Lifting the Cloud of Dread

Hello Lovely Creatures!

I apologize for my extended vacation from my blog. I wasn’t sure what to write about or if anyone would actually want to hear what I have to say at this point. Today I had revelation that when I read blogs about people going through rough times it helps me, so why wouldn’t it help others to hear how I have overcome my obstacles.

The truth is, life is extremely hard for me right now. I was in car accident three years ago and in which I sustained life changing injuries. I had to shut down the dance studio I owned because I couldn’t teach dance anymore, I am unable to to exercise like I used to and I have a very hard time sleeping.

Yes, all of those things are awful but the worst of it all is that I don’t know where my is in the world anymore. I used to know myself, what I wanted to be and where I wanted to end up. Now I am not able to live my dream and I don’t know if I will get back the ability to do so ever again. I lost my dream and at times I lose all hope.

I learned how important it is to take it one day at a time. When life gets hard and you can’t see past the cloud of dread, try to focus only on what you can accomplish today. These accomplishments don’t have to been big tasks. Here are a couple examples of things I accomplished today: folded my laundry, a home yoga practice (15 minutes) and started writing this blog. I am proud of my myself for doing those three small things because even getting out of bed was difficult today.

Surrounding yourself with positive people is also another amazing way to slowly push through your cloud of dread. I have this friend and he is quite possibly the most positive person I have ever met. He will not speak negatively about anyone, it is actually impressive. Just being around him makes me feel lighter, less self conscious and much more positive. We all need more people like him in our lives. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could train our subconscious to be more like my special friend?

Well we can with perseverance and practice. I will share the three things I do on the daily to uplift my being:

  1. I keep a gratitude journal. Every night I write down all the things im grateful for, what I accomplished that day, what I want to accomplish tomorrow and a motivational quote.
  2. I do one small mindfulness practice every day that range from 3-30 minutes
  3. Make sure to do an activity that brings me joy. This could be a face mask, painting, yoga, meet up with friend etc.

I want all my lovely creatures out there to know that I have compassion for your struggles. You are beautiful, strong, fierce beings! Love your own uniqueness. #BeautifulDisaster

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Vivir Mi Vida (Live My Life)

Hello Lovely Creatures!

I am going on a month long solo adventure in two weeks to Santa Clara, Cuba. The purpose of my trip is to learn Spanish. I will be taking daily lessons while being immersed in the Cuban culture that I love so much. This has been a dream of mine for many years. DREAMS DO COME TRUE!

Although I am so very excited about this next big step in my life and I am also quite nervous. I have been having a lot of anxious thoughts such as: What if I have an episode? What if I lose my meds? What happens if I don’t learn enough Spanish? What if I forget to pack something important?    Right now I am working through this anxious energy and focusing on the excitement.

So today I started packing , yes already. This has helped me to gain excited about the trip and let go of some anxiety. I have packed all the summer clothes that I have and any clothes I need for the trip that I won’t wear before hand. I compiled a list of all the things I still need to purchase. Now it is time for a shopping trip, beachwear here I come.

Honestly, I think I am nervous because I don’t want to fail. I feel like I have failed a lot of things in my life due to my illness. It feels like everything always starts of strong and then just goes downhill.  Those failures have made me stronger and I have learned how to cope much better. It is time to change my frequency and fuel my life with positivity.

Thank you for reading the rants of this nervous polar bear. I will be creating a travel blog about my stay in Cuba. Stay tuned for entertaining stories about my Cuban adventure!

#VivirMiVida

Valentine's Day 2019

Self Love on Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovely creatures! I am embracing self love this year for Valentine’s Day. This is the first V-Day since I walked away from an abusive fiancé. I had prepared myself for this day to be sad and triggering. Instead I have found a way to empower myself and move past the negativity.

I am going to treat myself to things I enjoy like bubble tea and sushi. Embrace as many of my favourite self care methods as possible. Then I am going to go to work where I will be as kind as I can because, I enjoy being kind to people. I will end the night with positive self affirmations and one glass of my favourite red wine. My mission is to find positivity.

Remember everyone needs a little love on V-Day. Embrace everyone you love not just your partner. Practicing self love can open your heart to embracing more love externally. I am sending all you lovely creature much love, strength and positivity.

