An Extra Happy Pill


Did you take your daily dose?

I am uploading this post early because I will not have a wifi connection on Thursday. That being said I will potentially also not have a wifi connection for the next 2 weeks, so if I don’t post it’s not because I’ve fell off the wagon its just because I am in the sunny country of Nicaragua!

It’s honestly been my dream to visit Nicaragua for as long as I can remember. My dad is from Nicaragua so it is important to me that I see where he is from and see my heritage. I will be going with my parents and I could not be more excited to share this experience with them. This trip was a graduation present and I can’t accurately express how grateful I am for this opportunity.

I love travelling but this trip is especially special to me.

Now, onto my post’s topic.

Gratitude.

Life can be so unbelievably hard sometimes, however if we can manage to have a grateful heart it can make a world of a difference.

I am not saying having a grateful heart is an easy task when things seem to be going wrong or when you are in the depths of despair, but I have personally tried really hard to look for the silver lining in every situation.

And boy – it’s not easy.

However, gratitude, is the key to a happy heart. When you see what you have, rather than what you don’t. When you can look at any situation and ask yourself what can you take away from it? 

There is always, always something positive that you can be grateful for.

I was once told that I say thank-you too much. Nonsense. You can never say thank-you too much. And I believe it’s important to share your gratitude with those around you. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will most likely lift the spirits of others. When you express your gratitude it’s harder to take things (or people) for granted and it sheds some light into your dark abyss. When have you ever felt worse off for hearing someone say thank-you to you? I’m going to guess never. So, fill your heart and someone else’s and say thank you.

If you have no one to physically express your gratitude to, write it down. Gratitude journals are a great idea, I have one (I haven’t recorded in this particular journal in a while since I record my thoughts in my personal journal), but looking back on what I wrote in the past is always uplifting. My sister recently bought a gratitude journal, and it’s rekindled the flame and I think I will intentionally write in my gratitude journal moving forward. I literally only listed 5 things a day, and that is probably where I will start again. It can literally be as simple as catching the bus on time – or waking up without having to hit snooze because you felt so rested.

The more we start to recognize the small things the more grateful our hearts will be and we won’t always have to look for the obvious things to be grateful for. The more grateful our hearts are the less anxious, resentful, envious or depressed we will be for the things we don’t have.

Here is a prime example, when I am in my lowest of lows and I am in bed for the majority of my day (or all day) my beloved little dog Nutmeg stays with me – she just cuddles up next to me and waits till I get up. I am so grateful for her unconditional love and her companionship. It warms my numb heart on those days and makes me feel when I would otherwise feel nothing.
To be grateful is to be intentional. And I believe acting and thinking with intention is the best way to better yourself. The best way to get to know yourself better, to be confident and comfortable in your skin.

Start in reverse, start thinking of all the obvious big reasons you are grateful and then work your way towards the smaller inconspicuous reasons. Fill your heart to the brim, and I guarantee you won’t regret it. Conscientiously make the decision to be grateful.  

Existing happens one way or the other BUT living is a choice. Choose to add meaning to your life. Choose to add depth. Choose to be a round character in your life’s story rather than a flat character.

Once upon a time with bipolar, I chose to be grateful and it gave me a life I never could have imagined.

– Steph

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Think About It

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about thinking.

I don’t think I’m doing enough of it. That’s not to say I’m an airhead, I have thoughts BUT they just aren’t as profound as I would like them to be.

My conclusion is I haven’t been feeding myself enough mentally.

So, what am I going to do – or what do I need to do? I need to start reading, watching documentaries and making things.

I haven’t made the time to read, it’s on my list of things I want to start doing. I want to read at least 1 book a month (this is a realistic goal, because I can generally finish a book in a day or two) any genre, fiction or non-fiction. I just need to start. I used to read quite often, and then school happened and my reading consisted of text books and lecture notes. School has been over since May and I have yet to pick up a book. It’s a tragedy. I feel like my vocabulary is digressing.

Reading opens the mind to so much perspective (and broadens your vocabulary), regardless to whether its fiction or non-fiction. I went thru a phase where I would only read non-fiction (I take notes while I read) it was great, BUT one day I decided to change things up and I read a novel called “These Is My Words”, it was life changing. It moved me in a way that none of my non-fiction books could have ever done and it inspired me to start journaling again. It was incredible. I highly recommend reading it.

