#ThrowbackThursday – Every Bus Ride

This #ThrowbackThursday goes all the way back to 11 years ago…
I was in high school and my depression and anxiety had really started to take hold.

It took me many, many years to be able to look myself in the mirror and name my anxiety and depression, forcing them into the light.

But before then, all I could do was put my pain into art.

Sometimes I would draw, sometimes I would write.

Here is a poem I wrote.

 

 

Every Bus Ride

Every bus ride,
Every song,
In those mornings,
Short and long,
I prepare.

To put that smile on my face,
Telling friends that I’m okay,
While hiding tears behind the lace,
Wiping up the tears I say,
Shut up and smile.

Every bus ride,
Every song,
In those mornings,
Short and long,
I prepare.

For silly friend’s intentions kind,
Whose words do not explain,
Why they are so sadly blind,
Take a breathe, exhale the pain,
Shut up and listen.

Every bus ride,
Every song,
In those mornings,
Short and long,
I prepare.

My mask so porcelain strong,
Cracks and bends in many ways,
When my nerves are hit just wrong,
In the sunlight and moonlight rays,
Shut up and think.

Every bus ride,
Every song,
In those mornings,
Short and long,
I prepare.

I prepare,
To act like I care,
And cry all night,
Fade out the light,
I hear a song,
And I hum along,
To the morning side,
Of every bus ride.

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Emotions and Music

I really feel like music helps me to process thoughts and emotions that seem too overwhelming on their own.

 

And lately there is a lot rolling around in this brain of mine…

I was looking around on Youtube. For something that would just click, that would help, and would calm the chaos.

 

Sometimes it feels like I’m looking for the next high.

To find a song that sends shivers down my spine, brings tears to my eyes, and makes me feel.

 

F**k that’s hard to find.
I can spend what feels like hours searching for that click. That feeling.
Many times I come up empty handed.

 

But today I found something amazing…

 

I feels like hope and sorrow. Beauty and pain. Love and loss.
There are moments where I think I hear someones breath, and I find myself catching my own breath in turn.
It gave me a space to embrace change, the joy and the sorrow that comes with.

 

I am lost in the haunting notes.
Floating.

 

Saying good bye to the past, respecting the unknown of the future.

Enjoy.

[yotuwp type=”videos” id=”OwxzbGhSt6Q” ]

I’m Just “Tired”

I’ve been watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, and I just watched Roxxxy Andrews breakdown during her first time in the bottom two.
And it shook me.

“…and I’m just so tired”

God, I’ve said that so many times…

“Hey girl, are you okay? You don’t seem like yourself.”
“Oh… Sorry lady… I’m just so tired today.”

When I say it, I just want people to brush off whatever behavior they are concerned about, to think I just didn’t get enough sleep. That I’m just… “tired”.

But its so much more…

Sleep doesn’t help if it’s your soul that’s tired.

And my soul is worn.

From pretending that my mind is not a swirl full of demons. Gnawing and scraping at all that is beautiful, all that is good. Leaving warped thoughts in their wake.

Trying to fight against those warped thoughts… “You are good enough!” But how…? How do you fight for your own mind when it only sees the darkness?

From forcing myself to get up every day, to go to work, to tackle the things a much more hopeful, past me planned.

Just trying to be strong, to stand tall, all the while crumbling under my own foolish ideology of independence.

From taking on the pain, the trials, the tribulations of others, because no matter how thread bare my own soul is, I cannot stand by and let someone suffer alone.

But instead of saying all that, instead of bearing my broken weary soul, for all to see.

I just say…

“I’m just tired.”

You would think, talking about it here is a step.
And, maybe it is.

But it doesn’t feel like it.
It just feels like reaching out, and trying to catch smoke, with the hope it will warm my hands.

Because when someone comes to me in person, to say “Are you okay?”
Maybe after reading this, or just because.

My unhealthy defence mechanism kicks in.

And I say.

“I’m just tired.”

But, when someone who struggles with mental health, says they’re “tired”.

Its just a quiet plea.
“Call me out, for I am not okay.”

