The Monster That Is Depression

They say push through it. It’ll get better. They say, don’t let it get you down. You can beat it. They try to cheer you up, and you act like it helps so they don’t feel worse for you. You go along your every day lives feeling like you’re on autopilot, not really here nor there. It makes your relationships suffer, without you even realizing it.

But do they really know? Can they see the monster that has taken control of you? The monster that has sunk it’s ugly claws deep into you and dragged you into the abyss, only to hold you there, suffocate you, and whisper things in your ear.

“You’re not enough.” “You’re not worth it.” “Why even try?” “Don’t bother getting out of bed. It’s comfortable, why leave?” “Don’t force yourself to smile and act happy, you know you’re not.” “You had all of these plans for today? Hah, forget that. You won’t get to any of them.”

People with depression struggle with similar things such as I have mentioned everyday. Every single day is a battle. A battle that only those who are in the same situation will understand. But know this. There is always someone there for you. I’m here for you. I’m struggling with the same thing you are. I’ll listen to anyone who needs to talk.

God is there for you, whether you know it or not, whether you feel him there or not. Never lose hope. Things will get better, even though they seem like they won’t. Tomorrow is always a new day, and you never know what might happen or change. It’s hard to remind ourselves of that, isn’t it? It’s hard to be hopeful. To be positive.

I’ve always been the positive person to those around me. Going through health issues year after year, yet smiling and being a bubbly person. Yet no one sees behind the scenes. They don’t hear the thoughts that creep through my head, trying to take control. The doubts. It is a constant struggle to be positive. It is a struggle to smile. My face doesn’t want to most of the time. My muscles get tired easily and it’s physically and mentally draining. But I still try to be positive. It’s so, so hard at times. And sometimes I don’t succeed, and it’s obvious.

It’s also easy to get defensive. When people ask you if you’re okay, after a while you stop wanting to be asked that question. You avoid talking to people, just to avoid that question. No, you’re not alright. But after lying time after time, telling people your ‘fine’… you just get to a point where you don’t want to have to say that anymore. You just want to be left alone. It’s hard not to eventually get irritated and snap at a loved one, simply for asking if you’re alright for the hundredth time. It’s easy to go a whole day without even talking, or hardly talking.

That’s when we need to realize, we need help. That’s it’s not healthy, for ourselves or those around us. It’s a blessing that we should be thankful for that people care enough to keep asking if we’re okay, and to be there for us. We don’t see it at the time, but later we’ll be grateful for them. We’ll end up regretting pushing people away if we don’t realize that. We’ll end up regretting how we’re living. We’ll end up resenting ourselves. It’s a never-ending cycle. Unless we get help. I have finally realized that I need to see someone. I’m going to my doctor soon to see about antidepressants. Something needs to change in my life, and something can change in yours too.

Don’t be afraid to seek help! Doctors aren’t out there to hurt you. Therapists aren’t out there to judge you. Yes, there are some doctors and therapists out there that are not worth your time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go to someone else who will actually help you. The time for change is now! Don’t waste your life away being miserable. Don’t keep pushing your loved ones away. Things can and will get better. You just have to want it, and have the courage to go after it, no matter what. We can have courage together!

Could a Day be Better?

Horseback riding is so fun and therapeutic. It’s relaxing (on a good horse) and exciting at the same time. Learning a discipline in riding is also very fun, albeit hard, but pleasure riding is where it’s at when you want a fun, relaxing ride.
I went on a ride with my friend yesterday. It was the first time riding both of these boys since bringing them home. It’s always a bit nerve wracking riding new horses, but they were so good.
Isn’t it funny how the horse is always more photogenic than the human? It’s just now starting to get into the 90% with high humidity where I live. So rides will be early in the morning, just like this one!
When you find a friend that clicks with you, you don’t want to let go. I can’t wait to make so many memories with this handsome boy! This was literally a dream come true. I had been dreaming of a ride this perfect for so many years, and it finally became reality!
The view was so spectacular. This is definitely a plus of horseback riding. For all of you animal lovers out there with a need for adventure, I highly recommend trying horseback riding at least once. At a reputable barn with safe horses that know what they’re doing, even if the rider doesn’t.
When the horses decide they want your lunch! This was so comical. After this, they dozed until we were done eating. Having a little picnic during a ride is the best! You use muscles you aren’t used to and work up an appetite.
Riding in a big field at a full out gallop is a feeling like no other. It’s exhilarating. Free.
After hosing off the sweat-drenched horses. They appreciated the cold water! Even though we scraped all of the water off with a squeegee they were still wet and shiny!

