“You Don’t Look Sick” – Why You Should Stop Saying This

A few weeks ago, I went to the doctor to discuss an extension on medical leave that I had. I had a conversation with him about what I was experiencing in relation to my depression and anxiety. During the conversation, he made a statement to me that sort of bothered me. He said “you don’t look like the typical person to have anxiety. You look pretty put together to me.”

My response, which was a bit laced with sarcasm and irritation, was, “well, I’ve learned to live with it; and that’s not been the best solution to the problem.”

Now, I understand that this was 1. Not a psychiatrist or psychologist, and he probably didn’t mean it in a way that would have been condescending to me, and 2. He hasn’t been the one seeing me for the past five months, so he’s gauging his interaction of me off one visit; however, it did bother just a bit, because this is a statement heard all the time in a community of people suffering with mental illness, or an illness that doesn’t mean you “look sick” all the time.

I rarely did speak about the anxiety and depression I have gone through for this very reason. Because it was something that was not apparent, or something that was physical in nature, I continued to minimize it; even saying to myself, “well you’re not really sick, you’re just having a bad day.” I allowed myself to do that, all while putting myself through mental and emotional hell for not addressing it properly. Today, that is something I’m not very proud of, and wished I would have addressed these things sooner. I would possibly be in a better place on how to address it. For a long time, I refused to talk about what bothered me; most of the time I could not even develop a “valid” reason for my emotional mood swings or anxiety. Before I could allow anyone else in the help support me, I first had to choose myself and begin to find the healing in myself to accept that what I was going through was real, it was valid and it does require support, encouragement and daily motivation to get past.

I don’t really hold any ill will towards my doctor, but I honestly do wish that people would understand that anxiety and depression are very silent mental illnesses. A lot of people internalize their pain and symptoms. If they are like me, then they continue to move through life daily, doing what they have to do, sacrificing everything they have for others before helping themselves. I’ve always been like this, and only recently did I gain enough courage to admit to myself that I’m not ok sometimes, and that is something I shouldn’t be ashamed of. I’m proud to say that I have spoken up more about my anxiety, I’ve let friends and family know when I’m not having a good day emotionally, and I’ve received respect and understanding of that.

I know there are many people in this world who may suffer; some reading this post, and others who may know someone who suffers in silence. All I ask is that for those who know someone, please support them. Don’t push them too hard, but just be there for them. They need support more than anything because these illnesses are not easy to accept, nor are they easy to talk about.

Also, please, don’t tell someone who may be suffering that they don’t look like what your traditional ill person would appear to be. Just because an illness isn’t blatantly present, doesn’t make it any less real and serious.

Taking it one day at a time. 🖤

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A Social Media Pause for the Cause

I believe it is time for a pause on social media; and by pause, I mean particularly posting on my social media.

I feel at this time, the only things that I can really express is negative energy. I have a lot of personal things going on at the moment, with really no outlet in sight on how to express them properly; so I have been making the not-so-right choice in expressing myself via social media. This is typically something I do not like to do, as I do not like to have that slight mirror into my personal dealings. In light of this discovery, I feel like it is best to keep myself a little more private than I typically would.

You may see me lurking around, looking at things, but not saying much. I will still have my blog and comment and post things, I also will continue to use my Twitter and Author page on FB for content and ways to promote my book; however, anything of a social and recreational nature will get a little pause from me until I can find ways to appropriately separate my personal feelings from my online social environment.

Until next time friends….

The Power in a Silent Presence

Sometimes, silence is truly golden. It is a lost art form in some; however, what many don’t realize is sometimes silence is all someone needs to obtain peace.

There are times when words cannot be expressed. Sometimes it’s just not the right time, or the right words do no form.

Sometimes, you just need presence. No judgement, no advice, not even deep-level understanding. Sometimes you just need silent presence.

Silent presence to someone who needs it most still shows that you care. It shows that even if you’re not sure of the right words, you’re willing to be there in case you’re needed.

And being needed could mean lending your shoulder to cry on, your hand to hold, even your ear to listen, your eyes to read something someone couldn’t verbalize. Sometimes, you’re just needed, and it’s just as important as anything else.

Just wanted to send this out to anyone who needs a presence, and to anyone who feels lost in how to help a friend in need; sometimes we just need you to be there. It’s a lot simpler than you think 🙂.

🖤

How To Take Care of The Right Brain

Many times we talk about self-care, and how important it is to take time out to yourself (it is actually a requirement of mine). What we don’t think about, is to how to also take care of our creative mind. It actually is quite simple, as a lot of the thing you would do to take care of yourself, also will allow you to take care of the part of your brain that thrives in the creativity department. So, to get an idea of how to give your brain the dedicated self-care it deserves, think about these few things when you’re taking the time out for yourself:

  1. Adequate rest – in my humble opinion, a restful mind is a creative mind. Getting an adequate amount of rest and recharging will aide in better productivity and more creativity when working on different projects. I know society’s perspective is 7-9 hours; however, I can function on 6-7. You also have to know your body, because too much sleep can then make you a lot more tired than you were before.
  2. Filling your head with knowledge – I believe that the world is nothing but a big classroom, filled with tools and resources for knowledge. I try to do better at reading the news, different articles about certain topics, writing (or typing if I’m in my phone) random thoughts or ideas that come to me, anything that would help push along the creative rush. I feel the more I learn, the more creative I will be, and I’ll be able to lean on different topics to gain more ideas.
  3. Meditation – sometimes, I find bringing my mind to a certain level of stillness makes me more positive and more productive in the long run.
  4. Positive thought process – if my mind is clouded with negativity, my creative mind is stifled. Writer’s block creeps in, ideas do not flow, a whole mess.

