How I Felt Awake Again?

Four years is a while to feel awake again. There were some things that helped on the journey and some things that didn’t. (I suggest reading my post “Finally Awake” if you want to know the deets about what I mean by finally awake! Finally Awake)

Free Apps and Self-Care activities that helped:

  1. Walking my dog, Gibbs. Walking is a great way to release your feelings while getting in the steps you need for a healthy lifestyle. Most of the time I listen to one of my many Spotify playlists. If I had the luxury of being on a trail I would just listen to the nature around me. (The picture was after a walk.)img_3012
  2. Hiking!! I don’t do this as often as I like. Every time I do though I can say my soul feels refreshed. A couple of times a year I go with a family friend/mentor who has almost hiked all the miles in the Smokies. She always knows what she’s doing and the best trials. img_4372
  3. My Fitness Pal. I’ll admit I had a love-hate relationship with this app at first. It was a required part of one of my social work electives in grad school. Newsflash: I wasn’t eating that great in grad school. I maybe had a couple of times a week I would cook. Now, I find it helpful to know how much I am eating and what foods/nutrients I need more of.
  4. RunKeeper. Run keeper is an easy way to keep track of jogs. I’ll admit I don’t always go on a jog for exercise. That’s okay though. Runkeeper lets you add activities like kickboxing, yoga, and even hiking.  (Me 10 years ago. You’re welcome!)img_2584
  5. Spotify. I find listening to music healing. I have no musical talent whatsoever. I do find that lyrics help me express myself when I don’t have the words to do so. If you have the extra cash it is totally worth it to get Spotify premium. Link to one of my playlists: https://open.spotify.com/user/baio4/playlist/3mM7fr2dyEthxdPE3Rd66R?si=oAKDAIuyRyiWxlO_J5lqJw
  6. The YouVerision App. This is a bible app that has helped me tremendously. They have plans for depression, addiction, and gaining confidence. I spent 283 days in the app last year. It’s an easy way to keep track of all your favorite verses too.
  7. Pacifica. So when I lowered a dose of medication I tracked my mood with this app. I was so afraid that something horrid would happen and it would be too late before my health plummeted. Ends up I was fine. The app even offers guided paths meant to help improve your mental health. It has some free meditations as well.
  8. Meetup. I found this app when I lived in Nashville. I found people I could play laser tag with, go climbing with, and other fun activities.img_1279
  9. Cozi. I downloaded this app back in the fall. It has been helpful in reminding me what chores I need to complete. You can make grocery lists, add family members, and it even pairs with your phone’s calendar.
  10. Sweatcoin. If you need the motivation to get moving outside than I highly recommend getting Sweatcoin. Any walking you do outside gets rewarded with Sweatcoin. Building up Sweatcoins can get you cool prizes like a Nike Gift Card, iPhone, or wearable keyboard.

    sweatcoinapp.uk/i/bailey316270 Check out this free app 👆 It pays to walk!

What I paid for to help with my mental health:

  1. Therapy: Being taught how to reframe was one of the greatest tools ever taught to me. Seriously, I needed a whole class on that in high school. If therapy isn’t in your budget than talk with your work about the EAP program. While most EAP programs don’t offer nearly enough sessions it can get you headed in the right direction. Your therapist may even suggest books, podcast, etc. to you that can help you with the particular thing(s) you are struggling with even after you stop seeing them.
  2. Medication: I debated saying this, but I’m going to anyways. I have a great doctor who listens to me and who I trust. I have recently lowered the dose that has helped me feel like I am living on this planet again. I am working towards not needing it at all at. It has served its purpose and helped with what therapy couldn’t. img_3044
  3. NingXia Red: Is a juice that is a Young Living product. I found this because my Mom kept asking me about what I wanted for Christmas. I have a dog and live with a roommate who also has a dog in an apartment. I had smelt her essential oils in her diffuser so I decided that is what I wanted for Christmas. I knew it was safe and would make the apartment smell good. Then she told me to come to an oils class with her so I did. Essentials oils are awesome (peppermint for my headaches works better than pain relievers for me). However, Ningxia may be the tool that will help me have the strength to continue to lower my medications to the point that I no longer need them.
  4. screen shot 2019-01-12 at 9.12.12 pm

Thanks for reading! If you are interested in Young Living then Know today through January 14th at 11:59 pm there is a starter kit sale. The starter kit includes 2 NingXia Reds. My Sponsor ID: 17026054 and Enroller ID: 17026054. This video explains any questions you may have about signing up: https://vimeo.com/147354370

Here is the link to sign up:

https://www.youngliving.com/vo/?fbclid=IwAR0b9re4oQe6ebFSGABQq0S0wRM-3YbLv7GNsGH27zkM0h5If8deDn0A2Zc#/signup/new-start?sponsorid=16105875&enrollerid=16105875&isocountrycode=US&culture=en-US&type=member

Remember to click on I was referred by a member and have their ID numbers and use to ID numbers above.

