Mental Health Moment #5- Quotes To Live By

As we enter into the new year, I’m ready to continue my mission to use my platform to be an advocate for others who out there who are also battling. I vow to be open when it’s necessary, but also stay private when I need to. My hope, today and always, is to open myself up so that others know that they are not alone, and to help me understand that I am not alone.

With that, for my first MHM of 2019, I wanted to share some quotes about mental health, recovery and genuine self love that constantly cycle through my mind and have come in extremely useful in times of need. I hope these quotes can remind you of the beauty that lies within your soul. You are not defined by a mental illness, you are not defined by your weaknesses; so don’t let them define you. You are who you choose to be, today and everyday.

1. “You wake up every morning to fight the demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.”

2. “I’m proud of the woman I am because I went through one hell of a time becoming her.”

3. “From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand. From the inside looking out, it’s hard to explain.”

4. “Mental Health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.”

5. “Keep going and don’t worry about your speed. You’re making progress, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Forward is forward, no matter how slow.”

6. “You are not a victim. Just a fighter with scars that few can understand.”

7. “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of the world, but those who fight and win battles that other do not know anything about.”

8. “It’s okay to be a glow stick. Sometimes we have to break before we shine.”

9. “The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths.”

10. “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”

11. “Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are, let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it.”

12. “Healing isn’t about changing where you are; it’s about changing your relationship to who you are. A fundamental part of that is honoring how you feel.”

13. “Accept everything about yourself- I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end- no apologies, no regrets.”

14. “Sometimes I forget putting myself isn’t selfish but necessary.”

Mental Health Moment #4- Feelings in words

Today I want to quickly interrupt 12 Days of Christmas (don’t forget to check those out if you haven’t already!!) for another MHM, my last one for this year. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten during my battle has been to try and write out my feelings every time I have an urge or begin to feel anxious. To be honest, when I first heard this I was really hesitant about it. As much as I love to write and express my feelings through words, I thought that words wouldn’t be able to explain all my thoughts and feelings. But once I gave it a try, I found myself able to express some things beautifully, brutally but honestly. I wanted to share some of the writings that have come out of some of the hardest times. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I’m not doing any of this for pity or attention. I’m here to break the stigma around mental health. That’s why I’m choosing to be open and vulnerable. I want to be the person who talks about their battle, the good, the bad and the ugly, so that others struggling know they’re not alone.

– “Times like this make me want to give in, throwing up is so much easier than dealing with the mental war I have going on right now.”

– “It’s okay that I’m not okay.”

– “The harm of one cookie pales in comparison to the harm of forcing a purge.”

– “I’m going to keep looking forward, towards the light that shines brightly at what seems like a never ending tunnel. But the tunnel will end.”

– “I don’t want to ruin my nail polish, but I also don’t know how to stop myself.”

– “Prioritizing my recovery is sometimes the hardest part of my day.”

– “I realized I was allowed to feel anxious. It was the way I was feeling in my core, and there was nothing I could have done to change that.”

– “Pizza makes me feel guilty, but being bent over the toilet with my fingers down my throat and my mascara running makes me feel even more guilty. In a battle of the guilts, I choose the pizza.”

– “It’s not scary that people call me crazy, it’s scary that I believe them.”

– “What I want people to realize the most are things that I don’t know how to verbalize.”

– “Sometimes the biggest lie I tell people is that I’m okay.”

To anyone reading this who is also suffering, remember you are not alone. Please reach out to me if you need someone to talk to.

National Alliance on Mental Health: https://www.nami.org/

National Eating Disorder Association: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

Mental Health Moment #2- Coping Techniques

Happy Tuesday!! Hope you all have had a lovely weekend and are ready for Thanksgiving. I’m back today with my second MHM which is going to be full of coping techniques and mechanisms. I know everything is very circumstantial and can vary from person to person, but these are some things that I’ve found to be useful for me in a difficult moment. So whether it’s fighting an urge, feeling an anxiety attack coming on or anything else I hope you can find some of these things useful. And if there’s anything else you do that I haven’t mentioned, please share them below xx

