What first helped me start living the life I want: “An Attitude of Gratitude”.

 

Image result for gratitude happinessI have lived entirely too much of my life focused on everything I didn’t have; comparing myself to others; dwelling on things that didn’t go how I planned , playing my past like a CD on repeat. daily in my head. I was giving all my energy and focus into things I thought would bring me happiness….until I realized the happiness I was searching for was within me the whole time. It didn’t cost a dime. It was just a shift in my attitude, a shift into what I focused on… Introducing the Attitude of Gratitude. I’ll share my own stories to share with you how I discovered the incredible, powerful practice of Gratitude.

I was probably always like this, but at 21 especially; I was an analyst, a girl who rearranged thoughts and things to be more orderly. I craved for life to make sense and I cringed when it didn’t. Life is supposed to be consistent and make sense, right? I thought of life like a predictable simple math problem; 1 +1 will always equal 2. It will equal 2 today, it will equal 2 tomorrow, and it will equal 2 the day after that and all will be well...(As. if. I. had. any. clue).

I focused on what I didn’t have. I focused on who didn’t like me, I focused on what I wasn’t doing instead of what I just accomplished, I focused on others beauty and never remembered I felt beautiful sometimes too. I compared my homes to the Pinterest perfect houses, I’d compare myself to the “got their life together” families, I compared myself to everything I thought I needed that would make me happy. However, on this journey of discovering who I am; I realized my focus was in the opposite direction of where it needed to be.

The biggest example I’ll share with you was when I  also came realized how damaging it was to be focused and comparing my life to others, daily. 

I think I started focusing & comparing myself to others at 14 (because with social media, it’s so hard not too). But I’ll share with you an example of how I truly learned to be grateful for what I had and how everything changed for me. I truly became happier. 

I use to follow these blogs that were lifestyle and design bloggers when I was 21. One particular blogger I followed daily, Refreshing my page on a daily basis to see what she’d write next. I mean, I kinda felt like a stalker, but her life was just so glamorous and I wanted to be her.. She was the first person I constantly compared my life to. (Mistake #354 learned in life). 

Her blog was posted with picture-perfect days making Disney shaped pancakes every morning and setting up a beautiful playroom & learning corner that looked fabulous for her kids to play and learn. . Meanwhile, I constantly battled with the feeling of being thee worst mom ever because a babysitter or daycare was raising my child while I was managing a pool and I had a bedroom for Conner, with only a bed and toys.   (See  how the power of  focusing on others can truly negatively affect every area of life? First, I’m not good enough and now I’m not even a great mother..)  Most of her posts became about style. Every holiday, every time the weather changed., every time they went on a vacation… a post would come out about all the cute clothing items, miscellaneous items, she’d be buying for the trip. So of course, I compared myself to how I couldn’t afford those items, and the negative self talk that we all have would start playing in my head. Each and every time I read these posts. It’s not her posts that made me depressed, it was my focus on wanting what she had, instead of being grateful for what I had. 

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For example, this is her latest post I found (after just revisiting her blog that I stopped following 2 years ago when I started learning more about mental health, happiness and began reading self help books). The post below is identical to what she posted and what I compared my life too. It’s the same posts I followed everyday for years. This week, her post is about her next trip to the beach and here are the “must have items” she suggests we “needed” next time we go to the beach.

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This is an actual piece from her blog, Followed by links on where to buy everything on this list.

I want to make it super clear, I‘m not judging her. There is nothing wrong with her at all living her life the way she does. She’s a fashion, lifestyle, design blogger so that’s what her readers want to see.  I’m using her blog as an example of how my focus on wanting to be her,  and have her life deprived me of time I’ll never get back that I could have been using to grow in my own life. I realized two years ago as I started discovering more about myself, that she is just farther along in her journey than me so she can buy whatever she wants, decorate her house however she likes, spend her time however she pleases and etc. ALSO and  most importantly, we have a much different perspective on life. My family doesn’t usually buy anything, but snacks for the road trip. I go to the beach with whatever we throw together in the suitcase (sometimes we even forget towels) because we’re too excited to be visiting our favorite place. Her and I are very different, just like most of us are, and that’s totally okay. It’s actually what makes this world a great place; we all have something unique to offer. At 21 though, by focusing on what I didn’t have, I felt like I never had enough. My cup was always half empty, in every area of my life. And mainly it was half empty because I was focusing on being her,  My attitude wasn’t in the right spot because what I was Focusing on was in the wrong direction & once I reflected and figured that out; it changed everything, no exaggeration.

