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. ❤

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Drowning

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This is a poem I wrote  while I was going through some pretty rough stuff. I was feeling so much stress, I was grieving from the “loss” of a good friend and I was feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. I needed a way to get my negative feelings out and this is what I came up with.

DROWNING
Naked cold and alone I sit as the bathtub slowly fills. I watch as the water pours from the faucet. I put my hands out and my fingers touch the water.
I can feel it as it beats down on my hands. Drop after drop the beads of water fall from my fingers, down my palms, and off my wrists; rushing down into the tub like the tears that are falling from my eyes.
The water turns cold and I realize that my hands have become numb. Beating after beating each little drop of water has, without intention, taken away my ability to feel. At some point while staring mindlessly at the water I lost my focus.
I turn off the faucet and put my head under the water. As my eyes close I can feel every care slip away.
I AM DROWNING!
When did the calm become chaos? When did my mind get so clouded that I lost sight of my happiness? When did I become so weak that I let the beating water numb me?
I gasp for air and feel my lungs expand as I arise from the water. This isn’t the end. This is the last day I will feel numb. I will not allow the waters of the world beat me down any longer.
I will emerge from this tub; alive.
 –Brittany Kraft 4/29/2016

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.