If anyone has ever called you crazy, this is for you. You’re not alone.

depression poem
, ,

Depression Poem

Depression poems – there are a lot of them I’m sure. Here’s a poem I just wrote as I sat, depressed, trying to do something I once enjoyed doing. Depression is no joke. So here is another depression poem to add to the collection.

depression poem

poetry-a-poem-about-failure
, , ,

Failure Poem

Here is a poem I wrote a while ago. I recently submitted this failure poem to a poetry contest. Writing poems has been a go-to skill for me because I find I often don’t know what else to do to process what I’m feeling.

I was never meant to follow your lead.
It’s not that you didn’t have anything to teach.
I just wasn’t designed to think
in
one
straight
line.
It takes me more than 3 easy steps
even if it’s been proven a million times.
You had what I thought I wanted.
I put my soul on mute.
Nothing but a machine who could not compute
how anyone could go on living this way
day after day after day after day.
My mind doesn’t want to be on repeat.
It wants the freedom to dream and to speak.
Without the words carefully planned.
Without the expectations or any demands.
To speak for the sake of speaking.
To love for the sake of being.
I stopped trusting myself when I saw your way work for you.
I thought if I changed enough it’d work for me too.
But the world doesn’t need me to be anything else.
And neither do I.
Because there’s beauty in failure.
And in failure I’ve found,
The beauty within me.
My own sound.

 

 

extra pieces
, ,

The Extra Pieces

I did a lot of scary things last week.

Put my website back up, submitted a poem to an online journal, did my first speech.

Made it public on YouTube (see it here).

All scary because they all involve confronting one of my biggest fears and something I usually avoid at all costs: rejection.

It has taken me down so many times, but it’s also stopped me from doing anything at all.

Because even if it hasn’t happened yet, I’m afraid it will.

My mind likes to take it a step further by convincing me I will be forever rejected and hated.

I would like to be okay with that.

Not believe it’s true, but welcome rejection, tell it to fucking bring it and turn it into motivation.

Or at least not be so afraid of it.

No one really wants to be hated.

I’m no exception.

But truth is, I don’t feel likeable.

I know I’m loved by my family, but I don’t feel like an integral part of the world.

I feel like an extra piece that doesn’t fit.

Is the mistake believing I should fit? Am I trying too hard to shove myself into a space I wasn’t made for?

Maybe I need to think outside the box, or in this case, outside of the puzzle.

Maybe I have to find a way to live outside of it.

Maybe if I search for all the other extra pieces we can make our own picture.

 

mother with mental illness
,

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance

Those are the 5 stages of grief and the same five stages I went through to get to the place where I can say: I have bi-polar disorder.

This is what I know.

I have to be writing. Where that will take me, I’ve never known.

I started writing what I thought might be a book, but it’s been more of a confessional diary. My main goal? Write until I don’t want to kill myself anymore.

I’ve felt a lot of shame about a lot of things. Abandoning my business even though it took the one thing I had left (my words). Having a mental illness. Psychotic episodes. How “success” became an obsession. How every rejection letter or “no” made me sink further into self-hatred. The suicidal thoughts.

The shame I felt on top of it all only magnified an already unbearable disease. Because everything that worked before and I thought I knew was destroyed by my illness. My entire world I’d worked so hard to “heal” fell the fuck apart.

I was frozen in fear.
Paranoid.
Delusional.
And in complete denial.

This couldn’t be happening. I had to be strong. I had to be a role model. Be perfect. Keep my shit together. Practice what I preach.

I felt flawed.
Unlovable.
Broken.

I told myself I was done with “all this.” I had recovered. I didn’t have “it” anymore. But it never left. “It” was always there. And it wasn’t the normal sadness or excitement. It was bi-polar disorder. It wasn’t just being organized or articulate. It was reading a message at least 20 times before sending it. Fuck. I couldn’t deny it any longer.

No amount of positive thinking can “fix” a mind with mental illness. Believing it could brought me excruciating and unnecessary pain.

I became part of the problem. I bought into the stigma. I believed what I’d heard about people with depression.

That I wasn’t trying hard enough.
I needed to work out (which I did).
I needed to get outside (did that too).
Meditate (check).
Eat right (done).

But none of it worked.

Why? Because mental illness is a real fucking thing. It’s not a character flaw or a temporary emotion. It’s a disease. And yes it is in my head because it is my head. My messy brilliant beautiful chaotic fucked up head. And I’m not ashamed of it anymore.

Introvert paradise
, , , ,

5 tips to start a conversation when you don’t know what to say

I’m an introvert.

And despite years of practice and working on my skills, I’m still completely awkward in social situations.

I’ve always been this way.

May always be.

I can only handle being around around people in small bursts. Not because I’m a jerk. I just get overwhelmed easily.

That said, there are a few tricks that work for me when I do want to talk to people.

