Depression | One Year On

Howdy!

It’s crazy to think that it’s been a WHOLE year already, for not only the presence of my nephew but asking for help to deal with my depression! I almost had forgotten about it, but something on Pinterest one afternoon, made me realize that it could be a good idea if I talked about my mental health and give you an update on all of that.

Do not let the shadows of your past darken the doorstep of your future. Forgive and let go.

Overall, I think I’ve been doing really good. I am always going to have my ups and downs in my life but for the most part I am feeling great! However, I feel like I would be lying to you if I didn’t mention that I am afraid of going into July and August. Since I have so many negative memories of getting through both of those months that I automatically feel panic at the thought of them coming soon. I am trying to really keep positive though, but sometimes I just can’t help it, those visions are on a loop at the end of summer. 

This year has a lot of different meanings, between my blog’s 8th birthday, Nolan’s first birthday,  and celebrating 10 years as a blogger in October. I have had a lot of plans this year and the fact that I’ve had quite a few months with little as two posts in roughly 31 days has been somewhat frightening. I have been trying to let it go and so far that’s been working out great because I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to get things finished. I’ve been feeling somewhat zen ever since I accepted it. I’ve also been enjoying telling myself that you don’t have to set things up if you don’t want to right now. 

That’s one thing that I think my antidepressants have been helping me out with the most, keeping everything straight without branching off into a million different directions. I’ve always wanted to adopt a healthier state of mind, because my brain goes a hundred miles away with different things and it gets to the point where I get really angry with myself over being lazy but I think it is a good thing to slow down, watch a little TV and just chill out for a while.

My anxiety has taken a hint, and calmed down a lot in some unexpected ways, like for example, we weren’t expecting it to help out was my fear over the nail clippers. I have always been afraid of these damn things since I was little, but I haven’t been sweating like crazy or attempting to pull my fingers away of my mother’s grip as much so that has been probably the biggest surprise of all! I have surprised myself with how much I trust myself and others when it comes to certain things, like feeling I am going to fall because again I have had a serious fear of heights all of my life, but now I am so chill. It’s nuts!

I am better than I was yesterday, but not as good as I will be tomorrow.

Despite the fact that things are going really good lately, unfortunately, these pills are not a cure-all. I wish they were, because I have a couple more issues that I wish would go away in less than a year. I’ve been trying to find some ways to distract myself along the way so that I don’t give in so easily and sometimes that works, but then again it doesn’t. Thankfully I am a patient person and I love to learn to work things out better for me, so hopefully I’ll be able to get through some of these other things on my own. 

So, yeah this is my life one year on after accepting the help that I needed for my mental health and maybe come back to blogging full time again, because honestly I really miss it a lot! 

Have you ever decided to take anything for your mental heath, whether it be anxiety, depression, OCD, etc? How long  did it take for you to see some results? 

Dear Papaw III

Dear Papaw,

Tomorrow marks three years you’ve been gone. It may have been years, but it honestly still feels like yesterday. The whole week before and the days that came after play on a loop in my head. Originally, I had a totally different way about how I wanted this letter to go, but I’ve never wanted these to be too snappy. You wouldn’t have liked that anyways. I miss you a lot, even if some people don’t think I do. I think of you whenever I watch basketball, and I often wonder what you’d think of my knowledge about it and the four professional teams I watch on a daily basis. I think you’d be like dad and hate on the Lakers because of LeBron. I don’t blame you. I don’t care for him being on the team either. I wonder if you’d like the Rockets though since they’re the ones I seem to watch and root for the most of course! I understand why you didn’t like it because of how many attempts a player will take to shoot the ball and the whole scoring process, I’m still not understanding that part yet, but I’m slowly getting there.

On the day I wrote this letter, I went looking for a picture for the banner. I was going to attempt to find one of “Alex” with your old Butler shirt but then I found an album that nana made for us in the family to share memories and old photos, and I found one dedicated to you. I had array of pictures to choose from, but once I saw this one, I knew I had to use it. You’re wearing a Butler shirt and if you’ve been watching them from heaven, you know they’re in a desperate need of a miracle, getting through the Big East tournament and March Madness, which will all probably be over with by the time this post goes out, but you know!

I always thought it was funny how Rick would continue to buy you a Butler shirt for your birthday or Christmas and you’d wear it once maybe and then stuff it back in the closet. You were pretty consistent with your fashion in your old age. We all thought you looked adorable in anything you wore, even if you had food spills down your shirt and pants, we didn’t care. We laughed at you, and apparently you’ve been getting back at us for doing so, because we all tend to spill our food on our shirts a lot more than we usually do.

