I can no longer stay silent on this issue…

I have sat at the computer over and over, typing and deleting, trying to find the right words. But even now, I’m realizing there are no right words for the state this country is in. And I am scared. I am scared because there is so much hate all around us. I am scared that someone can take someone else’s life and not feel an ounce of regret, knowing they killed one of God’s creations. I am scared that after all these years, these issues are still so prominent in the country that is supposed to be the land of the free.

Each time one of these senseless murders happen, I keep quiet. I keep quiet because I don’t let myself get involved in politics. But I can not stay quiet anymore. Because by staying quiet, you are only contributing to the problem. I am beyond heartbroken knowing, yet again, another innocent black life has been taken. Knowing this kind man had walked out his door to go shopping, something so many of us do every week, and never made it home because a man filled with hate decided to take his life. Living with anxiety, each time I leave my home I can’t help but worry I won’t make it back and the sad reality is that for people of color, they think this as well. But they think this because they see over and over again their race being murdered for no reason at all. They are raised to watch their every move, and to be cautious at all times, even around the people who are supposed to be protecting them. The people who took an oath to protect the human race but are all too often the same people who time and time again commit these unspeakable acts.

How can someone listen to another person cry and beg, telling them over and over that what they are doing is causing them to not be able to breath; saying they are going to die and still continue to do the action that ultimately will result in death? How can someone stand and watch another person as they slowly kill an innocent man and do nothing to prevent it from happening? How can someone who swore to protect people, live with himself knowing he took such a wonderful man from his family and friends for no reason? How can someone live with themselves knowing they signed up to protect people yet chose not to save this man while he was being murdered right in front of them?

I am truly sick to my stomach thinking of all the innocent black men, women and children who have lost their lives for no other reason than pure hate. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Treyvon Martin and countless others, taken from this world way too soon because of their skin color. Their memory will live on and their deaths must not be forgotten but rather fuel the fire for change. The way people of color, as well as all minorities, are treated in this country is a huge problem and something must be done to fix it. It is time for everyone to stand up and fight for what it is right. We all need to make our voices heard and be clear that this kind of disgusting, brutal behavior will not be tolerated any longer! We need to stand with our African american brothers and sisters who still in the year 2020 are being denied basic human rights. No one in this country should have to fear for their lives!

Being racist is never okay, something needs to change and justice needs to be served. It can not be ignored any longer for the longer it is ignored, the more innocent black lives are taken. I am angry, scared, and beyond all, heartbroken knowing this is the world we live in. I will not be quiet any longer and will do my part to show that these actions are not okay and will not be tolerable anymore. I encourage everyone else to do so as well! Use your voice, tweet using the hashtag #blacklivesmatter so it becomes trending, consistently share posts on Instagram and Facebook and anything else that gets the message out there! I fear for the lives of my African american friends and am saddened to know that this is how they must live. Knowing they must live in fear because hate is so strong in this country. I may not be black, but I see you, I hear you, I mourn for you, and I will stand with you. I hope everyone else out there will too because change will only happen if everyone stands together ❤

Until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D. ❤

Other ways to help make a change and end these senseless murders in America:

Please, sign this petition for justice for George Floyd and donate if you can! Every signature counts!

https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd

Also, donate to the memorial fund if you can to help George’s grieving family during this horrible time.

And lastly, go to this website to find out how to help end police brutality in our country.

https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision

Just keep breathing

Today is one of those bad days. Those days where I can hardly move without pain shooting through every part of my body. I haven’t had a bad pain day like this in a long time so immediately felt discouraged when I opened my eyes and realized every bit of me hurt. I had a list of house work I had planned to complete today. I still had to put away the clothes from the laundry I did yesterday, I wanted to straighten up and organize the corner of our game/living room, and planned to make Tom and myself a nice chicken dinner. However, all my plans for the day were suddenly halted and I knew I would be stuck in bed instead all day. 

