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Posts tagged ‘friendship’

Maybe

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When the life of someone you love slips away, your first reaction may be to shut down. Maybe you cry your eyes out. Maybe you feel hopeless and helpless. Maybe you hold your child extra tight. Maybe you say extra prayers. Maybe you wonder why. Maybe you try to be grateful for a life that is still yours. Maybe the emotional part of your brain aches in ways you can’t explain. Maybe you wish things were different. Maybe you feel guilty for still being here. Maybe a part of you is thankful for all you have. Maybe you are confused. Maybe you are torn. Maybe you are just trying to find a way to push forward. There is just so much loss, heartache, and pain. But, we have to keep going while it’s our time to be and maybe we need to find ways to help others do the same. Maybe. Maybe.

Rest in peace, my dear friend, Latasha Greer. You will live on through your girls, your husband, and all else who love you. You changed our lives and touched our hearts. For that, you’ll never be forgotten.

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Bi-Polar Unmasked

 

Many don’t know or understand what living with a mental health illness or living with someone who has one is like. It’s definitely more recognized now than in years past and I’m thankful that more are taking this seriously. Mental health illnesses deserve acknowledging, being researched, funding for help, etc. From bi-polar to schizophrenia, doctors, scientists, and more are taking notice and working hard to help those of us that struggle with these seemingly invisible illnesses. Still, there are many out there who treat mental health illnesses as though they’re unimportant, made up, or those who have one are some sort of freak show. Being treated like what we live with isn’t a big deal or like we’re damaged goods gets old. It can be hurtful to be treated like what we live with is just something we can just snap out of at anytime.

Maybe if you eat better, surely it’s just a matter of diet. Maybe if you just willed yourself to overcome it. Maybe if you just get over yourself. Maybe you should just stop being so dramatic. Maybe if you prayed harder. Maybe if you did this or maybe if you did that. Gah!!!!!!

OR…..

You’re a total freak show. I can’t associate myself with someone so messed up. Your moods are just too all over the place. Your depression brings me down. Why are you so anxious all the time? Does it really matter if things are out of place? Why are you freaking out? Is there a reason you’re crying, again? How long has it been since you brushed your hair? I can’t be your friend, you’re just too high maintenance.

Unless you live with a mental health illness, you can’t truly understand how crippling it can be. How long has it been since I brushed my hair or showered? You know, I’m not sure. Why did I just spend money on things I don’t need? I felt a compulsion and couldn’t stop. Does it really matter if things are out of place? Yes. YES! If things are out of place, I feel an agitation I can’t put in check. I MUST have order. I MUST have things a certain way. I won’t rest until I do. Rest? I feel like staying in bed all day. I’m just exhausted. I feel so depressed. The tears won’t stop. I’m a failure and a freak. Why would anyone love me? I’ll just call in today, again. Mania sets in and now I’m crazy cleaning, extra irritable, and ultra hyper. I have such energy. What’s wrong with you? I don’t know. Why are you so touchy? I don’t know. Why are you snapping for no reason? I don’t know. Why are you crying, again? I don’t know. Why can’t you just snap out of it? I DON’T KNOW!!!!

Therapists, pyschologists, psychiatrists, and medications, oh my!!! Say that five times fast! Insults are hurled if we utilize these to get help. Can’t you deal with things without meds? Why do you need some shrink? You’re just weak. You’re just having a few bad days here and there, just suck it up. But then again, if we refuse to get that help, then we are wrong too. Clearly you need help, so why not get on medication to control your mood swings and stabilize yourself? You know, it’s not just about you, right? See a therapist, you need help. No matter what we do or don’t do, we’re failing in someone’s eyes.

It’s a daily struggle, on or off meds. Whether we see a mental health specialist or not, things are still hard sometimes. Fighting your mind isn’t an easy feat. You’re constantly torn. You try so hard to be “normal”. Why can’t I just be mentally stable? Why am I like this? Why?! Why is it so hard to maintain friendships? Why do people turn their backs on me? I know why. I wouldn’t want to deal with me either. I want to hold a regular job. I want to succeed. Eh. This job just wasn’t right for me. Maybe the next one? I want to be loved. I don’t deserve love. I can overcome anything. I am strong. I can beat this. I can’t do anything right. I’ll never amount to anything. I can’t beat this. My past stirs up awful memories. The nightmares leave me barely able to function. The past won’t beat me. I survived. I can survive anything. I am lonely, but I don’t want to leave the house. I want to make my dreams come true. I’ll fight to do just that. Well, maybe tomorrow. Up, up, up, and then crashing down, HARD.

I have bi-polar, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD. I’ve been ridiculed, laughed at, treated like a freak, and pushed away, by many, including myself. Many can’t make sense of what goes on inside my head, least of all me. Growing up, I didn’t know what to make of what was going on inside my head. I just thought I was broken. As an adult, I got diagnosed with bi-polar first. The others followed behind that. I have been on many medications and seen many doctors. It’s been a fight the whole way, with or without that specialized help. One thing I’ve found that’s helped the most is a personal support system. They have made and continue to make a huge difference in getting through the really hard days. They deserve so much credit.

