Detoxing Social Media

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Often times I see headlines reading “Social Media Cleanse” or “Unplug For 24 Hours!” and never once have I thought “oh you’re right I should do that”. Personally, I enjoy being connected. I enjoy scrolling through Twitter, Instagram or just websites in general and seeing what not only my friends are up to or are thinking but seeing what celebrities and  other accounts I follow. I mean why else would I follow them on social media? I guess what I’m trying to say is, I am not ashamed to say I actually enjoy social media. Maybe it’s because I have grown up with it for the most part but maybe it’s because I don’t abuse it.

Social media to me has never been a source of stress or any sort of an addiction. I just go on my phone when I’m bored or when I have some down time and want to get my  mind off of my own life. I really don’t see a problem with that, I understand how it could definitely get out of hand quickly. But I like to think that the way I use social media is not detrimental to my mental health. When I’m having a bad day or feel overwhelmed, I look forward to being able to escape for a little while and look at what other people are up to. Also, I enjoy being able to see what my friends are posting and saying on their profiles as well. I feel more connected to them this way.

When I graduated high school, a few of my friends had said they were probably going to unfollow most people we went to high school with. It makes sense, if you really don’t care what they’re up to or plan on keeping up with them then why clog up your feed with it? I didn’t feel the need to unfollow people so I didn’t at first.

Slowly over the past three years of being out of high school I have unfollowed people here and there. I’ll see an offensive tweet or something I don’t agree with, realize who tweeted it and then think “okay guess I can unfollow them now.” almost as if I was looking for a reason to unfollow people. Like I needed a reason before I felt it was okay to remove them. When I would scroll through my Snapchat Stories or my Instagram feed I always saw all the girls from high school. Truly, I didn’t care about them. But I think subconsciously, I was body shaming myself and shaming myself for not going out as much as they were. I never really had lasting thoughts about their posts but I knew the 1-5 seconds that the post was on my screen, I was feeling less than great.

I follow a girl on Twitter and Instagram that I used to be friends with on Tumblr years ago. She is an amazing person and had put on her Instagram Story one day something about detoxing her social media. In the sense that she started following more positivity focused pages and self help pages. She also started following pages of things she enjoyed like dogs and art. When I read this post it was like a literal switch flipped in my head. Why don’t I follow more pages that I actually enjoy? Why do I strictly follow people from school and a few celebrities? So I went on the hunt for self help/positivity/fun pages that helped me feel good or helped me get my mind off of my own life for a few seconds without comparing myself to others. I also went through the list of people I followed and unfollowed tons, not everyone from school but a decent amount. Each account I looked at I thought “Do I really need to see what they’re posting?” and if the answer was no, I unfollowed them.

Don’t get me wrong, I still follow people from high school and things like that. But the positivity and enjoyable posts outweigh the number of people I follow from my past. When I go on my social media now, weather it be Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter I am actually enjoying scrolling a lot more and I feel a lot better after I get off of my phone. I didn’t even think or realize I was feeling worse after looking at social media. Honestly, I look forward to the uplifting accounts I follow now, I also follow a lot of artists and creators. It’s very inspiring to go onto your feed and see it flooded with talent and kind words. I recommend this to anyone.

I took a lot of time to find the right pages for myself, I’ll list some Instagram pages below that I enjoy the most. They may not work for you but maybe it will spark an interest or you’ll see a quote you like.

  • @SelfCareIsForEveryone
  • @MorganHarperNichols
  • SoFlyTaxidermy
  • PeopleIveLoved
  • Emotions_Therapy
  • Parker_htx_
  • PositivelyPresent
  • HumansOfNy
  • Amerosaart
  • KerisPilatesRoom

 

Your Friend,

Megan

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Twin Flame or Am I Crazy

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Okay…so this post is about my friend Riley. Now I’m going to get sappy and corny and all of that but in a way that makes sense to my brain, which is through astrology and universe talk.

In the world of astrology, there is the term “Twin Flame” now this is very similar to soul mates but on a much more intense level. Soul mates can be your husband/wife, your mom/dad/sister/brother, your friends, your mentor etc. You can have one soul mate or you can have twenty soul mates, typically most people have more than one. When you meet a soul mate it is an instant connection but it also grows over time. A twin flame is extremely intense. Now how does this relate to my life? Well honestly I know i’ve met at least two soul mates, one being related to me and one not. I can tell you I 100% without a doubt in my mind know I have a couple soul mates already. Riley is different.

Lets pause for a sec and just get a disclaimer out there: Soul Mates and Twin Flames can be romantic, sexual, platonic etc. It can be a best friend, a sexual partner, a spouse anything. Sometimes you are romantic with your soulmate but not sexual with them. Sometimes you are platonic and sexual with a soul mate. Any sort of these combinations are still forms of soul mates, basically its the type of energy that you just KNOW that they’re your soul mate or twin flame.

