Actually it does matter: Not dismissing your emotions.

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When I get upset I tend to tell myself “it doesn’t matter”. When people get angry they tend to tell themselves that the people they’re angry at “don’t matter”. When big things go wrong in our lives we tend to say “it doesn’t matter”. As if saying this over and over again will make it true, like it will take these things that obviously do matter and make them cease to.

It might seem harmless, but pretending things don’t bother you doesn’t make them stop bothering you, it just suppresses them so they can come back and bite you later. It’s why people bring up long past arguments in fights. Those things were never resolved, and yes, they’re still angry about them, even though the person they are fighting with has long since forgotten them. It’s a surprise to them, which normally makes the fight deteriorate at a rapid speed.

So yes, it does matter, it all matters. If you’re trying to dismiss something because you don’t think it should matter, that’s still something you need to dissect. If it shouldn’t be a big deal you need to figure out why it still feels like a big deal to you. Maybe you don’t need to get the other person involved, maybe it has nothing to do with them. If it is you, you should adjust, but if it’s them, or even a little bit of you both (which it normally is) you need to talk about it. Notice that I said talk, not scream, it’s normally best to calmly discuss things so you don’t end up attacking instead of resolving.

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On Purpose: Leaving the world better than we found it

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“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.”

– Marianne Williamson

There is a lot to say about having a purpose. When you have a purpose you have direction, you have something to work towards. You have something to pour yourself into and you have something that will ultimately fulfill you. Having a purpose is important, and I personally think we have a lot of different ones, and as multidimensional humans we shouldn’t settle for just one.

But there is one that everyone should have, and it’s to do good, to leave the world a better place than you found it. It sounds like an overwhelming thing, to change the world for the better, but that doesn’t have to be overwhelming at all. Little actions change the world. Being loving to your neighbors, doing random acts of kindness, not being the cause of someones pain.

There is a lot of dysfunction in our world, by simply not contributing to it you are helping heal it.

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Who is Anna? Where is Down South?

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I haven’t written a post introducing myself in well over a year. Most my posts include little details about me, but few of them show the big picture. It’s a hard task, because there is a lot to me. Here are some lightning facts:

  • I started riding horses in third grade. I finally got my own at 14. I named him D’Artagnan. It’s pronounced Dar-tan-yon. It’s from The Three Musketeers.
  • I got bit by a horsefly and came down with Lyme Disease immediately after my college graduation. At least I didn’t have to drop out!
  • I majored in my learning disability! I’m super dyslexic and dysgraphic and I majored in English. As they say, if there’s a will there’s a way!
  • I barrel raced all through my childhood, but stopped when I got busy with college, I’m going to try to start again this spring. I’ve missed it.
  • I’m a writer a heart. I once thought that a Youtube channel would have better reach than this blog, the the truth is I’m not a graceful speaker. I’ve always loved words and spilling my thoughts the old fashion way.
  • I was bullied to attempted suicide in 8th grade and was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 6, both of these things have to do with my love for exploring mental illness and restoring mental health.
  • I’m a Christian. I was raised one, but I lost my way in the teens, college brought me back to having a healthy relationship with God. I’ve been working hard to keep it since then.
  • I’m a Marketing Specialist at my day job. It’s my only job actually, it just happens to be during the day.
  • I write novels in my spare time. Mostly fantasy, but I dabble in everything. I have thought about trying to get one published, but I’m in no rush to pursue it.
  • I was raised in a very loving household and still aspire to be my mother when I’m older. I know that my parents are where all my morals come from, even as they’ve shifted and grown as I’ve gotten older.
  • Not to be a typical millennial but I met the love of my life on Tinder when I was 23. He had Lyme too, oddly enough. His is in remission though.
  • I was born, raised, and educated in North Carolina. I’ve traveled a fair bit, but it hasn’t changed the fact that this is home. I always end up wanted to come back.

I think that’s enough to a least get a better grip on who is behind this blog. The Anna to the Down South. Tell me a little about yourself in the comments! I’d like to know you too.

Don’t feed your mental illness: Depression thrives on isolation

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If there is one thing mental illness feeds on it’s the feeling of being completely alone in the world. It thrives when you think that no one could possibly understand, it’s festers when you think that nobody would even care if you were gone.

