On the Mend

A few Photos from My DadSo I had been feeling grey. You know, that’s sugarcoating things. I had been depressed, and had fallen to an all time low. The depression stuck with me, no matter what I did, far longer than it ever had before.  Depression is a relentless bitch. Shortly after my last post I started coming out of it, only to plunge in again. Unfortunately, my love and my best friend got the brunt of it. And fortunately for me, they rode it out.

I’ve been doing some fitness challenges, and staying busy at work, and honestly most of the time I feel like I’m just sleepwalking through my days, but it’s better than feeling like I just wanted to burn everything down in my life. My next challenge will be to figure that out… how to stop sleepwalking. But for now, I’m glad that I’m not depressed.

Grey Days

ChangesToday is a difficult day. I haven’t been sleeping well, and last night I had nightmares about personal insecurities and I had a meltdown… on my love. Not a good day at all. I have been on antidepressants before and they just leave me blah. So that’s not a route I care to go down. Pondering therapy today. To what end? I’m just so scrambled. And feeling more lost than before. I need to regroup and I need to figure out how before I show my ass to anyone else.

And I Begin…

Sometimes the rain comesPart of my struggle recently has been with just putting it out there. I can think of a hundred reasons to not bare my soul on here, but at the end of the day this is my space. This is me, and should be a reflection of such. I’ve tried the anonymous blog route, and I just don’t dig it. Not that I’m an attention whore, but because I’m working on being more authentic. So… diving in. Sharing some stuff about myself that I’ve not shared before.

I suffer from depression. Lately it’s been bad enough to pull away from friends and almost totally withdraw. I’ve grown silent. I’ve pulled inward, and all I found at that time was darkness. I’m working on that now.

I’m also working on being able to state my feelings openly. I bottle things up. I put my own feelings last. It’s time for that to end, and that will likely help to ease the depression.

I am an empath. To the bone. I feel so much empathy for others, and I suffer when people I know are suffering (sometimes yes, even when people I don’t know are). That is extremely hard for others to understand, so again, I withdraw. I can’t keep doing that.

How do I fix these things? I guess my first step will be admitting… and examining myself. I need to know all my why’s before I can move forward I think.

I am a Writer, who hasn’t been Writing…

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I’ve spent much of 2016 in a struggle. I began the year in a job from hell. I could tell you horrible things about that job, but what is important are the lessons I received. I learned that I could withstand hell. I withdrew, I went into survival mode, but survive I did. Better yet, I persevered. I held my head high despite my circumstances, and I toughed it out. I searched every single day for a job, and most days I applied for several. I had many interviews, and I was rejected more times than I could count.

What do I have to show for it?

An amazing job that has been a struggle, honestly. But a job in which I am appreciated, and one in which I have to learn new things and push myself every single day. A job that I’m thankful for with every breath.

A smile that has returned to my life.

Shoulders that aren’t knotted constantly.

Friendships from the old job, and from the new.

I had to breathe and make space for this new job, because I had withdrawn, purposefully made myself small to eke through the days. Suddenly I was in a position to bloom, to breathe, to expand again.

I’ve taken my time. I’ve learned enough in my life to know to go slowly when I can afford the luxury. The time has come to write again. To follow my dreams. To spread my wings and learn how to fly again.

Happy 2016

FYI

Quite frankly, I was more than glad to see the end of 2015. It was a rough year. My job of 3 years ended (well, converted to freelance actually) in August, and I took another job. That job? Let’s just say I struggle in it. Its not a good fit. And so I’ve been working every single day for months to get into a new job. Many days I get rejections in my email. Some days I get interviews. I have not given up.

I have, however, been fighting depression. I’ve been struggling to keep my head above water. Many days I’ve been living in black and white, and well, maybe some grey. 2016 is the first in decades in which I didn’t make resolutions or list goals. It’s also the first in at least a half dozen years in which I didn’t pick a word of intent.

I have faith in 2016. I have faith in me, and my relationships, and my drive.

In 2015 I rediscovered my love of painting. I plan to learn more techniques and fine tune my skills. I also plan to write more (remember that sequel?), and submit my work to several places. I also have a dream of having Breaking Free made into a movie (if any of you have tips or connections, please send them my way!).

 

Beginning Again

2015 has been full of challenges. Things have happened to shake me to the core. I’ve made some mistakes, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons. Those lessons continue. They are the kinds of lessons that made me realize I’ve got to rebuild, and start from the beginning.

It’s time to wipe the slate and do what I need to do. For me. Not for anyone else.

It’s also time to let go of things I had held onto.

There are big changes that I need to make. I will no longer do life coaching. I will also no longer seek out new social media clients. I love my current clients and I will continue to serve them, but I won’t be making room for new ones.

I am currently applying to volunteer for a crisis line, working to fill my well.

I am painting, and writing, and working on doing all of the things that make me who I am, all of the wonderful things that help me to shine bright in this world. Releasing the bad, refilling with good, that is the plan for the remainder of 2015.

 

When All You Can do is Survive

Healing

In my life, I am constantly working to better myself, to seek out more freelance clients, to increase my income and to work smarter, not harder.

That being said… sometimes life has other plans. I’ve been dealing with medical issues for 6 weeks (I thought they were resolved a couple weeks ago but then I reacted to the very medication that was supposed to help me). At the same time, the scope of my job changed and I had to re-think my income. All things are still in place, and now, weeks later, I’m calm about the future, but it was a rough, rocky ride.

That medication that I reacted to? Thanks to it, I had days of sobbing on my couch, feeling disconnected, worthless, and like I would never flourish again. Thankfully, my doctor pulled me off of it and we’ll be trying another this coming week. I am honestly a bit concerned about reacting to the new one as well, but I now am aware of how that might possibly feel so I will contact the doctor much quicker next time.

