Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Instagram Diary #1: Goodbye Summer.

I have been incredibly busy since I have started school again. I spend most of my time doing homework, and I've been really neglecting my blog. I'm working on better time management skills so that I can keep posting on a weekly basis, because I do really enjoy blogging. Since yesterday was the first day of Autumn, I decided to do a post on all of my Instagram photos this past summer just to have a look back. I'm so excited for Fall, and I look forward to doing another one of these posts in a couple of months!


Steaks, beers, and Cards Against Humanity

I started off my summer amazingly, hosting a bbq with some of my closest friends. Even though my barbecue ran out of gas, which means we had to grill our steaks on the stove, and a really late dinner, we had a great night, got drunk and played Cards Against Humanity. We all cooked together, drank together, ate together, and just had a lot of fun. 


RIP Papa


Something horrible did happen this summer, my amazing Grandfather passed away the day he was supposed to come to Canada from Ireland to visit. It was an unexpected death, so we were all in shock. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. My whole family took an emergency trip to Ireland for the funeral, but unfortunately didn't get to see him before he passed. My sister and I were so lucky to have vacationed to Ireland the previous month. It's weird how we just felt the need to go, almost like we knew it was going to happen, but we are so thankful we got to spend that time with him. It's been 4 months, and it's still very weird to me that he's gone, and I miss him so much.


Jack's Confirmation


The day after we got back from Ireland was my little cousin, Jack's confirmation. I was his sponsor, and we had a really good night, despite some of my family still being in Ireland. I was in shock the whole night how big Jack has gotten, I now have to look up to him when we talk! It was nice to be in my elementary's school church, it brought back a lot of memories. 


Summer Nights


This night was a good night. We had family over for a barbecue, and sat in the backyard that night. Had some laughs, and a lot of beer.


Ireland, August 2015


We had this trip to Ireland planned for a long time, and we were going to have a huge party for my Papa's birthday. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the party. My Papa was always the life of the party, so we knew he would still want us all to have fun. We had a Mass and party for him anyway, and it was amazing how even after he passed away, he still pulled a great crowd. My family went to Westport for a week, and we had an awesome time. I did some archery, and we went out to have great meals every night. I always love spending time with my Irish family. 






Anniversary Throwback


My amazing boyfriend and I celebrated 2 years together. I posted this old photo of us, that I have always loved. Two years, and we still haven't gotten sick of each other. We have such a great relationship, I wouldn't change it for anything!


Redhead


 I have always loved having red hair, and I've been a redhead a few times. I decided to dye it red again, but it didn't last long. The red hair is such a struggle to keep up with, and also really expensive, so I'm back to brown unfortunately.


Fantasy Fair


My boyfriends family and I went out to lunch, then Fantasy Fair. It was my first time going and it was so much fun being kids and going on all the rides.


Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!


My amazing parents celebrated 23 years together!


Last day of freedom before school




I spent the last day of summer holiday's before school at a beautiful beach in Oshawa with my boyfriend and his parents. After the beach, we went to a late lunch.


Super Early Birthday Dinner


My best friend took me out for a super early birthday dinner, since it was a while since we saw each other. We went to Jack Astor's, my favourite restaurant, then went shopping. 


Surprise Flowers


My boyfriend likes to surprise me with flowers every now and then and he did a damn good job last time. He decided to "cancel" our Friday night plans by saying he had to work late, and I got really upset. An hour later, I got a knock on my door and there he was with a beautiful bouquet! I'm a lucky woman.




That was my summer in a few photos. I think I'd like to start doing this every couple of months, I really did enjoy looking back. For next week, expect either an anxiety products post, or a post about my birthday weekend.

Megan x

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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Anonymous' Story: Depression, Bipolar, and Anxiety

 After the amazing feedback I got from my post about anxiety, I got so many messages saying that just sharing my story helped. I asked my boyfriend what I should write about next and he suggested including other peoples stories on my blog. I thought if it was a great feeling for me to get my story out, I'd give other people an opportunity. I asked on my Facebook page if anyone wanted to share their story on my blog, whether it was to help out readers, or to just get something off their shoulders. My childhood best friend sent me a message saying she would love to share her journey with mental illness. I'm going to respect her request to keep anonymous, because she doesn't want to put herself out there just yet. I gave her a guideline on what to write about, but told her to expand, add, remove, anything so that she was comfortable with the whole writing process. I think her story is amazing, and is filled with a lot of proof that you do learn more about yourself when you have a mental illness. I'm pasting her story below, please enjoy, comment, and message me your thoughts so I can share them with her!
     
