Just A Little Bit of Happy

This picture says it all.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Remember it’s the small and simple things that ultimately bring us the most happiness. Take today – take everyday for that matter and find the little things to be grateful for and I promise you’ll be happier than you ever thought possible.

Look for the good and you’ll find it along with a little bit more happiness than you had before.



Here You Are

Here I am. Living.

There was a time when I did not want to live. When thoughts of suicide were my constant companion, however I am grateful to say those days are in the past.

Despite it all, here I am living. Despite having bipolar, here I am living. And not only am I living – but I am loving my life and thriving.

So much has happened over the course of my life, as I am sure you can say the same. So much has happened and yet, here we are.

I am feeling more like alive than I ever have. I am feeling more like the person I’ve always wanted to be but that I thought was beyond my grasp.

Life is precious. Life is wonderful, when I was at my worst I wasn’t alive, I wasn’t living – I was existing, and now with a lot of hard work, optimism and hope – here I am.

I hope everyone realizes how strong they are.

Despite all the hardships and trials you go through, you keep going. That is true strength.

Sorry my last two posts have been short, I have so much to say but I haven’t quite been able to express myself adequately (lots of writing and deleting). I do however have some amazing news and I am hoping to share it shortly.

Life can be so beautifully unexpected, remember that.

– Steph

Darker Days

At times I feel like I am enveloped in darkness. I feel trapped. I feel as though I am less-than because I am not able to escape the depression that plagues my life time and time again.

Yet out of the darkness always comes something beautiful, out of the darkness comes a greater appreciation for life, out of the darkness comes empathy, out of the darkness comes a strength that is unfathomable, out of the darkness comes a resiliency that is far too often undermined by our society.

The butterfly endures the dark, endures being trapped and comes out stronger and more beautiful. The butterfly finds its freedom.

The darkness does not last forever.

– Steph


Reality Check

This post required two quotes, so you know it’s about to get real.

Goodness, the past few weeks I have not been in the right head space. (If you couldn’t already tell)

I have been trying to practice mindfulness, trying to stay positive, trying to remind myself of the direction I am taking my life. Trying to stay in control. Trying, trying, trying. It’s been exhausting. I feel like I’ve been in a constant battle with myself. Fighting for the life I want to live that isn’t defined by my bipolar.

My perception of reality has been distorted to say the least. It’s like I’m there, but I’m not there. I am present yet I am absent.  I feel so deeply but then I don’t feel anything at all. If that even makes sense.

I can be lethal when I lose my grip (literally lethal – like a completely different person), I think I have come a long way so I like to think it doesn’t happen all that often, but sometimes the bipolar gets the best of me. Sometimes, the rational emotions and ideas escape my grasp and I’m left with impulse and tunnel vision.

It’s terrible, but it is a reality I face. I like to post positive posts as much as I can, because that is the direction I am taking my life a reflection of how I choose to live. But I still suffer at the hand of my bipolar, I am not immune and I don’t feel positive all the time. BUT that doesn’t mean I can’t have a happy productive life, which is what I hope to illustrate with my blog, I do consider my self a happy person when it’s all said and done.

However, that being said, I am human and I do have bipolar and there are symptoms that come with this mental illness. I hate using the word illness because I feel like it diminishes how far I have come BUT it is an illness, it is a trial, it isn’t a walk in the park.  I have bipolar. It’s just a fact. I am not the disease but it does play a role in who I am how I act and the decisions I make and that is the honest truth. I have made decisions that I would never had made without the effects of bipolar being a factor. It is not an excuse for my actions but a factor in them.  At the end of the day taking responsibility for them allows me to move forward. BUT gosh, sometimes I wish there was an undo button.

There are some things that I find harder than others with having bipolar. Some symptoms that are more prominent and I really have to check myself and have safe guards BUT even then, sometimes I bulldoze right thru them. Sometimes I am relentless and nothing and no one can change my mind and course of direction regardless to whether it is to my benefit or demise.

