Welcome to my blog!
My name is Nicole, and Navigating Darkness is my personal blog where I write primarily about mental health and mental illness.
I have been blogging since January of 2011 and it’s such a great outlet for me. I have met so many wonderful people during my time as a blogger and I am extremely grateful that I decided to start a blog of my own.
My blog first started out as a standard mom blog. I would write about various things like parenting, crafts, and recipes. I enjoyed blogging when I first started, but after a while it began to feel more like a chore or obligation. Something was missing. I eventually realized that I was trying to be like the other mom bloggers instead of being my true self.
My husband and I live in the Southern United States with our five cats and two birds. We have been married for three years and have been together for a total of four. We met online, and we loved talking to each other so we decided to meet in person. He came over to my apartment and we played Monopoly and watched one of my favorite Disney movies, Mulan. I knew we had a connection that day.
We will be full-time students in the Fall 2019 semester. My goal is to pursue a career as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and my husband will be pursing Radiology.
We follow a pescatarian (semi-vegetarian) way of eating so you may see the occasional photo of our delicious seafood-infused meals on Instagram. We love video games, superheros, and the same type of music. The TV shows that we have enjoyed watching together are The Deed, The Walking Dead, Impractical Jokers, and Mr. Robot.
In August of 2018, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder, depression, and anxiety. From that point forward, I decided to re-brand my blog and write exclusively about mental health in an attempt to heal as well as help others navigate through their own dark times.
This also lead me to the realization that I want to help others as a career. In October of 2018, I decided to pursue a career as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or PMHNP. I hope to use my experiences and struggles with Bipolar II Disorder, depression, and anxiety to my advantage so that I can help other people who are also struggling with debilitating mental illnesses.
My mental health
In 2018, I was a Nursing Assistant at our local hospital. In March, after a very tearful and uncontrollable breakdown during one of my 12-hour shifts, I called in “sick” every day for about three weeks. Not because I was embarrassed, but because I literally could not function anymore.
I held off on seeking professional help for a while to see if things got better, as I knew we could not afford less income coming in and more debt from the hospital bills. Things definitely didn’t get better. I admitted myself to the hospital shorty after that, after I had been experiencing 2 to 3 weeks of almost-daily suicidal thoughts. It was miserable and it had gotten to the point where I was so debilitated that I couldn’t work or take care of myself.
I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety by the psychiatrist I saw during my hospital stay, but I was subsequently diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder, depression, and anxiety on August 29, 2018.
If you’d like to read more about my mental health struggles and hospitalization, check out the post I wrote that details how I first spoke up about my mental health.
I’m most passionate about mental health advocacy and blogging and writing.
I love cats, sunflowers, rainbows, rain, and video games. Some of my favorite music artists include We Came As Romans, Palisades, Crown the Empire, Asking Alexandria, Bring Me The Horizon, Memphis May Fire, and Linkin Park. I don’t really have a favorite movie, but Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Big Bang Theory are my two favorite shows.
Website design, graphic design, and social media marketing have all been my hobbies for fifteen years.
I love collaborating and working with brands because it allows me to try new products and share my experiences with them. Some of the brands that I have had the pleasure of working with are Stouffer’s, Nestle, Nutrisystem, Purex, Covergirl, Nature’s Sleep, Hoover, Crest, Gorton’s Seafood, Almondina, The Organic Face, PrestoPhoto, and BeautyFrizz.
I am listed and recognized on Amber’s list, “The Safe Space,” on her mental health blog, Happily Having No Idea What I’m Doing. I’m one of many people that you can come to if you ever need to talk to someone.
On June 5, 2018, Joan Senio was thoughtful enough to include me on her list of Blogs and Bloggers to Love.
On August 10, 2018, I was featured on Phoenix’s blog, Life Successfully. I really enjoyed answering the interview questions she asked me!
On October 4, 2018, I was featured on BloggerVue! Check it out and read my answers to their interview questions.
On November 19, 2018, I was featured on Messy Mama on Loretta’s lovely “Monday Connection” blog post!
I have been awarded the Sunshine Blogger Award, the Blogger Recognition Award, the Invaluable Blogger Award, the Flawesome Award, and the Versatile Blogger Award by my fellow blogger friends and peers. I am so humbled by their kindness and generosity. Thank you for all of your love and support!
Get in touch
If you would like to get in touch with me, including inquiries relating to a collaboration, please don’t hesitate to contact me!