Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Poem: Here She Lies

***Yeah, here's another attempt at poetry. I used to do this all the time, but I've quite fallen off over the years. I know I attempted once on this blog some time ago, though. This was a poem I wrote for my creative writing class at my university.***

"Here lies Lynn Gleason," it says.
It's impersonal, and an injustice to who she was.
Whoever carved the stone doesn't care, though.
All they know is that they're making their mark on the end of her life
and that's all they'll ever need to know.
Her bones lie there, but her soul is somewhere else;
the soul that I referred to as "Mama" for many years.
She left before my life really began--because at sixteen
you never know what you're in for or who you are.
I walked away that day dazed and confused, reminded that beneath
the dirt lies a body I used to hold.
Nowadays she's almost forgotten to me, but
her blood still runs through me and I remember that sometimes and smile.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A little something about me, a little something for you.

So, after all these years—22, almost 23, actually—I have finally discovered what has been wrong with me--

  1. Why I sometimes struggle with staying positive, or holding onto the positivity.
  2. Why I’m so scared all the time to try new things; I can’t deal with change, either.
  3. Why I’ve always been so scared.
  4. Why I was so shy it was almost crippling.
  5. Why I still tense up around new people or strangers.
  6. Why I grew up so soft-spoken.
  7. Why I’m so impatient about things and sometimes I get so worked up I find it a bit hard to breathe and my stomach starts doing insane flips.

The past year, I’ve been so scared someone was going to tell me I have undiagnosed depression or something. But no. I have anxiety. I honestly couldn’t be happier, which might sound weird, but I'm just glad that I have an answer. I've seen much worse cases than mine. I just never knew how to get a handle on it because I didn't know what I was dealing with or what was happening to me when I would start to get scared or worry.

All those freak outs I kept having—especially the increasing number I’ve had in the last year—were panic attacks. It never felt like what I imagined the word "panic" to feel like (except the last two times it happened), so I never thought to really label it is as a "panic attack."

I just have anxiety. Now that I know that, I can move on and learn coping mechanisms when I start to freak out again. I just wish it hadn’t taken me 22 years to figure it out. I'm not the type to use this as an excuse or a crutch. I hate that. This just gives me more ammunition to move forward with what I’ve been dealing with with my counselor for the past six months.

I was so Hell-bent on believing nothing was wrong with me that I disregarded the fact that if you turn to someone, you’re taking care of yourself--you're doing yourself justice.

If you think you may have a disorder, an addiction, a mental illness or just something like anxiety, talk to someone. There are counselors for a reason. They will help you. You don’t have to be medicated (I won’t, I’m not), but at least you’ll know and they can help you with ways to decompress and cope—the healthy way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; I could have done well with this information years ago.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Six pieces of inspiration from my year so far...


1. A message from a student organization in a hall at my university.
2. Letters are always inspiring. This is one from my pen pal and a best friend/soul sister, Ariel. I'm racking up pen pals, which means I need to start sending off letters soon.
3. A message etched into a bench on campus. Graffiti probably isn't very "Godly," but it was a sweet message, nonetheless.
4. Occasionally, I draw.
5. My latest tattoo (I only have two, anyway). It's a reminder to keep my chin up and a reminder of how far I've come. The heart was a bit of my own tribute to Demi Lovato, whose story really helped mine. I love her honesty and her passion to actually be there for people. I actually got it the same night she Tweeted that she was 11 months sober and healthy. That was such a cool thing for me because I didn't know. Now she is passed year, moved out of the sober living house and into her own apartment and moving forward. I couldn't be happier for her and how far she's come. (Read about some of my revelations since I've been on my road to mental recovery: here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)
6. I got to see Demi live for the first time.She came to Orlando and performed at Universal Studios.  After the tattoo coincidence, seeing her was even more exciting for me. I felt so connected to her. Music is so powerful, and she actually uses it to its full advantage. Belting out the lyrics to "Skyscraper" along with her--and through tears even--was so freeing and reaffirming that I am stronger than I was when I was younger, and all the issues I had suppressed were finally behind me. My best friend and boss went with me and she was converted into a bit of a fan and gained some respect for Demi. (It was kind of a "ha!" moment for me.) It was one of the best moments of my entire life. I got to see Demi in action, and I got to see her happy. (And as an added bonus, she was phenomenal at everything, and we got to hear her latest single "Heart Attack" live for the first time--for her and for us. Not to mention, we were her first real show [with a full set list] since her summer tour ended and X Factor really kicked into high-gear.) Okay, I'm done talking about that now. It was just a great night. And Universal Studios is so much fun, so I recommend going any chance you get. The only thing that would have made that experience better was if I could have met her. But I enjoyed getting to experience Universal, and not the waiting line, more. Next time I see her at a concert venue, yes. It will happen. (This was the post where I touched on it a bit: here.)

I had more pictures I could have posted, but these really said something for me. They have been significant moments for me in the past four months. Sometimes, it feels like it was longer ago than just this year--I look back and it feels as though this year flew by and drug by all at once. But I guess we say that every year, don't we?

What has made your year inspiring? Who has inspired you?
Stay strong, friends.

'Demi Lovato: Stay Strong' documentary.