Category Archives: Social Wellness

Week Four-New Things

Good Evening Again Dear Reader,

Last time I opened up to you about a past relationship that had been holding me back. This one will be about my current relationship and how that helps me. I’ll also explain more about that “Healing From Depression” goal I touched upon in the last post.

Let’s skip ahead.

First and foremost, I am a fast learner. So, after dating for a little while, I got some of those…what do you call them?…oh right, standards. I obtained some of those and decided what I want and what I don’t want. I settled down with someone recently and it has been awesome. I know what some of you may be thinking, “isn’t it too soon?” well for me no. When I wasn’t ready I didn’t date. When I was ready to date, I dated. Now I’m ready for a new relationship, so I’m in on. Time is irrelevant. Another thing about me is that even though said events are awful and devastatingly intense, I move on and bounce back very quickly.

Anyway, I’m taking this new relationship more seriously. I actually feel like an equal to this man and it is beyond  wonderful ^_^. We communicate like adults. He loves my body and actually makes me love it more (even the parts that I had been so ashamed about in the past). He inspires me to be better which is awesome.

Just wanted to share that little bit of happiness.

I am mentioning this because this man and my roommate have been trying to help me heal. They explain that I don’t need to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and it’s okay to be who I am despite what others think.

I’ve been learning a lot from them and that has definitely put me in a better place. This challenge for example, is something that I am using to explore more about myself. I am learning everyday and I gaining a sense of self-worth. It’s awesome.

One thing that I think has helped is keeping positive influences in my circle (my roommate, my bf, my sorority sisters) and eliminating bad influences in my life because at the end of the day, this is MY life. I’m the only one who can live it, and it’s finite. I only have so much time and I don’t want to spend it depressed and on the edge of darkness. I know what brings me to that place so I have a list of things that either keep me from there or help me work through it.

Watching Batman has taught me to always have a plan and a back-up plan. In terms of my depression, I do have that. I won’t lie, sometimes, I turn to alcohol or I withdraw a little, but I am getting much better and I know how to work with myself to have more highs then lows.

One thing that is oddly helpful is wrestling. I know that sounds a little weird but for some reason, that definitely helps me get out my pent up negative feelings. I’ve been practicing with my roommate mostly and it’s really fun. Now, I kinda suck at it since I don’t know many moves but I have so much fun. I’m mentioning this point because everyone tells me that exercise will help my mood. Well, I hate running so doing something I hate probably won’t make me happier and I don’t have weights at home so I can’t have fun that way. However, wrestling is something that I enjoy and I can do in my living room and it is awesome ^_^ So, yea exercise helps, but it doesn’t have to be typical by any means. I mean, if climbing a tree makes you feel good, go climb every tree you can find as often as possible. 🙂

So yes, I do feel healed. I am more productive, have more energy, and am at peace a lot of the times. Peace is priceless so I am very glad to be experiencing it more often.

On Facebook, I’m working on a page called “Depression Wellness Toolbox”. It’s not ready yet, but I want to use it so I can share things that you can keep in your own wellness toolbox (like GRAPES) to help you on those darker days.

This post is a little shorter so I do apologize and I hope you found it helpful. Have a good evening Dear Reader.

Until Next Time,


Week Three-Reflection on The Past

Good Evening Dear Reader,

This post is a little late so sorry about that. It’s a reflection on week three of my 30 Day challenge.

So, I may have mentioned earlier this year that one of my goals for this year was to “Heal From My Depression”. I feel like at this point, it took all year but I have. Let me tell you how that happened.

One of the hardest things I dealt with this past year was breaking up with my boyfriend of 3 years in mid April. It was challenging because I gave my 110% to a man who not only did not appreciate me, but also cheated on and emotionally abused me. After being free from that I realize how much that took out of me.

I won’t name this person Dear Reader but in all honesty, I loved him through it all. Despite the tears and the way that his words crushed me at times I stuck through it…until I found out he was cheating. What bothered me the most about it is that I always tried to make our relationship better. If he didn’t like how I did things, I did them differently. When he didn’t like how “fat” I had gotten, I tried to lose weight. When his mother openly told me to “go kill myself” in February of last year and he told me to get over it, I succeeded (in this past March actually). As well as many other sometimes emotionally cruel things.

My friends asked me many times when they’d see me cry about something he’d said or did “why are you with him?” and at the time I would say “because I love him”. That was true. I did love him…at the same time I was afraid. I was afraid that I’d be broken if we ever broke up. I was afraid that no one would want me (especially since I lost my virginity to this man) or that it would be possible for anyone else to love me.

