Friday, May 31, 2019

Currently Loving

Good morning friends and happy Friday!!  There are so many things for summer that I've got my eye on so I thought I would share a few things with you that I'm currently loving! 

How cute is this swimsuit y'all?!  It comes in ten different colors, has tummy control, a supportive top, and it's only $26!!  Oh yeah, and it has amazing reviews!!  And if you prefer a swimsuit with a pattern or print, this one looks amazing as well. 

LOVE these simple gold leaf earrings along with the $17 price tag! 

You guys know how much I love a good jumpsuit and this white one is stunning.  This would be so perfect to wear for engagement pictures or any type of summer event. 

I have been on the hunt for a good neutral wedge and I'm pretty sure I found what I'm looking for! These should be arriving today so I'll make sure to share them with you when they get here.  I am hoping they are as cute in person as they look online! 

Oh my goodness, this dress is seriously maxi dress perfection!  And this brand is one of my favorite brands of all time. 

I love that this beach hat isn't too big, but it's big enough to give your face sun protection.  Plus, it's super cute and you can't beat the $15 price tag! 

Love the print on this leaf print tassel cover up, plus, the fit of this style looks good on all body types as well. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

ADHD, Stimulants ,and Trauma

Never in a million years did I think I would be writing a post just short of a week after being released from a six day stay at a mental health facility.  As much as I wish it was a joke, it isn't.  To be honest, the first two days I was so out of it that I truly thought it was a joke or maybe I was just stuck in a bad dream. 

Before I get too deep into the story, let me share a little background information about me.  When I was in elementary school I was diagnosed with ADHD.  I was always the chatty little girl that couldn't stop talking and it didn't matter who I talked to I just always had a lot to say.  Paying attention in the classroom was a complete joke and my little brain had much more interesting things to think about.  To me, math and science were as bad as watching paint dry on a wall and I'm pretty sure I only picked up about 30% of what was being taught in second and third grade.  And then the magic of stimulants was introduced to me and we all thought we had found the miracle to all my attention problems.  Let me be clear, I am not knocking stimulants at all...without them I know I would have struggled immensely in elementary school and throughout high school.  That being said, stimulants can also be really dangerous, especially after being on them for a long period of time.  And with the positives they bring to helping children calm down and focus, they also come with a long list of negative side effects.  I could spend an entire post sharing my opinions on that, but today I'll just stick to sharing my story and the long term effects stimulants had on me. 

From the time I was in the fourth grade I was on many different stimulants.  The ones that I can remember were Ritilan and Concerta.  I can't say for sure, but I think I did okay on them.  I do remember that I didn't really feel like myself when I was on them.  By the time I reached high school, my doctor switched me to  Adderall.  

At first, Adderall seemed like the miracle drug I had needed all my life.  During the first six months or so my grades were rapidly improving, I could focus in class, I felt socially confident, and for once, my brain felt clear.  Then, after about six months I noticed the medication was not working as well and I started noticing some not so pleasant side effects.  I had no appetite, I was very hyper focused, and my fun bubbly personality was pretty much non existent.  

The worst of the side effects were at the end of the day around 5 when the drug started to wear off.  I became extremely irritable, I had zero patience, and my emotions were all over the place.  But again, when I didn't take the medication my grades and my attention in class was pretty bad.  So, I just tried to take it when I really needed it instead of everyday.  This worked out okay, but I felt like I was on a constant roller coaster and I remember my anxiety was horrible by tenth grade.  I think my anxiety had a lot to do with being on and off of the medication, but I also think it had a lot to do with a traumatic attack that I tried to (and eventually did) repress.  While the memories of that incident are still really fragmented, at the time I don't believe they were.  That being said, I felt the best thing to do was not tell ANYONE and just pretend it never happened.  I promise I am going to tell you guys more about the incident in time and why I thought it was best not to talk to anyone about it and just try to forget it happened.  I now realize I was wrong and that was the worst thing I could have done. Today, I just want to tell focus on what repressing memories and trying to cope long term with more stimulants and alcohol did to me.  

So, back in tenth grade, these memories were fresh and they caused me a lot of anxiety and panic attacks.  About a month after the incident my hands started to randomly shake, the right side of my face and my right arm would go numb out of the blue, I would have insane migraines in the middle of class, and they would get so bad I would have to go home.  It was like my body and my brain forgot how to do things I had always done.  I could no longer play tennis, and when I tried, it was like I was having to learn how to play all over again.  I remember feeling so frustrated and embarrassed.  

