Lessons I Learned Yesterday (literally, yesterday)

Yesterday life smacked me in the face with some enlightening lessons out of the blue. I’m normally more prepared when it comes to writing my blog posts but I felt the need to write and post about these right now (plus I was very ill prepared for today’s post but I was determined to keep my schedule).

I started the day yesterday thinking I knew exactly how my day would unfold. I like routine and change completely messes me up. I knew I had to work from 8:00am until around 6:30pm and then I was going to a concert. I started my day like I do everyday with a really cheesy pep talk with myself (seriously, it works. Try it.) I put on my red lipstick (red is my confidence color) and told myself over and over again that I’m going to conquer the day. Then I learned lesson 1: Just because you are having a good day, doesn’t mean that everyone else is having a good day and it’s not your responsibility to ensure that they are having a good day. Let me explain that. I am all about lifting people up when they are down and helping them out when you can but sometimes a situation is out of your control and you can only do so much. I struggle with this a lot, especially with one friend in particular (totally waiting on the text from her after this goes up). If I can’t fix her, I’m a failure and the hardest thing I’m trying to learn is that that statement is a lie. Sometimes my responsibility is just to give 160% if someone can only give 40% at the moment.

A little later lesson two came along. Last October, my friend and I bought tickets to see the one and only Harry Styles in concert (and you best believe I screamed “DADDY” the entire time last night…). The concert was last night. My friend was unable to make the concert for reasons I am not going to write about without her permission. I understood the situation but I was disappointed about the possibility of having to go alone (there’s no way I’d miss seeing Harry). My friend offered the ticket to me to take another friend of mine even though she was the one who paid for the tickets to begin with. She wasn’t trying to sell her ticket she just wanted someone else to join me if possible since she couldn’t be there. Lesson 2: selflessness. It amazed me how selfless she was being. I think if the situation was reversed, my first instinct would have been to sell my ticket. Because of her selflessness, another good friend of mine had one of the best nights of her life.

Lesson 3: What Harry Styles has taught me about hard work. We all know Harry from One Direction but his journey to being a part of One Direction required a lot of hard work. Harry is now touring solo and last night he made the comment “I only have one album. I’m aware of this.” He was talking about how grateful he was for this opportunity. Not only is he so sweet and humble, but to only have one solo album and sell out arenas? Damn. That requires a lot of hard work. This also taught me that it is possible to make your dreams come true with hard work, as cheesy as that sounds. I didn’t know what my dreams were until recently but I walked away last night with a new sense of hope.

Yesterday was a good day. A very good day.

Yes- I Do Care About Labels (pending incorrect diagnosis?)

I don’t typically like to post about things as they are happening, I usually wait until afterward but I think it is important to share a bit of what’s been going on in my medical life and in my brain recently.

I was not going to post about this until after I was finished with my current IOP, but since by the time this post goes up, I will have maybe a week left of my program so I feel okay about it. My two month stretch of attending IOP (intensive outpatient) classes is coming to a bittersweet end. I hated the idea of IOP. I hated the idea that three nights out of my week would involve spending three hours in an office almost an hour away from where I live. I didn’t like the idea of having to leave work early and have everyone knowing why. I didn’t like the idea of having to schedule my entire life around going to therapy. The first two nights I attended this class and group therapy session, I drove home crying hysterically because I didn’t want to be there. I felt helpless because I had lost control of my life so badly that I had to be in intensive treatment. If you know me in my daily life, you know I’m a control freak. I was terrified of what repressed events and emotions I would suddenly be forced to vomit up.

Two months later, I’m actually going to miss it, I think. However, in a way I feel even more lost than when I started. When I started, I was confused about how I could be in a manic episode without a bipolar diagnosis. I was angry about being there and I was rapidly switching between being on top of the world with my career and feeling like a failure of a human who didn’t deserve to breathe.

I know Borderline Personality Disorder is a controversial diagnosis. Some doctors don’t even believe it’s real and since they changed the way it is even diagnosed to begin with, that is becoming more and more true. That confuses me because of the list of characteristics you have to have to be diagnosed, I have most of them. I recently met with a medication prescriber who upon asking me my diagnosis and me answering her, responded with “oh. They don’t do that anymore.” THE EFF YOU MEAN THEY DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE?! It’s on paper!

