Things to Remember When You’re Going Through It

A while back I came across this picture on Facebook. I saved it in hopes to use it everyday or whenever I needed it. Sadly it has sat in my photos, only glanced at a few times. I never stopped to give this picture any thought until recently. Here’s the picture:20181207_1318085243024043800471066.jpg

Like I said, I saved the picture with plans to use during those dark times (and Lord knows I could have used too), but it sat in my phone until I really needed it I guess.

  1. When we are caught between a rock and a hard place and it seems like everything that can be wrong is wrong, we want to throw in the towel. It seems like no matter what we do to try to make any situation better, it only gets worse and there is no hope in sight. Things can change, and they will change. Most people want overnight change and success, and it can be understandable if you take into consideration that someone has been suffering for a long time, but that’s not how things work unfortunately. Change, all change, takes time, hard work, persistence and patience. Think about it, you didn’t just appear one night. Your mother had to carry you for nine months before you were born. You didn’t go to sleep one night at the age of 5 and wake up the next morning at the age of 30 (though sometimes it does feel that way). Patience is key, as hard as it may be.
  2. Remember when you couldn’t walk on your own, tie your own shoes, figure out that one math problem? You eventually figured things out right. Same applies here. Though this challenge may be bigger than learning how to tie your shoes, the point is you’ve faced other challenges in your life before that you thought at one time you would never get through, but you did. You’re going to look back at this challenge in a few years and laugh thinking about how stressed you were about it because you knew all along that you would make it out okay on the other side.
  3. You don’t enter this world knowing everything. Therefore, you are going to make some mistakes here and there. Just chalk it up as a learning experience. They say that mistakes prove that you’re at least trying, and I believe that. You might be trying to do the right thing, but because you’re not sure what the right thing is or how to go about doing the right thing, you make a mistake. We all make them, and it’s okay. Just learn from them and keep moving.
  4. Everything that you want is not good for you. Everything that you want is not good for you. Yes I had to say it twice. You know that good looking individual that you’ve been eyeing at work who smiles at you everyday and brings you coffee every Friday that you’ve just wanting to take home? Well they have a significant other with children they abuse everyday. It can be upsetting not to get what you want out of life, but sometimes there’s a reason you didn’t get, and sometimes that reason is because it wasn’t meant for you. Be appreciative of what you do have and what you get from life, because life doesn’t owe you.
  5.  You can’t take life too serious (my biggest problem). You have to “let your hair down” every once in a while and have some fun. Otherwise you’ll end up old, mean and bitter. Laughter is good for the soul. The sun is good for your overall health. Nothing is more relaxing than the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. Do you see where I’m going with this? Play just as hard as you work. It’s called balance.
  6. Self care is the most important thing someone can do for themselves. Self care means taking a day or three (lol) to yourself and doing things that make you happy. That could mean cuddling up on the couch, binge watching your favorite shows, chowing down on all your favorite foods, wearing your favorite pajamas with the holes in it, etc. Go get your hair done. Go for that walk. Stay in bed and get those extra hours of rest.
  7. There are some people who just enjoy being miserable and negative and they want others to be just as miserable as they are. These type of people you need to stay away from. Whatever negativity they are trying to sell is not something you need to worry yourself about. Simple as that.
  8. This is something that I have to remind myself of a lot. We get so caught up in that’s going wrong that we forget to pay attention to what’s going right. It could be something as simple as the fact you had enough money to buy yourself something to eat today, or as big as the fact that you woke up, left your house, and made it home safely because there are many people everyday who don’t wake up from last night’s sleep and who don’t make it home from that day’s adventure. There is always something we can be thankful for to look at and remind us that everything isn’t as bad as it seems.

I hope you all can take this list and apply it your lives, make it useful. Share it with your friends and family because we all need a little help and a little reminder every now and again.

Until next time…Caitlyn xo

Happy Mother’s Day

**I’m posting this early because at the end of the post is a list of gift ideas for Mother’s Day so I wanted to make sure people had enough time to read it if they planned to use any of my ideas.**

Mother’s Day…a celebration for mothers and mother figures all across the world. It is the biggest and most celebrated holiday across the globe. Most people think that Mother’s Day was created by Hallmark to profit off of people’s love for their mothers, but the origin of Mother’s Day goes much deeper and is a lot more sentimental than that.

rhea

The earliest Mother’s Day celebrations can be traced back to ancient Greece where the Greeks would bring gifts and offerings to honor Rhea, the mother of the gods. Many years later a woman by the name of Julia Howe (1819-1910) would try to create a “Mother’s Day” dedicated to peace. Her idea of Mother’s Day never really caught on. That is until another woman by the name of Anna Jarvis came along. Her version of Mother’s Day is similar to the version we have come to celebrate today. Thought it was originally Anna’s mother’s idea to create a Mother’s Day, it was Anna who is credited to founding the day. It was her idea that the purpose of Mother’s Day would be:

To revive the dormant filial love and gratitude we owe to those who gave us birth. To be a home tire for the absent. To obliterate family estrangement. To create a bond of brotherhood through the wearing of a floral badge. To make us better children by getting us closer to the hearts of our good mothers. To have them know we appreciate them, though we do no show it as often as we ought… Mothers Day is to remind us of our duty before it is too late. This day is intended that we may make new resolutions for a more active thought of our dear mothers. By words, gifts, actions of affection, and in every way possible, give her pleasure, and make her heart glad every day, and constantly keep in memory Mothers Day.

http://legacyproject.org/guides/mdhistory.html

mother's day

The widespread of Mother’s Day didn’t happen until after Anna’s mother passed. Anna wanted to create a day of peace and a day to honor her mother every year, to carry on her dream. Due to Anna’s perseverance, the holiday quickly reached a national level. By 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an offical holiday to be celebrated every second Sunday in May. He stated that mother’s were the greatest source of the country’s strength and inspiration.

The wearing of a fower- colored if your mother was living and white if not- was also started by Anna Jaris. To her it was an inexpensive way to show love, respect and honor.

Remember how I said that her version was similar to the one that we celerate today? The overall idea of celebrating mothers in general changed over the years to where people only celebrate thier mother (which isn’t the bad part). The bad part is that Mother’s day changed into the commercialized, money hungry holiday we all know and take part in. Unfortunately, Anna lived to see the ruining of her once beloved holiday. She was so upset that she even filed a lawsuit to stop a Mother’s Day festival and was arrested for disturbing the peace at a cenvention. She was hurt that the day had turned away from her original plan of sentiment to profit. Years later, Anna confessed that she was sorry she ever started Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis died in 1948 at the age of 84.

Today, Mother’s Day is celebrated in several countries, but on different dates. According to Legacy Project:

In the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Belgium, and Japan it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

In Great Britain, Mothering Sunday falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent. But Mother’s Day is now observed in England as it is in North America, and the traditions associated with Mothering Sunday have been largely forgotten.

In Mexico, Mother’s Day is always celebrated on May 10. When the holiday falls on a weekday, mothers take the day off from work and children stay home from school. Other countries that celebrate Mother’s Day on May 10 include Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

In Spain and Portugal, Mother’s Day is celebrated on December 8, which is also the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mothers are honored along with the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Other dates for Mother’s Day celebrations: Norway – second Sunday in February; France – last Sunday in May; Sweden – last Sunday in May; South Africa – first Sunday in May.

I do hate how comercialized Mother’s Day has become given insight to the original idea behind the day, but that’s just the world we live in now. We don’t have to let the greeting card and flower companies ruin what’s supposed to be a wonderful day for us and our mothers. People need to go back to the elementary school days where they made cards and gifts by hand, gifts that came from a true place of love and gratitude. Over the years, I’ve given my mother some of everything but a car and a house (I’m not financially there yet). I’ve run out of ideas so many times that I simply had to ask her what she wanted, and there’s nothnig wrong with that because at least I knew that what I got her she would love and appreciate. Below is a list of gift ideas that you could use if you can’t come up with any on your own. I have found that these make some of the best gifts…gifts that any mother would be happy to receive.

index

  1. Massage/Mani-pedi/spa day (plenty of coupons on Groupon…as well as other gift options
  2. Eddible Arrangement
  3. A mini vacation to her favorite place…just to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life
  4. A clean house…go over and clean the house for them so they can just relax
  5. A home cooked meal…it’s hard to get a reservation on Mother’s Day. Therefore just stay home and cook her favorite meal and surroufamilynd her with all the people that love her.
  6. Gift cards to her favorite places to shop
  7. Jewelry (check out my jewelry page if you would like to order one from me)

You can also try some of these DIY gifts:

  1. A “Mom Box” filled with their favorite things (slippers, snacks, a book, candles, etc.) to encourage relaxation
  2. A photo album of all your favorite memories
  3. Wood sign collage
  4. Spa basket

**A link to my Pinterest board will be here so you can check out examples of other DIY Mother’s Day gifts.**

If you are a mother reading this, I hope that this Mother’s Day is filled with nothing but love for you and you are reminded just how much you are indeed appreciated and cared about. To my own mother…I’m sorry that I can’t celebrate Mother’s Day with you. I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you (even if it doesn’t seem that way). Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers and mothers-to-be.

mothers-day-around-the-world

World Bipolar Day

Today is World Bipolar Day! This day is all about bringing more awareness, education and social acceptance to the disease and to those dealing with Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorder is more common than people think it is. Most people go majority of their lives undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, confusing their symptoms with another illness. By celebrating this day you’re not saying “Yay, I have bipolar disorder”. No one is happy to have a mental illness, but those who have it make the best out of their situation and they want others to know that they are not alone. Being ashamed of your disorder will only hinder whatever recovery and healing process you may try. Feeding into fears and stigmas is no way to live or get better.

