continue to keep everyone updated on my weight loss journey. This is going to be difficult, because I hate disclosing my weight, but I’m going to do it. I’m going to conquer a fear, because that’s what my year has been about. Conquering fears and being happy. It’s been a great six months and I can’t wait for the next six. Here’s to getting healthy and happy!

Starting weight: 252 lbs.

Current weight: 246 lbs.