Tag Archives: lifestyle

On Being Friends With You: Understanding Depression & Self Acceptance

You ever spend so much time with someone that you feel like you want and need some space to yourself? I feel like this is, generally, a concept understood and accepted by most people. Now, I’d like to invite you to also consider that the person that you spend the most time with is yourself. But, for the ~300 million people worldwide (World Health Organization, 2017, and that’s just what was reported) that live with depression, this may not be such a great relationship. For those people, living with depression is like living with someone that you’ve spent too much time with and can’t get away from.

Sometimes I like to think of my depression like a mini version of myself that I can control. I watch a lot of Black Mirror on Netflix (think ‘White Christmas’ if you’re a fan; if not it’s a 10/10 so, put the blog down…back away slowly and pull up a tab and get to watching, this is not a drill). Thinking of it this way helps me externalize things and gives me a sense of control. This is what works for me. I once read an amazing Reader article on Buzzfeed by someone that likened their depression to a “bad dog”. That one can be found here and is a personal favorite.

Now, to put it this way is really watering things down. Often times depression shows herself with other, different faces, like anxiety or anger. These are the faces that are less commonly recognized as depression but are still her, through and through. Depression is cancelled plans. She is sleepless nights. She is sleeping all day. She is eating everything and eating nothing. She is screaming at your loved ones, your mail man, and your pizza delivery guy. She is not showering for days. She is hyper vigilance. She is isolating into the depths of your apartment to watch reruns of a show that has been off the air for years. Depression knows no age, she doesn’t care about the color of your skin or what vibrations your throat makes when you speak your native tongue. She doesn’t care who you pray to, what you stand for, or what you believe in.

I know what you’re thinking. How can all those things be depression? Some of those things seem to compete with one another. You may have heard that depression is an inability to sleep and eat, listlessness, fatigue, etc. and you’re right. These are many of the symptoms of clinical depression. The other symptoms however, are common of atypical depression, which is characterized by oversleeping, overeating, mood disturbances, etc.

Let’s talk stigma.

Because depression can happen to anyone, understand that not everyone seeks treatment because not everyone believes in treatment. Remember when I referenced the 300 million people worldwide that have depression and said that this was just what was reported? This is because many cultures do not recognize depression as even existing, much less being a legitimate thing that they should be seeking treatment for. My purpose for writing this is obviously because I’m sharing my own experience, but I’m also providing some education here on how to understand this from all sides.

I feel like this post would be lacking if I didn’t mention the misgivings I feel people have about those that suffer, and I mean truly suffer with their illness. People with depression often get labeled as ‘lazy’. We’re not lazy- we’re SAD. We’re SAD and we need a sense of empowerment and control. I’ve seen some of my friends get disappointed or angry if I’ve cancelled plans, but if I need to put my mental health first I need to put my mental health first. I’m not flaky- I’m depressed. I’m not ditching you – I’m anxious and can’t be around other people sometimes. Sometimes I need to partake in some #boringselfcare (this is a THING- check it out on Instagram!) and wash my face and deep condition my hair. Seriously– sometimes my depression doesn’t let me do those things. Again: Not lazy, SAD.

To anyone out there that loves someone with depression: Please try to understand this. Your friend and loved one is going to have their bad days. Even if they’re in therapy, intensive outpatient program, or on medication, this doesn’t mean they’re “cured”. You can be in recovery, on medication, and still struggle. They’re going to have days where they don’t even want to be around themselves. Normalize and accept this and LOVE. THEM. ANYWAY. If you can’t do this, my suggestion is that you excuse yourself.

To anyone out there that has depression: Be friends with yourself. You spend a lot of time together. Something I’ve been trying to do lately is add one piece of self care to my ‘To Do’ list. I took a training last month that urged us to consider ourselves and do daily check ins and ask ourselves how we’re doing in each of the areas of wellness (Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Social). Essentially, these areas create a “Wellness Wheel”. The idea behind this is to check in with your wheel when you’re feeling “off” to help you identify and address why because when one section of the wheel is “deflated” the whole wheel can’t help run the car (you). Long story short– I went home and cried. Let’s just say my “Wellness Wheel” was more of a “Wellness Deflated F*cked Up Line”. Casual. But you know what, I KNOW I’m not the only one out there with a messed up Wellness Wheel (case in point my JOB for Pete’s sake). I’m fixing it one day at a time, the best I know how, and that’s okay.

So if you’re out there and you’re a little sad, or a lot sad, you’re struggling, you’re depressed, you need a shoulder, or you’ve got an ‘effed up Wellness Wheel, I’m with you and this one’s for you. We’re okay.







