You can choose to be happy…

For all my mental illness people out there, especially my depression friends. Have you ever been told, “You can just choose to be happy. It’s easy.”? I have many times. Guess what? You can’t, not with a mental illness anyway.

I still remember when I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder I was still in OTA school. My friend since grade school had recently killed herself and I was still trying to figure my life out. We were doing our psych class and our teacher said if us or anyone we knew with a disorder would want to come share that would be great. Well me being me I guess I started from the very beginning to be open about everything.

I opened up to my class about it all. My suicide thoughts and half attempts. My notes I had, the feelings I felt and didn’t feel. How difficult it was for me to tell my dad, the man who raised me the past 20 years that I wanted to kill myself and I wanted to go to the doctor. How he cried when I was telling the doctor how horrible life was for me. How he stood by my side even if he didn’t fully understand yet what was happening to me, all the medicine changes already in the short time I was diagnosed. I told it all.

After this we watched a video of someone who had depression and how he wasn’t happy you know those basic educational videos on that stuff. After I had just said my story and we watched this video, a classmate went and said “They can just choose to be happy. That’s easy.”. Welp, you can bet my ass was answering that comment before anyone had the chance. I turned around looked her in the face and flat out said, “if I could choose to be happy I would in a heart beat. It’s not easy to wake and yourself, self you’re going to be happy today.” It doesn’t work that way.

Looking back now I realize that comment was made probably out of being uneducated in the topic or being naive. Either way it wasn’t cool and it shouldn’t have been said. If your friend or loved one is suffering from depression please I beg you don’t tell them they can choose to be happy. Yeah they can smile and laugh but 9 times out of 10 they are probably faking it. I’ve gotten very good at it the past 6 and a half years.

Get educated and be proactive!!

Peace and love my people!

The real life

Imagine, you deal with your mental illness daily, taking medicines, going to the doctor, everything you normally do. Boom, you start nursing school. You go on about your days the way you always have with maybe just a little more stress in your life nothing major out of the ordinary. You sail through first term and second term and everything is fine. Third term is here and you know your are taking psych and have a psych clinical! You are ecstatic because you love all things mental health and can’t wait to learn more. You couldn’t be more wrong

You’re in the first day of your semester, psych clinical day! You are all prepared for this and can’t wait to see what is in store. You have your favorite clinical instructor from last term and have heard good things about your facility. Pre-conference goes well and now it is time to tour the facility. You see how things are kept and how secluded the patients are, thinking to yourself I could have been here, I could have ended up in a place like this if I didn’t get help. Everything fascinates you and you can’t wait to start talking to people and participating in things.

Post conference doesn’t go as well at pre-conference. You start talking about self harm and low and behold you speak up about your cutting episodes and how you understand how you don’t feel anything when you do it, how when you get tattoos it feels wonderful, how all that pain is like taking the emotional pain out of your body. You then tense up and fold into your shell, thinking your classmates and instructor are thinking bad things about you now.

An hour and a half lunch break and you’re free for a little bit. Call dad on the way home to eat lunch and talk about what happened that morning. He makes me feel better and tells me its okay and it will get better. Come home to the boyfriend and you feel safe.

Now, back at school it’s simulation time. You watch the interaction example of what you are supposed to do. The person who is the patient is so believable and the story line is similar to things you have experienced and feelings start to flood your brain. Next thing you know you are crying thinking back to the days you wanted to die, you felt worthless and wanted to kill yourself. It is now time to split into the clinical groups again. You walk out crying telling the instructor you can’t do this, you need to sit out this first round, you can barely get words out and just keep crying. By the second go around you feel more comfortable and ask to do the next round alone.

It actually goes wonderful. You picture yourself sitting in the patient’s seat and talk to the patient like you would want someone to talk to you if you came into the clinic feeling this way. It made things so much easier and it flowed so well. You have never felt more relaxed in your life. By the end of the day you are exhausted and feel like you’ve had the wind knocked out of you but you made it. One day down a few more weeks to go until the next clinical starts.

Guys, yesterday was so hard for me. So many emotions filled my head and I felt defeated, but you know what? I got back up and excelled. I didn’t let it get me down and make me fail the day. I know I’m stronger than I feel and hopefully as the weeks go by it gets a little easier.

Peace and love my people

Warning: enter at your own risk. Abuse

I’m going to give you a glimpse into the worst 5 years of my life. My emotional, mental, and sexual abuse. My terrors, my fears, how screwed up my brain was. All I ask is that you enter this with an open mind and don’t be quick to judge. This is tough for me to share.

