Aside

So you’re an extrovert.

Extrovert vs. Introvert. The topic is so widely publicized these days, its hard not to get sucked into the debate. However, I think a debate is unnecessary. Why do we have to go back and forth about what personality type has a harder time functioning in normal society? Or which personality type is more likely to be successful? Or more in touch with their feelings or emotions? Truth: it really doesn’t matter. More of what matters is that you figure out what your personality type is, and how it plays into your daily life.

I never really thought about this topic until Will. When I met Will originally, he came off as this outgoing guy. This is still true. He is not shy, at least not to me. But as time went on, I realized he wasn’t exactly who I thought he was. I was so offended by his some of his behaviors, until I really explored the personality type. He enjoys spending time alone. This was one of the most confusing parts of our situation. As we were getting to know each other, I figured we would spend more time together. Truthfully, we spend a good amount of time together, but I compare it to past relationships, in which I would spend ALL of my time with my significant other, especially in the beginning. When he would tell me he just wanted to go home, sleep in his own bed, be alone, I just didn’t understand. I didn’t understand why he would ever want to be alone, instead of be with me. He also gets quiet. For no reason sometimes. Although his quietness could cue me in that something may be wrong, I’ve found that he just needs to be quiet sometimes. I would go over and over in my head about what could be wrong, always assuming it was my fault. I would apologize, and there was nothing for me to apologize for. I remember one night we went out to the bar. All I wanted was for Will to spend the night on the dance floor with me. He would have rather spend the night posted at the bar, drinking with his fraternity brothers. I was crushed. I mean, why wouldn’t he want to dance with me? I mentioned Will’s behavior to Amy. She suggested he was probably just an introvert. I came across an article about “caring for your introvert” soon after that. Once I read the article, my entire mindset changed. I realized Will’s behaviors had nothing to do with me. I mean, yes, he does get quiet sometimes when he is genuinely mad at me, or he wants to go home because I’ve been a bitch. But mostly, he is unapologetically an introvert. It’s actually something I admire about him. Not the fact that he is introverted, but that he doesn’t try to pretend he isn’t. He does exactly what makes him happy. I don’t know if that’s due to past relationships and experiences, or if he has always been adamant about being true to himself. But as frustrated, offended, and hurt that I get, it’s still an aspect of him that I respect.

After learning so much about introverts, I decided to explore the other side of the spectrum. That’s when I realized all of the quirks about me were due to my extrovert personality. Growing up, teachers always told my parents how sweet I was, that I was a happy child with a lively spirit. But then they always suggested that I be educated on not being so talkative while in class. I couldn’t help it. I still can’t. I will ramble on and on. I just don’t know how to be quiet. I’ve always been social. I don’t mind being the center of attention. In fact, I usually enjoy it. But then there’s that one part of me that I wish I could change. Extroverts get recharged by the energy of others. I thrive off my interactions with people. I need human contact to be happy. Otherwise, I’m just too lonely. And lonely is when I get sad. I’ve never really felt this way before, but I’ve never really been this alone. When I went to college, I was surrounded by students in the dorms. I had roommates for a few years. Even when I lived alone, I had an entire sorority to hang out with when I needed someone. When I moved to Northern Virginia, I had David. He was always there. It wasn’t until I moved out that I realized how sad I get not being around someone. I find myself leaving my apartment, with no rhyme or reason. I will end up at the grocery store, the gym, anywhere with people. I don’t need to talk to them. But there is something about having them around me that’s comforting. It makes me feel whole again. Often I know that I need to stay home, be productive, or study. But if someone asks me to go out, I go. I go because it’s an opportunity to be with people. Sometimes I just need someone to hear me, let me ramble. I noticed this morning when Will left that I felt so empty. It’s not like I won’t see him in a few days, or even talk to him in a matter of hours. I just get sad, because I know for a period of time I will be alone. Since my personality type revelation I feel like I’ve been doing better with being alone. I’ve found that I’m occupying my time with studying, watching movies, listening to music, or just snuggling with my cats. I realize why people say extroverts are “needy’ or “clingy”, because sometimes I feel like that’s what I’m doing. When I feel it happening, I try to take a step back and figure out how to manage on my own. I will always need people. I enjoy people. I love that my energy comes from the people around me. Maybe I can work on being unapologetically extroverted.

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4 years of friendship.