All of these are amazing tips to incorporate into your daily life, because protecting our creativity is important. Those of us who thrive on the idea of creativity and shining in our given talents need to take into account the idea of taking care of ourselves, and our ability to create.

Dealing with Downs

Most times, I enjoy writing things that people could relate to.  I’m not like other bloggers; I don’t have a “niche” per se, I don’t have a specific thing that I want to talk about all the time on my blog.  But, if you could ball my creative side up and put it into a category, I would call it “Life.”  That’s what I enjoy writing about; sometimes my innermost thoughts, sometimes the things that you are thinking but just won’t say, but most importantly I like to write about the things that I feel the person to my left or right of me is going through also, but are too afraid to bring it to light.  I believe that everyone sometimes has similar problems or trials in life, and we all just need someone to sit down and talk to them about it.

So, with that being said, here is mine.  As I’m sure the greater 475+ of you have noticed, I haven’t written much in a period of about 2-3 months.  I haven’t been on my blog, I haven’t promoted anything, and honestly I haven’t even finished the projects that I intent to publish very soon.  Mentally, I haven’t been in the headspace to create anything that I feel people would care about, but I felt like if nothing more, someone could relate to this very post.  Emotionally, I’ve been on a roller coaster.  It’s something that I don’t want to put so much effort into disclosing, but just know that there are times when you can be at your lowest, and in a split second be on a high; eventually, you ride that high all the way back down to a low point, and that could last for a long while.  I feel just like that, like I’ve been riding an emotional wave between high and low for a while now.  Some days I’ll sit down and crank out 10,000 words for my book or have really good content to write for my blog, and another day I may not have the motivation to do anything and that could last for days.

Sometimes, I am at a complete loss on how to move past those down moments.  It’s really not a fun place to be in. I know there may be several people in the world, creatives especially, that may go through these moments of lows when it comes to doing what you’re passionate about. First and foremost, I have to say keep pushing. No low moment lasts forever, and with proper self-care and self-love, you can pull yourself out. Some of the things I enjoy doing are listening to music, meditating, working out or just basically having alone time and thinking about positive things. I re-read affirmations I have written and journal constantly to try and vent my feelings, but also bring myself out of said funk. I urge anyone going through something similar to find what hobbies and activities put you in your happy place, and build off of those.

For me, I am currently in “pull yourself out of it” mode, and with that will come more writing, more content and overall more happiness.

Stay with me, I’ll be just fine. 🖤

Self-Care Sunday: Give Your Goal a “Why”

As we near the end of the first month of 2018, a lot of us are checking in with ourselves and making sure that our goals and intentions for 2018 are still in tact; while most of us have already fallen by the wayside at Week 2. While we all had lofty goals and everything sounded good on 1/1/18, by now I’m sure some of us may be slipping into old habits and forgetting why we set goals in the first place. One way we can overcome this hurdle, is by remembering one important question in all of this; “Why?”

“Why did you choose this goal over any others for the year to achieve? Why did you want this to be the one thing you focused on? Why did you want to succeed in this particular area in your life?” These are just a few of the questions that begin to build a foundation to finding out some fascinating information about yourself, and about the intentions you set in motion for your year ahead.

I am no stranger to this bad habit, and there have been many years that I have fallen into this self-inflicted trap; and by February, I was back to my bad habits. For 2018, I am trying to do things a little differently, and this year, I think one way to combat that first month of the year burnout, is to sit down with your list of goals and really dig glen to the root of why you made those goals in the first place.

If you have more than one, maybe they all tie into one common “why” for the 2018 year, or maybe you have different “why’s” for each goal; either way, each goal has an overall reason why you want to achieve it, and you have a right to yourself to find out what that is, and you owe it to yourself to commit to staying consistent with those goals.

Once you are able to really determine the why behind your overall goals, the mission for your life may appear a lot clearer to you, and also, your goal may seem a lot more important if you remember that there is actually a deeper reasoning behind all of this. You deserve to give yourself 100% effort towards working with achieving whatever you set out for yourself in order to make this a more positive and prosperous year ahead and sometimes it takes a little self-reflection to see that.

Asking yourself the question why also gives you the room to understand and know whether or not you need to alter or change your goals for the year. It’s never too late to make life changes, and sometimes you find that something you thought is for you, turns out to not be in your best interest after all. If that happens, you just have to learn to adjust your goals and put new ones in place. Life changes in an instant and nothing in this world I believe is meant to remain consistent. If things are meant to be changed then they can be changed and will be changed.

As we begin to dive into 2018, I encourage all of us to do some check-ins and definitely ask yourself the hard question of “why”. Find out why the goals we put forth are important, what will they do for our lives and how they will impact us positively. If they will not have any benefit to us, make some changes, but if they need to be modified, put forth the best effort into them that you can, because ultimately, you are the one striving to achieve them, and you want to be proud of the plan you put in place for yourself and what your were able to accomplish at the end of the year.