Why I’m Opening Up [Mental Health Monday]

Mental health is important. It’s everywhere and effects a lot of people. Some people you know about and others don’t open up about it for whatever reason or they hide it. We’ve been talking about mental health more in recent months and it’s something that should always be talked about. There’s no shame in mental health – just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take care of yourselves in that sense.

Yet, mental health is a tricky subject. There are still people out there who don’t “agree” with mental health or don’t think it “exists.” This is bizarre to me, but maybe that’s because I have mental health issues myself that it’s hard for me to put myself in someone’s else’s shoes and believe it’s “all in my head.”

Mental Health Monday is a new feature I’m adding to the blog in 2019 that will be posted once a month. I’ve started talking about my mental health more in 2018 – though I’ll admit it was just a handful of times on Twitter (I think). I wanted to talk about it more in 2019 and beyond. I also wanted to add more “personal” posts on this blog and mental health is a huge topic and it’s a huge part of who I am.

Mental Health Monday: Why I'm Opening Up | Anxiety | Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Why I’m Opening Up

Like I said, I’ve never really talked about my mental health before. Despite wanting to do more personal posts and letting you guys get to know me more, I wanted to talk about my mental health on the blog – for the whole Internet and world to see – for one reason only.

I’m ready.

I have been diagnosed since I was 16 – so it’s been about nine years. If I remember correctly, I was diagnosed in January or February. Needless to say, it’s been a long time. Aside from a few close people who knew, I never talked about it. Even though I had been officially diagnosed by a professional, part of me still wasn’t sure what was “wrong” with me.

When I quit my job almost two years ago now, I’ve done quite a bit of soul searching and – this will sound weird but – I’ve done a lot of research on myself and my mental health. This has led me to become ready to be more open about my mental health and about who I am as a person.

This is who I am.

I don’t know what made me decide to do the research. I don’t know why I had waited so long. I don’t know why I had decided to do it after I quit my job. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what I was doing with my life. I didn’t know how to get from point A to point B. I made a huge decision. I took a big risk. Maybe it was because of that I decided to do some soul searching. Not to mention, a lot of things have happened in my life that was effected by my anxiety. I took the time to finally sit down and figure out what goes on in my mind.

I did the research, which consisted of reading articles from The Mighty as well as going on Pinterest. It was the biggest eye-opener I’ve ever had. Every article I read was me. Everything that was listed in those blog posts were things I think about every day. They were things I do, things I say. Little quirks I have are “normal” for someone like me. It was weird for me to realize that because even though I’ve been diagnosed and I know it’s a common thing, I always thought I was the only one.

It made me realize, this is who I am. This is normal for me. I’m normal, even if others don’t always see that.

I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

I’ll save the diagnosis story for another time, but I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. A lot of people think there’s just “anxiety” and that’s it, but there are various kinds of anxiety. Some get it worse than others, some are diagnosed with different types. I don’t have just anxiety, I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ll explain more about what GAD is in the next post.

Until then, I hope you enjoy this series. I’m looking forward to talking about it. I’m ready to open up.

I hope you enjoy this new series on the blog. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Day 27

28334/50000 Words

Lookie! Lookie! Look at the word count!

Ha ha, I tricked you…it’s still the same.

But this is okay…even though I only have, what? Three days left?

Let’s start with this: The reason as to why I haven’t posted on here in a while is because I went away for the Thanksgiving weekend. I hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving, by the way. 🙂 The other reason is because, as you can clearly see from the word count, I have not written anything in a while. This is why:

I went onto my computer and I opened up Saving Each Other last week or whenever it was. It is right at the spot where my outline ended. I also noticed that I tried to write a little past the outline. I have three paragraphs about Blake waking up and being bored while Sierra and Luke are still sleeping. Wow! What an interesting read! As I’m reading this I’m trying to think, “Where was I going with this…?” Absolutely no where! So I told myself that while I was away, I would bring my outline and write a little more in it. Then I realized that I don’t know where this book is supposed to end. Saving Each Other is the first novel of five…or six. I’m pretty sure it’s five, though.

While I was away, I was actually a tiny bit productive because I planned out the gist of what is going to happen in each of the other books. So I realized where Saving Each Other is going to end so I can pick up where I left off on the next one. I started to write a little more of the outline again, but I didn’t get very far. I just kind of came to the conclusion that I’m at the climax of the story, so I really don’t think that I have too much more to write. It will be over 50K words, but I don’t know if it will make it to…say 100K or something obnoxious like that.

Anyway, now that I know what I’m going to be doing for the rest of the story; well, I guess I should say I know where to stop, I finally feel like I can continue. My only issue is that I have a little over 20K more words to write and I have three days to do it. I have school work, finals are sneaking up, I’m still working, and all that fun crazy stuff. I looked on my stats on NaNo and it told me that I have to write a little over 5K a day in order to finish on time. Well, this is going to be an issue because it’s the end of the semester and all my professors are realizing that they have a lot more stuff to teach us.

I guess this just means that I’m going to be staying up late for the next few nights. 5K a day isn’t actually that bad. I have done it before. But I don’t think I had school at the time. So I’m going to procrastinate on my homework–I’ll leave all that for December first to do–and I’m going to write in my two-hour break in between classes today. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to write at all tonight (long story short, my friend’s cat burned her paw and my boyfriend is the only person we know with an aloe plant). Tomorrow is Wednesday and I have no idea if I’m going to have any time to write. My sister and I have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword a lot lately and we’ve almost beaten the game. She actually has the day off on Wednesday from work so after my school and my work, we’ll probably be playing that all night. Thursday, I think I’ll be good because I just have one class so I can write while I’m in school, then after work I have the rest of the night. Friday…I’m screwed. That’s the last day to get anything in and I’m not going to be home at all that day.

