Mental Health & Wellness

XCVII: I Won’t Be An Attorney In 2019, But I Will Be Free!

So, ya girl studied for the July bar exam up until the week prior to the exam and then chose herself and her sanity over rushing the process. YEP, YOU HEARD ME RIGHT, I chose ME.

We all know that the natural progression is LSAT, law school, bar prep, bar exam, and usually those who take these steps do them one after the other after the other.

BUT!

In all honesty, my life was not working in a way that would get me across the bar exam finish line with my sanity or happiness intact.

At that point, I had just lost too much, was experiencing too much hurt, and was just mentally occupied and checked out. I had done what I was supposed to do and stuck to my study schedule but it was to no avail. I was basically just going through the motions and retaining nothing.

Now, I have seen myself at something-closer-to-peak performance, and I saw myself at whatever it was that I was experiencing during bar prep and I knew that I had reached my limits. I had no more fight left in me and I just couldn’t push through.


It’s rare for me to choose myself because it’s usually the case that, making other people happy is what really makes me happy. But, it got difficult when law school finals, graduation and bar prep were getting closer and closer all while life was still happening in the background.

During a couple of months time, I had to brush off death, my emotions, my fears, my feelings, love, heartbreak, and disappointment. Trust me, I’m used to working through these things but sometimes it just gets to be too much.

All of that on top of bar prep was definitely too much.

I got to the point where it was like, “okay, if a pen drops, I’m going to lose it” and that just was not a stable place to be. Bar prep is daunting enough, it’s hard enough and its terrible enough without so much going on in the background. It’s also a lonely process because no one knows what you’re going through except maybe your study/accountability buddy but life is also happening to them, so, you’re alone!

it was hard learning that, you may FAITHFULLY be other people’s happiness, but that does not mean that they care about your happiness. Many times, they don’t care.

This was tough to accept during a time where I felt that I needed certain people to be there for me.

By about a week prior to the bar exam, I had lost my longest-running and closest friendship with the only person I’d ever truly trusted, I had lost a close family member in an unexpected way, I had stressed my way through my moms major surgery, and it made me feel like I was, once again, working hard towards another loss (pass or no pass).

And a lot of that lead me to the conclusion that it just wasn’t my time.


Prior to making the choice, I did not tell anyone that I was thinking about postponing, I just gave myself more time to try and study. I made the choice and then studied as hard as I could for a couple of days, but once those days were over I saw that I still wasn’t in a good space at all. I spent the majority of the time bawling my eyes out at my desk and not actually being able to study. Topics like Wills & Trusts and Community Property were making me cry just given all that was going on, and really, I JUST NEEDED TO HEAL BEFORE I COULD DEAL WITH THE BAR EXAM (even when all of the topics were handed to me).

I say that I am now free because, throughout the process and all of the loneliness, I saw different sides to people who I had considered a friend.

I saw that a lot of people did actually care about my wellbeing and my mental prosperity, but that many others were more interested in my next moves. They wanted information about what Bree was doing next, where Bree was going next, and who Bree was dating. This is fine, but if you’re not checking on me too, you’ve got to go!

Nosey acquaintances are nothing new, but they are sometimes hard to pick out because they shield their triflin’ ways in fake concern, but it becomes more obvious the more they speak. So, I definitely freed myself from those types of people.

I freed myself from those who claimed to love me but betrayed me, weren’t there for me, or were simply garbage. AND, I FREED MYSELF FROM THE IDEA THAT I HAVE TO DO ALL OF THESE THINGS BECAUSE OTHERS EXPECT THEM OF ME.

The best lesson that I learned during bar prep was that, even though we often get to a spot where we hope that others care about us enough to work towards our happiness the way that we do theirs, at the end of the day it is NOT their job to ensure that you are happy. It is YOUR job to do what will make you happy at all times.

So, I won’t be reading that I passed the Bar Exam on Thanksgiving (because I didn’t take it), but I will go into my next round of studies in a much better space mentally.

LXIX: Blogs To Be On The Lookout For?

Oh Hay, 2019! Let’s start the year off right by loving on some bloggers, authors and content creators!

A big part of blogging is engaging with the blogging community, so why not do a Tag Post!

In this post, I’ll share a couple of blogs by bloggers that I came across on Twitter (⬅️Click the Link to find and follow me). I will try my best to sort them by their focus areas, but excuse me if I miss the mark a bit — a lot of the following bloggers specialize in many areas.