Candice

http://www.picturequotes.com/physically-mentally-emotionally-tired-quote-18630

10 Motivational Inspirational Quotes

“One of the most courageous decisions you’ll ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your soul.” – Brigitte Nicole

Brigitte Nicole

 

“The world needs more storytellers, dreamers, change makers, & action takers.”

Dreamers

 

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Life Begins

 

“Keep going, because you did not come this far, to get this far.”

Keep Going

 

“Don’t let anyone tell you that your independence is the reason for you being single. Your strength as a woman isn’t the cause for your loneliness. You’re alone because you’d rather not entertain a weak man.” – r.h. sin

Independance

 

“It’s ok if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the while damn fire.”

Fire

 

“Nothing will ruin your twenties more than thinking you should have your life together already.”

Twenties

 

“You are not too old and its is not too late.”

Not too Late

 

“I’m on the hunt for who I’ve not yet become.”

On the Hunt

 

“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust in the magic of beginnings.”

New Beginnings

Quotes to Remember When You’re Struggling


A little over a month ago I was really struggling… My mental health was in tatters and my physical health was not much better. I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating, I was making mistakes at work, and pulling away from my family and my friends. I don’t really remember what it was triggered by, I just remember I was drowning.

I was scrolling through Pinterest, looking for nothing in particular. When I saw this pin, it was a pastel colored background with the phrase “Just Breathe”.

And I did.

I did.

In and out. In and out. Breathe in for 4 counts. Breathe out for 5 counts. In and out.

I have never really been one for affirmations… Maybe I’m too jaded and broken. But that image. The frankness of its command? Demand? It spoke to me.

So, I went looking for more.

I found some that acknowledged my struggle, applauded my strength, and just eased my weary heart.

I wanted to carry them with me, not just in my mind, but somewhere I could see. I needed to see them. So, I grabbed a permanent marker and wrote them out, on my arms, and on my thighs.

I felt like I was donning armor, I felt stronger.

She persisted - Real is Rare - Just Breathe

“You’re not a mess you’re brave for trying” “Sometimes its okay if the only thing you did today was breathe” “Just breathe” “I will win. Not immediately, but definitely.” “Real is Rare” “She persisted”

Since that day I have not needed my marker tattoos. But I still seek out quotes that speak to me and collect them, like pebbles.

They give voice to the words I cannot speak, ease my heart with no expectation of return, and strengthen me in such a simple way.

I want to share with you some quotes I have collected. Maybe they will help someone struggling, maybe they will just be.

Real is Rare

Real is Rare.

Be gentle with yourself, you are doing the best you can.

Until I’m ready, let me be. I have to heal myself.

You wake up every morning to fight the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love, is bravery.  – thislifethismoment.com

Your healing is about you. It doesn’t need a stamp of approval. Don’t worry about how long it takes or how ugly it may seem. Its about you.

What a beautiful thing it is, to be able to stand tall and say, “I fell apart, and I survived.”

No matter how chaotic it is, wildflowers will still spring up in the middle of nowhere. -Sheryl Crow

And here you are living despite it all. – Rumi Kaur

I forget how to love myself most days, but I keep trying, I keep trying. And that alone is a victory. – Alison Malee

…and sometimes, life is just hard, and some days are just rough… and sometimes you just gotta dry before you can move forward… (and all of that is okay) – www.bravegirlsclub.com

I also have some links to other blogs that have collected quotes to help when you are struggling here and here.

I do hope this collection helps someone as it has helped me. Please share feel free to share this post and follow me on Pinterest.

Cheers!

Candice 🙂

5 Products I Can’t Live Without!


Sometimes anxiety just rules my life. My mind just won’t stop spinning, my picking goes haywire, and all of the sudden the 8 hours of sleep I planned to get just became 4… But over the years I have found these products that help me fight back! So as promised here’s the list of these miracle products I just can’t live with out!

Secret Active Sport Invisible Spray Deodorant

It all comes down to one thing, stress sweat.

Stress sweat actually comes from a different sweat gland, called apocrine glands. While the typical sweat we get from physical activity or during hot weather comes from eccrine glands. The apocrine glands are bigger and tend to release more fat and protein in the sweat. This gives bacteria more food to grow, which then causes the more noticeable odor.

