No Action is Still an Action

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I never really understood what “No action is still an action” meant.

 It took awhile to figure out what that quote actually meant. I knew that I had a mental health condition for several years before I decided to actually take the steps to make my life and my mental health better.  I thought that by taking no action, my mental health would somehow magically get better. It didn’t dawn on me at that point that I was in control of my mental health and my mental health recovery. I thought that I was doomed  and accepted this fate that was less than I wanted and deserved. “No action is still an action” was actually the motto that I lived my life by when my mental health was not a top priority. I made a conscious effort over the years when I was not well not to make an action, and that is still an action.  

I have had so much time over the last 2 years that I have been in recovery to think about some of the situations that have occurred during the course of my journey.  

There were so many times when the idea of taking the steps to act scared me, and made me super uncomfortable, so in my mind, doing nothing was better for me and it kept me in my comfort zone.  

Believe it or not, we are in control even when it feels like the cards are stacked against us.  We have a choice, we can either take action or remain still. The thing about taking action is that it will bring you outside of your comfort zone.  Comfort zones can be a place of anxiety and uneasiness for me.


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.


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?


Rumination!  It's Exhausting

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How naive was I to think that anxiety just caused me to worry constantly.  

I really did think, )years before my recovery journey) that anxiety only caused constant worry.  Not regular worry like forgetting something off of your grocery list, but major worry. Many times about things that were highly unlikely to happen.  I would worry about romantic relationship problems, when I was not even in a relationship. Or another example would be to worry about a conflict that had not happened.  I thought about what the conversation would sound like with the other person, and then on top of all of that, I would be upset by the outcome of the imaginary conflict. I just came up with scenario after scenario and over and over I would worry so much about things that were not even a problem.  


Now, I do have quite an imagination, but these thoughts were always unpleasant and I ended up upsetting myself after having these thoughts.  There was a time when the harder I thought the more upset I would get and I would display physical symptoms because of this. I would feel nauseous, have headaches and things like that.  It was pretty out of control. Little did I know that for all of those years I was ruminating. According to Psychology Today ruminating is “simply repetitively going over a thought or problem without completion. The repetition and feelings of inadequacy raises anxiety and anxiety interferes with solving the problem.”  In other words, I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Ruminating is exhausting.  

I was caught in a loop of stress and anxiety and would focus on the negative, instead of the positive.  I say it all of the time and I am going to say it again. Maintaining a mental illness is a lifestyle change.  One of the major lifestyle changes is mindset which is so important. When we change our thoughts, we train our brains to look for the positive as well as seek out solutions.  


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Everyday Warriors: Fiona Barker

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I want to fill you in on a little secret.

 I LOVE to see people who were diagnosed with mental health disorders living the lives that they want and deserve.  We are here to live out our dreams. We are in charge of that, for ourselves. For years, I was in a closet of shame and I was afraid to come out.  I didn’t know that there were others like me who had careers, families, dreams, oh yes and mental illness. I was so brainwashed by the shame and stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness.


Whenever I come across amazing “Everyday Warriors”  I get so excited, that I have decided to share their stories with you.  The more people that come forward regarding their mental health challenges, the more normalized the conversation of mental health and mental will become.

I met Fiona Barker on social media a couple of months ago.  She is a designer based in the UK and started her own business called Fiona Barker Design.  She creates inspirational illustrations that promote positivity in the home. She also has anxiety.  The reason why I was drawn to Fiona and wanted to share her story is for several reasons: 1) She is a talented creative woman, 2) She took a chance on herself and started her own business, and 3) She is very open about her struggles with anxiety and how she copes with it.  I love this! And I love people who are examples of my motto “Living Your Best Life Despite a Diagnosis”.


Fiona created a magazine called “Being Yourself” Magazine.  

In the magazine, she talk about her anxiety and what she does personally to combat the feelings of overwhelm, and anxiety, among other things.  I invite you to take a look at the magazine. We can all learn from each other, and she shares some great advice in this issue.


Click here to see the magazine!


I also invite you to follow Fiona on Instagram where she is sharing sneak peaks of her work, her cute dog and her life.  She is a true example of not letting a diagnosis stop you!


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