Back to Riley! So, Riley and I have been best friends since about freshman year of high school. Which is about 7 ish years of extremely close friendship. We went to school together since I believe 6th grade and we always knew of each other and crossed paths. So in total, we’ve known each other for at least 10 years. Now when I say “extremely close friendship” I mean, we didn’t leave each others side for 6-8 hours a day. We ate together, had class together, went to our lockers together, walked in the halls together and we always rode home together. We didn’t even go pee alone…we always went to the bathroom at the same time just with a stall or two in between us. So when I say we were close, we were CLOSE. Nothing has ever happened romantically or sexually, it’s been a platonic relationship the entire time but the most intense platonic friendship i’ve ever experianced.

Whats a Twin Flame? When an individual reaches a certain frequency of vibration/consciousness, when they pass on their soul splits into two. Think of it as a drop of water that just gets so big that it splits into two. The energy is just so large and it has reached it’s peak so it is reborn into two separate souls. You only have one Twin Flame. It is a direct mirror image of you, it reflects your flaws and your imperfections but it is exactly you.

I really don’t even know where to begin with explaining why I think Riley is my Twin Flame. We have such matching and countering energies, we don’t see eye to eye 24/7 which to be is indicative of a Twin Flame. We’re the yin to each others yang, we balance each other out. If I am panicking or having a meltdown somehow Riley is always ready to jump into action and help and knows exactly what I need to hear. If Riley is panicking or is having a bad day, I like to think that I help her as much as she helps me. But this isn’t the kind of friendship where we are so connected because we haven’t left each others side in 7 years, things changed after high school but this just furthers my belief.

Riley moved to Ohio to go to college and I stayed in Michigan, we were both obviously sad and missed each other a lot but it was a different kind of missing a friend to me. I felt like yes I missed riley but, I knew she had to go to Kent and had to be away from me. It was almost as if I knew we were going to be fine and we both needed to grow. Not in a negative way of “we needed space” because we probably would still be attached at the hip for another 10 years happily. When Riley moved away we instantly started talking less and seeing each other less, obviously. But the weird thing is..when I saw all my other friends after 2 months of not seeing them it was weird. No one knew what to talk about, no one really was having a good time and it was just kinda awkward. When I saw riley after 2 months, it was like our connection was even stronger and every time we see each other now I feel closer and closer on a mental and emotional level.

We always go into our own little world when we’re at parties or out with friends and end up uncontrollably laughing. to the point where it hurts so bad and you can’t function. I don’t laugh that hard with anyone but riley, ever. I have tried and its just not the same. Riley understands parts of me I don’t even understand and I understand her just the same. Id like to just attribute that to the long hours we’ve spent together and everything we’ve gone through together but honestly astrology is bomb as fuck and it all makes complete sense.

Often times with a Twin Flame, you aren’t consistently in each others lives. Usually it’s a passing time or coming and going. I know in my heart that one day Riley will move away or I will. That is going to happen, but for some reason I know that it’s fine and we will remain just as close. I don’t have that feeling with many other people or even my family, but with riley its the instant thought of “Oh yeah Riley and I will still be close and stay in contact”. I hate to say it but its one of those things where if you know, you know, and I think I know? I feel like her baggage is my baggage and my baggage is her baggage. I said baggage too much. But thats how I feel, I never feel burdened by her issues or her emotional times. I always feel like she’s part of me so her baggage is also part of me. I know that I’m a lot to handle and that I too have a lot of emotional baggage. I never feel like I’m too much for riley or she can’t handle what I’m throwing at her.

This was an EXTREMELY long winded way to say, I’m confident in saying I have found my Twin Flame. Now let me just mention, Riley can be my Twin Flame and I don’t have to be hers. So Riley, if you’re reading this, don’t feel like “oh shit….I don’t feel the same” thats okay. If you don’t feel it as intensely or you feel it with someone else, I know that you’re something that I needed in my life and something that was supposed to be meaningful to me. If you do feel the same, THATS DOOOOOOPPPPEEEEE AND WE DID IT! Thank you for being my mirror image and my best friend.

Your Friend,
Megan

Apparently I’m Back Again

So I’ve been gone for a bit…I have no excuse. I frankly didn’t want to write? Why should I lie and come up with some excuse. I really had other things to do and didn’t think that writing on this blog was a part of my day I needed, or wanted to take. I have realized that I do enjoy writing. I do enjoy writing about my experiences and talking about things I’ve gone through, and pretending i’m writing to someone who decided to read this blog and wanted to read what I have to say. But truthfully when I look back at blog posts, I think “Okay why did you write that? Who are you writing that for? It’s pointless, no ones reading it.”

