Life · Uncategorized

5 things everyone should know about anxiety


  1. It isn’t just mental. It’s also physical, its my heart rate reaching 110-117 when my normal heart rate is 76 resting. It’s feeling like I’m going to throw up, or a tight feeling inside of me. I start to shake. I cry. Anxiety causes physical pain too, even if you can’t see it in someone. I get a lot of questions about if I have an eating disorder, and I don’t. But, for me anxiety does make it hard to eat. My stomach is in knots and rejects food.
  2. It will consume me. My life no longer can be normal, because when the anxiety takes over, it eats me from the inside out. I have a hard time eating, I can’t focus on the conversation I’m having, and there is no way I can fake it till I make it. Basically, the anxiety takes over and controls me. I can usually tell if this is about to happen so that I can prepare, I’ll make sure I have some hot tea and things like that, but it doesn’t mean it won’t come. I can take all the steps and the anxiety will still be there. Sometimes it will be worse than others; this week has been a week where it has consumed me. My hands shake, I have trouble focusing, my heart rate is unusually high and I can’t sit still. I know people notice and are either too nice or too afraid to say anything about it. It is hard to focus on anything else.
  3. I can’t make it go away. Trust me, I also wish I could snap my fingers and make this go away. I just can’t. It goes way beyond stress or that I have a lot going on. Anxiety is something that is part of a mental illness that I fight. There are of course steps I take that will help calm me down, and I’ve gotten better at noticing signs that an anxiety attack is probably coming. There are times I’m able to catch the warning signs and get away from people, but there are times I can’t. Luckily after over a year of therapy, I have learned what to look for in myself and have learned some of the things that will trigger the anxiety. But on the other side of that, sometimes nothing at all triggers it. Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere and I start to panic.
  4. It is not my fault. I know a lot of people think I use anxiety as an excuse so that I can stay home. I have known people who look at me and don’t understand that it is not my fault. They assume that I just don’t handle stress well, or that I make it up for attention. I also blame myself sometimes, because maybe if I wasn’t like this I would have more friends. Maybe I would be able to handle life if I wasn’t like this.
  5. I blame myself. The anxiety is really good at being that little voice inside of my head that tells me that I am the reason all of this happens. It tells me that I deserve this. It is easy for me to listen to the voice inside my head. Maybe if I worked harder, I wouldn’t have to fight this. Maybe if I was successful I wouldn’t have to fight this. It is a constant battle in your own head between who you are and the voice that tells you, you’ll never be enough.

If you are someone who does not struggle with this, I hope this gives you a small insight of what people you know and love are going through every single day. If you are someone who is fighting this, keep fighting. We can do this.

Life · Uncategorized

5 Things I have Learned About Anxiety

It’s been one year since I was officially diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression. It’s a little strange that it has been a year of doctors visits and therapy, the ups and downs and everything in between. This last year I’ve learned a lot about living with these. Here are a five stand out to me.

