So there’s a part of my life that I’ve been subconsciously neglecting, and I can’t be sure as to why. I’m not bothered by it, but I think I should still talk about it because last week it was incredibly relevant.

Last week was National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. For quite a few years, this week was incredibly important to me because I struggled so hard with my eating disorder, even when I thought I had it under control. Sometimes I still question whether I had an eating disorder at all. I constantly have to remind myself that it’s a mental illness and isn’t the physical appearance part of it. Reading about the struggles and transformations of others really gave me a sense of belonging, and I am thankful that a week like this exists. Awareness for this illness is so glossed over, but it is extremely relevant in this day and age of fitness and fad diets and social media.

Regardless of my story, this week is significant to so many men and women in the world. This illness is toxic and terrible, and it hurts so many incredible people. All I want in life is for every single person to be happy with their bodies and to treat them well–that’s far easier said than done, but I can still hope for it, right?

So many people hide their stories because of the stigma against mental illness, and that shouldn’t be the case. I was open about my struggles on this blog, but I also didn’t tell anyone about it for a long time. This was a place to tell my story without having any potential consequences from my real life. And I think that it’s wonderful for people who are struggling to have an outlet to share their thoughts and feelings. NEDA Week is an opportunity to for these people to open up about their stories. And it’s also an opportunity for those unable to share (for whatever reason) to see that they are not alone in this. Knowing you’re not alone is one of the most important parts of recovery.

Sometimes I still struggle with disordered thoughts and worrying too much about my body, but I feel so much stronger. And maybe that’s why I sort of failed to give an update on this topic. It would feel a bit hypocritical to not say anything at all.

Quite simply, I would like to send my love for those in recovery from any and all eating disorders, as well as those who are still neck deep and need just some love and support. I have a lot of encouragement from my friends and family, and that really makes a difference. So if a kind stranger can give you the love and positivity you might need just to get through the day, let me be that stranger.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet, but I’m always open for conversation about anything I’ve talked about on the blog. Throwing my good thoughts out there for all of you. You can do this. You are strong.

And in case you forget about that, watch this gem of a video!



Dear Future Employers…

Dear Future Employers,

I have a mental illness.

It’s powerful and draining, and it’s been with me for more than half of my life. I have days where I feel like I’m going to crumble, and everything is going to come crashing down on me at any moment. My heart pounds constantly from my anxiety, and if you look at me and my eyes are red, it probably means that I might cry. There are times when all I want to do is stay in bed. The world is a heavy place, and it doesn’t need one more burden on it.

Because I can be a burden. Nobody wants to be around someone they have to carry around mentally and emotionally. These are the days it takes me the longest to get up. I don’t know how to get up.

Sometimes I feel sick to my stomach for no reason at all. I’m just nauseated and my body hurts. It feels like there’s a hole that’s sucking out my insides. It’s painful and draining. I want to snap at people for the simplest things. I want to be alone. I can’t take being in the real world, and I need to get away to my own world. Silence. Darkness. Isolation.

But I am strong. So, so strong. I don’t crumble when I feel like I might. I let my heart pound and my eyes sting, but I don’t cry and I don’t panic. I get out of bed every day, regardless of how I feel. I get up, and I face the day head-on. Unless I’m going to the library or the gym, I put effort into the way I look.

I am strong. I’m never late–even when I stay in bed a bit too long. I will always be there. I don’t need to be carried by anyone else, I hold myself up. On my own and well.

I am strong. Even when I feel sick, I keep going. I keep moving forward. The hole in my insides doesn’t stand a chance. I hype myself up to stop the draining feeling. I don’t snap at people. I keep any Bad Thoughts to myself. Nobody is the wiser.

I am strong. I am smart and capable. I am a good student. I (would like to think I) am a good friend. I work hard to be a positive person even though my mind is against me sometimes. I am a reliable person, and I will always be wherever I’m needed. I try to bring light to every room I walk in, and I want every person I meet to feel strong and welcome. I am more powerful than my mental illness. And because of that, I can do anything.