This is the reality of living with a chronic illness. You never know how you will feel day to day or even hour by hour. You can make an entire plan but if you wake up that day sick and in pain, your plans are completely changed and there really isn’t anything you can do about it. Sure, sometimes you can push through but not without consequences. If you push your body when you’re already having a bad pain day, it will only end with additional days stuck in bed or even worse, a trip to the hospital. When you live with chronic illness, you must always be aware of your health and how to take care of yourself. Self care must be number 1. But this is easier said than done. 

When I got up and realized I would get nothing done today, the familiar feeling of failure and depression crept up and I just wanted to cry. At 23 I don’t want to admit I can’t do normal everyday things all the time. I’m not okay with not being able to do stuff. But no matter how strong those feelings are, I force myself to remember that if all I do today is survive, then that’s enough. On days like today, all that matters is that I took care of myself and did the things necessary for my health and well being. This is something crucial all people suffering with not only chronic but also mental illness need to remember. Healthy people don’t understand what it takes just to keep breathing in a body that wants to destroy you. If they knew what it took, I guarantee they would start looking at us all differently because they would realize we are constantly fighting just to survive.

So the point of all of this is that I know it can be frustrating and demoralizing when chronic and/or mental illness prevents you from doing normal everyday things. I know for me it not only makes me feel like a failure of a wife but of just a human being in general. But what’s important is knowing that you are doing the best you can with the life you have been given and on days where just walking up the stairs makes you cry out in pain, all that you need to do is take care of yourself and keep breathing. And if that’s all you can do, well, that’s more than enough. Tomorrow is a new day, that list can wait, but your health can not. Just keep staying strong and never lose hope that things will one day get better

Until next time my darlings, 

Kaylee D. ❤ 

What 2018 has taught me

Hello my darlings and Happy New Year!! I hope you all had a wonderful new year eve’s and new years day! Can you believe it’s already 2019!? Seems crazy right! 2018 has been one hell of year for me! From struggling with my physical and mental health, to saying “I do” to my best friend, and wrapping up the year with a truly once in a lifetime honeymoon trip, 2018 has been packed full of memories. Through the memories, this year has also taught me a lot so I thought for today, I would write a post about the lessons 2018 has given me. So here are 8 things this past year has taught me, hope you enjoy! 🙂

  1. Nothing is ever going to go exactly how you picture/planned, but that’s okay

After spending over a year planning our Disney themed wedding, I had a clear picture of how I wanted every detail of that day to go. No matter what other people told me, I couldn’t let go of that picture and kept saying, “Oh, I won’t be that bride.” Well..I was that bride. Our wedding was amazing but I would be lying if I said every detail went exactly how I wanted it to. But in the end, all those little details didn’t really matter. All that mattered was I got to marry my best friend and I wish I had enjoyed more of the planning process instead of obsessing over every detail. In the same way, I had this picture in my head that by the wedding, Tom and I would have our own place. This also never materialized and though that was tough to handle, I know now that at that time, it wasn’t the right time for us to have a home. 2018 has shown me that just because you have a picture in your mind of how you want something to go, it will more than likely, never go exactly like that but that is okay. Because in the end, even if we don’t know it, we are exactly where we are supposed to be and as long as you’re surrounded by loving friends and family, any event will be special. Even if every detail doesn’t go as planned.

  1. You’re not alone, remember to lean on your friends and family

There were many moments this year where I felt alone. Wedding planning stress mixed with trying to find a house mixed with just generic health issues had me at my breaking point numerous times. Being the stubborn person I am, I convinced myself I was alone in all of this but in reality, I wasn’t. I have some of the most amazing friends, family, and now husband around me and once I let down my guard and I let them help me, this weight was lifted off my shoulder and I could smile again. 2018 was a year full of memories with some of my best girlfriends and throughout all of it, I believe it really brought us closer together and I can not wait to see the memories we will make in 2019. It’s hard sometimes to believe we aren’t alone when we are going through difficult times. It’s even harder when you suffer from a mental illness that basically convinces you that you are alone in this but the truth is, you’re not. When your going through something stressful, don’t isolate yourself and hide but instead, lean on the ones closest to you, because I guarantee you, once you do, you’ll realize just how loved you are and whatever your dealing with, won’t seem so big anymore.