Reading is so enjoyable and I’ve learned that you should not set limits on what you read, sure I want to learn more so non-fiction seems like the logical choice, but fiction can be just as enlightening – and it’s fun to escape – to laugh and cry and become invested in characters. I’ve learned it’s important to let your brain take a break from structure.

I don’t have a library card BUT once I move, it is the first thing on my list to get and then the world will be my oyster.

That’s actually some exciting news I can share – I AM MOVING OUT! I am taking my final step of independence. I am finally at a place where I feel stable enough in my life (especially mentally) to make the move. I am nervous to be on my own BUT I will have my trusty sidekick Nutmeg to keep me company. I have a plan of action – I plan to keep myself busy and engaged. I will be maintaining my doctor appointments and checking in with my family, so I am not being tossed out to sea with no lifeline.

I am very excited, and I can’t wait to share my new adventure with you. I anticipate my life is going to get a lot more interesting since I won’t be spending 3 hrs a day in my car and on a train commuting. There will be so much more to do, especially since I will be in the big city.

I’ve lived on my own before, but it was always a struggle as I was not mentally in a good place. This time I will be standing on a firm foundation and I feel like I have a strong grip on my life

One thing in particular that I am incredibly excited about is decorating. I love decorating and my apartment is a blank canvas – my reality check is it will take me a while to furnish my apartment ($$$) BUT when I do I know it will be just the way I want it.

I anticipate that I will be fueling my brain with new thoughts, and finding new inspiration. I am not saying that you should wait till tomorrow to make things happen for you BUT by moving out my circumstances will enhance my ability to fuel my brain a lot more.

Getting back on subject and touching on what I said earlier, I would like to start watching documentaries, or at least Ted Talks. Something to inspire my thoughts and to help me learn more. Movies are fine, sure, but there is something so rewarding about watching a documentary.

I also want to start making things. I want to get my creative juices flowing. Creativity inspires new thoughts and ideas and like I mentioned I am lacking in that department. I’ve found that I am not as creative as I used to be. And I partially think that is my own doing (part of me thinks my medication may have contributed to numbing down my creative flair BUT this is just speculation), I haven’t put myself out there. I haven’t intentionally acted to create lately, I have had a hard time feeling inspired BUT again I just need to start. If my creations are terrible, they are a starting point and they will get better.

I just need to step outside of my box – I have no doubt there is a way out if I apply myself. I’ve made myself aware of the situation, I’ve recorded my feelings and thoughts on it. Now the next step is to apply my plan of action and make a change.

Thinking is something I do a lot of, I don’t want to be on a re-run thinking the same thoughts and ideas over and over again. I don’t want to be a hamster on a wheel getting no where. I want more – there is so much more out there beyond my present scope.

Challenge yourself to think more profoundly. Don’t just “think” but think.

I’ll write an update down the road, hopefully I will have more thoughts to share on the matter.

– Steph

Just Live A Little


Life.

My oh my. 

I’m currently working on making the most of my life. Recently I had someone walk into my life, mind you I showed them the exit… BUT for the brief time they were in my life they caused me to re-evaluate how I was living it. I am the most stable I’ve ever been – this is a fact. But there is more than just being stable. More than just holding the status quo.

I’ve done things in my life, but I haven’t all at the same time. Living was such a struggle for so many years I feel like my life was a bit of a write-off. Perhaps I haven’t completely escaped the mentality of just surviving. 

But I’m here. I’m alive and I want my life to reflect that.

I was asked about my bucket list and I only had 2 things to list off. On top of that the two ideas weren’t even that creative! 

That just won’t do.

Over the course of two weeks I developed a bucket list. Or rather “lists”. One list outlines things I would like to do over the course of 2017/2018, and the other lists things I’d like to do in a lifetime. I’m trying to step outside of my box, escape the mundane routine I’ve created. Add a little bedazzle. Spice things up. You get the idea.

I’m really proud of my list, it took quite a bit of effort to create it. 

It’s so easy to get into a routine, routine is good don’t get me wrong BUT there should be more. More to life. Where did my exploratory nature go? Where is my sense of adventure?

