Am I Wrong?


I heard about the news via Twitter last night. Before the news came filtering through the television’s speakers. Before I had time to really think about it, I just wanted to push it away.

Am I wrong in doing so?

I can’t relate, or more so, I don’t want to relate.

I don’t feel hopeless about the state of this world we live in. Not when hearing about homicides that is. Suicides, those are different. But apparently not when they are homicidal suicides.

Maybe I shouldn’t be voicing these opinions. Maybe it’s best for me to sit on the sidelines and not say a thing.

But the news doesn’t stop. The details don’t falter. Twitter’s trending with the news, the news itself won’t shut up about it, and I deal with obsessionality so I can’t stop fixating on it either.

I just…don’t want to know. I’m tired of hearing about these atrocities, I remember hearing and avoiding them inpatient, I wish there were a way to avoid them better in real life, on the online world. Instead, it just follows wherever I trickle by.

I just want to distract myself with coloring, my artwork, my life, my stuff. Avengers clips, fanfiction, good stuff. The good we have in the world, rather than the bad.

I couldn’t have changed a thing from where I’m at in this world. It’s not like I could have prevented a thing.

So let me live in my little bubble. Let me keep my empathy to myself for once. Let me push aside the cruelty this world can be and look forwards to what good there is in it, the good there is to live for and live despite the worry and the concern that some day–boom–it may all disappear.

Manchester. North Korea. Russia. Gays in concentration camps. The Holocaust. 9/11.


Let me live in my bubble. Let me be safe. And let me apologize to those who’ve lost their lives and have had their worlds shaken, for I do not place myself in your shoes, I dare not to, because I may lose my faith in this world after all.

Let me look at doggos and count the days until I get my own. Let me watch Avengers and Thor clips and dream about what’s yet to come in the MCU. Let me think about good vs evil in the artistic display of high definition through Youtube. Let me read fanfiction about equally atrocious acts yet with a prevailing love and peace and safety at its heart.

Let me not dwell on what happened, and instead focus on what little I can do to change people’s lives for the better–by little acts of kindness.

Let me keep my emotions and thoughts to myself, sharing them with those closest to me. Let me have the strength to venture outside without fear of being killed.

Let me not crave to be taken where I could not take myself.


I am sorry, world, but just let me be.

Another Trip Inside

Hello peeps,

This will be merely a short post to say that I’m saluting to you all and heading inside for my 6th hospitalization.

I’ve been tempted lately and quite tempted at that, and it feels wicked weird typing this out.

But I’ll be gone for a week and hopefully come back with a fresher mind, a sense of genuine calm and a new therapist in tow and a refreshed gaze to look upon recovery with.


Good luck to the rest of you out there!! Have a good week, okay? ❤ ❤ ❤

My Mind is a Blank Fortress

And my papers are even blanker.


I am stuck, my fellow peeps.

The rock hard concentration and motivation I’ve had these past 6 days has slipped away from me and I’m not sure how to get it back… The only thing I am wishing for is this day to end so I can make tomorrow more productive.

I’m now facing the prospect of passing in two papers late. 😦



So basically these are all my resources as the last few days. I totes wasn’t showing you just to show off my stationary, whaaaaat, noooooo pffffff. XD

It has been helpful though! I have the textbooks and my class notes above as resources (oh which the textbooks I’m just gonna BS the info I put out (i.e. Resick (year) says blah blah blah. Even if she didn’t say it. I don’t have time for that!))

I had to change my topic for the LR, so I went from mindfulness to torture, so that’s pleasant. It’s a lot better though since 4 of my sources out of 5 overlap with each other so that’s good.

Maybe by reading over the last source for the LR I can get some juices flowing to write outlines for these papers. It’s gotta help, right?

Either that or I may just dick around for the rest of this evening because I’m at a loss. I don’t have any writing bugs right now, I could barely even write THIS post! 😦 I need a soundboard and feel like I have zero. *sigh*

Any advice, peeps?

Here’s hoping I’m finished by Thursday evening. I swear to god if I’m not…..


Hopefully we shall meet again under  better circumstances. 😦

Super Nova | One with the Stars over the Rainbow Bridge

Okay, I’m gonna do my best to work through this post without sobbing hysterically.