  1. Home is not always a place

Besides for planning a wedding, my main focus this entire year was trying to buy a house, a home. Our living situation is not the best but after constant disappointment and struggles, I realized something very important. Home isn’t always a place. You could have a huge, two-story house but if it’s not filled with love, all it is is a building. 2018 taught me that my home is with my husband and our two fur babies. It doesn’t matter if we are living in his mom’s house, my grandmas, or our own house, as long as we are together, I know i’m home.

  1. Change can be difficult but it’s inevitable

This year brought two major changes to my life. One good and one bad. Obviously, the good change is that I’m a wife now. Getting married is something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl and it’s still so unreal to me that I really am married. This was a welcomed change. I won’t say it wasn’t scary because it definitely was but it’s a change I am very happy to have happened in my life. On the other hand, losing a job I had been a part of since graduating high school, was a change that brought sadness and still affects me. Though at times my job was difficult, I really did enjoy working in student financial services at my local college. The best part was having so many supportive co-workers who became a second family to me. I knew my temporary position would come to an end in November but it didn’t hurt any less. I’m still struggling with this change. That job was all I’ve known for 4 years and having to now find a new job is beyond stressful to me. But 2018 showed me that you can’t stop change, it’s going to happen. The only thing you can control, is how you deal with that change. Though I am still very upset about my job ending, i’m trying to look at it as an open door and a chance to find a career that i’m meant to be in. A career that truly makes me happy. So even though I know it’s tough, next time a difficult change happens in your life, try to look at what the bright side could be. You never know, it could be the start of the best years of your life.

  1. It’s okay to splurge and treat yourself now and then but not everyone is going to agree with you

After planning and paying for a wedding basically on our own, Tom and I were ready to just get away. We were extremely blessed to be able to take a two and a half week honeymoon that including going to three, well 7 if you count the ports, places. We started our honeymoon in North Carolina, than Walt Disney World, and finally, an 8 day eastern Caribbean carnival cruise to Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, and St. Maarten. This truly was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us and I am so beyond grateful and happy that we got to experience all we did in those two and a half weeks as newlyweds. However, before going, we got some hate from family members. They believed we were wasting our money and going away for way to long. It was hard to block them out but in the end, we both knew we needed this honeymoon after such a stressful year. 2018 showed me that not everyone is going to agree with your decisions but you have to follow your heart and know that it’s okay to splurge now and then.

  1. Exercise and healthy eating is the best medicine

2018 was the year Tom and I finally joined our local gym. Both of us wanted to get more in shape for the wedding but more than just weight loss for me, the gym became a place where I felt at peace. I had always been told that exercise and eating healthy works wonders for anxiety and depression but I was always too stubborn and lazy to try. Once I got engaged though, I knew I wanted to be healthier before walking down that aisle so I let Tom convince me to join the gym and that was one of the best decisions I made this past year. Working out provides me with clarity,energy, and just a sense of happiness and purpose that I don’t always feel. I absolutely love going to the gym and even though I haven’t been in a while due to all the wedding, honeymoon,and holiday stress, I can not wait to return this week. 2018 showed me that exercise really does do wonders so next time someone suggests trying the gym to help with anxiety and/or depression, don’t just ignore them but try it. You never know how therapeutic it can be.

  1. Remember to document the memories, not just the place

As many of you know, I love to take pictures, videos, and write about memories I have made. Documenting my life is something that is both fun and therapeutic for me. This year, I have also got into vlogging more serious and hope by the end of 2019, will have a YouTube channel up and running to share that side of my life. Though I took probably over 1000 photos on my honeymoon, one thing I noticed was many of my photos were of the places or things around me. 2018 showed me that it’s not the place that is important, but the memory and the people you share these experiences with that is important to document. 20 years from now, I want to look in a photo album and see pictures of my husband and I on the beach in Grand Turk vs. just a plain beach picture. Though I took some like this, I really wish I took more. Especially when it comes to the videos I took. So next time your documenting a moment, remember that it’s the people who are most important to capture and the beauty of the place is just a bonus.

