Flood The World

I’m all about self love and positive self talk, I may not be a master at it yet BUT I am a work in progress. I attribute having this type of mentality to my success with my mental health and my overall well-being. It was only a couple of years ago that I had an unhealthy distorted view of myself BUT through consistent efforts to be kinder to myself I have been able to be the happiest version of me that I’ve ever been despite all the trials I face with my mental health – let alone just being a 26-year-old going thru life.

It’s so easy to settle into negative thought patterns, to view yourself through a critical lens that eventually takes over how you view everything and everyone around you… how terribly bleak and miserable.

Be kind. Be merciful. Be patient. Love yourself for exactly who you are now and who you are becoming. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you are not going to be everything that you ever envisioned yourself to be in a day BUT that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate yourself for who you are now and keep moving forward because happiness is a journey not a destination.

The desire to progress allows us to move forward BUT how do you expect to do that if you are filled with self hatred or loathing. Toxic thoughts hold us back, they are weights and chains that we place on ourselves that inhibit our ability to move forward in our lives. How can you fuel your body, mind and soul with ugliness and expect a beautiful result? Negativity does not produce positive results.

When you love yourself, it is so much easier to love others.  It’s so much easier to see the good in others and everything around you.

Be kind to yourself.

Life is hard enough as it is, you don’t need to be your own worst enemy to top it off, you should be your greatest champion and supporter, because at the end of the day, you are all you have control over.  You can choose who you want to be and you can either become better or bitter.

Be kind to others.

Strong people lift other people up, I’ve said it before. That is true strength. Look for the good in others, inspire the good in others. Make a positive impact and be a positive influence. Small actions make a huge difference. Think about your day and how a complete stranger opening a door for you, telling you to have a good afternoon, smiling at you could make such a memorable impact. Kindness is powerful, and you should never underestimate its reach and power. A simple kind act could make the world of a difference in someone’s life.

We can control the kindness we show to ourselves and others. Start with yourself first. You are a priority. Don’t put yourself at the bottom of the list and focus all your efforts on others. That is not being kind to yourself. Start with yourself and let that love and kindness overflow to those around you. Don’t get it backwards. AND being kind to yourself DOES NOT make you selfish. It makes you HEALTHY.

– Steph

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Prince Charming

Alright, so the big news that I’ve been wanting to let the world in on BUT I’ve been waiting to make sure it was the right moment.

I am in a relationship. BOOM.

That just happened.

Well, it’s been a while now but the twist about our relationship has been its long distance.

My dearly beloved came to see me and just left on Wednesday. He spent 13 days with me and they honestly couldn’t have been any better.

Where to begin.

My past relationships have all been pretty rocky, whether by my own doing because of my mental health or because the men I’ve dated were toads … clearly the latter is the more dominant reason. However, my health has never been better and I have felt ready to be in a healthy committed relationship for a while now, alas I needed to meet the right person.

Boy oh boy, have I met him.

I think the distance has been a blessing in disguise, it really ensured that he was talking to me, for me, and that there were no physical ulterior motives (which is so often the case) – I want to be wanted for more than my body and he has made it clear that he loves me for more than that.

Anywho, we have texted everyday since we made contact and our initial texting has turned into phone calls and skyping nearly everyday – lots of communication. For those wondering long distance relationships and bipolar are totally doable.

He came when I was in the eye of a storm of a severe low. I was in a downward spiral trying ever so hard to hold on to what progress I’ve made (as you can read from previous blog posts) and then there he was – my prince charming in knights armour riding a white horse; the grounding anchor that was missing. I’ve never felt so peaceful before. That’s not to say I am dependent on him (this was a big discussion with my doctor), however I appreciate him for who he is and the calm that he brings into my life.

Would my storm have settled had he not come into my life? Yes, because I am independently responsible for my health and the lows inevitably come and go, BUT did my storm settle faster because he entered my life? It sure did, and for that I am grateful.

He knows that I have bipolar now and it hasn’t deterred him from pursuing a relationship with me.

I waited until we had spent adequate time together in person before I told him I have bipolar and let him in on the past baggage like my bankruptcy that came as a result of it. (I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that I claimed bankruptcy before, it’s been 3 years past BUT that is something that happened – the joys of bipolar and its symptoms… perhaps I will write another post with my perspective on building up to that moment and life after claiming bankruptcy) I wanted him to see me for me before he saw me as a stigma. I am not crazy because I have bipolar. I choose recovery everyday and my life reflects that – yes it can be a wee bit chaotic sometimes BUT I am not damaged goods and he sees me beyond my mental illness, he sees me as priceless. He told me he would have never known I had bipolar if I hadn’t told him, and YES, he unfortunately thought people with bipolar were crazy due to stigma and people he’s met, so I proved him wrong. I take the fact that he was clueless to my diagnosis as a big compliment, not that I am saying there is anything wrong with having bipolar BUT the fact I am able to live a stable life to the point that my mental illness isn’t apparent to people around me and doesn’t cripple me (as much as it used to) – that is something beautiful.

For those of you who don’t know, I have chosen not to disclose my diagnosis to anyone beyond my immediate family a few close friends and a few aunts. Please do not think that I am ashamed of my diagnoses, I am not ashamed of having bipolar. I am just not ready to face that battle yet. My life was not stable in previous years and I was in chaos, I don’t want people to dwell on those years and dismiss all the progress I have made in the past couple years, I feel like I need to make a dent with my stable life and illustrate to the world that I am successful in spite of my mental illness, and that it hasn’t diminished my quality of life.

Will I eventually disclose that I have bipolar? I actually believe that I will. Like I said I am not ashamed. I am proud of who I am in my entirety. I live a productive life with a mental illness that most people cannot even begin to comprehend. Do I want the world and those around me to see that being bipolar doesn’t ruin your life? I sure do. It’s just about the timing. I want to really make an impact in the world of mental health, it’s something I think a lot about, but it’s all about timing and acting in my best interest and not taking on Goliath without a sling BUT I feel like later in the year or even next year that time will come. Don’t hold me to that BUT it’s a feeling I have and its been brewing for a while. Good things are going to happen this year, and I feel like I am just about ready to tell the world I have bipolar and I am living the good life regardless to that fact.

A bit of a random post, but I hope it conveys that I am happy because I am truly and sincerely happy and I am going to enjoy every moment while I can. Each day I can feel happy is a gift that I try not to take for granted and there is so much to be happy about.

– Steph