8 years ago I was starting college, new friends, new people, new everything. I was quiet stuck to my classes and band and basically did what I did in high school, I just sat back. Then I met a guy. We got along so well. We became quick friends. I knew he had a girlfriend and that was fine. I had no interest in him.

Somehow he managed to change that. We went out for lunch between classes on day and the next thing I know is he’s grabbing my boobs across the seat in the car. Completely took me by surprise. Legit I never had a guy interested in me. This was different. Weird. I knew it didn’t feel right. But he knew what to say and what to do to make me forget he had a girlfriend and he basically got me on a string doing whatever he wanted.

Fast forward a little bit and here I am pushing away my family and my friends to hang out with him. He kept telling me he would leave his girlfriend or if I did something sexual I would be the one he picked. I know what you’re thinking, you know better ashley you wouldn’t do that. Well you’re wrong. I did anything and everything he asked to be picked to be the one wanted. I didn’t realize what he was doing to me until it was too late.

By year 3 into 4 I was starting to realize that he wasn’t going to pick me and I needed to move on. Let me tell you when I say I’ve never seen someone be so mad for me just talking to a guy I mean it. I was threatened. I was punished. He made me believe that I couldn’t survive without him. So what did I do, I stuck with him. I apologized multiple times a day for things I don’t even know why. I started thinking that I was the worst person alive. I was bullied online by him and his girlfriend who to this day has no idea he cheated on her basically their whole relationship. I was bullied by her cousins who didn’t even know me.

Year 5 comes along and I’ve had enough. I actively started looking for a way out. This is when things got scary. I was still hanging out with him. Going to his house. After 5 years I was being used for sex, multiple times a day almost every week. I got to the point where I would tell him no and he thought it was a game. That I was trying to turn him on more. I wasn’t enjoying any of it at all. I fought and he thought it was part of the game.

Then I met Terry. My Godsend. I had to lie my “friend” that I was talking to him and hanging out with him. But he found out one night because he drove past my apartment, which I found out later he did every day to make sure I was were I said I was. Well when he saw a new car with mine he flipped shit on me. He threatened me, told me Terry only wanted me for sex. Didn’t care about me like him.

Guys I stood up, stood up for myself. What I should have done way before. I told him never to text me again. I told him to leave me alone and what I do is none of his business. He kept trying to tell me that I was a slut and that I was worthless and continued to threaten me. Finally, finally after two months of talking to Terry I got him to leave me alone.

Now three years later, I’m still bothered by what happened. I’m not better, I’m not over what happened. Certain things trigger memories and it’s like PTSD. He’s married to that same girlfriend doing whatever with his life. I literally haven’t thought about him in years. It took awhile but I finally pushed him out of my head.

I have Terry, my family back close to me, my friends. I never want what happened to me happen to someone else. I’ve gotten stronger, yet weaker. I’m more depressed and anxious as ever and have horrible separation anxiety. I still apologize non stop but it’s getting better. Remember friends this was hard for me to share, so kind thoughts only.

Peace and love

Fighting alone?

Picture this:

You are in a room all alone no doors only two small windows to look out of. There’s no one to talk to, no matter where you turn you are alone. You yell for help and no one seems to hear you, not even from those tiny windows. The next thing you know you have thoughts flying at you, saying you’re not good enough, no one is there for you, you have no friends, your family is ashamed of you. Despite the windows and the little light shining through all you see is darkness. You see no way out. You start to go crazy with thoughts of killing yourself, of how wonderful it would feel not hurting anymore. How one cut makes the pain less painful, then another and another until you’ve got multiple gashes in your arms. You believe that there is no one to help you and that there never will be.

Want to know what you just pictured? My brain on some of my worst days.

Now picture this:

You’re on the outside of that dark room now. Surrounded by people laughing and joking. Out in the bright sunshine. You go to parties and are “smiling”. You go to family gatherings and say everything is alright. You participate. You laugh you live. People tell you they understand that they are there for you. You look back into those tiny windows and see that dark place again. Taunting you, telling you those people are lying. That no one actually will be there for you when it gets tough. That you will have to always fight this alone. You keep pushing through day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute until you can be alone again in that dark place. That dark place sucks you in and holds you there with no end in sight. You get glimpses of the outside of those people who care about you. Your brain just doesn’t let you believe it. How many times you’ve been hurt, how many people have let you down. You just don’t ever feel like anyone is actually there for you.

Guys, that’s real life for me and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I feel like I’m fighting a battle alone despite the love and support I get from my family, Terry, and his family. From my work family, and my friends. No matter what goes on in the light of the world, that dark place is always there to pull me back just enough to keep making me feel hopeless, to feel defeated. It fluctuates everyday. Some days I know I’ve got my support system and others I feel like there’s no one left on this planet but me.

