Encouragement Goes A Long Way

Thank you for all your encouragement and words of wisdom about how I can overcome my writer’s block! It truly helps me refocus and stop being so hard on myself.

Tonight I had an incredible experience. I was fortunate enough to go out to dinner with an accomplished author, and she was able to share her story and provide me with valuable insight. She encouraged me to trust myself and my creative thought. Not to listen to the voice inside my head that says I’m not good enough, or my ideas are stupid. She made me feel like I wasn’t alone in my writing journey. She had been in my place, and so many others have been there before me. It’s not just me. She even said she would help me along the way. ❤️ My heart could have burst!

It felt as if God aligned this moment for me. Just as I was struggling with confidence in my writing ability, this incredible woman came to switch my mindset. As if God himself was encouraging me to go forward in good faith that he gave me a voice, and I can do it!

I just feel so invigorated! Like a burden was lifted and I can be free to express my creativity without judgment! It’s ok to let loose and trust in my own voice!

Good morning! Let’s spread the love!

Good morning, everyone! Each day is a new chance to show love to those around you. You never know what just a little smile could do to someone who feels invisible. Spread the love today!

Standing up for myself

As a woman with anxiety, I am inherently a people pleaser. I find myself worried about making other happy to the extent that I worry about the people driving behind me and if they are annoyed with my driving. Having a pleasing personality often times mean being taken advantage of, or even bullied. I am often seen as the weakest link because of my caring personality. It can make going to work difficult at times because over the past four years in education many teachers have walked all over me because they know I work hard and they manipulate me to do their work and just take their attitude.

However, today I was resolved to make a stand. One of my fellow teachers is very negative and incredibly rude to other staff members, and me most of all! Strange since my husband is the vice principal, you think she would suck up to get on his good side! Anyways, she often talks over me, shoots down my ideas, and talks through my lessons when I am co-teaching. Today we had our team meeting she talked down to me and attempted to throw me under the bus but I stood up to her, in a professional manner that may have been laced with sarcasm, but it felt good! She didn’t say anything else and left without a word, which is highly unusual. I hope that she realized that I am not going to be pushed around anymore and I will not stand for it. I have to admit I was incredibly nervous and even shaking a little. However, I think I needed to do it so I could stop being the doormat. I am a strong woman and I deserve to be treated with respect because I have always treated her with respect.

There were times during the day when I felt anxious, and I am actually feeling a little anxiety as I am writing this, about what happened. I don’t like making anyone unhappy or uncomfortable. However, this can cause me to sacrifice my own comfort and happiness since I focus so much on making sure others needs are met. I hope making a stand is not going to ruin the treatment of my students in her class or the professionalism we must conduct while at work. The only reason I am there is to ensure my student receive the best possible education so they can create a strong future for themselves.

Have any of you been through something like this? And how did you handle it?

Take Time for Yourself

This week I have been relearning that it is vitally important to take time each day to focus solely on myself. It doesn’t have to be very long. Just a few minutes would suffice. And in those few moments, I felt refreshed! With all the stress from various places in my life, I have been feeling stretched too thin. Unfortunately, being stretched thin does not include my body. I’m still sitting at a size 12, and have nearly the same number of mini m&m bags, cake, ice cream and a king sized candy bar to add onto my hips after this week! I tend to emotionally eat, and goodness these past seven days have been emotional! Since I was so bogged down with work I hadn’t given taking time to myself much thought. However I happened to stumble across alone time completely on accident…

I was giddily looking forward to unwinding at home on the couch When I got home from work today, but I received a text from my husband reminding me to go over to our neighbor’s house and feed their chickens. Grudgingly, and with excessive mumbling, I pried myself out of the soft cushions of the couch, grabbed the dogs, and headed to the neighbor’s house.

