Hi, my name is Ashley and I decided to start a blog about my mental health journey and to inform people of different things concerned with mental health. I want to start my first blog by giving you a small background of me and my story.

I’ve suffered with mental illness since as long as I can remember, probably in the 5th grade. I wasn’t clinically diagnosed until 2013 when one of my grade school friends committed suicide. This kicked my butt into gear to get to the doctor and figure out what was wrong. I cried all the time. I was moody and anxious. Scared of random thoughts and my brain never turned off. There were many times I wanted to harm myself and die. Which made no sense because I’m very scared to die, but that’s how badly I was feeling. It doesn’t help that for two years prior to being diagnosed I began a relationship with a person who ended up mentally, emotionally, and sexually abusing me. Something I didn’t realize until I got out of that situation 5 years later. I began that journey of medicine trials and counselors. My parents didn’t understand what was going on. Heck, I didn’t even know what was going on half the time. I was trying to understand what this was myself. Turns out the doctor said I have major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder. Telling him my feelings and thoughts felt good, but then I noticed my dad crying across the room. I never realized how much I kept from him. How hurt he now felt. Fast forward 6 years, multiple medicine changes, therapist changes, and life changes and you have me today.

I’m almost 26 and still have yet to really have my depression and anxiety under control. Small changes and bigger changes trigger different parts that my medicine doesn’t help. It’s difficult. I won’t lie about that. The changes though are that I have an amazing support system. My dad understands even more and I would say is my biggest supporter. My boyfriend comes in a close second. These two men have been there for me through a lot.

I want my blog to be helpful, to be something you can read not to give me pity but to help you understand when your loved one isn’t acting themselves. I want this blog to be where you can come to me with questions you may have. I want to educate, and break that stigma. Updates of my struggles, my hardships, my happy events will be written about. I want to help in any way I can!

All I ask is that you are kind and thoughtful when you read my blogs. Don’t be hateful or judge-mental. So folks, enjoy my blog and don’t hesitate to ask questions or give me topics you’d like to see me write about. I will get more into my story in blogs to follow.

Peace and love ✌🏻💕

Quick life update

Hi all, I hope I’m finding you with your new years off to a better start than 2020 was. I thought I would hop on here and give you all a little update of what has been happening the past couple of weeks here in January.

I started my new job the beginning of the month and just had the two weeks of online orientation here at home. This week was my first week in the hospital on the unit. I.ABSOLUTELY.LOVE.IT. Behavioral health is so where I’m supposed to be. I love the flow, I love the atmosphere, I love everything about it. I feel confident in my position. I’m doing literally everything I can. I’m charting, doing 1:1 assessments, pulling meds, giving meds, talking to doctors, talking to families and patients, I even did part of a discharge on my second day! Guys, I’m telling you I don’t know where all this came from. I LOVE MY JOB! On that flip side though, I still need to pass the NCLEX. I take that in about a month or so. I’m so nervous and scared I won’t pass. Doing and feeling so well at work, makes me fear not passing because I will have to stop orientation until I pass it. It sickens me to even think about it but there it is sitting in my head.

I’ve also realized a lot about myself, and learned from my patients already in two days. I see myself in some of them. I learn about how to control feelings and how to cope with different thoughts. I feel so at home on that unit it’s not even funny. I’m exhausted when I go home but I’m always ready to hop up and do it again. I was actually kind of sad that I had an online class today from home instead of coming in for a shift.

Then we have some not so good things happening already in the first few weeks of the year. About midweek of that first week of January, my dad was sent to the ER thinking he was having a stroke. Just by what mom was telling me I already had an idea of what it was and it was definitely not a stroke. The next day my prediction was proved correct. Dad has 4 new lesions on his brain, causing the left side of his face, his arm and hand to feel numb. We had a plan, but we should know by now that plans don’t work for us. He was supposed to get the Covid vaccine in February and start a new medication after both doses were complete. These new lesions had another plan and caused dad to have to start his new medication early, last week to be exact. This caused some horrible (okay mild but I’m his daughter so I’m going to exaggerate everything) side effects. Woke up with a 102 fever and chills. Luckily he was fine after that and he has even reported this week that he feels better than he has been. We shall see what tomorrow brings when he gets his second shot. I love my dad more than anything and I wish I could split myself in half to be with him and work because I feel guilty for not being there. We will get stronger and we will be walking again. You just watch.

