Am I Anyone without a Smile?

Some days, the smiles just don't want to come.

Some days, the smiles just don’t want to come.

From theater to Disney, my life has constantly been filled with places where I need to smile. I enjoy smiling. When I see others smiling, my heart feels lighter especially if I helped bring about their joy. I don’t mind keeping a smile on my face for hours on end when I see it positively influencing others.

However, I sometimes feel more like crying than smiling. Then, I realize that people think of me as someone who always smiles. Who would I be without my smile? This haunts me.

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Collage of Me

Meeting Cinderella for the first time

Meeting Cinderella for the first time

Drawing, painting, and other forms of art have always been hard for me. Perfectionism makes me want to tear up everything that I create.

Collages, on the other hand, are simple enough for me to do and fun enough to keep my attention. I love looking through magazines to find images that represent someone or even myself.

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Feeling Depressed in a Wonderful Life

At the beach

My beach adventure today was wonderful!

How can someone feel so sad but elated at the same time? Depression makes no sense.

Today was wonderful. I walked on pillow-like sand, laughed with new friends from Japan, swam like a dolphin in the ocean, ran across the beach for the first time, and then relaxed shopping a bit.

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You Can Break Free and Be Strong

We can easily be trapped in a box during our lives. Parents have expectations we must meet, friends pressure us to follow the crowd, teachers push for good grades, etc. All of life seems to tug on us.

However, we can break free and be ourselves. I love this song because it reminds me of that. Plus, Kelly Clarkson is an amazing singer.

What makes you feel invincible? What holds you back from that? My friend advised me today to keep looking for my identity and not focus so much on what others think of me. That is a very wise idea and one that I want to take to heart. That is the beginning of my journey (or maybe the middle of it) to being free.

What I Am, What I Am Not, What I Could Be

Ruth and me

My friend and me at her wedding

Today, my mother and I went to the baby shower of my best friend through high school. Since then, we have remained close at heart but taken very different paths. She did two years of mission work, finished college two Mays ago, married last November, and is now pregnant with a little girl. That is miles away from anything that I have experienced.

Going to Oxford proved to myself that I could accomplish great things. Now, I am more confident about my future. Although nothing is easy, the strength to go far and be a bright light is inside of me.

Balancing what I am, what I am not, and what I could be one day is difficult. Sometimes I wish that I was different and had a life more like my friend. Thus, this post is mostly a coping skill for me to practice learning to accept where I am and press forward with hope.

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Top Ten Quotes on Bipolar Disorder

Tunnel

Going in and out of a never ending tunnel is how one friend described bipolar disorder.

Bipolar is a term that is thrown around much too often in casual conversation. “She is so bipolar. You never know what mood you will find her in or what will make her upset.” No, you probably mean to say that she is moody. If she really does have bipolar disorder, than that is still a rather compassionate way to discuss her illness.

Thus, I decided to put together a list of quotes about bipolar that will hopefully raise awareness about this difficult mental illness. Although I do not struggle with it, several of my good friends do. They are brave warriors who need great energy and resilience to get maintain stability. Even then, battling this illness is nearly impossible alone. Please reach out to your medical care team, family, and friends instead of trying to power through it by yourself. My hope is that these quotes can give you hope and others (including myself) wisdom.

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You’re Done With Me, So Now What?

I feel so abandoned right now. Despite the numerous people around me and friends who affirm me, my spirit still sinks as if an anchor was dragging downward. The lonely hole inside that has been present since childhood remains despite my attempts to fill it in with others.

One person. Sometimes that is all it can take to make you feel like a wonderful person worthy of life or a stupid toy masquerading as something special.

This video is how I feel sometimes and what I wish that I could to say to people.

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“Is Everything You Do Disordered?”

Order and disorder, form and formless must have profound psychological roots, nervous roots. - Delmore Schwartz

Order and disorder, form and formless must have profound psychological roots, nervous roots.
– Delmore Schwartz

The other day, someone asked me, “Is everything you do disordered?”

Stumped, I just looked at them with an open mouth. Did that person really just ask me that? Blinking rapidly kept tears from falling down my face. However, after I pondered the question for a few minutes, the answer seemed less clear. Was everything that I did disordered? If so, did I need to change everything about me?

I stand while reading or working on the computer instead of sitting to get “exercise.” My daydreams about working out at the university gym certainly do not come from a healthy place. Most of my food, clothing, and friendship choices are dictated by my eating disorder, aspergers, anxiety, PTSD, or OCD. There are certain behaviors that cause myself harm – but not too much harm – that might still function as SIB.

So, taking those all into account, is everything that I do disordered?

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Thanks But If You Really Knew Me…

Thanks But If You Really Knew Me....

We are prepared for insults, but compliments baffle us. – Mason Cooley

Everyone longs for compliments and affirmation.  Even people who pretend to not care worry sometimes about what others think.  The most confident and charismatic men and women still enjoy positive remarks.  This is simply part of being human, neither good nor bad.

I am certainly no exception.  One kind word brightens my mood while criticism drains any of my joy quickly.  Although people lecture to not care about others’ opinions, I still fret about pleasing everyone.  Unsurprisingly, my past few years in treatment introduced me to many people who felt similarly.  Beautiful woman, talented girls, and wise men all begged silently for the approval of the world.

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Comparison Kills

Comparison Kills

“Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” – Iyanla Van

The first day of my university’s mandatory chapel, our Student Body President addressed us.  Beginning with a quirky poem he wrote, the senior smiled out at the rows of chair filled with bubbly theater majors, nervous freshman, yelling football players, and politely applauding faculty.  Suddenly, the young man who we all looked up to paused for a moment before looking around with a serious expression.

“I want to tell you something important that I learned from someone else.”  He stared out as if looking into each of the students’ eyes.  “Comparison kills compassion.  When you compare yourself to others, you no longer are able to reach out to them with love and compassion.  Instead, you are stuck thinking about yourself and how you measure up compared to the people around you.  I have been guilty of this and it needs to stop.”

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