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:
  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. 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:

Here is the link to sign up:

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


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.

Social Media and Drawing the Line

How am I feeling? Social Media

         In June 2015 I decided to delete all my social media. Here’s the shocker: I don’t miss it. I don’t even want to log back in to my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. To be honest, I don’t even know the passwords to log back in. I’d have to create new accounts if I even wanted to get back on social media.

Last fall I had to log in after one of my accounts was hacked by the one of those fake ads. Someone had to text me to tell me. I logged in to fix it, and I changed the password. I don’t even know what the password is. It was late one night, and I was annoyed that it had even happened.

When I went back in to change the password, I scrolled through a bit. I thought it was weird in a way. It seems I was pretty dedicated to my SM (social media).

My Experience with Deleting my Social Media

         Some people tell me that they would fear they would miss out if they did not have social media of some sort. I can understand this statement. Businesses, churches, and sports updates all use social media, and it is a convenient way to stay current.

Also, I admit sometimes I have no idea what my friends are talking about because it all goes back to what someone posted on social media. Leaving social media has caused me to make some gains though. What I am actually missing out on is probably just gossip, opinions, or drama anyway. If I want news about what’s going on in the world I actually go to reputable news websites. I have to text people and we plan things to do in person. That way we can catch up. I actually have to use Google and call businesses if I have a question.

Deleting your Social Media is a way to get attention.

It could be. However, like many things in life, it depends on the person. I have heard that some people choose to delete their page just to see how many people will actually miss them. Then they create a fake account and follow the same people. That’s not why I deleted mine. I’m in daily or weekly contact with people who matter most to me. Get this: I actually see them in person. #hipster

A friend told me she deleted her social media because it made her feel too self-important. I agree with that statement because I can relate to that. Also, I compared myself to others in an unhealthy manner and have noticed that I am less judgmental without social media. I am not perfect, but less judgmental.

I need to delete my social media because I use it to procrastinate. I hear this from members at my internship and my friends who still have social media all the time. It is actually the reason I choose to write this post. The question I get asked most often is what do you do with your time?

Honestly, different things. For a while I watched NCIS all the time on Netflix right after I deleted it. Then I returned to school in the fall and spring, so I had homework and school responsibilities. Over winter break I read four books, and I’m still working on number five. I plan on finishing it this summer. Also, I journal, color, and draw to help me relax. I play with my dog, Gibbs. I go to the Wesley. I play the mandolin and go to lessons. Over spring break I read “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee. When the weather is warmer, I hike, kayak, and spend time outside meditating. These are all self-caring activities for me to help reduce stress in my life.

Today is a prime example of accomplishing something productive. My mom texted me and asked me to do some chores since I was home on spring break. I would have been distracted my social media until two in the afternoon if I still had my accounts. Instead I read the news, cleaned, and got ready for my day.

I believe it is important to not be too hard on yourself. If you do choose to delete social media, you’ll probably find another guilty pleasure to fill in the time. For me that was binge watching Netflix. Now, not so much. Some things just take time. So relax and slowly build up toward your goal.

WHY and HOW?

I told one of my close friends that I was going to research social media and dependence. She encouraged me to do it, and asked a question along the lines of how can I not to be addicted to SM. I told her I wanted to be more confident and find some research first to support the action steps I developed. Of course, I knew the easiest way to display what I found would be WordPress, so I am expecting to be dinged for posting an article about social media on social media. Considering how long this post took to do, I don’t find this becoming a problem area for me. This post is not here to make anyone feel guilty. It’s here to help you consider if you are using SM in a positive manner.

The Research

I searched for Social Media and Addiction and peer reviewed scholarly articles. I got 1,073 results. I used articles from the last ten years that were most relevant to questions people were asking me to research. Here is what I found:

  1. Left to Their Own Devices: College Students’ “Guilty Pleasure” Media Use and Time Management

(This was the first of 5 articles I chose and each will be discussed with the main points.)

This article discusses the concern of college students having more free time than they did before they came to college. Also, it points out that most of this new free time is unsupervised by adults. The article is held to the question are college age students neglecting their academic endeavors due to leisure media use.

-“Research shows that leisure media can affect students’ scholastic performance”(Panek, 2014).

-Key terms and ideas in this article are delayed gratification, self -control, and environment.

– The article defines guilty pleasures as “activities that one consciously values more than school work”

-The article states that guilty pleasure is linked to “immediate pleasure over long-term benefits.” This means that the person is seeking the “smaller instant rewards.”

-The article defines willpower. Willpower is “to not give into media use.”

-Hoch & Loewenstein Findings: 1. Reducing desire by using willpower 2. The environment can be seen as temping and increasing desire (i.e. Alone in dorm room with laptop)

-“Constant presence of tempting media options make it difficult for individuals who are in low self control to resist these options” (Panek, 2014).

