#Depression-Its Ok#

Thank you. Sometimes I need a reminder like this….
Love untitled @_@

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#None of that…but One#

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My friends and I were having a conversation the other day, and we realized that 2016 was coming to a close. A mere 10 days left of yet another year gone too quickly. I can’t say that 2016 was an extreme year for me; there were some great highs and some intense lows. But overall, it was a good year.

So we began to go around the table, stating resolutions and promises for the new year to come, and when it came to me I said, “None of that..but One”.

“What?” they exclaimed. “You the eternal optimist? The resolution maker? The goal achiever? What does that even mean?”

“It means” I said “That this year, I am having none of that, but for One thing. And that thing is, I’m going to choose Me”.

This was met with a varied chorus of  ‘Good-for-yous’ and ‘Whatevers’-but to me, that was the only thing that popped into my head. For the first time in my life, when I think of the New Year-I see nothing. No goals, no plans, no resolutions, no outlines.  Just a blank, white space.

And I realized, it’s because I made the decision to put myself first and I know NOTHING about myself. I am so used to putting others before me, to living and thinking and being another’s version of myself, that when I actually think about Me objectively-It’s just a blank white space.

This year, I am choosing to get to know Me. And it’s pretty damn exciting!

For the first time in my life, the spotlight is on Me. I get to focus entirely on myself first. I get to meet myself, befriend myself, learn about how I work, what makes me tick, what are my weak spots, how my brain runs, how my heart beats. Its pretty cool and I encourage you to try it.

For 2017, Choose You. Take time for You. Look at You. Meet You. Discover You. Be with You. Learn about You. Like You. Share You. Protect You. Speak Up for You. Respect You. Love You.

This is not a selfish act. It is a generous act, because when you love and take care of You, you can love and take care of Others properly. It’s a ripple effect. Everyone wins.

So hears to the coming of a wonderful New Year! May 2017 be filled with all the love, happiness, health, wealth, success, safety and magic in the world for you.

Take care and talk soon.

LoveUntitled @_@

#Depression-It’s Ok#

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Poet Nayyirah Waheed

 

I’ve always wanted to get into poetry, and just for that I have found it to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve read a variety of poets but somehow I never felt a connection.

You know that feeling of sudden awareness when a word or phrase reflects perfectly your immediate state of being? And your eyes widen and your heart contracts almost painfully with the knowledge that someone out there gets you? That connection. I’ve had it with many authors but, scarcely, with poets. Until now.

Nayyirah Waheed gets me. Or I get her. Or it’s a mutual ‘I-get-you’, I don’t know. But when I first read this verse, my heart skipped a beat in recognition. I felt relief. I am not a freak, I am not crazy, I am not scary. I’m just sick-and that is ok.

I write a lot about Depression and Mental Illness and i worry sometimes that I am dragging my readers down. My blog is about expressing things I love, and I try to keep it upbeat and fun and positive and whimsical; but I also want to keep it authentic and true, and for me Mental Illness is real. I suffer from Chronic Depression and Esteem issues which have directed me to make bad choices for myself and have created the rut i find myself stuck in now. And so I write about it, with the hopes that people will find comfort, relief and inspiration to avoid my mistakes and be comfortable seeking help for themselves.

Sometimes I browse online for information and I only find the how-to’s and success stories of Depression, rarely the struggle-in-the-trenches ones, which makes me feel even more distant from achieving that success myself. So I figured If I share my own stories-the really dark, deep, painful, tearful, debilitating emotions I feel with each episode, maybe another patient out there will relate and feel less alone, less afraid and just…relieved. Relieved that someone else out there understands. Relieved that he/she doesn’t have to suffer alone in silence And relieved that one can talk about it openly and seek help.

I made my first appointment with a psychiatrist for August and I am nervous. How much should I reveal? What will she say? What if I just cry through the whole thing? What if I have to take medication? Nervous much? Yeah, I’m nervous. But I’m tired of trying to handle this alone. I need help. I am very relieved to just say that-I need help.

And as Nayyirah Waheed says, “It is okay to hold your hearts outside of your body…”. That’s how you Heal.

And so, I’m going to continue with that first step, my heart on my sleeve, and start to heal too.

