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.

We Have To Put An End To These Mass Shootings…

Trigger warning… stay safe, friends.

We absolutely have to. Innocent people are dying because of mass shootings, more in the United States than anywhere else, because we’re simply not doing anything about it.

Are guns the issue? Yes. But do I believe mental health is more of the issue? Yes.

It’s so difficult to find a therapist and/or psychiatrist anywhere you go and if you do find one, they charge an arm and a leg.

It’s beyond time to fix this.

Get people the help they need.

Stop spreading the stigma surrounding mental health because YOU are making it worse.

YOU are making people feel ashamed of getting and asking for help.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, my friends. Normal, stable people don’t go around making plans to kill innocent people in public places where they should feel safe.

Those murderers are/were mentally ill.

The thing that gets me is that someone can be mentally ill, and people look down on them for that, which by the way is something they may not even be able to control. Then when that person asks for help, they get called crazy, they belong in the “looney bin” etc.

Someone is addicted to drugs, and they are looked down upon, and if they decide to detox, they get called crazy and a “crazy addict.”

The stigma that you’re spreading is making people feel like it is looked down upon to get help. They feel like they are worthless for going to a mental institution or going to therapy. They feel ashamed. They feel worthless. And that’s the opposite of how they should feel.

They should feel proud for asking for help. They should feel proud for starting to take control of their issue, whatever it may be.

People that don’t get the help they need turn to more extreme ways to deal with their pain; murder, in this instance.

Mental health is what we need to be talking about. As much as gun control sounds like the issue that needs to be addressed (and in some ways, it is), we have to focus on mental health as well.

The country as a whole is shoving it off to the side. Mental health only matters on certain days of the year, then the very next day nobody cares about it anymore.

Stop shoving it off to the side. Talk about mental health. Stop making people feel worthless for having to go to therapy. There’s nothing wrong with going to therapy!!

Be open. Share your story. You might be saving someone’s life. Stop condemning people for going to therapy.

That family member or friend that refuses to go to therapy? Talk with them. Don’t give up on them, and more importantly, do your best to keep an eye on them. They may be needing and wanting to ask for help, but they’re too ashamed to.

We have to do better, my friends.

Depression is real. Mental illness is real. Addiction is real (and is a disease, by the way).

If you’ve never experienced it, that’s great! But that doesn’t mean it’s not real or that you should talk down to people who battle with it daily.

To those in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. You’re in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

Stay strong.

Stop Spreading The Stigma!

I saw a post on Facebook recently that showed a picture of nature with the title “This is an antidepressant” and next to it was a photo of antidepressants with the title “This is a lifelong addiction.”

I can’t tell you how wrong this is in one blog post.

Because of ignorant people making this, posting it, and other ignorant people sharing it, the stigma of antidepressants remains strong. People, like myself, who take antidepressants are already embarrassed or ashamed that they have to take them, much less get called out on something like this. I don’t speak for all people; some may not be ashamed, and that’s great. But for those who are, posts like the one I am talking about make us feel so much more insecure about our mental illness.

Yes, I agree that nature is a natural antidepressant. But some people can’t go outside because of other disabilities, so antidepressants are the right solution for them. Is there anything wrong with that, or is it just that some people are so ignorant that if that person has to take a pill for their mental illness, that they are going to be lifelong addicts? Do you see how stupid that sounds? If it helps that person, what difference does it make to you? Why go around stigmatizing the thing that helps millions of people?

I’m not saying nature doesn’t help, because it does. We all know that serotonin levels rise when in the sun and outside and in nature. But what if it doesn’t help someone as much as another person? What if the antidepressant helps them more? Does that make them an addict? A crazy person? No, it doesn’t.

Some (actually, most) people who suffer with clinical depression can’t just “get up and go outside” like others think they can. It’s not easy at all. If you haven’t suffered from depression, you have absolutely no say in how someone takes care of themselves during a depressive episode. You don’t know what it feels like to hate yourself so much that you want to die. You don’t know what it feels like to hate yourself so much, you don’t feel as if you’re worth even getting out of bed. That feeling, that empty, worthless feeling, is real. “Getting up and going outside” is not easy, and people need to stop saying it as if it is.

Stop making people feel bad for what works for them. If a pill is what makes them feel normal, then so be it. Antidepressants are designed to help people feel like getting out of bed and trying to live normal lives. Antidepressants are not a “lifelong addiction,” so stop spreading those lies to people that will believe you. Nature is not an automatic fix for depression, but it helps a lot. I can speak for it. But it may not be an automatic fix for other people, so stop making them feel bad about it.

What works for you may not work for others. Stop judging people for it. Millions of people in the world take antidepressants, but people who spread the horrible stigma surrounding them and mental health as a whole truly are scum of the earth.