Some days I feel like my feelings get pushed off like they don’t matter. Heck I’ve had people walk away from me awkward because I’ve gotten upset about talking about a sensitive issue. Sometimes I feel like the only way to survive the outside world is to lie. To say I’m okay. To smile and laugh and pretend that my life is going great. Don’t get me wrong there are portions of my life that are absolutely wonderful. They just get pushed away by that darkness.

Things have happened a lot these past couple months. And I need to be more consistent with my blogs. I need to push the acceptance of mental health as an issue that needs to be seen and treated and talked about. Under-diagnosing is a thing. Not fully treating is a thing. Heck, sometimes I don’t even know how to explain to my doctor what’s going on that I don’t know if I’m getting the right treatment. I do know though. I am not alone. I do not fight alone. There is a whole community fighting for their lives daily, struggling to wake up, get out of bed, and do life. We are the community of mental health and we deserve to be treated like anyone else with a physical illness.

It’s no laughing matter to joke oh I’m depressed because my favorite show ended. No you’re sad that your favorite show ended. Im depressed because I feel like I’m alone in this world, have been abused and traumatized and I just want to die. That’s depressed. There are two different meanings between depressed and sad. I’ve heard so many people joke about being depressed I’ve wanted to say so badly, would you really like to see what that’s like? Do you want to see my scars?

Too many people that I care about have been or are being affected by these illnesses everyday including myself. It hurts me that all I can do is sit here as write these blogs. I can’t make you read it, I can’t make you fight for your life. I can however educate, speak up for those who are too afraid to do it themselves, and stand beside those who need someone to lean on.

Be a supporter, lover, fighter, caregiver, friend to those you know might need one. You never know what goes on in the darkness of others. Just be mindful and considerate.

That’s all for now my friends, peace and love βœŒπŸ»πŸ’•

Down days

Some days you wake up happy and bubbly and not a care in the world. Other days you wake up feeling worthless and like nothing can go right. I have more of the latter days.

Today I wake up for my night shift and I automatically feel like crap. I feel a panic attack coming on and I just want to cry. All within a couple minutes of waking up! I didn’t even have time to think it just was. Of course I text Terry telling him I need him. He’s my rock my one thing that gets me through my bad days.

I take my medicine and I try to go on with my day. I try to be happy I try to have a happy face. Most times it doesn’t work. You can tell I’m just not myself. Get me around my kiddos though and I’m great. I love my kids and their faces really do make my day brighter.

Those bad feelings never really go away. They don’t get better. I try. I really do. But no matter what I do or how hard I try it just doesn’t work. I always feel anxious even in familiar situations. It’s not easy it never will be easy. But I just keep going every day. Trying my hardest to make it through to make it another 24 hours around the sun.

I’m here for you friends if you need a shoulder.

Peace and love βœŒπŸ»πŸ’•


Vacation, break from school and work. I have nothing to do. This means no stress and anxiety at least for a week right? Wrong. I had anxiety almost every day if not worse towards the end of the week.

You don’t get a break from anxiety. You don’t get time to be yourself again or to not worry about a thing. Crazy right? I know, it was not fun Friday night having a panic attack and not being able to breathe because you’re freaking out about who knows what.

I hate when people assume that because I have nothing to do I’m okay and won’t stress about anything. I still stress and worry I’m forgetting something or that I’m lazy and horrible for not doing anything. Don’t assume or judge just be. And if you suffer from anxiety and or depression know you aren’t alone I’m here for you.

Peace and love my friends βœŒπŸ»πŸ’•

A thank you to my work families..

To my previous work families and my current one I thank you. I thank you for your kind words no matter the situation. For the encouraging words when school gets me down. For being you.

I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to work feeling like a piece of crap and not wanting to be there. To just be at home sleeping. Feeling like crying anytime anyone tries to talk to me. Then I see you guys. And I can’t help but smile or laugh or feel ten times better.

I get encouraging words from all of you about school and comments on how good of a nurse I’ll be. You guys have no clue how much I appreciate that. How much it means to me that you care enough to ask me how school is going or offer your help if I ever need it. You guys are my home away from home. I’m pretty sure I see you all more than my own family. πŸ˜‚

From a person who regularly feels like she’s worthless, a piece of crap, and like she can’t accomplish anything, having a work family who has your back is the bees knees. I have never felt more needed and appreciated than I have at Children’s. I feel like I’ve been there more than 6 months and I’ve known my coworkers longer. So thank you you guys I appreciate you more than you know!! πŸ’•

Peace and love βœŒπŸ»πŸ’•


I haven’t wrote in a while and you know why? Nursing school, work, life. I’m tired y’all, so tired.

