Welcome!

 

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog! This blog is about living with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD. Yes, there may be some ups and downs however, I am committed to staying strength based and focusing on the gifts my challenges have given me. My hope is that by telling my story I can give hope to others who may be struggling. In addition to sharing my own experiences, I also plan on sharing recovery ideas and resources for getting help, as well as some arts and crafts and DIY projects. Enjoy my blog!

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A new celebration

As I was feeling very down earlier I was wondering what I could do for myself. At exactly midnight I arrived at the gym.

One of my goals for the next year was to focus on my health more. It seemed very fitting to start the next year working on just that.

I chose to honor myself by busting my butt and breaking my workout rules to push myself for 25 minutes. A minute for each year I have been alive. It just seemed right.

I am very proud of myself for starting things out in a positive way. Hopefully it’s a sign of what’s to come.

24 candles in the wind

My last hour before turning 25 I find myself reflecting on my life so far. Unfortunately, at the moment I am feeling very sad inside. I hope when I wake up tomorrow I feel more excitement. Thinking about my life so far and how I have been feeling lately is somewhat depressing for me. A lot has happened, and I have come so far yet feel somewhat dead inside. Normally this time of year I am beyond manic and pretty much out of my mind yet this year I seem to be somewhat depressed.

 

 

It’s frustrating because I do not want to feel this way, but I can’t seem to get out of this funk. Lately it seems like all my short comings have been thrown in my face and I feel like a terrible person. Even though I know that I am not a terrible person. I feel like I am letting down those closest to me and that I have just become a big disappointment. The past couple days I have been wondering what I am doing wrong and why I can’t seem to feel. Maybe it is trauma from this time of year forcing me to be numb. Maybe it’s because I have a premonition that something will happen to ruin my birthday yet again. Maybe it’s me not being able to face the reality that need to get my shit together and the fear of not being able to. Maybe it’s all the above.

 

 

 

I do not know what I can or need to do to try and make myself feel better. Part of me thinks I need to go through this struggle right now so I can grow through what I go through. When I am at my lowest and deserve it, the least is when I need the most love, compassion, and understanding. It feels like I am not getting that at the moment. Some of the people I am close to are telling me to calm down, which just makes me shut down and hold everything in, and to try harder to take care of myself. I feel like I am not allowed to be having a hard time and that I need to hide it. It’s incredibly lonely. I need someone to meet me where I am at, tell me that it’s OK, give me a big hug and just some extra compassion and understanding.

 

 

 

Due to my past bad history with birthdays I really do not feel like celebrating mine anymore. Maybe that is the trauma making me feel like I don’t deserve to celebrate my life. I know that is not true though. There is this constant war going on in my head between the bad, scary, self-destructive thoughts and my own truths that I hold. This battle is constant and is becoming unbearable. Slowly the dark side is winning. My truths about myself are becoming more and more fuzzy and seem to be slipping away.

 

 

 

My hopes for the next year are inner peace, healing, good health, strong recovery, flourishing relationships, financial stability, understanding, love, compassion, and self-acceptance and hope. These won’t all come at once, but I hope that the pieces slowly start falling together. This past week especially has tested my faith and made me question the hope I once had. Things will not get better overnight but I do believe that I have survived so many terrible things in the past 24 years, there is no way that 25 is going to break me.

The tides of life

The past few weeks have been challenging. So far my biggest challenge is not being able to sleep. Family drama adding to the stress.

With my birthday coming up I have been brutally reminded that nothing will work out how I hope. I finally got excited and made plans and then got reminded that I work. I didn’t take that well because it takes a lot for me to get excited about my birthday.

Now that my plans are shattered I have no desire to celebrate anything this year. Every year this happens. One disappointment after the other. Being surrounded by family that have been verbally abusive towards me at times during the past few days and all my plans falling through has made me very depressed the past few days. It’s been a challenge to feel hopeful and excited.

I want to get through the next week, catch up on sleep, and feel like I am able to somewhat meet my needs and take care of myself.

I am going to celebrate my birthday the best I can with my family and then plan some way to celebrate my birthday with the people who are close to me. I’ve been trying to tell myself if I find a way to celebrate me in a way that builds me up and reminds me of all my good qualities and strengths it can be easier this year. Planning that has been a challenge.

So here is to hoping my birthday turns out to be better than the train wreck it’s becoming, celebrating me on my own terms in my own way, healing, and finding hope again.

The weight of vunerability

I do not normally post about some of the things I endured when I was growing up but today I am not doing myself any favors if I do not.

