Lonely Girl.

“And in the end all I learned was how to be strong … alone.” – Anonymous

 

Lonely girl, alone she stands
Searching for her place
Looking, looking far and wide
Then drifting into space
The love, the joy she once had craved
Was no where to be found
In her quest she disappeared
A shadow on the ground.
Lonely girl, she numbed herself
To all the pain she felt
No need to run, no need to fight
The cards that she was dealt
Her biggest fear had now come true
She sat there all alone
Abandoned, used and left behind
With no where to call home
No one to care, no one to call
No reason to hold on
The life she thought she once would have
Suddenly was gone.
Lonely girl, poor little thing
So easily replaced
No thinking twice or turning back
A memory erased
One by one the doubts crept in
And settled in her soul
Day by day she lost herself
It finally took its toll
And now she’s just a lonely girl
Unsure of what to do
Hoping maybe one day
Someone will break through.

 

XOXO,

Myka Shantell¬†ūüíč

*Copyright 2019

Hard To Love.

“I know I’m not easy to love. I’m a chronic over-thinker, I overreact more than I should…And every once in a while, I might be a little insecure. But if I’m in love with you, I can promise you wholeheartedly that you will be loved with so much passion and intensity. That you’ll forget what life felt like before I came along. You will always be cared for, and you will always have someone in your corner. Maybe I’m not the best at being loved – But I like to think I’m pretty good at loving.”¬†¬†‚ÄĒ¬†Chelsea Carroll

 

I’m hard to love. At the first sign of a red flag or the first glance of your fear of commitment, I’ll bolt. I don’t have time for games, not anymore.

There was a time when I was patient with love, willing to bend and mold myself to be who I was told I needed to be. I was full of insecurities because of all the late night rendezvous, lame excuses and shady behavior.

I’m hard to love, not because I want to be but because that’s the way life has made me. My DNA is woven with never-ending thoughts of worst case scenarios. What may seem like a simple conversation to you is dissected by my brain until I’ve picked apart and over-analyzed every single detail.

This is the curse of an anxious mind.

I’m hard to love. I’ve been bruised and scarred by infidelities, lies, secrets and words that cut me to the core. I’ve been the one who was blamed for their transgressions and the sad thing is I thought it was my fault.

I tried to ignore all the warning signs, just chalking it up to my over-active imagination, but come to find out my gut was completely right. Ultimately, it was me who paid the price for not listening.

Stupid girl.

If only I would’ve been better, smarter, prettier, funnier, more charming … then they wouldn’t have thrown away everything like a piece of trash (or so I thought).

I’ve laid on the floor for hours, sobbing and feeling numb to everyone and everything, unable to eat or move or breathe. My brain couldn’t comprehend the destruction that had just ripped through my life like a tornado.

I’m supposed to be smarter and stronger than that. I’m not supposed to let anyone bring me down, but I did…repeatedly. I took the pain over and over again because that’s the only kind of love I could seem to find.

I take things personally, even when they aren’t meant to be. I find fault in myself and sometimes when the going gets tough, I break down. My mind shifts to overdrive and can’t make sense of the chaos, and at that point I pull away.

I’m hard to love because the moment I feel like you’ve got one foot out the door, I’m done. One time cheating, I’m done. Unwillingness to admit fault and work on things, I’m done. Shady lies and excuses, I’m done. I think you get the point…

I now have zero tolerance for bullshit.

I know I’m not easy to love, and that’s not a challenge that everyone can or is willing to take on. It takes a lot of time and patience to love someone with a Mental Health Disorder, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t worth it.

They say to “trust the overthinker who tells you they love you because they have most assuredly thought of every reason not to.” This quote couldn’t be more true.

I may be hard to love, but when I love someone I love deep. If I truly love someone, I go full force and do everything in my power to make them happy. I’m a people pleaser, and making others happy brings me joy.

However there’s still this other side of me, the wounded side, that won’t completely let down my guard until I’m sure of someone. Unfortunately, I haven’t been sure of anyone in a long time, and during those years my wall has grown taller and nearly impenetrable.

Now, I’m not sure if anyone can tear it down.

I know it may not seem fair to be so unforgiving when it comes to finding love, but you can thank the world for that. You can thank all the losers who have done nothing but prove my point time and time again.

I’m hard to love. I make no excuses for this fact, and I know I’m far from perfect. I’ve made mistakes and let people down. I’ve had one foot out the door and been unable to let my guard down before.

But what do you expect when all you’ve found in your attempts at love is heartache and misery?

I’m hard to love, but there are reasons. I’ve learned to be my own knight in shining armor, to never depend on anyone else and to not be trusting of others. I’ve removed all the gullibility I once possessed and replaced it with unrelenting strength.

There’s nothing wrong with being hard to love because ultimately we have to be our own savior, our own warrior. We have to love ourselves before we can ever truly love someone else.

