Heart Eyes – Back to School Pins

Happy back to school everyone! In honor of the kiddos going back to school, brand new supplies, awkward lunches, awful reading assignments, and passing notes to friends, I have rounded up a few of my favorite pins that just S C R E A M “Back to School”

 Study hard and be nice to each other!

image11 |  2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Advertisements

Shout Outs for All

We know life can be hard, and maybe it’s been tough lately, but here at The Crybaby Club, we know that one of the best ways to combat a rainy day is to lift other people out of the puddles!

One of our number one missions here is to do just that… support, lift and love one another. As a woman, I have been told my entire life that other women specifically are my competition. This is such a lie, and we need to make sure that our future generations are not told the same BS. Community over competition, always.

communityovercompetition
Lovely artwork by the amazing lovies over at The Coven Girl Gang

It’s so important for us to recognize and celebrate other women and humans in our lives who are doing the things. Whether it’s through starting a small business, running a 5K or just getting out of bed in the morning- because let’s be honest, some days that is the bravest thing we do. Let’s take a moment to celebrate an important folks in our life.

Let’s lift each other up!
Who inspires you? Who do you admire?
What makes them so incredible?
Tell us in the comments!!!

Heart Eyes – Nat’s Current Favs

Untitled-1

Currently crushing on all of these things, so let’s go through them because it is fun to window shop, right?

  1. I am very into wide leg jeans right now, and these babies from Bando are just too cute to handle. Some cheaper options here, here and here!
  2. I have so many pairs of sandals, but if I could I would have more. It is a sickness. These are definitely at the top of  my list, but  if you don’t have $100 for a pair of shoes ::raises both hands:: there are cuter ones for less $$ here and here.
  3. Ok, so I have been using this DIY  for years. I have naturally wavy + oily hair. Not an ideal combo, but this sea salt spray helps keep my waves in line without weighing them down with gunk. I highly recommend it, especially in the hot, humid summers of Memphis, Tennessee.
  4. This band, this album, on repeat until the end of time (or until I find a new obsession to sing along to in the car)
  5. I admit, I haven’t read this book yet, but I did read the one that came before it and it is amazing. It is an adult version of the “choose your own ending” style books I loved as a kid and I literally had NO idea what to expect. One ending I was an artist living in Paris with my trans lover who overdosed on pills and another time I was a zoologist who died from being ripped apart by a very horny gorilla. Seriously, you need this book.
  6. Ever since I watched the 1997 film “Lolita” and fell in love with Dominique Swain’s red toes, I have consistently had red toes. Red toes all the time, here is my favorite.
  7. Such a lovely way to end the list, this adorable shirt. Have a nice day!

Mental State Q + A

Please note that there is sensitive material in this post.
TW on everything just in case I miss one.

So, I got a bunch of these questions from a fellow mental health blogger  and some others I added myself, but I figured a good way to start this journey with you would be to kinda share my own story. It is cathartic for me and in turn, maybe it could help someone else feel less alone and more hopeful in general and maybe even inspire you to open up about your own experiences, but if you don’t, that’s ok too 🙂 Your story is yours. This is mine, in Q+A form. 

 

What mental health problems do you suffer from?
PTSD, Manic Depression (also known as Bipolar Disorder), Depression and Anxiety.

When did it start?

I remember feeling (what I now know to be) depression as early as age 7, around the time I was first sexually abused. I had nightmares every single night (still do) and would wake up sad every morning, feeling sick, like something was missing in my life. At least, that is how I described it then, and it is still pretty accurate. Those feelings grew over time, and at 15, I began self-harming pretty regularly on my wrists and thighs. I remember racing thoughts, bouts of mania, suicidal ideology, paranoia, anxiety, etc. slowly accumulating during that time as well.

Did you seek any help?

When I was a child, no help was made available to me. It wasn’t until I started self harming, and then in turn, ran away from home, that anyone thought to get me some help. I went inpatient at a behavioral hospital for 2 months.

What about since?