 

 

Today has been a bit of a difficult day for me. I have been feeling very anxious and vulnerable. November is the most difficult month for me. This time of year, should be exciting and a time for celebration with my birthday coming up but the truth is I don’t enjoy my birthday. I can’t.

 

 

 

Growing up my family from Germany would visit and when they would, especially my dad, I endured horrible physical, emotional, and mental abuse. Two days before my fourteenth birthday my dad strangled me and to this day says he had to defend himself against me to justify his actions. This time of year, I have to talk to him because he calls my grandparents and they hand me the phone. It’s easier to just suck it up and talk to him than risk getting into another huge fight where I am blamed for tearing the family apart.

 

 

 

I love my grandparents with all my heart and can forgive the things they have done because I know that they do not know any better and that they really do love me and want me to succeed. I am very close with them. My dad is a different story. He has always blamed me, no matter how young I was. He still thinks he has done nothing wrong and tries to say that my bipolar made me make all of this up. That is just his narcissistic way. I know that I am the child and he is the adult and that everything he has done to me is not my fault. I refuse to let him change my view on what I know with my entire being is the truth so that he can feel better about himself. Abuse has been accepted in my family, talking about it is when it’s not. That is where I break the mold. I will talk about it. I will not let him twist what happen or try to down play the truth. It ends with me. I am breaking the cycle because I know it is wrong. We have so many generations of this happening and everyone acts like it’s OK. It’s not.

 

 

 

This month is so hard and filled with so many memories. I am proud of who I have become and that I stood up for myself against him and finally started talking about what was done to me. That was my best kept secret. I didn’t tell anyone about this until earlier this year, not even my therapists. I do not want the cycle of painful Novembers to continue. I want to celebrate myself and how far I have come. I do not know where to start or how to properly celebrate myself, but I do know that this year I am choosing to do good things for myself in hopes of overshadowing the past.

 

 

 

I feel so much this time of year. I feel so raw and vulnerable. I feel so much pain and disappointment and worries of what is yet to come. It feels like I carry this burden with me everywhere I go. It weighs so heavily. I wish I could say that I am no longer afraid and that things will only get better, but the truth is I am afraid. I worry that he may try to physically hurt me again, I do know that if he tries anything he would get a royal ass whooping because I have spent years preparing for if that day were to come. I just want to be free. This is the biggest power play in my life and it will not end until one of us is no longer here. Until then the best I can do is try to play nice while standing up for myself and hope for the best.

 

 

 

I want this year to be special for me. He has put me through so much and so has life. I deserve to celebrate myself with people who love me and support me. I have such a beautiful life and so many incredible people in it who are on my side. I hope that if I lean on them and surround myself with them that this year will be a little easier for me.

 

Please send positive vibes my way. I can really use it.

Paint night 


Last night my sister and I had paint night. I came across this idea on pintrest and immediately fell in love with meaning behind it. 
The arrow represents being pulled back before can move forward, the semicolon is for the option to stop but the choice not to and infinity is forever and always. 

This definitely speaks to where I have been and where I am going. It’s a gentle reminder of how much progress I have made. 

When I look at this I feel stronger. Living with mental illness can be devastating but it doesn’t have to be.  Some of my greatest strengths and friendships and victories have blessed my life because I have struggled with mental illness.

This painting gives me hope and makes me want to keep going and push myself. Even with these struggles I have a beautiful life.

Queen’s blessings

Life has been beyond hectic the past month and it slowly has been slowly catching up with me. Between work, sick family member, upsetting my family, legal issues, taking care of my sister, not sleeping, and being manic I’m surpised I’m still functioning. With all this going on it feels never ending and like I am going to crumble any minute.

With being manic and it getting worse every day I’m in awe of how I have been managing all this. My recovery binder has become my me time and safe place keeping me on track. Having time off work and takings extra time for myself and making myself a priority has been paying off. I am way better off than I was last year.

Looking back on where I was then and where I am now I feel so blessed. Having so many loving supportive people in my life has reminded me that I have something to look forward to everyday. Having this much sanity and control over my mind is a gift every day. I am so grateful for my life, the people in it, and for the extra days of being myself. Life is so precious. Each day may not be great but each day is a great gift.

Feel free to share what you are grateful for!

