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.


I've been away for a while, but I'm back!

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I have been away from the blog for a couple of weeks but now I am back.  

Over the last couple of weeks, I was not in the best place mentally. I was not well.  I could feel myself, falling into a downward spiral of instability and dysfunction. To be quite honest I did something that as I look back on was so detrimental to myself and my health.   I am just glad that I was able to take control of the situation and get back on track. About a month or so ago I made the wise decision to stop taking my medication. I use the word wise in the most sarcastic way possible.  At the time, I thought that this was the right thing to do. I thought that I would be good. I thought that I would be fine, and still feel happy, content, and stable without the medication. I was wrong.

What I did not realize in the moment that I made that decision, was that the medication was doing what it was supposed to do for me.  It was supposed to make me feel content, stable, and leveled out. As soon as the medication, started to leave my body I could feel the level of tension rise, my patience run paper thin, and my irritation go from 0 to 60 in 10 seconds flat. I slowly fell into a pit that was filled with anger, shame, and thea flurry of symptoms that my bipolar disorder would quickly remind me of.  


I’m glad that this happened.  This needed to happen.

I had to see for myself, how important my medication is for me and how it helps me so very much.  I had to see the contrast in my behavior when I am on medication, and when I am not on medication. I needed to know that I can recognize when I am in a mental health crisis and when I need to reach out for help.  This was a necessary detour on my mental health recovery journey so that I could gain just a bit more information about myself and how my condition affects me.


For weeks, I was conflicted on whether or not I would mention this happening.  But I decided to speak about it for several reasons: 1) I needed to be honest with myself and my mental health care providers, 2) I had  accept the fact that I do take medication, and it has helped achieve many of my goals and move towards the life that I want and deserve, and 3) I know that I am not alone in this situation.  


I try to take away something from every situation that I find myself in and this one is no different.  

Here is the bottom line for me: There is nothing wrong with taking medication. My brain is an organ that needs help and my medication does exactly that.  I have also learned that I cannot be so hard on myself when I make a mistake. I am in control, and I can also prevent myself from making a downward spiral.  


Having a Mental Illness Made Me A Better Person

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Having a Mental Illness Made Me A Better Person

When I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and anxiety over 4 years ago, I thought that it was the end of the world.  Because of the stigma and negative images portrayed about people with mental health disorders, I too believed the awful narratives.  I did not of course, want to be one of them.  I know that was a terrible way of thinking but, it was from lack of knowledge and information.

For years I was in denial about my illness. 

I did not want to admit having an illness that so many viewed in such a negative way. After years of partially maintaining my illness, it did not yield the results that I desired.  I wanted to live a normal life and “be okay”.

Last year I made a vow to myself.  I vowed to take my mental health seriously.  This included going to therapy on a regular basis (once a week) and seeing my psychiatrist at least every 8 weeks.  What I did not realize when I started on this new path, what I was in for. I hoped that I would feel better but never in a million years did I think that I would feel like a brand-new person.

In additional to learning the coping skills needed maintain my illness…….

I also dealt with many of the issues that had plagued my past.  As much as I denied dealing with these issues, dealing with them really helped me.  I began seeing things more clearly, developed a greater relationship with myself, and increased my self-awareness and self-love. 

I do believe that had I not received my diagnosis, I would not have had the chance to really take the time to focus on my mental health and my past issues.  I truly believe that my mental illness has made me a better person, and I am so grateful for it. 

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The Power in Affirming

The Power in Affirming

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Mental health recovery all begins with a decision.  A decision to begin taking care of your mental health and peace of mind.  It can however take a long while to get to the decision to want to start on this journey.  This is by no means an easy task and you are not “healed” overnight.  This is a process that takes time and will require work and maintenance as time goes on.

When I decided to take my mental health seriously, I really did not know what I was in for.  I knew that I was tired of being a mess, I knew that I was tired of the up and down mood swings and feeling like I was out of control all the time.  I knew that I needed to be in control of myself, my body and that was the first step for me.  Knowing that I wanted something different. 

For Years, I was so used to being unstable…….

For years, I was so used to being unstable, that when I finally got into a routine in the early moths of my journey, I felt “funny”.  I had never been stable before and it made me feel strange, I felt like I was a different person.  I wasn’t a different person, it was still me, but I was experiencing a sense of calm and stability that I had never ever really know before.  That was a huge adjustment.  Eventually I began to like it.

As I became more, and more comfortable with my newfound person, and this stable frame of mind, I was able to think more clearly, and rationally and not fly off the handle in 0.2 seconds.  This was amazing, and whatever I needed to keep this feeling, I was going to make sure that I maintained. 

Once I reached a place of stability, I was then able to deal with all the negative things that I and my anxiety had told myself over the years.  Anxiety is a big ass liar.  Oh, it made me second guess my intelligence, my abilities, and it wreaked havoc on my self-image and self-esteem.  Enough was enough. 

I wanted to pull myself out of the pattern of negative thinking………

I wanted to pull myself out of the pattern of negative thinking, and that was one of the many things that I worked on with my therapists help.  What helped me, and is still helping me to this day, is my affirmations.  I speak to myself on a regular basis, but I try to use the kindest words that I can.  I even use my affirmations when I am taking about myself to other people, that’s how much I think they help.  I do have different affirmations for different situations, but my two favorites are “All will be well” which I borrowed from Aunty O, and “I am fucking awesome”, and that’s because well, I am LOL! 

These are the affirmations that I have chosen that are working for me right now, they may change and that is okay.  I think that the moral of the story here is to affirm how powerful, smart, and awesome you are.  You can be all those things despite your diagnosis. 

I created a special workbook called the Affirm and Reflect workbook. This is a free downloadable workbook that includes 5 affirmations, and 5 reflections.  This workbook is designed to get you into the habit of using affirmations and getting more in tune with yourself. To get your free copy, click on the link below.

 bit.ly/affirmreflect

I hope you enjoy!

That’s all for now !

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