Thirteen Reasons Why and One Reason I Won’t

I just finished the show Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix. First let me tell you there are spoilers included in this post, so you’ve been warned.

I read some articles discussing the good and bad points of it, but I wanted to give some additional feedback about the show from my experience and also share my personal experiences with mental illness, bullying, sexual assault and suicide.

Hannah Baker

Hannah Baker from “Thirteen Reasons Why” as played by Katherine Langford

Let me begin by saying that yes, some of what Hannah Baker experienced can be attributed to “normal high school experiences”. Yes, feeling outcast as the new girl, feeling alone sometimes, gaining and losing friendships, etc. are all normal. But there are other parts of Hannah’s story that are far from normal.

 

Overall I felt that the show was more focused on the trauma Hannah experiences than a mental health condition or a clinical definition of depression. Given all the trauma Hannah experiences during a short amount of time, it’s a normal thing to feel sad, depressed and low. Never once does the show reveal that Hannah is affected by any kind of mental health diagnosis or undiagnosed illness. No one ever says anything about mental health at all other than the scene where Clay’s mother suggests he try medication. Therefore, the hopelessness and loneliness that Hannah experiences, in my opinion, is not a byproduct of a mental health condition; it’s a reaction to trauma. She’s bullied, sexually assaulted and abandoned. She’s experiencing everything from guilt and shame, to flashbacks and triggering and the people she does turn to for help don’t recognize the signs or do nothing and her normal coping skills aren’t working. Maybe they just didn’t ask the right questions.

Hannah Baker experienced trauma.

It’s not her fault. She’s a victim in all of her trauma. To blame Hannah for what led to her suicide is ignorant. In the long run, Hannah did have other choices, but the choice she decided was best for her was taking her own life. Yes, it’s always sad when a preventable tragedy like this happens, and it’s a senseless loss of life. I’m not making judgments on Hannah for this choice, nor am I saying “she shouldn’t have done it”. I’m only saying that it was Hannah that made that choice, and it was hers to make.

I don’t get to decide what is best for Hannah’s life, only Hannah does.

While watching the show I identified with Hannah. I know what it’s like to feel alone, bullied, assaulted and hopeless. I know what it feels like to experience trauma and the lasting effects of trauma. I know what it feels like to think the only option is suicide. Even as I watched and knew what would happen eventually, I found myself screaming at the TV at the people who could have helped Hannah. I yelled at them about what else they could have done or resources she could have accessed. As I was sobbing and watching helplessly as Hannah slit her wrists, in what was the most heart wrenching scene of the show, I thought about all the ways her story had gone sideways, and all the ways it could have gone differently. I was thinking about why she felt suicide was an option for her, and why it isn’t an option for me.

I’ve been where Hannah Baker was. I’ve reached out to people to get help only to have them tell me to “move on” or “cheer up”. I’ve felt like I wanted to disappear, like my life was too hard. I’ve had people say I was a “drama queen,” a “slut,” and that I was making things up or making them “all about me”. Even this blog will be misconstrued by some as all about me. (It is, but it’s also about trauma reactions and mental health and it’s my blog.)

I’ve sat with that razor blade at my wrist willing myself to cut. I’ve had two failed suicide attempts. I’ve used cutting as a form of coping. I’ve had many more times when I contemplated suicide or even had a plan but didn’t carry it out. I’ve wished that I didn’t exist or wished I could disappear. And still I say that suicide is not an option for me.

Here’s why:

Suicide isn’t the end of my pain, it’s the transference of my pain to those I care about.

Think about it for a minute.

I love those who are in my life. I want the very best for them. I have family, friends and coworkers who care about me as well. If I were to take my own life, they would be the ones to feel the fallout just as the friends and family of Hannah Baker did. They would be left with the questions, the guilt, the shame and sorrow of what I had done. They would stay up late at night, unable to sleep because they were thinking about something they could have done differently to help me or stop me. They would cry at my funeral and every time afterwards when my name came up or they were reminded of me. They would be embarrassed when someone talked about the stigma of suicide and what it meant about me as a person, when they implied that I was selfish, weak, or unable to cope or when they blamed my bipolar.

