It’s a situation. Mental Health Stigma, Social Media, Political Views and Me.

I should be more upset that whenever I don’t say what people want me to, I get slammed over my mental health issues and sobriety.

I’m not though, because I know that people these days get excitable over pretty much anything (sometimes myself included), and it isn’t worth the time to take those words in as truth, when I know I am doing the work to stay sober, and emotionally am doing quite well.

The stigma of mental health is real, and if you have strong political views and talk about them on social media, it is even harder to live down your past struggles. It’s the first thing people zero in on if they don’t agree with you, or don’t understand you as a person.

People automatically think you are talking crazy. They automatically assume you are drinking again. They automatically assume you are spiraling down. They tell you that you are wrong in any fashion they care to. They discount you.

Even if your words make sense and are directed towards peace and stopping gun violence. Even if you are afraid of guns, don’t own one, can’t own one, and don’t want to own one.

Even if.

I pulled away from Facebook again because I needed to.

After these last mass shootings, I took to my wall to let everyone know that I was tired of the gun issues in America, the mass shootings that have happened 251+ times just this year alone, the looking the other way so it continues to happen, and the fact that they sell guns in America to any seemingly normal person that wants one.

As you know, I moved from Dayton just a few weeks ago. What you also must know is that the mass shooting in Dayton was 15 minutes away from where I lived, and where my friends live as well. For some time I was worried that some of them could have been there; and I was worried.

After finding my friends were all safe, I then became angry. For over a week I posted numerous things on my wall about the mass shootings, gun control, videos on peace, finding peace and solutions, and also numerous opinions of others as well that justified my stance and supported it.

I figured I could do nothing but use my voice, and so I did.

I don’t regret it either.

It wasn’t until I was honest and admitted that I was tired of talking about gun control, had been talking about it too much and was going to focus on my family, friends, and job; that people started coming to me and asking me if I was ok.

Numerous people.

I don’t much get it.

Although I more than appreciate the concern for my welfare (I DO), I have to say that I was taken back by the fact that people could be so worried over the fact that I am concerned about the way our country works and the way we always look the other way on every real issue there is.

I’ve decided that social media (Facebook in particular) is no longer a place of reason, and in reality, never was.

Most people are unwilling to have real discussions on ways to change anything.

It doesn’t matter what you say.

This week it solidified what I in essence, already knew.

I understand that mental health struggles are real. I do sometimes still struggle with depression and symptoms of PTSD myself.

But I don’t feel that wanting to feel safe in your own country without having to have a gun, and talking about it….is me being mental.

Social media, is in my opinion, a relevant starting point for change about the way we communicate and treat others in general.

I know I have work to do myself in that regard as well.

What it is for me personally regarding guns, is me being worried for the future of my children and yours, and I have every right to be.

It is not my cross to carry if people don’t understand that. At all.

Will I get locked away for not wanting a gun and for wanting my children and all people to feel safer? Pff. It’s just too much, and it doesn’t make sense to me at all.

I am not sure in the future if I will ever talk about politics in an open way again on facebook, because if people can’t even accept the talk of reason from me and inquire to see if I’m ok, then it seems all I am really truly doing is worrying people, and digging myself a social hole for people to imply that I am still sick.

It makes me sad mostly. That I can’t be myself.

It makes me sad that people potentially see me as sick again, because I have been open about my struggles, and I chose to speak up about my opinions on relevant topics and things going on in this country.

It makes me sad that people can think those things about me.

However, I think it is the price I pay for having conviction, principles, and passion. I think it is the price I pay for opening up my life online, to try to help others that struggle.

I am sitting on the porch of my sister’s house this morning with my dog and my coffee, writing this blog so that I can assure anyone that worries about me that I am not a threat to anyone, and that I am indeed ok. It is something I feel I need to do because, like I said, the stigma of mental health is very real. I feel it is my responsibility to assure people, because I do speak on a public platform about my struggles and life.

Today, I struggle because I want change in my country. I struggle because I know that it probably won’t come. I struggle because the only thing I fear in this world is losing another one of my children senselessly.

It is somewhat of a grieving process for me, letting go of the fact that I can do nothing; and there is nothing wrong with that.

This is what I want people to understand.

I also know, that you are what you focus on and that I can’t let that fear keep me from living. It isn’t, and does not.