There’s a lot of ways to help relieve mental illnesses, I’ve talked about some of them before, taking medication, taking care of yourself in basic ways, but the most important thing is not to let yourself grow isolated. Don’t let yourself or your loved ones get cut off from the world. That’s when mental illness is its most dangerous.

I would know, I’ve been there. I was bullied, which forced me to cut ties, after a while I stopped reaching out to the people who still loved me. I let myself sink deep into a toxic kind isolation. I thought that the world would be better without me, because it felt like I was already starting to disappear while I was still breathing. I thought it would be a good thing if I went a step further…

I was deeply wrong, and luckily one day I scared myself enough that I reached out. Telling someone I was suicidal saved my life. Not being alone in my depression was a game changer, and the thing is, it always changes the game.

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Book Review: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

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What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.

Humorous, surprising, and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.

What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant, and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure, and responsibility, distilling the world’s wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith, and human nature while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its listeners.

-Goodreads

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Loneliness: How to try and beat it.

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I saw someone post about being jealous of the characters on Sex and The City for having a close group of friends, it had well over 500 likes, under it were a lot of comments and jokes about being lonely. I see posts like this often, I hear comments about it in person too. People talk about how isolated they feel all the time. They talk about the fear of losing deep and meaningful connections and settling for quick chats. There’s been articles published about the loneliness ‘epidemic’ sweeping across the western world, and debates on if social media makes it worse or better.

I understand it, not because I would define myself as lonely, but because I can see the type of connections I used to have verses the types of connections I have now. My boyfriend excluded, I don’t have a best friend, I haven’t had one since I was in high school. I have friends, and I love them all dearly, but I don’t have one that I rush to talk about almost everything, and I certainly don’t have one that I talk to everyday. Maybe this is part of growing up, maybe we’re meant to trade some of these connections in for ones of a different kind. After all, we get busy, we’re working, we get in romantic relationships, we might just not have the time or energy to be buddies like we were in grade school. I honestly believe this is true, but I also believe that there is more going on here than just that.

I think that as a whole our society is becoming more isolated. I believe that as with most everything, most of this is our own doing. Sure it’s hard to meet people, but I think the real problem is that once we meet people we never get close to them. So how do we change that? How do we move on to being more social?

  • Change your idea of social events: It’s becoming more common to be an introvert than an extrovert and I’m not surprised. We’ve made all social gatherings a production. It’s parties and concerts and shopping, but it doesn’t have to be that way all the time. It can also be two people sitting on the couch catching up or making cookies at home. Social events don’t have to be energy draining, and when they aren’t, we tend to make more room for them because they aren’t taking up our down time but rather adding to it.

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What my chronic illness can teach those who are healthy:

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I backslide in my treatment over the last few months.

Not a ton, mind you, but any backslide is still a regression and it wasn’t one I was happy about. But there was still a lot to be thankful for. I still feel way better than I did when I started treatment over two years ago. One more antibiotic is annoying and it makes my stomach hurt, but it’s still less than I was on. I’m still able to work and go about my daily life, and that’s a big deal, because two years ago I could hardly move from my bed to the couch. Plus, now that I’m taking it, I’m starting to steadily make back the ground that I had lost.

But there’s an important thing to point out. The antibiotics are important but, I only feel like they’re working when I’m taking care of myself. It’s a tricky thing, but finding health with Lyme is a fine balance of taking care of yourself and taking your pills. I find that the pills allowed me the ability care for myself by helping reduce my pain and my fatigue, but without the diet, the exercise, and natural treatments, I might as well still be sick.

It brings me back to all the lessons on health I had learned before Lyme Disease.

We push aside daily wellness when we’re healthy enough. When we don’t have a chronic illness, when we don’t have a disease, or a disorder. Our bodies are functioning and that’s enough for us, we don’t feel like we need to do all the extra work for them to be at their best, because good enough is good enough.

It has a lot to do with our own laziness, our own gluttony, and all the pleasure we find in things that aren’t very healthy to us. It really dawned on me after a few weeks of giving this lifestyle my all so I could get better. I thought “when will I be better enough to stop all of this?”

That’s right, I wanted to know when will I would be better enough to stop being healthy.

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