Men's Mental Health

Today we have another guest post from our friendly neighborhood guest blogger, Elijah Greenwood. Men have been taught for too long that they're weak if they show emotion or have poor mental health. This only leads to worse mental health! Men, it's okay to feel what you feel, and get help when you need it. 
Yes, I am indeed a man. And yes, I do have mental health issues. These two things are not, in fact, mutually exclusive - as most of the world seems to think they are. As a man, I am allowed to have anxiety. As a man, I am allowed to have depression. And who are you, society, to decide that my masculinity is altered by these things? Who are you to tell me that I can not possess and express my feelings and emotions? Or that I cannot possibly break down or go into a mental spiral? Who are you to decide that my gender defines my mental status?
All throughout my younger years, I was told by both society, and professionals, that I couldn’t possibly have mental health issues based o…

The Cost of Independence

Turns out being a strong, independent woman is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s resulted in being broke, depressed, too proud to tell anyone I need help, and too terrified of rejection to let anyone know I need someone to be with me while I cry. Not that they’d be there, because they’ve gotten used to me pushing them away.

The Spectrum of Suicide

Today we have another guest post from Elijah Greenwood. As always, his words hit close to home. 

The grey area that no one talks about. Most people don’t even realize it exists. Then there are those that know it all too well. Those that live it day in and day out. It’s that small section of suicide that we struggle to understand. It’s when you want to die so badly, but you don’t want to kill yourself.

No, I’m not going to harm myself. No, I don’t have plans to do anything. Yes, I’m safe. I just don’t care if I live or die. If I got in a car crash today, I wouldn’t fight to live. If someone wanted to kill me, I’d let them. I want to die. I just don’t plan to do it myself.

Often when we think about suicide, we think about people so depressed that they plan out their death and attempt to take their own life. All too often, no one realizes that suicide is a spectrum and a person can fall anywhere on it.

The problem with this grey area is that people in it are often scared to talk about it o…

Why Haven’t You Unfriended Them? #MeToo

I have written this and rewritten this. I just don’t like telling this story. It makes me feel dirty, stupid, and worthless. Let’s not forget ashamed, because I’m rooting for all those women who stand up for themselves – all while I’m sitting back and being a coward.
We are in the days of #MeToo. I’ve written about this before. I have my stories, as do most women I know. Mine aren’t as bad as some, though I’ve learned that every woman’s story of sexual harassment or assault is valid, no matter the extent.
I’ve dealt with these situations since high school and a boy on my bus made comments about my breasts often. Then later in high school another boy actually grabbed my breast one night at work. I did nothing. I laughed it off, changed the subject, and never mentioned it again.
Decades later, I still handle those situations the same. All those people who say that women who wait years to say something shouldn’t be taken seriously – they don’t know what they’re talking about. I under…

Anxiety Tries to Sabotage Relationships

I think everyone carries anxieties from past relationships into future relationships. It’s how we evolve and grow. But at some point, we have to figure out the line between protecting ourselves from getting hurt and preventing ourselves from being happy.
Some people are afraid of letting down their guard and entering in to new relationships, out of fear of being hurt again. I’m not one of those people, though I do see where they are coming from. I have no problem entering new relationships – my problem is staying.
I’ve often jokingly referred to myself as The Girl Who Ran. At the first sign of problems, I flee. I grew up with my parents fighting often, and I swore I wouldn’t live that way again.
Okay, so it’s not instant fleeing – but it doesn’t take long before I decide the fighting will probably never end, and I need to get the heck out of dodge. Unfortunately there have been times I didn’t flee fast enough and things got much, much worse. Those were the times I so desperately w…

I'm a Mess

Anxiety is, once again, kicking my ass. I have a crazy busy week, and all I want is to hide in bed.
I work every day this week and have plans in the evening every day. Two of those evenings are Cub Scout events for my son, and every time I think about it I start crying. He is loving the Cub Scouts. I am dreading every moment.
The meetings are absolute hell. There are kids running around screaming in a church gym, and it’s sensory overload. They discuss upcoming events, and I want to cry because I desperately don’t want to go to any of them because I’m terrified of all the human interaction. They’re doing popcorn sales and I don’t want to go to any of the sale events because THERE ARE PEOPLE THERE, but not going means my son misses out on earning a badge. Thursday is the homecoming parade that the Scouts are riding in, and I typically avoid parades because they’re loud and there are so many people and so much traffic when you leave and what if I pick a place to sit where I can’t see…

Guest Post: When You're "Too Productive" to be Sick

Today's guest post was written by someone I had the pleasure of meeting very recently. I love the way he describes invisible anxiety - it's not always shaking and hyperventilating. So often we look perfectly calm, but inside we're falling apart. Enjoy! 
When you have high-functioning anxiety, the world is a battlefield that only you can see. You’re at war with yourself and the world around you, yet no one else notices. As someone with high-functioning anxiety, I’m constantly told that I can’t possibly be sick because I still function perfectly fine in the world. I have a job, I go to school, I even do some extracurricular activities. Sounds like a person who’s perfectly fine, right? Wrong. Think of my outside appearance as a mask that I put on to hide what’s underneath - what’s inside. The thoughts inside my head; constantly telling me that I’m a failure, that I’m not good enough. On the inside, I’m screaming. On the inside, I’m trying my absolute hardest to keep my head ab…