Speaking of Covid shots, I receive my second one tomorrow. I’ve heard bad and good things about the second dose so I’m interested on what I will feel like come Friday night and Saturday. My first shot my arm was the only thing that hurt and I was a little extra tired but nothing major. Wish me luck.

Keep following me for updates on my, my dad, my family, and everything else in between. There’s a surgery in my near future so we will see how that plays out with my mental health.

Peace and love friends

Be aware of your words… ears are meant for hearing.

I hate that I’m sitting here writing this blog. I hate that I even had to be in this situation to begin with. The plus side of this instance is that it will better myself in career.

Yesterday I punched a wall. Literally. It was fine I went about my day. My anxiety and depression has been sky high the past few days. Well I come to my parents today and I’m trying to nap with the dog and my hand just is not having it. So swollen painful can’t move it. So off to the ER I go.

You know those questions they ask when you come in? Do you feel safe at home and do you feel like harming yourself or others? Well for the first time since any of my mental struggle I answered yes to harming myself. No, I didn’t want to kill myself and no I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t want to take pills I just wanted to hurt to feel better. I know how the medical field is when they hear those words though and she said you know I have to keep the door open which I did. That’s fine I don’t mind that part. Here’s the part that got me.

She walks out and tells a couple people that they need a certain room for a “suicidal”. Loud enough that someone walking the halls can hear, I can hear, someone coming to registration can hear. I hear another voice annoyed say are you serious? And something about I thought it was just a hand? Another voice that calls and says we need a sitter. All loud enough I can hear loud enough that I cry harder.

I knew one of those nurses. I know she went to the same school I did (disadvantages of a small town). They came in and said we will go to this room now. I sit in there and after the doctor comes to talk to me I guess it was determined that I wasn’t at risk of needing a sitter because no one showed up. But you know what showed up? Embarrassment, self hate, self loathing, annoyance.

I made sure they knew I was a nurse (well graduate nurse but still) that I was working with mental health and I know what the protocols are. I made sure they knew I was not happy with them. You got mmhmm and yups and no’s. You come and talk about me like it’s a burden behind my back, don’t expect me to open up. I just wanted a dang x-ray.

They teach us in school how to appropriately speak to patients in this situation and how to properly talk at the nurses station with something like this. I’ve been conscious of this from the get go before I even started school. I felt disrespected, judged, looked down upon, all because my mental status wasn’t good. Luckily all it was was bruised but it was just my hand leaving bruised, it was my ego, my heart, and more importantly the way I viewed myself.

Do you know what I’ve been doing since I got back to my parents? Eating quietly, sitting quietly, yet yelling at the dog because she keeps crying to sit in my lap. Yelling at my parents because they said something incorrect. Mumbling under my breath at something on T.V because they said the wrong thing. Holding back tears that I didn’t think were still in my body after the amount I’ve already cried.

Keep in mind people who are fighting battles you know nothing about. They have ears that are made for hearing. No peace and love tonight folks, just plain disappointment.

Home A? Or.. Home B? 🤷🏼‍♀️

Have you ever been torn between going home or going home? Confused? Let me explain. For the past month I’ve been going to my parents house or Home A a few days every week to help out my dad so mom can get work done. Meaning I’m here with Terry at Home B the few other days. I’ve been on leave so I normally stay two to three days and make it like a work schedule. Some weeks are easier to come to Home B than others.

