Life after your child dies.

Believe it or not, I’m alive and thriving.  If your child has died recently or even years ago…..this is for you.  I’m finally able to focus on the future I want for myself and would want for my son if he were alive today.  I would want my son to be proud of his mother.  He is my one and only motivation to make this life the best I can, and to live life how I choose, and no one else.  He taught me to respect and value myself, to not settle for toxic and unreliable men who do not respect or value me.  I chose to let religion go, and live my life how I choose.  He taught me to stand up for myself.  He taught me to stand up for what’s right, no matter the cost to myself.  I’m a different person now, and I feel like the old me died when he did.  His death pushed me to the brink of my own death, but it happened for a reason.

One thing I want people to understand is there is grief, then there is complicated grief.  My situation specifically, would be “categorized” as complicated grief disorder.  When I say complicated, I’m referring to the person’s personal history.  If you have ever been diagnosed with a mood disorder, are a woman, pessimistic, poor social support, high stress levels, or had an insecure attachment with a caregiver when growing up, you could be at risk for experiencing a more severe form of grief.  This grief also lasts for a longer period of time than the “normal” 1-6 month grieving range.  Just to let everyone know, I fit all those criteria.  It was quite fun I assure you.

Matthias died at the beginning of November, which meant the holidays that year were hell.  All my family came down for the holidays, but I wanted no part of it.  I was drinking…..a lot.  My dad always found empty bottles of vodka hidden in my room.  He worried about me constantly.  On top of drinking I was abusing my pain meds and smoking.  January came around and I thought I could handle my grief by myself.  Obviously I was wrong.  Sometimes it’s good to be independent….and other times it isn’t.

I don’t remember much about my car accident.  The impact knocked me unconscious for awhile, and I was TRASHED.  Not exaggerating.  I got a DUI that night.  Cats outta the bag now!  Lol jk.  No use hiding it though…..who cares?  It happened and I’ve dealt with it.  The teenagers who found me that night thought I was dead.  I only know that because I worked at Casey’s with their mom after the wreck.  HA.  When I hit the concrete slab, my car flipped over on top of itself.  I woke up laying on my windshield with broken glass everywhere and my right ankle was shattered pretty badly.  It hurt like a bitch let me tell ya.  I saw Opie and cried like a baby, because he had a pretty serious cut on his face and a badly broken leg/hip.  The police did come, and I was not very nice to them.  Imagine that, haha.  Drunk me isn’t the nicest person out there.  The ambulance was called, I was carefully removed from my car, put on a stretcher, and put in the ambulance….where they cut off all my clothes.  Talk about awkward…..I still see some of the paramedics from that night and all I can think is, “They totally saw me naked.”

After my surgeries I had to use a wheelchair, walker, cane, potty chair, shower chair, and I crawled a lot.  Never thought Mr. Wyrick’s bear crawls would help me one day!  Hahahaha I’m kidding….but I really did crawl around a lot.  I moved out of my dad’s and started working faster than I should have, but I’m happy I did it so soon.  My foot hurt 24/7, and when I worked at Casey’s the pain was so unbearable I had to call in a couple times.  Which is sad and sorta pathetic.  When I left Casey’s and found employment elsewhere, my ankle stopped hurting so bad.  Imagine that.

I have always struggled with believing in a god.  Like how I just dove right into religion?  I was brought up Pentecostal with my grandma Ellen.  Her and I used to speak in tongues during church.  I was like, 8 so it was probably gibberish.  Who knows.  I stopped believing in a god and religion in general the afternoon I felt Matthias die.  Yes I did say felt.  I felt his last breath leave his body, and I watched his body turn gray.  It’s as simple as that.  I had been questioning the whole religious thing since going off to college, and that traumatic experience just kind of did it for me.  I was angry for awhile at my ex, “god” and all that, but then I realized that was stupid.  Call me atheist, agnostic, humanist, whatever.  I’m okay with that, and I’m okay with the fact that many people think I’m going to hell because of it.  I don’t believe in that.  Sorry.  Also, I’m not angry anymore.  Which is weird.  At least not at any god or higher being per se.  I get mad at other things, like when the dogs piss in the house.

I never thought I’d be okay again.  I never thought I’d be truly loved or respected by a man either.  I had so many toxic relationships in my life I didn’t know what a normal relationship looked like.  All I knew were lies, cheating, and walking on eggshells.  I was used to being the mom in every relationship, constantly worrying about my loved ones.  I never knew if they were out getting high or had overdosed in the hospital.  I thought life would always be a roller coaster for me.  Ridiculous highs and awful lows.  Now that I am in a healthy, committed, and trusting relationship, I finally see what everyone was trying to tell me.  I deserve to be happy in life after all the bullshit, and I finally am.  Of course, I could always use more money, more dogs, and more nice things, but for now I’m okay with living life exactly how I choose, and no one else.

Who thought a child’s death could do that for a parent?

Love and miss you every day baby boy.

 

Surprise, surprise. People can’t agree on the women’s marches either.

Is it just me or is anyone else getting pretty sick of everyone having a problem with everything?  I know, I know, I’m a liberal.  I get offended and mad at EVERYTHING, huh?

First off, if you have a penis and testicles?  Stay out of the women’s march discussion, period.  This isn’t about you.  This isn’t affecting YOUR rights as a man, so kindly keep out of it.  Basically?  I’m saying nicely to FUCK OFF.

Women.  This isn’t a pro-choice/pro-life fucking debate either.  All the women who marched aren’t these evil feminists who like to murder the unborn.  I mean, maybe some of them are.  Who knows?  They might listen to metal and be into that kind of stuff.  (Obviously this is a joke.) This march was for the obvious direction our government is heading toward, in regards to women’s rights.  As WOMEN we are biologically different.  We can pop kiddos out!  We have this awful psychotic and hormonal Aunt Flo who visits us every month, and drives us nuts.  Our reproductive organs are complex, and can get fucked up, just like us!  Kidding.  Women get cancer at alarming rates and we need check ups to make sure we are healthy!  It’s called prevention.

When people see public health programs, they are basically looking at PREVENTION programs.  Public health and prevention go hand in hand and is very important, especially in regards to money and quality of life.  Public health is the result of years of research.  We research what different communities need, and try to act accordingly.  If there is a significantly disproportionate number of people getting cancer in one region, or maybe an outbreak of STD’s or unwanted teen pregnancies, in another region, we implement a public health program.  We try to bring those numbers down to improve the quality of life for individuals.

So, this brings me to the discussion of the Women’s March and Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood is a federally and state funded public health program for women. It receives its funds from private donors as well.  Also?  Our tax dollars are not funding abortions.  Private donors cover that.  What does our money go to though?  It goes to preventative cancer screenings, contraception, pregnancy testing, std testing, and other stuff.

I’ve also heard, “women in other countries have it way worse than we do.”

Obviously.  I know about the horrific rapes and genital mutation in Africa and other countries.  I know about the acid crimes against women in India.  I know about the sex trafficking in Thailand.  Trust me.  I know my shit.

THIS IS WHY WE PROTESTED.

We weren’t protesting to say “things in America are just awful for women, pity me.”   Women’s issues have been on the backburner for years and we’re tired of it.    Women as a whole have decided to stand up and tell the elderly white men who run this country to get the fuck out of our medical decisions.  Medical issues should be handled by medical professionals.  Not politicians.  Medical=medical.  Shocker.

YOU’RE PRO-CHOICE!? EVIL!

