Close To The Edge

I have been really struggling lately. I don’t know where I’m at mentally to be honest – but I wouldn’t consider it a good place. I feel like crying, I feel like screaming, I feel like thrashing my arms and legs, I feel like giving up on life (not to suggest I want to die… just keep reading and you’ll understand).

The past few weeks (this last one in particular), it has been painfully difficult for me to take my medication. I just don’t want to do it anymore. With each pill I put in my mouth more and more resentment is built. This resentment is not directed towards anyone in particular its just a matter of me loathing the pills I’ve been popping since 2014. And I just don’t know if I can do this the rest of my life.

I’m tired of all the effort and energy that goes into living life with bipolar day-in-and-day-out. I’m tired of the maintenance. I’m tired of the monitoring, tracking and appointments. I’m tired of the self-talk. I’m tired of trying to be optimistic. I’m just done. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do any of it.

I’m tired of doctors appointments, of therapy. I just want to feel normal not like every little thing I do is scrutinized. I told my husband I was unhappy and the very next thing said was a question, “when is your next therapy appointment?” I DON’T WANT TO HAVE EVERYTHING TURN TO THERAPY.

Family will always ask when I have an appointment as if it’s a lifeline for them and me. As if I’m incapable of dealing with life on my own. Perhaps it’s TRUE, perhaps I can’t deal but I’m tired of this life and living it this way. I’m tired of having my emotions constantly analyzed. It’s a two edged sword, I missed therapy when I didnt have it BUT at the same time I’m sick and tired of it being in my life even if it does mean I “function better”.

I’m spiraling. Maybe it’s because I have too much time on my hands these days since I am not working. Which I also hate. I hate being bored and unproductive and I am bored. I am also tired of trying to find a job that accommodates my bipolar and insomnia (commuting). I’m tired of my inability to wake up super early like the average person can do to get to work on time for a typical job.

Life is an accommodation when you have bipolar. I am writing this now in frustration BUT I’m pretty sure it’s the blunt truth and I won’t be able to deny this fact even when my souls at peace, which hopefully happens sooner than later.

Bipolar. It requires you to change your way of life to accommodate it, as to not poke the beast and cause a scene. I’m tired of it, maybe I will let the beast out to play and wreak some havoc.

I feel so disconnected from everyone. The only time I sincerely feel anything, any sense of just being free is at the gym with my sister. The gym is my happy place. It was years ago and I am happy to say it is again.

If you get anything out of this negative post it is as follows: if you are spiraling cling on to your happy place. Hold on to something that is liberating. Maybe its art or reading – just find something not someone you can connect with. People are great, but sometimes solitude is what you want and need and people just can’t understand how or what you feel.

But honestly, aside from the gym I have 0 desire to do anything. I’m just not interested, I feel like everything is a waste of time. So that brings the question of what constitutes as boredom. I could fill my time with menial hobbies, but why? What is the point.

I am just tired my friends. This blog post doesn’t unravel years of blogging – it just shows I’m human and I am living with bipolar and I am in the wringer right now. I am having a rough time and that’s life. But the question at the end of it, is what am I going to do about it.

Sleeping for 1000 years is not an option unfortunately.

Not my typical post, but my blog is a space where I can let my emotions soar so please bear with me while I’m soaring yet spiraling.

– Steph

Not Just A Pretty Face

I am more than what you see. This is something that I know for a fact, yet at times I need to be reminded of.

This post is about to get real, and I hope you can bare with me as I try to express myself.

I am human, I am not perfect. I lead an imperfect life filled with my own goliaths, as I know you do too. Some are bigger than others and sometimes the most I can do is acknowledge them and say to myself, “hey, I see you… not sure what I’m going to do about you BUT I see you.”

Sometimes we are battling things on our own privately and the idea of sharing our battles with anyone else seems out of the question. However, I encourage you to find a safe haven, whether that be a family member, a friend or a counsellor.

I am so grateful to be back in the swing of things with a counsellor. I was matched up with a great lady named Gail in the town I am now residing. So far we seem to jive pretty well and she’s been able to shed some insight with what I’ve been struggling with. Yes, I still talk to my husband and family about it BUT I find my counsellor gives me a different perspective that allows me to express myself more eloquently.

Lately (that’s used loosely), I’ve been struggling with my self confidence. It’s ironic, the more I feel like I’m looking better outwardly the more reassurance that I need. Feeling beautiful on my own isn’t enough for some reason. It’s as though I don’t believe it’s possible so I need others to reassure me (believe me, I know how messed up that sounds).

Yesterday in my appointment I realized so much of my self worth is dependent on how I look and believe me when I say that standard applies only to myself. I DO NOT MEASURE PEOPLE’S WORTH BY THEIR APPEARANCE. I firmly believe its deeper than skin – I just wish I could extend the same kindness to myself.

I’ve struggled with my weight and skin for years and my confidence has been shattered. For years I was fixated on how disappointing I must have been to my family to look the way I did. I did not love myself truly even though I was doing the best I could. And don’t get me wrong, I was still happy, but at the same time I was sad because of the way I looked.