Reigning on

“Stop thinking about what could go wrong, and start thinking about what could go right” -Unknown

 

Time has really flown past me the past couple weeks. There has been so much going on it’s been hard to keep up. I have been feeling incredibly overwhelmed and like I may crumble at any second. Between my grandpa’s health issues, my other grandpa being upset with me, concerns with my pet, barely getting through work in one piece, working too many hours, and my mania getting worse each day I don’t even know how I am still functioning.

 

 

All of this going feels beyond overwhelming. I don’t know how I haven’t had a complete breakdown. My therapist pointed out that it is normal for anyone to feel overwhelmed by this and that a lot of people who are not bipolar would have a hard time juggling all of these things. That made me feel good because I thought about it for a second and realized that I do have quite a few things going on and I am handling it. I have been making it to work when I thought I couldn’t. I am still taking care of myself. I am still getting done what I need to get done. As much as it feels like all this crushed me, it hasn’t.

 

 

It’s a good feeling when you realize that you have been managing everything better than you thought you were. I am way stronger than I thought. It is so true that we are at our strongest when we feel like we are at our weakest. This has given me back my faith in myself. This life isn’t so hard that I can’t live it. Ups and downs are just part of the deal. You take the good days with the bad and hope that you are doing enough to keep up. When all that hard work pays off and you see yourself in a better place than you thought you’d be in, it really is a good feeling. I am proud of myself for handling all of this with as much grace and dignity as I have had (obviously not 100% of the time because I did have a couple signature hot mess moments) and for not giving up on myself.

 

 

With more time that goes on I am in awe of myself because my mental illness is very prevalent and is forever testing me be but every day, every year I am handling it better and better. It doesn’t need to be so bad or extreme. I can still function when it’s getting bad. This is such a gift and something I would so hard towards. I feel so incredibly blessed that my hard work is paying off. It is empowering to feel like I am carrying the weight of the word on my shoulders and owning it like the queen I am.

Still hanging on

The past few days have been weighing really heavily in me. There has been so much happening with my grandpa needing heart surgery, my German family getting upset with me, taking care of legal issues, not sleeping, work being horrendous, it’s just to much.

I feel like I haven’t been able to take care of myself. I have been pushing myself each day to do more and I am now suffering the consequences. There is such a thing as too much for me and I crossed that bridge three days ago. 

I spoke with my boss last week about cutting my hours due to my manic episode which ended up being a waste. I’ve gotten more hours, am scheduled for days I haven’t been available for since I started, and working over a week straight with out days off in between. When I’m doing well that isn’t an issue but right now I’m struggling and it’s a huge issue. I feel like my work is interfering with my recovery.

Finding balance for me has always been difficult but trying to balance work and my mania that gets more intense each day is nearly impossible. It’s hard not to get defeated when you feel that no matter what you do you can’t win.

I know that I am feeling this way because I need to take better care of myself. That is my one goal each day. I hope focusing on my needs and what I can do that is good for myself pays off sooner rather than later. The ups and downs of recovery always show me my strength when I feel my weakest. Those kind reminders are helping me get through the day. 
On the plus side, the crown can’t feel heavy everyday. I will continue to survive like the queen I am.

Beyond blessed 

After a long couple of weeks I managed to make it through until my four days off. Just having those few days feels like I won the lottery but it is so much sweeter than that. 

Tonight I have been lucky enough to speak with my sister who lives in Germany. When I get the chance to talk to her I can’t help but feel grateful for the time we get and feel incredibly proud of  the woman she has become. I feel so much joy hearing her voice and hearing her laugh. How incredibly lucky I am to have her in my life. My sisters are one of the biggest joys in my life. What a wonderful start to my days off.

Today I also called my grandpa and felt so relieved because he sounds great and is his same loving self. It was reassuring to help me stay optimistic over the next few days. Talking to my grandpa always melts my heart because he is always excited and happy to be in my company and it’s just as simple as that. 

Tomorrow I get to sign the contract for my new car. My days of being rained on while driving are finally numbered! My boyfriend and I are going to get some donuts and coffee and make a morning of it. I love when our weekends off align so we can do what regular folks do on their weekends off. My grandparents in Germany are also visiting in less than a month and I cannot wait!

There are so many other things I am grateful for I don’t even know where to start. Just knowing I am surrounded by and blessed to have such a wonderful beautiful family,  a beyond amazing man who loves and supports me no matter what, friends who cheer me on and make this journey more enjoyable. I feel nothing but pure love  right now. Words cannot describe how blessed I feel. I truly could not do this alone, and it’s heart warming that I don’t have to.

I hope everyone else is having a good night! Take a moment to think of  how blessed you are! 

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