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I began to learn the lessons and benefits about Gratitude and the power of what you focus on by reading a positive-psychology book (the books are listed on the page “Inspiration”). I learned that there is actually scientific evidence that your overall happiness when you master the practice of gratitude.

But what does it really mean to be grateful?

For me, the answer is the sense of engulfment you feel when something has made you happy. The feeling of elation you get when you really think about the luxuries in your life.

Try it — stop what you are doing, and think…

Stop and think about what it means to have a solid roof over your head. Stop and think about how you are able to charge your multiple gadgets in your home at any time you want. Stop and think about the high-speed Internet you use to talk to family on the other side of the planet.

It’s one thing to say you are grateful, but I learned you have to feeI it. People often say they are grateful for what they have, but their actions show a completely different side to what they ‘said’. In the beginning, before I actually mastered the practice of an attitude of gratitude; I’d say I’m grateful for my house, yet didn’t  maintain it. I’d say I am grateful for electricity, yet excessively wasted it.

However, I understand that it’s harder in reality to simply tell yourself “Be Grateful” when you just got fired, or when you just got belittled by someone at work or someone you care about,  or when you’re going through depression  & you’re feeling hopeless or you were just broken up with, or etc. etc  It’s hard to shift your focus on being grateful overnight; but it’s not impossible.

 

What I realized was taking baby steps to learn how to be grateful was actually easier than I thought. The best way to truly apply an Attitude of Gratitude is to stop the negative talk in our heads that tell us we aren’t good enough, we are too dumb for that position or we are too ugly for that person to like me. We all have those thoughts that can stay on repeat like a song you put on repeat; but push pause. Than choose to play “next song” and start focusing on the things you can be grateful for by listing them out. If I look around me, I have plenty to be grateful for: A roof over my head, A family, food to eat, having a career to support my loved ones,  being able to pay my bills on time and having clothes on my back.

 

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I got an idea from a friend at church about listing out the things she is grateful for so she can refer back to them when she’s having one of those days.  I loved the idea and for the last 9 months, my family and I started to do the same thing.

On the refrigerator is our families “Attitude of Gratitude” list. By visibly writing down the things you are grateful for, it’s much easier to turn a negative thought and channel that into a positive reminder of what you are grateful to have which than transitions into a focus on Gratitude, an Attitude of Gratitude. This is what worked for me and it’s been incredibly life changing. On the days I come home from work depleted, exhausted or frustrated or on the days my house is a mess and my child is extra rambunctious; I either read over my Attitude of Gratitude List or force myself to think of myself to add one new thing to it that day.  This was my first baby step that helped me develop focusing on the positive things in my life, realizing the unhealthy effects that come from comparing myself to others, learning to live loved and ultimately, living with an Attitude of Gratitude that brings genuine happiness into my life.. 27016718_10208227562606618_1049869282_o (1)

 

Knowing what I know now, If I was to write a lifestyle or design blog: it would look something like this: 

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Check out this really shiny accessory.  I have in my kitchen. It gives me clean water EVERY single TIME I use it; it’s like magic. I don’t need to  walk three miles to get clean water like unfortunately some people have to do. I’m very grateful for this beautiful, shiny thing I call my sink.  

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Next on my “MUST HAVE” list is this beautiful thing called a: table. It’s where I get to eat dinner with my family every night. It’s where I get to watch my son learn and complete his homework. It’s where memories are created when friends come over and we play games and laugh. It’s where my husband and I stay up late talking about life. These aren’t available in third world countries sadly, so I am extra grateful for this beautiful household item I call: my table.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie

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Til next time– Stay strong, stay positive and remember YOU matter!
XO, Carrie

 

 

Finding the Miracles in the Mess: Reflecting back on the lessons I’ve learned as the New Year begins.

Hello and I hope your 2018 is off to a great start.

If your social media sites are anything like mine, every year we see people setting New Years Resolutions and then you’ll see some people claiming how bogus it is to set a “resolution” and ‘expect your life to change overnight’. While I can see where the second half of the people are coming from; that we have 365 days a year to make changes and grow in our life… I also am always very proud and excited to see people voice their New Year Resolutions. After all, I feel it’s not right to judge someone for their motivation to choose the first of the year to make new goals, habits and changes in their life. It’s a start.

