Life Update

One of those bomb photos I’ve been taking and oh hey! A Self-Portrait – yeah that’s me.

I’ve decided to write one of my “Life Update” posts since I have not done that in awhile now and in case anyone was curious on how’s it going, ahaha. I find myself recently in a funk of procrastination but have decided to finally get moving on some projects (fingers crossed I actually start). One of these projects is to write more frequently for my blog and give it a facelift so to speak. I intend to change the layout and buy an official domain soon and hopefully start to learn how to monetize my blog (if you have any tips leave a comment or send me an email). So far all I have done is fall down the rabbit hole of debating whether or not to switch to WIX for my blog, but after some research have decided WordPress exceeds my needs. I am hoping to learn how to do some coding soon and really tweak with this blog in a way that will help bring my vision to life. But first, let’s start with some content!

Last year around this time I was really insecure and fixated on my weight since it had been getting out of control as a result of my medications. I am happy to say I lost twenty five pounds since then and have managed to keep them off. I had a super active summer which I was proud of from playing tennis, to longboarding, to swimming, to running almost every day. However, life update alert – I have not exercised in three months now. I went from being super active to sitting at a computer all the time or lounging. I have been procrastinating getting back into a workout routine but have decided that THIS WEEK I shall start again! I have come up with a feasible plan of doing one short workout video a day, every day! (Well, we’ll see about that, haha) I found a great fitness youtuber last year when I started my fitness journey called MADFit and her videos range from minimal equipment to no equipment at all. She has a whole range of videos depending on what you’re looking for whether it be a full body or simply an ab workout – 10/10 I recommend her!

I have also been putting off what I think it my life’s project/purpose which is to write a memoir on my experiences with bipolar disorder from mania to psychosis, to depression, to mania and psychosis again and eventual recovery. I admit I get a little discouraged by the enormity of writing a book firstly and secondly one that exposes me in such a raw, inhibited way. I am a little worried that certain people will read this and think differently of me and judge me from where I’ve come from but honestly I believe it’s a story that needs to be told, and shared. I want that one person coming down from a full blown manic break from reality, to have a piece of literature like the one I intend to write so they know, “hey, someone else experienced this and came out better for it, maybe I can do the same.” Basically I want to offer hope to not just those with bipolar but to those who struggle with being “different.” Being different is a super power that needs to be harnessed and not stuffed down or hidden from the world. Our uniqueness should be celebrated and poor mental health should be acknowledge not just as a weakness but rather a strength – a place from which you can grow.

I digress… another thing I have been working on is chipping away part time at a degree in Graphic Design at the local college. I took what I imagined and convinced myself was going to be the hardest course by far called Applied Digital Technology which is basically digital art. We used three main programs: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. I have never used these programs before and have very limited computer knowledge (for example, I had to google how to properly “zip” a folder to submit my assignments). This is why I had been avoiding taking this course for I thought it would be the nail in the coffin that would indicate to me that maybe Graphic Design wasn’t actually the right choice. I decided to take it on though and online so virtual nonetheless! And drum roll….I aced it! I finished the course with a 92 which to me was beyond my expectations. I was so sure I was going to fail, like tank it!

Another new thing in my life is my renewed interest in photography brought on by school. I have been practicing taking portraits of my friends and can honestly say some of the stuff I’ve shot looks pretty legit, like profesh! I really enjoy the process of finding that perfect shot, from behind the scenes (staging make up and coming up with outfits), to the more technical and artistic aspects of it (finding the right light and camera setting). I recently sold my Canon Rebel T5i and upgraded to a Canon Rebel T7i and even got an additional telephoto lens (I have yet to play with, omg!). Below is the first picture I have so far taken with it of my dog Riley. I saw him on the deck shoving his nose in a pile of snow and immediately ran for my camera and chased him around the yard taking shots until I got this one!

My dog Riley, shot with my new Canon Rebel T7i

So the general consensus is life is good but it could be better, however isn’t that always how it goes? We’re never truly content with what we have or enjoy the present moment for what it is. The point is I need to get off my ASS and start working on these projects, both my fitness, personal, and academic ones. The only way is to take it one day at a time and hopefully build up some momentum in setting and achieving goals. But one very key Life Update: I am in a very different space mentally and physically from last year, and the year before that, etc. I think I am slowly recovering to who I was before all this bipolar shit got in the way. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate my past of mental illness for it makes me a more open minded and accepting individual (some might say too accepting sometimes, but oh well) but I’d be remiss to say it didn’t completely fucking derail and blow up my whole life.

But hey, I got a story now to tell! And if you couldn’t already tell – I am a pretty bomb writer 😉

Stay Healthy Folks! And stay tuned for some new stuff from me,

BipolarMania.

XOXOXOXOXOXO

Do You Think You Might Be Going Insane Again?

I recently had a major shift in my life in that a very serious relationship of mine came to its end. I have been coping very well compared to times in my past where I would just lose it in sorrow. I recognize now that I am older that sometimes things just don’t work out or go according to plan. I also know I gave my whole heart to this relationship and have no regrets. Is it a let down? Absolutely. But I am already getting over it and for some reason my family thinks that is a sign I might be mentally unstable again. I resent that.

My mother approached me recently and said “Do you think you might be going insane again?” She claims she is worried because I party too much, am constantly meeting new people, and am modelling again. She said it’s okay to be upset right now that something major has changed in your life. But honestly what if I am not upset? I am just doing me, is that such a crime?

