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My blog is as much about beauty as it is about the turmoil beneath the surface. It took me thirty years to embrace my feminine side, because I never felt pretty. It was always so much work, and if you’ve battled depression, you know that sort of effort is doubled. When I lost my dad, it was a wake up call. I needed to get my own issues under control while I’m still young. Anxiety and depression run in my family, and while I’ve been treated for them as early as 23, I didn’t realize what an impact they have on my health and future until recently. This blog has not only been a chronicle of my exploration of cosmetics, it’s also a journal of my mental well-being. Here are a selection of entries to follow along, so you can see the differences between a happily medicated 30 something, and an unmedicated bundle of nerves.
Anxiety Ate My Nails – 10/08/14 When I was able to grow my nails out, I started to feel more presentable, which gave me the boost I needed to start this adventure.
Little Weird Girl – 10/14/14 About my past and my need to appear “normal” to find employment.
Confessions of an Ex-Nailbiter – 10/15/14 Making amazing progress on the nail growth, I went from feeling happy with a tiny personal accomplishment to feeling confident when others began to notice and compliment me.
Water AND Light – 11/05/14 What happens when money is tight, the truck needs work, the weather doesn’t cooperate, and you’re falling behind on deadlines? You’re given a chance to see your strength in action. I may not have felt strong, but I got through it all the same.
Happy Face Basket – 1/29/15 In an effort to incorporate a little positivity into my daily routine, I put together a basket full of inspirational quotes tied to washcloths. Every day when I go to wash my face, I get a message to think about. When I’m done, I respond to the quote and put it in a jar to read again when I’m finished with the basket. It was a beautiful experience.
I Want it All – 1/30/15 A moment of sheer optimism about my totally undecided future.
Book Review: I Hate Myselfie – 3/17/15 This one falls under mental health, because the author struggles with various self-image issues, and I recommend his book to anyone who feels late to the game.
Time Out – 3/25/15 Recovering from a cold, but still kicking, I received a book recommendation from a friend. Hardcore Self-Help is a good read if you’ve suspected you may need to see a professional for your problems. It gives you an introduction to the language related to anxiety disorders, and helps you put words to a vague unwellness so that you can get better help. The coping techniques in the back of the book are great too.
The Road so Far – 5/17/15 A look back at my progress after 100 posts. Things have changed, and I’m feeling more confident. It’s a happy time for me.
The Benefits of Spinning Poi – 7/20/15 I haven’t talked about anxiety for quite a while, and I’m feeling strong enough to start working on my body. I don’t go into details on mental health, but I can’t stress enough the value of play for anxiety treatment. It’s easier to empty your mind when you’re focused on music and movement, and this workout will wear out the tension that’s built up. Plus, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something, rather than letting anxiety wear you down for nothing.
Book Review: I Can Barely Take Care of Myself – 7/26/15 This would be my hardest day since the start of my journey. I’d run out of anxiety meds, but thought I could handle it. I didn’t realize how much of my life I was neglecting, but it was putting extreme tension on my relationship with my mother. We came to verbal blows over the subject of this book, and it turns out she was feeling very lonely and neglected. This was also the three year mark of the last time I took out my anxiety on myself, and three years later I was fighting the battle to keep that timer moving forward. This was a low point for me, but I found some relief in this book, because I felt like someone else understood me.
Art for Stress Relief – 7/31/15 This is me trying to cope, because I know I have to wait until I have the money to see my doctor again. I know that I need meds at this point, but I also know that I’ve got to do something to pass the time. I still haven’t patched things over with my mom at this point, and she has no idea that my lack of communication is due to my lack of ability to handle life. All she knows is I don’t speak to her as often as she’d like, and that I’m upset with her for wanting grandchildren. So I draw. I doodle. I color. I think about shapes and colors, and I forget the things that are wearing me down.
Beneath the Surface: Anxiety & Depression – 8/11/15 The day I admitted that my quality of life depended an awful lot on the medication I was taking, and that without it I’m just a human puddle. I’m determined to get back on the pills just as soon as I can, and I will find a way to make that happen.
8/17/15 I have an appointment this week to see the doctor. I’ll get my thyroid dosage adjusted and get back on anxiety meds. I know now that this will be a lifelong requirement, but that my life is so much better when I have them.
You Are What You Drive – 2/15/16 Learning how much the vehicle I drive impacts my self-worth, I make some needed improvements.
5/18/16 Mental health is a sticky subject, especially when you also require thyroid supplements. Since thyroid levels can fluctuate, those feelings of anxiety could be because your thyroid is working harder and your medication needs to be decreased, and your sensations of depression might be that your dosage needs to be increased. Previously, I had to have my dosage changed because I was having panic attacks. Then the next year, I had to have it raised again. It should be high right now, but I feel like it needs to be increased.
8/30/16 Confession time! Yesterday was really rough for me. I’ve been taking my meds consistently, and they’ve been working, but yesterday I felt more empty than I’ve felt in a very long time. I had work to do before I could upload my September newsletter to Patreon, but with only a couple days left, and absolutely no patrons (even for $1), I decided to pull the plug until I can come up with a better plan. I’d put a lot of work into it, and my friends had been very supportive of the idea, giving me the confidence to move forward. It just didn’t pan out. It was also a little freeing. Not having a deadline meant I had no plans anymore. I even toyed around with the idea of going silent on social media for a while. Not posting or interacting, but still checking messages. Spending time looking at beautiful things only. Being inspired, but being a quiet observer. I was ready to take it a step further and walk away from my blog. It’s so different from the original idea that it needs a rebrand. I’m cutting product reviews out. It was fun, and I got a lot of free (if we’re not accounting for time and effort) stuff to try, but you have to jump through so many hoops and post so much empty content that it’s not even worth it. I’m cutting back on monthly subs. I think I enjoyed the surprises and discovering new things, but could easily accomplish this by watching what surprises others receive and then seeking out things I would like to have on my own. It’s a time to pare down my life. I held onto hobbies that I always planned to get back into, but never did. I could leave behind so much, but I’m not sure what would be left. Those thoughts hung over my head all day. “I release myself from imaginary deadlines.” That’s a relief, but also the most terrifying thought, because without plans and goals, what do I do? I don’t like my job enough to put all my energy into it instead, but it’s the only thing I have energy for right now. I need to just take a step back and put things back together again.
3/27/17 – Anxiety strikes at the grocery store. It’s been a while since I’ve had an attack, but I’m doing much better now. I was actually taking my pills as prescribed when this happened. I don’t attempt much when I’m out of pills, because one of the strange withdrawal effects of citalopram is low blood pressure after meals. I hate that feeling. It feels like weightlessness. Legit, there’s no such thing as “just a couple days” with this stuff. You won’t be okay if you miss a couple. I get anxiety from the feeling I get from low blood pressure.
http://www.mentalhealth.gov/ For general mental health.
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 1 (800) 273-8255 <—If you need help now, CALL THIS NUMBER!