I have an appointment booked with my therapist, I am going in to talk to him in person rather than thru our phone call appointments – I feel like it is a state of emergency. As you may know we’ve been having phone call sessions to accommodate my work schedule, but that’s just not going to cut it this time. I don’t like feeling like I’m losing control and that’s exactly where I’m at. I feel up and down, numb and yet volatile, high and low, I like to be in control – I like to be the captain of my decisions which can be a challenge when you have bipolar to say the least.

I recently lost my grip. I essentially plowed thru logic or reason and hurt myself and those I love in the process. I had something made up in my mind, it didn’t make sense but I wasn’t going to be satisfied until I saw it thru – why? I have no idea. Consequences were not something on my mind, I felt as though I was immune to repercussions and the idea of them didn’t seem plausible. Some how I would act and come out unscathed. Sometimes feeling so deeply can be a curse. Yes, it can be a blessing, and I like to look at it that way BUT it can be a two-edged sword. It can cause you to defy all reason.

I am facing my reality. Facing the consequences of my actions, re-evaluating my life and piecing myself back together. Perhaps piecing together is a bit strong, it’s not as though I have completely come undone, it’s not as though all the work I’ve put into myself hasn’t been decimated by this one action. The years I have been working on myself have given me a strong foundation to fall back on BUT there were a few blows to it and I need to strengthen and reinforce it so that I can confidently move forward.

Am I a bad person? No, I am not a bad person. Did I do something I would have normally done had I been thinking rationally and without so much emotion pulsing thru my veins? No, no I did not. But that comes with the territory of having bipolar. You sometimes aren’t yourself even though you are still you.  Sometimes the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde happens. You just have to live the best you can and brace yourself for when those times come, and come what may accept it, acknowledge it, own it, learn from it and then move on. You can’t dwell on all your poor decisions or actions. If I did that I would be miserable. I would be consumed and lose sight of who I want to be and who I really am. I am not my bad decision. I am not my out of character actions. I am Stephanie and I am human.

This post perhaps wasn’t the most uplifting, but it is where I am at and a testament that I am moving forward. It is my reality and my reality isn’t always pretty. I struggle, I fall down, but I get back up. Time and time again I get back up and if I can do it – so can you.

– Steph


Blessing or a Curse? Or Both?


Let’s try to find the silverlining.

Although, I feel cursed at times because of the severe state of depression I routinely enter I also count myself blessed because of the immense amount of joy I feel in my life when I leave that depressive episode.

Without sadness we would never know happiness – that’s just how the cookie crumbles. And for many who are in the same boat as me, sadness can be all too consuming, lasting for weeks BUT the hope that inspires me to hold on is knowing that I’ll find my happiness again and when I do I know it will be glorious.

Happiness is a blessing – I dare say its a privledge; a result of hardwork and selfcare. When I was younger I took it for granted. I expected it without a second thought – it was mine for the taking. I’ve learned that this is not how life works. Happiness is a result of dedication and never giving up even when your hanging on by your fingernails. Happiness is a result of pushing past the ugly, pushing past the hurdles that mental health and life in general throws at us.

Happiness is a gift that I’ve learned to cherish because I never know how long I get to keep it once I’m reunited with it.
Each day counts. Even if they may seem far and few.

It is a curse and a blessing to feel so deeply. To feel so alive that you are walking on sunshine and adversely to feel like death has chained itself to you. I didn’t choose my lot in life but I do get to choose how I react to it (generally speaking) and even if I fail somedays this quote is a perfect illustration of the silverlining I look for… the blessing that only I get to experience with joy; the slice of heaven I get to experience that the average joe doesn’t even have the slightest inkling of. 

We may be different on an emotional level but that level allows us to tap into a greatness that exceeds the “norm”. So with that said – chin up and keep moving forward even if you have to drag your feet or crawl… keep moving forward.

– Steph


Working With What “We Have”


Alright, so I mentioned in my previous post that I recently participated in a study for people who have bipolar (within this study the sample also included individuals without bipolar)

I loved education and I love the idea of furthing progress with both breaking stigmas and improving healthy approaches to managing bipolar. That being said I would like to reiterate I have bipolar, I am NOT bipolar – I am not a disease I am a human with infinite potential just like every other human who walks this planet.

Do I have a different obstacle course than many people? Yes. Does that mean I’m incapable of enjoying life? No.