That’s usually the reaction I get.  People are always shocked I am pro-choice because of my son, Matthias.  Well, let me tell you the reasoning behind that.

When I was given the news that my pregnancy wasn’t viable, I was 19 weeks along.  I was residing in Oklahoma, which has pretty strict abortion laws.  My only option was Kansas, who stops at 22 weeks, or New Mexico, which has no gestational restrictions.  I set the appointment up, and wallowed in my own shit for two weeks.  Finally, the big day was approaching.  My last chance to “start again” was coming up.  If I had the procedure, I could go back to my life.  I could finish school, and head on to grad school!  I kept telling myself that.  “It’s for the best.  Just do it Ashlyn.  Quit being a pussy.”  I told myself that shit all those two weeks.  Until the day was only a couple days away.  I was having panic attacks, severe anxiety, guilt, anger, you name it.  I was a mess.  I knew the abortion would haunt me for the rest of my life.  I also knew he wouldn’t survive once he was born.  What do I do!?  Kill him now or let him die when he’s born?  Decisions, decisions.

That’s one hell of a decision to make.

Of course, we all know I couldn’t follow through with the procedure.  This being my first child, and experiencing all these lovey, fluttery feelings for my sweet baby for the first time, I just couldn’t do it.  It would have killed me.  Not knowing would have killed me.  So I gave birth to him, and he was beautiful.

No, this isn’t a dead baby blog trying to make you feel sorry for me.  Instead, this is a blog that makes you think about another person’s life circumstance.  Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.  You have the money to go to your own personal doctor?  Good for you!  Not all of us have that luxury.  You can request off work for prenatal appointments?  Good for you!  Other women work seven days a week.  You’re happily married and expecting a baby?  Good for you!  Not all women have a significant other to lean on.  You’re pregnant with a healthy, viable baby?  Congrats!  Some babies have serious health complications that do not make them viable once outside the womb.  You’re pregnant with your first child and are ecstatic about it?  Awesome!  Some religions do not allow the use of birth control and families get very large, very fast.  Some of these women have had multiple children, and have no desire to continue to do so.  They love all their children and are wonderful mothers, but don’t want to keep having babies their whole lives.

We cannot go back to the 50’s when women were constantly trying to perform these abortions on themselves, and accidentally killing themselves, leaving behind their families and children.  If you don’t believe in abortion, that’s fine!  That isn’t what this march was about!  People sure as hell make it all about one thing though.  It is so much bigger than abortion.  And I say that in the nicest way possible.  Look at the tables  and tell me I’m wrong.

The point is, we can’t expect everyone else to live their lives like we do.  This is what makes us unique and beautiful.  And annoying.  Regardless, we seriously need to stop this hate and bickering bullshit.  Women who put other women down for the walk?  I’m talking to you.  Men who feel the need to put their opinion out there blasting women’s reproductive health?  I’m talking to you.

If you’re pro-life, but won’t adopt?  You’re part of the problem.  Quit acting all high and mighty on your soap boxes while adolescents age out of foster care and are sent out on the streets because their home lives were so bad, yet they couldn’t get adopted.  Before you go preaching about what’s wrong and right, how about you practice what you preach.  Adopt.

Of its patients, 83% were 20 or older, according to a Government Accountability Office report released in March 2015 (PDF) that looked at data from 2010 to 2012. Nearly 80% had incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level, according to the report.

With a focus on prevention, Planned Parenthood said that 80% of its patients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy.
The current study found that 42% of unintended pregnancies ended in abortion between 2009 and 2013, similar to the rate of 40% between 2006 and 2010. One study of women seeking to terminate their pregnancies found that 40% reported having difficult accessing contraception.
Image result for planned parenthood facts
Image result for planned parenthood facts

Makeup is AWESOME

So, I hear many chicks complain about how they look.  Say they’re “average looking.”  That they have nothing to offer. Their body is shaped like a boy, they’re fat, etc.   Cut that shit out.  Each woman brings different things to the table for different people.  Each woman has her own strengths and weaknesses.  Each woman is beautiful.  Each woman brings life into this world, and if she is robbed of that, it still isn’t her fault.  It is nature’s fault.  Not hers.  Each woman is gorgeous, and worthy of love.

Remember that.  Okay.  This is my normal makeup routine.  I will show pictures, feel free to ask any question you want.  One thing we all need to remember, no one looks like this naturally.  Even when I don’t wear any makeup, I wax my upper lip and my eyebrows.  Cuz I am one hairy bitch.  LOL so without wax and makeup, I’d be hairy and ew.  Remember that when you say I’m beautiful or whatever.  I HAVE A MUSTACHE.  Lol okay.

 

So.  This is what I look like with no makeup.

 

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i used  a primer on my whole face.  The smashbox primer works for me, but I also ordered some from ELF.  So I hope that shit is amazing.  I also ordered some liquid foundation from ELF too.  I’ve heard amazing things about their makeup, so I am totally trying it out next week.  It’s also cheap as hell, so why not!? Lol so anyways, I put on my liquid makeup with a BRUSH.  I use a powder brush.  It spreads everything wonderfully.  Then I contour my cheekbones, jawline, and forehead with a contour kit.  Honestly, I randomly pick which color I wanna do.  I usually stick to the lighter shades.  After I contour, which you do by making a kissy face at the mirror, I put the darker shade under my cheek bone.  UNDER.  This is very important.  I blend it into my ear, up through my temple, and onto my forehead.  I also do it down my jaw line and right under my jaw line onto my neck to hide my double chin.  I still have baby weight!  So I’m fat.  Lol gotta hide that shit. I use a contouring brush for this.  It is smaller at one end to contour perfectly. I Used the very far left bottom and top.  The lighter shade on top I put on top of my cheek bones, the bridge of my nose, and the area between my eyebrows and above.  I also put it above my lip between my nose.

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After I applied my liquid makeup with a BRUSH and contoured my makeup with a contouring brush (which I will share in my pictures) I curled my eyelashes with a basic eyelash curler from wal mart.  Eyelash curlers are no biggie.  I then put on gray eye liner from wal mart on both eyes.  Maybeline brand I believe.  Then I applied my eyeshadow.  I have all the naked palettes from Urban Decay.  Holy jeebus.  These eyeshadows are amazing!!  They are 54$ a piece, buimage (5)t WELL WORTH IT.  I used the limited edition smokey eye edition.  It may not be limited anymore, hell if I know.  But I did a brown smokey eye, and a black smokey eye.

So for the black eyelid, I used the gray fourth over from the left.  I covered the whole lid.  I then used the 6th gray color from the left for the crease, then used the 8th black color for the outside of the eye.  I then used the farthest left color for the eyebrow highlight.  I used the 8th black color for under my bottom eyelash line.  And I put white eyeliner under my eyes.  WHITE EYELINER is very important in making eyes look bigger.

For the brown eye, I covered the entire lid with the 2nd from the left.  Then I applied the third brown from the left to the crease.  On the outside part of the eye I used the 3rd from the RIGHT.  The dark brown color.  I also used this under my bottom eyelash line.  And I also used white eyeliner under my eyes.

These Naked palettes by Urban Decay are AMAZING and I suggest every woman purchase them.  They are so freakin beautiful.  Yes they are expensive, but you really only need one to do looks every day.  I bought two for a brown look, and a black look.  Both are amazing.

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This is the end result.

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Now my eyelashes.  I get so many compliments on them.   No, they are not fake.  I use Urban Decay and Benefit mascara.  Both 22$ but WORTH IT!!

