Date Yo’self

The first date I went on alone was to see Cabin in the Woods, a creative telling of the how and why horror films are made with a sprinkle of spirituality. It was 5$ Tuesdays at the AMC theater in the Toledo, Ohio mall and I was nervous.

My first class of the day ended early and my second and last class of the day was cancelled so I decided to take the shuttle off campus.

the craft bus GIF
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I watched people out of the window and with no one to talk to, I noticed little things like the bumps in the road and the dilapidated buildings in the surrounding area. I noticed that our campus and this mall were the only things thriving in this city. Upon arrival, I waltzed right by the concession stand to avoid the temptation of spending more than the 5$ I budgeted for this date.

When I walked into the screening room, people watched as I moved into my assigned seat. I wondered if they wondered if I was there alone or not. Nervous, I looked around to make sure no one gave me any creepy, ‘I have a gun to shoot the place up’ vibe. I didn’t see or sense anyone, so I kicked my feet up on the seat in front of me and waited until the lights went down.

Once the previews started playing I felt more anxious.

What else was there to do besides relax or think? I prayed for the previews to move along quickly so that I could take my mind off of all else. The first scene came on and it was uninteresting. The back story for the characters was dull and it just seemed like I was watching an Independent film and not a production. I’m thinking the producers could’ve saved this for Lifetime or any other TV station.

I was wrong.

The movie was amazingly creative, and it kept me guessing the entire time (if you haven’t seen Cabin in the Woods you should, it’s not scary either). Once the movie ended I sat in my seat until the lights came back on just in case they had a little snippet of something at the end. Then I left out to make it to the shuttle.

You could say my first date went well. I thought about taking myself out again because I’m good company and what not. So I made self-dating a regular event. I went to the movies every Tuesday. If there were no movies that sparked my interest, then I took myself out to a restaurant or to a party.

Eight years later, I still date myself on occasion. Not to weird people out or follow a trend but to really feel myself, alone.

Going out alone forces you to feel your own vibes and share that ingenuity with strangers near you. You may attract different energies and people that do not feel compelled to speak to you every day just because they see you so often. I encourage you to fully embrace the good ones.

In addition, we often lose sight of who we are as individuals when we are constantly connected to colleagues, friends or significant others. We try to meet them where they are or bring them up (or down) to where we are, unfortunately we lose a bit of ourselves in the exchange. Yes, it is beneficial to hang out with close friends and allow them to hype you up for for 20 seconds of a song. Likewise, it is beneficial to hang alone and hype yourself up for the full two minutes.

lisa simpson dancing GIF
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Date yo’self properly and get to know you!

If you aren’t convinced yet, below are a few reasons why you should date yo’self!

  1. You get to dress up and go out, for no one and with none other than you. There is no waiting on the other person to be ready or being rushed by someone else for you to be ready on time.
  2. You do not have to be annoyed by the presence of another person talking your ear off and asking you questions about a movie that you have never seen. There won’t be anybody there to judge you for people watching or having to explain your private jokes to.
  3. You get to spend some time with yourself and acknowledge how your presence makes complete strangers feel. You will get to witness first hand just how many things you did not notice before because you were typically too busy trying to impress someone (or seem unimpressed by someone).
  4. There is almost a 74%* chance that you will receive something for free! Either from someone admiring your guts to be out alone, or you will discover that you can be a little nicer to people. Somehow you will be admired even more thus being rewarded with free things (this is also known as pretty privilege). We all know how tasty yet expensive those movie theater slushies are.
  5. Last, but not least you will get to go home and not have to give anyone a kiss goodbye. You won’t have to fight off any sexual urges or sexual advances. Nor will you have to contemplate going out to a party to spend more money. Take ya ass home and reflect!

Love,

Star Candelaria

*percentage is inaccurate. Baseless. Not a fact. Don’t quote me.

Don’t Be Sad: How To Diminish (Anxiety) Depression

Hey, it’s Star I am not a psychologist or a psychiatrist but I have had seasonal anxiety depression since 2010 and I was diagnosed in 2013. This article is intended to inform others about how to deal with SAD and other depression disorders.

Depression Is A Feeling Of Sadness Combined With The Desire To Hibernate

In life when you are faced with losing a loved one, losing your job, and other stressful situations, it can lead to normal reactions such as loneliness and sadness. However, when it comes to those who are (un)diagnosed with depression those normal reactions are more severe and persistent.

The differences in how depression affects people is based upon sex and age. Depression occurs more often in women than men and manifests as sadness, worthlessness, tiredness and guilt. Women who are depressed are more likely to seek help and discuss their symptoms with trusted persons or individuals they feel are alike them in some way. While men tend to acknowledge their symptoms but decide to ignore them.