We have to work past our demons and decide that we’re ready to truly give someone a chance. We have to be open to change and willing to slowly surrender ourselves to that person, all while bringing down that wall.

So be hard to love and wait for the right one who will tear down your walls, erase all your fears and prove your past experiences wrong. Be strong, be you and be patient. The right one will be worth the wait.

 

XOXO,

Myka Shantellūüíč

 

Today Is Hard.

“It is the hard days, the days that challenge you to your very core that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”¬† – Sheryl Sandberg

 

Today is hard. I’ve yet again had another door slammed in my face, another rejection that’s left me lost and confused.

I keep trying and holding my head up high, but the weight of disappointment is quickly dragging me down. I feel stuck in a pit of sinking sand that I can’t seem to escape.

I haven’t quite figured out the magic formula that will lift me out of these hardships, probably because in the back of my mind I know it doesn’t exist.

There is no magic cure for Mental Health Disorders, and honestly that pisses me off.

It doesn’t matter how many books I read, how many times I meditate or how many journal entries I write, my anxiety is always there. It’s always just waiting for the smallest of openings to creep back in.

Today is hard. I found myself struggling to merely get out of bed, and unfortunately this happens more that I’d like to admit. I have so many amazing things and people to live for and so much to do in this life.

Why does every morning have to be a struggle?

I numb my mind, my anxious thoughts, with TV or unimportant tasks just trying to not think about the judgements lingering in my head. I let my passions suffer because I’m too damn tired to fight the monsters in my mind.

The worst part of dealing with a Mental Health Disorder is that even when you have weeks or even months of good, you always know that the bad times are just up ahead.

You never know when they’ll strike, but trust me they’re there.

Today is hard. I feel like screaming and shouting at the top of my lungs merely to find relief from these feelings I’m holding inside, but I know that I have to keep it together. I don’t want to worry the ones I love and frankly I don’t want to let my anxiety win.

So instead of screaming and having a complete meltdown, I write this blog entry. I let my words speak for themselves so I can clear at least a fraction of my mind, so that I can maybe find some sanity.

It feels good to release all of these lingering doubts, fears and negative emotions, even if only for a while. It won’t be long until my mind is once again filled to the brim with worry, but for now I’ll cherish the peace and quiet.

Today was supposed to be a new start, a fresh beginning. I was hoping for positive news and an end to the mental suffering I’d been experiencing. Yet before I could even get out of bed, I received the complete opposite news.

It sucks, it really sucks to have such a hopeful, positive outlook. It sucks to think, this is the day when it all changes, when I break the chains that have been recently holding me down only to find out that my hope was naive.

Negative self talk immediately creeps in and again I find myself in a hole that I’d just escaped.

Each time I’m knocked down it makes me lose hope that things will ever change. It takes away the excitement of new opportunities because, what I’ve seen from the past few years is that excitement only leads to disappointment.

And once again I’m lost, looking for the next opportunity but not even sure of what I’m hoping to find.

All these doubts start to creep in and cloud my judgement. They make me take ten steps back in my progression towards mastering my anxiety, and suddenly I’m left to pick up all the pieces by myself yet again.

Today is hard. It’s hard because I constantly battle with the angel and devil on my shoulders. I know I shouldn’t let these refusals get to me. I know what I have to offer to the world, and it’s damn good.

I know I should push forward and take some of my own advice that I so freely give to others. However, I’ve experienced more rejection in the last 6 months than I have in the last 6 years, and I’m finding it really hard to deal.

I always say when the time is right, things will work out the way they’re meant to, and I truly believe that. The angel on my shoulder reminds me that I live a wonderfully blessed life, and I have so much to be thankful for.

However, the angel is meek, quiet and subtle. The devil on my other shoulder screams lies and insecurities to me, reminding me of my doubts and failures. He’s like a loud yet invisible sound that I find hard to ignore.

Eventually his words creep in my head and I’m left to deal with anxiety on top of anxiety. I wish he would just SHUT UP.

Today is hard. I’ve got self love and self hate, strength and weakness, doubts and reassurances all going through my head at the same time.

Welcome to life with anxiety.

Although this post seems like a negative narrative, it’s really not. By putting these words on paper I’m able to sort through these clashing thoughts. I’m able to think through the truths and the lies one by one.

Ultimately, my goal of each post is to show the true battle of Mental Health Disorders, to give you an real view of what happens inside an anxious mind.

We all have a devil and an angel. We all experience hard and good days, and in the end we’ve survived 100% of the bad ones. So never let that devil win, never let him take away that beautiful person that you are.

Listen for the quiet reassurances of the angel, and know that even though today is hard it’s not impossible. We will survive together.

 

XOXO,

Myka Shantellūüíč

 

2018: Like A Phoenix From The Ashes.

