2 Out Of 10

So I had a completely different post ready for today, alas this post came to my mind last night and was written this morning and I’m using it instead.

I have been in a bit of a weird mood lately and I think that has magnified some body issues that I have. It’s no secret I’ve battled with my weight especially since being medicated BUT as I mentioned in a previous post I’ve joined weight watchers and I am down 16 lbs which is huge win because I haven’t been able to drop anything after the 10lbs I lost on my own. You would think I’d be happy with this. Believe me – I am, but I know there is still 10-15lbs to go, thus I am not thrilled with where I am at. It’s not only that. I realized this past month or so that I’ve been killing myself with self talk in the worst way.

Self talk is some thing I’ve blogged about on many occasions and I firmly believe it can make a huge impact on your life. After my engagement photos I ripped my appearance apart. I cried when I saw the photos and I’m not sure if I’ve completely recovered. I’ve never wanted to get cosmetic surgery BUT after that photo shoot the idea crossed my mind on numerous occasions, I even looked into clinics in my city. Furthermore, one of my best friends just a had a minor procedure done. I’m never going to encourage someone to alter their appearance (she is gorgeous without it) BUT it made me want to do it myself.

I look thru social media on the daily and I think that’s also been messing with me. What’s real? What’s fake? What’s photoshopped? Whats not? It’s mind blowing the types of apps they have that alter your appearance. And the types of procedures available to get the “perfect look”.

I feel naive to be buying into the glam that some of these people have but I look at them and I look at myself and I’m like wow maybe I’m a 2 out of a 10. Maybe I’m not, but I’ve been talking to myself like I am.

I used to consider myself someone who was dressed on point, makeup and hair was on point and now – I rarely do my hair in a style, my make up is sub-par and my clothes remind me of a librarian. I think the fact I hate my sense of style is affecting my mood. Heck. I don’t even think I can say I have a style at this point.

To a degree I feel like I’ve lost part of my identity and maybe that’s why I’m so upset. I used to feel so inspired when I put together a look and now I drag my feet because I’m not happy with any of the outcomes. So then I think I’ll look online to find inspiration and BAM it makes me feel like I’m a 2 out of 10 again.

The more medicated I’ve become the less creative flaire I’ve had in so many aspects if my life. I’m calling myself out on it BECAUSE I want it to change. I want to be the girl up till 2 am designing and sewing because fashion was my life. I haven’t sewn in the past 3 years or sketched. Nada. When I go to design I draw a blank. I have no sense of style to build on. I feel like I’ve lost it all.

To add to it…. it’s not to blame but within my religion it’s encouraged to adhere to certain modesty standards and because I want my actions to reflect my faith I adhere to these standards (I haven’t always when I was younger) this makes certain styles and things that I’m drawn towards unacceptable. This is super frustrating and something I’ve struggled with. Like I said I haven’t always adhered to the standards and that’s probably when I liked my style the most as sad as it is to say. Right now I feel so bland. I feel like my selection is limited and consists of the same silhouettes which are boring in my eyes right now – maybe they won’t always be. Maybe it’s my mentality that is preventing me from seeing the style within my limits but I just feel stuck.

I feel like I have a mental block and it’s been there for a while and I’ve been putting it off, telling myself it’s not a big deal or it will sort itself out on its own. It hasn’t. And I’m unhappy with where I am.

At this point I feel like I’ve been a let down for my fiance. He loves me and tells me how beautiful I am BUT he has rarely seen me look completely put together. I think now that I am getting married and in this relationship there is a part of me that is saying “step up your game you have so much more to offer!” I’ve been so numb to expressing myself out side of this blog and writing and even then sometimes I struggle to post because I feel like I have nothing to say.

I feel like I don’t even know where to begin to pull myself out of this bleak hole. I just want to feel creative and comfortable with how I look again. I love me. I love myself. But my agonizing criticism isn’t reflecting that.

It’s important to have an identity with your appearance, and I think that’s why I’m so upset. I feel like I have no identity. I feel so uninspired.

I honestly just don’t even know.

I wish I had some positive outlook to express in this post but I’ve got NIL.

