Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, B!

Monday, August 6, 2012

It's (Not Really) a Funny Story: My Take.

I recently picked up the book "It's Kind of a Funny Story," a novel about a teenager's battle with depression and anxiety, and how time spent at a psychiatric hospital had helped him attain happiness.  This is going to be the hardest post I have ever written, so bare with me please. This post is about my own trip to the psych ward, and the process it took to overcome my depression.

I started feeling depressed when I was very young. My parents had been divorced for as long as I could remember, my mom was a struggling 30 something who cried almost every night when I was little, while my dad was an abusive alcoholic womanizer. Although they didn't always love themselves, they loved me. I was bright, I was funny, I loved to sing, but I got into a lot of trouble. I matured early so I experienced a lot of things earlier than most girls. However, my breaking point was in 2006, when I found out my dad had cancer. I was 16 and felt this was criteria to drink and party even more. I felt bad for myself. So bad that in early 2007, I found out that I was carrying a baby. It was so painful, especially because it was the baby of someone I liked, but definitely did not want to start a family with.  What's worse is that he completely dropped me, acting like I was just some tramp off of the street. His family met with my mom and me one day and they simply said (in the most pretentious way I can put this... since... well, they are), "So and so has a lot going for him. He is going to college next year, and you'll only be a senior in high school. Please do not have this baby and ruin everything for us." Do you know how devastating that feels? They basically told me I had nothing going for me, but I shouldn't be ruining SO AND SO's LIFE!! What about mine?

I never told my father I was pregnant, or that I was going to give the baby up for adoption. Not even when his cancer came back and he was laying on his death bed. My dad had always been about 200lbs+. He was strong and focused on fitness. The last time I saw him before he passed away, he was about >90lbs. It was so awful and that image will never be burned from my mind. I lost the baby a few weeks after seeing my dad. I went in to finally find out what I was having, and it was still. I was about five to six months pregnant, and it hadn't grown since month four. I cried for a long time, thankfully I had great family and friends to help me through it. But when I had finally been able to smile again, I got the news my dad had passed on. This is the first time I can remember hating my life and, especially, hating God. How could this greater being let my life pan out like this? Didn't I deserve to smile, to be happy? I ended up sitting on my kitchen floor holding a knife and sobbing hysterically for two and a half hours straight, until my mom came home from work and found me.

I overcame a lot of sadness for four years, until my junior year of college, when I broke down again. This time because I was scared. I had just turned 21, I was partying constantly, I wasn't going to class, I was failing class, I shut myself out to a lot of people. One night, on Thanksgiving break, after an elusive argument with my boyfriend (aren't they all), I took half a bottle of Tylenol. I just wanted to fall asleep without feeling anything. I woke up feeling sick, dizzy, nauseous... I knew I had done something wrong but figured, like always, I would push through it. My aunt and goddaughter came over, and the two year old was not making me smile as she usually did, but rather her presence, had made me hurt even more. As soon as they left I started crying, telling my mom I needed help. I didn't feel good and I just wanted to talk to someone. Our car was in the shop at the time, and my mom immediately called a cab to the hospital. That was the first and only time I have ever smoked a cigarette in front of my mom.

...I remember my shrink asking if I had thoughts of hurting myself or thoughts of worse, suicide. I remember starting to cry and saying, "I would never kill myself, that would hurt my friends and family so much... but I think sometimes life would be easier if I wasn't in it." She asked me if I had ever sought help, I told her twice. Once I went to a counselor, but I stopped calling her back for appointments; and once we brought a shrink into the house, and I never returned his follow up call the next day, but instead, had my mom tell him I was fine. This shrink shook her head, she knew these stories all too well. I told her I thought I was fat, ugly, stupid, and troubled.  People would be able to get over my absence. She told me I was beautiful. She said she couldn't find anything wrong with my looks and to never let anyone, especially myself, convince me otherwise. She said I couldn't be stupid, because after going through so much, I was still a junior in college, pursuing school with ambitions. "Some people come in here because they have some really BIG problems," she said. "But some people, have a lot on their shoulders, like you. They're just sad."

Depression is very real. I met some very, very sad people in the psych unit. A girl not much older than me who couldn't feel any ounce of love for her little child, a man who tried killing himself  and was found after his mishap a few days later by a family member, someone who lost everything and everyone as he suffered from lupus, and a bipolar schizophrenic who found herself more of a regular at the unit. These are people I think about daily. Are they feeling any better? Does she love her child yet? Is he still going or did he give up? Has anyone come back for him? Have the voices settled down in her head? 

