Let’s Talk

Gemma Correll has inspired me to talk about something that is a heavy topic for most people: mental health (how amazing are these images she drew up for Mental Health America?). Just this morning I had a panic attack which includes an endless cycle of “I have so much to do” and “why even bother, nothing I do is good enough.” I often have these all-or-nothing thoughts and it’s extremely difficult to break this repeating cycle. In planning my upcoming wedding, I have been overwhelmed with self-loathing thoughts: “no one will want to come” and “no one cares enough about me to be by my side,” but the truth is I do have wonderful people on my side. It may not be one-hundred, fifty, or even twenty people there to support me, but the people who are there, are the ones I WANT there. Those who love me unconditionally and understand my struggle with physical and mental illness and YET (yes, yet) still WANT to be involved in my crazy life; Those who are in my court through not only my ups, but my overwhelming lows.

I have struggled with major depressive disorder, anxiety, social phobia, and PTSD for years now and so many times I have felt ashamed, that I must hide these mental illnesses from society. [I think that] They will judge me, thinking “that girl is crazy”, “I don’t want to be around her”, or “she may snap at any moment”. The fact is: loads of people suffer with these issues of feeling inadequate at what they do. We are told not to express these emotions because we will appear weak and vulnerable, but holding on to them is what makes us weak and vulnerable in the first place!

I will honestly say that my anxiety is becoming unmanageable. I have tried so many different medications in order to feel more relaxed, but the ones that work are too sedative and/or they don’t last long enough; because of this, it is time for me to go to the next measure: a service dog. It was suggested to me in 2015 that I should obtain a dog for support (whether it be a service dog or a ESA) by my psychologist; I have always responded well to animals and grew up with a full house of five main animals (and some of them had various litters!). My pets have always gotten me through the struggles through the years: I grew up in not so favorable situations. I was abused as a child and the victim of severe bullying (this went on for over six years). I often spent my days hiding inside when I wasn’t forced (I begged to be homeschooled) to go to a school (and take the bus which was just as horrible if not worse) where I was constantly harassed. My only safe place was in the comfort of my own bedroom with my furry friends and dolls; even then I was tormented by my older brother and cyber stalked (even after I moved away from the hell of Newport, North Carolina) by the same cruel people I went to school with. These cruel girls thought it would be so “cool” for them to go to my social media platforms and save my photos so that they could go back and forth on Photobucket saying how ugly I was and that I was just a fat poser. I never understood the cruelty I received. I was brought up in a Christian household and taught to treat people like you want to be treated. I truly believe I have upheld this moral and proceeded through life with honest and compassionate intentions. I never bullied anyone, not even those who bullied me. I put my faith that God would lead me to a successful life, rich in love, which I have now obtained.

I got Mavis in March of 2016. After years of wanting a pug and a dog of my own, I finally received the gift of a lifetime in the form of this spunky, curly-tailed girl. I began training her at 3 months as a service dog, but with the stress of finishing my last semester and my first hard break-up, I took a [much too long] hiatus from the weekly training. Now that I somehow managed to graduate from Texas Tech and my heart is mended and found love, I am ready to get back on track! I want to use Service Dog Express to train Mave and get her into tip-top shape for her aiding in my life and the public access test (the test Service Dogs must pass before being deemed certified). I know anxiety will continue to play a big role in my life (although I wish it wouldn’t) and I’m tired of being afraid to go into public alone. I truly believe that I may have a shot of living a healthier life with her by my side. If you would like to get involved with our campaign, YouCaring is donating $500 to a fundraiser: It’s completely free, quick, and easy to do:

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Here is an example done by the wonderful Caleb (aka my fiancé) and my darling girl, Mave. This took five minutes to draw and take, so it’s super easy and affective. #SignedwithLove & @youcaring is all you need to include on your post! The opportunity to help will pass soon as it ends on JUNE 14TH.

or if pictures aren’t your style…

You can purchase one of the many cute clothing options available featuring “Mave Saves” on our Bonfire. The sales remain until JUNE 29TH.

