June 2020 update

It’s June. As I currently mull over topics for my blog, I am at a loss for words. 2020 has been a mind boggling start to the new decade. From the botched response to the Pandemic from our government to the murder of George Floyd, I am left utterly speechless. A part of my life philosophy is to be well educated and informed on topics but knowledge has left me with no solace. I’ve slowly been transitioning this blog to be a larger platform and a part of that has been my desire to have a voice in this chaotic world. While I won’t get into the topic too much during this post, I am absolutely disgusted by the police brutality and use of military force; the protests have been largely peaceful and the sirens should be sounding when the police are armed to the teeth and have better protective equipment than our healthcare workers during a Pandemic. To a certain extent, our government is murdering its people and it’s important to take a stand for what’s right.

Scrapped Articles

Over the years, I’ve scrapped many articles. The most prominent of which was my gun violence article. I’ve talked some politics on this blog but have primarily kept the focus to creative content. I write on WordPress to relax and discuss personal growth projects. My Mental Health Awareness month series in 2018 was my greatest challenge but I was able to talk about my Father’s alcoholism. These last couple months, I’ve been reassessing how I post content. Business articles had a time and place on this blog but I’ve been happy with the decision to move the articles to Linkedin. I’m also beginning to start writing projects outside of the blog, like writing a book. Before June, I had begun work on integrating calls to action into the format of the website itself but that still is currently in progress. As for articles on race, gun violence, and politics, I am now reconsidering writing on Medium. That’s not to say I won’t write about those topics on here but Medium will allow me to write one off articles when I feel the need to voice my frustration. My blood is starting to boil again and I want to use that passion constructively.

Now… The month of June

The blog has steadily been growing over the last couple months. The new format will be an update post the first week of the month followed by typically 2 posts in the following weeks. In addition, I’ll be adding 2 annual series; Mental Health Awareness month and an Earth Day/Sustainability (Earth month) series. These series will be an article a week and last for the entirety of their respective months. Eventually, I would like to integrate the causes I support onto this site. At the moment, I have a couple I’ve donated to. Over the next couple months, I’m going to take a look into various organizations and learn more about social impact. As such, I don’t have an ETA on this. I have a couple ideas of what I want to do but nothing concrete.

Skillshare

The Pandemic I’ve been using as a time to reinvest in myself. I saved money from work and when I quit my job, I was ready to leave. Over the last couple months, I bought a Blue Yeti mic for streaming, podcasting, and more. I also signed up for Codecademy to have consistency with learning to code and am using Skillshare, so I can finally take writing courses and hone in on my other creative endeavors. Right now, I’m learning to paint and eventually I want to get out and take photos again. It’s been keeping me busy. I’m still learning languages and surpassed a 30 day streak on Duolingo; when the Pandemic ends, it is my hope to go out and see the world.

In Summary

It’s been a roller coaster of a year. These monthly update posts are meant as a way to keep you informed and let you know some of my thoughts outside of the articles I write. It’s a time for feedback and general discussion.


As always, thanks for reading! I’m excited for the year ahead as I finally start to do what I want with my life, not what I think others want me to do. The last couple months have been great seeing the blog grow and I’d be blown away if we hit 200 followers by the end of the year. Part of my strategy has been to promote the site and that starts on the individual level. Every like, follow, and share helps bring new viewers to this site. If you’d like to support me as a creator, below is the link to my donation page, which includes Patreon and Ko-Fi:

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Have a great week and stay safe!

A look back at the last Decade

The planning phases are nearly done for my blog. I have posts planned and ideas for branching my writing outside of WordPress. It took a Pandemic, but I’m slowly getting there. As the world ends, I’ve had time to reflect on my current predicament and take stock, something I recommend everyone do periodically throughout their lives. As we delve into the new decade, I wanted to take a look back at how far I’ve come and what’s next.

