Leader

I’ve been at my current job as a nurse educator, for six months now.

My boss recently asked me…”is this job what you expected?”

My answer was NO. It’s so much more, in a kind of good kind of not so good kind of way.  I’ll explain.

Career wise, I’ve hit the jackpot, but when it comes to balance and my mental health, I’m struggling.

I told my therapist a few weeks ago that depression has robbed me of my creativity and ability to act ‘fast’, or think fast (depression does make life slow down, according to research and my psychiatrist).

So, I have struggled these pass six months to perform at my absolute best, while battling the woes of depression and anxiety; anxiety from the lack of creativity and slowness plaguing my life right now.

Am I qualified for this job? Can I perform and put on that mask that’s needed to appear as though my life, thinking isn’t slow, and to show the world that I am a creative person? All of these things have wondered in my mind.

I was afraid, in the beginning of starting this job, that involves teaching nurses, that I wasn’t able to put the mask on as well as I have been in the past; I was getting bad criticism from my colleagues, saying that my presentations were monotone and lifeless…I was afraid of that ( I was struggling with my depression, my mood during that time).

Well, that feedback continued to happen for another month, until I finally was able to fix my mask on another way- I had to do better and not let depression rob me of such a great opportunity.

So, how did I conquer my mood and perform on my job? I’m not gonna lie, it was difficult, but the key to donning on a strong mask, was to deny myself, my feelings, and be the best actor who put on the greatest show- it worked; smiling more, even when extremely forced, worked and the bad feedback stopped.

Just because the bad feedback stopped, didn’t stop my anxiety from acting up from the sheer fear of bad criticism from my colleagues; and this fear I battle every time I get ready to present or go to a meeting where I have to lead it and be able to think fast, or create new plans to better nursing and my profession; it’s hard.

But, I continue to truck on, though it’s hard to get up sometimes knowing that those I work with our expecting a strong leader rather than a mentally weak individual; I know I’m not alone.

I know there are other business women and men, like me, who are mentally struggling professionals.  But it’s important for us to remember that through all the meetings, expectations from others, and enormous workload, we can’t forget to remember to care for our mental health- a true leader knows how to serve others and most importantly yourself.

 

It’s a small world…

After all.

How small is this world you may ask?

0E421E47-9FA5-414C-BB3C-3E17430AED92 Just look at the over 20 different minds this blog has gathered; that’s right, over 20 (pretty proud of it).

Ya, I’m sure the most posh fashion blog receives over 20,000 viewers, but I’m grateful for those that even think to click on my blog but don’t, because this blog isn’t about me, which may be hard to believe.

This blog is about us, this small, small world we are a part of, but connect and come together through such monumental things like this life; have I mentioned what ‘a mental life’ we are a part of.

Since the events of last week, losing both dear Kate and Anthony, now more than ever do I stress how much of ‘a mental life’ we live.

The only thing separating us from each other is location…really, if you think about it.

I don’t know who those individuals are that stopped by my blog, what they might be thinking in Senegal vs the United Kingdom, but what I do know is that there’s a whole lot of thinking going on, whether their thinking about the stress of their job or the happiness a loved one brings them, their thinking…

And that’s what I want you to keep doing.

Think about what makes you happy.

Think about what motivates you.

Think about what you can do with out.

And just simply allow life to be motivated by your thinking.

Where would we be without a brain? It’s such a powerful tool and that tool needs to be nurtured, even when it’s hurting.

So if you’re hurting, or feel like like help is worlds away from comforting your aching mind, just remember that it’s a small world…

Look to your left, and look to your right, look straight ahead, and look behind you; there’s someone that understands how you feel, because after all, it’s a very small world.

Behind the Glamour

I once wrote a blog about my glamorous Kate spade bag that my husband gifted me with as a push present; I loved that bag, in fact I still do, but do you ever stop to think about the individual behind the design, behind the glamour?

We all know the saying, ‘everything that glitters ain’t gold’, well there is some truth to that.

As we all have heard, Kate Spade, the woman behind the design of my gorgeous, glamorous push present, has passed away.

It May be too soon to speak of her or even write anything with the mentioning of her name,  but I feel that her life as well as countless others who have left us by way of suicide, would all but be a stone passing on the water, a fading ripple in time, if we don’t talk about their tragic end; tragic in the sense that a hurting human being thought it would be better to be a memory.

This is a touchy subject for me, because I too have travelled so dark mentally, with only but one decision standing in the way of life and memories.

No I’m not here to glorify suicidality or condone it in any way, but for those who haven’t experienced what it’s like to feel so helpless, with seemingly no way out, I harken you to try to empathize with those we remember, and those still fighting for dear life.

Before I was bestowed with this challenge in life, depression, I use to think ‘why on earth do people cut themselves…why must they take their lives?’ But I know all to well why these acts occur.

Imagine being thrown out into the ocean in the middle of the night, no help in sight and the only light is in the distance, the moon.  How would you feel? How would you cope knowing that you may be stuck in the middle of that abyss for eternity; the medication hasn’t helped, therapy has been anything but life sustaining, and everyone around you is coping, living their lives.

Do you feel a sense of isolation?

If not let me take you a bit deeper.