Don’t want a hoodie or tee?…

The last option is to make a donation! You can do this through our Youcaring with a no end date or through our Paypal!

Here is our links: YouCaring, Bonfire, Paypal, & Facebook Page.

• • • • •

Struggling getting through the day? Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) if you need someone to talk to. We’re here for you, 24/7. 💚📲

Never give up ladies and gentlemen.

You are so much more than your illnesses and we need to fight together to end the stigma!

xo,

Cass & Mave

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Insomnia and Pain

Life as of Right Now

I have been having such a hard time with pain, migraines, and insomnia. Every night I either can’t get to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. I’ve counted and I take roughly Twenty pills a day. Twenty!! Between my muscle relaxer for my back, my anti-anxieties to sleep, my need for tylenol, and my daily vitamins and meds. I now have an infection of my mastoid, which absolutely is painful. It’s finally stopped throbbing after three days of heat compression and antibiotics. My neck and back aches constantly from the Chiari and I really just want to lie in bed all day. I am struggling to stay positive, but I know that I am a strong individual and that I CAN do this. I miss my not having my dad and mom by my side every step of the way, but I’m growing up and this is one challenge that I’ve been given to tackle. I will continue to fight and stay motivated, it’s the only thing I can do right now.

My referral to the neurosurgeon has been approved and put in and they will be contacting me next week. I can’t wait to finally have a plan for things.

Cassandra’s Chiari

I can’t tell you all enough how much it means to me to have a support system in place. 15 shirts is incredible so far. I’m very appreciative of everyone’s love and willingness to help.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1077188662300543/
Click the Image!

Above is the link for the Facebook event to buy the shirts; Please invite your friends and family and share.

About Cassandra

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In case I have individuals who don’t know me personally reading my blog, I decided I would introduce myself and talk a bit about my passions. First of all, I’m a full time student at Texas Tech University and majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Yay science. I used to hate science in high school, but I absolutely love it now that I’m in the real world. My favorite subject is microbiology.

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I also work part-time at a wonderful little vet clinic as a vet assistant. Animals are my absolute favorite. There is nothing more satisfying knowing that I helped an animal and made a difference in their care. I am seriously thinking of becoming a veterinarian for dogs, cats, and small animals. I used to watch Animal Planet 24/7 and Steve Irwin was my idol. They have a permanent place in my heart. I love style, yet I usually dress super casual in a sort of I-don’t-care-what-anyone-thinks way, but there are occasions where I show my sense of fashion. I’m addicted to pinterest! Who isn’t these days? I actually have a board for my chiari malformation. I think it was one of my ways to cope when I found out. Pugs are my favorite animals and when I graduate, I will adopt one! I live with my boyfriend of 14 months and his brother in a cozy duplex with our Pomeranian, Eli, and our Tabby, Oliver. My mother lives right across the street so I get to see my other babies often too: Tasha and Ginger, the sweetest Chihuahuas with loads of personality. I have the most amazing parents and am so lucky to be close to both of them. My dad lives in Livingston on the lake with our Doberman, Max. He’s a nurse and served in the military for twenty+ years. My mother is my best friend and is the sweetest and most bubbly person you will ever meet.

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 I have one brother, Rhett, and sister-in-law, Jackie, the parents to my two little nieces: Emelia is almost three and a new little girl is due in January. I also have another “sister” that I’ve bonded with so closely since we were sixteen. Dianne is my other half and keeps me sane. I am so lucky to have the amazing family I do. I love my Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles very much and my boyfriend’s family are wonderful too!

My favorite things include: science, horror films, kewpies, netflix binging (right now we’re watching Sons of Anarchy), hedgehogs, crafting (sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc.), Lily Allen music, hiking, Halloween, tattoos, decorating, vans, aliens, unicorns, stop-animation films, pugs, of course, fashion, decor, the paranormal, nature’s beautiful places, action movies, online shopping, and uncrustables.

Things I want to do: be more physically active (get in shape), visit New Zealand and Thailand, start cooking, beat this fight.

Thanks to all!

xo