Suicide isn’t an option for me because I can’t bear the thought of leaving them my pain. I want to leave a legacy of my accomplishments, my victories, my happy memories. I want people to cry because they miss me, and because it’s a shame that I am no longer alive, but know that I had a good life. I want people to talk about how I tried to dispel the stigma of mental illness and was open and honest about my symptoms and mental health. I want people to know that I lived with passion, I loved as much as I could, I lived my life to the best of my abilities regardless of my bipolar and the challenges it posed.

I want people to know that there’s no shame in asking for help, and if you can’t ask on your own, have someone help you or let someone know you need help. They don’t have to hide it. Just tell them “I need help” or “I’m suicidal. Can you help me please?”.  I want people to know they can offer help even when it’s not asked for. Like this “You seem pretty down. Are you feeling like hurting yourself?” or “Do you ever feel like hurting yourself?”

Let’s talk about mental health and suicide!!!

Suicidal thoughts are not shameful, I think everyone has them at one point in their life. So let’s talk about what is a shared experience for all of us regardless of the cause or reason we feel/felt that way. We can say “We can rely on each other and be honest about our feelings.” or “I’ve had suicidal thoughts. Have you?” or even “I’m a safe person to share suicidal thoughts with.” I guess it’s been my experience that offering help and having someone say “No, I just need to talk.” is much better than not offering. Discussing things makes it so that having future conversations isn’t awkward or difficult. If someone had cancer, they could talk about it openly. If someone had a broken leg and needed to go to the emergency room, they’d ask for help. Why should mental health be any different?!

I want people to know that medication can be a helpful tool for some people, and there’s no shame in that either. No, medication (or therapy, or anything else) cures mental illness-at least not yet. And finding the right meds, or combination of meds, or combination of therapies is BEYOND CHALLENGING and can be so frustrating! But it’s important that you do what works for you. Don’t judge yourself based on the meds you take. Don’t let others judge you based on your meds either. Everyone takes some kind of medication in their life because they need it. So if you need it, and that’s what you want, then there’s no shame in it. And if you don’t want meds, that’s ok too because it’s YOUR choice.

Lastly, I want every single person on this planet know that you are cared about, you matter and if you were gone this world wouldn’t be the same. This is true for every single person alive. Sometimes your brain will try to tell you this is a lie, but it’s not. So think about what will happen when you’re gone before you go. We all will die someday, that’s the nature of this fleeting journey we call life, so just be sure you really lived. And above all, be kind to yourself and to others. You never know what is going on with them.

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Temporary

via Daily Prompt: Temporary

Today is temporary. I need to remember this.

This morning when I woke up, my head was achy, and my body hurt. I was tired (still am). I was cranky.

But this was all temporary.

When I went to leave the house, I realized that I had to move my partner’s car to be able to leave, and I shut my hand in the door.

But today, the annoyance, and the pain I felt is temporary.

Sometimes when the things in life get me down, it’s really hard to remember that everything on this planet is temporary. Jobs, houses, lives, things… it’s all here for a moment and then it’s gone. I’m not telling you this to sound depressing or morbid, but to remind you that your troubles are also temporary.

Prime example in my life right now, Trump.

He’s temporary. In a few years (if the world will still exist and isn’t blown to smithereens due to nuclear war) he’ll be out of office. He can’t stay there forever. Even if he would change term limits, he’d die eventually. Long before I will, hopefully.

This feeling is even more poignant when I get paid. My paycheck is also temporary. I work, and get paid, and then it’s all gone. Then I start the whole process all over again. It’s frustrating, and I really wish I had less bills, but I’m working on that. (My debt is also temporary.)

Best of all, my mental health struggles are temporary. My depression, mania, anxiety and mixed episodes are all temporary. It’s frustrating to experience these things, but I know deep in my heart that they are temporary. I can seek help to support me, and I can will myself to make it through with all the spoons I can muster. Until I feel better, I remind myself it’s temporary.

My pain is temporary. If I get hurt, regardless of what kind of hurt it is, it will heal because that injury and that pain are both temporary. My bruises and cuts will heal up, and my emotional pain will lessen with time. That’s not to say that wound will never be reopened, but even that residual pain is temporary.

So to those of you who are struggling, hang in there. This feeling you’re feeling is only temporary. Tomorrow can be different and even better.

Baby Birds Leave the Nest Eventually

I’m a domestic violence victim advocate. We don’t always have good days. Some days feel like failures. Some days are hard.

