One Body, One Mind, One Life

Breathe…

2016 has been a hell of a year. I honestly believe it has been the best year of my life, for multiple reasons. All of these reasons have come down to one thing: Taking care of myself.

I still have quite a long way to go, but I’ve learned how important it is to take care of yourself. I’m not only talking about diet, exercise, and appearance. I’m talking about mental health and wellness as well.

First let’s talk about hair. I know this may be a small, unimportant thing to most people, but to me it’s a big deal. I’ve struggled with my hair for 2 years, after bleaching it to the point where it was falling out and breaking off. I just really wanted pink hair. Well, it got so bad that I had to chop it off 4 different times until all of the dead hair was gone. The last time I chopped my hair was in March. In April, I stopped using straighteners and curling irons. The only heat I was putting on my hair was minimal blow drying. I also started using oils, and getting bi-monthly deep conditions. My hair has grown, and I haven’t seen a single split end since. I straightened my hair for the first time since yesterday, and I was shocked at how healthy and soft my hair was. I’ll still stay away from styling tools until my hair is suuuuper long.

Okay, let’s get onto the more serious stuff. I’ve suspected that I have thyroid problems since I was 16, but every test came back  negative. Finally, I had enough, found a new Dr. and discovered I have hypothyroidism. A few days before I got my results, I stopped eating beef thanks to a bad experience from a restaurant. My Dr. told me my cholesterol was high (WTF I’m only 24!), so I started eating better, and not eating beef was obviously a good choice. I started cutting out other meats too, specifically pork and processed meats. Because I’m anemic (I know, what else could possibly be wrong with me), I had to be very careful with my diet, but I’ve been able to keep enough iron in my body apparently, because I feel fine!

This summer, as you know if you’ve read my blog, my anxiety started getting unbearable. I had held off getting medicated for 2.5 years because my last medication was awful. I was trying to “medicate” myself in other ways. One of those ways was getting rid of toxic relationships. In June/July I ended some relationships (some required ghosting, oops) that just weren’t good for me. I was feeling constant anxiety and self worth issues because of these relationships, and it just wasn’t good for my mental  health. If you know me, I’m a huge advocate for getting rid of toxic people. I do the best I can to keep relationships working as long as possible, and give people the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes it’s just not worth your emotional health.

Fast forward to October. I had literally tried everything I could think of to help my anxiety. Exercise, meditation, getting out of the house more, etc. Nothing worked and it was only getting worse. I finally decided that I needed medication. I voiced my concerns to my Dr. about my previous medication, and he prescribed me something he thought would be perfect for me, and it was. Out of all the things I’ve done to take care of myself this year, getting medicated was by far the best decision I’ve made. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get help with your mental disorders. They’re too difficult to deal with alone.

Some things I’ve been doing more recently have really changed the game. In the last 2 weeks, I’ve been eating much much better.  Most of my meals consist of fresh fruit and veggies. I very rarely eat boxed dinners, pre-made dinners, or fast food, and when I do I always go for the healthier option. Obviously I’ve splurged (I couldn’t say no to that pizza), but I’ve been noticing a huge difference in my body. Not only do I look better, but I feel so much better. I have more energy in general, which means I have more energy to actually cook good meals and keep my house tidy! One of the best parts? My skin has cleared up so much. I’ve struggled with acne most of my life, so this was a huge wake up call for me. I already knew I had a milk allergy, cutting out dairy 99% for one week has been amazing! I also haven’t worn a bra in almost 2 weeks, and my boobs feel great…but you probably don’t really need to know those details.

I’m really excited for what 2017 has to bring. I’m going to try really hard to keep up with what I’m doing, as well as add some other steps to better health. Exercise is one thing I always give up on. I really need to get my butt into gear and do a better job with that. Another goal I have is to drink more water. I drink a decent amount, but not nearly as much as I should be drinking. The Holiday’s are always hard when it comes to dieting, but I think I’m determined enough to say no to most things (except cheesy potatoes, because let’s be real). That being said, I will be giving any Christmas candy away, so let me know if you want dibs!

I really hope that you all take care of yourselves. I know it’s hard in the beginning to get motivated, but once you do it is so worth it. There is always something to work on. We only have one body, one mind, and one life. I’m very grateful I realized that this year and have been working toward a new, happier, healthier me. If anyone needs help getting healthy, I’m always here to talk! I’m no expert, but I do love helping out. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people if you need help bettering yourself!

Why I Left The Mormon Church

Don’t waste this life worrying about the next.


