This semester has already proved that it was going to be a difficult one.  I guess that any time one is taking 17 credit hours of college work it is a crazy time.  I am also working roughly 32 hours a week which is adding to my somewhat complicated schedule.  I am continuing to do really well with keeping up at this point, but blogging as much as I had started to do recently just hasn’t happened.  I have missed reading other posts, and talking to those of you that comment frequently on my posts.  I am however doing as well as one can with my schedule.

There is one other thing that is new to my life and that is medication.  Until this point in my life I have not done well or felt good about being on medication for psychological reasons.  Recently, however, I have felt that the roller-coaster that is my emotions was just too much for me to handle with everything else.  I talked to my campus nurse about medication options and she was really happy to work with me on finding something that is right for me.  I am on the third day of medication as it stands and I am not sure that we have perfected the dosage and everything that comes with it, but I am doing really well.  I feel clear and calm as opposed to stressed and anxious all the time.  The best part is that my major mood swings have toned down a ton. I still feel like myself which is something that I worried about previously and I think maybe I feel like even more myself now.  I am definitely happy with my decision.

The thing that I was the most worried about before I started taking medication was felling like I was defeated.  Like my emotions were getting the best of me and I had to resort to something drastic to do what everyone could deal with on their own.  I felt like I was abnormal and weird and like I’d be looked down on.  I feel very different about this now however.  I feel like I have the ability to control my emotions where my emotions were controlling me before.

I’d like to encourage you to not be afraid of taking care of yourself psychologically because of the stigma that can be found in that regard. Psychological hygiene is very important to your overall health, just as important as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Take care of yourself out there and remember there is always hope and there are always people who care about you.

Anna

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In all of the amazingness that has been going on in my life the last few months, despite the challenges I’m continuing to overcome, there are still trials in front of me that seem to be beyond me – beyond what I can handle – beyond the positive attitude I put on every morning.  The biggest of these struggles is with a word so harsh I almost don’t want to write it out here in my safe place – the real f word, forgiveness.

You see I’ve been through some things. I’ve gone through a lot of things – bad things…. terrible things.  I’ve shared some of those things here and some of them I’m still searching within myself for strength to write about.  I’m hurt. I’ve been broken and I’m still putting the pieces back together.  I’ve been away from it all for years now.  I’ve overcome so much since then.  I moved miles away. But, it’s still attached to me. I’m still glued to it, and no matter what I do or where I go I can’t run from the things that I’ve been through – the abuse, the trauma… it’s all still hurting me, over and over again.  And you know what, it always will. It always will until I learn to forgive the people who have done this to me.

It seems like it should all be so simple, but it’s not. It’s so hard to forgive the people who have hurt me so deeply.  It doesn’t seem fair.  They haven’t apologized. They don’t see a reason to apologize. They’d do it all again.  It’s not about that though. This is about me. This is about freedom and I want to be free.

This is a process that I’m working on and I guess I really don’t know how its going to work.  It’s so easy to say that I forgive the people in my life that have done this, but it’s another thing entirely for it to really be true.  It’s like it keeps undoing itself – unraveling again and again.  I just have to keep forgiving.

Don’t be afraid to post your thoughts down below or tell me about a time you found it hard to forgive someone. As always don’t forget that there is hope out there and that there is always someone who cares.

Anna

It’s been a few days since I made my last post, and that makes me feel bad sometimes. I don’t like not posting at all, but I’ve been so busy. At this point, I am working full time, while taking 16 credit hours of Psychology classes. Things have been too busy to be depressed – to busy to think about the awful things that sometimes go through my head. However, things have not been too busy to keep me from being stressed. I’m hoping things with school and work calm down soon and allow me calm down as well.

This semester is going to be so good though.  I can feel it. I’m going to learn so much about psychology and how to help people better and that brings me so much hope.

I have a post in the works that I’m really excited about sharing soon! Unail then remember that there is hope and you are loved!

-Anna.

Today, I moved back onto campus for the fall semester and it was a really encouraging experience.  It is always nice to feel like you have a fresh start, that anything can happen, that you can be whoever you want to be. It is so easy to forget that every day is a fresh start – that any individual has the power to take control of his or her life at any point.  Life doesn’t just have to happen to you.  You have the right and responsibility to take over and live whenever you chose to.

