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

One In the Same.

In the still, I can feel it haunting me.

It’s the familiar tinge of anxiety saying that I have fallen, and I can’t get up.

Doubt is not my friend. It certainly at times, loves to lick at the base of my spine and shoot out my eyes and mouth, with a sharpness.

I find solace in living and challenging myself to mentally grow every day in some positive way; to move forward no matter how small the step, even on my worst days.

A level-head, and reason always prevails.

Today has been a good day for me. I know that I am at the point in my life where letting go and moving forward, are one in the same.

This is what life is all about.

I have faith in the universe, and what it’s taught me thus far. I am open to whatever lessons it holds next for me.

I reminded myself again today that I do have true friends that will listen to my rambles when I need support. I thank you.💯❤

I also reminded myself that “letting things go”, means actually letting things go; not re-evaluating the same situation over and over again, like the outcome will ever be different or change.

I’ve found for myself that validation comes mostly just in knowing the truth of the matter…..and most times, that’s all you’ll get.

I’m looking up and ahead to the future with confidence and grace.

I am sober and Michigan bound in two weeks.

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

Feeling whole inside is a journey that begins with the active, daily choice to participate in your own life.

Investing in your emotional health every day = loving yourself = feeling better = being better = BETTER LIFE 🙂

Let go of the negative influences that make you second-guess your gut instincts.

It is essential to protect your gut instinct, and use it. Without it, you will drown in a literal sea of bad choices, and most likely not survive it at all.

Admitting that you need to get control of your life is the first step, in whatever area of your life that it may be.

It won’t be easy and that’s ok. Don’t worry. This is the start of a new destination to a better you.

Now that you’ve admitted it, you can actually begin.

Being honest with yourself means you’re actually going places now.

Trust your gut.

*Smiles to self.

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

SHE

I breathe in deeply as the last light bounces off the branches, and across the rolling field into the horizon.

She is a wonder of a thing, Mother Nature. She is my strength; something wonderous I can see and feel in times when only stolen moments with her will suffice.

I am reminded of the gifts she gives to us all on the tips of dusky nights like this.

My mind wanders with a million flutters…

The lessons I’ve lived through. The gifts I have inside me and in my life. This gift of peace in life that I’ve never known before.

I worked hard for it, and still do. It is nice to finally be feeling the results of some of the work.

She reminds of how blessed I am to feel life again after being lost for so long. I know it’s because I didn’t give up on myself, that I am able to even feel it.

She whispers daily to go slow…

To never forget what this moment feels like…

To always remember that I am not alone.

To be kind.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

I’m In the Driver’s Seat of My Life. How’s Your Driving?

Two years and twenty-three days on the sober front for me today.

It’s hard to miss being a drunk, so I don’t.

I did a road trip to Michigan last weekend.

I have decided to move back to Michigan at the end of July and went to Michigan this past weekend to talk it over with my mom and sisters. Of course, I also spent time with my children and niece and discussed it with them as well (kid-friendly version 🙂 ) It was my middle sister’s Birthday too.

Great trip.

Here’s where I’m at in my head……

The regretful thoughts on all the time I missed out on with them are there every time I see my family and children, not gonna’ lie. I also know to build anything of real value in the future between any of them, I must let that go and focus on the present.

It was more than fulfilling to have conversations with both my sisters and mother about letting those thoughts go, and it makes it easier to know that I am loved, even though I’ve done some of the most disgusting things in my life, and allowed myself to fall more times than I care to admit.

That didn’t work out so well.

We all fall, it’s how we get back up when we feel like we can’t that makes all the difference.

Surely.

It is clear to me after this trip, that moving back is the right choice and the best option for my future. Now everyone that needs to know does, including where I work and my children.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared because I am for quite a few reasons, but I know that I could never be there for my kids or family in the capacity that I want to be if I’m over four hours away and it is hard for me to physically be there in the first place.

Now comes the details part, which is daunting, to say the least, but doable if I apply myself and just use my brain.

I’m sure I’ll have to do some sacrificing on something, so I’m breaking it down into a more manageable and realistic plan than I had originally envisioned it.

Modify.

Make it work.

I’m definitely not afraid to try to build some sort of solid future for myself, and let’s face it; I’ve moved so many times I’ve lost count.

Really, if I had to boil it down…

I know that it is my fear of failing that is making me scared.

I am a perfectionist. I was around people growing up that had to have it a certain way. It is something that I struggle with and it does hold me back. STILL…

I am a perfectionist.

So for all intents and purposes, much of my sober life now has been about letting go of some of that perfectionism.

