Social Media: kinda cool, kinda sucks lol

Eh this post isn’t really necessary, but typing my thoughts out and some self-manifestation seems to always help me more than I realize. I feel it’s time to refocus and recharge on what’s important for the next month or so. I haven’t published anything on here in so long because I’ve been so all over the place. Lots of overtime at work in the lovely world of nursing, back in college full time as I work on my goal of one day working in counseling/psychotherapy for children, moving from apartment to a home, focusing on building myself up again, working on healing and acceptance and navigating this world as an orphan of sorts, overcoming some mental health hurdles, learning to be grateful for what I do have, and spending whatever time I can with those who have been there through every high, low, busy, and lazy point in my life. I have such a love/hate relationship with social media due to the time I allow it to take away from me.

I have decided to attempt at least a month free of socials for a little mental health restart or a refresher, if you will.

*fingers crossed that I last longer than just a few days off. Every other time I’ve attempted this I have failed miserably lmao*

Maybe posting this and being honest with the world will make me more determined to reach this goal???

I don’t expect to be a brand new person at the end of this little no social media experiment, but I do think it will help open my eyes to certain aspects of my life, and hopefully help me focus on the things in life that do matter and things that need to be worked on.

I really do believe we get so soaked into social media, because it is visually this fun and flawless land of make believe and play time. The perfect life. The perfect body. The perfect family. Perfect magazine worthy photos of perfect trips.

Why though? Perhaps we don’t want to focus on the negative or stressful parts of our lives (which ultimately makes them even more of an issue over time).

Or maybe we secretly strive for this “perfection” that we view for hours each day… Hell, we view it so much, I am starting to believe that we forget perfection is not only unachievable, but unrealistic.

per·fec·tion/pərˈfekSH(ə)n/Learn to pronouncenoun

  1. the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

If you think about it, life is all about flaws and defects. Life is ultimately an adventure of learning how to face, understand, or accept those flaws or defects mentioned in that definition. This is how we learn, and this is how we grow.

Anyways, wish me luck 🍀

Pain Changes People

Before I even start writing this, I just want to say that I am still continuously working on myself everyday and I am not a grief/healing expert by no means, but pain has indeed changed me. The darkest and worst parts of myself came out this past year, however, some of the brightest and best parts came out as well. Parts that I didn’t even know existed.

Everyone deals with pain differently. I’ve studied people very carefully this past year, and how we all handle being hurt. I began to think I was crazy for a bit while I was dealing with my losses. There’s no “rule book”, ya know? There’s really no correct way to deal with losing a parent, a partner, a friend. This doesn’t only pertain to actual death. Sometimes the ending of any type of relationship or the LACK of a relationship ( in childhood for example) can hurt just as bad, if not worse. If someone or something is absent, it’s essentially a death. That relationship you want or need does not exist.

I’ve watched people closely. Myself, included. Those who were grieving a loved one’s passing. Those who were grieving the ending of a relationship. Those who were grieving trauma from childhood. I’ve watched people seclude themselves from others because they don’t want to interact with others anymore. I’ve watched people try to socialize as much as possible to take their mind off the pain. I’ve watched people use substances and other humans to attempt to take the pain away. I’ve watched people hate themselves. I’ve watched people not be able to get out of their bed in the morning. I’ve watched people lash out on others, even those that they love the most.

I’ve also seen and heard people judge those who that are in pain and how they choose to deal with it. I’ve been guilty of doing it in the past a time or two. I believe we all have.

“They need to get over it and get their shit together”.

“God how long are they going to be sad over that”.

“Did you see what they posted on social media?”

“They need to chill out on their drinking and going out”.

“They need to stop telling the world their business”.

“I can’t believe they would do something like that”.

It’s easy to tell someone how to deal with something when you haven’t been through it, right?

Society teaches us at a young age that any time a “negative” emotion is shown or any type of conversation regarding raw feelings is being held… it’s considered “weak”. The “stronger” you are and the better you handle your heartache and pain, the more you are praised. If you are anything but positive, the world looks down on you.