  1. Remove yourself from the situation- This has been the hardest thing for me to learn to do, but it’s also been what’s helped me the most. If you’re in a situation that’s feeding your anxiety or around people who are making you feel anxious, leave. It may seem weird or like it’s the wrong thing to do, but you have to learn to be selfish sometimes. It’s okay to do what you need to do if it’s going to help you feel better. There is absolutely nothing wrong with telling your friends you need to excuse yourself or to even just say no to a plan if it’s going to make you feel worse. Don’t be conceded, but be selfish when you need to be. It’s okay.
  2. Focus on taking deep breaths- This may sound really obvious, but when your in a moment of panic or anxiety it quickly becomes something you forget to do. When I start to feel anxious I get really jittery and my hands and feet start to go numb because of the lack of oxygen. Taking 10 really deep breaths can often be the first and most helpful step to begin to calm me down. Remember this next time you begin to feel anxious, just breathe.
  3. Write out your feelings- If you’re someone who can communicate really well with words, try writing out your feelings. I’ve started doing this recently and it’s helped me so much. The moment I begin to feel an urge or begin to feel anxious I’ll whip out my phone and begin to write everything I’m feeling down. Every negative and positive feeling and emotion I’m feeling at that moment. I write for as long as I can and write as much as possible. I usually find that I’m able to articulate feelings that wasn’t able to recognize before writing. This helps me to logically comprehend all of my emotions and begin to understand why I am feeling that way, which is exactly what I need when I’m in an extremely emotional state.
  4. Practice mindfulness or meditation- For the longest time I was so hesitant to try meditating because it always just seemed to hokey to me, but I have seriously been proven wrong. If I’m starting to feel anxious, I’ll grab my phone and put on a guided meditation using either Headspace, Calm or InSight Timer and it works so well. The apps have tons of different guided sessions to choose from, so you can really just do whatever you need in the moment. If I’m short on time, I’ll just put on a quick five minute re-focus or awareness meditation and just let myself be in the moment and re focus my energy on something positive. I’m not saying that mindfulness and meditation works for everyone, but I would really recommend at least giving it a try.
  5. Change your environment and get outside- This is especially true for me when I’m feeling really anxious, but getting outside can make such a big difference. If I’m held up in my room I can start to feel trapped and claustrophobic, so getting outside and being aware of the environment around me can make me feel so much better. I love just walking outside, especially if it’s a bit cooler outside, and taking deep breaths of the fresh air and just sitting on a bench somewhere. Just a few minutes of this can calm me down and re-focus me so much.
  6. Essential oils are your best friend- I know I’ve brought this up a lot in previous posts, but I’ll share this story again until I’m blue in the face. My mom has always been a believer in essential oils for EVERYTHING, and I really just ignored it as much as possible until a couple of years ago. Now I’m ADDICTED. Honestly, essential oils can do so much for you physically, but also mentally. If I feel myself starting to get a bad urge or becoming really anxious, Ill put some eucalyptus and citrus essential oils in my diffuser and rub some lavender on the inside of my wrists and it honestly calms me down so fast. I don’t know the science or research behind oils, but I just tell myself if it works it works.
  7. Practice self-care… but mindfully- I’m a huge believer in self-care, but I also believe it has to be done mindfully. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good night full of face masks and Netflix, but when I’m looking for a way to cope with negative feelings, self-care has to be done mindfully. Whether it’s doing a face mask, painting your nails, taking a bubble bath or anything else, do it with a goal in mind. Tell yourself that what you’re doing is a way to reward yourself for all the positive and good things you’ve done. Constantly remind yourself that you deserve to be taking the time to care for yourself. By doing this, you’re not only caring for your outside, but you’re caring for your brain as well.
  8. Talk it out- This can really depend on the person, but if you’re the kind of person who can communicate effectively by talking, do it. While I’m someone who needs to talk out how I’m feeling, I also find myself hesitant to bring it up to friends out of a fear that it will be too much of a “burden” on them. But I’ve learned that true friends who support you will be willing to talk to you, actually they will want to talk to you. Talking to someone else and verbalizing all of your thoughts and emotions can help you to logically comprehend what’s happening. It also gives you the opportunity to hear someone else’s opinion which can be so helpful too.

Mental Health Moment #1- Turn It Around

For my first Mental Health Minute, I want to talk about how to make a bad day just a little less bad. Whether you’re struggling with something small or big, everyone has those days where the shit (excuse my French) just hits the fan and you feel like there’s nothing you can do but just lay there. But today’s post is going to be all my little tips and tricks to making your day just a tiny bit better, because on most days that’s all you really need. A lot of these are going to seem really obvious, but when I’m in a mood these basic things are often what I forget about the most. I hope you enjoy this post and are excited for more Mental Health Minutes to come!