  1. It is not my fault. I didn’t do anything wrong, this is not some form of punishment. In the beginning I had a really hard time dealing with the fact that I was struggling so much, and I blamed myself for it. It felt like I had no hope in the world and I was to blame for my life being nothing. I blamed myself for not being able to be the friend I wanted to be for people, and I blamed myself for never having energy. I felt embarrassed to admit there were days I couldn’t get out of bed, or the times where I just had crying fits for no reason.
  2. You have friends. One of the tricks your brain will play on you is that you are so alone. Everyone I have talked to about this say the same thing, they feel like they have no one to go to, and they feel alone. This is not the case, but your brain believes it, and it forces you to live in this alternate reality where everyone hates you. I believed that I couldn’t talk to anyone, I stayed up and would cry and try to grasp to anything to bring me back to the real world. I actually started keeping photos of my friends and I on adventures around my room, that way when the depression or anxiety would kick in I had proof I wasn’t alone. For me, a lot of this happened after midnight, and so if I texted anyone I wouldn’t hear back until the morning. So late at night when you are panicking and no one is responding (because literally everyone is asleep), you feel like no one cares. Every single time I’ve sent one of those messages someone texts me as soon as they see it the next morning. In that moment though, it is so much easier to believe everyone is ignoring you and doesn’t care. Not to mention most people don’t know how to respond… I’m incredibly lucky that most of my friends do know, and my family read a lot into it. If you get a very generic message back, know that they want to help but they have no idea how to say anything to help you.
  3. Your late night thoughts do not define who you are. When you are sitting alone in your room at 2am crying because you feel ugly, unwanted, alone, the list of things you call yourself just goes on and on. You are curled up crying because you feel like you hate yourself, and you wish you could just disappear. These late night thoughts do not define who you are. They are not the real version of you. Your anxiety does not define who you are, even when it feels like it. The anxiety alternate reality, is not what you need to listen to, you are worth so much more than that. You deserve to love yourself, and for other people to love you, and they do.
  4. There are physical symptoms and that is okay. There are still days when I have to cancel plans, or stay in bed all day. There are days that I feel sick to my stomach from anxiety, and there are days it results in a headache. I get knots in my shoulders after I have had an anxiety attack or even just a day full of anxiety, and my neck and back will hurt from being so tense. The good news is, for everything I listed you can do something to help it. I use a diffuser in my room that has clergy sage in it that is relaxing to me. I turn it on high and do some deep breathing exercises. I also think it is okay to have a day where you stay in bed and rest, as long as that doesn’t turn into never getting up like it did for me in the beginning. I have a spiky roller ball that helps get the tension out of my muscles and that feels incredible. I think everyone is going to be a little different with what will help them, but those are some of the good ones I use, and hey, a hot bubble bath never hurts either.
  5. It doesn’t magically go away. Trust me friends, I thought it would. In fact I was absolutely counting on it going away after a few months of therapy and some doctors visits. I got so frustrated when it wasn’t going away, I didn’t expect to have to fight this long term. I didn’t know there wasn’t a magic potion that I could take and be okay, no really, I wanted that to be the thing that happened. I think I’m way stronger since I have to fight it still, and I’ve learned so much from it not magically going away. The thing is, this is part of who I am right now, and that is okay. When it gets bad, I know that it will be okay soon, because it’s been okay every single time so far, and this time isn’t an exception to it.

I’ve learned a lot in the last year about anxiety, depression, and myself. I’ve grown from this, and I know that I don’t need to resent it. I hope that reading this has helped you, no matter if you fight this, or if you know someone who does.


What I See

Do you ever wonder what someone sees when they look at you? I do. I wonder that all the time.

Let me tell you what I see when I look around at the people in my life (which if you are reading this, includes you)… I see dedication, I see passion, I see confidence, I see beauty, I see love, I see strength, I see laughter, I see hope. I see different things in everyone, each person in my life brings something into my life that they may never know about. You leave an impression on everyone you meet, once or one hundred times. We constantly think about how we see ourselves, and for me I know about 98% of the time when I look at myself it’s not anything good that I see. Seriously, how come if a guy were to walk up to me and tell me that I was dumb and ugly I would think about punching him, but when I say that to myself, it becomes the most valid opinion in the world. I don’t know, but it’s messed up. We see ourselves so differently than the people around us do. We listen to all of those doubts and fears, we start to believe them, I believed my own lies for years.

I wish the people around me would see themselves the way that I see them, but how will they know if I don’t tell them? They won’t. Every single day I am lucky enough to meet many different people in my job, and recently I have tried to find something to compliment every single person about, even if I know my interaction with them is going to be very short, and it has been amazing to see people light up with joy. When you interact with someone, no one expects you to say anything nice to them and that is so sad. Everyone expects you to just go through the motions and if you venture off track they don’t know what to do. Seriously, most of the time if I tell someone I love their shoes, hair color, or whatever, they stare at me a solid two seconds before responding and sometimes they assume I want something from them.

What I want is for that to be normal, I want to be able to see someone walking by and it not be weird for me to compliment them. I want positivity to be the new normal. I want to start loving people abundantly and hopelessly. I never want anyone I meet to ever feel like they don’t have the most unique and beautiful soul.

