A “Win” for Me

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As we start the first day of a three day weekend, I can’t help, but think about everything that has happened. I am wrapping up my first year as a teacher and completely understand the “teacher struggles of May.” (T-minus 11 days until summer, by the way.) Teaching has been the most challenging yet wonderful thing I have ever done. Also, it is one of the most fulfilling things I have encountered. Those students…my kids…are why I try to work hard and be the best teacher I can day after day.

No matter how much you enjoy something, bad things still happen. Since March, I have been struggling with my depression and anxiety BIG TIME. On Sunday, March 31st, my sweet Nana went to Heaven. She was more than a grandmother to me. Growing up, my mom, sister, and I lived with my grandparents and Nana was actually a second mother. She was there for every school event, summer day, and tough time. It is just now getting real that Nana is no longer with us.

Grief is an extra “ingredient” that makes dealing with depression and anxiety so hard. There have been days I didn’t want to get up. There have been days I felt as if I wasn’t the best teacher for my kids because I zoomed out too often. There have been days when I have laid and watched hours of Netflix in the dark. However, I have discovered that it is okay to be feeling this way. It is okay to grieve. But, it is also important to remember that things will get better.

This morning, I got my car inspected. Yes, it is a small thing, but I have been trying to do this for a while. It is a win and that is all I need right now. Good things happen. Three day weekends happen. So, right now, I’m going to take my win and enjoy these days, the sunshine, and the unofficial start of summer.

xoxo,

Megan

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May Peace be with You

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Happy Sunday! I hope the day and week ahead are filled with peace. Whatever struggles you are facing, may God bring you strength and courage.

xoxo,

Megan

Day 1: An Update

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Back in October, I gave a life update on the new journey I was taking. Now, several months later, I decided it was time to provide you with another update.

Life hasn’t truly gotten easier. In January, we had another health scare with my grandmother. At 84-years-old, she got the flu and pneumonia. Hearing the doctor say “she might become one that succumbs to the flu” scares you to death. The two weeks she was in the hospital was full of emotions and prayer. Thankfully, I’m happy to report she is now 85-years-old and went into her first store since December this past Tuesday. Let me tell you, that woman is as tough as nails.

As for my job with the magazine, due to recent budget cuts, my position was eliminated. Yes, I am sad, because this means a decrease in income each month, but I’m also comforted. I’m comforted in thinking that I’m on the edge of finding my passion and what I am meant to do. You may know that I’ve been in graduate school, getting my teaching degree. This past spring, I have been student-teaching and loved every minute of it. Those students were so inspiring and made me want to come to work every day. Along with teaching, I feel as if I will spend this summer and the months afterward doing more of what I love. God only knows where life will take me and I’m confident in His plans.

During October to December, I healed from the stress of my grandmother’s stroke and grief of my dog’s, Gidget, death. Now, I am using these summer months to heal and find myself. In these past few months, I have been grieving; grieving for things in life I may never have and grieving for things I’ll never have again. My depression and anxiety have taken hits in my daily life. Now, I’m going to heal.

Some say writing things publicly makes your commitment to them stronger. Whether that is true or not, I’m going to share the ways I want to heal. I want to write, I want to design, I want to read, I want to take pictures, I want to paint, and I want to go for walks. Darn it; I want to sit and watch a whole movie without doing anything else. To be honest, I can’t remember when the last time was I did some of the things listed above. Life has been busy, and I’m grateful for being given the opportunity to manage work, student teaching, and school. However, I’m ready to sit, listen, and heal.

“I’m choosing happiness over suffering. I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.” -Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love.” 

xoxo,

Megan

Link to “Day 1” post: https://metaylor.com/2017/10/06/day-1/ 

 

My Mental Health Self-Care

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May is Mental Health Awareness month. As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression on a daily basis, I am a little ashamed I haven’t written about the topic this month until now.

For the past week or two, my anxiety and depression have run rampant. I have felt like crying for most of the days, ate very little, and wanted to spend the majority of my time sleeping. There have been some recent events in my life that brought on this heavy onset. However, good or bad, I still have to manage my mental health every day, and I have a few ways to help me.

