Monday, October 1, 2018

The Big Legalization Debate

Anyone who has spoken to me on the topic already knows my stance on the legalization of marijuana: I am completely for it.


Here...are my reasons why.

1. I feel like legalizing the medicinal use of pot would help against the opioid epidemic.

Having an alternative to pain management is ideal. Especially for those with chronic pain conditions. It's rare that you see someone becoming hooked on pain meds simply because of a short-term condition ( ie. broken leg, wisdom teeth ) so those with chronic health problems/fibro/etc would have something that is far less harmful and addictive than painkillers. Plus, you can not overdose on weed

This article on VireoHealth.com explains the opioids vs. cannabis debate for chronic pain.

2. Cannabis has many beneficial medical factors.


Business Insider wrote an article explaining "23 Health Benefits of Marijuana" and some of them I didn't even know! Of course, chronic pain was on the top of the list, but so were:
-glaucoma
-seizures
-Dravet's syndrome
-anxiety
-MS
-IBS 

In addition, the article states that there have been studies suggesting that marijuana can help people cut back on drinking, can sooth Parkinson's tremors, lessen side effects of chemo and Hep C treatments and even help eliminate nightmares.

3. It's not always about "getting high".

If you know anything about weed, you know that THC "gets you high" and CBD is the chemical that helps alleviate pain. CBD does not get you high, so when children with seizure conditions ( or pets, because CBD is a wonderful natural alternative for animals, also ) take the medications, they are not getting that head-in-the-clouds, laughing-at-everything feeling that people associate with cannabis.

If you still don't fully understand the difference, you can read this article to see why THC gets you high and CBD doesn't.

4. There would be laws and rules in effect for recreational use.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, but how many people in a day do it? 

How many alcohol-related deaths are there a year? Well, the CDC states that "29 people in the US die a day from alcohol incidents" so that's about one every 50 minutes. 

And just like with alcohol, if you would get pulled over for being under the influence of marijuana, the laws would still apply. But why is it "OK" for people to drink and drive, but OMG we can't make pot legal, it will be detrimental to everyone on the roads! ? 

5. It's not really addictive.

There is a very low percentage of addiction with marijuana ( just 9% of its users per NIH ) Psychology Today wrote an article on the topic and the last paragraph states: 

"So, to wrap up, is marijuana addictive? For most people, no. About 10% of recreational users will develop problems serve enough to impair their work and relationships. Many more will come to depend on pot for relaxation and social purposes. This will be problematic if they don't learn more effective coping mechanisms and come to rely on marijuana instead of solving their problems. When ready, most people will be able to quit with only mild withdrawal symptoms. And, compared to other recreational drugs, marijuana is relatively harmless. But, it is not completely harmless. And...what is more serious than its addictive consequences are the legal ones. This relatively harmless herbal plant is unregulated and illegal in the U.S."

Personally, if I had the option to take a cannabis capsule for nausea/headaches/pain/etc. instead of an over-the-counter or prescription drug from Big Pharma, I would in a heartbeat. If it helped, I'd be on it. 

Marijuana is from the Earth and is natural medicine...and the only real reason there is such prohibition of the plant is because back when it was discovered it could've taken the place of numerous things in life: paper, fabric, medicine--thus putting such business out of work. It was also a cheaper alternative. And now, weed puts Big Pharma at risk of losing money...which I feel is the real reason that we are still fighting for legalization.

PA is coming up in the world, but how far are we going to get? What are your opinions of the topic of marijuana and legalization, either medicinally or recreationally?





Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Appreciation

Per the Webster dictionary, appreciation-

ap·pre·ci·a·tion
əˌprēSHēˈāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. 1.
    the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.

    "I smiled in appreciation"

  2. 2.
    a full understanding of a situation.

    "they have an appreciation of the needs of users"


Seems pretty simple, right? Then why is it so hard for some to show their appreciation of others?