10 years ago today

Twenty-Ten. My God. A lifetime ago. I was a Sophomore in High School and a scrawny cross country runner. I went to class, played video games, and ran; that was my life. Fall was cross country and come Spring, track and field. Socially awkward, I tried to impress everyone, and really only had a few close friends. I had a High School crush, someone I had known since the first grade, and life was relatively well. It was the year after my Freshman year and if my faded memory serves, I was happy. I’d go as far as saying it was the peak of my High School years. Then came Twenty-Eleven, my Junior year. This was the year it all began to fall apart. I brushed off my childhood crush and a week before homecoming found out she was dating another runner. Had I had the courage then, I wonder how things might have turned out differently. My whole love life in High School was a complete mess to be honest and what could’ve been never ended up being. My 4.0 GPA began to waver and I simply stopped caring whether I succeeded or failed. This was the year I applied for a couple colleges and chose Oregon State for my studies; it was also the year I tried to get my family to go to counseling. Looking back now, it’s clear that I was depressed, so as you can imagine, I was not in the best shape going into my Senior year.

Twenty-Twelve. Twenty-Twelve in all reality, was my ticket year. I had one singular goal; to graduate and prep for College. I grew out my hair to the point it covered my eyes and stumbled my way into College. Years of Alcohol abuse by my Father had left it’s mark and I had the foresight then to know I had to remove myself from the environment I was born into. My great escape, if you will.

Twenty-Twelve

This was my transition year. My Father, in all likelihood, was too drunk to notice I was even in college. Regardless, looking back, this was a fantastic year for me. I had successfully done it; I had removed myself from my haunting household. This was a year filled with chaos but I have always had the drive to be better and I used that as my compass. From pre-engineering to undeclared to pre-business, I had successfully transitioned to where I needed to be. The College of Business saved my life and while in the end I was ultimately pulled back to Hell with chains only Hellfire can break, I am still eternally grateful for Oregon State and the opportunities it provided me. I would say I could never repay the debt, but I’ve currently been paying that down over the last year and it’s now a much more manageable amount than it was. While I’ve told this story before, I think my experience throughout college is worth sharing. The more I tell it, the more I can see my growth and finds ways to improve even further. My Freshman year ended with a choice; continue College or drop out. If I continued, I would essentially be on my own, with sporadic funds from my parents. Dropping out would’ve been easy and I knew I would essentially be signing a death sentence for myself, so I chose to stay.

Twenty-Seventeen

… Five years later. Haha, you didn’t think I’d go over the entirety of my college career, again? Did you? If you’re curious, check out my Journey’s End series where I reflected upon my Journey through College as a final project for my Leadership class. The Twenty-Sixteen, Twenty-Seventeen school year was hands down the best year of my life. Everything that had been set in motion had come to pass and I not only realized that my dreams were achievable, but that I had actually accomplished them. Every goal I had set for myself, I had accomplished and I had become the man I had always wanted to be. Come June, when I walked, I hugged our Dean before throwing my cap up and grabbing life by the horns. But I had made a mistake and hindsight is always 20-20… For now, I could revel in my success and know, that despite every challenge I had faced, I had rose above and made it. Not simply tell myself I had made it, but actually made it.

Present Day

Ok, so not quite present day. In a nutshell, I graduated into a strong economy, and found work relatively quick. I’ve been with the same company, in the same role for the last 2 years now. On paper, I look great. And to be honest, I still believe I am in a good spot. I am ready for my next big adventure and I finally know how I want to get there. I want to go abroad to study Business Analytics or at the very least, go to Portland State University. After a Masters in Analytics, I want to further my studies with a PHD in Sustainability. And I am gearing up for logistics driven, supply chain management roles. Shame it took a Pandemic and weeks left to my own thoughts to realize this. But ultimately, I think this is where I will be happiest. I won’t know until I get there, but it’s the best picture I have had since graduation. And that was my Grand Mistake. I spent so much time doing what I thought I should do to be better, by the time I graduated I had no idea what I actually wanted. Necessary? Perhaps. But a part of me will always wonder.

In the Meantime….