Getting Outside is Good

Right now, with all of the Covid19 craziness, it’s important to get some fresh air. Sit on your porch. Work on your garden, or make one. Mow the lawn. Play fetch with your pupper. Go on a walk or hike. Have a picnic under a shady tree. Start an outdoor project. Fresh air is good for us, and being outside helps fight depression and anxiety.

For those who haven’t been able to go outside due to quarantine, music and exercise are very helpful as well. There are plenty of great exercises online that you can even do in your living room! For those who have the option of getting outside, make sure not to let the opportunity pass by! Even walking your dog can help lift your mood. Nature has a way of healing us.

For me, I feel God in nature. It lifts my spirits and makes me appreciate life. Appreciate the ability to be able to see, hear, touch and smell this amazing world that we live in. Sometimes it’s good just to stop and be thankful for all of the little things we take for granted.

Writing and confidence. Building enough courage to say, go!

So today I spent virtually 10 hours reviewing, revising, and proof reading 80% of my book. I have over 90,000 words written so far, and I couldn’t do it all in one day. I tend to be a perfectionist.

My cat, Sasha, kept me company for at least 2 hours. While I was distracted and had set my laptop out of my lap for a total of 5 minutes, she snuck up and laid down on one of my legs. So I’m sitting there thinking, “Hmmm. How am I going to do this? She’s in the way.” 🤨 I balanced my laptop on my right knee, and voila! 🤗 All was well. She was so cute, her smug look like, “I’m helping😌” cracked me up! Cats have the funniest personalities. But my butt was numb and hurting after a while because I couldn’t move. Thanks, Sasha. 😂🙄

I recently talked with someone my age (I’m 21 by the way) who is also writing a few books. We had a nice long talk about it, which was GREAT. Being able to connect to another human being about the struggles of writing a book…priceless.🙌🏻 Writing a book takes a lot of research and the details are killer. So are the conversations. But one of the hardest parts is each individual personality that you have to creat for each character. A personality isn’t a simple thing. What do they like, what makes them tick, how do they react to every single little thing and what do they think of everything? It’s basically creating a bunch of people you’ve never met and trying to understand how different types of people’a brain’s work and how they think while creating them. I’m not a psychologist so that is HARD. So being able to relate on how tough and tedious these things are, was fantastic.

She wanted to read my book, so that’s why I spent all day fixing it… the rough draft was rough indeed. 😐 I started at 2 pm and finished at 1 am, took probably an hour and a half worth of breaks-ish, and emailed her part 1 of my rough draft. Fingers crossed! I always get extremely nervous of anyone reading what I write… I am super self conscious thinking everyone will be judging me and hate it. But I decided I have to get over that or I’ll never go anywhere with any of my books. (I currently have 4 different books started.)

I’m very excited to have someone not blood related to me reading my book! They don’t have any biased views or opinions like relatives do.. I don’t trust them 100%. Their love of me may skew their vision. 🧐 Now that I’ve been exhausting my brain and murdering my eyes all day, I’m wide awake and it’s almost 2 am. Hopefully I can get to sleep soon! But somehow my own book draws me in like I’m reading it for the first time no matter how many times I reread it to correct errors, so my brain thinks it’s time to work still.

Here’s another picture of my cat, Sasha. Isn’t she just adorable? 🥰 Till next time world! That will most likely never see this post. 🙃

Work, work, work!

So today was my first day back at work. It was fun, but a little hectic. I was very happy to be back at work, as crazy as that sounds. I’ve been off of work for months now, and being at home all the time can get depressing, and rather boring. I like having something to do that makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something or helped someone in some way. That’s sort of ironic considering I work at a doctor’s office.

The first patient was difficult. I’m already slightly rusty from being away for months, although thankfully I didn’t forget anything, but I was also helping train our newest tech. He’s the nicest guy, it was my first time meeting him and I think it’ll be fun to work with him. He’s easy going and easy to talk to. He only just started doing learning how to do the tests, so having two difficult patients in a row was rough. He did great though.

Just as I’m coming back to work, a coworker is leaving for a week next week, leaving us short-handed. I’ll be helping to pick up the slack, so I’ll be learning everything I can to help with what she normally does as fast as I can until then. Wish me luck!