I inquired about this with a therapist and he explained to me that it is still a valid diagnosis and I felt better. But he also said it may not be the right diagnosis for me, further confusing me. Like- if I don’t actually have BPD, then the book I’ve been writing about conquering BPD is completely invalid and I’m back in square one.

I have a very technical brain and thought process. I like to trouble shoot the problem, and tackle it. That’s what I’ve been doing with BPD and I feel like I have done so well so to think that I may have been diagnosed incorrectly is really messing with my head. I know that it’s just a label. I’ve been told by so many people not to care about a silly label. But for a troubleshooter like me, it helps to know what I should be looking for. So yes- I care a lot about my labels.

So here I am, praying that I am not headed back to square one. I honestly don’t know what is next for me and it’s terrifying. But I decided to be transparent today and share my little life/depression/BPD update with y’all.

Girl Love.

I feel like every post I’ve made lately has had something to do with Lilly Singh. Even the other day when I posted about Humble the Poet; I discovered Lilly through Humble. I can’t help it though. Over the past year or so, Lilly has become one of my

biggest inspirations and lately, I’ve been obsessed with her… Ok well that sounded creepier than I intended. I’ve been extra inspired by her.

Lilly created a movement called Girl Love, which I think is incredible. I was inspired to talk about the concept of Girl Love because the other day, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw that YouTuber Adelaine Morin also released a line of merch with the concept of Girls Supporting Girls. I love it! I love it! I love it!

Girl Love and Girls Supporting Girls are essentially what they sound like and this is so important because we live in a world where jealousy and hate are so prominent, especially between girls. You lose nothing by supporting someone else and I’ll be the first to admit that it took me a while to learn this. Like, almost 25 years.

I’m not a regular viewer of Adelaine (although I probably should be because she is so wonderful and positive and the world needs more people like her), but I definitely plan on buying something from her Girls Supporting Girls line (I have my eye on the iPhone case) because I support Adelaine. I have a design in my shop also that says “Support Your Friends” based on a similar concept. I will link my shirt as well as Lilly’s and Adelaine’s because I support those girls! I encourage you to check out not only their merch, but who they are as influential women.

SUPPORT YOUR FRIENDS: Wander the Arctic Store

GIRL LOVE: LillySingh.com

GIRLS SUPPORTING GIRLS: FanJoy.co

I have absolutely beautiful, supportive friends who are the epitome of Girl Love and Girls Supporting Girls and it makes me sad to think that there are girls out there who don’t have a support system like that. Even earlier today when I walked into work, one of my work friends told me she thought I looked pretty today and was giving off really good vibes today and it brightened my entire day! I love the positivity within my friend group. Support your friends whether you are showing support for something specific they are doing or have going on in their lives or just telling them you are grateful to have them in your life. Support strangers. Support acquaintances. You lose nothing by choosing kindness over hatred.

Happiness Shouldn’t Be the Default

One of my favorite things to contemplate is from the book “Unlearn” by the wonderful, Humble the Poet. If I remember correctly, this point comes from one of the first few chapters in the book (but they are all extremely enlightening and you should definitely read the entire book). He makes the point that happiness isn’t supposed to last forever because if it did, how would we ever know what happiness felt like?

Woah- isn’t happiness supposed to be what we strive for?

I flipped that thought around and thought about depression. Am I actually depressed all the time or is that just my default state of mind? Ive been depressed. Ive been depressed for long periods of time and have had to seek a lot of help for my depression but am I depressed right now? Probably not. I’m just so used to saying and believing that I am depressed so it has become my natural state of mind. Will I be depressed again in the future? Sure. Will I need to seek intensive help again in the future? Never say never. Depression is a chronic illness. But it is very easy to confuse contentment with depression.. or even happiness if that is all you know. It may be depression. It may be happiness. I don’t live inside your brain so I can’t answer that for you. I am only speaking from my own experiences. Right now, I am not depressed and when it comes back in the future, I will know exactly what it feels like.

As far as not being happy all the time in order to know what true happiness feels like- this may be an unpopular opinion among some of the people in my life but I agree with Humble. The biggest question I have run into with the belief of this philosophy is “why wouldn’t you want to be happy all the time?” Let me leave you with this: if I felt the same way the first time one of my posts got a few thousand views or the day I fulfilled my lifelong dream of standing on a glacier, that wouldn’t be very satisfying now would it? So yes. Happiness is what we strive for but it should be a motivator and something to look forward to and cherish. There is nothing wrong with being content.