“And just as the Phoenix rose from the ashes, she too will rise. Returning from the flames, clothed in nothing but her strength, more beautiful than ever before.” – Shannen Heartzs

 
A year can change a lot of things. I know it sounds clich√©, but it’s so true. Over the last year I’ve learned so much about myself, my true inner self.

The journey has been tough over the last 27 years, but this past year has been the most revealing yet. I learned that although I appear confident, I struggle with self-doubt, which is something that’s hard for me to admit.

In 2017 I realized that I’ve been in denial about my insecurities. I was always outgoing and involved in group activities growing up. I figured that because I was so extroverted that meant I was confident which was completely false.

The last 365 days of my life have been full of struggles, highs, lows and incredible growth. Although the pain wasn’t fun it ultimately lead me to where I am now, a place of understanding and self-love.

I struggled tremendously with my anxiety, depression and loneliness in 2017. I felt like I’d never get through some of my paralyzing panic attacks, some of the worst I’d ever had in my life. I thought there was no way I could learn to manage my anxiety, but I’m getting more control every day.

Loneliness struck me really hard this year. I thought that I’d at least be in a relationship if not already married at this point in my life. The pressure and expectations of society also didn’t help. The notion that you’re “supposed” to get married young and start a family did nothing but turn my loneliness into depression.

Let’s be clear, I’m completely happy with my life just the way it is, but if someone who’s single tells you they don’t yearn for a companion in life they’re lying. As human beings we just want to be loved and understood. We want a partner with us in this crazy journey called life.

While loneliness still hits me in waves, I’ve learned to focus on my many blessings. This has allowed me to get through the hard times, the moments of unrelenting sadness and heartache. It’s crazy how concentrating on the positive can truly combat depression.

Over the past year, I figured out exactly what qualities I’m looking for in a future husband. I’ve always jumped somewhat blindly into relationships so it felt good to write down traits that I truly wanted in someone. Now I feel more prepared for the next person God decides to bring into my life.

Speaking of God, 2017 was an incredible year of getting closer to the Lord. I was raised Baptist but always hated feeling like I had a label or that I had to worship God a certain way. So I decided to branch out and found a non-denominational church that I really love.

It felt good to get back that bond I’d once had with Jesus. It’s sad to say but sometimes our minds blame God for certain things that happen because we can’t see their meaning at the time. I was one of those people, and in return I ended up losing that close relationship we’d once had. It feels so good to have it back.

Throughout the last year I also learned the importance of quality over quantity in my friendships. I lost a lot of friends, but I also strengthened my relationships with those who were deserving of the title. I found out the distinction of “friend” vs. “acquaintance” and applied it.

Yet through all of the many revelations in 2017, none were more important than the reality of how much I’d grown as a person. I found out more about myself than I ever thought possible. I sat down, looked in the mirror and truly evaluated my life.

It was extremely scary being so vulnerable, but it was exactly what I’d been needing to do. We get so wrapped up in our daily lives that we never really stop to just look at ourselves and who were are as a person. We take so much for granted and forget to make ourselves a priority.

I started working on myself a few years ago when I decided to start seeing a therapist after going through a really hard time. The beginning was scary, and opening up to a stranger was the most terrifying thing I’d ever done. I didn’t want anyone else to see my many insecurities and flaws.

Nevertheless, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. This one simple step catapulted me on a journey of self discovery that I’ve been continuing since that day. For some reason, 2017 was the most revealing thus far. The past year brought up emotions and struggles within myself that I didn’t even know existed.

I did a lot of belittling and criticizing to myself this year, and that makes me really sad. I always preach self-love and appreciation yet I was doing the complete opposite. I had voices in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t doing enough with my life, and I started to believe them…but not anymore.

This new year is a chance for a renewal of spirit and mind. It’s a clean slate just waiting for an epic story to be written, and I plan to take full advantage of that. This year is about building myself up instead of tearing myself down. It’s about prioritizing myself and doing some real work on my soul.

In 2018 I’ll be kinder to myself and follow my passions. I’ll quit making excuses and chase my dreams head on. I have so many things I want to do in this life, and there’s nothing stopping me but myself (and that goes for everyone). I’ll go on more adventures and stop letting fear hold me back from my purpose.

In 2018 I’ll be courageous, fierce and unwavering. I’ll set goals, and I’ll crush them one by one.¬†And like a phoenix from the ashes I’ll rise up stronger, braver and with utter determination.

I’ll let my rebirth be total and complete. No remnants of self-doubt or sabotage will be allowed to enter my purified soul. I’ll take this fresh start and use it wisely. I won’t fall for the tricks of my past for they no longer have a hold on me. I’m as free as a bird and you better believe I’m going to fly.

So bring it on 2018, I’m ready for you.

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantellūüíč

I Didn’t Think It Would Be This Way.

