“Signs, Signs Everywhere are Signs…”

Mental health is no joke and should be talked about and taught every day not only for one week of the year!

One of the reasons for this blog is to help me deal better with depression.  To do that,  I must speak about very personal problems.  One of the most personal: my depression diagnosis.  I am NOT ashamed of it because at least the “crazy” in my head finally has a name. It did, however, take me a long time to recognize the signs, get help and be where I am today, healing.

Depression is not a one-size-fits-all pair of boxers!  It affects people in different ways, and not everyone exhibits or even allows you to see their signs.  You may actually be shocked at the people you know with depression/anxiety!

Here are a few signs to look for that I personally have experienced:

Avoiding social situations

Are you avoiding parties, dinner with good friends, stores or people?  Have you been making excuses not to go places?  You might be doing this to avoid people for unknown reasons or to keep yourself isolated in a familiar place/situation.

Avoidance of family/friends

Avoiding contact especially physically, not taking and returning phone calls, inability to let anyone in more than on a superficial level.  Sometimes you are afraid to bother people or bring them down into your sadness.

Losing interest in hobbies

When a hobbyist stops engaging in there hobby, there might be a problem.  Lack of interest can be within any realm of life, not just hobbies but many times hobbies will lose their luster and seem more like a chore.

Being Blue or Down

Normal bad days or sadness not applicable here.  Cloud over your head that will not go away?  Shoulders burdened from the weight of the world? If your sadness is lasting for days with no end or reason, you might need help.  People stuck here cannot always recognize it or help that they are “negative.”

Lack of Self-Care

If you cannot remember the last time, you showered, brushed your teeth or ate something– you’re not alone.  I have been there.  Some days the smallest things seem impossible.

Mood Swings

Well hello, Satan!  Hi there Big Crybaby?  Mood flux, much? Finding your moods fluxing is a huge sign to watch.  Crying at anything, being overly sensitive, going from sad to happy or even feeling empty can all be signs.

I am not an expert on this topic.  I am just living and learning from therapy, blogging, research and fellow sufferers like you.  If someone is showing a few of these signs they may be suffering, silently or openly with depression.

Be Kind!  Reach out but be gentle and watch for non-verbal clues.  Sometimes people really want help they just do know how to admit it.

Until next time, you are not alone.  –J

Just who is this blogger? 10 things about me

I figured it might be a good idea to let you all know a little more about me.  We have been doing this thing together for over a week now.  As a reader myself, I find that when I know more about a person, I not only feel as though I have a connection but also more trusting and open to their words.

10 Random Facts About Me

  1. I am an only child.
  2. I am a bowler.  I have done so for almost 30 years.
  3. I became a certified bowling coach when I was 16.
  4. I went to school to be a Radiologic Technologist (Xray Tech).
  5. I have an Associates Degree in Middle School Education.
  6. I have 11 cats all but one of them we rescued from outside.
  7. I have a very large extended family.
  8. I post tons of pictures of the Beach because it is my MOST favorite place.
  9. I am a music buff.  My taste is eclectic from P!nk, Led Zeppelin, Michael Buble, Blake Shelton, Trisha Yearwood, 5 Finger Death Punch to Van Morrison.
  10. I have been dealing with depression since my early teens but only sought help as an adult.

 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better.  Until tomorrow remember this:

  • During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill 2 swimming pools
  • You cannot snore and dream at the same time
  • The average person walks the equivalent of twice around the world in a lifetime.
  • Vending machines are twice as likely to kill you than a shark.  Watch out for those things in the ocean!

Remember…you are NOT alone!  Until next time — J

Sandpiles and Dunes: One Week In

Happy One Week Anniversary SoulNotAlone.com!!

 

Sandpiles are merely a pile of sand.

Dunes are hills/ridges of sand piled by the wind usually large in size.

Being a lover of the beach, I thought it would be fun to use beach terms.

The sand piles in life are the everyday things, small goals, work week the “small things” as we call them.  The dunes are the milestones, hurdles in life; moving to another state, marriage, 21st bday, these are usually your most easily remembered memories.

We all have sandpiles and dunes in our lives.  I am delighted to reach my one week anniversary with my blog.  It may be a sandpile in your mind. However, I see this as one of my dunes.  It is a very new hobby, a form of therapy, a leap of faith and a way to let others know they are not alone.

