Get a Grip

The remainder of this month is most likely going to pose a struggle. I am elated over my move and my sleep has been out of sorts understandably.

Additionally, as noted before I have been on edge with eager anticipation of the unknown that lay ahead. The constant buzz in my mind is certainly making it hard to focus on or enjoy the time remaining with work. Although, I’m sure it doesnt help that I’ve been requested to assist a lawyer for the remainder of my time with the firm. I generally don’t work with this lawyer or the area of law he practices, so this task it just adds a stress I would have otherwise been free of (argh to timing).

I love my job, but I’m ready to hit the highway. I’m ready to get this show on the road. I know I’ll relax a lot more once we are packed and on the road because it will mean the next chapter can start and I can start meeting new doctors and looking for new work. I am just out of sorts to be frank, not that I’m unorganized, but rather I think its because one foot is out the door and I still have 2 weeks and a bit to go before the other one can join it.

Additionally, I’ve been working on a bit of a project with respects to my blog. This blog is quite the trigger my dear friends – if I take it too seriously I go up, up, up and away and get uber excited and the ability to sleep or focus on anything else is a wee bit difficult. But who doesn’t love to be excited, it’s great right? Of course it is! But fun fact, when I start to get elated over my blog I tend to freeze like a deer stuck in the headlights. I am frozen and paralyzed with the pressure I put on myself and as a result my blogging suffers. I am trying to navigate the excitement, navigate my plans for my blog. Rather than weeks or even months to complete this project, I’m giving myself an easy year. I am trying to educate myself and prepare myself for exciting strides forward with this blog and my platform, yet be reasonable with what I expect from myself. I know this sounds like a familiar tune BUT this time I’m really trying to approach this blog in a sensible manner.

You get out only as much as you put in. And if you go in recklessly it generally doesnt go as well as you hoped for, speaking from experience.

I’m looking forward to what is on the horizon. Two more Mondays! That’s all I have to get through.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

– Steph

Beauty In My Bipolar

This post stems from a conversation I had with one of my sisters. We were discussing my health over the past 5 years and she was commenting on how I’ve grown.

And what of this growth? Can you have growth if there is no beauty or joy in the journey? Alas, there is most certainly joy and as the conversation played out it became clear that in my life I’ve experienced more joy so to speak because of my diagnosis, literally because of the very fact that I live with bipolar II.

Wait a minute!

Nope, you read it right, I have experienced more joy than afforded to others because I have bipolar. Let’s be clear, I have also probably experienced more-ish intense feelings of pain, confusion, and mental struggle than the average joe as well. But let’s focus on the joy for now.

My diagnosis is fairly controlled at this stage in my life, I have my roller coaster moments, but I am not plagued with the savage extremes that once controlled my life. Everything is more mild and manageable. Thank you for modern medicine!

One thing that however remains intense so-to-speak is my sense of feelings. I feel very intensely; for instance when I feel joy – I really feel it. Not just a little but a lottle.

I experience things much more intensely than the average non-bipolar person. If you have bipolar, you can relate that there is a fire in your soul that can have gasoline figuratively poured on it to grow exponentially in an instant. This fire and gasoline are what I relate to the intense feelings I have in a moments time. That’s not to say it only occurs in a positive way BUT I will remind you that is the focus of this post.

Without darkness there can be no light, as Kelly Clarkson’s song states “everyone has a dark side…” , its just the nature of life. But the difference is do we let it consume us OR do we try to draw closer and focus on the light that is in us.

I have experienced so much joy in my life, and I have experienced it on a level that my family cannot comprehend and at times they shake there heads and laugh because I am so elated over such simple things. But that is the beauty of bipolar, because there is beauty with this diagnosis (please don’t forget that fact). If we try hard enough we can find beauty in all things even hard things such as living with bipolar (because let’s be honest, it’s not easy).

I accredit my creativity and pursuits for education and learning to my diagnosis. My passion drives me and leaves other people baffled because of my conviction. The joy these pursuits bring me. The love I have for others, it is intense my friends and duely it yields joy beyond measure.

To experience joy, you must address and navigate the ugly. Unfortunately, there can be some pretty ugly parts to bipolar, but we must not dwell on that alone. Find the good, appreciate the good and you will feel better about the diagnosis and what it offers in your life. The diagnosis is a part of you but it does not define you. It is NOT YOU, and you are NOT bipolar, you merely have bipolar. It does not dictate your life, you do.

And in my life, I’m acknowledging that bipolar in it’s own unique way brings me joy and can in fact be beautiful.

– Steph

Brace Yourself

The time is at hand for another major change in my life. And all I can say is, “bring it on!

We are moving closer to family and doctors! Primary reason is we want to start thinking of building our own little family and it’s just not realistic to even think such thoughts while living in our current city.

1. It’s crazy expensive. Which to put it simply means – good luck living off one income for any amount of time; and
2. The doctors ….. are no bueno.

Am I sad to be moving? Not really… yet at the same time a little bit of a yes.