I am constantly working to improve my mental health now in any way I can. Chances are, if it exists, I have tried it. From vitamins, diet change, meditation, yoga, EMDR,  hospitalization, talk therapy, and medication, I have tried a bunch of things and continue my care to this day. I have a psychiatrist that I like, am currently looking for a good psychologist as well, and just taking one day at a time trying to learn to use my voice so others don’t have to which doesn’t sound like it would help, but it honestly does. What I do with CB has been a huge light in the shadows of my mental struggles.

Are you on any medication?

Yes, I currently take one pill daily to regulate my serotonin levels, one mood stabilizer and one that helps me sleep so I don’t have nightmares. I have taken several over the past 15 years and it quite literally took this long to find medications that did not have intense side effects or make things worse.

Other than medication what else do you do to alleviate your depression?

Honestly, just allowing myself to feel it helps to move the process along a little faster. I like to audibly tell myself that I am ok, that the bad thoughts are only thoughts, not reality, etc. and when I am in a low, I try to remember that next, a high is coming,. I just buckle down, tell those close to me that I am having a “bad brain day” and try my best to coexist alongside it until it subsides. Journaling and creating art help too. Napping too, I allow myself to nap. So often I feel guilty about wanting to sleep, but I quite literally need it to live, and sometimes you just have to nap it up.

What about with your anxiety?

I (try to) properly communicate them with the people that I care about, I set boundaries in my life to limit my exposure to triggers and allow myself enough time before a potentially upsetting situation to prepare myself mentally for it, and I ask for help when I need it. Shout out to all of my friends who will come and meet me at the door of the restaurant just so I don’t have to walk in alone.

What things do you like to do to relax/ improve your mood?

I create art, I make people laugh, I hug my children, and I talk to all of you. I really can’t overstate how much of a difference having a safe place makes on my life.

How often would you say that you have good and bad days?

At this point in my life, I would say 75% of my days are good ones and I am grateful.

Do you have any triggers?
They vary from day to day, but my family is a big and pretty constant one, crowded places on my bad days, repetitive noises, not feeling like I have any control (i.e. when the movers moved all my furniture and I just had to sit and hope nothing bad happened).

If you you could say something to someone going through the same thing, what would it be?

It is not fair that you have to deal with so much.
The bad, self-loathing thoughts you keep having are irrational, and they will pass.
Your body doesn’t deserve for you to hate it.
You are beautiful and you have people who care about you.
Try not to be disheartened if some people do not know how to handle you.
You never know what another person is carrying around.
You are allowed to feel bad when life is hard, but don’t wallow.
Do not hurt other people just because you are hurting.
Communicate clearly.
This journey will take time, but don’t give up.
Meet people where they are, be a light when you can.
Work on loving yourself as you are, and everything else will fall into place.

 

Please feel free to fill this out with your own story!
Leave it below in the comments or you can email it to me at thecrybabyclub@gmail.comfor future sharing on the blog,
or if you’d prefer to keep it between us, that’s okay too.

Let’s grow in our storytelling. XO

Check In

IMG_2453.pngI have been seeing this sentiment floating around the internet lately and I am 100% here for it.

Check ins can be as simple as a, “hey, how are you doing?” It is a moment where we stop being selfish (because let’s face it, we all are) and realize others exist outside of us and they may need us. It is so easy to forget that everyone is dealing with their own problems, and sometimes a check in can make a world of difference for someone.

I do check ins with a lot of my people, my son being one of them. If I can tell he is having a tough time (or sometimes, even if he seem fine, because not everything manifests in a way I can sense) I ask him a few key questions to get him talking an help him learn to navigate his emotions through verbalizing them and hopefully, that will in turn help him become better at communicating in general. In my own experience, it is usually miscommunication that causes most misunderstandings and not the actual problems themselves, so here are a few ways you can talk to your friends about things they may never bring up on their own.

First off, go in with no expectations and remember that this is not about you, this is about your friend. You are checking in because you want to let your people know that you are there for them, that you see them, that you care, and that they can come to you. When I ask my son how he is, I am not doing it for mom points, I do it to be a present parent. So if you check in, and your friend doesn’t want to talk, that’s okay. Everyone deals in different ways, but the important thing is that you’ve let them know that should they ever need to talk, they can come to you.

