Faith, Mental Health

Marriage Preparation Series: Step #1

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The whole point of this series is to give you ideas of things you can work on while in a season of waiting for your spouse. You could be dating. You could be 100% single. This series stems from things I’ve learned in my season of waiting.

First and foremost: work on healing wounds. Those wounds could come from childhood. They may be from previous relationships. They could come from abuse. They could come from neglect. But always, those wounds come from a place of pain and negativity.

To be the best you can be in a relationship, one must assess wounds and work on healing those wounds. The scars will still be there, but you won’t be bleeding all over your partner. Some wounds are deep. The process of healing these will not be easy and will not be comfortable. And, in my opinion, is best done with the help of a professional.

I cannot explain how much I believe EVERYONE can benefit from therapy…if you are willing to do the work and be vulnerable. I realize that not everyone has medical insurance. I realize there is a cost to therapy. I also realize…It. Is. Worth. Every. Penny. Finding a therapist you trust is key. You will be doing hard work. The therapist will be cheering you on and helping you untangle the thoughts and emotions in your head.

I had a person tell me once that she didn’t need therapy, because she didn’t have baggage. Darlin’, everyone has baggage. Every. Single. Person. The question isn’t whether you have baggage or not. The question is: Am I willing to do the hard work and be vulnerable? And I dare say, until we are willing to be honest with ourselves and our therapists, we cannot be vulnerable with a partner.

Some resources for you:

https://www.nami.org/

https://www.catholictherapists.com/

May God bring you Peace through this journey.

Faith, Mental Health

Find Your Calcutta

The quote above I found some time ago. I’ve always had great affection for Saint Teresa of Calcutta, even when she was alive. Mainly because she was the first person I ever saw giving AIDS patients compassion. You see, my mom passed of AIDS at the height of the epidemic. She was diagnosed in 1987 and passed in 1991. Saint Teresa of Calcutta was compassionate to the dejected. I saw that at an early age, related to it, and loved her for it. When I came across this quote, the compassion in it was just too beautiful to overlook.

I got to thinking…what about MY Calcutta. Where is it? What can I do for it? I decided I have 2.

The first a foremost Calcutta is my classroom. I love on my babies and their families. They need love. That is why I teach. Not for the paycheck. Not for the wisdom. Simply for the Love.

The other Calcutta is this blog. I get to love on people who are hurting, who have been to the darkest night…alone. The people who connect to me through this blog do so because of similar experiences. I am praying that I am able to help fill your soul with love and strength, so you can go out into YOUR Calcutta and do the same.

Peace.

Mental Health

Protecting Stability

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Hi. For those of you who are new here, let me catch you up. I live with mental illness and I am a voice for those who are finding theirs. I am in no way a doctor. In no way am I giving out medical advice. I am sharing my story and what works for me. I live with Bipolar Type 2, PTSD, and generalized anxiety disorder. I daily fight the demons in my own head. Finding my strength, I hope will help others find theirs.

So, here’s the truth. I’m not the healthiest person sometimes. At times I can be involved in toxic relationships. I try really hard to stay on the healthy end of the spectrum more often that not. Part of staying on the healthy end of things is setting up parameters to stay healthy. Protecting my stability at any cost.

I’ve learned what my body needs over the last 20+ years of having a diagnosis. I’ve learned that rest…good sleep…is a huge need. That means I can’t stay up at night. If I get off schedule with my sleep, the wheels fall apart at the spokes. 8 solid hours of sleep is crucial for me to maintain stability.

Taking my medication as prescribed is another huge thing. Y’all, I aint going to lie. I hate taking medication. I hate it. It is a royal pain in the ass. Especially when the medication stops working, which happens every few years. Why take medication if it isn’t working?! So here’s the deal. It is vital that if you have a mental health issue you stay in touch with your doctor. Your doctor is your lifeline and they will at some point save your life. If they don’t listen to you, get a new doctor. AND TAKE YOUR MEDS AS PRESCRIBED. I know. It sucks. Just do it. And don’t listen to those who say getting off medication is a good idea. You know your body. You know your meds keep you stable. It’s not a matter of bootstraps. It’s a matter of if your doctor has ruled there is a chemical imbalance, YOU LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR. Your doctor will save your life. Trust me.

