Depression vs One good day

Depression is a constant thing. It wraps around you like a cloak. It is an unwanted house guest that you cant get to leave. You are made constantly aware of it when you wake up in the morning and you never forget it when you lay down for the evening. It is not something that is gotten rid of because of a mood change.

Most people are surprised at finding out people that we thought were the happiest are actually depressed. Seeing people who are smiling the most or acting the happiest who suddenly have an episode shocks and scares people. One of the many problems facing people who are suffering from depression is the lack of recognition of the signs. Having someone who has to help everyone else through the hardest times because they know how hard it is to be going through.

Being depressed is not mood or attitude, it is a condition. Telling someone to be happy or to do something fun will not help the person in the long run. “Living life for you!” or any of the thousand pick me ups that can be said will not change the underlying issue that could be causing this bout of depression.

However, people who have depression can have good moments, days and even longer periods of time. It is odd or hard to see someone who goes through awful times and then manages to find happiness in a book they haven’t read in years. They can go to beach and have a wonderful day with many pleasant memories. They are allowed good days.

The ridicule from those good days often makes things worse.

In being told that we are not really depressed if we can have a good day illegitimatizes what is being experienced. This false narrative that we do not know what is happening in our own bodies and mind, teaches us that we do not know what we should feel and furthermore makes us fulled with guilt from being allowed a good day. Only imagine, after having found the energy to go and experience something happy and fun to be told we should never have felt bad in the first place and if we really were depressed, we should feel guilty about making others feel bad.

We wonder why we have a mental health crisis in today’s world.

You can be depressed and go to Disney world. You can have depression and enjoy food or movies. That doesn’t cure it but we are allowed to be happy. Helping people understand that instant cures do not exist and that just because we are smiling doesn’t mean we are not still hurting. Having a happy moment doesn’t stop the chemical imbalance that is present in our bodies and minds. Laughing with a puppy does not cure the years of mental and physical abuse that has been done to someone. Please stop judging people on one good day.

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Holiday happiness fighting

One thing I have noticed during the holidays this year is the treatment of people and employees. Having a chronic illness has made me very aware of people and the feelings they give off. I can sense more of when a person is having a bad day or the tension in the room. I always try and make mention of asking how someone is doing or listening and responding to people.

Every time I go into the gas station or grocery store, I greet the clerk and ask how they are doing. I try and hold a small brief conversation with them. The smiles I and nods I get are overwhelming. Just by the simple act of talking to them has made a difference in my life not to mention what happens after I leave.

I try and hold open the door or elevator for people behind me. Simple things that people get amazed over. The surprised look on people’s faces are shocking. I have even had a few ask why I would hold open the door for longer than two seconds. These very simple acts are so easy to do but it seems that more and more people are abandoning these acts of service.

I find this also translates into modern society in the fact that we have lost the art of finding the good in people. In this day and age of politics that seem to be dividing everyone, I have seen more people abandon being nice and courteous to one another in favor of treating people like a punching bag. I truly believe this stems from the lack of trying to find the good in people.

Finding the good in people can be difficult. I can hear the arguments in my head of why I should not try or bother to find it. “People are just to evil” or “You can’t fix the world” echo in my head but in honesty, I am not trying to change the world. I am just trying to change the world around me. If I surround myself with positive reinforcement, does that not change my own world?

In doing this, what else would change? By just trying to find a positive chord in a person, you are changing the way your brain thinks. Instead of going into a conversation with an attitude of “I don’t like ‘this’ about a person”, you remember they are a good parent, they take care of their elderly neighbor, or they stop and pet each animal they find. You start looking for the good things in this world. You try and find commonality with a person. What would change in this world if more people did it?

Don’t go out and change the world. Start small and change yourself and let that change your world.

#hugaplushie my friends

Where Has the Happiness Gone?

I have been writing in this blog for 4 years now. I have shared thoughts and opinions and feelings. I have seen people grow and learn. I see people fail and break. I have seen a world of change and a changed world. I have also seen a change that scares me.

Where has all the happiness gone?

I see people, more often than not, getting nasty on social media. I see folks attack and fight bitterly over social and economic systems. I have seen a great number of people break off friendships and cut off loved ones because of who they voted for in the last election.

I ask you again, where has all the happiness gone?

Where is the brotherly love we used to feel for one another? Where is the rebuilding of America after 9/11? Where is the gathering of help for tsunami victims? Where is the love of Pokemon Go that had everyone, young and old working together towards a common goal? What has changed?

What are you doing to keep the happiness here?

How have you acted in a kind fashion lately? What acts of kindness have you performed? Did you hold the door open for that person running behind you? Did you let that car get over a lane in heavy traffic? Did someone need that quarter you have in your pocket? What smiles have you brought to others faces?

What have I done to change the world for the better?

Did I do enough today to make a difference? Have I smiled at enough people to show that I care? Did I say hello enough times in the elevator to make someone feel welcome? Have I fed the dogs for my friends? Have I encouraged my daughter enough about school?

