Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mental Health Diaries - Limbo

Let's talk openly for a bit.

I have anxiety.

And depression...

In fact, I have a whole slew of mental health issues bundled up in a little two-faced package called Bipolar II.

I don't feel sorry for myself. Nor do I feel isolated. Having a name for the "thing" that causes me to not feel myself is actually quite helpful. Not only do I recognize that Bipolar, not my soul, my essence, is to blame for my irrational mood shifts, but I don't feel as alone. I know I am not the only person who is chained to this "thing" that I must manage in order to maintain my functionality.

What I do recognize is that I have limitations. As much as I would love to follow through with all the dreams and plans that I have, I now understand that some of them simply will not be possible. I also realize that I have been putting off facing some big fears...

There is definitely a stigma surrounding mental illness. I don't blame people for this. Mental illness is scary and unknowable, two things humans are very uncomfortable with. However, not talking about mental illness only makes things more crazy, more irrational, more unsafe. That is why I am willing to share my struggles with mental illness in appropriate contexts. I am not afraid to discuss the illness itself, but I am afraid of its impact on my life.

Life with Bipolar is like living in an "either or" illusion. 
Things are all good or all bad.
It's very difficult to see these things at the same time.

I am afraid of becoming too tied to responsibilities, not because I am lazy, but because I don't want to let people down.

I can't handle nearly as much stress as I once did, and that makes me feel both less valuable and more vulnerable. I don't want to be the "idiot" who can't handle life and bursts into tears because of a stress over paperwork. I don't want to be the person who can't look supervisors in the eye because of generalized anxiety which makes me feel like a criminal for no good reason.

After a long, very stressful family situation, my stress meter suddenly felt "broken." This was my first manifestation of Bipolar. It was as if the nervous butterflies that reside in the stomach were set loose in my head and I was spending every waking minute trying to put them back into their cage. I quit my job and spent lots of time trying to rebuild who I was after hitting rock bottom.

In order to manage Bipolar, it is crucial not to become overly stressed. Every person has a different measure of stress they can handle before inducing a flare. Sometimes, my life seems like a minefield of "flares." Eat grains, get a lupus flare. Forget to take your supplements, get a CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) flare. Get too stressed, get a Bipolar flare.

I definitely don't have any of these illness as seriously as some, thank God, because I have a DEDICATED Mamma who has done her research and helped me get back on my feet. But, I still have to learn how to provide and take care of myself. I need to find something I can do that is fulfilling, doable, and profitable. That can be a scary thought...

I absolutely trust God to give me strength and energy and opportunity. But, that doesn't make facing the monsters less scary. They still need to be faced. Even as I type this out, I am fighting back tears. I know I was made to be strong, to help other people, but it is so frustrating sometimes to be fighting secret battles behind a smile.

For years now, I have been in limbo. School was put on hold, my career has been put on hold, my whole life was put on hold! And now it seems I've grown accustom to the elevator music, to the point where I've made up a dance. I've gotten used to living in the hallways, watching other people enter and exit doors that don't seem to be meant for me. But there is no real living in the hallways, only the observance of life. It's time to live. Even if I am scared. It's time to step out of limbo...

If you are on a similar journey, please let me know! We are all in this together, unless we stay silent.

Much love,

Monday, June 12, 2017

Continuous Baby Steps

I am very excited... Why?

Well, I can't tell you... Not just yet...

However, this year is shaping up to be amazing! I am getting so many new artistic opportunities, and I can't wait to share them all with you! But for now, just remember, a forward moving life is one of continuous baby steps in the right direction.

Keep moving forward loves, we can do this thing!

PS: Found a new website about 10 seconds ago while looking up the photo in this post. It's a great blog called https://defyingshadows.com/ Check it out!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Book Review - Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good

Just finished this book by Jan Karon last week. The cover really caught my eye at the library, and I had been looking for something that was written in a modern setting without exploding buildings, vampiric teenagers, or unrealistic relationship scenarios. Here is my review on Good Reads.com, a site which I highly recommend you join if you want to join a readers community and get good recommendations for your reading list! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Late Night, Incohesive Thoughts That Feel a Lot Like Tumblr...

Hello World,

These are just some candid thoughts coming to you from a late night thinker.

First of all, I should be sleeping. After all, tomorrow is my last day on the catering job that I am quitting, and I want to be in a good mood to say goodbye to everyone.

Why am I up so late... Oh, yeah,  probably a little too much chocolate before bed... Yep, WAY too much chocolate...

Speaking of chocolate, no more sugar. Ever again. It shall never pass between these lips. It's absolutely toxic, causes me anxiety, and makes my skin look and feel terrible. So no more, just in case you were wondering, dear future self, if you should cheat with that chocolate bar, the answer is no.

I wish I could be writing my story right now... Which story? Any of them... I can't wait until classes are out for the summer... I am going to do some serious writing this summer... I can feel it.

Got a desk. For free. God is good. My house/room/office is coming together, and whatever product comes out of this office has got to be amazing. Excellence, nothing less than excellence.

I love dance. I wish I could dance without hurting, but on this earth there is pain... Speaking of pain...

Working on mostly non-verbal ways of expression, especially when it comes to emotion like pain, happiness, joy, sadness, etc. Also ways to express virtue, like innocence. Visuals are powerful tools...

People are too often alone. They don't shoot the breeze anymore... There is a lack of the now, the present moment is too busy trying to be the future... People need to talk, to say little bits of nothing and everything, to dance, to touch, to be human. I want to bring back the tribal nature of human kind...
Alright, time to set the alarm. The fan is loud, boy is it hot in here... Wonder if I can buy a small air conditioner... Might cost a lot to run...

Take care dear world...


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