I’m sharing my story with you only because I want to caution anyone who is in a relationship like that.

If your significant other, makes you feel like you have to change, that is NOT okay.

If they degrade you or make you feel like something is wrong with you, that is NOT okay.

If they use your emotional triggers against you in order to manipulate you, that is NOT okay.

If they touch you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable and won’t stop when asked, that is NEVER okay.

Even if they express kindness towards you, even if they tell you they love you (which may be true), these things are absolutely NOT okay. If they do these things and you talk to them and they will not stop doing them, you need to leave. You know why? Because you are better than that. I don’t care who you are, you don’t deserve to be put down, or made to feel ugly, or used, or abused. Everyone deserves genuine kindness and love. Point. Blank. Period.

In any case, I was afraid to leave because I wasn’t sure if I could handle it. When I found out about the cheating, that was the last straw for me and I broke up with him without thinking. He never apologized or gave an explanation. He came to collect his tv and his car. I told him that I would give him his things and not fight or argue with him, as long as he gave me an explanation. Instead of answering my questions, he called the police because I “wouldn’t give him his stuff back”. When the school police came (I lived on campus at the time) they talked with me and I let my ex take his things. The officer was very nice to me and explained that sometimes people don’t appreciate what they have and he told me I deserved better. That was comforting because, I won’t lie, the moments afterwards were awful…the officer called the school counselor for me and that was a big help because I needed extra support.

This was the suckiest time for this to happen because it was my last semester in college. I was already struggling to not only complete that semester’s work but also some work from the previous semester (you may recall in Sept-Dec when things got really bad for me hence the CBT program) so I really didn’t need heartbreak on the menu. I remember the first 3 weeks I couldn’t really sleep or eat, I left multiple class periods in tears, and I had one of my sorority sisters sleep over every night to make sure I would be okay. It was awful…but I held on because it was temporary. Everyone kept saying it was temporary. I knew in my head that was true but my heart was hurting.

What ultimately helped was contacting my support team. Individuals in my life who said they would be there for me. I talked with them, tried really really hard not to withdraw, and did nice things for myself. GRAPES and anime helped alot too be honest.

In the summer, I decided to date again. It was only 2 months afterwards but I needed the confidence boost because apparently, I am very hot. I am desirable and people think that I’m cute. Not going to lie, this was a shock to find out that people wanted to date me. It was awesome. It’s funny because one thing that would always be asked was “why are you single” and when I said it was due to my man cheating on me, the response was always “he must be stupid”. I found that amusing….at the same time I realize, I am a good woman. I’m a good girlfriend, I am passionate, I am amazing and I deserve a lot more than what I had been getting up until that point.

My dad says that I need to take what I can from my previous relationship and learn.

I wont’ say that there wasn’t any good in it because there was a lot of good, at the same time, I wasn’t happy a lot of the time and I’m learning to put myself first.

Next post, I’ll tell you about more recent events. 🙂

Summary of what I’ve learned.

-I’m awesome.

-I deserve love and kindness.

-No man should treat me like a doormat or an emotional punching bag.

-I’m awesome.

-I need to take better care of myself.


I hope you find strength in this Dear Reader 🙂



30 Days of You

Hello Dear Reader 🙂

This isn’t my typical type of post so please bear with me 🙂

Yes it has been awhile but I am back yet again. If you’ve been following my blog, you already know this past year has not been the greatest for me. You’ve been with me through my ups and downs. You read my posts even though they were very sparing. Some of you even sent me encouraging messages. For that, I thank you. This blog and all of you have helped me heal.

I do want to give you an update. So, I’m not on my medication anymore due to the cost. Don’t fret because I am in a much better place right now and due to my wellness toolbox, I am bouncing back much easier than before. I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve begun a new relationship, I’ve moved from my old place, I’ve graduated college, I’m practicing more self-awareness and overall I am having more peaceful moments.

Now, I won’t lie to you. It was very hard. Very Very Very hard. There were nights during the past few months where I cried my eyes out and didn’t think I was going to make it. I depended on a lot of people to support me and I became discouraged at many intervals. I’m not claiming to be magically healed nor would I insult you all by giving you a step-by-step to recovery (since it’s relative anyway).

However I will say this, I am not at a low. My lows aren’t as low as they used to be and my highs are higher than ever. I can look in the mirror at least 3x a week and smile and say “you are beautiful” and mean it. I am experiencing increased happiness and I am amble to better catch myself in negative thinking instead of ruminating.

What I want to do is to share something with you. I want to help those who have suffered like I have or who are currently suffering. Depression, although it is getting a bit more talked about, is still an illness that is underestimated. It takes lives and robs souls. What I want to do is use my time, talents, and gifts to help others.