Personally, I love New Year Resolutions (even though I try my best to take extra opportunities as often as possible to grow or learn). However… I think personally that there’s something exciting about a fresh start and a new year that is extra motivating to create a vision for how you want to live the next year.

As I was listening to a message by James Silvas (more about him on the page, “INSPIRATION”),  he made such a great point I had never heard before. Sometimes we continue to move forward and make more and more goals to change instead of reflecting on what we learned and what occurred throughout the year that just ended. Not that it’s bad to make a list of new goals, but you might be more successful at achieving those new goals and NY Resolutions if you reflect back on what worked and what didn’t work.

So, I took his advice and recapped the most important lessons I learned in 2017 (and 2016… the roughest years of my life).  This year was the first year I reflected back on the past year when making NY Resolutions & I’ll admit, it was pretty insightful, but emotional. Than I created a vision board for 2018. Something that simply reminds me everyday what I’m working towards.

I titled this blog “Miracles in the Mess” because Life is Hard, as I mentioned in my last post. So this post I’ll continue to challenge myself and be honest and vulnerable. I reflected through the experiences and messes that I have learned throughout past years.

And here is what I came up with as some of the most important lessons I have learned:

You can’ change the circumstances that happen, but you can change your perspective on how you view it. 
Related imageLife has a way of throwing so much at you when it feels like you have your plate filled, am I right? For example, in 2016, my Grandmother whom I view as my always there, most inspiring, parental figure; was diagnosed with a terminal disease right after she retired. It threw me into the deepest depression of my life. I’ve never had to grieve anyone thankfully, but to know that a woman who had a bucket list of items on her Retirement list would never get to accomplish them made me so spiteful. I blamed God for a few months and stopped going to church. I sat around my house for months and didn’t want to hangout with anyone. I was so mad and sad that I had no control over the circumstances in my life so I sought out my counselor’s advice. Her advice was change my attitude about the situation; Since I can’t control it, think of the time I still have and make the most of it which is why I feel strongly that every day is a gift.

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Building the “Healing Garden” with my son after the Mass Shooting in Las Vegas.

Another example of this lesson learned was The October 1st incident when a mass shooting occurred and my best friends and many loved ones were at the concert it occurred at. It affected me (and I wasn’t even at the concert or directly involved), but it affected me because it affected my loved ones so much and my community so much. I couldn’t control anything surrounding this inhuman act of terror. I couldn’t make their loved ones come back or help in the way I wanted too so I felt heartache for months. This was a great example of how my attitude and motto, “Every day is a gift” taught me to change my perspective about the negative circumstances that get thrown our way in life. I couldn’t help give the family answers, I don’t have money to donate to all the people affected like I wanted to, I couldn’t take their pain away (it was physically impossible, unfortunately); but I decided to focus on what I could do to help. Like, taking my son and getting involved in building the “Healing Garden” dedicated to the victims and survivors. I took the initiative to create a “Vegas Strong” motivational shirt that over 100 people bought. Although it’s a small gesture, it was one way I could help at the time. It was something I felt I had to do, something I could do and it was a great example of how my attitude was very much influential in staying positive about such an awful situation. The lesson of learning to change my perspective when I can’t change the circumstances prevented  me from going into depression like I usually do over circumstances I can’t control.

Your story, told by you, is ALL THAT MATTERS!
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I learned last year that people will judge me, anyway. They won’t like me, anyway. I can change everything about me to make certain people happy only to have another group of people judge me and not like the changes I made.  It frustrated me a lot last year on a few separate occasions. People misconstrued my intentions and I felt like many people told my story for me, instead of hearing it from me. I felt like nobody was listening because so many people were quick to speak and slow to listen. Than it finally sunk in; I don’t have to prove anything to anyone else, but myself. Ultimately, God knows the truth. If someone wants to make things up, I have no control over that. If someone doesn’t like me, I have no control over that. What I can control is that my story, told by me and that’s what matters most. If you don’t write your own story than people will write it for you. The miracle in these messes is that I learned I need to understand everyone is different and if people want to criticize us, than let them. That’s their story, not ours. I know it’s easier said than done. Sometimes a phrase lands in your soul with such weight it leaves the deepest impression. I use to collect these phrases like people collect stamps. However, I realized these words were so personally necessary for me. Negative self-talk was a rejection from my past that I had allowed to settle into my core.  Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me. I’ve made progress in this area, but I still have work to do. What I believe now is that the beliefs I hold should hold me up even when life is feeling like it’s falling apart and people’s opinions about me doesn’t need to be a part of my beliefs.

