Blessing or a Curse? Or Both?

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Let’s try to find the silverlining.

Although, I feel cursed at times because of the severe state of depression I routinely enter I also count myself blessed because of the immense amount of joy I feel in my life when I leave that depressive episode.

Without sadness we would never know happiness – that’s just how the cookie crumbles. And for many who are in the same boat as me, sadness can be all too consuming, lasting for weeks BUT the hope that inspires me to hold on is knowing that I’ll find my happiness again and when I do I know it will be glorious.

Happiness is a blessing – I dare say its a privledge; a result of hardwork and selfcare. When I was younger I took it for granted. I expected it without a second thought – it was mine for the taking. I’ve learned that this is not how life works. Happiness is a result of dedication and never giving up even when your hanging on by your fingernails. Happiness is a result of pushing past the ugly, pushing past the hurdles that mental health and life in general throws at us.

Happiness is a gift that I’ve learned to cherish because I never know how long I get to keep it once I’m reunited with it.
Each day counts. Even if they may seem far and few.

It is a curse and a blessing to feel so deeply. To feel so alive that you are walking on sunshine and adversely to feel like death has chained itself to you. I didn’t choose my lot in life but I do get to choose how I react to it (generally speaking) and even if I fail somedays this quote is a perfect illustration of the silverlining I look for… the blessing that only I get to experience with joy; the slice of heaven I get to experience that the average joe doesn’t even have the slightest inkling of. 

We may be different on an emotional level but that level allows us to tap into a greatness that exceeds the “norm”. So with that said – chin up and keep moving forward even if you have to drag your feet or crawl… keep moving forward.

– Steph

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On the Outside

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I’ve never “fit in” this is a fact of my life. I’ve never had a group of friends that I can call on or go out with because “we’ve got each other’s back” I’ve never been the popular one at school (haha  definitely not one of the popular girls) at work or within my religious group. I’ve just never fit in.

I’ve always been and I continue to find myself on the outside. I do have a few close friends and I cherish them immensely (unfortunately they all basically live in different cities than the one I currently live in)

I’m coming to terms with being a lone wolf. Sure there has been a part of me that would like have that tv perfect group of friends BUT the reality is that’s not my life’s reality. Never has been and I highly doubt it ever will be. 

At the beginning of this school year I met some girls in my program of study, we got along but ultimately I was vetoed out of the group ever so effortlessly – and it’s okay with me. Why? Because I didn’t really fit in with the rest of the girls to begin with. And that’s okay. Sure – initially I felt like a social failure BUT when I thought it over it I figured “so what?”

I don’t want to be in the company of people who don’t want to be in my company.

I don’t think I’m socially awkward but ige questioned it lately. I’ve been told I’m an enigma (haha) A contradictory specimen… for instance I am quite the social butterfly in the eyes of my peers when at a social events; holding conversations, laughing flitting around to whomever however, but when it comes to me actually going out with these people – I’ve got jack.  How is this possible? Meh I don’t know … but it no longer matters. One of my closest dearest friends said it’s because I have an unrealistic pure & kind heart and people don’t know how to handle my goodness in large doses… hahaha let’s go with that!

One consistency in my life is that people often open up and unload their emotional baggage on me – I’m always ready to listen to a troubled soul and I try my best to offer even a shred of comfort (I don’t like seeing people sad because I know sadness all too well) I just so happen to be quite relatable or well adept to the ways or experiences of the world (I’m not saying this to boast) it’s just I figure that’s my calling in life being a shoulder to cry on while trying to bring back their smile. And that’s okay I like helping, it’s just I’ve resigned the idea that I might have “friends” beyond the comforting shoulder and I’m letting that notion go while simultaneously letting the disappointment go with it as well.

I guess I would be lying if i said I don’t  have atleast one group of friends that I can always count on – and this group is composed of my sisters – we are close knit and I would consider each of them my best friend… sureeeee they are all married (with kids and one on the way) leaving me in a different stage of life …and sureee  that eats me up sometimes. BUT eventually I will meet Mr.Right, for goodness sake, there couldn’t possibly be that many more toads in my path! (If there are I think I’ve beaten a record )

Anyways the purpose of this post was to get some thoughts off my chest and reaffirm that worth is not based on the number of friends we have. And that standing alone can ultimately be when we stand the happiest and truest to ourselves. And that is one of my goals –  to stand happy as I stand on the outside. Everytime I think about how I don’t fit in I remind myself that I am being true to myself and eventually if someone(s) want to be friends with me it will be because I’m me and not pretending to be someone I’m not. Fakery is not my Forte. There is too much stress and anxiety wrapped up in people pleasing.

– Steph

A New You?

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It’s that joyous time of year when New Year’s Resolutions are in a full force frenzy… personally I’m a fan of the frenzy. I think it’s refreshing to see everyone with a fire in their eyes as they set out on the road to self improvement. However, do I believe that New Years is the only time we should have that flame lit and burning brightly – lighting the way towards a “New Us”?

Nope, No, No-siree-Bob, Not even close.

Yes, January is a beautiful time of year providing a perfect platform to reflect on the previous year.

Yes, January offers a fresh breath of air; that we get to eagerly breathe in as we anticipate the new adventure ahead.

AND

Yes, January is a prime time to look at our current goals and see where we need to refine them or give ourselves a pat on the back if we’ve accomplished them.