^^^^^^^^

Read that again.

^^^^^^^^

With that being said, haven’t we all been hurt before? Haven’t we all felt alone at some point? Haven’t we all felt like no one understands the pain we’re going through?

I am a firm believer at this point that hurt people get bitter or they get better.

So why don’t we put a little more thought into helping people get better? Support them. Check in on them. Acknowledge their progress. Most of the time those that are hurt just want someone to genuinely hear them. They don’t want a pity party. They don’t want judgement. They just want someone to hear them and acknowledge what is occurring.

We are a society of broken people, covering up this pain with pretty pictures and exciting videos. We must recognize our pain.

Not going through pain at the moment or got your shit figured out? Cool, go recognize someone else’s.

Getting over pain and hurt takes work. It takes stepping out of your comfort zone, it takes self reflection, and it takes a little support from others to do so.

This cycle of brokenness ends with us.

Danielle Caravella

This was heavy on my heart for a while. A lot of monumental losses this past year and a half for myself, as well as others. I wrote these thoughts out based off not only the loss of my parents, but from watching family hurt, friends hurt, a partner hurt, and a whole entire town hurt.

Diane Caravella and Mark Gamble, Mathew Mcentee, Carson Mark McKinney, Zachary Allen.

Rest in Peace you guys. You are all so very loved and missed by many ❤️

This is to the memory of you and us

July 17, 2020

This is to the memory of you and us.

This is to every laugh and intimate moment shared.

This is to every second we planned of our future and moving off together.

This is to every smile we put on each other’s faces.

This is to making our hearts home for each other.

This is to helping each other discover ourselves.

But this is also to the memories of every fight.

This is to the memory of anger.

This is to the memory of sadness.

This is to the memory of confusion.

This is to the memory of losing ourselves.

All the nights spent holding each other safely from the losses we faced in the world…

for the world to turn around and just quickly rip us apart.

It’s not fair.

But this is to you.

And how much I wish I could have stopped the world from crashing down around us.

How I wished I could have taken every ounce of pain and hurt from you

And how I wish you could have done the same for me.

You couldn’t save me.

And I couldn’t save you.

I had my troubles.

And you had yours.

I always believed that we’d work through it somehow.

I hoped our love was stronger than it all,

But I guess when you’re up so high,

There’s only a lot further to fall.

But there’s one last thing, this last bit is for you, too
Remember us at our best
as I will always try to remember you at yours
Remember us before all of the death and loss we experienced together.
Remember us before the sadness.
Remember us before the world turned us cold.

Danielle Caravella

10 ways to show care and concern when your friend or family member has lost a parent.

It was my first Mother’s Day last month without my mom. I worked to take my mind off of things and cried on and off throughout the day. Grief is weird. Some days good, some days bad. It’s a rollercoaster to say the least. I learned that people don’t quite understand what to do in these situations and that’s okay. They want to be there and say the right thing, but sometimes they don’t know how. Our culture doesn’t do the best job with teaching us how to process death, but sadly death is inevitable.

1) It’s okay to talk about it. Sometimes those that are grieving wish that others would say the name of said parent that died. It reminds them that others are remembering their parent, and possibly missing them too. My biggest fear is everyone forgetting the existence of both of my parents. The people who made me.

2) Don’t be afraid to share any memories you may have with said parent who has passed. Pictures, videos, stories, etc. I find comfort in watching home videos of my mother and when others share stories of her. I didn’t really develop a relationship with my birth father until a year before he passed. My brother’s dad (who is awesome) raised me. However, whether my birth father was around or not, I am a part of him and certain qualities and traits of him reside within me. I particularly enjoy stories about him for that reason.

