Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Depression, Mood Swings, and Breakups, oh my!

It's been a fair while since I wrote a blog post. Every time I went to sit down and write, the words just never came out. A lot has happened in that time. This post is about my depression, my break up after a long term relationship, and how I have been managing life after such a devastating event.  My hope is to help anyone out there in a similar situation. Some tips and tricks, if you will.

Depression doesn't stop just because you want it to. 

For a long time, I blamed the break up on myself, my depression, and mental health status. I felt like, perhaps, I didn't "get better" in time to save my relationship.  Now that the grieving period has ended (which, is normal by the way--to grieve the loss of a relationship), I can realize that this simply isn't true. None of it was my fault and none of it was my mental health's fault.

That being said, depression could have taken  hold of me at any time in the aftermath of this break up. We had been together for five years, I had lived with he and his family, or just him, for three out of those five. I was super close to his friends and family. To sum it up= it sucked. Big time. There were times I would cry at the drop of a hat. Other times I became so angry that I felt like punching a wall. I even wrote my ex nasty letters with every intention of sending them to him. I never did, though. I ended up deleting them in order to move on.

In the end, I found that these things didn't ever solve anything. Sure, it felt good to let go in the moment (which is okay to do-to feel what you're feeling, when you're feeling it), but other things seemed to help more. I'll get into that later,

So did depression overtake me? Was my life ruined? Did this event cause me to have some kind of mental break-down? No.

I think the stigma around depression, or any mental illness for that matter, is that you have to walk on egg shells around someone who happens to have a mental health "issue."  For me, it wasn't the case at all. I found that the more I opened up to my sisters and friends about what was going on, the less I felt as though my life was over.

I made time for friends and family, for t.v. shows I had been meaning to watch, books I wanted to read, and so on. Most importantly, I kept being proactive about my mental health. I continued taking my medication and seeing my therapist.

I have to say, my depression has never felt better....That came out wrong. What I mean to say is, although I still have depression, it has never been better managed than it is right now. And I've been through WAY worse than this breakup.

It hasn't all been rainbows and sunshine. Like I said, I was angry and crying and mostly just miserable for a while. I was drinking more than usual, eating crap, and not going to the gym at all. It wasn't something that felt better overnight. Not even close.

A lot of people reading this will probably be thinking, I thought she said her depression didn't overtake her life? This sounds like a depressed person!  Well,duh. I am a person who happens to have depression. My depression has never been black and white and it's never really been the whole "crying and not doing anything"-thing. It's been more a lack of motivation, lethargy, and isolation.

I never stopped being around people. I never stopped trying to get up and out of the house.
Little by little, I got better. I'm still getting better.


I've even *gasp* started dating again.



If you find yourself in the throws of an awful breakup (or another unfortunate life-event), please believe me when I say: It gets better. You will survive.

Here are some things that helped me and may help you.

Books
Get the Guy by Matthew Hussey -It's more than a dating guide. He outlines how to re-gain confidence after a break up, how to be more socially outgoing, and so on.

How To Be A Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Signh -I just got this book and it is amazing. Positive, down to the point, how to take control of things you cannot always control.

The Positivity Kit: Instant Happiness On Every Page -Pretty self-explanatory.

How To Be Happy (Or At Least Less Sad): A Creative Workbook -Again, pretty self-explanatory.


Meal Prep & Exercise

Ever since the break up, I have been meal prepping healthy meals for the week every single Sunday. It relaxes me and is truly fun for me to do. That, and I have healthy food for the entire week and don't have to rush around in the morning before work to pack my lunches! Going to the gym, on the other hand, has always been a struggle for me. To be honest, it still is. However, I manage to make it to the gym about two days a week after work. Three if I'm really on fire that week.

Cardio has been an amazing thing. It helps me get out aggression and any frustrations I may have at the moment. Then, at the end, it releases all of these endorphins that make you literally feel AWESOME. If you don't know what endorphins are, they're basically the feel-good hormone. I always remember this by picturing happy little dolphins swimming around in my brain. I'm weird. You don't need to say it. I already know.


