End the stigma

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Today I spent an hour battling my anxiety trying to talk myself into making a phone call to my insurance. A half hour on the phone with the insurance company answering very personal and uncomfortable questions explaining my mental health issues to 2 different people. Another half hour talking to psychologist and therapist offices and setting up intake appointments. This is the 4th time in my life I have had to do this and I know this won’t be the last. 

Everyone who knows me personally knows I struggle with certain mental health “issues” that cause me to be the way I am. No, I don’t make plans and cancel at the last minute because I want to. I don’t wake up in the morning fine and happy one day and then struggle to even get out of bed the very next day because I want to. I don’t have meltdowns because I want to. I don’t have mood swings because I want to. I dont want to have my kitchen clean before bed, I HAVE do it it or I cant sleep. I dont want to always have to put things in their place and tidy up. I don’t start things and never finish them because I want to. 

I don’t have Bipolar 2 because I want to. I don’t have Anxiety and OCD because I want to. I don’t have PTSD because I want to. I didn’t choose this. If I could take a magic pill and have it all go away I would in a heartbeat.

For those of you that see me and don’t understand what I am even talking about, for those of you who think I’m fine- you are the problem. You are the reason there is such a stigma around mental health issues. You are the reason I have gone years battling my internal demons and not getting the help I need because I’d be “weird” to all of you “normal” people for taking “crazy pills”. For those of you who shame people who have to pop a Prozac in order to function- you are the reason people end their lives. When you push mental health under the rug, when you shame those who are struggling with mental illness, you are killing them. You might as well be pulling that trigger yourself or helping them hang the rope. 

It’s time to let go of the stigma. It’s time to move on from all of this. It’s time to start hearing more news about people getting help and less news about people committing suicide. It’s time to be supportive. It’s time to #endthestigma I share my struggles in hopes that someone becomes educated on mental health. If I open 1 persons mind, if I encourage 1 person to get help, if I save 1 persons life then I have done my job.

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Living more with less

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So we all know I suffer from anxiety and OCD. My struggle with OCD is more control driven. I HAVE to have things in order. Everything has a place and everything in it’s place. (I sound like my dad- cleanliness is next to godliness). I feel like having things orderly is one of the only aspects in life I can truly have control over so I kinda go way overboard.

I  get anxious over “things” all the time. Things that are out of place, broken things, useless things, dirty things, all kinds of “things” in my life that cause me anxiety. I spend so much time in my day cleaning, arranging and re areanging, making sure everything is exact. And while my house looks fucking amazing, my mind is slowly going insane. 

I finally got fed up and started looking into ways to de clutter my life, hoping to make it easier to spend time with my family. So first I did what everyone does; I joined some Facebook groups on the minimalist lifestyle. I stalked the groups for a while and got a feel for what I needed for me. I then purged a ton of crap, I mean a ton. I went deeper than just minimizing my “things.” I also purged some “friends” and then finally I felt at peace…….for a little while at least.

I have noticed a big change in my mindset after becoming an aspiring minimalist. I’m not going to say I’m there yet, because I still have a long way to go, but slowly I am letting go of all the “things” and starting to fund joy in simplicity.   I feel like even though I have less “things” I am living more. ❤

Just live with it

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I’m unsure why mental illness became this hush hush secret that people are so afraid to talk about. The National Institute of Mental Health says that “bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year.” Whoa, that is a crap ton of bipolar people in this country.

So if there are so many people suffering from this mental illness, why are we so scared to talk about it? Why does society make it a “taboo” thing to discuss?

Because living with a mental illness fucking sucks; that’s why. It’s hard. It’s scary. Every day is a struggle. 

People who have bipolar I disorder experience full mania, which are periods of elevated moods with erratic behavior. Most of the times, manic symptoms (full mania) lead to serious consequences such as legal problems and self sabotaging behavior. In bipolar II disorder, the “manic” mood swings never actually reach full-blown mania. Hypomania in bipolar II is a milder form of mood elevation.

For me, I do have my times of hypomania, which happen on average maybe twice a year. In my manic state I usually do really stupid shit. Like, Really. Fucking. Stupid. Shit. I’m talking cheating, stealing, having absolutely no regard for consequences to my actions, damaging personal relationships. When I am hypomanic I feel like my mind goes a mile a minute, I am indestructible. I want what I want at that moment and I really don’t care what happens as long as I get that “high” feeling that I’m looking for. I become a whole different person-uninhibited, careless, fearless. It all feels soooo good in the moment but is seriously terrifying when I finally snap out of it.

I don’t experience the hypomanic side of bipolar disorder nearly as much as I experience the depressive side though. Most of my days I am moody and easily irritated. I have a short fuse and a hard time staying motivated. As you can imagine, that doesn’t make for an easy job of parenting. I am pretty sure I yell on a daily basis. I know for sure I cry on a daily basis. I try really hard to be a kind parent but I am always struggling with feeling like I am completely screwing up my kids, which then makes me feel even more depressed. It’s like a never ending cycle, but I can’t give up now so I just live with it.