3) Remind them that you are there for them. Do not assume your grieving loved one knows that you are there. I feel like a burden sometimes, and reaching out to a friend or family member to vent is a difficult task for me to accomplish. Simply put, just reach out first if you can ❤️

4) Do something thoughtful as in make a small gesture of some sort. Specifically, if you’re not comfortable talking about it. When my mom passed, two friends sent food to my home to make life a little easier on me. On Mother’s Day, someone sent me flowers. I’ve had several others write me a hand written card this past year. When my father passed, we were able to harvest his eyes and help give the gift of sight. The organ donation organization sends me something every few months whether it’s a booklet over grief, a thank you note, or an article of some sort. Each one of these gestures have all been so thoughtful. I’ve cried every time. It’s nice to feel loved/needed when you’re going through a dark time.

Everyone has their own love language, if yours isn’t talking, then this may be the route for you. Your grieving loved one probably feels alone, so it’s just nice to be thought about.

5) This is a tricky one. Don’t complain about your family to your grieving loved one on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Especially, if their grief is still “fresh”. We can all at some point complain about our families whether it’s our parents, kids, cousins, in laws, etc. No family is perfect.

However, for those who lost their father or mother, those comments can strike a nerve. Those who have lost a parent would probably do anything to have both a mom AND a dad, dysfunctional or not.

7) If you make promises, stick to them. Your grieving loved one is already feeling more vulnerable and more sensitive, they just lost a parent which makes them feel like they lost a sense of stability. A solid support system is needed.

Even if you have a parent where the relationship is strained, which I know all too well (and I use to actually be guilty of doing this)… you may feel like you can “relate” to the pain that your grieving loved one is experiencing. Their parent has passed away, and your parent is voluntarily absent in your life. You both hurt. I get it, I really do. Your feelings are valid and absolutely justified, but it’s probably best to share those feelings with a different audience on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Strained family relationships are absolutely unfortunate, but they consist of a parent or parents that are still alive, and you at least have a tiny bit of hope of things becoming better. Your grieving loved one no longer has that opportunity and has no hope. That hope that was once there is now dead, and that can be a reminder of that for them.

8) You don’t have to try to put light on the situation and attempt to make something positive of it. I personally found comfort in others agreeing that things were indeed, shit. Acknowledging that your loved one is grieving and hurting and realizing the reality they’re living in can make a world of difference.

9) If you have no idea on what to do or what to say to your grieving loved one, say that. Tell them you have no idea, but you want them to know that you acknowledge what has occurred. It is better than saying nothing at all and ignoring the situation, I promise. A short text message of “how are you doing?” is all it takes. Sometimes we don’t have a clue with how we’re doing and we feel like we’re just here, however, it’s nice to know people are there.

10) Be patient with your grieving loved one. Everyone grieves in their own way. There is no “correct” way to mourn or grieve.

Happy Father’s Day and Happy late Mother’s Day to all. Hold your parents close. Appreciate them, love them, and make it known.

If you have a strained relationship with a parent, I urge you to get to a point where you can either find peace in the situation and what it is or slowly work on repairing that relationship.

Lost Girls Club

Being lost is not something one should fear,

For everything that is lost is on the path to being found.

Maybe we’re not lost,

Maybe we’re just wandering. 

Exploring choices, questioning decisions.

Finding, discovering, and professing where we belong.

How lovely it can feel, 

To be less afraid, and to be more alive.

Enjoy this moment. 

Smile when the path is spinning and dance amongst the chaos.

For when doubt ends, your real life begins.

Secret of Yours

Sometimes, you clown 

Attempting to bring laughter to those who frown. 

Or maybe it’s just an attempt to hide your most recent mental breakdown. 

To the world, you’re smiling

Trying to not fall over your feet. 

But eternally, you’re dying 

Feeling lonely and incomplete. 

It’s getting harder to hide,

All those feelings you’ve kept locked up inside. 

“It’s okay, I’m really fine”

Yet you’ve memorized the suicide hotline.

What If

My mother passed almost 3 weeks ago at 48 years old from a heart attack. I can’t begin to describe the emotions I’ve experienced since then and how much I miss her. I have her ashes sitting next to my little music/Disney shrine in my living room until we scatter them next month. I tell her hello and kiss her picture in the morning and hope for a good day and try my best to keep a positive mindset at life. I tell her goodnight every night, cry, and wonder “what if”.

