Mental Health

Recovery: Day 1,096

Recovery: Day 1,096

Today marks three years of recovery for me, and what amazes me the most is how quickly time is able to pass us by if we do not pay attention. This is what recovery has been about for me; paying attention. At first, what started out as realizing and admitting I had a substance use disorder, had now become a three-year recovery process of understanding…why. By showing up for my life, keeping myself accountable for my own choices, and learning how to express my emotions in a healthy manner, I have been able to see another day and live my best life in recovery.

In this post, I will share with you some of my biggest recovery struggles, and why this way of life is no easy feat. I will talk about what recovery has offered me thus far, and despite the challenge of it, why I would not live another way. Regardless of what it is you may be battling, recovery from anything is a day to day process. Recovery is simply choosing to want the best for yourself and your life, and getting honest about the things that pull you away from that.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

My Thoughts on Suicide!

My Thoughts on Suicide!

With the recent passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the topic of Suicide and Mental Illness has taken a front row seat in the news. It is unfortunate that it must take these kinds of extremes to get people talking, but I am a firm believer in these being the kinds of conversations that we need to be having more of. In a world filled with so much suffering, there has got to be a way for us to discuss these kinds of issues. By remaining available, as well as vulnerable, to those closest to us, we can begin creating a ‘safe space’ for those that are desperately just trying to be heard, seen, and felt.

In this post, I share my thoughts on Suicide and I suggest ways that we can ALL get better at when it comes to paying attention to the people in our lives and those around us. Suicide is a dark topic, but we need to know that there can be a light shed on it. We do that by talking about it, reading about it, and doing what we can to understand it to the best of our abilities. This is just my attempt at doing that through my own knowledge, and experience with it.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Dear Depression,

Dear Depression,

It’s #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, and you know what that means…I am going to write about it! Except this time, I am doing things a little differently; I am writing a letter directly to Depression.

If you have spent any part of your life having to overcome the battle of this mental illness, you will understand this letter on a deeper level. If you have never experienced the struggle that is depression, then I urge you to read this letter so you can try to understand. Depression takes on many forms, and it has this cruel way of making everything seem fine to the outside world when in reality, the person suffering is having to fight a constant internal battle.

For me, writing about my own experiences, and sharing the struggles that I face has been a key component in my own mental health recovery. I hope by reading this letter you feel better knowing you are not alone, or you are able to take something away from it so you can empathize with those in your life who do suffer from depression.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

'Therapy' is NOT a Bad Word!

'Therapy' is NOT a Bad Word!

It took me a long time to admit that I needed to talk to a professional. I had come to a point in my life where I felt I had to add another ‘tool’ to keep my recovery going, and therapy was something I had been avoiding. Why? I am not too sure. Fear? Stigma? Pride? It may have been a mixture of all three, but I am happy that I finally got out of the way of myself.

Admitting that you may need to talk to someone is NOT a weakness. In fact, it has been because of my choice to see what therapy was all about that I have been able to see where more of my strengths lie. Before I chose to take this next step, I was one of the many people in the world who considered therapy to mean that something was seriously wrong with me. Oh, how wrong I was about that.

In this post, I hope to destigmatize the word ‘Therapy’ and let it be known that we should never feel ashamed about needing some kind of help. I recommend therapy to even the healthiest of people. There is nothing wrong with having an unbiased, professional opinion about our life, our truth, and our stories. We never know how beneficial something can be for us until we try it. Same goes for therapy.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you!

5 Ways to Become Independent of Your Codependency!

5 Ways to Become Independent of Your Codependency!

It was not until recently that I discovered a root cause of all my toxic, and failed relationships: Codependency. You see, I have had no reason to define, or put a name to my own behaviors because when you are not aware of your own actions being toxic, you have no reason to think differently. It is very clear to me why I have always felt ‘less than’, or unable to please the people in my life, and it has so much to do with the codependent mindset I have developed from believing I had to put others above myself.

In this post, I share 5 important tools and skills I use on daily basis to help me become independent of my codependency. This is by no means the be-all, end-all, but it is a good start for those that may be struggling in their current relationships, and not necessarily know why. This post is to serve as an important reminder that you deserve to be treated the way you treat others and that you are allowed to set healthy boundaries, and standards for yourself, and YOUR happiness.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you!   

10 Lessons My Mental Illness is (still) Teaching Me

10 Lessons My Mental Illness is (still) Teaching Me

My Mental Illness never fails to remind me that it has a key role in the way I live my everyday life. I still struggle with the fact that each day has its own set of challenges, but that is only because I still struggle to let go of what I cannot control. Having to accept that my mental health will always require a certain level of work has been challenging, because let’s be honest, mental illness can be exhausting.


In this post, I share TEN lessons my mental illness is still having to teach me about myself, or better yet, lessons I am still having to accept about my journey. We are all going to face our own set of challenges in life, and for a portion of the world, mental illness will be one of those battles. We cannot deny what we must face about ourselves, and the 10 lessons I talk about are just some of the truths I can no longer run from.
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

5 Daily Habits That Make Me a Better Person

5 Daily Habits That Make Me a Better Person

My life has always revolved around having certain ‘habits’, but it was not until my recovery that I started to learn (and accept) which habits were good for me, and which were bad; most of them being the latter. Because of this, I have spent the past couple years discovering which habits I could incorporate into my daily routine to make me a better person. What I have found thus far has been incredibly beneficial, not only in my recovery but just as a human being in general.

