Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Birthday Week

I'm excited to announce that my birthday is this week, and I'll be turning 42! Yes, you read that correctly; I am thrilled about being in my 40's. It's been my best decade yet-so far, anyway. I'm finally comfortable in my own skin. I have figured out what's truly important in life. I no longer take things for granted. Plus, birthdays are fun! I don't have to cook or clean on mine. I get gifts. I get to be reminded of how much I am loved by family and friends. I get to be thankful for another year that the Lord has given me. And my sweet sister took me out this past weekend to celebrate with lunch and a movie. (We saw Beauty and the Beast, which, by the way, is fabulous.) We also made a stop by Ulta, which is where I scored this lovely beauty haul you see featured in the pic above. Literally, I treated myself from head to toe! I got three headbands, a cucumber eye kit, exfoliating body scrub, creamy body wash, luxurious body wash, body lotion, and nail polish. So, happy birthday to me!
My happy "I just got back home with goodies from Ulta" face.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

When The Dark Days Come Again

This picture is from my Instagram post a couple of days ago. The darkness is trying to pull me back in. I don't know why this time. Sometimes I can trace it back to an event or an issue in my life: loss, lack of sleep, forgetting my meds, a sudden change. But none of those things have happened. And that just makes it worse. I want to figure this out. I want a reason for my depression. I want to blame this on something. Here's the thing, though: depression just is. You can't always attach it to something. Certain events can exacerbate it. A tragedy can precipitate it. There are individuals who can make it worse. But these things don't cause it. So here I sit again, feeling helpless and numb at the same time, moving through each day in robotic motions on an endless cycle of repeat. These are the days in which it takes every bit of my strength just to get out of bed, the days in which I try to avoid the grocery store (but if I do have to go, I'm silently praying the whole time that I won't see anyone I know), the days in which the sound of my phone ringing sends me into a panic, the days in which human interaction of any kind is just so hard. I want to just curl up into a protective little ball under a blanket and hide. But I can't. My family needs me, and I want to be there for them.

 This leads me to another point. I feel guilty for having depression. I know it's not my fault, but I still feel that my family suffers too much because of it-because of me. Then, of course, some people perpetuate that feeling. They will tell you to "snap out of it." They might even tell you that "it could be worse." And I want to yell, "Don't you think I'd snap out of it if I could?" Oh, and it could be worse? Yes, I know that it could be worse. That still doesn't negate the fact that depression is hard, and it's my daily struggle. It doesn't need to be minimized or trivialized.

So, what do I do on these darkest of days? Obviously, the first thing I need to do is to let my doctor know that I've gotten into a dark place again. Secondly, I need to talk about what I'm feeling-even if I don't want to. That's one thing this blog helps me do. Here are some other things that I do (which may seem completely shallow to some of you) that don't cure my depression but at least make me feel a little better:

  1. Wear my favorite outfit - as seen in the pic below (that T-shirt reads "I'm a freakin' ray of sunshine!")
  2. Put on my favorite jewelry. (long silver earrings with lots of hoops, black and silver bracelet-also in pic below)
  3. Do my best makeup look.
  4. Style and color my hair. (pixie cut and RED!)
  5. Listen to my favorite music. 
  6. Watch my tried and true favorite comedies. ( The Office, Friends, Cheers, Frasier, Seinfeld)
  7. Eat foods that I really enjoy. 

"But you, LORD, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me."                Psalm 22:19

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Self-Care: Important and Fun

Ah, the lovely face mask look! This is "Cackle Spackle" from Perfectly Posh. My local consultant gave me a sample. This mask is for detoxifying.

And this is "Totes Oats," also from Perfectly Posh.  It's a calming mask.

Here are the results: I have on NO makeup here.

I'm quite pleased with both products. I feel the combination of the two left my skin brighter and softer, and they left me feeling happier. The products helped me take care of my skin and myself.  And taking care of myself has become very important to me these days. In the past I often didn't take the time to do much for myself, but lately I've become obsessed (truly, not sure if that's a healthy word, but that's what I am) with practicing self-care. I look for ways to treat myself. I make sure to schedule in something that I enjoy each day. It's a vital part of helping me to cope healthily with my depression and anxiety and also helping me to find my identity outside that of special needs parent. I have a list of several things from which to choose: go outside for a walk or just to sit, exercise, take a long bath, try new facial products (obviously!), read a book, color in my "grown up" coloring books using my "fancy" gel pens, write (poetry, my feelings, ideas for my novel), watch Netflix, drink decaf, go to lunch with a friend, buy new makeup, buy new hair accessories (yes, those of with pixie cuts can accessorize!), just goof off on my phone, listen to music, plan next year's homeschool curriculum lineup, and a few other things that I've forgotten at the moment. It's not selfish to take care of yourself. I had to learn that the hard way. So I encourage you all to find ways to treat yourself, and then make the time to do it. You won't regret it. As a motivation for you all, leave a comment stating at least one way in which you plan to care for yourself this week. Then come back and leave a comment after you actually do it!

Self-Care That's Not So Fun

As promised in my previous post, I am now going to talk about self-care that's not so much fun. This kind of self-care involves thin...