Let’s dive in:

 

AUTHORS

The Colonel & The Bee   By: Patrick Canning  Website:  https://www.patrickcanningbooks.com/

The Colonel & The Bee

By: Patrick Canning

Website: https://www.patrickcanningbooks.com/

Brenna Morgan & The Iron Key   By: Katie Masters  Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Katie_Masters29

Brenna Morgan & The Iron Key

By: Katie Masters

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Katie_Masters29

These particular book bloggers and authors feature either chapter books, or reviews of books to their sites for readers to enjoy. As a book blogger myself, I love the set up of these bloggers’ sites and content! Check them out by clicking below:

https://readitbyroma.wordpress.com/

http://dhawaljoshi.in

 

BEAUTY BLOGGERS

Messages Image(1611716800).png

Beauty that Walks is a lifestyle, hair, make-up, product review and fashion blog that I, personally, love!

It is run by Editor-and-Chief, Tione Rodney, a student studying Business Administration at the University of the Virgin Islands.

If the natural hair help isn’t enough to get you hooked on her site, then maybe the wide range of posts will. Ms. Rodney clearly does not play when it comes to blogging and I can fully appreciate her range of knowledge.

Don’t believe me, check her out for yourself!


https://www.beautythatwalks.com/

 

FASHION BLOGGERS

If you are into bright, beautiful & fashion-forward bloggers, then you have to check out Marie’s Blog at whatcorrinedid.com

Here’s a snippet, but I promise you, her page is one you don’t want to pass up! Check her out!

 

LIFESTYLE BLOGGERS

Lifestyle blogs range in variety, we have all things haunted with Medium, Kristi at Haunted History Jaunts with Kristi; or, if you’re not into that, then maybe you’re into enjoying a laugh or two with Philomath who posts funny lifestyle posts to Querianson!

But, if that’s not your speed, then check out what life is like with an invisible mental illness and how it changes your outlook on life with everyone’s favorite Fibro Mom, Suzanne at FibroMomBlog. Or, if you’re curious about a disability that is more noticeable and also very common, then check out Holly’s blog Life of a Blind Girl (a blog that I can definitely relate to)!

A lot of times, bloggers mix mental health into their lifestyle blogs (which I personally love) and of those bloggers, you have to check out Randomly Creative run by Yvonne Wabai, or by Milli on Poised Prodigy.

Maybe you need a bit of uplifting? Check out The Curious Sedulous, a new blogger with tips on beating procrastination and taking yourself from mediocre to productive AF.

Another new blogger worth checking out is Chevany at Chevy Takes The Mic!

Finally, for all things life and law school check out the lovely Corina’s blog Corina’s Corner!

Curtesy of Corina of   Corina’s Corner  !

Curtesy of Corina of Corina’s Corner!

 

FOODIE BLOGGERS

Bites n’ Pieces is a foodie’s stop-shop!

Check out this website for fun and exciting recipes and cutesy lifestyle posts!

IMG_1157.jpeg
 

Thanks for reading, clicking and engaging! Content creators, you’re doing wonderful work! Check out someone else’s and spread the love!

•Bree

Let’s Be Breef

LXVII: What I've Learned, Thus Far, From 2018?

Here we are! Another installment and another year of lessons!

I’ve changed things up this year and entered into it feeling a bit more liberated than I was in 2017. I had decided early on that I was going to do what I wanted, when I wanted and try things. But, with that, I also opened myself up to people which is something that I normally steer very clear of.

Whenever you open up your heart, mind, and ears to new people, you’ll definitely be learning new lessons, however. Trust me!

So, here are a couple of the lessons that I’ve learned, thus far, this year:

STEER CLEAR OF THOSE WHO WANT YOUR RHYTHM BUT NOT YOUR BLUES

Wanting my rhythm and not my blues simply means that someone wants to be around me when I am happy and having fun, but when stuff hits the fan of life, they want to hit the road.

I’ve had this type of person in my life plenty-a-time!

The bad thing about me, however, is that when it comes to people who I have allowed into my life, I genuinely try my best to keep them.

BUT, sometimes in life you go through things, not to learn to work through them, but to learn to walk away from bad situations

This year has been one big lesson on walking away for me. It gets so lonely sometimes, but walking away from people who want to be around when all is well but leave when things get difficult is a very necessary reality. 

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

The way you view a situation says a lot about the way you view the world and the way you view yourself.

Now, I generally look at situations from a very realistic standpoint. I also use facts from the past that have created a pattern to assist with the way in which I view those situations. So, in short, when a situation presents itself, I’m an absolute realist through and through.