I am applying my logistical and analytical mindset to this blog. Call it the missing link if you will, but I’m excited. I have time to write and I’m going to use it. The Pandemic has actually given me the courage to speak up when typically I have kept my head down and simply done my job. LinkedIn is becoming home to business related articles written from the heart (I’ve written one article, but the ideas are there!). No new poetry for a bit as I compile all the poems I’ve written into a book and publish hopefully during World Poetry month! And I’ve reformatted how I ask for donations based on feedback as I want to make it as easy as possible to support me as well as fun. I am cutting into my emergency fund right now, so any help is much appreciated. As always, comment below; I love hearing from everyone!


Payments!

This is still in its experimental phase! I am happy with what I have set up but if you have suggestions, please, please, please, tell me! How it’ll work is below is one link. Click on the link and you’ll be directed to my Payment page. Three options: Patreon, which is set up monthly, Ko-fi as a one time payment of increments of $3 so you can pay per post or whenever, and a simple payment button that’ll send the funds directly to my Paypal. In addition to the donation page being cleaned up, I will also be making it a point that if you like my content, please, please, please, share with your friends! I love having a community and my philosophy has typically been, “build it and they shall come”. Since I’ve finished up my planning phases for content flow and structure, I realized this is silly. Yes, great content is important, but sharing is part of human nature! So remember, give this blog a shout out anytime you think a friend might enjoy an article, it truly does help! And without further ado, below is the link to support this blog!

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Also, let me know what you think of the new format!

Journey’s End: A Tale of Love

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” -Abraham Lincoln


A Note From the Author

A post written nearly 2 years ago. Lost to the ages, brought back to life. This article has been left in its entirety, with minor edits made to help the overall flow of the article itself. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!


In honor of this being my 69th post on WordPress (nothing to read into here), I thought it would be fun to talk about relationships and love. So if you’ve ever been curious about my thoughts regarding this topic or wondered what deep secrets Mike is hiding, this is the time.

A Rare Glimpse

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m management by trade. A benefit of management is a lot of proper management and leadership is understanding people. To not put a one size fits all label but rather see the little nuances, do some math, and create a picture of each person. One aspect in particular is emotional intelligence. Which, in a nutshell, is how well you understand others emotions, as well as your own. Can you accurately read someone’s facial expressions? Their body language? Are they fidgety? Does this mean they’re nervous? Excited? Uncomfortable? As you can see, it is a fairly complex topic and it’s taken me about 5 years (if not a lifetime) to have a somewhat decent grasp over. To go further, I’d also like to acknowledge the unconscious mind. I read a lot of business/ business psychology books and I’ve spent years learning how to pick apart my mind in order to reprogram my behavior. As such, I have a good understanding of who I am, what I want, and how to get there. I’ve also been an observer most of my life, with excellent listening skills (developed over time) and a desire to understand.

I Walk a Lonely Road

Say what you will about when boys and girls start to fall for each-other and develop crushes, but for me I’d say it was around first grade. The scenario was this: I go play with my friends or I go for a walk around the schoolyard with a cute girl. What did I choose, being a first grader? My friends of course. Any regrets? Nope. Then after first grade, there was another cute girl that came along. We went through elementary school, middle school, and high school together. I’m 99% sure she liked me and while I liked her, I made the mistake of going after the girl I couldn’t get. How did that go? As well as one can expect.  The girl that got away? perhaps, but let me make a note of that.


Everyone talks about the one. You listen to any love song and more often than not it’s about the one that got away. Usually the singer is filled with regret and what sounds pleasant to the ears is more often than not obsessive. You want to know how stalkers are born? Surprise, this is how. It’s not letting go and moving on. It’s OK to be upset and give yourself time to heal but sooner or later you have to move on. And of course, love is messy. Hormones run wild, people go insane. Love is indeed a feeling… Anyways, the point I want to make is that there are multiple “ones” out there. If a girl breaks your heart, don’t worry, another will come along. It may take a while, but it’ll happen.


