Where Did They Go?

I have been dealing with this for such a long time but it wasn’t until recently when I realized I am the best advocate for myself because some medical personnel like to attribute it to depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, etc. It is definitely easier to slap a mental health diagnosis on someone rather than doing the hard work and truly making a difference. I’m going off track now but my point is…it wasn’t until the last 2-3 years when I noticed my quality of life drastically diminish…along with so-called friends.

Not only was I feeling physically and mentally useless but then my “friends” slowly starting fading until they were gone without a peep! Sure, I wasn’t able to go out as much as them as I was also in school and working. I take my education and career very seriously and it is not something I just do on scheduled days…I take pride in my work and the effort I put forth so yeah, I would much rather use my time productively rather than go to a bar, drink something I didn’t even want to, and leave before them because I am “lame”. Hey, I guess if I’m lame I am being productive in doing so!

I have no idea why I have been extremely upset about them walking out of my life because obviously they weren’t really there to begin with…it was all a facade and did not really matter to them. I will tell you why I am upset…because I do know that…what I really don’t know is why it is bothering me after so much time has passed. I am truly upset about the whole thing because they walked out and didn’t even allow me to get closure. For walking out on me as if the last 15 years never happened was as easy as they proved it to be, I think they could have given me 5-10 minutes, right?

The thing is…miserable people will attract misery. And as much as I’ve been through, I am beyond grateful to be writing this in hopes it could touch someone else’s life and help realize they’re not alone. We don’t need people in our lives just because we want friends or we don’t want to feel lonely because I am pretty sure many people would still have that feeling of loneliness even with those “friends”. Please…always be true to yourself and believe in yourself. You are the only one that matters because what others think are subjective and may change on a weekly basis depending on who they are. At the end of the day, you are the one that has to be in that skin…don’t make it uncomfortable because of a little loneliness that is more or less a temporary feeling for many.

“No one gets out alive…every day is do or die…the one thing you leave behind is how did you love…how did you love…” – Shinedown


What NOT To Say To Someone With a Chronic Illness

Sometimes I wonder what is going through peoples’ head when they open their mouths. If my response to what they say is going to be considered mean or rude than maybe they should think before they speak! No, we’re not lazy…we’re not “just depressed”…we are not exaggerating! People with chronic illness fight their own bodies AS WELL as defend themselves to everyone else because these illnesses hide and the only one who feels that pain is the one who is so sick and tired of fighting but yet…always fights to live another day. So, before you open your mouth to another suffering from a chronic illness…remember what I am about to say.


5. “Mind Over Matter”

So, you are actually telling me that my mind has the strength to take away the physical agony? And I haven’t tried that or thought about it?! NO WAY! This isn’t a mind over matter situation people! Would you go up to someone going through chemotherapy and tell them “mind over matter” about their nausea? Or better yet, tell someone going through chemo that it’s “mind over matter” while they’re vomiting!

4. “You’re Just Being Lazy”

Oh…really? I am so glad that you know my body from the inside-out because that’s not semi-weird. So on top of putting time and effort into my attempt at “mind over matter”…now I’m lazy, huh? Not only does my mind have awesome powers to heal my pain but now I am lazy on top of it…because that’s exactly how I want to live my life but thank you for the reminder of how useless I’ve become! *Thumbs Up*

3. You’re Just Depressed

Please…as if you know how the feeling of uselessness severely affects me each and every day…the constant feeling of helplessness when I am dragging my feet 2 blocks to work…but oh, no, I’m “just depressed”. If you are going to mention my depression, you better get it right and not minimize it…I’ve been defending myself since my body starting going downhill…don’t think for one second I won’t defend my mental health problem either. Imagine running around from doctor to doctor for over 10 years with no answers…no one believing you…attributing it to a mental illness…imagine what kind of hell that is for someone. Do not minimize my feelings by telling me I’m “just depressed”.

2. Is This An Excuse Not To Go?

Yes, I am purposely making my hands and feet go numb while I add a little bit of tingling and pain in my knees, shoulders and neck.

1. You Don’t Look Sick

This statement bothers me the most even though the statement itself makes no sense. Who wakes up and gets ready for work or whatever you are getting ready for with the end goal of looking sick? What exactly does looking sick mean? Should I give up those 5-10 extra minutes of sleep that I desperately need to attempt to look sick?

