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  

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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 

Dear Body

  
Could this be any more perfect?

I fell off the wagon BIG TIME. All the time I spent in the gym, all the efforts in making sure I ate (and ate healthy) went out the window. Heck doing my hair and wearing makeup went out the window too.

I alternatively binged on garbage and didn’t even remotely attempt to go to the gym.  I slept and slept and ate and slept some more. (If you’ve read previous posts I’m sure your starting to see that sleep is an avoidance strategy I use when it comes to life and me not wanting to participate in it – I am trying to work on it)

Everything seemed pointless, I was frustrated and overwhelmed with emotions and my solution was to shut down and self loathe. 

Not a good solution. Actually let’s not kid ourselves – it’s not a solution at all.

But that’s what I did, and where did it lead me? It led me to sweatpants and hoodies. You read that right. 

I gained a substantial amount of weight over the last month and a half (I could probably say 2 months) my clothes don’t fit unless we count clothes that have elasticity. What a sad and yet funny truth.

So where does this reality leave me? It leaves me with a choice – continue to do nothing to improve my self care ; sabotaging my health OR take back control by loving and nourishing my body to its optimal health. (It wouldn’t hurt to do my hair and makeup every now and then either)

It’s so easy to sit back and do nothing but sleep and eat in despair – but that leads nowhere fast. 

Don’t fool yourself into thinking your beyond hope, there is always hope. It didn’t take me a day to gain this weight so I can’t expect to lose it in a day.

One day at a time; one glorious determined day at a time. I’ve set my goal to go one week at a time so that I don’t jump ship and bail. 

I’m human and so are you. I’ve  struggled with my weight since high school – there’ve been lots of attributing factors BUT I can tell you that ignoring my health throwing my hands up and saying “to heck with it” isn’t going to solve the problem and it’s not going to help me love myself.

Love yourself to care enough to keep up “self care” even when you hit those blasted lows. That may mean eating healthier, that may mean getting up to shower or even brushing your hair, it may mean hitting the gym OR all of the above.

What ever it may be, DO IT. And keep going, if you have to throw yourself out of bed DO IT. 

I hope that after you read this post you don’t feel entirely alone, thinking your the only one to give up on self care – your not – it happens and the beautiful truth is that we can pick up and keep going. 

We can do it. And if you need a reminder I hope I’ll be here to give it. 

This journey of life is progress not perfection.

– Steph 

The Sky Above Us

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Over the past two weeks I’ve had my fair share of tears. And when I say my fair share…. I literally mean everyday, multiple times a day… sometimes for hours.

How have I mananged to retain water within my body? I have absolutely no idea. I feel like if I were a well I’d be dried up. Gratefully, we can rest assured that I am not a well.

On a more serious note, my functionality over the past week went out the window…up in flames… down the drain, im sure you get the idea. I slept the majority of this week (in between all of my crying) and I haven’t attended school for the past two days.

Honestly, it was all too much this time. It was too much to handle and I was not coping. I was losing my ability to keep a grip, so inorder to protect myself and diffuse the anxst that was building up (my panic attack mode was on)… I stayed home, I took a step back and I allowed myself to go through whatever pain I was feeling and had been trying to cover up over the past few weeks while being surrounded by people all the time.

Their was no pressure to keep a smile on my face, which appeased the anxiety that was mercilessly eating me up! All the thoughts in my head that told me my peers were judging me because I wasn’t on my “A-game” began to subside.  I was no longer exposed! If there is one thing that I can’t handle, it’s when people start to looking at me like I’ve blown a fuse and I’m not functioning “properly” like I “normally” do.

Maybe it’s all in my head and they don’t notice when I start to lose the life in my eyes… regardless, when it’s running rampant in my head that’s when I become the most lethal. So that’s why I needed to take a step back and diffuse the situation before I completely shut down.

I haven’t taken an unofficial  leave of absence for quite sometime, with that being said I’m not about to beat myself up over the fact that I required a “break” this time around.

Life happens and at times emotions get the best of me. However, the lows come and the lows go, even if they may appear bleak and hopeless. There is hope.

Today I can breathe again, I’ve reached the light at the end of this particular dark tunnel. It wasn’t  easy, in fact it sucked. That’s the truth. BUT life goes on, and I’m grateful I  have the ability to bounce back. I can pick up where I left off… I may have to back track a bit BUT I ultimately am still moving forward.

I still have a lot of work to do in pertaining to handling my life’s journey with bipolar  … but I am stronger than I realize. Just like I can confidently say you are too. Strength doesn’t develop when everything goes along perfectly, strength comes when we have to pick ourselves up after we’ve been knocked down over and over. Strength is fighting our personal battles; trying to remind ourselves of our infinite worth.

Our value never diminishes it only grows.

Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy the rays of sunshine on your skin… the little things that remind us we are alive.

– Steph

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time… the beginning to any great story. This story just happens to be mine.

If you haven’t already read my “About” I’ll quickly try to explain myself and what my beloved blog’s goals are.

First things first, my name is Stephanie, and I have a passion for life. I also have Bipolar II… who would have figured??

I hope that as I delve into this blog, I will be able to explore life to its fullest, and bring my readers on my journey, as well as help them along their own. I hope to share my passions, build confidence, educate, inspire, stimulate new perspectives on life (as well as break some of the stigmas surrounding those who have Bipolar Disorder).

My life is not picture perfect by any means and you’ll find that out sooner than later as I share some of the battles that I’ve both won and lost. I go up and I come down, this is my life and I am trying to make the most of it.

As in any tale… the protagonist (a.k.a. me for this blog) needs a trusted side kick with a valiant heart. This ladies and gentlemen is non other than my loveable loyal fur-baby (YES, I went there calling her my baby) She is a ferocious 4lbs Chihuahua, with all bark and no bite. I don’t know what I would do without her but fear not! I’ll dedicate a post all of its own explaining how she’s changed my life for the better… BUT until that post comes, allow me to introduce her by name – my little Nutmeg.

Welcome to my journey of happily ever after.

– Steph