I’ve been “making myself over” for years, and it’s never enough…

addictions, Adventures, dieting, eating disorders, Self esteem

When I was in Jr. High, I had naturally frizzy hair, glasses,and braces. I felt ugly and a few boys in school said I was. What started out as a normal awkward teenage insecurity manifested itself into a full blown obsession by High School. I just didn’t want to be ugly anymore.

First I changed my haircolor, it’s naturally kind of a reddish brown. I colored it dark brown (at 12) and some people said I looked better. Every time someone said something negative about my appearance, I took it as something I had to fix instead of just their opinion. I had zero self esteem! I would look at myself in the mirror and cry everyday. Half way through sixth grade I stopped wearing my glasses, not because I got contacts, but to be “prettier”. I kept changing my hairstyle and trying different products to “fix” my naturally wavy/curly frizzy hair.

In seventh grade, I got my braces off! I started wearing more and more makeup and changing my hair all the time to be “better”. I could not deal with chipped nail polish and one ruined nail would make me inconsolable. I was spending hours every morning straightening my hair and getting my outfit and makeup just right. Then, one day in gym class, a boy called me chubby!

From that day in seventh grade I started dieting. I cut out sugar, carbs, whatever it was I heard worked until finally my Junior year in High school I was eating only 200 calories a day, exercising for at least an hour and often throwing up the little food I did eat. It worked! People started telling me I was pretty all the time! I would spend the next several years trying to maintain that.

Every break-up I would change my hair color again and think that if I was thinner, I wouldn’t have gotten dumped. It’s dumb in hindsight, but that’s how my mind worked.I had a complete meltdown in a dressing room when I was 22 because the smallest size jeans was tight on me. When I say meltdown, I mean I was crying uncontrollably, shaking and sweating for about an hour! And it wasn’t just my weight either,it was my hair, my skin, my freckles which I painstakingly tried to bleach with no avail.

I ended up with severe stomach issues,and arthritis due to all I put my body through. I’ve had burns on my face from too intense skin creams and I had over plucked my eyebrows so bad that they still won’t grow back completely. I’ve damaged my hair a dozen times and tried flat out dangerous methods to lose a few pounds quickly.

I wish I could say that I have completely overcome this and have great self esteem now, but I don’t. I eat more than I used to, but not enough calories to be considered “healthy”. The hair color changing is still a thing, although not as often as I used to.I’m slowly learning to let go of impossible standards and just accept myself the way I am. I’m so much better than I was, but I still have a long way to go…

-Kristin

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The holidays are going to be awkward, but I have a lip stain I love…

Adventures, goals, makeup, mental health, relationships, Self esteem

So this morning my guy shows me a text his mom sent him. I’m paraphrasing here, but it basically said that I am a bad choice for him because of my depression issues! Wow! That was unexpected and it hurt. I thought she liked me and we got along great. Needless to say, I felt like crying. Imagine the shaking bottom lip, the tears welling up and the sniff sniff sound one makes because crying makes your nose run. Sexy stuff! I was at work though, so no choice but to hold it in and keep my head up. I did however text my best friend, because that’s what people do.

I’m very candid about my experiences with Depression and Anxiety. I’m not ashamed of who I am or where I’ve been. The stigma is real and many people suffer in silence. I think it’s sad to be too ashamed to admit what you’re going through, or part of what makes you who you are. No one is perfect. We all have things we could work on, or need help from time to time.I’m stronger for it and I’m more empathetic towards others. I wouldn’t change a thing!

I spent much of the day feeling bad about myself, sniff! eyes welling up with tears. Sniff, sniff! shaky hands and bottom lip quivering, but then I realized that there is nothing I can do about it.  What I can do, is fix my makeup, keep my head up, and know that I am not under any obligation to be everything to everyone. Speaking of makeup, I just got a great lip-stain at Target. E.L.F. lip-stain in Rouge Radiance, it’s a bright red in the tube, but gives you that just ate a popsical stain that looks really pretty and natural. It lasts a long time and doesn’t dry out my lips! I like it for work, or when I don’t want to go full-on red lipstick! It really is the little things! It’s a little watery, so my tip is spread it with your finger. You know how to apply lip stick, so I’m not going to explain the process, you’re smarter than that…

That’s the big trick I think, focus on what you like about yourself, even if it is your makeup! Baby steps! Also, use a different kleenex for your eyes than you use for your nose! No one wants to be sad and have a eye infection!

Wish me luck!

-Kristin

 

I’m not sure what a healthy relationship looks like, but there’s a laundry hack for that…..

