The Fear of Starting Over

So many times in my life, since being aware of the effect Bipolar Disorder has on me, I have been scared to chase my dreams. I get this surge to push on, knowing the voice in the back of my mind is speaking to me about how silly I will look when I try to push past the hidden nightmare in my mind.

I was diagnosed at 11, but up until I was 23, I wasn’t aware of how much bipolar disorder impacted my life. I had a cycle of behaviors that would start out promising then end up becoming the shadow of hell I never thought I would experience.

Today, I finished my school enrollment to begin my journey to finally attaining my degree. I had thought I would have already done this, but it didn’t work in my life until recently. I have had my hands full with two kids and one of them being autistic and needing a bunch of support.

My feelings have been a mixture of worry, excitement and anxiety that I will somehow mess this up. For the first time in my life, I know exactly what I want to do, and I am excited to embrace the future and allow myself to be excited. I will be studying Neuropsychology.

Deafening Defeat…

My anger quelled today. I realized a number of things that were flawed in my thought process about my aunt dying at the hands of the pandemic.

The magic that I believed in was tested and I feel like I partially failed at that test. Here’s what I learned.

Anger is Part of the Normal Grieving Process

My anger was bad, but it was part of my personal grieving process. Had I acknowledged that fact, I would have come out of it a lot faster.

When you lose someone you deem special, and they go so fast that you feel like you barely even had a moment to digest what was happening before the outcome, it is frustrating. I will always miss her laughter as well as the fun conversations we would have. This is hard to accept because I really enjoy her jovial personality and all the amazing times I have had with her. Knowing it won’t happen again, gives me a loss of control which is frustrating and enraging to me.

You Can Have Trust or Control…

I did a bible study a few weeks ago that had never left me. The Bible study devotional said:

“Nothing is going to happen without me being forewarned and prepared to face it.

The problem, however, is that trust and control do not coexist. You can have control or you can have trust, but you can’t have both.”

YouVersion Bible App

Reading this really opened my eyes to some truth I never realized. I have spent my life thinking I was trusting when truly I was forcing myself to be controlling of each situation in hopes I could navigate the outcome somehow. I am now making a conscious effort to be more trusting.

I have to tell you, choosing to trust is a more beautiful way to live. Living with trust over control is also one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do. I didn’t realize how much effort it is to change an adherent quality of myself until I started making an effort.

With all that being said, by honoring my journey to choosing trust over control, I have quelled the anger of my aunts passing by remembering that I have to trust that this was meant to happen.

Additionally, a conversation with my aunt B. opened my eyes to how being inquisitiveness doesn’t always serve us. Sometimes you have to accept the intricacies of human existence as it is because you cannot change the past. Why question what happened when it all worked out as it should? (But I suck at this because I need answers when frankly there aren’t always answers readily available.)

Love is The Beginning & Love is the End

The last thing that helped stop the angry and frustrated thinking was remembering that I loved aunt Joanne. I loved her like a mother figure, like someone who believed in me with fierce loyalty no matter what I did. I never felt as if I deserved that level of faith, but if she was capable of that for me, don’t I owe her my loving support in her departure?

Love begot the world, and love will be there in the end. She was loved and maybe she didn’t hear it enough, but at the end, we made sure she knew how loved she truly was. We comforted her with our voices while she laid in a coma, telling her how much she meant to us. I will never be able to thank God enough for that.

The pandemic is terrible. Many people are dying alone. It’s enraging and devastating, but please try to take a moment to pray that God is opening his gates to all these souls, even if they haven’t had the chance to come to Him before dying.

I could never believe anyone is unworthy of the love of our Lord, no matter what the Bible or religious leaders teach. The Jesus I have come to know is so full of love that there is no way he would leave even the worst of us to burn in some hell fire. That love from Jesus makes the anger within me feel less severe.

I didn’t intend on turning this post into a religious one, but when death, grief and loss are involved, it’s hard not to share faith and belief.

Today I am grateful I found a way to let go of my pain and anger. The feelings are still raw and the wounds deep, but I know that I can’t be angry forever. Thank you all for not judging me as I ranted about my disgust and rage yesterday. I am only imperfectly human and the shock crippled me.

Rest In Peace my sweet Aunt Joanne. You are loved everywhere you go and missed deeply. Your loss is not what I would have ever wanted, but I’m eternally grateful to have had you in my life, to have had your love, and your faith in me. Rest easy my angel. 🙏

Choosing Wonder

Choosing Wonder IS the easiest choice. Wonder expresses how much you value the feelings of anxiety and how badly you want to heal those feelings. Amber Rae offers some amazing advice in her authentic book, “Choose Wonder over Worry.”

I have read and continue to read this incredible book I found by chance called, “Choose Wonder Over Worry,” by Amber Rae. Let me say, I give this book 10 out of 5 stars because 5 just doesn’t seem like enough.

I have been through a lot in my life and I don’t remember experiencing noteworthy anxiety until I was in my early 20’s. Now, after years of suffering, reading blogs, forums, medical journals, books, anything that would help me understand and overcome this intense fear I had inside, I found this book.