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Then afterwards I spray a makeup setting mist onto my face.  Mine is from Urban Decay and is roughly 20-30$ but ELF has a spray for 3$ that I’m trying this week.  So we will see which is better!

Also, I use a High Beam highlight on my cheekbones and above my lip, and also right under my eyebrows.  It’s awesome, but not really needed for every day.

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So, you read everything.  Makeup does wonders.  And my favorite look of all time is the smokey eye.  I love black, and gray.  So I usually go all out with my dark colors.  You can pair them with a lipstick, but it’s usually just too much makeup at once.  Haha.

 

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So, there ya go.  This is a long as shit blog, but if you have any questions, just ask!  I am very confident with no makeup, but sometimes I like to go all out and wear a lot.  The main thing you need to remember, is that you are gorgeous no matter what!!  And don’t wear a ton of makeup for someone else, wear it for yourself!  I personally love doing my makeup.  It fluctuates with my mood. 🙂

We all have insecurities, but it doesn’t matter.  I’m hairy, and I have bags under my eyes.  But I don’t care.  Lots of darker complected people have unwanted hair.  So no biggie.  Haha, I do have bushy eyebrows and a mustache from hell, but I’m cool with that.

 

 

Are you a codependent and not know?

The term codependency has been around for almost four decades. Although it originally applied to spouses of alcoholics, first called co-alcoholics, research revealed the characteristics of codependents were much more prevalent in the general population than had been previously known.

Psychologists have found if you were raised in a dysfunctional family or had an ill parent, you’re likely codependent. They also found codependent symptoms got worse if left untreated.

The following is a list of symptoms. You needn’t have them all to qualify.

1. Low Self-Esteem

Feeling you’re not good enough or comparing yourself to others are signs of low self-esteem. Some people give the impression they think highly of themselves, but it’s only a disguise—they actually feel unlovable or inadequate. Underneath, usually hidden from consciousness, are feelings of shame. Guilt and perfectionism often go along with low self-esteem because if everything is perfect, you feel less bad about yourself.

2. People-Pleasing

It’s fine to want to please someone you care about, but codependents usually don’t think they have a choice. Saying “No” causes them anxiety. Some codependents have a hard time saying “No” to anyone. They go out of their way and sacrifice their own needs to accommodate other people.

3. Poor Boundaries

Boundaries are sort of an imaginary line between you and others. It divides up what’s yours and somebody else’s, and that applies not only to your body, money, and belongings, but also to your feelings, thoughts, and needs. That’s especially where codependents get into trouble. They have blurry or weak boundaries. They feel responsible for other people’s feelings and problems, or blame their own on someone else. Some codependents have rigid boundaries. They are closed off and withdrawn, making it hard for other people to get close to them. Sometimes, people flip back and forth between having weak boundaries and having rigid ones.

4. Reactivity

A consequence of poor boundaries is you react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If someone says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive. You absorb their words because there’s no boundary. With a boundary, you’d realize it was just their opinion and not a reflection of you and not feel threatened by disagreements.

5. Caretaking

Another effect of poor boundaries is if someone else has a problem, you want to help them to the point you give up yourself. It’s natural to feel empathy and sympathy for someone, but codependents start putting other people ahead of themselves. In fact, they need to help and might feel rejected if another person doesn’t want help. Moreover, they keep trying to help and fix the other person, even when that person clearly isn’t taking their advice.

6. Control

Control helps codependents feel safe and secure. Everyone needs some control over events in their life. You wouldn’t want to live in constant uncertainty and chaos, but for codependents, control limits their ability to take risks and share their feelings. Sometimes they have an addiction that either helps them loosen up, like alcoholism, or helps them hold their feelings down, like workaholism, so they don’t feel out of control. Codependents also need to control those close to them because they need other people to behave in a certain way to feel okay. People-pleasing and care-taking can be used to control and manipulate people. Codependents are bossy and tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. This is a violation of someone else’s boundary.

7. Dysfunctional Communication

Codependents have trouble when it comes to communicating their thoughts, feelings, and needs. Of course, if you don’t know what you think, feel or need, this becomes a problem. Other times, you know, but you won’t own up to your truth. You’re afraid to be truthful because you don’t want to upset someone else. Instead of saying, “I don’t like that,” you might pretend it’s okay or tell someone what to do. Communication becomes dishonest and confusing when you try to manipulate the other person out of fear.

8. Obsessions

Codependents have a tendency to spend their time thinking about other people or relationships. This is caused by their dependency, anxieties, and fears. They can also become obsessed when they think they’ve made or might make a “mistake.” Sometimes, they can lapse into fantasy about how they’d like things to be or about someone they love as a way to avoid the pain of the present. This is one way to stay in denial, discussed below, but it keeps them from living their life.

9. Dependency

Codependents need other people to like them to feel good about themselves. They’re afraid of being rejected or abandoned, even if they can function on their own. Others always need to be in a relationship because they feel depressed or lonely when they are by themselves for too long. This trait makes it hard for them to end a relationship, even when the relationship is painful or abusive. They end up feeling trapped.

10. Denial

One of the problems people face in getting help for codependency is they’re in denial about it, meaning they don’t face their problem. Usually, they think the problem is someone else or the situation. They either keep complaining or trying to fix the other person, or go from one relationship or job to another and never own up the fact that they have a problem. Codependents also deny their feelings and needs. Often, they don’t know what they’re feeling and are instead focused on what others are feeling. The same thing goes for their needs. They pay attention to other people’s needs and not their own. They might be in denial of their need for space and autonomy. While some codependents seem needy, others act like they are self-sufficient when it comes to needing help. They won’t reach out and have trouble receiving. They are in denial of their vulnerability, and need for love and intimacy (I’m not referring to sex, although sexual dysfunction is often a reflection of an intimacy problem).

11. Painful Emotions

Codependency creates stress and leads to painful emotions. Shame and low self-esteem create anxiety and fear about being judged, rejected or abandoned; making mistakes; being a failure; feeling trapped by being close or being alone. The other symptoms lead to feelings of anger, resentment, depression, hopelessness, and despair. When the painful feelings are too much, they can feel numb.

The good news is there is help for recovery and change. The first step is getting guidance and support. These symptoms are deeply ingrained habits and difficult to identify and change on your own.

 

THIS IS NOT MY WORDS OR MY BLOG!!  HERE IS WHERE THE ORIGINAL BLOG CAME FROM.

https://mentalhealthtoday.wordpress.com/

I just thought this was very insightful, and that many should read it.

Loving an Addict

I have loved many addicts in my life.  Whether that means family, friends, exes, room mates, or others, is my business and mine alone.  Just know that I have quite an understanding of it.

While it sucks and is painful being an addict, I can assure you it is just as painful, if not more painful, to love an addict.  The worry and stress of not knowing where they are, what they are doing, if they’re high, if they’re sober, if something is a trigger, etc. is agonizingly painful.  I have heard every excuse in the book.  I have even enabled some of the behavior, because I felt sorry for them.  I wanted to help them.  Don’t. Do. That.

While it hurts to have them angry at you, and say mean things to you, it hurts even more to get a phone call and hear that they were in the hospital from overdose.  Or that they were missing.  Or that they were in jail.  Or not hearing from them in weeks, only to find out that they were on another binge.  Or worse.  They’re dead.

I have worried and stressed over loved ones that it drives me crazy.  It creates an anxiety that can’t be helped.  Because it isn’t YOUR problem.  It’s theirs.

