R.I.P. Lawrence Montaigne

My heart is aching right now. Losing a loved one is never easy. Please bear with me, as this post isn’t going to be as “structured” as my usual entries. I’m just going to ramble for a bit until I’ve said all I need to say…

Back in 1998, my friend Nicole and I were dropped off at school early one morning. Not particularly eager to get on with our 8th grade classes, we decided to head over to the local doughnut shop and blow our lunch money on treats rather than head up to the school like we were supposed to.

We, being fickle teens, couldn’t decide what to buy. Growing frustrated with our indecisiveness, the clerk suggested, “How about a bag of doughnut holes?” To which I replied, “What? Like a bag of nothing??”

Nicole and I were startled when a man sitting in the corner burst out laughing. We turned to look at him and he said, blue eyes twinkling, “Doughnut holes are real. Give ’em a try.”

Bag of doughnut holes in hand, Nicole and I marched over to the man’s table, and asked if we could join him. He obliged us and, together, we sat munching on sugar, chit-chatting about this and that. It was a good time filled with good conversation between strangers. But, as the clock neared 8am, Nicole and I finally decided it was time to head up the hill and get to our first period class.

When the very same man we’d been chatting with walked through the door after us and announced he was our substitute teacher, you could have knocked us over with a feather. And thus began my lifelong friendship with Lawrence Montaigne. (more…)

Quick Update (March 2017)

Hey, Everyone!

Man, time really does fly. I didn’t realize until I logged on that I hadn’t made any updates on here since January. Sorry about that.

Short answer: I’ve been busy.

That’s the problem with keeping a personal diary. Whenever you have anything good to write about, you’re too busy to actually write it down! haha.

Anyway, since I’m so super busy, I’m going to keep this update kinda short. But here are some of the highlights… (more…)

Clear Days Ahead

Hey, Everyone!

I’ve mentioned on a few of my social media accounts that I’ve been having some skin troubles recently. You see, I have rosacea with cystic acne, and it flares up really badly in the winter time. And this winter has been especially bad for my face.

I developed a large cyst on my jawline about four months ago, which grew humongous to the point it was pressing on a nerve from the inside (causing me pain down to my chin and up to my ear!). I went to a doctor for it today.

I’m happy to report that the doctor was wonderful and did a fantastic job. My cyst was drained (gross) and I was given a long run of antibiotics. I was also given Metrogel for my rosacea.

I’d had Metrogel in the past and it worked wonders on my skin; however, my insurance stopped covering it because they deemed it a “vanity” product — and I couldn’t afford to buy it without the insurance’s help, so I had to go without.

When I told the doctor about this, she was livid. She called up the insurance company herself and advocated for them to cover it for me, stating that my rosacea is REALLY bad and that the medication wasn’t just for “beauty” purposes, that it’s a necessity. And they relented! I was so happy. And I can’t thank that doctor enough for going above and beyond on my behalf.

So how bad is my skin, exactly? (more…)

I’m, Like, 32!

Hey, Everyone!

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday!!

First of all, let me just say that I’m SO happy my suicide attempt when I was 29 was unsuccessful and that I got the help I needed to get my head on straight. Because my thirties have, thus far, been the best years of my life. <3 I feel very blessed.

I woke up at 6am yesterday because I was too excited to sleep.

I indulged myself with a super long, hot, shower. And then I cuddled up with Robert the Cat and watched cartoons on Hulu — mostly The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. I had been told that I would enjoy that show by a friend, and they were right. It’s really cute! And Robert seemed to enjoy it too (I think he liked the vibrant colors).

Then I played a bit of The Sims 3, one of my favorite games, for a couple hours. You know… Just chillin’.

Then Ramiro (my roommate) woke up and our mutual friend, Ray, came over to hang out. And that’s when the real fun began! (more…)

Closing 2016

Hey, Everyone!

I know that there are still technically a few days left of 2016, but, for me, I think it’s pretty much over. Like many of my readers, I am “so done” with this year. haha. It had a LOT of wonderful things, but it also had a lot of loss and suffering. It was a very BUSY year, filled with things both great and terrible.

In my case, I’d say that the good far outweighed the bad. However, just the fact that it was such a hectic year cram-packed full of EVERY emotion imaginable has made me…tired? Like, I feel blessed that my year was better than a lot of people’s; however, at the same time, I’m just like “Whew!! Can we be done now? I’d like a break.” (Hopefully that makes sense).