We are all in agreement that you visit little Nolan. Em posted a video of him reaching up to an invisible spirit; it gave me goosebumps! He is so smart! He actually reminds me of you in the fact that you wouldn’t really flaunt your smarts, sorry, I couldn’t think of a better word there! I think you would have loved him dearly. Now, if you can talk ChiChi into letting him pet her easier, that would be nice. He is so curious about his surroundings, and ChiChi is the only animal that is afraid of him. Honestly, if you saw him in his walker or “car” as we call it, you’d be terrified too! The best way to compare the experience is a four year old me racing around the house in my wheelchair!

Hope you are enjoying yourself wherever you are, and watch over all of us down here too, not just the youngsters. We’re still a quirky bunch but we all need an angel at our side sometimes. Although, I feel like you’d be like a bit of a jokester still, so be good too. You don’t want to get on God’s bad side! So no pranks with some of your friends up there. You told me way too many stories of you growing up with them to know that you all can get into some mischief. Anyways, I love you.

Your granddaughter,
Meg-han.

Why You Should Blog Now?

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Howdy!

I may be getting ahead of myself a bit, but on Sunday, I’ll be celebrating seven years of blogging on here! SEVEN! It still shocks me that next year I’ll be blogging as a whole for 10 years! Blogging wasn’t supposed to mean anything to me, other then another outlet to do school assignments in one of my English classes, and yet here I am completing another milestone!

I’ve been trying to rack my brain on what all I could talk about today. I could have ignored the meaning of the day and publish a simple favorite movie post, and in my defense I’m actually having fun coming up with those, so if I annoy you with all of the different types, sorry not sorry!

So the only thing that I thought would be a response post to a swirl of blog posts I’ve been seeing online.

Apparently blogging in general is losing its shine on people. They’d rather watch videos on YouTube then read a bunch of articles on a blog, and in a way I understand because I roughly read four posts a week. I may follow over a ton of sites, but it’s true I don’t read as many of the blogs I used to. I will say this, it’s not smart to read a restaurant review at eight or nine o’clock in the morning without having breakfast first!

What is the point of having a blog, if nobody is going to read it? 

If you created a blog for the sole purpose to share it with strangers on the internet, even maybe make a little money on the side, then yes, this is a question that you’re faced with every single day. For me though, since my views are somewhat low anyways–we’re keeping it real today–I don’t really care. I’m not focused on my stats anymore. I’ve literally switched that section to the bottom of my dashboard, I do enjoy the comments I get from fellow bloggers and some of my readers, it makes everything worthwhile, but when that fades away, would I still blog?

My answer will always be yes and this goes back to the first blog. Despite the fact we made them in school, that didn’t mean that they were all set on private, they were very public, but we got our laptops so late in the semester (it was a one semester class!) that our teacher couldn’t give us the low down of the settings of the site. I actually didn’t know where the stats section was until probably four months prior to creating this one. I hardly ever received a comment on the various things I would talk about there, so I didn’t really care or knew anyone who read my stuff, I  just wondered how that person came across my post in the first place!

If you do decide to create your first blog, here are some most frequently asked questions I’ve been asked in the past. If there is anything else, please ask below and I’ll try to answer it.

How many times should you blog on a daily basis? 

This is your decision. I don’t recommend on blogging 365 days. I actually did that once and even though I only missed four days out of the whole year, I absolutely hated it. You shouldn’t force yourself to talk about something, you won’t produce genuine posts!

I think it is important to come up with some kind of routine. I don’t have a daily routine of when I write my posts, but I usually start in the early mornings when it’s really quiet or past noon, after I’ve eaten lunch. It just depends on how much free time you have, if you’re an early riser or have an afternoon/night to yourself, then I’d use it to your best ability.

Now as far as figuring out a daily schedule. If you want to work on pieces and publish them at a later date, that’s not exactly a bad thing and I don’t know why more bloggers don’t do it. I actually post on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at roughly the same time each day, around seven o’clock in the morning. Whenever I publish my posts on Facebook, they actually have an exact time schedule and that is 8am. Every day has a different topic, such as Monday’s are usually more personal, whereas I leave both Tuesday and Thursday as my entertainment days, this is why you see my movie posts on Tuesdays and music reviews on Thursday!

Should you establish a niche for your blog?