Next, it is good to have some short questions that you can ask versus some long winded speech about how you care and want them to open up and stuff. Some people can feel pressured and then they will close up even more, and that is not good for anyone.
Here are some that I have found to be successful and not so overwhelming:

  • What is weighing heavy on your heart?
  • How have you been feeling?
  • On a scale from 1-10, where is your head right now? (this one works great for Jack and you can learn more about it and where I got the idea from here)
  • What can I do to help? or Is there anything I can do for you?

Those are just a couple that have worked for me and some of my people and they may not necessarily work for yours. I know if I went to my best friend and said, “what is weighing heavy on your heart today?” she would laugh, say WTF and call me a weirdo and dismiss the question. So knowing what would work for your buds is helpful too.

It should be natural. Don’t just bust up into the room and be like HEY I’VE NOTICED YOU’VE BEEN STRUGGLING LATELY AND I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHATS THE DEAL AND HOW I CAN HELP!!! Feel out the conversation, if it doesn’t make sense to check in right then, there will be other opportunities. Plus, some people are not good with face to face interactions about such sensitive stuff. So….

Texting is always good. It is a really low key way to show your support without it making people feel pressured. “Good morning, I hope you have a good day today. I have been thinking about you a lot, so I wanted to reach out and just let you know that you’re on  my mind. Let me know if you wanna get coffee or something soon, I’d love to spend some time with you.” It is kind of a preface to the check in. So many feelings come out over coffee, so an invite to hang out is a nice way to sort of set the scene so to speak? I don’t know about you but my friends are busy bees, so setting aside some time for each other is a non verbal way to let them know you’re there for them.

My last tip for you is to start the conversation. I know this from running CB, if you are open, communicative and transparent with your issues, it can open the floor for others to speak out too. I share a lot of things with my crybabies, and while of course, it is cathartic for me to get things off my chest, it also empowers me when the emails start coming in. Floods of stories come my way and they usually all include something along the lines of, “thank you for sharing your story with me, it makes me feel less alone and more inspired to share my own.” Recently I have had a lot of my IRL people come to me and tell me things they’re dealing with things that I would never have known if I hadn’t opened myself up and  shown them that they can talk to me, they can trust me, because I trust and talk to them. The power of community, communication and transparency cannot be overstated.

Everyone wants to feel that they belong, that they are seen and valued. Yes, it is lovely to joke, laugh, dance and play with your friends, but it is just as lovely and just as important to be vulnerable with them. Checking in is showing your friends that you are a soft place for them to land, should they need it.

Checking in reminds me of my favorite scene from The Labyrinth. With the journey over and the battle won, it was time for Sara to go back home. Her friends, however, showed up one last time and simply said, “should you need us” and she knew that she could call on them if she ever needed to again.

So check in with your friends, they may need you and not know it, or they do know and don’t know how to ask.

So in closing…
How are you feeling today? 

 

Big Love

In this series, I want to take time out to showcase artwork, creatives, brands, businesses, musicians and more that inspire the crap out of me. Not only because it is fun, but because it can also be inspiring for those not so creative ruts we tend to fall in from time to time.

Here is what has my heart pounding this month…

Loving this kind-hearted creative’s colorful, gentle, powerful aesthetic. her incredible pieces of art are full of sentiments that we could all use a little more of.

stacie


58588243636087.57f68cc5b7b1f

 

The genius over at Velvet Spectrum has me simultaneously saying OMG and WTF.
Way to go Luke Choice, your stuff is phenomenal.

82b880fc8f5011488a1827be_rw_1920.jpg


Pink_Fuck_STICKER_held_720x

From the moment this girl’s stuff popped up on my feed, I was in love. From the amazing colors to the feminine Zelda flair, seriously, what is not to love?

Sleep_acrylic_purpleBG_720x

Who are you creatively crushing on right now?
Tell us in the comments!

Little Folks

37056746_2091269894468781_6668738721988214784_n

I remember this little girl very well. I look at her and instantly, I see everything. I know she would think I was just the coolest, and that makes me want to love myself more. So I keep her with me, because she deserves being held onto.