And let me tell you stress sweat is STANKY!!

That’s why I LOVE Secret Active Sport Spray! So far it is the only deodorant I have used that controls stress sweat as well as having other great benefits!

It goes on invisible, which is great for my almost completely black wardrobe and my black scrubs for work.

It can last up to 48 hours! Great for long work days and hangouts afterwards!

Twilight Shower Gel from Lush

My worst time for picking is when I’m trying to fall asleep. Apparently, this is the perfect time for my mind to go over conversations from 5 years ago, or what could happen in 2 months from now. That’s why I love the Twilight Shower Gel from Lush!

Typically, I shower before I go to bed, so the Twilight Gel is perfect! The Lavender scent helps to calm my mind and make it easier to fall asleep, and the smell actually sticks around after I’m out of the shower!

I also really like that it doesn’t dry out my skin, since Lush formulates their products with the smallest percentage of sulfates possible, while still making an effective product.

Lush has fantastic ethical values! They are against animal testing, they practice ethical sourcing for their ingredients, the products are hand made, they promote recycling of their containers, and they aim to reduce or eliminate packaging all together (way to go zero waste!).

Stress Relief Bath Soak Eucalyptus and Spearmint from Bath and Body Works

I used to hate baths… I would never feel relaxed; my neck would get sore from resting against the edge of the tub. I could never get my full body submerged. It just seemed pointless. Then this bath soak came along!

I got it after I got a work-related injury and needed to soak my muscles. Not only does this stuff help relax me, but I legitimately feel like it soaks into my muscles and undoes what ever knots I have! It doesn’t matter if I soak for 30 minutes or 5! I feel relaxed and refreshed!

And another bonus is that Bath and Body Works has a 100% satisfaction policy, if you don’t like the product, whether it be the smell, or you think it just didn’t work for you. You can return it! Which is great for anyone who doesn’t have the wiggle room in their budget to throw money away on a product that “might” work.

Lash Accelerator Serum with Grow Lash Complex from Rimmel

I don’t know how this stuff works, but it does! My eyelashes and eye brow hairs grow so much faster when I apply this stuff before bed! As a woman who will never have full natural eyebrows ever again, anything that will help grow my eyebrows into a fraction of what they used to be, is a freakin’ miracle.

Manic Panic Semi Permanent Hair Colour

Since I wear uniformed scrubs majority of my day, my hair is the only way I can really express myself. Colouring my hair just spikes my confidence and makes me feel more like me! I love the way I look with blue, purple, and sometimes teal hair! And when my confidence is high it gives me more strength to battle my anxiety when it rears its ugly head!

And it’s a cruelty free product too!

I hope these products help you like they have helped me!

Cheers!

Candice 😊

4 Ways I Manage My Anxiety

 
I know Anxiety can be so very different to each person. I don’t pretend to tout these methods as a one size fits all. But knowledge is power, and these methods work for me. So, I just wanted to share them with the hopes they can help even one person!

 

I go for a walk or hike.

 

It seems so simple, but its actually a widely accepted concept. It comes down to the hypothesis of Edward O. Wilson, called Biophilia, which he presented in a book of the same name in 1984. Basically, it suggests that human possess this tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life, and I completely agree!

When my anxiety is on its typical rampage, I will go for a walk to the local park or pack myself up in my Compass and go to a nearby, national park. And I will take my dog, Fawkes, with me. He loves walks and running around the park. So, I find I get a double dose. I get to spend time in fresh air and nature as well as see my boy enjoy his little doggy life! It helps to distract my mind as well as burn off some of the pent-up energy that tend to come with my anxiety flare ups.

 

Music.

 

Whether its on my speaker or through my headphones, I’ll cue up my favourite songs. I’ll sing, dance, discover new songs, or just sit, listen, and dream.

Here is my current fav for when I am working on my blog posts or just trying to fall asleep!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ4WXAxtGDc

Check it out on Youtube!

 

I watch a favorite show.

