Choose to Stay

advice, anxiety, depression, mental health, Poetry, thoughts

Thoughts racing, hearts pacing

Heads rushing, I’m not too trusting

This life game is forever changing

I love challenges so I keep playing

Crippling anxiety

As long as my heart is thriving

Beating and alive see

I will live my life gee

Don’t talk about sobriety

Come and sit by me

Enlighten me

Tell me about your life please

So I can escape mine please

Let me give advice

Let me in your mind

I want to see how you think

I want to help you start to achieve

Your true potential, so exponential

The things you can do when you get your mind together

We on borrowed time and we slowly wither

Just be happy and be free

Keep your same energy

No matter what comes your way

I hope you choose to stay!

These are some thoughts of the day!

-Dear Perception

Disappoint Your Children

advice, mental health, Parenting, thoughts

Sounds crazy huh?

Let’s talk about how we can save our future generation from being spoiled and entitled brats. I think that’s a touchy topic because all parents love their children so much that they defend them, as do I so we’re not knocking those parents. However, I think it’s important to recognize when our kids suck.

Like when I tell them “No” or “Not right now” and they hear, “You’re never going to get it!”

Or when I tell them “Yeah, maybe tomorrow or tomorrow we’ll see” and they hear, “Tomorrow FOR SURE!” so when tomorrow comes and I say “No”, all of a sudden I suck as a parent right?

Today, I shouted out, “Sorry for disappointing you” to my twelve year old for the first time ever. This was in response to her mumbling as she’s walking away, “You said today, but of course, it’s not today!” My entire motherhood (12 years) has been prized on not disappointing them. On being the best mom ever for them because my mother set a very bad example of how to be a good mother. So to me, it means trying to be the person I needed and I’m aware that many parents do this.

Over our quarantining time together, I feel like my children and I have really taken it to another level. I am so real with my kids, sometimes too real, but in reality that’s what they need sometimes. Why should I wait for life to teach them hard lessons when I can slowly introduce them to it and desensitize them before they are adults? Do I do this on purpose? Absolutely not! But when an opportunity arises and I analyze it, I see that I’m teaching important lessons versus “how did I let my child down today?”! See what I did there? (Side note: it is important to note that you shouldn’t let your kid down continuously, that is not the message here!)

Let me explain it.

Today, I disappointed my child, and I knew it was going to be hard for me to do it but I was like, you know what, fuck it. Why? Because life isn’t fair and sometimes they are going to be disappointed. If it’s you disappointing them, at least they will understand it a little more. Especially because you can explain why it’s happening whereas that stranger won’t explain a damn thing.

That’s another important note. Make sure you talk with your children and explain your actions. Yeah, sometimes I’m not the best mom and I make plenty of mistakes! On the days where I feel overwhelmed I tell my kids the truth! “Leave me alone, I need five minutes, ya’ll are TOO much for me right now go take a break!” and I’ll even tell them, “I feel very frustrated right now and I don’t want to yell at you for no reason!” That’s real life! Those are emotions that they need to process and understand that it is totally normal to feel that way. It also took me years to get to this point! I had to slowly become more firm and honest. For their sake and mine!

Again, this is my style and I’m trying really hard to not raise sucky adults. When they are acting like brats, I tell them that too. Being ungrateful is not okay, especially when I know their lives can be much worse because mine was. They have their needs met and more so I believe my contribution to society is raising individuals who also contribute to society. Respectful, grateful, understanding, giving, compassionate, but they must also know boundaries. So yes, they are being raised with a little hood in them because they need to learn to survive. In the end, I’m teaching my kids to survive in this world, without me. That means to notice your emotions, notice when you’re wrong, notice your own flaws so others can’t point them out and then FIX them if they need to be fixed. Understand that you are not always right and that sometimes it’s best to listen instead of talk. These are all really hard concepts to understand but we are practicing all of them slowly throughout pre-teen and teenage years before adulthood smacks them in the face.

My personal advice of the day is, don’t be afraid to disappoint your kids sometimes because if it’s not you, it’s going to be someone else and it’s going to be a harder lesson for them in the future. You’re not a bad parent for not following through 100% of the time. Just try to do your best to teach them accountability but also teach them that some days it’s okay to not follow through because mental health is also important. It’s more important to notice when you need a break and today, I needed a break.

