You carry so much LOVE in your heart. Give some to yourself.
Have you ever stopped and reflected on your life and during that reflection had mad some decisions? Did the decisions consist of stopping, doing less, or ending something in order to make yourself happier? During this reflection, did you ever consider instead of focusing on all negative energies you need to remove, focus on ADDING MORE to your life. If you add more positive in your life, and it fills your life, there is no more room for the negative. Or at least very little room.
I have decided the MORE I need to add into my life is LOVE for myself. Love how I am and who I will become.
Part of loving myself is making sure I get up every morning and do what I love, make myself feel the most beautiful I can. This means getting in the shower, playing with my makeup and doing my hair. This is time consuming but for me and very much worth it. When I put my makeup on I feel like I'm ready to face whatever the day brings. I imagine its what a person who enjoys working out feels like. A better, stronger version of myself. I document these moments by taking and posting waaayy too many selfies. It's not because I'm conceded or I want attention. For me it's documentation that I managed to concur my anxiety, and my demons. In a way it is also an affirmation. No matter how unworthy or insignificant I feel, when I see the pictures I think "wow, I'm beautiful".
That part of loving myself is something I'm used to, and is the easiest go to. However, the feeling is only temporary because makeup only lasts so long. The next day I have to do it all over again to get that feeling. I often fantasize about what it would be like to wake up and feel good about myself first thing. To feel the same way I do when I put myself together in the morning. This leads to so many more questions, and is part of the reason I can't sleep at night. What is it that I need to add to my life to make me feel that way? To make me wake up and love myself first thing... Do I need to look in the mirror and sight morning affirmations? Do I need to study and read books on how to learn to love myself again? There are so many questions and so many variables. When you take inventory and think about it, it really doesn't have to be so complex.
I tend to rush things and if its not perfect the first time I give up. I give up and forget why I even attempted to begin with. I have an example of a situation that happened recently. I bought a new straightener and was so excited to use it. I tend to get stuck in a video vortex. So, naive Brittany thought that she would easily be able to curl her hair with it the first time. I was very wrong and got frustrated quickly. I almost gave up and said to myself , "Im good at what Im good at and I shouldn't bother with anything new". Then I thought about it... Why do I have the skills I currently possess? Practice... lots of practice and trying new techniques. I was never perfect on the first try but I did it over and over again until I got it right. So what made this new technique any different? Nothing but the mind frame I was in.
I feel learning better ways to love myself is the same thing. I may not get it right the first try. Hell... I may get it right 3 days in a row and on the 4th end up in tears in front of the mirror cause I hate myself. But I need to start doing something. I made it a goal to add 3 habits into my life to learn to better love myself.
1.) Stop apologizing and making excuses for other people's actions towards me. I am not a victim. I am human. If I continue to apologize for everything I do or say then there is no confidence in who I am. There is a sense of self doubt. Moving forward I am going to stop apologizing and making excuses for other people. This is me. Take it or leave it. But wait... didn't I say I was going to add more to my life instead of taking something away. Right... So, instead of stopping a habit I am going to add one in the same aspect. I am going to start being confident in myself and my choices.
2.) I am going to be creative more often. Write, and paint. Put something together. This makes me feel good and positive about myself. Every time I write a blog and post it, even if its poorly written, I think "Hey... I did that!". When I paint a canvas and actually finish it I can't believe I did that. I want more feel good moments like that in my life and I deserve them.
3.) Be more active outside my home. Over the last year or so, I have been secluding myself and avoiding people. I allowed my anxiety and fears to over take my life. It soon became stronger than my own self will. I'm going to start saying yes to more invites, but ensure their are healthy boundaries still. Take myself on adventures and go to a movie or take myself to dinner.
Three simple things. All of which were very hard for me to decide. I had to decide if it was right for me, and if I was capable of doing it.
I don't need to start to loving other people less or different; I just need to learn to love myself as much if not more. I feel it's the only way I am going to heal from what I have been through.
****WARNING- this is not a lighthearted post and may be difficult for some people to read. If you yourself are having suicidal thoughts please reach out to a doctor or a loved one. You can also call the suicidal hotline at 800-273-8255. Speak out and don't keep it in***
She stopped looking both ways before crossing the street;
she stopped wearing her seat belt in the car,
and she stopped counting the pills before she took them.
She wasn't trying to kill herself,
but she did stop caring whether she lived,
The thoughts of not wanting to exists consumed me. It was peculiar how much the thoughts and feelings were like what you would see in the movies. There was a million voices surrounding me, but I was the only one that could hear them. My psychical feeling was that of a deflated balloon.