– College students (especially freshmen) can be seen as a more at risk population due to the more flexible, less rigid, and more free time schedule college can offer. Ex. They aren’t going to school from 8-3 then on to sports or band practice, etc.

– “Internet addiction is regarded as a behavioral-impulse control disorder in which to alleviate feelings of emotional tension” (Panek, 2014).

-Media addiction prevents achievement of long-term goals.

-A survey was given online to university students, and they answered 13 statements. The scale was 1=Not at all like me to 5=Just like me. The results found that “College students self-control is negatively associated with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014). Also, “college students guilt about media use is positively associated with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014). The study did not find that “the amount of time college students spent on school work had a negative association with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014).

– “The study provides support for the claim that students who are low in self-control are apt to spend more time using leisure media and feel guilty about it” (Panek, 2014).



Compared to the other study this study’s participants were also college age students. The results were found through three scales. The Facebook addiction scale, subjective happiness scale, and subjective vitality scale were the methods used to find the results.

– “Problematic use of internet-based social networking sites like FB may be a significant factor influencing subjective happiness” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– “FB addiction can be described as unable to control and limit the amount of time one spends on activities on FB” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– “Severe depression, social dysfunction, anxiety, and insomnia were predictors of FB addiction” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– Uysal et al., 2013, hypothesis was “ The relationship between subjective happiness and subjective vitality is mediated by FB addiction.”

– “The results indicated the FB addiction could partly explain the relationship between subjective vitality and subjective happiness” (Uysal et al., 2013).


  1. Association between Facebook Dependence and Poor Sleep Quality: A Study in a Sample of Undergraduate Students in Peru

– Like the other studies previously stated the participants in this study are also undergraduate college students. The results will most likely not be a huge shock. The study concluded, “that there is a relationship between FB dependence and poor quality of sleep” (Alonso et al., 2013). “More than half the students reported poor sleep quality, and the study found that strategies to moderate the use of social network and to improve sleep quality in this population are needed” (Alonso et al., 2013).


– The behavioral results of this study found that “women presented stronger addiction-like symptoms then men” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– Also, the study questions if addiction is the best term that can be used for this presenting problem. The results showed that the “amygdala-striatal (impulsive) brain system was positively related to ones FB “addiction” scale score” (Tunel, et al., 2014). “However, the prefrontal cortex (inhibitor) brain system showed no association” (Tunel, et al., 2014). According to the article this shows that it is similar to other addictions since the amygdala-striatal is hyper active, but the prefrontal cortex is not found to be hypo active. “Since FB “addiction” does not have a hypo active prefrontal cortex it also differs from other addictions, such as using illicit substances” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– “The findings imply that individuals who present low-medium levels of addiction like symptoms in relation to FB have an imbalance between their amygdala- striatal and prefrontal cortex” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– The imbalance can be managed by restoring homeostasis between the two systems, and the article states can be achieved through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (Tunel, et al., 2014).

  1. A Unique Problem or the Manifestation of a Preexisting Disorder? The Mediating Role of Problematic Internet Use in the Relationships Between Psychosocial Problems and Functional Impairment

– PIU=Problematic Internet Use

– “The finding reveal that psychosocial problems, such as social anxiety, and depression, can initiate cognitive preoccupation too and uncontrolled uses of the internet” (Tokunaga, 2014).

– “PIU is an important pathway to the development of vocational and socially anxious, lonely, or depressed individuals” (Tokunaga, 2014). In other words PIU is not a sole cause to the development of vocational and socially anxious, lonely, or depressed individuals.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 5.47.12 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 5.48.03 PM

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 5.47.46 PM


Panek, E. (2013). Left to their own devices: College students’ ‘guilty pleasure’ media use and time management. Communication Research, 44(4), 383-400. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


Tokunaga, R. S. (2012). A Unique Problem or the Manifestation of a Preexisting Disorder? The Mediating Role of Problematic Internet Use in the Relationships Between Psychosocial Problems and Functional Impairment. Communication Research, 41(4), 531-560.


Turel, O., He, Q., Xue, G., Xiao, L., & Bechara, A. (2014). Examination Of Neural Systems Sub-Serving Facebook “Addiction”. Psychological Reports, 115(3), 675-695. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


Uysal, R., Satici, S. A., & Akin, A. (2013). Mediating Effect Of Facebook ® Addiction On The Relationship Between Subjective Vitality And Subjective Happiness. Psychological Reports, 113(3), 948-953. Retrieved March 2, 2016.


Wolniczak, Isabella ; Cáceres-Delaguila, José Alonso ; Palma-Ardiles, Gabriela ; Arroyo, Karen J ; Solís-Visscher, Rodrigo ; Paredes-Yauri, Stephania ; Mego-Aquije, Karina ; Bernabe-Ortiz, Antonio ; Schuelke, Markus [2013]. Association between Facebook Dependence and Poor Sleep Quality: A Study in a Sample of Undergraduate Students in Peru. PLoS ONE,8(3), n.p. Retrieved March 2, 2016.