I’m older now, and definitely wiser by way of hard lessons and truths learned the hard way.

I realized that you can’t stop time. You can try, but you will fail.

Time heals. Time changes everything.

Time does not stop for anything or anyone.

It is best to realize that straight away and deal with life head-on.

Live.

The fear that used to keep me now is the very thing I use to drive me forward.

If I fail, at least I can say I tried. Better than not trying at all.

What better thing to fight for than a healthy relationship with my kids and family?

Image courtesy of:

@gilamby_trending #gilambytrending

I think it’ll make me a lot better too. Feel better. Do better. Be better.

It’s surely a win in all regards.

It’s a money thing now; also organizing that BS with my “no time to travel to Michigan to look for places to live” issue.

Modify.

Make it work.

This is the plan.

I will miss Ohio because of the friends I’ve made and the bonds I’ve formed with the animals at work.

I can’t stop time.

Anything I can do in Ohio, I can do in Michigan.

Two years and twenty-three days ago, I wouldn’t have been able to say that I could truthfully be a positive role model in my children lives.

Now I can.

It is not the same relationship anymore and I think that’s ok. It does and has the potential to be better than the one I had before, and that means it’s moving forward.

That means everything.

I’m so excited to have my family back in my life. I was so angry for so long, but mostly the person I was angry with was myself.

I never in my life, gave myself the credit for the good things in me; only the bad.

Today I’m loving the fact that the world seems “doable” for me. Even if I have to take it in peaces and parts and string it together.

Becoming sober again, actually feeling my feelings rather than suppressing them, and re-wiring some of my negative thought processes to healthier ones, has given me the realization that

I’m the one in the driver’s seat of my life; no one else.

I’m a good driver now because I’m mindful and truthful about my struggles.

My life means something to me now. That is the greatest gift of it.

Where will I go from here?

Where will YOU go?

Please stay strong in your heart. It’s ok to ask for help when you need it. Most of all, remaining positive and mindful when you are not is key.

Love yourself.

Things will change for the better.

You can believe it because I am living proof.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

Maybe.

I haven’t written out loud on this blog in a while. I haven’t had much to say out loud at all, just kind of keeping to myself.

Most of my healing lately has been audio recordings of thoughts and/or feelings to myself, or just writing on certain thoughts and then stopping when it doesn’t make sense to me anymore.

Things people won’t see or hear mainly, but they help me immensely inside to heal; there are really no wasted thoughts or words at all.

I have been going back to the drafts and pulling from them and/or finishing some pieces, whichever happens; but I haven’t had much to say out loud at all, and I like that I’m not putting the pressure of saying it if I don’t want to.

A personal project/goal that I’m trying to make come into fruition has much of my time and thoughts.

My focus is still the biggest issue for me, but I am starting to speed up on the re-focus, which means eventually I will get there if I keep going. Money. Need more money though.

It also means that my OCD is getting somewhat better too. I’m happy about that, but still tired of being so complicated with the OCD thing.

It slows me down in my everyday life if I let it and it’s gotten much worse for me over the last three years.

It’s very annoying and frustrating, to say the least, and it’s been extremely challenging for me.

I do not know how else to describe me other than I don’t think I’ll ever have a day when I won’t be a complicated person.

The timeline I had in my head for everything I wanted for my life came and went a million years ago, so I’m just going with the flow the best I can and grateful for it.

I’m fine with the process even though it’s draining to actually live fully sometimes.

I haven’t been depressed much at all so I do feel ok inside, and I can’t bitch about that.

Being off of social media has also been awesome, I won’t lie. I knew it would be which is why I went away from it again.

Today I hit the one year, eleven months sober mark, and it feels sort of a like a dream when I think of my life at day one of this current journey, and even more so when I think back upon the life I’ve led before that.

The thing that really sucks about it all is that I feel guilty about the fact that my past is fading in my mind.

I know all the stuff I did, (or what I can remember of it) and also the people that were affected by my bad choices.

It wasn’t a dream.

I have remorse for it and will for always.

But….I’ve chalked it up to my brain healing itself the only way it knows how to, and that is to compartmentalize the guilt I feel away into an area where it no longer blocks my ability for growth and future happiness.

This is today.

Today I’ve managed with the help of myself, my family, my true friends and positive people that support me, also the grace of my deceased son, to stay sober for twenty-three months.

Almost two years next month.

I thought I would be dead by twenty-five and so the very fact that I am still going at the age of forty-seven and also sober is really all the more reason to keep looking forward instead of back.

I am sure although I struggle with life at times, these struggles make me stronger and have, to the point where I will not give up until I reach a sense of peace and understanding in myself that will resonate in everything that I do.