I am a natural humorous and outgoing person. Not one person around me could tell by looking at me that I wanted it all to end. But I would cry in the bathrooms at work, or alone on my bedroom floor. Then after I pulled myself together I would drink until I couldn't feel anymore. The fact that the feelings only grew stronger and stronger no matter how much I tried to fix it scared the shit out of me.
I remember one night, I drank about 3 liters of wine. I was at a such deep low that all I could do was cry. I text a few people... My brother telling him Im sorry and tell my nephew I love him. My best friend my password to my phone, and a few others. The next morning I woke up late for work. I didn't remember ANYTHING that happened but the texts I read helped jog my memory. I made a sad attempt at suicide. I say sad attempt because there is no way that what I did would have actually done the trick. At the time though, I thought it would. When I came to the realization that I had finally reached that point, I was in shock. All I could go was hold my hand over my mouth, gasp and then fall to my knees in tears. I was terrified that I had reached that point and if I was capable of that, what else was I capable of. Feeling like shit, I pulled myself together and went to work. There were two people out of the dozen I saw that day that knew because I told them. But for the most part no one knew what had happened, or how bad my heart was hurting.
That's the sad part about it. Not sad for myself. I feel sad that no one noticed how bad I was hurting, and cannot imagine who else goes on with life feeling the same. Can you imagine the person you are joking around with and laughing, was in the bathroom floor the night before taking a knife to their thigh just so they could feel something real?
Once I had the realization that I was scared of what I was capable of and terrified of death, I spoke out. I told several people and asked for help. My aunt was my saving grace because she got me back into therapy. At that point, my healing began. I started speaking my real truths and not what I thought others wanted to hear. But I was still hurting, and I still had those low nights. My behavior was still reckless and destructive. I was very reluctant on taking any kind of medication to help with my mental health. The reason being was my family has a history of addiction, and I didnt want to add to the family tree. There was a crossroad I was met with and had to make a decision. Either keep down this dangerous path that would more than like end my life too quickly, or keep seeking help and go see my doctor.
I thought about having myself admitted two or three times, but wanted help, not sedation. Unfortunately, the mental health system isn't what it should be. It took a lot of courage to make a doctors appointment. To go into the room where I go for a cold, feeling healthy, and telling them that I need help. To admit my faults and say things I never dared to say out loud.
I am four months into my medical treatment, and on 3 antidepressants. I am still a work in progress, but starting to feel like myself again. I truly believed I would not get the woman I was before back. That my demons had finally taken over who I was and turned me into a person I didnt want to me. Happiness is a thing for me now. I go weeks without crying and its been about two months since the feeling of not wanting to exist has crossed my mind. I still have my bad days and low points. But, coming from where I was to where I am... Holy Shit!
Glor;ous is tattooed on my wrist to remind me that life is glorious and worth living.
Speak out, and seek help. You ARE worth it. Life is worth living even if you don't see it just yet.
So far I have attempted to start FOUR blog posts. None of which had a purpose to appeal to an audience I have but, to release what is on my mind. Do I want to write something sad that is on my mind? Do I want to write about when I was suicidal? Or the heartbreak I recently experienced? Or did I want to write something meaningful? Did I want to write about an experience so I can stop reliving it over and over again in my head? BRITTANY WHAT DO YOU WANT!?
THAT is the hardest question “what do I want?”. You would think it would be a fairly simple answer. That some part of me would have things figured out or at least have a general direction. The truth is, I have no fucking clue what I want. I don’t know what I want to wear. I don’t know what I want for dinner tomorrow. I don’t know which direction I want my life to go in. I know nothing. I know nothing about myself. Recent self-reflections, although I have been told about it my whole life, has determined that I don’t give a FUCK about myself and give too many fucks about everyone else. There I said it! I admitted to it. Now what…?
What I want has never mattered to anyone else, so why should it matter to me? And most certainly, why now? I can answer that for myself… BECAUSE I FUCKING MATTER. Yup… it almost took 30 years for me to realize that I matter. I spend too much time thinking about what others think of me or how they feel about me, that I forget to stop and do that for myself. I am always so busy that I can't take time for myself. Or that is what I tell my many therapists who have all told me that I need to. But what takes up this time? I have so many questions. I need to speak to a supervisor because I am clearly not in charge.
I can list a million little things that I want off the top of my head. Years from now though, none of those little things will have a big affect on my life. Gotta think BIG Brittany! You can do it… what does Brittany want most of all? OH! WAIT! I KNOW! IT’S BEEN THERE ALL ALONG! OOOO Pick me! Pick me! I will tell you.