Now that I can get on a regular schedule at work, I can write on my book in the evenings after taking care of daily needs such as laundry and feeding the horses. I’m so excited to finish my book as soon as possible. Things are on the right track! Now to just stop craving pizza, because I can’t eat it yet…

The New Year and New Resolutions

      Well, 2019 is here! Time seems to fly by much too fast these days.. I’m ready to embrace the new year, with hopes of it being a great year. Fingers crossed that it’s better than 2018…I had some rough times last year. I’m still struggling with Ulcerative Colitis, but thankfully the headaches have been significantly better. One evil recedes as another arises. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to become healthy again this year.

      New Year’s Resolutions are always things that I set my mind to do, and then hardly every accomplish. I’ll stick to something for maybe a few months, then start slacking. I don’t know about you, but it’s a lot easier said than done, especially when life gets in the way of our goals. Well this year will be different.

      For my resolutions, well, I have quite a few. I plan to finally finish the book I’ve been working on for almost five years, and hopefully have it published. Of course, working out and exercising is at the top of the list as well. Being healthy is a priority, especially now that I have an autoimmune/inflammatory bowel disease. I would love to start yoga. It’s supposed to be great for relieving stress, which I need. Stress is a trigger of Ulcerative Colitis, so anything to help! I’ve also simply heard great things about yoga, and I’m very intrigued. 

      Going to work on a regular basis is a huge one for me. I’ve been wanting to do this for so long now, but my health keeps getting in the way. I’m determined to work, so my body will just have to be good! Working gives me a sense of accomplishment that I’ve been dearly missing these past six months. Cooking more is another one. I love to cook, but I never want to put the time and effort into it. I won’t let my laziness stop me anymore!

      Riding my horses on regular basis is one of the things I’ve been wanting to get back to for years now. Again, my health has been a detriment in this area. But now that I’m feeling better, riding is going to be a priority. It’s good for the horses health and happiness as well as my own. It helps my mood and spirit stay uplifted, and it’s relaxing. Riding horses really is therapy, and I just love it so much.

      Something that isn’t as important, that I’m not dying to do but I would like to, is working as a waitress part time. I feel like it would be good life experience to work in an environment where I’m not in my element. I’m hoping it would be great learning experience as well as a way to make a little extra money. I’ll be getting married in only a few years and I need to start saving up to start my life!

      There are so many things that I want to do, need to do, that I’m overwhelmed and excited at the same time. Needless to say, I’m ready for 2019 and what it’ll bring me! I just have to pray that I can handle everything that comes my way, and that I can accomplish everything that I set out to do.

      Have you set any New Year’s Resolutions? If so, I wish you luck in fulfilling them. Our journey is only beginning! Let’s make it worthwhile!

Ulcerative Colitis: Autoimmune and inflammatory bowl disease

Recently I found out that I have ulcerative colitis. Basically, my body things my colon is a foreign entity and is attacking it. It was quite a shock to me, but I’m learning about UC and learning how to live with it. I’ll admit that I did see it as a setback at first, but now I’ve come to terms with it as part of my life. Anyone struggling with a disease or chronic problem can probably relate.

Since I’ve already had chronic headaches/migraines since I was 12, it was a blow to learn that I had one more thing wrong with my body. Does anyone feel sometimes that life just keeps dealing them crappy hands? Are you just waiting for it to get better, and it doesn’t seem to? I’ve recently come to the realization that it’s all in the perspective. We either let our problems overwhelm us, or we overcome them. It’s easier said than done, trust me, I know. I’ve had countless setbacks. For me it has been easier to take it step by step, one little thing at a time. I’ve just been taking it one day at a time, and one minute at a time. I’ll worry about tomorrow when it comes.

Thankfully, I have a great example to follow. My elder brother has Crohn’s disease, another disease of the bowls/intestines. He’s had it since he was a teenager, and he has managed to live a very healthy life due to a miracle medicine that he has found, and healthy life choices. A lot of people with these two diseases end up having to have surgery to remove parts of their intestines at some point in time, but that’s not always the case. I have hope that I can live a perfectly normal life, just like my brother and many other people who struggle with diseases and illnesses. I also believe that God truly does heal, and I have faith that he will take care of me, even in the rough times when things aren’t looking good.