About That Time I Got Us a Floof

Well, friends, I’m now sharing my boyfriend with another woman.  She’s got gorgeous brown eyes, she’s with him all the time, he spoils the crap out of her, and she has a lot of love to give in return. Before you get too confused — she also has four paws, fur, and squats to use the bathroom. That’s right, we adopted our first doggo!

About three-ish-or-so months ago Matthew started playing around with the idea of getting a dog. Living upstate (STILL temporarily for work reasons, civil service is just the BEST #sarcasm), a dog would be a great companion for walks/runs and to make the days less lonely. Naturally, I thought it was a great idea. I’m a total dog person– Dog backwards is God and that isn’t a coincidence 😉 just sayin’.

So here was the catch. Matt’s always wanted a Husky. If you know me, however, you know that I have an affinity for a smaller breed. Matt and I won’t be apart forever. The plan is to spend our lives together– this was going to be OUR doggo, we agreed. But — real talk– the piercing blue “Husky eyes” freak me out and make me feel like my soul is being stolen from me. Judge me. Whatever. I’ll keep my soul, I need that. ANYWAY, I tried to get Matthew to agree on a Pitbull- NOPE. Shepherd? NOPE. Any smaller breed? FUHGEDABOUDIT. In fact, as he was getting his gallbladder removed, Matt’s mom and I were on Petfinder for the entire 3+ hours just looking at little floofers looking for The One.

One day it happened. As I was laying in bed scrolling through Petfinder pages I found our dog. Her name was Ashika and she was being fostered in a kennel 15 minutes away from my job. She was the perfect compromise: not a Husky, not a Shepherd, but both. A SHEPSKY- with beautiful, BROWN eyes, and good with dogs and cats (very important, since Matthew’s parents have a pit-lab mix)! I immediately did the application before I even sent her picture to Matthew; I knew he would love her. He did. (I believe his exact response was something along the lines of “Alex!!!!! What if I want to eat her up!!!!!?”) I received an email back within an hour from Cindy from the ATeam Elite Pet Rescue, approving our application and asking if we could come in that weekend. As fate would have it, Matthew was scheduled to be home that weekend. We made the appointment and Matt met me there after work that Saturday.

FUN FACT: The ATeam Elite Pet Rescue group is EXCELLENT. I highly recommend them. It is a husband and wife team that pulls Shepherds/Huskys from kill shelters and pays for their medical treatments and finds them a home. They work through Petfinder and call themselves the ‘ATeam’ because they give all of their dogs ‘A’ Names on the site! ADORABLE.

Back to the story. We weren’t too keen on her given name, Ashika. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t what we would have picked. When we got there we noticed she wasn’t responding to it. When we asked about it, were told that we could name her anything we wanted and that Ashika was just a “paperwork name”; the little baby didn’t have a name!! Almost 3 years old and she didn’t have a name! She was essentially being used to breed. She was from Texas and they pulled her from a kill shelter in an area where people were breeding dogs like her and were always looking for younger puppies. She was malnourished, but despite all this she was friendly and you could see that she had a great temperament. We were in love.

We were given all the documentation on her shots and her microchip, as well as her spay, which was all included in her adoption fee. Since this was, hands down, the most difficult year of Matthew’s life, I made the very easy decision to take care of all the fees as an early Valentines/Birthday/I love the crap out of you present. I do love the crap out of that guy. And I love the crap out of our little floof, Dakota, or as we are calling her, Kodi. (Heart eyes emoji)

Maybe I’m not a small breed person after all. She’s so cuddly and so smart. I feel like a proud mom. She LOVES the car, which is good because she goes wherever Matthew goes. She’s so good on her leash and in Petco, and she loves all people and dogs! She crate trained pretty well, too. My little family is pretty tubular and I feel like we did a pretty adult thing. YEAH ADULTING! NOW ON TO THE NEXT THING: TAXES!

At the end of the day, it’s all about who you want to own a dog with.


I’m only funny in 160 characters.

Did you miss me? I haven’t posted in almost 6 months, so I hope you did. As much as I’ve missed writing, I’ve been really busy with a bunch of things over the last ~180 days (mostly crap) and I just haven’t had the time to do the things.