 

LoveUntitled @_@

 

#Moving Beyond Fear#

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Hello and apologies! It has been a very long time since I have come on here to write and share things. It has been a rough few months for my Depression and Anxiety, and a lot of things got put off because of them.

Over these past few months, I’ve been up and down. Successful and failed. Hopeful and defeated. Positive and in the depths of despair. And while I’ve always known why I am so emotionally volatile, I think I have finally wrung up the nerve to confront the reason out loud.

Fear.

Fear has been a constant force in my life- like the undercurrent of a river, directing every turn and every decision thus far. Fear of judgement, fear of mistakes, fear of failure, fear of everything falling apart (again!), fear of shame, guilt, regret, fear of being not good enough, fear of ugliness, fear of being too fat, fear of being laughed at,fear of being discovered, fear of poverty, fear of mediocrity, fear of being too loud, too quiet, too short, too honest, too meek, too different, too opinionated, too offensive, too conformist, too dark, too light, too fake, too real….the list goes on and on. And looking at it on the page, I realize that really, it’s a very silly list because it encompasses everything. It should really just say Fear of Life. Fear of Existence.

Well, two weeks ago after a meeting with the bank, this undercurrent of Fear overcame me, rising up into a full-on emotional tsunami and pulling me under hard. I was left distraught, sick with worry and anxiety and confined to my bed. Thoughts flashed through my mind like lightening:

What are you doing? How are you going to survive? What if you don’t make it? Why didn’t you work harder? What if I make the wrong decision again? Should I just quit? What if people find out I’m a failure? Why were you so stupid? Why is this happening to me? Do you have a right to even have dreams anymore? How will you get out of debt? Will you ever meet someone? Do you deserve anything good in life at all?

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

I was scared and depressed and stressed and anxious and at a total loss as to how to fix my life.

But fortunately, there was a silver lining amidst the turmoil. My friends, my lovely, sweet, attentive, caring friends. They noticed something was wrong. And one of them stopped by, and we talked and she told me something that made me think. She said, “I used to be exactly like you; worrying about the future, worrying about living paycheck to paycheck, stressing, crying, sick with fear. And then one day I woke up in the morning and just said ‘Fuck It’. I decided to stop coddling the fear and worry and stress and all I heard was this-You Go Through Things For A Reason and It Will All Work Out. In it’s own space and time, It Will Happen. And so now I only believe in these three things. I focus on them, I pray on them, I visualize them, I talk on them, I dream on them and, most importantly,  I live them out. And the Fear? It’s still there. I’m human so I do pick it up from time to time. But I absolutely don’t believe in it anymore. I refuse to let it obstruct me from Life anymore.  And so I put it back down, and I just keep going.” -(S.P-)

Wow. Now isn’t that something?

It really got me thinking, not only about Fear in my life, but of my reaction to Fear itself and the importance I give to it ( I even write it with a capital, surely that says something!). Looking back I realized that Fear has taken almost 30 years of time and energy spent denying myself and the right to live life on my own terms. That thought went straight to the heart and I cried. After acknowledging and grieving that loss, I thought back to my friend’s words.

Is it really possible to just kick Fear to the curb like that? Is that realistic or just another form of denial? Is there really a reason for everything that happens to you? What if, for 1 year, I chose to put Fear aside and instead lived as if everything were going to work out? As if things are coming together, at that right space and in that right time, and everything will turn out beautifully. What would that year look like?

And then another thought hit me, so suddenly I felt my heart constrict.

‘You have nothing to lose, give it a go’.

As I got dressed the next morning, I realized  that for the first time ever, I actually heard my own intuition speak to me. And I really did want to give it a try and find out myself what a year beyond Fear would look like.

So I made an appointment with a professional therapist ( I realized I can’t do this alone) and headed out to meet my friend for coffee (my BFF therapist), and seriously, for the first time in weeks, I felt light again.

 

LoveUntitled @_@

 

 

 

 

#Small Days#

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Today was a small day. Or at least, I felt small today-hence it was a small day. I know social media is generally used to display only the ups in life-the weddings, the birthdays, the promotions, the vacations, the fancy bags, the love stories, the fun times etc. But life isn’t Facebook. Sometimes there are the down days, and by talking about those down days too hopefully someone else out there can take comfort in the fact that they aren’t alone in living them.