This book was the first thing that truly resonated with me and it’s taken me so long to write this blog because I couldn’t think of the right words to express to everyone of how invaluable this book became in my healing journey.

If you haven’t read the book, click here to buy it. Truly the author, Amber Rae, speaks from experience.

While I read this book, I have become obsessed with highlighting the best parts. When I finished reading, I had highlighted nearly the whole book. Every chapter fulfills the lessons I need in order to be the best me and offer my best self everyday to everyone.

She adds journal posts to the end of almost every chapter called, “Journal Into Wonder.” I am going to write posts journaling my entries so I can find my awesome fellow “wonder writers” who want to share in this healing journey together.

The First Journal Entry

Again, grab the book here if you want to join in this fun series!

“The answers are already within you. You’ll find journal prompts throughout the book to connect you with your inner knowing and voice of truth. Begin with this inquiry:”

What is your relationship like with Worry? With Wonder?

– Amber Rae “Wonder Over Worry”

My Relationship with Worry

I connected with Worry when I was in my early 20’s right after my son was born. I had always had a little cautious voice inside telling me to be careful, make smart choices, and I was not great at listening to it. The worrying really began when I was responsible for another human life with the birth of my first child.

Suddenly the world was more dangerous, the emotional roller coasters were more harmful, and I was all around terrified about how all this would affect the wellbeing of this tiny human that was entrusted to me. I started having anxiety attacks when he was about 6 months old, and soon after, I developed panic attacks and phobias of driving and being alone. My relationship with Worry became a 10+ year quest to balancing my internal fear with the reality and faith of being alive.

My Relationship with Wonder

Wonder was never easy for me to comprehend, even though I have a naturally curious personality. I considered myself to be a logistical person, everything had to make sense in a realistic way.

The concept of wonder is fairly new to me still. Prior to reading this book, I would allow myself to get anxious when I was feeling anxious. Now, I think about the meaning behind the anxiety and try to be patient with myself throughout the observation and consideration of what is going on to cause the anxiety.

I would say wonder has opened my mind to exploring what hides beneath the anxiety, the fear, the phobias to discover how to heal myself.

I encourage you again to grab this book and get involved in this impromptu conversation digging into Wonder and Worry. If you are suffering from Panic attacks or anxiety attacks, I know you will appreciate the work of Amber Rae.

I suspect you’re reading this because there are aspects of yourself that you want to discover and express. I wrote this book to coax that out of you. To show what’s possible when wonder leads the way.

“Choose Wonder Over Worry” by Amber Rae

The Fragile State of Frustration

In life, I have made these choices that I knew would probably end up bad at the time I made them, but I forged forward ignoring the clear signs. Maybe my hope in humanity is much greater than it should be, but I can’t stop believing that people are more good than bad.

I was taught by my amazing parents to treat others the way you want to be treated. I struggled for a long time with this lesson, and I even lied to myself that I was doing it, when I wasn’t in many cases. I know lately, I have been making an amazing effort to be good to those who are good to me and that is a beautiful transformation.

The Frustration About My Recent Choices

Lately, I have made an insane amount of good and bad choices in regards to my happiness and who I surround myself with.

The best choice I have made lately is my choice in a lover. My sweet, handsome spark of goodness who makes everything positive, even when it seems impossible.

The worst choices I have made, as of recently, was letting an old friend tear me apart again, believing she was actually a good person who was capable of love and compassion. Then I made the bad choice of believing (and having faith) that my ex was capable of being a decent human being when clearly he isn’t, and never will be. Both of these people do not have boundaries and would benefit from learning how to give as much as they take, and now I know that they are not good for me. It hurts a lot to let them both go again, but at least I stayed true, and authentic to myself throughout the situations that were meant to destroy my self confidence. I gave them both a chance in hopes that there was more to the story then the pain and destruction they continuously bring into my life.

I’m moving forward now

Someone once said to me:

When someone shows you who they really are, believe them.

From now on, I am no longer going to waste my time, energy and loyalty on people who don’t wish to exchange energy in a healthy way. I have an amazing amount of love in my life because I surround myself with good, decent, positive people who do not believe in harming me for fun or shoving their feelings down my throat as though I have no feelings to feel myself.

I want to blame my need to salvage bad relationships and selfish people from their personal torments on my own empathy, but truly I just care so much and have so much compassion for others that I give my heart and soul to everything and, sometimes, I never get the same respect in return.

In fact, I got told that I am abusive, and narcissistic because I wrote an honest post about my own feelings on a situation that hurt me. The post, entitled, “Speaking to the Wall with Thorns,” was my lament for how I felt after being hurt by someone for the millionth time. It was a healing post for me.

Although I never mentioned any names in my post, it was stated that the person who was the subject of the post was hurt by it. Due to this fact, it gave this person the right to emotionally abuse me even when I stopped fighting and defending myself through a text message war that came out of nowhere.

No!

Abuse is when you continue to come at someone with physically, emotionally, and mentally damaging intentions because you either derive joy from hurting someone else or you feel that you’re feelings or thoughts are more valid then the other persons.