I wanted to write today about one of the most amazing and beautiful days I’ve had in a long time. I’ve been working with someone for a while now, and she’s had struggles, triumphs and everything in between. I’ve been with her every step of the way. I’ve celebrated with her, I’ve tried to help her plan when things didn’t go as planned. I’ve watched as her children grew. I’ve felt her pain and her joy. I’ve calmed her fears and I’ve watched as she slowly learned that she needed to do something to protect herself and her children.

Today was the day she metaphorically left the nest and moved on from my services. We met at a gas station to say goodbye. She thanked me for all I had done. I wished her well. We cried in that gas station parking lot. We hugged one another and we cried for all the times we’d been there together. I didn’t care that she’d been busy living her life and hadn’t showered in 2 days. I didn’t care what other people thought. This woman is one of the strongest women I have met to date, and I wanted nothing more than to wish her well, comfort her one last time and send her on her way; to allow her to leave the nest by giving her the last gentle push she needed to keep moving forward on her journey.

It was heartbreaking and inspiring all at the same time. This woman has seen so much more evil in this world than some can even imagine and yet here she was, still here. Still moving forward and still with a positive attitude. It was time. She was ready to move on to the next chapter in her life. And I know she’s going to do great things with her life.

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Women like this are why I love what I do so much. I can’t save everyone. I know I can’t. I can’t put all the injured, vulnerable and unsafe victims of domestic violence in my pocket to protect them. But I can empower them to do what they need to do. I can connect them to what they need. I can help them reflect on how strong they are. I can show them all the progress they have made and help them acknowledge that. I can be with them in their good times and their hard times when no one else is. I can be someone to talk to when all their friends have gone away because of their partner or former partner. I can make them laugh when they need a smile. I can believe them when they share their story, and there is so much value in that. I can support them in their choices.

THIS IS WHAT I DO. I ADVOCATE.

I’m not a super hero. I’m not a savior. I’m not a miracle worker. But sometimes, just sometimes, I’m able to do something amazing. And that’s all that I can do.

New Year’s Resolutions

For those of you who know me personally, my New Year’s resolutions are a source of never-ending amusement. You all know how hard they usually are as well as how hard I work to achieve them. I’m not one of those “join a gym and quit three weeks later” type of resolvers. In fact, in 2014 my New Year’s resolutions led me to run 20 5K races (my goal was 10 but I couldn’t stop!), lose 25 pounds and take up a hobby I love, horseback riding. I also make a “word of the year”. This is something which keeps me motivated throughout the year. It’s something I started in 2014 after talking to a couple of people who do it. I really liked it so again I will be finding a “word of the year”.

Prepare 

 

As some of you remember, the word of the year last year was “prepare”. This word was posted both at home and at work. It kept me motivated to prepare for races, prepare for new adventures, and prepare for wherever life took me. My original hopes were that I was preparing to have a baby in the not-too-distant future, but that turned out to be one goal I would be unable to meet in 2014. Oh well, I wouldn’t be where I am without 2014.

So let’s look forward to 2015. I hope to run more 5K’s. My goal is to run another at least 10 5K races-I’ll probably end up doing more than that-and a 10K race (probably towards the end of the season, but I hope to fit it in this year). I also hope to run the Bix 7 in Davenport this year. Running the Bix has been something I’ve strived to since I started running back in 2009 while living in Davenport. It’s a HUGE race and people from all over the US (and some internationally) come to do. I’m looking forward to it, but I know it will be one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever taken on. I’ll be thrilled just to finish. The 2015 date is July 25th. I’m also hoping to get my 5K time under 30 minutes. I came close this year with one race, I made it in 33:36, so 30 minutes shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, especially if I eventually get back to training every day like I hope.

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From a costume run I did in October 2014.

I was the Cheshire Cat.

I also try something new every year. This year I’ve set my sights on belly dancing. My midsection is something which has been a struggle for me for years now. I’m getting closer to confident about it, but still a long ways off. I’m hoping that this will not only build my confidence, but I’ll gain some awesome new dance moves in the process. I’ve found some classes at the local community college and hope to find someone to do it with me, otherwise I guess I’ll do it alone and maybe meet some new people. I’m thinking about starting with a 4 week session and seeing where I want to go from there.

I also plan on trying more outdoor things this summer. Last year I was outside a lot running and walking. This year I would like to do more outdoor things like fishing, camping, swimming and hiking. I’ll still hate sleeping on the ground and I’ll still be eaten alive by mosquitos, but maybe I’ll like doing it in the right company. I’d also like to travel at least one place I’ve never been before, even if it’s a city nearby.