Its been 4 years since David asked me to take a risk and become his girlfriend. The past 4 years have been the happiest, and most heartbreaking years of my life. My heart broke the first time when David made the decision to move back to Northern Virginia, leaving me in Richmond. I went from seeing him everyday to every 2 weeks. I didn’t want a long distance relationship, but I did it because I fell in love. My heart broke every time I had to say goodbye after a visit. But when I made the decision to move up to Fairfax, I felt like I made a step in the right direction for our relationship. 

David and I were always slightly different. Different taste in music, different taste in clothes, different taste in how we chose to spend our free time. But we had so many similarities. We both love sushi, South Park, and laughing (among other things). Over the years, David taught me to always have a positive outlook. Its still something I work on, but his happiness rubbed off on me. He always knew exactly what to do or say to make everything better. He was thoughtful, loving, and sweet. He would stop by the 7-11 on his way home from the night shift at the hospital to bring me coffee before my own work day, or on my day off so I had coffee to wake up to. I always got little surprises of candy, because he knows how much I love sweets. And I didn’t go a day without hearing how beautiful I was. He would always say “Have I told you how beautiful you are today?” 

Things with David were so easy for the longest time. But my heart started to break when I realized we were not in the same place in life. David skipped the phase of life when you’re allowed to go out and just be reckless. He was an adult, had a full time job, and was making more money than any of his friends. Regret started to plague him and he wondered about all the things he would be missing out on if he continued to be an adult. He decided he wasn’t ready for that life. He wasn’t ready to wake up one day, married and with children, regretting the things he wished he did. And I wasn’t ready to be the reason why he had that regret. I remember what it was like to live without care. I can honestly say that I was able to do what I wanted, live my college years to the fullest. Why would I ever want to hold anyone back? David saw our relationship as a responsibility, and I saw it as a barrier. David never held me back. He was always motivating me. Always telling me to keep fighting for what I wanted. And I wanted him. But what I really needed was to be alone. The night we broke up was one of the worst memories I have. July 14th. I still remember the date. I cried harder than I have ever cried. But I went to bed numb. So numb that we were letting go of over 3 years together. It wasn’t the last time I cried. I cried almost everyday for months. I always wondered if I should have fought harder for our relationship. I wondered what I could have done differently to allow us to end up in a happy place. But all the questioning was tearing me apart more than the breakup. I decided to stop focusing on what I could have done and focus on what I could do. I’m one of those people that believe everything happens for a reason. I believe that encounters with people, even brief encounters, happen so that our lives change. David helped me realize that life can be all about happiness. Always looking for the bright side. He taught me what it was like to be loved. Cared for. Treated well. I guess you could say he set the standard. I don’t want anything less. I won’t accept anything less. 

I don’t worry anymore if our breakup was the right decision. I’m still lucky enough to have David in my life. He still checks in on me from time to time, and tells me I’m beautiful. He wants to make sure I’m happy. And if I’m not, he tries his hardest to cheer me up. I always figure that if my love for David was that great, imagine what the love for the person I’m meant to be with will be like. Today we didn’t celebrate 4 years as a couple. Instead, we celebrate 4 years of friendship. For that, I know I am blessed. 

The art of the quickie.

The “quickie”. It refers to a short, passion-filled romp under the sheets. Well, let’s be real. Usually the sheets are long gone. Even more real, most quickies don’t happen in the bedroom, although it doesn’t have to be an up against the wall type of affair. Quickies occur when you need an exchange of bodily fluids but the time for foreplay and the post sex cuddle just isn’t there. Most people think there’s no way a quickie could go wrong. But in reality, there are tons of mishaps or misconceptions when it comes to executing the proper quickie. There are a few rules to live by. To be called a quickie, it needs to be quick. You can not have sex for more than 5-10 minutes. In that period of time, do not change positions. You need to pick a position and stick to it. If you have the opportunity to switch, then you are bordering on the line of quickie and just short sex. Pick a solid location for your fast fun. Sometimes the thrill of the quickie comes from the location. Maybe you will get caught, maybe you won’t. Be so sly that you won’t actually get caught. Getting caught ruins the mood and could have consequences. You slut. Only joking. But others may not be so nice if they find out about it. So if you decide to have sex in a location other than one that is strictly private, choose wisely and know the repercussions of your actions. Choose your clothing appropriately. It’s not necessary, and actually may impede your experience, to get completely naked. There is nothing hotter than hiking your dress up to get a little action. Or is that just me? Before you and your partner actually make contact and begin the quickie, warm each other up. If it’s a planned encounter, send some sexy snaps or texts. That way, you’re half way there. It just takes some physicality to push you over the edge. Finally, if it’s not fun, then what’s the point. I say it all the time. It’s supposed to be fun, exciting, pleasurable. If both parties aren’t having fun, then maybe quickies aren’t for you. Or you need to start from the top of this blog and read again. Happy lovemaking!