Let me sum up what I’ve learned in the last 6 months for you right here:

  1. I’m only funny in 160 characters. There have been times I’ve thought about writing about something funny that happened at work or in my personal life, but it’s been best served as a snappy tweet. Like the time my friends and I wound up running down the street from a Santa on a motorized scooter or the time my mom was yelling at me over something ridiculous so I started singing hymns to her. I’m a grown ass adult. I’d love to do stand up, but I feel like my best friends are the only ones that would laugh at my sarcasm and/or poop humor. Shout me out if you like poop humor.
  2. Sometimes even the people that are supposed to be your mentors let you down. It’s like when you find out that your parents aren’t superheroes and you realize that they’re just Gracie Lou Freebush and Eric Bob from New Jersey (you caught me, I watched Miss Congeniality last night) and don’t fight crime behind the scenes. It’s the same with your mentors. Sometimes they don’t do right by you, sometimes they don’t stand up for you when they should, sometimes you see the underside of a proverbial bus… I’ll stop there.
  3. Same thing with doctors. We finally found out that we spent over a year doing a million tests on Matthew (see: Boyfriend), including biopsies, painful and invasive tests, etc etc and it turns out it was his gallbladder the whole time. I’m no doctor, but doesn’t that seem like a really basic thing that should have been checked out a long time ago? I lost faith in doctors in 2015.
  4. I’m still comparing my Chapter 3 to others’ Chapter 10. FOMO is real. The desire to rush through your 20s and settle down is real. The only thing I haven’t experienced is the biological clock rush to have kids but I’m waiting for that to hit me like a ton of bricks. #Realtalk. I’m not ashamed to have put my career first, and I’d make that choice over and over again and I’m sure my boyfriend would too, but it just kind of stinks sometimes when I’m sitting at my desk wearing reindeer ears counseling clients about the importance of wearing deodorant and remembering to practice mindfulness knowing that I wish I was going home to my guy at the end of the day, that’s all. (That was just today, one isolated example, and it’s only 10:25am! Goodie.) All in all, my clients could pretty much ask me to walk over hot coals for them and I’d consider it. I mean, of course I wouldn’t do it, but I’d consider it more than I would for the average person. My career is SO much to me and I love working with these people. They’re some of the kindest, most resilient and genuinely impressive individuals and I’m lucky to know them.

That’s the main message of the tail end of 2017. I get that some people had a great 2017 (ie: Taylor Swift, and boy was her saying that controversial!), but I think for the vast majority it was pretty much the pits.

Let’s talk resolutions. First of all, I’m not calling them resolutions anymore. Why? Because it sounds shitty when you don’t do them. Let’s call them ‘INTENTIONS’. I think this is much more person-focused, positive, less cliché and kitschy language and I like the IDEA behind making an intention.

I’m looking to go into 2018 with a new set of intentions (or a new outlook on old intentions), most of which I INTEND to write about in the coming months as I battle with them. I wish for all of you reading that you find some comfort in my musings, battles, and off beat humor. Who knows, maybe I’ll be funnier in more than 160 characters and actually start my book or look into doing some stand up. Probably not.



Treat Yo Self 2017

I’m back! And it must be treat yo self 2017 because I’ve been doing some major treating of myself. But more on that in a little bit.

I didn’t realize how much this “blog” (again, am I qualified to call it that? are there some sort of rules or something to be a blog?) is doing for me until I went a few days without writing and felt like I missed it. I’ve always said I wanted to write a book, so this is good practice. I’m thinking maybe continued writing on here will help me hash out a topic in my mind.

Back to the topic at hand. TREAT. YO. SELF. 2017. If you’re not familiar with the radical idea a la Parks & Recreation (again, me with my television references, I KNOW) “treat yo self” is the idea of indulging in yourself for one day and spending money on things you wouldn’t normally do/buy for yourself. For me, treat yo self 2017 has been more of a several months marathon treat and let me tell you, I gotta stop. I’m turning 26 in basically a month and being broke at 26 aint cute. 

I’m definitely exaggerating here. I actually just don’t want to touch the money I’ve put away in my savings/retirement account; I won’t and shouldn’t. Someone recently told me that all my hustling must be paying off because I went away twice in January of this year and I got tickets to see a few bands and shows this summer. Let me tell ya, some days I feel like I don’t know the first thing about money but I do know this: it’s perfectly acceptable to go through periods of treating yourself and periods of hustling to pad that bank account. So that’s my secret! Some months I’ll hustle hard on the savings account, and others I will let loose and enjoy my damn life. The one thing I will always recommend is that, no matter what, always have an automatic transfer on Pay Day from your checking account to your savings account (it’s a smooth & painless way to plan ahead–you never see it come out, so you can do your best to ignore it). Now you know all my secrets. These, and bargain shopping, but the cat’s been out of that bag for a long time.

