Well, after nearly 4 months absent from my personal Facebook, I am making a come back.
So, while this post is geared toward an update for my Facebook followers, I want to make a very unofficial relaunch of my blog to inform all of what I am about and what to expect. For those who have not seen past intro posts.
First, as an introduction for those less familiar with who I am, my name is Mandy. I am a mom of two beautiful children. I have a daughter who is 5 and just started Kindergarten. I also have a son who is 3. At this very moment, he is watching Paw Patrol while munching on some pretzels.
I am also married to my kids’ father, Tony. We have been married 10 1/2 years! We met in college (where I subconsciously attended for my MRS degree. Guess I technically graduated). We got married after a year and a half of dating. I was 20, and he was 21. We both dropped out of college to start our lives together.
3 years into our marriage, he swore into the Army as a Korean linguist. He just got out in May of 2016 and is now in a job in a field he loves.
Now, here we are. It’s been a very rough road, but I would not change a thing. We have our two kids, a house, he has a great job, and I am able to stay at home.
Yeah, I get to do all that fun stuff! Keep a perfectly clean house, cook family meals, and have a perfect routine of discipline and function.
Uh huh. Right. Not really ;).
I am far from the stereotypical house wife/mom. My house is far from perfect. Cooking? Can’t stand it. And tempers get lost quite a bit around here.
See, this is where my story comes in. The purpose of my blog. My life’s purpose.
I was born with health issues. We’re not just talking about physical health. We’re talking mental health as well.
First, anxiety, depression, and all that jazz runs heavily in both sides of my family. Second, I was diagnosed as a baby with an immune deficiency disorder as well as an immature nervous system.
My entire life I have dealt with getting sick a lot and getting extreme anxiety. I remember the irrational fear I used to get as a child. Sure, all children deal with irrational fear. But the fear I dealt with I can recall so well. I often didn’t even understand why I was so afraid or know what I was so afraid of.
It followed me into my preteens and teens. At age 15, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was officially diagnosed with a clinical depression at the same time as being diagnosed with mononucleosis.
In my recent post, “A Past of Pickles”, I go into detail of how it affected my high school years, if you would like a deeper look.
To this day, I still deal with autoimmune health issues and mental health. I have chronic depression and anxiety as well as a general mood disorder. I go on and off meds as my body seems to like to constantly adjust to them.
So my whole life has been a battle with my mind and body. It has been a challenge and a roller coaster ride of learning to train my mind differently.
It makes being a stay at home mom even more difficult. I could write a few posts on the ways it’s difficult. And I probably will at some point!
Through the years, by ways of my personal Christian faith and therapy I have received, I have learned many ways of coping and getting through. That brings me to my purpose. The entire calling God has had for me.
There are many people out there who haven’t been as blessed as I have. Such as having parents who raised them to know they don’t need to be ashamed and to know when to get help. I feel it is my calling to help others in some of the ways I have been helped. I have gone over a lot of this before, but for the purpose of my relaunch, let me go over it again.
Music and poetry
The very first method, apart from prayer, that I ever used to start coping was writing poetry. It was a way of release. This began my art of song writing when, at 10-years-old, I discovered a desire to be in music.
There is always that one song or poem that often just speaks to you. There have been many songs over the course of my life that have even gone as far as to change me. Change my outlook. Put a new perspective on things or remind me of some truth that I needed.
God gave me a gift to sing. He gave me an ear for music. And there have been several times in my life in which I heard my singing had touched someone. That has always been rewarding and fulfilling. It isn’t when I get a compliment for how good I sound. It is when I see tears or smiles from people who were spoken to through God’s gift to me.
I am now working to develop a business in my own independent music ministry. This has taken a huge leap of faith, but as my calling in music keeps pulling at me, I felt it was time. God has prepared me all these 30 years for this. I want to reach out to others with my music to show them that they are not alone in the way they feel.
My entire life I have loved to write and express myself through writing. I do so much better expressing myself in pretty much anything through writing rather than my own big mouth. When I was kid, I used to even say I wanted to be an artist and an author. So, minus the art part (which I have zero patience for), I go back to another calling that keeps on tugging.
I have always found an article or book that, in the same way as a song, spoke to me in a new way, even if I’d already seen it before. I love reading books on personal development and finding articles that give even a moment of encouragement and inspiration.
So I am now focusing here and there on developing my writing. This blog is my main form as I often just have different thoughts here and there that are best expressed in article form. This is my way of reaching out to pretty much the entire world to show my own experience and methods I have used to cope and better develop myself. It’s another way of showing no one is alone.
Nutrition and fitness
This was a passion that was only discovered a couple of years ago when I started to sell Herbalife. It had developed 5 years prior to that as I began to put a better focus on my health. The way you take care of your body has more of an effect on your mental health than people realize. The body and the mind all work together.
Focusing on my nutrition and fitness has made a difference with how different nutrients affect my body. It has presented challenges to me that I never dreamed I could accomplish, building more confidence and stronger character. Without it in collaboration with music and writing, I would be even worse off.
Selling a product that helped me get a deeper perspective on nutrition and fitness made me see how much it truly affected my mental stability. And I found a love for helping others feel better about themselves and grow personally stronger, no matter what their goals were.
(Important note to my Facebook followers especially) I no longer sell Herbalife. There’s a long story on my journey of direct sales, which you can see a lot of in previous posts. But I still have a calling to help people through what I have learned and experience myself. It is a part of inspiring motivation to better yourself. It is a key aspect to all health, mental and physical. So my goal here is to share that experience through my writing, as well as just others reaching out to me for advice, coaching, and overall encouragement and accountability. I am happy to help however I can!