Harvard Business Review wrote an article on "Why Appreciate Matters So Much" and I think it is an important read ( especially for those managers/bosses/higher ups ) Some key points in this article include:

1. We, as a whole, are more inept to express negative emotions rather than positive. This is mostly due to being reactive or defensive. And when one feels devalued or unappreciated, it's super toxic to not only their PERSONAL mental health but also their work ethic.

2. Less than 40% of workers feel that their manager genuinely cares about them.

3. "In one well-known study, workers who felt unfairly criticized by a boss or felt they had a boss who didn’t listen to their concerns had a 30 percent higher rate of coronary disease than those who felt treated fairly and with care." ( quoted from the article )

4. It's important to recognize even the littlest of things and speak up!...one kind word or "hey, I noticed this..." can change someone's entire mood.

5. It's not just "women being emotional" or things like that; appreciation in relationships, the workplace, friendship, etc. is a key factor to human nature.

I think that everyone who reads this post should click the link and read the article. It isn't long, but it makes important points about how a little appreciation goes a long way.



In a workplace environment, you will see less initiative, less productivity and a loss of morale within your employees that feel unappreciated. You may even lose a few great employees due to their feeling unappreciated. I left my last job because I felt as such; you get to a point where you're like, "Would you even care if I were here or not?"...and then you do something about it for your own well-being. So make sure you are letting the important people in your team know how important they really are to you before they aren't there one day.

Appreciation also helps you personally and your own self-esteem. If you're constantly focusing on everyone else's shortcomings, including your own, it can make for a very negative outlook on life. Showing gratitude for others also makes you feel more fulfilled as a person because you may have made someone's day. 

It's important to realize that the energy you put out, you also receive back. I very much believe in karma, "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all" and that you get what you give. It takes very little effort to be nice to people and to give them a small compliment here and there.

"The Power of Showing Your Appreciation" from littlethingsmatter.com goes over some benefits, tips and challenges to show your appreciation for someone or something. Again, I encourage you all to read the article.

Sometimes it seems easier to pick out people's faults rather than their positive attributes. This is usually due to a negative mindset, stemming first from yourself personally and reflecting that outward into others. This is a toxic way to view the world and the people who live in it.

It is a human need to feel valued, wanted, cared about, and not taken for granted. In short--appreciated. And it takes so little to show that appreciation, people!

Compliment someone on a task they worked super hard on.
Ask someone how their day has been.
Give someone a 'Thank You' card.
Hell, just smile at someone!

We are all so caught up in trying to be the "best" at something and not paying attention to those people on the outside that help you to be your best. Especially when it come to work...and working as a "team". When one wheel falls off, the whole cart crashes.

...so how are you gonna keep that cart on all its wheels...?




Sunday, September 23, 2018

"OOOOH! KELLY CLARKSON!"

If you don't recognize that quote, it's by Steve Carell in The 40 Year Old Virgin...the famous waxing scene.

Why is it relevant? Because I got waxed for the first time this weekend! 

Being a newbie to the waxing thing, I was very nervous to do so. I mean, they pull out your hair from the most sensitive parts of your body with hot wax. Who wants to do this shit?! Well, due to personal reasons and recommendations from my doctor AND my best friend, I decided to "nut up" and give it a try.

Since I've been contemplating this for a few weeks, I did allow the hair to grow to the appropriate length they require for waxing ( 1/4" or the length of a grain of rice ) I made sure to also do some research. I didn't delve TOO deep into the world of Brazilian waxing as to not scare the shit out of myself, but I did read a few testimonials and tips prior to waxing.

I also decided to go to European Wax Center since they have one locally. A few of the reasons for that decision was 1) availability-I had off on Friday and I happened to look and saw that they had a few openings for that day, 2) cost-if I went to a local spa, I was going to pay another $15-20 dollars for the service and, 3) the name says it all-they only do waxing...all day, everyday. So I booked my appointment conveniently online and viola!...I had an hour to get ready and get there.

I'll admit: I was super nervous the closer I got. I took a preventative Ativan to help calm my nerves, because I knew the more tense I was the more it was going to hurt. But I was on a mission to get this done, and I have plenty of piercings and tattoos so if I can sit through that, why couldn't I sit through a wax?