  • Dancing to fun music. My current jam? Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
  • Yoga at night to calm music.
  • Taking a bath and just relaxing.
  • Deep breathing.
  • Taking a long drive or walk to clear my mind.
  • Doing an at-home spa treatment, such as a face mask, pedicure, etc.
  • Writing long and honestly.
  • Reading curled up with multiple blankets on top of me.
  • Cleaning and organizing.

Honestly, May has been a month for my mental health. I’ve had my ups and downs, smiles and tears. But, there is one thing for sure, the tips above help me maintain it, and I hope by sharing them, they help you too!

Don’t ever be ashamed to admit you have depression, anxiety, bipolar disease, or another mental illness. There is no guilt in asking for help when you need it. After all, we are in this together!

xoxo,

Megan

A Look Back at 2017

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As I look back at another year, I realize 2017 was full of ups and downs. I started working towards my graduate certificate in middle grades education and are now getting ready to be in the classroom. I have been given excellent writing and leadership opportunities at Forsyth Magazines. There has been tons of love and laughter; however, there has also been a good deal of heartache.

My grandmother had a stroke back in September. Yet, praise the good Lord, she is now completely back to normal. I learned the reason why she had a stroke. It was to diagnose her cancer, which is now treatable with daily medicine. If we discovered the disease at a later time, who knows what would have happened. My doggie, Gidget, spent the year battling health problems. At 17 years old, she had her good and bad days, until she passed away in my arms in October. Lastly, I experienced my scariest morning and night. The morning was when I saw my grandmother have her stroke and waited for the ambulance to arrive. The scariest night was when Gidget passed away in my arms. I have never experienced that level of grief and I’m still processing my new life, months later.

2017 was a year of discovery. I learned more about the person I want to become and how I can help change the world. Gidget taught me more about love and how to believe in more than what I can see. Little signs related to her appear all the time and I know it isn’t coincidental. My anxiety and depression diagnosis gave me the chance to learn more about mental health and become an advocate for mental illnesses. It is okay to not be okay. I have a better understanding and grasp of what is going on in my mind and how to handle it. These struggles helped my family grow closer and man, are we stronger. Nothing is going to keep us down.

I’m ready for what 2018 holds, because I know 2017 has prepared me for whatever life throws at me. I am brave. I am strong. I am loved. Here’s to another year. God bless it.

xoxo,

Megan

 

 

Anxiety, Let Me Introduce You to the Holidays

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Can I be honest and say that December has been an uphill battle for me? Every day, I want to break into tears and my anxiety and depression have been all over the place, like it is every year when the holiday season rolls around.

The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year with all the events, decorations, and music. However, the holidays are hard for people with mental illnesses. It is difficult to always pretend to be happy when you really aren’t. With the loss of my dog and this year’s other challenges, I’m drained of the Christmas spirit. Add in the anxiety of being overwhelmed by the season makes me just… sad. I keep thinking about the song “Where Are You Christmas” from The Grinch. Where is Christmas? Have I changed so much to where the magic of the holiday is gone?

To help ease my worries, I have been cooking, reading, exercising, and taking time for myself. Sometimes, those practices don’t always make me happy and feel better. Yet, there are still the moments of laughter and love with my family and friends that make the holidays all worth it.

Remember that for some people Christmas is hard. Spread kindness and love and understand that the holidays are still meaningful to them, but also a little somber. Keep in mind mental illnesses don’t take a holiday break and will be with the person during the special moments. Make them feel loved and supported. Give them space and let them know they don’t have to do everything that’s involved with the season. There is nothing worse than being pushed to take part in an event, when you are hurting inside.

xoxo,

Megan

My Mental Health Story

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Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day; a day where we bring awareness to mental health illnesses and issues throughout the world. 365 days of the year, our goal should be to raise awareness and support for mental health, because after all, mental health effects everyone.