An addict is an addict for a reason.  They are in suffering.  They have a thirst that is always tempting them.  Their minds are never at rest.  What families need to understand, is that they cannot force someone to get help or want to get better.  That person has to see it for themselves.  Sadly, many addicts don’t get help.  They die very young from preventable causes.  We need to get to the source of the reason why they use.  Most of the time, something traumatic happened to them that they can’t deal with.  A death, a sexual assault, a significant trauma, familial drug use, poverty, etc.  There are a number of things.  So when dealing with addiction, we cannot focus on just that.  You need to get to the root of the problem.

When a recovering addict comes to you, asking for help, help them.  Now this has its limits.  You will be manipulated, and you will be lied to.  You will be stolen from.  I guarantee this.  Because I have lived it.  An addict loves you, but they want their fix more.  Don’t give them money, don’t give them substances like pills, alcohol, etc.  No matter what they tell you.  No matter what they tell you.  I cannot stress this enough.  This is manipulation.  They will tell you whatever they need to tell you for you to believe them.  They will pull on your heart strings.  Drug seeking behavior is very obvious, if you know what to look for.  They go to the ER a million times for minor ailments?  Drug seeking.  They buy it off the street, they steal belongings to pawn, they spend their money on drugs rather than food, etc.  We spend so much money in health care on addicts coming into ER’s for meds, overdosing, withdrawing, or suicide.

You can’t get mad at them.  You can’t hate them.  You can’t just expect them to stop.  Because it isn’t that easy.  It isn’t just addiction that needs to be treated, it’s something else inside them that they are avoiding.  That is one of the issues with rehabilitation facilities.  They only treat the addiction, not the actual mental health and trauma deep inside of the person.  The reasons vary for why people are addicts.  But I can tell you one thing, once you try something that feels AMAZING and turns all your pleasure centers on in the brain, you will want more.  I say this from my own experience.  Once those chemicals in the brain have been unleashed it is hard to say, nah I won’t do that anymore.  Especially if someone has a comorbidity of other mental illnesses.  Someone who struggles with severe depression or bipolar disorder have a chemical deficiency in their brain.  So if you always feel severe lows, or struggle with feeling content, drugs are a pretty good outlet to make you feel A LOT better.  And once someone gets a taste of that, they want more of it.  Because it feels great.  It feels awesome to feel that good.  Especially if you struggle with chronic sadness.  Then bam.  You’re addicted.

Let’s say you try it when you’re 14.  Your brain has not fully matured yet.  The more responsible part of the brain hasn’t matured yet, so when you use drugs or alcohol, it slows down this process, making it harder for a teenager to handle their fluctuating emotions and impulsivity.  Statistics show that more teens are jumping to harsher drugs much more quickly than in previous decades.  What once took a decade, now only takes a year.  A 16 year old goes from trying pills and alcohol to jumping into heroin way more quickly than before.  And now since heroin is so damn cheap from us being over in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is also super easy to get.  It is an epidemic, and a sad one.

While you cannot force someone to get help, you can help them want to get help.  By being as loving as you can.  Be as understanding as you can.  Let them know they are loved and wanted.  That they aren’t a burden, and that you will help them, if they want it.  Sometimes this takes years for the person to actually try, but they will always know that you are there if they need to talk.  Sometimes it takes a person to hit rock bottom, multiple times, before they get help.  And sometimes it takes several rehabs and programs to get them there.

But I can assure you one thing that won’t get them there.  Hating them, blaming them, demeaning them, saying they are weak or stupid for doing drugs…..and not trying to listen to them and understand them.  There are many triggers that can set someone off.  And a lot of the time they won’t want to listen to you or anyone else.  They want to feel better, and they want it now.  They don’t like that they are addicted, and they wish they weren’t.  But they are.

It is very tiring to love someone who suffers so much that they use drugs to cope.  All you can do is hope, pray, and be a shoulder to lean and cry on when they need it.  Because although you wish they didn’t use and scare the shit out of you, it beats not having that person alive and in your life anymore.  Which is why I will always love and try to help you, even when you don’t want it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infant Loss

Source: Infant Loss

So, this blog will be as awkward and as awful as the title makes it sound.  Deal with it.

I don’t regret my decision one bit.  When I found out I was pregnant, it felt like a joke.  I took one pregnancy test.  Then another.  Then another.  And I laughed my ass off.  Then freaked out silently.  I considered my options.  I had just been accepted to a great graduate program, and was given a very prestigious scholarship that paid for everything, plus gave me a monthly stipend for living expenses.  I was given the BUDER scholarship for the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at WASHU.  This program is specifically for Native Americans wanting to work in the social work field with Native populations.  My plan was to get my masters from there and be a counselor to Native youth on reservations.  I wanted to help them beat addiction, depression, etc. and go on to college.

Then I found out I was pregnant.  Whoa.  Bit of a game changer.  The man I was seeing at the time was….not ideal.  We had been working on things for some time.  He managed to mess things up, every time.  So my first thought was abortion.  Then I decided against it.  Then I told the man I was seeing at the time.  He then panicked and cheated on me.  Even told the girl he paid for my abortion, and she had nothing to worry about.  HA.  So, again.  I panicked.  He can’t be trusted!  I’m going to grad school!  This wasn’t supposed to happen!

Then I heard the baby’s heart beat.  Ah.  Ahhhhhhh.  Instantly changed my mind.  I would do it alone I thought.  Then he came crawling back.  Apologizing.  Saying he would work on himself.  That I made him a better person.  That he wanted me and the baby.  So, I thought, “There is no way this dude has changed.”  But I chose to take him back anyway.

Weeks go by.  I realize he isn’t worth it.  So, I end it.  Ask him to move out of my house.  Bad decision.  Never tell a dude with serious impulse and anger issues shit like that.  I’ve never seen someone freak out like that.  Threw me on the ground in my front yard.  IN FRONT OF MY NEIGHBORS.  The most embarrassing thing, ever.  Barged into my home, pinned me against the wall, yelled in my face, punched the walls, screamed, etc.  Basically threw a temper tantrum.  So I called the police.  Women.  Never be afraid to call the police if you’re scared shitless.

Down the road I took him back.  Idiot.  Don’t do that.

At 19 weeks I went in to see if I was having a little boy or a little girl.  That’s when I found out.  Before my 19 week appointment I did feel that something was wrong.  Just because, bad shit happens to me.  All the time.  I remember telling my aunt that something was wrong with him before I actually found out.  And what do ya know.  It was.

My doctor was very cold about it.  She showed no emotion.  Just basically told me, “the baby isn’t viable.  I suggest you terminate.”  I was so pissed.  What I was most pissed about was the fact that in Oklahoma, I was past the abortion mark.  So if I wanted to terminate, I had to travel and come up with the money in a matter of weeks.  Which is infuriating.  In Oklahoma, if the baby has a heart beat, you cannot have a legal abortion after 17 weeks.  I think it’s 17 weeks.  Correct me if I’m wrong.  Personally, I think they need to change some laws around abortion, but I won’t get on that topic.  Makes me very heated.

So, I took off of work the rest of the week.  I cried all the time.  I had just started to feel him kicking and squirming in there.  So every time I felt him, it was like a slap in my face. “Hey mommy, I’m here!!”

I looked up the statistics.  100% fatal.  But there were things being done to change those odds.  That was when I found out about Dr. Haeri.  I was advised to not get the injections by some, because statistically, he was screwed.  But when you’re hormonal and have a little june bug kicking around in your tummy, you kinda throw statistics out the window.  So I chose to fight.

