Protect Yourself 


I really needed this quote. 

It’s so easy to get caught up in someone – in their behaviour. 

We work so hard to find peace in ourselves to create peace in ourselves. Don’t let the behaviour of someone else destroy it. 

I have.

There have been times in my life where I’ve tried to normalize destructive behaviour. I’d make excuses for the individual because I wanted them to be in my life. 

But at what cost?

At the cost of me. And truth be told, it has never been worth it. 

I deserve more. You deserve more. 

We should never have to justify someone treating us poorly. It just shouldn’t happen. It’s so easy to tell yourself that things will be different. That they didn’t really mean it. 

But they did. 

Otherwise they wouldn’t have to apologize a hundred times for the same hurt they’ve caused you. That’s if they even apologize.

Reality is you can’t change someone. Sure you can identify that you want to help them be better – be happier. You can see their potential. And there is nothing wrong with that. It’s good. But, you can’t change someone and their behaviour, they can only do that for themselves. 

However, let them be in your life long enough and they can change you. They can destroy your inner peace. Hack away at your confidence. Get in your head. Make you the problem when you’re not. Things can get ugly when we allow someone toxic into our life.

Save yourself the suffering and walk away. 

Sure, give them the opportunity to change BUT know your limit. When you have a time frame it makes walking away so much more attainable. And when you walk away try your darndest to not look back (something I’m working on). They had their chance. And now it’s time that you got yours. 

You deserve a chance to be happy. A chance to have peace in your life.  A chance to be treated properly by someone else. 

There are billions of people in this world. You don’t need to let a single person ruin your happy. There are so many more that could add to your life instead of taking away from it.

Don’t justify destructive behaviour. Call it what it is. Identify the problem so you can solve it. 

Protect yourself. Protect everything you’ve worked for and don’t let anyone tear you down.

– Steph 

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Creative Juices 

I have a love for taking old things and turning them into something new. Specifically furniture, and yesterday I hit the jackpot!

Almost two years ago I went to a salvage yard and fell in love with a set of three chairs. Although, it would have been ideal if the set had a fourth chair, its absence did not deter me. I purchased the set and I think I paid all of $3.00. 

Because I moved back in with my parents I obviously didn’t have a need or space for three chairs, but they spoke to me and I couldn’t let them pass me by. My little sister graciously let me store them at her house (my poor parents have an apartment worth of things stored in their garage and shed).

Ever since that purchase I’ve been on the lookout for a suitable table and stool. And my dear friends, yesterday was the day. 

I went to a thrift store with my mom and there was a gorgeous…. correction… soon to be gorgeous… table. It’s honestly perfect! I paid $25.00 for it – what a steal!

After finding this table I was feeling lucky so I asked if we could go to the salvage yard to find the missing stool that would complete my set. Lo, and behold  I found the stool! 

Seriously what a day!

I now have a fantastic kitchen dining table and chairs. And soon enough I’ll move out and put them to good use.

My mom said we could store the table in one of our rooms in the house. She knows how badly I want to be on my own and how perfect this table will be for my apartment. It felt nice knowing she has confidence that I’ll be living on my own sooner than later.

The other week I went to a fabric store and found a beautiful fabric to use on my chairs (and now stool too). Talk about fate.

So everything has come together nicely and over the course of the next couple weeks I’ll be stripping, sanding, staining and, reupholstering my furniture into something new.

I love having a vision and watching it come to life. It’s so rewarding!

When I was younger I always wanted to do interior design. Refinishing furniture is partially how I get my fix. As well as decorating whatever space I’m permitted to.

I’m honestly so happy right now. I haven’t had a big DIY project in a long time. I’ll be taking some before and after photos and posting them on my blog so you can see how it all turns out. If it’s anything like what I’m seeing in my head I’ll be happy with the end result.

– Steph

Just A Little Bit More 


This is so important!

Believe in yourself and what you are worth and what you are capable of.

You are priceless.

And you can do anything you put your mind to. 

So often we under sell ourselves. 

But we need to believe in ourselves just a little bit more. Love ourselves a little bit more and then we will achieve so much more. 

I have been anxious about finding a job. I’m a new graduate with no experience aside from my practicum, and after I finished my practicum on May 26th I felt overwhelmed looking at all the job postings, because they were all requesting years of experience – which I don’t have. 

I applied anyway, I’m not going to lie and say I had bucket loads of confidence in myself BUT I did believe I had something to offer. 

Lo, and behold I got a call for an interview! I was super happy and excited. I went to the interview and I was super nervous BUT before I opened the door I put a big smile on my face, told myself I could do this and that they would love me and then I walked thru the door.

It’s all about how we talk to ourselves. If you tell yourself you are going to fail, you will fail. If you tell yourself you are going to succeed you will – even if it’s not on the first try.