I know many people do not realize what they say but at the same time, I’d get scolded if I told someone they didn’t look stupid. It’s a matter of respect and thinking about being in someone else’s shoes for an hour…not even a day! Unfortunately, I was not humble enough prior to getting sick because I was self-absorbed and just flat out selfish. I have said the exact words I am suggesting NOT to say to someone with a chronic illness. Just remember…that person is telling you for a reason and has enough confidence and trust to tell you…that should tell you a lot more about the person than them being lazy or depressed

The Ultimate Blow

I am very selective about who I tell my business to, especially because I have been so burned in the past that it is very difficult for me to open up to people. Due to my awesome chronic illnesses, I have lost several friends and my ability to function like a normal woman in her late 20’s….I work all week just so I can practically be immobile for the entire weekend…it is kind of like Groundhog’s day…and some days, I really don’t even want to see my shadow!

Prior to becoming sick, I was a ball of energy and a social butterfly. I could run around and never get tired and unfortunately, at the time, I took that for granted. Had I known then what I know now, every ounce of energy would have been put forth to something meaningful and would be cherished each and every moment rather than taking it as if it was my right because it wasn’t…it was an absolute privilege as I’ve come to realize.

We really do not know what we have until we no longer have it. Simple and routine things like brushing your teeth, showering, and going to work/school/pick up & drop off kids have become things I have to plan. Do I shower the night before work just in case I am running late or should I shower in the morning because I am exhausted already and I haven’t even started work yet.

Recently, my fiance was going to drop something off to our landlord and the landlord said to come another day to save him multiple trips back and forth and my fiance says “it’s not like it bothers me…”

These little things such as being able to make several trips somewhere because we have the energy are the exact things we take for granted with little to know thought about what would happen if we didn’t have that energy. So when I say please take every moment and cherish it…be grateful for the ability…because we truly never know when it could be taken away from us.

My Dark Hole

As many people with mental health issues, I had always felt different from everyone else. I am that person who is in a crowded room and feels completely alone and helpless. Interestingly, I was super out-going, athletic, and as I like to say…a social butterfly. No matter how many people I was around or how many people I was flying like a butterfly around, there was this emptiness inside of me…this dark, empty, lonely hole that was so big it should have scared people away.

I never wanted to be different…I always wanted to fit in…and looking back, I never did find my place with all of those people but for a good reason. I never allowed ANYONE to get close enough to know anything about my dark and lonely void. Hmm…now that I think about it…no wonder I ended up in unhealthy relationships!

This damn black hole grew bigger and bigger as it progressively turned into a dark cloud that followed me around everywhere I went. It was a constant reminder that something was missing. I tried drinking, binging and purging, not eating, fighting, and bullying. I am not proud of any of this but at the time, I wanted this darkness to fade, even if it was a little bit…but that never happened.

I feel that society puts a lot of pressure on people to be “normal” and emphasizes that being “different” is always a negative thing. That damn dark hole and cloud followed me around for 18 years of my life until I finally found the reason it was present in my life for so long…because I was trying to find myself in others rather than putting in the work and effort to create my own identity and be the person I wanted to be…even if some people didn’t like it!

I suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD and I can finally say today that I am proud of who I am and there is no way in hell I will EVER allow a single person…or society…attempt to make me feel otherwise. As I started to grow into the person I feel I was destined to become despite my mental illnesses, the darkness slowly faded until one day, it disappeared. Don’t get me wrong, it likes to try and come around now and then…tear me down…and make me miserable but as long as I have a solid foundation of who I am and love the person I am…that darkness has no power over me.

I feel so many people struggle with finding themselves and establishing their own identity because we are socialized the minute we are born…surrounded by people until AT LEAST 18-years old. Take time for yourself. Find a quiet room, even if it is at a library. Reflect on situations…explore who you are and what you want to become. Examine life experiences and ways they could have been approached differently in order to learn one of the most important skills in life, at least in my opinion, of having an open mind and being able to see different sides. It really gives you an appreciation for how many world-views there are and how ours may not always be the right one, if there even is a right one!

I am proud to say that I love who I am despite my shortcomings because no matter what, everyone has flaws and now…I have the choice to accept them or not based on my own reflection and decision rather than trying to fit in and conform to what is currently acceptable at the time. Never be afraid to BE YOU. The real and true you will always be the most beautiful part of you!