How will it happen?

People say you should write what you know. I’m more concerned with what I don’t know. You guessed it. I’m talking about the Zombie Apocalypse. Its been the center of TV, movies, etc. I often think about which interpretation will hold true when it all goes down. You want to know, so you can prepare. I mean, will the zombies be able to climb? swim? jump high? run fast? We really don’t know what they’ll be like until it happens. When preparing, the best advice is to always expect the unexpected. We need to assume that these zombies can do EVERYTHING. Its essential to be one step ahead of the undead. Mentioning heads, is that how we are supposed to kill them? The shot has to go to the head? The head might need to be knocked off? Really. We just don’t know. Its a terrifying thought. And whats even more terrifying is the fact that these zombies will probably be smarter than some Americans. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE this country. My favorite holiday is the 4th of July. But you know you’ve browsed the internet, walked into a grocery store, or even sat on your living room couch and encountered a really stupid person. Zero common sense. And thats what you’re going to need to fight the zombies. If you don’t have it, then you’re as good as dead. So the next time you’re sitting in a meeting at work, and that dumb guy that works with you makes another one of his insanely idiotic comments, remember that he will be one of the first to go. At least you can make it longer than him. And the next time you want to shove a burger from McDonald’s in your face, remember that you may need to out run, out swim, out jump, and out climb a zombie. Maybe you should hit the gym instead.

Daddy’s little girl

I’m not your typical daddy’s girl in the sense that I didn’t get the kiss from my dad as he tucked me in at bedtime. My parents are divorced, so my mom was the more active parent in my life. But for all the times I didn’t get tucked in and read a bedtime story by him, I was getting so much more. At the age of 19, my dad decided he wanted to be a firefighter. He worked the 24 on, 24 off schedule for most of his life. When I was born, my dad was still fairly low in the department. Over the years he was able to work himself up until he was the chief. Firefighting was, and still is, his passion. My dad took his passion and turned it into his career. My dad has given me so much advice over the years. Most of which I never asked for. But the saying that always plays over and over in my head is “Find what you love to do, and do it for the rest of your life.” In the first grade, our teacher asked us to make a time capsule. We put in various things from a lock of hair to drawings we made that year. We were allowed to open it on the day we graduated high school. I looked at that time capsule for so many years, dying to know what I could have put it in that may be meaningful to me now. On the day of graduation, I sat with 3 of my best friends and we all opened our time capsules. Inside I found letters that my parents had written me. My mom always writes from the heart, even with a card on a random holiday. She could bring me to tears so easily. It was my dad’s letter that shocked me. I never questioned my dad’s love for me, or any of his children. But my dad is not the type to readily show affection. He demands a lot from us, and although we know its because he wants us to be happy, he rarely shows any type of weakness. I decided to write out the letter. Life often gets busy, and I sometimes get so caught up in studying for a test that I forget my goals. I forget why I even took a specific class. I can get stressed and discouraged, and I think the letter brings me back down. It reminds me that I work hard for my future. I work hard to make my family proud. I work hard so that I can be as blessed as my parents and work everyday in a career that I love. 

Dear Lindsey,

The year is 2005 when you read this letter. I bet you are feeling pretty good about now. You are graduating high school and starting college (I hope) in the fall. I hope all your dreams are working out for you. Do you remember that you wanted to be a doctor at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk taking care of babies? I hope your goals in life have not changed in helping others in some way.

I sit here looking at a picture of you when you were seven years old. There is a twinkle in your eye and a hit of mischief in the expression on your face. I hope that the twinkle is still there and you still look at life with a little humor and mischief. Every time I see you and Heather I realize how much I love both of you. You were my beautiful little girl and now you are a beautiful young woman that I hope still has a hug and a kiss for her dear old dad.

Now for some fatherly advice that may take you through life. First, remember that through it all your family is there for you. Know that I, your mother, and the rest of your family love you no matter what. I know you will have several (may be many) disagreements with your mother as you grow up (where I will probably back your mother) on various issues from dating to clothes. I know that you are a strong willed person and a born leader, but thats because you have Bahr’s blood running through you. I will always be with you, if not in body (I hope I will be there), I will be there in spirit cheering you on or cheering you up.