In this post, I share with you 5 daily habits that keep me on the right track, and I go over what each habit has done for my life since making it an everyday priority. We are all going to face tougher days in life, but it can be the daily habits we choose for ourselves that keep us afloat when the going gets tough. These may not all work for you, but I think all are worth giving a shot!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.   

On Life, Loss, & Learning That One Cannot Happen Without the Other!

On Life, Loss, & Learning That One Cannot Happen Without the Other!

The idea for this post didn’t come to me because of good news I received, but because of the opposite. The news of an old friend passing caused me to take a deeper look into loss and what it has meant for me over the years. Although this is a much tougher topic to cover, I always feel that it’s necessary to explore both the ups and downs of life, because like my title says, with life comes loss, and we must learn to accept that one cannot happen without the other.

In this post, I talk about loss in a way that hopefully offers you a lighter way of looking at something so dark. Not that we should become numb to it happening, but instead, we should live our days moving forward believing that our life is for something greater than the pain we experience. If we allow the darker times to consume us completely, we take the risk of forgetting just how beautiful life can be when we are able to learn from it!

This post is not only dedicated to my friend who is now in peace, but also, to any, and all families that have been impacted by the violence that has been occurring...everywhere quite frankly. We live in a scary world, but we cannot allow the world to make us afraid to live!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

10 Healthy Ways to Manage Your Mental Health This Holiday Season!

10 Healthy Ways to Manage Your Mental Health This Holiday Season!

Whether you care to admit it or not, we all have our own ways of dealing with our Mental Health. It’s important to acknowledge the fact that mental health is prominent in everyone’s life. We must all actively work towards maintaining a certain level of balance, because, without it, we may fall a little too far off course. The Holidays can bring up a lot of emotions within us, and I know I am not the only one who may need extra ways to manage my mental health this Holiday Season!
 
In this post, I share TEN ideas and ways to potentially help manage your mental health. With all the end of year festivities that may, or may not be occurring, it is nice to have some coping mechanisms up your sleeve to use when you feel overwhelmed at any point in time. Please note that not all these may cater to your liking, but also, you never know when something new may surprise you!
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.  

Rock Bottom is NOT for Everyone!

Rock Bottom is NOT for Everyone!

If you have been following my journey at all, you already know that I like to cover the topic of addiction, recovery, and overall well-being. Although my writing dates back from before my ‘Rock Bottom’, Healing Hopefuls was created while I was learning the ropes of recovery, and coming to terms with what lead to my ‘Rock Bottom’ in the first place.

In this post, I wanted to talk about what that term really means, and for those of you that deal with addiction currently, are in active recovery, or know a loved one who suffers, this is for YOU. It’s important to realize that to get better, and remain in recovery, we do NOT have to hit ‘Rock Bottom’ to finally decide to do so. I never claim for it to be easy, but we also do NOT have to wait until it is our only option.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.  

AA Wasn't for Me, but Recovery Isn't 'One Size Fits All'

AA Wasn't for Me, but Recovery Isn't 'One Size Fits All'

After my last drink in August of 2015, I thought that because I admitted to having a problem with my drinking and drugging, that meant that I must attend meetings, work the steps, and recover by their rules. It only took me three months, and three chips later to realize that I didn’t have to recover by following a specific program.

In this post, I share with you some of the ups and downs I have come across throughout this recovery process of mine, and I share some more of my reasons for not connecting with AA. It’s important to understand that there is not a ‘One Size Fits All’ recovery program. Behind every story is just a unique person with some highs and lows. You don’t have to be an addict to relate to the fact that we all have flaws.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

5 Habits That Keep Me Happy, Healthy, & Recovering!

5 Habits That Keep Me Happy, Healthy, & Recovering!

We all need ways to cope with life. Period. Regardless of if you struggle with mental illness, addiction, or are currently in recovery, we could all could use advice when it comes to dealing with the everyday stress of simply being human. Why? Because sometimes being human is not simple at all.

In this post, I share with you the habits I swear by when it comes to staying sane in a crazy world. I incorporate them into my everyday life and they have proven to be beneficial in getting me out of a rut, spiking my serotonin (happy chemicals), and keeping me in recovery!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

10 Reasons Why We NEED to Be Talking about Mental Illness!

10 Reasons Why We NEED to Be Talking about Mental Illness!

This past week was Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 1st – 7th), and if you have been reading my articles long enough, you know that I would never pass up the opportunity to talk about it. So, when coming up with this week’s title, I decided that it would be best to discuss why we should be talking about it ALL THE TIME; not just on specific days, or weeks that are designated to the topic.
 
