Upswing to a Downswing

IMG_20150702_001321I’ve been off soul searching and discovering for the past little while– and let me tell you it’s been a difficult process. About four years ago, I was clinically diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. It’s not something I often share with people, but every once in a while I find someone who I can connect with you, and share a few options for people.

The 23rd year of my life has been quite the rollercoaster– with getting a concussion, being in two car accidents and to being let go from an employer, it has been a ride. With my 24th birthday around the corner, I’m getting excited to make this year come to an end. But I think this year has taught myself and the people around me many things.

Patience, it is the most important thing. I’ve tried just about everything to not get back into the darkest space in my mind. I’ve tried medications, I’ve tried those medications but on higher dosages– both of which were a no go. I’ve tried going to two different therapists, (which has been proven to be successful in my past) but they did not fall through this time. I have tried new job after job, only to my find my anxiety controls my feet everyday. It’s been the longest process, and I’m not ashamed of where I am today. After my second therapist really left a number on me, I woke up and said today I’m going to do it MY way. I followed my routine, guarded myself around others, slept the right amount, ate the right amount. I am kicking this feeling to the curb. I don’t know how, but I am.

People around you will struggle with this daily as well, you’re not in this battle alone. My friendships and relationships are a constant fight for the greater. I do not mean physically fighting, I mean the internal fight for the best thing. I will continue to do so, daily. You will see it more often than not the “Upswings” and the “Downswings”. The “Upswing” is that high feeling you get from life. You find the joy in each day, love fully and have the clearest vision. The “Downswing” is lull you get, when you’re trying to catch up to everything and it’s all blowing past you, leaving you far behind. I believe my 23rd year was the a downswing, and 24 is fast approaching and I can feel my gears starting to pick it up a notch.

Struggling with severe depression and anxiety is an everyday battle. I often wish I got credit for getting out of bed, or that someone could validate my feelings for me. But unfortunately, I don’t have that. I want everyone who struggles with the common things in life, to know it’s such a great accomplishment to be able to do the smallest things. Hell, I can drive my car alone again! and I’m not scared to do it. I am getting there, bring me my upswing. I’m ready for it.

I use a nifty little site called “Big White Wall”, it’s an open forum for people just like me. We can speak freely about what we feel, and honestly it’s been great. The support I don’t have here with me daily– I get it from there.

There is always an “Upswing” after a “Downswing”, I can’t tell you how long you’ll be waiting, but it will happen. I’ve been waiting for about a year for this moment, and it’s here.

-M.M

 

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Social Media Blues


I don’t know about you guys, but lately I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed by social media. Instagram lately has nothing but engagement posts, marriage pictures or baby pictures. Twitter has nothing but Trump news- which is all too much already. Facebook has become such a different domain than it’s original intentions. All of these things have me questioning whether or not I want to have social media.

I am a avid user of all three of these sites, and I don’t think there’s really anything wrong with them. When I say people are posting all these beautiful photos of their life, I am genuinely happy for these people- definitely. But the other day I found myself sad scrolling threw my feed, and that was a newer feeling.

I had brought this up with my boyfriend saying ‘Why aren’t we travelling over the world?’ and ‘When is it my turn?’. I quickly realized how crazy I sounded and attempted to turn it around, but that pang of jealousy creeped over me. I was so caught up in these people’s magical lives that I fail to realize that they post the best version of their selves. And no, I don’t just mean the picture selfie that there’s 100 different versions of it. I mean, they post what they want the rest of the world to see. So those perfect pictures we all see and “Like”, well there’s so much more to it.

I find it ridiculous that I call myself jealous of these people, hell I’m sure there could be people jealous of my little cat mom life. So WHY is the world like this now? What happened to us that we get so involved with things we really don’t have any attachment to.  I started using Instagram to show people beautiful things- or things that just made me happy. Somewhere along the lines, it has become this huge place to keep your tabs on people you know or used to know and show boat your life.  Sort of what Facebook used to be when we were younger, but this seems more progressive.