  1. Surround yourself with positivity- If there are people in your life who are feeding your negativity, get away from them. Choose to be around and spend time with people who lift you up and make you feel good about yourself. During times like these you have to be a little bit selfish and acknowledge who YOU need to be around at that time.
  2. Make a countdown calendar- One thing that I’ve done this year is to keep a countdown, I’ve been using the app Event Ticker, to all the exciting things coming up. When I’m having a day, I’ll go into my calendar and remind myself of the fun things I have planned for the future. It’s an easy way to remind myself of all the good things I have going on.
  3. Treat yourself- Open your computer, go to your favorite store and buy yourself something you’ve been wanting, big or small. Buying something online is such a small thing that always makes me even just a little happier. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase or investment, just something small will always do the trick. But knowing that I have something on the way to my mailbox always makes me excited.
  4. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while- If I’m having a bad day or feeling weird, reaching out to someone who I haven’t talked to in a while makes me feel so much better. It’s a way for me to disconnect from the “now” and to remember something positive about the past. Whether it’s just a Snapchat or a longer facetime call, it’s always something that can create positivity in m day.
  5. Pamper yourself- I’m a huge believer in self-care and me time, and that’s especially true on a bad day. If you’re short on time, even just throwing on a face mask for 15 minutes and chilling for a second can make a huge difference. But if there’s a little more time, go through a full pamper routine. Relax, make yourself feel better and just disconnect from everything for a bit. Taking time to just breathe and not think about anything else can change your mindset tremendously.
  6. Take a work/school break- I know this may sound impossible, but remember that your mental health should come before anything else. If you have the ability to leave work or school a little early to take some time for yourself, take it. If you don’t, give yourself some space from your work or homework at the end of the day. When you get home, give yourself 30 minutes to do something you like to disconnect yourself from work. Watch an episode of your favorite show, take a bath or hang out with friends. Giving yourself space from the stressful things in your life, even if it’s just a little bit, can refresh your mind.
  7. Do something nice- I’m a true believe that what goes around comes around. If you’re looking for some good in your life, start with yourself. Reach out to someone in need, send someone an appreciation card, buy a meal for someone on the streets, any small gesture that can help lift someone else’s day is almost guaranteed to make you feel better too. And besides, the world is always in need of some good.

Sending out love and good vibes xx

To My Eating Disorder…

Today is National Love Your Body Day, and while I try to preach and live by the idea of self-love, I’ve been struggling with this by a battling with an eating disorder. It’s not something a lot of people talk about, and it’s not something a lot of people talk about publicly. But I’m ready to break that mold. The scariest thing about this whole battle has been feeling alone in my fight. But I know I’m not the only one. I’m here telling my story with hopes that it can help others out there feel a little less alone. I’m not posting this looking for pity or attention, I’m posting this because reading other peoples stories was such a big part of the start of my recovery. If this can help even just one person feel a little less alone, then it’s worth it. 

No matter what is going on in my life or your life right now, please take the time to appreciate your body for all it does and all it allows you to do. Love yourself and help others love themselves. Happy Love Your Body Day xx

To my ED,

First of all I want to thank you. I want to thank you for being there for me when I felt like I needed you and for telling me the things I wanted to hear. I loved you more than I’ve loved before. You became a part of me, and it was a part I didn’t want to lose. In the darkest days when I felt nothing but the worse things of myself you made me feel beautiful by following your demands. You tempted me, you encouraged me, you seduced me, and it was something I couldn’t ignore. You knew when to step back and when to take control. You were sneaky but terrifyingly appreciated. You captured my heart so enticingly and I became addicted to it. But no matter how hard I tried or begged, I couldn’t get rid of you. I was obsessed with our brutal love story.

Now that I’ve finally broke free from our abusive relationship, I can see what you really did to me. You made me tell endless lies to my family and friends. You made me believe things about myself that weren’t even close to true. You made me believe that food was the enemy and that eating was a punishable sin. You made me feel guilty but then extremely rewarded and satisfied after a purge. You made me damage my body in a way nothing else had ever done before. You tricked me into loving you when I couldn’t love myself. You took the things I loved away from me and taunted me with it. You took over my brain, every hour, every minute, every second of the day. You made me spend hours in the bathroom bent over the toilet with tears coming out of my eyes. You made me feel unworthy of all the things I dreamed of. And finally, you made me the person I never wanted to be. I thought that I was you and you were me, but I now know that I was never you and you were never me. You were simply a voice in my head who I trusted and felt connected to. And I am grateful to not have you in my life anymore.

There are days where I still miss you. There are days when I wish more than anything that we could be back together. Recovering from our relationship has been the hardest thing I’ve had to do, and I don’t think it will ever truly end. Sometimes I wish you could come back to be the voice in my head telling me what to do. You knew me better than I knew myself and always knew what I wanted to hear. In the moment, the harm you inflicted on me paled in comparison to the beauty and confidence you made me feel.

But I find myself wanting to thank you again. Ridding you from my life has given me the chance to appreciate the life and body I’ve been blessed with. I’m thankful for my family and friends who have loved me and supported me no matter what. I’m thankful for a body that allows me to do the things I love. I’m thankful for a life free from the bathroom and out in the beautiful world. I’m thankful for the small things in life that bring me pure joy. I’m thankful for my new look on life, one that’s much clearer and brighter than ever before. I’m thankful that I still have my life, even though you could have taken it from me. I’m thankful that I get to move on and forward, leaving you behind only as a distant memory.

Now that I’ve started distancing myself from you, I promise to live a life full of gratitude and love, remembering that I am worthy of being happy and loved in my own skin. I’m ready to live my life as me, only me, and no one else.

Aime

NEDA: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/