One thing that I am doing is inviting people to my Facebook challenge “30 Days of You”. Don’t worry, it’s free. I just want to help others.

The 30 Day Challenge is 30 Days of improvement, healing, support, and growth. The idea is that each participant chooses some goal they want to accomplish and stick with it continuously throughout the 30 Days. The goal can be completely personal, so “practicing self-love techniques for 30 days” or “learning to eat healthier” or “drinking more water”.

For some of you it could even be “get out of bed” or “smile at my reflection” and that’s okay 🙂

I’ve created a page called “30 Days of Fabulous” and the idea is to utilize it as a support system for the participants. So we post pictures, comment, share our stories and support one another in our endeavors. I would invite you to join the group and to join the event.

Ideally, one day I want this to become some sort of campaign or even a movement ^_^ that would be awesome. For now though, I just want to reach as many people as I can and support them to the best of my ability.

I hope if you’re reading this Dear Reader, you will join the event or at least share it with someone else.

Here’s the link to the 30 Days of Fabulous Page:

Here is the link to the 30 Days of You Event:

Sorry for the atypical post but I just had to say that 🙂

Thank you so much Dear Reader and I hope to see some or all of you in the challenge.



Good Evening Dear Reader,

It has been awhile since I last posted. I am happy to say that I am recovering from the depressive episode that I had a few months ago.

If you’ve been following my journey, you already know that I started medication in November. In January, I started a Cognitive Behavioral Program and tomorrow is my last day.

During the program I’ve learned many helpful things and I feel more prepared to handle the lows. This post is a testament to my recovery,

What I’ve learned through the program:
1. I don’t have to be perfect and hold myself to such high standards.
2. I can strive for progress, not perfection.
3, Small steps are better than no steps at all.
4. I am good as I am right now, and I will appreciate all that I do.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m at 100% because I am not. I’m more at 70% but at least I am functioning. A few months ago, I was at 10%. So I did make progress and I’m proud of that.

I am learning to be more gentle with myself. Loving myself is essential to recovery and I try to do small things to be kind to myself: like watch an episode of anime, read an article etc.

I’ve also decided that as a writer, I want to use my writing as an avenue to help people who suffer from this illness as well as inform those with misconceptions about depression.

Although the perfectionist in me wants to go out and try conquering the world, I know that I need to lighten my load and take better care of myself. I mean, I do feel like I am back to the functioning range but at the same time, I think I need to be careful right now.

There are some things I want to share with you Dear Reader. Especially if you suffer from depression. There are 5 steps to recovery.

1. Hope
Always have hope that things will get better. Even on those days when you feel like everything is in turmoil, keep a little hope in your heart.

2. Connection
Connecting with others definitely has kept me from withdrawing/isolating. When I have my lows, I tend to withdraw from everyone (including my loved ones) so to help with that, I schedule social connection time. I call my mom on a daily basis (even for just 5 min), I watch anime with a friend weekly, and I try to have lunch with at least 1 friend each week. This has helped so much.

3. Empowerment
I know that I am searching for things that empower me. I feel empowered when I write (hence the blog) or draw. I try to find empowerment in the little things as well (doing the dishes or making it out of bed more).

4. Self-Responsibility
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I am a firm believer in doing all that I can to help heal. I was very reluctant to try medication. At the end of the day though, I asked myself “What can I personally do to help me heal?” and “Am I doing all that is necessary to help my recovery?” These questions pushed me towards the medicine, COG program, and self love. I thought I was powerless in this. I felt and believed that depression made me powerless, but that’s not true. There are many things I can do to help heal. I can be nice to myself, I can go to therapy, I can take my meds, etc. I have more power than I feel I do.

5. A Meaningful Life
To be honest, I wasn’t quite clear on this one. In my opinion, this means do things that are meaningful to you. What has meaning for me? I know that writing is very meaningful to me, so I try to do it more often. I know that music is meaningful to me, so I listen to it daily. Things like that.

Sorry for such a long post. I hope anyone finds even a piece of this useful. Don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming at all to be cured of depression. Rather, I am saying I have made progress, and fighting off the episodes is a lot easier since I’ve gained skills to help me manage.

I hope you find this helpful Dear Reader and I hope you have a pleasant evening.


Hello Dear Reader,

Firstly. I am feeling much better since my last post. I haven’t done anything special, I just rode the wave of emotion until I felt better.

Today I slept until the last minute but still managed to make a green smoothie and Herbalife shake for breakfast this morning.