My little Nova (this guy):


Passed away this evening.

Rest in Peace little buddy.

~February 2016 – November 21st 2016

I lied, I’m crying anyway.

I think I’ll last a week before I crack and get another hamster lol. I would upload more photos but it’s just hard right now.

Probably in the next month or so. Okay, I’m gonna cry for 5 more minutes and then I have a date with 80 pages left of a book that I want finished by tonight.


This is gonna be a tough week.

Safe Places |Draft 1 Story | The Makings of Steve

*Trigger Warning*: Mentions of suicide/OCD. Written 10.13.2014 Fall semester. This is the first draft of a prose I created to describe my therapeutic relationship with my therapist at the time in my university’s counseling center. This is where Steve got his name. I’ve been wanting to share this piece for a while. Later this week will be the full-fledged final piece. They look quite a bit different. 🙂 Enjoy some creative writing! 😀

Weekly Writing Assignment #6:

Safe Places

 S    i    l    e     n     c     e     .  

It hung in the air.

He was staring at me intently, intently from his green backed chair. The chair that reminded me of sunny spring days and comfort, the whole room breathed with comfort. He had green eyes too, Steve did, and he was staring at me with them now. He was waiting, patiently, waiting for the words to come tumbling from my lips since we both knew they would, they were just a little choked up behind the barely controlled rivers of emotion.

My eyes, cold and vulnerably blue, were staring intently at the edge of his desk. He had a nice desk, silver with brown flecks and dashes, and it was calming, too, but I only stared at the part of the desk that met the floor, the part that was the farthest away from him. Because in my thinking, in my re-imagining, in my re-opening of freshly past wounds, I could not look at him, but I knew that he was there.

He was there, and staring, and waiting patiently as his very presence exuded a lack of judgment. He was Steve and I was Clara and Clara was eventually going to unhinge her mouth and explain to Steve why this silence had come about.

Clara was going to say what she needed to say, she had to. But it was so difficult to say it.

“It’s okay, take your time,” was Steve’s ever so calming, sweet reply. I bit my lip and chuckled softly. My eyes blinked away the forming tears, trying to control the emotion, control the tide, control the flow, the rivers won’t take me, the rivers won’t take me, no, no, they won’t.

“I don’t know…” I began softly, my voice sounding hollow, empty, and desperate. “I — I don’t know…” I shifted mildly, moving my feet to a curling position around the other green chair’s legs. Grounding yourself, that’s what you’re doing, you’re grounding yourself. I couldn’t find the words, I couldn’t…

“It’s like I can’t get out, no matter what I do – which isn’t true – it’s… aggravating. There’s…no way out…” My lips pout in annoyance, that description wasn’t right either.

“Would you say you feel trapped?”

Steve’s voice.

I look to him, suddenly; I forgot that he was there. I forgot I was here. I shudder.

“Yeah, I… I feel trapped. But, that shouldn’t make me want to do it, should it?” A rush of worry and uncertainty swelled up inside me as the tide threatened to push and break me, once again. My fingers pinched and curled and fumbled with each other, a tussle of thin, jewelry clad fingers that clanked and banged together. I was creating an orchestra of sound with these innocent, little nubs and instead of taking solace in that, I was focusing so heavily, so distractedly on all the negative power they could possess. They could totally possess a lot of negative power. If my imaginings of fire, death, destruction and jumping off buildings was any indication, than yes, they were capable of much dark power.

Steve spoke again, and his voice pulled me back to the present.

“Do what?”

I chuckled breathily in response, rolling my eyes but understanding that he needed me to be explicit, that even I needed myself to be explicit. Except being explicit felt like being too explicit, it made me feel uncomfortable because I didn’t want to be saying what I was saying. And I certainly didn’t want to be thinking what I was thinking. I wished my mouth had just stayed shut as it always had been, clamped shut like the Jaws of Life on a wrecked vehicle, but ohohoh, no; I just had to open it up and say something about it.

“Kill myself,” I sighed, this was getting exhausting. My gaze stuck with Steve’s, fluttered down and then returned again. I swallowed reflexively, the shivers curtailing around my shoulders and settling with tension in my neck. My forehead pounded like hammers, and I shifted in the green chair again.