I come in the door, give the receptionist my ID and she tells me how the appointment will go: cleansing, protecting, waxing, restoring. She tells me that it's not as bad as I'm probably thinking and that most ladies say it's probably about a 7 on a pain scale. I take a deep breath, check in and take a seat. About 5 minutes later I'm called back.

...and they don't fuck around! You put your belongings, including everything you're wearing from the waist down, in the corner and get comfy ( as you can be ) on the table. From there they rub some cleanser on the hair that they are going to remove, then an oil or some kind of protection serum, then right to work. 

A Brazilian includes all the hair down there unless you ask for some to be left behind. So they start on your pubic bone and work their way down. I will tell you-it's not pleasant. In some spots, I had to do everything within my power to not flinch off of the table. But once you start, you can't really stop, right?! So I let the waxer do her thing and within about 15 minutes I was finished. 

There is an ingrown hair serum you can purchase at the center to apply daily after your waxing, but I also saw online that witch hazel works well, too. I just use coconut oil and so far, no problems.  

Some things I was surprised about:
-EWC doesn't use wax and strips; they use a wax directly placed on the skin that only sticks to the hair and is not to pull away layers of skin when removed
-it wasn't as painful afterwards as I was expecting
-the inflammation went down fairly quickly
-it's crazy to me to not have "razor burn"
-after 2 days, still no stubble!

I definitely think women who normally shave should definitely try waxing at least once. I'm pleasantly surprised so far! Of course, if you have a low pain threshold maybe stay away from it...but you never know unless you try!

And I definitely recommend European Wax Center in Camp Hill! Emily was great and very helpful in easing my nerves. Also, I went in expecting to pay $50 for the service and it was ony $25 since I was a new customer! And if you drop my name as a referral, it can earn me Strut rewards ( or something... )

PS. They wax most body parts, so it doesn't have to just be the nether-region! LOL!

 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

"In The End, It Doesn't Even Matter..."-Linkin Park

Robin Williams. Chester Bennington. Kate Spade. These three names share the same sad demise: suicide. People who seemed to have it all together; who "had it all". Proof that things are not always what they appear.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States per SAVE, and approximately 123 people die of attempted suicide each day. Most of these cases are due to untreated/undiagnosed mental health issues. 

The CDC published an article in June stating that suicide numbers have risen 30% across the US since 1999. 

LGBQT kids are 3x more likely to kill themselves than straight children, and men are 4x more likely to commit suicide over women. 

Yet, there is still such a stigma with mental health/depression/anxiety/bipolar/suicide. And there is a lack of appropriate care when it comes to mental illnesses.

You used to have the ability to go into inpatient treatment for a "mental breakdown"; there were psych wards and "insane asylums". Now our mentally ill walk around begging for money or are on disability because they don't have the resources to help them get better.

I was talking to my therapist the other day about how I believe that medicinal marijuana is something that needs to be made legal. That, of course, is a topic for another day BUT I also discussed that I feel that there isn't enough emphasis on mental health care with insurance companies and providers alike. Hell, I was only able to start seeing a therapist because my boss happened to get us a Blue Cross plan that covered it. Never in my life have I had mental health coverage! Which would've been great for me as a teenager...

I don't talk about this a lot because it never became a serious issue, but I've contemplated suicide numerous times. Mostly in my late teens/early 20s. I don't feel it's something that I need to willingly share for pity or attention, but it's something that I did suffer with. I was more scared of death than my need to want to die, so luckily I never followed through. But I've definitely had those "why am I still here?", "what's the point?", "I hate my life and it's never going to get better" moments. But believe me, it can. If you work at it, and you don't succumb, it can get better. But some people are not as self-aware...and to them, it may feel like the only option. That's when it's important to look out for the signs.



There are many resources found online that help you to see the warning signs. Also, many things can be easily spotted if you're paying attention.

Big life changes, loss of loved ones, loss of a job, a failed relationship--these are all potential triggers for someone already battling depression and anxiety. When someone you care about goes through a major life change, be sure to check in on them; let them know that you care and that you're there for them. 

