Restructure & Redesign

As you can see, I’ve chosen a new design for my blog. This is part of my plan to redesign and restructure not just my blog, but my life. So much has changed over the months for me. I mean, I’ve changed jobs, I’ve changed my faith, I’ve changed the way I deal with my illness, I’ve changed the way I tackle my days…just a lot going on.

I plan on blogging more often and getting more involved with the Bipolar Blogging community because it has come to mean so much to me, reading other people’s stories and gaining inspiration from them on how to live with Bipolar Disorder. Eventually, I plan to branch out into other things concerning my blog, but that will come gradually.

As far as redesigning and restructuring my life, I’m definitely trying new things, I’m reconnecting with old friends, and making new ones, and I’m finding ways to enrich my life spiritually, physically, socially, and professionally. I’m super excited, and I am looking forward to the next part of my journey.

I’m definitely on social media, so just click on those three little dots in the upper right hand corner of the screen and connect with me from there, or leave a comment.

Before I go, I just want to thank you for stopping by my blog, and leaving comments. They are much appreciated.

 

I’m Still Here

I’ve had a tough go of things over the months, and I’m still having a tough go of things, but I’m still here.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present. ~Bil Keane

Present & Aware

The week of the 29th of February, I had a setback.

I missed a whole weeks of work because I was having partial seizures, and I went to see my neurologist (I had one from when I was living in Cedar Park and having severe migraines) and he diagnosed me with partial seizures and put me on medication. I had to use my savings to pay for my ER visit, and I had to deal with my insurance for two days before I was able to get my medication. It was an acute thing, and I’ll admit that I was angry.

I was angry at Heavenly Father because I was doing so well, and then to have a setback like that just made me so mad. I was angry at him because I’m trying to live my life according to the gospel, and I have faith and testimony of Jesus Christ as my Savior, and I believe so strongly in the work of the gospel. So, why was I going through this trial?

All I wanted was to work and be healthy and then this happens?

I was angry.

I’m better now, and I’ve had time to think and to ponder about things.

When stuff happens to me, it’s always acute, and strange, to say the least, and I’ve had to learn to deal with the hand God dealt me. There’s a reason for everything, and even though I don’t know what the reason is all the time, I know that there’s a reason why trials happen in my life, frustrating as they may be.

It still frustrates me to think about what I had to go through during that week, but I’m trying to work through that because one of the things I have to remember is that overall, I’m a healthy person, at least physically. I’m being treated for my Bipolar Disorder, and for the most part, my treatment has been successful.

I guess what frustrated me the most was having to use my savings for the ER.

Don’t get me started on healthcare costs. I have very strong feelings of resentment toward the way our healthcare system is here in America, and I have even more resentment toward the insurance companies. It seems like I just work to pay off medical bills, and it frustrates me to no end.

I worry about money, probably more than I should, and I know that it’s because I haven’t paid my tithing in months. I haven’t been to church in as long, and going back, I know that I need to pay tithing. Part of living the gospel is having the faith in the commandment to pay tithing, and I’m going to start doing that today, in fact.

The subject of tithing came up as I was writing in my journal last night. I keep a journal because I like to write, and it’s cathartic for me. When I thought about how I need to tithe, I realized as I was writing how blessed I really am. I was lamenting about my one little circumstance, and it led me to the realization that it was just one instance out of a mostly blessed life.

Here’s an excerpt from my entry:

       I’m pretty fortunate because I don’t have nearly as many bills as others have. I feel bad for those people who have  no recourse.

I have a steady job, and it pays the bills. I’m not destitute like some people are, so while I’m lamenting, I have to stop myself and remind myself that all in all, it’s really not that bad. Though there are times when I totally wish I had a windfall just to pay everything off, I’m still in a good place.

I have to remember that overall, I’m very blessed and I need to be honest with myself about it. I”m not going to deny that I’m blessed and I’m going to try to be more aware of it. Life can be crappy some days, and I’m allowed to have those really crappy days as long as I remember that there are better days ahead and behind me.

Like today for example.

Today was a good day.

My awareness of the better days makes me thankful and happy, and knowing that I have that tender mercy of overall good days makes me love and appreciate the Savior more. It makes me cherish the fact that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father and that they love me. The Spirit of the Lord testifies to me, is testifying to me right now that I am loved and thought of, and that God knows me better than I even know myself.

I feel the Spirit so strong now because I’m feeling more at peace than I have in weeks. The anger that I felt is beginning to dissolve and resolve has taken its place. I resolve to have more good days and to just be better about certain aspects of my life.

This evening, I was blessed with names to take to the temple from my mom’s side.

I’m going to be thankful about that.

I love the gospel, and boy do I take it for granted sometimes. But I’m going to strive to live the gospel better, to pay my tithing and have the faith that it will bless me.

I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because he could have done something different. He could have not chosen Heavenly Father’s plan, he could have not voluntarily gone to calvary. He could have gone to sleep with the other disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, but he chose his Father’s will and obeyed. He did out of his deep love for humanity and great faith in his Heavenly Father.

I know and believe that this Church is true., the the Book of Mormon truly testifies of Christ, and that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God. Of these truths I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I know that my Redeemer lives, and I know that he loves me.

I know that Heavenly Father will never put more on me than I can bear, and that brings me great comfort.