Happiness is not gone from the world. We just have forgotten to spread it around. The we spread it, the more it comes back to use. I ask you all, dear readers, to consider who you interact with today, tomorrow, next week. See who’s lives you can change for the better.

Don’t let the happiness disappear.

#hugapony my friends

Support day.

This year has turned into quite a roller-coaster for quite a few people, myself included. I , I feel as if we have had nine months of news stories in the span of only 60 days. I know I have had to look for the positive stories more than anything to remain hopeful. I have also worked hard to bring the fight for others like me who are suffering in the opioid crisis. During this time I have been dealing with a long run of fibromyalgia flare ups.

I am hurting, tired, and worn out.

This is a unique time of year. The darker, colder months of the year for the US and this leads to more depression. The break from holidays and the excitement of the new year has worn off for most people. It becomes harder to stay focused and to be able to focus on the positives.

It also happens to be my birthday time.

My birthday is in the beginning of March (actual date redacted). Birthdays were always an old day for me. I have been very blessed with a wife who goes and plans a wonderful day for me. She is quite a amazing at it. I quite grateful for all that she does. There can be one thing that holds me back.

My condition.

I have to take time every month and access my pain levels, what I can and cannot do physically, and more. It is difficult to look over the past month or two and see where I have declined, what I have done better, and general self care. In doing so, I have found myself in a rougher spot this time of year than most birthdays.

It is difficult to be in a happy time and be brought down by your illness. You struggle and fight to be happy and appreciative. Inside, you are trying your hardest, and want to shout out that it is all amazing. What can escape your lips is far less than what you want to say.

But still I fight. I know many who fight with me. I know many who fight for us.

I want to give a shout out to those who fight to be happy in the bad times. I am proud of you and I believe the world is a better place with you still in it. I want to give a huge shout out to those who help take care of us. You all go above and beyond with trying to show us how much we are loved and do amazing things. You make life worth living for so many of us. You are amazing and strong.

As always, a big shout out to all those who read and support me. I am humbled and honored that you choose to read what I write. You guys rock and make me feel like a rock star.

I ask all of you to give some love and gratitude to those who support you. Sometimes the best way to help yourself out of a hole is to help others. Showing love and compassion will return it back to you.

Thank you and I love you all.

#hugapony everyone.

That Next Big Thing.

I am going to take a moment and something amazing. My article has struck a chord and resonated with many people. It has now been published at TheMighty.com, three of their Facebook pages, 3 (!) more news pages, and has been put on twitter with a large Spoonie group. I have to share the links cause it is so amazing.
 
 
The word is spreading. It is incredibly humbling to share with so many amazing people. I am honored to be one to speak out. Let us keep the momentum going.
 
I love you all.
 
#hugapony.

3 Year anniversary

3 years ago I decided on a journey to help others fight anxiety and depression with plushies and ponies. This was a journey of self discovery and meant really just to channel my feelings and emotions. There was such a draw and almost demand for more that overtook and surprised me. It was a welcome joy to have a platform to help others.

Over the last 3 years, I have gotten to meet a few of you in person. It is always an amazing experience to see how you have personally effected someone’s life in a positive way. In all honesty, it is what keeps me going some days. I have my bad days and there is always someone who brightens my day. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

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Looking ahead, I hope to be more active in have panels and have more of an online presence. I have a few articles with The Might.com in the works and a writing project that I have shared with a very select few of you that I hope to bring to light one day.

If I have effected you in some way over the last 3 years with my blog, Please post a comment somewhere here or on social media. I promise to respond.

Once again thank you all!

#hugapony my friends.

Self care day 28:Self care Wrap-up

Its has been 27 days of self care tips. 10,000 words written to help those in need. I think my hand is starting to cramp with all of the typing I have been doing. I kept my promise and posted every single day in the month of February. I was so worried I would miss a day and it kept me up nights writing late into the mornings sometimes but I made it!

I am going to list all the post here, in case you missed any or want to share all of them with friends who may need them. I do thank you all for joining me on this incredible journey this month. I hoped I help someone out there. I will also be adding a tab on the main page for easy access.

Please feel free to comment, like, subscribe if you found this helpful. If you would like, I do take donations on the link on the side with Paypal (or bellow for you mobile readers).

Thank you all.

#hugapony my friends!

Self care Day 1: Valet parking

Self care day 2: Candy day

Self care day 3: Self mail

Self care day 4: Finding your towel

Self care day 5:Cookie monster

Self care day 6:Picnic Baskets

Self care day 7:Netflix and you

Self care day 8: Blackout

Self care day 9:Writing people

Self care day 10:Sharing Happiness

Self care day 11:Appetizing Friends

Self care day 12:Flower power

Self care day 13:Nothing

Self care day 14:Crown Jewels

Self care day 15:Something New

Self care day 16:Peace of body

Self care day 17:Pillow talk

Self care day 18:Loving yourself

Self care day 19:Sweeter things

Self care day 20:Cleansing

Self care day 21:Bedhead

Self care day 22:Celebrity status

Self care day 23:Bubble bath

Self care day 24:Culture

Self care day 25:Zoology

Self care day 26:Treat your body

Self care day 27:Inner Plushie

Self care day 26:Treat your body

Keeping with the self care, there is always a time to “Treat yo self” Parks and Rec style. Body upkeep can be something that we all need. We have covered a lot of post like this in the past month and there is a few more things we can do to help.