Our relationship was extremely strained the last 7-8 years due to heavy substance use. I was actually mentally preparing myself prior to her death to cope with cutting her off for a bit cause my mental health couldn’t take it. Our last phone call was 2 days before her death. I hung up on her cause the conversation was getting toxic. It wasn’t going to end well if we continued on.

But I do remember our good memories from when she was sober and was a mom. I remember them very well. She had a really good sober run from when I was about seven years old to some point into my teens. She may have slipped behind closed doors, but for a lot of years during my childhood, things were kind of normal. Jokes, life advice, mom/daughter talks, vacations, holidays, church, shopping together, etc, all around really good memories. My mom was funny. Loud and outspoken. Easy to love. Beautiful. And fun.

Then shit hit the fan. Like really bad. Like in my baby, toddler, early early childhood years, prior to my brother being born.

She started drinking heavily… then drinking turned into pills… pills turned into other things… other things basically turned into a drug induced psychosis… and this turned into her not understanding or caring about her health at all. I tried to help her. I did everything in my power from hoping, begging, offering financial support, researching successful rehabs that would be affordable (which is barely a thing), getting social workers involved, speaking with her nurses and doctors in the hospital and at dialysis. I did my best while trying not to sacrifice all of my mental health.

She didn’t want the help. She didn’t care at that time. And I would always get so upset and somewhat bitter about it. I’d scream. I’d cuss. I’d cry. And repeat.

Being a parent to someone who was once your parent is so incredibly difficult and mentally challenging.

I didn’t understand why she was doing this to herself. I didn’t understand why she was putting me through this.

My brother had said she mailed him something about a month or so prior to her death. It is not my place to speak too much on it but it was a letter that was written with much love and sincerity. My heart was so content and happy that he received it. He was a mama’s boy through and through and she loved him with a very deep and special love.

After she had passed and we were gathering her things, I found a handwritten letter at her bedside written to “her darling daughter Danielle” It was recently written. Written with words I longed to hear for a very long time.

The letter stated how much she loved me. It stated how badly she wished we had a different relationship. It stated how she hoped one day I could forgive her. It stated flaws in her own childhood/adolescence. It stated how proud she was of me. It stated how much she liked my significant other. It stated ways to love and how to forgive the person you are in relationship with and others close to you. The letter was a piece of her heart.

For the first time ever, I truly and deeply felt so much sadness and pain for her. That she hated herself and was so sad with life that she never realized those who loved her. Those who wanted her healthy. Those who wanted to enjoy life with her. Her children who needed her. It saddens me I’ll get married one day and have children and she’ll never see that. It saddens me she won’t see my little brother graduate high school. It saddens me that I will always wonder “what if”.

I miss you ma, so much. Even during the roughest times, I could never stay mad for long. You were contagious. I’d walk in your hospital room or bedroom or a restaurant or anywhere and you’d immediately make me laugh with some smart ass, witty comment.

You taught me to not put up with shit. You taught me responsibility. And you taught me how to be strong, which is something I’m trying to be now more than ever.

life doesn’t give a shit about you

How’s that for a title?

A little more bold than my previous titles.

But it’s true. Life doesn’t give a shit about you. However, you need to give a shit about life. I’m probably going to repeat that 10x for the next 3 minutes along with my next statement:

You have to take control of life before life controls you.

When life controls us, we sort to some form of unhealthy coping mechanism. Whether it’s a drug of choice, an abundance of alcohol, porn, over-eating, closing people off, a money spending habit, etc.

2019 has been a year of growth for me. I’ve been bitter and I’ve been a whole hell of a lot better than this to tell you the truth.