As a fellow human, you understand how differently we view things.  When put into the same situation people have been known to recall different things happening.  The brain cannot always process what it is your seeing, and your recall may not be the real story. Add opinions, moods, and life, and it is easy to see how perceptions can be skewed.

At therapy on Monday, my Therapist said: “Perception is Reality!”

WOW!  That is huge and so true.  How you perceive your surroundings is your truth/reality/what is in your head.  Sometimes perception is not always the truth of the Universe, another person or even what you “truly” believe to be true.

Has a friend or family member ever given you a reality check on this subject?

I have many people that have talked to me about this subject lately.  When you get checked by a friend try to take a look at yourself.  Take a small step back to see if your perception is being swayed by your mood, others, social media, work or family.  If that is not where the problem lies, ask your friend to help you see things in a different light.  We are allowed to see things differently.  We are allowed to argue but must be respectful and open-eared.

One thing we need never do…discount someone’s problems.  Please, please do not do this it can be unknowingly devastating.  Words, opinions, and perceptions can indeed make or break a person.  It is not your place to discount someone’s sandpiles and dunes.

Only you can define your life experiences.  If you do not agree with someone’s decisions, that is okay.  But try to be open and encouraging and never force your views onto others. Sometimes listening to another’s story and empathizing can make you open up and experience new and wonderful things.

The vital thing to remember is that we are all different, but we are still human.  We do not need to see each others’ perceptions as our own, but we do need to try to be kind, open minded and never dismissive of other’s life journeys.  You never know if life will throw a curveball and change your way of perceiving and defining sandpiles and dunes.

Until next time, you are not alone — Jenn

The Hump-Day Scoop

Welcome to Hump-Day ya’ll!  You are halfway there, you can do it!  

Hump Day Scoop Facts for June 27th

  • Today June 27 is the 178th day of 2018.
  • There are 187 days remaining in the year.
  • Here in PA, sunrise is 5:27 a.m. and sunset 8:31 p.m.
  • Today is:
    • Helen Keller Day
    • National HIV Testing Day
    • National PTSD Awareness Day
    • Happy Birthday to You Day
    • Industrial Workers of the World Day
    • International Ragweed Day
    • National Indian Pudding Day
    • National Orange Blossom Day
  • The Moon today is in a Waxing Gibbous phase.  The moon is more than 50% illuminated.
  • Cancer is the Astrological sign.  A few famous people born today:
    • Helen Keller
    • Tobey Maguire
    • JJ Abrams
    • Vera Wang
    • Ross Perot
  • June’s birth flowers are the Honeysuckle (love/affection) and Rose (love/desire).
  • 1693 – 1st women’s magazine “Ladies’ Mercury” publish in London
  • 1859 – The melody of “Happy Birthday to You” was composed by Mildred J. Hill, a teacher from Louisville, KY
  • 1929 –  1st color TV demo, Bell Labs in NYC
  • 1954 –  1st atomic power station, Obninsk, Russia
  • 1960 – “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” hits #1 becoming the first #1 by a female solo act, Connie Francis
  • 1964 – Peter & Gordon’s “A World Without Love” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, goes to #1 in the US
  • 1970 – The group Smile change their name to Queen and perfrom for the first time under that name.
  • 1980 – Three songs into Led Zeppelin’s concert in Nuremberg, drummer John Bonham collapses during “Black Dog”.  He dies in September.

Here are a few random facts for you to use around the water cooler.

  1. Most toilets flush in E flat.
  2. Cap’n Crunch’s full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch.
  3. Approzimately 40,000 Americans are injured every year by toilets.
  4. It takes 142.18 licks to reach the center of a Tootsie pop.
  5. You can’t say happiness without saying penis.

Bet you smiled!! 🙂

Until Next Time –You are never alone, Jenn.

 

Facts from:

calendar.songfacts.com/June/27/

onthisday.com/day/june/27

wikipedia.com

thepeoplehistory.com/june27th

thoughtcatalog.com/jacob-geers/2016/04/really-funny-random-weird-facts/

 

 

 

Finding Hope and a Smile On a Bad Day

 

What happens when you lose hope and inspiration seems so far away?