Boundaries are not important, they’re critical to have.
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I believe this quote says it all. I know from experience that I’ve let a few people disrespect me in my life far too long and it wasn’t their fault, it was mine because I didn’t know how to set boundaries or keep them once I tried to set them. Eventually though, I learned takers will take and take from you as long as you give and I learned that because of personal and professional situations. I joined a 12-step woman studies whom I met with every Tuesday for 9 months. These women helped me go through denial (things I was in denial about or just never thought about), I worked on personal inventory for 3 months where I had to reflect on my past and every hurt, habit or hang up I had. After sharing inventory, the woman who guided me closely through the program, helped me identify some character defects I had. One happen to be, setting boundaries. A lot of the messes I went through was because I didn’t know how to set clear and personal boundaries. I learned that boundaries are the key to ensuring relationships are mutually respectful, supportive and caring. I slowly started setting boundaries in every area of my life and I was able to learn who I needed to set boundaries with. I learned that boundaries set the limits for acceptable behavior from those around you, determining whether they feel able to put you down, make fun, or take advantage of your good nature. I still have so much work to do in this area so on my 2018 Vision Board I have “Setting Boundaries” near the top of my list.

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The outline of 2018 goals on our family Vision Board!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F.L.Y- First Love Yourself.
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This year my anxiety was pretty bad. I had frequent panic attacks and struggled daily to ignore the anxiety. One thing I always considered a strength of mine is feeling a responsibility to help others, including strangers; But at one point,I realized it was draining me emotionally, physically and spiritually. That’s when I learned my lesson in this mess.  A good friend told me this analogy that I’ve remembered as I’ve journeyed and focused on learning how to First Love… Myself. The quote was, “You can’t help others if you’re pouring into others from an empty cup and at some point, you’ll be that empty cup“. It was such a good analogy. I love being able to help people and be someone people can rely on, but I don’ know many people who can help people if they’ve depleted them self. I had to realize this year the importance of self-love. I started creating positive mantras that I have posted on my mirror. I read two great books about the importance of self-love. I started finding time again for my hobbies and things I love to do. I learned to play piano again, I started crafting again.  These small changes in my life led me back to a manageable state of anxiety. More importantly, it taught me about the importance of loving yourself, first.

Let. It. Go.
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I was either focused on living in the future or living in the past throughout 2016 and some of 2017. While therapy was helpful to get me to work on my PTSD, learning the art of letting go was one of the biggest miracles that happen out of the messes over the last few years.  I learned if I’m consumed in the future or the past, than I’m missing the most precious moments in life which exists in the present. In addition, I learned by accepting what is and letting go of what was. This at times meant letting go of unhealthy friendships or accepting how people are, even if it bothered me, and letting what they say/how they act/etc…go. After all, they can write their story however they’d like. Their story is not my story so I can let it go, easily. For me though, I think life is too short to worry about things that I can simply let go of. Instead I need to focus on positive things and stay grateful for whom I don’t have to let go of.

My main goal as a mother is to raise a child who
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My childhood was far from perfect. After all, whose is? However, ever since I’ve been 18, I’ve had to retrain my brain to unlearn a lot of the things I thought were normal. When I became a parent, I was determined to break the cycle of insanity that existed on both sides of my family: anger, addictions, lack of unconditional love (just to name a few). I started reading parenting blogs and books while I was pregnant and then my son was born and I soon realized there is no how-to-parent manual for the unique children that come into the world. I learned through the messes of my childhood the importance of raising my child as best as I could, making it my top priority and consistently reminding myself the huge responsibility that I have as a mom; I can’t take breaks from parenting or call in sick. My child is so spontaneous. He will say “hello” to all the strangers in a store and I watch the Seniors smile. He is rambunctious and I swear I think he will be a comedian when he grows up; but Jeff and I firmly believe that we will parent in a way that doesn’t suppress his personality. We want him to shine bright. I don’t want to set limits on his amazing and unique personality. For example, he will dance in front of anyone (School parades, at our church with hundreds of people, in the grocery store).  Of course, we will teach him responsibility, respect, compassion, honesty, etc. However, I don’t want to be the parent that screams over the mess in the house; instead I’ll look at it like we were building memories. I don’t want to be the mom that molds my child into being the good child, when I have one right in front of me. I’ve told him I want him to try his best in school, but I don’t care if he is the smartest kid in class; its most important to be kind. I also noticed because we showed him so much affection as a young child, he has grown up to be a sensitive little boy who expresses when his feelings are hurt and reminds me when I’ve said something I shouldn’t……. So clearly I’m not a perfect parent and I’ll make more mistakes than I already have. However, learning about my mental illnesses and how most of them stemmed from my environment as a child; I make it a top priority that my child (and future children) will not have to recover from their childhood.

