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Mental Health Awareness

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Many people live with mental health issues and are ridiculed by some who don’t understand. Some want to and aren’t sure how to and others just refuse to try. “It’s all in your head.” or “It’s not real.” Some view us as freaks, a circus act to laugh and stare at. Others think we’re lab rats to analyze.

The illnesses we have are indeed in our brains, but they’re very real and not self-manifested. They are not something that we chose to have, to deal with. They also don’t make us any less human beings than those without them. They do not define us. I’m not bi-polar disorder, I have bi-polar disorder. There’s a difference.

To properly have a healthy and happy life when living with them is possible. Some need medication, others don’t. I did, for a time, but have learned how to live without them. For me, it’s a daily struggle, but I have a good support system and healthy vices, such as praying, singing, walking, writing, cleaning, etc that help me get though.

Having a good support system is very important and so is having things that can help you get back on track. It’s different for each person. Some like to workout, others like to watch comedy, and others still like to find a person they trust to talk to. Whatever helps you and doesn’t harm you or others should be encouraged.

If you don’t have a support system in place, try to find one. Start with family and friends, but branch out further if need be. There are groups in your community and online as well. Research them and know what you’re getting into and when you know it’s a trusted source, get involved. Vent, listen, encourage, and help one another.

Do not view yourself as inferior or unworthy of love, friendship, and a good life. Every day, I battle with the demons in my head that try to tell me I’m nothing. In the end, I’m reminded that I’m beautiful, talented, intelligent, and worthy of goodness in my life. I try to remind others of the same and not just those who have mental health issues, but everyone in my life.

Love goes a long way. It can overcome any obstacles and cure many ailments. What it can’t cure, it can lessen the pain and help you through. I pray that anyone reading this has people in their life that shows them that love.

Here’s to raising awareness, beating our illnesses, helping others who have them, and showing love to those around us.

Just Married

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It’s been awhile since I have posted, but never you fear, I am alive and well. :) In fact, I just got married a few weeks ago. It was an amazing day, full of so much joy and love. We were surrounded by so many people whom we love so much. The love and support given to us that day means so much to us still.

Though as I said before our wedding day, it’s all been about what comes after. We’ve been settling into married life and not much is difference as far as the day to day stuff goes. But there are changes, the big one for me is my last name changing. I got all of the important bases covered there, but it will take some time getting used to signing it. I now wear an extra ring, so now I have a little extra sparkle. :) I, for the first time in my life, share a bank account with someone. We figured our money has been going towards our future and will continue to do so, may as well just put it together. We are talking more about our goals, like putting our current house up for rent and getting a bigger house. I like looking at houses and seeing what’s out there.

Our future looks bright and that’s because we’re in it together. I can hardly wait to see where we go from here. We’ve only just begun and we have a lifetime ahead of us to dream and turn them into reality. Here’s to many wonderful years! :)

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Do you ever find yourself wandering within yesterday’s garden? 

I do, now and then. 

Some parts are filled with an array of beautiful flowers.

The colors are a sight to behold. I could stare at them and get lost in my thoughts for hours. 

The yellow chrysanthemums represent the days of peace and harmony, where I was happy with myself and others. No hate or negativity could hurt me. 

The orange tulips are my moments on the dance floor or on stage singing when I got lost in the music and just felt so free. 

The red roses are each kiss, snuggle, and romantic moment I spent with someone I loved. They’re each blush, butterfly in my stomach, and hopelessly giddy feeling I’ve ever felt. 

The various hues of purple violets are my humble moments when God reminded me of who I was, who I wanted to be, and to always give back. I have known what it feels like to need, to feel alone and it has felt good to make other’s happy and to have their hearts melt. 

The radiant bluebells are all of the friends I’ve ever had over the course of my life. Each one has taught me something to carry with me into present days. Each one has brightened my days, made me laugh, feel such joy, and given me so much love. 

The green grass I walk upon with my bare feet is simply the Earth that I live in, one I want to take better care of than I have in the past. May I nurture it and find strength in it from above.

As I continue to wander through, I see a dark corner of my mind that I find myself drawn to. 

There are thorns, weeds, and a feeling of sadness of hard times I’ve been through. 

Though it’s hard to look at, I find myself needing to confront what I see before me. 

For it too has shaped me into the woman all of you now see. 