I’ve been struggling to write this post for a while. Every time I convince myself to be completely open, I shut down and can’t do it. I’ve kept a lot of these things hidden to protect my family from having to know this secret I’ve kept for 17 years, but I just need to let it be. If they see this post, it is what it is. Family, if you do read this, just know I’m okay. I don’t let these things get to me anymore. I don’t really want to talk about it, because I don’t need to. Bringing it up will just trigger me, and none of us need that.

So,  here’s my story about leaving the Mormon church. It all started when I was 8 years old. Just a few short hours after being baptized, I was in the basement of my home being sexually abused by a family member. Who that family member was isn’t important, because he is 6 feet under (kind of a dead giveaway). At the time, I couldn’t really process what happened. It didn’t feel right, but I didn’t understand what had just happened.

Fast forward to my 8th grade health class, where we were learning about sexual assault, abuse, rape, etc. Right then and there it had all clicked. The memories of what had happened all came back, and I instantly shut down. Even then I didn’t know what to call it. He didn’t rape me, or touch me inappropriately, so was it really molestation? Was him forcing me to touch him inappropriately considered sexual abuse? He left a few small bruises on my wrist from grabbing me so tightly, so I guess that could be considered abuse? I asked these questions frequently growing up. All I knew is what he did was wrong, and it made me feel dirty.

This was the time in my life when I really started questioning the church. Why would God let an 8 year old girl who was just baptized and “clean”, experience such trauma? I was never “pure”. How was I supposed to repent for something I had no control over? 12 year old girls should not be worrying about these things. All I wanted was to take my childhood back and start over. I shouldn’t have ever had to be an adult under these circumstances. And I never should have had to hide what happened, but I did out of fear.

As the years passed, I did my best to put that behind me. After questioning the church for so long, at age 13 I officially didn’t believe in it. I tried really really hard to believe in it, but I just couldn’t. I went to church, tried to believe in my “testimony” that I had practiced in my head over and over again because it never “just came to me”, and I made friends with people who any Mormon girl would be friends with. Between the ages of 14 and 16 I was either faking it, or hating myself for not believing what I was taught my whole life was true. I didn’t choose my religion, I was born into it.

This was a very dark period of my life. I was going through a lot at home, school was torture, and church was emotionally stressing. My parents were going through a divorce (which I was very happy about), and my emotionally abusive bishop was making me feel like I was the worst teenager to set foot in his office. I was constantly being told I was going down the wrong path (even though I was going to church every Sunday, and all youth activities), and had church members “watching me” under the bishops orders. I was being pinned as this troubled child with separated parents, but I was just trying to cope with my life.

I continued to go to church to make family members happy, but I was dying inside. I constantly felt like people were staring at me, judging me, and looking down at me. I already didn’t believe in the teachings, but feeling inferior to everyone around me pushed me over the edge. At 17, I was done. I couldn’t let any person or any religion control my life anymore. I went to church every so often with my head down, and tuned everything out. I remember my last day at church. Leaving that building was one of the best feelings in the world.

Since then, I’ve only stepped foot in any church one time. I’ve stopped believing in God(s), and discovered Atheism (We’ll save all of that for another post). I’ve never been happier identifying as something. I live my life to the fullest, and created my new life motto “Don’t waste this life worrying about the next”.

 Before I end this post, I just wanted to say that I have nothing against Mormons in general (as long as they’re good people of course). I have Mormon family members, friends, and co workers that I love dearly. I often have to tolerate their preaching, but I respect them anyway. You are free to believe whatever you’d like, but you should also be open minded about other’s beliefs. There are so many beautiful people in this world regardless of their views, and I would have never discovered that if I hadn’t left the church. Thank you to everyone who has accepted me no matter what, and to the people who have opened my eyes to all the amazing things in the world.

Be The Change You Want To See In The World

The election has been hard on me, just like it has many others. From someone who has been sexually abused, is married to a man with brown skin, who has friends and family members of the LGBTQ community, I am very heartbroken.

There is a lot of fear and anger happening right now. We have every right to be scared and angry. However, I am very disappointed in the way we are handling this. I’m seeing a lot of hate. I’m seeing protesters being violent, saying hateful things, and destroying property. I am seeing bullying from both sides on social medial all day long. I am seeing friends and family members push each other away, instead of trying to love and understand one another.

We are turning into what we hate. I know that Trump and many of his supporters have done the same to us, but we need to do better than that. We need to protest peacefully. Instead of saying “Fuck Trump”, we should saying “Love Trumps Hate” and show support for the people effected by this. We should be hugging each other, laughing with each other, and unifying. Dragging people out of their cars to beat them, starting fires in the streets, and shitting on Trump posters (yes this actually happened) is not going to help anything.