Those who live with people that have mental health illnesses should never be overlooked. They deal with our mood swings, meltdowns, odd behaviors, and more. They help us through. When we’re beyond reason, they just wait it out and deal with whatever we throw their way. If they themselves deal with mental health illnesses, that makes things even tougher. When you have more than one under one roof, it can be a challenge. My son and I both deal with them. Our relationship sure has been tested. Then there’s my husband, the stable one, trying to deal with us both. It’s not been easy for anyone. Somehow, he manages. Accepting us both hasn’t been easy, but I’m thankful he has. Since he’s entered our lives, there’s some semblance of stability. He deserves a thousand shout outs. As hard as it is to live with the actual illnesses, it’s plenty difficult living with those that do. So, thank you.

Things like cancer, MS, Cystic Fibrosis, and heart disease are major concerns and definitely deserve to be recognized, researched, have people fighting for cures, and to have people across the globe raising awareness for them. I find no issue with any of that, at all. I have had family members and friends face cancer, Type One Diabetes, heart disease, CF, Dementia and Alzheimer’s, and more. Some I love have even lost their lives to these. It’s not been easy watching people I love suffer. So I support causes that try to help them and others that live with or have lost their lives to such illnesses and diseases.

I just want to also raise awareness for people who live with mental health illnesses. What we go through is serious and deserves recognition too. So, here is bi-polar and such unmasked. Yes, the illnesses are in our minds, but only in the sense that’s what they effect. They stem from imbalances in our brains. They’re very real. If you know someone that lives with one, try showing compassion, patience, and love. I know we’re not easy to deal with, but we’re far more than the illnesses we live with.

I am not bi-polar. I’m not my illness. I have bi-polar. There’s a difference between being and having something. I refuse to let it define me. The mask is off. Here I stand, telling you about a part of myself. I hope you’ll learn something. Maybe it’ll help you with someone you know or maybe you are dealing with this yourself.  Either way, I hope this opens eyes and minds. Mental health is important. It starts with the mind, but it also effects physical health as well. A healthy mind and body go hand in hand. Having support instead of insults and ignorance is the first step to helping. Let’s all take one step forward today….

Adjust Your Sails

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After all the posts I’ve seen today where people are putting themselves down, feeling not good enough, feeling ugly, and just not doing well, I feel compelled to say this….

God doesn’t make ugly. He doesn’t make mistakes. He made you. You are not ugly. You are not a mistake. You are worthy of love. You are meant for great things. You are in fact beautiful. You are wonderful.

Today might be bad for you. Maybe this whole year has been hard so far. But. You are not the bad things happening. You are meant to rise above. It may take time. You may hurt for awhile. That’s awful, if that’s the case, but sometimes we have those times when things are hard. This WILL pass though. You can get through. You are NOT alone. You are NOT your past, mistakes, grief, hard times, or doubts. You are more than any illness or label. You are someone of value that is meant to do and be great things. Keep believing that, each day that you can and when you find you can’t, I can remind you.

Let’s adjust those sails, ladies and gents. These storms aren’t meant to drown us, even though sometimes it may feel that way. Sometimes we fall. Sometimes the waves threaten to overtake us and we’re gasping for air. Sometimes we lose battles with depression and other health issues. Sometimes our circumstances are bad. At the end of it, we find that we outlast the storm. The best part is, we don’t need to go it alone. 🙂

Silence Speaks

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Silent days turned into months

Though no words were spoken

And no cruel deeds were done

A once close bond was broken

 

No one knows when it all began

When or how silence crept in

How it slowly extinguished a once strong flame

Sadness and regret are now found within

 

Once upon a time, the walls were full of joy and laughter

And through any hard times, love and support were given

How did a once great friendship become something like this?

Once fueled by love, they’re now fear driven

 

Afraid of change and afraid of failure

They don’t try to repair what’s not right

Unhappy, yet comfortable in what they’ve become

Plans they made, now faded from their sight

 

Some say it’s mean words and awful things done that ruin relationships

And sometimes that’s found to be very true

But other times, what kills a bond between two people is something else entirely

Sometimes it’s silence, indifference, and when people pull away that weakens the glue

 

Any relationship, with family, friendship, or between lovers needs some key things to survive

Trust, loyalty, respect, and love are high on that list

But there is so much more than that which helps a relationship thrive

Working together, having fun with each other, and communication sometimes are missed

 

Sometimes what drives two people apart wasn’t an issue from the start

And it doesn’t often happen right away

It’s, many times, caused from a long period of miscommunication or emotional distance

A successful relationship requires hard work from both people nearly every day

 

Harsh words can cut like a knife, this is true

And often cause more damage than physical damage done

But, let’s not forget that silence can speak just as loudly and cut just as deeply

Let’s speak and do it with love, most especially in the darkest times, so that the battle against broken hearts can be won….