Now, this year has been filled with ups and downs, and I’ve worked at keeping my outlook on things upbeat enough to allow myself the ability to continue on in whatever direction I am attempting to go in life without letting things get me too down.

Changing my perspective on a lot of the things that have happened to me lately has seriously helped. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been so necessary. A lot of times, perspective comes through in the form of a glass being half empty or a glass being half full. 2018 has taught me to look at things with the glass half full which has allowed me the opportunity to fill it the rest of the way on my own.

WHEN SOMETHING IS FOR YOU, IT WILL ALWAYS BECOME YOURS

This is super important for me to remember! 

I oftentimes work overtime to keep friendships and relationships with people who have never even deserved my time in the first place. It’s in my nature, however, to nurture those relationships...

BUT, when a relationship is for you, it will be yours without all of the tug-of-war! I forget this so much and it results in me making people feel way more needed than they actually are by trying to keep them in my life.

This is a habit, in me, that needs to be left in 2018. Because, trust me, you won’t be forcing the friendships and relationships that are meant to happen!  

BE REAL WITH EVERYONE AT ALL TIMES 

Now, first and foremost, you have to be real with yourself! But after that, you have to be real with everyone else.

I met someone this year who was such a gem! A beautiful soul inside and out. But, if you asked me, now, whether or not I still know this person, then my answer would honestly have to be ‘no’.

This person was so good at pretending to be the great person that I grew to very fondly enjoy, but [as you’ll read below] people can only pretend for so long (and sometimes for too long) before their true colors show.

It turns out that this person was a complete stranger to me when they showed me who they really were. What a shock!

I can see from that situation that it is, a lot of times, hard for some people to just be themselves which, to me, seems like it would be more work to pretend to be someone or something else. But, I digress, …

People usually teach me the biggest lessons and from this person, I’ve learned that you have to be super mindful of who and what you are. Remain true to yourself no matter the situation.

Real will attract real, but you have to weed through a lot of fake to get to it.

PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT PRETENDING — WATCH FOR SIGNS

I have made the mistake of underestimating the amount of time that people can live while being fake and, trust me, they can go the distance. 

But, I’ve learned that, eventually the real will always come out. 

I’ve had two friends while in school that people have completely warned me about but I ignored it and instead defended them because I wanted to base my reactions to them solely on my experiences. In hindsight, I completely wish that I would’ve listened to those people, but I didn’t, so I had to eat that loss.

I didn’t believe these things because people are so good at pretending to be things that they are not. They immitate the things that they see being attracted by others. They become so good at the facade that it’s undetectable to eyes that want to believe what they see.

But, I’ve seen that faking it gets exhaustive and they will eventually show their true colors. Some people don’t last a week, others take months, and one took years!  

 My advice to myself and others would simply be to jump ship as soon as the first sign becomes apparent. We’re so inclined to ignore the little signs because we’re enjoying the bigger moments, but trust me, cutting these people off early on is always best. 


So, there you have it! 2018 has taught me A LOT about people and how I should approach the next batch that I meet in life.

But, most of all, 2018 has taught me to look at situations from multiple angles: yes, losing a job will hurt, but there are so many benefits to it; yes, losing a ‘friend’ will hurt, but I’ve gained so many more who actually seem good; and, yes, loving someone is difficult, especially when you’re on completely different wavelengths as far as life is concerned, but opening your heart to someone has the never-ending benefit of showing you so much about yourself!

So for that, 2018, I thank you! 🎊🎊🎊

LXVI: 8 Steps to Happy!

I don’t know who needs this post more than I do, so excuse this selfish moment, but this post is for ME.

Life is a constant stream of ups and downs. Some leave you feeling good and others, not so much. I have found that, when my heart is happy, it is easier to deal with those moments that aren’t so great. So, this post is all about keeping my huge heart happy, and, in true Brianna J. style, I am taking it in steps:

STEP ONE: BREATHE.

Honestly, when I am overwhelmed with work, or emotion, or anything, I kind of forget to breathe! I hold my breath over and over again, and somehow avoid dying. It’s not on purpose, it’s just a tensing up thing that my body does when stressed.

This has been happening a lot lately and it keeps me up at night! So, I am working on breathing my way through situations. I take deep breaths in and out and just try to refocus myself.

This is something like meditating because all of your attention zeros in on your breathe. It is a beautiful mind-clearing technique, and it also keeps me from giving myself heart problems later down the line.

STEP TWO: RESET.