  1. But also know when to just savor the moment and put the camera down

As important as documenting may be, you also need to know when to just put the camera down and savor the moment. Though Tom loves to take pictures and video too, he is a heavy believer in just savoring certain moments. When we were in Disney, we got to witness the Happily Ever After Fireworks and also were given a wishing key to hold and make a wish on during the show. I was so determined to capture the fireworks on video, that even though we made a wish and I shed some tears because of how beautiful the display was, I feel in my heart I didn’t get to savor such a special moment with my husband because I was too focused on recording the show to watch later. 2018 has shown me that it’s okay to want to document everything, but just know that some things are only meant to be saved in a memory. Some moments will be 10x more special if they are just moments shared with the person or people around you and not photographed or videotaped to see in the future.

So there you have it, 8 things 2018 has taught me. Like I said in my last post, 2018 has been the happiest, yet, most difficult year of my life. It was filled with memories and laughter but also disappointment and tears, but through it all, 2018 was truly an unforgettable year and one that taught me so much. So now I ask you, what is something 2018 taught you this year? Drop a comment down below and as alway, I hope you enjoyed reading this!

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

Sea of Darkness

Extreme pain shoots through my upper back.

My fingers are swollen and sore and my legs feel to weak to walk.

I try to sit at work but the pain is getting to be too much for me to handle, too much for me to hide.

I need to walk away for a moment, I need to go somewhere I can be alone.

I rush to the bathroom.

Once there, I start to cry. I don’t want to cry but the pain is too intense.

Even more, the thought of dealing with this for the rest of my life scares me more than words can say.

Knowing this will always be the case, knowing this will always be my life.

How do I ever expect to live a normal life when these diseases keep taking over my body. Inhabiting every joint, every muscle.

Normal tasks like brushing my hair are even too much to handle. I struggle to open my water bottle because my fingers refuse to work.

With each letter I type, I feel my fingers burn, causing tears to hit my eyes because writing is my life. How can something that brings me so much joy cause pain to my body?

I’m so tired, so exhausted all the time. I don’t have energy to do the things I once loved to do. Some days, it’s a struggle to even get out of my bed. My body feels like a rock and the more I try to pull myself up to get ready, the heavier my body seems to become.

People ask why i’m so tired all the time, they ask me why I struggle to keep my eyes open.

Concerned that i’m not getting the proper amount of sleep but don’t they understand it doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I will always be tired. Because my exhaustion is not from being sleepy, no, instead my exhaustion is from the constant struggle to just survive in a body that constantly wants to quit.

This pain, though, also keeps me up at night causing constant insomnia, that only increases the exhaustion I feel.

I long for those days from my childhood. The days before Arthritis and Fibromyalgia invaded my body. I long to be that girl again whose body never kept her down. Who could run and play for hours without having to worry about not being able to get out of bed the next day. Who could keep up with everyone else instead of fall behind due to the pain in her knees being so bad she can’t possibly keep up their pace.

When I have a flare, thoughts of being wheelchair bound by the time i’m 40 start to stir in my head.

Thoughts of not being able to hold and play with my children haunt my life.

How can I tell my child “Mommy can’t hold you today because she is in pain” when they’re reaching out to me?

This thought constantly makes me just want to cry because it’s the realization that I will always be suffering.

I’m sick of disappointing the ones around me. Of having to cancel plans or change plans because my body just can’t do what everyone wanted to that day.

I’m sick of coming in late to work or calling out completely because I physically can’t move that day.  

Sick of having people say to me, “Well, you don’t look like your sick or in pain” when in reality it feels like i’m dying and my entire body is being constantly tortured by itself.