     For most of my life, I just remember being sad. I have always been shy and a little more than a normal amount of reserved. I guess things started getting really bad when I was 12 though- so I will say that is when I really started noticing there must be something "wrong with me".  I had been from social worker, to social worker for 2 years. I then had a mental break down in emergency, and they sent me off to some fancy psychologist who could prescribe me medication and make me understand why I wasn't like everyone else. So at 14 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. A year later, he started talking about bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder- just the sounds of that made me want to puke. The last thing i ever wanted to hear what there is something wrong with my personality, that's the way I took it anyway. At 18, he officially diagnosed me with BPD. I stopped going to appointments and he stopped seeing me- because I was too scared to face the diagnosis of something being wrong with who I was as a person.
Early 2012, was the most desperate period in my life. I ended up in the hospital for a little while. I can say though it wasn't the doctors, or the social workers that changed my life. Not the CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), or the medication in that moment, but my parents. For showing up everyday, for bringing me real food (because the hospital food was terrible), for showing me that for a couple of people who I thought didn't even want me to exist- they sure were there for me 100%. I knew I could never do something like that again, not because I learned to love myself then but because they loved me and I never wanted to hurt someone the way I knew I had hurt them in doing that. The key to recovery and self love is a genuine support system.
When I was younger, my parents didn't know how to deal with what I was going through. In fact no one really knew how to react to what I was going through.
I didn't even know how to react. I think that mental health is something that is not only a learning process for ones self, but also the people who care about you. It takes time to understand the thinking process, and I am so thankful to have people in my life who have been patient with me, and who have adapted to the way I am and who have accepted me with the good and the bad. In high school, most people didn't want to get to know me because I was and still am a little different than most people- at the time that broke me down and I hated myself for that, all I wanted was to be was "normal", but I realize now how lucky I am to have so many amazing people love me for just being me. If people judge you for who you are as a person, it is not that you are not worthy, it's that they are not worthy of being in your life.
At a period in time just sitting on my front steps would give me an anxiety attack and I was most comfortable, in my bed at home with my parents. I think that is because I was afraid of all the thoughts and feelings I had, I didn't want anyone to know who I was. I didn't want people to know how paranoid I could be, how emotional I could be. Now, I find I am more likely to have an anxiety attack when I am thinking about my health, it's kind of silly but, I spend a lot of time avoiding health pages for that reason. I don't have many triggers anymore and most of the time if I am having a mood swing, anxiety, irrational thinking or anything along those lines it is based around the motives of others, self questioning, or just imagining all the things that could go wrong. I guess my trigger now is simply thinking from the wrong perspective. 
I stopped all medication about a year and a half ago (with the exception of the random Ativan here and there if i really can't control my anxiety). I have learned that there is nothing more important than self awareness and love for yourself no matter what your diagnosis. a lot of the time, i feel like doctors push medication for something that is more about an inner journey than a chemical imbalance. The truth is medication doesn't solve problems, at least it hasn't for me, it is only a crutch while you are figuring out how to cope with strong emotions and fears you sometimes don't know the root of. I would say honestly, that medication has made things for me worse. It is sad to say because medication helps so many people, but I avoid taking any pills because I have taken so many
that now I have anxiety even taking Tylenol. I won't even take Ativan unless someone is with me so if anything happens, someone will be there to help. I have been on too many medications to count on both hands and I feel like for me it is not the answer, and sometimes taking certain medication made things worse. I felt like a guinea pig.
       Meditation and breathing exercises have helped me a lot , and learning to accept myself has been a huge stepping stone for who I am and what I want to grow to be. In these things, I have taught myself how to pin point when I am having an episode and when my thinking is irrational. I have made peace with the past, the present and the future because I love who I am, and I would never change a thing. I think that once I realized that anxiety, depression and even borderline "personality" disorder doesn't define you as a person I was much happier. I thought that my diagnosis meant I was sick for the rest of my life and there was nothing I could do about it- but now I use it to my advantage. With such strong emotion and constant thinking habits comes great pleasure and great intelligence. It is all about the way you look at the world and yourself; There is always more than one perspective, to one person I might be mad out of my mind and emotionally unstable at times, but if i am that's okay. I could never be the understanding, caring, cognitive thinker I am today without that. I never would have pushed myself to see all sides of things, and love everyone and everything exactly the way they are without hesitation. Sometimes, I even believe that I might be happier and enjoying life more than some people without a mental illness. 
So I guess all in all, and why I wanted to do this for Megan and her wonderful blog that has helped me so much to understand sometimes talking about it can be a good thing, not only for yourself but for others- is to let everyone know that mental illness does not restrict you from living the happiest, breath taking life you possibly can. Sure, it can make things a little more difficult at times, but at the end of the day you have a perspective that not a lot of people have.
Getting there can be hard but anything is possible with the right amount of time and effort. You always have the ability to choose who you want to be, never let a diagnosis take that away from you. Never let mental health, make you feel isolated, it isn't always a bad thing to be different. 