There is also the National Suicide Hotline, which lends a listening ear to those who may not have a great support system and are having suicidal thoughts. You are anonymous and you can speak to someone who truly cares and volunteers their time to help you through whatever it is you may be going through.



One person is too many to lose due to such a preventable end. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone, be it you or them that need help. We need to end the stigma and we need to unite as a whole to help end suicide. We need to do better to expand our resources and our empathy for those who struggle differently than we do. We are all a product of our upbringing and our surroundings, our genetics and our personal morals. 

Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about...


Monday, September 3, 2018

The Winds of Change Have Come and Gone

I think I wrote in previous entries that this past winter was a very hard one for my depression. I think I may have been the lowest that I'd ever been. Not to the point of suicide or anything, but I was very unhappy...very lonely...very sad. I had started discussing it with my therapist at the end of last year but things were not getting better. I felt secluded, far from the few friends I had, very much alone and stressed/depressed/lethargic; and the sadness was so overwhelming that I was too drained to put forth the effort to go do things. All I did was work, sit at home alone ( Nate works a lot ) and nap. Oh, and eat.

So at the end of April, right before my trip, I broke down. I stayed in bed for 2 days and just cried. I knew what I had to do. I didn't know if it was going to help or what, but I gave it until I came back to finalize my thoughts. And when I did, I knew I had to go.

Nate and I broke up in May. 

I haven't made it public ( well, until now ) I've told my close friends, and family knows because Carol let them know. I couldn't live in Dover anymore, among other personal stuff. Nate and I don't hate each other. We are still friends. I still care about him. But I needed to come back to Carlisle. I needed to be closer to people and be in an area where I have the ability to walk to the grocery store when it snows instead of being trapped behind 3.5' of snow for 2 days. It's not the friendliest town. I don't have many friends here anymore. But I needed familiarity. I needed a new start. I needed independence. I needed to start over.

And starting over sucks. It's scary and it's hard and it's expensive. But it needed to be done. Sure, things aren't better like the flip of a switch--there are things that I want to do and goals I want to achieve. And the first few months haven't been how I'd imagined them either. So I'm just taking one day at a time and trying to be as true to myself as I can be without hurting anyone along the way.

In any case, on a less serious note, I found a cute apartment in town that I absolutely adore. It's more money than I've ever spent on a place but luckily, I make more than I did 3 years ago when I was living here before. I'm not going to state where exactly I live ( of course ) but I'd love to show you around!

Let's start with the living room:

I spy a pug looking out the window

My Sofa's Unlimited couches!

The sliding doors that separate the rooms is one of my favorite accents

View from the bedroom looking out

Some old stuff and some new stuff to tie the living space up. The high ceilings and the deep-set windows are also a big reason why I fell in love with this apartment. Also, this little feature:


Although I don't have a coat closet, I do have a washer and dryer! So no laundry mat for me!

My bedroom is huge, with plenty of space for activities. I have been thinking about getting a treadmill or elliptical to put in the room eventually. I also created a Pug Wall, so that will be fun to build on to!

Just put new sheets on the bed!

Nice sized closet and lots of floor space; hate that I don't have central air, though

This area still needs a tad reorganized

The start of the Pug Wall


The kitchen is decent. I wish I had a little more counter space, but it does the job:

Old school stove

Miss having a dishwasher =(
And then there's the bathroom. Oddly enough, you have to walk down steps to get to it. Annnnd it's only accessed through the bedroom. Luckily since it's just me, it's not a big deal. 

Older sink--no counter space, but the medicine cabinet is luckily deep-set

View looking down from the steps; it has a decent sized tub, too

The tile is old but I tried to spruce up the space as best I could

So that is my humble abode. Sure, it's not where I expected to be at 31 years old. And sure, I wish I was a lot more "settled" in life than I am. But what I DO know is that I'm a strong woman--I'm independent and try to stay true to myself and others. I don't want to buy a house just for myself, nor do I want to invest time and money and emotions into things that I'm not 100% about. I'd rather take my time in life to try to get things as right for me as possible instead of making rash decisions I later regret. I'm doing okay and hope to only get better as time goes. I need to focus on myself and my needs/wants/hopes/dreams. No excuses. This is my safe-haven and if you need me, this is where you can find me 😘


 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Meet Miss Olivia!