I was going thru a bit of depression the past while, feeling trapped. But I realized I was the one putting myself in the cage or like I referred to it earlier – a box. I was the one restricting myself, no one else.

When you feel trapped you are the only one who can free yourself, whatever that situation may be.

Escaping our box is a choice, and most often it requires that we put in effort and feel a bit uncomfortable. And why must we feel uncomfortable? Because my dear friends, we are stepping outside of our norm and its the price we must pay.

And when I say I want to live life I don’t mean I need to climb Mount Everest or backpack thru Europe, not saying I’d turn down the opportunity.  What I’m talking about is reading books, going to museums and art galleries, taking guitar lessons, joining a choir, going to a paint night (which I just did … my painting was terrible! But I had fun making it, and that’s what it’s all about), simple yet impactful things that will add dimension to my life. 

Dimension that’s my objective. I want to have something to talk about, things to look forward to. I want to meet people, enrich my life with perspective. Expand my way of looking at life and take advantage of the life I’ve been blessed with.

I want to be an actively engaged in my life rather than passively letting it pass me by.

I feel so passionately about this new outlook on life, I feel alive and excited for what is to going to happen because of me making it happen. 

Ask yourself if you are trapped in routine, feeling like life is escaping you – then make a list. Make a list of things outside of your box and start doing them.

It’s been a big year for me. Lots of new chapters with school ending, me getting my dream job, a couple of toads crossing my path. I feel like in my life’s story is picking up its pace and it’s only going to get better! 

Stop thinking about all the things you’d like to do. Take action and do them. Liberate yourself from the box you live in and add dimension to your life. Stay stable but add a little bedazzle. 

– Steph

Good Things People

What better time to write a blog post then when you’re stranded on the side of the road. Looking for the silver lining

Presently that’s me. 

By the time I post this I’ll be rescued BUT since I’ve got the time I’ll write away. 

Life update.

I’ve been doing good. The breakup is going good… he contacted me and wanted to work things out – go figure BUT in the words of Taylor Swift I told him we are never ever getting back together. And I feel great about it!

I started my new job at a family law boutique firm and I absolutely love it! Everyone is so nice. I will be working for two lawyers… it should be interesting and I’m sure I’ll be writing more posts about this new part of my life.

My health is good. It’s amazing what leaving a toxic relationship can do for you! I’ve had doctor appointments and I’m managing well in their eyes. My medications hasn’t changed and I don’t feel like there is a need to. I have a good combo going on right now. 

On to the fun stuff… 

I am going to post my DIY project down below … I finished it early last week and I am so happy with the the final result! It makes me even more excited to move out so I can put them to good use. (January is when I plan to move out)

Just a reminder … the table I bought for $25, the chairs $3 and the stool $3, the fabric for $30 (but i didnt use all of it), the stain, stripper and sand paper probably around $55… I had some at home as well. So not too shabby!

The before: 

The in-between… the stripping and sanding took a long time! 

The finished result:

And there you have it! My new dining set!

It was a lot of work BUT worth it, and I always enjoy these types of projects when it’s all said and done. 

I have all few more coming up so I’ll post those as they come along. 

Life is going good presently and I have a lot to look forward to! (Minus my broken down car set back BUT it could be worse, so I’m still smiling)

On a side note… all that weight I gained (which we determined was from my seroquel) I’ve lost 17lbs … I still have 15lbs to go but I’m grateful for the progress. I think I’ll write a post talking more about it later. 

Good things people. Good things. 

I just feel so grateful and blessed one decision can change your life and I feel like I’ve been making some pretty good decisions lately.

So my dear friends, make a decision today that will give you a better tomorrow.

– Steph

Protect Yourself 


I really needed this quote. 

It’s so easy to get caught up in someone – in their behaviour. 

We work so hard to find peace in ourselves to create peace in ourselves. Don’t let the behaviour of someone else destroy it. 

I have.

There have been times in my life where I’ve tried to normalize destructive behaviour. I’d make excuses for the individual because I wanted them to be in my life. 

But at what cost?

At the cost of me. And truth be told, it has never been worth it. 

I deserve more. You deserve more. 

We should never have to justify someone treating us poorly. It just shouldn’t happen. It’s so easy to tell yourself that things will be different. That they didn’t really mean it. 

But they did. 