I’ve started learning what I can and can’t eat, which is honestly the toughest part. Staying away from seeds is essential, so my favorite dessert, blackberry cobbler is out the window. That was a huge bummer. Thankfully there is still peach cobbler and it’s also amazing. I suppose there is always an alternative. That helps immensely when big changes come about in life. Anyway, at first I was overwhelmed with all of the potential triggers of ulcerative colitis. Granola, seeds, nuts, raw veggies and fruits, alcohol, carbonation, legumes, artificial sweeteners or an excess of sugar… sometimes even dairy can be an upset. These I’ve found online. The main culprits my doctor warned me about are seeds, iceberg lettuce, and MSG; msg is frequently used in Chinese and Asian cooking. I’ve also heard bad things about popcorn..

So obviously my options are limited, but it’s not the end of the world. I’ll have to find out my particular triggers and the rest I’ll be able to eat without worry. Not everything I listed will be a problem, I just have to figure out what my body likes and doesn’t like. It’s going to be a major life change. But for instance, I can still eat veggies. I just have to cook them. I can still have a balanced and delicious diet, I just have to be careful of what I eat. My brother eats whatever he wants, not a worry in the world. So it’s different for everyone.

It’s important to take a daily probiotic, with live and active cultures. Whether it be a pill form or yogurt, it’s important to keep the bacteria in the gut under control.

Exercise is imperative to staying healthy and stress free. Stress is one of the major triggers of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. I’m seriously thinking about starting yoga, which is recommended. Stretching or meditating are great relaxers, keeping stress levels down. I’ve been needing to work out for a very long time, this just gives me the best excuse possible. Now that I have to stay healthy, it’ll also help my diet. Lean meats, fish, and cooked veggies will be a big part of what I eat now. That’s much healthier than what I used to eat, that’s for sure. So there are good and bad aspects to this, but I’m choosing to focus on the good things and move on with my life headed in a positive direction.

No one is alone in their problems, we are all struggling with something. It’s up to how you cope with it, and hopefully you have someone who loves and supports you to help you along the way to finding the best way possible for you to live happily. We all need love and encouragement. And to be able to make the sacrifices necessary to have a happier, healthier life is a big thing. I hope we can all do what’s best for ourselves, no matter our circumstances.

Simplicities of Life, slow down and take some time for yourself

Sometimes our busy lives leave us forgetting the simple things in life, the things we take for granted. For instance, who can take the time to enjoy the view? In your own town, where you live, the things you see everyday seem to lose their beauty because they’re always in the same spot. Take a second look!

My ideal relaxation would be having a cup of warm coffee on my porch, looking into the changing colorful leaves with a good book in hand, the temperature just cold enough to want a light blanket. That’s so simple, yet I never do it. I never take the time to. How many of us let simple pleasures such as this pass us by, when we could easily make the time to slow down and enjoy the moment? 10-15 minutes seems like a long time, but in reality it isn’t. Compared to a long day at work, something like this could be just the right medicine that we need to unwind.

Walking my dogs in the chilly weather, a sweater on the chihuahua of course, made me stop and look at the beautiful scenery. The trees were wonderfully colored, with plenty of pretty leaves scattered in my path. It made me think back to my childhood, out in the woods with nothing but nature. I would often sit in the nook of a crooked tree by the creek and read, the happy trickling sounds of the water soothes me. How long has it been since I did that?

Moments like these are different for each person. Maybe you’re not an outdoor type of person, or a book loving person. Nonetheless, I’m sure you have an image of your own happy moments just like I do. We as human beings need to take a few moments to ourselves and remember how to enjoy the simple things in life. Busy, everyday things can make us lose sight of ourselves. It’s good to remember who we are and what we love, even if it only lasts a few moments.

If you honestly can’t find the time, then get help from a friend or a loved one. Maybe you have your hands full with your kids, and never get a break. Seek out the help of a babysitter and relax, with by yourself or with your significant other. It can make all the difference. Everyone needs “me time,” it just comes down to making the necessary arrangements and the time for it. At least every once in a while, you deserve it!

Eating Healthy and Fun #SmoothieBowls

How many of us struggle to eat healthy? Yeah, we might say we’ll eat healthy as our New Years resolution, but how many of us actually follow through with it? I’m one of the people who doesn’t follow through. Recently though, I’ve found an amazing and fun breakfast (or any time really) food, smoothie bowls! IMG_0625This looks yummy, right? I thought so too! Health nuts always seemed like crazy quacks to me, I couldn’t understand how healthy food could be “delicious.” I found these recipes online, which is where the photos came from, after I saw an acquaintance eating a smoothie bowl. It seemed like an interesting idea so I looked it up. IMG_0639There ended up being all kinds of smoothie bowls! I’m not a big fan of smoothies myself, I get tired of it after 1/3 of the way through, and then I just don’t want anymore. Smoothies are on the boring side for me, and I’m the kind of person who loves pizza and hamburgers. I mean, who drinks a meal? I thought it was ridiculous. Then I found out about smoothie bowls. After seeing all of the toppings and reading the ingredients, I became intrigued.IMG_0629I recently made the tough decision to finally get serious and eat healthier, it was time to stop saying, “I’ll just eat this for now, and start eating healthy tomorrow.”