I think I’ll challenge myself to say one positive thing about myself for the rest of the month. I need to get a grip on my self talk and show myself a little more love. Right now my self talk isn’t cutting it. I know it’s a problem that if I don’t face will do damage and potentially ruin all the work I’ve done to have a happy loving relationship with myself. That’s a break up I don’t want.

I always encourage self love and I think that’s why I wanted to make this post. I don’t want to be a hypocrite and this is my journey, I am human and sometimes I fall off the wagon – which I have, and I am presently working to get back on it.

I don’t know my friends.

I guess chin up. I know I’ll come out on the other side. I’ll find my groove I’ll work on my creativity as silly as that sounds. Hopefully sooner than later. I’ll find some inspiration and I’m sure before I know I’ll feel like I can strut down a runway…. or not BUT it’s a nice idea.

I’m sorry if this post seems all over. I’m having a hard time keeping up with everything I’m thinking and I don’t know if it’s translating into a post that makes sense.

I have some serious work to do.

– Steph

What Are You Loyal To?

I’ve had the opportunity to stroll down memory lane this past week. Both in terms of old relationships and my health.

It’s unbelievable how far I’ve come in both regards. How different I am.

I am different, and there is nothing and no one in this world that could convince me to revert back to my old ways or days. The past is the past for a reason. You learn and grow and move on from it. I haven’t put all this work into myself to stay the same, or be in the same situations as I was in before.

Don’t get caught up in your past. If you do my chance stroll thru memory lane, do just that – stroll. Don’t stay.

Your past and the things that have happened in your life don’t deserve your undying loyalty. What and who are presently in your life do. Your present day determines where you will be going in the future. Be loyal to that. Be loyal to a better future.

Don’t let your past distract you from where you are going.

Just a little reminder for you and me. Think about where you are going and remember it’s going to be more than your past could have ever offered you.

The only thing that remembering your past offers is thr knowledge not to repeat it. Progress requires change.

This isn’t to say everyone has an unpleasant past but the fact of the matter is you can’t grow if you are stuck on the “glory days” or “better days” or the “worst days” of your life. Whatever the past was for you, it no longer serves a purpose other than growing from it and moving on.

Reflect on your past- because how else can you grow BUT be loyal to your future, that is where you are going. Don’t jeapordize your progress by getting stuck on who you were before.

Enjoy your now and remind yourself that you will have a better tomorrow. Each day is an opportunity. Take it and run with it.

– Steph

Making the Jump

Alright, this is just a quick heads up that I am making the switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. I’m moving on up in the world and I’m terrified.

I already made a mess of things trying to transfer sites SO I’m hiring someone to do it for me. I don’t want to lose content or subscribers because or my technological illiteracy. I’m looking at it as an investment.

I seriously can’t be the only blogger in the world who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

This is going to be a work in progress. They said it should take 5 days and I am hoping to start the transfer tonight … I need to call and have them walk me thru the set up of them doing all the work. Sad but true.

I don’t imagine I’ll be posting next week as I will be tweaking my site and trying to figure out how everything works.

Cross your fingers and say your prayers. I’ll need it!

– Steph

When In Doubt

Just a quick fun post.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. It always amazes me how music and movement can have such a profound impact on our moods, I’ve danced in my apartment all by myself on more than a few occasions.

Shakin’ what your mama gave you can definitely boost your spirits – if you don’t believe me try it out for yourself. Let loose and enjoy the moment.

Have a great weekend!

– Steph

Flood The World

I’m all about self love and positive self talk, I may not be a master at it yet BUT I am a work in progress. I attribute having this type of mentality to my success with my mental health and my overall well-being. It was only a couple of years ago that I had an unhealthy distorted view of myself BUT through consistent efforts to be kinder to myself I have been able to be the happiest version of me that I’ve ever been despite all the trials I face with my mental health – let alone just being a 26-year-old going thru life.

It’s so easy to settle into negative thought patterns, to view yourself through a critical lens that eventually takes over how you view everything and everyone around you… how terribly bleak and miserable.

