Monthly Archives: December 2013

2014: the year I give back.

Last year instead of a New Year’s resolution I simply made it: 2013 – the year of me.
This meant it was my year to focus on myself. My health, my future, my relationships, my self esteem and my life lessons.
In the past, I’ve never really looked out for myself. I will admit I have been a selfish person at many times in my life, but I was not doing this for myself. I was doing it for any sort of happiness. When I wasn’t selfish, I was giving everything I had away. This was also a desperate grasp for happiness.
Both of these situations never worked for me. How I was as a person was not working for me. So I made it my year.
In my year, I’ve made the greatest changes of my life. I am truly happy and I am a much better person. I have found a healthy in between of give and take.
So now it’s time for 2014.
I’ve thought a lot about what it could be all about and I’ve come to my decision.
It will be: 2014 – the year of the ones I love.
This year, I plan to show everyone who has been there for me just how much they really mean to me. The support I have received lately this year has been overwhelming and heartwarming. I’ve never felt so loved in my life. I appreciate every person who has contributed to this, and now I want to make them aware of it.
I will go out of my way to spread happiness to my friends, family and even acquaintances. I will spread joy whenever I can. I will be there for anyone who needs a helping hand or just a listening ear.
I will let people know that they are important to me.
2014 will be my year of giving back all of the tremendous and wonderful acts of kindness that have brightened my dark days in 2013.


Things I’ve learnt this year.

I’ve decided to compile a list of some of the main lessons and skills in relation to Bipolar Disorder that I’ve learnt this year.

Your happiness really is in your control.
Before this year, I thought this was rubbish. I’ve thought a lot about it and enforced it into my daily life. Although your moods may seem like they control you, and you can be feeling like the only thing left to do is disappear, they are certainly not. You can make the conscious choice on a bad day to get up and do something with yourself. Your mind has the power to do that. No matter who you are, no matter how much you want to give up, no matter how severe your demons may be; YOU have the power to overcome them.
If you put a smile on your face the moment you wake up, and keep it on your face all day, I can guarantee you will feel a little better. If you can get up and just brush your hair and teeth, clean yourself up out of your slump, you will feel a little better.
There’s so many tiny things you can do that can alter your mood. It goes to show that you really are in control. Not your illness.

Love yourself.
I’ve learnt the importance of truly loving myself. It’s made a phenomenal difference. I do not care in the slightest what others think of what I look like, say and do. People say you can’t find love until you love yourself first.
This is somewhat true I feel, so I gave it a go. I appreciated my looks, my quirky and unique personality, and just myself in general. When you’re down and you feel like nobody could ever love you, it’s so nice to have yourself there. After all, you’re not going anywhere, and if you love and appreciate yourself, you do not NEED anyone. Remind yourself of your positives frequently – don’t focus on your negatives. Bring yourself up. Lighten your life up with your own love.
It’s possible, I’ve done it.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
This has changed my perspective on life completely this year. If you simply put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think about things from their perspective you can avoid a lot of negative thoughts about others, and you will be more kind to them.
Every single person’s experience in this life is different. You never know what that girl that doesn’t seem to ever smile is going through. So smile at her, ask her, “how are you?” You could brighten her day.

Express love.
If there’s something I’ve learnt to value with Bipolar Disorder, it’s genuine relationships. They are so hard to come by. This year I’ve started to tell people that I care about them and love them, as often as I can. Amongst all your mood fluctuations, the nastiness that sometimes comes out and the hurt you can cause, you still love these people. It can easily be forgotten when treated less than well, so tell them. Every single chance you get. There is no harm in ever telling anyone that they’re loved and appreciated.

There is nothing wrong with removing negativity from your life.
Particularly with people. If someone does not have a positive influence in your life, they have no place to be there. You should never feel bad because of the company you keep. Remove that company, and feel better. Be yourself, and the negatives will surely show themselves. Then it’s time to phase them right out. Don’t feel bad for cutting people out, everyone must earn their place to be in your life. And there is simply no place in anyone’s life for a negative influence.