I would also get lost driving, which honestly wasn't that uncommon before the incident, but it was worse and I couldn't even remember how to get to places I had been a hundred times before.  At this point, I decided I needed a fresh start and that's when I met all of my amazing girlfriends that I still remain close to to this day.  I truly think God sent them into my life to help me cope and to have some normalcy in my life.  Hanging out with them made it so much easier to block out what had happened, and for the first time in a long time, I started laughing and having fun again. Looking back now, I realize I was able to feel love and friendship like I had never seen or felt before because of these girls.  And let me tell you, we got quite wild and probably had a little too much fun, but those three years of high school were so much fun and I made some of the best memories of my life.  And when my anxiety or panic attacks would creep in, which wasn't near as often as before, we would all find a way to laugh it off and they would make me feel normal even with some of my crazy behavior.  For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was living again. 

After high school was over it was time for college.  As a freshman in college, I remember barely being able to function even with Adderall.  I would have panic attacks on the way to class, and nine times out of ten when I pulled into the parking lot, I would get a migraine and vomit.  I was miserable to say the least, but at the time I couldn't figure out why college was making my anxiety so much worse.  I was taking a pretty small class load and the work itself wasn't any harder than my classes in high school.  It truly felt like college itself was making me physically sick.  I can still remember the day I called my mom and told her how I was feeling.  I let her know I was dropping out and that I was going to cosmetology school.  And while she wasn't very happy with me, she knew my anxiety was through the roof and that I was physically and mentally struggling.  

And now, almost 19 years after the traumatic attack happened to me at the beginning of my tenth grade year, I remember I was on the FMU campus.  I was chased in the parking lot and the attack happened back on the campus.  Again, all the details of what happened to me are still fragmented, but I do remember my body going into complete shock and my mind completely dissociating.  Either way, I now know and believe 100% that even if the mind dissociates during trauma and represses the memory, our bodies never forget.  I know that after the incident I developed severe PTSD, which at the time I had never heard of and I just chalked it up to bad anxiety. 

And now, I'm going to fast forward quite a bit to where I am now and what's been happening to me over the last six months.  If I don't, this post will turn into a 20 chapter book and by the time I finish writing it may be 2020 :) 

Just before Christmas this past year I was having a really hard time functioning and I had no idea what in the world was going on.  I was desperate and started seeing my therapist and my psychiatrist more.  We changed up my antidepressants and I switched my stimulants several times, but nothing was helping and I sat back unable to do anything as I literally watched my life to start to crumble right before my eyes.  All of the past memories I had repressed for so long were coming back and they were flooding my brain.  It was so bad that getting out of the bed in the morning seemed almost impossible and I slept maybe two to three hours a night.  That being said, I did the only thing I knew to do and I turned to increasing my dosage in stimulants so I was able to stay awake during the day, and possibly attempt to get at least a few things done. 

I see now that increasing stimulants was the WORST thing I could have done.  The stimulants ended up sending me into a stimulant induced psychosis.  It made the memories of my past and my brain go haywire.  My mind started making up more trauma, I started to get severely agitated, and my thinking was so unorganized at times it was scary.  During all of this, my husband and my family tried to help, but I was so deep in the stimulant psychosis that I couldn't see the problem.  At the time, my memory was just remembering all of the trauma (some of it was real while other incidents had never happened).  And then two weeks ago on Wednesday, May 15th I had a complete breakdown and I went into a deep psychosis that ended in me being admitted to MUSC for evaluation and then a six day detox at Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health. 

As hard as it was for me to admit at first, being admitted into the hospital was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.  I was able to get off Adderall, I could think rationally for the first time in over six months, and I learned HEALTHY lifelong coping skills to help me function and cope for the rest of my life. 

 I am planning to do an entire post on my six days there.  I cried (A LOT), I laughed (A LOT), and I got to meet some of the most genuine souls I have ever met in my life.  Myself, along with all of the doctors and staff realized quickly that I was indeed under a stimulant induced psychosis and that I was neither bipolar nor did I suffer from real schizophrenia.  Many of the patients I was in there with did, and while it was sometimes scary and very sad, watching them take their medications correctly and come out of their mania and depression was nothing short of amazing.  It's given me a different view on mental illness, and even though I've felt the pull for a long time now, I truly believe that I have a calling to help in this field.  More on my stay and my calling later though, because I am guessing this post in itself has given you all enough to make your heads spin for a few days. 