I am not that kind of person. I don’t derive pleasure from hurting others nor do I want to invalidate another persons feelings to justify my own. I don’t need someone to validate my feelings and I don’t need to righteously justify myself in anyway. My intentions are always to love and appreciate others. I may have a hard time sometimes, but I always pull through to love and appreciate others.

The Good Choices Shine Brightest

When I finally reached my limit of drama with my recent choices, I had a momentary break down this morning. I looked up and my best choice was meeting my teary eyed glance with sympathy. He cared about my hurt, my pain, and it wasn’t a half hearted care, it was a truly devoted, truly sincere care for my wellbeing. He looked at me like he would do anything to see me smile through the pain he witnessed me experiencing these past few days.

That amazing choice in my seemingly messy, and chaotic life is a great man. I feel sometimes that I don’t deserve him at all! He is a truly awesome person who will do whatever he can to make me smile through the pain or hold me while I cry it out.

He saw me down and gave me chocolate ♥️🙏

In return, I feel the same way! I never want to see him in pain and I am beyond grateful to have his loving embrace when the overwhelming burden of over-loving and over-caring for ungrateful and harmful people is too great for me. This is an exchange of good energy with someone capable of giving and receiving energy in a healthy way.

Note to Self From The Pain to The Gain

Note to self moving forward from this horrible storm in my life right now, I am worthy of respect and love from those who I invite into my life. I will not ever be held down by my past or treated unkindly to justify someone else’s feelings or stressors. Compassion and ability to care for someone even when you don’t always agree, is a must in my choice of who will stay in my life from this moment on.

I try to remember, we are all stressed and we all have feelings, but no ones feelings and stressors are more important or more valid than another person’s feelings or stressors.

Literally, No one is more important than another.

It does not make me narcissistic or selfish if I miss a message, or don’t always have time to listen one time to someone I care for (especially when it is rare that I can’t find time for everyone I love). If I am working a million hours to care for two special needs kids, or have a lot on my plate in general, I don’t need to justify that to someone who’s intentions are to harm me regardless. In addition, every single person has narcissistic traits, but if you believe someone is narcissistic because they are doing the best they can to get by, then is it really worth it to try to hurt them? No!

No more!

I will not have friends or people in my life who want to be passive-aggressive, or flat out aggressive, and hurt me even when I say, “I’m sorry,” for something I don’t fully believe I should be sorry for.

The sad reality I am beginning to see is that there are people who don’t want an apology. Sorry is just the beginning of your efforts to make them happy, then they want your undivided attention whenever they ask for it, and all of your time should be theirs if they ask for it also. This kind of relationship or friendship is too much of a burden for me. I don’t need this drama in my life. I choose to send these people away with love and leave it alone.

I am happy with who I have become and I had a momentary breakdown when I looked at my recent choices and realized that these two people have made me question if I really changed or not. If someone makes me question my kindness, my unconditional love for others, or my sanity, they aren’t good for me.

It’s hard for me to accept defeat, but I am not going to fight for someone else’s respect, love or loyalty anymore.

You showed me who you are, and I choose to believe you and send you away with love and hope you find happiness in this life. ♥️🙏

Compassion Is Necessary

The word I want to highlight in this post is compassion.

If someone shows kindness, caring, and a willingness to help others, they’re showing compassion. This is a word for a very positive emotion that has to do with being thoughtful and decent. Giving to a charity takes compassion. Volunteering to work with sick people or animals takes compassion.

Vocabulary.com

I live with Bipolar Disorder, and it’s hard to explain why I feel the way I feel sometimes, but I do my best. I love many people whom always live with this unpredictable and often unsavory illness.

Loving someone who lives with bipolar disorder, is as hard as trying to love myself when I feel broken. I have so much love inside my heart that I do my best to remind myself that my love is so huge that even in the worst moments, when I want to yell at someone, I choose to love them anyway.

I struggle in life like everyone else. I struggle to be compassionate in tough situations, but I never forget to send my love in the direction of whomever needs it, even to an enemy and even when it is late to arrive. I truly just want to love everyone and give everyone a chance to be whomever they are without being judged. I can’t judge anyone anyways. I’m so far from perfect, it’s ridiculous to even think I might be at some point, but I will always try my hardest to be good.

If you live with bipolar disorder, just remember to tell the ones you love when you are struggling. I, myself, have a hard time doing this, but I always try to be better than I was before.

I want to leave anyone reading this post with one thing to consider, one mantra when you feel empty, exhausted, and hurt by someone you love who is fighting an invisible threat:

I am capable of loving them through this and I will show compassion.

Try to have compassion for yourself, and for everyone else in the world, even when it’s hard. You never know the struggles of others. We all know that we are not completely broken, we are all beautiful in our own way. For those of you living with bipolar like me, this illness is not who you are.

Just try harder every time to do whatever you can to be fair with yourself, to remember to love yourself enough to fight every step of the way. Fight for your life, fight for every happy moment you can summon, fight for the ones who value you, fight for the good times and the times that are meant to teach you. Fight even when you are bleeding out inside your soul. You have never lost this fight yet, you have the skills, the power and the purpose to be here. You are a warrior even when you feel small and insignificant. I know the fight you are fighting, and the fight isn’t fair. It isn’t a fight for the weak, it is meant for the strongest spirits who are wholehearted and LARGER THAN LIFE! Keep believing in your reasons why not, and keep fighting your ass off.

