World Mental Health Day

Today, I feel like I am not alone. On World Mental Health Day, I am reminded that so many others are struggling with mental health issues and it is OKAY to seek help. 

For years now, I have struggled with anxiety and depression. I remember having social anxiety as a child and not understanding why I couldn’t socialize like other kids my age. I was too young to realize that it was anxiety. As I got older and started high school, my anxiety only worsened and I developed signs of depression. I felt like an outcast at school, but I didn’t want to admit that I had a problem. 

Sophomore year of high school my father was diagnosed with Mesothelioma lung cancer. I was terrified… I felt like I had no way of coping with this and I didn’t know how to help my family. I began shutting down at home because I was so exhausted from putting on a show at school. Every day at school I had to pretend that I was fine. I joined more clubs and found ways to keep myself busy to forget about the pain. But when I returned home I was forced to recognize that my father way dying. 

On January 5th 2011, my father lost his life to cancer. My family was devastated. I kept up my show at school, but my condition at home worsened. I was mad at everyone, especially God. Why did this happen to my family? How I am supposed to recover from this? 

I started cutting myself to feel better. I was trying so hard at school to feel nothing, and cutting myself felt like a release. Deep down I knew I needed help, but I was embarrassed. I thought, I should be strong enough to fight this on my own. I was wrong. 

I didn’t seek help until my sophomore year of college. I was dealing with a hard breakup and spiraled into a mental break down. Finally, all of the feelings I was pushing down had surfaced. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I spent weeks just crying on the floor. I lost 20 pounds in three weeks. 

My mom told me I needed to get help, she was so worried. I met with a professional and was put on medication for anxiety and depression, and at school I met with a counselor for a few months. I started feeling SO MUCH better. Seeking help was the best thing I could have ever done. 

Today, I still struggle with my mental health. I’ve recently had a hard time finding my passion and the right career path for me after college. This has taken a huge toll on my self confidence. Again, I am seeking the help of a counselor. 

I am no longer ashamed of my mental health disorders. I can recognize when I need help. I hope that one day others can feel this way. It is so important to realize you are not alone, it is okay to seek help, you are loved, and you can feel better ❤️. 

If you need help, know that you have resources! 

Find a counselor in your area here:

http://treatment.adaa.org/

Find federally funded clinics here: 
https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

XOXO, 

Robin 

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Holding On 

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post, but sometimes you need to write in order to heal. I’ve had a lot of negative thoughts running through my mind the past year. 

After graduating from college, I had an internship over the summer until August. And since August, I’ve been looking for a job. I wasn’t prepared to be out of a job for 7 months. I wasn’t prepared to be working part-time jobs, trying to make ends meet. And I wasn’t prepared for all of the rejection. 

I’ve been an honors student my whole life. I was always career focused and longed to be an independent woman. Instead of feeling like I’ve accomplished these goals, I feel stuck in an endless cycle of rejection and failure. I can’t pay my bills on my own, I can’t afford the little things I want, and I can barely afford what I need.

I know I’m not the first person or the only person to be unemployed for a long period of time. But I am one of the many millennials who did everything they were supposed to do in college, but still can’t find a career. 

Being unemployed is hard on anyone, but it’s been especially hard on me… someone who struggles daily with anxiety and depression. I take my pills every day, I try to workout to relieve stress, but at the end of the day I still feel the same. I feel hopeless, lost, and angry. I’ve done everything right, why am I stuck in this place? I’ve gone through so much pain and hardships already, why does God think I need this? 

I don’t have the answers to those questions, no one does. I just have to keep holding on, trying my best to stay positive and find my place in this world.  It’s not easy and it will never be easy. I just ask for patience and understanding during this time. 

I don’t want pity from others and I don’t want unsolicited advice. I will make it through this bump in the road on my own terms. If I want advice I will seek it. I know people are only trying to help, but sometimes their words hurt more than they help. 

So I am trying to be strong, I am trying to be resilient. I will make it through this, I will find my place. God has a plan and I just don’t know what it is yet. 

In Case You Were Wondering

So I haven’t written a post in a while, and I’d like to catch y’all up on some stuff. I’m basically going to recap my second semester of my junior year and what I’ve learned. 

My blog posts ended in April because I had become overwhelmed with a bad living situation, finals, and anticipation for my study abroad trip. Luckily, I made it out of my junior year of college alive, and now I’m ready to rock my senior year. But first, let me tell you about some important things I learned. 

So a few things I learned about living with new people… First off, don’t live with someone you are only an acquaintance with. More often than not,  he or she is a completely different person than you thought. Second, sometimes living with random people is actually awesome and you can make new friends. Lastly, people will say anything they can to hurt you and to get their way. Those people are not people to keep around. And when I say people will say anything… I mean they will go as far as to comment on the medication you take for anxiety and depression… Yeah, people can be really mean. 

The whole bad living situation was actually a great lesson. And after the comment on my medication, I did what was best for me and transferred to a new apartment. My new roommates were absolutely amazing, and my faith in humanity was restored. 

On a lighter note, did you know I went to Dublin, London, and Bareclona in May? It was a really awesome trip! But I’ll explain more later. 

So you’re kind of caught up now, but I’m just going to list a bunch of random other things I learned last semester below: 

– If you are best friends with someone, distance doesn’t matter.  

– Cuddly cats exist 

– Don’t try and move out when you’re jet lagged. You will forget things. 