  • my mother’s kidneys failed and she began dialysis 3x a week (failed from years and years of substance abuse and uncontrolled blood pressure)
  • my father passed away from liver failure (alcoholism)
  • one of my friends since childhood passed away
  • I had an unplanned pregnancy and a miscarriage at 7 weeks

All of which occurred within the past 10 months, which is another reason why I have not written on here. I knew I didn’t have it together so who was I to give other people ideas on how to live their lives?

The past few months everything really hit me and I turned into the exact opposite of who I was. I turned into a negative, bitter, angry human. I’m embarrassed at my mindset quite frankly, it’s very much out of my character.

Now, I don’t tell you my past occurrences for sympathy, I am telling you so you can possibly at least learn something from this or be aware of the situation you’re in.

You have to take control of life before life controls you.

Take that statement and do what you want with it. But between those 4 experiences I just listed, I sadly let life control me. I was such an emotional mess.

My go to excuse was that “I had been through so much.”

And because of that “I couldn’t be fixed.”

An “it is what it is” attitude.

I just attempted to block it all out at first which in return led to me being unable to cope with my feelings in a healthy manner. Short tempered, not appreciative, mood swings, outbursts of anger and crying, etc. That was me. I was draining actually. A debbie downer, if you will. I hated who I was becoming. I was sad, I was mad and I thought everyone else should be that way too.

Now don’t let me confuse you, it is absolutely ok to be sad when things like this happen.

I believe crying can be great for you.  I believe some emotion in general can be great for you. But at any given time those emotions (or lack of emotions) begin to change and worsen who you are as a person: Do something. Take control.

Therapy is okay. You’re taking control.

Admitting you can’t handle something on your own is okay. You’re taking control.

Anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, anxiety meds, etc all okay.

Whatever it takes to get you back in control.

When you are in control, your mindset and your outlook on life completely changes.

Life is going to throw you curves and not think twice about it, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it control you or control your future outlook on things.

You have to learn to deal with the bad things. The bad things are a part of life. You have to learn how to properly cope with the bad things, accept the bad things, and try your damn best to see the good in the bad things.

life doesn’t give a shit about you.

but when you give a shit about life

particularly yours.

 it can be beautiful.

My little brother’s father stepping in and raising me when my birth father couldn’t be around…beautiful.

My great grandmother (rest in peace my sweet little Italian angel) who picked up where my mother lacked growing up… beautiful.

Dialysis machines existing which will prolong my mother’s life and will give us more time to mend our relationship… beautiful.

Being able to spend the last 3 days of my birth father’s life with him and receiving closure after years of absence and heartache… beautiful.

The experience I’ve gained… the knowledge I’ve acquired.. the places I’ve been… beautiful.

 

life can indeed be beautiful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

an open letter to high school me

Dear Danielle,

You’re actually spending your entire high school career being someone you’re not.

Your home life sucks, stop trying to act like you live in a perfect world. It is what it is.

While it’s not fair, one day you’ll be appreciative of all the hard things you encounter because it’s going to make you into a pretty cool person believe it or not.

You continuously put yourself out there and are involved in activities you’re not even interested in: pageants, homecoming court, student council, etc.

You get caught up in forcing yourself to hang out with the “cool” crowd (in a few years, most of them will all be irrelevant) instead of hanging out with people of substance that can benefit you.

You do everything in your power to avoid the obstacles that are in front of you instead of taking them on.

You’re lacking attention at home. Instead of getting attention from a parent, you usually are the parent.

You are living two different lives.

The teenage girl who had part of her childhood taken from her, and the teenage party girl who acts like her life is perfect.

While this is a great escape from the life you really live… I want you to be yourself. Don’t be ashamed of what is going on in your life. This is out of your control. I promise you if you take the time to surround yourself with different people (the “uncool” crowd, if you will) it would make all the difference in the world.

Surround yourself with positive influences: not the ones who get drunk and high all the time because it’s cool.

Surround yourself with nice girls: not the ones who talk down to others for being different. At the end of the day, the “real you” in your “real” life is also very different. Don’t be a hypocrite.