‚ÄúOne day she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life. And with that, she realized the only control she had was how she chose to handle them. So, she made the decision to survive using courage, humor and grace. She was the Queen of her own life and the choice was hers.‚ÄĚ –¬†Kathy Kinney

 

I didn’t think it’d be this way. I never thought life could get so messy, so confusing, so out of control. I’d done everything in my power to live the “perfect” life. I’d gone to school, gotten straight A’s, participated in activities, went to church and tried to be a good human.

Yet it never felt like enough.

I thought all of my good deeds and careful choices would spare me of the heartache and pain that seemed to fill this ugly world. I thought my kind heart and gentle soul could keep me from sorrow, but I was wrong.

I didn’t think it’d be this way. I never thought I’d lose my best friend at such a tender age or experience a gut wrenching break up with an ex that would leave me feeling paralyzed. However, I intimately learned the saying “love hurts.”

I never thought I’d hang out with the wrong crowd or do things behind my parents’ backs like some typical rebellious teen. I thought I was better than that. Yet I partied and made bad decisions sometimes for no good reason at all.

I never thought I’d struggle so heavily with anxiety and depression as a teenager. I didn’t think I’d battle with self confidence or self love either. On the outside I appeared so confident, so in control, but on the inside I was drowning.

I could’ve never imagined the struggles I’d face in college. The sleepless nights, the drunken disagreements and feeling like I might not make it through nursing school. I remember asking myself what the hell I was doing putting myself in these risky predicaments…

Yet I could never bear to hear the truthful answer to those questions.

I never thought I’d be so cruel to myself. I truly was my own worst enemy. I never thought I’d look in the mirror and be hateful to the reflection staring back at me. Despite all the good things I’d done in the world, I was never good enough in my own mind.

I never knew I’d be single into my latter 20’s. I figured I’d follow the pattern of my hometown and be married with children by 24 years old. I thought I’d grow old in my tiny Texas town and never leave. I thought that was the only life I could live.

I never knew I’d be given such opportunities by simply moving away from home. I didn’t know I would find so much happiness in recreating myself…new town, new me. I had never realized just how claustrophobic I felt in that place.

I never realized realize how much I missed out on by giving in to my fears. I was terrified to start over away from my family, and with this fear came tons of missed opportunities. I’d never comprehended how much my wings were bound until I broke away and flew.

I didn’t think life would be this way. I never thought I’d have moments of complete emptiness, moments when breathing seemed like an unimaginable task. I didn’t know that anxiety would be something I’d deal with my entire life, a problem that I could never permanently fix.

I didn’t think it would be this way. I thought I could get through life without ever losing a family member. I thought they’d all meet my future spouse, attend my wedding, and hold my future children while we shared stories around the table…and then my Grandpa passed away.

Yet another dream crushed.

I never thought I’d experience the rollercoaster effect of feeling so lonely while also feeling happiness. I never thought it was possible to find joy in the pain and light in the sorrow. I never thought I’d be one to feel weak and alone.

While I didn’t think life would be this way, I’m extremely pleased and grateful at how my life has played out. While I didn’t understand the struggles and grief in the past, I’m beginning to understand them now.

I now see that through pain and heartache comes growth. I realize that losing someone makes you hold onto others a little tighter. It forces you to realize the amazing people you have in your life and reminds you to never take them for granted.

Through heartache we learn to love again. We find that our heart can repair itself and become even stronger than before. We may put up a wall, but it allows us to see who is willing to break it down to be in our lives. It teaches us that our hearts are indestructible.

While I didn’t think life would be this way, each and every experience has made me who I am today. Each trail and tribulation has shaped me into the kind yet wise soul that I am now. While I still try to find the best in others, I’m no longer naive to those who try to hurt me.

I’m stronger than ever before, full of scars but also full of wisdom.

Life really does have a funny way of working out. While things that try to break us may hurt like hell in the moment, their meaning ultimately comes full circle in God’s timing. We don’t understand the pain we initially feel, but later on we often see its purpose.

And while I didn’t think life would be this way, I’m forever grateful for this crazy life I’ve been given. I’m truly thankful for every high and every low, every victory and every defeat. Now I know that although life’s struggles might knock me down, they will not keep me there.

Our lives are our own, and the choice is always ours. Will you choose to dwell on your shortcomings and grieve what you thought life would be, or will you choose to rise each morning with a grateful heart and a fierce perseverance? The choice is ultimately yours…

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell¬†ūüíč

5 Traits An Anxious Mind Needs In A Friend.

‚ÄúBeing able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.” – Bessel Van Der Kolk
If you’ve ever been a good friend to someone that suffers from anxiety, you probably know that it’s a lot of work. You have to deal with their constant mood swings, fears, emotions and insecurities all while being their rock. It really is a tough gig.