Every single person around me has something different about them, we aren’t the same people, and that is more than okay. But we ( I know I have) spent more time than we should trying to be someone else, someone who we think is prettier, or smarter, or cooler than us. We are always trying to fit in, find love, and find validation. So many people are willing to change themselves to find those things. I changed myself for someone and lost myself along the way. I don’t want anyone to make the mistake that I did. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like they need to be someone they are not.

If no one has told you today, you are so unique, you are so talented, I mean seriously there is no one who is like you. You bring so much to everyone in your life, and please never doubt that. The world and your friends and family need you, and they love you. You are so loved. You are so beautiful. You are so absolutely incredible, and you should never feel less than that.

If you feel like less than that, I want you to write a sticky note right now to yourself that says “ I am enough. I am loved. I am unique. I am the best”. Read that every single morning. I seriously have a wall of quotes that I read every single day. I know that I am someone who struggles with confidence and loving myself, but if I can’t love myself, then I can’t love others. And there are so many others who deserved to be loved, and I deserve to love myself.

I want you to love yourself, and yes I am preaching to the choir here because if anyone needs to work on self-doubt or confidence, it’s probably me. I’ve shut out people for too long because I hated myself, and didn’t want to let anyone else in. I spent a long time being angry at the world, and angry at myself, and it stopped me from being able to truly love anyone. When you let yourself fill up with anger and hate and fear and sadness, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for love, friendship, confidence, and hope. So here is to the rest of 2018 where I continue to learn to love myself, and to continue to learn how to make others feel loved as well.

PS~ I hope everyone has at least one friend who will tell you what they see in you, because I know that pictured above is one of mine. He will always be there to pick me up if I am down. When you find a loving and encouraging person, keep them around. I’ve adopted this one into my family.



I know I’m not enough for you. And no matter what I do I never will be, I try to do everything I can for you. I’m doing my best to give you the world, and you still think it isn’t good enough. You still get mad at me. Then you wonder why I’m not happy. You act like it’s not sucking the life out of me trying to give and give to so many people who constantly just want more from me. I know I’m a people pleaser. I know that I will make myself miserable to make everyone else happy. But in return, people expect more from me, and I get nothing.

I lived life trying to please everyone else for such a long time. Maybe that’s why now I have stopped feeling things the same way. Maybe that’s why I don’t trust anyone, maybe that’s why I can’t make friends. It’s hard to learn that someone was friends with you because you would do anything and everything to make them happy, but when you needed something they weren’t there.

It’s so emotionally draining to live life trying to make everyone else happy. I mean I don’t even know how to tell someone I am too tired to do something, much less that I just don’t want to. I know over the last few months I’ve gotten better about this, because I’ve been trying to focus on myself, but with something that has been a habit my entire life, it’s hard to get rid of it. I thought I was always doing the right thing by putting everyone else before me, turns out I just don’t know how to take care of myself now. I mean I know how to cook, clean, all that jazz. But I don’t know how to take a day to relax, I don’t know how to focus on my own wellbeing.

I don’t have time for myself, I don’t get to do what I want to with my time because I am busy doing things for everyone else. I always thought it was a good thing, it meant I wasn’t selfish. But I’ve realized that for years I’ve felt like I was never enough for anyone because everyone always wanted more from me. I didnt have people who would give into my life, just ones that would take.

I’ve realized I don’t think I’ll ever be enough because I know I’ll never make everyone happy and that’s what I was focused on. I will never be enough for someone else, and that’s okay. I’m not here for everyone else. I need to learn to be enough for myself before I can be anything for anyone else.

I am enough. I can’t make everyone happy and that’s okay. I’ve learned that sometimes I can’t do something for someone, and that makes them mad, but I am learning to be okay in that. It would have killed me a year ago if someone was mad at me for not having the energy to do something for them, or not wanting to go out to dinner. I would have anxiety attacks over the thought of upsetting someone. Now it’s honestly shocking to people when I tell them no, because they have never gotten that from me before. They get so frustrated with me about it. No one understands why I’ve started to say no. I’m not here to be someone’s servant. I have to start taking care of me, because no one else can.

