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

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!

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.

Go to Sleep Girl: A Message to My Anxiety

Hey Anxiety,

I have some questions for you. For starters, do you know that it is 5 in the morning, and you have me up worrying again? Is it because you like picking with me, or do you really think that I like not having sleep? Please help me understand your role in this toxic relationship you have placed me in. I want to be able to sleep without taking a pill to shut you up. PLEASE LET ME SLEEP! I BEG YOU! We can talk when the sun comes up about whatever you have planned for us to do today. Just let me sleep, girl. I have something important to do, and I would like to be well-rested. Is that okay with you? Damn. You are so needy, and I cannot handle it anymore. I know we are stuck with each other but work with me, please.

Thanks,

Ari

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.  

2 Something in the Morning

I am not feeling my best right now, so it only fits to spread positivity to myself and others. Here are ten affirmations I use when I am feeling out of it during my depressive episodes.

I possess the qualities needed to be successful.

I am a work in progress, and that’s okay.

I choose positivity today.

I will let go of things that do not give me peace.

All my problems have solutions.

It is okay to say no to things that do not serve you.

I am grounded.

I choose happiness.

I can handle anything that comes my way. I am strong.

I have the power to control my thoughts.

Say these affirmations to yourself daily and see how well they work for you. I am not saying that they will work overnight, but if you are willing to make it a habit, you can see your behavior change.

NO.

How hard is it for you to say no? If you are like me, saying no feels like slapping someone in the face. Saying no makes me feel guilty even when I have a reason to say it. So what do you do? Should you say yes forever? Well, I have a list we can all use to help fight the fear of saying no.

It is okay to say no…

If it doesn’t make you happy

If you feel as if someone is forcing you

If it doesn’t fit your plans

If it makes you uncomfortable

If you want to be by yourself and relax

If your feelings are not being valued

If it goes against what you believe in

If it’s a family member

If you have no reason other than you wanting to do it

Understand that it does not happen overnight. But remember, you have the right to say no to anyone about anything. Saying no helps protect your feelings, so use it when you can.

10 Things I Need to Stop Worrying About

Writing this list was hard for me because worrying has become like second nature to me. Hopefully, by writing this list, I can help not only myself with worrying but help whoever reads this.

Stop worrying about things that are outside of your control. You can only handle what you can touch.

Stop worrying about people’s approval of you. You are entitled to make decisions for yourself without someone telling you that your choices are okay to them.

Stop worrying about the “what ifs.” When you allow yourself to focus on what may or could happen, you slow down getting to your goal.

Stop worrying about the future. It is your job to enjoy the time that you have right now. Tomorrow is not promised.

Stop worrying about how to fix other’s problems. When you take on someone’s problems, they began to become yours that you will never be able to fix. Your job is to focus on what you need to fix for you.

Stop worrying about being perfect. Sweetheart, we will never be perfect. But what we can be is our best while embracing our flaws.

Stop worrying about if you are where you should be. It is not about getting to a place at a specific time, but the lessons you learned on the way to that place.

Stop worrying about money. Your needs will be met. Trust the timing.

Stop worrying about issues from your past. You are not your past. You cannot change what has already happened, but you can grow from it.

Stop worrying about change. How will you grow and progress without changing? Changes bring on new chances at winning.

Dear 20 Something Ari

Hey Girl,

Right now, I am sure you are writing your fifth 10-year goals list, hoping that 30 never comes for you. Well, sis, it’s coming sooner than you think. But guess what? You do not have to have it all together before 30 comes. You are at a place where making mistakes should not drive you to think less of yourself, but the mistakes should be taken as lessons being taught to you. You are smart enough to reach any goal you set your mind to; just stop trying to focus on how quick that goal is achieved when it’s not the time for you yet. I know you see people you went to high school with having their degrees and starting new chapters for themselves, but understand you did not do anything wrong. We are not supposed to move the way we see others moving. That’s not how we were made. We were made to march differently and do so with ease.

Lastly, Ari, you are killing it! Just take your time and do not allow what you see others doing; keep you from being your true self. We have time, so take the time to enjoy the journey.

Love,

30 Something Ari