It wasn’t until the other day when I had that conversation with my boyfriend, that I realized how much of an affect social media had on people. I was very affected by it, and was feeling quite harshly towards myself. So I can only imagine that people who haven’t had this wonderful little epiphany, what they’re going through.

Your life is so much more than your social media life.

-M.M

 

Summer Days

20414000_10159465528200157_986390665154093923_oSo as most of us are quickly realizing, today is the first day of August. My thoughts consume of ‘Where the fuck did summer go?’, ‘Why am I still not tanned?’ and ‘What have I been doing?’. I always used to find it annoying when I would hear people saying, “Time is going by so quickly”, but now I’m realizing they are not wrong.

Summer used to be a goal for us, it meant relaxation and freedom. Perhaps for some those things still apply, but for many it’s just any other season. We still work, we still have our daily routine and most times we don’t get a chance to escape reality.  When I was a kid, every summer would be a new adventure. It didn’t mean that it had to be exploring half way across the world, but it was something I looked forward to.

I was sitting out on my balcony this morning, little to the traffic and the birds. And I felt more relaxed than I had in a while. I heard the kids laughing while they headed to the park and it reminded me of my summer youth.

Everyday was spent outside; whether it was at the park, jumping on a trampoline, swimming in a friends pool. Everyday was lived how we wanted it.  I look at myself, and wonder what I’ve been doing. My days off are spent cleaning- maybe doing laundry. On the hottest of days I spend it inside watching a show on Netflix. But why? I can tell you that’s probably why I’m not tanned. You cannot get tanned lazing on your couch all day, just saying.

I think we often forget how fortunate we are to experience the beautiful things in this world. We get to experience four different seasons, all with their faults of course. But each one brings us some happiness to our lives. Making the most of your summer though, doesn’t require you to quit your job, or spend all your money. It could be as easy as sitting outside on your balcony listening to the sounds and feeling the sun brush your skin. Maybe it’s taking a walk through the park with your favourite person. Make it what you want.

This is just a reminder that we can still feel the same things we did as children. We can feel the same sort of freedom and relaxation. This time shouldn’t be spend dwelling on the adventures we could have and don’t have because we don’t have the copious amounts of time, or the endless amounts of money (Our parents money). Make them happen, go for it.  Life isn’t expensive if you make it that way.  Enjoy your August.

-M.M

Stages of Unemployment


As I’m nearing my end of my “lovely” unemployment time, I reflect on the many stages of being an “Unemployed Person”. Not all stages are depressing- in fact there are even some happy moments in there.

It all starts with the initial Denial. Maybe you had another job, and you were let go or laid off. Perhaps you’ve just gotten out of University, which trust me that pretty much feels like a full-time job. Whatever point in your life you’re at that moment, well it sucks because you’ve just realized I only have this amount of time before all my money is going to be eaten up by rent, groceries, birthdays, weddings and pretty much everything else adults are expected to pay for. Yup, you’re feeling that deep depression kick in and you know it sucks, but hey this is merely the first stage.

So what now huh? You are currently unemployed and have all this time to yourself. Take a minute and breathe, Relax. Whatever you were locked into before, you aren’t anymore. Allow yourself to stay up an hour later, take a second and have a nice warm bath. Listen to music because you want to listen to it, not because it’s on in the care. Take one minute just for yourself, sleep in a little later. Don’t you feel a little more at ease? You actually had the time to make yourself a healthy lunch instead of buying from that crappy sandwich place. Today is a good day.

So now that you’re relaxed, time to get your ass back into gear. You’ve given yourself a week of full relaxation, you’re completely rested. Lovely. Well now, Motivate Yourself by doing things that are going to make you feel some sort of accomplishment. No, you’re not going to be going to work for 9:00, but you can still get up at 8:00 and start your new routine. Go for a walk, a run or even a bike ride. Start your day working your muscles, exercise is extremely important. Obviously it’s important for your health, but it’s very important for your mental health. I know when I apply myself into being more active everyday, it makes my days feel a little more worth while.