We need to realize that WE are the change. WE are the ones that need to teach our children love and compassion, plant trees, fight for equality. Maybe I’m just a crazy liberal hippie, but I have seen the strength that has come out of love. Please use your anger and sadness to do something good. Put that energy into changing the world. These next four years may be very difficult, but remember that we can overcome this. We can overcome anything if we are spreading love and compassion.

Trump supports and Trump protesters, hug each other. Let each other know that you care for one another. We already have too much hate in this world. Before we can change the system, we need to change the way we feel about each other. Stop looking at race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Look at the person behind that, and do your best to understand them.

I want to end this by saying that I love each and every one of you. You’re all so different, and that’s what makes you amazing. If I could hug and share a smile with every single person on this planet, I would. But since I can’t, please accept my virtual love 🙂

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Artist Unknown

Renewal

I love Autumn! It is my absolute favorite time of year. The vibrant colors, crunching leaves beneath my boot filled feet, the smell of crispy apples, and the satisfying taste of everything pumpkin. These are all things I live for. But the main reason I love Autumn? Death. Okay, I know that sounds creepy, but don’t run away just yet.

Once a year, we are surrounded by death. Trees, grass, flowers…all die. The good thing about nature is that the things that die will come back to life. This is also true for humans. We all go through things that make us die a little, but we push through it and find new life. A lot of us go through some hard times during this time of year. With the cold weather, and the Holiday’s there seems to be a sort of sadness. The skies are darker, we long to spend time with people we’ve lost, and the bitter cold often feels like hopelessness.

Right now, I’m experiencing this new life. I died a little recently. I fell apart and lost my worth. I stopped doing the things I loved because they became emotionally overwhelming. But it’s exactly what I needed. Because I died, I now feel more alive than I have in the longest time. My dreams have become goals, and I’ve been able to reevaluate why I love the things that I love. My creativity is all coming back to me, and I feel the need to strengthen my relationships. My worth and purpose are all starting to take shape again. This is renewal.

The year will soon be over. I encourage everyone to renew themselves. Reflect on your life and find the things that need improvement. Get rid of those toxic relationships, spend more time alone to get to know yourself better, find or rediscover a hobby. You should get that hair cut you’ve been thinking about, add some crystals to your collection, or revamp your wardrobe. There are so many small things you can do to bring some renewal into your life.

I Can Breathe

Just over a week ago, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I made an appointment with my Doctor to be put on anxiety medication. It’s been 3.5 years since I’ve been medicated, and I absolutely hated it. I didn’t feel like myself. I had my appointment and shared concerns with my Doctor about how my last medication (Zoloft), made me feel like an emotionless robot. He suggested that I try Lexapro, because he hasn’t seen any serious side effects. He told me that it will take about a month for my body to get used to the medication, and until then I may experience some side effects that will go away over the course of that month.

I’m starting week two of the medication, and week one was hell. I was keeping a daily journal about my side effects, and how I was handling each day, but I felt it was repetitive. The first few days of the medication I hardly slept, and had to rely on sleeping pills to get any rest. That made me groggy during the day, and mixed with Lexapro my days were hard to get through. I’ve also been very depressed. I know that’s normal when starting a new anxiety medication, but it’s really making it hard to function normally.

I don’t have much of an appetite, and have already lost weight. Sometimes I don’t even realize I haven’t eaten, and have often been forcing myself to eat. Even when I do get hungry, nothing sounds good. My stomach is constantly upset, and I have nausea half the time. Sometimes I’m so focused that I don’t even blink. I’ve been getting muscle aches, especially in my legs and lower back. I get loopy and dizzy, and sometimes my vision is blurry. I feel like I have every side effect possible right now.

However, with all these bad side effects, I’ve also noticed a difference with my anxiety. I can breathe. I don’t remember the last time I was able to breathe normally. The tightness in my chest has become a rarity. And yesterday, for a short while, I felt complete peace. When I noticed my mind was silent, I couldn’t stop smiling. It didn’t last long, but it felt so good I almost cried. I’m very hopeful that this will all be worth it.

I’m so grateful for Alpha. He’s been so patient and kind during my journey. He got me out of the house yesterday, and took me to one of my favorite places. I really need the fresh air, red rock, and fallen leaves on dirt trails. He took some photos of me since I’ve been feeling too down to model or do any photography. Being in nature with him makes everything better.

To The Husband Whose Wife Has Anxiety.

I’ve seen a lot of these articles going around lately, and I guess I could just share those, but everyone has a different experience/struggle when it comes to anxiety. Some people are fine until they’re triggered by something. Some people, myself included, are not fine and the triggers just make it worse.

GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) has so many different ranges, with way too many symptoms to keep track of. When you have GAD, you seem to obsessively worry about every day life events that wouldn’t be a concern to most other people. Just trying to get through the day is exhausting enough without anxiety feeding on every ounce of energy you’ve been able to gather up after a restless night of fighting off bad dreams.

As I said in my last post, anxiety gets to choose how your day goes. It gets wiggle it’s way into your life at the most inconvenient moments. Worst of all, it gets to effect your relationships in many different ways. So here’s another letter. A letter to the person that’s more important than anxiety. A letter to the person that matters most.

Dear Husband,

My body hurts again today. It’s taking everything I have to relax, but my shoulders just want to be connected to my ears. I just want to say I’m sorry for having a mental illness. I know it’s not really my fault, but I will always feel that I’m to blame. I know you don’t understand what I’m going through, and I don’t make it any easier by not talking to you about it, but that’s just another thing anxiety does. It keeps everything inside. It doesn’t let you come up with the words to explain how you feel. It feeds on fear. The fear of saying something wrong, or making you believe I’m completely out of my mind. If I say something you don’t want to hear, it will have a domino effect and I’ll eventually drive you away. Writing this is taking all of my emotional strength, and it’s only 8AM.

You usually know when something is wrong. Most of the time I’ll tell you about something small that is bothering me to avoid having to talk about the monsters inside of my head. I so badly want to tell you everything, but like I said before, it just isn’t that easy. I try to tell you little things at a time that seem harmless, or tell you what triggered me to have a bad day. By keeping things from you, I’m hoping to save you from worrying about me, but I really know it’s only going to put a strain on our marriage. Hiding my thoughts always turns into hiding other parts of myself from you. I know that hurts you. It hurts me too.

I wish I wasn’t this way. I know our lives would be easier without all of my baggage. You didn’t sign up for this, but neither did I. If I could have one thing in life, it would be to take all of this away. To take away the pain it has caused the both of us. I hope I can get a handle on this someday. Everyone says it just takes time, and I’m hopeful that time is on our side.

I do my best to work on myself. I’ve tried everything I can think of with no luck. But I’ll keep trying. I’ll never stop fighting off my demons. However, I do ask one thing from you, because I can’t continue to do this alone and keep my sanity. I ask that you see the signs, and give me a hug. Most of the time I just need you to touch me for a minute so I feel more at ease. When we’re sitting on the couch and I’m trying to catch my breath, pull me closer to you. When we’re walking through the store and I’m clenching my fist or picking at the skin around my nails, grab my hand. When I’m biting my lips or the insides of my cheeks, grab my face and kiss my forehead or just smile at me. I know you may think that these small gestures don’t help, but they do. Your affection lets me know everything is going to be okay, even if it’s only for a moment. Your love keeps me going every day, and I can’t thank you enough for that. I love you.

 

Love,

Your “crazy” wife 😉

A letter to Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

I don’t know why you exist. You hurt me, and so many people that I know and love. I wish I knew why you get to decide how my day is going to go. Today I celebrate 8 years of being with the love of my life, but you’re making my body hurt, and you’re making your friend OCD take over my mind so I can’t enjoy it like I should. Yesterday, you literally made me feel like I was going crazy. And the day before that, you made me late to work, because I was so dysfunctional I couldn’t even put my makeup on without shaking.

Why do you settle down for a period of time, just to come back punching and swinging for days upon days? Why do you make it so hard for me to take part in social activities? I want to see my friends without feeling like I need to cancel last minute. I want to talk enjoy conversations with people. But I can’t, because you control my social life like the moon controls ocean.

I thought I was over the little triggers that used to consume me, but you’ve proven that you can bring back my demons at any time with no warning. Thinking about you makes it worse, but you’re stuck to my mind like the tattoos on my skin. I can’t go a single day without you having some sort of effect on me. I can’t just wake up and tell myself it’s going to be a good day. I may be look okay to people on the outside, but you’re like a pack of wolves, and I can feel you breathing on my neck while baring your fangs.

But do you want to know the worst thing? You make me fear that I’m a burden on the people I love. I constantly ask myself how anyone would want to be around a person like me. A person who acts tough, but is as fragile as withering flower. I can’t image what it’s like being with someone as dysfunctional as you make me.

Please anxiety. I just ask you to give me a break. I ask that you let me have control over my mind. My insides need some peace and quiet before they consume themselves in darkness. My lungs need you to stop holding them so tight so they can breathe. And my head needs more room to fill with thoughts of the universe. But most of all, my heart needs to heal so I can enjoy my life with the people I have in it.

 

Sincerely,

Omega

Photo by Alexandra Jane Welcome

Instagram @alexandrajane21