Depression and anxiety are a part of me, but they don’t control me. I don’t let them. They hurt me, and they hurt my relationships and my confidence and my body. But I will never stop fighting them. I have learned to overcome these hardships in my life, and I know how to deal with these things that once seemed so vital to who I am.

So my Future Employers, if you’ve read this blog and you’ve read my story, don’t let my mental illness scare you. It doesn’t scare me. I’m not a flight risk, I’m not crazy, and I’m not going to cause you problems. Remember my strength and my heart and my ability to overcome obstacles.

I am not my mental illness. It does not own me. It never will.

Sincerely, Future Employee


Life continues to surprise me lately, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that. This quarter has had my emotions all over the place, and I’m still struggling grade-wise in a class I spend more time preparing for than my other three classes combined. I took a midterm an hour ago about Plato’s philosophy of the soul, and registered for classes right before that. I may only need two more classes to graduate (eeep!!) but does that make me any less anxious to press that green “enroll” button? Not a chance.

It gets worse. My tire blew out on the freeway in more or less the middle of nowhere Tuesday morning so I missed a class I had a group project in. And completely ruined my tire–torn and ripped up. In a car as old and rickety as mine, it’s always stressful to drive long distances. I’m careful, though. Maybe I wasn’t careful enough this time because I was only an hour from being home when I started to completely and almost uncontrollably drift into the other lane. Luckily no one was around me, so I got over to the shoulder safely, but I couldn’t help but completely burst into tears. It was terrible. I called my dad and AAA, texted my group about the dilemma, and emailed my professor nearly begging not to get participation points off–of course, this is the class I’m doing poorly in. I did make it home, only a half hour after class started, so I planned on going for the remainder to be there with my group, but as soon as I walked out the door, my group members told me they were going up to present that moment, so I walked back inside and laid down. We had already filmed the video anyway, so it wasn’t like I needed to be there. I wanted to see what everyone else had worked on, but I was constantly on the verge of tears and I really just needed to curl up in my bed.

And I’m depressed again, so there’s that.

But this week turning out to be a seven-day weekend (since my Wednesday class didn’t meet, we had an online assignment instead) was one of the best things for me. I really needed that time to just be. Of course, I did homework and I studied, but it was still very relaxing.

I got to spend the whole weekend with Matthew, and since he also got Monday off, we got an extra day together. An extra twenty-four hours of snuggles, yummy tea, and New Girl (I’m determined to get him to like all my favorite shows). Even though it was freezing in his apartment, it was still such a nice time. We went mini golfing (where I was only a sore loser because he got a hole-in-one on all three volcano holes!!!!!!!) and spent probably too much time in Goodwill. I got a cute blazer and a few t-shirts out of it, though, and Matthew purchased his new favorite item: a puffy vest. He didn’t take it off the whole rest of the weekend–it was pretty funny.

Other than the big hiccup with my car, Friday through Wednesday was wonderful. Today was harder. A philosophy midterm and registration did not bode well for my anxiety, and I felt stressed out all day. All evening, I have been feeling like I’m about to cry–for no other reason than it was a taxing day. Funny that I’ll be doing my taxes with my dad this weekend? Eh, bad joke.

I got all the classes I needed and wanted, and I think I did decently enough on my midterm, but my heart still pounds and my stomach still churns. I have anxiety whenever I think about getting in my car. I worry about speaking up in my writing class–even though that’s something I hope I am good at. The words in my philosophy readings get all jumbled up and lose all their meaning. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat because I think about one bad thing that has happened. Over the weekend, I couldn’t fall asleep at Matthew’s because I forgot my outfit for our video presentation (to film a few more scenes) and I had to figure out a way to make something else work–a cut up plain black shirt from Goodwill did it pretty well. I wake up at 3 am with thoughts about my homework for the next day or for classes I took years ago or conversations I’ll never have.

