Silent Illness

Silent illnesses are super common but not talked about enough. Here are a few silent illnesses that someone you know might be battling and you have no idea or you know but forget because you can’t see it.

*Mental illness (which includes many sub categories)

*PTSD

*Lupus

*Lyme

*Fibromyalgia

*Severe Tinnitus

*Diabetes

*Chronic Fatigue

*Celiac

*RA

*Crohns

*Epilepsy

And the list goes on. These illnesses greatly affect millions of people’s lives. No one should have to explain themselves or try to convince others that they’re suffering. Everyone is battling something that no one else knows about. When it comes to invisible illness, the sufferer often has to make excuses for why they didn’t show up or why they left early. Why they don’t work or why they only work part time. Why they cancel plans last minute, etc. The truth is, there are times that we feel great and are able to show up and be present and in great spirits etc, and there are times where we simply can’t and if we do, we might not be feeling well or we might leave early. DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY and absolutely NEVER get mad at us. Trust me when I tell you that we feel badly enough on our own without someone giving us a hard time. Some of the most insensitive things that someone with an invisible illness can hear are the following. Don’t say these things to us.

*Oh you’re fine

*But you were able to do (fill in blank)

*Well how come you made it to (fill in blank)

*You just need to sleep more

*You just need to eat better

*You just need to work out

*Think positive

*At least you don’t have (fill in blank)

*But you look great

*But you went on that trip

*Why don’t you work or why don’t you work more

*Just force yourself

I could go on and on but you get the idea. Even though sometimes we feel okay and force ourselves to do “normal” things. You have NO idea what we are feeling on the inside or if we had to take massive amounts of medication in order to do these things or if we just showed up, took a couple of pics for social media and left 5 min later crying in pain or panic, etc. The moral of this story is…..stop assuming that you know what someone else is dealing with and for goodness sake NEVER assume based on someone’s social media, that you know what their lives are like. You have no idea unless they’ve told you and when they do tell you, believe them. This life isn’t easy and we are all just trying to get by. THIS IS WHAT MENTAL ILLNESS LOOKS LIKE.

LOVE AND MISS YOU, GIA.

Now imagine what ALL invisible illness look like? Think about it.

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the EX factor

the EX factor

Ohhhhhhh ex’s. Some we love, some we hate, some we love to hate and some we hate to love but the one thing we all have in common, is that we all have them. Times certainly have changed. People give up far more easily now than ever before. Why work on fixing an imperfect relationship when you can just end it and resume “swiping” on your dating apps? I mean, it’s a no brainer. Clearly there must be someone else out there that will fulfill you and make your life way more complete than your current partner ever could. I mean, after all, the grass IS always greener on the other side, right? You should have given up sooner! What took you so long? (I wish you could hear the sarcasm in my mind as I’m typing this). Relationships take work! They aren’t always good. As a matter of fact, most of the time, they’re hard. Really fucking hard. My parents went through many hard times, but they never gave up and now, they’ve been married for like 52 years. They are still best friends and beyond grateful that they worked through everything that life threw at them. It totally would have been way easier for them to have given up, but they knew better. I have friends who aren’t even 40 yet, who are on their 2nd and 3rd marriages!

I hadn’t planned on ever speaking out publicly about my past relationships but as you know, my good friend “Reality” Steve (love him) caught me COMPLETELY off guard on his podcast and asked me questions that I definitely hadn’t anticipated about my ex’s. Since that podcast, I’ve received messages of interest from people asking me to elaborate. I never thought I would be writing a blog post about this, but alas, here we are. The VERY abbreviated version. Enjoy.

I’m 40 years old now. I know, I can’t believe it either; and I, like almost every 40yr old, believed that I would be married and settled down by now and honestly, I could have been had I continued to live a lie and forced myself to marry a man. So glad I didn’t do that. I can honestly say that even though I’ve been in many relationships, I’ve only truly been in love twice in my life. The first was with a guy that I dated when I was young. I loved him for 14 years but when I was finally honest with myself, I realized that I loved him only as a best friend. It took me meeting the other love of my life at 36yrs old, to really know the difference. That love completely took me by surprise and was unlike anything I had ever felt. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen and our relationship was like…..kismet. I knew that I wanted to marry her after only like 6 months. I had NEVER felt this way before. We began by dating long distance for a year. I had just signed a lease on my apartment and she wasn’t ready, so we waited. That was the hardest wait ever, for me. All I wanted was to be with her; but we made it work by visiting as often as we could. We had issues at times. Things were not perfect during that year, but we loved each other and worked through the issues as best we could from afar. Once I moved to be with her, we could not seem to get on the same page. The love was there but we had issues that we could not resolve. This led to the worst, most painful break up of my life.

Carrie Bradshaw once said in an episode of Sex and the City ⬇️

Well, the answer to that question is different for everyone and heavily depends on your capacity to love and retain love.