There are probably an enormous amount of times that you want to scream, pull out your hair and simply tell your friend that they’re being irrational. You may get insanely frustrated that they can’t just shut off their anxiety. Yet, you often sit there quietly and listen to every word.

Sometimes you give them words of encouragement while holding them in a tight knit hug, merely letting them know that they’re safe. Other times you may yell and give them tough love because you don’t fully understand their disease which frustrates you even more.

You may sit and cry together in silence when the world just seems too overwhelming for your anxious minded friend. You cry because you’ve never dealt with such pain and aren’t sure what to do or say. Sometimes you may even cry tears of joy when they’re having a good day because you’re ecstatic to see them happy.

Despite all of the craziness that comes along with loving an anxious mind, you stick around, and your mere presence means more to us than you could ever know.

While being a friend to someone that struggles with anxiety can be quite overwhelming, I imagine it’s a love-hate relationship. There are a ton of positives and negatives that come along with loving us, things that we rarely control.

However, I hope you know that if an anxious mind chooses you as a friend you should take it as an extreme compliment. We are extremely selective in who we allow into our lives. Our anxiety tries to isolate us from everyone and tell us that we are unworthy of love.

If you are chosen to become a part of our inner circle, know that it is a big decision for us. It takes everything in our being to truly let people in and see the real, flawed, messy us…the sides we often hide.

We have to silence the constant ruckus going on in our heads in order to focus on another person. We not only have to learn to let our walls down, but we also have to stand up to our anxiety and tell it that we refuse to be alone. That, my dear, is no small feat.

So while your friendship means the world to us, know that there were certain traits we found in you that let us tear our walls down and silence our anxious minds. There was something we saw in you that made us feel safe and willing to open ourselves up with the risk of being hurt.

There are a few things that we saw in you, a few things that the friend of an anxious mind must possess:

1.) Trustworthy

We need to know that no matter what we can trust you with our deepest, darkest secrets. We need to feel like we can trust you with our feelings and that you will never do us wrong. Trust is crucial in any relationship, but we value it more than most.

2.) Patience

We know we’re not the easiest people to be friends with. We have so many mood swings and “irrational fears” that many people don’t understand. When we’re having an anxiety attack, you won’t be able to relate to us. Yet we need to know that you will be patient with us as we work through things.

3.) Loyalty

As our friend, it’s imperative that we know you’re loyal to us. Insecurities go hand-in-hand with anxiety, and a disloyal friend makes our insecurities unbearable. Constantly worrying about where you stand will only make our anxiety worse and ultimately end our friendship.

4.) Understanding

We need you to understand that we aren’t making things up. What we are telling you is really how we feel, even when you can’t relate. While you may have never dealt with anxiety in your personal life, we need you to understand that everything we feel and say is very real to us.

5.) Strength

Lastly, we need you to be a strong person. We understand that everyone has moments in life where they get broken down. However, we need you to be our rock. Many times in our anxiety filled lives we need someone to be strong for us. We need someone that can help us through the really dark times and tell us that everything will be okay.
While each person has something different they look for in a friendship or relationship, these tend to be at the top of our list. It may take us a while to let you in, but once we do you’ll be happy you stuck around.

Although we seem to have a lot of baggage that comes along with us, we are the most loyal people you will ever meet. A friend with anxiety may take a while to warm up to you, but once they do you’ll see the amazing soul they possess.

While anxiety is a part of us, it’s not all of us. We still have so many traits that you’ll fall in love with like being extremely clean, always on time and super organized (to name a few). You’ll start to realize not to judge a book by its cover and that life with anxiety doesn’t mean you can’t be happy.

I must say although my circle is extremely small, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They’ve seen me experience my highest highs and my lowest lows, and they’ve loved me through them all. They each possess the 5 qualities I listed above and so much more.

So if you befriend an anxious mind just be ready to commit for the long hall, because once we let you in there’s no turning back…

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantell¬†ūüíč

 

 

5 Struggles That Accompany Self-Evolution. 

“Evolution of the self is not meant to be validated by others. There is no need for validation at all. You are here full and complete. You being your soul. Not necessarily you in the physical world. Nobody and nothing external needs to say yes in order for you to be who you are. You have your own yes to believe, trust and live by. So, live. So, be. Alive.” – Nora Boghossian

Just as the never-ending clock of time continues to tick, we as humans continue to evolve. It’s written from the very beginning of our history. We evolved from monkeys to cavemen to…you get the picture.

Each year we’re presented with new technology, new advances in modern medicine, new and increasingly efficient ways to do things. So as the world around us evolves, it seems natural that we should¬†too.

Now for some, self-evolution is a wonderful and magical thing. Some of us love to know we will forever be changing into our best selves. We know that the older we get, the more life lessons we learn. We figure out ways to adapt to our surroundings, to the demands of our current lives.