I was saying to my husband I don’t think I’ve ever been happy with my life coinciding with my looks in a very long time – if ever. Either I was happy with my appearance and sad with my life or sad in life and sad with my appearance or happy with life and sad with my appearance. And I know it may sound weird, but I’m happy in my life right now (SO HAPPY) and I’m growing more and more happier with my appearance AND I don’t know how to handle it. I just don’t know how to truly believe or accept I’m beautiful on my own without needing validation or reassuring from my family and at time friends.

How unbelievably shallow. I know. Pity party for feeling pretty. Wah. Wah. Wah. But I’m serious, so much of how I view myself revolves around looks. I haven’t looked like the person I’ve wanted to look like for yearsssss and now that I am starting to I’m happy BUT I don’t know how to accept it for myself. It’s messed up and I’m being honest even though I’m not even sure it makes sense.

Everyone’s struggles are different. Right now I’m learning how to love and accept myself at any shape or size even if it’s the one I want to be! And just because I’m reaching that size it doesn’t mean everything is just magically going to be better. There is a lot of extra psychological weight with the weight I’m shedding and I’m trying to work through it so I can sincerely accept myself (and be happy).

On a different note, my counsellor gave me some worksheets to do regarding my values BECAUSE shocking news to you and myself – I’m not shallow. My fixation on my appearance may elude to it but I do have strong values, beliefs and a heart and mind. She gave me excercises to stimulate my vocabulary and give me more words to describe my values.

Sometimes we just need a push in the right direction to take away the bull seeing only red. And lately, I think with all this spare time on my hands from not working everyday 9-5 I have a little too much time to think and dwell on myself. The gym is great and is helping me reach my goals BUT that is one part of a ginormous puzzle of who I am as Stephanie.

I think I’ll share some of the values I have and rediscover in next weeks post, perhaps the values will hit a chord and you will have them in common with me or they will make you think of new ones entirely.

I’m not just a pretty face and I sure as heck don’t want to die with that being what people think of me. I want to be so much more. I really want to have it all – and dang nabbit I will. If I work on myself physically, mentally and spiritually. If I can learn to love myself – as myself at every stage, that is what will be truly beautiful.

You are beautiful, I don’t have to see you to know it. You are priceless with infinite worth, I believe that without a shadow of a doubt. Be kind to others BUT please, please, please be kind to yourself, that’s something I’m trying to apply into my own life.

– Steph

Just an Update

My husband and I started unpacking our apartment on Sunday and I was feeling slightly overwhelmed, he was a good sport and super supportive as always. However, we moved from a 2 bedroom with a shed to a one bedroom with a den. Shall we say a wee bit tight BUT it’s still massive in it’s own way (don’t ask me how).

Anyways I went over Monday with my mom and she helped me put up our pictures, so simple yet so helpful. I felt like so much was accomplished when in reality it was only a few boxes.

For now I am trying to enjoy my time off work, am I a bit stressed about not having a real job as we speak? Yes (although I did obtain a causal position at a seniors lodge) The whole situation is actually ideal to be honest, it gives me time to unpack and for my husband and I to settle, which is exactly what I did with my previous move, so why in the world am I tripping now???! Don’t ask me, because I know it’s not even rational stress.

If I was working I would be a basket case knowing I have boxes to unpack and furniture to set up in our apartment – so I’m trying to appreciate the time off. It’s been a while since I had a long holiday – so again why am I crying over this break that so many people would love to take! When the right opportunity comes along it will come along, just like it did before. So for now I need to chill!

I was thinking about the course of my past year and if I accomplished the things I set out to do. Yes, to a degree, I started lessons for classical guitar and stuck with it. I enrolled in the fashions course I talked about on my blog BUT it was cancelled due to not enough numbers in the class (not my fault), I was fairly active with the gym and swimming (definite room for improvement), I added a few more creative activities into my life such as therapeutic Mandela colouring and reading (and blogging again!), I started spanish lessons BUT I had to take a breather as I was doing a bit to much all at one time (you can refer to my older post to see what I’m talking about) and I did boxing up until my foot and shoulder exploded from pain and I had to taper down. Not too shabby overall, there were some bumps along the way BUT I did experience nearly everything I set out to do.

Now that I’m back, I want to resume guitar lessons FOR SURE. I think I’m going to ask my mom to re-teach me how to sew and work on projects at her house rather than find a course in the city, she is an amazing seamstress and I might as well take advantage of her wealth of knowledge and skill. No more boxing at a club for me, I’ll just use focus mitts at home with my husband so that I can go at my own pace with my shoulder and foot. I do what I can and I’ve learned not to push myself through pain just for the sake of it – not worth the prolonged injury! Believe me!

Aside from my birthday goal to be more intentional with my time, relationships, activities and aesthetics, I am cooking up some goals for the new year that I am excited to share shortly. As I mentioned there will be a new series on my blog and it has to do with some serious goal digging.

I know my posts have been more updates with my life rather than a post that hopefully gets you thinking about the way you are thinking and giving you some new perspective, I’ve just been a wee bit busy the past few weeks and wanted to make sure I posted as I’ve been on a roleeeeee and might as well let you know what’s going on in the mean time.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.

– Steph

A Cure

Alright. Where to begin.

