For Mama, on Motherā€™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. šŸ˜‰

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. šŸ™‚

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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.

Dealing With Depression In College

Going to college is difficult. Having depression is difficult. Struggling with both at the same time? That’s something different. I know what you’re thinking –Ā Everybody that goes to college is depressed. I realize that. But some people can deal with it better than others can.

I go to college online, and all homework and assignments are due every Tuesday. That gives me six days to complete everything, and sometimes it is extremely difficult to do when I’m dealing with depression, especially if it sneaks up on me and I get no signs or warnings of it coming. When it happens, I get behind on my homework and assignments. I lose focus. I lose motivation. I lose all hope that college is even something I’m supposed to be doing with my life.

I am the type of person thatĀ HATESĀ being late. I also hate when other people are late if we are meeting up. It makes me feel unimportant that that person wouldn’t plan accordingly to be on time. Turning in assignments on time is no different for me. I can’t stand turning them in late. My college’s late assignment policy is that I can turn them in a week late and get 10% off the grade, or up to two weeks late for 20% off the grade. That’s enough for me to want to turn it in on time in case I mess up and get a few points taken off just for my mistakes, much less any points taken off for turning it in late.

I’m a perfectionist. I have to have that perfect grade.

But sometimes… I can’t have that perfect grade. Sometimes I have to listen to my mental health and take a break, despite losing a few points for turning it in late. It’s still hard for me to cope with the fact that I have to turn in my assignment late, even if it’s just a day late. But I have to realize, and sometimes I do, that my mental health is more important than my grades.

My mental health is more important than my grades.

YOUR mental health is more important than your grades.

Being in college is an accomplishment, whether you realize it or not. A lot of people don’t have the access or the privilege to go to college like we do, so we shouldn’t take advantage of it. But sometimes, it’s best to take a step back, take a deep breath, and take a mental health day for ourselves.

I understand other colleges have different late policies than mine, but why not email your professor and tell them what’s going on? You have to be more honest with yourself that you need another day to turn in your assignment, but be honest with your professor as well. I bet they will understand if you just give them a heads up.

Take a mental health day, rest up, cry, binge watch something funny on Netflix, then breathe, take a shower, and go kick some butt. You got this.

Ch-ch-changes

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Changes are scary.

Being in my late 20s now (OMG), I’ve very much realized that changes happen and yes, they are scary. Positive or negative changes can be scary because no matter what, it changes your routine. I remember when I graduated high school, I was scared of the changes coming for me and my friends. I knew I would no longer see them everyday and that I would have to start working, and it truly terrified me.

When I was 23, I started going to therapy, which was such a massive change for me that I almost didn’t keep going. First of all, I was in group therapy. I hated it and it wasn’t working. I ended up staying in the program for 7 months, because I got used to going and I was scared of not going.

Last year when I started college, it was truly terrifying, but I was so pumped I don’t think I showed my fear. I started college because IĀ didĀ want change. I needed a change in my life that was positive, because up to the day I started, the last few years had been pretty crappy.

I felt like I would never be anybody just because of what people told me. I thought I could never go to college because of what the bullies told me and because of my grades in school. They weren’t horrible, but they weren’t “college material” grades. I stunk in school because I hated it so much.

I needed a change in my life, more so for my happiness. I was tired of going through each day feeling worthless because I wasn’t doing anything with my life. It was literally going nowhere.

I want to point out that if you are not open to change in your routine, that’s okay. I, personally, needed something to change.

The other day I wrote on Facebook that now that I had transportation again, I wanted to take advantage of it and go somewhere with my dog. People encouraged me to go for it because it’s a vacation not only physically, but also mentally. I wrote that I needed a change in routine because I am living a life that is not being lived. I feel like I need to travel more, and see more of the world, even the state to begin with.

Changes can be a great thing; we just have to open our mind and heart to them. Always consider your blessings. God wouldn’t put you through a change that He hasn’t planned specifically for you.

Where I Belong

I’ve stared at the blank screen for days now and the words I want to write still won’t resonate on the screen. The right words are in my head, but for some reason, I can’t seem to type them.

My second college term is officially complete, but in my psychology class a couple of weeks ago, we talked about where we belong in the world. All of my classmates were answering without hesitation. Some answered church or other group, others with their best friend, children, husbands, and wives.

I couldn’t answer. I honestly haveĀ no ideaĀ where I belong.

Yes, I have my dog, I know, but it still gets lonely since he can’t talk. I don’t have any friends that I talk to regularly or hang out with. I feel like a complete outcast in my family, both immediate and extended. I don’t belong to a church anymore. Even when I went to church, I didn’t belong.

I know this looks like I am begging for sympathy, but that is far from the truth. I don’t need attention. In fact, I hate it.

Where do I belong? Where can I feel like I’m not completely worthless? I don’t belong at home, at church, at school, even online. I try to talk to people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even on Xbox Live, and I get nothing. I don’t have a husband or kids. I just truly do not belong anywhere.

I never knew I was having this problem until that particular class a couple of weeks ago. Being a psychology major has opened my eyes to so many problems within myself that I never knew I had. I never really realized that I had them, so I’ve never talked to a therapist about them. But now I can work on fixing them.

So, positive? I know I have this problem of unbelonging so I can hopefully fix it.

Negative? The problem itself.

What about you? Where do you belong?