I grew up in small towns and cities throughout North Alabama, but I call Moulton, AL my home. I can’t count the times I have moved. My college friend called me a nomad once. I don’t stay in one place long. I have one brother, who is 8 years younger than me and one doggie- Roxy. I love pizza with pineapple on it and I have bipolar disorder with a side of social anxiety. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, push myself to my limits often, and I make mistakes.
The reason I am creating this blog is to help others. I want people to know they are here to do more than just exist. At one point in my life, I was so wrapped up in what others wanted me to do I was just existing- until I was so sick I flatlined. I was working more than anyone should, because we were understaffed at my job. I woke up one day and didn’t feel well. I was dehydrated and could not even hold water down. I went to the urgent care and they gave me a shot for nausea and tried to start an IV to give me fluids. I was so dehydrated they could not get a regular IV needle in me, so they had to use a smaller needle. Everything was going fine and then I started getting sick again and having hot flashes. I remember trying to rip my clothes off because I felt like my body was on fire. Then, everything faded out and the nurse started screaming for the doctor. I flatlined. I cared more about making my boss happy than taking care of myself. I worked myself to death. I didn’t have a stomach bug, no flu, nothing.
I woke up in an ambulance. I learned that the urgent care doctor shot me with adrenaline to get me back, and called the ER. I was in the hospital the rest of the day for observation. This is why my blog is named Beyond Existing. Since this happened, I have slowly learned to say, “no”. It is hard for me. I am a people pleaser.
I have encountered domestic abuse, sexual assault, seen a handful of psychiatrists throughout my life, and a few counselors. I have struggled with alcoholism, two toxic work environments, self-harmed, and let others belittle me mentally. I have suffered loss through death, divorce, and suicide. In the last two years, I have developed social anxiety. I hope that the experiences I create and relationships I build throughout my blogging help me with social anxiety. Bipolar disorder is something I have learned to live with, and my friends/family understand me now- after years of trial and error I have found ways to cope with my disorder. Chronic migraines also plague my health.
I never learned to grieve, until this year. At 27 years old, a week after obtaining my Master’s Degree I visited a new counselor. I should have been at the top of my game, ready to conquer the world. Instead, I was on a leave of absence from work because I couldn’t go to work without crying or having a panic attack. I told the new counselor my darkest secrets. The ones that kept me up at night. I was completely vulnerable, watching her try to scribble my life story on paper as I babbled through tears. On that day, I grieved. I grieved for 27 years of pain and loss. On that day, crying in front of a stranger- I began to heal.
I am blogging publicly about mental health because I believe in helping others. I am not blogging for anyone to feel ‘sorry’ for me. In this blog, I will write about my personal experiences with mental health (and other struggles), various related topics, and create content to support the mental health community. This blog is my outlet for anxiety, and I hope to positively influence others that struggle with mental health.