With that motivation always on your mind to better yourself, look at the next obvious step. Get on that Job Hunt. I know it’s gruesome, annoying and the rejection can be overwhelming. But you have to push yourself to continue to apply. Work on your resume. Check at least once everyday, because new opportunities are ALWAYS arising. I had a routine of checking in the morning when I first wake, and then once again after dinner. Jobs will continue to pop up, and no you’re not going to hear from all these jobs but you will know that you tried. One of theses “tries” will eventually become a success story/

I know it’s extremely hard to see the silver lining sometimes during these times, but it IS there. Unemployment is a word that mostly everyone is afraid of, and I don’t know why. Everyone has their own reasons, and yes sometimes it puts you in scary positions. But it’s how you work through all of it, and the overall outcome is successful. If you have a certain amount of time just for yourself, take advantage of it. Explore, create, act, react and see what you can achieve. Sometimes you can even find new things you love, and maybe that can even apply to a future endeavour. Unemployment doesn’t have to be so scary my friends, not at all.

-M.M

 

Binge Watching Sex and the City

I’ve had some extra time on my hands lately, and my first thought with that was “I should binge watch Sex and the City”. If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching that series, it is quite hilarious.

The first time I watched the show, I was a teenager and although I thought I could relate to it, as you get older that “relatable” title really takes the crown. Also- for those of you who think it’s a show just about sex, it’s more than that.

Although my life may not be as glamourous as Carrie Bradshaw’s, with her shoes and her handful of gorgeous men. The conversations between her and her friends, and experiencing your twenties-or in their case, their thirties- is the most relatable part of all. Something that takes part in every episode is the groups casual conversations at brunch. The constant wonder of “Why?” “What’s next?” and “Where does that leave me?” are the most relatable. Carrie Bradshaw has her foundation in her friends, the rest of the parts are just accessories.

So WHY do we worry? Why do we work ourselves up everyday for no reason. As someone who constantly lives in their head, why should I do that when I do have a good life? I don’t have the things that Carrie Bradshaw has, in fact I have it a lot easier than her. BUT yet we still worry, and ask all our friends for whatever kind of advice to solve some mediocre problem.

WHATS NEXT? Well how the hell am I really supposed to know that? When I was a teenager I wanted to be everything and anything in between. I had a conversation with my sister a week ago- and she told me we group up in this society with all these pressures. Go to school, get married in your twenties, own a house and have babies. Yes, that is what I wanted, and everyday I beat myself up that I still have to rent an apartment. But let’s be serious- I’m 23 almost 24, I don’t need to own a home. I do NOT need to be putting this internal and external pressure on myself to have it all together. If it happens, it WILL happen. And I’m not going to rush or push it.

So, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME? I’m honestly not quite sure. I’d like to say have these little realizations from time to time would leave me feeling more fulfilled. But nope, in fact it leaves me a little lost. But optimism is the key point. Goals are good, but drastic goals are too much.

At the end of every episode, Carrie always makes a statement at the end. What I’ve gathered from those, is that almost all of them end on a optimistic note. A sound of hope and at the end of the battle the girls each faced. You can be an optimist or a pessimist. You can make that final call. Most days I am the sarcastic pessimist, but today I’m choosing to be the optimist. Although it isn’t easy, it’s a work in process.

-M.M

Depression, The Big Enemy.

PhotoGrid_1495345129612.jpgOh depression. Where to begin, where to end. Well, it all starts different for everyone. And everyone deals with it in a different way as well. I wish I could say I’ve overcome this deep depression, but everyday is a continuous battle.

I went for years with no help, no guidance and it lead me know where. It wasn’t until, I was pushed just the tiniest step where I could finally see the path ahead of me. I’ve tried medication, although I was hesitant at first the first time around it was beneficial. I’ve also tried therapy, and honestly that was the best decision I ever made. Having someone impartial to the situation, allowed me to open up much more freely and comfortably. There are so many things that need to be there for you in order for your recovery to any sort of happiness though. And most of all, it takes time. Lots and lots of time.

