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 😊

Surveys for Cash!

So I’ve decided to try out the site Swagbucks.

Basically you answer surveys to collect points, by redeeming your points you can get gift cards.

Sounds easy right?

Right! So far its not too bad. It takes time, but I’m just sitting here watching Netflix, so why not do something that will get me gift cards!? Christmas is coming and gifts need buying.

So I have decided to give it the good ol’ college try.

Here is a link to register with Swagbucks if you want to try it out too!

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 😊

October Playlist


Here are the key players on my playlists this fall, I encourage you to check them out on Youtube!

Welcome to the Black Parade – Halflives (Cover)

The Islander – Nightwish

I Hope You’re Happy – Blue October

Into the Fire – Asking Alexandria (Acoustic Version)

Overcome – Live

Sound of Change – The Dirty Heads

Sunder – Really Slow Motion

TalkTalk – A Perfect Circle

Waking Lions – Pop Evil

Causality (ft. Tash) – Hidden Citizens

 

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…

Quotes That Changed Me

 

“The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.”

 

“You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.” A Universal Paradox – Tweegram

 

“Do the best that you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou

 

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

 

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.”

Kid-less

If anything could turn me into a little fluff ball of rage (very similar to Killian when I try to trim his nails) its this. I’m 24, single woman, and I’m in the middle of building a very successful career as an RVT. And I don’t want kids.

“Kids” are a pretty universal topic of conversation and to be honest a very broad topic.

It can be great for family reunions talking to a random family member, you only ever see at said family reunions. For me, it’s a loaded topic and I just hate when the conversation swerves towards it.

You’re just sitting on the couch, contributing to the family gossip with expressions of shock, nods of concern, and laughter when warranted. You’re just putting in time, waiting for dinner.  The turkey looks amazing! Zoning out, zoning out, mmmmhhmm turkey…!

A random family member side eye’s you… Wait did they start talking about kids? Red Alert! Red Alert! You try to figure out an escape plan, “Oh gosh, we’ve run out of chips, I’ll go get some”, but there all in on it “Karen can get them”. Dammit Karen! You’re trapped. “So, when are you gonna settle down and have kids?”

“Oh, I don’t want kids.”

And the chorus begins…

“Oh, you’re just young! You’ll change your mind.”

“You’ll regret it one day!”

“What about your parents, they’ll want grandkids!”

“What if your future husband wants kids?”

Its not the explaining that I’ll now have to do. It’s the fact that what ever I say, they will not hear. As soon as I say, “I do not want kids.” They get that look of pity and have now pegged me as odd, as a crazy woman. Who doesn’t want kids?!

I usually opt for some polite brush off, try to change the subject or just walk away. But I’m going to tell you what I wish I could say.

“Oh, you’re just young, you’ll change your mind.”

UGH! I this one drives me nuts!

So you’re saying, I’m too young to know my own mind, but old enough for you to expect me to have kids? Riiight *Eye roll*. “you’ll change your mind” Okay, maybe, maaaybe, I’ll change my mind. Its not like I have felt this way since my early teens and have thought long and hard about this LIFE DECISION. Pft, clearly I am just being naive. Even if I do end up changing my mind some time in the future. That does not mean you get to dismiss my feelings now! I will not be dismissed.

“You’ll regret it one day!”

Well I’ll just deal with it then. The end.

“What about your parents, they’ll want grandkids!”

They already have grandkids.


My fur babies, Mop, Killian, Link, and Fawkes. Oh! And the tiny humans my sister had. I think they are fine. AND! I’m also pretty sure they would want me to have kids because I wanted them, not because its something I think they want from me.

“What if your future husband wants kids?”

Well if he’s my kind of husband material he will be good with kids but not want them. He will want fur babies as far as the eye can see. NEXT!

But it just the ravings of a crazy woman. But I’m not a crazy woman, on this I am perfectly clear. I have thought long and hard about it.

I don’t make this decision lightly. But that’s the thing. Its my decision. My life, my body, my choice.

Cheers!

Candice 😊

PS: Have you every tried fitting 3 cats, a small dog, a human and a laptop on a small recliner?? I never thought I would hear myself say “I need a selfie stick”…

A Whiteboard and some Markers

It all started with these guys.

 

 

I was bored at work and the white board we had been using to write our “needs list” on was empty. (We had just switched to using a computer program)

Morale had been on the lower side and I wanted to do something that would make people smile, even just for a second.

A quick look around Pinterest, some dry erase markers, and a q-tip. And VOILA!

The smiles they brought were worth more than I could have ever realized.

And I wanted to do more!

So, I asked the managers if I could use the board to draw pictures, write quotes, and just promote positivity. They didn’t mind as long as it did not interfere with my work, so I went full steam ahead!

 

I can do this

 

I started out small. I wanted to see how the staff responded.

Everyone seemed to like it!

Next I wanted the staff to get involved. Get them talking!

favourite book

As you can see it was a hit! As each person shared their favorite story on the board, they would share these beautiful memories of it with others while they worked. It was such a wonderful thing to see!

So, about every 2 weeks, I would do a new board.

Koi

 

 

 

memo

 

Calvin and hobbs quote

This one is probably one of my favorites.

 

Staff Shout outs

 

Sometimes I was able to celebrate certain holidays!

Proud Canadian

 

Eventually I began to feel the boards were becoming less needed and I was starting to run out of ideas.

But I had a few more things to say before I would put down my dry erase markers.

 

Swing.JPG

 

And its this last one that I really wanted people to see.

 

Real

So now I’m taking a break. To recharge, to regroup, and to come up with some new ideas!

But I hope this inspires people to bring positivity into their workplace, their life, or just give them a smile.

It’s all worth it.

Cheers!

Candice 🙂

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