College has been socially a little difficult for me and the last few weeks I have been dreading being back on campus.  Today reminded me that I don’t have to just let all of that happen to me this semester.  I have the power to take control of things and live the way that I really want to.

As always remember that there is always hope and someone who cares!

Laters.

The past week or so I have felt like I have fallen from one of my highest mountains back into the same old rut again.  My temporary job ended last week and I get really stressed about money.  When I get stressed I tend to shut down and become unable to do the things that I need to do to prevent the things that I am stressing about from happening.  On top of those worries I am getting ready to move back onto my college campus.  Sometimes school gets really stressful for me too because I feel like I don’t fit in very well there due to some past issues that I won’t get into here (at least not at this time).

I’ve felt really bad the past few days and I’ve been really snappy with people who I really care about because of the anxiety that I’ve been facing.  I know that there is no reason to be mad at anyone and that the people around me care and are trying to help me with the circumstances, but I lash out at them anyway and that isn’t hardly fair at all.  I get really mad at myself for doing this because it cuts up the only support system I have and just makes things worse.

Things have just been very difficult and I’ve felt pretty down. It’s okay though because this time I am identifying a problem – I can really see that there is a problem here where before I would just feel like everyone was mad at me for no reason.  I plan on running away with this problem and conquering it. I plan on making this a learning experience.  It is no fun that I feel bad at this point, but it feels satisfying that I am working on something good because I’m here right now.

With all of that in mind, this is my piece of advice for the day:  Sometimes a goal is all you need to pull yourself out of a hole.  (Yes it is a cheesy rhyme, but I feel like it is very true.)  Sometimes a goal can help you see things in a positive light.  So, when you identify a hole that you’ve fallen into try making a goal to help yourself out.  It helps to keep from borrowing in the hole and staying there.  Remember that there is hope and people who care.

It has been 3 years and roughly 4 months since the last time I have intentionally harmed myself. Because with time a lot of my former triggers are no longer as triggering, I have been able to do things that before would have been impossible because they would have triggered me. One of those things includes this blog which I started in order to spread awareness and hope in cases of depression, self harm, and other similar circumstances. Before now, I had to do things in doses. I couldn’t consistently post and read semi-triggering content because I would relapse into depression pretty easily. One of my former triggers was seeing pictures of other people’s self-inflicted wounds – a fairly common trigger I suppose.

Anyway, last night I was at work (remodeling at a grocery store) and replacing some shelves and one of the edges was bent and sharp and I cut my wrist on it. It was just a simple accident at first I didn’t even realize I was bleeding. In the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal. It’s not very big, it’s certainly not deep, and it’s clean. However, it’s bugging me more than I know how to put in words. I’ve had dozens of nicks and bruises while working this job, but for some reason the placement on my wrist this way still bothers me.

Just something I was thinking about and thought I’d share. Share your thoughts and comments below. And remember, you are absolutely cared about and there is hope.

Sometimes progress takes time. In my case, progress has taken years. Today I had a realization that completely astounded me – a realization that completely and totally blew me away. I have trudged on making itty bitty little baby steps and progress has seemed extrutiatingly slow, but when I look down the mountain I have been climbing now I feel strong and I see the work I’ve done as amazing. I don’t share this to brag. I don’t share this to inflate myself, but I share this that it might encourage you that there is some sort of hope out there.

The last time I went to Florida, I had just went through the most devistating trial I’ve had in my life to this point in time and I wore my battle scars. I spent the whole time wearing hoodies and long jeans and I was miserable and it was hot.  Looking back I see two reasons why I did this. First of all there is the obvious: I didn’t want people to see the hurt that I wore on my body. Secondly, I see that I was too insecure with myself to step outside the bounds of the gothy world I painted for myself. I could only feel safe being the person that fit into the stereotype that I had made my world.

Today is the very last day of my Florida Vacation and I am proud to say that I only once wore jeans the whole time (and not because I was insecure with myself.) It wasn’t until today that I realized how far I have traveled in these last few years. I am no longer just another goth girl. I am proudly just me – just Anna. I still love wearing black and going to metal concerts and dyeing my hair and such, but I’m doing that because it’s what I love to do and not because it’s what Gothic people do. It’s very freeing to see the progress I’ve made.

Don’t be discouraged if the progress you’re making is slow or if it feels like you’re not making progress. Be encouraged to know that progress does happen. Feel free to leave a comment and share the progress you’ve been making too.

Remember always that there is hope and you are loved.