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


Just Live A Little


My oh my. 

I’m currently working on making the most of my life. Recently I had someone walk into my life, mind you I showed them the exit… BUT for the brief time they were in my life they caused me to re-evaluate how I was living it. I am the most stable I’ve ever been – this is a fact. But there is more than just being stable. More than just holding the status quo.

I’ve done things in my life, but I haven’t all at the same time. Living was such a struggle for so many years I feel like my life was a bit of a write-off. Perhaps I haven’t completely escaped the mentality of just surviving. 

But I’m here. I’m alive and I want my life to reflect that.

I was asked about my bucket list and I only had 2 things to list off. On top of that the two ideas weren’t even that creative! 

That just won’t do.

Over the course of two weeks I developed a bucket list. Or rather “lists”. One list outlines things I would like to do over the course of 2017/2018, and the other lists things I’d like to do in a lifetime. I’m trying to step outside of my box, escape the mundane routine I’ve created. Add a little bedazzle. Spice things up. You get the idea.

I’m really proud of my list, it took quite a bit of effort to create it. 

It’s so easy to get into a routine, routine is good don’t get me wrong BUT there should be more. More to life. Where did my exploratory nature go? Where is my sense of adventure?

I was going thru a bit of depression the past while, feeling trapped. But I realized I was the one putting myself in the cage or like I referred to it earlier – a box. I was the one restricting myself, no one else.

When you feel trapped you are the only one who can free yourself, whatever that situation may be.

Escaping our box is a choice, and most often it requires that we put in effort and feel a bit uncomfortable. And why must we feel uncomfortable? Because my dear friends, we are stepping outside of our norm and its the price we must pay.

And when I say I want to live life I don’t mean I need to climb Mount Everest or backpack thru Europe, not saying I’d turn down the opportunity.  What I’m talking about is reading books, going to museums and art galleries, taking guitar lessons, joining a choir, going to a paint night (which I just did … my painting was terrible! But I had fun making it, and that’s what it’s all about), simple yet impactful things that will add dimension to my life. 

Dimension that’s my objective. I want to have something to talk about, things to look forward to. I want to meet people, enrich my life with perspective. Expand my way of looking at life and take advantage of the life I’ve been blessed with.

I want to be an actively engaged in my life rather than passively letting it pass me by.

I feel so passionately about this new outlook on life, I feel alive and excited for what is to going to happen because of me making it happen. 

Ask yourself if you are trapped in routine, feeling like life is escaping you – then make a list. Make a list of things outside of your box and start doing them.

It’s been a big year for me. Lots of new chapters with school ending, me getting my dream job, a couple of toads crossing my path. I feel like in my life’s story is picking up its pace and it’s only going to get better! 

Stop thinking about all the things you’d like to do. Take action and do them. Liberate yourself from the box you live in and add dimension to your life. Stay stable but add a little bedazzle. 

– Steph

Today’s The Day

Today is the day.

I start my practicum today. I’ll be working in a law firm downtown. I’ve always wanted to work downtown- it’s just always seemed so glamorous.

I went shopping and updated my closet (which was of course totally necessary), I bought a boss-power-woman purse to fit my day planner, notebook and water bottle in. I have a head jam packed with information from school and I’m hoping it will translate into something useful when I get to work. I’m ready to rock this!

A couple of years ago I would never have dreamed I’d be where I am today – feeling happy. I feel like I’m actually getting a grip on my life. 

It hasn’t been easy BUT all the effort has been worth it. Going to appointments with my psychiatrist and psychologist, my commitment to taking my medication even if it felt like it was infringing on my plan to stay up or go out. Trying to eat right, sleep enough, and exercise. It all adds up.

*side note – has that ever happened to you? The overwhelming feeling of frustration for taking your medication and having to immediately go to bed because you know it makes you tired, groggy and/or nauseous otherwise. Ugh. – end of side note*

I’ve had bad days, bad weeks, but I’ve also had great days and great weeks. It all goes hand-in-hand. The key is to not dwell on the bad days. To let them come and let them go. To not throw away all the progress you’ve made because you are in the depths of despair for a period of time, even if it feels like forever

That’s something I’ve had to talk to my dear doctor about. I was constantly questioning all the progress I made because of how unsettled I’d be during my lows. But they are just lows – I have bipolar – they happen. It’s how I deal with them, how I manage myself while they happen that matters. And frankly some days getting out of bed was the best I could do – heck some days breathing was the best I could do. But I did it! Such simple actions added to my progress, they didn’t take anything away from it.

