Attention Attention

I am looking for people to share their personal stories that fall under the following categories:

Depression

Anxiety

PTSD

ADD/ADHD

Psychotic Disorders

Personality Disorders

Self Harm

Suicide

Share your story in any way you like. Do you prefer to type it out in classic text form? That’s great! Are you more of a visual person? Wonderful! Create a story board that can be uploaded. A small amount of text would need to be included! I am completely open to all forms of collaboration!

If you are interested please contact me by email at beautifullyontheedge@gmail.com

Answer the following questions and if you are a fit for my blog I will let you know!

1. Name

2. Age

3. How did you hear about the opportunity?

4. Why are you interested in being a collaborator on “A Place For My Head?”

5. Are you comfortable sharing your personal information under your name or would you prefer a pen name?

6. What way would you like to share your story? (Classic blog post, visual, other form?)

Matt;e

Alone Together

What day is it? Quarantine day (whatever). There are so many struggling mentally right now and it is no different for me.

I am dealing with mania right now. While I am not bi-polar I do deal with mania from time to time. Being out of work is hard for me. I am trying so hard to keep myself busy and trying to have a purpose in a time where I feel so helpless.

My husband was so encouraging today and helped me rearrange and clean our living space. I always joke with people that I need creative chaos, but I have literally been living in full on chaos.

So here is my advise for those of you that are struggling. Do something for yourself even if it is taking a bath. Clean up the clutter (clutter can make you even more depressed). Take a walk and enjoy your surroundings. I am lucky I live in a rural area and I am surrounded by land. I know everyone doesn’t have that luxury, but do what you can during this crazy time.

Last but certainly not least if you need to talk to someone reach out! You are not alone!

Matt;e

Halfway Gone

Hey there. It’s been a while. I had big plans for this blog and then life got extremely busy. Life changed. Life threw me a curve ball. Isn’t that what life is good at?

So where to begin? I guess let’s do a quick update on the last 7 months.

I sold my salon. I became my own boss. Business has been booming. My husband got laid off. Ryann started 1st Grade. We sold our house. We uprooted our lives. We moved to Cullman and are living with my parents. I started working at a second salon. Jude turned 3. Jeremy and I celebrated 8 years of marriage.

I’ve been depressed (that’s the one constant in my life wa wa waaaaa). I’ve had high high and low lows.

Dang. A lot has happened in a short period of time. That’s the struggle with depression. Things can be going great and sometimes you still feel so sad. Please don’t get me wrong…I have SO much to be thankful for and I am extremely blessed to be tired because I am working so much because I have work to do!

I’m making a promise to myself to be more active in my blog. I’ve had quite a few people ask me why I haven’t been writing and that they missed it and boy does that make a girl feel good!

Until next blog!

Matt;e

Don’t Drink the Water

I’m sorry my blogging has been sporadic. I never realized how difficult it would be to get all my thought into writing!

Tonight I want to talk about alcohol and why I tend to stay away from it. First of all there is one probably very obvious reason why I say no. I take medications that can be adversely affected by alcohol. This is NOT a blog about why I think drinking is wrong, because I don’t think it is!

Before I met Jeremy I was in a very toxic relationship with a black out alcoholic. If you know me well you know that I can be quite a push over and a shrinking violet when it comes to conflict. This guy was everything in a relationship that I did not need. He had gotten kicked out of the military due to his alcoholism. (I didn’t find this out until after our relationship ended.) I remember early in our relationship I had tried to draw a line in the amount he was drinking. I was 19 and while I had had drinks before I didn’t drink in excess. I’m just not fond of the taste and I don’t like the way it makes me feel. Anyway, one night I could smell alcohol on his breath and yet again I confronted him and he promised me he would cut it out. I take promises very seriously so to say I was devastated when I got a call from his sister telling me he had gotten fired from his job for drinking on the job and I needed to come pick him up is an understatement. There is a lot I have blocked out from this relationship, but I vividly remember this night. I picked him up and I completely let him have it. While we were driving down a major highway he decides to start climbing out of my Civic and proceeds to run down the side of the road. (By the way this guy is 6’7″) I finally get him back in my car and to the parking lot of my apartment. The next thing I know he is out of my car, punches the back windshield out of the car parked next to me with his bare fist), and is running around my apartment complex completely blacked out. Luckily someone heard the commotion and called the police. The police arrived relatively quickly and I still remember sitting in a Hoover’s Finest SUV thinking of ways that I could “save” this man.