The fear of things never getting better, the fear that it will only get worse from here is constantly on my mind. Even on the days I feel good, that fear pricks my mind, reminding me that this feeling won’t last.

I’m usually good at hiding this fear. I’m usually good at pushing through the pain and doing my very best but days like today, day’s where the weather is bad and i’m having a full-on flare up, I can’t help but break my usual facade.

I’m scared, i’m hurting and i’m just so tired of fighting.

And though I know I need to just remain strong, some days, it’s so hard to see the light when i’m surrounded by a sea of darkness.

On the Outside

On the outside. That’s how she felt. Disconnected from the world and the people around her.

Longing to be herself but always being someone else because the person she was would always just annoy people.

Often drinking because when she was drunk, she was free to be the person she really was and people wouldn’t mind because they’d believe it was just the alcohol that caused her to act so free and crazy.

She was the girl who always had big dreams but her dreams never matched with the ones surrounding her.

Wanting to Vlog every chance she could but too scared of what her friends would say.

Wanting to get into modeling and cosplay but convinced her friends would just make fun of her and make her doubt any chance of becoming someone. Just like they always had.

All of this caused the girl to feel alone.

This feeling of loneliness and being out-of-place was nothing new to her though.

For she had felt that way many times throughout her 22 years of life.

Always acting older than she really was, always dreaming of bigger things.

Always the mom of the group, the responsible one.

The one who rather stay at home cuddling with her fiance while watching a movie than out at the club partying into all hours of the night.

A girl who had an imagination like no other but whose imagination kept becoming less and less as reality took over.

Who once could look at a blank piece of paper and write for hours about a new land but now stares at a half-written novel with not a clue of where to go.

She dreams of becoming someone, of becoming famous.

And not because of the normal reasons someone wants to become famous but because by being famous people would hear her story.

They would hear her constant struggle with anxiety and depression.

How she suffers everyday in a body that just wants to quit because Arthritis has invaded every joint and Fibromyalgia has taken over every muscle.

How she has always felt on the outside but no matter what kept going.

She wants to be famous to help the ones out there who suffer too.

Who wake up in the morning and wish they never had.

To show them they can conquer any of their demons and that life is worth all this pain.

To show them, they are not alone.

She dreams of the day her story will help others.

But often that dream becomes dark when she thinks of how she will never be good enough. When she stares at that piece of paper and that sense of magic doesn’t spark her fingers to start to type causing her to wonder if she even has the talent to cause people to want to hear her.

She’s just a girl trying to fit into a world she will never belong in.

Because the world today wasn’t built for people like her.

Wasn’t made for the ones with creativity in their heart, the ones who believe in magic and love. The world today crushes the people who are like her, crushes people who are different.

But people who are different are people who are special.

They are the ones who can change the world, they are the ones that bring that sense of magic into others lives.

Who can turn the dark and grey into a rainbow and a frown into a smile.

Sadly, too often society wins and these people who could have done so much, are consumed by the dark reality and that spark of magic in them goes out, never to be lit again.

She is caught between the special person she is and the person society wishes for her to become.

Stuck between the two, fighting to keep the magic in her alive.

But magic doesn’t pay the bills, magic doesn’t get you a house, magic can’t feed a family.

How can magic survive in a world that is designed to kill creativity.

How can she continue to believe in mythicality and childhood dreams when her life calls for her to grow up and forget those silly fantasies.

When people constantly tell her that she can’t be herself in public because by being herself and following her dreams, shes destined to fail at life.

When they tell her to give up those silly fantasies of becoming a writer, of becoming a known Youtuber and model and start focusing on the real world because you’re a grown up now.

So she continues to be stuck in between, still on the outside, yearning for the day she realizes that being on the outside is better than being consumed on the inside. The day where she is confident enough to ignore the ones around her who only believe she will fail and follow her dreams with everything she has.

