Broken Crayons

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I’ve felt broken. I’ve been broken and I’ve felt worthless because of it. This quote and illustration mean a lot to me, and I hope you’ll find some peace from them as well.

When I was at my worst I felt like I had no use or value to anyone or anything. I was nothing more than a burden. Happiness was beyond my grasp and everything I had envisioned achieving  was long gone. I was chaos. The girl I once was, with all of my dreams and aspirations had broken into pieces, losing all value or potential to be something beautiful…. or so I thought.

This mindset was/is lethal, and I will admit that I’ve fallen victim to it’s condemning thoughts on more than one occasion. I’m telling the truth when I say that my diagnosis has brought me exponential amounts of peace and joy. However, getting to that state has taken a lot of time and effort (and I still have setbacks)

I’d be a lying if I told you that hearing the words “You have Bipolar” didn’t sting; because it did. There was no warm smile and cozy hug for my diagnosis or any of the additional ones I recieved.  I initially felt like I had a big flashing sign over my head saying ” she has a mental illness” … all that came to mind was ill; as in I was sick, I wasn’t whole, I was less than, I was broken goods.

But I am here to tell you that I’m not less than and neither are you! We are more than!

I do exactly the same thing as anyone else who doesn’t have a “mental illness(s)” AND I do it while I have my own personal battle every single day. I succeed because I choose to succeed I chose to put in the extra hours for my appointments, meds, sleep, working out, school, relationships, reading… the list goes on. I choose to do this and I have a mental illness. I’m capable.

I felt broken, l’ve felt defective, but the beauty is that I’m neither. I’m strong, resilient and capable.

When you look at this quote remeber that whether you consider yourself whole, broken or even melted the thing that matters most is that you can still colour. You still can create a beautiful masterpiece with everything that you are. You are so much more than stigma or a label, even when your the culprit feeding yourself those lies.

Sometimes we need to take a step back to recognize how far we’ve come. Take a step back and admire how beautiful our masterpiece really is. Because it’s beautiful. It’s a one of a kind.

-Steph

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Grace and Poise All the Way

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I like to live life on the edge. Just kidding, when it comes to edges I literally don’t see them thus I do my own stunts. Aka falling… with grace…. okay, okay maybe not grace.

Now, if you’ve ever felt embarrassed just remember the following story and maybe you’ll feel a bit better about yourself… or if you feel nervous, think about this story and hopefully it will replace your nerves with a nice laugh.

Once upon a time on Tuesday, I was at my university. It was one of those days where my hair was on point my outfit was on point; I was feeling and lookin‘ good. I had on a nice skirt with some cute chunky heeled boots. (My skirt was more form fitting SO thank goodness for that!)

Anyways, after one of my classes my friends and I decided we were going grab Starbucks. We walked to a different buildings on our campus … and gracefully entered its automatic doors. I ordered my Vanilla Bean Frappe; all was well (If you’ve never tried this drink I RECOMMEND it highly! It’s like heaven in a cup!)

Eventually we were leaving the building and I was trailing behind my friends. I had my Starbucks in one hand and my phone in the other (yes…we could go so far as to say I was a distracted walker)

NOW in my defence, as you enter this particular building the platform before the doors is circular. I’ve only ever walked straight off of the main sidewalk onto the entryway and thru the doors. No steps. BUT little did I realize, if you deviate walking straight up the center of this circle, steps start to develop! If you go to the right side of the circle one stair develops, if you go over a bit more two stairs develop. Are you pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down?

So… now picture this… I’m walking thru the automatic doors, the wind blowing thru my hair like a photo shoot (maybe that part isn’t true but we’re going to go with it) I’m exuding confidence; these two good looking guys are directly infront of me and there are students all around and BAM!

My toes hook onto the unbeknownst step infront of me. My arms  splayed out like I had been shot in the back and I began to fall forward landing in a prayer position with a nice kurplunk! Having let out a nice little “urraaahhhh!” as I fell.

The two boys instantly jumped and turned around asking if I was okay – and literally all I could do was laugh! I was killing myself laughing holding up one hand while I tried to say everything was okay. My friends at this point we’re coming towards me asking “what the heck happened?!” They literally just heard a plop and there I was on the ground.

It was honestly so hilarious, one of those moments that you see in life and say “phew! Thank goodness that wasn’t me!” But it was me! My friend said she would have been so embarrassed because so many people witnessed it, but in all honesty laughing it off made it not that big of a deal. Just an incredibly funny story.

I managed to come out alive with a bloody knee & my Starbucks still intact to comfort me. I also managed to secure some bonus fall accessories namely, a cast and some crutches. There’s nothing quite like “Fall” Fashion.

I hope you all are having a great weekend!

– Steph

A Little Bit of Dr. Seuss

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I’m not sure if any one could possibly say it better than Dr. Seuss did.

Life is about learning to learn. That’s the fun adventure we get to experience each and every single day. Yes… I’ll admit that line was a bit of an eye roller BUT if we can use our eyes beyond just rolling and take the following advice seriously, I promise you’ll see a difference in your life. (Look at all those play on words. Dang sometimes I impress myself)

Anyways…. reading and learning; it’s all in our approach, that’s what my dad always told me. We can literally take the most boring topic of life and still find some valuable & applicable information.

