My Mental Illness

For the past several years, I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo and I’ve finished it exactly zero times so this year I’m doing something a bit different. Instead of trying to write a 50,000-word novel (oh wouldn’t that be wonderful? One day!) I’m going to do a blog post every day this month and that’s called NaBloPoMo for National Blog Posting Month. I’m just going to write from little heart. It’s been a long time since I wrote without a specific purpose. Back in the very early days, 8 or 9 years ago, I wrote about the most random things here on this blog. Mainly the things that made me happy (because it was such a new and rare thing) and how I dealt with my depression (a very common thing for me). As the years have gone by, happiness has become a daily occurrence and depression a rather rare one. I consider…

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12 Tips for Cleaning With Depression

Let’s talk about one of the more shameful and embarrassing effects of depression. The inability to clean. Cleaning with depression is hard! I’ve been pretty open with the effect that anxiety and depression have had on my life, especially when I was in my 20s. I coudn’t clean. I just couldn’t. The only thing that got me to clean my apartment was a notice on my apartment door that Maintenance would be spraying the complex for bugs or inspecting something. I was sure that if they saw my mess I’d get evicted and that type of Anxiety overrides Regular Anxiety and Regular Depression. My first apartment looked like something out of hoarders. There were bags of trash everywhere, crusty stains on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink that had been in there for no joke – 6 months. Going to the dumpster behind my complex was so difficult for…

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Self-Care for Mental Health

I’ve been talking about how May is Mental Health Awareness Month and how passionate I am about starting conversations about mental health and also importantly, how self-care relates to mental health. I’ve had mental health issues since I hit puberty at age 11. I didn’t know what anxiety and depression was and my mental health issues caused me to completely socially isolate myself, develop extreme anger issues, and eventually I sought to “balance” my mental health by finding the “perfect” relationship. 19 year-old me thought that if I could just find someone to love me all of my depression issues would simply fade away. That was a journey fraught with disappointment, as you can imagine. Eventually, I realized that wasn’t going to work. I took a really honest look at my life and I realized that I had to start seeing through the bullshit. Through the years and years of…

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Teen Anxiety: Mental Health Awareness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and one of the things I’m really passionate about is mental health awareness among teens. I was a really anxious kid and it had a big effect on my growth as an adult. It’s important to break the stigma and normalize getting help and therapy. Here’s my story of teen anxiety from my anxiety workbook Breathe. I have had anxiety for almost as far back as I can remember. In 6th grade, I vaguely remember my mom taking me to the doctor for the stomach ache that would occur every morning before school. I missed a lot of school and got in trouble for it (which produced even more anxiety!). Everyone thought I was faking it because as soon as I didn’t have to go to school I was “magically” better. My mom took me to the doctor and I remember him asking if…

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