You. Are. Not. Alone.

It Takes me Under Fast…

Some part of me is losing control. The balance is off so badly that I don’t know what to feel.

I feel insecurity. I feel distant. I feel messy. I feel chaotic.

Why?

This is so out of left field, it’s so frustrating!

I know bipolar is not curable. I know I have to learn to deal with that fact, but there are times when I want to run away and never look back. Today is one of those days.

My anxiety is overwhelming, I want to cry and I want to scream in frustration. I want to be angry with my Lord, and the people around me who are thriving while I’m barely maintaining.

No one fully understands the feeling of being tossed and turned on mister toads wild ride like a bipolar patient. It’s miserable to be so completely fucked in the head. You don’t know when the silent threat will strike or if you are even prepared to fight for your life in an exhausting battle against a part of yourself you don’t know.

People go from loving you to thinking your crazy. People go from looking up to you, to wondering how they could have ever thought you knew shit about shit. That is demoralizing and painfully fucking depressing. You can be educated and know what you’re saying is true, but you’re crazy so they don’t hear you anymore.

I watched a good friend fall victim to this condition just the other night. Watching her cry in frustration for the life we are stuck living, is a sad reminder of the waves of hell coming back and devastating the forward progress I have earned.

Brain disorders, which now includes bipolar disorder, affects the brain. Some doctors say:

Medication is the only way to live a normal life.

Others in the field say:

It’s going to take a lot of work. It will never stop being work, but if you do the work, you have a chance at a normal life and a more balanced life.

What about the moments when you stare at yourself in the mirror and think:

Is it worth it? Am I worth all this pain? And how much pain can I take before I end the pain?

Sometimes, I contemplate what true peace is. Like what is it like for someone who doesn’t have bipolar? Are they able to be happy for healthy reasons? Are they more secure in knowing who and what they are? Do they know what it feels like to be lost in their minds pleading with the Lord to help them find strength to survive another demonic attack from within?

I’m exhausted when the depression hits. I feel depleted and lost when the waves of bipolar depression start ripping my mind into shreds and I’m begging for mercy to no end.

To me, it feels like a my brain senses a bad cell that is misfiring and passively bumping into the healthy parts of my brain causing chaos and mayhem. It’s like playing hot potato until the bad cell decides to die off and leave the healthy parts alone. Before it dies, it temporarily kills my joy, my energy, my personality, my stable mood, my beliefs, my values, and all the other things that make me who I am. It’s like watching a horror film where the killer is inside you looking for a chance to attack you when you’re vulnerable and happy.

I love the life I have now, but I feel like I know it won’t last. I know this because I am incapable (despite my truly powerful efforts) to stay balanced with my illness. This illness will be always be my till death do us part unwanted partner. If I neglect it, I suffer. If I focus on it, I suffer. If I beg for help, I suffer. If I fight for my life, I suffer.

Why does this have to happen to me? To all of us suffering (some in silence, some out loud)? Why can’t someone care enough to find a treatment that works all the time? Why can’t I experience joy and happiness without wondering when it will end and I will be lost in the abyss? Someone, Please tell me why I feel the urge to give up? And why tomorrow I can’t sleep for weeks or talk without speaking too fast that I seem neurotic? Someone please tell me why I sometimes can’t feel a thing? And other times I can’t stop feeling all things (good or bad)?

Remember that I am fighting a threat you can’t see or hear, but it is a living hell for me and I’m fighting to remind myself everyday that I am worthy of goodness. I fight every single fucking day till I’m bleeding and begging for a break that never comes. Remember that I survived before but it only gets harder until it ends.

If you care about me, remember that I am partially broken, but my heart is good, my intentions are pure, my shortness or nastiness isn’t from me, it’s from my careful care of my debilitating illness that affects my brain. I suffer and struggle to hold it together but I will not give up if I keep fighting with my whole heart and soul, and sometimes I might look lost and in need of support. Just remember that you don’t have to be stuck in my hell with me, I wouldn’t be here if I had a choice, and I would never want anyone to feel struck by my hell.

Just choose where you want to be and don’t love me at all if you can’t love the parts of me that are broken, because they will never be perfect and I will never be able to apologize for all the pain I can inflict on myself and unintentionally on those that love me.

I’m sorry if you love me, I know I’m hard to love. 😢

I’m Thankful for…

Today is a holiday I used to believe to be a waste of time. I used to say selfish things like:

What do I have to be thankful for living with bipolar disorder?

Or

Should I be thankful I didn’t commit suicide this year?

It used to be an unhealthy day for me, one where I couldn’t see the people, places or things in my life that were worth being thankful for. Rather, I saw only the bleak light of surviving another year.

Truth bomb right here!

This year, I felt as though the holidays were going to destroy me. With the break up of my 5 year relationship, the 2 suicide attempts, the messy career moves I made that nearly put me over the edge, and the horrible people I allowed into my life under false pretenses, I was uncertain that I would be thankful for anything again this year.

Fortunately, I am.

