You Are A Burden, and That’s Okay

Alright kids, listen up. Something I hear all the time from the people around me is the phrase, “I don’t want to be a burden.” When I offer my help because I genuinely want to help, everyone’s initial reaction is to refuse it. I get it. I am the same way. I get that you don’t want to be an obligation that the other person dreads.

But here’s the thing. You are a burden. I am a burden. People are burdens. If you are a human being, you are a burden. A quick search on Google tells me that the definition of burden is a particularly heavy load. What person doesn’t come with their own set of baggage? Name one person who doesn’t have issues. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

People are complex. We are deep. We have flaws. Taking care of anyone is a big deal. When you get an offer of help from someone you suspect actually cares enough to help you, be a burden and speak up. If you aren’t sure whether or not they are just being polite, give them something easy to do and see how they get it done (like bring you a drink from Starbucks or drive you somewhere when you need a lift). If they act annoyed or complain to others, you know not to trust them with any more “help.”

But please, for the sake of all that is good in this world, take up space.

Accept help. Be proud to exist. Acknowledge your issues, because seriously, everyone has them. You deserve to be seen. You deserve to be cared for. You are a lot, but definitely not too much. You are a burden that someone is happy to carry. You are a burden that matters to someone. Sometimes it takes multiple people to carry you, but that happens to everyone at some point in their lives.

And you and I both know you’ll be the one to help carry someone else’s particularly heavy load sometime. When they come back with “but I don’t want to be a burden” assure them that they are a burden you are happy to take on. Maybe tell them about a time when you accepted a lot of help, especially if it was from them.

We need to accept that loving someone else is a big responsibility and a big job, but we do it because we love them. Not because we have to. Letting people care for us is scary and feels wrong, but I swear, it’s okay. Just let go and be a burden.

A Pep Talk for When You’re Failing Classes

Hi there. So you’re taking classes? Me too! I’m taking college classes but if you’re taking High School classes, you can still benefit from this post. Here’s my situation, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’m in the middle of my semester and my grades are terrible. Literally, I have a C and a D. It’s getting difficult to do any of my schoolwork. The reason for my bad grades is because I do not have the willpower to get them done, so I don’t turn them in at all. If your bad grades are because you don’t understand the material, this post isn’t specifically for you.

I keep having these thoughts running through my head.

“Why even bother? You know your grade is fucked anyway.”

“You know your teacher’s won’t make any exceptions for you. You read the syllabus at the beginning of the semester just like everyone else. Why should you get special treatment?”

“This is all your own fault. You deserve these bad grades because you were lazy.”

But here’s the thing, I know that I don’t know if these statements are true. In reality, my grade might not be fucked, especially if I can get the teacher to work with me. Because they might. They just might make exceptions for me. Teachers are humans too, and while they probably have students try to run shit past them all the time, they might recognize the genuine issues I’m dealing with. They might just understand that this is not laziness. I am striving to complete my classes with respectable grades while swimming upstream, if you will. But if I don’t get my ass in gear, I will end with bad grades, like I did last quarter. So here’s my pep talk to myself.

I can do this. I might not end with perfect grades, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t keep working for the best grade I can get. Even if I do fail, the world will not end, but we will cross that bridge if we get to it. Right now, we are still in the middle of our journey and things are looking grim, so here’s what you are going to do. You are going to get in contact with your professors/teachers either in person or by email. If you feel comfortable, share your mental issues with your teacher(s) and discuss what can be done to get your grade up. Take responsibility for your unfinished assignments and apologize. Don’t make up any other excuses. Dealing with depression is enough and you don’t need to feel like it’s a cheap excuse. It’s not. If you don’t want to disclose that information, just tell your teacher(s) that you have been dealing with a medical issue which has kept you from finishing your work. If your teacher wants more information, you do not have to tell them. If your teacher thinks you’re making it up, so what? You know you’re not, and if they will not make allowances for you, then we will figure out what to do to cross “Failed Class” Bridge. You don’t owe them any personal information. You wouldn’t feel so bad if you weren’t finishing assignments because you were dealing with chemotherapy, and in the same way, you shouldn’t feel too bad about unfinished assignments due to depression, a condition of the mind, which is part of the body (a.k.a. a real medical issue).

Take your assignments one at a time. Give yourself lots of breaks and plenty of time. By working on your homework, you are being a great student, no matter what your grade is. Make a plan to get through all your assignments. Set alarms if you have to. Give yourself rewards. Make your checkpoints easy to hit. Success begets success. Make sure you take time to notice what you have accomplished, but don’t forget to move on to the next assignment.

When you get to the end of the semester, know that you have done everything you could to get a good grade and go ahead and give yourself a reward for finishing the semester, which is a feat in and of itself, no matter your grade.

Remember, this too will pass. Life will go on. You will recover. This is not as big of a deal as it seems to be at this moment. Bad grades do not equal low self worth. Good grades don’t increase your worth either. They are simply an indicator of if you learned and understood the material taught to you.

Your self worth is not tied to your grades, study habits, comments on your work from your teachers, I.Q., or any other subject dealing with school. You are priceless because you are human and all humans are loved by Jesus. There is nothing you could do to make Him stop loving you. Nothing. You’ve got this and He’s got you.