Secondly, your life is in front of you. Any goal that you set for yourself can be attained, but it will require you giving 100%. Don’t let anyone put you down, and remember always that you can do anything. Set personal short term goals for yourself. Nothing in life is free and requires hard work and effort on your part to achieve.

Thirdly, you are human and will make mistakes. I hope they are your mistakes and you are not influenced by someone else. But you will learn from them. Yes, your dad has made some mistakes in his life and I hope I learned from them. Look at life with a positive outlook. Look for the goodness in people and do not be too judgmental of others. Remember that no matter how bad it is at that moment, it can be worse. You can make a difference in the world, no matter how small or large. If life in general gets you down, pick  yourself up and get on with living. Life is too short to be wasted. Don’t sit or lay around. Live life to its fullness.

Lastly, you will have heard everything I have written in this letter, several times from me. There is a saying from an old song that “life is a changing”, which is very true in this day and age. There are going to be many wondrous (I hope not bad) changes in your life, and the world, by the time you read this letter. The changes that have happened in the past century will not compare to what will happen in the next century. Be part of the changes, not on the sidelines letting life go by.

I do not know everything, as you have found out by now, or what the future holds for you or me. But I do know I love you just as much or more when you read this letter. I want you to know that I am very proud of you and in everything you do. I will always love you, not just as my little girl in the picture I’m looking at, but as the young, beautiful, intelligent, strong-willed and full of life woman you have become.

Love Always,

Dad

Mood Swings

There’s a famous saying by Charles R Swindoll that says “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it”. Our attitudes have such a major impact on how our life pans out, or even just our day. Moods are always changing, even from minute to minute. Its funny to me how quickly they can change, and the things that make them change. You could be having the worst day, but a smile from a stranger makes you smile, turning your day around. And vice versa. Your day could be amazing, but one bad moment may send it completely spiraling. I’ve often been told that sometimes I look mean. Its not something I mean to do, and sometimes I’m not even aware of it. But thinking back, I wonder if my poor facial expressions ever changed the course of someone’s day. I often wonder about how my mood can impact the moods of others. Its only recently that I have really begun to work on this. I’m not perfect. I never will be. People will need to forgive me if I have a bad day and it affects them. But I’ve been trying to build people up instead of break them down. Little by little. With something as simple as a smile. Or listening to them. If everyone realized that they can have such a great impact on others, maybe our world would have less bad days. Just the other day I was happy as could be. But so quickly my happiness turned to sadness, just from the smallest gesture from someone. Of course, maybe some people should have thicker skin. Or maybe we shouldn’t care so much what others think of us. But we do. I do. I will surely act tough, pretend things don’t matter to me. I’m habitually downplaying my true feelings. But I just wonder if someone knew they made me feel bad, would they rethink the way they interact with me? Its been said too many times, and I will say it so many more. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes. But we as humans should realize we have the opportunity to forget the bad interactions with people, and take our mood into our own hands. I left work today, on this beautiful day, allowing something small turn my happy day into a discouraged day. I quickly changed my mood back to happy with an impromptu trip to a little park. I sat in the sunshine, letting everything out. I’m sensitive. I know it. But I decided in that moment to forget about what had bothered me, let the sun warm my face, and be happy. I’m leaving the park with a smile on my face and a better attitude. We can’t change ourselves overnight. I’m fairly certain I will always be sensitive. But I realize it. And I work on it. 

No one said life is fair.

Knowing what I do now, I lived a sheltered childhood. My town was small. The kind of town where everyone knows everyone, we didn’t lock our doors, and no one felt scared walking down the street. I didn’t get everything I asked my parents for, but I was fortunate to get more than I ever needed. I’ve been called spoiled many times. I’m not spoiled. I know how lucky I am. I would consider myself to be blessed. Blessed to have parents that showed me that hard work pays off. My parents taught me to always work hard and fight for what I believe in. I can honestly admit that I don’t always work hard. I’ve slacked in all aspects of my life. Work, school, relationships. But I know that the lack of hard work has negative consequences. If I didn’t work hard in school, my grades suffered. Not working at my relationships could have meant a breakup or a failed friendship. I know I have been the cause of much of what I have gone through. At this age, I have learned to work hard for what I want. I know I put a lot of effort into my school work. I know I want to be a damn good nurse. I want to help people. I want to save lives. I work hard for my future career and future patients. I also work hard for my relationships. I value the people in my life, no matter how long they are a part of it. I will give my relationships the same effort I expect back. I expect honesty, respect, loyalty, kindness (to name a few) from my family, my friends, and my significant other, so I will work hard to treat people the same way. But life isn’t fair. No one ever said it was. So people won’t treat you well all the time. This is where the hard work comes in. You can make a decision. Remove that person from your life, or continue to treat them the way you feel you deserve. I’ve done both. The risk is worth the reward. If I feel like the reward is worth it, I will take a risk on you.