Brittany wants to learn to love herself the way she loves others. No… not just in the “I am woman hear me roar” or “body positive” way. But the true honest love. The kind where you love the demons as much as the angels. THAT kind of love.
My whole life I was taught, not just by my mother, to hate aspects of me. To dislike certain quirks of mine. To be different. Change how I spoke and how I carried myself. Even how I looked or how I dressed. Although I put on a good act that I do it now, its not true. I am self-conscious and more than anything just want to go unnoticed.
I want to love all the fucked up parts of me. The parts that people make fun of because they can’t understand. Like when I get uncontrollably angry when I am over stimulated and frustrated. When I cry because I don’t know what else to do. The parts that are naked; psychically and mentally. Me without eyebrows. I want to love the good parts too, not just high five myself. I want to love my intelligence and my tenacity. Love that I am a survivor of abuse and trauma. I want to love my creativity and embrace it more often.
I want to love myself more than I love others.
I have continued to put others first and myself second. It’s time I come first. I’m done apologizing for who I am and what I’m not. I am a work in progress and continuously changing. If you don’t like it, I accept that. In the end… I am the one alone with my thoughts. I am the one staring in the mirror while putting on my makeup. I am the one attempting to earn a decent living. I am the trying to survive this life. Not only survive but thrive.
I deserve the world. And if no one is going to give it to me, then dammit, I’m going to give it to myself. ♥
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you go of things not meant for you. -Buddha
In my short 30 years life, I have learned quite a bit and yet not enough. One thing I am working on is the power of letting go. Letting go of what I don’t have control of and giving power to what I do. Each and every day I am baffled by how far I have come and how much more I need to grow. A while ago I learned that letting go allowed me to mature more than I knew was possible.
This is a letter to my mother. Not for her but for me.
It has been over a year since we have held a conversation. Over a year since I have told you what was going on in my life or how my day is going. Over a year since I have told you my fears or my accomplishments. Over a year since I have said, "I love you" and for you to say, "I love you more".
I have made the decision to not include you in my life; yes. However, it would be a lie if I said I hadn't missed you or thought about you. There have been days when I felt I needed your hug or your smell. The illusion of a safe place... You weren't always bad at the mom thing. Although those thoughts and feelings do make their presence occasionally, I still stand by my choice.
I have no control over your personal thoughts, feelings or actions. I do have control over if I allow myself to live around it or live without it. Because I wanted you so bad to be the mother you will never be, I made the decision to live without it. It was not an easy choice to come to and there have been many sleepless nights where it has been on my mind.
Recently It was brought to my attention that you feel like you did an excellent job as a mother. I congratulate you on those feelings and will not convince you otherwise. Instead, I free you of any anger or resentment I have had towards you in the past. After this letter, the thought of you will not get one fraction of my energy. I have chosen a path in my life that I no longer given time and energy to things that don't make me happy or bring me joy. One thing you did as a mother well is teach me how to disconnect and learn to live without you. Had you not done that so well, I wouldn't be strong enough to learn to let go of my anger.
I wish you nothing but the best on any adventure life gives you. Thank you for giving me life and leaving my all the family photographs. Initially, I was incredibly sad that you let them go so easily. However, the very selfish part of me is grateful I have them to hold on to.
Again, I free you, as well as myself, of any anger or resentment and wish you the best.
Sincerely Your Only Daughter,
After spending a wonderful yet long Saturday afternoon with my nephew, I get the pleasure of sitting next to him on my couch listening to him snore. As I look at him I can feel my heart growing in my chest and tear welling up in my eyes. How could anything be so perfect? I don't have children of my own, and I imagine this will be the most of my experience for a little while longer. This moment, this feeling, makes me want to tell the world about Jason.
Jason is the only child of my baby brother and the only niece/nephew from a blood relative. I am a firm believer that love is not defined by blood nor is family. I have step siblings who have other nieces and nephews and I have friends who's children I view just the same.
The whole time Jason was in his mom's tummy I couldnt wait to meet him and to spoil him. However, there was a dark cloud of fear that hung over my head. My best friend has a daughter, who was 2ish at the time that Jason was born. I was VERY close with them. Her daughter had a special place in my heart, and we shared a close bond. My fear was, what if I don't love my nephew as much as I do my friend's daughter? What if Jason and I dont have that bond? I was worried about being a horrible aunt to Jason because I had given my special love to someone else.