Another behavior that is vital for my health is developing healthy relationships and interactions with people. When relationships are toxic, they no longer grow. Those relationships just make you feel crazy and like you are the one losing your mind. Yes, we all have things we can work on. Yes, you and I have defects. In healthy relationships, you are able to work on improving yourself and your defects. In toxic ones, no growth happens. At all. Build up the healthy relationships around you. You will need them. Let the toxic ones go. Learn how to interact and trust. Learn how to lean on others. Go to therapy if you need insight. Your therapist will help you clarify which relationships to move forward with and which ones to let go.

Most of all, be your own advocate. Know your body. Know your mood shifts. Know your vital needs. Speak up for yourself. If you don’t, no one will. And know that when you take care of you and do the work, things WILL get better. Even your darkest day will be a stepping stone to a better life. It’s about learning how to navigate the waters of mental illness. I hope this tidbit of love and advice helped you. If it did, leave a comment below.

Mental Health

Coping Skills Post #2

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I am learning to be okay in my own skin. Often it is difficult to be in my own head, but I am managing better today than I was 6 months earlier. A coping skill that I’ve been using is journaling.

Journaling isn’t for everyone. Some people can’t stand it. For me, to have my thoughts on paper makes a huge difference. I can see my mind and where I was at a certain time. I’m able to step away from the immediate situation and yet save that situation to deal with at a later time. It is a great strategy for me. It may help you too.

I bought a $3 journal from Wal-Mart. And I’ve been writing. It doesn’t really matte what. Just get something down. It’s like exercising. The more you do it, the easier it is.

Mental Health

Coping Skills…What Do I Know?

Back at the beginning of September, I said I was going to do a series on coping skills. I have learned in that month, that I know a lot of technical thing about coping skills, but implementing them is an whole other animal.

My go to coping skill right now is meditation. I meditate each night before bed. It helps soothe the rough spots of the day out. I usually will do this either by saying my Rosary or doing a sleep exercise with a skill on Alexa called Headspace. It is free to do the sleep exercise and it helps me drift off to sleep. Many times, through praying the rosary, I do end up drifting off to sleep. I hope that my guardian angel will finish my prayers for me.

All this to say…I am going to attempt to continue this series during the month of October. I’m sorry that my ideas for September didn’t transpire into goals for September. That’s okay though. There is still the month of October to get the job done. Happy fall, y’all.

Mental Health

Another New Series

This month I am choosing to focus on mental health. Specifically, I will focus on coping skills that help me move forward in life and they may help you, too.

Coping skills…what are they? Coping skills are the things we use in life to get through. The way we survive and in some cases the way we thrive.

The first coping skill will come at you next week. I am trying to make these posts happen on Mondays. I missed this post with this Monday, so I don’t know how consistent I will be at it. I’m trying y’all. 🙂 Bear with me.

Mental Health

WHOOHOO! (Can You Hear the Excitement?!)

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I LOVE FALL!!!!

No, really…I seriously love fall. It’s my fave. Cooler weather. Sweaters. PSL. Marshmallows by the campfire. Dia de Los Muertos. All of it. It is my fave. (Have I said that already?)

I’m doing a series of posts on Thursdays. These posts will just be about fall. I hope to make many adventures this fall, so some of them will be posted here. I also hope to explore new recipes and share my favorites.

I am wondering though. What sort of fall related posts are you looking for, my dear readers? How can I help you? I am going to do an Instagram Story where you can comment your requested topics on there. If you don’t follow me on Instagram…you should. We should be friends. Look to the right of this post and my link to Instagram is over there. Stories are the things at the top of the app that disappear daily. I love interacting there and would love your input on this blog series! You can also comment below. But trust me, Instagram is so worth it. 🙂 See you next week! (Or sooner….on Instagram!)