What are you doing this Valentine’s day? Will you be embracing self love?

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY #selflove

Desert Dry

Good Afternoon Lovelies!

It is a fact most people suffering from a mental health issue, struggle with using substances as a coping mechanism. Whether it be using when you are up, down or all around. Have you ever tried intentionally taking a break? Consciously not using substances for a period of time to reset?

I DID. 

I went dry for the entire month of January and I feel great! Realizing not that long into the month that whenever I get down or stressed, I instinctively want to drink. Putting healthy coping skills in place has been one of the major take aways from this experience. Plus, I have discovered another layer of stability in my life. I believe I have started to rewrite the pattern and will continue to work on it for the years to come.

Clearer and brighter skin has been another upside. Letting my skin detox and refresh has been wonderful. I feel this experience has done the same for my soul. This challenge has shown me that I am stronger than I thought I was, more beautiful and more in tune with my being.

Honestly, I had no idea this experience would be so enlightening. I even discovered that I have made friends who enjoy hanging with the authentic me. Not just to party or for my generosity but truly for me. THIS IS POWERFUL STUFF! I am proud to have developed a deep, mature connection with these beautiful souls.

I am going to make this an annual challenge for myself. I challenge you to challenge yourself! #YouAreBeautiful

Tuning in to Tune Ups

Good Morning Lovelies!

Just like a well oiled machine, our bodies need a tune up every now and again. Do you know when your body needs one? Do you know which tune ups work for you? This post is going to give you some tips and tricks to help tune up and tune in with your beautiful mind, body and soul.

How do you know know when a tune up is needed? You may need a tune up when you feel your mind is at its sharpest, you notice that your body is slower than usual or you realize your soul isn’t as happy as it could be. Simply, if you aren’t running at your full capacity then maybe think about tuning in and tuning up

What does your body need for a tune up? When your mind isn’t at it sharpest try to challenge it or give it rest. When your body is running slower than usual try something to reenergize it. When you soul is not as happy as it could be, try to bring light and enlightenment inside.

Try a tune up when you feel:

  • tired, fatigued, sluggish
  • slow metabolism
  • low, unmotivated, uninspired
  • anxious
  • muscle aches
  • agitation, restlessness
  • diminished concentration
  • bored, needing more excitement in life
  • creative block

Try a tune up:

  • meditation
  • positive self affirmations
  • a cleanse ( my personal favourite is Wild Rose)
  • cut out alcohol (give dry February a go)
  • change your workout regime
  • try yoga
  • do something that challenges your mind (board games, word puzzles, books, escape rooms etc. )
  • get outside even when it is freezing cold
  • take time for self care

I recommend making a list of tunes up that work for you. The list will make it easy for you to pick a tune up easily when you recognize it is needs. Try checking in daily to see if you could use a minor or sometimes major tune up. The most important part is that you are gentle with yourself. When you realize you need a tune please do not be hard on yourself, you deserve an applause for self awareness.

I would love to hear what how you lovely creatures are tuning in and tuning it up. #selflove

2019 With Intention

Happy Holidays to all you lovely creatures!

It is that time of year where we all start thinking about our New Years Resolutions. I have challenged myself to set a goal that is actually attainable this year in hopes that I will succeed instead of giving up after a week. I find that I set a resolution based one something someone or society believes I should change OR I make a goal that is way too big.  

This year I have decided to set a New Years Intention instead of a resolution. You can use your intention to cultivate a higher sense of being. I believe this will empower you achieve your goal. I created a mantra and I want to ring true for 2019. Here is how I did it.

First, I asked myself what is it that I want to change in 2019? I do not want to dwell on the past. In 2019 I want to move forward and never look back. Leave all the horrible things that have happened in this past year behind me.

Second, what mood I want to embody in the New Year? I want to feel content, accomplished and stable.

Now it is time to create my mantra. Which is:

I will move forward and not look back. This will help cultivate a feeling of stability, success and being content. 