The week he was born was a week from hell for me. I no longer remember all the bad things that happened. I only remember the feeling of being in the hospital when Jason's mom went in to labor, and thinking "this trumps all that other bad stuff". We knew with Jason being so big and already over cooked, that it was going to be a long night. All other family members went home, but I couldnt. I had to stay... Maybe it was because I didnt want to leave or because I thought my brother needed or because I have always been afraid to miss out on something. No matter the reason I am so glad I did. Although my brother and his girlfriend gave there blessing for everyone to go home, they still needed someone there. My brother needed someone there. At a very young age, not quite an adult himself he was going to be a dad. In those moments it was becoming real to him. While him girlfriend tried to get some sleep, I went and got him food and we talked for a little bit. I believe that night, although we have always been close, we grew even closer because he knew I would never leave.
Jason didnt come into the world until the next day in the early afternoon via c-section. He was stubborn and comfortable. I remember being one of the last people to go into see him when they got the all clear. Remember my fear I mentioned earlier? As I was walking to the room my palms were sweating and my mind was racing. Then I walked into the room and see my baby brother, who my mom often referred to as "built like a brick shit house", holding tiny almost 10lbs Jason. My eyes started to tear and my brother handed my nephew to me. I look into his sweet little angel face and my heart about exploded. It was a feeling I have never felt in my life. It was LOVE, but I didnt know I was capable of loving someone THAT much until I held Jason. It was at that moment my fear went away and I knew we would share our own special bond.
This little boy taught me what to love beyond my own limits felt like, is going to be 5 in the fall. Because of my love for him I have an anatomical heart with marigolds around it tattooed on my arm. Everyone asks me the meaning behind it and I tell them its for my nephew because he is my heart.
My brother, although I may have not though so before Jason was born, was always meant to be a father. He is wonderful with Jason. Jason's parents do a fantastic job at raising a smart, funny, charismatic little boy who loves unconditionally.
Makeup is a powerful way to effectively reveal something unique about your inner self.
You know when you want to bake a cake and need to read the directions on the back of the box to get it just right. Well same here, but with makeup. Or so, I think. This will probably be poorly instructed and possibly poorly written. However, when I was doing my makeup and took the pictures, I had a lot of insightful and witty things to say. Hopefully, I can replay it now.
First and foremost, I am NOT a professional. I do NOT claim to be a professional. One thing you should know, that every single face is different. So, no single makeup routine will be alike. You need to cater to your face shape, eye shape, skin type, etc. I personally only learned this through many years of trial and error.
I have dry and sensitive skin. I do not have a special face washing routine and I don't wash my face every night before bed. More times than I would like to admit, I have worn my make up from the day before to work the following day. I do, however, wash my face every morning I take a shower. Which is about 6 out of the 7 days a week. I also ALWAYS moisturize. I believe a good solid foundation, pun intended, is built on a good moisturizing routine.
I use aveno moisturizer, or the Walmart brand. I take about two pumps and apply the moisturize in a circular motion, making sure to apply it to my neck as well. I allow it to set in or dry before moving onto my next step.
After the moisturizer sets in, I move on to my foundation primer. Just like most products, primers are specific to skin types. Some can make your face oilier, some can make your face feel cakey, etc. The characteristic I look for in a primer is light weight, and leaves my face feeling silky. SmashBox photo finish primer is one of my favorites. However, it is not my bank accounts favorite. Recently I found a drug store dupe that I love, love, LOVE. When I apply my primer, I take about a pea sized amount dab on my forehead, nose, and chin. Then I take the tube and do two lines on each cheek. From there I gently rub it into my face, and make sure I get down to my neck. When it comes to skin care and makeup, never leave your neck out.
Before I start applying my foundation, I must prep my foundation application tool. Each person has their own preference. For a long time, I used a stipple brush. That is until I decided to try a beauty blender. Since I first picked up a beauty blender, I have not been able to put it down. I have tried the oval brushes and the silicone thingy. Each had their positives but weren't for me. I am not going to lie. When I first decided to use a beauty blender, I looked at the tear drop sponge thing like it was a foreign object. HOW was this thing going to work and HOW does it work? I kept my cool and watch about a dozen YouTube videos. I learned the proper way to use it is to get it damp. (that's what she said). When you get the beauty, blender wet it grows and is bouncier. The purpose of this is to allow the foundation to have the most coverage but also a less harsh application process on your skin. Side note: if you are the type of person that applies foundation with your hands/fingers, do yourself a favor and STOP. Your fingers have a lot of bacteria on them that you are transferring to your clean face. Not only that but you are getting more product on your hands that you are on your face. What a waste!
note: All make up applicators need to be washed. This helps with no bacteria build up and keeping the product true to color. In order to clean your beauty blender all you need is a bar of soap and warm running water. Take the beauty blender to the bar of soap, under the warm water, and rub/scrub. Be sure to rise well. I wash the beauty blender about every three uses.