I talk about things to process them, and to learn new ways of understanding within myself.

It is time for me to focus again on things that I CAN change in my life.

I am having real conversations with my kids and family for the first time in years. True friends too. It feels good to be loved for who I am, opinions and all.

People that know me in real life understand, and support me. They support my growth and the process I’m going through to become the best version of me.

Today I will focus on being mindful of the fact that I need to live despite what’s going on in this world and in my country. Despite the fact that I can do no relevant thing to change anything at all, except to change myself.

It is hard to be human. It is hard to be in a world that doesn’t make sense. I think it is hard for all of us, mental health struggles or not.

I still feel grateful for this life, and for the blessings that I am lucky enough to call mine.

I still have hope that in America, we will become kinder as a people and that we can work it out someday. Together. We are all in this life together, after all.

I will always be who I am and have opinions on things that affect me. I will never feel guilty or bad about my opinions on those topics ever again. I will not feel bad for being me. I made that promise to myself over three years ago, and I am sticking to it.

I did not in any way want to cause concern to people or hurt anyone’s feelings.

I will in the future, consider not talking about politics as much in general.

That’s just a consideration…not a promise.

For now I’m done talking. I’m focusing on living this life to the best of my ability, integrity, and being kind.

Mental health struggles do not always equate out to irrelevance, or active spiriling down. They are case by case, as anything is.

We also need to understand that it is ok to struggle, but that it is essential to ask for help if you feel like you are spiriling down.

Don’t be ashamed of who you are.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~ Peaces of ME

The More You Know

I have not written words on paper for a long time.

A computer screen would not be paper, but I haven’t wanted to write here on this blog either. I don’t know why exactly, but I feel like I need to just go with the flow when it comes to my writing, so I am.

My life is pretty different then it was the last time I blogged.

I am a legal resident of Michigan now.

It was a slightly daunting move that took patience, but I financed it all myself and so for some reason, I am proud of that. I worked hard to make it happen and accomplish the goal. Two years ago I wouldn’t have even been able to attempt it.

My growth inside is daily, and I am sober. My mind is open. I’m embracing all three of these gifts because that’s what they are.

I took some time off from working to decompress and regroup. I’ve been slightly depressed at points these last three weeks, but the time off has done me some good. I think after a big change it just takes a bit to level out. My mind was tired and my body was tired too. I needed the rest, and so I’m glad I took the time.

Now it’s time to look for a better job than the one I used to work before. I have an excellent referral letter from my former employer and motivation to match it.

Time to get going again, and I’m ready.

I don’t know where it will lead, but I trust the direction the universe is taking me. I also trust myself.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

I Am Not One of Them.

I’ve learned after decades of struggling with pretty much everything, that the things I hold onto in my head, are the things that I will focus on. Also, that I am in full control of myself and my actions. No one else. That’s the bottom line.

Get to living.

There’s never going to be a moment when I won’t be bipolar or in some sort of recovery. There’s never going to be a time when I will be able to fully accept some of the traumas and betrayals I’ve lived through in my life. THIS is what I’ve accepted and made peace with. That and knowing the fact that I DID live through it all. Somehow that realization made it easier to start letting some of the hurt, anger, confusion, hate, self-loathing and pain go.

My pain was like a comforter to me, for most of my life. It was a horrible side-effect from a lot of different things, and something I was used to, and knew well. My pain built thick walls that were riddled with doubt and fear, Hatred towards myself, and those around me.

It was not a comfort in the slightest. It was a liar. It didn’t keep me safe. It didn’t keep me from drinking. It didn’t keep me from getting hurt by other people, or from hurting other people.

It kept me from living. It kept me stuck.

For me personally it is hard to let go of some things, because I can’t even remember every part, and every single thing that has happened to me. I don’t know all of it, because there’s no way I could know everything. It’s been hidden from me. I do know enough though, to know that it’s there and will come back in different pieces, and I’ll know then…. or it won’t come at all. I might never get the answers to certain things. I might never get validation or closure from anything. THIS is what I accept and make peace with. Then it becomes easier to let it go.

Getting to the point where I was actually present in today, every day, took me a long, long, long, long time to actually implement.

Even though I knew exactly what to do.

Self-loathing is really detrimental to your life, and is a running bi-product of most mental health issues.

For me, I just reached the point where I couldn’t keep dragging myself through the mud every day anymore.