Adventures, cleaning, goals, mental health, relationships

I am in a new relationship and he says I keep trying to push him away. When we first met, I told him all the reasons he should not want to be with me. I told him I was super crazy, don’t know what I want, am overly dramatic,get mad when things are not the way I want them, am embarrassingly bad at math, am a hopeless romantic, am a terrible singer, all the bad things I have ever done, every story that is unflattering to me and basically that I suck as a person! He was not deterred. He said to stop trying to talk him out of it! He said “I love you” and I said thank you the first 3 times!! I even went to the mental hospital weeks into our relationship and still he stuck around!!

So here he is, a fully functional adult who writes me poems, sings love songs to me in the car,is not commitment phobic, when I apologize for starting a fight, he says it takes two to fight and it’s not my fault! He shares his food with me and always lets me eat all of his fries. The poor man has not had all of his french fries since the day we met!! He calls me several times a day just to say he loves me, and cooks for me. So what do I do? I get scared he’s going to leave me and it’s going to hurt bad, so I try to push him away and speed up the process by being completely unreasonable!!

Why would I do this? Because I have no idea what a healthy relationship is!! I’ve never seen one. They don’t make tv shows and movies about perfectly healthy functional relationships, that would be boring to watch!(duh) The relationships I have seen in real life have either ended or are not exactly healthy, with the exception of one couple, but that is the exception, not the rule!! If everything can be that good, then eventually I might feel twice as bad when it’s over!! Why am I obsessed with idea of protecting myself from the misery of when it’s over? Because anyone that wonderful could not possibly not leave me. Yeah, I’m a messed up chick! I have all kinds of sappy love song kind of feelings and it’s almost like I could really live happily ever after!! That scares me more than clowns!!

But what about the laundry, you ask? Well, he gets grease and all kinds of dirt that won’t come out on his work clothes. I do his laundry because he hates doing laundry and I don’t mind it. I’m not the absolute worst girlfriend ever!! I do have, some redeeming qualities. Anyhow, If you wash them like any other laundry, the stains don’t come out and they still smell like motor oil. So, after much trial and error, here is the formula to get them to at least smell clean..

1cup  oxy clean

1 cup Gain laundry detergent

1 Tide pod

Gain fabric softener

Wash with this formula twice and while they are still stained, they smell clean!

I’m working on learning how to be in a healthy relationship, and in time, I hope to know what that means..

-Kristin

 

The art of hospital beauty (a story about, friendship,faith,self discovery and doing the best you can to look decent)

Adventures, goals, mental health, relationships, Self esteem

This beauty product enthusiast found herself in brand new situation, and was stripped of the very things I have always relied on to feel like “myself”. No makeup, no clean clothes, hairdryer, razor, tweezers, perfume, underwear, nail polish,cute clothes,cute shoes, dental floss…you get the idea… So this must be a very sad story, you must be thinking.. but surprisingly it’s not…

Well let’s start at the beginning! If you read my last post, you know I suffer from depression and anxiety. I take meds and go to therapy ( all the most interesting people do, promise) Well things got a little off balance in my complex mind and I was not quite myself, which is a giant understatement, trust. Things got way way out of hand and I ended up in the mental institution!! The stigma of this is not lost on me.

I arrived a very scared girl with only the clothes on my back ( which I had been wearing in the regular hospital for 2 days already) I had no idea what to expect! Was basically strip searched, and moved to a room to await the arrival of clean clothes and the very few allowed hygiene products. In my head, prison movies are shaping my expectations. I did not know what to expect, where to go, what to do, an I was about to meet the people I would share a living space with for an indeterminate length of time!! I am not a person who typically leaves the house without a shower, shaving and makeup on an done!! Now, it’s likely I smell, my no makeup puffy eyes from crying for days are obvious and my desperate need for a shower and toothbrush is not a priority for anyone who matters. ( the staff) My self esteem has always been fragile, and my clothes and makeup are how I put on a confident act! I show the world the version of myself I want them to see, not this version!

Within minutes, a very nice man befriended me! He offered to share his cigarettes with me, since mine would not arrive til much later that night and cigarette breaks are the only times I would get to be outside all day! Prior to this, I had been using an e-cig and not smoking, but when in rome as they say. At my very lowest, most un-pretty, other people in my same situation showed me kindness and support. About 10 hours later, clean clothes, hair products and the like were finally here!! A lady I will refer to as ” Nurse Ratchet” gave me my things. She told me I was not allowed to have my underwear, or the clean shirts delivered for me as they are not the “right” kind. I took a shower, put on my dirty clothes and started to cry in my room. ” Nurse Ratchet” bursts in, gets in my face and tells me crying is not allowed! If I do not stop crying right now, they will move me to another unit with dangerous people ( as I am in the high functioning unit currently #6) She would bring me down to #1 with the “criminally insane” and I would not be leaving anytime soon! Every part of me wanted to cry harder, but I did not. I bit the inside of my mouth til it bleed and joined the others as I was told. Day 1 was hard!