Most common question I get from other woman is how I get my make up to stay on all day and still look flawless. The answer is you SET the foundation. In order to set your foundation, you need a powder. You can use a translucent powder or anything similar. My personal preference is to use powdered foundation. For me it gives more coverage and that Photoshop look. I take a normal powder brush, that I dont know the name or brand of, and apply the powder foundation all over my face and neck. I dab the brush in my under eye, side of my nose and smile line so my foundation doesn't crease or separate.
Did I mention there are two steps to setting your foundation? This second step is optional, and I only use it occasionally, when I'm feeling extra fancy. I had discovered this when I was browsing through YouTube one day, decided to try it and I love it! Does anyone else have a little bit a peach fuzz on their face that powders tend to cling to and then it makes it more noticeable or just me? If you fall into this category, look no further, I have the trick for you. After you have applied your foundation, concealer, and set your foundation with a powder, take a setting spray and saturate your face. Now, I dont mean soak, and I dont mean a gentle mist. Wait a little until the setting spray becomes tacky. Once the setting spray is tacky you then want to take the same end of the beauty blender that you used to apply your foundation and dab. This gives you an even more flawless finish, and helps make that peach fuzz less noticeable.
For me, it’s this point I see my face as an even blank canvas. I now can achieve whatever look heart and creative mind desires. It really all depends on what diva is making her appearance for the day. For the purpose of this blog this will be my everyday diva.
Finally, the finishing touches to my face before we move onto my eyes. Depending on eye shadow color, and the look Im trying to achieve, depends on what color blush Im going to use. My favorites are mauves, and peaches. Most articles I read say to apply blush to the apples of your cheeks. But for me personally I think it makes my face look larger and I look like a ragdoll. Instead I apply my blush 80s style. The same way I have seen my mom apply it time and time again. At the tops of my cheek bones and work my way towards my apple. It still adds color to the apples of my cheeks but it doesnt bring attention to it. Now, the icing on the cake, sprinkles on a sundae... highlighter. I take my regular tapered highlighter brush to apply it, ensuring to blend and not create a line, to the areas of my face that already naturally draw light. I only enhance my face. That is the purpose of a highlighter, just in case you didnt know.
For the final touches on the eyes... With all my years of experience I have yet to master the perfect winged eyeliner. Most days each side looks different, but I rock it any way. I never let a failed attempt discourage me. I always practice and look for/try new techniques. I start off by taking a liquid eyeliner pen and draw a triangle. The triangle is supposed to be the winged part of the eyeliner. From there I bring liquid eyeliner from the inner part of my eyelid to the triangle to fill it in. You want to stay close to the lash line and build from there. Again, keep practicing. After the less than perfect, but made a good effort, eyeliner is applied I curl my lashes and coat them in mascara. The top lashes get two coats and the bottom lashes get one coat.
There you have it. The much longer than anticipated, probably poorly instructed/written, make up tutorial. I certainly hope you were able to gain some insight on the application process or were at least able to chuckle.
she was drowning but nobody saw her struggle...
Everyday I feel parts of myself getting better. You know the ones that are always so sad you can feel your heart breaking when you cry. Those parts are better. But the broken ones, the ones that I don't know if I can fix... those get the best of me most days. I am lucky enough where I don't wear those fears and feelings on the outside anymore. I can tell the medication I am on is helping with that. But that doesn't mean those thoughts still don't consume me every moment of every day.
Lately, I'm starting to question if I'm a good person or not. I don't feel like I am. I feel like I disappoint people often and eventually everyone leaves. I know in my heart of hearts that there are better people in this world than me, and people are better off without me. It's not the suicide thoughts anymore; its the isolation ones. I always had the biggest fear of being alone, but lately I find myself more at ease being alone. If I'm not around people or I'm not part of someone's life, I can't hurt them. In a way that is me projecting because honestly, in the back of my mind, I know I fear them hurting me or leaving me. Its a coping mechanism.