I need to love myself enough to let myself be happy. Honestly, once you stop doing everything for someone and start doing things for yourself, it makes it a little easier to see if they are in your life because they love and appreciate you, or if you were convenient for them and they needed someone to do things for them. One of the hardest things to learn while I’ve been fighting depression and anxiety is that I need to love myself, and I need to do things that make me happy. If I stress out about everyone else, I’ll never let myself enjoy life.

You are enough. I am enough. Love yourself for who you are. Don’t let anyone else run your life for you.

Life · Uncategorized

A Look Back

As usual, my year looked nothing like I thought it would- which could really be said for the last three years of my life.

Tonight, I took some time to look back on 2017, expecting to see mostly pain. But there were a lot of incredible things that happened. Most importantly, I started to heal. I found out what was going on, and now people are helping me get through it. I found hope.

Don’t get me wrong, 2017 was hard. Here is the series of events that were the start of my 2017…

November 2016, I started to get worse. I had been struggling for a few months, but the holiday season was when I started to get dark. I couldn’t feel happy when everyone else around me could. I didn’t want to go do any of the Christmas things I had always loved. I kept making excuses for why my personality had changed. I started to go from a sweet quiet girl, to someone who was constantly angry or sad. December 2016, I didn’t want to see anyone, I pushed people away, I cried every night, and I constantly felt like I was a disappointment, I was trying my best to go through the motions. Honestly, most of that December doesn’t even exist in my mind. I didn’t know who I was, but the girl controlling my life wasn’t me. It was a scary realization. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. That’s terrifying. This is when I struggled the most asking for help. I knew I needed it, I knew that I was not okay, but I didn’t know what to do. Luckily, I had a few friends who did. January 2017, I sat down one night with one of my closest friends and told them the things that were going through my head and what I was feeling, and they told me that I might want to go talk to someone about depression. I did, and I remember explaining to them that it felt like I was trapped inside of a black box and someone else was controlling everything and I couldn’t get out.

From there it’s probably easy to see how I could count the year 2017 as horrible. But maybe in part, it’s because it is easier for me to see the bad. That’s still something I have to fight. Seriously, I went through a lot this year and it was all overwhelming and I’ve felt constantly exhausted for months. Sleep? What’s that? I stress out over nothing, which is also just as exhausting as stressing out over something. But, when I look back on my year, I see so many happy memories that I have. I guess it’s sometimes easier to see the happy moments when you take some time to step back and look at your life.

I learned a lot this year. It is okay to need help, therapy is amazing and nothing like they tell you it is on TV. It’s good to talk to your friends about what you are thinking and feeling, they can’t help you if they don’t know how. Honestly, there are some great articles and videos on the internet that talk about loving someone with anxiety or depression or both, and I’ve sent and shared many of them. It is okay to tell people no to doing things. Sometimes you need to get dressed and go outside, because on the days I get dressed and do my hair and makeup, it’s like a little victory. Depression doesn’t have to control you, and you can still live your best life.  I’ve started to learn to take care of myself, I’ve started to cook and bake again, I’ve started to use a planner every week (seriously, do it). I danced in two shows which I never imagined myself doing. I have learned it is okay to put myself first sometimes. I started to return to the girl I thought I had lost. It’s a roller-coaster, there are ups and downs, but I started to find my way back to who I am and who I was. I’ve learned that having depression isn’t my fault.

I’ve realized just how few people talk openly about their struggles I’ve learned that it can be important to talk about so people know they aren’t alone. I’ve learned a lot about depression and anxiety and everything makes sense now. Seriously, there are so many symptoms that I was experiencing that I never thought could be caused by depression or anxiety.

Going into the new year, I don’t want to make any resolutions. They are cliché and easily forgotten. But I think that the end of one year and beginning of the next is a good time to sit down and look at where you are and where you want to be going. I want to continue my journey. I want to take the next year to learn how to love myself again. I want to be able to say that I’m happy. I want to look in the mirror and see myself for who I am, and not see a stranger. These are all things that I’ve already started, but I hope to see big differences in over the next year.

As 2017 is coming to a close, I’m glad for the journey I’m on. I know my life isn’t always happy or fun or glamorous, but it’s mine. In 2018 I hope that you are able to love yourself. I hope you take care of yourself, and I hope you find the little things in your life to bring the positive out. Personally, I’m so ready to close this chapter.