Be kind. Be merciful. Be patient. Love yourself for exactly who you are now and who you are becoming. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you are not going to be everything that you ever envisioned yourself to be in a day BUT that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate yourself for who you are now and keep moving forward because happiness is a journey not a destination.

The desire to progress allows us to move forward BUT how do you expect to do that if you are filled with self hatred or loathing. Toxic thoughts hold us back, they are weights and chains that we place on ourselves that inhibit our ability to move forward in our lives. How can you fuel your body, mind and soul with ugliness and expect a beautiful result? Negativity does not produce positive results.

When you love yourself, it is so much easier to love others.  It’s so much easier to see the good in others and everything around you.

Be kind to yourself.

Life is hard enough as it is, you don’t need to be your own worst enemy to top it off, you should be your greatest champion and supporter, because at the end of the day, you are all you have control over.  You can choose who you want to be and you can either become better or bitter.

Be kind to others.

Strong people lift other people up, I’ve said it before. That is true strength. Look for the good in others, inspire the good in others. Make a positive impact and be a positive influence. Small actions make a huge difference. Think about your day and how a complete stranger opening a door for you, telling you to have a good afternoon, smiling at you could make such a memorable impact. Kindness is powerful, and you should never underestimate its reach and power. A simple kind act could make the world of a difference in someone’s life.

We can control the kindness we show to ourselves and others. Start with yourself first. You are a priority. Don’t put yourself at the bottom of the list and focus all your efforts on others. That is not being kind to yourself. Start with yourself and let that love and kindness overflow to those around you. Don’t get it backwards. AND being kind to yourself DOES NOT make you selfish. It makes you HEALTHY.

– Steph

Prince Charming

Alright, so the big news that I’ve been wanting to let the world in on BUT I’ve been waiting to make sure it was the right moment.

I am in a relationship. BOOM.

That just happened.

Well, it’s been a while now but the twist about our relationship has been its long distance.

My dearly beloved came to see me and just left on Wednesday. He spent 13 days with me and they honestly couldn’t have been any better.

Where to begin.

My past relationships have all been pretty rocky, whether by my own doing because of my mental health or because the men I’ve dated were toads … clearly the latter is the more dominant reason. However, my health has never been better and I have felt ready to be in a healthy committed relationship for a while now, alas I needed to meet the right person.

Boy oh boy, have I met him.

I think the distance has been a blessing in disguise, it really ensured that he was talking to me, for me, and that there were no physical ulterior motives (which is so often the case) – I want to be wanted for more than my body and he has made it clear that he loves me for more than that.

Anywho, we have texted everyday since we made contact and our initial texting has turned into phone calls and skyping nearly everyday – lots of communication. For those wondering long distance relationships and bipolar are totally doable.

He came when I was in the eye of a storm of a severe low. I was in a downward spiral trying ever so hard to hold on to what progress I’ve made (as you can read from previous blog posts) and then there he was – my prince charming in knights armour riding a white horse; the grounding anchor that was missing. I’ve never felt so peaceful before. That’s not to say I am dependent on him (this was a big discussion with my doctor), however I appreciate him for who he is and the calm that he brings into my life.

Would my storm have settled had he not come into my life? Yes, because I am independently responsible for my health and the lows inevitably come and go, BUT did my storm settle faster because he entered my life? It sure did, and for that I am grateful.

He knows that I have bipolar now and it hasn’t deterred him from pursuing a relationship with me.

I waited until we had spent adequate time together in person before I told him I have bipolar and let him in on the past baggage like my bankruptcy that came as a result of it. (I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that I claimed bankruptcy before, it’s been 3 years past BUT that is something that happened – the joys of bipolar and its symptoms… perhaps I will write another post with my perspective on building up to that moment and life after claiming bankruptcy) I wanted him to see me for me before he saw me as a stigma. I am not crazy because I have bipolar. I choose recovery everyday and my life reflects that – yes it can be a wee bit chaotic sometimes BUT I am not damaged goods and he sees me beyond my mental illness, he sees me as priceless. He told me he would have never known I had bipolar if I hadn’t told him, and YES, he unfortunately thought people with bipolar were crazy due to stigma and people he’s met, so I proved him wrong. I take the fact that he was clueless to my diagnosis as a big compliment, not that I am saying there is anything wrong with having bipolar BUT the fact I am able to live a stable life to the point that my mental illness isn’t apparent to people around me and doesn’t cripple me (as much as it used to) – that is something beautiful.