No matter how many things are going right in my life, there’s something in my head to make all those things wrong. It’s been pretty hard to balance things out. I have a good support system, though, and that helps. My friends have really been there for me about this lately, and I’m very grateful. Matthew is always encouraging about what I’m doing, even if it’s just homework. I called my dad yesterday and he raved about my writing to me (and said he has new music recommendations!). It’s all great, it really is. It’s also just hard.

But I think I might finally start seeing a therapist. I’ve thought about it in the past, seriously and not. I always thought it made me feel like I was weak in some way, that I was stronger fighting on my own. But I can admit now that asking for help is the hardest part and it makes you strong. It’s okay to ask for it. And if it’s going to help me, then I have to try.

I’m having a lot of ups and downs, to say the least.

But my dad is visiting this weekend, and I’m very excited! It should be a fun time–even though we’re doing taxes and getting new tires and replacing my air filter. We’re also doing happy hour and having a nice dinner and doing other fun things. Life is really hard right now, but I’m still making the best of it. At least, I’m trying to.

Thanks for listening.


When the World Breaks Your Heart

This is initially going to start out very badly. I hope it ends optimistically, but eh, it might not. Because the last few weeks have been more than a rollercoaster. I feel like I’m on a ride that keeps going up and down and up and down and down and down and down and maybe back up a little. I wish I knew what was going on, but I really don’t. I’m struggling. Hard.

I took a survey, sent out by Cal Poly, about mental health. They sent it out in an email, offered a hundred dollars as a raffle, and I needed a study break. I’m always down to talk anonymously about my mental health, so I thought, why not? So I took the survey, and I was very honest about my answers. Very honest. At the end of the survey, I had the option to see some overall results about my answers. Kind of like a ranking.

So I checked my results. I feel like deep down, I sort of knew what they were going to turn out to be. My answers placed me with elevated depression and elevated anxiety (top tier of the ranges given). That really stuck out to me. I know I’ve been struggling, and I know that I have had a lot of really low moments, but I didn’t realize just how bad it was.

I guess what really got me was that Depression could sneak up so suddenly on me and completely take over without me realizing it in the slightest. I am in recovery, and I thought I was strong in that. I am still confident that I am far enough along in my recovery that I won’t slip to where I was years ago, but hearing those thing about myself made me completely aware that I am very much depressed again. I hate knowing that, but I also know I can’t avoid those emotions.

I have often referred to my Depression as emptiness and numbness because that is how it feels for me. I feel numb to the world and my feelings. I feel so completely isolated and empty, like I have no purpose and all I am good for is to be a placeholder. But lately, I have remembered that it’s also the intense feeling of hopelessness and knowing that no matter how hard you try, you won’t improve a situation. It’s feeling wholly sad and defeated about everything. I feel like a failure about my writing. I’m failing a class, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to bring my grade up. I’m doing very well in two of my classes but those As aren’t enough to make even the slightest dent in making me feel better about my future and my life as a whole. I cried while writing an email to my professor. I confessed my anxiety to him, and I felt like I was asking for pity. I felt like it wasn’t worth it to even make the effort to improve. I want to give up on this class and the work. I work harder for one class than I do the other three combined and somehow I’m not doing even average work. It feels pointless to try. I feel worthless. I feel stupid.

And it took me too long to realize that these things I’ve been feeling all quarter require a very simple explanation: Depression. I don’t know why it took me so long to think about it this way or how I didn’t realize it before. I’m well-versed in my Depression, so why wouldn’t I notice? Probably because I have been so comfortable in my recovery. The last few years I have noticed these Bad Thoughts but I haven’t regarded them as Actual Depression, just Bad Thoughts and glimpses of Depression. So I didn’t think about these as any more than slightly worse versions of my emotions before. But now I realize how badly I’ve been feeling and how poorly I’ve been handling these thoughts. I can admit to myself that I am depressed again.