Making mistakes is better than faking perfection.Image result for mistake quotes
If you are anything like the old me, I hated when I made mistakes. I had this unrealistic expectation that I could be perfect at almost everything (I laugh looking back at this view now). Mistakes mean you are trying. Mistakes mean you took a chance and now you can learn something new. I’m the type of person that doesn’t need to be reprimanded at work when I make mistakes, I’ll recognize the impact the mistakes had with unspoken words and I’ll learn the lesson that I think is the take away.  Sometimes though, mistakes can be made on a larger and more serious scale. For example, I know people who have addictions and have relapsed. I know someone who died from the mistake of overdosing because he made the mistake of relapsing on drugs. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve hurt people. I’ve tried and I’ve failed at things that meant a lot to me. I’m not proud of the mistakes I’ve made, but I’m grateful for them because they’ve led me to this point in my life where I am right now; they’ve led me to be who I am today.  

So after reflecting on emotional and hard lessons I learned by reflecting on the messy situations and experiences of the last two years, I discovered what worked and what didn’t. This year, I set NY Resolutions and put them on a Vision Board.

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My sister and I had a “Vision Board” party last night with her boyfriend and my husband.  My Vision Board is hanging in the living room as a simple, but significant reminder of everything Jeff and I want to stay focused on
So if you haven’t done this before, I’d highly encourage you to reflect on your past. Maybe have fun with it, invite loved ones over and consider creating a Vision Board so you don’t just have ideas that might not ever come to fruition, but you have a better chance at holding yourself accountable and see your dreams come true.

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The family Vision Board in the Living Room

(PS. If you create a Vision Board, share it! I love seeing other people’s vision boards and NY Resolutions). 

Wishing you all a healthy, happy year; full of continued growth and full of chasing and accomplishing your dreams!

 
Till next time,
XO. Carrie

Maybe we are all a little bit crazy… and that’s okay.   

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I often wonder if anyone else thinks consistently about the stigma of Mental Health Illnesses like I do. My heart breaks when I read about all the teenagers committing suicide whose stories turn viral as they circulate on Facebook or when media sites post the latest statistics on drug overdoses, especially when they are so young and around my age. I think about how much life they had ahead of them and wish they knew they were loved and had other choices, but then I remember how powerful mental illnesses can be. Mental Illness symptoms and thoughts can be stronger than your highest willpower.

I browse through the comments on these tragic suicides or overdose posts and see the comments that are made, filled with such negativity from people who appear so narrow-minded and heartless. I try my best not to judge, after all I’m far from perfect. So when I see the negative comments like, “If you take drugs, you’re going to die… what idiots” or “This is taking the easy way out, I don’t feel bad for them…(referencing suicide) than I talk myself into believing that maybe (and hopefully) the people leaving those negative comments on these stories are probably just VERY ill-informed on the subject of Mental Health.

I remember feeling low and down at times as a teenager and figured as I grew older that it would become a phase I’d grow out of. The first time I paid attention to these feelings  was at 15, right as I was entering sophomore year of high school. Reality hit me not too far after though as I became a mother at the age of 21, a wife, and “adulting” as we say, was in full gear.  Little did I know than but my mental illnesses were in full gear too.

I knew nothing about mental illness, even as a young mother and young adult. What I did know is that I started to not only consistently battle the low mood I had grown custom too, but I began paying closer attention to my  lack of motivation, and feelings of hopelessness.  I now know those symptoms are also known as: Major Depressive Disorder. As life carried on, I began feeling the immense pressure of just everyday life on my chest like ten tons of bricks. I remember at 23, I didn’t know anything about mental health and mental illnesses STILL, but I knew that I wanted to be “happy”.  You know, like the happy you see posted on all the Facebook families or Instagram stories. I wish I knew now what I didn’t know than which is that life isn’t always as it appears and especially on social media. Comparing myself to others was probably the worst thing I should have been doing at that point. However, I continued to do it.