Each person’s reset will look differently, but is equally important.

Again, for me, my reset is me simply getting back into a routine that works for me. Anytime that my routine is offset for one reason or another, I suffer.

Fixing my routine is not always as easy as it sounds and sometimes takes me months to do, but a month to fix my routine is much better than a year of being in and out of a depressive state.

STEP THREE: LET IT ALL GO. 

We can’t waste our lives trying to figure out where one situation went wrong.  We simply have to move forward.

Let go of all that is gone. You won’t get it back, so move forward. 

I am a strong believer in ‘What Is For Me Will Not Pass Me’, so if someone wants to leave my life, then so be it.  Let them leave. Let it go! They no longer deserve to benefit from your energy. Your energy is a blessing that not everyone deserves to enjoy.

If you didn’t pass that test, then let it go! That test is gone. It’s already been failed and you won’t get those moments back. Instead, focus your energy on studying to take it again, or studying for the next test. But, the focus here is letting it go!

STEP FOUR: WATCH YOUR ENERGY. 

Your energy is different than anyone else’s. Protect it!  

You get what you put out into this world, so, if your energy is off, you’ll continue to meet people who will make you wish you’d never met them. If your energy is good, then you’ll surely meet more keepers.

You know that saying, ‘how you get em is how you lose em’? Well, I’m 99% sure that that has everything to do with energy. You meet someone while your you’re in the trenches and you’ll get complete crap people, they’ll put you right back into the trenches because that’s what they know! 

If you reset after that situation and fix your energy, you’ll meet people who match that good energy, and better relationships will form. 

STEP FIVE: BE WILLING.

I’ve been to that place before where I wasn’t willing  to work my way up to a happier state. I figured that I was placed in that sad spot for a reason and  that I had picked myself up one too many times already, so I just wanted to dwell in the down for a little while. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you do  just need to feel it!

But, once you’re done with that, you then have to be willing to accept the happiness to come. Again, it’s about energy. Once you exude happiness, happiness finds you. Once you need for nothing, everything will become yours. But, above all, be willing when it comes... 

STEP SIX: CHANGE IT UP.

Something about what you’re doing is obviously not working. Maybe the foods that you are eating are weighing you down. Maybe your circle of friends is too toxic. Maybe your relationship has run it’s course…

CHANGE IT UP! You owe it to yourself to be happy, but happiness won’t come with complacency or with playing it safe. If studying indoors makes you feel gloomy and sad, study outdoors for a change! If the people in your circle bring you down with their ways, then let them go! Be alone for awhile.

You can keep your routine and change things up, so you basically have no excuse not to give a change a try.

STEP SEVEN: RELEASE THOSE ENDORPHINS!

This means getting rid of more toxins within yourself.

Work out.

Eat chocolate.

Get physical by doing yoga, riding a bicycle, longboarding, snowboarding, or whatever you do that gets you moving!

There are so many ways to get that release, so all you have to do is go for it!

STEP EIGHT: WATCH THAT CIRCLE.

You will always be a reflection of those who you decide to surround yourself with.  

Sometimes it hurts to have to get rid of people because, maybe you had a fun relationship, but that part of the person that brings toxic energy is not worth sacrificing your mental well-being to keep them.

Also, keep a close eye on those who are only around you when things are good. It is so easy to be there for someone when they have nothing for you to be there for them about. Pay close attention to those who are there for you while you’re in the trenches — those are the people who deserve to be in your circle.

Thanks for reading! I wish happiness onto you all. 💕

L: ... Too Fly To Be Depressed?

Depression is the result of a chemical imbalance which, in me, manifested itself in the form of: staring at blank walls for hours; filling my hot showers with tears; struggling to get out of bed; dreading human interaction (more so than usual); and an overall disconnect from everything and everyone.

My depression was a culmination of everything that I let build up over the years, and it hit me at the worst time (because when is the right time for it to hit?)

Let’s Address The Perception:

When I initially decided to reveal to a select few how I was feeling, the reactions were either very supportive or very expected.

The way that people would receive this information is one of the reasons that I kept this information quiet for so long. The supportive reactions were just that: very soft spoken words of encouragement. The very expected reactions were those of selfishness: the ‘but you’re still alive, why are you complaining’; the ‘let me send you links to streamed church sessions’; and the ‘well, we all got problems [insert their problems]’.