Anyway, today’s disappointment was, you ready for it?

I didn’t want to make homemade noodles with my oldest kid. Supposedly, (maybe I did), I told her that we would. We’ve made things from freaking TIKTOK for the last two nights. I’m done with the TIKTOK stuff, also I’m tired and that sounded like a lot of work. So no, we’re not making noodles today. Yes, she will get over it, but I will also explain to her why so she understands. I also gave her the option to figure it out herself if she wanted to make them and that apparently was too much for her to do.

Parenting isn’t easy, remember to know when you need a break. I needed a break today but that’s okay, we can make noodles tomorrow (or maybe we won’t), I’ll see how I feel at that time. Today, we ate buffalo chicken wraps and she helped with that because guess what, she got over the no noodles thing, imagine that! #Parentsunite

-Dear Perception

My Brain’s Spazzing

anxiety, mental health
Click on the picture to look at more art by this artist!

Anyone else ever feel like their brain twitches and spazzes out?

One minute I’m doing one thing then within the next few minutes I’ve jumped to at least five different things before I tell myself, “get it under control!”

I mind slap myself and then I trip out for a second like wow, that was a lot of different things at one time.

It happened today again. I literally felt my mind jump between thoughts and my fingers and hands moved with them, quickly clicking in and out of tabs on my computer, anxiously jotting down notes and rushing through the moment, and then suddenly pausing to figure out what I was supposed to be doing in the first place. It was like I couldn’t control my brain for a minute and because of that, I couldn’t control anything. It was brief, but still long enough for me to start looking into why that happens, because it’s been happening often.

Try to recognize these times.

Self reflection is important during the days where my brain twitches. I like to figure out how I got to that point in the first place and most of the answers lead me back to face my anxiety. Anxiety in a different form, an upbeat anxiety if you want to call it that. An anxiety that isn’t crippling but actually pushing me to finish my shit instead of avoid it or worry about it. I didn’t feel worried, I just felt like I needed to get things done and I wanted to do it! However, it was still anxiety in the sense I couldn’t collect my thoughts enough to focus, so productivity is unfortunately still reduced. Today, I was jittery and anxious. I wanted to do everything at one time because I was motivated and ready to complete all of the things. I felt like I was going to accomplish my entire list of shit to do. In reality, that didn’t happen. The burst of energy was short lived, and I regained my focus and got through the smaller list I created for myself as a goal for that day.

Anyway, google searches lead me to anxiety and bipolar disorder. It wouldn’t surprise me but I’m stronger than a diagnosis and I am emotionally intelligent enough to know what’s happening and how to respond. Plus google lies sometimes so whatever! I definitely think it’s important to try to figure out how to recognize those thoughts in the moment and attempt to identify a way to shape or change them. I’m not sure how exactly but I will tell you that I’m in phase one of recognition and that’s farther than I was before. One step at a time!

To learn more about the brain visit Brainfacts.org!

-Dear Perception

Feeling lonely?

depression, mental health

I live in a household with four other people. Three little humans that depend on me. I supervise countless students and employees and work with numerous families throughout my daily life. I have a pretty solid support system, if you want to call it that, I have people I can turn to if needed. I have friends who genuinely care about me, at least I think! The point is, there’s plenty of people, so why on somedays do I feel so alone?

It’s usually the days where I have so many thoughts in my head, but I have nobody to call.

I talk so much, I know I can be a lot to some people because quite honestly, I’m a lot to myself sometimes! Some days, I don’t care. Some days, I do. The days I do is when I truly should talk to others the most, but I don’t want to be a burden or a bother.

Some days, I really just want to talk to my sister, because she was always there, but then I have to face reality that I can’t do that. So I keep it all inside.

Feeling alone seriously happens and consider yourself lucky if you’ve never felt this way, it’s not a nice feeling. You can be surrounded by so many different people, yet you feel like you don’t exist. For me, it’s because I get lost in my own mind, really I pretend everyone else doesn’t exist. I think it can work both ways. I get so caught up in my thoughts, the what ifs, the fuck this sucks, the nobody will understand, that I forget to remember what is right in front of me in the present.