I was prescribed an anti-anxiety pill and an anti-depressant, though I have since stopped taking them, I know that sometimes these drugs can help.  Some people feel empty inside, some people feel weird. I felt the happiness that was in my heart multiplied and sometimes I found myself talking too much about my family, or myself, or how well I was doing in a certain class. Once I got off of the medicine, I was able to just be normal.  I'll admit, once in a blue moon I feel sad. But all of these events have led me to feel as I should... it's not always rainbows and butterflies, but I feel functional. I am no longer going through the motions, but living to reach my full potential.

"Hard days are the best because that's when champions are made. If you can push through the hard days, then you can get through anything."
 - Gabby Douglas

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The keys to happiness...

This is based off of a Facebook status I posted at around 11:30PM last night, and had received over 40 likes by the time I woke up 8 hours later.

Here is the status:

I loved my ex, I really did. But we were far from meant for each other.  We had more horrible times than good times.  Maybe someday he and I can laugh at our past, but our relationship was made up in friendship sacrifices and no trust.  I felt like I was only doing things for him than for me.  It was so much effort, more effort than a 21 year old college senior needed in her life. It has taken since September to finally realize that my life is absolutely amazing - and that I am actually happy being young, wild, and free. The Claddagh on my right hand is facing upward, meaning I am single (possibly looking for the one.. we'll see) and proud to show it off.

So what are my keys to happiness? My list is simple, as it takes the first three to truly feel fulfilled, blessed, and genuinely happy.

Adele Stewart's Keys to Happiness:

  1. Spend time with your family.  I constantly talk to my mom about everything ever.  We reminisce on old times, talk about failed relationships, gossip about work and celebrities over iced coffees, home cooked meals, or lunch at a local cafe.  She is my backbone. Then there's my aunt, cousins and goddaughter. I have gotten to know my family so much more this year.  I don't think I have ever laughed so hard in my life than when sitting around a table with my two great aunts, my cousins and our moms.  Family is the most important thing, don't ever forget how much they mean to you.
  2. Make new friends (but keep the old). When I first started working at the yacht club, all of my friends were friends with the girl who got me the job.  They weren't really "my own" friends.  But this year has changed a lot of that. I have become better friends with more people, people I feel I will be friends with for a long time, and people I can actually call MY friends.  I also get along GREAT with my new roommate.  We have a lot in common and a bunch of the same interests (wine, the Disney Channel, coffee, cooking, crafts, music...). We used to hate each other in grade school and high school (it was on and off) until maturity hit and we reconciled our differences.
  3. Tell yourself you are beautiful everyday.  I mean, don't necessarily sit in front of the mirror saying "oh my god, why are you the most goddamn beautiful person in the whole world?" or (more realistically) "I'm prettier than such and such person." I mean, you might be, but telling yourself other people are ugly will not make you feel better in the long run - unless you are a conceited and pretentious bitch, then carry on with your cocky self. But it's not hard to look in the mirror, when your hair is a mess and you are in your most natural state, and say "you are beautiful"... and after saying it enough, you not only believe it, but you've realized it enough to know that you actually are. When your heart gets broken, it's hard to feel positive about yourself... but if you keep pushing yourself, eventually you get your groove back.
  4. Listen to good music (and yes, you can listen to some sappy heart break music, but not for very long! REMEMBER: HAPPY). I like to listen to John Mayer or Jason Mraz, Beyonce (always), today's hits, Glee (I cry joyful tears for Glee) and anything with a good beat and positive message.
  5. Do something you love to do.  I used to LOVE theater, but didn't do any in college.  I made my acting/directing comeback in Godspell this summer, and I can honestly say I am so happy with the outcome.  I cried when the show was over I was so, so proud of the cast, the production, and myself.
  6. Create something.  Whether you build something, or make an interesting craft - do something you can always look at and be proud of.  Nothing's more rewarding than hearing a compliment about it and saying, "Oh, I made that!"
  7. Adopt a pet.  I was never really a cat person, but I adopted a cat, Khloe.  She has been my cuddle buddy on more than one occasion and she is such a funny creature.  I have never enjoyed anyone's presence more.  She's my baby, I enjoy raising her.
  8. Watch a movie that makes you happy.  One night, I found myself searching through Movies On Demand when I discovered the Glee 3D Movie.  I actually was so happy that I cried and had goosebumps sent up my arms.  It's so weird that one show about a group of choir kids can make me so happy, but it does.
  9. Have a girls night. Nothing beats wine, brownies, and bonding. Seriously.
  10. Write. After exploring my blog, don't you think that is self explanatory?
  11. Nix the fast food and start cooking the food you love.
  12. Go on dinner dates. Filter out the guys you don't like and create a TYPE for yourself.
  13. Go running. Clears your mind and it looks good on your legs.
  14. Dance on stage at the bar to Whitney Houston with your closest girls.
  15. Live by "We Are Young" (fun.)
  16. Find your Glee.  You've seen how I rant and rave about how happy it makes me.  Find something that you look forward to.  Something you can relate to, cry to, laugh to...as cheesy as it sounds, I promise nothing can cheer you up faster than something you love.
I did all of these things and then some.. not only am I discovering myself, but I am discovering how blessed I am.  If you are going through a rough time, remember that life is beautiful, you are beautiful.  You can smile again. Just remember what is important to you and figure out what makes you happy.

