Changes Can Cause Us To Look At Ourselves, And Sometimes Make Us Feel As If We Have Fallen Behind……………

I just posted right before this about how my cousin had her baby earlier this week. I cannot even begin to express the amount of excitement, pride, and just joy this brings to not only me, but every member of my family. We are all so happy she is finally here. So happy she is healthy. So happy to have an addition to the family. Grandma is is just ecstatic to finally be a “GG” or Great Grandma. My Aunt and Uncle are so proud to finally be grandparents, and I am just so excited for my cousin, her fiance, the family, that we have a new addition to the family as a whole, and I’m excited to watch her grow up, become her own self, and to discover everything there is around her.

I have all this excitement, but at the same time I am finding myself looking at my own self, my own life, as a result of this new beginning and change. Please don’t get me wrong, I love this baby with all my heart, I am so so so happy to have her in this world, to be part of her family, and to have the opportunity to be part of her life. All I am saying is with all this excitement going on, I have started to look at where I am in my life compared to where my cousin (who is 2 years younger than I am) is in hers. I know, I know, we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, but I have, and I wanted to just let it out a bit. I am 30 years old. I still live at home with my parents because I haven’t been able to work for a long time due to my mental illness. I just started a part time position about a year ago, and it is going really really well, I can only hope that eventually it will lead to a full time position and I will be able to make enough money to be on my own. Anyway, I don’t have a boyfriend, and like I said, I live with my parents. I spend my free time helping my grandparents and doing things for my parents, but I also have a couple friends I occasionally go to lunch with or spend time with. I also have found a new church home and have really been trying to become more involved there. I can’t complain about where I am in life, I am lucky to even be alive. I attempted suicide multiple times in my past and I have fought hard to get through all I have been dealt. I just naturally, as anyone would, wish I was further along. Wish I was somewhere else in my life. I wish I could meet the standards that society sets for where I should be at this point in my life. I wish I had a boyfriend, I wish I lived on my own, I wish I was at a point where I was starting my own family like my cousin. I guess in some ways you could say I’m jealous of my cousin. Jealous that she is where I want to be. That she doesn’t have a mental illness that makes life that much harder. I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. I just know that I wish my life were different. I know my story and my struggles have helped many people, I know this illness happening to me has it’s purpose, and I know I need to trust God and His ways and His plan for my life. I guess I just wanted to know, does anyone else ever feel like they are behind where they should be in life? Am I alone in this feeling? Is it wrong to feel this way?

I absolutely love Abby, the new baby. I cannot wait to be able to hold her and love her, and spoil her. I cannot wait for all the life lessons I can teach her, and even more so the life lessons she will most likely teach me.

I Have A New Cousin!!

So my cousin had her baby on Tuesday night. She started pushing at about 4pm and the baby just didn’t want to come out lol. She pushed for over 3 hours when the doctor said he would let her push for another 30 minutes (until 8pm) and then he would have to do a c-section. WELL…..Abby Marie made her appearance at 7:54pm! She was 7lbs 15 oz and 22 inches long. She is BEAUTIFUL, I am in love with her already! Growing up, my cousins were like siblings to me, we are all really close and so now my cousin having a baby, it doesn’t feel like I am getting a 2nd cousin, but rather a niece. It doesn’t matter what the exact relationship is to me, I love her a lot and she is perfect!

Here are a couple of pictures:

4 years

I didn’t get to write yesterday but I’m here today so I suppose that’s what matters. 
Anyways, yesterday was an anniversary for me. August 12, 2016 marked 4 years since the last time I used self-injury as a coping skill. It was the last time that I hurt myself on the outside on purpose in order to get my head to slow down and to emotionally feel better. I started self injuring when I was 12. I’m 30 now. The last 4 years have not been easy by any means. I’ve had to learn to deal with emotions in a healthy way instead of the way I’ve known for so long….a way that I know, for at least a short time, works. I still have SI thoughts every day, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t think about it. It’s still at tiles the first reaction thought that comes to mind, but now I know there are other ways to slow down, to help myself feel better. I have yet to find a way that works as fast as SI does, but I’ve learned that the new ways may take a bit longer to fully “work”, but they in the end do not leave me feeling angry or mad at myself and lead me to more SI. I’ve been more content with myself over the last 4 years, more stable in general, and I can honestly say I’m actually proud of myself. That’s not something I could say and actually mean 4 years ago. I’ve come a long way, and still have a long road ahead of me, but I’m ok with that. I’m ready to continue to wake up each day and promise myself I will not engage in SI that day, I’m ready to wake up each day and believe I am worth something. 