So, back to the story. Come college, I took a break. I was waiting for someone to come along and save me from myself. I thought I deserved a girlfriend and resented those who had one. I sound like quite the charmer, no? Everyone has their issues and nobody is perfect, so I figured it would be fairly easy. My philosophy back then was girls dated assholes. And yet no one came… So I started burying myself in my work. Work was a distraction. After bumming around my Freshman year, I had a job by my Sophomore year. I’d go to class, work, and sleep. My first real taste of responsibility. I had money and that was spent on books and classes. Then I quit and joined student organizations, where I had even more responsibility. I was shy and awkward back then but I still remember one of my mentors saying, “one day the right girl will come along for you”. Simple, yes. True? Don’t know yet. Fast forward a few years to last Winter, when I first installed Tinder. I had my first date. Coffee by the water front. And afterwards? A walk along the water front and then a walk back to her car. We exchanged numbers and then? She got cold feet. I uninstalled Tinder and continued to focus on making myself a better person. I wasn’t perfect, but at least I was trying. Then came Spring… The cherry blossoms began to bloom and my professionalism was at it’s peak. At this point I was juggling both being the Director of Social Media for management club and being the Service Chair at the same time. I wasn’t looking for love. And then one of my friends decided to touch my arm… The cruelty of the human touch. Like a witch, she put me under a spell. I, being the rational individual that I am, tried to fight it and didn’t quite understand what was going on. After the touch and suggesting that we go dancing, she went in for the hug. If I had any chance at this point, it was now gone. The casual arm brushes, the “accidental” touching of hands, the subtle mention of weddings in everyday conversation, or the “how much I love fro-yo, we should go sometime”. Of course there is more (all of which is well documented in my personal journal) but I think you get the idea. So I said, “what the Hell?” and asked her out to drinks. She said yes and she tried to drag me back to her place to do God knows what with me. I politely declined, citing that I had a job interview in the morning. Being the Gentleman I was, I was in it for the long game. So come the end of Spring, we were making summer plans and it felt as though I was on top of the world. So I figured I would ask, “do you want to go on a date”? Not asking to date regularly but rather than “hanging out” it would require a tiny bit of commitment. What did she say? “I’m flattered Mike, but right now I’m looking to have fun, focus on myself, and then see what life has in store”. Best part? She was playing the field with her childhood friend, saying they were just “friends”.

So my fragile heart was now crushed to dust and I was  left to sweep what was left into an urn. And what did I do? I buried myself in my work. I found a summer job and simply worked. It was a summer thinking of what could’ve of been but what would never be. Up until this point I had always assumed women were more mature than men but this instance shattered that illusion. And then I was in Germany.

Germany was there to mend a broken heart. I had 3 months of pain and in a sense got a chance to hit the reset button. I worked on my flirt game. I learned German pickup lines, reinstalled Tinder and tested the waters. My goal, as I have so elegantly put it, was to be “wild and free”. So I played the field, saw how far that got me, and simply enjoyed the ride. Of course, it being 4 months, there wasn’t enough time for anything meaningful to transpire. That’s besides the point. I gained the confidence I needed, changed my look, and essentially was reborn in Germany as I made some of the most meaningful relationships in my life. This was the final hurdle, to break away from the shy and awkward Mike of the past and fully embrace who I wanted to be.

Coming Home

And now that I’m back from Germany, I’ve gone on a few dates. The first date was terrible (nothing in common) and the other date was interesting… Nice date (although no second date). And of course, the story wouldn’t be complete without a little more heartbreak. There was a girl in my class who once again touched my arm. Then she’d sit next to me everyday and invade my personal space. The “accidental” brush, the flushed face, dilated pupils, heavy breathing, even mimicking. And then the cursed corporate holiday came, Valentine’s Day. A holiday where people who are in relationships try to make up for 364 days of neglect (love should be year round) or a holiday that has now become single’s awareness day. So I, being the hopeless romantic I am, decided to ask her out to coffee after conferring with her friend beforehand on whether or not she was single (according to Facebook and the friend, the answer was yes). The result? I got a, “I’m flattered but I’m kind of seeing a guy from Spain right now”. And was my heart broken? Not at all. I was frustrated but I learned a lot in Germany. Perhaps more than learning to love others, I learned to love myself. So being rejected on Valentine’s day didn’t phase me.