December, in particular, was filled with a range of emotions for me. I had phenomenal successes that I’m very proud of, but I also had my fair share of struggles and devastating loss. (more…)

The Positive Bloggers

faces_moniqueHey, Everyone!

Today’s an exciting day for me! I just launched a new brand/business with my friend Monique called The Positive Bloggers. 😀

Monique and I realized that there were plenty of places online to get “how to” advice when it came to the business side of blogging. But that there were almost no resources to support freelance bloggers emotionally — to help them stay happy and healthy while building their careers. We decided it was time to fill that gap.

Both of us are successful freelance bloggers with over fifteen years of experience under our belts. And we both suffer from severe anxiety issues. We know first-hand the difference positivity can make for both your life and career.

We’re avid dreamers, but we’re also big-time doers. We strive for happiness in all aspects of our lives, but we also know how to organize our time in a way that we consistently meet deadlines and get stuff done. We hope to help you do the same!

Head over to The Positive Bloggers or follow us on Twitter @PositiveBloggy for positive-minded freelance blogging advice!

–Lauren*

On Mental Health and Being Thankful

healthylaurenHey, Everyone!

Last week, I told you all that I was going through withdrawal because my psychiatrist had taken away one of my medications. And I’ll get into that more in a minute.

First, let me tell you all why I’m on medication in the first place. I know some of you are new to my blog and don’t know my story yet. Or some of you knew it and then forgot.

I have severe OCD, Major Depression, General Anxiety, and mild PTSD.

Making the decision to “come out” about my mental illnesses has cost me some jobs and a few budding friendships. There’s still a LOT of stigma around mental health issues — which is why I decided to be so open about it in the first place. I wanted to show that someone with mental illnesses can still be “normal,” hard-working, and successful despite what’s going on in their head.

People sometimes hear that I’m “mentally ill” and think “OMG! She’s going to flip out and attack me!” or something else along those lines. For the record: I have never hurt anyone but myself. And I’ve been completely clean from self-harm since August 2014.

I’m mentally ill, but I’m still a good person and a good worker. Even when I was going through withdrawal last week, I still managed to meet all of my writing deadlines.

So let’s talk about the meds change for a minute… (more…)

Going Through Withdrawal

ringokunHey, Everyone!
I’m really tired and in a lot of pain today physically, but mentally and emotionally I’m happy and looking forward to having a good, productive day.

Yesterday I went to see ALL of my doctors.

My doctors are a few towns over, so it’s a two-hour drive to get there and a two-hour drive to get back. Poor Ramiro. (He drives me everywhere since I never learned to drive/get a license).

Luckily, my doctors all understand this, so they all schedule appointments with me for the same day — back-to-back — so that Ramiro and I don’t have to make too many trips/long drives.

But that means when I do go, it’s a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG day for me.

In addition to a four-hour drive (in full), I was at the doctors’ for five hours. (more…)

For Those in Need of Encouragement

bulletinboard

Hey, Everyone!

I was having crushing self-doubt issues this morning. I was this close to just giving up and applying for a cashiering position at a local shop. I was THAT frustrated with not making any money this month (even though I know money is coming soon) that I was willing to give up YEARS of hard work in favor of a quick/”easy” paycheck. Pretty stupid, right?

But then I remembered some things that my friends have told me…

Mohammad: “You can always find ways to make money, but you can’t always find ways to be happy. Choose happiness and money will follow.”

Ramiro: “Money comes and money goes, but doing something that has meaning to you lasts a lifetime.”

And then I spent some time looking at my bulletin board (pic above).

Whenever I feel discouraged or like giving up, I meditate in front of my bulletin board. I purposely set up reminders on there for days like today.
(more…)

37 Flavors of Vape Juice: Reviewed!

magicvapeHey, Everyone!

Since I’ve been vaping for a while now, I thought it might be fun to share some of the flavors of juice I’ve bought!

Thus far, I’ve bought 37 different flavors of juice and I’ve reviewed them all (in no particular order) below.

Most of these juices are made in California and might not be available in all areas; however, most of the manufacturers are willing to ship out of state — so ask your local vape shop to look into them if I mention a flavor you’re interested in. 🙂

Without further ado, here are my mini vape juice reviews:

1. Stix

This is my absolute all-time favorite. This is typically my All Day Vape (ADV). It’s a sweet strawberry wafer flavor that tastes like strawberries on the way in and sweet cookies on the way out. The flavor is just intense enough to give you a consistent yummy taste in your mouth, but mild enough that it doesn’t become overpowering or tiresome. (more…)