Surround yourself with guys who don’t look at you as just another piece of ass: Look, you have some daddy issues and momma issues. You don’t realize it yet but you do. Your dad has never been in the picture. At this time in your life, you haven’t experienced unconditional love from a man. Your mother has a whole list of issues ranging from narcissistic ways to addiction. You show love and attention to her and don’t receive it back. This isn’t fair, everyone should feel loved and like someone is there for them. You will learn how to cope with this as an adult and you will get through it. HOWEVER, jumping in the backseat of that truck will not make you feel loved and I can promise you that he will not be there for you like you are expecting.

Surround yourself with school work: you are so smart and you don’t take advantage of that. You don’t have someone checking your grades and saying they’re proud of you for your accomplishments so you don’t try at all. You are throwing so much away by doing that. You absolutely deserve to hear that you’re doing great and are capable of doing anything, however, you’re not in that situation. You need to push yourself and get whatever scholarships you can get. You don’t know this yet but after you graduate, you will financially be completely on your own. You’re going to have to pay for your own school, gas, food, car insurance, medical bills, etc.

Life doesn’t get any better after high school, Danielle. It actually gets worse. I need you to prepare yourself for the struggles you will continue to go through. Start becoming the best version of yourself now. Be nice to people. Do things that truly make you happy. Do your homework and study. Stay away from the shitty friends and boys. Don’t pretend your someone you’re not.

Make the most out of the issues you have going on, and let this motivate you to accomplish great things.

Most importantly, stop running from your issues.

You can’t run from them forever.

They will confront you and they will consume you and they will completely take over your life. Next thing you know, you’re a 20 something year old trying to figure out the life you’ve been given and trying to come to terms with all the bad cards you were dealt.

Sending lots of self love and a whole lot of kick ass, because you’ll need it.

Sincerely,

your future self

New year. Better me.

I don’t know about you all, but New Year’s resolutions stress me out. According to the dictionary, “resolution” means an act of resolving or determining: firmness of purpose.

I’m already stressed reading that. I never carry out any of my goals. Probably because I set ones that are extremely high. While setting your goals high can be great for some, it’s not that great for those like me. People like me need to make smaller goals. Why? Because when I fail at said goal (which was probably unrealistic in the first place), my self esteem fails as well. I don’t just brush it off like some, it sticks with me and bothers me. Depression and anxiety are hard enough to deal with, therefore this is the year that I make smaller goals.

So, I’ve came up with 4 different New Year’s resolutions. I’m not sure if they’ll work or if I’ll be able to carry them through but if you wanna jump on this wagon with me then keep reading

Resolution #1-

GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED.

Let’s not just get out of bed but let’s push ourselves to look nice and like we have our sh*t together. Ever heard the saying “fake it, till you make it?” Yep, that’s what we’re doing. If we look good then we feel good. If we feel good then our self esteem and confidence will be good. The whole start of our day is good. We’re motivated.

WORK IT OUT

No, not too look good or be skinny. Those things can be nice but exercise releases endorphins which helps elevate our mood and decrease anxiety. I’m going to focus more on yoga this year. I’ve noticed that it pulls me out of the “no-motivation” mindset I get sometimes.

BREAK GOALS AND TASKS INTO SMALL STEPS

As stated before, goals can be extremely overwhelming for people like me (aka people with depression/anxiety). I’m not going to just write down a goal but I’m going to break down that goal into smaller pieces so it can be more manageable for me. I will get it done step by step. I hope by doing it this way i’ll feel a sense of accomplishment with every step. I also hope the sense of accomplishment will help motivate me to continue with that goal.

REALIZE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS

Build on any positive developments whether they are small or big. Every time you get up and get out of bed and interact with the craziness of this world, you’re achieving something. Build upon these small achievements to achieve all of your goals.

So, those are my New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

If you read all of this and you’re still not motivated, no worries. No one said that you absolutely just have to have a New Years resolution.

Don’t look in the past and don’t focus too much on the future.

Take life one day at a time.

Each day can be an achievement in it self.