For others, this concept can be extremely stressful.

I like to think that everyone fears change to a certain extent. Most people (I presume)¬†would rather have at least a little bit of knowledge of¬†what’s to come. However, there are those¬†who want absolutely nothing to do with this whole “evolution” thing.

There’s nothing wrong with not being 100% thrilled about changing of the self. I understand that some people may really love who/how they are now, and that’s great. However, evolution is in our DNA.¬†Our environments constantly change, so we too must adapt.

With such adaptations and changes, it’s expected that we would face certain fears. Change can bring about a lot of anxiety and questions. We start to doubt ourselves, doubt the process and doubt our abilities. Yet, self-evolution doesn’t have to be scary.

If you experience¬†fear, anxiety or stress with¬†becoming your best self, hop on the train. You are NOT alone in your struggle. Five of the biggest struggles I’ve noticed with my own transition, as well as my friends, are:

1. Fear of Others’ Opinions

“Will I be accepted?” For some reason even the most confident human beings are constantly looking for acceptance. No one wants to be a loner with no friends. No one wants to be misunderstood or rejected by their peers. However, evolving doesn’t mean your peers will change their opinion of you. If they truly love you, they will stick by you no matter what. Don’t let others’ opinions dictate who you really are.

2. Self-Doubt

“What if I don’t like the new me?” With change comes self-doubt. We become so terrified of the unknown that we make up scenarios in our heads. We list all of these unrealistic reasons of why change is bad, and we believe we won’t like who we’ve become.¬†There’s nothing¬†wrong with a little revamping every now and then. We must never let self-doubt consume us. Be confident in who you are, and everything else will fall into place.

3. Fear of Change

“What if I continue changing?” Listen, change is going to happen whether we like it or not. I always say that change can be a wonderful or terrible experience. The more we fight it, the more painful it can be. Yet when we embrace change, we find that it can be a beautiful experience. We change, we evolve, and ultimately we become the best version of ourselves…just like the caterpillar and butterfly.

4. Lack of Confidence

“What if I can’t embrace the new me?” This topic goes back to self-doubt. If you don’t believe¬†in yourself, how is anyone else suppose to believe in you? Lack of confidence severely affects anxiety and depression. We get down on ourselves because we believe we’re unworthy. We think that we don’t deserve happiness, and we feel like we’re not meant to be a standout. All of these thoughts¬†are untrue. We all deserve to be rockstars in our own right. Get out there, show the world your talents and shine bright like the diamond you are.

5. Negative Outlook

“Will this negatively affect my life?” Positive minds create positive vibes. This is seriously my mantra in life. Within the last year I realized just how important positivity can be. When we have a negative outlook on our evolution, it can hinder the process. If we worry about the opinions of others or doubt ourselves, we are ultimately creating an incredibly negative environment. Nothing can properly grow if not given the right surroundings. Therefore, we have to create a positive space to allow ourselves to transform.

 

While change and self-evolution bring about questions, concerns and fears, we must remember the light at the end of the rainbow. The journey may not be comfortable, it may not be perfect, but ultimately we’ll be grateful that we transitioned.

There’s nothing more rewarding than realizing you’ve become the person you always wanted to be. As children, we dream of who we’ll be when we grow up. There’s no reason to let your inner child down. Be the¬†person¬†your inner child would be proud of.

If there’s anything I’ve learned on my journey, it’s that we’re only guaranteed today. In life, it’s so easy to say “oh I’ll do that tomorrow,”¬† but tomorrow may never come. Just remember that as tough as the journey may be, you’re never alone. Evolve into your best self, and let your rockstar soul shine.

 

XOXO,

Myka Shantell¬†ūüíč

[Miss]Trust.

“Trusting you is my decision. Proving me right is your choice.” – Anonymous

Throughout life we undergo a series of psychosocial developments that occur from birth to death. We’re all taught about Erik Erikson’s developmental theory which describes each phase during¬†a person’s life and how these stages shape who we ultimately become.

It’s said that the first stage of the theory, Trust vs. Mistrust, is the single most important phase a person will go through. This single length of time (birth to 18 months) molds our entire future.

When thinking about ¬†this I discovered that while I had an amazing upbringing, I’ve begun to have¬†issues with this certain psychosocial element. It just so happens that my problems¬†occurred later in life and for good reason.

Over the past¬†few years, I’ve slowly stopped trusting others. The guard around my heart has become tougher than I ever imagined, and that makes me extremely sad. Growing up I always had such an open, honest soul. I would give and give and give until I couldn’t give anymore. If people would hurt me I’d brush it off and get back on my feet. This has significantly changed in my adult years.