I LOVE (which could even be considered an understatement) where I work. I hit the jackpot with this law firm and literally everyone who works in it. I have great benefits (my medication is 100% covered) and as an added benefit they even pay for my multi-facility gym pass. Literally, living the dream. Did I mention that I have my own office?! I will be sad to leave it/them all behind BUT I am trying to be optimistic that I will find a similar fit in my new city. **fingers crossed**

Something I am grateful that I get to take away from this particular office is that I feel 1,000,000 times more confident in my career as a legal assistant. The value placed on my work has been so rewarding and positive; literally 2 bonuses in 1 year (this is not to brag, but emphasis how valued they have made me feel and might I add that it goes beyond the fiscal gesture).

This work experience was exactly what I needed after my last gig. Gee wiz, I still get sick thinking about it. But that’s another thing, in 1 year of work at this firm I’ve litetally called in sick 4 days!!!!! (And that was 98% due to my insomnia) That’s insane! I didn’t even use all my sick days! Which lets just say was not the case previously. It blows my mind how having positive peers and a great work atmosphere can impact your mental health at work so drastically. Let’s just say I missed more than 4 days at my former place of employment and dreaded going to work more often than naught.

But seriously, in short with my career and my marriage I have to say this move has been so rewarding. I think moving away in its entirety even with the medical support and financial struggles was the best decision we could have made as newlyweds. (We struggled, but we learned to budget and have come up with a pretty sizable downpayment towards a house #goal2021) We clung to each other and strengthened our relationship, because it was literally just the two of us with no one else around. We both didn’t have wild social lives, so we pretty much did everything together. Don’t get me wrong we had our own personal space, but I think it was the perfect amount of “us time” , before we considered bringing other family or baby(s) into our bubble. I definitely feel grounded in our relationship.

** Side note: I think I’ll make a post about what I’ve done to keep my part of our relationship healthy and comment on what my husband has done to keep his part of our relationship healthy. It’s been a learning process for both parties. And I feel like in the journey of being a newlywed I can admit I did not post a ton of content – let’s just say I was enjoying the moment and finding my stride amidst a ton of changes.

But holy cow! I am going to be reunited with my parents, sisters and all my loveable nieces and nephews andddd grandparents! Excitment is an understatement!

My husband and I are both excited and nervous for our move, it is happening at the end of the month. I’m trying to be as pro-active as possible with preparing the details such as renting a carpet cleaner, booking the moving van, finding boxes and packing paper for FREE, getting moving equipment to colour coordinate – that’s right my friends, I am colour coordinating our moving boxes and I’ve started packing already. Additionally, I’ve posted some furniture to sell. We ship out November 30th so I am hoping to relax as the day approaches by doing the bulk of the work in these earlier days.

I do have to say, and I can admit – my mood has been a wee bit touchy lately. I don’t know if it’s a combination of sheer excitement and nerves of anticipation, but I’m a bit on edge. I have been having a hard time sleeping and I think it’s all blossomed into me being quite agitated. I’ve caught myself tipping the scale of rationality with things that generally would not solicite such a dark reaction. Gratefully, my husband accepts my apologies when I take it a little too far.

I literally told him he was never allowed to build furniture again, I didn’t yell it, I just simply stated it (the drama! I know) all because there was a 3 pieces put on backwards for a bedside table he built. Did I notice the error earlier? Nope, it obviously wasnt that significant. However, the level of OCD OMEGA was real- I was almost in tears and the table was already sold and taken. Just knowing it was built wrong hurt my heart. Silly things, I know. It makes no rational sense to be so upset over it and today I can say I am free of those negative feelings BUT oh how in that moment the all-or-nothing distortion had me out of sorts.

It is times like these that I lean on my former counselling. Times like these where I try to narrate my life so I can hear it aloud for myself and realize it’s not as complicated or stressful as I’m making it out to be in my head; talking myself off the ledge so to speak.

It’s a move back to my former province, back to family, not to Mars! It’s silly how changes can impact me so much. It’s simple, yet, I’m so overwhelmed I could cry not even because I’m sad. I’m happy, just overwhelmed. I have a check list of things we need to do before and what needs to be done in the first 2 weeks of landing (figuratively speaking – because in actuality we are driving 16 hrs).

Again, trying to stay organized and planning with wiggle room for adjustments (something I didn’t allot in my former years of planning styles). I can plan, colour coordinate and have everything ready to go BUT I’ve learned that doesnt mean its going to go the way you intend it to and rather than fall to pieces like my former self would – I roll-ish with the punches and re-navigate to get back on course as smoothly as possible.

Big changes, but exciting changes. Hopefully, I’ll be able to maintain some consistency with my blog posts during and after this move. I have some hot topics on my mind. I’m just the worst at writing in advance. I generally work on my post throughout my week and BAM post it when its complete. I read how some bloggers have posts months in advance… I dont think that quite works with my style of blogging. Se la vie.

Thank you for your constant support. Here is to a new chapter being written in my book of life!

– Steph