If you feel like someone is holding you back from your dreams and your happiness, they probably are. Don't let anyone stand in your way.  You'll be amazed at what the world has to offer you - you just have to let yourself see it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Struggling to Update?"

I was slacking in the update department, so I posted a forum on the 20 Something Blogger site about struggling to update. I had a few wild suggestions, one being that I should get drunk and post whatever I feel... however, knowing myself under the influence of a few glasses of wine I would be writing novels about my personal struggle to take my shoes off, and whether or not I should pursue the guy I met at work or the guy I've known since I was 17 who's only after one thing. Regardless, there will be no drunken posts... at least for a majority of the time.

Another person suggested that I start fresh with a new blog. I don't foresee me doing anything of the sort. I have been in a relationship with this blog since the end of my junior year of college, granted it's only been a year, but this blog has meant a lot to me. It has been a personal manifesto of my views and outlooks on life. It's been my place to talk about Glee and other mediums of my entertainment. Mainly it's been a diary of my life, racking up useless information about me and what my favorite Christmas activities are and how heartbroken my last relationship made me. This blog is my blog.

Another suggestion was to read some of my favorite blogs. Naturally, I checked into Kelly's blog, Keeping Up With Kelly Ann. I went to college with Kelly and, not only is her blog adorable, she always seems to be posting some great ideas. Whether it's crafts or recipes or talking about what new things she received in her Birchbox, she always has impressive updates. Then I took a look at my Pledge Mom Katie's blog (It's All Happening) and saw her posting recipes galore.  She leads a busy/ideal lifestyle for a girl like me. Katie is constantly posting about books she has read, parties she has planned, and life lessons - and she posts pics with her recipes, oh my lord her blog makes my mouth water. Finally, I looked at my pledge sister Julie's blog. The Heart On Your Sleeve stays updated with random apps she likes, creative pieces she's written, and some of her favorite things. All three blogs gave me more and more inspiration to keep my own up and running, in my eyes, successfully.

Another good comment, which I truly appreciated was from Clayton at DadToLibbs. He explained to me how he is keeping his blog organized: 7 posts for 7 days. The posts consist of discussions on the Walking Dead, his daughter, a Day Zero list and his artwork and articles. This inspired me to work on a Bucket List post and to start writing about movies I watch. Obviously, these will be posts for another day. An unfinished product until everything is set in stone.

I posted that discussion on 20 Something Bloggers not knowing what to blog about... and I managed to get an entire post from my responses alone, plus a few new post ideas. I knew I was a part of these young writing genii for a reason. So thank you random blogging friends for your help. I only hope I can help you someday!

To review this discussion, come join us at 20 Something Bloggers.

Special thanks to:

Friday, April 6, 2012


So my best friend invited me to a Pittsburgh Penguins tonight, and, being a lover of all things 'burgh, I agreed to go. BEST DECISION of my life! We had dinner at Tailgaters, and I saw an old friend - always cheers me up when I am somewhere unfamiliar to me. We waited for our nachos for so long that we our server gave us three beers for free! Signs of an epic night.

The entire two week span of us having tickets, my friend kept saying "we have to meet Evgeni Malkin's parents." for those of you who don't know, Malkin is the sexiest hockey player alive from Russia. During the game, they flash a live shot of Malkin's parents on the Jumbo tron and obnoxious fans, like us, set off to find them during halftime.

We had almost given up hope on finding them when we spotted cameras and a crowd surrounding an older man. Praise Jesus, it was Malkin's dad! We immediately ran up to him to hopefully get a photo opp. I handed my phone to a random camera man and asked if he could please take some photos. Little did I know he was recording on his own camera.

When we got back to our seats, our phones were blowing up with texts and tweets from our friends saying they saw us on TV with Malkin's dad. Yeah, we were on live national television chilling with Vladimir Malkin.

The game was even better because the boys won! It was a great experience. I am officially a Penguins lover!


Real Time

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh. Em. GLEE!

