04 September 2016

Perspective | Part One.

I'm currently laying in a pillow cocoon on my bed, watching Justin Escalona's vlog, Daily Docs, thinking about this upcoming school year. 

I don't usually look forward to school as much as I did this summer. I wanted to be back on campus, with my friends, learning new shit and doing the stuff I love. I waited for Sept 7th to come so I could get back into the groove of my college life. 

I'll be honest, college is the best thing that ever happened to me. . . other than anxiety medication. Anyway, yes, college has been the catalyst for so much in my life. I put myself out there socially more than I ever have. I was lucky if in the past I had two friends, now I have a group of friends that accept me for me and nothing else. It's awesome. 

I've become not only social, but my ability to adapt and to change is starting to grow. It's an incredibly slow growth for me, but it's happening. With this change going on inside of me I'm learning that perspective is going to be huge for me this year. 

I will gain a lot of perspective from making sure I make myself my number one priority and not anything that will not aid me in becoming the person I want to be. I guess that is where I feel my growth, my maturity - whatever you want to call it, will happen. Also, my mom thinks so too and she's always right, so case closed. 

It's not going to easy. I'm a workaholic. If I could work from 7 am to 9 pm everyday for the rest of my life and not physically or mentally worn out, I would. I know that's not a possibility, and I know this from experience because that is literally what I did for the majority of last year. It was fun as hell, I will not deny that but I don't know if I can do that again. 

Would I want to? I'm not sure and I think that's why perspective is gonna be a critical thing. I have a feeling I'm going to be asking this question to myself a lot this year - is this what is best for me? 

I don't know but I'm ready to find out. 

Join me. 

31 July 2016

The Unwithering Power of Words

The power of words is something I think I understand.

When you can not see the face of the person speaking, the tone, which portrayed through the diction and syntax, is the way to hear the words. The way the words brush your ears with their deeper meanings and the forever nauseating way of penetrating that part of yourself that you don't peek at too often but, sometimes, words fucking suck. 

Words can cause harm and bring distasteful rings to our eyes when reading them. A never ending cycle of torture in the form of daggers from the language that connect us all. So many metaphors being thrown in our faces at our times of need; none more comforting than the next. 

Although words can create harm and terror in our souls when spoken by the ones we love most, words and language bring us all from the far parts of the universe. The gravity is not only scientific but the spiritual power that keeps our feet on the ground. 

Just a thought I had. Hope this finds you in a place of peace where the words surrounding you are positive and kind. 

If not, please let this be a little push to explain to those around you that sometimes, they need to shut the fuck up and move on with their lives. 

25 July 2016

(Some) Drugs are Good: My Thoughts on Anxiety Meds

Drugs are good. 

Not the kinds of drugs you buy from the guy on the corner wearing the weed sweatshirt at two in the afternoon because you got peer pressured into it. The drugs I’m talking about are the ones that help the billions of chemicals in my brain level out so I can rationally decide if I should get Wendy’s or McDonald’s without having a panic attack.

If you haven’t guessed it already, I’m talking about anti-anxiety medication. 

I’ve been taking these “drugs” for a year now and I have never been so elated and full of joy. I now refer to the time in my life before the anxiety meds as “old Haley” and I am now the new and improved “Haley” who loves being social and enjoys being spontaneous, things that terrified me before. 

I am no longer stuck in the whirling world of my brain, that of which is being pulled in a million different directions by the constant anxieties and obsessive compulsions I must complete to get through my day.
Smiles for days. 

GAD, OCD, PTSD – all things I have been diagnosed with by a medical professional, which you should see if you are having any troubles. Seriously, I have white coat syndrome, A.K.A. hating the doctor’s office, but I went and to date it was the best decision I ever made. 

At one point in my life, I genuinely thought I was losing my mind and that was the moment everything changed – finally my doctor told me it was time to try medication.

I had tried therapy, meditation, yoga; all of which helped but did not aid me in becoming the person who I truly am. That person is a confident young woman with drive and passion and stubbornness that will probably get her in trouble but is actually a good quality now a day. Yes, I just complimented myself, that is something I never did before the days of taking a white pill every night before I go to bed.

I am not saying medication is the right route for everyone, it just was for me. Maybe after reading this maybe someone would be more open to the idea of even asking for help with anxiety or anything else you feel troubled about.

I am not going to sugar coat it, its terrifying asking for help. No matter how open and willing people are to help you sometimes it is just too scary to be that vulnerable. I get it, I understand that fear and I have felt it many times. 

The only thing I will say to help anyone facing this is: sometimes taking a risk is your only choice. I am incredibly indecisive and went back and forth about the decision to start taking anti-anxiety medication, which I wasn’t too keen on, but I thank god I did it.

Looking back at the last year, my life has been changed by these drugs I take every night to alter the chemicals in my brain. That is a reason a lot of people will not take them, and that’s understandable. 

Sometimes though, your chemicals are already out of whack and you need some help to be healthy and eventually happy. I no longer am ashamed of my mental illnesses, I’m me and that is perfectly okay.

I, for sure, have never had such pride in myself for the decisions I’ve made throughout the past year of my life. It turned out to be the best year of my life and it’s been filled with friends, family, laughter, tears and plenty of embarrassing Snapchat stories but I loved every second of it.

22 July 2016

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I find it incredibly difficult sometimes to accept that I suffer from PTSD. When my former therapist told me about PTSD, I did not believe her that I was dealing with this. "Veterans suffer from that after coming home from war, there is no way I have that, " I would say things like that over and over again. Maybe I was in denial, maybe I knew it was true. Now more than ever I realize the strength in admitting that you are in pain. 

Today, I am in pain. 
Today, I am suffering. 
Today, I am okay with that. 

I am having a hard time today, I really am. Flashbacks of traumatic experiences in my life keep popping up and it's terrifying. Memories of moments of my life, that I wish I could forget, keep coming back. Moments when I felt weak, scared, shocked, heartbroken all keeping flooding my thoughts and I do not know what to do. 

I'm incredibly hard on myself and I expect a lot. I'm the person who thinks about what they have done and never thinks it's good enough and I do this so intensely that I traumatize myself. It's terrifying what your brain can do it itself. My soul and my heart are pleading to not be so hard on myself but my brain has these expectations that, if aren't met, means I am a failure. 

I am not a failure. 
I am doing my best. 
I am kicking ass at what I am doing. 

I have to remind myself of that all the time. Today, when moments of terror and fear strike me into a panic at the oddest of time, I have to remind myself of that. I have to be open to the fear. I have to know that it will pass. 

That is why I am writing this - to remind myself. 

I am not my anxiety. 
I am not my tramuas. 

Tony Robbins said it best and this is something I will try to never forget - "Your biography is not your destiny." I will not let my past define my future.

Just wanted to write to remind myself that I am capable of peace - in my life, in my heart and most importantly in my soul. 

Hope peace is finding you wherever you are tonight.