It can be blinding when you feel nothing but emptiness or sadness. It tricks you into thinking that, that’s all you are capable of feeling; anything else is unattainable. BUT that’s not the truth. You are capable of feeling so much more, life can offer us so much more than pain, misery and sadness. We just need to persevere through the dark days and work for it – yes I said work for it. 

We need to work for our happily ever after. In any fairytale you’ve ever read, the happily ever after never once occured before work was put in. It’s just not how it works. So why would our life’s story be any different?!

It’s so easy to sit back and do nothing. And what happens when we do nothing? NOTHING! NOTHING HAPPENS! 

How morbidly depressing – of course you would feel sad about life and uninspired if nothing ever occurred, if you were left stagnant and unchanging. Thats were self-loathing starts to fester. Without a little bit of effort how do you expect to be happy.

Being happy is an action. So it requires action.

Our life has a purpose. A divine purpose and we have a direction – 


Our direction is forward.

Ups and downs are a part of life – bipolar or not. Healing is a process and we are stronger than we think. We can take one step at a time and we will get our footing eventually. And even when we do we still might stumble and fall BUT we’ll pick ourselves up and keep going. 

Today is a result of me moving forward. I encourage you to look at your life and where you want to be and muster up the courage to take your first step in that direction and once you do don’t stop (maybe rest a little at times BUT don’t stop). You can do this. That’s the majesty of life – anything is possible. 

– Steph


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 


Step One

Such beautiful words. With so much truth behind them. 

A new week is upon us, with infinite opportunities and all we need to do is take the first step. We don’t need to know the entire staircase, we don’t need to know how long before we reach the top – all we need to know is that we will reach it if we take one step at a time (sometimes we may even take 2 or 3 steps depending on the day)

Has anyone ever done the stairmaster – it’s a creation designed to torture mankind… just kidding it’s a glorious machine that can create buns of steel BUTT …. I mean BUT in order to do that you need to take the first step on it’s never ending staircase. Sometimes the goal is 50 flights of stairs sometimes it’s 100, sometimes it’s 20 minutes and sometimes it’s until you can’t feel your legs any more. Regardless to the goal, the only way to succeed is to take the first step and then taking it one step at a time subsequently. 

This week take the first step towards a goal you’ve been dreaming about starting. Just do it. Take the first step to loving yourself a little better. Take the first step to going for a walk outside to get some fresh air ( there have actually been studies that tell us having exposure outside for 10 minutes can improve our mood… fancy fact… I’m not saying it will cure the mood but it may help even just a little… Something to do with the uv rays)

Take the first step to change. Take the first step to improve. Take the first step to treat yourself better (and make sure others treat you better too). Take the first step to find your self worth, for yourself. Take the first step and then take it one step at a time after. Breathe and pace yourself. You can do it.

Here’s to a new week of new opportunities, all we need to do is take the first step. And as you go up the staircase just think how strong you are becoming with each new step – each step is redefining who you are and what you are capable of and don’t forget it.

– Steph


Boiling Point

We all have a boiling point and truth be told it’s okay to be angry. That’s something I’m working on it.

Perhaps the notions sounds silly BUT without a word of a lie, that was the task delegated to me today from my doctor.

My problem with anger is that I always turn it inwards. I never just let myself be angry at the person or situation. I don’t know how to just be angry without harping on myself. Which ultimately turns into me getting down on myself and getting depressed – not angry.

 Stupid is usually the word that comes to mind once I get “angry”.But I’m not stupid – I have every right to feel angry whether it’s actually a valid reason in the eyes of the world or not. If I’ve felt wronged I can be angry about it – simple as that.

The key is to let the anger in so that you can let it out. That way it’s not festering within you. Anger is one of the steps to grieving. True story.

I thought I grieved and got past my anger but the truth is I didn’t and how my doctor (and I) can tell is, it’s like a boomerang I’m angry at myself over and over again for the same reason- 

Key word angry at me not the person who wronged me … Somehow he alway seems to be off the hook and I’m left with mess all on my own even though I didn’t make it.

Nothing about that cycle tells me that I’ve directed the real anger where it needs to go; otherwise I would be able to let it go. And so far I can’t. It’s been futile.

And let me clarify that feeling anger is VERY different then acting on it. Don’t do that, acting in anger is a recipe for disaster. 

So with this all being said, what I’m trying to do is encourage you to reflect and ask yourself if you’re sincerely letting yourself feel angry (which is healthy) or if your doing what I do – turning the anger inwards (you don’t deserve that) boomeranging and come back over and over for the same reason.

Think on it and make the conscious decision to let it come so it can go. The sooner we learn how to do this the happier we’ll be… so I’m told. But who am I kidding that theory makes perfect sense.

– Steph