Green: calming, safe, nonjudgmental.

I could share these thoughts and unfounded worries with Steve, even when my mouth and the angry part of my mind screamed at me not to say any of them, I knew their strengthening protests would allow the rational part of me enough time to loosen the screws so that I could open up about all the things that were swimming about in my mind.

Steve reminded me again of how thoughts were just thoughts and he listened to my insistent telling that I really, actually, didn’t want these thoughts and these ideas and I didn’t want to do them. He would nod, and listen, and with those damn green eyes of his, he made me feel better, safer. Even when I couldn’t find an answer to his question, the one that unveiled the silence and the layers of uncertainty. I didn’t know what I was trying to run away from, but Steve assured me that what I was doing – asking for help, reaching out – was good.

Steve and his green eyes and green chairs and silver desk with brown flecks, made me feel safe and certain that someday I’d be okay with the uncertainty and let the thoughts just be.

My Return

I hath returned!

Pretty sure most of you didn’t know I was gone, partially my bad as I didn’t get the chance to update you guys on the relapse I had with self-harm last Thursday. But, I got my fifth hospitalization last Friday and just got out yesterday — for those who follow me in real life, I am back and I AM feeling much better.

Listened to some suicide prevention music this evening and blubbered like an emotional person, pffsht.

Here’s the link:

45 Songs for Suicide prevention

Some of the songs are ABOUT suicide so just be aware of that. But the article has a whole bunch of suicide prevention related information 🙂

I’m going to be working on articles about Inside a Psych Hospital Part V (based on the parts I had to split up for the paper) and misconceptions about suicide this week! And a stigma interview. 🙂

Took a nice at home shower today and paid off my bill for the library books, and gotta read through more books soon. I could go on and on, but I’d like to get to bed now.

I’ll update you all more tomorrow.

Although I have to see doggies tomorrow and go to a wake for a couple of hours (a cousin passed away last week).


Hope you all are well! Stay safe, peeps. ❤ ❤ ❤

I’ll do my best to do the same.

Inside A Psychiatric Hospitalization 3 | Article

By Raquel Lyons

So, you’ve made it to the final part of this series. The glitter is falling, the confetti is springing into the air, and this is the heart of the series–what is it like inside a psychiatric hospitalization?

Number one: The people inside a psychiatric hospital are the same as you and I. Just as we college students interact with each other by asking what major we are, what year; we, too, in the psych hospitals ask each other: “What are you in for? Unless you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine. I’m here because…”

Number two: You’ll likely hear stories of other inpatient units’ people have been to before. I’ve heard from the grape vine of a patient hiding from the staff in a cupboard (which is funnier than it should be).

Number three: You may see or hear things in an intense manner. For instance, I heard about some interesting action happening on the ward before I got there (“Never a dull moment” is a common phrase said), people yelling in expletives about getting their medications, people yelling otherwise at each other in an unfortunate spat and so on.

This can be very triggering and can be scary. I can’t tell you what your experience will be like going into the unit. It depends on where you go. There are some amazing places in Massachusetts where you are treated as the human being you are and taken well care of, and there are places that are utter crud. Unless you know of the good places before you are transferred there, it’s a bit of a toss-up for where you’ll end up.

At the same time, psychiatric hospitalizations are not like how movies portray them. Psychiatric hospitalizations are a place of safety, where people who are unsafe to either themselves or others go for, essentially, a refuge for a few days. The length of time someone stays there depends on many factors, such as where they are in recovery, what they’re dealing with or if there are other programs nearby that better fit what issues they’re having. My lowest stay was my first hospitalization at 5 days, my average is a week, and my longest was 8 days.

You will likely find some of the most amazing, creative, wonderful, sweet, compassionate people within a psychiatric hospital. I’m talking both patients and staff. Granted, people are people so you may not mesh with everyone the right way–there were a few people I met that I wanted to punch in the face, I didn’t though, and it was a good time to utilize some more positive coping strategies. Sometimes I would get really irritated with the staff, but I kept my head cool because I knew acting out would only escalate the situation. Advocate for yourself and maintain patience and understanding are my best tips.