I think this night was probably the first time my mom ever came to my rescue and I had full appreciation for her being there! It’s not that I wasn’t thankful for her before, but this time I just needed her. She helped me see that I didn’t NEED a man and I definitely didn’t need to take care of or save a man who couldn’t even show me respect. She made me realize that had I gotten out of my car 5 seconds before I did that car windshield could have been me.

That was a long story to get to my point. I don’t mind drinking and I definitelydon’t mind being around you if you are drinking. However, if I begin to feel uncomfortable in a situation where drinking is involved I tend to flee because I have major anxiety due to the story above.

Matt;e

Walking in Circles

Nearly 17 years. Over 10 different medications. That has been my life. That has been my struggle. Why can’t there just be a one size fits all medication for depression, anxiety, etc?! Because we are all wired differently and there is no magic answer to tell us which medicine will work, which medicine will last, which routine will keep us in check. Some medicines have made me feel worse or over medicated. Some make me sweat so much that I felt like I was going through menopause.

For 15 years I would go through spurts where I was doing really well, but my body and my brain would tell me “hey you’re doing better you don’t need that stuff.” I finally had to ask myself “is it worth it to give my life to pills?” When I finally answered yes to that question my life changed. I can’t tell you how hard it is for someone to look down on you because you depend on something so small to re-wire your brain. But that does NOT make me weak. It takes a ton of strength to sort out pills and make a vow to yourself and your family to take them every single day.

I am so thankful that I have finally found a regimen that works for me. Last week a friend on Facebook shared a post saying that people who take Adderall are “meth heads.” I was offended, hurt, and overwhelmed. For someone to make such a statement is why we have such a horrible stigma about mental health and medication in this country! Please if you don’t believe in medication do some research! Yes there are plenty of people who abuse medication, but there are plenty of us that need it. And a lot more of those people who need it would take it properly if they weren’t shamed for it.

That’s all I have for tonight.

Matt;e

Tell Me You Love Me

I think it is time for me to talk up my husband a little! I firmly believe I don’t have to put it out for the world to see, but sometimes I really enjoy bragging on him.

I “met” Jeremy in 2007 when we started chatting on IM because a mutual friend told me I should chat him up. You know you always have that friend that you don’t view as anything but a friend. That was Jeremy. I wouldn’t meet him in person til 2008.

I love to tell the story of our first date. A few weeks after we actually met I had planned to come up to Decatur with two friends and Jeremy was supposed to meet us. He totally stood me up so after the first part of my evening with my friends I made them take me to his house, I knocked on his door, and I told him “get in the car we are going to eat.” And the rest is history LOL! Not really but that was the beginning of a relationship that my parents had taught me I was worthy of. Don’t get me wrong I dated some guys that weren’t all bad, but each had a distinct characteristic that wasn’t worth my effort. (Another blog another day)

Jeremy was the first person I could tell everything about myself. I didn’t feel like I had to hide things and while in the beginning he didn’t understand all the quirks that made me…me he has helped me more than anyone will ever know.

After a little over a year of dating Jeremy proposed to me on his birthday and on November 12, 2010 we were married. Everyone tells you the first year of marriage is the hardest. Marriage is hard period. It took 6 years and 2 kids to get settled in and living with a spouse that has anxiety, depression, and sometimes paranoia can be taxing. Jeremy is a trooper.