The day she realizes how lucky she is to be different in such a cookie-cutter world because that will be the day she will unlock the special power within her and ignite a flame that no one will ever be able to stomp out.

Regret…

Regret. A six letter word that can hold so much power over one’s life. I won’t lie, there are many things that I have done, but more that I  haven’t done that I regret in life and it seems as the time goes on, more and more regrets build up. Last night, I went to support my friends as they performed in their show choir concert. For many of them, this would be their last show choir performance as a DCC student and it was bittersweet watching them. From the moment I arrived, I felt a surge of regret hit me. I haven’t seen my friends in months and the first encounter with a few of them was nothing but awkward. One friend in particular who was like a brother to me, greeted me with a hug but the sense of friendship we always once had seemed estranged. As we talked about our hectic lives, I noticed the extreme difference between the two of us. He would talk about performing in shows, organizing drama club events, getting into his next college and passing his music classes while I talked about working, finishing up my online classes, wedding planning and trying to find a home. You know, adult things. From there, the conversation got awkward and I was relieved to know the show would be starting soon so it was time to take my seat. However, at that moment I realized how much I wish I was waiting with them all to perform as well. I had a choice this past spring when it came to my last semester at DCC. I could take actual classes, continue to be in show choir and finish off my year by my friends side or I could take online classes so I could focus on work and making money for Tom and my future. That and a mixture of physical and mental health problems, seemed to make the decision for me much harder. Well, in the end you know which one I chose and up until last night, I thought I made the right choice. But last night, watching them on that stage, it hit me that I should be up there too. When the show was over, I greeted my friends with huge hugs while I held back the tears. Didn’t help that their last song was “you will be found” from Dear Evan Hansen. Though it was awkward before the show, I was happy to see things seemed to go back to normal for me and Christian. Him giving me three hugs and a kiss on the cheek just showed me that though we don’t hang out anymore, that strong friendship is still there. We also agreed we need to hang out this summer and unlike every time before, this time we need to follow through with our plans. Though some of my friends welcomed me with open arms, others completely ignored me and didn’t say a word to me. That’s what hurts the most. Some of these people I was so close with just a year ago and now, they act like I’m nothing more than a stranger. But, I mean that’s life right? If you don’t fit in and do what they do, than you’re a nothing, a nobody, That wasn’t more clear than last night. I left the school feeling depressed, regretful and like a failure. I couldn’t help but think about all the decisions I have made when it came to college. College is supposed to be a pivotal time in someone’s life. When I was younger, I always thought of my college years.You know, knowing exactly what major I wanted to study, meeting lifelong friends who actually care about you, participating in a ton of on campus activities and clubs. But I also knew at a very young age I wanted to become a wife and a mother in my early twenties. When Tom and I got together, we had talked about going off to college together. Both of us went to community college but we always talked about going away to college together to get our Bachelors. But as life continues, that thought grew more and more distant. I was content at DCC. I had made wonderful friends, was a part of the show choir and drama club, and was studying performing arts. I was happy. But I didn’t know how to balance that and working enough to build my future so I gave all that up. To make matters even worse, it took my fourth year at DCC and going to therapy to realize I never should have stopped majoring in psychology. Just another regret to add to the pile of others. I keep trying to see the silver lining, the positive that I can pull but it’s very hard. If I had just doubled major in performing arts and psychology from the start and continued to be active in drama and show choir with my friends I would be graduating alongside my friends this month with two associate degrees. Instead, I’m not even participating in graduation because I feel there is no celebration in just a general studies degree after four years of college. I always try to have a message or lesson within these type of blog posts but the only one I can really pull out of this is, just follow your heart. You’re going to regret the things you never did way more than something you did that turned out to be wrong. If I could, I would rewind time and actually enjoy my college years. It’s too late now…my friends will be going off to a new four-year school and who knows how many I will even keep in touch with… :/  So I need to just accept the descion I made and move past it…I just wish it was as easy to do as it is to say..

 

Well, until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D. ❤