A Better Me

Hi Friends!

I have been getting many requests to talk about mental health and my boyfriend, ha! Those two definitely don’t go together but he has helped me through it all so I thought I would make a post on each.

Austin and I are celebrating our six-year anniversary this Friday December 15th!!! Ahhh time freaking flies I love him so much. We are going to the Caribbean to celebrate and then I’ll be back in Washington after. I knew I would have some fun posts once I’m back from vacay so I wanted to get this one out before the new year so I can have a fresh start to 2018 and leave this all behind!

I’m going to start with my boyfriend because this is the fun topic. We met in middle school and have been together since. I used to creepily follow him to his locker because I thought he was so cute and we seriously would not say a single word- just walk in silence… Austin was a little shy back then and took forever to ask me out I swear. This other guy ended up asking me to our freshman homecoming dance and then things got crazy and I ended up going with Austin. THANK God I didn’t go with the other boy because who knows what life would be like today. After that dance he asked me out and ever since then we’ve been together through it all. I feel like Aust and I have been soul mates from the beginning cause it’s crazy to find such a perfect love when you’re so young. You’d think we would grow apart or move on while doing our own thing, but I need him more than anything and I know he needs me, too. We went through all of high school together and share such fun memories from sports events to classes and dances. I love comparing the photos now because we were so little and have changed dramatically. High school can be a hard time for many, so I’m thankful that I had a good friend group and really enjoyed the social part of it. It was lovely having Austin through these years because he was always on my side no matter what and would listen to me vent when I needed. He is a constant steady hand and I could not be more thankful for what we share.

In high school we took a couple trips to Disneyland and Canada for fun! We absolutely love getaways together. I remember I would get so excited about trips and work extra hours so we could go off to another state and have such a great time. I cherish those memories more than any gift I have ever gotten. Our new thing is spending money on traveling rather than gifts. I would highly recommend it to people because you grow together traveling to new places and seeing new things together.

After high school we both attended different colleges but still lived at home. We lived walking distance from each other so that was perfect. He plays baseball in college so he is gone a lot, but it works because we need lots of time obviously for school, work, and friends!

Now we’re in our third year of college and still better than ever! I usually don’t post too deep about our relationship because I would never want to sound like I am bragging about it, but it truly is a blessing. We definitely bicker here and there just because we care so much about each other, but other than that there haven’t been many serious fights. I have learned over the years that the most important thing in a relationship is communication. Especially in a long distance relationship it is easy to slip up and not communicate little things that should be shared.

Last Spring, he got an amazing scholarship to play baseball at Gonzaga University. I remember I was so sad when he was going to be five hours away, and now we laugh since we live across the country from each other. Change is always going to be hard, especially when it’s leaving the person you’ve been through everything personally with. But if you are meant to be and have strong loyalty and love you can make it (and Facetime!).

Long distance sucks for sure… I miss him so much and hate that I’m missing this time with him. But, we have forever together so a couple years can’t hurt! For me, long distance has helped show that I truly need him more than anything. People say long distance is the ultimate test, and I see why! It is so so so exciting when I get to fly home and see him too. He pulled up to the airport last time and I burst out crying I couldn’t even control it.

Mental health can come in now because Austin has helped me a ton through it. I was reading a blog the other day and this girl used the quote, “Once you can talk about something and not cry or be angry anymore, you are healed.” This truly speaks to me because the last year has been absolutely crazy and I’ve gone through a whirlwind of emotions that has made me into the person I am today. I am stronger because of the struggle I’ve had and I could not be happier to be on the other side now!

 I wasn’t aware of any mental health problems until my first year of college when we found out Austin’s mama had cancer. I have a hard time understanding disease and things we can’t be in control of. I am a huge worrier and I wish I wasn’t, but I always have been. Seeing Stacy go through chemotherapy had me in a terrible funk always questioning life and why we do things we don’t want to do when we’re all gonna be gone someday. I’m not necessarily religious, but I believe in souls and that there is a higher power in the universe. I support all of my friends and people in life that have a God or spiritual belief. I sometimes wonder if this is why I am so uneasy about afterlife and understanding it. After coping with her cancer Austin’s grandmother passed away and this brought more heartache and sadness to the house. Aust handles things very differently and does not always express his emotions (typical guy thing) and I react like no other. Sometimes school kills me too because I don’t know what I want to do with my life yet so it’s hard taking random classes just to get a degree. I remember I failed a class during all of this and I didn’t even care because I had this idea in my mind that school was the last thing I needed to worry about when loved ones were sick. And this is true, but to an extent. It was dumb of me to give up on something just because I was hurting- life still goes on and these experiences make you stronger and teach you to love deeper. I think anyone would feel like this when they are experiencing such heartache so it is normal to react. 