I thought the interview went well and walked away proud of myself for giving it my all.

I’m happy to announce that this morning I was offered the position! This is my dream job and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! 

Believe in yourself and anything is possible.

Don’t give up hope. Believe in yourself just a little bit more and you will be able to get thru anything.

– Steph

Don’t Give Up

Sometimes life seems to be an endless uphill battle. If it’s not one thing it’s another. It’s exhausting. But regardless to this fact – don’t give up. 

If you fall down, get back up. Be relentless in your pursuit to achieve your goals. Do not accept failure -learn from it and keep moving forward. 

No one ever achieved anything by quitting. Sometimes I feel like my progress could be counted in a fraction of a fraction. Eventually – ever so slowly those fractions add up. But only if you keep on putting in the work.

Set goals for you health, spiritually, mentally, and physically. Take control of your health and never surrender to giving up on yourself. Don’t accept less than what you deserve – and you deserve to be happy.

Remind yourself – you deserve to be happy. This life isn’t a condemnation of lost causes.

Even when life appears to be at a stand still. Keep moving. Do what you can and the rest will fall into place. Words that I’m trying to live by. 

Right now I’m trying to escape a stand still in my life. I’m doing my best to keep moving forward. I have a feeling that my up hill battle will be taking place over the next little while, so I may be seemingly moving slowly BUT I have no doubt I’ll come out on top if I keep giving it my all. 

I just spent the entire day yesterday applying for positions in my given field. Being a new graduate is exciting, but applying to jobs that are requesting years of experience is daunting. It feels like a lost cause BUT I will keep at it, someone’s going to bite eventually and I’ll get my big break.

I’ll get a lot of NO’s before I get my YES. But I only need one and if I quit now that will never happen.

We all have to start somewhere. And we all have our own trials.

Just don’t give up. If you want something to happen- make it happen. Heck, cry if you need to BUT keep going. 

I might be a bit of a Negative Nancy right now feeling like my cloud 9 has turned into a tornado regarding different aspects of my life BUT I know it will all work out.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

What happily ever after ever happened without some opposition? Slowly but surely – onward!

– Steph

Let it go! Let it go!… Let Them Go!

I like to think I’m a pretty good friend, that being said lets delve into the topic of friendship and when a friendship should become void (because the reality is sometimes that needs to happen)

Being a “good friend” can often mistakingly turn people emotional punching bags and/or door mats. How in the world do we end up so far off  base? I think it has something to do us offering a sincere love… it’s defiantly fair to say that I’ve fallen victim to this.

Once upon a time I had a friend, I loved her dearly and always made sure I was there for her. She had experienced quite a bit of difficulty involving her family. And it’s definitely fair to say she had a lot of anger built up and a pretty low self esteem. So, as her friend I’d always try to reassure her that things would get better, I’d try to remind her of her positive qualities and strengths, she was incredibly beautiful and I’d express this to her as well since she’d always put herself down. Basically I was a support that she fell on heavily and eventually she exhausted the resources.

It’s not that I was incapable of continuously complimenting or reassuring her, or taking her to appointments and finding the silver lining in life… I could do that till the end of time for a friend who needed that extra boost. However, I was not willing to do be abused by her. She often lashed out not physically but verbally, and it wasn’t always at me. It came to a point where I felt like I was a walking apology… for everyone she came into contact to, waiters, cashiers, guys, my other friends, family… she found a need to verbally be aggressive and mean.

People literally would do nothing other than breathe BUT because of her negative experiences in life she felt like she had every right to loathe everyone … Even her compliments would be double edged… holding an insult in the same breath.

I completely understand and support getting friends through a rough time. I’m not one to jump ship and bail just because the going gets tuff. BUT when tuff turns purely into ruff… you should reevaluate the situation and friendship.

Ruff… for this posts sake is going to be dipicted as a “friend” who feels the need to fight with everything and everyone for no reason. Ruff is putting down people incessantly just so that they can feel better about themselves REGARDLESS to the fact they will continue to talk themselves down as well. Ruff is closing their heart to gratitude and instead fill it with hate and jealousy. Ruff is a ugly…  that just keeps getting uglier.

There came a point in my life where I was seeking goodness, positivity, respect, & silver linings… and this friend that I had for a numver of years had no desire to look or develop these attributes in her own life. I expressed that I could not and did not appreciate her slander of innocent people or myself just because she felt life had wronged her. Life is perfect for no one, I can testify to that myself.

We can choose to become bitter or better. She chose bitter. And there came a point where she was draining the happiness, the light, the good from me and never replenishing it. She brought drama that she always seemed to thrive on, and that was not and is not what I want in my life. So 4 years of friendship… came to an end. It was hard because we had been close and obviously shared good memories BUT it wasnt worth my health & happiness.
You can be there to help and support someone all you want BUT unless they want to help themselves… it’s futile.

