Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's Okay to Give Yourself a Break

I've officially started a "real job." One that I have to go to twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Luckily, I've known the people I work with for a very long time and they know about my bipolar and anxiety. I've only worked two days so far, one last week, and one this week. I was supposed to work today but I barely had any sleep and had a raging headache all night and woke up and it was still there. It didn't help that the cat and decided to howl in my ear most of the night (love you kitty!).

So, by taking off today most people would say that I'm babying myself. Could I have gone into work today? Sure. Would I have been very productive? Probably not. Instead it would probably have caused a lot of unwanted anxiety. The lack of sleep could have caused me to feel unstable, whether that be depression or mania. Although the mania is less likely as I'm on two mood stabilizers, but still is it worth trying to prove that I can do what a "normal" person would have done and just go into work, rather than taking care of myself? I don't think so.

So what I'm saying is it's okay to give yourself a break. Catch up on sleep, watch your favorite t.v show, and maybe even do that pile of laundry you keep putting off. It's been really hard but I think I'm finally learning how to NOT feel guilty about taking care of myself.

It was really hard this morning to tell myself that it was okay to not go into work. It was hard to not immediately go into the "Oh, I'm such a disappointing, bad person" mode. Instead I'm choosing to tell myself that "it's okay." And I can always try again tomorrow, when I've gotten better sleep.

So how about we all try and give ourselves a break and be proud that we're taking care of ourselves instead!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Blank Page: A Poem

Blank Page

I stare at this blank page with the cursor blinking back at me
begging me to write something, anything
does it matter
is it important
maybe not.

But maybe it’ll mean something someday
when I reread the words I wrote on this day
Maybe the words will relay the frustration I felt
over that incident
over what happened
or what didn’t.

I might not even remember
years from now
what happened today
but it was important
so I wrote these words
that were spilling out of me.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I'm not Limited because of my Bipolar Disorder, but I'm not Limitless either

I recently read an article by Natasha Tracy on her blog Bipolar Burble which talked about goals and bipolar disorder.

It got me thinking about my own goals over the past year. I've mentioned my trouble with working but one of my goals is to eventually work as much as I feel I'm able. One of the things I'm realizing is that we're taught to believe that we can do anything as long as we work hard enough. However, sometimes this isn't true. 

I think realizing how much I can and can't do has been the most helpful in keeping myself mentally stable. Realizing in a way that I'm limited. I can't necessarily work a full time job like the average person. Once I reset my goal to something much more attainable and realistic it not only eased my anxiety but released a bunch of pressure that I was putting on myself. All of that pressure definitely wasn't helping me. 

So now, when someone asks me "Why aren't you working?" or "You only work two times a week?" It doesn't bother me as much because I'm realizing my limits and doing the most important thing: taking care of myself. I also feel much happier because I'm not putting unrealistic expectations on myself. It's been a relief to start living my life the way that is best for me and not according to what is expected of me in society as a 27 year old female. 

Changing my perspective has made things become much clearer and actually opened up more opportunities because now instead of stressing about things I can't control or stressing that I'm not doing enough. I'm using that energy and putting into things that make me happy--like writing this blog post! Or crocheting more of my blanket. Or being with friends. 

It all comes down to: I am good enough just the way I am. I can do anything, I'm just choosing not to do everything. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Writing about Mental Illness

Lately I've been lucky enough to get some of my writing out there online. I had a piece on Stigma Fighters and now I'm trying to write something to send into The Mighty.

I really like the website and I'd love to have my story shared on there too. I'm currently writing a "Letter to Those Around Me." Just something to sort of show how it's hard when the people you around you will never quite understand what you're going through. For example, because I don't work a full time job, sometimes I feel bad that I simply can't handle the stress of it all and be like everyone else. So, when people ask the everyday question of "What do you do?" It can be a hard question to answer especially before I started substituting because technically I didn't "do" anything when it comes to having a job.

In reality, I do things everyday. I help keep the house clean, do yoga, knit and crochet (like crazy haha!), but I mean I don't need to justify my lifestyle to anyone. It can just get frustrating when every time someone asks "What do you do?" you have to give them some sort of answer when in reality, what I do every day is take care of myself. And that is a hard job that is more than just an eight hour a day thing. It's a 24/7 job and you don't get to take off or have paid vacations. In fact vacations can sometimes make my mental health worse!

Anyways check out The Mighty and hopefully I'll be on that site soon!

What about you? What's you're pet peeve question? Or how do you answer the "What do you do?"