That’s just 5, my lessons this year have been endless. It’s been a great year, despite how tough it has been most of the time.

Adjusting to medication

With new medication, comes new side effects.
I’m currently experience a dry mouth, constant nausea and a bit of confusion.
Starting medications is a very difficult thing. The adjusting period is usually quite unpleasant and can go for weeks.
I’ve been through pretty much constant adjustment periods for the past year, and had a couple before that too.
It can make you feel helpless, like a slave to the medication. The physical effects on your body seem awful.
But it’s all about thinking about the long run.
There is a nasty period where you can have any number of damaging and quite frankly, annoying, side effects; but that is natural. You have to remember that your brain and your body are adjusting to a new substance which is foreign to it. The only thing to do is keep that in mind and stay positive for the future.
The symptoms do reside eventually, and it could end up being the perfect medication for you!
If they don’t reside or do worry you, definitely mention them to your doctors. It’s important that they know, as they will be able to help with these symptoms, or change the medication if need be.

The fight.

While browsing through some pictures today, I found this.
This is perfect for me.
It’s Christmas Day, which means the year has almost come to an end.
This time last year, I was struggling with medication and very ill, much like I am now. The difference in how I actually am as a person is phenomenal though.
I have become so much more of a positive, happy person. I don’t dread looking in the mirror anymore. I have stable, real relationships in my life. I’m not worried about the future, rather I’m intrigued by it. I have grown to love myself.
All of this did not come easily to me. I have fought every day of my life since beginning treatment.
I get knocked down, but I continue to get back up. I have fought my bad days, my suicidal thoughts, my mania, my life feeling like it was collapsing underneath me.
I fought and I will continue to fight.
Sometimes, I momentarily feel like giving up.
But then I remember what I am fighting for.
I’m fighting for myself, for the person I really am and long to become.
I’m fighting bipolar’s awful attempts to turn me into someone I am not.
I am fighting for my future.
And I will never, ever give up.

“I Am Mental Illness” Vs. “I Have Mental Illness”

This is a great post!


To be bipolar is to be controlled by my illness. To have bipolar is to have control over my illness. The subtleties of language have great differences in meaning. I imagine to be diagnosed with any mental illness, the initial tendency is to slap the label on myself, saying I am ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar, BPD, schizophrenic, <insert mental illness diagnosis here>. Likewise, the initial tendency for a person not educated about mental illness is to label those people who have it according to their illnesses.

I suspect this is the case because mental illness has an effect on the mind, which is very near to our core being. When it spins out of control, it is magnified and shows up prevalently in the forefront of that person. In order to become diagnosed, this must often happen. In my case, I couldn’t help but look out through a looking glass…

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Life isn’t easy. It’s not something you can breeze through, blissfully unaware of your surroundings.
Life is complicated. It’s your thoughts and emotions, your beliefs and your morals, all glued together in the shell of a person that makes you.
There is no determining who will get dealt what hand in life. However, you can determine who you are.
You can be a wild child; you can get tattooed, pierced, dye your hair a crazy colour, party every weekend. You can be a introvert, that prefers to spend their time reading at home or playing games.
You can be anything you want.
You can wear your hair however you want, you can spend as much time reading as you damn well please.
You are in control of yourself. Nobody else. Sure, the insecurities creep in from time to time; am I embarrassing myself? Are people judging me? Do people think I’m weird?
But you’re still in control. You have the power to brush those thoughts aside.
So you should. Push the thoughts away because you are you, and nobody else’s opinion of that matters.

This is much like happiness.
You can choose to dwell upon the negative, awful thoughts about life that race through your brain.
Or you can choose to accept those thoughts, learn from them and move on.
You may not be able to be in charge of your thoughts, but you are certainly in charge of your happiness.