There are days, the really bad ones, where I want to run. Not run away but run into someone's arms and cry. I want to let someone else be my strength for even a minute while I let my walls down. It's incredibly hard having to be strong all the time, and being the one that has to have the answers or figure it out. I chose to disassociate myself from my mom, but I would be a liar if I said I don't wish she were here for that. When she had her good moments, and she was a real mom, that was something she was really good at. But I don't have that, and I don't even know if that was a ruse or not.
When I was younger I used to have really bad nightmares, and they even followed me into adulthood. I remember some so vividly and others not so much. All of them pretty much where the same though. Everyone left...and left me alone with the bad thing. I would try to stop them from leaving, try to scream, something to get them to notice they forgot me and I wasn't safe. But no matter how hard I tried, I was still left alone with the bad thing. What if those nightmares were premonitions of my future? What if it was my mind preparing me for the worst of the worst. Now... don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't have anyone. I have plenty of people in my life who love me and I know won't leave me. But its not the same as letting your guard down and having a moment of weakness. That is raw and real and scary.
I know this post may seem erratic and irrational but this is how my mind works. On a daily basis I have a fight within myself that I will never win. Its like have a devil and angel on your shoulder. But for me its two different mindsets fighting against one another.
Today was a bad day for me anxiety wise, nothing I could do would keep me calm for a long period of time. While writing this I cried, I cried real tears. Maybe this blog was the best choice of my life. I need to get my thoughts out before the consume me. I don't need anyone to make sense of them, because honestly... who can. I just need to speak my truth. I feel a weight has been lifted off of my mind and I may be able to get sleep tonight with little effort.
whomever takes the time to read these. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the journey into my crazy mind...
You keep it on the inside because that is the safest place to hide.
These demons, the ones I keep locked in the darkest places in my mind, are finding their way to break free. A way to live on the surface and to overtake me. They want control over every thought and action in my life. I have to fight. I have to fight to save myself because if I don't then who will?
I labeled myself as a fighter. So much so that I have a tattoo of the word "fighter" hidden in plan sight. I see myself this way because I have overcome a lot in my still short life. Even on the darkest of days I had always found a way to push through and keep fighting. There were times where that felt almost impossible to do. Yet somehow, I would come out strong. A many of the battles I have fought have been within myself. My own feelings, irrational fears, reactions to situations, etc. I am my own worst enemy.
What I failed to realize over the years was that there was much more going on with me than what I thought. Growing up I was told I was overdramatic, that I could be an actress. Really, it was a perfectly acceptable reaction to anxiety and stress induced by years of mental, physical, and emotional abuse. Later on in my adult years, after finally going to therapy, I found out that I have severe anxiety with PTSD. Like most people, I thought that PTSD was only for those who served in the military. However, after research and asking my therapist A LOT of questions it came to light that PTSD can happen to anyone who has experienced severe trauma in their life.
As I was going to therapy and learning more about these repressed memories, feelings and resentment I had hidden, I became closer to my aunt. She started to take me in as one of her own; already having two kids as it was. But, it was like I was always meant to be part of the family. It was during this time that my baby cousin became my hero. An unfortunate traumatic situation happened, and it left her with similar struggles as my own; only more severe. Being there with her to see how she was handling and coping with what was happening, made her brave in my eyes. She was so outwardly out spoken and open about the struggles she faced. Even when she couldn't put feelings to words. I admired that. She also never let anything sway her from who she was as a person. She is so loving, compassionate, and has the best sense of humor. Witnessing her fight made me want to work on mine. Without her unknowing influence I would have not sought the help I needed. It was also with the support and unconditional love of my aunt, her mother, that I was able to see it through. I will forever be grateful for them.
My name is Brittany Sergent and I have Anxiety with PTSD from years of child abuse. My anxiety had gotten so severe and the fight inside me died that I became very depressed. My choices were reckless and there were many of days/nights where I wish it would all just end.
Somewhere along the way I lost all my favorite parts of myself. I kept searching for a reason or something to blame. The harder I looked the more I realized that I am the reason for my own unhappiness. Although there are many factors in my life that have had happened to me, everything has been my choice. The reason I was able to overcome these feelings before was because of my mentality. I was stronger than my demons, and my own personal feelings. Somewhere along the way I stopped fighting. I stopped caring about myself, what I looked like, how I felt every day etc. It has always been important to me to get up everyone morning and put my damn self together. It got to the point where those days were few and far between. I stopped caring. I knew I needed help, more than therapy. I needed something that was stronger than me. I finally swallowed my pride, and got the courage to talk to my doctor.