Lately, I’ve been feeling very anxious about life. Scared for my family, my friends, my puppy. Ashamed and regretful about the stagnant place I am in right now, while others are moving forward in life. Anxious about the daunting goals mapped out that I must complete. Uneasy about the uncertain future ahead of me and apprehensive about the changes to come. It was all very overwhelming today. At night, I can feel it right in the middle of my chest- a pressure on the brink of a dull ache with my heartbeat drumming in my ears.

I went for a drive, but it didn’t really help. I took a break from my diet and indulged in some Micky Ds; not so hot. And finally, I came across my copy of the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I had started it earlier today just for the heck of it and then picked it up again to finish, and…it helped.

So how did it help, you ask? It didn’t shed some magic wisdom and erase my anxiety or depression. It wasn’t so riveting that it distracted me from my own reality for a few hours. No none of that. What it did do was describe the loneliness, the regret, the confusion and the sadness of the Little Prince very sensibly and very simply. And in that description, I felt like someone else understood me. They also knew what it felt like to feel sad and confused and alone and scared. The camaraderie in that made me feel less isolated in my own smallness-I’m not alone in it. And the matter-of-fact demeanor in which it was told, made me look at it objectively so I could tell myself, “This will pass. Tomorrow is a new day”. There is a lot of comfort in that.

All in all, it was a small day today. I felt down, alone, weak, scared, anxious, ashamed, guilty and despairingly hopeless. But knowing that I am not alone in this made me feel less isolated and allowed me to look at my illness more objectively which in turn, kept me open to seek help when I am ready. And that keeps me hopeful for another tomorrow t

Hopefully, this isn’t too much honesty here but I did open this site to be as authentic as possible, so I thought I’d share this too.

Thanks for reading, good night.

LoveUntitled @_@

#That Most Beautiful Autumn Day#

Hello hello! It’s been too long since I last wrote on here- I apologize for the silent absence. To be honest, I’ve been struggling with myself these past few months, questioning what I am really meant to do in this lifetime.

It’s a morbidly funny thing when you devote your life to this one goal, but it isn’t working out for you. What do you do? Do you keep at it and hope it will happen? Do you have faither? Or is it a sign to quit?  Doo you give up? And if you do quit, does that mean you’ve just wasted 30 years of your life? What do you do now? How do you start over? Earn a living? Pay off debts? Survive?  Create that extraordinary life you constantly dream about?

These are the questions that have been running through my head, day and night for the last 3 months. When I finally hit rockbottom and couldn’t take my Depression anymore, I got up and went out for a walk with my puppy Jasper.

And this is what I captured…

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As you can see, it was an incredibly beautiful day. Exceptionally beautiful. The sky was a pristine blue, the sun was warm, inviting, and the wind that rustled the leaves was gentle and playful, like a child’s laughter. It was one of those days where the world embraces you gleefully and says  “Don’t stress. Just trust me”.

As soon as I stepped out, I felt the darkness leave me. The light and the breeze and the colours just dazzled me into instant happiness;  so much so that I started smiling and felt lighter and relaxed immediately.

Jasper and I walked round and round the park till the sun began to set and then we made our way home. And what a different walk back that was! I was still in my current situation. I had no concrete answers to my questions. But, for a brief moment in time, I listened to Life and she calmed my soul; and from that space, I was able to face those questions with a peaceful, happy and open frame of mind.

Looking back now, I think that was, in itself, a part of the answer- to take a moment, get out of your own head, and listen to Life. Trust it. One way or another, it will lead you back to your authentic self and you will find your answers. Or at least, the frame of mind to pursue them. And sometimes,  that’s what makes all the difference.

Tnx 4 Reading 🙂

LoveUntitled @_@

 

 

 

 

 

#The English Garden Project#

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Yellow Daylillys

Last year I started a project to transform my backyard into an English Garden. It’s coming along quite nicely actually- a lot of perennials were planted and now they are slowly growing and transforming the space into my own piece of Heaven.

These Daylillys I photographed are really beautiful. Honestly, when I first planted these perennials I didn’t like them. I found them too spiky and disarrayed; they didn’t fit into my idea of the quintessential English Garden.

But now, I love them. It’s their wild beauty that appeals to me-bright, growing quickly in every direction, taking up as much space as needed to bloom in the sunshine. They are also very low maintenance-watering only once a day to thrive.