My word of the year is a tough battle. Each time I try to think about what I want to focus my life on for the year, I’m torn because there are so many awesome words which I could use! The one I’ve finally settled on is:

“EXECUTE”

 Since last year I was preparing, this year I plan to execute things I never would have done before. I’ve spent the last 32 (and 1/2) years of my life preparing for things to happen, and I’m ready to make them happen. I’m sick and tired of sitting around and waiting for things to happen. I’m ready to do things instead of plan, and execute instead of preparing. I’m ready to take the bull by the horns and get what I want. There’s no one in this world that is going to get it for me. I will execute all my goals with precision and determination and I will not fail. I will succeed just by trying.

(Please note I’m executing ACTIONS and not PEOPLE–a necessary distinction

A year is a long time to do all of this, and I have confidence that I will accomplish it all. By the next time December 31st comes around, who knows where I will be? A lot can happen in a year, I know 2014 has proven that to me for sure!

So here’s to a year of success, of trying new things and enjoying old (good) habits, of eliminating the bad habits, of failures and lessons learned and to a new me in 2015. I hope you all will join me on this journey and as always, I’d love to hear about your resolutions, goals and dreams for 2015 so feel free to comment them below!

New Year 

 

Happy New Year to you and yours.

How Stereotypes Affect us All

I recently had to travel out of town for work. I went to Houston. Now I’ve never been to Texas before, and I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but this just wasn’t it! I had an image in my brain about Texas. (Mostly based on movies I’d seen involving Texas)

1. Cowboy hats and boots
2. Ranches
3. Dry dirt, tumbleweeds, perhaps cactus… this one I knew was pretty outrageous, but that’s what I pictured!
4. Horses
5. Accents!!! Where’s the “ya’ll” and “fixin to”?!
6. I shouted in the airport “The stars at night are big and bright…” and no one answered “Deep in the heart of Texas” like in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. (Ok, so maybe this one wasn’t my actual idea of what Texas is like.)

So needless to say my visit to Houston was a little disappointing when I learned that not everyone has a hat and boots, there are SO MANY TREES and so much green grass. I saw no cactus either. But there were palm trees, which surprised me. None of the employees in the Houston office were ranchers or rode a horse, at least not to work. Very few people had a southern drawl, and in this I was very disappointed because I love how accents sound!

Now to a point I’m being facetious, and I’m aware that there are many stereotypes about Iowa as well, but my idea of Texas was clearly all wrong! Like that commercial for pasta sauce I got to thinking “What else have I got wrong about the world?!” Clearly my stereotypes were holding me back. I can’t describe my surprise at what I found in Texas. It was immense.

So many stereotypes exist in this world and they are forged from different sources. My stereotypes for Texas were based on mostly TV and movie examples. But how many times do we base our opinion on a person based on their clothing, haircut, what things they carry (purse, backpack, briefcase, etc), their car or lack there of, or other outward aspect that we use to define them?! I know I’m guilty of it. How much different would the world be if we accepted more people and didn’t judge and walk away?

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I’m a firm believer in wearing and doing what makes you happy and not worrying about what others think about you based on those choices. And I live by that motto. I’m sure there are people who see me and LITERALLY RUN AWAY because not every clothing choice I make looks “normal”. There are plenty of clothes I own which my friends say “Only YOU would own a dress like that”… I’m not always sure how I should take that one because I’m not sure if they mean I look great but they don’t have the guts to were anything so bold or because I look borderline crazy in it… But needles to say, I look unique most of the time. (Plus I have CRAAAAZY curly hair that I sometimes “let free” and it’s quite big.)

None of this makes me less of a good person. None of this makes me less kind. None of my outward appearance makes me any less of a good employee or friend. I’m still brilliant and funny and (I think) pretty damn amazing. Nothing anyone could say about me would stop me from expressing myself. That’s not to say it couldn’t hurt my feelings, but I’m pretty confident about my outward weird.

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So the next time you encounter someone, don’t judge them by their outward appearance, but talk to them. Get to know them. Learn about them. And accept them. See what happens and how it changes your life.