The injections weren’t as bad as many think.  Sure, they hurt and were uncomfortable, but I didn’t mind.  A couple times I had crippling contractions and had to hold it together on the OR table so the needle wouldn’t hurt the baby.  Those sucked.  Contractions ain’t no joke man.  Painful suckers.  By then I was back with my ex and he was there to hold my hand when the pain was a bit much.  Surprisingly, he was very protective of me towards the end.

Driving the seven hours down to Austin and back sucked, but I did what I needed to do.  When my grandmother died, I freaked out a bit.  She was like a mother to me.  She prayed about Matthias all the time, and kept me in good spirits.  I flew back to Kansas to be at her funeral, but low and behold, my freaking water broke and my dad had to drive me back to Austin.  Haha.  My luck.  So no.  I never said goodbye to her.  Which killed me, but at the same time, I felt it was a blessing.  I would have taken it very hard if I had seen her pass.  So to this day, I’m okay with what happened.

I was on bed rest for 6 weeks in the hospital.  They monitored the baby twice a day, and the nurses were very nice to me.  My C-section was scheduled, and we were just waiting until I was almost full term.

The morning of my c-section I felt like I was going to vomit.  I felt rigid and uncomfortable.  It was very hard to move I was so frozen.  Of course, this was really bad anxiety.  I felt like I was a volcano.  My whole body was rigid and tingly, and it was hard to breathe.  Before going in, a nurse sat down and talked to me, and I sobbed.  I was absolutely terrified.  He was perfectly safe and comfortable in my womb, and I knew that would all change when he was out.  I wanted to keep him inside for as long as possible.  After I cried, I felt relief.

The c-section happened, my ex cried, I cried, the baby cried….softly.  Which was a little scary.  How loud the baby cries shows how strong the lungs are.  They took him away, without me seeing him, and they stitched me up.  My ex went with the baby, and I was sent to recovery.  The nurses told me he was in almost perfect health, and looked like a full grown baby.  My ex came in and told me he looked beautiful and that he was so proud of me.  I wanted to see him.  But I couldn’t walk for several hours due to the epidural.  By the time it wore off, the nurses told me he had taken a drastic turn.  They were all shocked, including my OBGYN.  He just knew that Matthias’s lungs were strong enough.  He was so sure of it.  The baby was always practicing his breathing, and we had done TEN FREAKING INJECTIONS.  I had done double what the other potters babies had done.  So the lungs had to have been perfect right!? So why the hell did he take a turn?

They let me see him.  I hadn’t had any pain meds, and my nurse pushed that I take them.  I told her no.  I wanted to see my baby completely clear headed.  He was hooked to a bunch of machines, and the breathing machine shook his chest….badly.  It was very hard to watch.  Watch Grey’s Anatomy.  There’s a baby on there named Thomas who was hooked to the same machines my baby was.  And yes, it is that awful looking.  To see your baby shaking like that.  They told me it was to strengthen his lungs.  He was drugged up and asleep when I saw him.  I never saw his eyes.  I don’t even know what they looked like.  He was asleep the entire time I was with him.

During the night I stayed up and cried.  I was so pissed.  I had made the right decision.  I didn’t abort him.  I fought for him.  Spent thousands trying to save him.  God has to reward me right?  RIGHT!?  No.  I was not rewarded.  Dr. Haeri came to my room and told me I needed to see him.  He looked very sad.  That’s when I knew.  I woke my ex up and told him we needed to see the baby.  I tried to keep a straight face…but he saw it in my eyes.  We both cried, then went to see him.  We called our family and my friend Kathleen to tell them to come say their goodbyes.

The oxygenation in his blood went very low, and the machine kept beeping and lighting up, letting us know that he was slowly dying.  His skin went from a flushed pink, to grey.  My baby was grey.  The doctor asked me if I wanted to take him off of the machines and let him pass peacefully, or keep going.  I said to take him off.  Someone came to baptize him and pray over him, then they took him off and wrapped him up.  They kept a manual breather on him so he could live a little longer.

I told my ex’s family and mine that I wanted to be alone with him when he passed, and they understood.  I still wasn’t on any pain meds at this time, but the pain wasn’t bad.  I laid him on my chest and I talked to him.  I didn’t cry much.  It felt good to hold him.  He was so limp though.  It took about thirty minutes.  He took a gasping breath every now and then.  He even lifted his head a couple times.  But he never opened his eyes.  He was on many drugs to ease his passing.  The doctors had to come in several times and check to see if there was a heart beat.  Finally, there wasn’t.

I seriously looked asian all that week.  My doctor came in my room and said, “Whoa.  Are you having an allergic reaction?”  Lol.  That’s how swollen my eyes were.  He apologized many times.  He said he didn’t understand.  He said all the nurses and doctors were rooting for me and Matthias.  That everyone thought he was going to make it.  He didn’t understand why the lungs weren’t stronger.  And neither did I.  My room was right by the freaking NICU.  So I heard lots of crying babies.  Another slap in the face.  My doctor understood I wanted out of there ASAP, and he let me leave the next day.

I didn’t speak to my family and friends for a month.  I had many texts and phone calls, but I never responded.  I hated everyone.  I deleted my facebook.  My doctor told me to.  Haha.  He said anger and jealousy is normal.  I was.  I was so angry.  Seeing people with multiple babies, getting pregnant with another one.  I just thought to myself, “What the fuck.  This was my first pregnancy.  What. The. Fuck.”

My ex was pretty worried about me.  I was very….out of it.  Let’s just leave it at that.  Dealing with the funeral parlor was awful too.  Who knew cremation was so damn expensive.  Even for a little 4 lb baby.  The hospital paid for $250 of it.  They were so helpful.

I can’t explain the grief I felt.  There are no words.  I wanted to die.  Every day.  I wished I was in an awful car accident that ended my life.  I secretly wished it would happen.  After a little bit, I thought, “How would I kill myself?”  Then I decided.  I would hang myself.  I wanted to do it in the middle of the woods to make sure my family didn’t find me.  I didn’t want them finding me.  I talked to a couple people about it.  They helped me think clearer.

I mean, the death of a baby is awful enough.  But then the ONLY person who understood what I felt decided having sex with a 20 year old was more important than supporting me.  Five weeks after my c-section.  They plotted to get together over Christmas break.  They were both so excited to see each other and be nasty with one another.  Whew.  You think you’ve been through the unimaginable.  Then this.

I thought I wanted to die.  I felt ancient.  I feel ancient.  The amount of grief and awful circumstances I have been through have made me feel old inside.  I’m not going to act like the victim though.  I chose to be in a relationship with an awful person.  I chose to keep the baby.  I chose to allow him back into my life.  I chose all of those.  Because deep down, I want to believe people are good, and that God will reward me.

But I am no different than anyone else.  God will not reward me.  I have to keep the faith that there are good people out there, and that I will be happy again.  The thought of that keeps me going.  My strength only grows with every terrible thing that happens to me.  And I realize that these awful experiences will only help, help others.  Above all. I want to help others.  At this point I have enough experiences to help many, many people.  And that makes me feel good inside.

(Also, even though I have broken both my legs when I flipped my car, I stay optimistic.  I watch funny shows to keep me laughing, and I joke about my situation as much as I can.  Laughing a lot does wonders!)

 

Although he is not in my arms, he will always be in my heart.  Matthias Ryan Newcomb 11/2/15-11/3/15.

Infant Loss

So, this blog will be as awkward and as awful as the title makes it sound.  Deal with it.