The Fragility of Love

Over Spring break I went for a walk. I live on a mountain (more a glorified hill) and at the top of this hill is a park. I sat down and enjoyed the view. To the side I overheard a girl and a guy talking. The guy was trying to convince the girl (who was with another guy) to be with him. Over the course of a few minutes, the argument the girl made eroded and at first she talked about being loyal, then how they weren’t really together, and then it was over (rationalizing her decision all the while). The mood had soured and while I was simply there to gaze out to the horizon and ponder the vast mysteries of the world, I got up and without looking, walked back down the hill.  I always have to wonder how truly happy people are. People profess their love for each-other yet I don’t think many know what that truly means…

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Our Darkest Shadows: A tale in wellness

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

Depression. The darkness that lurks in every corner not lit. We all carry our little flames, shielding them with our hands in an effort to keep them from going out. And I’ve found in life, as long as there are still embers, the fire can be lit again. We may not see the embers, but they are there nonetheless.

And this is what depression is. It is stumbling our way through the dark, not knowing if the direction we’re headed in is the right one. It is the fear that the flame we carry will burn out, never to be lit again.


For the longest time I’ve had depression and I had to watch my once bright flame slowly dwindle until it was but embers. The best way to describe depression for those who have never experienced it is that of a rain cloud constantly hovering over someones head. When I was younger, I would take every word said and distort it to my reality. You gave me a compliment? I would tell you why you were wrong. You offered to help? I would take personal offense. As you can imagine, that can be quite exhausting for someone to deal with. The best part? We know what we’re saying is wrong, yet we can’t see past our own delusion.

If you suffer from depression, you know this. There are thousands of articles written on the darkness and how there’s no escape. And if you’re depressed, it is nice for a bit. To know you are not alone in your struggle, that others suffer just as you do. However, then you come to the realization that these articles have no solutions and you dive further down the rabbit hole. And eventually? The lines between reality and fantasy begin to blur and you have to watch your world melt away until you can’t tell what’s up and what’s down. Absolutely terrifying.

This is not one of those articles. This is an attempt to offer some guidance based on my experience.  It’s been a long road, sure, but I can look back and smile. Every struggle has made me stronger and once I learned to cope with my depression, I could see my life in a new light. If this is all you read, just know this: You are worthy of love. You may not feel you deserve it, but you do. Be the person you want to be. And take it one day at a time. It may be hard to put one foot in front of the other but you must.


“And when you needed people the most, it felt like there was no one to be found.”

When I arrived at College, I never imagined graduation. I struggled my first year. My Spring term I found the mental health services. A few years of counseling and then I set out on my own; I would occasionally see a counselor for emergencies, however, not once a week like I used to. At the end of my counseling, I bought a journal and then I set out to bury my past, one day at a time.

I have friends but I feel so alone… I’m sure this feeling will pass but for now I’m in complete despair. I worry too much about what others think of me; I have spent a lifetime trying to find myself when I should’ve been spending a lifetime creating myself. It’s never too late, but I feel as though I have a lot of catch up to do… I wish I had someone in my life I could go to for advice, someone close that could come to my aid in a heartbeat. Mr. E has been the biggest positive influence in my life and the only person I have truly felt has believed in me. I need a break and soon, otherwise I worry that the weight of the world might finally crush me into dust…

I almost didn’t write this article. For research I was reading stories written by others and I could feel the struggle, the conflict. The desire to be better but the not knowing how. Looking for a candle in the dark and finding only darkness… And then I reached for my own journal. Nowadays, I dust it off from time to time. If I’ve had a bad day, I like to write. There was a point in my life I was writing every day and when I reread my journal, I can feel the pen hit the paper and when I was at my worst, the frantic scratches as I sat gasping for air.  To be honest, a part of me wants to snap my fingers and erase this part of my life. However, I wanted to be able to tell my story. And as much as I can try, the past never stays buried.