This life is going to be full of trials; that’s just part of this mortal experience that we chose in the pre-earth life. But I know that if I endure it well, that I’ll be blessed and perfected in Christ.

So, I’ll strive to be more present and aware of the blessings in my life because they far outweigh the trials.

 

 

 

You Gotta Have Faith

The last weeks have been pretty good for me.

I got a job as a medical clerk for a law firm here in town, and I love it. I’m operating at a much lower stress level, and I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t have to worry about students, or grading, or lessons. I just go to work, do the job, and go home. The people I work with are nice, and helpful. There’s opportunities for advancement, which I like, so I won’t stay in the same position forever.

I don’t plan on staying there forever; my ultimate goal is to go back to school for my counseling cert. I want to be a licensed therapist and work with people who have mental disorders like Bipolar Disorder. Takes one to know one, right? I want to definitely start going back in the fall. The longer I put it off, the less it seems possible for me. I’m saving money for at least a couple of classes, but I think I’ll have to take out a loan, which I’m dreading having to do because I don’t want to have that kind of debt hanging over me.

I still have time to research and think about it. For now, I’m just going to work and try to stay well. I’ve been fighting a cold the tail end of this week, and that’ll make two whole weeks that I haven’t been to the gym. First, it was my shoulder, then I got this cold from work. I’m going to go to the gym tomorrow after work, though because I want to be in some shape before the Dirty Girl Run in March, which I’m super excited about.

So, in a nutshell, I’ve been alright mentally and physically, except for my shoulder and my cold recently.

But the one thing I’ve been struggling with is my faith.

I have been lost for a long time, and I haven’t been to church in ages. I thought that maybe it was time to move on to a different church for reasons that I couldn’t understand at first.

I’ve been happy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There’s no other church like it, and I believe that it’s true.

But my heart’s been conflicted.

I’ve been doubting, I’ve been trying to go another way, but my heart and mind just won’t let me.

I’ve visited different churches, and I wasn’t at home.

I feel at home when I’m in the Church, and I didn’t realize until this morning that the reason why I’ve been feeling conflicted about the Church is because of my episode back in October.

I read this article from this month’s issue of Ensign, and it was as if the fog was lifted from my mind and heart, and things became clearer, and I was encouraged.

My anxiety and depression has contributed to much of my doubt and feelings of worthlessness. I didn’t feel worthy enough to live out my covenants, I didn’t feel deserving of the blessings of Heavenly Father’s plan, and I certainly have been feeling as though God had given up on me. I’ve been trying to search for him in the dark, and I realized this morning as I read the article that I had a light with me the entire time.

On top of that, I had a dream about Church, about being there and about my covenants, and I made a decision today (it was actually easier than I thought, and it was instant) to go back to Church and get back into the Gospel. When I put my garments back on for the first time in months, I felt the Spirit wash over me, and it was a good feeling.

I am worthy, and I can live out these important covenants.

God has not given up on me, and I know that Heavenly Father loves me.

There’s no other way I’d rather live. I’ve tried living without the covenants in my life, and it just doesn’t work. It’s not the life I want, and living other beliefs isn’t what I want.

I want the Gospel, the true Gospel, in my life. I love the Gospel, and I want to live an eternal perspective. I am worthy of happiness and I am worthy of my Heavenly Father’s love.

I have faith that I will continue to overcome my struggles with my confidence and spiritual self-esteem.

A little faith goes a long way.

 

 

Patterns of Thought

The last few weeks have been good for me.

I got to celebrate Thanksgiving at home with my mom and dad, and I’ve had the chance to spend more time with my mom and go out with her, and I recently got a job interview, which I’m completely excited about.

That’s not to say that there haven’t been some ups and downs in my head, though. I’ve been searching for a new job, and that’s been a roller coaster ride for me because I’ve had a job for the last three years. It’s been kind of a weird place for me, and while I’ve enjoyed having the time off, I’m ready to work again and do something different with my life.

I’ve made the decision not to get back into teaching for right now, and I’m happy that I’ve admitted to myself that teaching may not be the right fit for me. I loved it, I truly did, but it was too stressful on me, and more than that, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do it as a career anymore. I was initially afraid of leaving my job, but my concern for my health got me past that fear and I decided to be selfish and think about myself and my well-being for right now.

For the most part, I feel like I’ve recovered from my episode of severe anxiety, but I still have my days when I feel anxious and a little depressed. There are days when I doubt myself, and fall back into that negative thinking.

I start thinking that I’m a failure for leaving my job and having to move back home, and I start thinking that I’m not good enough, that I’m not deserving of happiness. I know all that isn’t true, but it’s a pattern of thought that comes along with my anxiety, and I’m trying to overcome that mental barrier because in my rational mind, I know that I’m not a failure, I know that I’m more than good enough, and I know that I deserve happiness. It’s just that sometimes, those incessant, negative thoughts are the loudest voices in my head, and I’m slowly learning how to dismiss them.

I’m currently reading Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, and so far, it’s shown me some strategies and ways to combat negative thinking and to turn my thoughts to God.

How do you deal with negative thought patterns? What are some strategies that you’ve learned to deal with those incessant thoughts creeping in?

 

 

Quote

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~Mahatma Gandhi