I don’t think that’s a bad thing per say. I just think that it’s something that happens sometimes and we have to remember that it shall pass. That feeling of loneliness that appears every now and then, it goes away and you’re reminded of all of the people you have around you. If you can just make it through those lonely times, there is someone out there for everyone, and someone who you can find to talk to. Sometimes, you have to not be scared to make those connections, because those connections can save us. I can be one of those people if you’re feeling like nobody is listening or you’re scared to talk to someone in person, because the world is terrifying. Anonymously, reach out. I will try to just listen because it sucks to feel lonely, but it sucks even more when you can’t fight the urge to give up. Here’s your sign, PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP! Find your happiness, fuck what everyone else thinks, and just be you!

Dear Perception

How To (Not) Save A Life

Uncategorized

There is a sentiment that gets resurrected every Memorial Day: “If you need anything, if you ever feel like you can’t go on anymore, please don’t …

How To (Not) Save A Life

Self-fkn care at it’s finest! Applauds to this person for learning their limits! Being a crutch for someone is exhausting but that is also something we take on when we offer those sentiments.

It takes a lot for a person to stop being that crutch for others. It takes a lot to say “I’m done!” Because being an “empath” isn’t easy.

I recently identified as an empath and it sucks. I love doing it but at the same time sometimes I gotta ignore that call. However, I’m also that friend who won’t truly ignore you but I will let you know that I am drained and if you need help, send a text. Texting is somehow less draining than talking on the phone!

Anyway, whether you want to help others or be done, there’s no judgment here but know your limits. You can become responsible for someone’s life with the statement, “let me know if you need anything” because some people really will need you. Will you be there?

-Dear Perception

Positive Coping Skills

mental health

Let’s start this one off by being completely and one hundred percent honest, I barely do any of the recommended positive coping skills. I have never been officially evaluated, I was given anxiety medication when I was pregnant with my last child because of the symptoms I described. Based on my research and my family’s mental health history , chances are that this generalized anxiety disorder thing has my name written all over it and that’s okay.

I’ve learned more about anxiety than I need to know because I experience it so much. Every single day actually and I’m trying to do better. It’s actually progressed into full-blown panic attacks recently and I have to adapt to now learn how to cope through them.

So I’m not here to tell you to go get in therapy and get yourself fixed. I’m here to tell you some positive things that I have found work for me.

Identify the Trigger

One of the biggest tips I can give you is to identify what triggers you. Even if it sounds dumb to say, “Yeah my kid touched me and that triggered me” whatever, as long as you know what set you off. One time, I got mad because my kid accidentally spilt the cereal everywhere, and there I went off on my little angry tangent and I couldn’t breathe. However, was it really because my kid spilt the cereal or was it underlying issues that were triggered because of that minor mishap? So before you do anything, try to identify what set that panic off? Anxiety for me is non-stop, everything is a trigger. However, I have to identify when it goes wrong and I explode, why did that happen?

Writing

If you haven’t checked out the EXPRESSIONS page, I highly recommend you head over there ASAP. Writing for me has to be the healthiest thing I do. I release everything that is bottled up in my head, no filter, and I feel so much better afterwards. If you’ve never done it, just try it, especially if you don’t want to go to therapy. If you’re like me, I personally do not want to sit and talk to someone about the issues I know I have, especially when I know what I should be doing, I just don’t want to take the time to do it.

Crying

Don’t knock this until you truly experience a cry that makes you feel so much better when you’re done. I had to research this because it became a pattern that crying is the FASTEST way to release the overload. I know it sounds crazy and crying is seen as such a weak thing to do, which is why I try not to cry in front of people, but a quick five minute session in the bathroom does just fine! MedicaNewsToday published an article about the benefits of crying and there are some resources within the article to point you to literature on the benefits of it. However, there is also an article on crying that dissects what crying could really mean for humans, which is really interesting. Check it out!

Taking a Break

So this contradicts something I said in my Negative Coping Skills” post, but when I refer to taking a break, it doesn’t mean go take five minutes to breathe in and out and hope you calm down. Taking a break for me means DISCONNECTING from the world. Social media drains me. Helping others drains me. Work can be draining, social interactions, all of it. So escaping to a new place, with water preferably, and nature surrounding me, is my escape. I take a break and disconnect and that clears my mind. I spend time with my children and I pretend nothing else matters for that day! Don’t make any excuses, just go and do it! Find that place where you feel the happiest at and stay there a while!