We live in a world where everyone puts the highlight reel of their life on Facebook. You see the smiles and the successes and the joy, with very little of the failures, the stumbles, and the difficulties.

Sometimes, you find yourself barely able to survive. We all do at times.

When you are there, please don’t compare your reality to what you see on Facebook.

I hope that when you are in survival mode that you have a support system. Friends, loved ones, a doctor… a crew to help you to keep your head above water while you are struggling. During my struggles, my love bore a lot of the weight. It was difficult on him, he worried a TON, and he checked up on me constantly. He was my lifeline.

I lost some friends in the process. Some friends chose to trigger me rather than support even after I was open and honest with them. It reminded me of something I had seen a few years ago… “when someone shows you who they are, believe them.” It hurts, but I have seen that it’s time to move on from that friendship.

Sometimes all you can do is survive. I urge you to reach out, find support wherever that may be, disconnect from the anchors, and make it through.

Are you in survival mode? Know you’re not alone. Reach out. You are important, loved, and amazing.

 

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

 

I recently (about a month ago) created an account on start-survey.com in hopes of supplementing my income. And I know. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. However, there was no monetary investment, nor did they need me to give them a ton of information. I just had to create a login, and then watch a video (it was really a commercial for a product), then answer about 6 multiple choice questions. Easy. And it promised $14 per survey, plus you got money when friends signed up (affiliates).

survey

So I dove in. And I even invited friends. Many tried it, others messaged me both publicly and privately about it being a scam. At that point I was curious mostly and wanted to see if it did actually ever pay anything. One hitch was you couldn’t get a payout until you had accumulated $500, and another was that it then took 14 working days to process before it showed up in your paypal.

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I didn’t do the max number of surveys a day, nor did I do it every single day, but finally I got over the $500 hump (honestly I would’ve been more committed had I been certain it would pay out).

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So… even though I had more than 5 affiliates, I still was told to wait the 14 days for payment. At that point I stopped any interaction, marked 14 working days on my calendar and waited.

And guess what? Today was that day. And, surprising no one, there is no payout.

I couldn’t wrap my mind around WHY there would be a site set up like this, but one bit of speculation I heard was that the website owner took a job reviewing videos, then created code to basically have all of us do his work for him while he sits back and gets paid. I don’t know if that’s the case, but don’t bother with this site.

Also… there are a TON of sites with the same format, so look at my pics above and if any of that is the same, I’d recommend staying away.

Assume Positive Intent

coastsunsetLast week, my guy and I were on a road trip to see my family in Utah, as I blogged about in my last post. It was a long drive. Fifteen hours each way, not including stops. Sure, some of that time we took turns while the other napped, some we sang along to the radio, but much of it we filled by talking, as we always do.

There are conversations we always have on road trips: what we would do if we won the lottery (then we always remind each other we have to play in order to win), where we’d travel if money were no object, what hobbies we would enjoy if we had the money/time, childhood memories, future goals, the usual.

This time, at some point, my guy shared with me part of his training at work. During the orientation, part of what they were taught was: assume positive intent. If someone cuts you off in traffic, give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he means well but he has a reason for his actions, for example.

I’ll admit to you… I’m not very good at this. In fact, in my life I’ve gotten so much exercise from jumping to conclusions that I should have nothing but muscle.

However, since that conversation, I’ve had several opportunities to remind myself to assume positive intent. I feel that, like anything we decide to practice, it will become easier, and will come naturally as time goes on.

Today I stumble.  But I get back up again and the next time I remind myself. Assume Positive Intent.

The End Of The World As We Know It

Sometimes, I need a Time OutLast week my guy and I went on vacation to see my family in Utah, with a stop in Idaho to see one of my sisters. I had not seen her for years, and there was a time that we were all looking for her because she had seemingly dropped off the earth. So, to say I was excited at the possibility of seeing her would be an understatement. My hope was to pick her up and take her to Utah so we could all be together, if only for a short time. She had been vacillating about whether she would go or not, so I just hoped that I could see her and at the very least let everyone else know she was doing alright.

After I arrived, she said she’d go with us, but she had to accomplish some tasks first. My guy and I dove in to help her, and got the bulk of the work done, but when all was said and done, she didn’t go with us. As always, there is way more to this story, but in order to respect my privacy and hers, it will stay in my journal where I’m trying to process it.  The visit ended with some photos and long hugs.

While in Utah, I had to make the choice of seeing my oldest sister or not. She had been extremely hurtful to me around the time of my Dad’s death and I had decided to not have any contact, but now she lived in the town we were going to. I knew it would make my brother’s happy for all of us to be together but I thought it would be difficult considering the hurt from before. However, after seeing my Idaho sister, I let the pain go. It was no longer serving me, I realized, and it was time to release. So, we all were around one another and we all got along.

I dove into seeing her, ripping the bandaid off as it were, the first full day there, and a weight was lifted off of me. Astounding, really. I had been holding this grudge for five years. It really is true that the only one I was hurting was myself. She didn’t even remember why I had stopped talking to her, yet here I was (prior to the visit) still seething at the mention of her name. We didn’t hash things out. I didn’t rake her over the coals, I simply let it go. She would be the same either way, but now I’ve begun to heal.

The vacation was good. Tears when I visited Dad’s grave, the pain from missing him was intense and I was raw. Tears several other times, some good and some bad. But by the time we were headed home, we had both made some amazing connections to family. By the end of the trip, I knew that I was changed. And like REM said… “It’s the end of the world as I know it and I feel fine.”