For me, I always knew I was a lifestyle blogger. I wanted to discuss things that went on in my life as a person with a disability. Even while I was still on my first blog, I knew what kind of content I wanted to create on a weekly basis, but I didn’t know there was an actual category until about five years later and found the motherload of fellow bloggers like myself.

To answer the question for you though, no, I don’t think you should. I think it’s fine to play around with different topics at first, but if you are an amateur expert at a certain niche, then go ahead and give it a go! I just don’t think you should close off on other things though. I’ve seen plenty of bloggers who, for years, have only talked about one or two very specific things and literally feel like they’re repeating themselves or notice other people talking about similar things and they want to change things up, but are too afraid that they’ll lose followers in the switch.

Should you buy a domain, professional layout, and/or accept sponsored posts right off the bat?

This one is a difficult one to answer, because you have three different things wrapped into one question, but they all do go together because they all involve money. Now this is purely my opinion, but you shouldn’t buy a domain or template until you’ve at least blogged for a year, for example, say you only use your blog for six months and don’t go back to it until a year later. By that time, you’re going to be kicking yourself because you could’ve used that money for something else.

Now about the sponsored posts part, I’m not the best person to answer that section. I wouldn’t know how to get started on it or do it in general. If you know some bloggers already that have a widget for monthly sponsors or pieces that say that they were sponsored by a certain brand, then you could ask them how they got started with it. However, I will say this as a fair warning, not everybody is as friendly about it as you’d think, especially the ones who work with bigger brands!

When is it time to branch out of your blog though?

When is it time to branch out and do other stuff? Honestly, if I was asked to writing articles for Disability Horizons in either 2012-14, my editor would have hated me, for the fact that I had such horrible writing!

I think being asked in 2016 was the perfect timing because I was starting to really care what I was talking about, and I edited my posts that desperately needed to be taken care of before I officially scheduled it to be published. I don’t think you’re never ready to do something out of your comfort zone. Blogging has become my security blanket, I’ve grown into it, and with that being said, I believe I can grow into writing for other sites too! That’s why I’m building a relationship with the creator of the History Of Royal Women, because as passionate as I am talking about disability issues, I am also a fan of history and the royals!

It’s like what I said before about being open about discussing other topics on your blog, you shouldn’t close your mind from something else you enjoy and have some type of knowledge for it because it doesn’t go with your original blogging plan. It does get boring every once in a while and when I decided to write about my love for Anne Boleyn last year, I literally had the same freeing experience I had whenever I started blogging about music full time. Don’t worry, that post goes up soon!

If you’re asked to work with a site or another blogger that either is similar to what you write about on your blog, go for it! There’s nothing wrong with it, because if you decide one is enough, then at least you can say you were published somewhere!

How to deal with the misconceptions of blogging

Thanks to a recent lifestyle blogger chat on Twitter (hosted by a favorite of mine Amie!) I’ve decided to add a section of it to this post.

Back in January, I was asked by an old friend from school, who was thinking about creating her own blog. She had looked up the different platforms and asked me array of questions about blogging. I actually think she’d do good as a blogger, because she already knows how to promote and I thought she could bring something new to the blogoshere, but ultimately she decided not to go for it. She’s recently had a baby, so she doesn’t have a lot of free time on her hands.

Blogging isn’t for everyone, and I think it’s fair to keep that in mind. I mean, it isn’t easy by any means. People who don’t do it just assume that you are sent things from brands for free all the time but whenever a blogger is being sent things, the blogger has post multiple times on their blog, social media accounts, etc to help promote the brand itself. They may not always get a commission from the brand itself, but there’s a lot of work that goes into it that people just don’t understand!

Should people continue to create blogs if the trend itself is dying?

Again, this is a yes for me!

If you’ve learned anything about this world, nothing really fades away. I mean, just look at MySpace, it’s still holding on with all its might! So who knows, blogging could catch its second wind, but I think I’ll be here anyways.

I know I’ve already said this, but if you have any more questions, send them my way!

snowflake

Dear Papaw II

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Dear Papaw,

Last year, we discussed basketball, and I know you probably really enjoyed it. I have been learning a lot of terms in the past five months and I’m really enjoying it, but wish I could have you back around so you can see me cuss and scream with joy at my TV late at night just like you. I’m actually still shocked that mom doesn’t put anything on Facebook about that actually! I know she laughs at me though because every once in a while, I can hear her behind the door!

