A not so quick recap of July…
If you make it to the end, bless your heart. This one’s gonna be a long one.
Those who have been following me on Instagram know that July just wasn’t my month. I tried to keep up; I tried to stay positive, but July was just a rough month for me and I’m working hard at turning it around internally.
**Trigger warning: This post touches on depression and suicide from my perspective. If you struggle with these issues please take caution and I advise that you consult with a professional therapist before following me along my journey of healing. I want this to be a safe space for all and that starts with making sure my content is helpful not hurtful**
We kicked off the month with the release of a podcast episode of You, Me, Empathy that I had the honor of being featured in. (You can click on the link above to visit the website or listen on spotify here.) I have to start by saying that I love what I do. I have found a power in vulnerability and I never want to stop fighting to help people find the words they need to stand up for and describe their pain.
Aside from my passion to end the stigma of mental illness, it sometimes takes a real toll on me when I revisit the most painful parts of my life. As a child, I was just living; I wasn’t unpacking what it meant to not live with my parents and I wasn’t trying to understand my feelings. That’s something that I’m doing now, as an adult, with the added stress of life at the moment (More on this shortly) so sometimes a slip or a trigger can spiral into a full blow panic attack and/or depression.
Oh. If you don’t know, I live with generalized anxiety and depression. I do choose to take antidepressants to medicate it and it works really well for me when I’m responsible about taking them regularly. Moving on.
My mom had the gastric bypass surgery on July 5th and due to a scheduling change that I couldn’t work around, I wasn’t able to make it.
To keep an extremely long story short, if you listen to the podcast episode, you’ll get a better understanding of the complex relationship I have with my parents. I have had many years of trying to understand myself and my childhood – my mom and I have both put a lot of effort into accepting the way life has worked out for us.
One of the biggest struggles I have in my healing is standing up for my feelings and reminding myself that not everyone is going to understand me, my relationship with my parents, or why I make decisions I do (good and bad). Regardless, I felt attacked as a few of my family members made comments shaming me for not being there… for never being there. You know what? They’re right. My anxiety gets the best of me almost every single time I’m going to be around my extended family – because I have always been misunderstood. Talk about triggers. My mom is in surgery and I am reminded at 29 years old that there are many people who will never get how much there is to heal from my broken childhood. “What’s the point of trying?”
A racing thought all month long.
What’s the point? Has anyone had this dangerous thought? Has it spiraled into… “What’s the point of being here?”
Let me tell you something – suicidal thoughts don’t always sound like “I want to kill myself.” or “I want to die.”
Let me tell you something – suicidal thoughts don’t always sound like “I want to kill myself.” or “I want to die.” They’re dangerous because of how hidden they can be. All month long I’ve struggled to get up and handle day to day tasks at the minimum level. I’ve also missed a few doses of my medication and well, that’s always a recipe for disaster.
Now for the cherry on top.
I am someone who thrives on routine. Sometimes I hate admitting it because it makes me seem rigid – which I absolutely loathe because I don’t feel it’s a voluntary need of mine. My mind works best when I have a routine I can follow. Summers are crap for routine, so I’ve been a mess, my house has been a mess, my husband and I miss each other and instead of dealing with it I’m over here hiding myself in work… that is also a mess right now.
This isn’t to complain or be a “downer” – This is my release of July Jumblies (I did my best)
July wasn’t all bad. The 4th is always a fun tradition with our other half of Team Duso and their gang; Jeremy enjoyed a week off of work to be with the family and get some sun; and I started to make changes to my lifestyle. Somehow, the hard stuff always has more weight on my mind. Gratitude – I need to be more mindful of the good in my life because there is a whole lot of it!
Sharing intimate thoughts and insecurities is quite terrifying. There’s a big nakedness I feel while sharing my story. Why do I do it anyway? I GUARANTEE that there are many reading who can relate. Many of them can’t put into words how they’re feeling. Many of them don’t think anyone understands.
Although I think it’s important for EVERYONE to understand mental health, the people who share my struggles are the people I really hope have made it this far. What’s coming… this is for those people.
July is officially behind me. I learned a lot last month about the things I would like to focus and put into action. I’ve set some goals for myself.
- I am going to be setting “working hours” for my online business. My work time will be completed while my kids are in school so that I can honor my “no screen time” rule between 3pm-8pm. Focus: Be a more present parentI try to do this constantly, but I also constantly have a million things going on and that is a quick road to over exhaustion and a mental break downs. Which brings me to my next goal.
- I have one social event going into August and I want to keep it that way. Just for this month. Focus: Practice prioritizationAugust is all about getting into a routine that works, so the only areas I want to put my energy in is my family, my job, and my health. This is sometimes the hardest. I never want friends or family feeling like they’re unimportant. There are, however, times when I don’t have any more of me to give and I’m learning to be okay with that.
Bottom line: I am practicing self control in home management, food/exercise, and sticking my schedule.
I’m optimistic that I can work hard and create a positive change. I’m going to kick this depression’s ass!