Best Friends For Life

With my social anxiety, it’s hard for me to actually feel confident in any friendship I have. I’m constantly wondering if that person still likes me, why they like me, what I need to do to keep their approval and love. I think eventually that ruins all of my friendships. People eventually get tired of dealing with my mental issues and constant reassurance needs. I am thoroughly convinced that I am too much to handle and nobody wants to be my friend. And that honestly really brings me down. I see all of theses people post about these really awesome friendships they have and they constantly have that person to hang out with.

As it turns out, I’ve actually had that friendship this whole time and never really open my eyes to realize it.

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My little sister and I have definitely had our problems. There were times where I’m sure we legitimately HATED each other. We were always so different growing up, and I never really understood my depression and anxiety until my twenties. I think that caused a lot of problems, because I would act freaking crazy sometimes and my sister and I never understood why I acted the way I did. Now that we understand, it all makes sense.

But despite all of that, we’ve been best friends. We would have those days where whatever we did together we were aways laughing. We had inside jokes nobody else would understand. And we lived together, so it was like a never-ending sleepover.

It wasn’t until our late teens/early twenties that we realized that we needed each other. And by that time, I was already moved away and we couldn’t really hangout anymore. But what’s awesome is that she calls me and facetimes me often. She pays attention to my social media posts and reaches out when something I say concerns her a little. She talks me up all of the time. She is the ONE person who has TRULY seen me at my worst. She has seen me through many stages of my life. She has been the front row witness to me finding myself.

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Even though she’s younger than me, I find myself looking up to her. She’s a very independent person, and she’s doesn’t let crap get to her. She doesn’t tolerate people taking advantage of her. She doesn’t take crap from ANYBODY. She doesn’t worry about other people who don’t worry about her. She’s trying to teach me to be the same way. I truly believe that, if she could, she would personally go inside my head and fight off my demons for me. And she would show them no mercy.

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I hope to be a role model for her. I hope to inspire her to not let anything stop her from succeeding. I want her realize what kind of love she deserves. I hope she never loses that self-love and self-confidence she has. She has so much potential and I know she’ll continue to be a boss bitch as she gets older.

I never have to worry about her leaving me. SHE’S STUCK WITH ME FOR LIFE.

She’s been my best friend for the last 21 years, and she’ll continue to be my best friend forever.

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❤️❤️ Keera ❤️❤️

The Fight

I wish there was a way for me to really explain what my anxiety and depression is like. I say “my”, because everybody’s is different. People have different triggers, different symptoms, and different ways of coping.

It’s 1:30 in the morning, and I can’t sleep. I am physically sick. My mind is moving 200 mph. I can’t focus. I can’t look at myself.

I am completely broken.

It’s hard when everyone sees you as this smiling, bubbly girl who’s always laughing at something. Hiding all of this emotion behind the smile is so mentally, emotionally, and even physically exhausting. They don’t know that my stomach is in knots and I feel nauseated. They can’t see my thoughts racing in my head so fast that I can’t even comprehend them. They have no clue that I looked at myself in the mirror that morning and hated what I saw. They would have never guessed that I cried myself to sleep the night before.

But I don’t want them to know me that way. I like the image they’ve created of me. I want to be the girl they see.

Because I’m ashamed of what I see.

When I look at my own reflection, it doesn’t take long before I start picking out every single flaw. Every teeny tiny, minute detail that doesn’t even matter.

And it wouldn’t matter, if this was a normal day.

You see, it’s not always like this. Thanks to modern science and therapy, I am able to be that happy person most of the days. But nothing is perfect. When those off days hit, they hit hard. I don’t see them coming. I don’t see the demons sneaking up on me. If I could, I would do whatever I could to stop them from taking over.

I don’t want to feel this way. I HATE feeling this way. I turn into a completely different person and I hate her.

I hate her so much that I feel willing to kill her.

But I can’t.

Because she’s me.