The one thing that’s different about this time is that I’ve talked about it. I’ve confessed these feelings and I’ve cried openly about them and I’ve been honest. Those are all things I could never do years ago. I could never say one thing relevant to mental health to a single soul.

I’ve been more or less 100% open with what I am feeling and just how badly my mind has been messing with me. And while the fact that this is all happening sucks, it’s also oddly and wonderfully refreshing to be able to talk about it. It’s helped a lot. Before, I had to keep it all inside, which made it ten times worse. I had to shoulder the burden alone. But now that I’ve thrown caution to the wind and talked openly and honestly about my Depression and my Anxiety, I feel so much lighter. I don’t quite feel like I’m falling into a pit of darkness and despair. I’m still kind of in the pit, but I’m just there–not falling or sinking.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t see this coming…because it is so completely different this time. Depression has caught me in a way that I can actually sort of handle it. I mean, I don’t necessarily think I’m handling it well, but I’m not letting it take over me. At least, I hope I’m not. I’ve found so much release in just talking about it.

So often, I’m the friend giving the ear. I am hear when people want to just talk about their issues. They don’t need anyone to respond or give advice (yet), but to simply let them know their feelings are valid. That it is perfectly okay they are sad or angry or upset about whatever it is they are sad or angry or upset about. I never really had that in my life, and I think that’s an important figure to have in life. But now I’m letting other people be my ear, and it’s kind of one of the greatest feelings in the world. And it has wholly helped me as I navigate through this.

And I think that’s what huge in the stigma of mental health. We are afraid to talk about it (for whatever reason, we all have them), so we just don’t. But if I figure if I just say what I mean and what I feel, people will just start to accept that. They will either be my ear and support me or judge me and stop being my friend. But would I really want people who don’t support me to be my friends? The answer seems simple. Harder in practice, but you get the gist. I know I’m one person and I’m not really changing anything when it comes to the bigger picture of this conversation on the mental health stigma, but I’d like to think maybe I’m making a small difference within my social circle. I’m certainly making a small difference in my own life.

So as much as things are totally terrible right now and my brain is back to being its old awful self, maybe it’s not as bad as I thought it was a few weeks ago. Maybe I’m figuring it out. Maybe I’m strong enough now that it won’t be like it was before. Maybe.

I mean, I don’t expect to just be cured by talking about it–no way. And I don’t think writing this all out is going to stop me from crying after my Mon/Wed class everyday. I fully expect to cry at least twice a week for the remainder of the quarter. Maybe more and maybe longer. But I’m dealing with it. And I’m (trying) not to let it eat me alive.

And I guess that’s all I can ask for right now.

I’m thankful for the people who have been listening. I wouldn’t be able to keep doing life without you. I wouldn’t be smiling as much. I wouldn’t feel the encouragement to keep going and to keep pursuing my passions. So thank you for that. You all inspire me.


Sundaze – 2/11/2018

What to write this week…hmm…


I meant to write this post so much earlier this week. I feel like I had a million brilliant ideas for you, but somehow on this Friday morning, I have next to nothing. But what else is new? I’m sitting here on my naked bed, waiting for my laundry to be finished–it was a God-awful lot, let me tell you–so I can remake it with my sheets all nice and fresh. I have a textbook next to me, still open to the page I started on ten minutes ago because I decided I needed to blog. My planner is on the other side of me, with so many things crossed off! I write EVERYTHING down, one, so I don’t forget to do even the littlest of tasks, and two, because I feel far more accomplished when I cross things off my To Do List. And I have finally started to get in gear with my online class, ya know, after doing minimal work next to the piles of reading and writing I’ve been doing for my in-person classes.

I’ve been having a hard week–I know, shocker. I’ve cried a lot, mostly over little things. I’ve been struggling with my life as a writer over the last few weeks and after overhearing so many random people on campus talking about their future careers, I’ve been ever-so down in the sumps about my own. But I talked your ear off about that earlier. It’s just been hard.

