It’s Time to Forgive Yourself

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The ups and downs of dealing with a mental illness can be like riding on a roller coaster.  

The highs and lows can be very unpredictable. In the years before I was diagnosed, I had done some things that I was not proud of.  I would beat myself up and then never “let it go” or forgive myself for what I had done. This alone was exhausting to me. During a bout of mania that I had, I spent over $200k.  Yes, that’s right, $200k. Once the mental fog had subsided and I realized what I had actually done, I was so mortified. I would take it a step further and say that I was disgusted with myself.  How could I squander away so much money and not even realize what I had spent most of the money on.


Giving myself the benefit of the doubt was something that I had never been accustomed to doing.  

But when I looked at my situation more closely I had to show myself a little more compassion than I had done over the years.  I was a 24 year old young parent, who had just lost her parent and caregiver. I found myself in a very traumatic situation and had not dealt with my grief and loss at all.  To some on the outside, it looked like I was just out of control, but as I looked at my situation more and more there were definitely some signs that I needed help.

For the longest time,

I was unable to forgive myself and show myself any compassion because of the things that I had done. The money was the largest one for me. Little did I know that carrying around all of this frustration and anger with myself over this money that was long gone was not going to help me.  In fact it was going to be a large hindrance to me. It was. I had to let go. Letting go would be one of the steps that would lead me into the direction of awareness and recovery. It took a long time.  When I say a long time, I mean a really long time, but I was able to let go of it and forgive myself. I also take this experience as something that I can learn from and what’s better than that.


Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone, But How?

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How Many Times have you heard someone say that?  

Just step outside of your comfort zone, and you thought to yourself, that sounds great and all but how do I do that? I can tell you that I have been one of those people who had that very same response.  Gurus and coaches all tell you that stepping outside of your comfort zone is a step in the direction towards “living your best life” ! Another term that sounds great but actually confused the hell out of me when I first heard it.  


As you may or may not know, I have been on my mental health journey, for 2 years now.  

This journey for me has doubled as a self-awareness and self-discovery journey. It has been filled with ups, downs, highs, and lows.  I have learned so much about myself, and this is literally one journey that I would never want to change. It has been life changing. I had to go through a journey of self-awareness to discover what my hopes, dreams and desires.  This allowed me to discover my comfort zone and the area just beyond that region. That area is where all of the magical things would happen, That is what I had heard so many times before and now it was time to start testing this theory out.


I was, for so many years accustomed to doing with friends or family.  

If I wanted to go to an event or restaurant, I would see who I could get to go along with me to make my experience more enjoyable (so I thought) and definitely more comfortable.  It was almost unheard of to go anywhere alone. It was just something that I had never really done. I mean, I would of course go to work alone, but that was about it. I truly let others dictate my flow and my enjoyment.  If I didn’t have a buddy to roll with, I guess I was not going.


About a month ago I heard about a Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit that was taking place in NYC that I really wanted to see.

 I asked my friends if they wanted to go and of course they agreed. Here was the problem, the show was sold out until the end of the exhibit.  But, I decided on a whim that I was going to get on the waitlist to see if I could get a ticket to the show. I figured that it was a long shot and that it probably was not going to happen.  Well, guess what, it happened! I got a wait list ticket email at 11pm last Thursday night for Friday afternoon. I didn’t realize this until Friday morning but I was in! I was excited and anxious and this was totally out of my comfort zone.  


Needless to say, I had a really great time.  

Once I got to the gallery, the anxiety had subsided.  I learned something about comfort zones on this trip to the city.  When you allow yourself to stay within comfort zones, people can unintentionally control you and your destiny.  So it is so important to be mindful of what it is that you want at all times. It is okay if your wants and dreams change, but the most important thing is that you are in control.  You are in control.


Let’s Stop Living in Fear and Mediocrity

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It is so disheartening  how things like our anxiety stop us of from living the lives that we want and are destined to lead.  

So much of managing anxiety in my experience has been awareness and acknowledgement. I acknowledge when I am anxious and what causes me to become anxious, and I am aware on how to walk myself through the process.  This was something that that took over twenty years to uncover, and I am still a work of progress in that area. But the key is that I am working on it.


For years I envisioned the type of life that I wanted to lead:  

I wanted to eat healthy, exercise, wear beautiful clothes, have an interesting job, and do fun and interesting things with the people that I cared about.  I could see these images for my life in my mind. But my fear and anxiety stopped me dead in my tracks. It was almost as if there was something telling me “Who do you think you are to want to live this kind of fabulous life”!  And I listened to a degree, for many years I settled for mediocrity and left the vision that I had for myself and my life buried in the back of my mind.


All of this changed when I made the decision to take control of my mental health and make my treatment a top priority.  This is when I began to see all of the possibilities that I had available to me. My life was not to be lived from a place of mediocrity and fear.  I was responsible for being bigger than my fear and anxiety.

I never realized how much power I really did possess.

I also realized that my mindset was so important in the maintenance of my mental health disorder.  Of course I am going to have bad days. Hell, everyone has them, but I can live that life that I dreamed about so much, even with crippling anxiety and bipolar disorder.  My message to the world is this: If I can do it, so can you!

So tell me here in the comments, are you ready to stop living in fear and mediocrity?