So I basically only have two days to write (well, I could skip playing Zelda, but we all know that’s not going to happen…Link’s too adorable!) and if I have to write a little over 5K a day, then I guess that means I have to write a little over 10K a day. This is going to be an interesting challenge…I also realized the other day that if I really did write 2K words a day this whole month, I would have ended with 60K. Now in the next few days, if I happen to make it to 60K that would be completely awesome. However, I think I’m only going to focus on the 50K. If I go over, that’s cool. I’m not going to blind myself by the computer screen. Well, I guess I already will be by trying to get to 50K.

On a different note, but I guess it can be half-different because this could be another reason as to why I haven’t been writing lately. I came up with yet another series. I’m not surprised though, I always come up with a million ideas that I never finish…or sometimes even start. But I have to say that I really like this idea and it may just be the next thing that I write. I wrote it down plus with a few ideas for it so that I don’t forget it. However, I am not going to say anything about it now because I know that I’m going to end up wanting to write that today instead of writing Saving Each Other.

As stated earlier, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and weekend and I’ll hopefully update tomorrow with whatever I write today. Wish me luck and I hope all of you aren’t as behind as me! 🙂

About One More Week

NaNo starts next Thursday. That gives me a little less than one week to finish my outline for Saving Each Other. I know that I started working on this outline around the beginning of October, but I have been busy with a lot of other things. For example, homework. Not to mention that I have a little more homework now because I skipped school this past Wednesday.

Yes, I am sick. Therefore, I have not been working on anything at all. No writing, no homework, no nothing. I haven’t even been able to go hang out with my friends. The only thing I have been doing is playing Pokemon Conquest and I have to say that I am getting very far in the game. Well, I also have been going to work, but that’s only because we’re short-staffed and I hate calling out of work in the first place.

I’m angry because I only have science class on Mondays and this upcoming Monday my science class was cancelled. No school for me! Which is a great thing because I’m sick so I can have an extra day of the weekend to sleep in. Well, I checked my e-mail last night and guess what? Math class is cancelled for today. Fantastic, yes? Not at all…we have to “make it up.” And guess when we have to make it up? Yes, on Monday. -_- So here I am in the library at school waiting around until 10:30 for my science class. I guess for today it’s good because having one class is better than two. But on Monday…one class is definitely not better than none.

Yes, I am at school waiting around for two hours for my class to start that I don’t even want to go to. I’m coughing up all my insides, wheezing, I’m exhausted from lack of sleep, and I’m a bit dizzy. Of course, I can’t miss this class because then this would be my third time skipping this class this semester and that would mean I would have to attend all of November…let’s face it, I am not going to attend all of November whether I’m sick or not. I’m going to go to class early and talk to my teacher about missing Wednesday and I’m really hoping that she’s like, “Oh, Rachel you look awful! You should go home and get some rest.” And then I’m home free. That could happen…right? No, probably not.

Here’s a funny story for you: yesterday I came to school for my Health class. On Thursdays Health is the only class that I have. My professor is very weird and awkward. She’s in her 50s (I think) and all she talks about is her boyfriend. His name is Steve. I shouldn’t know that. Anyway, she can be nice when she wants to be, but if she doesn’t like you, she makes it known. For example, she talks to me just fine and I could actually have a normal conversation with her if I wanted to, but all the other girls at my table…well, we can just say that my professor is very bitter towards them. If they’re talking while she’s talking, she’ll call them out on it. If anyone else in the class is talking while she’s talking, it’s as though she doesn’t notice.

But enough about that, I got to class at 8:45 yesterday when class starts at 9:00. It was just the two of us in the room and I was coughing:
Professor: “Rachel, is that you I hear coughing over there?”
Me: Well, there’s no one else in here, so I guess so… “Yeah, that’s me.”
Professor: “Do you have allergies or are you getting sick?”
Me: “I’m sick.”
Professor: “Oh, that’s too bad.”

And that was the end of that. Now here’s the real kicker; about…maybe five or six times during the course of the class she kept asking me if I was okay. Whether I was coughing or just sitting there paying attention to her talking about absolutely nothing, she would interrupt herself to ask if I was okay:
Professor: “Now what that means is–Rachel, are you okay?”
Me: *Completely confused* “Yeah?”
Professor: “Anyway, what that means…”
And again…
Professor: “If you work–Rachel, are you sure you’re okay?”
Me: Can you just leave me alone? “Yes.”

And then at the end of class she says to me: “You know, you really do look lousy.”

…Thanks. -_-

Anyway, I really hope no one says anything to me today because then I’m not going to be a happy camper. I already feel like crap from being sick. I have to get myself through this school day and then get myself through work…with ten children today. I have an extra one. Yipee…yesterday I was trying to talk to the kids and the more I talked the softer my voice got because I kept coughing so I was losing my voice. Eventually the kids turned around and walked away as if they were like, “We don’t know what you’re saying, so we’re just gonna go now…bye.”

Let’s hope that this is an easy day for me and that I don’t have to do much at all. Except I have to finish that outline and do some homework. Meh.