Honestly I trust maybe a handful of people, and I think some¬†would be surprised by who’s on that list. I’ve never had a problem making friends or being in relationships mainly due to my outgoing, bubbly, loud personality. Yet¬†for some reason I can’t¬†find the kind that stick. I so badly want to fill my life with others who I feel I can trust, the ones that will be there no matter what.

It’s so frustrating to know that no matter how much love, time and sincere effort you put into relationships (romantic and friendships) they almost¬†always turn out the same. Over the past few years my trust issues have gone¬†through the roof. It sounds so depressing, but I would rather be alone than have to go through another failed relationship or friendship. I seriously can’t take it anymore.

I know that people say “no one is perfect” and “you just have to keep putting yourself out there,” but I’m tired of being the one to put myself out there. I feel like I’ve been let down¬†for far too long, and I refuse to do it any longer. I’m far from perfect, but no one can ever say I didn’t try.

I sincerely feel bad for the next romance that comes into my life. I’ve changed so much over the last two years, and when it comes to trust and commitment I don’t even know where I stand anymore.

A common misconception is that commitment issues are¬†specifically appointed¬†to those who can’t be with one person. What people don’t understand is that they also apply to those who aren’t¬†sure if they can¬†finally let their guard down. Unfortunately, I now fall into that category.

All of these issues I now possess seem to have flourished at the lowest point in my life. I’ve never really talked about it in detail, but I feel like it’s necessary to understand how much letting someone down can truly affect¬†them. Some may say that using “lowest day of my life” is dramatic, but they weren’t there and this isn’t their story.

I remember I’d just gotten dumped by the person I thought I was going to¬†marry, and it was out of the blue. I remember feeling so incredibly shocked and numb that I couldn’t move.

For a few hours I laid on my floor unable to speak, unable to comprehend what had just happened. It got to the point where my mother had to come to my house, literally peel me off the floor and make me eat. I felt so paralyzed. It went on for about a week, and by the grace of God I somehow found the strength to pick myself back up.

Two years later I’ve finally moved past the pain from¬†that time in my life, but trust me the scars are still there. I feel sorry for the next person to come along because someone from my past has forever affected my future. My heart now has¬†a very tough wall surrounding it, and the journey won’t be easy. Nonetheless,¬†I promise the reward will be worth it.

I feel like I’m a pretty good person. I’m truly caring and compassionate. I have a great career, and dabble in many different things. I’m independent, trustworthy and loyal to a fault. Now this doesn’t mean I’m perfect. I have plenty of flaws, and I won’t always get it right. Yet I will say that I’m not afraid to work on myself which is why I did therapy for two years.

Although my lowest of lows is tied to a romantic relationship, I’ve had plenty of friendships that have done some major damage as well. I’ve had plenty of friends that only want to be there for the good, that used me for my compassionate heart and those who weren’t there when I needed them the most. It all hurts, just in different ways.

My point in writing this is to remind people¬†that their¬†actions really do affect others. What may seem like a small let down to you could be something major to someone else. Always be honest with your friends and significant others, don’t blindside them or minimize their feelings.

Trust is a very powerful thing that is extremely easy to lose and very difficult to get back. If your friend or loved one needs you be there, don’t flake out and make up excuses. “Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned.”

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantellūüíč

 

 

The Other Me.

Years ago before I had my band, I used to turn to poetry as a way of expressing myself. I still write some from time to time, but I recently had a revelation about my past poems. My young naive teenage spirit¬†wrote about things far beyond her years. I’ve always known I was an old soul, but this just completely solidified it for me.

The Other Me” (¬© 2003) is a poem I wrote years¬†ago that is so relevant to our current society. Many people try to put on a happy face to keep people from asking questions or exposing the truth. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world were everyone was honest? Just remember to treat everyone with kindness because you never know what kind of battle they are fighting.

“The Other Me”

Smiles on the surface, tears fill the empty shell
My little bits of Heaven feel a little bit like Hell
The dark blue pigmentation, more than the color of my eyes
It’s tears that dwell within me from the hurt, the pain, the lies
All the fancy clothing and supposed self-esteem
The confidence that I portray is really just a screen
My good strong beating heart is just a broken soul
With no sense of direction, never knowing where to go
At night I lay myself to sleep, the fake part of me fades
The true me finally comes to life, the two sides of me trade
And for those few short hours, my heavy guard is down
And in my dreams I find myself alive and care free bound
Until my small alarm clock pulls me back to reality
I don the clothes, the smile, the pride and become the other me.

XOXO,
Myka Shantellūüíč

One Day, One Step, One Breath.

“I know you’re sad, so I won’t tell you to have a good day. Instead, I advise you to simply have a day. Stay alive. Feed yourself well, wear comfortable clothes and don’t give up on yourself just yet. It’ll get better. Until then, have a day.” – Anonymous

So it’s been a while since I’ve written an¬†entry, and to tell you the truth it’s because I have been going through what I like to call one of my “lost” stages. It seems like throughout my whole transition I’ve been riding a roller coaster of emotions and phases¬†that range from fierce badass¬†warrior to sad lost soul.