For those of you who don’t know, I have chosen not to disclose my diagnosis to anyone beyond my immediate family a few close friends and a few aunts. Please do not think that I am ashamed of my diagnoses, I am not ashamed of having bipolar. I am just not ready to face that battle yet. My life was not stable in previous years and I was in chaos, I don’t want people to dwell on those years and dismiss all the progress I have made in the past couple years, I feel like I need to make a dent with my stable life and illustrate to the world that I am successful in spite of my mental illness, and that it hasn’t diminished my quality of life.

Will I eventually disclose that I have bipolar? I actually believe that I will. Like I said I am not ashamed. I am proud of who I am in my entirety. I live a productive life with a mental illness that most people cannot even begin to comprehend. Do I want the world and those around me to see that being bipolar doesn’t ruin your life? I sure do. It’s just about the timing. I want to really make an impact in the world of mental health, it’s something I think a lot about, but it’s all about timing and acting in my best interest and not taking on Goliath without a sling BUT I feel like later in the year or even next year that time will come. Don’t hold me to that BUT it’s a feeling I have and its been brewing for a while. Good things are going to happen this year, and I feel like I am just about ready to tell the world I have bipolar and I am living the good life regardless to that fact.

A bit of a random post, but I hope it conveys that I am happy because I am truly and sincerely happy and I am going to enjoy every moment while I can. Each day I can feel happy is a gift that I try not to take for granted and there is so much to be happy about.

– Steph

Good Things

Alright, so I apologize for not posting last week, I got swept away with time and before I realized it the week was over.

But goodness gracious, as the saying goes – time flies when you are having a good time.

Good things have been happening. I feel an abundance of positive energy for which I am grateful for and I have a few things on the go. Plans, plans and more plans.

Speaking of plans….

I’m not sure if you remember, but a while back I attempted to make the switch to WordPress.org for my blog… yah epic fail. I panicked and reverted back to WordPress.com the same day. The whole concept freaks me out. I am so far from being technologically literate – it’s not even funny.

However, I know that for what I want to do and where I envision my blog going I will need to make the switch. Apparently, correct me if I’m wrong – none of the beautiful comments made on my blog posts will transfer over when I move my content to the new host. This is a tragedy. I sincerely appreciate every single comment I’ve received on my posts. If there is any way to prevent me from losing them, please let me know. Additionally, if you know of any resources for self-hosted blogging, send em’ my way.

I’m not sure when I’ll make the switch but I anticipate it will be taking place no later than May. When I am about to make the move I will announce it, as far as I know there should be no impact on those subscribed to my blog so long as I do everything right (cross your fingers). The domain will remain the same- I’ll just be doing an overhaul and face lift to my blog. It is a work in progress, but I promise you there is a vision.

Perhaps that wasn’t the most exciting good news to share with you but I’m pretty excited about it. I promise there is actually more exciting good news (life update) that will follow in 2 weeks. I won’t be posting next week (for good reason).

All in all, I feel very optimistic with the direction I am taking my life. I have some serious goals that I am excited to bring to life. I’ve never been one to create vision boards BUT you all know I write my goals down, because a goal that isn’t written down is just a dream. I love dreaming but I want more than to just dream – I want a reality.

I will be exerting some serious effort to achieve my goal regarding my blog, but I have no doubt I can achieve my vision and I’m excited for you all to share the journey with me. I truly appreciate all your support.

Things are about to get good – really good, and it’s not by chance. So, what does that tell me? It tells me that good things can start to go your way too. Put yourself on the pathway of positive thinking, self-love, self-care and self-forgiveness and you are going to be in the direct line for good things to happen. I guarantee it!

Good things aren’t reserved for a select few – they are for me and you.

– Steph