But I do have a few wins recently that have somewhat counteracted the complete lame-ness of my life.

I ran a whole mile last weekend. And I did it again twice this week. That really doesn’t seem like a feat for any normal person, but for me it was crazy! I was at the gym with Tori and we decided to treadmill instead of elliptical. I typically turn the incline up to ten and power walk. It’s really a good workout. But Tori, who, like myself, is not a runner, wanted to see if she could run for a few minutes. Harmless, right? It’d been a really long time since I’d tried to run, so I went for it too. Somehow, by God’s will, I made it an entire mile without dying–and I could have probably gone more! But my knee started to hurt, so I chose not to. The other times I’ve been to the gym this week (almost every day!) I have picked a treadmill–mostly because it was insanely crowded and all the ellipticals were full–and I’ve run two more miles (on separate occasions).

Yesterday when I did so, my knee really was hurting, so I’m not going to be doing that again for a while. But just knowing that I could do it is a whole new world. I’m not going to start being a runner, by any means, but it just goes to show how far I’ve come. One of my resolutions this year was to be more on top of my health (as it usually is), and I’ve been doing so well with it. I’m really proud of myself and how not out of breath I am when I climb the stairs to my apartment.

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I have more or less fixed mychapter for my Senior Project Story. I was incredibly defeated by the feedback I had gotten in our workshop. I love feedback, I do, but something about this time really got to me, and it was really hard to bounce back from it. I worked really hard on the first scene, which was where all the criticism was, and worked the rest of the chapter around those revisions. I feel so much better about it! As much as I hated to change the original version so much, I knew deep down it needed to happen to make the story work better.

Revising, editing, and talking to my Writer Friends about my story has increased my morale quite a bit, and I feel so much better about myself. It’s really nice to hear that my writing is good from my friends, my mom’s friends, my family, or Matthew, but they have to say those things about it. I love it, though, I won’t say I don’t, it is just a bit more justified coming from other people who are studying and learning the dynamics of novel writing like I am. I mean, I’m still terrified I don’t know what I’m doing–in writing and otherwise–but I, at least, feel better about the one thing I’m so passionate about.

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It’s that time of the year again, folks: Girl Scout Cookie Season. As good as I am being about my health this year, there is absolutely no way on earth I would ever miss buying at least one box of both Samoas and Tagalongs every year, without fail. Hey, I still have a major sweet tooth, after all. Blame my mother and her constant baking for that one. As someone who had one of the highest sales year after year, I can’t not support this pre-entrepreneurship of the best kind.

Last year, a little girl and her mother came knocking on the door of the Super Bowl party we were at, and I dropped everything to buy two boxes. The moms are really getting with the times in a college town, and many of them are taking Venmo!! It’s a college kid’s dream. This year, I was waiting for that perfect moment to buy again–like a predator prowling for prey, actually–and that moment happened on Super Bowl Sunday this year too! My roommates and I had gone to get bottomless mimosas and brunch (I learned last time to really pace myself so I wouldn’t be napping until 6 pm) and right as we stepped out of our Uber in front of out apartment, there they were: a mom, two daughters, a wagon full of cookies, and a glittering sign (literally) that said “Venmo Me.” Needless to say we stopped them right there and stocked up. It was amazing. A miracle. A life-saver.

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I won’t continue to rattle on because I think a thousand words about cookies, writing, and running are far more than necessary for those topics. Mostly, I guess, I am just feeling a bit more optimistic. After a few weeks of dragging my feet through the mud, crying about nothing, and reading the same story over and over again in different points of view (yeah, I’m looking at you Robert Browning), I just needed a few wins. A few pluses.

Sundays are for renewal. Sundaze are for appreciating that. And while yes, I am writing this on a Friday, I am very much looking forward to that renewal. I certainly need it.

I suppose that’s all I’ll bore you with for now. Peace and blessin’s.