Not So Simple

Last week I went to my oldest sister’s house. I had to go to get my dog, Nutmeg’s teeth cleaned and the place I take her is in the city my sister lives (about a 3.5 hr drive from where I live). I obviously could take her to a vet in my own town/city BUT it would cost me an arm and a leg. The clinic I take her to charges a fraction of the price. Ultimately it’s worth the drive and gives me an excuse to visit my sister and her family. 

It was a pretty good week. I never tire of sitting down with my oldest sister and getting her counsel. She is such an example to me – she’s honestly amazing.

Over the course of the week (and presently) I had a lot on my mind. And that means my brain refuses to shut off. Night after night I’d be up and then in the day I’d be exhausted and overwhelmed with my thoughts and emotions. As much as I loved being with my sister and her family, I’m pretty sure I made for poor company. But they loved me anyway and I did my best to not let my mood ruin my time with them.

I could write countless blog posts on the thoughts that have plagued me over the course of this last week and weeks prior BUT  there is something in the back of my mind telling me to figuratively bite my tongue. Perhaps it’s too personal or perhaps if I write about it there is no going back, regardless to the outcome. My doubts, insecurities, and frustrations would be published and what if it all worked out… then I would have spoken ill for my audience to read and the reconciliation would be tainted.

There is a lot of emotion welling up inside of me. There is a part of me longing to write about it all because my brain is exploding and this blog is my outlet BUT for now I will refrain.

Perhaps I’ll find a constructive way to write about it without being so emotional. But alas I am an emotional person so the odds are not in my favor.

Sorry that it’s not an interesting blog post… but it’s enough to show I’m alive and illustrate the turmoil my mind is in. Something others have told me is so simple is crippling me. I’m sure if you have bipolar you can relate. 

Simple isn’t always simple. 

– Steph

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Decisions, Decisions 

Decisions, decisions. Sometimes I’m a bit impulsive and I don’t make the best ones. Gratefully one decision doesn’t have to spiral into another and another and another. It can by all means BUT it doesn’t have to.

You choose who you want to be. Some choices are easier than others but at the end of the day you have to live with yourself so choose to be someone that you can like *correction love.

And what happens if you make a decision that is contrary to your very nature? Do you roll over and die wallowing in the error of your ways? No. You acknowledge the poor choice and remind yourself that it isn’t who you are nor who you want to become.

Decisions are what make or break us. But there is no reason that you can’t take a different path once you’ve already started on one. Perhaps you are going to have to literally back track or go off terrain forging a new path, struggling along the way. But struggling is better than willfully accepting defeat in life – becoming someone who you can’t face in the mirror.

Impulse comes with the territory of being bipolar, but it’s not an excuse to throw all reason out of the window! Although I’ve definitely been guilty of that… We need to set up safety precautions when we are fully aware; road blocks that will slow us down when we start to slip out of a reality that faces any consequences. Becuase in that particular moment it’s hard to think of the repercussions.

 If you have a weakness that you are more inclined to when you are either really high or really low, acknowledge it and look for ways to hinder it’s immediate progress. If you have to stop along the way it may give you enough time consider the consequences of your actions.

I’m not saying it’s a full proof plan, but it’s definitely something that may help you prevent some oopsies otherwise

If you fall off the horse you get back on. But always acknowledge and own what you did, don’t stuff it in a closet that’s going to burst open on you. You’ll feel much better about yourself if you take back control. And if you acknowledge it, your giving yourself the opportunity to prevent it from happening again.

I made an impulsive decision recently and it wasn’t the best one. But it’s not going to define me or erase all the hard work I’ve been putting in to be the best version of me – unless I let it, and I’m not. I know what led up to me being in a position to make that decision and I’m consciously making a plan that will not put me at risk of repeating history.

Live life and love life. Love yourself and don’t let a few poor choices define who you are. You are so much more. 

– Steph  

It’s a New Dawn

It’s the start of a new school year, but this isn’t just any school year this is my last year! I entered into a 2 year program and I’m actually going to finish it completely! This may not seem like much to most people but I graduated high school in 2009 and I have been all over the maps with my post secondary since 2010 bouncing from one thing to the next because they seemed like a great idea… first it was a fashion designer, then it was a speech pathologist, then it was a teacher, a dental hygienist… HR business personnel and finally I’ve committed and I’m completing a diploma to be a legal assistant. My health was a huge contributing factor for my prolonged post secondary experience but you live and you learn and you meet people along the way. 

I finished last year with a 3.8 GPA. I’m not saying this to boast but to point out that having bipolar with all of it’s ups and downs … switching medication… upping my doses of medication didn’t prevent me from succeeding. If you put your mind to it anything is possible, we are our only limit.

