I AM JUST SO EXTREMELY PROUD OF MY FRIENDS. SERIOUSLY. They are incredible. My really awesome and talented best friend, Laura, has finally made her blog public and I am so proud of her because this was a big step! ❤
Check it out! Show her some love! Learn about her struggle with mental health and how she's on the great mission to live a healthier lifestyle. She is also a bad ass, a witty gem, and a crazy creative. Here is a little something she wrote for all of you to get to know her a bit better. We are all fighting the good fight but doing it together! Sending you all GIANT hugs and raising my tea mug to all of you inspirational souls!
I spent most of my life fearing depression. As I saw it, it was a terrible affliction that people could and should overcome. I thought, “Why can’t they just get happy?” You might think me naïve, and you’d be right. I was young and was never formally introduced to mental health. In my family, you’re fine so long as no one knows about it. It wasn’t until I got older, moved out of my parents house and started to have my own struggles that I took a deeper delve into what mental health really means.
For the most part, I am a happy person. I have my bad days like anyone, but I was always able to eventually overcome them. I do not have depression, but I have empathy and understanding for those that do, for you see, what I do have is Seasonal Affective Disorder. January and February are my worst months. December I am blinded by all the illumination of Christmas lights that I usually do fine. Then January and February hit and there are days where I feel a void. I feel disconnected from life. I feel I like I’m an actress playing the character of me, but I haven’t really fully developed that character. I don’t talk about it often because I always fear being a burden on others with my sadness. However, for those who know me, they can sense when I’m in the thick of it. What exacerbates it is my other struggle, weight issues. I’ve always had some problem with the way I look, and over the past few years, I’ve gone from disliking how I look to out right hating it. So, how do I deal with it?
I’m no fan of medication. Before you start stoning me with your comments, hear me out: I don’t believe in medication…for me. I don’t take advil when I have a headache if I can make it through the day, I pass on the Midol when I have cramps and if my sniffles aren’t stopping me from getting my work done, I’ll go without the foggy affects of Benadryl. Having said that, if I have a sinus infection and the doctor tells me I need antibiotics, I will not argue. He has the degree, I don’t. Why have I adopted this mentality? Years of experience, for one, but the other being a doctor. Yes, ladies and gentleman, a doctor told me to forgo medicine if it’s not entirely necessary. As he put it, nobody knows my body better than my body, so why stop it from doing what it naturally does best? Why have I gone on this tangent? Because at this point in my life, my SAD and my weight is nothing I can’t help curb with daily events. I can have my really bad days, but not so bad that I can’t provide myself with the tiniest bit of motivation or light at the end of my tunnel. (Please note: if medication is what’s right for you, please continue taking it.)
In the last 4 years, I have taken classes at Second City, sign language classes, yoga classes, wine pairing classes, banjo classes, sushi making classes, ran races and planned events way in the future all in an effort to lift my spirits. My most recent venture: a blog about my weight. I’ve always struggled with my body image and in the throws of a particularly bad day of laying in bed crying for reasons that seemed behind comprehension, I decided if I wanted to feel better, I had to make myself better. I started holding myself accountable for my own happiness. The one thing I can’t accept is people who blame the world for their problems, and I wasn’t about to blame the world for my unhappiness. I took some before photos of myself (which, honestly, kind of made me a little sadder) and wrote my first blog post. After that, I paid attention to what I was eating, made an effort to take more yoga classes and most importantly, I shared my struggle with my close friends. They say misery loves company and I believe it true, but not in the sense you might think. I don’t believe we need to bring people down with us, but I believe in the support that comes from people in similar situations. If I tell my bubbly friend who only sees the world through rose-tinted glasses that I can’t get dressed today, she might not understand as much as my friend who’s been struggling with depression for some time. The support from my friends, their encouraging words and even tales of their similar struggles have been motivation in itself. I’m not just doing this for me. I’m doing this for every person who struggles daily.
I’m not saying my way is better than any others. Like my feelings towards medications, you have to do what’s right for you and for me, writing this blog and finally conversing about my issues, has been the healthiest thing I could do for myself and I feel a little better every day. Even on this particularly dreary February day, I’m seeing a little bit of hope. If you would like to learn more about my blog, please visit losingitonepoundatatime.com and if you are struggling with depression or just general sadness, please talk to someone. There is always support.