Ignoring The Symptoms Is An Unhealthy Coping Mechanism

When the symptoms of depression manifests in women who refuse to deal with their depression, they may turn to:

In addition to depression, women may develop an eating disorder or anxiety.

Depression and anxiety are often grouped together but they are two separate disorders. Each disorder has its own causes, emotional and behavioral symptoms. The symptoms that they share are:

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Poor concentration

Managing Your Depression Well

Much like life, you cannot control when or how depression will affect you. However, you can learn how to deal with and manage it. The most common form of treatment is for you to seek professional help. There are over 106, 500 licensed psychologists in the United States that can help you sort through your issues and help you identify healthy coping mechanisms. There are also 28,000 licensed psychiatrists who can help you identify the medical cocktail that may be helpful in treating your disorder.

Alternative Methods To Traditional Treatment

If you are undiagnosed, cannot afford or refuse to seek help from a licensed professional there are alternative methods available. Such as taking over the counter supplements. Instead of taking the prescribed medicine whose side-effect is depression, I have opted for the alternative route.

Should you decide to take the alternative route, you should have your physician monitor the levels of vitamins in your blood. Too much of something is seldom a good thing and your body may react negatively to an excessive amount of either vitamin. Symptoms of high vitamin D levels are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom

My Method: 

I begin each morning spending 15 minutes under the SAD light which mimics natural outdoor light. The light affects brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep. It may make you feel like the sun is out. When you begin using the light, you must allow the light to enter your eyes indirectly because it is not a night light. There is also a timer on the light, and it is recommended that you do not exceed the amount of time that you need to feel better. 

I also take one 50mcg D3 vitamin, one B-100 vitamin and one 500mcg B-12 vitamin daily. B vitamins turn the carbs from your food into glucose for your cells which will provide you with more energy. Vitamin D is used to boost your mood. 

In addition, I spend more time with myself and those who know me well enough. It is important for me to be around happy people and those who are aware of my SAD. If you ever need to discuss your symptoms/feelings/questions about your mental health you can call the national hotline 1-877-726-4727 (SAMHSA) or the local hotline (Ohioans) 513-281-2273.

Other vitamins that are recommended by those using alternative methods include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids this is for your mood
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin B-12 and B-6 for mental health
  • SAM- e (S-adenosylmethionine) proven to be exceptionally effective when taken with an anti-depressant
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin D (I take D3) vitamin D deficiency can feel like depression
  • Vitamin C
  • Amino Acids building blocks for protein and can be transformed into neurotransmitters like GABA
  • Magnesium reduces stress
  • GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
  • Calcium in addition to eliminating dairy from your diet
  • Melatonin to help with sleepless nights

Fact: Depression Is A Disability

If you have been applying for jobs lately you may have noticed that depression is grouped on the same page as cerebral palsy, cancer, deafness, epilepsy, blindness, missing limbs and post-traumatic stress disorder. Depression is considered a disability due to its ability to disrupt a person’s daily routine.

You may be eligible to receive social security benefits for your depression if your depressive order is so severe that you cannot work. Eligibility is based upon different factors and you must be affected by at least four of the following symptoms.

Some Of The Qualifying Symptoms:

  • A decrease in energy
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Loss of interest in activities that you enjoyed previously
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Paranoia, delusions or hallucinations
  • Severe difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty or inability to function without a highly supportive living arrangement

Thankful For What’s Next

“Okay then Big Ari!” I said as I bopped my head to and fro. My puff bounced as a mass and the beat thumped through my car.

After the first listen I turned the radio off and pulled up the lyrics. As I read them I was taken aback. So we thanking our exes now are we?

Oh Hell nah!

Thank them for what? Learning a lesson? Causing tears to pour from the inner depths our souls? Being the cause of abandonment and trust issues?

How could you learn from them when they weren’t the teacher?

I am a firm believer that our lives are in the hands of an omnipresent being that has already written a will for what will occur for our growth. It doesn’t matter who is sent to deliver the message but where the message is coming from.

The message didn’t originate from your ex and you do not have to thank them for anything. Whatever you experienced occurred because it was meant to shape you. The same lesson would have come at any given moment from any given person but only by the will of one being. In addition, if you didn’t learn what you were supposed to that being will send another in a different form.

I’ll be damned if I give thanks to a ain’t shit man for inflicting excessive amounts of pain on me in the name of patience. As if they knew their mistreatment would shape you into anything other than a shattered heart balled up on the floor. As if they deserve credit for any of your greatness. TUH!

The emotional hurt, the psychological confusion and the unexplainable pains that you endured in your previous relationship is all that you got from those men. Nothing more. Nothing less. (unless you have a baby)

The lessons you were taught in spite of the aforementioned came from your creator. Say thank you, now what’s next?

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