I am thankful for bipolar disorder and my ability to be more open about my life with bipolar.

There are moments when being myself feels impossible but impossible means I’m possible!

I am thankful for my children and my family who have had my back through the darkest of times.

My reason for being alive comes from the children I created. Born out of love and loved through and through.

I am thankful for my beauty, and my heart that is always full because of family and friends.

When I asked myself, “when did I feel most alive?” My answer was, “when I smiled casually for myself and no one else.”

I am thankful for my will power to survive the darkness even when I thought it would eat me alive or I wouldn’t survive the emotional pain.

I named this graphic “The pieces of my broken heart 💔 “

I am thankful for Bali and all the amazing people that brought healing, love and kindness into my life without expecting anything more than honesty from me.

My adventurous Brother from another mother Jim!

And my brother from another mother Dan, the bloody Englishman who loves to complain in a funny way, but he is an awesome friend!

Finding a family on the other side of the world was a blessing I could never thank the Lord enough for. Thank you to my friends and chosen family in Bali.

My home is on a stage with the ones I love surrounding me. My heart is where I feel alive and loved and blessed.

I am thankful for my breakup from a toxic relationship that brought the worst out of two good people. The change was hard to accept but I am beginning to realize that he was a part of my journey to healing myself and he will always be in my life because of our child.

He had my heart, but then my heart decided that love wasn’t enough. He gave me my sweet little boy, but he also gave me a lot of pain. Thankful for him but definitely thankful for the lessons he taught me. He will find his happiness and I will find mine. ♥️

I am thankful for the difficult lessons I learned in life and in my career, the exciting opportunities I have barely tapped into, and even the frustration with websites that have had issues or were more work than I realized.

My time in Los Vegas at the Reign Beauty Conference for MaskCara Beauty. Check out my website nikimaria.maskcarabeauty.com

I am thankful that the truth always wins and that eventually the harsh truth, whether we like it or not, can save us from making mistakes or not learning from our mistakes.

The truth will always win my friends. Trust until you have a reason not to!

I am thankful for the home I live in and the amazing neighbors and friends I have been blessed with.

Remember to always take the positive with the negative and make something great. #sortasweetsortasavage

I am thankful for the food I am able to buy and the bills I am able to pay.

I am thankful for my Lord for protecting me through the dark times, even when I didn’t think He was there.

I am thankful for myself. For the strength I earned through picking myself up from every disaster and finding new reasons to be balanced.

Rocking the sick look to remind myself that I am still beautiful and worthy of love!

Lastly, I am thankful for my three close friends that all make me feel loved and cared for regardless of my choices or mistakes.

The loving motherly friend who always checks in on me. My Heather! ♥️

The super sweet, super loving Mallori who has my back ride or die style! ♥️

My Andrea who turns the negatives into positives and always shows me how much she cares! ♥️

Lastly, I am thankful for my parents who always worked hard to care for me and give me every opportunity, and every experience I needed, to be the best version of myself. They also combined all their best qualities in creating me.

Mom and dad

There are always things to be thankful for, and I guess this year, rather than believing that my “issues” are not worthy of being thankful for, I choose to be grateful and thankful for them. After all, I wouldn’t be me without them.

This Instagram profile is awesome! Follow @2minds_allign

While this has been a tough year to go through, I struggled a lot and I felt a lot of loss, I realized that today I have more reasons to be thankful than ungrateful. I always have in fact, and it took some reminding to myself that I am stronger and braver than I ever believed.

Being brave was the hardest thing I ever had to do!

I can and did overcome the hard times and learned from those hard times, that I can walk away even if it hurts, I can say goodbye without coming undone completely, and I can live with bipolar disorder without medication because I will not let my brains chemical imbalance live my life for me. I feel blessed to have found my balance during the hardest of hard times, that I have found strength when I wanted to be weak, that I found hope when a situations seemed hopeless, and that I found joy when I felt joyless.

Embrace your beauty and know you are loved by someone or many!

I can only hope that at this time of year, when giving thanks is the theme of the season, that you all will find your reasons why being alive, and being grateful as well as thankful are the true healing sources of living a life with a brain disorder or mental illness. The goal is to create the life worth living by pushing yourself past what you may think is holding you back, and finding joy on the other side of the heartache and suffering.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May you find one or many reasons to be thankful for the little or big blessings in your life. I encourage you to embrace your journey today and to find new meanings for the dark or less favorable realities of your life.

This picture I took when I was sinking inside myself, lost in a loveless relationship, feeling manic and not sleeping or eating well. I was sick, scared, taking substances to cope and not facing my demons. I was lost and not trying to be found. Circa 2016

Even if you feel that getting out of bed seems impossible, you will get through the storm with determination and patience if you believe, have faith, be kind, and let go of the things that are done.

Xoxo 💋 Niki

Powerful Truth This Morning: Comparisons & Self Judgements

I wrote a blog feeling hopeless the other day. I had just gotten home, my energy was low from the long travels and I felt overwhelmed because I was putting expectations on myself.

This was a huge MISTAKE!