If you have been following my blog, you know I have depression and anxiety. It is an everyday battle and I wanted to let you know my full story. My mental health story started when I was very young. Growing up, I was always anxious and could cry at the littlest thing. During college, I started experiencing panic attacks and small episodes of depression. Then, after graduation, it hit hard – full speed ahead hard.

I have only been out of school for a little more than two years. The first year was fine; I was still anxious, but not yet depressed. Then, as life got harder and more struggles happened, I started experiencing feelings I had never felt before. I was sad, I wanted to cry, I didn’t want to get out of bed, and I wasn’t happy. My family and friends began noticing a difference as I became more somber, quiet, and a homebody. My feelings kept getting worse and worse until July 2017.

It was a Monday morning. I had just woken up and didn’t want to get ready for work. Sleep didn’t come easy the night before and I was exhausted. I knew I wasn’t mentally able to go to my job and instead I cried my eyes out…the whole day. Why? I don’t know. Just thinking about getting up and going somewhere, out into public, and being a functioning human being at the time, broke me into a million different pieces. Tuesday came and I was still the same. My mom, my biggest supporter, encouraged me to go see my doctor and I’m glad she did. Asking for help was the best decision I could have made. Five minutes into my doctor’s appointment, I was sobbing my eyes out and I received the help I desperately needed. I was given treatment and medicine.

Today, about four months later, I am more at peace, can easily smile and laugh, and don’t want to cry all the time. Yes, I still have my bad days and have to make the daily decision to get up. I know depression and anxiety will always be with me and something I will carry into my future. However, I am now stronger and better able to manage my mental health.

To those battling a mental illness, I hope my story will give you courage to ask for help. To those who aren’t, I hope my story will give you courage to provide help and raise awareness about mental health. Together, we can change the stigma, start the conversation, and make mental health a part of everyday life.

xoxo,

Megan

 

Post-College Depression: It’s Real and That’s Ok

You just graduated from college and finally have a degree in an area that interests you. So, now you are supposed to find a job and begin your career, right? But what happens when you aren’t sure you want to go into that field now or employees aren’t calling you back or in for interviews?

You get depressed.  Very depressed and that is exactly what happened to me. The last semester of my senior year I thought I needed to have a job immediately after graduating, that I needed to begin my career right away. After applying the majority of Spring semester, graduation finally came, but a job didn’t. June-no job. July-no job. Get the picture?

As more time went on, I got more depressed. I slept a majority of the day, ate (and cried) more than I should have, and watched t.v… a lot. (Trust me, I could tell you want happened with Days of Our Lives and Gilmore Girls that whole summer.) I thought maybe I should have gotten more experience, or done more internships. My friends were getting jobs and starting their lives, so why wasn’t I? What was I doing wrong? These thoughts had me up at night worrying and frantically searching the Internet for jobs. At some points, I didn’t care what I dI’d, as long as, I was working.

Then, something happened. I began freelancing and writing for a local magazine. Shortly after that, I realized it’s ok to not have a job right out of college,  it’s ok to “be lost” for a little bit, and it’s ok to not be sure of what you want in life. Being lost and spending a few months figuring out my life was a blessing in disguise. I went from being overworked and overbusy for four years to not having anything on my plate. I got to be, well, just me.

This time of being lost gave me a new perspective and allowed me to do things I wouldn’t normally have time to do. After this realization, I became happier. Yes, it took time and I’m still working on it, because I’m still working towards my career dreams.

So, if you just graduated and aren’t employed, don’t worry. Fill your time with other things, such as:

  1. Travel
  2. Learn a new craft or language
  3. Spend time with family and friends
  4. Freelance with writing, DIY projects, etc.
  5. NOTHING–you don’t have to do anything, if you don’t want.

Eventually, you will feel better and the depression will ease. You’ll begin looking for jobs and find one. Each day brings something new. It can be scary, because you are heading into the unknown. Put the great big world on top of that and things can get messy.

Post-college depression is real….and that’s ok, because you’ll be ok.

xoxo,

Megan