Humility

In my life one of the main things that people are really lacking in this world is humility. There’s such an emphasis in American culture to be the best, the fastest, the smartest, the most educated, the best at something and to always come in first place. We’re so eager to teach our children to strive for their best and never settle for 2nd place, but in the real world there’s always a loser. When competing for a promotion, the hiring manager won’t give everyone who interviews a medal. So why are we giving every child an award just for participating instead of celebrating that they tried, but they weren’t the best team and they didn’t win?

I’m not a parent. Let me make that perfectly clear. I worked in childcare for 12 years, have a degree in Early Childhood education and have MUCH MORE experience in appropriate discipline and proper teaching of young children than many parents, but many people still don’t feel that holds up since I have never spewed a child from my vagina personally. *cough bullshit cough* But as such I am able to make objective observations about things that parents are too biased to notice. I don’t understand why we are rewarding effort, no matter how small, instead of teaching kids some real life lessons. Teach them there will always be a winner and a loser. Teach them to lose gracefully and not throw a tantrum when they aren’t the best. Teach them to be humble and not to brag about their successes. This is a great teachable moment that most parents forget.

Now I am not the most graceful loser. My parents banned me from playing checkers and chess all together after I threw the board across the room one too many times as a kid. I’m not saying that I am perfect, or better than anyone else. I have talents and gifts and I use them when I am able. But for every one of my talents, I know that there’s someone out there who’s better than I am. So when someone compliments me on my gifts and talents, I will graciously accept their compliment and thank them for their kindness, then go back to the thought that there’s always someone better than I am.

By no means does humility make me less confident in my abilities. I still know there are talents and gifts that I have that I excel compared to my friends and family. Some of the things I’m capable of doing better than those I know, and I’m grateful for that ability. I’m thankful that I am able to use my gifts and I’m glad I can help my friends out sometimes. I’m humble in the fact that I don’t need to brag, boast or tell everyone I meet about every one of my gifts. Every once in a while someone I’ve known for a while will find out about a hidden skill I have and be really shocked.

One of the gifts I value the most is that I am a good and generous friend. I take care of the people who I love. I comfort them when they are upset. I give every last cent I have to help them. I never expect a single thing back for it. I’m happy to provide for my friends in exchange for their friendship and the smile on their face. I currently have a friend who is in prison (Long story) and she was thrilled when I told her I would be willing to drive the 6+ hours it takes to come see her. To me that’s a part of being her friend and being there for her. It’s a part of sharing my life with her and her sharing hers with me. That’s what friends do. This isn’t my best friend or even a close friend, this is a friend who I am just getting to know on a deeper level, but someone I felt an instant bond with and someone whom I want to support through this hard time in her life not because I want people to think I’m a great person, but because it’s what makes her smile and helps her get through her week.

I have a lot of people who think I’m a good person for volunteering as much as I do, but that’s not why I do it. I volunteer so that I can keep humble. I serve others (humans and animals alike) so that I won’t become greedy and disillusioned that the things in this life are more important than the lives I touch. I’ve mentioned before that the women I help in the local jail help keep me humble. They frequently tell me how much I am helping them, and I turn right back around and tell them “No, you’re the one helping me.” They are always confused and look at me with a puzzled face. They don’t understand how they could possibly be helping me, but their stories and their interactions help keep me humble. It makes me grateful for all the ways in which I’m blessed. It makes me appreciate things other people take for granted. It makes me value my experiences in this life so much more.

There will come a day when I will die, and when that happens I hope to do so humbly. I want to leave this world knowing that I have done whatever I could to make it a better place, to touch the lives of others and to encourage others to do the same. I want to spread humility as a virus, like a force which can not be stopped.

Humility is something which can never be taken from you. It’s only when you choose to stop being humble that it ends. Hold your humility close to your heart. Spread it like wildfire. Don’t get caught up in the fame and recognition from your gifts, but give them until you are completely empty and have nothing more to give. That’s when your life will truly be full.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

When’s the last time you laughed? I don’t mean “When’s the last time you numbly typed ‘LOL’ in a text message because you had nothing else to say?” or “When’s the last time you had a little chuckle?”. I mean when is the last time you were laughing so hard that you were falling out of your chair and nearly wetting yourself? When’s the last time you were holding your gut because it physically hurt to laugh so hard? It’s funny how something so small can make such a HUGE difference in our lives; how getting a really good laugh can completely change our entire day.