I’ve been having some gut issues, involving bloating and just feeling like I have an upset stomach, but I’m not sick. I’ve just been feeling “blah” lately, and I started to wonder if it was my poor diet. So today, I made my first smoothie bowl! IMG_0631First, I’ll talk about the ingredients and what goes into making a smoothie bowl. Essentially, you pick a “creamie” as they call it, like a banana or an avocado, this makes the smoothie creamier. Next, you pick your fruits and/or veggies. You’ll use about 1 cup. A lot of people like to use frozen fruits, as it thickens up the smoothie. Otherwise it ends up being pretty soupy.

IMG_0633After you’ve decided on these, you then pick your liquid. You’ll use about 1/2 cup. If you’re trying to be healthy, lactose intolerant, or vegan, some good choices are almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, soy milk, carrot juice, orange juice, pomegranate juice, or plain milk if you prefer. You can also use yogurt instead, or add yogurt as well as the liquid.


Mmmm, chocolate, right? I’m excited to try this one!! Okay, so the next step is to add a sweetener. You’ll use about 1-2 tablespoons, unless you prefer more. You can use peanut butter, pure or raw honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, or even almond butter. At first, I thought that almond butter sounded nasty, as well as agave, which I had never heard of. But surprisingly they were good! I decided to branch out of my comfort zone with foods that looked or sounded like they would taste yucky, and I’m so glad I did, because I found new foods that I like that are healthier alternatives.

IMG_0637Lastly, you choose your toppings. You can put pretty much anything you want on top, but here are some ideas. Nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cereal such as rice krispy treats or corn flakes, granola, coconut shreds, dried fruit, or fresh fruit cut up. IMG_0641You can even drizzle more honey, peanut butter, yogurt, or whatever you want on top! As long as it’s not excessive, you’re still eating healthy.

IMG_0643You can tweak it however you like! The ideas and possibilities are endless.

IMG_0667This is the first smoothie bowl that I’ve ever made. It’s not as pretty as the pictures online, but it sure was tasty! I was planning on following a recipe, and then I decided to improvise a little. I blended 1 cup of raspberries, 1 banana, 3 strawberries, 1/4 cup almonds, 2 tablespoons almond butter, 1/2 cup almond milk, and 1/2 cup of ice.

I wish I had used frozen fruit, but fresh fruit was all I had at the time. It was only a little soupy, but next time I’ll definitely be using frozen fruit!

As the toppings, I sliced up 2 small strawberries, threw a handful of blueberries on there, 1/4 cup of granola, and I drizzled honey on top! It was scrumptious! I’ll definitely be eating smoothie bowls from now on. I’m hooked! Every day? Probably not. But frequently? That’s a definite yes.

If you’re interested in making your own smoothie bowl, here’s the link to the website I visited with the recipes to all of the delicious looking pictures above! Don’t worry if you don’t see the recipes immediately. You’ll find all of the recipes at the bottom of the page, below the pictures.

Or you can just google smoothie bowls, that works too. It seems like a hassle to make, but honestly it only takes a few minutes to make, and believe me, I’m a lazy person. So if I can make the time, I know you can too! Branch out and try something new!

Monday’s are Monday’s

Monday’s are usually not the highlight of one’s week. It just accentuates how much longer you have until the weekend, when most people have off of work.

Of course there are also those who work weekends and have Monday’s off, so on the contrary, that is most likely their highlight of the week.

Days off of work, no matter when they are (unless your a workaholic, nothing wrong with that of course) are usually looked forward to. I know I do. Time to relax, unwind the tension that has built up during the week, and to get some projects around the house done, or simply have some fun.

I for one am very much looking forward to the summer, when I can go outside and swim on my days off. Or read a book in the lush grass underneath the nice, cool shade of a tree. Iced tea and ice cream on hot days… In my opinion, summer is definitely worth looking forward to. Unlike Monday’s… (for me at least😉)

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