Each heartache, lie told, hurtful thing I said and did, spiteful thing someone said or did to me, hardship, broken dream, moment of loneliness, loss, friendship ended, and hopeless feeling has had a part to play. 

Every thorn that I pass tries to catch me in its grasp and hold me down. They yearn for me to stay. 

The past can be a tricky thing when one lingers there for too long. 

Though I know that each part of it has made me into who I am now, the good, the bad, the right, and the wrong. 

I’m not who I once was and I’m thankful for that. Though, I know I’m not the woman I am meant to be. 

Every day I’m given is another chance for me to grow, learn, give, take, live, and love. I contemplate that as I sit down by the giant oak tree. 

I have found it’s love that makes me the person I’m now proud of being. It’s giving back that helps me heal. It’s compassion that makes me feel good about my life. 

I was put here to love, to help, to give. I aim every single day I’m here to be a good mother, daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, cousin, friend, coworker, and one day soon, wife. 

The past is here for me to visit anytime. It’s good to see it now and then. It can be a good friend. 

But, it’s not where I belong. The here and now is where I’m meant to be in the end. ♡

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I remember when I was my son’s age, 12, thinking that 30 was old. And when I reached the age of 20, I still thought 30 seemed a lifetime away and surely when I reached it, my life wouldn’t be the same. Well, I was right about that, though not in the ways I thought back then. I remember thinking that once you reached your 30’s that life would be more boring, that I couldn’t possibly enjoy my life like I did in those moments of my most cherished youth.

As my 20’s progressed, I began to see that life wasn’t turning out the way I once thought it would and so many things I thought I knew about life were proved wrong. I must say that my 20’s were definitely full of excitement. There were so many parties, adventures, random road trips, and explorations. There are many days I can’t quite remember though and while we would laugh about such things with one another, truth is, it was sad that there were hours of my life when I couldn’t recall what I had said or done. But, such was the life back then for me and many others I know, and many others around the world too for that matter.

While my party days of my 20’s could be a blast, it is quite accurate to say that it was not all fun and games. With that partying also came being sick, injuries, death to loved ones because of reckless behavior (drinking and driving – not because of me, but it very well could have been due to many stupid decisions I made.), near death experiences, drama, drama, and more drama, heartbreak, and so on. I have learned a lot of painful lessons and often times, the hard way.

My 20’s were full of a lot of irresponsibility, careless actions, unwise decisions, and rash behavior. Now, I am not going to say that I didn’t enjoy my 20’s at all, because I do have a lot of great memories, made some great friends, and still have inside jokes that many of us still laugh about to this day. And, I can’t say that I just screwed everything up and didn’t do the right things at times. I wasn’t an airhead, but sometimes I made people wonder. I look at some people in their 20’s now and think, “Was I really like that?” And the answer, dear readers, is yes and sometimes much worse.

I am now 36, approaching 37 at the end of this year. Looking back at my frivolous days of my 20’s and then looking at my life and who I am now, I can tell you there are some major differences. The me back then and the me now would have quite the conversation should they be able to speak to one another. When I was 26, I said I wanted to find someone special, settle down, finally establish myself on a good career path, do better for my son, and behave more responsibly. But what I said I wanted and how I often behaved didn’t match up. I still was so selfish a lot of the time, though I wouldn’t bring myself to admit that. I worked here and there, wasn’t there for my son like I should have been, stayed up too late most nights, partied too hard with my friends too often, chased after the wrong guys, and just made a mess of my life. You’d think by 26 that I’d start to get a handle on things and I was making progress, but not nearly enough.

It’s so weird, when I turned 30, it’s as if a light switch went off in my head. It didn’t happen overnight, but turning 30 was really a turning point in my life. It’s as if the mist surrounding my head began to lighten and the fog began to lift. I began to see just how badly I needed to change, how my priorities needed to shift. I started going out less, trying harder to better my life, and began truly growing up. Life started to be more about my son, family, and working hard.

When I was 26, I lived with my grandma, had my son very sparingly and never knew when I’d see him, worked a seasonal job at the ballpark, and worked here and there on the off-seasons, hung out with a lot of people I shouldn’t have, and did things I am not proud of. My younger days were even more chaotic. At 19-23, oh it was even more wild. At 23, I got pregnant with my son and during that time, I did pretty well. I didn’t drink, took care of my body, and tried to change. At nearly 24, my son was born and then it didn’t take long before fear I’d ruin my son’s life the way that my parents had ruined mine and selfish wants took over. I have always loved my son, but back then, it wasn’t enough to do what I should have. It was about me, but I said it was to protect him, to spare him of the life I had. To a point, I did believe I wasn’t any good for my son, but that was also because I was afraid to try, only to end up failing. I didn’t give my son every effort he deserved and for that, I’ll always feel horrible. I am getting better at forgiving myself, my son already has. I know too that I can’t make up for time lost, but I can be there for him now.