Ativan- This medication is used to treat anxietyLorazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. 

     I think this story is great, mostly because I was in her life during her darkest time, and I've seen the person who she has become today and it's amazing that you can once think your life is over, but grow to be stronger than ever. I can really relate to this story because I know what it's like to be frustrated about people not understanding what you're going through. I learned first hand that it's really important to stay patient, and not lose your temper when your family and friends don't get it, because mental illness is not a subject people will typically know about since there is such a stigma behind it, and it is a learning process for both you, and the people around you. I want to thank you for reading, and also give a huge thanks to my friend for sharing her inspiring story and tips. If you'd like to share your story on my blog, please feel free to send me a message, because I think it's a great way to stop the stigma.

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Saturday, 5 September 2015

FOTD: Saturday Errands and Lunch // Quick Thank You!

One thing I realized in the process of this post, was one, it is much harder to take a good picture of concealer on a DSLR camera than it seems and two, most likely, a lot of my readers don't really care about what I put on my face, according to my stats. But, this is something I enjoy reading on other blogs, and something I enjoy writing about, so I'm going to do it anyway. Please, please, please scroll down right to the end anyway, as I would like to say a few words to everyone who reads! 
  


So my skin is pretty good to me, and I absolutely hate the feeling of foundation on my face, especially in the summer. So I only wear concealer, and powder. The concealer I use is Rimmel's Wake Me Up Concealer, and the powder I use is Mac's pro longwear. Since I have dry skin, I always spray fix plus on my face after the powder, just to add moisture.







For my eyebrows, I prefer using powder than anything else. Some days I'll use Soap & Glory's Archery brow pencil, but today I decided to go for Mac's eyeshadow in charcoal brown. This is a really nice ashy brown colour, so it looks really natural.


For eyes, I kept it fairly simple. I used Mac's All That Glitters all over the lid, Swiss Chocolate in the crease, and Venus from the Urban Decay Naked Basics Pallet as a highlight. I also used foxy as a transitioning colour.


For eyeliner I used Bobbi Brown's longwear gel eyeliner in black ink.




As for mascara, I used Roller Lash by Benefit. Not my first choice. Although it makes your eyelashes look super long, I go for more volume in mascara because I don't really need length. My favourite is Better Than Sex by Two Faced.




For blush, I went for Hervana by Benefit. I think it's a beautiful colour that really suits my skin tone. 




To contour, I always use Mac's blush in Taupe. I find bronzers way too orange, and it doesn't look natural. Taupe is a natural, greyish brown, that looks more so like natural shadows. You can only buy this blush at pro stores, and you can also only buy it out of the compact.


And finally, for lips I used my all time favourite lip liner which is Whirl by Mac.



Thanks for reading a super in depth/photo filled post about my face of the day. Now, I would like to just say a few things regarding the feedback I have had on my blog...

I have had amazing support and help from family and friends about this blog, and it's made me realized how blessed I was. I've had this blog for years, but never shared it and constantly deleted posts because the thought of putting myself out there terrified me. After finally sharing my blog with the world, I have gotten such amazing feedback. Especially after my post about my mental illness journey, I have gotten so many messages from people not only I was close to, but also people I've barely got a chance to know, and I want you to know that every single message I have gotten has really warmed my heart, and put a lot of confidence in me. So I just wanted to thank everyone who has shared, read, contacted me, and even just liked my Facebook page, because it actually means the world, and it puts a huge smile on my face every time. When you have a blog on Blogger, you are able to see the statistics of where your blog has been searched, viewed, and everything like that, and it has actually blown up pretty quickly at least a lot faster than I expected. It makes me wonder why I didn't start sooner. So again, thank you to everyone who has supported. Whether we talk everyday, or don't talk at all, your kind words, comments, and messages have completely made my year.

Love, Megan


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