Author Archive for Wander the Arctic – Page 2

thank you for your “basic” advice, but I’m good.

I’m confident that absolutely anyone with any sort of mental health struggle will agree with me when I say, If I didn’t ask you for advice, don’t give me advice.

Its infuriating, honestly. To have to listen to the same unsolicited “advice” all the time. For 11 years, I’ve put up with people telling me: “just love yourself”.

Pick up a new hobby. Have you tried yoga? Stop drinking coffee. Hold an ice cube. Take a couple Benadryl, you’ll fall asleep. You just need some good sex. Go to bed earlier. Drink lemon water. OH.MY.GOD.STOP.

Gee, I never thought about how cutting out my morning cup of coffee would fix my entire life! You should be a doctor! *eye roll*

Telling me to “take a couple Benadryl” when I’m manic is like telling someone with a broken arm to “drink more water”. It’s not gonna fix the problem. I don’t have a switch to turn my irrational thinking on and off. I can’t stop being depressed because someone says “Hey, stop being depressed”. If it actually worked like that, then the world be be a much happier place don’t you think?

See, the biggest problem with mental health issues, well MY mental health issues (not speaking for everyone) is coping. I’ve tried every coping mechanism to ever exist and I promise you’re not going to tell me anything I haven’t already tried, especially if you are just reading off a generic list you found on google (ya know, the “wake up earlier, go vegan, count backwards from 10” ). I have doctors. I have my little community of people with similar struggles to lean on. So, what I am really saying here is: If I don’t ask you for advice, don’t give me advice. And if you try to do it anyway, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t go over well.

Giving cheap, basic advice doesn’t show me that you care about me, it shows me you wanna give me a bandaid so I shut up.

 

 

*I really don’t want this to come off as me being an asshole, I just really want to address my frustrations (and a lot of other people’s frustrations).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

inside the “borderline” brain.

Ok so you know that iconic scene from Girl, Interrupted? No? Here.

Exactly. Borderline between what and what?

May is BPD Awareness Month and in honor of BPD Awareness Month, I have vowed to become an advocate for those who are too afraid to speak up because of stigma and educate those who don’t know much about this disorder.

To put it simply, in my brain gray does not exist. It’s either black or white. Love or hate. Best day ever or worst day ever. High or low. All or nothing. It’s exhausting. My coworkers have joked with me “isn’t it exhausting to be so pessimistic all the time?” Yes. Yes it is. Sometimes I need to sleep for three days straight to recover from that one day I feel on top of the world. Some days I have more confidence than Kanye West (is that even possible?) and some days I feel like I don’t deserve the air I need to breathe. The scariest part is there is rarely ever an in between…

Ever wonder why I don’t talk to anyone I did a few years ago? I hurt people before they have the chance to hurt me. When I leave, I burn the bridges they’d need to cross to find me again. I don’t drop seeds. I’m very temporary. One day I am a musician and the next I’m going back to school to become a doctor. I have zero concept of who I am and it is exhausting to constantly be searching for more when you have no idea where to look because you’ve looked everywhere and found nothing. It seems impossible to think that I have held on to blogging for 9 months! Like, thats enough time to have a baby! I’ve never held onto anything that long. I’ll wake up at 3 am and write the first 70 pages of a book that I shred at 10 am because I’d much rather start my journey to becoming a marathon runner just to throw that dream down the drain in 2 days. I look back at old photos and don’t even remember that time in my life and expressing myself is the most challenging thing I’ve ever encountered. God forbid I answer a question wrong and I suddenly I have a black eye that I gave myself because I don’t deserve to be wrong without being punished.

No freaking wonder there is such a stigma around BPD. No wonder doctors don’t want us. Potential friends don’t want us. For some people, employers and lovers are hard to come by. Lucky for me, I have managed to hold onto at least those two things. But I promise, it’s not my goal to make you hate me. It’s just the opposite. I just want to know that I mean something to you and I want to make you happy or else I am not worthy of existing.

I just wish people understood that I can’t flip a switch to turn it off…

I’m shaking at the thought of publishing this because this is a part of my life I don’t let people in on and have a hard time owning up to. But I owe it to everyone who feels like they can’t be honest about the way their brain works because of the horrible stigma around BPD. We’ve got this, loves.

You Can Still Be Loved Without Loving Yourself

A couple months ago, I shared this post on my personal Facebook:

This is always a thought I have had but I have never heard anyone else express it so naturally, I assumed I was in the wrong and brushed it off. Okay, okay, that’s a lie- you know me. I didn’t brush it off. I never brush anything off. I’m still haunted by situations I was wrong in when I was in elementary school for crying out loud.

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me “no one will love you until you love yourself”, I’d have enough money to pay off the therapy I’ll need for the rest of my life to recover from everyone telling me I am undeserving of love because I don’t love myself.

Let me tell you this: YOU DESERVE LOVE FROM OTHERS REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF. As a matter of fact, sometimes you need to experience love from someone else to help you discover the most lovable parts of you.

It’s okay to question your good qualities.

It’s okay to not know exactly who you are.

It’s okay to be dissatisfied with choices you’ve made.

What’s not okay is allowing other people’s opinions of how you view yourself dictate whether or not you deserve to be loved.

You deserved to be loved. I love you. Whether I know you or not, I love you simply for being you.

My Heart for Travel

When I was 16, the travel bug hit me like a ton of bricks. I was given the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic with a church group and it changed my life. Two years later, at 18 I got to go back to the place I left my heart at age 16. The purpose of the first trip was to work with an 
organization called Caminante. Caminante helps provide shelter and education to children who may not otherwise have the opportunity. The trip opened my eyes in many ways (we literally witnessed sex trafficking in our own hotel). I had been to Canada briefly before but it was my first real time out of the country and the first time I travelled without my family (other than a mission trip to Kentucky). I am choosing to tell this story because most people don’t know these stories as I don’t talk about them much anymore (even though I really should. I am overcome with memories of joy as I write this post in Starbucks on a Sunday morning). Most people don’t even know that there used to be a time when I was very involved in mission work as I haven’t attended church or had any active involvement in a community of faith in many years.

Exploring such an unfamiliar way of living sparked something in me that I had no idea would stick with me for the rest of my life. Almost 9 years later, I still long to go back. I don’t want to go back to the resort part of the Dominican Republic though. I want to go back and visit the people who stole my heart 9 years ago.

When I was 18, I visited Foundation for Peace in a different part of the Dominican Republic. During my visit with Foundation for Peace we worked on many different projects including construction, visiting retirement homes and hosting vacation bible school. Both times I was there I also toured Santo Domingo and spent a little time at the beach. These experiences are the experiences that put travel in my heart and sparked the desire to make a difference. Over the past few years I have learned a few things: I am not a good teacher, I don’t enjoy working with children and patience is definitely not a quality I was blessed with. I need to use the skills and knowledge I have and not force something that wasn’t meant to be. I have since found my purpose in helping others who struggle with the same mental health obstacles that I do, which is why I blog.

I wanted to put my story of how I learned I had a passion for travel and making a difference out there as an example of the fact that everybody starts somewhere and life has a funny was of evolving. I never thought that teaching vacation bible school in very broken Spanish at age 16 would be the reason I blog about traveling and combatting depression at age 24 but here I am. I am thankful for that spark.