I have met people who inspire me within a psychiatric hospitalization. I met people who were so creative that I got into drawing for mindfulness and art therapy. I met people who shared with me their stories–their other inpatient experiences, their struggles, and their vulnerability.

Never forget that vulnerability is a strength. People within a psych unit are often very vulnerable, they’re going through absolute manure and they’re struggling, yet some of them are there for help and to get better. I encourage you to be an active participant in your own recovery journey and for you to be one of those people struggling who puts as much as they can into getting better. I didn’t always want to be in the hospital–and I set aside my anger, my irritation, my sadness, and I attended groups they had throughout the days and I made new friends or got to know other people whom I still think about from time to time today.

The staffs in various psych units are often doing the best they can. There’s probably going to be someone you don’t like as much and that’s pretty normal. I didn’t like all of the staff every time I’ve been hospitalized and I connected differently to each one–so, I had my preferences. But the psychiatric unit isn’t always super serious all the time.

In my second hospitalization I watched “Guardians of the Galaxy.” In my fourth we played corn hole (where you throw sacs of sand to a wooden box with a hole in it and try and get it in). I’ve played ping pong a number of times. I played some video games in my first hospitalization.

Next, how each unit structures themselves is different. I’ve been to a place where the only groups they had were art therapy. I’ve been to places where there was more variety–art therapy, DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), mindfulness, interpersonal relationships, social skills, positive coping strategies, learning about different teas and yoga and exercise, and more.

Every time I’ve been hospitalized it was because I needed time away from the dangers of the outside world in order to remain physically safe. From my first hospitalization I learned about positive coping strategies. From my second, I received a psychiatrist (they came in a bow and a box and everything), and began my recovery journey. From my third, over time I regained my identity and took back my life.

From my fourth, my most recent one, and the one that started this series…I’ve learned more about self-care. I don’t get stressed out from my drawing class anymore! I know it’s important for me to take breaks and to listen to my body and my mind when it’s time for me to NOT listen to my mind.

I’ve also been learning that despite how highly self-aware I am, I have my limits. I struggle still with recognizing and blockading my brain’s manure when it comes to having genuine feelings about anxiety or depression. I like to remain firm when people tell me how I’m feeling or guess at my feelings that no, I’m not experiencing those feelings (and, often, I’m not), but when it comes to the times that I AM–I won’t admit it either.

Such steadfast, stone cold denial has left me missing the dozens of warning signs I’ve been experiencing of the depression since my last hospitalization. It may even be the reason why I get hospitalized again soon.


Because as of mid-October, I am really, really struggling. The past month I have been at an all new low, a low reminiscent of my dark days yet also different from them.


I began this series with the open letter that writing these articles brings me accountability and purpose. Yet I feel during my struggles that I’m no longer the face plate of recovery or wellness, not in the same way I once was when I began writing for this newspaper. It feels like there’s a huge loss in that, yet I suppose the next thought is, is it rational?


As someone in recovery from mental health issues, I’m not always going to do the right thing. I’m going to make mistakes and I’m going to learn from them. I am my first priority and so is my safety. To echo Spongebob Squarepants, I AM number one.


Relapses and lapses are a part of the recovery journey. I’ve said that how many times now? Yet recovery is still a continuous circle of reminding yourself what you inherently know but what feels like is no longer true.


So I may not always have my recovery to wellness items together. I may not always act in line with my recovery goals, yet I’ll still be here writing these articles because…my story is worth sharing, and you’re worth reading it, and we’re both worthy of being alive and staying alive. Writing these articles gives me a sense of responsibility to hold myself accountable to myself and to the people I reach with these scrawled words.


And I say this to you as much as I say it to myself: Going to the hospital because of psychiatric issues is just as legitimate as going to the hospital for medical issues. You are everything far from “weak”–asking for help takes a HUGE amount of strength, courage, faith and trust. You are absolutely amazing and you have so much to offer this world.


After all, I won’t be at UMB forever, so someone’s going to have to pick up the mental health conversation in this newspaper while I’m frolicking in meadows of homework with graduate school.


Just remember: You matter, you are loved, you have so many people who can, who will and who have yet to support you, and your life has so much purpose. If you haven’t found your purpose yet, it’s coming for you. Please, stick around another day to receive it.