This is where I talk about self help/love/awareness. I don’t think I’m on the journey of self love yet. Honestly I kind of think of my journey as a steps process. Right now I’m working on self awareness, next ill move onto self help, and then the mountain of self love. I believe they all tie into each other…you can’t have self awareness until you are partaking in self help. You can’t have self help without being self aware. When I say self love is last…thats not to say I have no self love and thats something that is to come. I say self love is last because thats the ultimate goal. I want to love myself as much as everyone says they love me. I want to love myself as much as everyone (including myself) know I should. I will not sit here and say “I love myself!!!” because I’m not going to lie. I do love myself, but not enough as I should and not enough to proclaim my love for myself because I do not feel that way. Yes its a sad thing to say, yes its something I’m working on and yes I will love myself immensely one day. That day is coming and it will be here soon enough, but that day is something that I have to work towards. Which I am doing.

Currently, I am slowly evaluating my life and myself. What am I doing that is negatively impacting my self help journey? What am I doing that is negatively effecting others? What am I doing well? What do I ENJOY doing? Where do I feel happy emotions? Where am I angry and sad? What do I do when I feel these emotions? All of these evaluations are what help me decide what kind of self help I need. All kinds of self help are valid, all kinds of self help are beneficial. But what will work for me? Do I just need to adjust my own attitude and outlook on life? Do I need to go to therapy? Do I need to change the people and energies I associate with? What do I need to do to love myself more, and love my life more. In the end this is a me journey, I have all the control over how I feel.

Here comes the full circle part you’ve been wondering if I would remember! When I look at these blog posts and have all those negative feelings and I think its stupid that I write, thats a MAJOR kick in the teeth of my self love journey. Why am I making myself feel bad for doing something that I enjoy? Why am I thinking I’m not good enough to write? I could write basic ass sentences repeatedly on a piece of paper and if that made me happy then why is it not okay? My stress relief and hobbies don’t have to make me money, or make a product, or be active. If my hobby is writing about my life on a blog that most people won’t read, then I’m gonna do it whenever I feel necessary.

That was a long winded version of me saying, I’m back and I want to make this work. If in a week I disappear again and I don’t come back for 2 months or never for that matter, thats okay because at one time I sat down for 20-30 minutes to an hour to days and felt good writing this. And thats all that matters to me.

 

Thanks for coming on this journey with me,

M

My Cystic Acne Journey

 

As most people say, “I’ve had acne my whole life”, this is pretty much true for me. I’ve had acne since I was about 12 years old, obviously the start of my acne was due to puberty like most. My pimples were just white heads and a greasy face with the occasional black head on my nose. I truly never had BIG red pimples, I always had a ton of smaller bumps.  I used face washes made for acne prone skin, oily skin etc. Nothing ever really “cured” my acne but then again, I wasn’t really looking for a cure. I was just trying to control the oil because that was my main concern. As the years went by my skin went through phases, sometimes oily, sometimes dry, super bad acne and sometimes pretty damn clear.

When I hit high school, my skin slowly got worse. Clusters of pimples, bright red pimples mind you. I decided to go to the dermatologist to see what they could do, this started a long journey of trying every medication for acne in the book. Topicals I tried were Benzoperoxide, Clindamyacin (pads and topical), Onexton, Epiduo Forte, Regular Epiduo, Sulfur topicals…many more I’m probably forgetting. Then I also tried oral antibiotics such as doxycycline and minocycline (which I ended up being allergic to). This was over the 4 years I was in high school, so I tried A LOT. I was sick of it and frankly I didn’t want to have to try so hard to have halfway decent skin. Now all of these medications were not the only thing I tried. I tried home made face masks, store bought face masks, every oil in the book, various fruits and vegetables, changing my diet etc. Basically, I tried everything. When I went away to college something happened and suddenly my skin was super clear.  I didn’t even notice until I look back at pictures now, but I barely had a single blemish on my face. As you can see below…my skin was super super clean

When I moved home from college a year later…my skin lost it’s shit. My skin broke out in horrible cysts all over my cheeks and chin. I know what you’re going to say, oh that hormonal! Nope. We tried that. My acne got worse and worse…I never picked my skin, never popped my pimples but these cysts scarred like crazy. Even when I didn’t have an active pimple or cyst (which wasn’t often)  it still looked like I had awful acne due to the bright red scars. I decided to go back to the dermatologist and see what they could do. My mom had cystic acne as well as a teen and early 20’s and said they would do injections into the cysts and they helped a lot. Well, the dermatologist I went to basically just wanted to change my “skin care routine” to morning and night washes and daily moisturizing with Onexton twice a day and an oral antibiotic. I HAD TRIED THAT BEFORE. But I was desperate. So, I tried it for 8 weeks and surprise, it made my acne worse. I left that dermatologist and just gave up. Below is how bad my acne got, the bright red textured skin. The huge splotches everywhere. I was over it.

For about 4 months, I just suffered with my extremely painful awful looking cysts. I would lay with icepacks on my face almost every night trying to reduce the inflammation and the pain I was experiencing. The scarring was getting worse and was spreading across my face. I was doing a lot of online research and was really trying to find a local dermatologist that had seen cases like mine because I didn’t want to go through the SAME ringer I always go through of trying the same medication over and over and spending more and more money and nothing working. These pictures are just some of the ups and downs I went on. The acne would clear up, then flare up.

