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Please note: This post is about mental illness, including both depression and anxiety, as well as weight loss and body issues. If any of those topics make you uncomfortable, please feel free to skip over!

I haven’t felt like myself for a few months. I touched on it in an earlier post, but I wanted to more fully flesh out what’s been going on with me.

I went through a break-up in early April, which ended up being the catalyst to a fairly positive period in my life. For a few months, I felt very good about myself, my abilities, and my direction in life. Then suddenly, almost out of nowhere, the panic attacks began. I can remember the first night of overwhelming anxiety, where I barely slept and woke up with my chest aching and my jaw clenched. I tried to ease myself out of the attack by watching TV, trying to self-sooth with comforting statements, and focusing on my breathing. And I just couldn’t. I felt ridiculous and silly, but as the ache in my chest turned into deep, stabbing pains, I texted my best friend Megan, who is a nurse (and the smartest person I know).

“Do you think it’s silly if I go to the ER?”

She assured me that it wasn’t, and although I knew logically I was just having a panic attack, I felt it was best to go in and be reassured that it wasn’t anything more serious, especially considering my family history of heart disease.

I spent that June morning and early afternoon in the ER, distracted by a Say Yes to the Dress marathon playing on the TV in my room. I was referred to a cardiologist, where I had a stress test, the results of which showed that my heart is normal. (At least my physical heart. My emotional heart is a mess. Womp womp wahhhh.)

But the anxiety has continued. It’s incredibly specific, and I wake up multiple times every night with the same thoughts. I carry them with me through out the day. I have managed to push down the panic to where I’m not having attacks as often, but this low to moderate level hum of anxiety buzzes in my head almost constantly. I don’t know if it’s chemical. I don’t know if it’s situational. I hear this voice repeating, filling me with dread.

Compounded with financial issues, day-to-day stress I don’t manage well, and an inclination towards introversion and solitude, I am kind of a mess. Per usual, since my mental illnesses don’t like to be alone, the anxiety has brought my depression along for company. My anxiety says, “What if you screw this up?” and its pal depression chimes in with, “Well, of course you will — you always do.” Thanks, guys.

Even writing this is emotionally painful, and my finger keeps hovering over the “backspace” button.

I’ve been so hard on myself lately. I had finally found this good place where I was okay with myself, and I have backtracked in so many ways. I’ve given myself permission to feel shitty for awhile so long as I am making steps to feel not shitty.

I began a low carb diet in early August to help with my chronic illnesses and to help boost my energy (especially since one of my biggest issues with depression is physical exhaustion). I do feel a bit better, and I’ve lost about 12 pounds thus far. I’ve been trying to visit all my doctors and stay on all my medications, but, unfortunately, my insurance lapsed since I’ve been unable to pay for it, and now I can’t afford my medications, either. I currently have two jobs, although my full-time job is now moving towards being part-time, so I’m having to begin the job search process again.

The one thing I can say is this — except for in my darkest moments, I don’t feel hopeless. I feel sad and overwhelmed and frustrated, but I don’t feel like this is the end of the world. I don’t feel like I can’t get through this. And even when I do, I keep reminding myself that time and time again, I have gotten through this. Shit sucks, but, honestly? I’ve got this.

Happy days (and posts) are ahead. I’ve just got to push through.

Please note: This post talks about mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety, as well as loss and grief. If any of these make you uncomfortable, feel free to skip over this!

June was the seventh year anniversary of my mother’s death. It hardly seems like it’s been that long. My mother was such an alive, vibrant, radiant person that her no longer being here sometimes seems like an impossibility. It certainly was nothing I would have ever expected or known to brace for. To this day, it still feels like I was punched in the gut.

I began having panic attacks around the anniversary itself. I took myself to the emergency room one morning after having been engulfed in panic for almost twelve hours. I felt certain that I was going to die. My jaw throbbed, my chest ached. But I was okay, and an EKG, stress test, and an appointment with a cardiologist proved that. At least I’m physically okay, although my mind is a mess.

I’ve felt lately that I have to censor myself in order to keep others comfortable. “Don’t talk about being less than perfect, Emily — it bothers other people.” I’ve always been open about my mental illness. While I don’t want it to define me, it is a part of who I am. It has been there since I was ten, and it will be there until I die. I always found comfort in the confessions of those who have similar struggles (Jenny Lawson is my heroine), and after discovering Brené Brown about five years ago, I made the conscious decision to be authentic and (try to) embrace my vulnerability. If I can’t admit to having these emotions, how can I be my authentic self?

So here’s the real, 100%, honest to God, authentic Emily: I have major depressive disorder and it’s usually controlled well with medication but sometimes I feel like crap. I miss my mom every single day and sometimes I cry myself to sleep thinking about her. I have extreme anxiety and worry about a lot of dumb shit, although it’s not as paralyzing as it used to be. I have all the hang-ups everyone else seems to have, but I like who I am and I make myself laugh. I don’t handle stress well. I’m messy and I run late constantly and I screw stuff up, but I have a good heart.

That’s me. Nice to meet you.

Today is my 34th birthday.

