We aren’t going to Ask for Help

People always say things like, “Don’t be ashamed to ask for help.” Or, “If you’re feeling depressed, get help.”

This isn’t bad advice. And, it almost always comes from a good place. Here’s the thing, though: if you’re really struggling with depression and/or severe anxiety, you’re most likely NOT going to be asking for help.

It’s not out of stubbornness or because of pride. It’s just a side effect of depression. It makes you lie to people. It makes you put on a front to let everyone think you’re doing fine, when you are not fine inside your mind at all.

Depression can follow a person every second of the day. Just because you see someone laughing and being social, doesn’t mean their depression isn’t lurking. It’s a disease that’s always there. A smile can hide a lot of pain. Emotions go deeper than a “surface” smile.

You cannot wait for someone with depression to ask you for help. You have to watch for the signs. You have to offer help. That can be in the form of a, “just checking on you” message, or a coffee date.

Little gestures may not seem like they’re breaking down walls, but sometimes those small acts of kindness are the only thing getting a person through the day.

It’s important to understand sufferers of depression aren’t weak, angry, or selfish. They’re just going through something. Love and support go a long way.

Don’t wait for a cry for help. Be the out-of-the-blue help a person may need. You never know the difference you can make.

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My Anxiety Tells me that you Hate me.

We’ve all had those days, right? The ones where you feel like everyone and everything is out to get you. The kind of day that makes you want to wall yourself up in your house and never leave again. This is what everyday feels like to those of us with Anxiety. It’s a feeling we have to push through every single day. Anxiety tells us to worry about people talking behind our backs. It tells us to be scared of judgement. It tells us to hide away. But, our heart tells us to love people. It wants us to be open and inviting. We’re social butterflies with social anxiety. We are the definition of an oxymoron.

Anxiety can make it feel like the whole world is against you. It lies to you. It kicks you when you’re down. It’s a constant nagging feeling in the back of your brain. It’s a lump in your throat when meeting new people. It’s paranoia when you walk into a quiet room. It’s fear of rejection. Anxiety is sometimes being afraid to leave the house because you know something is going to go wrong.

Living with anxiety is hard, because you know that when things are going good, it’s just a matter of time before it comes crashing down. It’s depression. It’s distancing yourself from the ones you love. (And being extremely grateful when those people don’t give up on you.)

When something goes wrong, a person with Anxiety will obsess over it. If we make a mistake, we will beat ourselves up more than anyone else is capable of doing. We apologize more than we should, and then feel like we’re being a burden for doing so.

If a person with Anxiety is backing off from you, don’t take it personally. We’re probably scared we’re going to lose you. We may seem unapproachable, but we are some of the most understanding group of people around. We know what it’s like to feel alone, and we don’t want anyone else feeling that way.

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The Physical Effects of Anxiety

Everyone knows the amount of emotional distress Anxiety Disorder can cause. It’s enough to bring anyone to tears. It’s enough to cause the strongest of people to just breakdown. I’ve been seen it bring complete defeat.

All of the emotional effects aside, anxiety can play a huge physical toll on your body.

Exhaustion

Every panic/anxiety attack sucks every fiber of energy out of your body. It can lead to not being able to leave the bed for the rest of the day. Your body and your mind can barely function sometimes.

Muscle aches

During an attack, every muscle in your body is tensed up. Spasms aren’t uncommon, either. Later, when your mind has relaxed, your body still feels like it’s been hit by a bus.

Headaches

When there’s a constant battle inside your brain, it’s bound to cause a headache. Even if just gr8 the sheer stress alone.

There are also several that may not effect everyone, but do effect some. For example: stomach ulcers, migraines, nausea, uncontrollable twitching, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and even suicide. Yes. Even suicide. I’ve seen this disease bring down those who tried to be strong for so long.

If you’re struggling, and feel like you’ve been strong for too long, please talk to someone. Get help.

( 1 800-273-8255 – suicide hotline, available 24/7)

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A Thank You to those that Love Someone with Anxiety.

To those of you married to someone with an anxiety disorder, the parents, the siblings, the friends supporting people with a mental illness: this is for you.

I think it takes a special kind of person to love someone with anxiety, unconditionally.

As someone that has anxiety, I know just how much patience it takes to deal with loving me. It takes understanding, and a kind heart.

If you are loving someone through their mental illness, you are more of a hero than you know. Every hug, late night talk, and reassuring smile makes us feel a little more normal again.

To those of you that sit in silence with us when we can’t find the words: you are speaking volumes.

To those of you that treat us like a normal human being, because that’s what we are: you make us feel sane.

To those of you that take the time to actually listen when we just need an ear: you’re helping us to get our emotions and feelings off our chests.

Living with a mental illness can be frustrating, challenging, lonely, and sometimes unbearable. But, having at least one person that knows just what to do, can make a huge difference in our lives.