And that’s exactly what I’m doing. Fast forward to present day if you will. I now find myself working a stable job that I love that more than pays my bills and takes care of Zach’s needs when he’s with me, have a schedule with my son and am overjoyed at being a much bigger part of his life, am engaged to a wonderful man who loves us both that has always been there for us, am a member of a church that really helps me grow in my faith, and have surrounded myself with a good group of friends that I can trust and that I don’t let take me down dark paths. If anything, if I start to have problems, they’re right there guiding me back to the right path. Life is truly wonderful, the best it’s ever been. I am much happier in my 30’s than I was in my 20’s. I finally look in the mirror and see someone I am not ashamed to look at, someone I can really love and respect. If you asked me to go back to my 20’s, I wouldn’t. Truthfully, I feel the only way to go is forward. <3

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As Spock once said, “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.”

I firmly believe that to be true. To be able to think logically is important. But, I also feel that it is important to view things with an air of a whimsical nature. The ability to use one’s mind is vital, but not just the part that knows facts and gets us through our daily tasks. It’s also important to use the parts that control our emotions. Often, many of us don’t balance the two out. Some of us think more with our logical side, while others think more with our emotional side, i.e. with our heart as people call it. I try to have a healthy balance, but sometimes that doesn’t work out too well for me. I am definitely a highly emotional being. I am capable of rational and logical thinking. Sometimes, I am too logical in some people’s opinion. But, often I am viewed as being too sensitive and overly emotional. That’s just how I am wired, if you will. But, I am trying to work on that.

I think it is healthy for us to use both sides of our brain and it is also good to challenge our minds as well. I like to work on Sudoku puzzles, word puzzles, read, and sometimes make up random games to keep my brain active. I also like to come up with innovative ideas and analyze situations and figure out why something works the way it does or why someone acts the way that they do. And then sometimes I like to daydream, think of things that, as far as I know, aren’t humanly possible, and delve into the imaginative part of my brain. Part of me is highly creative and another part of me is highly logical and about concrete facts.

I think if we use too much of one part and not enough of another that we’re wasting our potential. We’re so much more than we know. To explore our minds is, in my humble opinion, essential. I think we were meant to create, think outside the box, and use our imaginations. I think that if we shut ourselves off from feeling, letting all the emotions within us drive us forward, we’re limiting ourselves. But, I also feel if we let that part of us take over, we can become totally irrational and cause all sorts of trouble for others and ourselves. On the the flip side, yes, it is good to be able to use knowledge of things like science, math, literature, and history. Science and math in fact are used daily by many people, even though we don’t always view it that way. But, balancing your checkbook, measuring precise amounts of ingredients when cooking, using home remedies to cure ailments, fixing/renovating things around the home, and so on use them both. It is good to be able to learn and use useful facts and skills to get us through life. But if one only strives to think logically and doesn’t open their mind to feeling and letting their emotions guide them, it becomes a life, I feel, that is not fulfilling. So again, I will reiterate that I feel it is important to be both logical and emotional beings.

I think even Mr. Spock knew that and referenced such thoughts more than once. It is such a sad time as many around the world mourn Leonard Nimoy. He brought so much joy to so many. I know some think it is folly to mourn the lives of the famous. But, I think it’s okay to be sad about those who influenced us, taught us, and brought us joy through their acting, music, artwork, literature, and even athleticism. It is especially sad when those who shared their gifts with the world showed us that they too are human, like the rest of us, and gave what they could to those around them and not just to look good in front of the media, but because they genuinely cared for others. I didn’t know Leonard personally, but he seemed to be one amazing guy who gave back to the community. He cared about his fans and did what he could to show that. So, right now I will use my emotional side and say that you are missed by so many. You gave so much to this world with your talents and just by being who you are. Thank you for all you did, for all you gave. May we keep you alive in our memories of all you contributed, showed us, and taught us.