I have a new addition to the Dunn clan.


Meet Miss Olivia Benson Dunn!

The picture I saw was posted on Rye's page
I was looking through Facebook one morning and saw that my vet clinic posted that they had found kittens. I was not seriously thinking about adopting another pet, especially a kitten ( I absolutely hate the rambunctious kitten stage! ) but when I saw her I immediately had to have her. I've always wanted an orange domestic long-haired female and she. is. beautiful. She and her 3 siblings were found dumped in the woods during the week-long rains about a month ago. Dr. Kirmayer's mother in law found them in a box and called him immediately. They dewormed them, fattened them up and tried to tame them as much as they could. I met Mandy and one of the rescue pups Penni at the clinic and met the kitten--and I went home with her not long after!



At first she was very skittish and hid mostly under my entertainment center. But since then, she's blossomed into a very curious and brave little kitten. I told Mallory I was thinking about getting her and that's when she suggested the name Olivia. I added Benson because I love Law & Order SVU ( and yes, I found out shortly after that Taylor Swift's cat has the same name--it was not done on purpose ) 


She's still unsure of Lola but we are getting there. Lola could care less about her, as she's a loner and isn't bothered by other animals. But I'm eager for the day that they are cuddling with each other on a regular basis =)


I can't wait to see the lovey little baby she becomes! *fingers crossed*



Thursday, August 30, 2018

Nifty Thrifty

It's been ages. A shit-ton of shit has gone on between Mexico and now. But I don't want to make that my first "blog back". So we are gonna talk about some awesomefuckingdeals I've gotten over the last few weeks!

I'm a big fan of thrifting. I like to frequent CommunityAid and online consignment-based apps like Poshmark or even eBay! Also, Facebook Marketplace has been an awesome place for scoring deals. I ended up getting a microwave and Keurig for $60 total from a guy in Mechanicsburg!

My first purchase from eBay in a long time was for MarioKart for the Wii. I still have my system and never got the game, and since the Nintendo WiiU and Nintendo Switch came out, I couldn't find any worthwhile Wii games at my local Gamestop. I scored the game ( which looked like it was NEVER played ) and a Wii wheel for $23.50...with $3.75 S&H. So for $26.25 I got all of this when the game itself probably would've sold used and in not-so-great condition from Gamestop for $25. Plus, I got another game for $5 in EUC ( aka. Excellent Used Condition ) from another eBay seller.

After that find, I decided to take a look at handbags on eBay and found out that Goodwill of Silicon Valley lets you have the ability to shop their high-end donations online! I bid on a gently used Kate Spade handbag and ended up winning it for $42 with $6 S&H! When I received it, the quality was even better than I expected--it looked like the bag had never been used!




Then yesterday I realized that it was the last day for me to use my $5 anniversary rewards with Kohls, so I got on the app and took a look around. I happened to have a 40% off purchase coupon in my Wallet! I found a super cute pair of slide-on booties for $20.99, but with the discounts came to the low price of $9.59! I paid almost as much just to ship the shit! But even with shipping it's less than $20 which is less than I would've paid for the shoes alone!




A little research and patience can go a long way. I got a really nice set of couches from Sofa's Unlimited for a grand total of $596...that's for a love seat and a sofa. I got 5 brand new couch pillows from someone I graduated HS with for $20 when I saw she had them on Facebook.  I asked online if anyone had an iPhone for sale because my battery was shot--got an offer to buy a red 7 Plus for the amount they'd get for trade-in ( the cheapest I'd score a phone like that ) I got some great steals shopping at Ross for household essentials, but that's always a given. But it's true that the best way to keep your money is to spend it wisely when you do. And to use your resources!

Where are some places where you've gotten good deals? What consignment stores/apps are your favorite? 

And as always: ya girl be ballin' on a budget 😉