– A lot of people still don’t like Americans

– Guinness is good 

– Carrying a giant suitcase up a bunch of stairs sucks 

– Making new friends is fun 

– I love clams and mussels 

– Ice cream is better than gelato 

– London has amazing Indian food 

– It’s okay to not always have a plan 

– I need to read more books 

– Chocolate is so much better in Europe 

– My boyfriend is my biggest supporter 

– I still like dogs more than cats 

– There is so much more to see and do in life than we even realize 

Oh, and my journey to health is back on track. It was pretty hard to eat well in Europe, but I did do a lot of walking ;). Now that I’m home for the summer though, I bought a gym membership and go three to four times a week. My biggest struggle to stay healthy is resisting sweets! I’m working on it. 

Well, that’s all for now folks. I hope you liked my recap! I will try my best to write more often. 

  
Much Love,

Robin 

 

Asbestos Awareness Week

April 1st through the 7th is Global Asbestos Awareness Week. This is such an important week for me. My father lost his life to Mesothelioma, a rare lung cancer caused by asbestos. Now, it’s my mission to raise awareness about asbestos and the diseases it can cause.

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization states that United States and Canada are the only 2 industrial western nations not to ban asbestos. In fact, Mesothelioma Guide states that 55 other countries have already banned asbestos. Also, according to research from the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, although the United States stopped mining and producing asbestos in 2002, the country imported 1,460 metric tons of Chrysotile in 2008, mostly from Canada.

Exposure to asbestos is dangerous because asbestos is carcinogenic (cancer causing). Fibers are inhaled and then get trapped in the body. Over time, these fibers accumulate and lead to serious health problems. Asbestos exposure can cause Mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, pleuritis, cancer of the ovaries, and cancer of the larynx.

Next week, April 17th through the 19th, I will be attending the national conference for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. This will be my second year attending the conference. It’s a truly great feeling when passionate people come together for a great cause.

I encourage you all to sign the petition against the FACT act and the Global Asbestos Awareness Week Declaration for worldwide asbestos ban. Watch the video below to learn more about asbestos, Mesothelioma, my father, and the petition against the FACT act. Much love, Robin.

Here are the links for the petition and declaration:

Twenty-Somethings 

I’m 20; old enough to vote and enlist, but not old enough to legally drink. I’m still in school, but about to graduate and start a job. Still trying to have as much fun as possible, but needing to be a grown-up… All at the same time!l Being twenty is a real struggle. I want to go out with my friends, but I’m not old enough. I feel like I’m so over school, but I’m scared to death about finding a job. I want to look good and be healthy, but I also want to eat whatever I want. Life is a balancing act, and I feel like in your twenties is when you really start to learn and deal with this fact.

My first two years of college were mostly about finding the right major, making new friends, and having fun. Now that I’m a junior, I have to intern, work on my resume, and start seriously thinking about what I want to do with my life. I’m ready for new adventures in my life and to find out more about myself. Life is a journey and I’ve barely just begun. 

All you twenty somethings out there… Just slow down! We have more time than we think to figure things out. 

Say Goodbye to Stress

When everything is getting you down… Just dance it out! Lately, I have been feeling super stressed out because of school, work, being away from home, trying to lose weight, relationships, and everything else. When I feel like I’m completely out of control, that’s when my anxiety is at its worst. And I feel really bad when I’m so anxious because I know my anxiety affects the people I love the most. When I’m super stressed out I tend to push my anxiety onto others.

Since my stress levels have been extra high recently, I have been trying to push them down with a couple different techniques. These are all things I do at night! If I’m feeling just a little bit stressed out, but not super high energy, then I light candles, put on acoustic music, and do a yoga move where I put my legs up against the wall and just let gravity pull them down. If I’m really stressed out I like to light candles (I just love scented candles), and instead of soothing music, I put on up-beat music and dance away my troubles. Both of these techniques are great and sometimes much needed. I often miss living by myself because I just really love alone time. It’s so much easier to relax when you’re alone. But since I’m not alone, I like putting my music on loud because it drowns out the unwanted noise.

At the end of the day, most of the things that are stressing me out are super miniscule and unimportant. It’s helpful to count my blessings at the end of a long day instead of dwelling on the negatives. I hope everyone can do the same! Your stress will float away when you realize that the postives outweigh the negatives. I’m actually super stressed out tonight, so I put on up beat music, danced, drank hot tea, and of course, lit some candles. Writing this blog post actually really helped me to relax too. It’s pretty much a way for me to vent. So consider venting or doing some sort of hobby to relax too. I hope this post was somewhat insightful! Much love, Robin.

Patience is Key: My Journey to Health

This Monday starts the third week of my clean eating diet and workout plan. For the most part, I think I’ve been doing a good job. It’s been hard to resist free food from work and eating bad on the weekends, but I’m trying! I’ve managed to workout every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I definitely feel like I’m getting in better shape. I’m down two pounds already, but I feel like my weight is still fluctuating between 137 and 140. I’ll feel better when I can keep a more consistent number. I love clean eating, but I’ve found that I get bored of eating certain foods. So I’ve began to switch things up, but I’m still following the clean eating plan. I had to switch from baby kale and spinach to a spring mix with spinach. I always switch up my cereals too. I’m growing slightly impatient, but I know that it takes time to see results. I’d much rather go about losing weight in this healthy manner instead of trying fad diets or magic pills. I know that when I lose the weight, I can keep it off by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I’m thankful to have a good support system helping me stay strong. Meditating has definitely been helping me through this process. I love doing yoga and meditating right before bed. I light candles and put on acoustic music; It is wonderful. Well, that’s all for this post. Just wanted to give you guys an update! XoXo Robin.