I have my rough patches and in recent weeks (in the absence of blogging) they have been pretty knarly BUT I still had days where I laughed and I still managed to hold my head up high proud to be me…. alright so why this babble?

Allow me to explain…

During the study they asked me a series of questions (most of which were quite boring) BUT one question made me laugh out loud and I think it surprised the researcher(s). She basically asked how I felt because I have to suffer with bipolar daily. Suffer. Okay..  maybe I’m a weirdo to find the use of this word so particularly amusing BUT come on people!

I have bipolar, and for that researcher to look at me like I was a puppy with a broken limb suffering indefinitely because of the cards I was dealt in this lifetime it was more than I could handle – so I laughed. I laughed and then I clarified to her (and her collegue) that I was not under the impression I was suffering within my life. I was under the impression I was living life to the best of my ability and that yes, granted I do have some extra struggles to deal with BUT that those struggles do not condemn me to a lifetime of “suffering”.

For my nerds sake, the definition of suffering is as follows (via google):

1) the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship.
2) become or appear worse in quality.

Perhaps one may think I was brash because of my reaction to the researchers question BUT I felt the need to educate the educated. I have my struggles yes, but I do not consider myself to live in a state of suffering – quite frankly I found the use of the word ignorant (I say that with no disrespect). 

I was not mad, nor am I mad at the experience (I was amused) but I am grateful that I know I do not live im constant suffering I live a life with challanges that I fight back with all my might and strength. Suffering denotes a weakness that I feel should not be associated with individuals who have bipolar – strength is a word that should be used with people who live with bipolar daily.

I just wanted to make this post to remind everyone they are strong. They are not the definition of a disease nor should the be the recipient of stares that speak of broken goods.

We are strong and in our daily lives we conquer the battles we face with more strength than many people realize.

Words my friends. Words. Never let someone define you by “your illness” correct them if needs be, be the change and be confident in who you are and the package you bring.

– Steph


Out with the Old – In with the New


When it comes to getting rid of a bad habit or even a crummy ex *cough cough* which is basically the same thing. I have a few words of advice that stem from personal reading, talking with one of my super heros a.k.a my doctor AND from direct experience.

Firstly, replace the bad with something new! If you are going to cut something from your life you are inevitably going to create a space, a void, a black hole! Do you catch my drift? You will need a positive replacement in order to sustain long term results. Something that will help you be a better version of you. I’ve turned to reading books, hitting the gym, cross stitching  (you read that right! It’s a skill under development)
If you choose to drop a habit a positive replacement is a must. It allows you to focus your energy elsewhere, and acts as a positive reinforcement for the new direction of your life.

Secondly, self talk. Postitive self talk. How we talk to ourselves is critical to how we see ourselves. If you always talk down to yourself, telling yourself you’re going to fail… you will. If you break yourself down before you even give yourself a chance to try… you will in fact fail. AND then you’ll talk yourself down even more for failing like you said you would. Don’t do that! Positive affirmations, Progress Not Perfection.

Which leads me to number 3. Be realistic. When I ended it with my ex, I gave my self an unrealistic timeline of 2 weeks. 2 weeks and I would be over a 2 year relationship… that stemmed back to us being in each others lives since gr 8. Unrealistic much??! And when I failed I was so angry at myself. I was weak, I was pathetic, he wasn’t worth anymore of my tears…. blah blah blah. BUT the flaw to my plan and train of thought was that I forgot I’m human. We are all human so lets be realistic. My reality was not 2 weeks to be over him… heck I’m in the months zone and I’m just getting “over him”. My reality was “don’t go back to him!”And I got that right this time. Why?? Because I began to let myself hurt, cry, be angry, confused and I let myself miss him without condeming and repremanding myself. GIVE yourself realistic goals; when you make a significant change allow yourself to mourn or think of what you let go BUT remind yourself that your letting it go for a reason AND that there is so much more good life ahead of you.

Lastly… give yourself a pat on the back. Acknowledge and give yourself credit for deciding to make a change in your life. Recognizing is one step, taking action is the next. So your on the right track.

We’ll get there – progress not perfection.

– Steph