33 is ending very differently than it began. I was a brunette working in finance with an almost-boyfriend. I’m now a blonde working in real estate and construction with no boyfriend in sight (which is more than okay). I don’t know that I’m happier than I would have been if everything worked out as I so fervently hoped, but I am content. No, not content. I’m still restless and impatient and dreaming of a future I can’t see yet. I’ve accepted that my plans didn’t work out. I’m okay. So many times I told myself, “You must make this job/relationship/thing work out, or you will not be okay.” And yet everything went to shit, and I am still here. I am okay.

I might actually be more than okay.

    • Today was pretty awesome. ❤️ @buzzcocked •••
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#ootd #psootd #whatiwore #whatimwearing #wiw #whatiworetoday #curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #plussizefashion #plusisamust #plussizestyle #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #psblogger #psbloggers #blogger #plussizeblogger #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #tealhair #greenhair #bluehair #alternativecurves
    • I don’t have super any recent pics, so here’s a drunken selfie of me from a few weeks ago to go along with this absolutely irrelevant chain of text. I’ve also turned off comments because I don’t want pity or sympathy or advice. I just want to purge my feelings. I haven’t posted much in awhile because I’m not happy. I haven’t liked myself in awhile, and January and February have never been good months for me. I’ve been really self-critical and sad and isolating myself from the world when I’m not working. I know logically that this depressive period will end, but that doesn’t mean it hurts less or doesn’t feel unending. I’ll probably feel ashamed by tomorrow and delete this post, but don’t forget your “gone” friends. They may be hiding from the gray skies right now, but they will bloom again when the sun returns.
    • Work party last night! And snow! ❤️❄️ I hate that I didn’t pics of everyone.
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#ootd #psootd #whatiwore #whatimwearing #wiw #whatiworetoday #curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #plussizefashion #plusisamust #plussizestyle #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #psblogger #psbloggers #blogger #plussizeblogger #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #tealhair #greenhair #bluehair #alternativecurves
    • Channeling Wednesday Addams and, yes, I cleaned my mirror after taking these.
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#ootd #psootd #whatiwore #whatimwearing #wiw #whatiworetoday #curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #plussizefashion #plusisamust #plussizestyle #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #psblogger #psbloggers #blogger #plussizeblogger #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #pinkhair #alternativecurves
    • 2009 vs now. Me then: “I won’t be happy until I’m skinny!” Naw, girl, you won’t be happy until you quit accepting shitty behavior in relationships, get your meds straight, go to therapy, and focus on yourself. I may have gained weight and gone through some real shit, but things are so much better now.
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#curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #plussizefashion #plusisamust #plussizestyle #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #psblogger #psbloggers #blogger #plussizeblogger #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #purplehair #pinkhair #alternativecurves
    • 2018 was my “get shit done” year. I’ve focused on my career, my home, and doing things I’ve needed to do for years. I’ve gone back to therapy, took a year off from dating, and have tried to stay on top of my health, both mentally and physically. I hope that 2019 will continue in this vein, and be the year I worked towards finding my own happiness. I finally feel like I deserve that.
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#curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #pinkhair #alternativecurves #mentalhealth #mentalillness
    • Meowy Christmas!! 🎄🐱
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#ootd #psootd #whatiwore #whatimwearing #wiw #whatiworetoday #curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #plussizefashion #plusisamust #plussizestyle #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #psblogger #psbloggers #blogger #plussizeblogger #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #purplehair #pinkhair #alternativecurves #christmas
    • Top 9. Thanks for all the likes, comments, and generally putting up with my nonsense.
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#ootd #psootd #whatiwore #whatimwearing #wiw #whatiworetoday #curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #plussizefashion #plusisamust #plussizestyle #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #psblogger #psbloggers #blogger #plussizeblogger #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #purplehair #pinkhair #alternativecurves
    • Festive af last night. Second picture was, uh, several drinks in at a Christmas party.
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#ootd #psootd #whatiwore #whatimwearing #wiw #whatiworetoday #curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #plussizefashion #plusisamust #plussizestyle #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #psblogger #psbloggers #blogger #plussizeblogger #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #purplehair #pinkhair #alternativecurves
    • My coworker said I looked like a rich bitch after I put on my coat, but my outfit is totally Target except for my boots. But if you pronounce it “Tar-jay,” we can pretend I paid hundreds of dollars for this look.
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#ootd #psootd #whatiwore #whatimwearing #wiw #whatiworetoday #curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #plussizefashion #plusisamust #plussizestyle #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #psblogger #psbloggers #blogger #plussizeblogger #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #purplehair #pinkhair #alternativecurves #targetstyle
    • My first Christmas in my apartment (2016) vs this year. Still don’t think I have enough decorations though.
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#home #homedecor #living #livingroom #livingroomdecor #vintage #vintagehome #homesweethome #southerncharm #southernliving #memphis #midtownmemphis #catcourt #apartmenttherapy #apartmentliving #smallspaceliving #apartment #apartmentdecor #target #targethome #christmas #christmasdecor #christmasdecorations #pinktree #pinkchristmas #pinkchristmastree
    • Possibly professional.
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#ootd #psootd #whatiwore #whatimwearing #wiw #whatiworetoday #curvygirl #curvy #curves #curvesahead #curvywoman #curvyfashion #curvystyle #plussize #plussizefashion #plusisamust #plussizestyle #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #psblogger #psbloggers #blogger #plussizeblogger #plussizebeauty #girlswithcurves #purplehair #pinkhair #alternativecurves