I was quarantined at Home A for two weeks because mom had Covid and I had to take care of him, mom, and then the dog who got sick too. It felt like I was back in their house. I cuddled the dog and got to spend more time with my parents which I haven’t been able to do since nursing school started. By the end of those two weeks I missed Terry something terrible but I didn’t want to leave my dad. Eventually they told me to come home because they saw how stressed, mentally unstable, and tired I was.

Fast forward to now today and we face a similar problem. I was originally supposed to come to Home B tonight after staying yesterday and today with dad, but dad asked if I would stay until Wednesday to which I originally said yes. Here we were Tuesday afternoon and something just comes over me. I can’t breathe, all I want to do is cry and sleep and I feel like I’m all alone. We sit and eat dinner and I ask mom how long she would need me tomorrow and she said like an hour. Dad chimes in with but you can stay longer if you want. I just nodded and kept my face down at my plate. After dinner I had to run to my old bedroom to cry and lay down because I couldn’t stay up anymore.

Mind you I had an out of the blue panic attack on Sunday when Terry and I visited them and here I was having another. Mom comes in and asks what I want to do. And we decided together that it would be silly for me to stay because I’d be asleep the whole time she needed me and dad probably would too. Then I start crying again. Dad makes me feel guilty for leaving. I know he doesn’t mean to but he does.

I get everything packed and do everything I need to do before I go and when I go to hug dad he squeezes me and says I wish you could stay longer and visit more, I really miss you. Well if you know me you know I’m still a daddy’s girl at 27 years old and I took off bawling because I felt horrible. I cried most of my drive home and here I am crying in bed again trying to push this panic attack away.

Why are these things happening you ask? Good question. Part of me knows I want to be at Home B with Terry because I want to spend time with him and part of me wants to be in Home A because I don’t know how long I’ll have with my dad or what tomorrow brings. Yes I’m not far but that hour and a half one way gets to you. I feel like it’s my job to take care of my parents, and I feel like I have a duty to Terry too. I feel like I’m being pulled in two directions. The thing is, I don’t even know where I really want to be, I just know where I need to be.

I just wish Home A and B could be closer because I’m going to end up beating myself up for not being at one or the other when I need to be plus I start my graduate nurse position in the new year.

I honestly feel like scum of the earth right now leaving him tonight. I feel like scum when I leave Terry. I hate myself almost everyday for not being able to do more. And I know that’s not my job, but it’s how my brain works. It’s a funny thing “how my brain works”. It’s my reason for everything, why I’m panicking about a big crowd, why I’m crying at a home video, why I’m crying snuggling the dog. That’s just how it works.

So if you see me crying in the next few days or weeks this is probably why, so just distance hug me or send me a nice message. I like those, just you know I’ve been thinking about you type ones.

I hope you all have a happy holiday!

Peace and love

Go suck it multiple sclerosis..

Well guys, I wish I wasn’t typing this. Heck I wish it was never a think in my family. Dad’s multiple sclerosis relapsed or something again and we are now in the hospital unable to really do anything waist down. For those that don’t know MS is an autoimmune disease that attacks the myelin sheath in your nerves. We’ve been living with it in our family for probably over ten years now. And this is the worst it’s been.

Guys I’ve seen my dad in so many different moods highs and lows. We started plasma pheresis today and crossing our fingers that it does something. Statistics are it helps 3-4 out of 10 MS patients. Not the greatest odds but we are holding on to that hope.

This week I’ve been dealing with not sleeping, getting diagnosed with an eating disorder, my dad progressively getting worse, and trying to keep up with school and work. I woke up from a nap Sunday to missed calls from my mom and I automatically knew something was wrong.

I feel helpless, I feel beaten down. I just want my dad back. I don’t like seeing people cry but it’s another thing when it’s your dad crying because he’s worried what if this is my life now? Such an independent man turned dependent. It’s not pretty.

Because of covid, my mom and I are switching out staying with him during the day but we can’t stay the night with him. Neither one of us is sleeping at night, I’m always half awake waiting for the phone to ring, as I’m the first line to call since I’m closer. We feel defeated and beaten down.