This next part has nothing to do with my ex or how we did or did not handle our break up. This is just general information that is helpful when going through a break up.

{The most important thing to remember when going through a break up (provided that the relationship/break up didn’t cause you to be in an unsafe situation) is that at one point in time, you had an immense amount of love and compassion for that person. When you just want to yell or place blame or avoid altogether, REMEMBER, be empathetic or at least sympathetic to what the other person is also going through. Force yourself to see things from their point of view. It’s really hard, but do it. I promise you’ll feel better in the long run. Eliminate any defensiveness and listen with your heart. We all have an instinctual desire to be right. Accepting fault causes guilt and that’s a horrible emotion to feel. But do you know what is an amazing feeling? Taking away someone else’s pain and suffering. If I can take away someone else’s pain by simply saying that I’m sorry (even if I’m not wrong), or swallowing my pride to ease the grief of someone I once loved deeply, I’ll do it every time. Break ups suck and can be devastating but it’s how you choose to handle them, that makes all the difference.}

Thank you friends for reading this post and as always, message me your thoughts. I always love hearing from you all.

Xoxo- Melissa

The secret life of the empath

You might be an empath if…

I’ve never done much research on Empaths. Always knew that I was an empathetic/sympathetic individual but never investigated the intricate details of what it meant to actually be an “empath”, until now. An incredible person that I met not too long ago, had me read a book that was……quite insightful/revealing into the world of empaths, albeit this book was quite “extra” as she put it. However, the message resonated. This book tells the story of a young man who was literally tormented by an all consuming (unwanted) ability to absorb all of the energy around him. It wasn’t until he was able to fully comprehend and accept this gift, that he was no longer tortured by it and conversely, was able to bestow light and love onto those suffering.

Have you ever walked into a room feeling neutral and within minutes, felt a wave of emotion permeate you? The emotion can be that of joy, calm, peace, love, clarity or to the contrary, heaviness, edginess, nervousness, anger, stress and did this in turn become all consuming to you? Did it take over your entire psyche and shift your entire mood? Have you ever been watching tv or a movie and one single scene hits so hard that it shifts your entire focus and completely alters the way in which you feel? Have you struggled to understand why being around certain people makes you calm and at ease where others make you feel tense or stressed? Have you ever been around someone who was ill, and suddenly, you didn’t feel well and thought, “oh crap, now I’m sick” but as soon as you were no longer in that person’s presence, you didn’t feel sick any longer? Have you ever been in a romantic relationship with someone and craved certain emotional things from them that no matter how hard they claimed to be trying to give to you, you simply didn’t “feel” it from them? This page in the book definitely resonated with me

Anyway, If you answered yes, to the questions that I asked above, you my friend, are an empath. You feel so deeply that you literally inherit what others are feeling/experiencing. It pervades you and takes over your entire body like an avalanche. It can manifest emotionally or physically or both. It can be a blessing and a curse. I have a good friend who is a definite empath. She struggles to be around negative energy. It drains her so she chooses to avoid people that cause her to feel this way. I am in no way saying that there is anything wrong with how she chooses her self preservation but what I have learned is that once you are educated in your empathetic nature, you can learn to control your internal reactions to the unwanted emotions. This way your friends who might be struggling or in need of your strength and support, aren’t left feeling abandoned. In fact, you can help them with your calming, loving energy. Just as quickly as you felt their energy, you could pass yours on to them. This takes time and I am just at the very beginning stages of learning techniques myself. In other words, I have no effing clue how to navigate this yet. Empaths have the biggest hearts and often give too much. They genuinely desire to bring others happiness and joy and it sometimes comes across as “too much” or “overkill” or with some sort of ulterior motive when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Empaths are highly intuitive and some might even say “psychic” but for this posts sake, let’s just call it sharp intuition. Some of us literally KNOW when someone is being disingenuous or not forthcoming. This is a double edged sword. How insulting is it to tell someone that you don’t trust what they are telling you or that you believe them to be dishonest or to not have the best of intentions? Because we struggle with this intuition, we often doubt ourselves out of guilt. We inherently want to believe that people wouldn’t knowingly deceive us. If left unresolved, we will be burdened with a heaviness in our chests and a nagging feeling that won’t leave us until we reconcile this which is often met with the other person becoming defensive. Empaths are often introverts because they absorb so much energy that they feel drained after being in social settings and often choose to avoid altogether.

If any of this resonates with you, take this quiz to see where you fall on the empath scale and to learn what you might want to work on to feel some relief.

Click below

http://www.empathtest.com

Copacetic

Hi lovelies!