Love you!

Are you having a hard time getting through school? I’m here. Tell me about it in the comments or email me if its too personal to put here.

Where Does the Name of my Blog Come From?

As part of my 31-day blog challenge, one of the challenges is to explain the name of my blog.

I am in love with reading. I thoroughly enjoy traveling through other worlds by reading amazing books, and even watching T.V. and movies. I feel a great kinship with so many characters, one of the strongest with Anne of Green Gables. She goes through so much as an orphan and she develops this way of coping with her situation by escaping through books and imagining friends. She has the ability to take her situation and completely change it in her mind so that she is in a whole different world that intrigues and delights her. It usually contains this dashing suitor and a tragic romance. This coping mechanism keeps her going when she deals with prejudice, abuse, and just horrible mistreatment and harassment from adults who should be caring for her.

When Anne finally catches a break, she is chosen to be sent to Prince Edward Island to fulfill a request for a little girl to adopt. On the island, she meets Matthew and Marilla (the people who requested a child) and they ask her for her name. She replies:

Could you please call me Cordelia?

She explains that she feels her name, Anne, is too plain. She thinks her name is ordinary and very boring. But if Matthew and Marilla could just call her Cordelia, she could imagine she was the person she wished she could be. She would be exciting and adventurous and beautiful. Of course, Marilla promptly tells her that this is nonsense and that Marilla will call her by her given name. Marilla doesn’t imagine. She lives in reality all the time.

my post (60)
Anne Shirley is one of my favorite characters.

The thing is, I have spent so much time wishing I was someone else. If I could just change this, or if I could fix that, then I would be the perfect person I have always wanted to be. The name of my blog relates to that wish that I make in the “depths of despair” when things are too difficult and I am just disgusted with myself. I just want to be Cordelia. Perfect Cordelia.

My goal for this blog is to provide a place for people who want to be Cordelia. A place to relate to someone. I want to share my experiences from the depths of despair and how I work to get back to a happy place. I hope that my stories and help can inspire someone else to either move forward and keep trying or to get help so that they can do that.

I would really like to hear about some fictional characters that you relate with, from any form of media. Comment below and tell me what they mean to you.

my post (61)

4 Musicals to Take Me to My Happy Place

As you can probably tell by my last post (How Much Do You Think It Would Cost to Hire a Body Double to Live My Life for a While Because I’m Temporarily Dead) this week has been a complete terror. But hubby and I worked really hard to prepare for today so that it can be a relaxing day for both of us while still having the kids. We were out late last night at a family party which tired the kids out and they slept fairly late (for them anyway). We set up the PS3 downstairs so that the kids could go hang out in the den down there and keep the morning quiet. We had food ready for them when they woke up so they wouldn’t scream and cry at us first thing. They had blankets and pillows and comfy chairs and pretty much everything they ever wanted and hubby and I had peace. Sweet peace, glorious peace. I slept until 9:30 and he got to play Destiny all morning (with some care for the baby in there somewhere). This kind of morning has not happened since… I don’t even know.

Feeling a little uplifted after that kind of a morning, I put another load of laundry together (good heaven, it never freakin’ ends) and another load of dishes (ditto) and I put on a musical that I thought my daughter might like to watch with me: the Phantom of the Opera. She didn’t quite understand all of the story (she’s 6) but she loved the dresses and the music. As for me, I love pretending I am Christine Daae and I get to be that pretty and wanted and special. It definitely took me to my happy place. It’s one of my go-to musicals to get me there. I thought I might share my list of favorites to help someone else out too.

In no particular order:

  • Phantom of the Opera: you get to be Christine Daae, the orphan who is the daughter of the late great violinist. Her voice and beauty beat out the Prima Donna of the opera and her great voice teacher is an unseen genius. Her childhood friend, Raul has become the patron of the opera house, and he recognizes Christine singing on stage and he still loves her. It’s a great tragedy and romance set in France in a time when ladies wore incredible gowns and gentlemen were dressed to the nines. It’s very stereotypical, but I still love it.
  • Hello Dolly!: This is another musical that will transport you to the past. It’s 1890 and widow Dolly Levi has been hard at work managing other people’s affairs. Anything you need done, she can do it and she specializes in the art of matchmaking. When she realizes that the man she has her eye on is going to ask another woman to marry him, she comes up with a plan on the fly to be her own matchmaker. In the process, she sets up the lives of those around her and moves all the pieces into place. She is bold and lively and lovely. She has grace and elegance to spare and she only needs one day to change her future and find love once again. You’ll be spending the rest of your day pretending you are Dolly Levi.

The King and I: Okay first of all Mrs. Anna’s wardrobe here is amazing! I wish I could walk around in dresses like that and not be looked at like I’m due back at the mental institution any minute now. But I love this musical because Mrs. Anna Leonowens moves with her son Louis to Siam to teach the King’s children about… well everything. The King has like 60 children or something like that, not to mention the children of his wives who are in trouble with him. Anna is something new to Siam because she is a woman with an education. She becomes an unofficial advisor to the King during her time there and she calls him out on some pretty barbaric traditions. I like this musical because Anna is a force to be reckoned with and not even the King of Siam was enough to subdue her. In fact, she changed his thinking and therefore his reign. And because she taught the crown prince who is still very young, she changes the ways of Siam through his education. The music and dancing are phenomenal and make me wish I was in a musical on stage in real life.