Little me; brave and wild. She spent hours climbing trees, as high as she could go, and she would stand on a sturdy branch and look down and the forest below. She wanted a dad who wasn’t there, loved a mom who couldn’t love her back the way she needed. She was straight A’s and crooked teeth. She was science club, clarinet, no fruit, no bad words. The day she got glasses she cried in front of her entire class because her teacher called her “the girl with the glasses” and everyone laughed. (Or she thought they did). The boys she liked NEVER liked her back, and self doubt first appeared on the scene, but she never changed who she was, even though she was lonely. Easily one of her best traits.

This little girl is me.

I’m still the exact same, just bigger, with straight teeth, lipstick, two kids of my own and 10 pairs of fun glasses. I traded in my treetops for a top floor apartment with a huge window looking out on a giant old tree. A safer version of my old home. When it rains, I open the blinds, lay on the floor and look up and pretend I’m in a treehouse. I am the same, and little me can’t tell the where she ends and I begin, and neither can I. I no longer ache for a loving mother; instead I became one. My sons will never have to wish for more.

Boys still don’t like me, but I think it’s because they are afraid of me, and I’m more than okay with that. Girls don’t like me either, but I like them, and I encourage them to like each other. I’m still lonely sometimes, but I do not need company to feel solid, and learning that changed my life. Even when I am alone, she is there. I never have to travel too far to find her. She’s everywhere I am. I carry her with me, so we are never alone.

If I could talk to her now, I would tell her countless things but here are a few:

  • you are amazing
  • it is so cool that you have a rock collection
  • it’s okay that you never learned roman numerals because you fell asleep in class that one time, it literally never comes up in real life. Same with algebra.
  • do not hurt people just because you are hurting
  • you don’t have to be around people who mistreat you just because they are family, you don’t owe them that
  • eat all of the food because your metabolism slows WAY down at like 25
  • you are going to hurt for a long time over a lot of things, but use it to make you kinder, smarter, and more determined, not bitter and angry
  • travel
  • actually try when you get to college, you will not get that time back and you are too smart to have failed out of university, are you kidding me
  • I know that you are insecure about your bird legs and knobby knees but please wear shorts if it is hot outside
  • you do not need boys to like you in order to find value in yourself
  • you will never like fruit so you can stop trying
  • don’t change unless it is to get better, nicer, more thoughtful, more mindful, healthier, and happier, you are great just the way you are

What would you tell your little self? Tell us in the comments!

Book Bag

By: Kaitlyn Luckow

As a former English teacher, it’s no surprise that I love reading. I wanted to bring in some of my favorite reads onto this blog, so I compiled a list of books I have read that I think would be perfect for you crybabies for a variety of reasons:

SHRILL
BY LINDY WEST

9781784295547

 

 

I just finished reading this book and I adored it. I loved what Lindy had to say about body image, abortion, internet trolls, her writing and her marriage. It was raw, real: humorous when it needed to be and heartwarming when it needed to be. Although I didn’t agree with everything West said in this book (you always need to approach memoirs with an air of caution), I do think she’s a powerful voice in feminism today.

 

ALL THE SINGLE LADIES
BY REBECCA TRAISTER

819UGWGq3gL

 

This is one of the best and most well-researched pieces of journalism I’ve read in a while. I must admit that this book may not be for everyone (it can be dense), it’s groundbreaking in it’s research about how society views single women, how that is changing and how it needs to continue to change. Traister looks at all sides of the issues and provides a variety of viewpoints to make for a really well-rounded and eye-opening read.

 

 

MILK & HONEY
BY RUPI KAUR

71l9WWa-rXL

 

 

I can’t say enough good things about this book. If you haven’t heard of this yet or read it yet, do your heart a favor and pick yourself up a copy. If I had the money, I would buy one for everyone in my life because everyone needs to read Kaur’s poetry. She touches on womanhood, abuse, healing, and empowerment in a beautiful way. It’s poetry that isn’t intimidating or pretentious and it invites you in to emotionally experience the words with it.