I plan on having a green smoothie each day. That sounds like it’ll be good for me.

Today I actually got to write. I finally finished that paper that had been due in May. It was difficult but I’m finally done…I can now enjoy the last week of my summer….yay?

Anyway, today I wrote a few scenes for the fanfiction Jen and I are writing together. Hopefully I can finish chapter 3 today so my readers won’t hate me.

I went to the gym with Kim today. It was challenging but a good workout. I did a full body workout and it was awesome.

Things that I’ve learned today:

1. Workouts are so much easier to push through when you have a buddy. For some reason, I was able to do more with Kim then I can by myself.

2. Drink water all the time. After being on the Herbalife program I can actually tell when I’m dehydrated. It kinda sucks but it’s also awesome because I can hear my body tell me what it needs.

That’s all I have for now. Hope you all have an awesome day 🙂

God Winks

Hello Dear Reader,

So yesterday Kim and I had plans to get some dinner together. She takes the tram home from work and that same tram passes by my house. So the plan was for me to take the tram and meet her at a certain spot (where she parked her car) and drive to get food.

I wanted to do this because taking the tram is so much more adventurous than driving. Anyway, she said she would be at her car around 4:45 and being one who loves being early rather than on time I left at 3:50 I wanted to read at the tram stop.

As I left my house I decided to check the mail first then leave. As I was a few steps away I realized I left my business cards at home. I was about to keep waking but something told me I should get them because you never know what opportunities you will come a cross.

Well, getting my business cards and paying for my ticket made me miss a tram. I was a bit disappointed but didn’t care too much.

I was listening to my music and danced over to the bench (I do that often). When I turned around to sit down a woman was behind me and I jumped and apologized. She said it was okay and I should enjoy my music so I sat down bobbing my head along.

As we were sitting there I thought to myself “hey! I’m an Herbalife Wellness Coach now. I can’t just sit here not talking to anyone.”

So I awkwardly asked if she was interested in her nutrition at all and an awesome conversation erupted. It was awesome because if things never happened how they did, I would’ve gotten on the tram I missed and not talked to Ms. Barbara. She was amazing and I’m glad to have talked with her. I gave her my business card asking if she knew anyone who was interested in Herbalife or my writing skills. I hope we can connect and help each other.

What I loved about this experience is that I would’ve never had the chance to meet such an amazing woman had any of those small details changed. If I decided to listen to my music or not go back for my business cards.

What I learned:

1. Things happens for a reason-even the little things.

2. Talk to everyone, you never know who you’ll come across.

3. Get business cards. Period. Even if you don’t have a job. You have talents that can definitely be marketed and expanded upon. At least a calling card or something.

That’s all for now.

Oh by the way, I’m on my fourth pair of pants that I can now fit into ^.^ I feel great. I saw these pair of Levi’s that my boyfriend bought me last year and took a leap of faith hoping they would fit. I was pleasantly surprised. This Herbalife is pretty amazing.

To be honest, I have 4 pairs that still have the tags on them because I couldn’t fit them when he bought them and wanted to keep them just in case. Hopefully next week I can fit into those. If I could I would probably make my whole life about Herbalife because that would be a miracle.

Anyway, I hope you all have a pleasant day 🙂


Good Evening Dear Reader,

So I’m getting ready to go to a meetup for Active Lifestyle Nerds. We’re going to some live band karaoke. I don’t really know what live band karaoke is specifically, but as long as I get to sing and meet people I’m good.

Let me tell you about my day. Today I took my own financial advice. I got paid today and needed gas. I checked and found the cheapest place in my neighborhood. I was early to work and started looking up more jobs and internships to apply for. I went to work and afterward went to talk with my health coach Jess. I am now officially a wellness coach. I’m am super interested in learning all that I can about nutrition and helping people.

Thus far I’ve gotten three people to come in for wellness evaluations this weekend.

Then I went to pick up my medicine that I talked about in previous posts. I’m starting it tomorrow, so I’m mentally preparing for that.

I got home and did some research for what my new responsibilities will be and I’m feeling really good.

I’m not sure if you can really take anything out of this…but what I did learn today:

1. Find things you are passionate about and look for opportunities in that field. I’m passionate about health and nutrition so being a wellness coach is perfect for me.

2. Talk to people. Today while waiting in line at the pharmacy I had an awesome conversation with an older gentlemen. He told me his life story and gave me some advice. It was a little piece of sunshine today.

3. Be your own hype-man. In the car I told myself “Shannon, you can do this! You can be a wellness coach and help people! You’re awesome!” Sometimes you have to be your own cheering squad.