Good Days/Bad Days

Today was a better day than I’ve had in a while. I cleaned, I did laundry, I cooked, I baked, I did my homework, I went to Starbucks, I went to target. And why am I telling you this? Because several days this week I didn’t get out of bed. Because one night this week I wrote you’ll find later in this article. Because it’s important to talk about how dark and light this is, how day and night it can be. I can flip in an instant.

There isn’t always a reason, sometimes there is. My brain can change everything in a few seconds. One minute I am fine and happy, the next my hands are shaking and I’m panicked.  Today in the store I was borderline having an anxiety attack because I realized I was going out of town in two weeks, and would come back and need to get ready to start training for a new job. A training process that I’m terrified about. And, And And… I just kept going. Luckily, my best friend is the best at breaking things down into smaller things that I can do to help. Ex: “But going home will be so good for you” “You will be so amazing at this job and I’m so excited for you. You can do this.” Seriously, how lucky am I to have that kind of support??

I’ve gotten in the habit of trying to write when I can tell it’s getting bad, because I see things differently then. It’s like someone else takes over. Even  what I read a few days later can sound absolutely crazy, but it’s not. It’s just what depression looks like, and to be perfectly honest it’s ugly (and crazy).

So, several nights ago I wrote this, at around 12:30/1am. I hadn’t been able to sleep, and it was getting worse. I also had the flu so I wasn’t able to eat much at all. I’m sure all of that just added to things. But here we go–

I want to believe there is reason that my life is like this.

As I’m standing in my room at midnight crying for absolutely no reason, as I look at my reflection and realize it’s not a girl I want to be and it’s not who I am. Tears running down my face, eyes puffy, I haven’t touched my hair in four days, I don’t even have clean clothes to put on. That’s my reality. That’s what this looks like. It’s not pretty. It’s not a trend or to get attention. Because I hate when people tell me that. You think I would go through this for attention? No. God I would never wish this on anyone. It’s standing at your vanity grabbing the edge while you are crying to hold yourself up. As I try to convince myself to go start shower water to try to see if the hot water can calm me down. It’s trying to hold yourself together when you think the world is ending. When you feel so alone.

That’s always the word. Alone. You think you are alone, you feel alone. You start scrolling through social media and posting a bunch of stuff to try to convince yourself you are not alone. You want the likes and the comments, you want the affirmation. You want compliments. You turn to that to try to feel good. But it’s still an empty feeling. Honestly, it makes it so much worse. You end up on the explore page and you see people who are getting engaged, or buying a house, or who look perfect, who have incredible jobs, who are graduating college, who have this or that or whatever that you wish you could have. It’s insane. I mean, I don’t know these people, and yet here I am scrolling through their picture perfect lives. But that just makes it feel so much worse, because you start blaming yourself about why you aren’t good enough to have those things.

It’s not like I can even talk to anyone about this when I’m breaking down because they always look at me with a sad look and say “I’m sorry” but then they move on in the conversation. That doesn’t help. I just want someone who will listen to me and not be annoyed they have to deal with me and my insecurities, and my mental illness.

I know it’s hard to imagine anyone going through this. But even people who don’t look like they struggle do. I know that tomorrow everything will look better. I know that. But right now all I see in my reflection is a girl in tears, who doesn’t think she is good enough for the people who love her. A girl who feels lost and overwhelmed.


Okay so… Obviously, that is going to worry a lot of people. Let me stress that I’m good, I’ve actually been happy today. I worked on projects, I finished up this article, I played with my dog, and I finally have a clean apartment again. I know some people will think that I’m oversharing, but this is a topic that someone has to start talking about. Even the uncomfortable stuff.

Ps- I did take the shower, hot water did in fact help. I also drank a cup of hot tea as well as hot chocolate and was able to calm down. I have several things I will do to come back from it, and each time something does help.