I used to read a ridiculous amount of fiction, then one day I woke up and decided it wasn’t for me. I started reading only non-fiction. Self improvement. Self help. Financial, Positive thinking … blah blah blah. So I pose the question is non-fiction with all of it’s decorated authors more valuable than reading fiction?¬†NO! Not by a long shot! Although in all honesty that was the mindset I adopted…. don’t ask me why?!

Recently, I’ve read a fictional book about a women’s trials crossing the plains, finding love and losing it. I cried like a baby at one point and time…. this women wasn’t real BUT the feelings evoked from the novel were. The way I could relate to her; it was incredibly real.

Fiction is just as valuable as non-fiction. When people make remarks about my vocabulary (for some reason people they often consider it a little more diverse than the average joes) I can honeslty acredit it to the plethora of fictional books I read growing up… we are talking hundreds of books…. yes hundreds…. I’m a proud self-proclaimed nerd.

Fiction contains a wealth of knowledge for our taking. You can learn about different countries, cultures, rituals, relationships, empathy, vocabulary… the skies the limit and for a while there I was ignorant enough to think it was a waste of time….

Honestly, sometimes escaping into a fictional novel is just what we need. To see something from someone else’s point of view totally eclipsed from our own lives. However, that being said I am still highly in favor of delving into non-fiction. The priceless applicable information found within those books… blows my mind. I love learning and challanging the way I think; gaining more perspective as I go.

Perspective is Priceless.

There’s honestly so much to be read and discovered within the pages of a book. You learn about others but you also learn about yourself.

If you go in with a closed mind you’re not going to get anything aside from a headache. Which nobody wants…
Life is meant to be lived. To be had. And reading provides extra tools that you apply to your personal adventure!

Life is a balance between learning and doing. Both are critical for our growth.

However, really quick I’d like to mention something I read, which was great advice. Never finish reading a book just because you started it! I read a book titled the “Perfectionist Handbook” (I figured that if I acknowledged my perfectionist characteristics I’d be able to manage them better, so they weren’t so crippling) This book pointed out a trait that I was guilty of and maybe you are too.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER finish a book JUST because you started it! Don’t begrudgingly turn pages and painfully read the content just because you need to finish what you started! I was that person and after being called out because of this book I had a nice wake up call.

Remember that time is the most precious commodity we have in life. Yes! There is something to be learned from anything and everything BUT maybe the lesson is that you are not interested in whatever you were trying to read about! Don’t force it just because! Take what you read dissect it and move on. (Just a little spin on the topic for those who have a bit of ocd and perfectionist ticks)

All in all, I implore you to crack open a book. Let the sky be your limitless limit. Learn to Learn, Live and Learn, Love to Live.

– Steph

Clean Up

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I saw this shirt on pinterest and absolutely love it!

It’s actually pretty funny because this is a conversation my mom and I have had on more than one occasion. She always has a hard time wrapping her mind around the notion of me having OCD. Of course she recognizes the ocd in my behavior and arrangements of space BUT when my room looks like a war zone every now and then, the question is posed….

“Are you and the doctors sure you have ocd?”

Do I have ocd? Yes. Do I only write in black pen when I take notes? Do I walk thru stores straightening merchandise? Or sit in lobbies and straighten chairs if no one is there to watch me? Does everything have a proper place? Do I colour, texture and style organize my closet? I sure do. And did my room and bathroom look like a Armageddon happened in it this past week? Holy cow yes!

I have ticks. And I have ocd that make me a wee bit cray cray when it comes to my personal space and the arrangements therein. However, I also have bipolar, and sometimes my mood or my cycle so to speak wins out over the ocd. It’s funny how life unfolds sometimes.

When my room falls apart my inner ocd is going crazy but it has to wait it’s turn, because I’m literally not in the mood. This weekend gratefully everything found its proper place again.

I have ocd and believe me when you meet me you can see it in all of it’s full glory & splendor BUT I also have bipolar and sometimes the ocd is put om hold becuae of my mood. It’s a special combo that at the end of the day this t-shirt captures perfectly. Can I get an Amen!

– Steph

The Right or wrong Answer

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Alright! I have some writing juices pumping through my brain, so I’m going to take advantage of the moment whilst I sit on an LRT riding back to my car.

Blog post time!
Woot! Woot!

So recently I’vej started back at school, it’s been incredibly exciting and slightly overwhelming  (in a good way) There has been an abundance of information thrown my way, so naturally I record all the tasks in my day planner, which allows me to keep my head on & my breathing even. I’ve created a key for my courses and additional course content that correlates, as well I’ve colour coded my courses…. yes, I’m that girl.

Small and simple efforts that ultimately make a difference in my life. I know what makes me tick and and I am getting better at knowing what turns me into a ticking time bomb. So I do everything in my power to avoid that situation. Day by day.