 

 

*Photography done by myself, taken at the Milwaukee County Zoo last October.*

 

 

There Are Always Ways to Help…

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Some think the only or best way to help is by giving money to causes, people in need, etc. I have learned something over the years, money can do a lot of good and I would never discourage anyone from giving to worthy causes or helping out someone who is truly in need, BUT there are more ways to help.

Sometimes people aren’t in a position to help financially and feel like there’s nothing they can do. However, we can give our time, energy, and effort to others by volunteering, teaching, mentoring, tutoring, helping people by giving of your services like babysitting, cooking a meal for someone who just had surgery, helping someone move, etc.

Going through our things and giving what we don’t need or no longer use to others who could use it often helps people as well. How many of us have things in storage, stuffed in the back of our closets or the garage, etc that we know we’ll never get around to using again or maybe just bought because it was on sale or thought it would be a good idea at the time and then never used at all? Some can donate blood, which is always in need. Some physically can’t give, but many can.

And let us not forget, sometimes all someone needs is someone to listen without passing judgement. Sometimes people don’t want or need anything of monetary value, they just need a friend to listen, give advice, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to make them laugh. Sometimes people just need to be reminded how special and loved they are and that there is a reason to go on.

One or many of these things may not be doable, but don’t be discouraged. If you want to give back, pay it forward, or make a difference, there are always ways to do it.

Love Is…

 

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, one some look forward to and others dread. I have been on both sides of the fence on this. I’ve been the jaded skeptic that wanted to avoid the day and the in love romantic hoping to celebrate it.

Now, I’ve come to see it’s not just about couples, romantic dates, gifts, and high expectations. By all means, couples are encouraged to celebrate it if they wish. I do think love should be celebrated all year, not just when the calendar and the mountain of ads urging you to spend money tells you so. However, what is wrong with making Valentine’s Day one of those days?

Some are so anti Valentine’s Day, saying why should we make a big deal out of it when we shouldn’t limit celebrating love to one or two days a year. From that end, yes, we shouldn’t limit it to select dates. That doesn’t mean though that we should be anti love that day in protest. 😉

Love is amazing, for the many who feel it and like I eluded to before, not just for the couples surrounded by it. I no longer dissuade anyone from celebrating love, for many reasons. One of the reasons is the kids in our lives and all across the country. I don’t want to teach our kids to be jaded, skeptical, and wary when it comes to love.

Love is wonderful and so huge for kids, the way they feel about mom and dad, their siblings, nana and grandpa, friends, pets, favorite stuffed animal, dreams for the future, and so much around them. Shouldn’t we encourage them to love love and shower others with it the way we do? Live by example…

Love is great among true and loyal friends, a love that shouldn’t go unnoticed. They see us through dark times and cheer us on during the good, as we do for them. They give us so much love and I think it can be a nice way to show ours to remember them on February 14th. Yes, all year is best, but isn’t that part of the year? 😉

Love is incredible for parents, the bond we feel with our kids is generally quite solid, a connection like none other. I like to do cute things for my kids every year, a little something to show them just how special they are to me. I do random things throughout the year as well, but feel no shame in doing them on Valentine’s Day too.

Love is love, all year, from January 1st through December 31st, that includes February 14th – Valentine’s Day. I do think sometimes it gets over hyped, but overall I think it’s a harmless thing and actually something that can be good. It encourages spending money, yeah, but it also encourages showing those we love how much we care. It’s not necessary to spend a ton of money to shower our loved with the love we feel, but it’s not a bad thing if people want to.

For all the anti Valentine’s Day people out there, I get it, I’ve been there. I do urge you though to respect those who choose to celebrate and for those that do celebrate it, I urge you to respect the wishes of those that don’t. We can be on either side of the should we celebrate it or not and not make the other feel bad for feeling the way they do. For me, I won’t make a HUGE deal out of it, but I won’t ignore it either. To me, it’ll be another opportunity to show those I love how much they mean to me. Love is important to me, all year, tomorrow included. ❤

Fly High, Lou Lou

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Sunshine and two piece suits

Music blaring, getting lost in it

I’d braid your hair, you’d do mine

Laughing, singing, and loving life

 

Staying up late, watching movies

Playing exhilarating games of Yahtzee

Talking for hours about anything and everything

You had my back, as I had yours

 

There are days when I come close to calling you

But then I remember you’re gone

You touched my life in inexpressible ways

Your love has left an everlasting mark upon my soul

 

Once my cousin, always my friend

Death doesn’t separate us

A part of you lives within me

I’ll love you until my days come to an end.

 

Aimee Lyn Steinseifer: 11/13/1974 – 05/02/2016

 

Your life was more than just a beginning or an end. You lived all those years in between to their fullest. You’re missed, deeply, every day. ♡

 

 

Ad Astra, Nomad

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