It is so easy to get lost in negativity, pain, sadness, and darkness.  This world can be such a cruel, harsh place.  But…it is so utterly gorgeous and to think it was made for all of us to enjoy and share.   So awesome!

Many humans know that feeling of hopelessness and needing inspiration.  You know the one: nothing is good enough, the sky is not blue, my pain is worse than anyone’s ever, why would my God allow terrible things to happen.  Sound familiar?  Anything can get you into the blues, it does not take much, and there are days it is hard to see the beauty, hope, positivity, and inspiration this world has to offer.

This is when you need to look for the smallest hidden gems. Whatever those may be to you.  For me, I try to watch the birds, listen to the ocean, play with my cats, or sit out on the porch and listen to nature.  Sometimes those things are just not enough. Here is a collage of pictures I’ve taken for inspiration for you!!

 

inspiration photos
***All photos here and above except pepper taken by Jenn Freese

 

When you find yourself stuck in the lonely darkness, try stepping back and looking at your situation as though you were an outsider.  Or you can even reach out to a good friend and have them help get you out of that funk.  When all else fails, look for something small.  Baby steps, although short in distance, still arrive at the destination!!!

Remember: even the happiest, most successful people have bad days!  Some of your days will be crappy, and some will be wonderful but try not to let what is going on dictate your day and mood.  You can change your mind, you ALLOW others to affect you.  Look to the good and positive as much as possible because what you look for and put out to the universe you will receive two-fold.

If you cannot find hope and inspiration from others or within, be the inspiration.  Make a positive difference in someone’s day, it will make you feel better.  Say a kind word, hold a door, start a blog, let someone know they are not alone.  Sometimes we need to be the leaders even though it’s scary.  As humans, we need to practice inspiration, kindness, love, and acceptance every day.

Because only by practice can we even strive to be better but never perfect.

Kindness is a muscle. The more we use it, the more it grows!” –David J. Flood

Until next time–J

 

Sometimes, Ya Just Gotta Laugh.

Good Morning and Happy Saturday!  What is going through my demented mind today?!  Oh yeah…

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 8.23.27 PM
Flying Weiners spotted in Philadelphia!

Have you ever heard the adage: There’s no crying in baseball?

Well, my favorite Philadelphia Phillie, the Phanatic, tested this theory the other night.  When I saw the video of a Philadelphia Phillies fan getting hit in the face with a hot dog,  I’m not gonna lie up in here, I laughed so freaking hard I cried.

That’s right, not only did she take a weiner to the face ladies and gentleman, she received a black eye from her glasses, did not catch said Weiner and she made me cry.  So there is crying in baseball!!!  But it’s all good because I’m sure she will get some free seats in the 300 level and an autographed Phillie Phanatic hat. 🙂

Because at the end of the day, shit happens, and sometimes ya just gotta laugh.  That’s another human trait shared across the board humiliation and humor at others’ expense.  Sorry Kathy McVay but thank you so much for that well-needed and perfectly timed laugh.  I will return the favor when I fall down later this week in a crowd.  😉

Karma will reach me at some point for giggling, but that was a well-needed giggle.  Karma, she is such a wench.  But one thing about her; she is consistent!  Unlike most other women!!!   I try to impart some of my wisdom to others and Karma is one I have a few clues on.

~~She is consistent.  She will send you what you put out to the World.  She will always find you.  She calls people on their shit.  She is a she for a reason!!~~

As you go about your day keep a few things in mind:

  1. The Phillie Phanatic is a Badass
  2. Karma is a Bitch
  3. Laughing at another’s expense although funny, probably not the best idea because of Karma.  Try to be a better human Jenn.
  4. Beware of flying WEINERS!

Remember until next time, you are not alone!  J

 

Fabulous Friday is Finally Here!!

Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 12.21.48 PM.png

Hello Friday!!

It’s clear that we have been waiting for you for the last 5 days.  For some reason, we humans have a way of working for the weekend instead of enjoying each and every day.   This human is included in that lump but…I’m working on it!  Trying to step out of crazy life and stress can be hard but you need to take the time for YOU.

Stress and time management so often suck at a person’s own feelings.  We often don’t think about how our environment can make us put ourselves last and doing this can silently suck the life out of you.  