My last big purchase to conclude my own personal version of Treat Yo Self 2017 was a beach cruiser bicycle. Now it’s time for my to CYCLE back into ‘saving mode’. See what I did there? CYCLE! Because I bought a bicycle. Its a pun!… I know, I’m the worst. You’re still reading though 😉 so I haven’t alienated you yet.

Aaaaanyway, let’s pretend that didn’t happen. So, I’ve always had a love//hate relationship with fitness, but I’ve also always liked biking. I’ve been wanting a new bicycle for a while now and it seemed like the right time since the weather is getting so much nicer. Research shows that staying active has a positive influence on happiness, sleep hygiene, etc blah blah blah BLAH honestly I’ll do anything to stay active that doesn’t make me want to slam my head into the wall while screaming internally. If you’re one of those people that gets joyful at the thought of cardio…bless your soul but get the hell off my page. Just kidding! Don’t go! Stay and tell me your secrets!

If you’re reading this I hope you find some magical way to treat yo self. Also, I should point out that this actually does not have to involve spending any money at all! I can be a bit impulsive. It’s overrated. Some of my favorite cost effective ways to take care of myself are really simple and I’d like to share them. Sometimes something as simple as a good Netflix B list horror movie will do the trick or a Youtube documentary (check out twin studies and/or the ‘past life’ experience as told by children) can be consuming– in a good way. A novel, a nice walk, or a nice cup of tea/coffee can make you feel refreshed as well, mentally and physically so that’s a win-win in my book. I also have about 92387492374, but don’t quote me on that number, television shows I can recommend if you’re looking for a good laugh, cry, something deep to think about, etc. I don’t know when my love of television started, but between that and writing, I know it can bring me out of even the deepest of funks.

As I’m about to go dive into last night’s 2 hour season finale of Scandal (Shonda Rhimes has me wrapped around her finger) I cannot stress enough how important it is that you do something good for yourself each and every day– big or small, costly or free!


Raise Your Hand If You’ve Ever Felt Personally Victimized By (A) Regina George

Alright, friends. I’m going to make this one quick and dirty because I was supposed to be at my boyfriend’s house ~45 minutes ago (Sorry, Matthew! I know you subscribe to this).

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been body shamed! *Raises both hands emphatically*

Ok now raise your hand if you’ve ever been body shamed…wait for it… at the GYM.

Yup, it really just happened *shameless plug of blog title*. SO I was minding my business rocking out to some Good Charlotte (throwback I know, but I’m seeing them on Wednesday night and I have been getting myself pumped!) on the elliptical at Lucille Roberts. I go to Lucille, the ‘Women’s Gym’, because I’m self conscious and I fear judgment. I’M A HUMAN WITH FEELINGS AND FEARS–WHAAAT! WHO KNEW? I digress. Anyway, for whatever reason I didn’t think I would be subjected to self consciousness or judgment by other ladies. WELL, I was partially right because I made it a whole year and a half with no issues…until today some beyyyotch broke my streak.

So, like I said, I’m minding my own business when a fellow Fitgirl walks out of the bathroom and past my machine wearing almost the exact same outfit as me– she’s slender, she’s really pretty, & I think nothing of it. I pull out a headphone, because I’m about to tell her she has good taste (I’m friendly, I talk to strangers), and she proceeds to look me up and down and give me — THE LOOK. Now, I may sound paranoid here to some of you, but if you’ve ever struggled with your weight/your self image whether it be over OR underweight, you know The Look. This version of The Look was obvious. It was the ‘I wore it better and girlfriend, you’re really sweaty’ look that made me put my headphone back in and look at the ground red-faced (not JUST because I was really sweaty) and very embarrassed.

But you know what? I shouldn’t be embarrassed. Not in the slightest. I was at the gym making a healthy life choice. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. I have two preexisting conditions (#Resist) that make it difficult to manage my weight. PCOS & Hashimoto’s don’t define my life, but they do define some of the lifestyle choices I’ve had to make to live with these chronic illnesses. Does this judgy girl know that? Nope. Does she need to know that to be a decent human being and keep her thoughts off her face? Nope!

Anyway, my point is this: It takes no energy to be a nice human. Bodies are bodies and come in all shapes and sizes. I know I sound like an after school special, but forgive me and hang in there, because everything you’ve ever heard about the importance of accepting others is true. I’m me, so I know I’m pretty strong and can take some dirty looks, but what if I wasn’t? What if I was really fragile or had body dysmorphia or an eating disorder? How do you think something as simple as The Look would affect me? Probably not well I’d say.

Anyway, if you’re reading this, no matter what the hell you look like I think you’re beautiful! Unless you’re really judgy of others–just kidding, I could probably still at least tolerate you. Maybe.