All three of these things have been the main keys to getting me through my life. It is my overall purpose in this blog to share my journey, my thoughts, and my advice in an effort to inspire the world.
There are other things that I have smaller passions about that I want to share, too. Such as women and working from home (direct sales included), military, faith, and so forth.
The purpose of it all, though, is a journey to a better you. Especially if you deal with ANY mental illness.
So, to my Facebook friends and all followers alike, interested in helping? I have many ways you can! And they’re all pretty simple
Comment away! Message me! Whatever form you wish, give me feedback! Tell me how you like my posts. What you think I should adjust. How bored you were. Now, I might not necessarily like what you have to say, at least not right away. But I know that I need constructive criticism and can get over any stabs I might feel at first. This is a learning experience for all of us, including me!
Be warned, though, that I do not tolerate drama or harsh words. I take constructive critism, not rude comments. For example, don’t say things like, “This post really sucks. You need to grow up and make it more professional looking.” Or, “I really cannot stand your views. You make me sick.”
No arguments with others who comment either, please. It is a goal to maintain a positive and peaceful environment on my blog, especially considering the effect it has on mental health.
Share share share 🙂
Now, you don’t have to share a post you didn’t have much interest in. But if you think a post was especially good, please share it with others in whatever way you feel most comfortable! Social media, text, email, or word of mouth. You can even just share the general link to my blog.
If you know me personally, I do ask that you don’t share my personal info apart from what I share myself as I do tend to be a very private person.
This is something I am still learning about and toying with, as well as making money on a blog in general, but I have started to include some affiliate links (specifically Amazon for now). Be informed that a portion of the purchase goes to me if you buy it. Even just clicking and checking it out gives me a good perspective of the traffic I get.
I will only be sharing links to things I recommend, too. I do not believe in promoting things that I have never tried or don’t really like myself. So they will be relevent to my post.
For example, here is a personal development book I HIGHLY recommend. It is my life book, second to the Bible. I think everyone should read it, no matter what state of health you are in, everyone needs to learn a sense of boundaries.
Or this one. I just finished reading it for a second time and am working on the companion devotional journal that is below it. It’s especially good for those that struggle with seeing your own worth. Low self esteem, caring too much what others think, perfectionism, etc. Another life book for me up there with “Boundaries.”
All of these are highly applicable to the purpose of my blog, especially because they have helped me so much in my own journey.
Tell me what you want.
Apart from feedback on quality, I also want to hear from you and what you would like to see in my blog. Ask me questions on things you would like to know about. Give me ideas on something you’d like me to post about. Granted, I can’t write a post about every single suggestion. But I might be able to either talk to you personally (after all, I like to help any way I can), or I can make a post based on numerous similar questions or a lot of the same question. I have a lot of ideas swimming in my head, but I always want more! I love to be inspired as much as you do.
So that is the gist of what to expect from me! As life has thrown me a curve ball in my original goals for this blog, I am not going to have much consistency right now. In time, it will come. I just want to share as I am lead in hopes that it reaches those who need the message. All is in God’s timing. Bear with me in this learning experience of making the most of it! I know I am so excited about it and look forward to doing more.
In the meantime, start giving me some feedback! Start sharing! Start going through some of my old posts! Click on links! Tell me what you want and ask me questions!
As I said, this jounery involves both you AND me. We’re in this together!
Edit: A majority of this post was done a month or so back when I was planning to start having more consistency of how often I post. As I stated, though, life threw me a curve ball. My mental health took a sudden plunge as my body, yet again, adjusted to my meds. I am currently working to get a full psychological evaluation in hopes of understanding more deeply what is going on in this brain of mine and get better help. In the process, I weaned off those meds and took an even bigger plunge. I decided, as a result, that I didn’t need to stress as much focus on taking off with this blog. I’m letting myself go with the flow of God’s timing.
As I believe in being transparent and have expressed that we are in this together, it’s only fair that you know my current struggle. In fact, it is a huge method behind my blog. Sharing my story for others who relate to know they are not alone. My last struggle was almost a year ago, shared in my post “I am ashamed”. It was another situation in which I adjusted to my meds.
This time has FELT even worse. Even amidst all my preaching of us not being alone and that we have nothing to be ashamed of, I still have experienced feeling this way. Even more so this time.
But that is why I preach it. Because I know how common these feelings are. It’s such a big part of what depression is! And it’s good to have a reminder to myself and others of what the truth is.
And the truth with me this time is also this- I have coped better than I ever have in my life of mental health. It has felt so terribly miserable and been so dark, but God has kept me going. I get up every morning. I jog or walk (minus when I was physically sick earlier this week). I take care of my hygiene. I take care of my house (slightly slacking, but still). I take care of my family and my pets. I pay my bills. I go to appointments and church events. And I reach out to those I feel I can trust.
Why? What’s the point when I still feel like crap again?
It’s not just because I know I’m supposed to. It’s because it pays off in the end. Because I become that much stronger. It’s doing all those little things that add up to a better mindset at the end of the day or even the week. The month. The year! Because those church events, as hard as it was to go, turned out to be just what I needed. Because my vacuumed living room gives me such a sense of a clean home. Because these things also mean a happy family.
Anyways, that is what is going on right now. Fighting the fight, kicking and screaming, but still living so blessed <3. Let’s do this!