I went to Bali to find myself, and find myself was exactly what I did. Sometimes I forget that I have a brain disorder. Sometimes when I feel so full of positive energy, I forget that I am still living with a mental illness to which there is no cure. So rather than giving myself a chance to sleep and replenish myself from an amazing journey, I took to writing a blog.

After I finally slept a lot, I realized that I was just fine. I learned to cope, I learned to believe in my intuitive energy and intuitive mind (or “wise mind” as they call it at the retreat).

Many people have reached out via Instagram or Facebook to ask if I was feeling better. I didn’t answer because I was ashamed that I was falling apart when I was tired from the journey. Let me just say emphatically that YES I am not only feeling much better, but I have a lot of hope for my future. Life isn’t meant to be a struggle all the time, life is meant to have moments of clarity to absorb knowledge and power. I had feared I would return home and fall apart, but I only had a moment when I was too tired to actually assess my feelings.

Guys!! If you are diagnosed with a brain disorder as I am, we absolutely must remember to give ourselves time to feel however we need to feel. That doesn’t mean we will fall apart. I know for me, I have committed most of my adult life to be self aware. I recognize the signs of my fatal demise and the moments when I am going dark sky no stars, and I immediately get help or focus my energy on listening to my body.

Let’s Talk Comparisons!!

Why do we all have a natural tendency to compare? I do it too, I’m not innocent.

If you really think about it, even those without mental illness have tremendous struggles, life itself is not easy for anyone. Plus, self esteem issues can turn into eating disorders or drug abuse, which means we are all destined to have mental issues at some point.

The things we would do well to avoid are comparisons with others. I’ll give you a completely made up example.

If you get on a airplane, and you are having anxiety but the person next to you seems calm as a cucumber, what you may not realize is that they are flying to the funeral of their own mother or sibling or loved one (you never know). So while they may not be scared to fly, they are choking back intense emotions. The moment you compare your anxiety to their emotional turmoil, you don’t get the chance to be a shoulder for them to lean on or a friend to keep you calm.

Not a single comparison is ever truly valid. When you compare, you set yourself up for failure in your own journey. That isn’t helpful for you because you don’t get the chance to love the people you are judging or to love and appreciate yourself. At the end of the day, we are all beings of love, created to love and be loved.

You might think you are damaged because you are currently looking at your life from the standpoint of the disease that you have been told you have, but truthfully, you are NOT broken, you are NOT damaged, you are NOT incapable of fighting whatever demons you have unknowingly unleashed upon yourself.

Rather, You my sweet friends, are beings of love and you are the only person(s) capable of tapping into that love.

Naturally we all feel the pull to bring drama upon ourselves, (my family is rolling their eyes because I am a drama starter like no other at times) but I, we, also have the power to learn from it and grow from it.

It isn’t about the mistakes you make, it’s about how you learn and grow from them. 😉

I have stood where some of you are standing now. I have known a toxic mind, a chaotic thought pattern. I have experienced incredible negative energy and have had my resources depleted completely for no good reason. I have laid in my bed for days, weeks, and months at a time waiting for a reason to get up, gripping onto those in my life that love me to force me out of my personal hell.

I have felt the pull to end the pain and suffering, to take my own life, I have even tried to end it more times than I thought I ever would. I have experienced intense anger and frustration for completely irrational or even made up reasons. I have pushed people away when I needed them because I didn’t know how to ask for help or I wasn’t ready to be helped. I have cried enough to fill a river, possibly an ocean but who really knows 🤷‍♀️🤣. I have been risky and made poor choices that could have or, in the past, did destroy me for a short time. I have experienced times when sleep didn’t matter, drugs were fun, drinking was necessary for survival, and life was a game of chess and I was the queen controlling the chaos. I have been manic and depressed at the same time and slipped into psychosis where I tried to convince myself I had murdered my mom, my children, or others I love in my sleep (which was completely untrue) and I became paralyzed with grief. I have experienced a shit load of trauma and went through the painful journey to forgiving myself for holding onto it. My point is;

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Trust in this, Bipolar Disorder, or any of the brain disorders, take away your ability to control your thought process easily. But I learned something about that (dare I say) bullshit. The human brain isn’t a calculated place that does what it’s supposed to, it isn’t going to follow a mediocre line of what is “normal,” that scientists can use to make assumptions. The mind is everywhere and nowhere, completely unmeasurable and unpredictable. It cannot be measured or quantified by Scientific law.

The human brain, the mind, the subconscious, is the place of reckoning, a place of learning and a place of the truest truths that can only be seen by its own host. We all have it, we all have the power to use it for good or for evil. No scientist can predict it. It is the ultimate freedom, the ultimate clarity. What about when we make mistakes?

Mistakes & The Fixes That Might Just Work!

Do you ever notice that when you make a huge mistake, you suddenly slip away to panic or anxiety attacks, you become overwhelmed or you feel completely hopeless and desperate for a solution immediately to end the discomfort?

If you think of the brain as a place of personal judgement, the order keeper, the director of the body, The orderly, the president of all things you, then you will understand that there is nothing wrong with you, even if you make a mistake!

So, you made a mistake, you are not broken beyond repair because you fucked up, you are not damaged goods, you are not worthless, you are just misreading the signals your brain is sending to you to help you improve and grow. If you tune in, you will be able to rationalize why you made the mistake in the first place.