So instead, I have to fight her. I have to push through all of the thoughts, all of the emotions. I have to break free from the bindings.

I HAVE to survive another day.

She hasn’t won yet, and I’m never going to let her.

But she’s also never going to go away.

A World of Compassion

I have had a couple requests to write a blog post about veganism and how to transition. I’m honestly so excited that people are interested in this topic!! It makes me so giddy.

I’m going to start this post with some complete honesty: It actually took me a few trials to fully appreciate a plant-based diet and stick with it. My first attempt ended after a couple months when I was literally so stressed out about what I was eating and being around other food. I was working at McDonald’s at the time, and resisting all of the foods I used to it while being around of ALL of the time was so frustrating. McDonald’s FRIES AREN’T EVEN VEGAN. Like what the heck? They add “natural beef flavor” to their fries. But I’m kind of getting off topic here…

Going to the grocery store was always a headache. There were foods that had milk and eggs in them when I thought it was completely unnecessary to put those ingredients in. ended up quitting, but picking up again just a month later. Once I already knew the reasons to go vegan, I couldn’t ignore them when I was eating whatever I wanted. However, I had to quit again because I was going to basic training, and you can’t really nourish yourself in that kind of environment with just fruit and salad. Once I graduated basic and went on to AIT, I still couldn’t really go fully plant-based, because I still wasn’t allowed to keep my own food with me. I did, however, commit to vegetarianism while I was there. I thought it would be a nice transition for when I moved to my first duty station was able to buy my own food and keep it in my room.

As soon as I got to Washington, I went shopping. Everything I bought was vegan and I was so excited to give it another go. And I was doing really well until about a week or two before going into the field. That week was so busy and consisted of going to fast food places with coworkers for quick lunches. So I was eating anything on the menu. And, typically, while I was in the field I had to eat what I could to stay nourished with what they provide out there. The military doesn’t exactly accommodate plant-based diets. Because of my already bad habit of eating whatever from the field, when we got back I continued to eat whatever along with my favorite vegan foods. So I was kind of doing both.

Recently, I was showing a friend some facts about animal agriculture and how much of an impact eating vegan makes, and I honestly felt so guilty for letting my bad habits take control. So I decided to be way more strict about my diet, and I’m honestly so happy with it. I feel so much better throughout the day. I even get super excited over vegan food.

I just wanted to start this post off by making it clear that I am NOT a “perfect” vegan. And if you would like to give a plant-based diet a shot, don’t beat yourself up for slipping up. It’s a huge adjustment, and it takes a lot of patience and intestinal fortitude. But I find it so rewarding. This is why I (try my best) to not judge others for their eating habits. Honestly, even making ONE meal a day vegan can make a HUGE difference. Just by making that conscious decision, you save a life.

I also understand that not everybody has the same view and feelings about animals. Just because I have deep emotional feelings about cows, pigs, etc, doesn’t mean everyone else does. It took me a while to realize that some people don’t consider veganism because the see animals as “just animals”. And that’s okay for them. I have different feelings, and that’s why I try worry about just what’s on MY plate. And I think that’s kind of what separates me from other vegans. Sure, I’ll share some information and facts. But I’m not going to be judgmental and nasty.

Okay, now on to what people have ACTUALLY asked about: the transition.

 

So it’s really easy to get excited and just jump right in 100%, but that only really works for some people. Others need to take it slow, one step at a time. If this is you, I suggest you cut out meat first. If you want even smaller steps than that, start with red meat (its literally the WORST for your body). Then cut out poultry, then fish.

 But where would I get my protein? 

 You can eat plants and still get the same amount of protein as you’d get from eating meat. It’s all about portions and research. Most people eat bigger portions of meat than they’re supposed to, causing your body to consume TOO much protein (yes, that is a thing).

http://nutritionstripped.com/10-plant-based-proteins-eating/

That link will take you to a website that explains the top plant-based protein sources, and it even gives you different ways you can incorporate these sources into your meals everyday. And it’s actually quite amazing how much protein you can get from plants (for example, 1 cup of lentils has 18g of protein!!!)