I would celebrate successes like job promotions, vacations, great family times… and life felt normal, for a few weeks… until the depression and anxiety returned like a bad nightmare you hope you never have again; but can’t prevent it from returning every night when you sleep. That “ten pounds of bricks on my chest” feeling is what I now know as anxiety.

Sometimes my anxiety gets triggered, sometimes it just lingers in the back of my mind and I can ignore it and sometimes panic attacks come out of nowhere. The first time it happen, I remember distinctly the feeling of my throat closing and wanting to take a deep breath only to figure out there was no air to breathe. The room starts spinning. I feared I was officially loosing my mind for good and I can hear my heart beating so loud in my head, like I just got done finishing a triathlon. My first panic attack was at 23 and as much as I hate them; Man, do I hate them...that anxiety attack is what saved my life because it led me to what I know now.

I started to see a therapist and was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after only my first appointment. When I first discovered I had these Mental Illnesses, I let these mental illnesses become labels that defined who I was. I believed there was nothing more to me than these 3 diagnosis’s. I thought about them like name tags that I had engraved on every outfit and I didn’t want them to be seen by anyone… so I put on a mask. A mask that would cover the truth about what I really was going through.

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I did everything I could to avoid the reality something was “wrong with me”.  I actually had a mental illness? More than one?! That must mean I’m crazy.  Nobody can know this. Actually I’m not going to believe this myself. I’m sure that therapist was wrong, these feelings will go away. I’ll make them go away, whatever I have to do. These were the thoughts that consumed me and I let the stigma that “It’s not okay to not be okay” run my life for two years, up until last year.

The mask I wore only worsened things. The mask that I wore so long to avoid the stigma that mental illness meant I’m crazy caused me to lose my identity completely. I overcompensated for the fact that these mental illnesses meant I had bad days, sad days, every day anxiety and traumatic memories that occurred throughout the day; but at the time, the terms “Depression”, “Anxiety Disorder”and  “PTSD” was shameful. I wanted my mask to hide these issues and I did so by pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I filled my schedule up with so many things to do so I didn’t need to talk about it, or feel it, or think about it. I ran myself ragged because I refused to “not be okay”. I wanted to prove to the world, and to myself, that I was normal, and okay; But one day, it caught up with me and I was painfully forced to face the music. (That story is for another post….).

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That’s when I realized that I’m not alone. That’s when I realized that Mental Illness is so incredibly common. The problem isn’t Mental Illness, but the problem is that nobody wants to talk about it. It’s looked at like a weakness in society. It’s viewed like there is some magical cures that people with Mental Health issues can use to just simply talk yourself out of being anxious or being depressed. However, asking someone why they are depressed and why can’t they just be happy? Is like asking someone with a flu why they keep throwing up and why they decided to have a fever and keep it?

If people who suffer from depression, anxiety, or any mental illness could control their feelings, they would. If they could just be happy, trust me, they would choose to be happy in a heartbeat. I don’t think any person on this planet that has been diagnosed with Mental Health Illnesses chose to feel that way, in fact, most would tell you that they’d trade the feelings associated with depression or their mental illness for almost anything else in the world.

Today though I stand tall, without my mask anymore. Today I’ve worked through some really tough times to discover the tools I need to manage my mental illnesses. Today I am so proud and I love to be able to say, “THIS is me.. take it or leave it”.

I decided I’m going to write a book this year. I journal on a regular basis, but I’m deciding to adventure into the blogging world because I’m truly passionate about self-growth, owning who you are and most importantly, breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness. Everyone brings something unique into this world. The hard part is taking off the mask to show the world who you really are and shining bright, like you were designed to do.

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The stigma around Mental Illnesses is something I’m not only going to college for so I can live a career where I can help people live wellness in their illness.  It’s also something I’m going to talk and write about in my free time. Because if even one person can read this and know they aren’t alone, and that it’s perfectly OK to not be OK; than I feel the stigma slowly can begin loosing its grip on people.

If you can relate to this, I hope you’ve begun your journey back to loving yourself despite any mental health issues. I hope you realize that those diagnoses aren’t labels, they don’t define you and they are just a part of you. I hope you can realize what I had to learn which is that there are many resources out there to help us live the life we are destined to live; I hope you fight through the tough times to find your passions and pursue your purpose in life.  Our circumstances are all different, but one thing I KNOW is that we all have at least this one thing in common and that is: that YOU were perfectly and intentionally made to live your life just the way you are.

Together, Let’s begin to be Kind to our Mind. 

Till next time,
XO. Carrie

 

 

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