Working

I don't have my dream job at the moment. However, I have been burying myself at work when I am there. I work hard, am nice to my co-workers, and bring up ideas that I think may help my work place. I'm even up for a small promotion, so I know I've been doing something right! Work, at first, was a distraction from being lonely when I would go home at the end of the day. Now, I truly find happiness in knowing I did a good job and accomplished something in my professional life.

Counseling

I've been seeing my therapist for about a year now, even before the break up I was seeing her. Over the last few sessions, she brought up an interesting theory...That somehow I forgot along the way in my social work degree...Until she brought it up...To which a light bulb went off---I digress.

Our subconscious will usually look for traits in a partner that are negative and positive traits from both of our parents. It does this in order to try to make up for the wounds in our child hood and yadda yadda, psychology-jargon.

My subconscious definitely did me dirty in my past relationship. Let me leave it at that.

Being Single Isn't The Worst Thing in the Universe

Going off of my last point, being single allows you to figure out who you are again. What you like about yourself and what you need to work on. It also allows you to reflect on what traits you want in a partner and what traits are definite deal-breakers. Cheesy, yes, but this break up has been an all around learning experience for me.

People

Never stop being around people. I mean, unless you're sleeping or peeing. You know what I'm saying, though. Friends, family, co-workers; they're all great to be around when you're feeling like that's the last thing you want--to be around others. The more your brain tells you to stay home, eat ice cream, and cry...the more you need to go out into the world. Honestly, this was one of the things that helped me the most, I feel. My sisters, friends, and family were amazing.

They let me talk about the break up when I wanted to and didn't force anything. I went bowling, out to sushi, out to bars, even to pot lucks! My point is, even if you're someone who gets slightly anxious in social situations like myself, JUST DO IT. Get out and allow yourself to have fun. You are more than allowed to do this--You deserve it.

Youtubers

I've always been a fan of Youtube. A few years ago, I stumbled onto a SacconeJoly video and was hooked. I watch Youtube to laugh, to feel inspired, to gain even more appreciation for the things I do have, and so much more.  Here are a few (there are way too many to list all of them) Youtubers that helped me through and ones I still watch:

The SacconeJolys -Daily vloggers who document their lives with their children and 6? 7? They have a LOT of cute doggies.

Jenna Marbles -Hilarious. That is all.

Shane Dawson -Conspiracy videos, lighting stuff on fire, and eating weird food, Also hilarious.

The Frey Life -Daily vloggers that take you along their journey of life with cysitic fibrosis.

Melanie Murphy -Anything from beauty to food to mental health. She's awesome,

Lilly Singh -Funny and inspirational and positive vibes.

Whitney Simmons -Meal prep, work out, and lifestyle.

Life brings you things that you don't ask for. Things that you never think are going to happen. Events that you could never have even imagined to prepare for. This is true for negative as well as positive life-matters. I wouldn't say I'm 100% healed from this event, but I keep on going. Every day I feel more and more like myself and every day I am closer to being 100%.

Don't forget to breathe,
--Dana



Saturday, February 11, 2017

Anti-Valentine's Day

Happy Anti-Valentine's day!

I don't think I've ever had a good Valentine's day. It's either been a normal day, like every other day...or it's been an extremely bad day. A day where I spill coffee all over my car, fail a major exam, and get sick. True Story.

Seriously, though. I was walking around a supermarket the other day and was just thinking, why do you need this crap?! Can't you tell someone you love them on ANY day...without ridiculous, meaningless, material objects??

You know what? Enough babbling. Time to do this.

Are you in love? Want to let someone know it? Get a totally necessary, and not hard to drink out of AT ALL, heart-shaped mug for your boo this Valentine's Day!


Why? You're just asking to get gross fur in your chocolate.
Awh, what a compliment. Not really, though. Shit? Really? I should be as fine as Beyonce.

Valentine's Day candy corn? NO. This is just wrong.

This definitely won't break the second you take it out of the gift wrap.

Yep. You need these. They don't objectify whatsoever. CUTE!

Everything must be heart-shaped!

I said everything!

Before the gift.

...And after.

This is how I will be spending my Valentin'es Day: