Those are the 5 stages of grief and the same five stages I went through to get to the place where I can say: I have bi-polar disorder.
This is what I know.
I have to be writing. Where that will take me, I’ve never known.
I started writing what I thought might be a book, but it’s been more of a confessional diary. My main goal? Write until I don’t want to kill myself anymore.
I’ve felt a lot of shame about a lot of things. Abandoning my business even though it took the one thing I had left (my words). Having a mental illness. Psychotic episodes. How “success” became an obsession. How every rejection letter or “no” made me sink further into self-hatred. The suicidal thoughts.
The shame I felt on top of it all only magnified an already unbearable disease. Because everything that worked before and I thought I knew was destroyed by my illness. My entire world I’d worked so hard to “heal” fell the fuck apart.
I was frozen in fear.
And in complete denial.
This couldn’t be happening. I had to be strong. I had to be a role model. Be perfect. Keep my shit together. Practice what I preach.
I felt flawed.
I told myself I was done with “all this.” I had recovered. I didn’t have “it” anymore. But it never left. “It” was always there. And it wasn’t the normal sadness or excitement. It was bi-polar disorder. It wasn’t just being organized or articulate. It was reading a message at least 20 times before sending it. Fuck. I couldn’t deny it any longer.
No amount of positive thinking can “fix” a mind with mental illness. Believing it could brought me excruciating and unnecessary pain.
I became part of the problem. I bought into the stigma. I believed what I’d heard about people with depression.
That I wasn’t trying hard enough.
I needed to work out (which I did).
I needed to get outside (did that too).
Eat right (done).
But none of it worked.
Why? Because mental illness is a real fucking thing. It’s not a character flaw or a temporary emotion. It’s a disease. And yes it is in my head because it is my head. My messy brilliant beautiful chaotic fucked up head. And I’m not ashamed of it anymore.
I-CAN’T-BELIEVE-IT’S-GOOD-FOR-ME-STUFFING BY ELIZABETH GOOD
Here is a Body Ecology way to enjoy Thanksgiving stuffing! Toasted buckwheat replicates stuffing very well, and the “hidden” sea vegetables contribute alkalizing mega-nutrition without giving a fishy taste.
Soak the hijiki or arame in ½ cup purified water a few minutes before you begin to cook or while gathering your ingredients. (You will be saving this water when you drain it off in a few minutes as a VERY nutritious base for soups, to drink, or to use to cook other vegetables in.)
Put 2 cups of broth in a pot to boil while rinsing buckwheat in a strainer.
Once broth is boiling, turn heat to low and add buckwheat, covering. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes, checking to see when water is absorbed. If during cooking all water is absorbed but kasha grains are still hard, add 1/2 cup more broth and keep cooking until the grains are edible. (Repeat if necessary.)
While buckwheat is cooking, melt coconut oil in a separate pan.
Drain water from the hijiki or arame and add it to the pan along with scallion, onion, celery, leek, herbs, and salt.
When the mixture is well cooked, add the ghee, garlic, almonds, and sunflower seeds, cooking until ingredients are all slightly browned.
Stir until well cooked.
When kasha is cooked, add all ingredients together and mix well.
And despite years of practice and working on my skills, I’m still completely awkward in social situations.
I’ve always been this way.
May always be.
I can only handle being around around people in small bursts. Not because I’m a jerk. I just get overwhelmed easily.
That said, there are a few tricks that work for me when I do want to talk to people.
Keep in mind, for the most part, other people want someone to come talk to them. You can tell when a person sincerely doesn’t want to have a conversation with you. You know, headphones on, face buried in a book or notebook, etc.
Remember, you don’t have to have the perfect sentence formulated to talk to someone or a group of people.
Here are 5 other things to keep in mind when you’re ready, willing and able to start a conversation.
#1 Start with an observation.
This one is geared towards talking to an individual more so than a group. If and when you notice something you like about a person, make a comment about it. Only do this if it’s sincere.
Don’t do this:
Do give genuine compliments. Most people love receiving them! This opens up the conversation and often leads to learning more about what the other person is interested in.
#2 If you notice an open group you’d like to join, wait for a break in the conversation and ask, “Mind if I join you?”
Make sure the group is open first. You can tell a group is open when the people are standing somewhat apart, members occasionally glance around the room, there are gaps in the conversation and members are talking about a general topic.
Once you’ve determined the group is open, wait for the break and ask the friendliest-looking member if you can join in. This will ensure your intentions are clear and you won’t have to interrupt and risk seeming rude.
#3 Know what’s most important to you before you decide to start or join a conversation with an individual or group.
What is your goal or objective in this situation? Do you want to just connect without any result in mind? Do you want to make a new friend?
When you become clear on your intention, you may find knowing what to say comes a lot easier and more naturally.
#4 Make peace with the worst that could happen.
Cope ahead by reminding yourself that even if this person or group of people flat out rejects you, you will remain in tact. It does not define you or your worth.
Decide ahead of time you won’t go into a story about how “no one likes you.” Remember not to mind read either. You have no idea why someone would reject you. It might have nothing to do with you. So, keep your head up. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future.
#5 Expect the best or something even better.
You won’t know how the conversation (or anything) will go until you try.
If this is brand new to you, yes, it’s going to be scary. Acknowledge your fear and remind yourself why you’re doing this. Maybe you’ve been wanting new friends or maybe you just want to feel more like you’re part of the world. Whatever your reason, this is a a skill and it takes practice and patience.
It’s normal to be in and out of love with your body, considering the world that we live in. It makes sense to feel discomfort living in this culture that thrives on feeding your body dissatisfaction–otherwise how could the diet industry be a multi-BILLION dollar one?
Of course, it is easier to thrive in this society when you fit the stereotypical beauty standards of the day. Instead, most of us are challenged to acknowledge and accept our bodies for the miracles that they are, knowing that “your body is a wonderland” in the truest sense.
Once that can happen…Love Follows.
Easier said than done, you say? True.
Body Image is a factor within your whole self-esteem, how you view yourself. This is about who you are BEING. It’s not really about the size or lumpiness quotient of your thighs! If you are struggling in your career and making money easily, this could very well be tied to how you see yourself; what it feels like for you to be you. Who you are being impacts EVERY area of your life.
Your self-image impacts how much you put yourself out there, how confident you are in your profession, the types of opportunities and challenges you say, “Yes” too; how much money you make, how much support you allow in your life–basically how you let yourself RECEIVE.
Your body image is part of your overall self-esteem. One is not without the other. Your body is the vehicle that projects your image of yourself out into the world.
Changing your body acceptance is about transforming consciousness in a radical way. It’s about discovering your sabotaging beliefs and aligning yourself with your deepest desires.
Here’s the secret:
Psst…It isn’t really about your body (even though it is all about your body!)
At the core of all that is your desire to be loved.
The power of love is the only thing that can truly pull you out of that pit of self-loathing that conveniently shows up every time you wish it wouldn’t. (Kinda like that ex that pulls you down by showing up when you are vulnerable and lonely…)
Brave Body Love is a chance for you to discover new ways to be. Our team of experts and teachers are here to expand your mind, shift your perspective, offer different possibilities and even some facts you might not have know about body acceptance, nutrition or fitness. But mainly it is about you finding you again. Finding the freedom you’ve been missing in your life due to preoccupation with your perceived faults.
Take some time to re-discover your awesomeness and dream again.
Ive been practicing more mindfulness lately. To me its a necessity.
Its easy to get overtaken by thoughts and emotions, but with practice it can be just as easy and automatic to be present with each task.
Just for today, notice your thoughts and how they make you feel. Thoughts can just be thoughts if we allow them to be. It’s when emotions kick in and we start telling ourselves the old familiar story that things start to get tricky.
If and when you find yourself in a panicked state, ask yourself, what am I believing about myself or this situation? Is it really true? Even if it is, will focusing on it resolve the problem?