I’m fairly self critical. Anyone who knows me may suggest that “fairly” is an understatement BUT that’s how I’m going to express it. I strive to be better. To do better. To achieve better. This is the process necessary for me to become the best version of me. It obviously requires self reflection and assessment, however that being said I’m going to ask you to think about the following statement….

In order to do better you need to know what your doing wrong. You need to see the errors so you can correct them.

Do you consider this true or false? I’ve always considered it true. I’ve always looked for the flaws so that I could fix them. Reach my true potential. Be the best version of me….

BUT 

I was listening to someone speaking and they used an anology that hit me hard. It made me take a step back, asking myself if I was in fact becoming a better faster or if I was my own undoing hindering the process…

Here it goes: You took a test there were 100 questions. You got 90 out of 100 questions correct. Now the question is do you notice the 90 correct answers first or do you instantly notice the 10 incorrect?

Think about this, I can honestly say in this literal scenario I’ve always noticed the incorrect answers before I acknowledge or congratulate myself on the correct answers. Do you see how flawed that is?!? How can we hope to achieve our greatest potential if we don’t even remind ourselves of the greatness we’ve already achieved? How can we hope to be better if we don’t truly consider what we are building upon in regards to ourselves? We are incredible in our own right, and just think how much more incredible we could be if we acknowledged that before we gave credit to the flaws.

Yes we need to know what’s wrong in order to “fix it” but that does not give us the excuse to zero in on the negative before we see the positive.

Look for the good. Look for the progress. Magnify your strengths and talents and then consider where you might improve. Don’t see the 10 incorrect answers before you congratulate yourself on the 90 correct.

As I enter a new school year, in a new program this is my goal. This is the new fresh outlook I will be applying as I move forward. Don’t beat yourself up. When people get beat up they are often hurt to the point where they can’t move or act in their normal capacity. They can’t move as quickly. Figuratively don’t beat yourself up! Your only slowing down your progress and weakening your true potential.

May we be kinder to ourselves with tough love BUT real love.

– Steph

Mic Check

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Happy Wednesday everyone!

Mic check, mic check.

I always have a million & 1 things to say, yet for some reason I’ve been finding it incredibly difficult to capture those thoughts in words when speaking and also in my posts. My apologies for the lack of posts I’ve honestly started 5 posts…which I’ve left unfinished because of brain blunders… I think I need some chocolate milk to get my brain functioning properly. I haven’t had any in a while…

Chocolate Milk = Instant Happiness & Brain Power

Happy Middle of the Week Day!

– Steph

It’s Okay to Admit It

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Here’s a post for kicks and giggles and also a little bit of a “you should know better”.

So on Sunday I didn’t take my meds to spite … everything and everyone that had anything to do with helping me be happy &¬† healthy. Clearly I was ticked, since that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!….Anyways, on Sunday night I had a huge anxiety attack/breakdown…meltdown… tomato tamato and because I refused to take my meds I was awake all night. It’s fair to say after it was all said and done I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

However, Monday rolled around and I was in a significantly better mood. Everything that was “falling apart” surprisingly wasn’t! Fancy that eh?
So my Monday rolled along and eventually it was time for me to go to work. (I was looking forward to work, I love the seniors that I work with, they have bring me so much joy!)

So off to I work I went, prior to starting my shift however I had to talk to my boss regarding my school schedule changing (I’m no longer going to be able to work my shifts). This simple discussion had me incredibly anxious BUT because my boss is amazing she was incredibly understanding. My shift began and all seemed well…. now…my theory about what transpired… is a combination of Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and me already having had a huge anxiety attack.

One minute I’m talking and the next minute I’m on the verge of passing out. I kept fanning myself with my hand saying “wow, it’s really hot! I can’t seem to catch my breath… wow, yah,  no, I can’t breathe” thankfully one of the girls grabbed me before I fell … I was escorted to a chair where I had a lovely nurse run to me in a panic… by this point I literally couldn’t breathe so I was hyperventilating and as per usual when this happens I was apologizing in between trying to breathe (why I apologize, I have no idea… maybe it hs to do with me being an inconvenience haha)

My vitals were checked … I must say it was quite the spectacle. The real kicker is that I’ve been working at this seniors home for MONTHS and my last week or work BOOM this happens! It was all quite funny, I had to be wheeled away in a wheel chair so my parents could pick me up; my dad had to basically carry me to the car because every time I tried to stand I’d start hyperventilating and my body would start to shake… like I said I think it was over exhaustion, basically my body was shutting down; refusing to work.

So home again home again! I took my medication and then I slept. And Voila! I was back on my feet the next morning. And when I came into work I was greeted by my loving residents who made me smile just as they always do. (They all sweetly expressed how worried they were and how happy they were to see me smiling and laughing)

Don’t be stupid like me! Don’t  skip your meds JUST to prove a stupid point. Ultimately your hurting yourself more than anyone else…. let this be a lesson.

In this situation all I can do is laugh and shake my head. I could be super embarrassed about it BUT hey?! Where is that going to get me? It’ll get me no where fast. There’s a lot worse things that could have happened. And I don’t need any frown wrinkle lines!

– Steph