Now that my intentions for the New Year are set, I need some strategies to ensure success. This is what I have come up with for myself:

1. Meditate on my mantra daily

2. Yoga at least twice a week

3. When negative thoughts come up from the past, I will let them go with breath work

4. Say my mantra out loud in the mirror every morning

In the end it is important to do whatever works best for you. Go inward and find what you need in the New Year. I hope all your dreams and wishes come true. HAPPY NEW YEAR to all you beautiful creatures!

9 Tips for Fighting the Winter Blues

Today I am going to share with the 10 things that help me make it thru our long, dark and cold winters. I use at least 3 of the 9 skills every day. The following tips have helped me to stay energized, maintain healthy sleep patterns and feel content during the dark months.

1. Create a Sleep Schedule – As we experience less daylight and more darkness it is easy to feel fatigued and crave more sleep. We need to resist the want to hibernate and instead THRIVE. Maintaining the same sleep schedule you had in the summer months is pivotal when maintaining ones mental health during the dark months.

2. Get Outside – The more we cozy up inside, the more we are giving into the hibernation. Try to step out of your cave intentionally for 20 minutes a day.

3. Tanning – Hitting up a tanning bed at least twice a week is something everyone who is battling SADS should try (consult your doctor). Absorbing the vitamin D through your skin helps fight depression. This is my #1 secret to fighting my seasonal affective disorder.

4. Hot Yoga – The warm on your cold bones will help cure your ached and pains. The amazing stretch of your muscles will help relieve the tension from shivering throughout the cold months. Plus laying in a hot room feels damn good when it is ice cold out.

5. Spending Time With Family/Friends – Maintaining a social life, laughing with our mates and breaking the barrier of our home will help us battle the feeling of winter hibernation.

6. Taking Vitamins – Ask your doctor about taking some vitamins to fight off the winter blues. Vitamin D, B12 and Vitamin C have worked for me in the past. Please check with your doctor first.

7. AquaFit – Who doesn’t love taking a dip in a warm pool when its cold outside? Imagine you are on vacation while getting some exercise. I find this helps my moods immensely.

8. Drinking Your Favourite Hot Beverage – If you are having a low day this winter, try to warm up your favourite hot beverage. Drink something that makes your smile : )

9. A Hot Bath – Sit back, relax and warm up. Drop some of your favourite oils in the bath, put on your favourite music and enjoy the relaxation.

As you can see I really enjoy socializing, warmth and staying active during the winter. If you can achieve doing those 3 things every day, you will definitely have 1 up on the winter blues.  Keep fighting the good fight fellow creatures! #downwiththewinterblues

Travelling Polar Bear

Hello Lovelies!

I am going to share with you my greatest secret for maintaining stability in my life. Which is taking a vacation. Whether it be a two night camping trip, 1 week in Cuba or 2 weeks in Europe. Taking a break is my number one weapon against my BiPolar.

I LOVE TO TRAVEL! I enjoy immersing myself in other cultures, learning the history of a new place, dancing with the locals and trying new foods. Being able to take a reprieve from my hectic life and experience news things helps me to reset.

Taking these breaks has become a necessity for my mental stability. It is the equivalent of taking a time out. The over stimulus from my day to day life can be very triggering. The more stress I experience, the more likely I am to have an episode. Knowing that I have a vacation in the not too distant future, makes life feel more manageable.

Here are the 3 main life skills I am developing while traveling:

1) Planning a trip is all part of this life management tactic. Setting goals financially has always been a struggle for me. Planning trips help me learn how to manage money better in a more enjoyable fashion.

2) Travelling solo has given me the opportunity to prove to myself that I am ok being alone. I can be independent!

3) Travelling always reminds me of who I truly want to be as a human being. Getting grounded is a key part of my travelling experience.

Travelling may not work for you. What do you do to reset? How do you make your life more manageable? #startaconversation

The Manic Experience

WARNING: This post may contain triggering content   

Hello Lovelies!

I would like to preface this post by letting you know that 3 months before this Manic episode my family doctor put me on an anti-depressant and I was taken off 1 of my mood stabilizers. This was not an informed decision on my doctors part. When someone has Bipolar Disorder anti-depressants can often trigger a manic episode. A Manic episode is triggered by the uplifting effect of an anti-depressant. In this case the medications lifted me way too high up. Also, I was in a car accident 2 months before the Mania ensued.  Then 1 month before I contracted a blood infection that nearly killed me.  Yet, my doctor didn’t follow up about the medications at all during this period. Without being too crass I will simply say, the medical attention I received was weak!