The Journal

The entry above is from the first day I started my journal. I had nowhere to go and was taking it one day at a time. This was a time where I was fully wrapped in my delusions. My flame was embers and all I could do was pass my hand close to feel what little warmth was left.

It is hard to imagine a time I hated myself and where every step I took was like trudging through wet cement. To simply go through the motions and to have every emotion felt (anger, shame, sadness, and fear) except happiness? A living nightmare. To actively avoid the mirror because I hated what I saw? Pure torture.

But I held on. Why? I didn’t know.  I wanted life to be better and thought “what do I have to lose?” And I supposed, if all else failed, I thought at least I could say “I tried.” and then, “I tried again.” So I used my Cross Country coach as a base. I said “if just one person can believe in me, then I could believe in myself.” I asked myself what he saw in me and remembered that I was encouraged to be at my best. He knew I could be better and that I was more than what I was. He was the one who called me out on making excuses and while it took 5 years, I learned how to take accountability and say “no” (which I still suck at). More importantly, he imposed an idea. A thought in passing that I took to heart, he asked if I really wanted to be “mediocre kid.” And you know what I said? I said “Yes.” Mediocrity was comfortable and darkness? A blanket. For better or worse, it was what I knew. Like Batman, the shadows were my friend.

Victim Mentality

Depression is both behavioral and situational. It is something that can compound over time and is living proof that the little things do add up. Or in other instances, proof that nobody is perfect and all it can take is one moment to break even the strongest of individuals. Depression is complex and must be approached on an individual basis and then, involve a community. People want to be heard and feel valued. The further down the rabbit hole you are, the less likely you are to believe people actually care.

For the longest time I played victim, it was always someone else’s fault or if you know me personally, I would say “society’s fault.” I would blame everyone but myself and then, laying in bed or staring at the mirror, I would do exactly that. Typical “I’m a hideous monster”, “I’m stupid”, etc. You know, all the “positive” reinforcement stuff they talk about in books. And as much as I’d love to share another journal entry, i’ll save you the horrors of the blame game. When I’d go to counseling, I’d sound like a broken record. It was the same story over and over again and while it felt good to talk about, it changed nothing. It eventually led to frustration and then, anti-depressants. I took the lowest dose and tried two different types and while they worked, I eventually stopped.

Regardless, what I learned (and this has been the most helpful in life) was to be proactive vs. reactive. Being proactive is the idea that you are in control and it has three degrees of variance. What you do (control), what other people do (indirect control), and our past or situational realities (no control). Basically all this means is you’re not Doctor Who and can’t change your timeline. All you can really control is yourself and to an extent how you interact with others.

The easiest way to get started is to shift your dialogue. Instead of saying “but”, try saying “and” more. Instead of “I”, try saying “we”, “our”, etc. Instead of “I can’t”, say “I can.”

Acknowledge the past but don’t let it define you. It’s easy to spiral if you’ve had a bad day and focus on that.

Don’t deal with “What If’s.” You will literally spend all day thinking of what could be rather than making it a reality. And the more you do this, the more miserable you become.

And perhaps most important, don’t make assumptions. This was my saving grace. It took forever to realize but a lot of issues I was having with my perception had to do with my assumptions. I would constantly say “Those people are so successful, I’ll never be like that.” and “I bet that person thinks I’m a loser.” or “I don’t think they liked what I said.” Then I started asking people what they thought of me and it wasn’t further from the truth.