In this post, I go over 10 major reasons why we need to address the elephant in the room, and why we need to be more accepting of the illnesses so many people are affected by on a daily basis. It’s important that we educate ourselves on what we may not understand, and treat all people with kindness because you never know what they are battling.
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Once an 'Addict', Always an 'Addict'

Once an 'Addict', Always an 'Addict'

There is a lot of debate in the recovery world about this phrase; half of me accepts it, while the other half resents it. Since becoming sober I have shared my story with hundreds of people and there are two things that occur: they either congratulate me on how far I have come or, they instinctively put me in a category that I did not ask to be put in.

In this post, I share how it feels to be constantly ‘labeled’, and I offer a new way to approach those with a past of addiction. At the end of the day, we are all just people, and regardless of if you were an ‘addict’ for a period of your life, you are so much more than that.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.  

Our RECOVERY Reasons May Differ, but RECOVERY Is What Saved Us!

Our RECOVERY Reasons May Differ, but RECOVERY Is What Saved Us!

September is National Recovery Month, and when I am given a reason to speak up for those in recovery, you better believe I will jump on the opportunity to do so! This month is all about sharing our stories, spreading awareness, and joining together to increase the understanding of mental and substance use disorders.

In this post, I ask the question, “What does RECOVERY mean to you?” and I share some of the answers I received from a handful of influential people that have helped me in my own journey to recovery. We all have our own stories to share, and our own reasons for recovery, but one thing remains the same: recovery changes lives for the better.

Help me fight the stigma that surrounds mental and substance use disorders!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Two Years Sober & Learning How to Love Myself Again.

Two Years Sober & Learning How to Love Myself Again.

I never thought this day would come, because, like most addicts, I never wanted to admit that I had a problem. Nobody grows up knowing that one-day sobriety will become their fate, nor does anyone plan to self-destruct their way to ‘rock bottom’. But here I am, at day 731, and still choosing to climb up the wall of recovery.

In this post, I talk about the struggles I have faced in my two years of sobriety, as well as the beautiful things I have learned during the process of this lifelong journey. This post is less about sobriety and more about becoming who I was meant to be. Regardless of if you are sober, we are ALL having to heal from something, and this is just a story of my recovery thus far.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

“You Aren’t Enough!” & Other Lies My Mind Tries to Convince Me Of!

“You Aren’t Enough!” & Other Lies My Mind Tries to Convince Me Of!

The idea for this article came to me while in the middle of another moment of weakness, and I decided it was time to talk about it. Not acknowledging our mental illnesses and pretending that everything is okay, I believe, is worse than the mental illness itself. I refuse to let my anxiety get the best of me, or my depression to feed off the worst. I no longer want to feel like I must stay quiet about topics that need to be talked about, so I am here to talk about my own.

In this post, I talk about the lies my mind has often been good at convincing me of, and what I do when I go into panic mode. Whether these moments of weakness last a couple hours, a couple days, or a couple weeks, I am slowly but surely learning how to talk about them because I KNOW I am not alone when it comes to being at war with myself.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

Gaining Followers for Losing Weight: How My Online Presence Fueled My Eating Disorder!

Gaining Followers for Losing Weight: How My Online Presence Fueled My Eating Disorder!

I was about to be a Junior in college when I woke up one morning and decided I no longer liked feeling depressed about the girl I saw in the mirror. So, I changed. Almost as if something just flipped in my brain, I stopped making poor food choices, I increased the amount of exercise I was getting, and I created a “Fitness” page on Twitter to track my journey. It didn’t take long for the pounds to come off, and the followers to flood in. What my followers didn’t know was that the secret to my weight loss was no longer built on a desire to be healthy; it was based on the fact that my behavior was compulsive, and filled will a need for control.
 
In this post, I share the truth behind the girl who had all her followers fooled, and I open up about my personal struggle with a compulsive exercising eating disorder.
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

We are All Healing on Our Own Timeline!

We are All Healing on Our Own Timeline!

Have you ever felt pressure to be at a different place in your life? Or maybe, you are starting to feel like you should have progressed quicker in certain areas? When it comes to ‘Healing’, I have found that most of us are constantly comparing ourselves to those around us, and criticizing ourselves harshly on not being where we feel like we should.

In this post, I use my recovery timeline as an example to show that we are all healing at different speeds, and THAT IS OKAY! We may not be exactly where we want, but it is important that we recognize that everyone is healing from various things; some that take much longer than others.

Regardless of where you are in your ‘Healing’ timeline, I am here to remind you that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, and in due time, you will see why not all things work out the way we want them too.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Stop Telling Us We are Suffering. We are SURVIVING!

Stop Telling Us We are Suffering. We are SURVIVING!

If you didn’t know already, May is the month of Mental Health, and because of this, I decided to start, and end the month with articles both surrounding this topic. It is no surprise that I am not a stranger to my own mental illnesses, but I am here to speak up for those that haven’t figured out a way to talk about their own.

I have never been a fan of using the adjective “Suffering” when it comes to describing how I choose to cope with my own struggles, for I have always thought the word “Surviving” would be more appropriate. We need to stop making it so easy for people to form a stigma around mental health. We need to show the world that we are surviving nonetheless, and we should not be treated any differently.

In this post, I challenge the all too common belief about mental health, and I offer a new perspective for those that may judge what they don’t understand.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.