Keep in mind, for the most part, other people want someone to come talk to them. You can tell when a person sincerely doesn’t want to have a conversation with you. You know, headphones on, face buried in a book or notebook, etc.

Remember, you don’t have to have the perfect sentence formulated to talk to someone or a group of people.

Here are 5 other things to keep in mind when you’re ready, willing and able to start a conversation.

#1 Start with an observation.

This one is geared towards talking to an individual more so than a group. If and when you notice something you like about a person, make a comment about it. Only do this if it’s sincere.

Don’t do this:

Do give genuine compliments. Most people love receiving them! This opens up the conversation and often leads to learning more about what the other person is interested in.

#2 If you notice an open group you’d like to join, wait for a break in the conversation and ask, “Mind if I join you?”

Make sure the group is open first. You can tell a group is open when the people are standing somewhat apart, members occasionally glance around the room, there are gaps in the conversation and members are talking about a general topic.

Once you’ve determined the group is open, wait for the break and ask the friendliest-looking member if you can join in. This will ensure your intentions are clear and you won’t have to interrupt and risk seeming rude.

#3 Know what’s most important to you before you decide to start or join a conversation with an individual or group.

What is your goal or objective in this situation? Do you want to just connect without any result in mind? Do you want to make a new friend?

When you become clear on your intention, you may find knowing what to say comes a lot easier and more naturally.

#4 Make peace with the worst that could happen.

Cope ahead by reminding yourself that even if this person or group of people flat out rejects you, you will remain in tact. It does not define you or your worth.

Decide ahead of time you won’t go into a story about how “no one likes you.” Remember not to mind read either. You have no idea why someone would reject you. It might have nothing to do with you. So, keep your head up. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future.

#5 Expect the best or something even better.

You won’t know how the conversation (or anything) will go until you try.

If this is brand new to you, yes, it’s going to be scary. Acknowledge your fear and remind yourself why you’re doing this. Maybe you’ve been wanting new friends or maybe you just want to feel more like you’re part of the world. Whatever your reason, this is a a skill and it takes practice and patience.

Let me know how it goes.

You’ve got this!

Mindfulness for teenagers
, , , , ,

Be mindful

Mindfulness for teenagers

Ive been practicing more mindfulness lately. To me its a necessity.

Its easy to get overtaken by thoughts and emotions, but with practice it can be just as easy and automatic to be present with each task.

Just for today, notice your thoughts and how they make you feel. Thoughts can just be thoughts if we allow them to be. It’s when emotions kick in and we start telling ourselves the old familiar story that things start to get tricky.

If and when you find yourself in a panicked state, ask yourself, what am I believing about myself or this situation? Is it really true? Even if it is, will focusing on it resolve the problem?

Write down your findings or share them below. 🙂

Worry tree
, ,

[printable worksheet] the worry tree

My therapist gave me a worksheet I’ve found helpful. It was quite plain so I jazzed it up to make it more fun (and festive).

Click to print and enjoy!

Worry tree

world suicide prevention day
, , ,

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day

world suicide prevention day

Created by Clark County Student for the Signs of Suicide Poster Contest

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

First, I’d like to share a new procedure with you. It’s from Matthew Dovel, president of International Suicide Prevention. He has recently released this procedure called (4 Phase) which can be self-administered in as little as 5 minutes.

It was designed to bypass stigma and allow those that are suffering from depression, anxiety, and/or suicidal thoughts.

LEARN ABOUT THE PROCEDURE HERE

Second, I wanted to let you know about the 8th Annual “Walk in Memory Walk for Hope” which is put on by the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention (of which I am proud to be a member of).

“This community suicide prevention awareness walk will be taking place on Saturday, September 13, 2014, in eleven different communities across the State of Nevada. Walk participants are asked to donate $20 per individual. All donations will be used to help fund various NCSP programs in communities throughout the state.”

Las Vegas/Henderson Location = Bob Miller Middle School, 2400 Cozy Circle, Henderson, NV 89052. Registration begins at 8:00 am

I’ll be volunteering at the registration table and hope to see you there.

It takes all of us working together to make changes. Your presence DOES MATTER.

self-compassion
, , , ,

[Day 27] Self-Compassion + Mental Health

self-compassion

Today is day 27 of the blog challenge.

Let me just say, before I get into the topic, I bought a new hair dryer today and I am incredibly grateful. I’ve been using a dryer that’s cracked and only blows cold air for over a year. So. Happy.

Point is, if there is something you’ve been tolerating, stop it. Go get what you really want/need. Ask for help. Take that step. Make it happen.

Anyway, my topic is simply to post a video I like.

Here’s one of my favorite TED talks:

We all have different voices or sub personalities in our head, each of which want to be heard and loved. This approach to healing schizophrenia is not only compassionate, but extremely effective. And I love how personal it is.

What did you think/feel? Leave me a comment below.