Maybe being passionate about living life is better than being passionate about not living it.

Maybe all of the effort I’m putting into quality healing will keep bringing quality things to my life.

I’ve managed to accomplish some things I never thought I could or would. That is a fact for sure and I think in the future, patience really will play a key roll in all aspects of my life regarding meeting more of my goals.

Maybe I’m not such a bad person after all.

Maybe I DO deserve this happiness I’m feeling inside today.

Maybe you do too.

Maybe life is what we make of it.

Love yourself.

J.Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME

Hard love yourself into changing your negative Nancy ways… because she’s a bitch.

Every day that I chose to live in my own pain and addictions, I could not feel or see anybody else’s pain, or care about anyone else properly, because I was too busy feeling and living in my own negativity, and feeding off of it.

This didn’t work for me at all, when it came to being a good mother or wife or daughter or sister or aunt or cousin or niece or friend or Jenni; I was quite the opposite of a good anything; because I was zeroed in on the fact that my life sucked, and the negativity I chose to live in was consuming me, and everyone that chose to come around me.

FINALLY; as a desperate measure; I considered focusing my thoughts on what was going right in my life for a change, instead of what was going wrong. I was tired of being sick and tired and miserable. I was tired of raging and feeling like I wanted to beat the shit out of someone every, single day. I was tired of the drama in my life, the unneeded stress of it all…the BULLSHIT.

I wanted it to stop, so I advocated for my own life.

Honestly, on a lot of days at the beginning of my journey to self-wellness, it felt much like it did after my son passed, and those first few days afterward. I was hopeless.

It felt like the only thing I had going on for me was breathing, and putting one foot in front of the other. I couldn’t do one more thing other than that, and I didn’t want to. I didn’t even want to do that.

I won’t lie, sometimes I still have days like that. They are much fewer and far between now, but they are still there.

Mental health struggles are real, and often come in ebbs and flows for me.

It is in these times, that I challenge myself to look a little bit further and to be mindful of the fact that I need to change my attitude or it won’t be getting any better for me.

I am patient but firm with myself today because I know that not every day is going to be unicorns and rainbows, and I also know that I am what I focus on.

What are you focusing on? Does it improve the quality of your life? Will it matter at the end of this day, in a week, in a month, in a year?

If the answer is no, then let the focus of it go, because it is wasting your time right now.

These are the tools you can teach yourself to do, and you don’t need a formal anything to learn them. You only need the desire to change and to get real with yourself and your situation now, and how you want it to be for you in the future.

Yes, it takes mindful practice to be positive when you don’t feel it inside; but it gets easier to look up, the more you look up. If the desire is there, you can change anything about your life that you want to. Especially your thought processes.

Choose to think glass half-full, instead of half-empty. You can do it.

When you look for the good in things, you won’t have the time to focus on the bad things and that’s when things will start to change in your life. That’s when hope comes back. That’s when you start thinking about the things you can do to make your life better. You start realizing that it was all in you from the beginning. Every. Single. Part.

Healing is a choice you make to become more peaceful.

It’s not possible to negative Nancy your way into a good life, no matter how hard you try to. I’ve tried that shit forever, don’t waste your life on it.

Expecting others to fix your life and put up with your negative Nancy in the process doesn’t work either, trust me. It’s also not fair to expect someone else to save you or run your life.

That’s not living. That’s existing.

YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR OWN LIFE IF YOU WANT IT TO CHANGE.

This I know.

People ask me all the time, how I stopped drinking and trainwrecking my way through life, and this was the first thing I did.

I CHOSE to look at the positive side of life when I was not feeling positive. It’s because I wanted to feel better and live; not feel worse and die.

Only reason.

It’s impossible to make your life better if you don’t channel yourself away from the negativity in it. Your negative Nancy is a bitch, and she always will be. Get her out of your life. Shut her up by changing what you tell yourself, and what you focus on.

Most of the negativity in my life now comes from my own brain, not my actual life.

I had to do some major work to get to this point that I’m at now. There’s still work to do, and I do it every day now because I know that it’s a better way than the old way I lived. My negative Nancy is a passer-by now, not a resident.

For me, focusing on the positive, and learning to make peace with the fact that I am not a perfect person, motivated me to want to become a better person, and also gave me the love and validation I needed to give myself to move forward.

You still deserve your best life ever, no matter what anyone else says about it, and no matter where you are at in your life.

What do you say about your own life now? What do you want your future life to be like? Do you want to move forward, and stop worrying so much?

You can.

Love yourself.

J. Rounds ©2019 ~Peaces of ME