Its like you are not only in the ocean with no help in sight, but it constantly thunderstorms and rains, no matter how good life appears for you, no matter how much money you possess, NOTHING brings you happiness.

Do you feel alone now?

Its painful, a kind of mental pain that no amount of cutting can cure, but it’s a distraction from the mind throbbing pain; there’s only so much of these feelings one can take…

Some find a life raft floating in the distance, and some unfortunately slip away under the rip currents, thinking that the pain will stop, but the pain never stops, because tho depression or anxiety or any mental illness makes you feel isolated and alone, you are never alone, and there is always someone left behind to take on that pain.

I had a coworker once say that ‘I think people who commit suicide are so selfish’

That hurt me to the core, because what she didn’t realize was that my mind had went there before, not by choice but by way of the decaying of the mind; suicidal thoughts are a symptom, not a choice.

So, if by now you don’t understand the mind of someone who is in an abyss of hurt, it’s ok…I just hope and pray that your mind never wonders there, because tho a raft of hope may not seem near, there is hope for all, and I am a living proof of hope.

And, for those who we have loss to the fight, let’s not remember them for how their life ended, but let’s concentrate or remember them by fighting to help understand and help those who are helpless, who work 9-5 daily, excercise 5 times a week, and make a decent living, but feel that untouchable pain; let’s help them stay in this life and feel like they are worth more than a mere memory.

Let us fight together for infinity, because we are ALL worthy.

RIP Kate Spade…

Enough

Have you ever felt like you’ve had enough; you reached the ‘ extent of what was required of you’ ?

Well if the answer is a yes, then I pose a new question; what is required of you?

I asked myself this today as I thumbed tediously through the over 80 emails awaiting my stamp of approval in my work inbox, after I had gone to Publix to pick out the most juiciest of steak for dinner, and then when I brought those filet mignons home to sear on the stove, as well as prepare a plethora of vegetable choices for my picky toddlers…I had enough.

At that moment, as the asparagus began to cool down on the stove, and as the seared steaks finished being well done in the five hundred degree oven, I asked myself, can I do more?

Sure.

So I did a load of laundry,but was that enough?

Why yes.

Had I done all that was required of me?

Thats kind of a loaded question, but of course, as I’ve learned over these years living with depression, sometimes you have to be selfish.

Putting shame and guilt aside(for not accomplishing more than what I had done for the day), I said I had had enough.

Could I have gone on a walk, picked up the toys scattered across the tiny house we live in, and even folded that laundry load I had started; yes, but why?

Why would I do more and send my already serotonin deprived brain to an all to familiar pit of decaying dreams- I don’t know how else to describe it, but it’s not pretty.

So, what do you do when you’ve had enough ?

Do nothing.

Yep, that’s right, defy everything, be selfish and take care of you, by basking in the state of nothingness.

And that’s what I did.  Absolutely nothing.

Since my mind likes to wonder into guiltville for feeling like I hadn’t accomplished much when I get in these states, I took time to do an inventory of my day (fact based evidence), and I recognized that I’m pretty bad ass.

I made money for my family today, fed them, and made the extra effort to breathe, so I’d say I accomplished a lot, AND I even showered, which for those in the depressed camp, you know how hard that can be.

So, yes, it’s ok to say enough and to be selfish when you need to; even if all you can do is go to the grocery store to walk the aisles instead of actually buying the food to prepare a meal-it’s OK, you are a bad ass too.

Out of the mouths of babes…

There’s a scripture that I love to read from the Bible.  It says,

From the lips of babes and infants you have established strength, because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger – Psalm 8:2

I have always assumed that God, the almighty one, could use anybody for his glory, but never have I had personal experience with such an experience as this scripture talks of.

Valentine’s day is now my first born’s day, Sydney.

Processed with VSCO with x1 preset

Born at 9 at night and three weeks early, she is literally the little angel I’ve always hoped for.

Having her is the best thing besides Jesus, and my husband, that has ever happened to me.

I’m always talking or speaking of God and Jesus around my girls, because he’s all I’ve ever known and encountered in my lifetime, thanks to my parents upbringing.

We were in the car the other day, and of course my depression was running rampant, making me think thoughts so dark and causing me great internal distress.  I always strive to hide this anguish from my kids.  It was great that this was occurring while I was driving, because I had extra security of knowing that my kids could not feel or see the panic that was taking place in front of them, while they were in the back of the car; or at least I thought.

Sydney likes to listen to contemporary Christian music.  Anytime I try to listen to something else, she says “no mommy, what happened to Jesus music”, so I always turn it back to the station.

Processed with VSCO with a9 preset

While I was yet suffering from the symptoms of depression that ironically came shortly after giving birth to Sydney three years ago, all of I sudden I hear my child say “sing the song mommy, sing the song!”

On the verge of crying, due to feeling overwhelmed with sadness, one of my favorite songs started to play “I will praise you in this storm”; this was the song she made sure that I would sing, never before asking me to sing a song, so I sung to please her, but God knew I needed to remind myself of the words to that song to praise him in my despair.  So, he used her in that moment to get me back on track, to help pull me out of drowning, and he used her to help save me from spiraling out of control and losing focus.

Out of the mouths of babes indeed.

My angel, my first born, my Sydney, Happy Birthday.

Processed with VSCO with a9 preset