Stay safe.


Article 3! FINAL PART!

What did you guys think of this series? Are there things you can relate to? Things that have been different for you yourself or for friends you know? Let me know what you guys think!


I’m going to work on posting once a day for maybe a week, depending on how everything else goes. 🙂 Thanks for supporting me and being there for me you guys! You keep me inspired and loving. ❤ ❤ ❤


Dead End (*TW*)

Part 2 of “Planning.”

The wind is choppy.

The ocean is ravenous.

My soul is faltering.

My breath hitching.


Should I tell someone?

Would they rather know?

Or should I keep it to myself?


They’re better off not knowing.

No one should know about the nothing.


Don’t follow in these footsteps.

This is not the way out.

Forget me from your memory,

Remember me in a better light.


I am being pushed to my limits

By the brain within my skull.

I have no way out,

Just a blissful sleep to come.


Don’t follow in these footsteps.

Don’t linger in the fog.

Maybe I will tell someone.

Or fall like a log.



No words.


Only final actions.


1800 273 TALK

I don’t know what to do.

help me. save me from myself. 

Tailored IOOV UMB Presentation Guidelines

IOOV UMB Prep Work #2:


My name is Raquel Lyons and I’m a 23 year old Psychology major, one credit away from being a senior at this university. I’ll be graduating next fall semester.

I am an avid artist–anything from scrapbooking, drawing, watercoloring, painting, creative writing and photography.

Speaking of Photography, I’m also President of the Photography Club on campus and we are thriving in activity this semester–which is awesome!

I am also a paid writer for the Mass Media this semester, which is our school newspaper, by the way.

I also just love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fan fiction (including writing some of my own) and I’d love to dress up as Loki for Halloween this year–it’s my third year of wanting to!

I’m currently taking three courses this semester: evolutionary biology, psychological trauma and a drawing class. I come to school MWF, commuting from about an hour away. I have a Chinese dwarf hamster named Nova and a passion for blogging!

And, my soul is totally the color of the rainbow with sparkles and a bright white light that causes traffic accidents worldwide 😀



  • Age. Major. Year.
  • Artist
  • Photography Club President
  • Paid writer for Mass Media
  • Marvel
  • Loki for Halloween
  • Classes this semester
  • Hamster
  • Color of my soul

Dark Days:

My dark days lasted from December 2014 to March 2015. Even though they were the times I struggled dearly, they also began my recovery journey.

You see, in fall 2014 I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on self-harm and suicide obsessions.

By the winter break I was diagnosed with secondary depression. I still recall the moment the depression came over my eyes–it brought with it the sense of desperation so strong that suicide became a logical, reasonable answer to end my life.

I was then consumed by compulsions and obsessive and depressive thoughts about self-harm and suicide. I made multiple suicide plans over the course of my dark days, and just six days after the onset of the depression, I tried to kill myself for the first time on campus.

Fast forward to spring 2015. I was just like any of you–a student, a friend, a fellow classmate–except that I was actively suicidal. I didn’t show up to many of my classes because I would be too busy  trying to kill myself in the bathroom twenty feet down the hall, or scratching myself when I didn’t believe my own emotional pain was serious, or because the moment I stopped moving, I wouldn’t move for several hours.

I thought that the worst it got was in March 2015 when I was picked up by ambulance from the counseling center after revealing my dire suicidality and volunteering over my acquired suicide method.

However, while that experience DOES stick out in my mind, those dark days are farther behind me.

My most recent dark day happened last Wednesday. I took an overdose in the morning. My brain told me that it wasn’t considered a suicide attempt if I was only trying to find relief.

The day before I had expressed dismay as to why I had been given the OCD. It isn’t my fault that I deal with it and I certainly never asked for it, so why was I dealing with it?

I just wanted to find relief. I was tired of living with the OCD, and part of me wanted to die. I knew that I could act on my thoughts even if I didn’t entirely want to act on them. I felt that I didn’t want to live a life with the OCD and be in pain anymore. I had reached my limit and I was done, and I was ready to give into the plans upon plans of suicide my brain repeatedly kept informing me about, against my will.