I found a dermatologist right down the road from me and bit the bullet and made an appointment. When I went to my appointment, I made a list of all the medications and things i’ve tried for my acne. The medical assistant SAT DOWN and talked to me. No one had ever done this, and she wasn’t even the doctor. She said she wanted to get a good idea of what I’ve gone through so she could fill the doctor in. When the doctor came in, she did the same thing. She sat down with me for probably a half hour and talked through my history with medications and what worked and what didn’t. We found that one of the only things I hadn’t RECENTLY tried was hormone altering medications. She said that because this was a relatively recent breakout and change in my acne, that it is probably hormonal.

She decided to put me on birth control as well as a testosterone reducing medication. I was down to try anything and also super excited because it was something I had never tried. Now, these medications didn’t make my acne worse at first, which most acne medications do. But they also didn’t make it any better for MONTHS. The testosterone reducing medication was making me feel lethargic, nauseous, exhausted and I was peeing every 20 minutes due to it being a diuretic. This was not worth it to me, I would rather keep my pepperoni face than feel awful all day.

Once I stopped the second medication and just continued my birth control, nothing really changed with my skin. So, I kinda gave up. I just continued the birth control because it had other benefits like helping my cycle etc, I wasn’t focused on treating my acne any more.

Early this week I notice something…I haven’t had a new cyst in a couple months. My scars are fading…and my white heads are gone…now I don’t want to jinx anything but did birth control fix my severe acne??? I’ve been using a basic dove sensitive skin face wash, rarely wearing makeup, occasionally using a mild moisturizer and just basically leaving my face alone. And suddenly my skin looks wonderful. I still have a lot of scars and redness but WOW what a difference.

 

Thanks for coming on this journey with me.

Your Friend,

Megan

How My Dog Saved Me

Back a year and a half ago, I was severely depressed, barely getting out of bed and frankly just sad. I had no motivation and no desire to do anything at all. All I wanted to do was be alone and not have to speak to anyone or do anything. Sad, I know right? To be truthful, this was one of the lowest points of my life. I didn’t want to be around my long time best friends or my mom. All I wanted was to wallow by myself.

This is when I started researching dogs, how much, what kind, where etc. My mom and I live in an apartment we’re allowed to have dogs but it is a $300 non refundable fee. My mom was having none of this, she wanted nothing to do with this idea and straight up said no we’re not getting a dog.

When I get depressed, I get super focused on one thing. A TV series, a book, a certain project, or in this case a dog. I spent day in and day out on my computer researching the local rescues near me and what their adoption fee was and such. My biggest issue was that a lot of places don’t like when people live in apartments due to the lack of free space for the dog to play and run and also the landlord having issues with the dog and having to get rid of it. I constantly went on Amazon looking for the latest deals on pet supplies and reading hundreds of reviews, I also was looking into the best dog food for my money and for the dog.

I wasn’t taking no for an answer when it came to getting a dog. The way I rationalized it was maybe having a responsibility every day would help me get out of bed? Maybe the companionship of a dog would help me get through the really hard days. I didn’t know if any of this was going to be true but I knew I had to get a dog. I convinced my mom and her only condition was that I was the one paying for everything, the apartment fee, the adoption fee, toys, crates, carpet cleaning due to potty training anything that came up due to this new addition was my financial responsibility. Being a 20 year old college student, I can now say a year and a half after having this dog, I did not know how much money this thing was gonna suck out of me. But I don’t regret this whole story a bit.

So, after weeks of searching the rescue websites and e-mailing countless organizations with few responses, I finally got a response. The smallest little white and tan nervous girl who I had e-mailed about less than a couple hours before was going to be my doggy daughter soon. Fido and Fluffy’s Rescue e-mailed me saying there was an adoption event going on that Saturday…it was Thursday. The e-mail was, in a nutshell, saying I could come meet the puppy and sign some papers and she was mine. I had to gently tell my mom somehow and request the day off work. This was all after I ordered a whole cart load of dog supplies on Amazon. So, I like to think that I put it into the universe that I was getting a dog soon and the universe returned my wishes.

I’ll skip over the part where I had to call in sick to work and basically drag my mom 45 minutes away to a Tractor Supply store…but we made it to the adoption event the SECOND it started. I walked in and saw a crate with three puppies in it and saw my sweet girl shivering and hiding. I told the rescue owner who I was and who I was there to see. (I’m tearing up as I write this because, not to be dramatic, but this was the best day of my life so far.) My girl had a tiny red paper collar on, needle toe nails, a black bottom lip and her ears were so far back out of pure terror she looked like a little rat. Before they even put her in my arms I said “Hi baby I love you” and I heard my mom say “Oh god, she already loves her”.