 

Any show worth its salt is designed to keep you watching! Everything down to the music, the dialogue, the lighting, all meant to keep you interested. I find it really helps me when my mind is running a mile a minute with “What if”, “What I Should have”, or wondering if penguins have knees! (They technically do… They just have a shorter upper leg and it is covered in feathers making it hard to see… Any who!)  There are so many shows that are now at the tips of our fingers! (THANK YOU, NETFLIX!!!) What ever a person needs to navigate an anxiety flair up is just a few clicks away.

My favorites are Call the Midwife, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Forensic Files, and Golden Girls (not on Netflix but I own all the seasons on DVD.)

 

Journaling

 

When your mind is filled with anxious thoughts, writing it down or typing it out can help reduce anxiety. For me it feels like the weight of the words are off my chest, seeing them in black and white somehow takes away their frantic power.

 

I hope these methods help!

 

Cheers!

Candice 😊

Diagnosed

I guess I thought when I got an official diagnosis I would feel more validated. Someone with lots of initials behind their name said, “You have this.” So, now people would have to believe me! But I don’t feel different. Maybe it’s the anxiety. But I still feel like people won’t believe me.

I’m already on a medication for generalized anxiety and depression. It has helped quite a bit, but the hair pulling didn’t stop. It almost felt worse.

I guess I should explain my hair pulling a bit… Mostly I pull out my eye lash and eye brow hairs and I also pull the hair on my chin. Sometimes I will pick at random hairs on my arm that I see that are “out of place” but not that often anymore.

I don’t really have eye brows any more. Years of pulling have turned them into sparse imitations of what they used to be. I don’t know if they will ever grow back fully. I think I have pulled out too many of the roots… So, I have learned how to use make up to fill in what is left and draw on what I have destroyed.

My eyelashes so far keep growing back…

Actually, they have just grown back in after my last major hair pulling spell. They always look so nice when they grown in… I mean not like red carpet nice but nice for me.

The worst is the hair on my chin. I am so angry at myself for starting to pull my chin hairs. For what every reason the hairs I started to pull were thin and blonde. Not usually my MO. But now. Now that I have pulled them out, they grow in dark. Now I CAN’T NOT notice them…! Every morning as I am getting ready for whatever the day brings. I’ll run my fingers over my chin to find the hairs I can’t necessarily see. I grab my tweezers and go to town. It sucks… I wish I didn’t, but I can’t have these dark hairs growing all over my chin and if I don’t pull them with the tweezers, I will pull them in the car while I drive. I don’t even realize it.

I’ll just be listening to music, navigating traffic, and all of the sudden my fingers are sore; my chin is raw, and I have pulled out all the hairs around the one I “NEEDED” TO PULL.

So, today I met with a Psychiatrist to talk about my anxiety and hair pulling, and to get a recommendation for medications.

The Psychiatrist was very nice, I was incredibly uncomfortable though. My anxiety was already high when I got there since I wrote the address down wrong and had gotten lost. Then when I found the right place, the parking lot was a pay to park but only took change. So, I had to scrape together the change. I don’t carry change often, I typically use it right away for coffee. So, I dug out everything from my purse and from my car and managed to get the $2.50.

I was frazzled, and now I had to sit in front of a person I had never met, in a small room, and dredge this all up.

Luckily as I said the Psychiatrist was very nice. The questions were simple and the manner at which they were asked was not judgemental or confrontational.

A part of me was kind of frustrated though.

I had an idea as to what I was struggling with. I had been living with it for all these years. Comparing stories with friends and colleagues, seeing and hearing the struggles of others online. But I couldn’t walk in and say, “I’m sure I have this, what meds will help?”

So, I went through the motions.

And now I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety, Social Anxiety, and Trichotillomania.

So, my medication has been upped and another added to help me sleep and get me through really tough anxiety days.

But I still don’t feel any different having an official diagnosis. I still feel like people don’t or won’t believe me. I think because I already had made my peace with my suspected diagnosis, hearing it from someone else, especially someone I don’t know didn’t mean anything.

I really hope the meds help. Maybe as I take more time and talk with family and friends about this I will feel different.

Until then I just have to keep telling myself, its okay to not feel okay.

Cheers!

Candice 😊

PS: As I wrote this post out, I almost pulled out my hair 9 times…

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