But seriously, I just want to thank you all again for all of the emails, dm messages, and support / love you all gave to me during this tough time.  You showed me that there is still a lot of love and compassion left in this world, and I will forever be grateful for all of you! 

Friday, May 24, 2019

My Top Ten Pool and Beach Essentials 2019

Good morning friends and happy happy Friday!!! 

First off, I want to let y'all know I am working on my post to let you guys know where I've been and everything that's been going on.  It's taking longer than I thought, but I want to make sure that I share everything I can.  To actually share it all, I would have to write an autobiography and ain't nobody got time to read on that, especially in a blog post.  Either way, I want to share my journey with all of you...the good, the bad, and the super ugly.  I promise you this time, I am working hard on it and I've got two pages already typed up so I'm hoping it will be soon. 

In the meantime, one of my favorite things to do for therapy is to get creative and search online.  It's truly one of those things that I love to do to, and since summer is my favorite season and it's literally right around the corner, I thought it was perfect timing to share my top 10 beach and pool favorites of 2019! 

Neoprene Multipurpose Beach Bag Tote with Inner Zipper Pocket and Movable Board

Hands down the coolest beach tote ever!  It's under $50, comes in eight different colors, and it can be changed into three different shapes depending on your needs for that day! 

I love the Rio brand when it comes to beach chairs and loungers.  The quality is always top notch and their prices don't break the bank.  And I love that this year's new chair is super lightweight and compact for easy travel to and from the beach and/or pool.  

Thick Round Beach Towel Blanket Microfiber Yoga Mat With Tassel Circle Picnic Carpet

I just ordered this in the big palm leaf print and I can already think of three places we will use it in the next month.  This is truly perfect for any family outdoor event, plus, it would be great at the beach or the pool for the kids to sit on to have lunch. 

This is a legit set for the beach and I love that it's not the cheap looking plastic crap that always gets left at the beach or ends up in the trash.  This looks like one of those sets that the kids will love and will last for many years.

   Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers Portable Wireless Shower Speaker

How cool is it that you can actually put this speaker into water and listen to it?!  This would be so nice to have at the pool, the beach, and if you like to listen to music in the shower you can do that with this bad boy as well :) 

Yes, yes, and yes!!!  Now that my kiddos are older, Todd and I both agreed that we're getting one of these for the pool this year! 

I still swear by these microfiber quick dry towels that we bought last year, but Carson and Taylor still  prefer a thick cotton towel when we are at the pool.  So, in case you or your kids feel like that as well, I wanted to include this awesome cotton set.  The reviews are phenomenal, and you really can't beat the price for a set of four towels! 

Oh the smell of SunBum sunscreen...I truly think I could just sniff it all day long.  Not to mention, it's one of my favorite brands.  The only downfall is that it's usually a little pricey, but I found this set on Amazon and the price is really good, plus, it's a great set to keep in your car or your pool bag to always have on hand! 

Portable Beach Tent Umbrella Outdoor Sun Shelter with Carrying Bag, 4 Pegs, Anti-UV 50 Protect Child from The Sun, Waterproof Windproof

I mean, where in the world was this genius thing when Carson and Taylor were babies!  The beach can be so hard with little ones, but with something like this I think it would make taking your baby or toddler to the beach a whole lot easier! 

Premium ice Chest with Bluetooth Speaker, Oversized Wheels, telescoping Handle, Picnic Party Essentials, Bungee tie Down and Optional Blender and Solar lids

Move over Yeti because there's a new cooler in town and it's got you beat with a blender and bluetooth speaker!  I mean, I'm pretty sure this is every college kid or parents dream right here ;)  And if you want something similar but a little smaller, they also make this portable cooler/speaker as well! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Mini Amazon Haul

Hello friends and happy hump day! 

I am popping in really quickly to share a few of my recent Amazon purchases that I'm loving!! 

Dress runs large for sizing reference I am wearing it in the xs. 

Dress runs large for sizing reference I am wearing it in the xs. 

Knit Waistband Woven Run Short with Internal Brief Liner

Top runs tts and I'm wearing a small.  Shorts runs tts and I'm wearing them in size small 4-6. 

Shirt runs tts and I'm wearing a small. 

Dress runs a little loose and I'm wearing a small, but could take the xs. 

Dress runs big, and for reference, I'm wearing the xs. 

Pjs run tts, and for reference, I'm wearing a small. 

Dress runs big, and for reference, I'm wearing the xs.