  1. You are note alone: I know it’s annoying to keep reading these things. And I get it, you feel alone. Hell I feel alone 98% of the time, and I am surrounded by my loved ones constantly. I get it, it doesn’t make a difference. But look at the big picture, you have friends or a significant other. Maybe they don’t see where you’re heads at most of the time, but tell them. Telling someone or anyone is a step in the right direction. And when you do, you WILL be on their minds. Trust me, they won’t ignore you.
  2. You have to find motivation: I was explaining to my boyfriend my lack of motivation, for me I have a hard time pushing myself to do physical activities that I love. I know I feel guilt when I have plans with someone and I know I will let them down if I can’t make it. So when I’m out, and I’m being social. I remind myself that I MADE IT out.  Something motivated me to get there, so that tiny little piece can push me that much further in the right direction.
  3. Be Social: Don’t be a hermit, it’s not okay. Shower, get yourself together and go be social. I haven’t had many issues with this because I am a social girl to begin with. But, I do have a lot more anxiety towards being social now. Maybe it’s hard for you to go and socialize with your friends in a public setting. When I feel down, I call my mom. I’m extremely fortunate to have a wonderful relationship with her. But, whenever I’m feeling anxious I give her a call. I tell her that I’m upset, but I don’t want to talk about that. I always say I want to hear something happy, give me a story. And she does exactly that, and for a minute it’s like it feels right. No one trying to pester me to figure out how to fix me. Just, genuine conversation. Some days that minor social interaction is all I need.

Depression never gets easier, but it isn’t who you are. I can only say a few things here and there in this topic, because everyone is different. But once you see a bit of path ahead of you, follow it.

Sometimes we can’t see tomorrow, or a year from now. But look how far you’ve come, maybe it hasn’t all been great, sure. But who is to say that the next great thing isn’t down the road? It could be tomorrow. Optimism is important, and although we don’t see it as much as we should. It’s always still there. There’s always a tomorrow.

-M.M

Oh the Joy of Writing

2017-05-26_02.14.12.jpgIt’s a wonderful feeling when you actually begin to feel inspired isn’t it? The words pour out and your fingers never stop typing. That is until you hit that magical ‘What the fuck’ moment. What the hell am I writing?

I have about three different journals, all used for different purposes.

  1. I have the “Everyday Journal”. I document the feelings of happiness and sadness. Nothing inspirational, Just the ‘I hate the world’ kind of crap.
  2. Then, I have the “Memories Journal”, and yes I know what you’re thinking. It does differ from the first one because these are long lost memories and that sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of. This journal has no specific dates, just feelings and the memories and impressions it left behind.
  3. Lastly, I have my “Inspiration Journal”. This guy is the most messed up one of all. It adds both the “Everyday” and “Memories” journals together. But, it twists those events into some other version of the truth.

Every piece of writing is important, and I know from my works. The best part is combining all three of those journals into my pieces. You grab the feelings of today, take the situation of three years ago and create a whole new ending.

But why is it so hard to create something so appealing? Time and time again, I find myself inspired in the wee hours of night writing monologues. Only to find the next day my crazy idea was horrendously written.

In university I had to write monologues every week for my playwriting class. I spent countless amount of hours trying to please my professor, and she was never pleased with anything I wrote. She wanted more every time. Specifically one time, I was asked to write a piece on a relationship, whether it was a romantic relationship or a family one, it needed to feel real. I wrote the monologue in ten minutes, and I thought it was the worst piece I’d ever written. It was jumbles of words thrown together, raw emotion. My professor loved it, and for the longest time I couldn’t comprehend why.

I understand now that it was my writing, it wasn’t edited five times over. I didn’t delete any words. I just wrote, and felt every emotion. I created this gorgeous piece just from allowing myself to give in to it. Yes, it might have been shit. But she saw the wheels turning in my head somehow. She knew I was headed in the right direction, she saw something I didn’t see at the time. Potential.

That all being said, I often delete word after word until I think it fits correctly. But, drafting has been the biggest process of it all. Your first write, certainly won’t be your last. It’s a draft for your next bigger and better idea. I have a whole damn journal full of my drafts.

Just remember, it’s always a little bit of yesterdays emotion, last year’s memory and also your own creative spin. These three steps have inspired me through out the last couple months, and yes it’s a rough process. But everyday is a new inspiration and perhaps someday they’ll be blended together into something better and stronger.

-M.M