I’m still surprised you never watched a pro basketball game though. I find those are a little bit more interesting! One of the first games I ever watched of the Houston Rockets was when they went up against the Detroit Pistons and what was so cool about it, was the fact they kept going back and forth making three point shots! I was so impressed, but unfortunately, after they went into halftime I never saw finished the game nor did I find out who won it. Now I either watch it and after halftime start recording it or I just tape the entire thing because I get really tired watching the later games!

I recently watched the Dallas Mavericks go up against the Lakers and found out that one of your favorite players from IU was a member on the other team. For some odd reason, I didn’t notice him until the end of the third quarter because the commentators were suddenly talking about him and I immediately recognized the name “Yogi”. He wasn’t the only Hoosier I’ve actually got to see play. Back in November or early December, I finally got to see Cody Zeller play! He really is a tall dude but also looks like he’s thirty years old too!

Let’s get out of talking about basketball, but don’t worry, we’ll go back to it in a minute!

As you may know, little Emily is pregnant and Kristi is expecting #2! There’s babies all over the place! Is anybody else going to announce their pregnant in the next coming months that you know about up there?

It’s still a bit of a shock knowing that she’s not only married now but growing a baby in her baby when I literally have vivid memories of her being in mom’s belly. I still remember the day we all went to see her on the ultrasound. I vaguely remember being amazed that this stick like thingy could see through the uterus and map out an image of a fetus, and as a four year old that was like the coolest thing ever! I have yet to see Nolan move on it, but there’s a reason for that. Apparently, there’s just enough room for the doctor, mommy, and daddy in the room. So I’m left seeing the ultrasound pictures on Facebook, because mom keeps forgetting to actually show me the pictures!

When we found out that Emily and Brandon were expecting a boy, I will be honest and say that I was shocked. I really wanted a girl, but mostly because we all know how to take care of girls, plus Brandon has two sisters so even knows things about girls (somewhat) so knowing that he’d get a boy probably made him very happy, but I think figuring out that Emily also wanted a boy was interesting! I mean, since it’s been announced I’ve had many dreams of her getting peed on in the middle of the day, which means if I decide to take up the challenge of changing a diaper, it will be me getting wet instead.

I think it’ fair to say that almost everybody has purchased something for them, but mom has a full bag of baby clothes, while both dad and I have one outfit picked out for him. We at least have control over ourselves, but I have a feeling you were trying to influence me these last two months with the onesie I got for him. Amazon had cute little onesies that had collars like you used to wear and mom didn’t like them! One thing though is that I do think the one I got will work better as its more casual.

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Brandon and I are going to be awful with this kid, as he loves DC and I’m on team Marvel, thankfully he has been buying him both sides but you know if I get the chance of changing his clothes, I’m going to put him in anything Avengers. The last time we went to Walmart, I saw these Avengers sneakers and I almost got them because I felt like I wouldn’t see them the next time. We both like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so we’re good there, it’s just colleges now is our issue. Brandon has a lot of North Carolina stuff on his wish list but I’m the good one. I’m trying to keep up with the tradition of the Butler shirts. This definitely won’t be his only shirt, as Emily saw little Butler booties and now I want to get those to complete the whole package!

Well, I think I’m done with this now. Hope you are still watching over us and enjoying your time in heaven with some of your friends too.

Love and miss you.

snowflake

Dear Papaw

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I decided to write this post earlier because I figured as the day got closer I wouldn’t be able to find the right words and I also used the Butler Bulldogs game against Xavier to help keep me focused on this too! 

Dear Papaw,

Today will be the one year anniversary of your death and I am sitting on the edge of my bed watching Butler going up against Xavier right now. I’ve watched so many basketball games in these past few months that I surprised I don’t know more of what’s going on within the actual game! I don’t exactly know who to throw the blame on because something tells me if you ever tried to teach me any basketball terms, I may not had been a willing participant! So this is my own fault!

I’ve been pretty proud the team though. They’ve kicked Villanova’s ass, who is #1 in the Big East conference (is that right?), twice this season. Once in November and the other this past month. I remember because I watched both, the first game was the one I watched for the very first time since you’ve been gone, which mom and dad seemed to think was cute! However, I cannot wear my actual Butler shirts on the days they play because in the last two games, they’ve lost, so no more of that until the season is over.

I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve turned your cabinet in the kitchen into my little storage area. Nana and I are only using one section, so don’t worry! I read your Smithsonian magazines and we store them in there! Your railroad magazines go into your bookshelves. I’ve also been using your room a bit too! The next time David comes down, nana’s going to get him (or Laurie) to put the typewriter into your room by the vent for my project.