Think of it like this, you eat a piece of broccoli. The green veggie hits your tongue and you decide, “this isn’t yummy.” Right then you decide to avoid broccoli forever, even though one day you might try it again, but not today. There are so many foods, why waste your energy on this one food you don’t care for? That is the logically explanation your mind is providing.

Now apply that logic to your other mistakes. For example, you start a rumor about a close friend. In this moment, you had a touch of jealousy or you felt angry (whatever reason you had), so you start this little seemingly harmless rumor to balance the scales and seek out your shitty revenge (which is a learning opportunity).

Suddenly, your close friend finds out and confronts you aggressively. Tearing down your foundation, saying, “how dare you judge me when you are so fucked the fuck up!” This causes your mistake to become a mirror of all shitty things you have ever done and how they are right about you.

Pause ….

You have allowed the words they said to unlock your brain in a full blown assault. Perhaps you will lay in bed for months and begin to beat yourself up with other negative things you did or feel responsible for, and suddenly you slip into a suicidal place. Thoughts start racing uncontrollably because your laziness has decided to stop fighting the inevitable.

Why should I live? What good am I? I am a burden. I am a loser. I ruin people for sport. I am no good to anyone, not even myself.

Well now that you have defiled yourself and broke down like an old Chevy on a dark road, here’s my advice to your brain:

SHUT UP BRAIN!!

This is all a lie! You made a mistake, you are not a completely fucked person because you fucked up. Slow down friend.

Just like the broccoli, or whatever food you dislike, that you decided you wouldn’t eat again, try to tell yourself that this mistake you made isn’t who you are, it is just a bad taste you don’t want to experience again. While it is easy to avoid broccoli (or the foods you don’t like) because it is a tangible thing and your brain is conditioned to avoid yucky stuff, drama can be harder to avoid, but not impossible.

Just take a moment to understand why you made the mistake, and how it would feel had it been done to you. Take all the time you need to properly assess. Also, try very hard not to judge your entire character on one mistake.

Always remember, this mistake was meant to happen. Mistakes happen because we are craving growth and in order to grow, one must accept their flaws, embrace their self imposed limitations, and stand up with new ways of evolving. Here’s a quick exercise you might try when you made a mistake.

Start by grabbing a piece of paper. This will calm down and quiet the mind. Plus it can give you the quiet space to ask yourself some simple questions in order to slow down the self judging thoughts.

Take your time and answer the following questions honestly without the self abuse or self judgements. Answer them as if your happiness is trapped in a cage and these questions are the key to unlocking it.

  1. What would you want to happen if this mistake you made was done to you by someone or something else?
  2. How would you be able to let it go in a healthy and healing way?
  3. What steps would you hope someone would take to fix the problem, (if this had been done to you)?
  4. Would you be willing to forgive someone or something if they did to you what you have just done to them?
  5. Moving forward, can you ever trust that this situation won’t happen again or accept that it might?

Then take those answers, fold the paper, and rip it up. After you rip the paper, place it on the floor, sit down, and close your eyes. Take 8 really deep and cleansing breaths. In through your nose (feeling your belly fill up) then out through the mouth.

While you take these 8 deep and cleansing breaths, inhale the air and repeat:

I am letting go and accepting of love.”

Then exhale and repeat:

I made a mistake but I am not a mistake.”

Next, walk away physically, mentally and emotionally from your situation for a few hours. In this time, watch a good/funny tv show, hang with your friends who don’t know about your mistake or don’t want to talk about your mistake, or hang with your family. The whole point is that you will not dwell on this mistake because you have taken an action and now you need to give yourself time to escape it for a few hours.

Try to remember you just took a step to solving the problem so right now, there is nothing to say about it or do about it.

After a few hours or a good nights rest, re-answer the questions with a fresh mind, and after a little space. Maybe your answers will change, maybe not. But the answers you put on the paper the second time are the ones I encourage you to use if you choose to take action.

By taking action, do what you would want done for you. If I made a mistake and my answer was that I would want someone to write me a letter apologizing and explaining why they felt the need to hurt me, then I would take action and write the letter apologizing and explaining very vulnerably why I made the choice in the first place. It is not up to you to determine what method of apology will work better for the person you hurt. Your only task is to be yourself and therefore no answer is wrong.

Just remember not to expect anything after you right the wrong or if you decide not to take action. What is meant for us, will never leave us permanently. If you make a mistake, you can only say sorry sincerely one time before you are forcing something that isn’t meant for you. Some people are forgiving but may never forget. That leaves you to decide if you want to be plagued by the mistake forever.

REMEMBER: You are never ever required to suffer from a mistake forever just because you feel responsible or unworthy. Mistakes are mistakes, every accident is the consequence of a mistake set in motion. Believe the truth that grief is good, grief is healthy when it is necessary! Letting go requires grief, whether the situation is big or small. You are only human. You don’t have to be sensitive to the judgements of others, you did the work, you learned from this mistake, and you may even do it again one day, but you are still a shining star worthy of love and acceptance.