I don’t regret my decision one bit.  When I found out I was pregnant, it felt like a joke.  I took one pregnancy test.  Then another.  Then another.  And I laughed my ass off.  Then freaked out silently.  I considered my options.  I had just been accepted to a great graduate program, and was given a very prestigious scholarship that paid for everything, plus gave me a monthly stipend for living expenses.  I was given the BUDER scholarship for the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at WASHU.  This program is specifically for Native Americans wanting to work in the social work field with Native populations.  My plan was to get my masters from there and be a counselor to Native youth on reservations.  I wanted to help them beat addiction, depression, etc. and go on to college.

Then I found out I was pregnant.  Whoa.  Bit of a game changer.  The man I was seeing at the time was….not ideal.  We had been working on things for some time.  He managed to mess things up, every time.  So my first thought was abortion.  Then I decided against it.  Then I told the man I was seeing at the time.  He then panicked and cheated on me.  Even told the girl he paid for my abortion, and she had nothing to worry about.  HA.  So, again.  I panicked.  He can’t be trusted!  I’m going to grad school!  This wasn’t supposed to happen!

Then I heard the baby’s heart beat.  Ah.  Ahhhhhhh.  Instantly changed my mind.  I would do it alone I thought.  Then he came crawling back.  Apologizing.  Saying he would work on himself.  That I made him a better person.  That he wanted me and the baby.  So, I thought, “There is no way this dude has changed.”  But I chose to take him back anyway.

Weeks go by.  I realize he isn’t worth it.  So, I end it.  Ask him to move out of my house.  Bad decision.  Never tell a dude with serious impulse and anger issues shit like that.  I’ve never seen someone freak out like that.  Threw me on the ground in my front yard.  IN FRONT OF MY NEIGHBORS.  The most embarrassing thing, ever.  Barged into my home, pinned me against the wall, yelled in my face, punched the walls, screamed, etc.  Basically threw a temper tantrum.  So I called the police.  Women.  Never be afraid to call the police if you’re scared shitless.

Down the road I took him back.  Idiot.  Don’t do that.

At 19 weeks I went in to see if I was having a little boy or a little girl.  That’s when I found out.  Before my 19 week appointment I did feel that something was wrong.  Just because, bad shit happens to me.  All the time.  I remember telling my aunt that something was wrong with him before I actually found out.  And what do ya know.  It was.

My doctor was very cold about it.  She showed no emotion.  Just basically told me, “the baby isn’t viable.  I suggest you terminate.”  I was so pissed.  What I was most pissed about was the fact that in Oklahoma, I was past the abortion mark.  So if I wanted to terminate, I had to travel and come up with the money in a matter of weeks.  Which is infuriating.  In Oklahoma, if the baby has a heart beat, you cannot have a legal abortion after 17 weeks.  I think it’s 17 weeks.  Correct me if I’m wrong.  Personally, I think they need to change some laws around abortion, but I won’t get on that topic.  Makes me very heated.

So, I took off of work the rest of the week.  I cried all the time.  I had just started to feel him kicking and squirming in there.  So every time I felt him, it was like a slap in my face. “Hey mommy, I’m here!!”

I looked up the statistics.  100% fatal.  But there were things being done to change those odds.  That was when I found out about Dr. Haeri.  I was advised to not get the injections by some, because statistically, he was screwed.  But when you’re hormonal and have a little june bug kicking around in your tummy, you kinda throw statistics out the window.  So I chose to fight.

The injections weren’t as bad as many think.  Sure, they hurt and were uncomfortable, but I didn’t mind.  A couple times I had crippling contractions and had to hold it together on the OR table so the needle wouldn’t hurt the baby.  Those sucked.  Contractions ain’t no joke man.  Painful suckers.  By then I was back with my ex and he was there to hold my hand when the pain was a bit much.  Surprisingly, he was very protective of me towards the end.

Driving the seven hours down to Austin and back sucked, but I did what I needed to do.  When my grandmother died, I freaked out a bit.  She was like a mother to me.  She prayed about Matthias all the time, and kept me in good spirits.  I flew back to Kansas to be at her funeral, but low and behold, my freaking water broke and my dad had to drive me back to Austin.  Haha.  My luck.  So no.  I never said goodbye to her.  Which killed me, but at the same time, I felt it was a blessing.  I would have taken it very hard if I had seen her pass.  So to this day, I’m okay with what happened.

I was on bed rest for 6 weeks in the hospital.  They monitored the baby twice a day, and the nurses were very nice to me.  My C-section was scheduled, and we were just waiting until I was almost full term.

The morning of my c-section I felt like I was going to vomit.  I felt rigid and uncomfortable.  It was very hard to move I was so frozen.  Of course, this was really bad anxiety.  I felt like I was a volcano.  My whole body was rigid and tingly, and it was hard to breathe.  Before going in, a nurse sat down and talked to me, and I sobbed.  I was absolutely terrified.  He was perfectly safe and comfortable in my womb, and I knew that would all change when he was out.  I wanted to keep him inside for as long as possible.  After I cried, I felt relief.

The c-section happened, my ex cried, I cried, the baby cried….softly.  Which was a little scary.  How loud the baby cries shows how strong the lungs are.  They took him away, without me seeing him, and they stitched me up.  My ex went with the baby, and I was sent to recovery.  The nurses told me he was in almost perfect health, and looked like a full grown baby.  My ex came in and told me he looked beautiful and that he was so proud of me.  I wanted to see him.  But I couldn’t walk for several hours due to the epidural.  By the time it wore off, the nurses told me he had taken a drastic turn.  They were all shocked, including my OBGYN.  He just knew that Matthias’s lungs were strong enough.  He was so sure of it.  The baby was always practicing his breathing, and we had done TEN FREAKING INJECTIONS.  I had done double what the other potters babies had done.  So the lungs had to have been perfect right!? So why the hell did he take a turn?

They let me see him.  I hadn’t had any pain meds, and my nurse pushed that I take them.  I told her no.  I wanted to see my baby completely clear headed.  He was hooked to a bunch of machines, and the breathing machine shook his chest….badly.  It was very hard to watch.  Watch Grey’s Anatomy.  There’s a baby on there named Thomas who was hooked to the same machines my baby was.  And yes, it is that awful looking.  To see your baby shaking like that.  They told me it was to strengthen his lungs.  He was drugged up and asleep when I saw him.  I never saw his eyes.  I don’t even know what they looked like.  He was asleep the entire time I was with him.

During the night I stayed up and cried.  I was so pissed.  I had made the right decision.  I didn’t abort him.  I fought for him.  Spent thousands trying to save him.  God has to reward me right?  RIGHT!?  No.  I was not rewarded.  Dr. Haeri came to my room and told me I needed to see him.  He looked very sad.  That’s when I knew.  I woke my ex up and told him we needed to see the baby.  I tried to keep a straight face…but he saw it in my eyes.  We both cried, then went to see him.  We called our family and my friend Kathleen to tell them to come say their goodbyes.

The oxygenation in his blood went very low, and the machine kept beeping and lighting up, letting us know that he was slowly dying.  His skin went from a flushed pink, to grey.  My baby was grey.  The doctor asked me if I wanted to take him off of the machines and let him pass peacefully, or keep going.  I said to take him off.  Someone came to baptize him and pray over him, then they took him off and wrapped him up.  They kept a manual breather on him so he could live a little longer.