After feeding the chickens, the dogs and I were on our way home to finally indulge in some over dramatic television, when I realized how beautiful it was outside. I noticed the pups seemed to be enjoying the weather just as much as I was, so we walked on past our house. We walked for about twenty minutes. We enjoyed watching the sun set behind the rugged mountain tops. The sky was lit up with brilliant pinks, purples and reds, and the calmness of the desert in the evening was intoxicating.

It felt so good to just be out there with only my thoughts and my pups. It was so peaceful and relaxing. All the stress from work melted away and I felt renewed.

I think we all need to consciously remember to think about ourselves every now and then. Many of us put ambition, service, or career above our own needs, and we just end up burning out. We are not much use to anyone if our bodies and mental state is unable to keep up with our ever increasing demands. Time must be put aside to ensure we care for ourself so we can be a blessing to those around us.

Happy Friday!

Nothing is ever wasted

In the years prior to my knowledge of my anxious affliction (college and before) I had several periods of darkness. If you have never experienced anxiety, there is a point where the anxious feelings have become so consuming that there is literally nothing else you can think about. Your mind is trapped in an endless cycle of fear and panic. Even if you are out with friends, or doing something you love, you are numb to all good feelings. It’s a hard thing to explain, but that’s my best shot.

Now, I have had 2 major episodes with the anxiety darkness. The first incident lasted for almost three consecutive years. I had no idea what was happening to me, I just knew I didn’t feel right. I retreated from my friends and family and packed on the pounds. After I realized the cycle of anxiety was not normal, I briefly took some medication and went to counseling. To this day, I struggle with looking at photographs from my last two years of college without triggering my anxiety. Currently, I am working on facing these emotions head on, but I will get to that in a moment.

The second episode was last year (six years later). My anxiety manifested itself in the form of panic attacks, which were new, and I had no clue what was going on. It was utterly terrifying. This episode only lasted 6 months instead of 3 years. I am now taking medication again and I have been feeling back to myself! Yay!

Now, looking back on these times, especially my college experience, I feel like I wasted a lot of my life. Years actually. I had so many amazing opportunities that I missed out on because I was anxious. It hurts to think about all the things I could have done instead of shutting myself off from everyone, and I feel the physical ache in my stomach.

However, I am learning that NOTHING that you go through in life is a waste! NOTHING! These difficult times that I have experienced in my life has now helped me become an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness. I am able to share my story with my co-workers and students and help them in their own journeys. I am working hard to take these negative feelings about my past and mold them into positive ones!

Remember, there is nothing in your life that is wasted. All the experiences you have been through have made you who you are and God has a plan for you. Don’t give up hope

Blogging has helped me heal

I am so thankful that I finally decided to create the Persistent Platypus. I had been wanting to start a blog for years, but I never had the courage until this year.

Dealing with a mental disorder can be a very lonely battle. There are so many stigmas attached to mental illness that people are hesitant to open up about their struggles. I never told anyone about my battles until A few years ago. I didn’t want to be judged or stereotyped. However, all of you have changed that for me. You have accepted me for who I am and have left encouraging posts to urge me towards recovery.

Thank you for taking time to read what I have to say, and share your own experiences. I look forward to sharing my journey with you all!

Love Gives

I believe a true testament of love is demonstrated by the act of giving. Not just giving gifts that are concealed beneath beautifully decorated paper, but in the act of giving ourselves to others as best we can. We all have been blessed with talents, and these talents should be used to help others. The act of giving our talents to enrich the lives others is a true act of love. Just a simple gift of our smile can brighten even the darkest of days of someone who feels invisible. The gift of chivalry through opening a door can lessen the stress of someone whose hands may be bogged down. Small acts of kindness add up to giant displays of love.

Use your talents to help someone today. 🙂

You are meant for something great!

No matter where we are in our lives, We are meant to do great things. We are meant to live a life of hope and prosperity. This may not mean our lives are easy or there are no longer struggles we are going to encounter. Instead, It means that in the face of hardship we will rise above to new heights and become stronger than our troubles.

Remember, you are meant for something great! Don’t ever give up on yourself.