Thanks for stopping by. Tonights post brings with it quite a contrasting dynamic from my usual posts. I am guilty for typically only blogging when stressed or anxious; however, I’m learning that it is equally important to connect with you all when things are good. I suppose that I was apprehensive to blog about the good times because I was afraid that it might negate the whole point of my blog and what I am fighting to support. #endthestigma, but the truth is, WE ALL HAVE GOOD DAYS, weeks and sometimes even months and celebrating the good times, doesn’t make us any less of a warrior or advocate. So for me, right now things are good. I’m doing well. I’m dating, working on my book, recording podcast episodes (still not ready to release) but soon. Traveling to Houston next month to spend some much needed time with my “Bachelor” friend and her babies and then I’m headed back to New York. So, the moral of this (not so exciting) story is….. SHARE THE HAPPY times, the exciting times, the pleasant times and relish in the copacetic, tranquil times. These times should be celebrated. FIGHT ON FELLOW WARRIORS.

I messed up!

So, this post is 100% anxiety provoked. I am super anxious today because of something I did last night. I’m sure some of you can relate. You know that feeling when you accidentally send a text to someone that you didn’t mean to and you get that instant sick, panicky, omg, I want to die right now, feeling? Well, I’ve been feeling that since last night.

So, I’m sure most of you read my post titled “The Emotional Texter” in which I admitted to being an emotional texter and vowed to not text but call when I have something important to say to someone (and I fully intend to do that); however, there are times when I can’t just call and tell someone something because I’m too apprehensive, so a text is really the only way.

Sometimes, I get super anxious when I have something that I want to say to someone and it causes me to hesitate. It’s the fear of rejection and/or ridicule. I was never like this before doing the shows. Anyway, sometimes it’ll take me a month or longer to be brave enough to say something that I need to say to someone, so I’ve gotten used to writing out what I would like to say (in the notes app) on my phone. I’ll just leave it there and sit with it until I get brave enough to actually send it.

Last night, I wanted to say something to someone so I opened up my notes and wrote out what I wanted to say. I felt comfortable with it and thought to myself “eff it, I’m going to be brave and just send it” so, I hit good old copy and paste, put it in a text and sent away. Felt brave enough to not even proof read it before hitting send. GO ME, right?!? WRONG. SO, SO WRONG.

I didn’t realize that I was writing in a “note” that I had already written in. (Insert huge FML here). Soooooo, this poor person, got both.

I want to die! I immediately sent the “omg that wasn’t for you” text and the “omg, I’m literally dying” text and then the 3rd, obligatory, long message trying to explain that ended up making zero sense and made me sound crazier than if I had just left it alone.

FUCK. Anxiety is the worst. So, yeah; this is what I’m dealing with right now and it’s not fun at all. AT ALL. Hope your weekend is going better than mine at this point. 🤦🏼‍♀️🙄🤦🏼‍♀️🙄🤦🏼‍♀️

The Emotional Texter (and how the 80’s were exponentially cooler)

The Emotional Texter

The photo above was the phone that I had in my room as a child. I even had “my own line” by the time I was 8yrs old (my sister went away to college and I inherited the number). This was the amazing 80’s. I sometimes wish that we didn’t have cell phones and could go back to landlines.

Cell phones have become our literal lifelines. We spend hours upon hours on our phones every day. Hell, I am writing this blog from my phone right now. We wake up to an alarm from our phones, we then check our emails, our socials and our schedules from our phones and this is before we even get out of bed! Our phones are never more than a few inches away from us. How many times a day would you say that you grab your phone? I couldn’t even guess if I tried. When I was on The Bachelor, we had to turn in our phones and guess what, I didn’t miss it AT ALL. It felt freeing, liberating.

Let me get to my point. I’m an emotional texter and I totally blame my cell phone (because obviously, an inanimate object is to blame). Why do I consider myself an emotional texter? Because I have definitely sent a text or two (or 100) while feeling emotional, that I later wish that I could take back; but guess what…. no take backs.

Before cell phones, (like when I had that super rad clear Conair phone) if we wanted to say something to someone, we had to call them and hope that they were home. If they weren’t home, we actually had to just sit with what we were feeling until the person called us back. If the person was home, we had a 2 way verbal conversation and things definitely went far more smoothly. When you hear someone’s voice, their tone, their emotion, you don’t become as easily defensive. With texting, we feel bold and brave and often say things that we would never say directly to someone. We send a text and the other person is left to decipher or assume your intent and your tone and this is often misinterpreted and subsequently met with a defensive reply. This begins a not so fun exchange all of which could have been avoided.

I am not perfect and am always looking for ways to improve myself and since I am aware that I am an “emotional texter”, any time an emotional type of situation arises, I will make sure to not text. Instead I will pick up the phone and call (as much as I loathe talking on the phone)🙄. Fortunately, I don’t have many occasions where this will need to be implemented. However, I wish I had done this a long time ago.

The moral of the story is, the 80’s were totally way better before all the technology came out.