I told my ex’s family and mine that I wanted to be alone with him when he passed, and they understood.  I still wasn’t on any pain meds at this time, but the pain wasn’t bad.  I laid him on my chest and I talked to him.  I didn’t cry much.  It felt good to hold him.  He was so limp though.  It took about thirty minutes.  He took a gasping breath every now and then.  He even lifted his head a couple times.  But he never opened his eyes.  He was on many drugs to ease his passing.  The doctors had to come in several times and check to see if there was a heart beat.  Finally, there wasn’t.

I seriously looked asian all that week.  My doctor came in my room and said, “Whoa.  Are you having an allergic reaction?”  Lol.  That’s how swollen my eyes were.  He apologized many times.  He said he didn’t understand.  He said all the nurses and doctors were rooting for me and Matthias.  That everyone thought he was going to make it.  He didn’t understand why the lungs weren’t stronger.  And neither did I.  My room was right by the freaking NICU.  So I heard lots of crying babies.  Another slap in the face.  My doctor understood I wanted out of there ASAP, and he let me leave the next day.

I didn’t speak to my family and friends for a month.  I had many texts and phone calls, but I never responded.  I hated everyone.  I deleted my facebook.  My doctor told me to.  Haha.  He said anger and jealousy is normal.  I was.  I was so angry.  Seeing people with multiple babies, getting pregnant with another one.  I just thought to myself, “What the fuck.  This was my first pregnancy.  What. The. Fuck.”

My ex was pretty worried about me.  I was very….out of it.  Let’s just leave it at that.  Dealing with the funeral parlor was awful too.  Who knew cremation was so damn expensive.  Even for a little 4 lb baby.  The hospital paid for $250 of it.  They were so helpful.

I can’t explain the grief I felt.  There are no words.  I wanted to die.  Every day.  I wished I was in an awful car accident that ended my life.  I secretly wished it would happen.  After a little bit, I thought, “How would I kill myself?”  Then I decided.  I would hang myself.  I wanted to do it in the middle of the woods to make sure my family didn’t find me.  I didn’t want them finding me.  I talked to a couple people about it.  They helped me think clearer.

I mean, the death of a baby is awful enough.  But then the ONLY person who understood what I felt decided having sex with a 20 year old was more important than supporting me.  Five weeks after my c-section.  They plotted to get together over Christmas break.  They were both so excited to see each other and be nasty with one another.  Whew.  You think you’ve been through the unimaginable.  Then this.

I thought I wanted to die.  I felt ancient.  I feel ancient.  The amount of grief and awful circumstances I have been through have made me feel old inside.  I’m not going to act like the victim though.  I chose to be in a relationship with an awful person.  I chose to keep the baby.  I chose to allow him back into my life.  I chose all of those.  Because deep down, I want to believe people are good, and that God will reward me.

But I am no different than anyone else.  God will not reward me.  I have to keep the faith that there are good people out there, and that I will be happy again.  The thought of that keeps me going.  My strength only grows with every terrible thing that happens to me.  And I realize that these awful experiences will only help, help others.  Above all. I want to help others.  At this point I have enough experiences to help many, many people.  And that makes me feel good inside.

(Also, even though I have broken both my legs when I flipped my car, I stay optimistic.  I watch funny shows to keep me laughing, and I joke about my situation as much as I can.  Laughing a lot does wonders!)

 

Although he is not in my arms, he will always be in my heart.  Matthias Ryan Newcomb 11/2/15-11/3/15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting Feelings of Discontent

Here lately I’ve noticed an all too familiar feeling of discontent with my life.  This annoying, nagging, negative state of mind has managed to creep into my life over and over since I can remember, and I have always let it control me.  I am at a point in my life where I feel I shouldn’t have these feelings, and that I need to ignore them and continue to move forward.  Doing just that is so freaking hard.  I have noticed it affect me in many different ways.  Anger, irritability, intolerance, sadness, pushing those I care about away, feeling apathetic, and frankly, hating everyone and everything in my life.  I now understand that this selfish, annoying way of thinking is major depression.  While I have been educated on this mental disorder and ways of handling it, I still find it creeping into my life and affecting everything around me.  Not caring about anyone or anything, feeling sorry for myself, and having absolutely no energy to function…..is so annoying.  I absolutely hate it.

Over the past several months I have exercised, taken my medication, and tried to reconnect with loved ones I have lost touch with over the years.  AND STILL, this state of mind has found its way back into my life.  I have realized in my studies and experience that these feelings will eventually pass, but that they will most likely affect me for the rest of my life.  Which sucks.  No matter where my life is going, these episodes will continue to negatively impact my life.  Well once I’ve come to terms with that, I can look at ways to cope with it.

1: Stress is inevitable.  We are living in a time where mental disorders are much more frequent, due to our lifestyle.  Think about it, our lives are freaking stressful and sometimes chaotic.  Much more than they used to be.  Studies have been done on tribes in South America, and numerous other people who live very different lives than people in the United States live, and the rates of mental disorders are significantly lower.  When I say significant, I mean practically 10x lower than people in the U.S.  That’s just a generalization I made up.  But you get the point.  It is sooooo much lower.  Why is that?  Their lives are not filled with worry and stress.  Stress has a huge impact on our mental state, and how we react to it.  My life is completely stressful.  Many people lead very stressful lives, and wonder why they think the way they do.  Think about it.

2: Dealing with stress.  My biggest downfall is when I get super stressed, I become very avoidant.  I just put things out of mind and on the back burner until BAM, holy crap I gotta do this now.  A lot of people are guilty of this, and it’s BAD.  I do it all the time, and I mess a lot of stuff up because of it.  I have so much going on, and so many deadlines and things I have to do that I let it overwhelm me and I end up avoiding all of it until it’s almost too late….or sometimes too late.  My advice?  (That I should take and do because I’m super guilty of this)  Get a calendar, get a notebook, write down all your deadlines, and write down little amounts to do every day.  It makes it seem like less of a big deal, and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna kill you.  You have a ten page paper due in a month?  Cool, work on three pages a week, spread it out.  You have a bill to pay every month?  Set up a direct deposit account, so it takes the money out every month, so you don’t forget to pay it.  One less thing to worry about.

3: Dealing with Depression.  I think everyone can tell when I hate the world.  My statuses and way of talking becomes very, f*ck this, f*ck that, everyone is a douchebag, I hate you.  Blah.  NOTICE THIS IN YOURSELF.  Become self-aware of this, and try to work on it.  Go to the gym.  I run and go to the gym often, and take my anger out there.  That doesn’t seem to be enough lately though, so talking to someone helps.  TALK to people.  VENT.  Don’t harbor that stuff.  It makes you hate people, even more.  I also sleep a lot when I’m depressed.  Like……way too much.  Sleep is another avoidant behavior.  I do it to avoid life, honestly.  And I just really love sleep.  But when I miss class and work because I just stay in bed all day?  That’s a no no.  Get up, make a huge pot of coffee, and drink it.  Caffeine is a good anti-depressant.  Also, maybe running around your house, stretching, playing with your dog, if you don’t have a pet, listen to positive music, heck sing along to it.  That always helps me get in a more positive mood.

4: DO NOT ISOLATE.  This is a huge one.  For me, it is very hard since I work a lot, and am home alone, a lot.  I also live away from all of my friends and family.  So isolating is very easy for me.  And very lonely.  Try to talk on the phone to people.  Which, I’m terrible at.  I need to call people more.