I know that the movies and the extreme cases on the news have hardened our hearts to the idea that those surrounding you may be capable of suffering such an ailment, but please remember that it is very possible. And, whether or not you believe in it, if someone else is going through it and chooses to open up to you about it (1) feel honored that they thought that you were human enough to understand that they are not feeling “okay”, (2) try to tear yourself away from YOU for at least 20 minutes and hear that person out, and (3) do not assume that you know what is going on or what it is like. Everyone’s experiences are different and someone else’s depression is not yours.

The Feels:

Let’s talk about what a depression felt like for me:

The Loneliness:

Even though I wasn’t always alone, I always felt alone. I felt like I did not have anyone and could not go to anyone. This is the fault of no one, it’s just an effect that I suffered.

The Sadness:

There was a build-up that lead to my depressed state and it had to do with: my level of activity, the amount of people who rely on me financially, the way that I treat those that I am close to and the fact that I expect similar treatment in return (a bad habit that I am trying to break), the uncertainty about my future, and the negative feelings associated with opening yourself up to others.

This resulted in a bunch of me blaming myself for this continuing pattern in my life where I give my best (and worst) self to people only for them to take it, give nothing in return, and reap the benefit with one foot out the door. These types of things happened to me with past boyfriends, friends, family, and then when it happened again on top of everything else that I was feeling, it was just too much…

This sadness doesn’t easily go away. Mix this with the loneliness that you’re already experiencing and you’ve got one sad drink!

I still haven’t figured out how to deal with or get past this sadness just yet, but I am working on it.

The Denial:

Let’s not forget the fact that we don’t want to be going through this in the first place, so my initial thought was to just deny it.

I did not want to believe that I could experience something like this. But, once I got to the point where I really did not want to have to experience this anymore and that I wanted to get out of it, I was more willing to accept that this was happening. Once I accept it, I can start working towards getting better, was my mindset and it worked. I am now working through this ugly battle.

The Fatigue:

When you are depressed, you literally wake up feeling tired (if you get sleep at all). You often need a nap or a break in your day.

Little things tire you out, your days seem impossibly long (but also not long enough), and your feet weigh a ton anytime you have to get up and move.

So much weighs you down when you are “down”, and the fatigue is just another thing that you have to combat on the road to recovery.  

The Sleepless Nights:

Now, I experienced a complete lack of sleep when I was experiencing my “down time”. I just couldn’t fall asleep. I would lay awake and think, or stare at the walls, or watch “It’s Complicated” or “Living Single” over and over and over. As if those things would “heal” me.

The part that I dreaded the most was that, when the sun would start to set, I would just get sad because I’d know that I would spend another night laying awake and wishing that I could just go to some other subconscious world. I never have dreams but you have no idea how much I prayed for any type of dream to take my mind off of whatever else it was on.

Add to that the fact that I literally could not sleep in my own bed! I would begin my night in my cozy king bed but lay awake for hours. Once I finally got tired of tossing and turning, I would finally give in and move to the couch — the only place that I even have a chance at falling asleep. Hence, the sleeplessness. 

The Loss of Appetite:

As hungry of a state that I constantly live in, it shocked me that I could not eat!

I would find it being 1p.m. or 2p.m. before realizing that I hadn’t eaten a thing. Not because I didn’t have things to eat, but because I literally could not eat. Food would make me sick, but, I guess, to add to the drama of it all, my stomach would growl. 

No clue what the loss of appetite was about, but I didn’t like it when I experienced it. 

The Healing:

I don’t know what other people’s healing is like, but I know that mine is a long process that involves me getting back to my very routine lifestyle.

It is the fact that I decided to leave my very routine bubble that led me to this depressed state, so I am literally backtracking in order to get back on track (which means going back to a completely closed off state, as bad as that sounds). Unfortunately, this is harder to do than it seems like it should be, so I find myself constantly straddling the line between “okay” and “back in”.

My circle is not big, at all, there are probably 3 people that genuinely care about me and my wellbeing apart from family, but there are also people around my campus that make it a point to check on me.

I have so much love for those of you who saw me around campus, noticed I was down and talked to me (Josh and Ron); and those of you who randomly check on me (Corina, Em, Jason and Alicia); and NATHAN thanks for just being there to hug me. You guys have no idea how much those things have meant. You have no idea how far those simple acts go.

In short, the healing is harder than actually going through the depression itself. It’s a process that requires patience. And, it’s not easy, but believe me when I say, IT HAPPENS TO THE BEST OF US. So, if this is happening to you, embrace it, because this too shall pass, and I promise you ain’t too fly to feel it (because I surely thought I was).