  • December 2014 to March 2015: Dark Days duration
  • Fall 2014 diagnosis
  • Winter break depression
  • Moment depression began: hopelessness, nothing would ever work, nothing was working
  • Constant thoughts/obsessions on suicide and self-harm.
  • I tried to kill myself on campus
  • Spring 2015. Good paragraph, read this bit. Like any other student but actively suicidal and actively scratching myself in nearby areas
  • Missing classes due to not being able to move
  • March 2015 picked up by ambulance from counseling center
  • Memory sticks out but most recent suicidality day deserves to be mentioned
  • Last Wednesday
  • Overdose, only “relief” seeking
  • Why do I have OCD?
  • Tired of living with the OCD. Wanting to have relief. Not wanting to live with the thoughts about suicide any longer. Could act on them even if didn’t want to.


For me, acceptance is an ongoing process.

I’ve come to accept that the OCD is something that I will live with for the rest of my life. I don’t tend to think about it like that too often though, as it tends to bring up thoughts of suicide and desperation for me.

I have also come to accept that in the future if I become unsafe, I may need to go in for another hospitalization. I’m trying to think of it now as what a person with say, diabetes, might need to do if their blood sugar levels get whacky. And really, it’s no different.

One of the biggest factors I’ve stumbled across only now in my recovery is the stigma related to OCD and self-harm/suicide. I’ve heard more stigmatizing comments this year than I ever recognized before. I’ve heard people around me say:

“I just killed myself studying”

“The weather has been so bipolar”

“(about one of my positive coping strategies) Isn’t that a bit childish?”

“Those balloons are soooo OCD”

“(speaking about people inpatient units) They’re “crazy””

“Insert any type of suicide joke here” and so forth.

The heaviest material that I will bring forward now is also what my first reaction tends to be: It makes me want to kill myself. Hearing stigma makes me not want to live on this planet anymore, because there are people out in the world who belittle and make my struggles the punchline of some ignorant joke. I’m still waiting for someone to make an OCD joke around me just so I can bring up how funny suicide “supposedly” is to them. I can’t wait to deadpan that so hard.

On lighter material though, it makes me extremely angry. I’ve since been using that anger to propel me forwards into positive action: such as writing articles about mental health in the school newspaper. Such as becoming a mental health blogger and sharing my story. Such as bringing it up in conversation with the individuals, highlighting their new awareness of the words they use and how they may be directly or indirectly affecting those around them.

Besides stigma though, I find people have been very, very accepting and understanding of my mental health issues.

I’ve become a VERY open book about it. I’m so open now, I tend to joke that I’m just loose leaf. If someone is friends with me, and sometimes if they’re a stranger, and they ask me how I’m doing, I don’t tend to hold back. If I’m feeling like crap that day, I’ll be the first to tell them that. Honesty is a huge factor in my recovery journey, and something I hold quite dear.

Other than that, I also do my best in my full time job of punching the OCD in the face–because it’s fun! 😀

Does anyone have any questions?



  • Ongoing process
  • Living with OCD for life
  • Don’t think about too much
  • Treat mental health issues like diabetes, may require a check-up (hospitalization) again in the future
  • Stigma heard on campus
  • Examples
  • How stigma affects me (suicidality)
  • Anger
  • Writing for Mass Media
  • Blogging about mental health (
  • People very accepting
  • Honesty
  • Openness
  • Punching OCD in the face


So, I was actually diagnosed with OCD at the Counseling Center in fall 2014, literally two years ago. At the time I was seeing a graduate student there.

In February 2015 I transitioned over to my current therapist who I saw twice a week for a year before dropping down to once a week.

I’m on two medications, one for the depression and one for the OCD. I recently went up on the one for the OCD as I was having more difficulties. Medication for me has played an important role in allowing me to do the behavioral work I need to do in therapy, and to help me cope with what I live with.

When I was suicidal last week, I was open to a random stranger who happened across me, and advocated for myself in asking them to walk me to the counseling center. For me, it’s always been that if I can’t ask for help directly (going to the counseling center) that I get help indirectly (telling someone else who will then bring me there).

I’ve learned DBT (describe) skills which are grounding techniques in the present moment, mindfulness (describe) and have used exposure therapy. The exposure therapy (describe) was tailored to me while I was at the OCD Institute for 5 weeks in November 2015.

