Mental Health

End of the Month Recap: Getting Honest in June!

End of the Month Recap: Getting Honest in June!

June has been the first month that I did not post each Saturday morning. I take that back. I guess that began the last week of May. My point is, June has been a month of self-reflection for me; more so than usual. I have been pondering what I have been wanting to do with this site moving forward, and the kind of content I want to provide and support. I have been reevaluating what is important to me and the direction I see for myself as a person. I am telling you this because I think it is important for everyone to reflect on the person they have become, and where they are headed. That was the overall theme for me in the month of June.

In this recap, I share some of the truths I was able to uncover and learn about myself this past month. If what I share speaks to you on a deeper level, or a bit closer to home, maybe it is time for you to take a look inward, and see if you are living life true to yourself, and your purpose. Maybe, just maybe, there is something I discovered this month that you needed to read at this point in your life. Whether or not that is the case, I appreciate you for being here anyways.

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.

'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!

Learning to Choose Inspiration Over Desperation

Learning to Choose Inspiration Over Desperation

5 years ago, today, I found myself in Jail Cell #11. My ‘roommate’ appeared to be a regular and very aware of the fact that I was terrified. Despite shame being a feeling I was familiar with; this was a level of shame that I had not yet experienced. Up until that humbling realization that I had put myself in jail, I had been pretty convinced that I was invincible; that I could get away with anything I set my mind to. Getting arrested was a pivotal moment in my life. It was through this time of desperation that I was able to make a step in the right direction.

Despite this incident being the motivation I needed to quit my addiction to amphetamines, the big question I was left with, was why did it always take desperation for me to want better for myself? Surely, there was another way to go about how I live my life.

In this post, I talk about the two motivating factors we all tend to lean on when it comes to making a change in our lives: Inspiration & Desperation. I beg the question of, why does desperation seem to be the most popular choice, and why is it that we wait until we are at our worst to want better? I am only speaking from experience here, but I guarantee all of us have an example of when we were inspired, and when we felt desperate. Since my arrest five years ago, I have slowly but surely begun learning how to choose inspiration over desperation. Isn’t it beautiful that we always have a choice?

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

You Must Be Willing to Stand Alone!

You Must Be Willing to Stand Alone!

The word ‘alone’ gets a bad reputation because a lot of people tend to associate being alone with being lonely; that is simply not the case. Being alone is a choice; being lonely is a feeling. A feeling that we have the ability to change on our own!

It has been a full year since I made the decision to move away from home, and in that time, the term ‘alone’ has taken on a much different, and very important meaning in my life.  

In this post, I share with you what I have learned thus far since choosing to be alone. When we are able to make decisions for ourselves, lead a life that fulfills us, and are able to find reasons to enjoy our own company, we quickly find out that being alone is quite the opposite of being lonely. In fact, choosing to stand alone just may be exactly what you need to figure out exactly who you are. 

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.

People Will Only 'Show Up' When They Are Ready!

People Will Only 'Show Up' When They Are Ready!

When it comes to love, careers, passions, and just, everyday life, we are often having to balance a mixture of them all, while learning what is more important to us, and to others. All of us are moving through life at our own speed, while also, having to deal with our own unique set of strengths, and weaknesses. With that said, people are only willing to ‘show up’ in relationships, opportunities, and commitments when they themselves are READY for them.

In this post, I talk about what it means to ‘show up’ in life, and how we can become more honest with ourselves about what we are ready for, and what we are not. ‘Showing up’ for our life is just another healthy form of self-care. The sooner we decide to ‘show up’, the sooner we can rid ourselves of anything that is holding us back!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you!  

Instead of Calling It 'Change', Let's Call It 'Improvement'!

Instead of Calling It 'Change', Let's Call It 'Improvement'!

It’s Day 6 of the New Year, and if I had set any ‘resolutions’ I probably would have cheated on them already. If you read my post from last week, you already know how I feel about the pressure of ‘resolutions’ and the ‘change’ that most believe is required of them due to the changing of the year. But that is not what today's post is about.

In this post, I entertain the idea of us using a different way to describe ‘change’ since it usually gets a bad rep for being something that people never actually do. The word ‘change’ does not have to sound as scary as it may seem, because all we are really doing when we attempt to change, is improve something for the better. So, this year, maybe instead of calling it ‘change’, we should call it ‘improvement’, because isn’t that all we should be after anyways?

