Where is the off button on this damn thing?!

“Hey Doc, me again. Yeah um…here’s the thing. I think I may have something wrong with my brain? Now I promise, I’m not crazy, hear me out. See, it turns out, my brain wasn’t built with an off button? HA! Imagine that! So if you can just return my call, that would be totally awesome. OH, and don’t worry about calling back at weird hours because I’ll be sitting next to the phone the ENTIRE time waiting for your reply! *nervous laugh* Yeah by that I mean I will be thinking about it the whole time. Just thinking about it… Yep! Just waiting… So, just call back! Soon! PLEASE! And um…Omg wait. What if you don’t call back…Omg what if you’re not a real person? Omg what if I’M not a real person?! Omg. I have to go. *hangs up phone* *seeks out wine and chocolate IMMEDIATELY* “

Welcome to the wonderful world of anxiety folks! And by wonderful, I mean WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?! I feel like most of you readers probably have some sort of idea of what I’m talking about. Maybe some more than others. The constant worry about things that are completely out of proportion. Thoughts that our brains aren’t meant to dwell on in any way, shape, or form. Oh, and then of course, you begin to then worry about your worrying (because that makes sense, thanks brain). Suddenly, your life becomes a continuous tornado of insane negative brain patterns. A downward spiral into long days that turn into sleepless nights. This is also the exact moment you find out that anyone who has ever told you that “counting sheep” was an efficient way to make you sleepy was full of LIES. Because, yeah maybe you try this, and you then find yourself beginning to name the nonexistent sheep. AND, then you’re creating LIVES and PROBLEMS for the said nonexistent sheep. AHH. Yeah, I would know nothing about that…absolutely nothing. Moving on. Where was I? OH, right. That stupid anxiety thing. So how do people cope you may ask? Some get moody from it, some laugh through it, and some shut down from it. Others try to self medicate through things like alcohol, marijuana, copious amounts of food (or no food at all), and even binge watching every episode known to Netflix (hey don’t fret man, we have all been there). Anything to distract the brain from these continuous thoughts! Turn it off! Unfortunately though, there is no off button (shocker) and a lot of the time, people are left to find that these things really don’t do much to help in the long run at all! They’re completely temporary solutions. “SO NOW WHAT” you may be asking, right? Well hey, I’m here to help ya out the best I can! My name is Stevie Jackson, and I have shit to say.

Anxiety. It’s a term that can cover a very wide range of meanings. It shows up in all different shapes and sizes. The most common form of it tends to be “stress induced” anxiety. In short, this basically can be described as overloading ourselves with way more daily expectations to meet at extremely high standards of which we as human beings aren’t even capable of. This stems from self hate. Oh, and you can laugh at that last sentence, it was a joke. Ya know, haha? But seriously people, we gotta stop doing that! Anyways, aside from that, there are many other anxiety forms that are a bit more tricky to explain why they happen. To name just a few examples, sometimes people may get anxiety from noise, fears, or even people. There are even many people who have no idea what causes their anxiety and then are really left in the dark about how to fix it! How tough is that? Right? The brain is a strange, strange thing. All in all, anxiety is a horrible thing to have to deal with no matter what shape or size you may be experiencing it in.

Now, I’m sure some of you might think that the very word “anxiety” tends to be thrown around quite casually these days. “Oh they’re just stressed” or “Oh they’ll get over it” or (my personal favorite) “Oh they’re faking it.” I’m sorry, but WHAT! NO! Ok yes, maybe the term is used more in our every day vocabulary than ever before, but thats because it has become a HUGE growing problem that we are facing in our society my peeps! And it sucks! Did you know, that 1 out of every 3 people suffer from anxiety? That’s a lot of people to be dealing with such a shitty thing. Yet, after doing some research, I’ve found that only 36.9% of these people are receiving either perscriptions or seeking professional help! Why is that?

Story time!

I’m someone who has suffered with crazy anxiety for the past 2 years. Whether it stemmed from being stressed from college, or just from the pressures of becoming an adult in the real world, I don’t know! But I do know, it was such an annoying thing that kept me from living my daily life the way I wanted to! Anxiety not only affects your mind, but it absolutely affects your body in very weird ways. About a year ago, I was getting really sick, fainting, experiencing intense insomnia, and having constant irrelevant fears of things that would probably never even happen. I was easily agitated, easily scared, closing myself off, and even having to skip classes some days due to lack of sleep. For the longest time, I would not take anything that could help because “I didn’t want to be married to medication in my early 20’s.” However, a few months ago, my doctor helped me come to a realization. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume most, if not all of you, have had bronchitis before in your life, yes? Nasty little sickness isn’t it? I mean, you’re literally hacking out your left lung every few minutes. Cute. Not. Anyways, when you are sick with this, what do you do? You get medicine, correct? Because that’s the only way around it? Because when we are sick, we do what it takes to get back in good health to go about our daily lives? YES! So, when we are experiencing sickness in our mental health, why do so many of us think this is any different? I was included in this margin until a few months ago when I gave in and began taking a perscription to help relieve it. Here and now, I can tell you first hand, I feel like the absolute happiest HEALTHIEST version of myself ever. I wake up every day able to to go through without such a nuisance of a mind funk holding me back! And that’s just what helped me. Of course, others will be different. Like anything in life, finding solutions comes with a process of trial and error!