  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: I will probably catch some flies for this one. It is about seven brothers in the wild west who don’t know how to treat women, but still want to marry them. That’s the TL:DR version. The oldest, Adam, goes into town looking for a wife and comes home with Milly, all in one day. Milly is tough and she doesn’t take crap, so when she comes home to six nasty looking brothers she realizes she is going to have to cook and clean for, she immediately makes plans to get them married and moved out of her house. She cleans them up and teaches them some manners just in time for them to go to a barn raising where they meet the girls of their dreams. The men are genuinely in love, but the ladies have tons of men to choose from. The brothers think they are never going to get a chance with their ladies so they do something terrible. They kidnap the ladies and cause an avalanche between them and the town, so they can take the ladies back to the cabin for the winter and their families won’t come for them until the snow melts. They think they can make their ladies fall in love with them before that happens. They are complete idiots, but love-sick idiots (although is there such a thing as a love-sick genius?). Other than, you know, kidnapping them, the brothers are never disrespectful to the ladies and you can tell they are genuinely trying, which over the course of the long winter, the ladies see that too. They all end up falling in love and everyone lives happily ever after and really the concept of this musical is terrible, but I like the choreography and music. I mean those are some really talented men (for reference, look to the barn raising dance). Anyway, I don’t care who gets mad at me. I like this musical with a horrible story. It takes me to my happy place and that’s all I care about.  #maybeIhavesomeissuestoworkout

I hope that you can find ways to your happy place. Don’t be afraid to like what you like. Try everything and discover new things about what makes you happy! Maybe you could comment with some of your favorite musicals! I need some new ones to try!

My Post (51)

Some Upsetting Thoughts From Today and How I Changed Them

There is a lot of power in how you think. Thoughts are a particular stumbling block for people who suffer from depression. Thoughts of shame pop up way too easily and stick for a long time, whereas thoughts of pride and accomplishment struggle to surface and are fleeting.

And for my next trick, I will make all my successes disappear!

If you don’t know, you can train your thoughts to lean a certain way. For example, if you’ve been brought up as a racist, your initial thought when seeing a black person would be negative and mean. If you learned to recognize those thoughts and make yourself change the thought to a positive one, you can change your outlook on people of color.

Like this…

Negative: “I bet this lady ahead of me has all those babies just to get a free ride and live off the government.”

Fixed: “There is nothing wrong with having many children and I have absolutely no evidence to support the idea that she is getting government assistance. Even if she is, there is nothing wrong with accepting government assistance when needed. I have no authority to decide whether she is worthy of government assistance. Sure I may pay taxes so that people can live with assistance, but I have no knowledge of her personal information and I am not entitled to her personal information.”

I read somewhere that the first thought that crosses your mind is how you’ve been conditioned to think. The next thought is from you. You don’t have to feel bad about being conditioned to think terrible things. You just have to re-condition and re-train your brain until that first thought is the one you’re proud of.

Actual footage of you taking control of your thoughts.

The same goes for the thoughts you have of yourself. You’ve trained your brain to see all the imperfections about yourself, and that they are deal breakers for anyone who might consider a relationship with you. There are many reasons you have been trained this way, but you have the power to change it!

Something I do once in a while is writing out my negative thoughts, and change them so that I see the positive.

1. Negative: I am fat and ugly. Everyone is looking at me and thinking how glad they are that they aren’t me.

Positive:  I am overweight but that has no bearing on my beauty. I have personally witnessed the transformation that occurs between seeing someone for the first time and getting to know them. Beautiful people have quickly become ugly and vice versa. No one is judging you because they are too busy judging themselves, thinking these same thoughts. Not to mention, literally no one has the authority to decide what ugly or beautiful is.

2. Negative: I am so lazy I can’t even take care of myself, my house, and my kids. I am the worst mother.

Positive: Simply because I sit on the couch a lot does not mean I am lazy. I work on my blog and my homework and things for the church, all things that are important and need to be done, things I would feel bad for not doing. I do have a weakness for cleaning the house so I will do at least one thing today to make myself better at cleaning. Every day my kids are fed, safe, clean, and loved. It’s okay that I hit periods where they play their devices all day because I always find my way out, and my children are still cared for very well and they know I love them. I am a good mother.

You have to prove to your mind that you are in control. Lasso those destructive thoughts and make them serve you, bend them to your will. Rebrand them as uplifting thoughts and train them to run through your mind often. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of work to believe the positive thoughts, but if you practice enough, you will start to believe and think positive automatically. Think of it as a workout you don’t have to get off the couch for!

If you’re interested in the sociology of positive and negative thoughts, check out this ten minute TED talk: “Getting Stuck in the Negatives (and How to Get Unstuck)”

How often do you struggle with negative thoughts? What method do you have for dealing with them?

My Post (48)