I volunteer in my spare time with some women who… well let’s just say they aren’t having a lot of good luck and laughs are pretty hard to come by in their lives. Tonight we spent lots of time just laughing about silly things and for a moment in time, we all connected because at that moment it felt so good to laugh for all of them, and I was just so happy that they all for a moment were so happy.

I’m a huge promoter in choosing to be happy. I believe that even in the darkest, bleakest of times a person can choose to be happy. They don’t have to “cheer the fuck up” and they don’t have to like whatever sucky circumstance they are experiencing, but they can choose to be happy for what they have, happy for the lesson they are learning from the unfortunate circumstance, or happy they will one day be done dealing with the situation. I believe that has helped me a lot in my life.

As someone who suffers from mental illness (bipolar disorder) I also realize that some days this seems impossible! There are definitely days when choosing to be happy is a really huge struggle for me, but I do it anyway most days just because if I choose to be happy enough, eventually I really will be happy. And inevitably that’s always what happens. It may take a week or two or even a month, but eventually I end up being happy again. Laughter plays a big part in this.

I think that some people when they are sad (myself included) choose not to do things which would make them happy or worse choose to do things to make themselves even MORE miserable! We isolate ourselves from people who may make us smile or laugh. We want to stay in bed or at home alone to avoid activities which previously made us happy. And we are miserable for it. It does nothing to make us better, it only makes things worse. My addiction is to really REALLY sad movies when I’m depressed… it’s pathetic and makes me feel so much worse when I do it, but it’s easier to just cry it all out than to pretend everything is awesome when it’s totally not in my head. Then we get to do the oh-so-fun game of “Why am I so miserable?” and when the answer is that it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain and we have no control over it, the game becomes “Why the fuck did I get stuck with this mental illness and why the fuck can’t I do anything about it?!” #frustration

It’s a totally vicious cycle and for everyone who experiences it, you know what I mean. And there’s always that one asshole that really just doesn’t get it, and who is lucky to be alive because we want to kill this person. And this person says things like “You have such a great life. Why are you sad?” or “You just need to cheer up.” or “Ice cream/getting laid/getting drunk will make you feel better.”…. now this person usually has good intentions. This person usually cares about you and wants to not feel like your being sad is totally out of his control (which it is). But this asshole is truly lucky that we are kind and patient people because OF COURSE WE WANT TO CHEER THE FUCK UP!!! That just isn’t possible sometimes. And oh, you’re helping so very much by reminding us of the fact that there’s usually no reason for us to be sad, and that we have no control over it. (Friends of people who suffer from depression… pay attention because at some point, you’ve probably been this asshole.)

Guess what? You might not be able to fix the chemical imbalance, but there are definitely things you can do which can help a little maybe. (I’d try them just because the worst case scenario is that you feel the same, and so it’s a “nowhere to go but up” type of situation.)

1. Get some sunshine! 20 minutes of sunshine and walking a day has been proven to be more effective than psychotherapy. Now think of all those hours you spent in expensive therapy and cry about all the money you could have saved, I know I did when I found out about this. WHY AREN’T THEY SPREADING THIS SHIT LIKE WILDFIRE?!

2. Call a good friend. Tell them you don’t want to talk about you, you just want them to tell you the stupidest joke or pickup line they’ve ever heard. If they haven’t heard one, then tell them to share a favorite story about the two of you or about a bad date. Any funny or embarrassing story helps, and good friends are more than willing to share.

3. Try to continue to do what you normally do. Staying in a routine helps keep your body on an even keel. I know that working some shitty job when you are sick (mentally) absolutely sucks. I know that taking care of your kids or listening to the guy in line at Target talk about his foot fungus makes you want to cry, but seriously, just try it.

4. This is the most important one… try anything and everything you can possibly think of to laugh as hard as you can. Watch a goofy movie, think about something silly, watch stupid You Tube videos. I have suggestions if you need them. Seriously, it will do wonders for you.

DISCLAIMER: Let’s please remember that I’m not a doctor, this is not medical advice, and I’m not guaranteeing that any of these will work 100% of the time for everyone, I’m just letting you know what’s worked for me in the past in the hopes that maybe it can help you also.

Please don’t sue me.

Seriously, I have no money and own no property. My financial planner just told me the other day that I’m seriously fucked if I don’t start saving for retirement.

Bottom line, laughter does wonders for a person. So laugh. Enjoy life.

CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY. Every day.

LAUGH sometimes. Even when you’re sad or when life really sucks. It’s ok.