Surprisingly, I made friends very quickly! I stayed in good spirits and made people laugh! Little acts of kindness seem bigger in here. Things like taking someone’s empty meal tray away for them, inviting them to play cards or giving them a cigarette is the best, nicest you are allowed to be. ( no hugging allowed)  The girls all shared ponytail holders and outside hair tips! One girl had eyeliner, and did everyone’s makeup like Amy Winehouse!  We all had hairy pits and legs and eyebrow grooming is not possible!  Hospital beauty tip- putting deodorant on the inside of your pants when you are stuck wearing them commando for more than a day keeps you smelling a little bit better! A little body lotion can help tame frizzy hair,Hand sanitizer from the bathroom removes eye makeup and helps with stinky feet!

Before I arrived there, when stranger’s complimented me, it was always that I was so pretty. Inside, they complimented my intelligence, sense of humor, creativity and ability to give good advice! They prayed for me when I was sad that no one would give me numbers out of my phone to call someone I really wanted to talk to.They did not laugh or call me stupid for my blind faith and hopeless romantic ideals. Instead, they said I was brave for following my heart so completely and being so very all in. Most people are much too afraid to feel so deeply. They prayed I would get my love story after all!

I helped draw out ideas for tatoos they wanted to get, explained how to play 2 truths and a lie and we discussed our worst actions, biggest fears and what we will eat when we get home. We traded grooming tips, and talked about what we might be missing while the outside world went on without us. Would the objects of our affection wait for us? Would the stigma follow us forever and would all of our thoughts and feelings be dismissed from now on because ” so and so” is crazy? What does after this look like?

Once you take away the image you present to the world, the real you, in every sense is out in the open!  I never want to go back there, but I have more faith now, in myself, others and that somewhere out there or up there, is someone/something guiding me on my own journey. I am not truly alone. The real, raw, un-groomed, unedited me is pretty likeable. I still love beauty products, but I no longer need them as a crutch!

 

Kristin

 

 

What it’s like to have anxiety and depression

relationships, Self esteem, sleep

Most people, if they’re lucky, never have to experience depression or anxiety. I bet you know someone who has one of them, even if you don’t know it…  This is what it feels like for me…

When you have anxiety, you over think everything all the time. The things people say, everything that happens all the time, for days on end. There are sleepless nights, obsessing about things that shouldn’t matter and panic attacks! For me, a panic attack starts with sweating excessively, feeling my chest tighten up, feeling like I can’t breathe and temporary loss of vision. I feel like I am dying and have even gone to the hospital, before I knew that I had panic attacks. The meds for panic attacks make me very sleepy.

When you have depression, people ask what’s wrong, but there is no particular reason. I want to stay in bed, sleep all day, and find it impossible to leave the house or do anything at all. It’s not that I don’t want to, I just can’t. I might cry for days, feel worthless and believe everyone secretly hates me, or should hate me. I avoid seeing people, doing things I like to do, putting on makeup, or getting out of my pajamas. My own self loathing  is like a heavy blanket I can’t get out of. Depression meds stop working and need to be changed or adjusted sometimes and the change is not immediate so I can be like that for weeks at a time. It’s frustrating for everyone around me, and that makes me feel even worse.  It’s like the song Creep by radiohead..” But I’m a freak, I’m a loser, what the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here.”

When they both decide to show up at the same time, I can’t sleep because I can’t stop thinking about everything I should have done differently my entire life.  In my head I yell and barrate  myself for being the way I am. I then sleep all day for days because I am so tired. Panic about being depressed and thinking the whole world can just see it on me and thinks I’m crazy. I question every feeling I have, is it real, or made up in my head? Do I even know anything for sure? Can I trust my gut? I have awful nightmares every night that seem so very real.

Then, one day I wake up totally fine and am the happy, silly person everyone knows again. Like none of that was real… and I am totally okay for months at a time. All that is of course just my own personal experience, there are varying degrees of depression and anxiety and I assume that it is different for everyone who has it. If you know someone who suffers from depression, anxiety or both please understand that they did not choose it.

-Kristin

What it’s like to be the weird one..