Battling the Baggage

Everyone you encounter has some sort of baggage. Even people who have never seriously dated before carry around their inexperience and possible insecurity. People experience so much in relationships, they hold onto it, and it affects their future relationships, whether they realize it or not. I never thought I was the type to have baggage. I mean, I have had some bad relationships, but I really only took them to be life lessons of what not to do again. Recently, I realized I carry a large amount of baggage after David. I can’t blame it on him, and I won’t. I thought I had my life figured out. Once David and I moved in together, we talked about getting married. He was always the man I saw at the end of aisle. I knew I could build a life with him, and I would be happy. David admitted to me that he had even looked at engagement rings. But we rushed. We were not in the place to be making a decision that drastic and life changing. Everyone wants the fairy tale, but truth be told, life is far from a fairy tale. David and I both need to grow up, and we need to do it separately. Knowing what I want to do for the rest of my life doesn’t even come close to classifying me as an adult. I can still be immature, and I crave moments when I have no responsibility. A person in my place is not ready for marriage. But like I said, I thought I had it all figured out. I thought my life was completely planned. And when it wasn’t. I was lost. I lost all control. And there is my baggage. I am absolutely terrified to get to a place where I have it all figured out again. Where I feel like I can trust someone, or care about someone, or allow myself to be vulnerable with someone only to let it all go up in flames again. I find myself telling people who are apprehensive about getting into a relationship that they will “never know unless they try”, or “life is all about the risks we take”. I seldom take my own advice. Because that gives me the possibility of being hurt, and then adding to my baggage. I think its important to know what kind of baggage we carry, and to realize that everyone has baggage. Its hard to break down the walls of people who have constantly been hurt. No one is going to believe you when you say you won’t hurt them, because that hasn’t been true for anyone before you. Actions speak louder than words. If you want to prove to someone you won’t hurt them, then don’t hurt them. Give as much of yourself as you’re asking of them.The golden rule applies to every situation. Always treat someone the way you want to be treated.

Moments into memories.