There are also mock meat products you can buy, and I personally love these options. Gardein is one of the BEST brands out there. They have so many options from “chicken” tenders to “fish” filets, and even “beef” crumbles. Whole Foods is a great place to grab these, and they even have other brands that offer things that Gardein doesn’t. Like breakfast burritos and realistic burgers.

After you feel comfortable with that, then cut out dairy and eggs. This part is what people seem to have the most problems with, but it’s actually pretty awesome how far veganism has come with making dairy alternatives!

 Of course, everyone is pretty familiar with milk alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc. But there are other dairy products that have cruelty free options, like butter, eggs, and cheese! I use Earth Balance butter, and it tastes like actual butter. There are vegan egg products (those take a little bit of playing with to satisfy your personal taste). Chao is a great cheese brand, along with Follow Your Heart (which also makes wonderful vegan salad dressings). Daiya for me has been a hit or miss, but their pizza and Mac and cheese are delicious! So Delicious makes fabulous yogurt and ice cream. They also make coffee creamer!

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Once you do more research and visit more stores, you’ll find the things you prefer and love. I also recommend going out and getting a couple vegan cookbooks! Nothing beats a homemade vegan meal, and it’s always awesome seeing the look on visitors’ faces when they taste how delicious it is. You can also go on Pinterest and find some recipes (I just find follow a book a little easier).

Sometimes you need motivation to keep doing it. I have a few reasons: I’m able to lose and maintain my weight way easier on a plant-based diet, my body in general feels cleaner, I’m making a huge impact on the environment, and, of course, the animals.

If animals are your motivation, I recommend you watching ‘Earthlings” on Netflix. If the environment is your reason, watch “Cowspiracy”. If health is why you do it, watch “Forks Over Knives”. All of these are on Netflix. You can also do more research online and from books, just make sure the sources are credible. There are vegan-activists out there that will lie and scare people. That’s not the message we should be sending. I, for one, cannot stand PETA.

Checking labels can be frustrating. I use the “Is It Vegan” app! You can scan the bar code of the product and it checks (to the best of it’s ability) the ingredients to see if it’s a vegan product. I also use the Leaping Bunny app to check out products that are vegan and not tested on animals.

I hope this helps some of you! I haven’t been a vegan for super long, so I don’t really have a lot to say. But I love steering people in the right direction.

There is so much compassion behind veganism, and I would love to share it with as many people as I can!

 

❤️❤️ Keera ❤️❤️

Overdue Update

Hey, ya’ll!

It’s been SEVEN months since my last blog post. I would be lying if I told you that nothing has happened and that’s why I haven’t written. My last post for ya’ll was talking about my experience at basic training. I guess life has been pretty crazy, and I honestly haven’t had the motivation (or the computer) to keep up with my blog. Well, now I am settled in my new duty station and just recently purchased a MacBook Air, so I’m ready to rock.

Since my last post, I went through 16 weeks of training to become a combat medic in the United States Army. It was pretty intense, and I learned so much. I gained confidence in myself and my skills to save the lives of my brothers and sisters in combat and in garrison. Along with that, I met some pretty amazing people. I grew close with such a wonderful group of people, and I wholeheartedly believe that I would NOT have made it through those 16 weeks without them. As much as I was ready to leave the training environment and go out into the real army, I was so sad to be separating from the people I become so fond of. We still keep contact in a mass group message, but it still gets pretty lonely here without them and I miss them like crazy.

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After four months of not being able to see my husband, I was able to spend a short weekend with him after I graduated and before I headed off to my next station. I also got to see my Meeko for the first time since leaving for basic training. It was such a short short weekend, but I was so grateful for the time I did have with my little family.