There were multiple times in our first 5 years of marriage where I would get beside myself. I vividly remember one night walking out, getting in my car, and driving away. It was nothing that Jeremy did. I had to deal with my demons the only way I knew how at that point. I am thankful he is comfortable enough to seek guidance from my mom. I remember sitting in the Austin parking lot (not even a mile from our house) and crying my eyes out. About 30 minutes later I got a call from my mom stating how worried my husband was. That was like round 5 of going off my medicine because I kept forgetting to take it.

A common theme you will see in this blog is the day I decided I had to get help. It was early January 2017 and I was completely beside myself, raging through our house, making a fool of myself in front of my husband and my children. Jeremy found me in the floor of our closet crying. (I hadn’t gone a day in over 2 weeks without crying over something at this point) This is how amazing this man is. He gets down on my level, gets the “Jeremy voice”, pulls off his wedding ring and asks me why I gave that to him. Completely surprised I started to calm down and we just sat there while I dried it up. He gets the kids situated (y’all he is an amazing dad!) and in bed and then we have one of many serious discussions. That’s the one thing I love about my marriage. Jeremy and I don’t “fight.” We May have very heated discussions and disagreements, but we live by the old saying “never go to bed angry.” We hash everything out and it’s over!

The next day I found a psychiatrist and the journey began to change my life. I still currently see my psychiatrist and after a year of therapy my therapist felt I was in a good place to only come in if I needed “maintenance.”

Over the last 10 years Jeremy has come to understand if he thinks something is “off” to ask me or call me out on it. We are far from perfect, but our marriage has survived some of the lowest lows. We didn’t have an exit strategy when we decided to get married and we don’t have one now. We are in this for forever and I love getting to spend my days with him!

Matt;e

Breaking the Habit

It’s World Semicolon Day! I have been so behind on my blog due to being sick and I have been trying so hard to think about what all I want to write about today. Most people use this day to tell their story and while I am in the process of doing that with my entire blog I feel like it’s easier to maybe do a timeline of important events in my life that are linked to depression and self harm.

At a very young age I realized kids are cruel. I have always struggled with my weight so a lot of the name calling and teasing started early.

Middle school I think is a struggle for everyone. I was diagnosed clinically depressed when I wasin 7th grade. I started seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist at this time. 8th was the first time I ever felt like I wasn’t good enough to live. I started having feelings that the world would be better off without me. I contemplated suicide more than once. I vividly remember missing a day of school after having a very intense day of hopelessness. My mom got a call from the school to check on me because a couple of girls had gone to the office voicing concern with my absence. That day still sticks in my mind because someone actually cared.

Freshman year I moved to a private school where bullying continued, but the school acted on the major instances I had. That year I got a little break. I was able to really focus on choir and made some great friends.

Sophomore year we moved back to Cullman. I lived with my grandmother for 6 months while we transitioned into our new house. During those 6 months was the first time I ever self harmed. (I promise we will get to more of this in future blogs)

Junior year was probably the toughest. I was cutting on a daily basis, wasn’t taking my medication properly, and I started dabbling more online searching for people who understood me. I “met” 3 people online that seemed to get me. Very long story short to this day I believe had they had just a little more time I would have been kidnapped and possibly sold into some kind of slavery. (Definitely a story for another day!)

Senior year things slowed down a little. I came out of my “goth phase” and tried to focus on finishing school. I wasn’t self harming every day but still had the urge quite a bit. I had gastric bypass in January before I graduated. The weight loss helped with my self-confidence. I got a scholarship for vocal music, and even though I barely graduated I did!

18-20: I was in the best physical health of my life, but on the mental front I was on a completely different plane. I met my husband 2 months after I turned 20. I started to have more respect for myself and finally found out what it was like to be in a relationship that was worth my time.

We got married 5 months after I turned 22. We would have an uphill battle of understanding and realization that Mattie really did need to be on her medication.