Celebrate the little victories, cleaning, getting out of bed, cooking, because those are huge accomplishments. They don’t seem like they are to everyone else, but to someone struggling with mental illness, doing any of these things is a hard battle to fight. One of my favorite things that my mom has learned to do, is celebrate my little victories. She understands that it is hard for me, and it means so much to me that she takes time to recognize it. My best friend does the same thing, she is constantly telling me she is proud of me when I manage to get things done. Neither one of them get upset with me when I feel overwhelmed, they talk me through it. They both understand if my kitchen is a little messy, or if I ignore my phone for hours. They have been so absolutely wonderful. My brain my like to feel alone, but I’m far from alone.

I know just how scary the dark times are, and I also know you can get through them.


You Deserve It

You Deserve It… That is the text that I just received. I had told my mom that I was very emotionally overwhelmed, and she said that hopefully soon I start to feel better and that we can get some things adjusted, because I deserve to feel better.

That meant I broke down crying, not because I was upset by it, but that it hit me that I didn’t feel like I deserved to feel better. I have no reason to feel that way, life has actually been going well recently. But here I am once again crying late and night feeling emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted. I’m used to this. I haven’t had any bad things happen that should make me feel exhausted or overwhelmed. I just opened two shows in a row, I love my job, I have wonderful friends and family, and am coming up on one year of having my dog. But really I needed someone to tell me that I deserved it and was worth it. That was the moment that I realized I had stopped taking care of myself recently.

Then I realized that I didn’t need to have something bad to have happened in order for me to feel like this. I just spent two or three weeks (I’m unsure, time has blurred) of work and a lot of human interaction. That alone is exhausting for me. I told my therapist this week that I just kind of felt blank, I realize now that feeling was the start of me kinda crashing because I had been trying to push myself through everything. I was just numb. I didn’t know how I felt. My schedule was weird, I was thrown off from any sense of a routine, which can be really important for anxiety and depression. A routine means that I know what is coming, and I am flexible within my routine, but it is really nice sometimes to have a series of things I can use to help get ready for the day or for work. In so many ways it is calming, because I don’t have to panic about what I need to do. It sets me up for the day. I have a routine at night as well that helps to wind down from the day.

I get emotionally exhausted easily right now. That isn’t bad, because I would be shocked if I didn’t. I recognize that I have a lot of things going on, and that I’ve been keeping myself too busy to do any form of self-care. That’s another thing, being busy helps, but sometimes there is a blurred line between being too busy and busy. Being busy is nice because it gives me motivation. Being too busy is not a good thing, because I start not taking care of myself. I’m starting to learn that I can catch the emotional exhaustion, and when I know it’s coming I can help ease it. I’m not going to prevent it, on top of medical stuff I’m a high introvert, being around more than one or two people is absolutely exhausting for me. But I can acknowledge what is happening and take small actions to help.

It’s important to know what your limits are. It’s important to evaluate what you are feeling, and when, and what helps. Everyone will have different limits, and have different things that are triggers for the anxiety or depression. For me therapy has been incredible for realizing what some causes are and some limits, because sometimes I can’t figure out why I feel so stressed until I’m talking about everything I have going on and I start to connect the dots.

Point being, if you are taking the time to read through this I am guessing either you or someone you know is dealing with depression and anxiety. Or maybe you just want a better understanding. Sometimes they will just be overwhelmed and exhausted, and sometimes there isn’t anything bad that had to have happened. Sometimes even if a lot of good is happening, you still feel that way. You still feel like you don’t deserve the good you do have, it’s just another way your brain is trying to fight you. Sometimes it is just exhausting being around big groups of people. It’s okay. Feeling that is not your fault and you are not to blame. It’s part of this, but I’m learning to live with it and you can too. For me sometimes writing will give me clarity. Sometimes writing is a way of stopping the panic I start to feel because I can think through everything. It will be different for everyone. Sometimes working out helps, sometimes coloring, sometimes reading a book. There are different little ways you can learn that will help you. I can’t magically tell you what works for me will work for you, because it might not, but I can tell you that there are things you can find that will help.

The thing is, you absolutely deserve to feel better, and don’t let yourself feel differently. Because you are worth it and you deserve it.

Note: if you ever are feeling afraid of therapy, or unsure, please feel free to message me to talk to me about it.