We all cry daily and my mom even forgot it was her birthday this Thursday until she got a card from her brother and flowers from friends. We are so worried about my dad yet he is more worried about us half the time. Forever he will be who I look up to.

Guys, I just ask for prayers for my family, prayers, well wishes, anything at this point. As dad says he needs all he can get right now. I bless all my friends and family who have been here for us during all of this. It is so much appreciated.

Peace and love friends.

New job..

For those of you who know, I am in nursing school and will be graduating with my BSN in December. Some might not know that I just accepted a job on the pediatric behavioral health unit at the Children’s hospital here at home. This choice was something that came almost so easy to me. I say almost because of things that I have been through in my life.

During my interview I was asked what I thought I could bring to the unit. I was asked what my strengths are and to give all these positives about myself. This was literally the hardest thing I’ve had to do. Some how I got the words out though. I told them that I wanted to be the person that I didn’t have while growing up with my mental illnesses. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my 20s and my family had never dealt with that kind of thing. I told them that I thought I could bring my personable self to the unit and to just help the patients anyway I could.

I guess those answers worked because I was offered the job and I start in January after I graduate. I am so excited to see where this new journey will take me. It is all I have ever wanted to do, help people. Mental health is obviously a huge part of my life and it is something that I hold close to my heart. The fact that I am going to be a pediatric psych nurse makes me excited, nervous, and happy! I wanted to share this with you all and I can’t wait to update you on my journey to becoming a baby nurse!!

Peace and love

You never saw it coming….

You always hear and see those posts where they talk about how mental illness isn’t real because you can’t see it or it’s not important because it’s not physical but you’ve got that all wrong. I never knew though it can go both ways…

Back story: my dad’s multiple sclerosis relapsed and progressed this past week, finding new lesions on his spine in three places. It’s affected him from the waist down and now needs a walker to do any movement. I went home for a couple days to help so my mom could go to work. When I tell you this has thrown my life upside down and backwards im not kidding and my dad and I have a closer and more special bond now than we ever had. Yeah, I cry randomly all the time now, I feel guilty for not being there more, I feel like it’s my job to take care of him. I’m protective of him and am super picky who is helping him. Over those couple of days though we had many conversations and cries together, I’m never looking at anything the same again.

We spent a lot of our time together talking about how his legs feel and how he really actually doesn’t feel them. How he’s been thinking about what if this is it. What if he can’t drive anymore or plant the garden. I brought up how my worst fear is him not being able to walk me down the isle or have our daddy daughter dance. Him knowing me we started talking about how people say they understand this is difficult for him. He voiced his concern that no people really don’t understand what it feels like unless they experience it and how yeah I tell him I understand and I sympathize with him but I don’t truely get it. I made the comment yeah but… and he cut me off saying I know you worry about me and I said well yes but that’s not what I was going to say. I told him how he’s right no one knows what’s it’s like unless you go through that but it’s the same with my mental illness. I said you telling me I don’t need my medication or that I’m actually fine to just stop worrying, is like the same when people tell him I know what you’re going through. This is when things got way too much for me to handle.

This man who I’ve looked up to my whole life who I was now taking care of looked at me and said, you know I’ve actually been thinking about that a lot lately and I know I don’t know what you’re going through. I don’t know what it’s like for you. Then he started crying. Which made me cry so we stood crying together (I was holding him up so he didn’t fall.) As I’m helping him back to his chair he says you know all I want is good things for you and the best for you and I feel like I can’t help you with that. I worry about you.

All I could say was dad I’m fine, we need to worry about you through choked back tears. Guys, this man who just found out his debilitating illness has progressed and his life changed overnight is over here worrying about me and my mental health. When I say my jaw hit the floor it did.