That’s all I have for now. For now it seems like if things aren’t going well they will improve. Even it’s not today or tomorrow. Things will get better. That’s something I learned this year. Just have hope.

Turning Around

Good Morning Dear Reader,

So the other day my friend Kim said she believes that things will be turning around for me. 2013 has not been the best year thus far. It has been a struggle with both physical and mental sickness, familial and financial problems as well as academic challenges.

Despite this I do feel like things are looking up.

In the past 7 days I’ve attended 5 workout classes and handed out a few of my business cards. I’m going to become a health coach today and yesterday I received a call saying I have an interview for an internship that I applied for.

Last night I had a conversation with God. I haven’t done this in a while, where I simply talk to Him versus a traditional prayer. I certainly counted my blessings and asked for His help.

I do believe in the power of prayer but I also believe in the power of hard work: you do all that you can to achieve your goal then pray about what you cannot control. Maybe this is the wrong way to look at it, I’m not sure but that’s what I do. But last night I did something that I don’t normally do, I asked God for the strength, courage, and wisdom to push forward in my endeavors.

I’ve always been reluctant to ask help from everyone-even God because I feel like He has so many other people to worry about. If I can do my share and do all that I can without asking Him for help that’ll be less of a burden on Him.

This is probably one of my biggest flaws. If I can’t do something myself I usually give up because I don’t want to burden others for help. I’ve missed so many opportunities with this mind frame…

So, one thing I’ve been telling myself is that it is okay to ask for help. Whew! That took a lot to say that. I mean I’m not totally against asking (I asked Kim to help me research some information). It’s just that the thought of relying on others for support makes me feel vulnerable, weak, and a burden.

Anyway, I was just pondering that this morning. I definitely want to start praying like I used to and realize that I’m not as much of a burden as I think I am.

What I’ve learned:

1. Praying for me is very peaceful

2. It’s okay to ask for help sometimes

That’s all I suppose. I just need to carry this peace with me throughout the day.

Beach Fun

Good Morning Dear Reader
For the past week, I’ve been getting out of the house and hanging with friends. I don’t have too many friends because I can be a bit shy, but I do try to hang out with people who at least like me.

Anyway, I’ve been journaling with one and going to the beach with another.

I really hate sand in my shoes. It’s like a super pet peeve of mine but since going to Hawaii, I’ve learned that the beach can be a super relaxing activity to do with others.

The last time I went with my friend Kim, we didn’t even lay on the sand, we were on the grass which was awesome for me.

I put this post to say that sometimes being outdoors can just make you feel awesome. To be honest, since I’ve been going out with friends and spending time outside, I haven’t felt as down as I usually do due to the depression. I’m feeling happier and more at peace.

I don’t know if any of you suffer from depression, but I know how hard it can be to just get out of bed. I’ve been there too many times and I’m not sure if I’m getting better with managing it or if this is one of my “happiness spurts.” Either way, I am fully supportive of going outside. You don’t have to do something expensive, even listening to linkin park as you stroll around the block can lift your spirits.

I’ve discovered that I want my home to be a nest, not a cage. I often feel trapped and confined and that makes me feel like sleeping all day long. I’m trying to make appointments with others and RSVP to events and such so that I can have somewhere to fly to.

I actually missed the workout session I was supposed to go to this morning. Normally I’d lay in bed and feel so guilty about it and my day would be ruined. Now don’t get me wrong, I do feel really guilty (which is a backlash of RSVP) but I somehow don’t feel ruined by it…and this morning I can honestly say I’m feeling okay.

Jay gave me another piece of good advice. I called him one day feeling lower than low and crying (about 2 months ago) and he asked why I was so upset and I told him I had all this pent up emotion from things in my past. Now I’ve known Jay for about 9 years now so he knows my story and he told me that those things have happened in the past. I can’t change them so I have to let them go. Just let it all go.

I am a dweller and he knows this and the concept of “letting go” just doesn’t seem like something I’m capable of. I have been trying since then to let the past go and it works in some instances but not in others. I just have to try and not let the past take hold of my present and corrupt my future.

Also, this month I am working on the mantra “good is good enough.” If you keep waiting for everything to be perfect before you take action, you’ll never take you’re first step. So while at yesterday’s workout session I’ve become interested in becoming a wellness coach. In my mind I am thinking, “I can’t until I’m super healthy” but I’m fighting that negativity and just taking the next step. I’m going to an informational meeting tonight. I hope it goes well.

So, three things that I’ve learned in the pas month to get me here:

1. Be who you want to be today.

2. Let it go

3. Good is good enough.