One of the challenging things about a mental health crisis is that often, even the people that care about you aren’t quite sure how to be there for you. After getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I lost a lot of friends during a time when I most needed support from them.
When I was first diagnosed with bipolar, I suffered from a variety of seriously negative thoughts and emotions. From feelings of embarrassment and shame, to feeling abandoned by people I cared about, to feeling confused about my diagnosis, my mind was constantly overwhelmed and bombarded.
As a big fan of personality quizzes, I’ve spent a significant amount of time pondering whether or not I’m introverted or extroverted. There’s something so validating about taking a quiz and receiving a resulting reading that explains you and your behavior. I think it stems from our desire as humans to feel understood (and to understand ourselves).
“Anxiety is a horrendous negative energy that clings to you like your own skin; [it’s] a feeling like catastrophe is immediate and inevitable,” says Matt*, a 31-year-old registered behavior technician from South Jersey. Matt is just one of the estimated 40 million Americans who suffers from an anxiety disorder – the most common mental health issue that afflicts US adults.
Recently, my fiancée surprised me with flowers. It was a simple gesture, but it carried a lot of weight for me. As I cut my roses and placed them in a vase, I thought about all the times when I was single that I picked up flowers for myself. It is so important to learn how to love yourself before you’re in a relationship, and I definitely had plenty of time to learn that.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the trap of busyness and to think that the more activities we can cram into our schedule, the better we are doing. Our fear of missing out can get the best of us sometimes, and we start to feel like we need to participate in every church activity, have tons of friendships, work long hours, and hardly take a moment for ourselves.
Anyone who knows me knows about my obsession with thrift store shopping. I’ve blogged about it many a time, and I can be found in a thrift store at least twice a week hunting down the latest fashion bargain. My mantra to find the best pieces is “shop often, buy seldom,” so I don’t always leave the store having made a purchase.
When I started my marketing job, I was excited for an opportunity to do something that I love to do. But I found myself facing creative blockages more often than I thought I would. It was one thing when creativity was purely for fun, but being creative on-demand was more challenging than I ever imagined.
I still remember the first time I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my friend from college — his name was George. At first, George and I were chatting with each other, sharing our thoughts on each exhibit. But the deeper we got into the museum, the more quiet we became. The art we encountered entranced us, pulling us deeper into our thoughts.
My wardrobe is so extensive that I had to create a second closet in my tiny apartment just to store it all. It’s also constantly growing. When my friends notice my ever-evolving assortment of clothing, this usually leads to inquiries.
Where did you get that? How come it always seems like you’re wearing new clothes? How is it possible that you aren’t completely broke?