*warning this post contains spoilers*

Happen to catch last nights Glee titled "On My Way"? Tears were welling in my eyes for practically the entire episode. How could they put things like this in a television show for young adults and teenagers? Hmmm? Well, THANK GOD they did.

In 2011, a study involving around 32,000 students found that 20 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual teens had made an attempt to kill themselves vs 4 percent straight kids. In some low-scoring countries, there were 1,584 suicide attempts – 304 of those being HOMOSEXUAL TEENAGERS.

Why is it important to be made aware of this? I mean, there’s the obvious we don’t need anymore dying youth, but most importantly, we need to stop bullying against homosexuality. First and foremost, I need to know why the HELL anyone cares so much about another person’s freaking sexual preference!!! Is it your business if Andrew loves Paul or Emily loves Anna or even if Andrew loves Emily? NO. We don’t care if you’re straight, so why should we care if you’re gay?

In last night’s Glee, after a classmate saw him with Kurt on Valentine’s Day, Karofsky found his football locker covered in spray paint reading the degrading and painful word “FAG.” People had wrote mean things about him on Facebook telling him to go back in the closet. This lead him to hang himself and ALMOST DIE. Then, people posted things like “better luck next time, faggot.” THIS IS REAL LIFE, PEOPLE. Glee is not making this up as a sick joke - it happens and it needs to stop.

Unlike Karofsky, who fortunately survived his attempt, kids successfully kill themselves over threatening social media comments or verbal prejudices. For example, the Rutgers University student who jumped off of a bridge after cohorts recorded and posted a video of him having sex with another male.

PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING: Mind your own damn business, people!!!!!!

Glee Club director Mr. Will Schuester asks the kids to think about what they would miss out on if they committed suicide. Santana says, “I can’t wait for my abuela to love me again,” Brittany says of her cat, “I want to see Lord Tubbington kick his ecstasy addiction,” Quinn says she can’t wait to graduate in the top ten of her Yale class, Rachel wants to be friends with the Glee kids for the rest of their lives, and Blaine says, “I can’t wait to see equality for gay and lesbians.”

What would you miss out on if you were to commit suicide today? My guess is a lot. Someone homosexual has the same goals and dreams as you. Do NOT take that away from them with your hurtful comments. They wouldn’t do it to you.

As for the last second of the episode, that is a hooooooooooole other blog post.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Happy 2012, Everyone!!

Instead of having one New Year's goal of "losing weight" like everyone else, I felt like I should have a million goals - not just for the New Year, but for a life time! And I am not going to be one of those people who makes a goal but can't pursue it.

Here's what I'm a do:

  1. Go to the gym (which you pay a $30 membership every single first of the damn month) more than twice weekly. Strive for five.

  2. Eat in more often, you have a ton of amazing cookbooks and you're the shit at baking bread from scratch, I'm sure you can think of something.

  3. Start saving money. Your savings account is not there solely to bail you out of overdraws, but to help you SAVE UP for the future. Imagine that.

  4. Become more patient with others. Just breathe and hold on.

  5. Move out of your mother's house. It's been fun having someone else pay the bills, but alas, it is time to move on, young one.

  6. Stop responding to my ex-boyfriend's nostalgic texts. Seconds after he says "I miss you," he literally says, "Eff you, I'm glad I dumped you" for you simply saying, "It's not mutual."

  7. Get a job. You're starting to search for jobs in the Erie area now. Although your dream was to move to Pittsburgh, but you want a career which forms you into a better professional - how odd is it that you're currently over $16,000 in debt upon graduation from paying for courses that have barely developed you? Gotta love college.

  8. Don't get pregnant. You don't have time.

  9. Get off "The Facebook." It shows you nothing but how well off your former classmates are, or it shows you that the weird girl from geometry is engaged and you're still single.

  10. Start to love others. I've discovered it's not that hard. However, if they are a sucky person to you, you don't have to love them. Which leads me to number 11.

  11. Let go of any friend who is only there to hurt you. We all know someone who is so miserable and pathetic they constantly have to try and bring you down. Not today, hombre.

  12. Reconnect with your family. You're stuck with them for life - get to know them better!

  13. Let boys take you out on dates. Hello, free meal, free movies, free.... whatever! Oh, and it's a great way to get to know someone.

  14. Quote "Bridesmaids" every day.

  15. Take time to hang out with your mother. Even if it means sitting through another Bruce Springsteen concert.

  16. Cry, laugh, smile, believe while watching Glee.

  17. Pay your credit card off immediately. Legit, immediately. Bad credit is so embarrassing and won't get you a new car (which you desperately need).
It should be hard to accomplish these things knowing that they will make me such a better person.

What are your plans for 2012?