After that particular friendship came to an end it opened room up space in my life to meet some amazing people, who I  gratefully call my dear friends today. Leaving that one friendship took away an immense amount of drama and stress. It took away her belittling me or insulting me when she felt like it… ultimatly it helped me work towards a happier life, which was exactly what I wanted.

I did not let this one individual dictate my happiness, I did not let this one experience make me afraid to open up and find another friend. Not everyone is “friend” material in your life BUT there are a select few and when you let go of the bad ones you’ll find space you never knew you had for the good ones.

Don’t twist yourself into thinking that you’re being “a good friend” by staying in someone’s life who uses and abuses your love. That is not a friendship. Friendhship is a two way street, if you uplift them then you better darn tootin’ expect them to uplift you. If not..  reconsider how you feel and if it’s worth it. Because you my deary are worth it.

Let go of unhealthy, to find healthy and happy.

-Steph

All You Need To Do Is Breathe

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Today is a work free day.

And sometimes we need to take days like today. No To Do Lists, No micro managing time, No appointments, No engagements to attend, No people to host, No expectations for being productive, No spending money… etcetera etcetera

Literally a day where all we are obligated to do is breathe. Isn’t that a scary nice thought. These days may be few and far in between BUT I think it’s important that when they occur we embrace them.

I read an article once about people who are literally addicted to “being busy”. Addicted … and what are the symptoms that illustrate such an addiction? Sadness and inadequacy… individuals who thrive off being busy, feel like they are a let down if every minute of every day isn’t filled with a task. “Me Time” is a waste of time. A waste of productivity.

Honestly, I think there are times when I get caught up and take my schedule to an unhealthy place (as mentioned above)… where the feeling is … that if I’m not doing something I’m a let down and lazy. BUT the reality is – I’m not.

I’ve read a lot of books about self- improvement and success and there is always a common recommendedation between all authors… and it’s “Me Time” at least an hour a day dedicated to oneself. Aside from the authors suggesting it, my doctors have also reiterated to me. Self care and that means learning to breathe, learning that things don’t have to be going 100 miles/min to show we are capable of life. Learning that our value is not based on our timetable. That’s how we burn out. How we raise anxiety. And just miss out on life in general. Life can’t be micro-planned & managed ….because life happens.

Obviously everyday can’t be a vacation, but you should give yourself a day every now and then. Just to breathe. For instance my cleaning will be done tomorrow, it could get done today BUT heck to the heazy NO! Today is just a breathe in and breathe out go with the flow day… I’ll schedule it in tomorrow.

I’ve been laying in my hammock writing this post enjoying the warm weather and listening to the water fountain in the lake behind my house. It’s peaceful and beautiful and my only responsibility is to enjoy it without looking at my watch.

Happy Wednesday,
Take In & Let Out a deep breath for me 🙂

– Steph

Medications – Who Needs Them?? PT 2

Keep Going

Continuing onward! Part 2

I entered 2011 taking the medication for anxiety and insomnia. I was apprehensive about taking medication, because in my head it was a form of weakness; It was a loud declaration that I was broken, and couldn’t fix myself; in my head – it took away my credibility. But, I took it … there was a part of me that wanted to stop fighting with myself, and there was a slim hope that maybe this medication could help.

I was doing okayish throughout 2011, I’d still have weeks where sleep would escape me and I was a ball of overwhelming energy (considerably impulsive), and then I’d hit lows that were hard to handle for everyone. I kept myself pretty isolated to the best of my ability (although I did enter a relationship it lasted 3 months and then I ended it, and then went on other dates with no commitment), the thought of anyone seeing my instability was far too much for me to handle.

I met with my doctor and told him I didn’t feel like my medication was helping me the way I thought it should, so he increased it. Did things change for me? No, not really, so I came up with a brilliant plan to make change! A fool proof plan! I was going to move! Give myself a fresh start, a clean slate, remove myself from the area that had seen my demise GO somewhere that I knew absolutely no one, so that I could finally be happy! I’d go to school, show myself and my parents, my sisters I was more than capable – and that my health history was just a hiccup it wasn’t as serious as everyone was making it. I was Stephanie after all!! So now I had to find a career…. a DENTAL HYGIENIST! PERFECT!!!!!!! I was on cloud 9, I would be a dental hygienist (the fact I can’t stand blood nor being in close proximity to  people… minor details right?? My plan was perfect)…. but where would I study ??? Well it was my lucky day! There was a private institution with a program for 21 months (I’d be able to make up for lost time!) AND it was only a plane trip away! That’s close enough right??!