So maybe you are working too hard, stop that! Take a break pal! Maybe you need to have someone lend an ear and give you the help and advice you need to keep on keepin, and that’s awesome too! DO IT! Or, maybe you need a little extra push to even just make some healthier choices to free your mind! Maybe try meditation, yoga, working out, or even writing! Point is, there is a healthier happier you that you deserve to get to know! You absolutely have every right to anything that can help you get there! So go get em tiger!

Welp, if I have helped even one reader, then I have done my job here… so Im gonna go have a glass of wine now. BYE!

xxoo

-Stevie <3

 

“I’m a strong independent ketchup bottle who don’t need no mustard”

“Ahhh Halloween time. Don’t ya just love it? The air is crisp, and the bonfires are plentiful. It’s a time for candy, apple cider, donuts, regrets, chili, more candy, and those God forsaken couples costumes. (Let me repeat that for dramatic effect) those GOD FORSAKEN COUPLES COSTUMES *cough* that we all love *cough* woah… who said that?”

Ok folks, allow me to take you back in time. Let’s think back to what it was like being a kid around Halloween. The first thing that comes to mind for me actually isn’t trick or treating. The first thing that I think of, is getting those party city ads in the mail and being so darn excited! I mean, I would literally set aside time to sit down with my little color coded sharpies and circle the coolest costumes on every page. This way, I could make an efficient decision of what I was going to be that year. This was a very dedicated project that I took very seriously. Come on, we have all been there. I think we all know that Halloween was no joke back in grade school days, you had to COMMIT. So, that being said, while flipping through these ads, I remember always going straight to the couples costumes pages and ripping them out so that they wouldn’t interfere with my process (because what 8 year old has a significant other…actually, don’t answer that.) And, since I must be honest, I’ll now admit that I of course made sure to look through them before doing so. I mean, I had to start adequately preparing for the day I too would need to pick from them. Ya know, when I had a boyfriend in the future (lol still waiting.) But yeah, there were SO MANY. I mean, this section was LARGE. You have everything from your classic movie couples like Danny and Sandy in Grease to those damn plug and socket costumes that have been around for like the past 20 years (#why #gross). And then, there’s those costumes that you look at, and you’re just like what the actual FU…dge nugget (which is exactly what I wanted to say thanks for asking) was happening when this was pitched to a design team and they complied!? This leads me to my next point. I am actually writing to address a very important matter that no one seems to be talking about: The ketchup and the mustard suits. My name is Stevie Jackson, and I have shit to say.

That’s right, the ketchup and mustard couples costumes. Ya know, the ones that slightly resemble what I consider to be large red and yellow potato sacks simply labeled “ketchup” and “mustard?” Along with it, came a hat that looked oddly similar to a traffic cone, but in their respective colors, of course (cute).  These costumes cost maybe 2 dollars to make and are sold for about 30 (naturally). Now, the mystery here, is that you never actually see couples wearing these overly priced and poorly designed refrigerator condiment get ups. At least, I don’t. Come to think of it, I’ve only actually known of one person ever to purchase one of these costumes. I’m half ashamed and half proud to say that it was me. Yes, I was a bottle of ketchup in the seventh grade. It was probably the most awkward year of my life, looks wise. I had poorly box died hair, bright orange braces, pimples galore, and I was… lets just say…prepubescent. So, of course, I decided to take it upon myself to run around in an oversized ketchup costume because that would make it all better. I’m cringing, you’re cringing, we are ALL cringing. But wait, it gets better. The worst/ best part is, there was no mustard. I flew very solo in this adventure of mine. This draws the line. Who in God’s name let me out of the house dressed as ketchup without a companion mustard?! That is the saddest thing ever, right?! Come on mom and dad, you had one job! (If you’re reading this, which you better be, I’m joking)

The thing is though, at that time in my life, I had this strong desire to be this bottle of ketchup for one of the most important holidays in a younger kids eyes! I don’t know what this choice of costume stemmed from, or why for that matter. But I do know, that I am absolutely rooting for awkward little Stevie who chose this path and didn’t need anyone to be her mustard to go through with this very, very strange choice. How cool is that? Don’t you wish we could go back in time to THAT kind of confidence? The carefree attitude of being a kid and doing exactly what we want, when we wanted? (Well as much as we could get away with anyways…) Wait a second, I just asked a strange old woman on the sidewalk this question and she said WE CAN? OMG GAME CHANGER! Ok, maybe I didn’t actually ask a strange old woman on the sidewalk, but it made this story much more interesting so sue me. Anyways, yes! We can! Somewhere along the way of becoming the very cool and collected adults we all are (HA), we have lost the art of “loving our weird.” We question our every choice. We care too much about what people think. We forget that it’s OK to be different and it’s actually encouraged!

*insert GIF of strange virtual man screaming*

“I’M A DORK AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT”…

well that was weird… (Did that joke land? I don’t know. It made sense in my head)

Life is too short to not do exactly what you want! Maybe people will think you’re cool, and maybe (GOD FORBID) they won’t! You know what though? Who in the literal heck cares! Have fun, be yourself, and if you want to dress as a refrigerator condiment, freaking do it! You don’t need no mustard to be the beautiful ketchup that you are! You are a strong, independent ketchup bottle and you don’t need… Ok I’ll stop right there. While I’m… ahead? No, I think I’m already behind. Oh well. Sorry, I was just embracing my weird right there if you couldn’t tell.

ON THAT NOTE… have a wonderful Halloween everyone. Eat lots of candy, have lots of (hard) cider. And, most importantly, stay weird my spooky friends.

<3 Stevie