On facing our anxieties instead of nurturing them:

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I read an article recently about the huge increase in prescriptions for medications like Xanax. That we’re prescribing 5xs the amount that we were just a decade and a half ago. I then went on Twitter and saw a huge debate on why you should never call someone on the phone and should always text them instead.

The tweet with the most likes was one that just read: I HAVE ANXIETY, KAREN.

I’ve thought for a while that we’ve been creating the kind of culture that nurtures anxiety instead of cures it. I understand why we’ve done this. I hate when I email someone and they call me instead of replying back. There is so much less pressure over email or text. But you know how you get rid of that deep dread that happens when you talk on the phone?

You talk on the phone.

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Life Updates: The First of May

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I know post grad is complicated for everyone, but I feel like I’ve done a number on it these last two years. Between becoming deathly ill with Lyme Disease, changing up my bipolar medications, and trying to tackle normal post grad activities, it’s gotten a little crazy at times.

My battle with Lyme is not over, I don’t quite have it in remission yet, though I’ve been doing so well that we’ve finally started cutting back my antibiotics. I’ve been thrilled about that because being on antibiotics for a year and a half is really brutal on the body. I’m also excited because my activity level has returned to normal. I feel like I’m finally able to live my life instead of watching it fly by me while I sit unable to move on the sofa.

Health really is something you don’t truly appreciate till its gone, but I don’t think that’s a mistake I’m going to make again. After losing a year and a half to this disease and having another six months slowed by it, I can proudly say that I’m going to enjoy any health my body can manage to give me, because there is so much I want to do and see, and I didn’t realize how lucky I was because I got bit by that horse fly.

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I blocked all toxic media from my feeds and its almost left them blank: A social media realization.

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The original title for this post was why I left Twitter, but I ended up not leaving it for good. So what have I done? I’ve muted all slurs, all dramatic accounts, all political buzz words, all political accounts, all accounts that spew hate. I deleted them all from my Twitter feed. I downloaded a news app called Smart News to get actual articles instead of hot and angry takes. I had already blocked this all from my Facebook and Tumblr accounts.

And it’s made them completely bare of content. The amount of posts on my feed is alarming. I didn’t realize the amount of negative and toxic hot takes I was taking in a day. It was most of my media intake. I was feeding on toxins. Posts from publications I like have been removed because of muted words. I’ve lost entire accounts. My twitter feed is so dead that I don’t feel the need to check it that often.

So, I did the same thing with my youtube account. I cleared out my watched history and liked videos. I just removed all of the angry and toxic media I was consuming.

And with it gone I find myself wanting to read and create more, because I had to find new things to consume. Trying to find accounts without toxins seems to be impossible on Twitter and Facebook. Instagram and Tumblr I’ve managed fairly well. But it’s had me thinking about what kind of content needs to be put out and along with that what kind of content should we be reading. I’ve talked about this before but the serious lack of that content is becoming disturbing.

We live in a world that thrives on differences, divides, and drama. How do we go about correcting that? How do we counter it in what we’re creating?

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Depression jokes don’t count as healthy coping mechanisms.

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The internet is terrible at normalizing extremely self-deprecating jokes and any type of depression joke. When you criticize them people are quick to call them coping mechanisms, without stopping to think if they are a healthy one or not.

I find myself making them, I made one a week or two ago on Twitter, I liked one on Tumblr two days ago. I’m as guilty as anyone. The thing is, I’m not depressed and haven’t been for a long while. They aren’t a coping mechanism for me, they’re just ingrained in my mind as normal humor and I find myself saying them both out loud and mentally.

It’s not healthy to have the voice in the back of your head scream “this is why you’re going to die alone” when you something annoying. It’s not healthy to have it say “I want to jump off a building” when you embarrass yourself.

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Lying to yourself, lying to others, and why we do it.

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“I don’t lie that much.”

It’s something I’ve believed for a long time.

If I was asked to elaborate I would have explained that white lies don’t count, and it really didn’t matter if I was late because I forgot my gas tank was empty or if it was actually because I wanted to finish the last five minutes of the TV show I was watching. It really didn’t matter that I told myself I was going to do something today when I knew for a fact I wasn’t going to do for another three weeks. It really didn’t matter if I told myself that I didn’t have time to work on my hobby, when in reality I did and ended up wasting it online.

Those things don’t count as lies, right? They’re tiny, sometimes they can even be necessary!

Only no one is asking me if the dress they’re already wearing in public makes them look fat. None of the things I listed above were necessary. They were just lies for the sake of lying, for the sake of making myself feel better.

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Five ways to beat the winter blues:

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Winter has come, and while you might not have the impending doom of night walkers you’re still having some trouble. It’s completely normal to get the winter blues, whether you have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder or not, it’s easy to understand why it’s acronym is SAD. Here are some tips to fight it that don’t require medication:

  • Burn the right candles: It’s winter, you’re probably burning vanilla, cinnamon, and other warm scents. What if I told you to burn something citrus or a bright floral like honey suckle or lilies? It might sound like I’m trying to tell you to trick yourself into thinking it’s spring, but that’s only because I am. Here’s the thing, study’s have proven that it works and helps combat seasonal affective disorder.

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The Power in Knowing You’re Not Alone.

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I saw a friend recently who was going through a really hard time. During the conversation she started a sentence and I filled it in, because I knew what she was talking about having thought similar things myself in the past. She stared at me for a moment in disbelief before saying “you don’t know how sane that made me feel”.

I think we often get caught up in our brains lie. For some reason when we’re going through hard times it likes to tell us that we are alone in it. Our rationality isn’t completely astray, after all nobody has the exact same experiences because none of us are in the exact same situation, but emotions and reactions are chemical, and they all have certain rules to follow. The chances of you being alone in your thoughts or emotions is highly unlikely. You don’t study the brain and read that a certain case is an isolated incident, and where that is recorded it’s normally followed by a footnote that says a similar case was studied seven years later on the other side of the world.

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