I held the four pound Chihuahua mix and rocked her like a baby and she fell right asleep. The only issue was I couldn’t really see her because I was trying to keep her warm and talk to the owner. I handed the baby to my mom and they wrapped her in a blanket they had on hand, she snuggled into my moms chest immediatley. I knew this was my dog from the second I saw her. I had to fill out some paper work, basically so they knew I wasn’t crazy. Then all of a sudden I had a dog.img_0087

When we walked out with this tiny baby, I had her wrapped in my scarf and a bag with a couple toys and some food in it. When we got to the car I looked at my mom and said “Mom how did we end up with a dog?” I did NOT think we were getting a dog that day, honestly I thought something was going to go wrong. But there I was sitting in the car with my very own dog. We realized we needed a name for her but I only had a name picked out for a male dog… So we quickly looked up names and nothing felt right. When I said Eleanor, she lifted her nervous little head and looked at me. And thats how she got the weird name of Eleanor.

Now onto the part you clicked on this post for, how she saved me. This girl is nuts. Eleanor is part Jack Russell Terrier, so the girl is fast as hell and has so much energy. I physically cannot leave her all day, or not play with her for at least a bit during the day or else she will go insane. During the summer, I had to take her to the dog park almost very single day to run. She literally had to run in circles for at least a half hour every day or she would get into something at home or she just wouldn’t sleep during the night. Even if we didn’t make it to the park, I had to get out of bed to take her outside or to feed her.

Eleanor is the light of my life and despite being the most insane dog i’ve ever met, she is the sweetest girl. She loves cuddling and belly rubs and gives hugs. She’s not the best listener but boy does she have personality. She is quite literally my best friend and has gotten me out of bed for the past year and a half. She has made me talk to more people than ever before and do way more things than I ever would have. Eleanor is truly the reason I am here today.

I recommend to anyone who has anxiety or depression, look into getting a pet. She is by far the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I cannot thank her enough.

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Your Friend,

Megan & Eleanor

My Experience With Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is never a light topic of conversation, nor should it be. Sexual assault has a wide array of meanings and what falls under that array is solely up to the victim, rape? Sexual assault. Forcing someone to kiss you? Sexual assault. Grabbing someone? Sexual assault. Any form of unwanted sexual attention IS sexual assault. 

It’s weird to say the words “I’ve been sexually assaulted.” because to most people (which they are still wrong) would say “That’s not sexual assault you’re just being dramatic”. But to me, ya know the VICTIM, I was sexually assaulted. I’m going to fill you in on what went down and then we can talk further about the stigma surrounding sexual assault and how I always thought I understood it but I understand it now more than ever.

My best friend’s brother is a few years older than us and lives in a house with one roommate and every Friday and Saturday they have friends over for parties, get togethers, shindigs whatever you want to call them. Basically, a bunch of people drinking smoking whatever and hanging out. I’m not even going to go into all the back story about what led up to this because frankly, it doesn’t matter. No actions prior to this incident make it less valid. My friends and I were sitting at the kitchen table coloring and hanging out and her brother came over and wanted us to try this drink. (No he didn’t Roofie me, it was in a bottle and he gave it to his sister too so we’re good.) and we wanted to use straws so we could just try a little bit and not have to pick the huge bottle up .

My friend tried it and then it was my turn but the bottle was over by her with the straw in it, so I stood up and bent over to make my mouth reach the straw. My friend’s brother was standing behind me and when I say smacked, I mean SMACKED my butt. He wound up, smacked the living hell out of my butt. So bad that I was almost knocked off my feet and I just sat down. Now, one thing about my friends and I is that we are all nervous laughers. Any bad situation happens and we laugh. So when this happened to me, I laughed and sat down. Of course, I yelled at him and said”Dude you can’t do that?” and my friends did the same. I think I have mentally blocked out the rest of the night but from what my friends have told me, he did not care at all or think what he did was wrong. I do vaguely remember people coming up to me and saying they could hear the smack from upstairs, and from behind closed doors.

To me, it made me so uncomfortable that I didn’t want to stand back up. I didn’t want even the slightest possibility of that happening again. I went to the bathroom and check the area, and sure as ever there was a clear red swollen hand print. I took a picture and sent it to my friends and after that I believe I just went and tried to sit for the rest of the night. I know none of this is my fault, I know that it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, I know I should be able to wear tight pants and low shirts and be a curvy woman and not have to worry about it. But unfortunately this incident made me want to wear turtle necks and sweatpants when I’m around any male. This has happened to me before, absolutely. Never this aggressively and this publicly. Honestly, this incident really effected me.

I haven’t gone back over since and I don’t plan to. This is devastating for me because a personal goal of mine is to go out more, and hangout with my friends more because it really helps my depression. I finally start going out again and then I get sexually assaulted. This is what happens to girls everywhere, college girls, girls at bars, girls at work. Girls everywhere. This is such a common occurrence and it is constantly swept under the rug. My friends brother wasn’t even slightly remorseful, and he saw how upset I was. It made me feel so degraded and unworthy of anything other than my body. I haven’t worn leggings out in a while and I’ve been wearing big sweaters.

