Monday, July 30, 2018

Life is a Process, and Happiness Demands Effort

“And you find some way to survive And you find out you don't have to be happy at all. To be happy you're alive.”  
- Brian Yorkey


I am coming up on yet another anniversary of my accident. Now I am just trying to live my life aside from any of the trauma that I have endured. I am glad for many things in my life and I realize how blessed I am to wake up every day and proceed forward throughout my days.

I will allow myself to go to dinner to celebrate where I am in life. This year I was able to prove to myself that I am capable of spending periods alone with only my dog for companionship. It may seem like a small feat given my age, yet I have been able to prove to myself that I am able to sustain on my own. I am glad to have my family around me for all of the many times that I do.

This year I have been fortunate enough to spend some time alone with just my dog for company. Since my accident I have suffered tremendously with depression and anxiety and truthfully was not sure if I’d ever be able to live alone. I certainly have my moments but Brian Yorkey’s quote becomes incredibly apparent as I attempt to push on throughout my days. We as people do not have to be outwardly joyous to understand that we are very fortunate to be here and be in the situation that we are. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to look forward to another anniversary that I can celebrate with my loved ones. This life is a long journey and we are all so fortunate to be able to go forward and try many different things to find what makes us feel fulfilled. I challenge each one of you to do something that makes you feel fulfilled. Try many different things. I began volunteering for many different organizations to find where my skill set would be the best utilized. I gain a sense of purpose from working where I work and realize that my story can help people. My story has been an incredibly difficult one for me, yet I realize that it has given me a purpose to inspire other people. I try to be as inspirational as possible to as many people as I can. I will include a photograph from a family celebration so that you can see what I will be doing on my anniversary. Keep putting one foot after the other as you continue upon your journey towards your destiny. I encourage you all to consider that life is a process and we owe it to ourselves to make it as enjoyable as possible.

Friday, July 20, 2018

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet...


"Sun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet."
- Bob Marley

Summertime is in full swing! This time of year makes me want to put on my summer clothes and get out to see bands! I love the schedule I wake up early take my Bella for a short walk and then inevitably I listen to some music. I love music in the car. I find that my depression is much more manageable in the warm weather. I love to stop by my parents’ house and hop in the pool. It is truly amazing how much better I feel now that I have attained some independence. Things are so much better between my parents and I because I am not so dependent on them. I now realize that they were not “sick” of having me around rather they were nervous about how I would function in the real world when they were no longer around. I feel that my life has an excellent balance now. I now have a sense of responsibility for both myself and for Bella. I like to play music on my phone even when I am enjoying some rest time before my plans throughout the day. We all have to try and hold onto the positive elements of each season. Based on history I know that come November and the rest of the chilly months I will become a bit more down.

Last year I achieved my goal of doing more activities in the colder months. I will attempt to stick with my success of last year and try to keep myself motivated as the weather begins to turn. I would love to hear how any of you have done things to gain more independence. Having a pet has been excellent for me. I was able to spend a whole week alone where I am living with just my dog and I. My Mom said that she knew that I could do it; I certainly had my doubts. I now feel I truly have something to celebrate when I go out to see my friends in bands. I realize that most people who are my age have achieved living alone with no issues; things are different post brain injury. I truly celebrate what may seem as small feats to many. I feel so much more accomplished as I go through my days. I fully expect that there will be good days and bad days; I am going to try and hold onto this feeling of accomplishment whenever I start to feel myself spiraling downward. I feel and know that it is unrealistic for me to never anticipate my mood getting dark again. I believe that I now have attained many coping skills through my efforts so I can better regulate my moods. It is funny, I feel that I have accomplished a great deal within myself as far as regulating my moods. My mother has shared with me that she is very pleased as she feels as though I am behaving like the “old me”. Life is certainly not always easy but as long as we look to each other for support we will get through. I would love to hear any responses that you may have.

~Noelle

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Only Constant is Change

"Never give up on your dreams. Day after day do not ever lose sight of your goals."


Me and my new companion, 10-month-old Bella.
I have shared many times that being alone gives me extreme anxiety. I am getting older, (33 and living with my parents is not where I saw myself ever when I used to imagine myself at this age.) I was dealt a difficult hand and as a result I deal with some issues that many people my age do not deal with. I have found that my love of animals has allowed me to live independently from my parents. I recently purchased a ten-month-old puppy who has given me an incredible amount of companionship. With her, I feel secure and I can exist independently. I will include a picture of her and me with this post so you can see she is only eleven pounds so she is not exactly a protector for me, yet she provides the companionship that I was lacking.

I was very hesitant to spend any nights alone in a house because my anxiety and depression would get out of control. Me purchasing this puppy from the ASPCA was the best decision that I have made in a very long time. It is truly unbelievable the difference in my life that she has made. I am sure that my parents often wonder why I did not do this sooner, but I do not believe in “what if” thinking. I think that a pet can be wonderful especially for a person who struggles with anxiety or depression. I feel a new sense of independence and responsibility that I haven’t felt before. The old statement, “The only constant is change” has come naturally and in due time in my case. I would encourage anyone who is finding difficulty in living alone to invest in a pet from the local animal shelter. I found my best friend and she helps me to be okay with being by myself. I hope that you all are enjoying your summer and I would love to hear any reflections that you may have.


~Noelle

Monday, July 9, 2018

When it Comes to Style, Make Your Own Rules


“Create a look that’s made for you.” 
- Madonna


This Fourth of July I did not go out to any restaurant or bar. I still chose to get into a summer dress so that I felt as though I did something. I spent the holiday with a close friend and his children. There is no doubt that I was extremely overdressed for our informal BBQ dinner, but I really was not concerned. I truly dressed for me. I hope that everyone has been able to make each holiday their own. I love that this year I didn’t have to go paint the town with a bunch of my friends. My friends are excellent and they have gotten me through a lot, yet it is still such a wonderful feeling to not feel the need to get dressed up to look the part for doing the “single scene.”

I have never felt “normal” going through my life after my brain injury; I am happy to report that I am truly getting there. I have taken many steps to improve my endurance, my headaches and mostly my state of mind. I for once now feel as though there may be a future for me. I am no longer living fully at my parents’ residence. I have a wonderful little dog who has allowed me to feel okay when other people are not around. I have worked extremely hard and now I finally feel that I will be okay. I still really do not enjoy being by myself; my dog is the perfect companion for me. I will include a picture from the fourth of July so you will all see that even though I was at a BBQ, I still dressed for me. Every day that we wake up we should always choose an outfit that makes us feel good. Sometimes people will refer to us as self-indulgent, but I say, no matter. We have to figure out what makes us function at our best.

I thank you very much for reading and I shall include a picture from this previous holiday.

~Noelle