It seems to me that we should take some time to put ourselves first and get back on the track of happiness.  How in the world can we do that when there is so much more to put first?  Well, you just have to make it happen in any small way that you can. When it comes down to it, there is no wrong way to pamper yourself.

  • 5 minutes of yoga
  • smiling in the mirror and telling yourself you are enough
  • a good cup of coffee and a book. 
  • walk with nature

You deserve a few minutes for yourself.  I do not have children so I won’t claim to know how busy and hard life can get but…I’m here to tell you that you have to do it.  The more you let yourself be last the more alone, sad, and isolated you can become with time.   The key is to see when it is happening and take some time to feel the feelings, take a slow breath, forgive yourself and move on.

The only person that can make the change is YOU!  It may be hard and scary at first but I promise it will get easier with time, practice, patience and love.               Until next time-J


  • Today is the 173rd day of 2018 and the 25th Friday of this year.  
  • 2nd day of Summer and ONLY 92 days left until Fall.  Woot Woot!
  • The sunrise is at 5:25 am and sunset is at 8:31 pm. 
  • Birthstones include: Alexandrite, Pearl & Moonstone
  • No Panties Day!!!

 Screen Shot 2018-06-22 at 11.44.56 AM

 

Why Hello There Summer.

abstract beach bright clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Happy Summer Solstice Everyone!

Okay, so, this morning at 6:07 am Eastern, Summer arrived.  Well, what does that mean for all of us? And why should we care, I thought this post was about self-help?  I’m also a teacher guys, sorry!  I love to share information I can find!

The summer solstice begins when the tilt of Earth’s axis is most inclined towards the sun directly above the Tropic of Cancer. The winter solstice, which falls on Friday, Dec. 21 this year, is the exact opposite. Today is the longest day of the year and it also marks the beginning of winter for the Southern Hemisphere.  Cool, huh?!

If perhaps, you are reading this from the Arctic Circle, you will not see the sunset but a few minutes today.  So to all of you, enjoy, put on some sunscreen and pull the blinds tonight for bed!

Many countries around the world have celebrations for solstice.  Sweden celebrates Midsummer, or summer solstice, by dancing around Maypoles and drinking. Slovakia celebrates Kupala or cupid night.  And we can’t forget Stonehenge, one of the largest celebrations in the world; thousands gather to welcome the solstice and get married.

The term solstice derives from Latin “sol” meaning “sun” and “sistere” which means “to make stand.”  My advice, go stand in the sun!  Sounds close enough.

Anywho, today, in PA we will get approximately 15-15.5 glorious hours of Vitamin D!  Use this gloriously long day, to go soak in some sunshine, revel in the beauty of nature and listen to the songs of the birds.  Nature has a really strange and easy way of making you feel oneness instead of aloneness.

Until next time-J

 

close up photography of eyeglasses at golden hour
Photo by Siva Adithya on Pexels.com

 

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me! My name is Jenn and I’m a 39-year-old living in a small town in Pennsylvania.  I am not claiming to know anything here or to be a professional but I get it.  Life can be hard even when it seems like everything is going great.  But keep something in mind…you are NEVER alone.  I wish I would have known that so many times when my world was unraveling around me.

I have struggled with depression most of my life.  As a teen, I don’t think I understood what I was feeling, let alone, why I was feeling it.  I think that was the hardest time because no one around me really understood what was going on.  See, if you have never dealt with depression, you really don’t get it.  How can someone be sad all the time?  The answer is…I have no idea and feel ashamed because of it.  But I’m here to tell you not only are you NOT alone, and it will get better with time and some work.  Oh, another thing that helps is getting older cause kids can be mean.

I’m an only child so most of my woes would be heard by the parental units or my friends but I like most people would internalize.  No one wants to hear you whine.  Everyone is busy with their own lives.  I don’t want to bother anyone.  Sound familiar??!  STOP making excuses for everyone around you and ask for help.  Talk.  Find a person you trust, it doesn’t matter who they are or what they do!  We are out there.  Honestly, there are so many people who feel just like you do even if their lives seem completely different.  If you feel like an anomaly, freak, weirdo, or even the most “normal” person out there, you can feel alone.

My goal for this blog is to let you know you are not alone.  We are out there and we can help each other through this thing we call life.  Be kind, you just never know what is going on in someone else’s life!!!  Until next time–J

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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