While I took a little bit of a rabbit hole in this blog post, I want to point out that my blog from yesterday was not legitimate or honest to me. It was a mistake to write about my feelings before I knew what they were and I am choosing to forgive myself and let go of it now without removing the mistake. We are all capable of being bigger than we believe we are, but exhaustion can distort reality.

Reach out if I can support you with anything.

Xo

Niki

My Real Life …. Huge Joke

I’m home. I missed being home because of the familiar faces and my children. But I am miserable.

I don’t know why, I can’t explain it, I wish I could understand how I am capable of being my truest self in Bali, then coming home and forgetting who I am. I was so Happy and so alive, feeling healthy and wonderful in Bali to coming home and feeling like my true self took a hike and left a shell of that girl in its place.

I know I am jet lagged, which is why I am trying so hard to be patient, but it seems to me that this isn’t much different than before I left. I just genuinely hate myself here in my real life. My real life is currently a mix of heartache, pain, sadness from missing my children, worthlessness from being a shitty mom to a shitty daughter, shitty human, shitty friend. I feel like I’m two feet tall with no strength.

I didn’t have the urge to be depressed or manic while I was away, now I have this strong desire to lay in my bed and forget the world exists. I am so tired of fighting this emptiness. I am literally exhausted from not being able to see myself being happy here no matter how hard I fucking try.

If it is true that everywhere you go there you are, then why? Why was I happy and now I can’t see one happy thing here? I got home and all the air was sucked out of the sky and given to more important people than me.

I wish I could make sense of this, but I don’t have any answers. I just feel like my family is happier when I’m not here, most likely everyone is. I am too much for them, too much of a stressor, too much of a mess, too loud, I shine too brightly that it’s annoying. I can’t seem to find the energy to pick myself up in this world I live in. I feel depleted all the time. Exhausted and sad and pathetic, and it all started with the shitty stuff my ex has put me through!

Yes I am aware of how pathetic it is to love someone who doesn’t love you, how pathetic it is to have your family helping to care for you because you are not working enough to do it yourself. I know it’s pathetic that I can’t drive! I’m just pathetic. The sooner I accept it the better.

Today, it was suggested I have Stockholm syndrome. I am so tired of everything having to have a meaning. Maybe it’s nothing more than being totally done with life here! Maybe I’m just broken hearted. Maybe I just loved him! Maybe I just feel sad because I’m heartbroken. Maybe I need to lay in bed and let the exhaustion figure itself out. Medication won’t fix it, therapy won’t fix it, working is scaring me because driving is still scaring the shit out of me! I truly feel like I’m locked in a cage.

Maybe I’m unfixable. Maybe that’s just what it is and I’m never going to be enough for the people that support me! Maybe it’s just the way it is because I’m not perfect and I won’t make the logical decisions they know I need to, but logic means losing the last chance I have for a true family. That hurts more than anything he could do or say to me.

Of course my logical brain knows that he is no good for me, in fact he is terrible to me, and I should run away. Of course my logical brain knows I am better than the drama. Unfortunately, the logical brain isn’t in control right now, and most of the time when it comes to love my logical brain is no where to be found.

I am praying I find things to make me happy here in my shitty life. If not then I am heading back to despair which I won’t live with anymore.

Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have, Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman with my past.

– Lana Del Ray

Have Faith in the Bigger Plan

Sometimes I find myself getting so caught up in the details.

At home, I work myself up when things don’t go at least somewhat as they should or how I envisioned in my mind. This is because I set an expectation. The root of all negative things for me stems from freaking expectations!

Today, I had a schedule to have a surf lesson. I was overtired and a little burnt out from the sun after my weekend getaway in Amed this past weekend. I felt like my outward energy was repelling the idea of surfing this morning. I mean I want to do it, but not today, is all I could think about.

All the stars aligned, however, because I accepted that whatever was meant to be, is what will be! I gave my energy to the universe and something happened. It was as if that second I let go of my feelings about whether the activity happened or not the bigger plan determined the course of the morning.

Rather than surfing, which I wasn’t ready to do today, I enjoyed a calming and enlightening yoga experience instead. This was exactly what my body was craving today. It was refreshing and the perfect way to get my new healing week under way.

The funny thing about all of it, is that I didn’t once feel irritated or disappointed that the day wasn’t perfect to plan. In fact, I realized that having faith in the bigger plan was more exhilarating and required less energy. I have come to believe that having a mental illness requires routine to some degree, but the routine has to feel right to me in my current state. That’s the part I keep pushing away, the reminder that routine is nice, but that I am more flexible than a strict schedule with diligent rules.

This go with the flow feeling has been so helpful for me in my healing journey. There are moments that I can sense my fear, my sadness about things at home, but then I remind myself that I can only control my reactions to the world around me. Life is supposed to be unpredictable and even messy at times. It’s up to me to find order for myself in the chaos. I am trying to honor that thoroughly.

This journey is meant to be how it is going. If I take a handful of cut paper and throw them on the floor, they will create an arrangement. The arrangement will never be the same if I try to do it again. I will choose to remember that everything that happens, will only ever happen this way once. That is why I must appreciate the experience because it will change even if all the factors are the same. ♥️🙏