I’ve also had four hospitalizations, my most recent being on September 16th this year, to keep myself safe.

I feel now that I’m at a different place in recovery than I was back over the summer, which isn’t the greatest of feelings but I’m hoping with time I’ll get stronger again and return to punching the crap out of the OCD (and radiating my badassery).



  • Counseling Center diagnosis
  • Therapist 2x/wk to 1x/wk
  • Medication
  • Indirectly getting help
  • DBT (describe)
  • Mindfulness (describe)
  • Exposure therapy (describe)
  • Four hospitalizations (+ recent one)
  • Different place in recovery, sigh.
  • Radiate badassery

Coping Skills

One of the positive coping skills I use I have dubbed Ink On Skin or IOS. This is where I draw on myself with pen (or watercolors) images, words, song lyrics or just have some fun coloring. I’ve used scented gel pens before which were particularly snazzy as they were glittery and I would get the smell of oranges wafted into my nose as I did the piece. I’m good with the smell of ink though, too.

Another coping skill I use is talking to people. Whether that’s Craig Bidiman on campus (CC-3-3407), my therapist, a suicide prevention hotline, or the counseling center, I try to keep myself open to resources around me and utilizing them, especially as of recent. When I feel I don’t particularly want to open up, I know that’s one warning sign for me and that I need to open up regardless. It helps me by allowing others to know where I’m at and their help in acknowledging my pain and validating it.

Another skill I’ve been using has been to listen to my CL;MA playlist. These are songs that are related to recovery and suicide prevention and by listening to them more often in the past week I’ve been regaining my strength in this battle against my brain and living the life I want to live.

Other positive song lyrics that have helped me include:

“There’s more life left to go”

“I believe that you’re gonna be all right, I believe that I’m gonna be all right, I believe that we’re gonna be all right”

“You matter more than all the stars in the sky”

“It gets better in mind please just keep that in mind, don’t break more inside”

“The sun is rising, the night can only last for so long”



  • IOS
  • Reaching out to people
  • Hotline, Craig, friends, counseling center
  • CL;MA
  • Song lyrics examples
  • Dogs

Successes, Hopes & Dreams

Some of my successes, hopes and dreams include:

When I buy my first house, I want to paint my front door a dark green and create a pastel yellow, pink and green iris on the front of it. I also want to create some cool quotes and other uniquely positive and inspiring doors throughout the rest of my house. And to have a snazzy mailbox.

I also want to incorporate this idea I crafted over the summer about a #RecoveryHome and utilize that imaginative place through artwork and physical objects in this world and incorporate that more into my life and my future home.

Blogging has been additionally helpful for me and I want to continue doing that as it helps me to reach out to other people struggling with mental health issues as well as offering my story with the world. In fact, sharing my story at all has been a huge help. Such as doing these IOOV presentations, which I’d seen my first one when I was on your side, sitting as a student in an abnormal psychology class. It really had inspired me and gave me some hope to hold onto when I headed into my dark days.

I want to graduate next year, go on for my master’s to become an LCSW and do a TEDtalk about my recovery and mental health experiences.

I create fabulous artwork, and I like making positive messages for people and giving them out. The most I gave out in a month this year was 69.

I hope to inspire others on sharing their own stories and by working with NAMI thus far, I’ve come to establish a sense of purpose in my life. Lastly, when you go to the store and you see all those different types of socks–big ones, small ones, plaid ones, bright neon ones, polka dots, and more…just remember that like that plethora of socks options, there are many options in life as well.



  • Front door
  • #RecoveryHome
  • IOOV Inspiration
  • Blogging
  • TEDtalk
  • LCSW
  • Graduation
  • Artwork
  • Positive Messages
  • Options in life


Hey guys! I’m super exhausted, I had an 8am IOOV Presentation today at UMB (my first time at my school!!) in which I had to get up at 5am to make so I’m pretty bleary eyed and zombie brained at the moment. I’ve got the OCD support group tonight and a biology assignment I have to make up shortly so I have to gather my strength and keep going. I figured I’d share what was my guiding material from the presentation today 🙂 Enjoy!


Stay safe and awesome peeps!