I’ve been fighting my inner self for days now. Being needed for work, for school, for Terry, for my family, for Terry’s family, for my dad. I know there’s isn’t 5 of me but damn it I wish there was. I feel guilty for not being closer to home. I feel guilty I’m not here for Terry, I feel guilty I have to miss parts of class to care for my dad, I feel guilty I have to work and not be able to help at home. Dad told me not to inconvenience myself and worry about work and Terry and not him. I’m 27 and I never thought I’d be sitting here saying that it’s my job to care for my parent this young. He spent 20 some years caring for me and now it’s my turn.

My mental health has taken a huge drop while in nursing school. Every semester something has happened to family mine or Terry’s. 2 months and I’m done and that’s one of the reasons I’ll be glad to be done. My family needs a break. We need time to process everything that’s happened in the past 20 months. I need more family time.

Ellie has no idea what’s going on. She’s so confused why dad can’t get on the floor and play or why he can’t just go outside all the time now. Or why he has this scary looking thing when he walks. Why she can’t sit with him for hours on end because he needs to continuously reposition himself. She sits and stares at him nonstop. She stares at us when we help him. 5 years that dog has been his best friend and they’ve been inseparable. Ellie misses her best friend the way he used to be… well Ellie I miss him too.

Life isn’t fair. It never will be. You pick yourself up and you keep going. Praying that one day something will happen and make it good again. Dads been pleading for good news from anyone he sees and has been getting angry when someone says bad news. He wants happy in his life and I can’t blame him. I would too if I woke up one morning and couldn’t walk. Remember it doesn’t matter if you see it or don’t, you don’t really know what someone is going through unless you’ve been there yourself. Be understanding and patient. Love them. Pray for them. Help them how they need it.

Peace and love my friends.. ✌🏻💕

Hello old friend…

Hi guys and welcome back to the crap show that is my life. You’d think with graduation coming up and things finally starting to work out I’d be happy and great right? Well not entirely.

I’m oh so happy I’m graduating soon I really am. But I can’t be happy 24/7 especially when I don’t feel like it. I’ve been away from my blog here, working out, doing anything productive besides school, and literally feeling like crap.

I’m 27, drama should be a thing of the past. Yet here it is finding me when I don’t want it. Feeling beaten down at work when all I do is say hi, to being told who I’m supposed to be friends with and who I’m not supposed to be friends with. Being told I can’t make my own decisions. Seriously though! Get over yourself! I’m an adult and last I checked these people say they are too. I’ve grown. But I still have that nagging thought that I’m not good enough that I just shouldn’t be here.

I have my good days and bad days, thankfully I have Terry there for both. Guys when I say I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him I’m telling the whole truth. He has saved me from the evils of my life and I’ll forever be blessed. I would not have made it through nursing school without him by my side!!

I know, none of this makes a lick of sense. Nothing flows together. It’s literally just a bunch of thoughts you read it great you don’t okay too. I’m out here trying to promote and advocate for mental health and educate and be here for those who need anything!

I’m scared…. of myself?

Have you ever just woke up one day and was afraid of yourself? Your brain, your thoughts, every single breath? Do you know how scary it is to have a mini panic attack every time you take a breath? You have one single thought and you start to sweat and your heart starts to race just because you thought about plans for the night or what I’m doing the next day. Crying randomly because of a tv show or reading something that upsets you. Just being scared to breathe.

I feel like my anxiety is pushing through everything I’m trying to accomplish. I can’t focus in school, I can’t focus on daily household activities. I just want to sleep, cuddle a dog, be normal. My chest literally hurts to breathe. Every thought circles to death how scared I am of it. My grades are suffering, my life. That fake smile is coming back no matter if I took my meds or not. I hate this side of my life and it feels like I’m sinking deeper and deeper into nothingness.

