it's giving Casper.

I didn't mean to ghost y'all. Life has been happening and I kinda disappeared from blogging for a while. A long while. I took a planned hiatus, which I posted about on the brand IG page, but I definitely ended it before I was ready to. A lot has happened over the last few months and I've been debating how and if I wanted to talk about it. I kinda went full Casper and I didn't even mean to.

It was just one of those times that felt like I couldn't catch a break. It felt like one thing after another. It snowballed to where I wanted to withdraw from everything. It started around March. I found myself deep in a depressive episode and not dealing with it. I was too worried about school and making sure the people around me were okay and not worried enough about making sure I was okay, which I wasn't. I didn't know where to draw the line in the sand and walk away when I reached my limit and it came back to bite me in the butt.

It's been about 6 months since what I feel like was the "initial decline". I wish I could say those feelings have stopped, but I'm not in the clear just yet. It's kinda cyclic. I'll be in a low spot, get out of it and be fine for a while, and then something happens or time goes on and I find myself in another low swing. However, I would say that when I look at the big picture over this time period, I've progressed... but that progress been hard to make. Between trying to finish doing the work I need to do to heal and trying to be "on" so I don't feel like others are worried about me/me feeling like a downer to those around me, I AM TIDE BOSS. Being back in school hasn't helped, but second year is just ghetto and I've accepted it. Imma just do my best to be ghettofabulous. There will be a separate post about school though, so just wait on it.

I don't want to get into too many details about what's been going on because 1) I don't want this post to be hella gloomy and 2) y'all don't need to know all that. Instead, I'd rather talk about the work I'm doing and the things I've been getting back into to help me get out of these low moods when they come. These aren't foolproof -- hell, they don't even help me every single time -- but they are things I'd definitely say are worth a shot.

1) talking to professionals. My psychiatrist and my therapist are two women I'm grateful I have. Having an unbiased, professional opinion when I need to talk to someone is a top tier resource that I wish more people had access to. I have had to adjust my medication, but I'm at a good place with them now to where I feel okay. Aside from that and just having someone to listen and give me their undivided attention for 30 minutes to an hour, the techniques they've given me to deal with my depression and anxiety have helped the most... when I listen and actually use them. I get lazy sometimes and don't always do what I know I should be doing, but the techniques get easier to use the more I employ them. In my last session, my therapist actually said she was proud of me and that made my day.

2) *actually* doing this boundary thing. I feel like talking about boundaries has become one of those things that's good for social media, but not really talked about the way they need to be. I mean people (myself included) have been talking about boundaries forever, but no one talks about how lonely it can be when you actually establish and enforce those boundaries. Not putting up with things and people that aren't good for you sounds and is good for you, but what do you do when you feel like you lose people for speaking up for yourself? What do you do when standing up for yourself feels like you're choosing to stand alone? What do you do when saying "no" to those people and things feels like you're inherently saying "yes" to loneliness? You stand your ground. That's what you do. I've been working on this boundary thing for a while, but I subconsciously excluded certain people from them out of a fear of losing them, so I was half-assing it. When I decided to stand up for myself, things in these relationships changed. It hurt a lot at the time and still does, but I know it was the best thing for me to do. It has taken a lot of reassurance and self-reflection for me to stick to the decisions that I've made, but I can tell I'm doing better. It feels lonely, but I'm at peace in knowing the right people and relationships will be able to healthily exist in my life when the time is right.

3) investing more in myself. going the extra mile when it comes to my needs, my health, and my self-care has really what has been keeping me going. Before going any further, I don't mean the cute bubble bath/get my nails done type of self-care. That's good and I still do it, but I'm talking more about the self-care that gets ugly. A lot of reflections, whether they're guided or spontaneous, about my role in getting me to the places where I keep finding myself. Whether it's slacking with my meds, saying "yes" when I wanted to say "no", saying "no" when I wanted to say "yes", not exercising or eating properly, not getting enough sleep, spending too much money -- whatever it is. I have taken a lot of looks into the things I can control and the things I can change and have put more of my energy there instead of dwelling in the low moments. Outside of the last couple weeks (I told y'all I don't always do what I need to do), I have been doing a better job at feeling my feelings when they come, trying to understand why I'm feeling that way, looking at what I can do, and then doing it. Another thing that has helped in these low swings is getting back in the gym. My confidence isn't always where I want it to be. I spend a lot of time wishing I had a body like Chloe Bailey or Normani or Megan the Stallion or whoever, but little to no time in the gym working on being my own body goals. That's one area where I had to check myself hard and get back to it. A trainer I follow on Instagram, Kiara Freeman (@kiaratheleader) and her husband have a training program out called Elite Glutes and I'm going into my third week. I've been excited about the program since she initially posted stories of her working on it and I'm even more excited now that I'm in it. My 24th birthday is in about two months and aside from the actual gift to myself that I have planned, I wanted to gift myself with a body that I'm prouder of and more confident in, so that's what I'm doing. The fact that it's giving me another outlet for my feelings in just a plus.

This post has been long enough, so I'm just going to go ahead and wrap it up here. Hopefully, this was the last time I go ghost on y'all. I've missed writing and I definitely have content planned, so I'm going to get back to this. I'm still doing "the work" and I know the work is never really done, so being kind to myself in the midst of everything is the goal. Remember, life is gonna happen. You can't always control how or when, but you can control how you respond to it. Put your energy there.

Thanks for reading and thanks for hanging in here with me and my extremely long hiatus. See y'all next time.

Much love,


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