I just love this flower’s personality- -bright and vibrant, wild, resilient and free. That’s the sort of energy Daylillys radiate whenever I’m in the garden. I’m so glad I didn’t chuck them-they are amazing!

LoveUntitled @_@

#For The Love of Food#: Poached Chicken Breast Stuffed with Pesto and Served with Sweet Potato, Truffle Mash, and Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

I came across this recipe on the Reader today by blogger Homemade With Mess. This Poached Stuffed Chicken with Vegetables looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! And from the recipe, it seems really easy to make. I just ate dinner but if this dish were set down in front of me right now, I’d risk the nightmares and eat it anyways 🙂

Check out Homemade With Mess and the recipe too! Tnx 🙂

LoveUntitled @_@

Homemade With Mess

Sometimes the simplest of ingredients can make the most delicious and even fancy meals. Even though I love to cook, I also love to eat out and I have to say that this meal was up there with something from a menu in a top-quality restaurant. It was very simple and easy to make, yet totally scrumptious! This was also the first time I had poached a chicken breast and it has since become my favourite way of cooking chicken; after discovering how quick, easy and hassle free it is. If you have a date that you want to impress or are hosting a dinner party, then this recipe would be an absolute winner!

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Serves 2

For the Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes – sliced
  • Pinch sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 2 tbsp homemade pesto

For the Mash

  • 1 sweet potato –…

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#Depression-It’s Ok# -Depression In the Moment

I was on Facebook today and I came across this blog post by the Humans of New York website which I really wanted to share. While Depression and Mental Illness are slowly coming out into the sphere of public discussion as genuine medical conditions, I feel that sometimes it is very difficult for patients to put into words the exact feelings of Depression in that very dark moment; And as a result, it’s harder for sick people to talk about it, and even harder for healthy people to understand and take seriously.

Before I even knew I was depressed, I was labelled everything from being “too sensitive” to “lazy” to “procrastinating” to “always having a problem”, “PMS-ing” or “arrogant and self-absorbed”. While there have been moments in my life where I have been all of those things, they do not define Depression. Even today, I find it hard to talk to family and friends about it mainly because I don’t know how to describe it without it sounding superficial or whiny or tempermental.

So when I saw this blog post, I instantly felt connected to this woman. She knows what I mean to say, she has constructed in words exactly what I feel on those bad days. And she shared her story with Humans of New York in a very real, beautiful, matter-of-fact way. I’m truly grateful for this post and I hope Humans of New York will continue to post more stories like this. Afterall, it’s given me a way to explain my own symptoms during my darkest  moments and, to be honest, to be able to do that and help others understand this disease, well that’s half the battle won already.

LoveUntitled @_@

HUMANS OF NEW YORK BLOG POST

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“When I was depressed, it felt like I was walking through mud all the time. My head was filled with thoughts like, ‘If my friends knew who I really was, they wouldn’t love me.’ And, ‘What right do I have to exist?’ And, eventually, ‘Why do any of us have the right to exist?’ If people were being kind to me, I wasn’t able to access that kindness. It wouldn’t produce a feeling in me. If a child smiled at me from a stroller, it might lift me up for a millisecond, but then I’d fall back into darkness. Before I was depressed, I could find joy in things so easily. I worked as a gardener, and I learned the calls of the birds so I could tell where they were just by listening. I loved to show new plants and insects to children, and see how excited they’d get. I made a 50th birthday card for my sister, and got strangers from all over the world to write ‘Happy Birthday’ in their language. But during my depression, I couldn’t access any of that joy. I’d try reminding myself that other people had bigger problems. I’d try telling myself to quit being weak, and to snap out of it. But nothing worked.”

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“I’m trying to come back to work after a period of depression. I’ve battled it off-and-on my whole life, but two years ago the wheels just completely came off. I’d just had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my friends, and I went to sleep in a good mood, but then the next day I couldn’t get out of bed. I was still in bed four days later when my boss started calling. The next two years were a battle. I lost my job. I was hospitalized three times. I filled a giant binder with information about depression, where to find programs, and how to appeal your insurance company. I felt like I was fighting for my life. I’d call a hospital that specialized in a certain type of therapy, and they’d tell me they didn’t take my insurance. I’d say: ‘Please help me. I’m dying.”