I am a little offended that she would compare what I am doing right now to when I was in the throes of mental illness. I was acting super bizarre and had delusions of grandeur back then and now I am honestly just chilling enjoying myself and life. Everyone is looking at me like I am breakable and about to break but I am the strongest I have ever been because I know in my heart of  hearts that I am capable of more – more love and more potential.

When someone tells you they think you might be going insane you start to question yourself and think “well shit, am I going insane?” I mean I have no racing thoughts, no desire to partake in risky behavior and am still rocking the sober life (from drugs). I never realized moving on with your life and doing you would mean you come off as crazy to others. Don’t get me wrong I did some grieving. I put on every sad song I could think of and balled my eyes out reflecting on what and who I had lost. The next day though I picked myself off the floor and carried on. If that makes me seem crazy then so be it.

Everyone copes and moves on differently from things. This time around I chose to do it in a healthy manner and celebrate me. I realized things are fleeting and I want to enjoy my life right now and for what it is and should be – a good time. I also recognize for once that it was not my fault it ended, far from it. Some things are just not meant to be and this was a situation that was definitely not meant for me. I am done feeling like shit, doubting myself, and putting myself down for every little thing that does not quite go the way I expected.

At the end of the day just remember to be true to yourself and if people don’t like that then honestly they can go fuck themselves. I am doing me now more than ever and plan to keep it that way. However, with my history of poor mental health, I will be sure to reach out to loved ones the instant I feel something may be bothering me or wrong. I have learned from my mistakes and that’s all you can really do.

barry2

A Picture of me (Modelling) moving the fuck forwards.

Where Is My Life Heading?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and where it is going lately. I had a long talk with myself (yes, I talk to myself) and realized it’s literally going nowhere. I currently do not have a job, am not in school anymore and spend the majority of my time napping. I began to cry as I realized I am contributing absolutely nothing to society and that made me feel like crap! The only thing that I can think of that has any purpose, is my weekly volunteer shift at the SPCA Cat Adoption Centre in the local mall here. I guess you could say I am in a bit of a slump.

I used to have it all, or at least in my opinion I did. I had three really good and productive years in my life when I was in Ottawa attending school at Carleton University. I completed three years of an undergrad in a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Art History and English with a minor in Psychology. Yes, I double majored and minored! While at school, I was your typical type-A student who aced every course and had multiple extracurriculars. I created and was president of the Visual Arts Carleton (VAC) club, volunteered regularly at a local artist run centre in the community, and wrote regularly in the Arts section of Carleton’s student run newspaper called the Charlatan. I was always on the go and nothing seemed to slow me down. I excelled at University and come to think of those three years there as the best years of my life.

I remember a conversation I had with a roommate during these three years in which she said, “I envy you, you’re so put together.” I laughed at her and responded, “I just look like I do.” But to be honest she had a point, I did have it somewhat put together. I laugh at the thought if she could only see me now – a University drop out (not by choice, due to medical issues) who lives at home with her parents stuck on disability. This conversation always sticks in my head because I currently have it with myself everyday. I envy my past self and her ability to conquer the world so to speak. I used to set goals and smash them but now I don’t even bother making these goals cause I know I’ll just be disappointed. I’ll be disappointed because at the moment current restrictions, both financially and mentally, prohibit me from accomplishing almost any of my goals.

I have bipolar disorder and it makes it difficult for me to be able to do what I want. I’ve had several manic and depressive episodes that have left me hospitalized for months on end in the past few years. I could not finish my degree because I had to be hospitalized for a manic episode. After being hospitalized, I was rendered almost useless from being over medicated and ultimately had to drop out of Carleton University during my fourth and final year. I returned home from Ottawa to Welland and moved back in with my parents where I tried multiple times to hold down a job as a server, barista and TA but nothing stuck. I find after having been hospitalized and on various medications my brain as melted in a sense. I find tasks involving memory and comprehension a lot more difficult than prior to these experiences. I do not grasp things as quickly as I used to which makes holding down a job harder. I am now as of recently on disability and although that is a positive thing because I now have some income, I find it makes me feel worthless. I feel almost like I am not mentally stable enough to have a job or an education and that is enough to make anyone go mental!

I also have financial restrictions that I am embarrassed to say have come to run my life. I maxed out all my credit cards when I was in school paying for things like rent and groceries. This is not the only debt I have since when I was hospitalized I was unable to make payments on my OSAP (student loan) as well. It snowballed to the point that it would be senseless to begin making payments for it would never be paid off in a timely fashion. Another thing to keep in mind is my inability to hold down employment which makes it nearly impossible to make any kind of payment on my debt. I am currently waiting to bankrupt my student loan since you have to have been out of school for a certain amount of years to do it. So as it stands I have no money to even consider going back to school again and it will be years before I can save enough on disability to be able to afford it again. This situation and the inability to do what I love which is study, has made me extremely depressed.

This is all my long winded way of saying, I have no clue where my life is heading. I have decided, however, to try (key word “try”) to do something about it. I will set new and smaller goals to add more enrichment to my life. One goal I have is to learn and experiment more with photography. I also have fitness goals and financial goals that I would like to make this year. I want to be a healthier person both physically and mentally. And sitting around ruminating on my past is not going to get me anywhere. It is important to keep in mind my past when moving forward but it is not the most important thing to be dwelling on. I want to seek out more opportunities to grow as a person and try to learn something new everyday. So I may be limited now in terms of what direction my life can head but that does not mean it cannot be meaningful. I have decided after my little chat with myself about how my life was heading nowhere, that I will fight to have a meaningful life. It may take baby steps but I do believe one day I will return to University and have a career. But for today, I will start with my first goal which is to blog more! And that will just have to be enough…for now.