Over the past while I have been plagued by some memories of my past – in particular a relationship. This relationship extended over years, a brief history to understand the extent of this connection is the fact that I first met this individual in Jr. High School and in later years after keeping in contact we began a relationship (enough said).

The fact that this individual and the memories surrounding him crossed my mind was a constant discomfort to me. I felt guilty. I felt terrible. I felt like I was betraying my relationship, my husband – my marriage. It was something I talked to my doctors about and it was the same old solution – let the memories come – let them go – and do not judge yourself. Yah. No. Not working.

That advice was easier said than done. However, in one session with a random therapist in the new city I am in, something was said and it triggered a series of thoughts that I will get to in a little bit. What this psychologist said was “perhaps the memories are not the problem BUT it is the credit we give them, the power we give them as we try to rationalize them and make sense of why they are happening”. Okay – now I can definitely appreciate that new insight. It was something I had never thought about in LITERALLY countless hours of thinking.

I was adding fuel to the fire as I tried to determine what each and every individual memory meant and quite frankly as was to be determined THEY MEANT NOTHING.

BUT this is where it gets good… the comment the psychologist made was good food for thought BUT what really made me shake my head with a new found outlook on my life was a conversation with my older sister.

I called my sister in a frenzy during a lunch break, I was feeling sick from the amount of memories crossing my mind. I felt like it was getting worse NOT better and that I had no control over my mind anymore. I felt like I was looking backwards despite the fact that I was trying oh so very hard to appreciate and look forward into my bright future with the man of my dreams.

WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?!

Did I still have unresolved feelings? I couldn’t. I knew I didn’t.

The relationship I was reflecting on ended on bad terms and was over almost 5 years ago, sure we kept in touch but, I AM IN LOVE WITH MY HUSBAND, no doubt in my mind or heart that he is my living heart beat.

So why the chaos? Why was my mind creating a problem where there was none?

Simply for that reason. There is no chaos in my life. MIND BLOWN! That was the insight my sister shared that changed my life. Like the therapist said my constant trying to “figure out” the memories was adding fuel to a fire. The fire set being myself.

For the last 9 years as my sister helped describe to me – my life which has been a roller coaster (excluding the most recent year), I was in one terrible relationship after the other. For may of those years I was undiagnosed and living in a hell on earth. I was functioning in chaos. That was my normal. My normal was to be in defence mode, to be fighting with myself and the men that I loved in any relationship I entered, because they were almost always toxic relationships (don’t ask me why). Associating with people in my past relationships was like a drug addiction. My normal was wayyy up high on the chaos wagon, not down low in a mellow peaceful state.

My husband is the polar opposite of chaos (which was one of the reasons I fell in love with him). He is a calm in the storm. He is peaceful, literally the opposite of anything I had ever experienced since the age of 17.

That’s not to say that I have not enjoyed my life and journey over the past 10 years. There have been amazing moments and serious leaps and bounds of self realization. For instance the memories I was thinking back on were good for the most part BUT deep down I wasn’t reminiscing on the memory; what I now know is that my mind was trying to recreate the chaos and panic I was living in during that time of my life, so for convenience it was bringing up that particular time in my life AND because it was about an ex of course that would create drama in my present life, where there would otherwise be none!

CRUEL BUT BRILLIANT. Just thinking about how my mind when thru all that effort to simulate chaos so that my body could feel like it was in a state of normalcy is incredible. The mind is a force to be reckoned with.

But in actuality, what has this epiphany done. It has calmed the storm my friends. I am no longer plagued by memories, a fleeting one may come and go BUT it is no where near as chaotic as it was. I know what is going on and why it is happening. I have the power again. There is no power in the memory.

I can’t emphasize how happy and at peace I feel. I have been sleeping better, I feel happier over all.

I know. I know. I know. I know that I am adjusting to this new “normal”, this new peaceful relationship – life in a new city, with a new job, away from my family and doctors.

I know that my mind was playing with me trying to recreate a sad excuse of a “comfort zone”, because my new zone was too good to be true. It blows my mind to say that I grew comfortable in my chaos, that is what I knew and expected. Is it what I wanted – NOT AT ALL. However, I was conditioned to normalize the experiences in my life because they were my normal – which doesn’t make them healthy.

I am healthy today. I am happy today. I have been chaos free for over a year and my mind has plagued me the entire time, trying to find a problem where there was none. (the memories were the only thing causing mayhem in my personal life)

All of my memories. All the feelings being brought up had absolutely nothing to do with the individual they were about, rather they about the state I was in at that point in my life. He has no power over me. He has no place in my life. He is in the past.

I am free.

I am not sure if this post captured the essence of this discovery, but if you are being plagued by memories give yourself a moment to ask yourself if the plague is actually about the person or rather the state you were in at that time. Your mind might be playing with you like mine did to me. The memories were a fa├žade for a deeper problem.

But like I said a million times over and I will say it to my grave, once you acknowledge the problem and give it a name, once you know what is troubling you, YOU are that much more capable of resolving it.

Hallelujah and amen! I hope that if anyone is experiencing a similar situation this gave you some insight, and if not I hope you enjoyed the read.

-Steph