Otherwise they wouldn’t have to apologize a hundred times for the same hurt they’ve caused you. That’s if they even apologize.

Reality is you can’t change someone. Sure you can identify that you want to help them be better – be happier. You can see their potential. And there is nothing wrong with that. It’s good. But, you can’t change someone and their behaviour, they can only do that for themselves. 

However, let them be in your life long enough and they can change you. They can destroy your inner peace. Hack away at your confidence. Get in your head. Make you the problem when you’re not. Things can get ugly when we allow someone toxic into our life.

Save yourself the suffering and walk away. 

Sure, give them the opportunity to change BUT know your limit. When you have a time frame it makes walking away so much more attainable. And when you walk away try your darndest to not look back (something I’m working on). They had their chance. And now it’s time that you got yours. 

You deserve a chance to be happy. A chance to have peace in your life.  A chance to be treated properly by someone else. 

There are billions of people in this world. You don’t need to let a single person ruin your happy. There are so many more that could add to your life instead of taking away from it.

Don’t justify destructive behaviour. Call it what it is. Identify the problem so you can solve it. 

Protect yourself. Protect everything you’ve worked for and don’t let anyone tear you down.

– Steph 

Just A Little Bit More 


This is so important!

Believe in yourself and what you are worth and what you are capable of.

You are priceless.

And you can do anything you put your mind to. 

So often we under sell ourselves. 

But we need to believe in ourselves just a little bit more. Love ourselves a little bit more and then we will achieve so much more. 

I have been anxious about finding a job. I’m a new graduate with no experience aside from my practicum, and after I finished my practicum on May 26th I felt overwhelmed looking at all the job postings, because they were all requesting years of experience – which I don’t have. 

I applied anyway, I’m not going to lie and say I had bucket loads of confidence in myself BUT I did believe I had something to offer. 

Lo, and behold I got a call for an interview! I was super happy and excited. I went to the interview and I was super nervous BUT before I opened the door I put a big smile on my face, told myself I could do this and that they would love me and then I walked thru the door.

It’s all about how we talk to ourselves. If you tell yourself you are going to fail, you will fail. If you tell yourself you are going to succeed you will – even if it’s not on the first try.

I thought the interview went well and walked away proud of myself for giving it my all.

I’m happy to announce that this morning I was offered the position! This is my dream job and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! 

Believe in yourself and anything is possible.

Don’t give up hope. Believe in yourself just a little bit more and you will be able to get thru anything.

– Steph

Don’t Give Up

Sometimes life seems to be an endless uphill battle. If it’s not one thing it’s another. It’s exhausting. But regardless to this fact – don’t give up. 

If you fall down, get back up. Be relentless in your pursuit to achieve your goals. Do not accept failure -learn from it and keep moving forward. 

No one ever achieved anything by quitting. Sometimes I feel like my progress could be counted in a fraction of a fraction. Eventually – ever so slowly those fractions add up. But only if you keep on putting in the work.

Set goals for you health, spiritually, mentally, and physically. Take control of your health and never surrender to giving up on yourself. Don’t accept less than what you deserve – and you deserve to be happy.

Remind yourself – you deserve to be happy. This life isn’t a condemnation of lost causes.

Even when life appears to be at a stand still. Keep moving. Do what you can and the rest will fall into place. Words that I’m trying to live by. 

Right now I’m trying to escape a stand still in my life. I’m doing my best to keep moving forward. I have a feeling that my up hill battle will be taking place over the next little while, so I may be seemingly moving slowly BUT I have no doubt I’ll come out on top if I keep giving it my all. 

I just spent the entire day yesterday applying for positions in my given field. Being a new graduate is exciting, but applying to jobs that are requesting years of experience is daunting. It feels like a lost cause BUT I will keep at it, someone’s going to bite eventually and I’ll get my big break.

I’ll get a lot of NO’s before I get my YES. But I only need one and if I quit now that will never happen.

We all have to start somewhere. And we all have our own trials.

Just don’t give up. If you want something to happen- make it happen. Heck, cry if you need to BUT keep going. 

I might be a bit of a Negative Nancy right now feeling like my cloud 9 has turned into a tornado regarding different aspects of my life BUT I know it will all work out.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

What happily ever after ever happened without some opposition? Slowly but surely – onward!

– Steph