I don’t need a pep talk about how this is my body and I should own it and this is his problem for thinking its okay not my problem for wearing what i wore. I know all of that. I’m such a huge feminist that i get all of that. I’m working through this myself, and I will be okay soon. But for now I like to cover up and be with myself.

Your Friend,

Megan

Why Divorce Isn’t Always The End Of The World

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The term “Divorced Parents” always gets the reaction of “oh i’m sorry” or “oh you have divorced parents…”. Yes I have divorced parents, yes it is difficult sometimes, no I am not sad about it and no I don’t get two Christmases and two birthdays. There’s all sorts of custody agreements and arrangements between divorced parents, week on week off, every other weekend, 3 days on 4 days off and with the holidays typically they rotate every year. Here’s how my family did it.

My parent’s got a divorce when I was turning 3 and my brother was turning 6, I personally do not remember living with my dad at all or even seeing my parents together. Some might think that is sad but for me, it works out because I have no memories to go based on and nothing to miss really. For my brother on the other hand, it messed him up a bit but that’s a story for another time. My mom has primary custody of my brother and I, which means my dad had us every other weekend and one weeknight. We chose Wednesday’s and we would usually go to dinner and hang out. All of this lasted until I was probably 10-12 years old and then my dad got sick of it. Also, my dad paid child support for both my brother and I until we were 18 years old which is how it should be obviously. He didn’t always pay on time, or in full but most of the time the money was there. I do have the echoing sentence from my mother whenever we would want something “we haven’t gotten child support yet so not today i’m sorry” for the weeks when we were struggling.

Around 10-12 years old my dad decided my mom wasn’t using the child support for the right things (which she was???) and he took it out on my brother and I. He woulnd’t show up for our Wednesday dinners or our weekends with him. He would respond to our texts and if he did he would always say he was working late to make more money because he was so poor. Which, he was NOT by any means even close to poor. Now, I don’t want to sit here and bash my dad because he’s a great guy but those were some tough years for all of us.

Divorce is no joke when kids are involved, it makes everything sticky and a mess. I was raised by a bad ass single mom and it’s probably the best thing she could’ve done for us. “Staying together for the sake of the kids” is not right in my opinion. Kids know and hear a lot more than we think, and they know when their parents arent happy. Yes, divorce does make things more difficult but in the end its usually a better solution than raising kids in an unhappy home. 

My dad got married maybe a year or two after the divorce so I was never with my dad as a single dad. I’ve basically always had a step mom, my mom never even dated until 4 years after the divorce and even then, she never brought her boyfriend around and she still did 99% of everything on her own. My step mom has turned out to be an amazing person and a great edition to my life, but it took a while for me to recognize that as a child. 

My mom has dated the same guy for 15 years, Eric. She rarely brought him around when we were young because my brother and I were so incredibly protective of our mom that we were tiny assholes to Eric and his boys. It’s hard getting used to sharing your moms attention when your mom is all you have. 15 years later, and we’re a week away from Mom and Eric’s wedding. 

I truly could not be happier for my mom. I’ve seen her go through some of the hardest and lowest points in her life, and to see her this radiantly happy is so heart warming. When she told me she was getting married she was so scared I was going to be mad, but I broke down in tears of pure joy. Mom and Eric are like my real parents, again I love my dad but he hasn’t always been there for me. Eric has helped me and my mom not just with physical things and such but by just being there for us and being reliable. He would do literally anything to make my mom happy and she deserves that more than anybody on this planet.

We just had the wedding rehearsal this past week and when I was practicing walking down the aisle towards Eric, he looked at me the way you see dads look at their daughters in movies and it made me tear up. I know my dad would do the same at my wedding, but this isn’t even my wedding. Its mom and Eric’s, and he’s looking at me with such love and joy that it makes me feel so included in the family. I am ridiculously excited for this wedding but I know i’m going to be a puddle of tears the second the ceremony starts.

This all just goes to show you, divorce isn’t always a bad thing when kids are involved. It may take 15+ years to get there, but one day you’ll be so happy looking at your mom and her soon to be husband that you’ll ugly cry too.

Your Friend,

Megan

Love Languages? What Are They and Why Do They Matter

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I was in a relationship for about five months and throughout those five long months, I learned an immense amount about myself. Now, I know how cliche that sounds and I get it I wouldn’t want to keep reading either. But if I were just now reading this right before I I got into that relationship I think this would’ve helped me quite a bit. Every one always says communication is the biggest component in a relationship which is mainly true. This issue arises when you’re both communicating but the other person isn’t understanding what you’re trying to get across emotionally. Not in the literal way of you’re literally speaking gibberish and they can’t understand you, but in the metaphorical way of my brain doesn’t work like that and those string of words don’t register with me the way you’re intending them to and I’m not getting the emotional reaction I should be getting. This is where The 5 Love Languages come in.