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

This is a type of therapy that I am still learning more about. Essentially, it’s a self-paced thing, something you can learn to do, but it is supposed to help you get through some of those triggers that happen in your life. The biggest thing with this therapy is that it aims to help you stop suppressing some of the traumas. There are therapists out there who can help you learn this but you can also teach yourself.

Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives.”

-Psychology Today

To find a therapist near you, CLICK HERE

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This type of therapy focuses on making changes within yourself by refocusing your thoughts to in turn change the way you feel. It is similar to the above treatment in the sense that you still have to deal with your shit. However, there are strategies to make it easier along the way.

“CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that are held (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.”

-Ben Martin, Psy.D

Medication

Of course, there is medication that you can use to treat anxiety. Medication can help alleviate some of the panic you feel and help you slow down a little to live life. Talk to your doctor more about your symptoms of anxiety or other disorders to ensure you are being proactive to get better. If you are against medication, no worries, there are obviously plenty of ways to cope. You just have to find out what works for you!

Negative Coping Skills

mental health

Anxiety sucks. Just want to throw that out in the universe for the millionth time.

Now let’s talk about how to deal with it, because at some point, it has to get dealt with. We can’t just escape our feelings/emotions, but we can damn sure try!

Time and time again, people with anxiety are told they are overreacting. We just need to CALM DOWN! That we should just breathe and take a break. That’s great, thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely keep that in mind the next time my brain switches into fucking panic mode for no obvious reason other than the book I was trying to put on the shelf fell down and that was the cherry on top that made my brain completely psycho. I’ll try that out.

It seems impossible during those moments of high anxiety, where the world is crashing around you, you can’t breathe, you can’t see straight, you can’t think straight, you can’t stop your body from completely flipping out on you. In those moments, it seems impossible to do anything to make it stop. Nobody teaches people with anxiety how to cope through that when they are little or when the anxiety first starts. By the time counseling and therapy come into play, medication is being tried out, many people with anxiety find other ways to deal with it.

These other ways can be seen as negative but if you had something wrong with you, wouldn’t you do anything to make yourself feel “normal” or “better”?

Literally Me!

Escape/Avoidance is something that we all do to get away from the feelings we experience with anxiety. Maybe not everyone, but I know I do. I’ll get on my phone, scroll through Facebook or play one of my games for hours to avoid everything that is going on around me. I call it “self-care”, “taking a break”, when in reality, I’m literally just avoiding everything surrounding me and trying to make myself feel better about it. This in turn leads to a lot of shit not getting done. Therefore, I am unproductive on some days, the entire house will look terrible, my kids will run wild, and I will sit there and pretend everything is fine.

If you find yourself doing this, welcome to the negative side of coping. I’ll embrace that my coping skills need to get better, but I don’t know when I’ll make that happen.

My other big strategy to deal with my anxiety is to use it as a crutch sometimes for my impulsive decision making. The panic that I feel in my heart when I stop avoiding my duties will make me go out and blow $200.00 so fast because “I have to clean the house now”. To motivate myself to clean the house, I’ll go buy new wallflowers, new shower things, new sponges, new everything, even though I don’t really need any of it, but it’ll make me feel better when I’m done cleaning the house. So, that’s good then right?

I’m not sure honestly.

Last but not least, let’s talk about my absolute FAVORITE way to cope. Pretend that everything is okay, even though you really need to rage out because your brain is so overloaded. That’s the fake it till you make it part. That’s the part where you get up everyday, push through all of the bullshit that you know is a lie in your head, and you make shit happen regardless. That is the hardest part of coping with anxiety. You have to live with it. You have to find a way to adapt and incorporate it into your life somehow, because life keeps going.

I don’t think any of these things are good. I know that I don’t have the best coping strategies, these are some of the negative things I do. I think that’s okay though sometimes. I know I should try harder but I promise there is a balance. A balance you will find out about if you read Positive Coping Skills!

-Dear Perception