BUT

January is not the beginning nor the end of our goal setting and acheiving. When we take away the pressure of setting our goals only at the start of the new year we’re giving ourselves a chance to look at the bigger picture. And that picture just so happens to be continuing on our journey to “Improve You” not start off a “New You”.

Goals are great year round and into the next year and next year … There is no such thing as missing the boat when we want to set our goals. And when we set our goals we shouldn’t be motivated by the date of January 1st, we should be motivated just as the quote above reads “… that we are not where we want to be..”

When you realize your worth, your self-worth, your infinite-worth you will have a fire burn within you that cannot be distinguished no matter what mood/state your in. Perhaps your flame will burn with the strength of a single match at times (mine does) BUT it still burns. And when your mood rises that little match will blaze into a bonfire once more.

I have a flame burning within my own life, my goals are set with the intention of improving upon the person I already am  because I know there is so much more for me to discover. This year isn’t about a “New You” you’re already amazing, this year is about “Improving You” building on the foundation you have or strengthening it, exploring your talents and taking control of your health.

When you do this – YES you will feel new BUT the key is remebering all of that potential and greatness was within you this whole time.

Happy January Everyone!

– Steph

Working With What “We Have”

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Alright, so I mentioned in my previous post that I recently participated in a study for people who have bipolar (within this study the sample also included individuals without bipolar)

I loved education and I love the idea of furthing progress with both breaking stigmas and improving healthy approaches to managing bipolar. That being said I would like to reiterate I have bipolar, I am NOT bipolar – I am not a disease I am a human with infinite potential just like every other human who walks this planet.

Do I have a different obstacle course than many people? Yes. Does that mean I’m incapable of enjoying life? No.

I have my rough patches and in recent weeks (in the absence of blogging) they have been pretty knarly BUT I still had days where I laughed and I still managed to hold my head up high proud to be me…. alright so why this babble?

Allow me to explain…

During the study they asked me a series of questions (most of which were quite boring) BUT one question made me laugh out loud and I think it surprised the researcher(s). She basically asked how I felt because I have to suffer with bipolar daily. Suffer. Okay..  maybe I’m a weirdo to find the use of this word so particularly amusing BUT come on people!

I have bipolar, and for that researcher to look at me like I was a puppy with a broken limb suffering indefinitely because of the cards I was dealt in this lifetime it was more than I could handle – so I laughed. I laughed and then I clarified to her (and her collegue) that I was not under the impression I was suffering within my life. I was under the impression I was living life to the best of my ability and that yes, granted I do have some extra struggles to deal with BUT that those struggles do not condemn me to a lifetime of “suffering”.

For my nerds sake, the definition of suffering is as follows (via google):

1) the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.
2) become or appear worse in quality.

Perhaps one may think I was brash because of my reaction to the researchers question BUT I felt the need to educate the educated. I have my struggles yes, but I do not consider myself to live in a state of suffering – quite frankly I found the use of the word ignorant (I say that with no disrespect). 

I was not mad, nor am I mad at the experience (I was amused) but I am grateful that I know I do not live im constant suffering I live a life with challanges that I fight back with all my might and strength. Suffering denotes a weakness that I feel should not be associated with individuals who have bipolar – strength is a word that should be used with people who live with bipolar daily.

I just wanted to make this post to remind everyone they are strong. They are not the definition of a disease nor should the be the recipient of stares that speak of broken goods.

We are strong and in our daily lives we conquer the battles we face with more strength than many people realize.

Words my friends. Words. Never let someone define you by “your illness” correct them if needs be, be the change and be confident in who you are and the package you bring.

– Steph

Post Up

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Alrighty!

Thank you for bearing with my MIA, so much has transpired & I will do my best to update without turning this post into a novel.

Firstly – I’m currently in the process of changing my medication. So as you can imagine there has been plenty of excitement and anxiety about the process. Anxiety predominantly BUT excitement in regards to my weight (the new medication should ease off on my weight) and also just a happier balanced me.

** So quick details I am switching from Seroquel aka Quetiapine to Latuda AND I will still be at the same dose for my Lamotrigine.

Secondly – I moved out of my parents house and I relocated closer to school (I was previously commuting 1hr – 1.5hrs) I am now a glorious 10 minutes  away from campus. I have a roommate which I’ve never experienced in my life SO that’s new … my ocd labeling and organizing became apparent to her the first day 🙂 it’s a gift I tell you.

I made a contract with my parents in order for me to move out. I came up with that idea on my own… it keeps me accountable to my doctor appointments, my school grades, going home so my parents can see I’m  alive and looking for employment of up to 8-10 hrs max (gearing towards taking on more responsibility)  if I should breach any of the following home again home again I will go BUT I have a good feeling about this (bonus I’m only a month to month lease)

Thirdly – I finished my first semester! And if I do say so myself I pulled off some A’s. The studying and losing my mind was worth it and I’m ecstatic to hit semester 2 (it begins this Monday)

Fourthly… just kidding. Forth – Boys are dumb … alright that is an over generalization BUT goodness gracious the hoopla that’s been enwrapped with the boys crossing my path… I’m praying 2016 the odds are ever in my favor.

Fifth – I participated in a study for people with bipolar. It was a slightly boring yet interesting process. I thought it would be a positive experience for the sake of education…. which will lead me to my next post.

I’m going to stop this post here, I’ll have my thoughts up tomorrow regarding a particular moment during the study that hit a nerve and that I deemed necessary to correct the researchers… it’s all about people’s choice of words.

Happy New Year!

– Steph