You may not understand why we are the way we are, but you love us anyway. And, that is impressive. You will probably get aggravated with us. (Hell, we get aggravated with ourselves!) But, you don’t leave. You always stick by us. And, that is impressive. You show us compassion, even on the days we don’t want it. And, that is impressive.

YOU are impressive.

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10 Reasons St. Louis is a Beautiful City

I’m going to start this list off with the obvious:

1. The Arch.

This beautiful Gateway to the West is visible from almost every point in the city. It’s unique and huge. People from all over the world stop by St. Louis to visit it. I love seeing a crowd of diversity every time I’m there.

2. Affordability.

There is so much to do in St. Louis for little to no cost. Forest Park alone has a full week’s worth of activities. From the beautiful zoo, to the museums, to the Science Center, and even our outdoor theatre: The Muny.

3. Character.

Everywhere you go downtown, you will find huge amounts of character. There are so many beautiful buildings, parks, monuments, and homes. The structure is just amazing.

4. Laclede’s Landing.

I’m giving this it’s own number. From The Old Spaghetti Factory, to the wax museum, this area is one of a kind. You can walk on beautiful cobble stone streets, take a horse drawn carriage ride, or walk down to the river. It’s perfect for a night out.

5. The Nightlife

While St. Louis isn’t a huge city, it definitely lights up at night. Everyone needs to drive down Grand Avenue after the sunsets. And, of course, see a show at one of the theatres there!

6. The Views.

There’s just something about being on a roof top in the city. It’s so peaceful to me. There’s something interesting to see everywhere you turn.

7. Kiener Plaza

This lovely park downtown is great for the family. It has a wonderful view of The Arch and Courthouse. There’s places for the kids to play, and an awesome statue park. At Christmas time, they light the giant tree and have a skating rink!

8. Small Town Vibes

There are so many one of a kind, small businesses in the St. Louis area. Seriously! Just Google them!

9. The St. Louis City Museum

Again, I’m giving this one it’s own number. This place is a million square feet (slight exaggeration) of pure awesome! You could easily spend the entire day here and not even see it all. It’s filled with jungle gyms, hidden passageways, arcades, and restaraunts.

10. The People.

Last but, not least I’m giving a shutout to the ones that make the city what it is: the residents, workers, and tourists of the city. 🖤

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Five Quotes from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that are Actually Great Pieces of Advice

If I’m being completely honest here, I have to tell you that the movie, “Alice in Wonderland” scared me to death as a child! But, now that I’ve re-watched, as an adult, I actually found that there are pretty solid pieces of Advice throughout the film. 

1.

It’s ok to not where you’re going or where you’ll end up at all times. The road you’re taking will eventually get you where you need to be. 

2. 

 Don’t beat yourself for being “different” or “weird”. Everbody has their own quirks. We’re all unique, and that’s a great thing! 

3. 

I personally love this one. It’s a reminder for me to keep going and keeping growing as a person. Always try to be better than the person you were yesterday. 

4. 

Don’t judge others. We all have our problems. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. 

5. 

This quote reminds me to use my imagination and get inspired. Growing up doesn’t mean we need to lose our imagination. That’s what makes art. 


 There are so many more great quotable moments in “Alice in Wonderland”, but these are just a few of my personal favorites. I think we can all learn a little something from each character in the movie. It’s alright to be different; you just have to love yourself. ♡ 
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#Speakup 

So many people suffer from Anxiety Disorder. It’s time to speak up about it and start telling our stories! 

To those that don’t struggle with this disorder, it can be hard to understand. Sometimes verbally explaining it, just doesn’t get the point across. And, I get it. It IS hard to understand. I have it, and don’t even understand it sometimes. 

People that don’t get it, may say things like:

“Just pull yourself together.” 

“Get over it.”

“It can’t be that bad.”

Or my personal favorite: “But, you don’t LOOK sick.” 

I don’t think this comes from a bad place. But, this is common. I do think there needs to be more awareness around the subject. A light needs to be shed. We need to be able to talk about it without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. We need to make people understand. 

Anxiety is so much more than having your random panic attack once in a while. It’s a daily struggle. 

You feel as if you’re drowning…

Suffocating…

Unable to sleep…

You have dark thoughts…

Depression….

You can’t breathe…

And, you can’t escape it…

This really doesn’t even scratch the surface. But, it does show a small portion of the daily struggles felt by someone suffering with Anxiety Disorder. 

If you have anxiety: 

Do not be afraid to talk about it. Do not feel ashamed. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help. Your story matters.

If you don’t have anxiety:

Please try to understand that even though we don’t look sick on the outside, doesn’t mean we aren’t struggling. Don’t be quick to judge. 
#endthestigma #speakup

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Photo credit: Shutterflies Photography

Model: Natalie Fiore