Even the Best of Us Loses the Best of Us

Very rarely will I fall off the wagon so hard due to depression or anxiety like in the past; quite frankly, I do not miss that happening one bit. I also know that low points and relapses are a continuous part of life and healing. Despite that, when you spend more time feeling happy rather than miserable, you forget just how exhausting it is to be upset or worried all of the time.

I would be lying to you all if I told you that I have been walking around with my head held high and looking fierce and flawless (as I enjoy once in a blue moon). You want to know what my last week or two has really been like?

Continue reading “Even the Best of Us Loses the Best of Us”

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I’ve Been Having a Tough Time…

Hello, all of you spooks. I know I promised the posting schedule will be better, but stressors on the outside have made it nearly impossible for me to focus on my work. My best friend is getting married on Saturday, which led to a few conflicts that blew up into something way worse than it should have been. (Luckily, everything is all right for now.) My full-time job at a casino was insanely busy due to Memorial Day weekend, and I also work extra days straight due to the wedding coming up over the weekend.

A positive side, though: I’m finally starting my Sundays and Mondays off this week, which will leave me so much more time for hangs with friends and actual dates with my boyfriend. (We see each other every week, but I’m not sure that sitting at his house doing his laundry while he works is not the most romantic thing in the book.) Not to mention I worked early yesterday and got to spend the night with my boyfriend, our friend, and his mother.

With every bad, you have to find a positive; at least that’s what I’ve taken away from things happening in my life. You don’t have to be okay all of the time, but you also can’t dwell in the sadness and stay stuck. It’s hard for me to remember that still sometimes.

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend and that you keep on trucking through the tough times in your journeys for happiness.

Modeling, Makeup, and Mental Health Awareness Month

Though a shroud of stigmas surround them, mental illnesses are probably some of the most difficult disorders to try and deal with. It’s sad when people who don’t understand try to make it sound so easy to handle. On the other end, it’s also a bit exaggerated when people who suffer from disorders like depression and anxiety swear they are unable to at least try to keep it from ruining their life in any way.

Despite what people may think, things really do get better eventually.

I lack the need to lay my whole life out on the table, but I dealt with some tough events in the past up until this point. (Hell, some days the littlest things will still flare me up for a few minutes.) People died, a parent said goodbye (not forever, but had to leave the house), and I wrestled self-loathing the size of a brontosaurus. And I also admit that, up until almost two years, I failed to get myself the sufficient help I needed; it felt easier to sit in bed, mope, and live in ignorance. However, it’s never too late, and I have put in the work necessary ever since on a daily basis, and makeup and fashion were part of that work. Continue reading “Modeling, Makeup, and Mental Health Awareness Month”

Battling the Voices In Our Heads

Warped Tour 2014
Warped Tour 2014 (with Lyssa at the top left)

Hey there, everyone. Even though this page primarily focuses on fashion and beauty, I also want to start some conversations about mental health awareness and make this place a safe zone for anyone else who struggles like myself.

To say I’ve been in a funk the past few weeks is an understatement. A few…well, shitty things happened, which hit my mind’s worst anxiety and depression triggers. The guy I was talking to and seeing since August/September stopped talking to me and answering me back without an explanation; he was my first everything (except for my “first time”), so it’s breaking my heart. I did the scariest thing I could do, in my mind, and trusted him only for him to leave without showing me any courtesy. And, a few days ago, I found out another friend of mine will die from cancer. It all sucks, and I’d felt more than ready to end all of the pain until a phone call this week with my friend Lyssa.

I mentioned what was going on in my life and in my head, and Lyssa stayed with me having nothing but patience and understanding. Even through my tears, her heart stayed kind and gentle. Then, she gave me some advice that (somehow) managed to sift through the storm clouds brewing in my mind; she told me that bad things will happen, but I have control of how to handle those situations and that it just takes time for the good things to come into my life, if I give it that time and work hard. She said I’m a beautiful person and she loves me, and it was the rare time when I really knew someone meant what they said to me.

At the end of our phone call, Lyssa assigned me some “homework” I need to send her every night. The first thing I need to do is keep writing on here and make it for me and show her that I’m working on my blog. The other thing I have to do is send her a photo of a journal entry every night so I can record what happened during a day, what I’m thinking, feeling, etc. Now, while I’m going to my therapist every week and working on learning about the deeper parts of myself, she’s exercising my ability to change my mindset so I can live a life I want rather than give in to my mental disorders; she’s making me proactive. That’s what I need.

That phone call with my friend then sparked quite a few wonderful memories that I’d almost pushed into the back of my mind. I remembered my two weeks doing anti-bullying press work with my friends on the 2014 Vans Warped Tour and how I met so many amazing people and overcame my social anxiety so much. I remembered my friend Bethany telling me at the end of Warped Prom (the night I left tour), “You’re one of us.” I belonged somewhere. People liked me. I felt happy.