Although it has only been a few weeks since I have started antidepressants and anxiety medication, I have finally started to feel like myself. I used to have such strong feelings about not taking medicine and going about my healing in a more holistic manner. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time in the day and enough Zen in the world to help put my trouble mind at easy. When I sought additional treatment I feared becoming a zombie or numb. Even with all the crazy emotions I felt when life was bad they were equally as powerful when life was good. I love with my whole heart. I am also crazy, vivacious and outgoing. I didn't want that to go away too. I truly felt like I would much rather live with all my demons than risk losing those other parts that I loved.
I took the risk, knowing everything was my decision and if I turned into this person I feared I might... I could stop the medications and be Brittany again. To finally reach out and ask for help with my mental health medically was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I don't have a cripplingly sadness or a sense of failure every minute of every day. I'm not a zombie or completely numb either. I can finally cope with the world around me and enjoy it for the first time in a really long time. Ironically enough, my coworkers have also started noticing a difference in me as well.
Although I am getting better, I am still healing. Recently, within the last month, I had to call into work. I just couldn't do it. Couldn't bring myself to leave the house to face the world. I was so sad that anything I thought about left me in tears. On the opposite end I was extremely anxious because I was worried people would be mad that I called in for a stupid reason. But my mental health is not stupid. I matter. And if I needed a day to cry, lay down and snuggle with my pets, I could do that. And I did!
I matter! And it's important that I take care of me, because there is only one.
This is what anxiety and depression looks like. Most would describe me as outgoing, fun, humorous, and determined. But what you don't know is the countless nights I have laid awake worrying, how often I fell to pieces on the floor crying, or not being able to leave the house because of the irritation fears/anxiety.
It's often that a person that suffers from anxiety/depression fights in silence or in the comfort of their home. Anxiety and depression is seldom shared with friends, family, or loved ones. Most people choose not to share what they are going through because they feel like they are annoying and obnoxious. My advise if someone decides to open up about what they are going through, just listen and show love. Show them that they mean something in this world. By being willing to listen, it shows the person that their feelings are valid. Although it may sound irritation and a little off the wall, what the person is going through and feeling is very real to them.
Love, listen and support positive changes. Everyone needs that in their lives.
"One of the greatest journeys in life is overcoming insecurity and learning to truly no give a shit"
I have failed myself...
Growing up, like most kids, I was bullied. Go figure... Kid in the 90s. Who would have thought. For me, I was bullied about my weight and being a "goody-goody". I was even "bullied" at home; that is a story for another day. It was difficult for me to understand why kids were so mean to me. What about me made me a target? I so bad wanted to be liked by everyone but I still wanted to be my unique self. In the process of this, I developed an unhealthy coping mechanism. No one could make fun of me and put me down if I beat them to the punch line. There it was! A genius move by Miss. Brittany Sergent. Not only could my feelings not be hurt but I could make people like me by making them laugh. What I didn't realize was in the process I started to ruin how I saw myself. I saw myself as the DUFF. Because I accepted that as who I was, that was who I became. I never thought more of myself. This was perceived as being confident in who I was. When really, I was just being complacent and not loving myself the way I should. With that came an eating disorder, depression and anxiety.
When I had bariatric surgery to lose the necessary weight I needed to in order to be "healthy", I started to see the woman I felt on the inside. You know, that diva who is so sure of herself scratching to get out. Only few people actually walk the earth as that person. But for me, she was being born. I had promised myself that I would never talk about myself in a negative way again. Yes, I am different. But that did not make me any less wonderful. It has been years since my surgery and like most patients I have gained some of the weight back. Due to unfavorable influences from a past relationship, my unhealthy image came back... I failed myself because I broke my promise. On a daily basis I consistently put myself down in a humorous manner. And the only reason is because I am insecure again. I lost the diva I once had and I want that bitch back!
Going forward I'm going to work on building myself up instead of knocking myself down. Taking the extra time to feel beautiful just for me. Be proud of accomplishments instead of focusing on failures. I'm also going to work towards making myself fully into the woman I am on the inside.
Thankfully, I am in a loving relationship with a man that tells me how beautiful I am even when I just wake up. You know, when you have the world's worst bedhead, eyeliner down your face, and for me... missing half of an eyebrow. I want to see myself through his eyes and love myself like that.