It’s so hard to put into words how I’m feeling to those who love me, who care and want to help. It all comes out as I’m just upset or it’s not a good day. So here it is my loving friends and family. I’ve sunk. I’m scared and I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m failing myself my family and Terry. I don’t want to finish school. I just want it to be over with. The stress the drama everything. I’m too old for high school crap and I feel that’s what I live everyday. Flashbacks PTSD bad dreams. Feeling like vomiting every single second of every single day…

What world are we living in

So many things have happened in 2020 and it’s only June. Lives have been turned upside down, a pandemic has controlled our lives, and now we have riots because this world lives with racism. It’s sickly. It’s wrong. It’s not right.

I grew up in a mainly white town, but by God I treated everyone the same no matter the color of their skin or where they came from. There are too many stereotypes that people keep following that don’t belong there. We have children afraid to go play outside, parents who are afraid for their lives and their children’s. Is that really living? It’s that fair?

No it’s not, and guess who gets the brunt of that, African Americans. They don’t deserve that. I will never know what it feels like to be treated like they do, how people talk to them and react to them. I don’t understand when it is like to be a minority, to be treated unfairly because of my skin color. But I do understand that they don’t deserve all that’s been happening not only in the past few weeks but years and years ago.

The innocent lives take because they could have done this or looked like that. It needs to stop or this world will fall apart. Everyone deserves respect. But hear me now. Not all cops are bad and not all black people are bad. You’ll have bad and good in any group of people you come across, no matter the profession or skin color. It shouldn’t matter. Those things do not dictate if you are good or bad. The person themself determines that.

I pray and worry for all my loved ones family and friends. I worry about this world. And I worry about my patients at work and those fearing for their life. Not knowing what even the next minute will bring to them. Everyone pray. Think before you take an action. Don’t overreact before you know the whole story. And for God’s sake if you see someone in medical need help them! Especially if you swore to do so.

I’ll probably make some people mad and some people won’t care. But I know there are those people out there who will read this and understand and pray and think.

Stay safe my friends. Be kind. #blacklivesmatter

Coronavirus or the devil you decide..

Ever since this whole virus thing started and we have been on lockdown, I’ve gone to work and home and occasionally to the store for food. Always wearing my mask and the like. I work in a Children’s hospital where kids don’t know how to cough properly or cling to you with snot and drool falling off their face in clumps. I’m always at a risk. Always.

I haven’t seen my parents since January the beginning of January. I’ve gone about 4 months or so without seeing them, hugging them, being with them in person. Four months of not seeing ellie, playing with her, cuddling her, nothing. It’s normal for me not to see my family very often because of school and work, but with school at home and only working twice a week it’s getting tough.

I had planned on going home last weekend to see my mom for Mother’s Day. I had texted her to let her know earlier in the week. I video chatted with my parents a day later and was told because I work in the hospital they didn’t feel comfortable with me coming over. Which I get because my dad’s MS and he is immunocompromised. It hurt like I was being stabbed but I knew it was best for my dad.

My mental health has been declining a lot lately and I’m just not me. All I want to do is sleep but I can’t sleep and when I do sleep it’s tossing and turning. I’m home every day for school and when it’s not that it’s work. I just don’t fill fulfilled now. Not even my workouts help. They do in the moment but not for long. I’m sitting up right now when I should be sleeping because I have class early tomorrow. But here I sit and just got off the phone with dad.

He’s my go to person when I need someone to talk to because his la de da attitude and voice just make me feel calm. He’s not a man of many words. I was starting to feel better but waterworks were coming because I just want to be there. So I asked, when can I come visit? He said well I don’t know maybe when you have been home and no where else for two weeks to make sure you don’t have it. My heart literally sank. I have to work two days a week. I don’t have PTO to use for that. God knows when I’ll get to see them again. It’s been so hard for me these past few months. I feel isolated. I feel distraught and I feel hopeless.

To close please check on your loved ones who suffer from mental illnesses. Being at home all the time can definitely take a tole on them during this pandemic. Make sure they are okay. Video call them, call them, drive by and talk through a window. Be there for them.

Goodnight my friends I hope sleep finds you well. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Peace and love 💕