Episode commences after I nearly died from a blood infection in August 2016.

The Beginning

My downswing into Mania starts off very slow then takes a terrible turn in what felt like the blink of an eye. I woke up one morning feeling great about myself, like I was finally going conquer the world. Decided I was going to start exercising every day, twice a day for 45 minutes. I actually did it, all while running my Ballroom Dancing studio. I was losing weight faster then I ever had before, people were noticing. All the compliments made me gave me high, people were finally noticing me! Every compliment, every guy that checked me out, every sexual encounter – fuelled my fire.

I was making grandiose plans to travel the world, that were not substantiated by my lifestyle. I was making promises to people about helping them with a business, starting a business with them or saying I would go on a trip with them. All the promises that I would make, I honestly felt that I would follow through with them.  I was unstoppable!

Evidence

I was feeling good and looking good, now the partying ensues. It started out that I was only going out  partying  once a week till 5 AM and getting up and going to work with no problem. I felt so damn good when I was, so sexy and on fire. I was getting so much attention from the men and I felt like all the women were jealous of me. Then when I would wake up in the morning my anxiety would be so bad and my thought would be racing around in my head. I needed to make them stop. I would have a couple drinks at lunch to calm my mind and then Rinse & Repeat – Party, Sleep, Anxiety, Drink. I was losing that control that I longed for. I couldn’t control my thoughts or my impulses – I was scared of myself.

One evening I went out Salsa dancing with a group of friends and a man I had met couple nights before. We were having so much “fun” that this new guy and I decided to hit up the after party. After, the after party we rented a hotel. It should have been a fun night until I woke up with him on top of me – he was raping me. I said no explicitly and he wouldn’t get off me. I kicked him to the floor, ran out of the hotel and called a friend to pick me. This was humiliating, scary and I still went out drinking again the next night. Scary right? I was scared too but had lost all control.

The Bottom

I was completely spiralling out of control. When I was trying to think my thoughts are bouncing around my head like a bouncy ball. You can just forget sleeping, period. Working? Barely. I would only remember to eat if someone reminded me. I felt like a robot – no sleep, no food, no emotions and no feelings.

I was cancelling appointments with all my clients so I could drink during the day with my new “Friends” that I made. On top of everything I had experienced now I was dealing with the trauma from a rape. It was too much for one person to handle. Instead of feeling like I can conquer the world, I now felt like there was no coming back from it. At this point I felt like I was never going to feel sane again that my worse nightmares has come true. It had become so bad that I started doing drugs for the first time in my adult life. It was absolutely terrifying.  I honestly don’t have much to say about this period because it was a blur and due to the traumatic state I was in I was unable to retain new memories – might be a blessing.

Resolution 

I told my parents I was doing drugs and they immediately started making calls to doctors. They helped me call clients and explain that I wasn’t well. The minute I admitted how far gone I was was the minute I started healing.  Plus, I met a man that changed my life forever. Stay tuned for the story. #endthestigma

NOTE TO THE READER

I am sharing this part of my story to help people understand what BiPolar Mania can look like. I also want all my Polar Bears out there to know you are not alone. This was an incredibly hard blog to write and very emotional. I shed a lot of tears thinking about all the people that I hurt along the way. I was want to say sorry to anyone who has read this that I hurt while going thru a Manic episode.

I am not sharing my story to glorify sex, drugs or drinking. I want everyone to understand that those are the things that helped make my Mania worse not better.

Help Lines and References:

If you have experienced sexual assault or rape please contact S.A.C.H.A for help : 905-525-4162

KidsHelpPhone :  

Ages 20 Years and Under in Canada:      1-800-668-6868

Crisis Line:   905-522-1477

The Signs of Mania incl but are not limited to:

    • Disconnected and racing thoughts.

    • Grandiose beliefs.

    • Inappropriate elation or euphoria.

    • Inappropriate irritability.

    • Inappropriate social behavior.

    • Increased sexual desire.

    • Increased talking speed or volume.

  • Markedly increased energy.

PLEASE ALWAYS CALL 911 IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES