What If

What if I made the wrong choice about my career?

What if I am not cut out for this degree?

 What if I am not as smart as my mother thinks I am?

What if I was the cause of my long-term friendships ending?

What if I don’t know how to communicate without getting in my feelings?

What if I cannot be the mother I desire to be?

What if I never find my hope again?

What if my mental illness is too much for my husband to take?

What if I never get out of my depressive thoughts?

What if…

I could say what if over and over, but the world will continue to turn. So instead of focusing on my “what ifs,” I will focus on my journey to a better, happier me.

What I Won’t Do

What I Won’t Do Is

  • I will not let people talk me out of my “No”
  • I will not put myself last because it makes other people uncomfortable
  • I will not listen to my inner critic
  • I will not stop reaching my goals
  • I will not let fear keep me from being my best self
  • I will not let what others say impact my decisions
  • I will not second guess myself
  • I will not say “no” to myself
  • I will not compete with anyone

Happy Birthday Ari!

Happy Birthday Ari!

We made it to year 34. I know it’s been a struggle, but we are still here. I want to thank you for holding on even though it was not an easy thing to do. I want you to know that you are stronger than you think you are.

Here are some things we will work on this year:

  • We will live without limits
  • We will pour into ourselves every chance we can
  • We will be slow to quit
  • We will be a lighthouse to people who are in need
  • We will stop beating ourselves up
  • We will learn to love ourselves more
  • We will be willing to stand firm on the boundaries we set
  • We will keep ourselves safe
  • We will fight for our goals and dreams
  • We will not allow outside factors to impact our being
  • We will find our “why” again
  • We will hope more
  • We will not let our mental illness win
  • We will stand strong

Crying Warrior

It’s been two months since being in this depressive episode. Instead of letting it get to me, I wanted to share some affirmations that I try to use when I am depressed. I hope if you are feeling depressed, these affirmations will make it easier.

-You will find your ‘why’ again

-Feel your feelings

-You are loved

-You are worthy

-You are not a failure

-With tears comes clarity

-I forgive myself

-I matter

-Love harder

-You will make it

-You are stronger with every tear

-You are not a crybaby

-Cry for as long as you need

-You will bounce back stronger than ever

-I am allowed to be in this moment

-My depression is not a life sentence

2020 Recap

Since we are closing out this year, I want to ask you some questions before entering 2021. I would like the readers of this post to answer at least one of the questions in the comments below. If it helps, write down the questions before answering them. Let’s make this post an interesting one.

-What was one thing you learned about yourself this year?

-What mistakes did you make in 2020?

-What successes did you have in 2020?

-What was your favorite memory of 2020?

-How would you describe this year?

-What is one thing you are leaving behind in 2020?

-What was your biggest challenge in 2020? How did you overcome it?

-If you could give 2020 a theme, what would it be and why?

-Are you ready for 2021? Why or why not?

I hope that 2021 brings nothing but happiness and enjoyment to every person that is reading this post. Allow 2021 to be the reset you need to jump-start everything you are trying to achieve. Happy New Year!

Sad Again: A Letter to Sadness

Dear Sadness,

You are not needed. Why is it every time I want happiness, you come along and talk me out of it? What is it about seeing me being happy bothers you? Is it because you can’t keep me in my bed? Is it because you can’t keep me thinking my life is pointless? I have a good life. I have a family that loves me through all of my ups and downs, and it kills you. It kills you that I learn how to forgive and move forever. Well, I hate to tell you this, sweetheart, but I am not sorry for you not winning over my life. I know that one day I will see you again, but I will be ready for you. I know that I may weep during the night, but I will find happiness and joy again. Never will I let you keep me down as you have before. That is a promise I am willing to make to me.

Girl Bye,

Ari

Your Best is the Best

One affirmation that I love to use daily is, “I’m doing my best.” We can all benefit from this affirmation in our everyday life. Now you may be thinking, how can this affirmation help me? Well, let’s go ahead and dive in.

How often do we start something new, and once we see our progress, we begin to beat ourselves up? Please do not tell me I am the only one that does this. Why is that? Well, it is because we are our harshest critics. But we do not need to hard on ourselves. We are allowed to work on things without thinking it will be done right on the first try. We might not want to admit it, but we are not perfect (Ari, this goes for you, girl). We are not in a race with anyone but ourselves. So guess what? We can make as many mistakes, and wrong turns as we want. It is hard to believe it because we want things to fall in place the first time but trust me, the best; we are giving right now is worth a million gold medals. Trust the process.  Take the time to enjoy the work you are creating and watch the joy it will bring you.

Are You Being Served?

I was thinking about what to write today since we are coming up to the end of the year, so let’s talk about letting go of things and people that do not serve us anymore. I know it is not a happy topic, but we need to talk about it before setting any new goals for 2021.

I am huge on friendships. I would stay in them even when I do not see them going anywhere. My anxiety would make me feel bad for ending relationships, and I would go back to that relationship, knowing nothing would change. This year as I look back on relationships that ended, I realized that holding on to a relationship to make the other person feel good does nothing for you. Is someone looking after you? If you cannot say yes to this question, it is a safe bet to say that your relationship is not serving you.

We cannot continue to live our lives for others. What does it do for us to give them our all and never get that in return? We have to remember that our means should be met in the relationships we have and if they are not met, we should feel no pressure to stay. I saw a video that said, “You do not have to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.” This means we should not burn ourselves out just to be with a person. We should not be the only ones giving our all to the relationship. Find a person that will be willing to give as well as receive.

A Lesson From Mister Rogers

Mister Rogers is my childhood hero. Every morning I would get up and turn PBS on to watch what lesson he was teaching his neighbors. As an adult, I will go on YouTube and watch old episodes to see what takeaways I can get as a 33-year-old. I came across one of his songs called, ‘What Do You Do with The Mad That You Feel?’ This song helped me understand my life a little more as a woman with Bipolar Depression. In this song, Mister Rogers explains that we can just be in our feelings, or we can find ways to express our emotions so we can get through them.

A main reason why we keep our feelings to ourselves is that we are afraid to look weak. We think the moment we break down and begin to open up; people will immediately judge us and tell everyone that knows us how much we suck. But that is not true. Most of the time, when we let people that love us in, they are understanding and want to help us get out of whatever it is we are in. For the most part, our friends’ job is to hear us out and be the shoulder you need to let out those big feelings. But it takes us, the person that is hurting, to allow someone in. It can be challenging, but what are the other options; to keep your feelings bottled up until you eventually pop? That will never work.

Mister Rogers ends the song by saying:

And what a good feeling to feel like this,

And know that the feeling is really mine.

Know that there’s something deep inside

That helps us become what we can,

For a girl can be someday a woman

And a boy can be someday a man.

What we can take away from these lyrics is that the feelings we have are ours. We can allow them to control us or do whatever we need to do to get them out. I know firsthand that allowing the feelings to control me only made me feel worse. But once I started taking control of those feelings, I felt right with the world. Again, we are in charge of what we allow to go on within our minds. If you have to write the feelings away, do it. If you have to take a long shower and cry the feelings away, do it. Does working out help to get the feelings out? DO IT! Whatever it takes to help you gain control over them, just be like Nike and DO IT. It can only help you grow more as a person. We owe it to ourselves to find ways to live with the emotions that we have. It may take some time, but if you are willing to put in the work, I promise you friends, you will find it worthwhile.  

A Letter to Doubt

Hey Doubt,

I am writing to you to let you know that you have no place here with me. Yes, I know we have been friends for a while, but this relationship is not serving me. You keep me second-guessing my purpose and my gifts. You made me think that no one will ever see the good in me. Hell, you even made me think my husband didn’t want me. Doubt, you are no one’s friend and to think that I trusted you makes me upset. Please know that you are not wanted or needed anymore, and you can take all your negative thoughts that you gave me back. I never did and still do not require you in my life.

Sorry. Not sorry.

Ari