Environment Changes Everything

Our innate response when we’re in trouble (or not) is to find like minded individuals. My advice? Don’t. I tried multiple groups before I settled on a strategy that led to my success and while it might not work for everyone, it’s a theory worth writing. If you want success, you must go where success is. In College, I had access to opportunity and resources. I had the luxury of choice. So I joined student organizations and for my first few terms, literally just sat in a corner and said nothing. People were most likely thinking “wow, that Mike guy seems a little off” How do I know this? Friends have told me their first impressions of me. However, I was sitting in admiration (and dismay). I hoped one day I’d be able to get in front of a group and eventually I did. And then the “impossible” happened. people believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I became a leader and was forced out of the shadows. Did I fail? Yes, many times. However, I always got back up. And through doing and pure association, I became. You can’t see what’s not right in front of you, so it’s best to artificially create a new lens through which to see the world (aka surround yourself with the people you strive to be). And nobody is perfect. It takes time and effort. If change were easy, everyone would do it.

Another note I want to make is when I was finally ready to open up. I was extremely fortunate to have great roommates in College. They, as well as my organizations, have made me a better person. They are some of the best friends I’ve ever had. When I would say something wrong, they would call me out. They taught me to cook, clean, and be an overall decent human being. If I was upset, they’d ask what was wrong. I thought for the longest time, if they knew the real me, they’d run the other direction. However, when I had my tipping point, they stayed. They listened. And when I pushed, they pushed back. And that’s the thing, my case is not uncommon. We may not realize it at the time but looking back we have the support we need even if it may not seem like it at the time. Some leave, sure, but most stay. And those who leave you didn’t need in your life anyway.

If you’re struggling to meet people you strive to be, TED talks, podcasts, books, movies, TV, and video games (story driven) make a great substitute until you can find “your tribe.”

I wanted to start this the other day, but today works just as well. I want to record at least one awesome thing a day as a means of changing my outlook on life. Hopefully this will make me love myself so others can love me as well. So, without further ado, what was awesome yesterday? Free food at the library, yum! Soup, Smoothies, Sandwiches, Snacks, you name it, they had it. Completely unexpected but totally awesome! Roommates made cookies yesterday! So many in fact, that it was impossible to fit them all in containers, awesome!

It Takes Time

“I can no longer settle for second best as I myself have become second best, no where close to where I should be. I have friends, I am not alone. I must break this loop of self-destruction I’ve created for myself and I have to do it now; not soon, not later, now…”

You will not see immediate results. You will get a taste of happiness here and there only to spiral back into depression. This is normal. It’s only when looking back are we able to see the gardens planted in fields that once looked barren. And I’m not perfect. I suffer from depressive states from time to time. The key difference is it has become manageable. Where once I would spend all day in bed, now it’s writing, ASMR, meditation, and my trusty stress ball. Other days it’s flipping through a book or watching a show to remind me of the good in the world. Where once my emotions would run wild, I now wield them as I would a sword. If I am angry, I use my anger to focus and channel my passion. If I’m sad, I let myself cry. If I’m afraid, I put one foot in front of the other; sometimes slowly, but still moving nonetheless. And if I’m happy, I cherish the moment and simply allow myself to be, knowing all too well that tomorrow could bring another storm.

In parting, I want you to know that I believe in you. I am not going to sit here and tell you everything will be alright, but I will tell you that it does get better. When you’re ready to give up and your world comes crashing down, don’t. Keep going. You might stumble and you might fall, but you are worth the fight. Hold your little flame close and don’t let go, for one day it will lead you through the dark.


Thanks for reading! This was perhaps the toughest article I’ve ever written. That’s part of the Mental health awareness project. Each week a little deeper and now here we are at the end! It’s been more of an undertaking than was expected but definitely worth it. Next week I will be talking about what I have deemed as “my final demon” and with that article my mental health awareness month series will conclude. I’m both excited and terrified to finally be writing about it. Regardless, feel free to discuss any personal stories related to depression in the comments below (only if you want). If you liked what I wrote but feel self-conscious, I now have a contact me page and can officially receive emails! I read each and every comment and love hearing from all of you lovely people, so feel free to reach out.

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