I’ve hung out with so many cool people in the music scene and had some great conversations, both musicians and fans. The four friends who went to see Steel Panther with me and I had so much fun together; I even went onstage when Michael Starr motioned for me to come and danced (when I never dance) with my friend Danielle. I thought of the one night I went out with my “gay bae” (one of my best friends, but I use “bae” facetiously) Jacob, my brother, and his girlfriend, and Jacob introduced himself to my brother’s girlfriend by saying, “Hi. I’m gay,” before we got 40 McNuggets altogether on the way home later that night.

The depression and anxiety make things so awful and dark. When you get in those funks, it’s so difficult to get back to yourself and remember who you are, what you love, and who really loves you and matters. Once the clouds dissipate, though, regardless of how long they stay away, the beautiful parts of life start to show themselves again. And then, even if it’s just for a moment, you feel free; you feel happy. To all of you who also suffer, please work on remembering that with me.

Fashion, Beauty & Mental Illness

My grandmother has a favorite picture of me from when I was a little girl, and it sits right on a shelf with some of her other knick-knacks. In that photo, I’m a five- or six-year-old little girl wearing a white hat, big sunglasses, and a dress and applying a clear little lipstick from an old mini kit. (Even at such a young age, lipstick was my favorite thing.) I have such an intent look on my face, making sure it’s on just right. I loved all of my little lippies as well as all of my nail polishes.

Fast forward to 2005. I’m 12 years old and starting my first year of middle school; that little girl has disappeared. Now, I wear nothing but baggy jeans, band t-shirts, cargo shorts, skater shoes, and backward-turned baseball caps. I messed with some eye shadow and whatnot in fifth grade, but that was two years ago. I don’t own a single bit of makeup, nor do I own a single dress or skirt anymore. I don’t care about my appearance; hell, I’ve stopped caring about much of anything, at this point.

My mom tries to buy me some nicer, more girly clothing so I’d look nice, but I never want any of it. Girly shoes? Forget about it. Why would I like shopping when I entered the girls’ plus section in fourth or fifth grade? I’ve always been a little bit bigger than the other girls, and it’s gotten me picked on and even pushed down a set of stairs (though that incident was probably more because I’m “weird”). Things suck at school, I feel like my family fell apart as a child and now, and I can’t explain the way I feel. Just…sad. Very, VERY sad. And, while I do enjoy “tomboy” things like sports and video games, I think that’s part of the reason I don’t want to try and look nice; I’m not worth it.

Junior high finishes, and I start coasting through high school. It’s basically a “same shit, different day” mentality every time I wake up. I’m a little more open to finding some girly clothes than I was before, and I at least start picking up some eyeliner and eye shadow every once in a while. But I still always suffer from that self-loathing, that feeling of emptiness and hopelessness that I haven’t been able to shake. I saw a therapist at 13 and again at 15 to try and deal with it all, but it never worked for long. Everything looks bleak. I don’t deserve to be happy. And after my friend died from cancer at 16 years old, it’s only harder to feel happy when life is so unfair.

Somehow I trudge through high school, make my way to college. My first year of college rocks; I’m meeting some new friends due to the roommate/suite mate situation, and some of the classes are pretty cool. I’m away from some pretty bad memories, so maybe there is room for me to grow here. Well, until my depression starts kicking me down just about every other semester, after that point. I like the idea of shopping for cute clothes now, but then I cry at Forever 21 when something in the plus size section doesn’t fit me right. My heart drops every time I try looking in Bon Ton only to find ugly pants with those god-awful elastic waistbands. My makeup skills are simple, at best. I’m nothing special. And, in my junior year, my dog (one of the only things that made me feel special) dies. And everything crumbles, including my school career.

Now, I should be finishing up second-to-last semester at the university and getting ready for winter break. Instead, I’m at home with my family working part-time while I see a therapist every Tuesday and go to the doctor monthly to check on how my antidepressant makes me feel. Even though I’ve gotten lost in my depression, anxiety, and fears of loss and abandonment in the past, this is probably the most lost I’ve ever been. I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing or want to do with my life. But I guess there have at least been a couple good things in the mix.

At 22, that love for makeup I had as a five- or six-year-old girl has made a comeback. I had to buy an even bigger Caboodle makeup case because I’ve gotten so much new makeup in the last year or two. And, rather than using it as a crutch for any insecurities, I use it as an art to make myself look as I wish on a given day. Winging my eyeliner just right, mixing my lipsticks into a unique shade, and styling my hair take my focus away from my issues and bring a smile on my face. I shop for cute clothes without concerning myself too much about the size; how I feel has to matter more, and I’ve lived hating myself for far too long. I take more photos of myself than I ever did before so I can look at myself and be okay with what I see, made-up or otherwise. Fashion and beauty have given me a passion I’ve been missing.

Battling is hard. Trust me, you guys have no idea how badly I feel like giving up and quitting life as I type this. But I shouldn’t let my mental illness win. And, to those who also suffer daily, neither should you. Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.