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I got station here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. I was pretty excited about this assignment because I have always wanted to visit the beautiful state. This made me realize that it’s pretty cool that I get paid to travel. I have only been here for a couple months, but so far I’ve gotten to visit Seattle (which has become one of my FAVORITE cities EVER), I’ve gone on a few hikes in some pretty quiet and remote areas, and I got attached to an infantry unit. This means means that I get to go out on field missions with the infantrymen, which usually lasts for weeks.

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As exciting as all of this was, something just wasn’t setting right for me mentally. It could have been the complete change in environment and lifestyle. It could have been the fact that I was no longer surrounded by my friends. It could have been that I was no longer a training soldier and now I was expected to really preform my duties. My depression and anxiety had escalated very quickly. I had gotten to the point where I couldn’t even handle being around people. I couldn’t handle responsibility. I couldn’t handle being alone. One Monday night, I had thoughts of taking my own life. I had the pills sitting out on my desk, and I started doing some research what an overdose was like. Honestly, it sounded absolutely miserable, and it could take three to four DAYS. I don’t want DAYS, I thought to myself, I want instant. That’s when it really hit me that I needed help. I immediately got up and drove myself to the ER. I spent a week in the mental health ward. Once I was out, I made the decision to separate from the army and to go home back to Ohio and start a new life, and I was very dead set on that decision.

However, something STILL didn’t set right with me. I started my weekly sessions with my therapist, but one appointment wasn’t like the others. She asked me to explain what would happen if I stayed in the army. She said from listening to me talk, I have very low self-confidence, and no esteem. She said she has talked to my command, and they all talked highly of me and my performance as a medic. We ended up talking about how I never really finish anything I start. I always quit whenever I get a little bit uncomfortable. I don’t know really what happened, but all of a sudden I was thinking about how I wanted to stay in. I didn’t want to quit this time. I want to feel self-satisfaction when I actually finish my contract. I want to gain that self-confidence. I want to change the way I view myself.

And its amazing.. Ever since I made the decision to stay in the army, I’ve been so at peace with myself. And it feels like good things keep happening. I keep having good days, I’m finally making friends, and my whole role as a medic is about to change. It’s like this is God’s way of showing me that I’m on the path He wants me to be on.

I finally found a little church to go to. It’s pretty small, but the energy inside is so alive. David will be moving up here in less than 12 months. I have a list of people who are making plans to come see me. And I’m planning a trip home for Christmas.

My life has been such a roller coaster the last two months, but I really believe that everything is turning around for the better, and I am keeping a positive outlook. I have hope for the future.

♥♥ Keera ♥♥

 

To My Husband Before I Go..

Hello, my love.

           I know we didn’t expect this day to come up so fast. We’ve been talking about it for months. Those months turned into weeks. Now we’re down to just a couple of days. I know we automatically put our smiles on and tell everyone that we will be okay, and we even just tell each other we will be okay. Which, we will be. I have no doubt about that. However, we don’t have to act like it won’t be hard. You are my other half, and being apart from you is going to suck so bad. You are that thing that can always make me feel at ease when my anxiety gets the best of me. You are my sunshine when my depression kicks in. You are my best friend. I can come to you about everything. You are the only person who I feel 100% comfortable with. I can’t even begin to tell you how awful it’s going to be when I can’t even talk to you. When I can’t listen to your voice to calm myself down. When I won’t be able to feel your skin to feel like I’m home.

And it won’t even end after basic. For two or more years, we’re only going to see each other a handful of times. We’re going to have to compare schedules and try to fit in times to talk. Communication is going to be more important now than ever. It’s going to be hard to keep each other included in every detail of our lives.We have to remember to not leave each other out. It’s going to be extremely hard. At first, at least. It’ll take a little bit for us to get into the swing of things.