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.  

A New Year is Always a Good Reason for a New You!

A New Year is Always a Good Reason for a New You!

We are always expected to have a list of goals that we want to accomplish in the New Year, and it is easy to feel pressure to be more prepared than most of us are ever truly feeling. So, instead of getting stressed about all the things we may need to change in our life, let’s allow ourselves the permission to be excited about this New Year, and the potential of a ‘New You!’

In this post, I try to avoid the word ‘resolutions’ and I do my best to focus on what a New Year could mean for a New You! As cliché as it may be to believe in the magic of new beginnings, there is a reason for why there is a magic there in the first place. Who really knows what the New Year could bring, but only you have the choice to make this Year a new one for YOU! Celebrate that!

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. 

Let's Be Better Than Small Talk!

Let's Be Better Than Small Talk!

I am just going to come right out there and say it: I hate small talk. I hate it so much, that I am even using the word ‘hate’ to explain the seriousness of my feelings towards it. 99% of the time, I believe ‘hate’ is a strong word; but not when it comes to describing how I feel about small talk.
 
In this post, I talk about my reasons for the pain I experience when having to be in, what I consider,
a stressful situation. We should all want to have deeper, more meaningful conversations with each other. If all we have is small talk, how will we ever discuss the things that truly matter? Let’s talk about it! Share your thoughts in the comments. Let’s be better than small talk!
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Taking a Break (from Life) in Boston!

Taking a Break (from Life) in Boston!

This past weekend I traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to explore a new city I am unfamiliar with, and ultimately, take a small break away from my life. The older I get, the more I have begun to appreciate the importance of self-love and doing things that provide you joy. Putting ourselves out there, and adjusting to change is a big part of discovering our independence.

In this post, I talk about my trip to Boston, but also, I talk about the value of doing things for yourself. Sometimes, all we need is a mini break from our lives to remind us that we are living for much more than just an everyday routine. Discovering what works for us will unfold over time, but we must start somewhere, and for me, Boston was just a stop along the way!

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.

5 Podcasts That Have Influenced My Life!

5 Podcasts That Have Influenced My Life!

2017 has been the year of the podcast for me, and honestly, I am not even sure what I did with myself before I discovered this free form of education, and/or entertainment. It’s kind of mind-blowing to think that I used to drive 70 miles a day, stuck in traffic, only listening to music, when I had an entire library of endless information just waiting to be discovered. I can say with full confidence that listening to podcasts has changed my life for the better, and I think we can all benefit from this beautiful resource, that quite frankly, not enough of us are taking advantage of.

In this post, I share with you my Top 5 rated podcasts, and why I think you should consider giving them a listen. Regardless of if you like my picks or not, I still think the benefit you could receive from implementing podcasts into your life is worth exploring. These picks of mine are just a good starting point for those of you that are new to the podcasting world. I would love to hear some of your own favorites in the comments so I can add them to my never-ending queue.

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.  

Dear Society, I Have a Bone to Pick with You!

Dear Society, I Have a Bone to Pick with You!

At one point or another, we have all felt the need to defend who we are, and it’s most likely due to the societal pressures we feel on a daily basis to be someone that we are not. We question our worth, and we question our purpose, when really, we should be questioning the standards society has made us believe that we need to live up to. What is it going to take for us to believe in ourselves, and when will we feel like we are enough in a world that tells us we are not?

In this post, I write a letter to ‘Society’, expressing some of my concerns, and offering ways for us to make it better. We shouldn’t feel like we need to change who we are to fit into some mold of ‘perfection.’ You are enough, we are enough, and together, we can make this world a better place to live.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Stop Waiting for the 'Perfect Time'...There Isn't One!

Stop Waiting for the 'Perfect Time'...There Isn't One!

We spend our days looking for ‘signs’ to take the next step, and we tell ourselves that the timing isn’t right, but what we are really doing, is holding ourselves back from pursuing what it is that we really want. We put our goals on hold, and let our dreams expire, and for what? Because we convinced ourselves that we would know when the timing was just right to move forward?

In this post, I talk about why timing will never be perfect, but also, I talk about why the perfect time is always right now. The ‘Perfect Time’ is a lovely idea, but in reality, it is just an excuse we tell ourselves to waste more time. Stop waiting for your life to start; just start it!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you!