Just a few weeks ago I was ready to take on the world with a bold fierce attitude and a belief that nothing could tear me down…and then the darkness came back. It’s a bit of a let down that my intense¬†brave warrior phases have only been¬†temporary thus far, but I’ve started noticing¬†that they are occurring more often. I’m starting to have more episodes of feeling powerful¬†than I ever have before. Still, that doesn’t mean the darkness doesn’t like to creep in from time to time.

What has been really difficult for me to figure out is what brings on these sad gloomy¬†episodes. I’m still working on pinpointing¬†the triggers, but I also realize they’re¬†just a part of life. No one lives 100% of their days on this Earth in total bliss and happiness (although that would be really nice). I’m coming to terms with the fact that these “down times” are going to happen, but instead of sulking and giving into the sadness I’m learning new ways of coping with them.

I don’t want to sound cliche, but I swear it seems like everyone I know is starting new relationships, getting engaged, and/or starting families. I absolutely love all of my friends, and seeing them in such a state of bliss sends me over the moon with happiness. However, the human side of me somewhat feels envious of all their happiness simply because I have not yet found it myself.

I’m honestly kind of sad because I feel like I’ve temporarily lost faith in true love. I know it’s out there for me, but after being hurt so many times my heart has definitely built up a wall. It’s a whole new experience for me. I’ve always been one to openly and freely¬†give my love, it’s just the way my heart works. After my past few¬†experiences, I can tell a huge difference in the way I view relationships. My heart is guarded 100%, and it’s a shell that won’t be easily broken.

One way I’ve started coping with my¬†feelings during my¬†“sad phase” is by reminding myself that all great things are worth waiting for, and I have NO DOUBT¬†that¬†a special someone and an amazing life¬†await¬†me. I just consistently have to remind myself to be patient…one day, one step, one breath at a time.

It’s amazing to me how much social media can truly impact our lives nowadays. I find that the¬†days that¬†I stay away from¬†Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are days filled with way¬†more joy and much less worry. It keeps me away from those constant reminders of what I don’t yet have and focused on all my many¬†blessings.

I find it very¬†flattering that I often get asked how I “have my life together at¬†such a young age.” I have a Bachelor’s Degree, an amazing job, my own house, money saved in the bank, a 401K, insurance, a band, my blog, and close family/friends. Trust me, all of these things DO NOT mean I have my life totally “together.” Does it mean I’ve worked really hard to become successful? Yes. However, it¬†doesn’t¬†make me any better than the next 25 year old. I still have plenty of faults that I’m working on…one day, one step, one breath at a time.

Recently, I’ve begun¬†working through my issues by¬†creating a vision board. A vision board is a physical board one makes with goals, dreams and aspirations for the year. Once the board is complete with pictures and words that sum up what you hope to accomplish in 2016, you place the board somewhere that you will see it daily. By looking at my vision board every day, my¬†negative self-doubting feelings are removed and replaced with positivity¬†and hopes for a wonderful year.

In addition to my vision board, I’ve also began reading inspirational books and using mantras to work through my sadness. My therapist had suggested a book titled “Be Free Where You Are” by a Buddhist named Thich Nhat Hanh. This book teaches different practices that help us stay in the present. These practices release us from being stuck in the past and the future, and they allow us to be completely happy in the now. For someone with anxiety who is constantly worrying about the future (like myself) this book was a lifesaver.

One of the most powerful things I received from reading “Be Free Where You Are” was a breathing exercise that Thich goes on to fully explain in the book (listed below). Now I realize this may not seem like something you’re comfortable with, but humor me and give it a try sometime. You will be amazing at how relaxed you become and how truly¬†connected you feel¬†to the present.

“Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in.
¬† Breathing out, I know I’m breathing out.
  Breathing in, I notice that my in-breath has become deeper
  Breathing out, I notice that my out-breath has become slower.
  Breathing in, I calm myself.
  Breathing out, I feel at ease.
  Breathing in, I smile.
  Breathing out, I release.
  Breathing in, I dwell in the present moment.
¬† Breathing out, I feel it is a wonderful moment.”

So while I’m still trying to find my way back to the light of my fierce feminine self, I will continue to practice patience and other methods to re-center my soul. I really¬†want to encourage you to fight through any darkness, pain, and uncertainty you’re currently facing. Maybe you are having feelings of envy¬†(like myself), or maybe you just simply feel lost. Either way please DO NOT give up hope. The clouds will fade and your spirit will become more powerful than you’ve ever imagined. God gives His hardest challenges to His toughest warriors. Just remember to hang in there…one day, one step, one breath at a time.

 

XOXO,
Myka Shantellūüíč