I had watched a YouTube video months prior to this relationship and it was titled something similar to this blog post, so of course I clicked. Basically, The 5 Love Languages are how you speak and understand emotional love and affection (with a partner or friends and family).

They are as follows:

  • Words of Affirmation – This is when you are build up by words, people encouraging you and verbally expressing it. Such as, “You did great” “I love you” “I miss you” “You look nice today” etc. Not huge love letters or anything (although those wouldn’t hurt) but just small affirmations here and there.
  • Acts Of Service – This is like the saying “actions speak louder than words” acts of service is when you find pleasure and happiness when your spouse does things they know you would like and appreciate. Such as taking out the garbage, cleaning, bringing in your bags from the car etc. This isn’t just doing chores for your partner or loved one, it’s doing things for them because you’re showing how much you love and care about them.
  • Quality Time – This one is pretty self explanatory,  spending time with your partner or loved one. Whether it be watching TV, going out to dinner, going on a hike or just simply being around each other.
  • Receiving Gifts – When your partner or loved one is out and about and picks something up because they were “thinking of you”. A small trinket or your favorite snack, just to show you’re always on their mind and they care about you.
  • Physical Touch – Another pretty self explanatory one, being in physical contact with your partner or loved one. This doesn’t have to be just hand holding, kissing or hugging. It could simply be a hand on your back, fixing the hair that fell in your face, touching arms at dinner. Just showing you want to be close to that person.

Personally, my love language is word of affirmation. I found this out about two weeks before my relationship ended. The reason I took the 5 Love Languages quiz to find out mine was because my relationship was slowly falling apart and I knew it was because I wasn’t feeling the love I knew I deserved. Now, this is where we delve deeper into this relationship of mine and we discuss the certain aspects that relate to love languages. Sorry if this is complainy and boring but it helps me understand myself better.

Throughout the five months I was with my then boyfriend, I can count on one hand how many times he complimented me. His excuse was that he obviously finds me attractive and beautiful etc. that’s why he’s with me, that may be a completely valid reason to many other people. But to me, a words of affirmation kind of gal, it made no sense. To me, if you think I look nice then tell me. Or if I cross your mind, tell me. Or if you think I am kind, tell me. Not that I just am fishing for compliments, but when it comes to your significant other these words are important. Also, I was never encouraged by my ex. He never said anything like “I’m proud of you” “You’re doing great” or even anything like “You tried your best” or “it’s okay”. He would just come up with his ideal solution to whatever issue I was dealing with. Again, to some people that makes complete sense. To some one who thrives and emotes via words of affirmation it felt like he didn’t care. All of these things could have been fixed with simple compliments or showing he cared but that was just a bit too much to ask.

I am also at fault, I didn’t think about his love language as much as I should have and this should have been a conversation for both of us to have. But once I realized our main relationship issues were that our love languages were not being communicated effectively, he ended the relationship. That’s a whole different can of worms we won’t get into today but in a nutshell, this is how I see my love language playing a major role in my past relationship.

I hope this helped you understand Love Languages a little bit, I barely scratched the surface of the deeper psychological aspects of them but I’m not skilled in that department enough to write about it.

Your Friend,

Megan

My hair pulling issues ft. Trichotillo-WHO??

When I was about 8 years old I went to see a movie at the IMAX theater with my mom and some other kids I knew from school, along with their parents. As we were standing in line to shuffle our way into the movie theater, my friends dad pulled my mom over to me and said “Shari, look at Megan’s eyelashes…there’s a bunch missing?” I don’t even remember what my mom said because I was so incredibly embarrassed I think I’ve put a mental block around this traumatic incident.

The next thing I remember is we were to the eye doctor and had them look at my eyelashes, looking back on it why the hell did my mom think an eye doctor would know anything about this? But anyways, he looked at my eyes and inspected my lash line and came to the conclusion that “you have dandruff on your eyelashes that’s causing them to fall out.” Okay, no. That’s definitely not a real thing that happens, but thanks for your time! So, eventually my mom got an appointment for me at my pediatrician and I remember my doctor kneeling down and asking me if I was pulling my lashes out. Of course I’m pulling my lashes out, Maureen. Am I gonna tell you and my mother that? No. She proceeded to tell my mom that I probably have underlying stressors and I must pull the eyelashes out in my sleep. Which in hindsight is pretty much true, but at the time I was 100% sitting at the dinosaur of a laptop we owned and plucking my lashes out one by one while playing Club Penguin. I don’t think my doctor had any sort of remedy for my excessive eyelash pulling, I think she basically said “Hey stop that” and maybe to relax and minimize the stress in my life, but I was 8 and didn’t get that at all.