So my plan was perfect! (it put me back on track with my life timeline) I had it all figured out in a matter of a week! Now that’s taking care of business, my family asked if I thought it was a good idea, voicing their concern of the distance and reiterating my dislike for blood …  of course I thought this was a good idea! No one was going to stop me! I applied and was accepted to school, I took out a student loan, found an apartment to rent so I could live on my own. I was unstoppable. I left and met my new city, new people, new school,  new curriculum, new environment…. not overwhelming at all……… okay maybe just a bit. BUT I was going to make this work!

And it did… for a while, I made friends (I started dating someone) I was passing my intense classes at school (we’re talking 7am-5-6pm with no less than 3 exams per week worth atleast 25%  of your final grade) Did I call home missing my family? Yes… I even called crying in the middle of the night because I was overwhelmed with being away from them… I can admit that. BUT holy…. my ups and downs that were usually a couple weeks each started cycling much more rapidly. Thank goodness it was almost Christmas break! I was flying home to see my family and I’d be able to see my doctor.

Higher dose, that was his cure, I told him about feeling super high, and then feeling unbelievably low (where suicide was a constant though) BUT antidepressants alone were the cure. I went back to school with my new higher dose, and things got ugly FAST! I was going up and down in a matter of days that eventually turned into hours, I felt like I was losing my mind and I couldn’t handle it,(I broke up with the bf) all of the friends I made started raising eyebrows, and getting suspicious because I wasn’t able to keep my smile up (fake or not). My normal 100 miles/minute self was struggling to stay peppy, heck I was struggling to stay awake because all I wanted to do was hide and stay safe with sleep; I wanted to sleep… or die. My “normal” was my manic, there was no middle ground at this point in my life, if I wasn’t over the top it meant I was in the lowest of lows, so my “normal” personality was extreme to everyone, but “that was me”, and up until this point I hid the lows pretty good… but there was no hiding now.

I was struggling bad! So I decided to see a counsellor hoping she could give me an explanation, she informed me she couldn’t diagnose me but what I expressed sounded similar to clients she had who were diagnosed with bipolar. Her recommendation was to go to emergency, it was the fastest way to see a psychiatrist who would be able to help me. (Throughout our session my stutter came out… go figure)

So I went to the hospital, and when I finally got to talk to someone, BAM my stutter came out again, I was so emotionally distraught it re-emerged…. I was put in an isolated room (it had carvings on the cream walls and table.. enough to make you feel crazy HECK  I’m pretty sure I was rocking back and forth trying to calm myself down … “movie-worthy cray cray patient”) , nurses came to talk to me, asking about my behaviours, thoughts, actions. (That morning before I went to the hospital  I had a shower, wrapped myself in a towel and crumpled to the floor – sitting there for hours crying then turning numb… absolutely numb which was happening more frequently) It’s hard to remember everything I said, but I do remember the look on their faces became more and more shocked…. hinting ever so slightly that my behaviours/thoughts were not per usual. I received a referral to a psychiatrist. And they put me on suicide watch, asking if I’d like to stay in the hospital, I said no. Nutmeg (my dog)  was with me and I didn’t want to leave her alone.

The next day I went to the hospital to meet with the psychiatrist, I met with the case nurse first, and started explain everything that happened and was happening, I  again had my stutter emerge and tears were streaming down my face, but when I looked up the nurse, she was crying with me. She gave my file to the psychiatrist and when I met her … more talking/stuttering took place BUT she came to a conclusion, that she didn’t do lightly; Bipolar II. There was finally a name to my rollercoaster!  And the medication I was on, was going to change!

**It’s ironic my mother had talked to me on the phone before my appointment; she told me about a girl she’d seen in an interview for a music competition. The girl had been diagnosed with bipolar, she was around my age, but what made my mom think of me in particular was this girl one day started stuttering – out of no where… I’m not saying there’s a connection between stuttering and bipolar, BUT I do think that this snippet of an interview was something my mom needed to see and tell me about. **

My mother was flown out by my dad to be with me (I have amazing parents). I hadn’t determined yet if I was staying or leaving school. But when my mom came, she stayed for a month. Every time she mentioned leaving I’d break down. I needed her around me… so I came to my conclusion I’d move back home.  Dental Hygiene was not for me.( We’d started cleaning in people’s mouths …. yahhhh not for me either)

I had made some close friends that I was quite sad to be leave BUT I knew I needed to be close to my family… everything was going to change and get better now………. yahhhhhhh no. I was just about to enter the eye of the storm.

I’ll write Pt 3 tomorrow… there was a lot that took place before I finally got the proper help I needed. Staying strong was the only option I had to survive although at the time I didn’t feel like I was strong – BUT not giving up on life; that automatically counts as strength. Remember that.

– Steph