Where I've Been
Hello, there old friend! It’s been a minute. I’ve been wanting to come back for a while and been talking about it with anyone who would listen for even longer. I started this journey with this blog as a means of a creative outlet, and it soon became my own coping mechanism in this crazy world.
Then my world along with the entire world got truly crazy. Things in my life slowly started to unravel about a year ago, and I can honestly say I went from full transparency to fully dark. I’ve been in hiding, and in what most people would call a depression while putting on my happy, social media face externally. I've actually never really believed to have suffered from depression before, but I’ve decided to call this my own form of “seasonal depression.” My season in life that is…
I’ve been through a year of transitions and transformations in the last 365 days that most people go through over decades, if they go through them at all. Because I dealt with severe traumas in my past – the ones I’ve openly shared, and some I haven't, and spoken about before – these “small” bumps that everyone else, including medical professionals, consider traumatic that have come up and I’ve thought, “Oh this is nothing. I’m resilient. I’ve been dealt so much larger than this. I’ll keep going. Keep moving. Keep smiling.”
This keep pushing mentality has been my undoing…
Have you ever heard someone say to push through a sports injury? Or a cold? I am a believer in going to a doctor for your illnesses and healing what ails you. But it set in with my mental health this year and with how I was feeling inside. That I could just push through, and I would take the next step and instead of feeling like I was deeper in the swamp, I would suddenly feel stronger. Well, I wasn’t.
When the stay-at-home orders set in, I went from keeping everything balanced and together with my routine and healthy coping mechanisms to having my life flipped on its head. Hey, I know, so did the world, right? But, at that exact time that it happened, I was in the middle of significant moments of loss and those "small" traumas in my life.
And like all of us, I couldn’t see my friends or family, go to the gym or do any of the "normal" things one would do to cope/overcome/deal. I found myself walking my dog one day in a puddle of tears without truly being able to draw it to one specific reason. I feel like a lot of you may be able to connect to this feeling during the quarantine even if you didn't suffer through a major loss. [Isolation is incredibly lonely and horribly depressing, as is the incredible lift of change that becoming a full-time caregiver while balancing a full-time job. I get it!]
So, where am I now? Well with things opening back up, I am back in my exercise classes and gym. I am taking precautions obviously, but I believe in balancing mental and physical health! I’ve found my way back to a routine. I'm also working in the community with social distancing and masks, of course. These things give you purpose. My motto is and has always been Purpose over Pain, and after only a few weeks of refinding my purpose, I’ve found myself writing again! So, here we are!
I can’t promise I am back weekly... But, I will try my best to recommit to both you and myself, as this blog gives me joy, and I think it provides an outlet for true transparency for mental wellness and the other fun stuff, as well!
Mental Health Resources If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, don’t suffer in silence! There are free and affordable resources to help you get through these times. Here are just a few options for you below:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255): Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential, toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network.
SAMSHA National Helpline (1-800-662-HELP (4357): provides 24/7 confidential assistance in finding local resources in mental health and substance abuse disorders):
National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) offers peer-to-peer support groups in most locations. This in-person group experience provides the opportunity for mutual support and positive impact. You can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who relate to your experiences.
Some federal agencies offer resources for identifying practitioners and assistance in finding low-cost health services. These include:
Health Resources and Services Administration works to improve access to health care. The website has information on finding affordable healthcare, including health centers that offer care on a sliding fee scale.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has information on its website about benefits and eligibility for its programs and how to enroll.
Mental Health and Addiction Insurance Help from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offer resources to help answer questions about insurance coverage for mental health care.
Service members and Veterans have unique needs. https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/veterans provides for their specific needs.