5: Don’t be scared to reach out. I usually don’t want to tell people when I’m depressed because it always seems to make me feel like shit.  “Like, my life is pretty great.  Why am I sad all the damn time?  Stop being so needy and weak, dude.”  That’s what I tell myself.  Which is bad.  It isn’t weak to reach out to people, and it isn’t needy.  Your friends and family are there to help and support you!  If you don’t have a supportive social network, there are many hotlines you can call and vent to that are trained and educated to handle your problems.  And trust me, they can help.

Well I’m done venting.  I just needed to get some stuff off my chest that I know other people could relate to.  Dealing with depression can be done.  Although many people don’t understand it, and still consider it to be a weakness some people to possess, it isn’t.  Depression is real, but it can be managed and lived with, if it is well understood, and if people become self-aware.

WHY I QUIT DRINKING

I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a little while now, so might as well do it around being sober for three months. I’ve always known I had a problem with alcohol and other substances. It wasn’t some moment of clarity or a smack in the face realization. I’ve known since I had alcohol poisoning in high school. I knew when I went out with friends….and was always the one wasted. I knew when I drank way more than everyone else, and much more regularly than most. I knew I had a problem when I wrecked my car, over and over under the influence. I didn’t ever go to jail or rehab, but I did get into trouble with the police. I also never had any serious consequences for my drinking. I have been pulled over several times for drunk driving, and they always let me go. I know. I was awful, but truthfully I just never wanted to stop drinking. It felt good to drink and forget about my problems. Except, I didn’t ever really forget. Which is stuuuuupid. I always remembered in exact detail, something that made me sad or mad that I had refused to acknowledge when I was sober. That’s the issue about burying your problems and not dealing with them. They spring up when ya least expect it. Of course, it reared its ugly head when I was drunk. And it came out as raging anger. There was a reason I’ve been nicknamed “The Hulk” by my friends. I broke stuff, punched people, walls, cussed people out, cut the shit out of myself and was just….a bitch. I was hell bent on my self-destruction.

Another serous problem I had was that I never loved myself or was comfortable with who I was as a person. My childhood was also a constant and painful reminder that I wasn’t worthy of love. (I know this is a bunch of bullshit, but it’s how I felt). You see, it wasn’t really common to show affection in my family. We weren’t a hugging, expressive, and open family. We didn’t talk about the hard stuff, and forget about expressing emotion and affection. It was just how we were. Growing up in an environment like that combined with a very mentally unstable and emotionally cold parent or parents negatively affected my ability to self-love. I don’t blame anyone, and truthfully, I’m grateful for it. People raise their children how they were raised, and it has made me a very strong and passionate person. It probably didn’t help that basically every relationship I’ve been in, I’ve been cheated on and treated like shit.

Ultimately, I realized that who I am when I’m drunk is because of issues in my past I haven’t dealt with properly. And genetics.Addiction and dysfunction run in my family, and my chaotic childhood only exacerbated these issues. I never wanted to face my problems, because they hurt just too damn much. I refused to talk about them, which is why I chose to self-mutilate for so long. I tried therapy when I was a teen, but I was stubborn and hard-headed. Juuuust like my daddy. So of course, that shit didn’t work, because I refused to talk. At all. I literally just sat in her office for an hour, silent. It was super awkward.

Growing up in a town where underage drinking and even driving under the influence is thought of as okay, really didn’t help. I never had consequences for my actions, and frankly, I don’t think anyone else did either. It was just “growing up.” The Midwest has got to stop allowing this crap. For some kids, yeah I guess that’s cool. But for many using substances as an outlet, it’s the start of a chaotic path to self-destruction. One I had chosen when I was 14.

I can’t say if I was an alcoholic or not, but I will say that I was definitely a problem drinker. I maintained living and being successful drinking every night, but I wasn’t happy. At all. Plus, your life doesn’t have to be in ruins for you to be an alcoholic. We see many people today who are “functioning alcoholics.”  They live a day to day life maintaining success and a somewhat “normal life,” but are still chronic alcoholics.

I’m not sure if my decision to be sober is permanent, but I know I will not be drinking any time soon. I am self-aware enough to know that I am not mentally stable to handle alcohol. I’m not sure if I ever will be. I do know that I have received many compliments since quitting and have never been happier, healthier, or more successful. My choice to be sober is not forced, and was no one else’s decision but my own. I can say that I had a couple very positive people in my life that encouraged and motivated me when I wanted to say screw it and just buy a bottle. You know who you are, and I love you guys if you’re reading this.

If you feel your drinking is out of control, makes you question your morals, or embarrasses and makes you feel guilty, you might want to consider sobriety. Aaaaaaand the same is for other substances.

Thanks for reading!!

Tis’ the season to be grateful! So why is everyone b*tching?

It’s that time of year again.  Where everyone is freaking out about what they’re going to buy their loved ones, and how they’re going to surprise them.  Or most of the time, what they’re going to receive for Christmas.  Will it be that huge diamond ring I’ve always wanted?  Will it be a surprise getaway to Jamaica?  Or am I gonna finally get that $30,000 car I’ve always wanted!?

Well I’m going to put it bluntly.  That crap ruins people.  After sitting and watching some of the most selfish behavior by humans, I still don’t understand it.  I’m not excused from it either.  I have selfish wants and desires too.  We would all LOVE to go on a vacation to the Cayman Islands, or heck, take me to Europe.  That will make my lifetime right there.  I also need a new car.  I’m being serious.  I NEED IT.  But let’s be honest, are we in the right time of our lives to go on such frivolous vacations?  Can we really afford that brand new car?  Or are we just buying things to make us happy…for now?  In the long run, do they really, internally fill us up inside?  Or are they just an escape from our dismal unhappiness we call life?

Think about it.  Why do you want those expensive things you want?  Why do you nag and gripe about your life, and ask to be taken on some expensive trip or to receive some expensive gift?  Do those things really make you happy inside?  Or are they covering up something deeper?  For some people, yes.  It does make them truly happy.  Which is deeply saddening to me.  People that are joyed by the material, unimportant things in life, sadden me.

What will this gift do for you?  Will it put you further into debt, therefore creating more stress and putting strain on your relationships?  I mean, you’re happy for that week you’re there, and maybe the week after, but afterwards, what did it serve you?  Sure, a nice car is different.  We deserve to be treated every once in awhile, and it feels good.  It also does good things for our psyche to be treated every once in awhile.  But if these treats or gifts are all that you look forward to in life, and if all you do is work…to go on vacation…what is the purpose of that?  Where is the joy in that?

We should really take a step back and look at the reason why we want materialistic things.  If it’s to make us happy for the moment, maybe we need to take some time and work on ourselves.  Take care of ourselves.  If it’s to fix something wrong in our relationship, well…..maybe we should just look into really fixing it with starting a new hobby or project together, bond and just be happy in each other’s company, couple’s therapy, etc.  If it’s to relieve some stress, go to the gym, get some vitamin C in ya, take a bubble bath, blare music and dance around your house, idk.  (Yes I do all of those things when I’m home alone.)  Do what makes YOU happy.

Now I’m not talking down to people that desire these things, because, heck yeah I desire them too.  But I also know when something is too much.  If what I want requires me to go into debt, be severely stressed out, put strains on my relationships with others, and negatively affect my mood in the long run, I’m out.  I don’t need that right now.  I’ll maybe take some time, get my priorities in order, then come back to that idea when I’m more stable in my life.

We all want, want, want, and take, take take.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we considered being grateful, content, and tried giving instead?  The relationships we have in this life are what’s important, not the things we acquire in it.  Work on those relationship we have now, and quit worrying so much about how material things will make you look to other people.  Truthfully, we don’t care that much anyways.