Time flies…

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I realized the other day that it’s been awhile since I have posted anything. I keep meaning to and then I get busy, forget, and sometimes have just been too lazy. When I first started writing on here about two and a half years ago, I posted often. There were days when I posted several times a day. My friend had urged me to join this site when I was going through some rough times. She told me that I should do it so that I could inspire and encourage others. I feel bad that I haven’t been real active on WordPress as of late.

I have a rough day or even a few in a row now and then, but overall my life is going fairly well. I have a great son, wonderful fiance, terrific job, amazing friends and family, and so much to be grateful for. My wedding is in 79 days, been busy with planning that on top of everything else. My son has wrestling meets and as that ends, soccer will begin, I just joined our church worship team and so soon I’ll be busy with practices as well, lots to do at work, etc.

When we get a night or two to just relax, we try to make the most of it. Sometimes we just get so busy that it feels like we don’t really have time to just sit, watch a movie, play a board game, relax, play with our pets, etc. There’s often so much to do with church, family, friends, around the house, etc. And with the wedding being less than three months away now, there’s so much to do. So, sometimes I feel overwhelmed.

I am beyond excited to marry my best friend. I have been counting down the days for a long time. Sometimes the planning is a lot of fun too. I love spending time with my girls, picking out pretty things, and seeing it all come together thus far has been great. We have so much done, thanks to me being a hyper planner. ;) Now and then though, I feel like it runs my life. Over the next 11 weeks, I have something wedding related almost every week. Worrying about finances has been the biggest struggle. My family isn’t helping. His dad told us he wanted to help and is giving us a bit, which we’re using for the hall and catering. Mostly it’s us paying for this though. I know it will all be worth it. Wearing my dress that makes me feel like a princess, seeing my girls look absolutely beautiful, having my son who will be dressed to the nines in his tux walk me down the aisle towards our future, uniting before God and making it official and doing this in front of so many we love will be wondrous. And it’s about so much more than that one day that will arrive before I know it and then be over….

It’s truly about what comes after our wedding day. It’s about our journey together as husband and wife and about him, my son, and I as a family. We have so much we want to see, do, and achieve separately and also together. Excelling at our current jobs for the time being, but then starting a business, finding a bigger home someday, renovating our kitchen in the meantime, maybe extending our family, vacations, and much more. We work well together now, but there are always ways to improve and we must not forget that it’s always going to be a work in progress. All great relationships are built on trust, respect, love, communication, loyalty, and yes…hard work. Wonderful relationships are wonderful because couples work on keeping them that way. Friendships are the same way; they need that same devotion and maintaining. All relationships in life that are stable really need that.

I have some great people in my life. I hope I continue to do my part to keep those relationships happy and healthy. I am trying to do that right now. I have missed everyone I talk to on WordPress. I hope you’re all doing well. I hope you have great plans, big dreams that you’re chasing, and lots of love. I shall have to stop by and read my news feed so I can see what people are up to. Well, here’s to a great weekend ahead for us all. Thanks again for your continued love and support. YOU ALL ROCK! Much love always! <3

2015

Well another year is gone and a new one has started. 2014 was quite the year. A lot of good and bad happened. Lost loved ones, car accidents, changed friendships, loss of a job and then a new job, an engagement, frustrations, sorrows, joys, laughter, and lots of love in 2014. Through it all, the good and bad, I have to say that overall 2014 was a fairly good year.

I am looking forward to 2015 though. I aim to get better at my job and learn as much as I can. There’s going to be many births to celebrate, including my son’s 13th. My kiddo will become a teenager, even closer to leaving childhood behind. I am excited to see where he goes from here. He’s so talented and intelligent. There’s no telling what he can do. And one of the biggest events that I am looking forward to is my wedding. In 135 days, I will become Mrs. Gray. I can hardly wait to marry my best friend and partner. I have waited for what feels like a lifetime to find my other half. It will be a day to celebrate. My handsome son will be dressed to the nines and will give me away. Family and friends will surround us so that we can share that wonderful occasion with those we love most.

There’s so much to celebrate in 2015. What a year this will be. I hope that 2015 is full of lots of laughter, joy, accomplished goals, dreams come true, wonderful memories made, and lots of love shared for all of you. I believe it will be whatever we want to make it. If we’re determined to have a good year, then I truly think it will be one. I am determined to make this the best year to date. Here’s to 2015 and making it amazing!

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