So I finally finished my tattoo

I am someone who in my past has used self injury as a coping skill. I have scars on both of my forearms. I got to the point a few years back that I no longer wanted to look at my scars everyday and be reminded of those times. Soooo…. I decided I was going to cover the scars with a tattoo. Unfortunately, tattoos cost a lot of money that I just don’t have. Well, my friend told me of a ministry tattoo shop that did tattoos for self-inky scar cover ups for free all they ask for is a donation of any size to the ministry. This was fabulous. I could finally start to cover up the memories of such bad times. So I went there and got this tattooed on my left arm: 


Obviously, from the photo it didn’t fully cover up the scars I had. But it was all I wanted at the time, I couldn’t think of anything else to add to it, so I let it be. I was happy with what I had. But my other arm still Had scars that were very obvious and it bothered me. Well, the ministry shop only does one tattoo for free then they charge for others. So I just left my arm the way it was . It wasn’t until 2015 (three years later) that I decided to get another tattoo, this time on my right arm. I have been big into adult coloring books, mandala coloring mostly, and I decided I wanted to get a mandala tattoo. It was around this time that I found out that my neighbor growing up who I was friends with had become a tattoo artist. I got ahold of her and she looked at some of the mandalas I’d colored and she drew up a mandala for me. I loved it, it was simple but beautiful and I decided that was what I wanted on my right arm. Here’s a picture of it: 

It doesn’t cover all the scars, but it is covering enough that I am happy with it. 

So anyways, after this I started thinking about what I could add to my left arm that would fit with what I had and hopefully cover most of the scars I have left showing. I kept it in the back of my mind for almost a year, and I contacted my friend again asking how much it would be to add a simple sun with rays to the tattoo I already had. She gave me a very generous price, and I made an appointment to go see her and get it done. The appointment was yesterday and when I saw what she had drawn up it was definitely more elaborate than I had expected, but it was beautiful. She said she’d stick to the price she initially gave me and this is what it looks like just hours after she did it: 

She added the sun and the clouds to the piece that was already there and I absolutely LOVE it. No
Now, when I look at my arms I no longer see hurt and pain and depression. Instead I see beautiful art that truly means the world to me and brings me hope for new beginnings. 

So I was thinking…..

I’ve been told at least 100 times over the last few years that I should write a book about my life story/ story of my life with mental illness. I never really put too much thought into it, just said ok to people and let it go. Over the last 3 weeks though, I have had 5 or 6 people tell me they would buy my book if I wrote one, and that I should write a book. Just having that many people tell me in such a short time span got me to really start thinking that maybe this whole book thing could really happen. So I’ve been thinking over the last few days about it; about where I would start, what I would call it, how I would actually get my story onto paper and have it be long enough to be a book. All things worth thinking about. However, I really just have no idea as to HOW to write a book. I’ve written essays and short stories for school projects over the years, and I love to write in general…..I just have never really thought about putting my story down in such detail that it essentially took up 150-300 pages……to break it down into chapters, I just can’t really wrap my head fully around it and how / where to even start with it. So, I’ve been looking online, searching for things like “how to write a book” “where to start when writing a book” and “How to make my story long enough to fill a whole book”. I get results to those searches with lots of personal pages from people who have written books before and they all have decent information, but it’s a bit overwhelming to say the least. Like I said, I just don’t know where to start. I’m thinking about making a basic outline…..maybe naming the chapters and then making each chapter it’s own short story in a way. I would hire a ghost writer, I’ve done research on those too, but the cheapest one I found would be $100-$150 per PAGE. I definitely do NOT have that kind of money.

So…..if anyone on here has any advice, or resources that I could look at online, or anything that would possibly help me in this process, please share it with me. I know I’m in the way way beginning stages of this, but I have to start somewhere right?