2018 was a big year for me, physically and mentally. I can’t say it was all good, as I lost 6 people within my family and friend circle. I don’t think I’ve ever lost that many people in one year. It’s been a heartbreaking year, an eye-opening year, and a victorious year. I can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished. I went into 2018 with a different mindset that I had never had before. I honestly still have no clue where the motivation came from, other than working my butt off in therapy. I didn’t realize my mindset was changing until it hit me like a brick wall.
The year didn’t start off great; my uncle passed away on January 1. I wasn’t as close to him as I had been in my younger years since we lived a state away, but it was still a challenging time. My mother lost her brother, my cousins lost their father. We are now upon the first anniversary of his passing and I know it’s not easier for anyone. In July, I also lost my great uncle. It’s been a rough year for my family.
In previous years, my “new year’s resolution” always included losing weight, but it never worked out because, well, I never worked out. I would work out or diet for maybe a week, maybe two, then go back to my old habits. This year, that would change. I couldn’t lose weight on my own, so I talked to my doctor and she recommended weight loss surgery. I went for it and made an appointment with a bariatric surgeon. After 3 months of preparation, dieting, and exercise, I had the surgery in August. I haven’t lost weight at the pace I would have liked, but I’ve still lost weight and I’m okay with that. I still have a long journey ahead of me, but I’m still motivated to get the weight off.
As for the people I’ve lost this year, it was rough. I lost a few close friends and two family members. One of them, though, hit me like nothing has ever hit before.
I started my mental health journey in 2014, and I won’t get into details with that, because I’ve talked about it in previous posts. I was checked into a mental hospital and then immediately started group therapy after I was discharged. The first person that talked to me when I walked up to the door was named Katy, and she ended up becoming one of the most important people I’d ever meet in my life.
There were times during therapy and even outside of therapy that she would talk me through it and help me through it. I remember one day in therapy that I was called on to speak, and I ended up crying… hard. I couldn’t get through what I was trying to say. Katy sat next to me every day, and on this particular day, she looked at me and said, “I promise you that nobody here is going to judge you, and everybody here loves you, including me. I’m right here. Just talk to me.” Those words helped me get through the duration of my time in group therapy.
I learned that she had a lung disease when I would talk to her everyday, but I didn’t know how bad it was. She passed away this year, in June. The bad thing for me is that I didn’t find out until July. I missed her funeral, I didn’t get to say goodbye, and I didn’t get to tell her how much she meant to me. It was heartbreaking. I still think about her and cry. I have never grieved over anyone else as hard as I have grieved over her.
As much as her passing affected me, I didn’t let it slow me down. I couldn’t. I know she would want me to keep working hard on my mental health, so I have. I have progressed, I think, a lot in therapy. I’m working my butt off daily to stay alive. Everybody has bad days, including me, but I get through them. Finn (my dog) is definitely a huge help with that. I’ve accomplished so much mentally, but also physically. I made a lot of progress in school. I’ve been getting out of the house more, but one of the main goals I have for myself is to get out even more. I’ve got so much planned; hiking, dog park visits, walking trails, yard work, and even just sitting outside getting more fresh air.
Health wise, I am going to continue to take care of myself. For so many years, I put my health on the back burner because I hated myself that much. I wanted to die so bad that my life didn’t matter that much. But now, I feel like I need to stay alive, and I want to stay alive. Some days are very difficult, and I still have suicidal thoughts from time to time, but I don’t feel as if I would act upon them now. It’s even kind of crazy to think about because I got so used to thinking I would be better off dead.
Another goal is to blog more! I’ve had to take a few months off from blogging, but I’m back at it. I felt like if I had writer’s block, then it was going to happen whether I wanted it to happen or not, and I didn’t try to force anything.
With all of that being said, I want to know how your year was and how you want 2019 to be. If you had a bad year, it’s okay. Not everyone is going to have a good year. And its okay to have bad days! Even if you have perfect mental health (and no one does), everyone has bad days. Try your hardest to bounce back the next day. I know it’s easier said than done, trust me. Depression is no joke at all. But stay strong for me, for your family, for your friends, your pets, your spouse, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, but most of all, stay strong for yourself. Because you’re worth staying strong for. You’re worth the life that the universe gave you. You matter.
Happy new year, and let’s have a great 2019.
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!
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