You wouldn’t want to see your room, it’s a mess! However, if you were to compare yours up against mine, I’m pretty sure we’d be even! You can still see the green carpet and walk through without having that much of a difficulty! Other than that, it has a LOT of stuff around, but everything has a reason to be in there. Nana cleaned the “organ” desk and I arranged most of your family’s books  into the bottom area. I have never felt more like Superman than at that moment! You would have grabbed every single book off of my shin and put into that section yourself if you saw how far out I was sitting on my seat!

If you think your bed got a little bit smaller, it sort of did. Emily and Brandon’s “puppy” Chipper peed on it and Emily, Brandon, and mom took the mattress outside and I think mom washed your IU blanket that evening. Everything’s good now, except for the fact you’re missing a mattress!

You would love Chipper! I think you would be kind of scared of him, but don’t worry I have daydreams of the dog running up on me and basically colliding into me on accident and I end up in the ER with a dislocated shoulder or something, because he’s not small like ChiChi. Oh, no! Chipper is a pit bull, like Chancey and I’m betting you’d treat him just like you did with both Casey and Chance! Why did we name all of our animals in a “C” by the way? That’s like a question, you can ask your relatives up there, why is there a lot of “E” and “L” names in the family?

We’re at nine minutes into the game and Xavier is kicking our butts! It’s not by much though, so we could still take this!

I wanted to tell you that I think you’ve been recraninated into a hawk or maybe a buzzard, anything that soars over my head, confuses me now! Anyways, the day you passed when we went to the hospital and drove back home, I saw over 30 hawks in different places; whether they were flying around or sitting in trees or lamp posts, they were around. As most of the family was thinking you had something to do with the weather, which makes sense since you liked to shake the mini snow globe in the kitchen on the days that mom had to go to work the next day, we drove in both sunshine and snow flurries! I went another route, I thought since you always saw a hawk on the way to the hospital and back home when I was about to be born. I thought you had turned into a hawk.

You now have a hawk like across the street, it has a nice, big nest in the tree next to the house with that fenced-in area where those dogs used to live and bark like they didn’t have a care in the world! I saw it one afternoon and I had mom take pictures of it!

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I don’t where you are, you might be up in heaven or you’ve turned into a hawk. Who knows, but you know half of your family is a comedian so you know this was coming one way or another! I can’t do nothing else, but this for you. You’d rather hear about the happy times and how well Butler is playing than anything else anyways! Oh, and the reason why I haven’t discussed any of the IU games is because, I haven’t seen a single game, except for that one but that was on accident. Mom sat on the remote and she found it and that score, if I remember correctly wasn’t pretty by any means! We’re all in agreement that you were a big party in heaven when the IU coach was fired last week!

Kelan Martin just put a three pointer in the last few seconds of the first half! Hopefully, they’ll continue to do good as the second half starts.

Okay, I’m going to end this here. I think I’ve said a lot the what, twenty minutes? You know me well enough, that in of itself is a lot, even for me! I hope you continue to watch over us, but not haunt us! You can visit in our dreams, but don’t scare the crap out of us, like you were known to do here! I don’t know if I can handle another one of those types of dreams again!

I love you lots!

Meg-HAN! Your “cool” granddaughter 😀

Written on February 26, 2017 – Butler won against Xavier (89-77)  and completed on March 19, 2017! 

Photo Diary | Feeling Like Spring

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Howdy!

I had to do a last minute re-write of this post, because I honestly hated everything about it! If it wasn’t for the pictures of our cats below, I wouldn’t had even bothered of fixing it at all!

The first week of March we were greeted with some very nice weather! Everybody in the Midwest was semi happy, because they also knew how our weather likes to change drastically! Which is what happened on Monday. We haven’t had any snow since the first week of January and then all of a sudden, it decided to snow again. We usually get a decent winter, but not this year. The bugs are going to be absolutely horrible – mosquitoes are going to be the reason why I’ll be spending most of my summer indoors!  Thanks to the goofy weather, our flowers and trees have been blooming!

I have this roll of pictures and I have a second batch (coming soon!) that will be the last from the pink camera as it decided to crap out on me! It was a long time coming though! I got into more details about that next week! March is the one month where I wasn’t on my game! Even I’ve been a little disappointed with myself! I usually have things ready for April and I haven’t done a single thing for that month. You’ll read about that on Monday!

Hope you’re having a good week so far!

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What do you think of this photo diary? Have you picked a favorite in the lot above?

snowflake

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