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

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!

Wanderlust

img_6941I recently starting hiking with my dog and I can’t begin to tell you how much we love it. Nature is just so freeing and I have been beating myself up for not doing this sooner. I am planning trips to better nature trails and hiking areas close to me, as well as even starting to plan and save up for trips that are a little further from me.

There are times when I have to stop and see what I am around, taking in the sounds and even the smells. It’s unreal.

I have heard for a long time that going out in the sun helps depression. For the longest time, I thought that was extremely stupid. I tried even, and it seemed to make it worse sometimes. But hiking is something that is truly helping because I am exploring the stuff around me; I’m not just standing around.

I think I finally found something that works, and now I want to travel the state and beyond to hike and one day, it will happen. And I can’t wait.

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Being Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving.

We cook a bunch of food, dress up, eat a mountain of food and desserts, watch football and the Macy’s parade, play backyard football, and then take a long nap. But what most of us forget to do is to be thankful, which is what today is all about. Why do we forget the reason for any holiday we celebrate? Is there a scientific reasoning?

Every day in November, I log into Facebook and say one thing I am thankful for. I admit, it actually gets more difficult as the days pass. I’m not sure why, because I am thankful for so much because I have so much. Why don’t I ever remember to remind my family on Thanksgiving to go around the table and say what we are thankful for?

It’s the material things that literally take over our minds and we forget that we are a spoiled people. Take “Black Friday” for example. We gather around the table and eat a mountain of food, and some of us get on Facebook and say what we’re thankful for, but then turn around and fight crowds for material things. I completely understand why people do it; material things just make people happy. I don’t have a problem with people being happy. What I’m confused about is why we make this a priority over everything else.

I want to challenge everyone reading this to stop what you’re doing and make a list of what you’re thankful for. It’s important. Why? Because every single one of us needs to stay grounded. We get too caught up in things that simply don’t matter or what won’t matter in the next 20 years.

Today, let’s be thankful for what we have. In your list, stay positive. Everyone has something positive to be thankful for. Make a list of 10 positive things you are thankful for. You don’t have to show me or anyone else. Keep it to yourself, or share it. It doesn’t matter. Just be thankful.

Here is my list of 10 positive things I am thankful for.

  1. I am thankful for God’s grace and love, even when I’m in doubt.
  2. I am thankful for my parents and all their love and help this year and every year.
  3. I am thankful for my sisters and brothers and their love and support.
  4. I am thankful for my nieces and my nephews for loving me through the depression. They are all young but show so much understanding when I am depressed.
  5. I am thankful for my pets – my cat, my 3 dogs, and 6 chickens – for all the love and entertainment they provide for me. Chickens running is the most hilarious thing to me!
  6. I am more specifically thankful for my service dog, Finn. His unconditional love and help this past year has been out of this world.
  7. I am thankful for shelter from the heat and the cold.
  8. I am thankful for food and water to keep me alive.
  9. I am thankful for the internet to keep in contact with friends and family not close to me.
  10. I am thankful for friends that support me and love me.
  11. Bonus: I am thankful for doctors – for me and for Finn – because they saved my life this year and they saved Finn’s life this year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.