 

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Finally Awake

It’s been 4 years since 2015. I feel like I am finally awake and can feel life around me. I have battled and will continue to have to work hard on my journey. Many individuals suffer in some sort of way, and I believe suffering is what makes us better as humans. At least it has made me a better person.

I feel like I have been in cruise control for the past 4 years. I was here, but not here. I was alive, my body was moving, but everything is a blur and I finally just woke up in 2019. I think part of my lack of feeling attached to the world around me is because there was so much I needed to work on as a person, a student, and an employee.

Now, here I am with time to actually just enjoy where I am at. Part of my cruise control was set with so much to achieve in little time. Emotionally, my body feels like it can now allow me to function, and not have to protect me from feeling everyday life. Some of you are probably worried thinking about the fact I am a social worker.

Yes, I am. I am not perfect, and like the SW code asks, I do my best to not let life get in the way of clients. My point is have you ever had a teacher who has never been taught before? How about a doctor that has never had some ailment before which required medical attention? Would you really want a social worker who had never had moments in their life where they needed to overcome some sort of challenge?

Your teacher probably doesn’t spend most or any of their classes talking about when they were a student. Your doctor probably doesn’t spend any time talking about their specific medications and ailments they have at the visit. Same goes for me in a session. At the same time, I want to share my story, not to my clients, but on a blog for individuals looking for some hope. I want people who are struggling to know they aren’t alone and it is possible.

Remember that song “Wake Me Up” by Avicii? That was my song at the beginning of 2015. A ton of changes happened in the first 5 months of that year. I feel like I have been living the verses of that song until the beginning of this year. So here’s the lyrics:

Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can’t tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start
They tell me I’m too young to understand
They say I’m caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes
Well that’s fine by me
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost
I tried carrying the weight of the world
But I only have two hands
I hope I get the chance to travel the world
But I don’t have any plans
I wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life’s a game made for everyone
And love is the prize
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
I didn’t know I was lost
So wake me up when it’s all over
When I’m wiser and I’m older
All this time I was finding myself
And I didn’t know I was lost

 

So I have bolded the parts I really relate to.

My mindset was “life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes and that’s fine by me.” Boy, was it fine by me? I did not open up my eyes on cruise control for 4 years of my life!  I didn’t want to face reality. Then I left it, unwillingly. Then once I worked through the pain in hibernation of 4 freaking years I can finally feel again. No, it wasn’t fast. It was worth it. I have named those years the searching, learning, and refining period. I am now in the let go of the past, reframe, and feel again period.

My prayer was to “wake me up when it’s all over”. So it must be over because I am awake, right? Yes and no. I am in a new period of life as mentioned above. However, I am on a journey like everyone else. Some people say “life ain’t easy”.  I say there are going to be challenges that need to be overcome in life. I would define life as the opportunity to be alive and happy.

“The Farewell Tour”

Recently I had to give 2 speeches. One was to the members at my internship and the other was to the students at the Wesley Foundation at ETSU. If you know me then you probably know public speaking is not my forte, but I got a lot of practice in this semester during field. Since I had to give speeches I decided to nickname this week and last week “The Farewell Tour.” My good friends could not make it to the Wesley this week, so I decided to blog it for them instead. No worries… We said our goodbyes on Saturday. 😉

To the members:

Thanks for letting me be apart of your recovery journey.

To the Wesley:

Celina and I had a lot of classes together, so she keep asking me to come to the Wesley. I had previously been to other ministries on campus, but could not really find one where I felt totally secure. I was over it, and I was ready to give up.