Bipolar Disorder: There are four basic types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a disorder that deals with changes in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to perform day-to-day tasks. These moods range from extremely high (manic) to extremely low (depressive).

Bipolar disorder is not a rare disorder. Over 5.7 million adults alone suffer from bipolar disorder each year. The tests to determine if one is bipolar is not easy. Only after careful observations of symptoms are made will a person be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

According to Inspire Malibu, a list of common symptoms include:

  • Suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide
  • Problems concentrating, making decisions or remembering things
  • Racing thoughts and talking extremely fast
  • An unrealistic belief in one’s abilities
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Extended feelings of emptiness and worry
  • A change in sleeping and eating habits
  • Impulsive and destructive behavior
  • Distracted and restless

My personal push is to get rid of stigma for not only bipolar disorder, but mental illness in general. Stigma is a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, person or quality. There are many consequences of stigma, some with potential danger hanging in the background.

  • Discrimination at work or school
  • Alienation from friends, family and colleagues
  • Difficulties getting proper housing
  • Physical violence
  • Feelings of shame and guilt
  • The belief that there is nothing that can help them

Before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I didn’t know who I was. I grew up as a chameleon, blending in to the background of wherever I was, changing my colors to please the closet person to me at the moment. My likes, my thoughts, even my hopes and dreams for myself were not my own. Since…because of my bipolar diagnosis, I’ve had to take a step back and re-evaluate my life, who I really am. Everyday I’m learning something new about myself, and even though it’s scary sometimes, it’s refreshing and exciting to finally discover the person I am, flaws and all. I’ve had to learn my strengths, my weaknesses, my triggers, set my own goals, etc. Having bipolar disorder means that I see and handle the world a little differently. I feel things more intensely, and that’s okay. I have not suddenly become some potential criminal just because I have bipolar disorder. Family, friends and completely “normal” strangers pose more of a threat to me than I ever will to them because they don’t understand me, and because of that they fear me. Unchecked fear can be dangerous as it can make a person do some crazy things.

Unfortunately for this bipolar day I will be at work. However I have created a painting that represents bipolar disorder for me. This post is also my contribution for World Bipolar Day. I will also be wearing a handmade bracelet (see picture below) the entire day at work. I’m spreading the word, trying to get as many people as I can interested in the subject enough to start their own quest for answers, hopefully pointing them in the right directions.

I want people to realize that I’m not a threat nor am I just my illness. I’m still human. I’m still me…a me that just so happens to have bipolar disorder. I want people to take the initiative to learn what bipolar is. I want people to understand that everybody is dealing with something and that we should all just be nice and kind to one another whenever we can.

It’s World Bipolar Day. Go be nice to someone. Go learn something.

Stop the stigma. Let go of the fears.

Bipolar Day 2018…let’s make it a great one.

(Not the best artist but you get the idea)

Warm Weather Activities

Now that the sun is out and the temperatures are starting to increase, it’s time to get outside and soak it all up. Vitamin D is important for everyone! There are plenty of wonderful fun things to do outside. Just take your pick!

1. Do you live by any parks? Have a swing on the swing set. Take a nice walk or jog and get that heart pumping. Live by a river or lake? Take a blanket and sit by it. Maybe read a book or listen to some music while you’re there. Enjoy the scenery.

2. Do you have a green thumb? Start a garden. Once you start it you can’t neglect it so you’ll always find a reason to be outside.

3. Where I live has an outdoor pool. It’s not warm enough yet to get in but once it is, taking a dip is on my list. Being in the water makes me feel so free and relaxed.

4. Take your exercise routine outside. Improvise and use what you have. Doing yoga outside while breathing in the fresh air can be rather rejuvenating. Be a kid again and jump rope, play hop scotch, hula hoop!

5. Have a small get together (BBQ/potluck) and make it.a party.

6. Take a ride on a bike.

7. Take a hike. Explore your surroundings.

8. Go fishing.

9. Go camping. Sit under the stars. Sit by the campfire and tell stories. (An experience I’ve never had).

10. Go to a drive in move theater. The experience is awesome. Especially for little kids.

11. Take a nap outside in a hammock.

12. Have a picnic.

Whatever you choose to do, get out and soak up some vitamin D!

Be Gentle

We are our own worst critic. We expect perfection from ourselves if no one else does. As long as we put our best foot forward every time, the results aren’t that important. As a person with bipolar disorder, I never know what mood I’m going to be in before doing anything. But I still give it, or try to give it my all each time no matter what. Everyday is a new day, a new opportunity. Don’t stress about it. Do the best you can and ease up on yourself a bit. Stress isn’t good for anyone. Take it one day at a time, or one hour at a time if that makes it easier. 😊