{You spin me right round baby, right round}

Like a record baby; a broken one.

ENOUGH. I was my own problem…..

I wish sometimes that I didn’t know how things actually are in the world because it’s too much for me to handle sometimes. TOO MUCH.

I then start to look at the other side of it and realize just how much internal strength there is knowing what I know. Learning what I’ve learned. Living through the things I lived through. Hard lessons or not, I am around to talk about it.

The pressures we put on ourselves are often tainted with underlying needs.

My underlying needs were to feel validated and loved and safe. Those were my underlying needs for most of my life, because I never felt it. In the past I have ruined any opportunity for those needs to be fulfilled, because I didn’t know how to feel it. I would do things to push people away from me.

It was because I never validated or felt love or felt safe in myself.

I was my own problem.

When I actually accepted that about myself a big weight was lifted.

I didn’t want to be that version of Jenni anymore, because I sucked the life out of everything and everyone, and it was miserable and exhausting every day.

That realization and the need to feel peaceful inside, set me on a path to building a life that was real; honest to myself and my beliefs, no matter what.

I am present in this day, and not in my past with my ghosts that kept me chained and locked away from HOPE.

Some people lie to themselves their entire lives and are totally fine with it.

I am not one of them.

I choose not to be.

I hope you will choose not to be too.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

Jenni was Here.

When I write, I feel a sense of decompression as the words leave my brain and come into sentence.

It makes room.

Eventually there will be nothing left to say, and this will be all that remains of me.

It’s documented proof that I fight the fight, and live this life.

Writing about my life has been the most freeing and beneficial thing I have done for myself, for my mental health, and also for my recovery; which will be an on-going, life-long process.

I’m good with that.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

Look

When people look at you like you don’t matter

Know that you do

You are strong

You are brave

You are loved

You are worthy of the love

Love yourself

You have to or you won’t survive

You are not a quitter

They just want you to be

Don’t look back and don’t give in

Only you can forge your path

You know there is light in the darkness if you look for it

LOOK

J. Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

I am Not Afraid.

I am not afraid of the dark anymore; this is why I can travel through it.

It has made me stronger.

Time.

It heals most things.

But the real healing comes in facing the demons inside.

Ruthless reminders of the past, put upon the shelf of life, where they belong.

You owe it to yourself to live the life that you were given.

Not just give it away to whatever and whoever would take it from you.

Be grateful because it will save your life.

You make your own path in life, no one else. There is hope on the other side of despair. Always. Reach for it.

Be grateful every time you conquer adversity.

Look yourself straight in the eye, and be proud. You deserve to acknowledge that you did not break where you would have before.

There is internal strength and acceptance that comes in that gesture. Grace, healing, courage…so many other things.

Be kind to yourself every day.

In doing that, you can also be kind to others.

You will want to be.

Be the person you needed to be all along.

It spreads to others like a rash.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Thankfulness.

I don’t know what my life holds for me. To be honest I sometimes still feel like I don’t deserve the good things in it, because I’ve taken life for granted (or did), for so long.

It is still hard for me to see the positive in some situations. It still takes practice to be mindful in times of stress.

I am a work in progress and I know it.

I think we all are, really. I think things happen to teach us about ourselves, what we are capable of, and what we can do to become more whole as individuals; *so at the end of it all, we are at peace when we leave this world.

Remembering a school friend that passed yesterday, and his entire family.

It got me to thinking about thankfulness.

This Thanksgiving I am truly grateful for so many things.

I’m grateful that I chose to end my alcoholic cycle for good.

I’m grateful that I have the desire to work every day, to keep it that way.

I’m grateful that I feel like it’s ok to be me.

I’m grateful that I have my beautiful children in my life, and that they are willing to forgive my past, because they believe in our future.

I’m grateful that I have a loving mother, and sisters who have always loved me, even when I was lost.

I’m grateful for my niece.

I’m grateful that I am still able to learn and grow, and that I’m not stuck in my ways, because many of them were not healthy.

I’m grateful that I have wonderful friends who encourage me to live, and listen to me and encourage me when I feel weak inside.

I’m grateful for my animals.

I’m grateful for my job, and the kind of work I get to do for a living.

I’m grateful that I have the desire to keep moving forward….not back.

