Your inner voice is telling you more about your mental health than you know.

I’ve been stressed lately. We’ve had a queue of bad events coursing through my family lately, everything from ill health to work problems. December and January  were busy, but we’re starting to see the light (maybe, hopefully?).

I knew that the stress was bothering me, like it would anyone, but I thought it ended there. I was keeping up with everything, handling what needed to be handled. It was going as well as it could.

Then that little voice in the back of my head started nagging me again, and I mean that in the rudest of ways. When I’m over-stressed, run down, anxious, or depressed my mind doesn’t stop with the negativity and it starts directing it at me.

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Book Review: Once Upon A River

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“On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.
Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.
Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.”
-Goodreads

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Over a year without politics on my social media: Where I stand now.

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I made a few posts about cutting out the toxin that is social media politics. (x, x) People get bitter, mean, and downright nasty when it comes to politics, and when you take away the face to face aspect they get much, much worse. I went down a rabbit hole at the beginning of my Lyme Disease sickness and learned everything there was to know about the political situations of that time. I knew everything and I was always… mad, angry, hurt, judgmental. I was getting emotions that I didn’t like, and they weren’t all from the actual politics, but mostly the people talking about them, and how they were doing it.

So I blocked it all. I took out the trash. I don’t follow most my Facebook friends. I muted almost every political word on Twitter. At first it felt a little empty, because I had gotten so used to all the yelling, but then, it became wonderful. I started following people who had the same hobbies as me. I started branching out. Then suddenly the places that were filled with anger were suddenly filled with joy.

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Coming to terms with Change.

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I’ve always hated change. When I was a kid I got really upset when my mom rearranged the furniture in the den to create a different layout. I’ve always like consistency, maybe it’s because I am bipolar and I cling to stable and steady things to keep me grounded. But I don’t want to use that as an excuse, mainly because I refuse to let my emotional disorder control me, but also because it’s a lame reason.

Things change, you just have to accept it.

And I have- to a certain degree. I’ve at the very least accepted progress. I’ve accepted that my life will advance. Good change is welcome, sometimes it still gives me a pit in my stomach because it is unknown, but I don’t let it slow me down any.

It’s the bad and neutral change that gets me, the change that sneaks up when your not paying attention and you have to face the fact that you’ve just been hit over the head with something that will alter everything.

Yikes, even writing that made me whence.

It’s hard to accept that change, especially if you’re not one of those people who simply go with the flow. Maybe your more like me and the flow takes you kicking and screaming. I’m not judging you, I don’t think anyone likes getting knocked off their feet. It should trigger your fight or flight instincts.

So, how do you get accustomed to it? How do you become civil with change?

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Losing two years to Lyme Disease: What it taught me.

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I lost two years to Lyme Disease, there is no way to sugarcoat that. Two years of my early twenties got flushed down the tubes, they were spent in unbearable amounts of pain on the sofa. I couldn’t drive, couldn’t work, couldn’t see my friends, I used all my energy to bathe myself. It was difficult. It was terrible, but two years simply vanished in front of me.

It’s a harsh reality, but as we start this new decade I find myself not mourning those two years. It’s not because in retrospect they weren’t that bad (because they really truly where) it’s just that those two years played a special role in my life.

They taught me perspective and gave me sympathy for the sick and disabled in ways I’ve never experienced before, but they also reshaped me. You see, when you’re that sick and that unable you spend a lot of time thinking, you spend a lot of time evaluating, and dang, if I didn’t spend a lot of time praying.

Our early adulthood years are formative, college had taken my brain and worked on it and worked on it. My years on campus and in class had reshaped my brain, and some of that molding was amazing, but some of it needed to be left pliable for the realities of the real world coming after.

I feel like in a way I had a couple of buffer years. A couple of years where I was stuck in limbo and had time to purposely mold myself instead of just letting life beat me into shape. I don’t know if I would have taken all the time to think and process if I hadn’t been forced to. I think I would have kept on keeping myself too busy to be that deep in thought, too busy to truly reflect on my life. And it’s in that way that God used my sickness for good. He gave me the time I needed to take in everything and realize what I needed to work on and what I needed to change.

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The little things that get you through depression:

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Every now and then you’ll see a post on social media that says “the only reason I haven’t committed suicide is because my dog would miss me” or “the only reason I haven’t spiraled into deep depression is because I’m looking forward to this trip.”

These statements are dark, but a lot of statements having to do with mental health are dark, it’s unfortunately part of it’s nature. But these statements are important, because they give reasons to live, reasons to be happy, reasons to look forward to life.

A lot of people struggle to pull themselves out of depression and while you’re in it it’s easy to believe that you need something huge to make a difference in your daily mental health, but that isn’t true. The little things might not send shock waves through your entire life, but they give you reasons to move forward, and I’m begging you to cling to the little things.

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