Ends up I kept coming to the Wesley after the first night. It gave me a place to worship for about a year, and I always felt welcomed. I met my closest buds here. They’ve always had great advice, and helped me in so many ways. Shout out to Olivia who listened to my panic attacks about school. Also, Shauna you are the best friend a person could ask for. You can make me laugh no matter the situation, and you have a loving heart. Yes, I am outing you. Shana will do whatever is needed for her friends, and is a caring person. She has said “I only do one nice thing a year.” That is not the case at all. She helped take care of Gibbs when I was busy at my internship, and she did it for free. Now that is a bud.

I wouldn’t have these relationships without the Wesley foundation, and I truly am thankful for these relationships.

To the Wesley and the Members:

“Recovery is a Journey”

Recovery is a journey that I have been on too. At one time in my life I failed algebra, I missed graduating by honors in high school by a point, and I thought I was a failure. My senior year of high school I thought it would be silly to apply to college, because I was sure that “I would just fail out.” It was suggested to me in high school by staff that I just graduate with a certificate of completion instead of a high school diploma, because they weren’t sure if I could pass my foreign language classes since I was dyslexic.

Also, I remember being called out of class one day to come take a skills assessment and job assessment test. This random person giving the test was determined to get me out of the computer room having a path set before me. I took the test. It gave a list of things I could possibly get a certificate in or a trade in. I flatly told the guy that “I didn’t want to do a trade”. I stated I didn’t want to do any of this but thanks. He, being passionate job, asked me what I wanted to do. I responded that maybe I wanted to be a nurse and go to ETSU. He said, “Great, what about a being a nurses aid.” I said, “No, I don’t want to do that.” “Well it’s just maybe a university isn’t the right path of you”, He said. Then he proceeded to go through a list and name every trade he could think of (including roofing). None of those trades were strengths or skills that I had. After I wore him out with my stubbornness I left that day feeling defeated, and that poor guy who was “helping” probably did too.

My support system outside of the school encouraged me to go to a university if that is what I wanted to do. My mom was always my advocate. She always helped since she had her masters and Ed.S. in education. She printed out my application to apply to ETSU, and basically tied me to the chair next to her and made me fill it out. A couple of months later I got accepted, and like many things in my life I was the last one to know. At this point I was still sacred with the idea of attending ETSU. I still needed to get my ACT score up in order to test out of some developmental classes. I took my ACT again on the Saturday morning of my senior prom, and was still jet lagged from a spring break trip to China. I basically remember opening the booklet, and saying screw it. I tested out of developmental English at ETSU, because my score was high enough. However, math is another story.

My freshman year at ETSU was an emotional roller coaster. I had no earthly idea what I really wanted to major in deep inside. I remember thinking nursing, OT, and what the heck was a social work major? The only thing I excelled at my freshman year was my history classes. Also, I felt the need to overcompensate in every English class I took because of being diagnosed with dyslexia. I visited the tutoring center often, and I am pretty sure they dreaded seeing my face every time I walked in. It was hard to get my syntax and thoughts to flow, so the tutors didn’t even know what I was trying to write half the time. Obviously, this got better with time.

I cried a lot too during my time in college. My anxiety and depression were uncontrollable compared to now. It was often something I didn’t want to admit I had, because I though another diagnosis of something wasn’t going to help me but stigmatize me even more. One summer during college I worked at a pharmacy as a tech, and I took an online A&P course. I gave up! The anxiety and depression were too much. I finally got medication and a therapist, and that help tremendously.

When I went back to school after that summer I found myself wondering to Lyle House (social work building) on campus. I had an appointment with the dean to talk about social work and my possible future in it. She set me up so I could graduate on time. I declared my major in social work and a minor in psychology. I took intro to social work the following semester, and I never looked back. A couple semesters later I was officially accepted into the program, and finally declared a BSW student in the program.

Fast-forward and it is spring semester of my senior year. I’m an intern at a psychosocial recovery center, I am graduating cum laude, and got invited to the university’s Honors Convocation. Also, I got initiated into Phi Alpha and Phi Gamma Mu (two honors societies). As I write this it is weird to think and truly accept that I am graduating from ETSU this Saturday, but it is true and not just a dream. I’m currently finding myself applying for BSW jobs, and I can’t wait to finally have the title. I am finally happy and secure in what I doing in my life, and that has truly been a journey. In recovery I have found things I love like my dog Gibbs who I jog with, social work, and myself. I found out that failure isn’t fatal when you are on a journey of growth and recovery.

To the Wesley:

Philippians 4:8-9

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

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