On top of all this, my parents decided to move to Kentucky because my sister and brother-in-law were living there and after they visited they fell in love. You know when you’re in high school and you meet people with these crazy stories of how many times they’ve moved, or schools they have attended, and you’re like “well I will never have a story like that since I’ll be living in Washington my whole life.” That was me. When I found out my parents were being serious I had so many emotions running through my head and uneasiness of not knowing the unknown. I remember the for sale sign went up in our yard and Austin and I were standing in front of it one day kicking it laughing which eventually turned into crying and feeling so scared because we didn’t know what was going to come of this. I knew in that moment I was standing there with the person I love and have shared so much of my life with and suddenly life was changing dramatically. The house sold the day it was listed which was crazy. I was so mad at the thought of people walking through our family’s space because I was so hopeful that it wouldn’t sell or something would happen to where we could stay a little longer. Shutting the door to our home for the last time and leaving all of our keys inside was the hardest thing for me. I remember I walked down the hallway and said bye to my room and felt so empty inside. We made a round to each of our neighbors houses to say goodbye and hangout for a bit before leaving permanently. That night my parents left to drive to Kentucky and I went to Austin’s parents house to live there for the next seven months. I felt like my whole world was flipped because everything I have ever known for my entire life just left me.

Referring back to the quote above, it took months and months for me to feel healed. It sounds silly because nothing traumatic happened in my life, but some people really struggle with change and it all came at once for me. I’ve also learned not to compare my struggles to other people – someone will always have it worse than you but that does not mean you can not accept your own problem. I went months crying everyday just missing my family and old life. I swear the song “The House that Built Me” by Miranda Lambert was purposefully playing on the radio because I would hear it about everyday. I couldn’t even control my emotions anymore to where someone at my internship would ask how I was doing and I would burst out in tears and go home early. It got to the point that I got a therapist and she told me I had extreme emotional grief. It sounds silly because I have such a beautiful and fortunate life, but I was hurting and nothing could fix that.

My anxiety started once I wasn’t crying anymore. It’s like my body was so off from crying that when I stopped I thought something was wrong with me. I never thought I had anxiety. I started to feel faint a lot and weak to where I couldn’t work out so people thought I was anemic or had iron deficiency. When I went to the doctor he could tell I was unstable cause he asked me why I was there and I started crying right away (thank god I had Austin there to lighten the mood and laugh). I couldn’t control my emotions anymore. He did some blood tests but everything came back normal. I was completely fine so he recommended I see a therapist for my anxiety. There are so many forms of anxiety I didn’t realize that my symptoms could even be that. I stopped drinking coffee because I remember my heart would race and I’d think I was having a heart attack (I’m pretty dramatic sometimes). I only went to two sessions of therapy because I over talk and spill myself to people, so I feel like all my friends are my therapists anyway so I didn’t feel like I benefitted from it much. But I am SO for therapy and would recommend for anyone to go if they felt like they needed it. 

I think once you know what is wrong with you it is easier to cope and understand how to deal with it. Once I moved to Kentucky I forgot about my house back in Washington because I was back with my family. I felt happy and excited to be in a new place where I got to make new memories. I have made some amazing new friends here and it’s crazy to think I would have never known them if my parents didn’t make the move. On a side note, I can listen to the song “The House that Built Me” and scream the words with a smile on my face. It took a couple weeks of being in Kentucky and getting adjusted to feel okay, but I remember being in my car and it came on and I just smiled and laughed and felt so whole again. It was like some huge accomplishment to get through something and not feel depressed and broken thinking about old memories. I genuinely feel stronger and beyond proud of myself for overcoming these obstacles in life. I am the best version of me that I have ever been and am so excited for life and all the years to come. I am excited to continue to grow mentally and share my experiences with others.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my posts. If you have any questions of how I dealt with my anxiety or relationship advice/stories just ask!