I’m grateful that I got a chance to know and care about people that are no longer here on this earth; and for the things they taught me about life, love, and the human spirit.

I’m grateful that I have a place to call home, and that I’m ok with being the only one in it.

So many other things as well.

What are you grateful for? What has your story taught you?

There is a light in all of us and every day we are alive, we have the opportunity to share it with others.

I hope that you are grateful for that fact, because it could all end in a moment. This I do know.

This Thanksgiving I will be working.

It may seem corny, but I will be a light for the animals that could not be with their families this holiday. I will be their family.

To me, that is the second best thing, to being with mine.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Love yourself. Always. Xo

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

The patience thing again. Sometimes it’s a daily thing.

So today I’m working on patience with myself and situations, and waiting on reacting if I get frustrated…

Again.

I have to remind myself constantly to wait on reacting, but it is essential for me, I think, to do just that.

Words just come out of my mouth sometimes, and I tend to get highly anxious when I know just thinking through something completely can slow me down. Most times it sounds like barking when it’s really just anxiety. I feel shitty when I get that way too because I know it’s not the best version of me. I feel like I should know better by now.

Still, I know that there will be days….

I’m trying to quell the parts of me that are too unruly. It is definitely a one day at a time process.

This too shall pass…..surely.

I know I will find a happy medium eventually.

I am one year, four months, and twenty-six days sober today, and living life on life’s somewhat bitchy terms.

Hooray. 😏

If I look tired, it’s because I truly am.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~ Peace of ME

I will be a Light.

There is a new-found peace within me.
The struggles are still real, but I am finding my way.
Every day I am grateful for this new understanding, and second chance at life.
I am grateful that I am no longer afraid of living.
I am not my addiction.
I am what I choose to be.

I choose to be Jenni.

I choose to be sober Jenni.

Everything that I do from here on out, directly stems from this fact.

I will DO, instead of not doing.

I will BE, instead of not being.

Every day I will remember where I’ve been; and just how far that I have come.
I will love myself; so that I can love others.

I will be a light in a world of darkness.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of ME

Feeling more upbeat again.

Good news is, I’m starting to feel better again. I’m focusing on that, because It’s way better than beating myself up over the fact that I didn’t a few days ago.

I have ongoing mental disorders, and I have to accept that.

I don’t really want to; but let’s get real, already….

Jenni.

It’s not like I’m going around trying to bipolar and PTSD on everyone everyday or do; so I’m definitely going to have to give myself a break regarding my ups and downs. Back-track is going to happen at points because I am human.

I HAVE been extremely stressed. There ARE valid reasons behind it.

It’s going to be alright, even when it doesn’t feel like it; and I know that.

I’m going to be alright.

That’s why I’m bouncing back quicker after the dips nowa’days.

I DO have coping skills in me; and the EMDR therapy, should help me to not dip as much in the future.

I have two calls in currently, to potential therapists. I’m hoping it won’t be a long, drawn-out process; but I also think I have to be patient in all regards, because I also have a feeling that a lot of phone tag is going to be going on before I get an appointment anywhere.

That’s just me being realistic, based on my own knowledge about how the mental health system works.

It’ll be ok. I will find that EMDR therapist; and I will learn even better skills.

I will.

Patience. I will keep on top of it, until I find a therapist….and I am doing it for me.

Nap after work today, instead of painting; because I needed it.

Picked up a double on Sunday; and also starting to make peace with T, finally.

I had to for ME. There’s no sense in focusing on things of the past that cannot be changed…even if they were shitty. Only letting go of the negativity and bitterness of it will heal me in that area; also realizing that I’m not the only one who struggles with demons. I know I’m not.

There will never be the kind of future for us like we planned to have; but a supportive friendship I think is something that is being built again between us, right now. As friends. I believe that that is better for both of us anyways. He will always be important to me; and I can’t deny that fact.

That’s a huge step for me to say that; and we will see. I know it depends on me, just as much as him…and it is what it is……

I’m just making peaces.

Life is funny the way it works, and even funnier when you live inside my head.

I need to put a map up there, complete with “you are here” markers. It would give other people a fighting chance in understanding me; and maybe when I get lost, it’d be easier to find my way back too.

That’s never going to happen; but I AM working on it, every day. 🙂

475 days without alcohol; and knowing that I am on my way to greater things. 🙂

This I know.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2018 ~Peaces of Me