My mentality is tired, my emotions are tired, my body is tired. I’m one month into nursing school and I’m already whipped. I work full time, school full time, do my laundry, dishes, try to have food here for Terry and I. It’s rough guys. Super rough.

I quit a depression med because it was making me more hungry all the time. Gaining weight from stress, eating, and still my depression gets worse. So what do I do? I risk my mental health to try and better my physical body. I’m disgusted with myself and the way I look, how I feel. I can’t tell you how difficult it is. How hard it is to want to get up everyday.

It’s not easy guys. I want to give up everyday. I tell myself everyday how worthless I am. That I’m not going to succeed. I’m never going to lose that weight and I’ll be second best forever. You’d be surprised how many people I feel second best to in my life. How many of those people make me feel like complete shit everyday. Guess what? Most of those people I can’t get away from? I don’t get a choice unless I want to loose those closest to me.

This isn’t a post to be happy or give you words of encouragement. This isn’t a post to make you feel sorry for me. This isn’t a post to be cheery. It’s a post to be raw, to be truthful. To be real and what I’m feeling right now. This isn’t a joke or fake. I’m literally feeling like crap at this moment and you all are hearing about it first hand.

Peace and love friends. βœŒπŸ»πŸ’•

Self lo…

Do you think it’s easy to love yourself or loath yourself? Some would say love other loath. It all depends on your perspective. If you ask me the answer would be loath.

I don’t love myself. It’s hard to. It is however easy to think badly upon myself, tell myself that I’m worthless that no one loves me. It’s easy to say everything bad that has ever happened in my life was my fault. Heck, I blamed myself for a car accident my mom got into when I was like 5 and I wasn’t anywhere near her.

Its not easy for me to love myself. To say I look beautiful, to say I’m worth it. Nine times out of ten I’ll tell you I hate myself. That I’ve come to nothing. Accomplished nothing, even though I have 3 degrees sitting behind me and working on a 4th. But those degrees are either associates or a certificate. I’m starting a bachelors degree at age 26 guys. That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works.

Well for me it does. And it’s hard to see that. I see people younger than me and even my sister who is 23 getting a bachelors degrees or masters and here I sit. I’m no good I tell myself constantly. I know it’s okay to get a degree when you’re older. I know it makes me no less of a person, but guess what? My brain irrational part of my brain doesn’t think that.

I think the worst part of having depression and anxiety and being in a health related field and have taken so many psych classes it makes this more difficult. I know rationally what I should be doing and thinking. On the irrational side though I’m freaking out. I’m not thinking rationally even though I’m telling myself what’s going on. Do you know how scary that is? How creepy that is?

If you take anything from this post I hope it’s your need to love yourself. Don’t take pointers from me, I’m still learning, but with a guy in my life like Terry I’m slowly but surely learning that I’m really not half bad.

Peace and love my friends βœŒπŸ»πŸ’•

Acceptance. It’s a struggle..

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been nervous to talk about your mental illness, had or have a loved one with a mental illness, or have a mental illness yourself.

Now raise your hand if you accept that person or do you think that they aren’t sick, that they aren’t hurting.

I know no one will admit it but there are people out there that don’t accept mental illness as an actual illness just because you can’t see it. This bothers me. You can’t see a lot of illness yet people classify them as one. I’m getting deep down and dirty on why should accept those loved ones and realize why it really is an illness.

Growing up I got the questions a lot like why are you sad? Why are you crying? You have no reason to be depressed. Nothing is wrong with you. You need to get over it. Stop acting like that. You’re doing this for attention. On and on and on. I got so sick and tired of it. It made me even more upset. This is why I speak out, this is why I share.

I had a friend commit suicide as I’ve previously mentioned. No one knew she was depressed or that anything was really wrong. Too many people are hiding their mental illness in fears that they will be looked down upon or that no one will get it.

Well I’m here to tell you I look up to you and I get it. I go through it daily and know what a struggle it is some days.

Now for my friends and family. I ask and beg of you. Accept your loved ones. Don’t be afraid to ask if they are okay. Don’t look down on them because of a mental illness. Don’t belittle them or poke fun. It’s not fun at all and I can only speak for myself but I don’t appreciate it.

Acceptance is a big part of what can help in recovery and treatment. The bigger the support group you have the better your outcome can be.

Happy mental health awareness month! πŸ’šπŸ’š

Peace and love βœŒπŸ»πŸ’•