I implore others to love themselves a little more as well and help others build themselves up. Let all insecurities die within us because they no longer have a place in this world. You have one life and one body...make the most of it. ♥
"One of the hardest things you will ever have to do, my dear, is to grieve the loss of a person who is still alive"
Growing up, I had two siblings both close in age, living in a single parent household. Naturally, because of the all the hardship we faced in our younger years my siblings and I grew rather close. Me being the middle child and the only girl I took on the mothering role and the role of the protector at a very young age. I would defend my older brother in any shenanigans that he was up to and I would protect my little brother from really knowing the truths of our childhood. Both I loved very dearly and each in their own special ways. My older brother and I were closest in age, only 15 months apart. So, just like any other annoying little sister, he was my best friend. I looked up to him and I believe he looked up to me to. Whatever one couldn't do, the other could and we always had each others backs.
It wasn't until our early teens that things really began to change. We each started becoming our own person and showing interests in separate activities. Each of us had our own coping mechanisms to deal with what was going on in our lives at the time. Not only were we dealing with the hormone changes as teens and trying to be what we thought was "adult" but we also didn't have a very stable household (to lightly put it). I was a "goody-goody" and focused on school/extra curricular activities. My older brother, he focused on trying to fit in somewhere, making not smart choices, and self medicating. It was at this point the disease took him over. It was easier to "be cool" and self medicate than to deal with real life. He also has mental illnesses, like a lot of people do, that required him to take medication. Those medications he HATED. They made him feel like a zombie and not feel at all. That is why I refer to "self medicating". Really he was just using drugs... First it started with huffing duster in middle school, then smoking weed, then taking muscle relaxers, and just kept escalating from there. Knowing what I know now, after getting to know him as an addict and talking to other addicts, there is nothing like that first high and you are always searching for it.
His addiction and our unstable household tore the family apart. It continued to escalate. I don't quite remember what low he hit for him to decide to go to rehab the first time around, but I remember the day we picked him up. My brother had to been about 20. The whole car ride home he would not stop telling stories, the things he learned, and his plans for the next steps in his recovery. He had so much hope and light to him. It had been so long since the last time I had seen him like this.
While he was in rehab I got the serenity prayer tattoo on my shoulder for him because I was so proud of his recovery at the time. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Now I realize, this is a prayer that everyone should live by.
In the beginning he did really well... Went to meetings, was open about what he was facing, got a job, and seemed like he really wanted to get his life together. Unfortunately, sobriety didn't last long and he started using again. I could feel him slipping away. He stole, lied, manipulated, anything possible to get a fix.
I distinctly remember after he came home from another stay in rehab he confessed to me about his heroin use. I was in shock. MY brother wouldn't use hard drugs. MY brother would never do anything so idiotic as to risk his own life for a high. That's when I started to realize... he wasn't MY brother anymore. Addiction took him from me and my family. It breaks my heart to say that I haven't talked to my brother in almost two years. There were a few times up until the point we stopped talking that he was sober, and my brother was back. That was only a glimpse of the person he once was because shortly after that addiction took back over and he was gone again. Our falling out was not dramatic and there wasn't a big scene. I simply stopped replying to his messages. There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss MY brother but I know that man rarely walks this earth anymore. I have to live with that.
It angers me when people insert their opinions about addiction without opening up themselves to understanding it. I fully admit I was closed minded and I thought everyone had a choice. My brother chose drugs over his family. I was wrong...
I will always be thankful for my first "love" for opening up the opportunities for me to gain insight on what addiction is about. He himself was an addict and when he chose to be in recovery I was there every step of the way. I went to Nara-Non meetings (for the family members off addicts) and I went to NA meetings (for the addicts). This opened up my eyes to new perception on addiction. Addiction doesn't care if you are black or white, rich or poor, gay or straight, single or married, loving household or broken house hold, it is not biased. I have seen the look in the addicts eyes when they talk about what they have done, learned and what their plan is. You can see in each one of them the haunting of the demons that plague them and the fear of their possible return. I myself am not a religious person and chose not to discuss my beliefs. However, I could see why God or a Higher Power is so important in recovery. You need support greater than yourself to overcome what was greater than yourself.
Addiction is a disease, not a choice.
Now, some may call me a hypocrite or ignorant and that is okay. Just because I understand that addiction is not a choice, does not mean I have to allow it into my life. My family is plagued with addiction; drugs and alcohol. I have made the choice to set healthy boundaries and detach from the addicts in my family. I am a co-dependent and the presence in each others' lives made no one healthier.
To my older Brother, I miss you. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about you and wish you well. I hope one day, when you are fully in recovery we can reconnect and be apart of each others lives. I love you.
The federal Center for Disease Control reported that more than 72,000 Americans died in 2017 from drug overdoses, a record number. In Michigan, The CDC estimate 2,662 Michigan residents died from drug overdoses in 2017, a 82% increase over five years and an 8% jump from 2016.