I can easily think of moments that have become incredible memories. Not incredible because they were always great, but incredible because they changed my life forever.
When I was 9 years old, my idea of a Friday night was dinner and hanging out with my mom, sister, grandma, and grandad. My granddaddy was the most amazing man, next to my dad. I never realized truly how great he was until I grew older. I learned to admire and appreciate all the things learned about him. Back then though, he was the man who let me sit on his lap and mess up his hair. It would always just go right back to where it originally was, only to let me mess it up again. He wasn’t a millionaire but he didn’t want his family to need anything. He took care of us all. He was always there to see me cheer, and we drank peach milkshakes like they were water. He was diagnosed with cancer, and I knew it was bad, but not the extent that I do now. My mom told my sister and me he would have surgery, they would remove the cancer, and then everything would be fine. The morning of his surgery he drove over to our house so my mom could take him to the hospital. He was early, so he decided to walk me to the bus stop. Hand in hand we went walking down the street. That was the last time I would spend any time alone with him. His surgery went as planned and they got all the cancer. We went to see him in the hospital, and jumped all over his bed, trying to play with him despite his fatigue from surgery. I remember saying I love you as we left. I thought he would be home soon and we would enjoy family dinner on Friday like always. My sister and I came home from school a few days later to my mom and my uncle sitting on the couch. Why weren’t they at work? My uncle walked out of the room, mumbling something about not being able to handle it. Handle what? Then my mom said it. “Granddaddy died”. How could he die? We just saw him. The cancer was gone. Unfortunately, he had a blood clot that travelled from his leg up to his heart. My world stopped. In my moment I knew what it was like to truly hurt. He was supposed to walk me down the aisle, along with my dad. He was supposed to see me graduate high school and then college. He was supposed to always be there to take me for a peach milkshake or tell me how proud he was to be my granddad. Now he was gone. Over the years, I learned how imperfect my granddaddy was. He made mistakes over the years, but in the end, family was most important. Every year February comes around and I feel my world crash down on top of me again. Im reminded on the anniversary of his death that this world lost a great man. But sometimes when I accomplish something big, I think about how proud he would be. It keeps me working on my next goal. I always want him to look down and be proud.
This past September I was given the opportunity to stand next to my sister as she married her soulmate. Heather and Jason met 10+ years ago. It took 2 years for Jason to finally commit. They moved in together, and 8 years later, he asked her to a his wife. Heather was involved in a horrible accident, and it was in a sterile hospital room that he proposed. They were married back at home on the water. I’m aware of how emotional I am. I come by it honestly, as my mom is the same way. But on her wedding day, I was a wreck. Everything was great until I saw how nervous she was. I mean, I know she was getting married but she didn’t get nervous when it came to Jason. My whole life I have been around divorce. Both sets of grandparents, my parents. It’s not like I don’t know what true love is, but it was right in my face for the first time. On her face. She had absolutely no doubt that Jason was the man she wanted to marry. Cold feet were nonexistent. As her maid of honor, along with my mom, I helped her into her dress. At this point, I was only seeing the back of the dress, as we all took turns buttoning the millions of buttons that ran down the back. When she turned around, immediately I felt the tears come to my eyes. She was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen. There are so many great pictures of me and her that day, but my favorite is the picture where our heads are touching at the forehead and our eyes are closed. We were trying not to cry. Cry tears of absolute joy. Joy that she was about to walk down the aisle to happily ever after. I collected myself and was able to keep it together until we were about to walk down the aisle. When it was almost my turn, I turned around to see my sister and my dad, arms linked. I started to cry again. She told me “It’s okay, bee”. Well, of course it’s okay. She was comforting me, but I was truly comforted by the fact that I was officially getting a new brother, even though he has felt like my brother for years. My sister, my protector, has someone who will always be there to protect her. From that moment on, I promised myself I would never accept a proposal unless I felt like I would be like her on that day. No doubt. No cold feet. Only excitement to start the rest of my life with someone. And I want that person to let me know they don’t have doubt either. Heather and Jason have taught me what it looks like to love someone. Everyday. For the rest of your life.
Life is what you make it. I look at moments as opportunities to learn about myself, people around me, and find out what I want.

It’s a job, not my career

It wasn’t long ago I was excited about my job in mental health. I spent my college days studying about mental illness, along with the many facets of psychology. You take an abnormal psychology class but you never really think you will see half of what appears in your textbook. On my first day at NVMHI, I saw it all. Bipolar, depression, schizophrenia. All of it. It took a little longer before I became familiar with any type of personality disorders. As of now, I have only worked with individuals with borerline, antisocial, and narcissistic personality disorders, though I have seen features of others. I constantly think about the prevalence of mental health issues in our country. The statistic states that 1 in 4 people are diagnosed with a mental disorder. Those are terrible odds. Sure, people can live long, happy, productive lives with a mental health diagnosis. But why would we want to? The barriers, setbacks, trials, and tribulations are so great. On a more dramatic note, can you imagine what it feels like to have schizophrenia? Your thoughts are not truly your own. You don’t grow out of this disorder. You battle the delusions/hallucinations your entire life. With meds. Meds that cost more than buying a car. Well, not quite that much, but close. Individuals with schizophrenia also have very little insight into their disorder, which makes treatment difficult. On top of it, the social stigma that surrounds mental illness does not allow people to truly get the help they need. Picture this. You hear voices. At first, they are manageable. Maybe you don’t hear them all the time, or they stop when you are with others or keeping busy. But finally, they get to a point where you can’t handle them anymore. You want to tell someone, get some help. Then you overhear someone talking about schizophrenia. You hear them say that people with schizophrenia are “crazy” or “violent”. Why would you want to get help then? Someone may just think those things of you. The best thing our society could do right now is to take mental health more seriously. Educate our nation on the signs, symptoms and CORRECT facts. Let’s not put it out there that individuals with schizophrenia are violent. They aren’t. Obviously, some can be. Maybe that’s why the thought is out there, but any person without schizophrenia can be violent too. Let’s make it easier to get help for individuals that need it. Make it more available, bring down the cost. The issues with mental health are not the reason why I decided to go into nursing and leave mental health. Our body as a whole needs to be maintained, taken care of. I want to help people take care of their whole body, not just the mind. But I will continue to advocate for mental health in our country, because everyone deserves our best effort, not just those individuals who are thought to be lucky enough to escape a mental health diagnosis. For now, my job is in mental health, but my career will eventually be in nursing.