Manicures, Pedicures, facials all have one goal. They are there to make you look better. Find a time and Groupon a place to do them (find someplace good). I am a guy and I will admit to having these things done to me. A facial is VERY relaxing (like a massage for the face) and helps those tired eyes. I have no shame in saying that it was an awesome thing to try. Having your nails trimmed and taken care of makes your full body image go up. One of the things I notice when I meet someone and shake their hands is if they have clean nails or not.

It is an easy thing to do for yourself or you can “treat yo self”.

Haircuts/styling is again a wonderful way to improve your mental body image. While there are many salons for women, there has been a rise in specialty barbers for men as well. I have one friend who goes to his barber and he gets a beer every time for his trim. Another friend swears by getting a straight razor shave to trim the beard and having a hot towel on the face.

Find ways and places that can help improve your mental image of yourself. Getting yourself in a place where you are happy with you is so uplifting. Sometimes we all need a pick me up in the physical looks department. Help yourself by little easy changes that can be done.

Self improve the body to help self improve the mind.

#hugapony my friends

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Self care day 23:Bubble bath

I remember bath time as a child. It was fun getting soapy water and making towers of bubbles that represented mountains or icebergs as my toys would have grand adventures throwing rings into fiery mountains or crashing ships into icebergs. It was a fantastic time of fun and enjoyment. Now, with my own kids, I get to provide them with the same fun and enjoyment. Barbies are in a gigantic size hair salon or ponies get to dash through mountains of snow on grand adventures throwing rings into fiery mountains (these are MY kids for sure).

There was revels to be had in bath time.

As a guy, baths are not something we often take. Showers, yes but baths are not that common place for us in American society. In this day and age, a full sized bathtub is hard to come by for either sex and is not in your average apartment. Showers remain supreme in the space as the quicker, easier option for getting ourselves clean. While we may enjoy the hot water steaming up the bathroom, I feel that we as a society are missing out on some very important self care.

I was in a lot of body pain a couple months ago and while shopping I saw a sale on Epson Salt. I had remembered that it could be used not only to clean you out internally, but also as a wonderful bath for tired feet or as a full body remedy. I picked some up and commented to my wife that it was something I wanted to try. She eyed me asking, “You? Take a bath?” I replied the affirmative and she eyed me some more but didn’t say out loud the loud judgment call of “girly” at me.

I got home and poured myself a bath in a bathtub half the size of what is necessary for a man my size and measured out the number of cups and I plunged in (so to speak). I was greeted by warm water that soothed aching muscles and sore joints.

Heaven was a bit closer to me in that time.

I implore you, if you have not tried a nice soothing bath since childhood, you should revisit this common luxury that is passed over. Time of peace and quiet would help the mind, the water help the body.

And with both of those together, they could help the soul.

Full body self care.

#hugapony my friends.

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Self care day 7:Netflix and you

Thank you for joining me on the grand undertaking. There is going to be a lot of work for me and  I hope to be able to keep up. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

I believe we live in a fantastic day and age of technology. I have a device in my pocket that allows me to contact anyone in the world. It also lets me fact check (or spell check in my case) when I need help. I can find the latest famous “Cat picture” on the web. I can also play games, do my taxes or my personal favorite, watch just about anything I want.

It makes it easy to end up watching an entire show in one sitting even if that sitting is 22 hours long….

I personally feel like that we all have that guilt that comes after watching an entire season of Stranger Things that makes us feel like we are horribly lazy people. We only meant to sit down while folding laundry or taking a quick break after work and see an episode. Instead, it turned into a “Holy crap its 3 am and I binged watched the entire season!” Why do we do this? What drives us to not move from our spot?

We want the escape.

We want the ability to just let go for a bit and relax doing something we enjoy.

So why do we feel guilty about doing something we enjoy?

We look at ourselves and say that we should be cooking or cleaning. We have bills to pay or someone we should be helping. We feel this guilt that society has put on us to go and do and act and be busy.

This is us. Humans doing. Do do do.

Is this how we are supposed to be?

Human doing instead of human being?

I say nay to all those who look down on taking time to do something you enjoy. Watching your favorite show is not a terrible thing. Some days we need to have the break. Some days we need the release of not having to do do do.

So plan a day. Pick one. Either after work or on a day off. Get some snacks, order a pizza, make a cup of hot tea or coffee. Plan nothing but to binge watch that season of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events start to finish. Kick your feet up, relax. Take a day and give your mind and body a rest. Take care of yourself. Tell everyone that you are busy and have plans. Taking care of yourself is your plan for the day.

Recommended dosage is to be taken as needed for self care.

#hugapony my friends