28: Complete mental breakdown, struggling with postpartum depression, not on the right medication. I start seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist. I have not missed my medication for more than 2 days in over a year. I will be 30 June 7. It has taken me this long to get myself on track and it hasn’t been from lack of trying on many people’s part! I have been self harm free for 10 years. I still struggle with the urges from time to time and I am sure I will for the rest of my life.

There is a very narrowed down timeline of my life. WOW! Writing even that much down is crazy! I hope each and every one of you will celebrate this day and celebrate with the people who can talk about their struggles. Remember those who can’t and those that have lost their battle.

Matt;e

Anything but Ordinary

It’s National Siblings Day so I guess this is the perfect day to talk about my sister.

Olivia Anne came into this world special. That word will hold different meanings as this story goes on. To 4 1/2 year old me all I remember was waiting at the hospital at the end of a long line of family and friends and my daddy walking down the line with the blanket over Olivia’s face until he got to me. Other than mom, dad, and the medical team that helped bring her into the world I was the FIRST person to get to see her! I would love to say I remember every single moment after that point, but all I remember is I was a proud big sister! At the time I didn’t know there was anything “wrong” with her and it would be years before I would be made aware of this by foolish people who didn’t know how special she really is!

I love love love to talk about Olivia. This blog will be one of many I’m sure, because I mean she has been part of all but 4 1/2 years of my life! One of the first things people ask about her is what is her “diagnosis?” The simple answer is that she doesn’t have one. As she has gotten older she really shows all the classic signs of being on the Autism Spectrum, but from a young age her neurologist just diagnosed her with “Olivia’s Syndrome.”

My mom will tell you that I missed out on a lot of things growing up because her and dad were very occupied with caring for Olivia. While this is true it’s not like I had a horrible life because of it. I grew up faster than your average kid, but I wasn’t very fond of kids anyway so win for me LOL! We have seen the world together, stood on top of the Eiffel Tower together (Paris is her favorite), been through surgeries, bringing two babies into the world (she is the BEST Aunt), laughing…oh the amount of laughing, crying, missing people we love, watched hundreds of movies and quoted all the lines too, and concerts! Our concert list would make your head spin! I could go on and on about the things we have done in the last 25 years and you better believe I will in blogs to come!

So as I sit here I am reminded of all the reasons I am so thankful that I didn’t let my demons take hold of me for good. I have so much to live for. WE have so much to live for. We just have to take the time to stop and notice the things that make our lives so special no matter how horrible they get sometimes.

It Makes Me Ill

Today is one of those days where I just want to curl up in a ball and not let anyone see me.

I have mentioned I am really good at hiding my bad days. But on days like today there is no hiding what has been building on the inside for the past week or so. I deal with these lovely things called cold sores. I had never had one until last year and let me tell you they reared their ugly heads with a vengeance. I don’t just get them on my lip or in my nose. My chin, cheeks, and other areas of my face have also been tortured and scarred by them. (I told you I am an overachiever!) All of this is super scary because my sweet dad had to have a corneal transplant due to this same issue traveling into his eye.

So why do people deal with these stupid things? One of the main triggers is stress, but they are also brought on by sun exposure (for me this is something I have to be super careful of because of my medications I take), or if you are female your lovely monthly bestie…not!

On that subject I get to tell you a  little bit about this lovely thing I suffer with called Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). I was diagnosed with PMDD when I was 21. Guys if you are reading this just bear with me. PERIODS SUCK! I don’t know a single woman on this planet that hasn’t had to deal with PMS and that is bad enough. PMDD is just a different kind of awful! Even with all the help I have given myself with medication, therapy, and emotional support from my family and friend, there are cycles where I can’t even get out of bed. My depression, hopelessness, mood swings, food cravings, bloating, and pain get out of control. Do I deal with this every cycle? No. Was it more controllable when I was on birth control? Yes. However, it is a catch 22. I had my tubes tied after Jude was born because I didn’t want to continue putting unnecessary hormones into my body. Luckily I know the problem and even when I feel out of control I at least know what is going on.

If you think you might have PMDD PLEASE talk to your physician!

Matt;e