As the years went by, I stopped pulling my eyelashes as frequently until I reached high school and then it started again. I remember waking up with a dent in my nail polish from using that finger to yank out my tiny eyelashes and my left eye always being sore. This wasn’t a huge deal because it wasn’t super noticeable, in my mind only I noticed. When I went off to MSU for my freshmen yeah of college in 2016, yikes. I literally had just a handful of eyelashes left on my left eye by the time second semester rolled around. I realized it was a problem and turned to good ole’ Doctor Google and searched “Pulling out my eyelashes” and lo and behold Trichotillomania popped up. By definition it is the excessive and irresistible urge to pull out body hair, which if you ask me is exactly what I was doing.

So, I dabbled further into this Trichotillomania stuff and read that its a form of anxiety (check that one off the list) and really has no cure. So basically, i’m screwed. I mean, I could meditate or do yoga or any of those calming things but as my last  blog post says, none of those things really work for me. All in all, I just kinda hoped for the best and wore thick eyeliner with fake eyelashes for a few months until I had a few new stubby eyelashes.

Fast forward two years to 2019, and here I am with lash extensions and a chunk of my hair MUCH shorter than the rest at the nape of my neck. The lash extensions honestly, aren’t needed. I have a decent amount of eyelashes compared to where I’ve been in the past, but due to the constant yanking at the root of the lash mine have grown back super straight and thin. The lash extensions make me feel better and make it less noticeable. Now onto the hair…I wake up in the middle of the night just absolutely yanking and twirling my hair (one specific piece in the back). Usually its just continuously wrapping it around my finger and then yanking my finger out, I’ll literally remember it the next morning almost like I’m a little bit awake when I do it. But I’ve notice little piles of hair in my bed or on the floor next to me. This hasn’t been a huge ordeal because it’s in the back of my head. But when I wear my hair up oh boy can you tell. I just pin it up and hope no one notices but honestly, it just looks like a chunk of fly aways gone wrong.

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is, I have Trichotillomania and have lived with it probably my whole life. I obviously have a severe anxiety that is let out through incessant hair pulling but hey, I’m working on it. Like I said previously, theres no real cure for this except anti depressants that also help with anxiety but I’m already on medication and here I am still pulling my eyelashes and hair out. But, all in all the bottom line is I’m aware of my condition and I’m working on getting better.

 

Your Friend,

Megan

Here’s How I Found My Perfect Anti Depressant

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About a year ago I was diagnosed with severe depression, I personally chose to begin taking daily medication. This is not the easiest or most effective route for everyone, but that’s because everyone’s bodies and brains are different. For me, I’ve tried therapy before as well as meditation and mindfulness exercises. None of these coping mechanisms helped, so medication was my next choice.

My doctor said that finding the right type and dosage of anti depressants is a tricky road, it can work on the first try or it can take months (spoiler…It took months for me). Some people only need one type of anti depressant just at a higher dosage, some people take several different medications etc. There’s all kinds of different combinations and unfortunately theres no magical test to tell you what your brain needs to function as a “normal” human being. I started my first anti depressant in December of 2017, it wasn’t until about August of 2018 that I felt stable enough to not need to tell my doctor we needed to try something else. I was starting to feel “normal” again, by normal I mean I didn’t want to lay in bed all day and I wasn’t so quick to anger. Basically, what I want to get across here is that the second you start anti depressants everything isn’t going to suddenly be better.

      Not only do you have to consistently take your meds, you also have to put in some mental health care for yourself. Actually getting out of bed and pushing myself to put my dirty clothes in the hamper, or to shower for the first time in day (gross I know, but if you have a mental illness…you get it), or even just going out and sitting on the couch with my mom and watching TV. These were all things that had been super hard for me for months, pushing myself to do them with the help of my new medications helped me see that it was possible to slowly get better.

Throughout the 9 months it took to get my medications right, there were plenty of ups and downs. One month I’d feel great and then all of a sudden my depression would plateau, meaning I would get better but I knew there was still room for improvement. This was the most frustrating part by far. Thinking “Okay well I feel 10x better than I did back in December” but my doctor saying theres still room to improve. I just wanted to stop having a doctor visit every three months and a new prescription to fill and a new medication routine. Eventually, it got to the point where my medication was so wrong that I couldn’t even get out of bed long enough to make it into the doctor’s office to have her talk to me to fix the dosage, my mom had to call for me. I don’t even know how the conversation went, all I know is two days later I had new medicine to take and ever since then this is the medicine i’ve stuck with.

Luckily, I found my perfect match in the anti depressant world. It was a super long and hard road but I stuck with it and I’m forever grateful that I did, because without 35mg of Effexor once a day I’d be in bed all day every day. This isn’t to say I don’t still have my bad days, because believe me I do. But my bad days are usually followed by several good days. To me, if my good days out weigh the bad ones that means something is working right.

I still struggle with depression. Hell, as I’m writing this I’m sitting in bed and have been basically all day. I’m more aware of my depression now and I can monitor it myself and I know when its time to call my doctor. Depression doesn’t just “go away”, it’s a lifelong battle but somehow we will all get through it.

Your Friend,

Megan