I’m excited and nervous for this year, there is a lot to learn and a lot of work ahead of me. I’m excited for my practicum and to experience working in a law firm (I’m pretty confident I’d like to go for law and become a lawyer … but slow and steady wins the race, I want one stable career under my belt first) 

I’m not going to lie I’m worried about entering the real life adult work force, sure I’m an adult but working summer jobs and having the luxury of calling in sick if I was really feeling like I couldn’t function is very different than a stable 9-5 Monday thru Friday. In the legal field there are deadlines and as the legal assistant to the lawyers I’m expected to meet them otherwise what is my value to the firm. I’ll face that hurdle when I get there. This year is preparatory for that, I’m working with my doctors and I’m trying to better myself and that’s all I can do.

I’m so proud to say I will be graduating this year, it’s been a long time coming. But if it takes you longer than most people, so be it. Never let go of a dream and goal just because you have to work differently than most people to achieve it. 

 I hope everyone has an exciting year and challenges themselves to dream big and work hard to make it happen. 
– Steph 

Surprise Yourself

Sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Reminding your self how capable you really are.

I applied for the posting on of Vice president for my schools club. And to my surprise I was voted in. So I am officially  the Vice President of the Legal Assistant Society. I’m excited to fulfill the role, to work with my peers hopefully make some friendships along the way. 

I wasn’t sure if I was even going to apply but I bit the bullet and told myself I could do it. I was qualified and the only thing standing in my way was me. 

Take a step out of your ordinary. Make a change to be the change in your life that you’re looking for.

I wanted more depth in my life; to be more engaged and I think this is a step in the right direction.

– Steph 

To Tell or Not to Tell

I recently shared that I was bipolar with a close friend of mine, she’s quite a few years older than me so perhaps in a way I was counting on her maturity. 
It’s not to say telling her was a complete fail, however if I could go back in time I’d keep it to myself regardless to the opportunity to open up. 

When I tell someone I’m bipolar I brace myself for their judging eyes. Not that they are trying to judge in a harsh way, it’s just everything instantly turns into “oh you must act that way because you have bipolar” … for example I was at this friends house and I was visiting with multiple people when I decided it was time to go home because I was tired … my friend brought this up after I told her I had bipolar and she told me that she noticed my whole personna changed and it all makes sense because I’m bipolar. First off NO. My whole personna did not change – I was tired just like any normal human being gets, I didn’t change before her eyes into my crazy bipolar mode I simply said I was “going home now and have a good night”. 

To tell or not to tell?  That is the question. For now my opinion has been re-established and my answer is Not to Tell. I want people to see me as me not as bipolar and honestly as soon as that word comes out they put a big sign over your head with flashing lights that says “BIPOLAR” every action becomes branded with “because she’s bipolar” I’ve worked so hard to distance myself from that concept within my own family and my dearest closest friends. I don’t want to experience it all over again – I’m not ready for that just yet. I’m alive I react to things just like any normal person would react … sure there are times I may react with a little more zeal BUT I guarantee the average Joe is not going to see that happen.

One day I’ll be okay with people finding out … but for now it’s a no. And if I ever tell again it will be a life altering situation which has always been the case with my friends who do know and that has worked our pretty good so far. 

-Steph

Your Happiness – Your Choice

Happiness - Problems

There have been so many times in my life where I allowed my happiness to be consumed with my situation BECAUSE my situation was less than ideal. Rather than focusing on what was in my control, I focused on what was out of my control. Rather than looking at everything I had, I looked at all I was without (mentally, physically). I played victim and let my surroundings dictate my happiness rather than claiming my life for my own. BUT once I did claim it and took control of my life, that’s when things changed. That’s when I started dealing with my problems rather than letting them have their way with me. (I’m not perfect at it but I’m getting better at it)

We are stronger than we think, life is to be enjoyed not simply endured. Yes! There may be times when we hold onto life with just our finger tips; but the fact is we are still holding on (give yourself some credit) – we know life is worth fighting for and living. I’ve made so much progress with finding happiness this past year with the help and support of myself, loved ones and doctors. Happiness is a journey  it is not a destination; remember that just because we are not always happy it does not mean we have a bad life. I have my weeks where I struggle to remind myself of why I love life BUT I am getting better at recognizing my reminders, I don’t always have a “reason” for my depression. But I have a reason to hold on till the sun comes out again. And that’s the kicker, don’t forget it.

A SIDE NOTE: I did not choose to be bipolar, people do not choose to suffer from depression. I know what its like to wake up numb for no reason and to cry out because your entire being; your soul hurts beyond comprehension. I don’t always get to “choose” to be happy; to wake up with the luxury of picking how I feel BUT I do get to choose how I hold on — I get to choose to go through the storm in order to find another sunny day. My choice of happiness involves me claiming my life as Stephanie’s, not having my diagnosis claim my life.

– Steph

Remember This

Quote

Come what may, I am still here YOU are still here. We are strong. We are stronger than we were before. The past does not defines us, it refines us. It shows us what we are made of and what we can offer- and we can offer a lot.