 

ELEANOR & PARK
BY RAINBOW ROWELL

EleanorPark_cover2

 

 

If you want a cutesy, but heartbreaking romance that’s going to make you feel all the feels, then you need to read this YA novel by Rainbow Rowell (or really any of Rowell’s books). Her writing is gorgeous and her characters are ones that you just want to adopt and gather up into a giant hug.

 

 

STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST
BY AUSTIN KLEON

71yg3JyYa9L

Sadly, there has been a large rise amongst artists and large corporations of art being blatantly stolen from makers. A lot of us either know someone this has happened to or have experienced it first hand. It’s heartbreaking, discouraging and painful. This book can help that. This book is a great little nugget of inspiration, touching on the idea that as artists, we are stealing ideas and inpspiration from different artists all the time. However, there is a difference than being inspired by someone and copying them.

 

 

Do you have any book recs? Leave them in the comment below!

 

Welcome to The Crybaby Club

I am so glad you are here, and I hope you will stay a while. We have big plans for this little slice of the internet, and I hope you enjoy this first post, as it will act as a welcome, an introduction and an FAQ.

I wanna encourage you to introduce yourselves in the comments as well, and leave your website, profile, shop, blog links so we can link up. Community over everything y’all, welcome to the blog.

The Girl

34984207_592802014433203_7886120036371267584_n
We is actually an overstatement..
This is currently a one woman show!
So when it comes to orders, social media, email blasts, website updates, giveaways, new products, emails, shipping, crying and other magical things…it is me, Natalie Meagan. I’m 30, a mother of 2, a creative, an empath, and I founded CB in 2016.

 

The Idea

19225749_1894775287451577_7848470028864257746_nThis all started from the most genuine of places: a panic filled cry-fest. One day, as I watched other moms exchange business cards, I started feeling lonely, vulnerable and like I had nothing to offer as a human, I went home and cried. In my typical fashion, I jokingly yelled out in the middle of crying, “What would my business card even say?! Call me, I cry a lot!” Once I calmed down a bit, I kept smiling at that idea, and THEN I received a lovely package from Kayley Mills that included a “Forever Princess” card (that I still carry to this day) and I was like “OOH I should make myself a crybaby card” so I did. I shared it to my 300 or so followers on Instagram and 5 people wanted a card of their own, then 5 more, then 10, and The Crybaby Club was born.

The Club took off without me even having time to plan anything. I pumped out hundreds of hand cut and drawn membership cards to people all over the world. Having an affinity for crying and being proud of it was something that resonated with so many of you, and you really gave The Club life. If CB was an airplane, I was the pilot and you guys were the air moving us from the ground to the clouds. Letters from all over came in telling me how much the card meant to you, how the card made you feel stronger, how you gave it to your sister, your cousin, your mom, your friends. The whole thing took off because of you and I will never forget that.

The Message

14117911_1751559891773118_3480109258299871104_nThis Club is for you, it is for me, it is for anyone. If you are sensitive in nature, prone to crying easily or often, known to cry at game shows or cute animal videos on the internet, if you are struggling with mental illness, harboring a tender heart, have ever been called a crybaby or made to feel weak for it, or if you are just going through a hard time right now…CB is for you. I hope that through CB, I can encourage a more open narrative about things such as mental illness, crying, feminism, strength, innate sensitivity, community over competition, self love, and what makes us human. Everyone cries, some more than others, but it is a natural way of handling stress, emotions, tough times, etc. Shame shouldn’t should not be attached, so let’s change it up.

The Art

13907095_1745771795685261_7253414774353828641_nOur shop is full of cute, fun designs with powerful sentiment at the heart of them. I would say 90% of the designs are made by yours truly, but we also have featured artists and creatives that we showcase and collaborate with on occasion. Community, remember? I love using CB to help promote other small businesses and artists and paying it forward any way I can. You can check out our stuff and maybe get something cute for yourself or a tender-hearted friend right here!

 

So that is basically the whole story, I couldn’t possibly sum up everything in one blog post though but I tried! I’d love to hear about you now if you’re willing to share! Please tell me about you, how you found CB, the last time you cried, your favorite curse word, and how I can follow you and stay connected. I love meeting my crybabies.

xo Natalie