But you know what, we got this. When I think about everything we’ve already been through, this is nothing. A cake walk. Sometimes I wonder why I even worry. The main reason why I feel like we can do this is because of you. You reassure me whenever I need it. You never make me doubt that you love me. You show me that you are going to do whatever it takes to make this work. I know I am not in this alone. I won’t be going through this marriage by myself. And that is such an AMAZING feeling. There are people who live with their husband/wife and all of the work is one-sided. We’re going to be living in different states and we both are going to be putting 100% in. I am the luckiest woman in the world. God has blessed me with you.

I can’t wait to see where we go from here. We have so much ahead of us. So much love, success, adventure, growing. I love you.

Love, your wife

Weight Conscious..

We see it everyday. Tweets, posts, stories, pictures, etc. It’s so motivational, isn’t it? Seeing all of these different people working so hard to accomplish feeling good about themselves. To feel beautiful or sexy. It’s amazing! It’s also so wonderful seeing people getting so much support. It seems like everybody has a million people right behind them. It makes taking on a weight loss journey look like this cheesy movie where everything goes right for someone. That somebody just wakes up one day and looks comepletely different than the day before. One big happy story with a great ending.

However, that’s not really how it goes for some people. Some people work for months and get no progress at all. Some people starve themselves in hopes of seeing some kind of difference in the mirror. Some people feel like they’re doing absolutely EVERYTHING right and it’s still not good enough. Then some people actually do see progress, everyone else sees it, but it’s still stopping them from a dream.

I’ve recently just have a reality check, if you will. I have been working on my weight for months now, and I have definitely had some progress. I was feeling pretty good about how far I’ve come. However, it hasn’t been good enough…

I’m still too overweight to enlist. 

It’s only by a couple pounds, but that’s not the point. I have been working so so hard. At the gym, before work and after. If I have time to workout, I take it. I’ve never been a skinny girl, ever. I have always had a body type that I didn’t want. But my weight has never gotten in the way of something before (other than becoming a super model). I became so discouraged. All of this hard work and it wasn’t enough. I was broken. I had to hold back tears as that sergeant was breaking the news to me. He told me that I am going to have to work even harder this next week. 

Harder..? How can I possibly work harder? Realistically, I know it’s possible. But I have another voice in my head telling me I’m worthless and can’t accomplish anything important. 

And I know that I’m not the only one who has gone through something like this. Maybe not even with weight, but with anything in life that makes us feel like we can’t accomplish something or what we’re doing isn’t good enough. Somebody else reading this needs to hear what I have to say next.

Don’t give up. I know how cliche that is, but it’s solid. I know how hard it is to keep having faith in yourself over and over again. But God gives us trials that he knows we can make it through. He shows us that we can accomplish anything. You can overcome whatever it is holding you back. I WILL lose those pounds by Wednesday. I WILL see joy on my recruiter’s face when he sees that I made it. YOU WILL make it. YOU WILL beat this. YOU WILL surprise yourself. YOU WILL make yourself proud. Because that’s what matters. How you feel about yourself. Self acceptance is key. 

And I know this seems sort of hypocritical, since I haven’t been showing any kind of self acceptance lately. But I am determined to change that. I want to continue to inspire people. You can inspire. Just believe.

I used to hate sharing my thoughts and feelings with other people. I always thought that it would be used against me later. However, I find myself more and more open online. The more people responded to what I was saying, the more comfortable I became with posting more and more. It has been such a wonderful outlet for me.

A little bit about me: I’m Keera. I am 22 years old and I am happily married to my wonderful husband, David. We are living in the desert in Southern California. We are originally from Ohio, but we moved here with the Marines. We’ve been out here for a year, and it has been a great experience. It has given us a chance to grow in our marriage together without other people getting involved. We have learned to work our problems out ourselves by communicating. We have grown up so much.

I am enlisting in the Army. It’s been something I have been wanting to do since high school. I am so close to finally achieving this dream of mine. My husband is super supportive! We know that we’ll have to deal with distance once again, but we are prepared to make it work. There is just so much going on in my life and things are constantly changing! So this blog is to help me keep up with myself, and whoever else is interested in keeping up as well.

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♥♥ Keera♥♥