Adventures, Self esteem

Ever since I was in kindergarten, other people have been telling me that I’m so weird.I never really worried about it, or tried to change it, it is just a fact. I went off to the first day of school in red cowboy boots, a pink tutu and about every bracelet I owned. I felt amazing!! I didn’t care that no one else was dressed like they were playing dress up, and I still don’t. I wear what I like, listen to what I like and really don’t care what everyone else is doing.

There are some major drawbacks to being the weird one-

I say and think things that most people don’t. My brain just naturally goes to those places.

I forget that not everyone wants to hear about something gross! I always do

It doesn’t occur to me to be embarrassed

Constant talk about bodily functions: mine, other people’s, shit I found out on the internet (pun intended)

I’m very interested in what death row inmates had for their last meal

I will share this information, because seriously, what could be more interesting?

Getting to know new people is exciting, but sometimes they don’t laugh.

The friends I have appreciate my uniqueness, everyone else-not so much

I just found out the grossest thing!-how I start a lot of phone conversations

Over the years, I have gotten more and more comfortable with just” letting my freak flag fly” as they say. Since moving to a new state last year, I have not made any friends. I’ve always let my friendships happen naturally. I usually had a fun group of equally weird friends and was always very content. Since moving, being super weird is kind of lonely.This is definitely a whole different world!

We have a funeral museum here, and I really think it would be cool to go. No one wants to go with me. They stare at me like just suggested we go eat human flesh if I suggest the activity. It exists! Someone must want to see it! I guess I  just have a very dark sense of humor.

I wanted to join a book club because I love to read. The ones I have found, do not read the kinds of books I’m interested in. ( frowny face ) I want to read a celebrity biography, a great mystery, absolute smut, or funny memoirs. I’m open to the classics, chick lit,tell-alls, occult or even philosophy and psychology! What I don’t want to read- self help! Nope, not my bag. Maybe on an airplane, but not on purpose.. Airplane books are another story to be written later, but the rules are very different. Christian books are also not my bag, the left behind series? not for me. These sadly are the only types of book clubs I could find.

At my kid’s school functions, all the mom’s have the lululemon yoga pants outfit with plain t shirt uniform. I’m the opposite. A lot of the other mom’s are nice, but we haven’t hit it off. Where are my weird people at?

I know eventually I will make friends. They will be shocked at just how weird I can be, but it will be okay. I’m the one you can always weird out with. Nothing is too gross or too out there! And even if that never happens, I know I will be old with my best friend, getting kicked out of IHOP for loudly being gross and weird and we will have the best time!!

Be nice to your weird friend!! It’s hard to just be yourself when you’re weird, it takes courage and a very clear sense of who you are.

 

Kristin

 

 

 

 

 

Am I enough yet?

Self esteem

No matter what i do, or what I’m good at, I feel like I am never enough. I know that I’m being judged constantly by other women. Everything I didn’t do well,buying instead of making snacks to bring to kid’s extra curricular activities, ect. We judge each other’s life decisions, deal with the idea we need to shed baby weight as quickly as possible, cook, shop, work and live all while being thin, friendly, happy and wrinkle free.  Do men feel this kind of pressure? doubt it.

When a man gets gray hair, it’s dignified and sexy. When a woman does, no so much. No one ever judges a guy on the size of his thighs. Their pants come with a waist and length measurement, a lot of women’s pants just have a number, a self esteem shattering number if it goes up( if you’re anything like me).

When a man is driven, determined and career focused he’s awarded. A woman with the same qualities is often called a bitch. If a guy sleeps with a bunch of women, his man friends don’t judge him and call him names. Can we say the same? Really?.

So what I’m wondering is why this crappy double standard still exists? It’s gotten much better. But I’m always trying to look younger, be thinner,be nicer, and feel very much a failure if it doesn’t go as planned. My guy is wonderful and always thinks I’m enough. But he has never felt the need to look hot in a cocktail dress,shed baby weight very quickly and pretend it wasn’t due to absolute obsessive exercising and dieting. He has never broken down in tears in dressing room due to his pants size. I have, many times.

One thing I have noticed is that women are mean to each other, really really mean. It doesn’t stop in high school, it extends to offices and daycare and the PTA. Women in their 30’s and 40’s and probably beyond still call each other sluts and whores, call each other bad mom’s, criticize their careers or lack of careers, spending habits, weight, what so and so wore to the grocery store, ect.

I wish as women we could be nicer to each other. If we treated each other as nice as men treat other men, I think we would all be happier.

 

Kristin