Expanding your horizons outside of the natural growth points

When your a kid you get a lot of opportunities to grow and expand your horizons, you are constantly encouraged to pick up new hobbies, new skills, and you’re in school constantly expanding your knowledge base. This continues throughout the school years, though perhaps we scale back on the number of new hobbies and start devoting ourselves to our favorite ones. Then when we go to college we expand even farther, we are making big choices that change our lives. We are pick new directions to grow and then allowing ourselves the hardship of that growth. You hit it again after school when searching for jobs and having to shape yourself for employment. We hit these stages in relationships too when we move for work or love. These are set growth points, we are forced to grow to meet these points in our life, and that’s a good thing, but sometimes we fall into a pattern of normalcy were the expanding stops.

These points are also needed, it’s hard to grow constantly and you need to take some time to enjoy what you have! There is nothing wrong with enjoying these periods, it’s just sometimes they also stick around to long. We settle in them and grow compliant and don’t push ourselves. This is when we need to force ourselves to grow. It’s not 100% necessary for living but it gives us excitement and it helps make us into a more well rounded person.

That does not mean that expanding our horizons has to be life altering moments. They can be any shape or form your willing to let them be, but here is some ideas:

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Pregnancy mood swings remind me of my bipolar mood swings. So does overcoming them.

Pregnancy reminds me of my bipolar disorder. That’s a weird statement to make, but it’s true. Your hormones are all over the place, and not unlike the chemical reactions in your brain that make you cycle from manic to depressive. It finds you in the exact same strange space were you know your emotions aren’t 100% correct or rational but you know you are feeling them fully anyway.

A lot of the mood swings make me ponder the lessons I’ve been trying to teach myself for years. Is this a rational feeling? How can I try to turn it into one without devaluing the fact that it is real?

Just because you know an emotion isn’t right doesn’t make it go away. Knowing your manic doesn’t let you switch off your manic traits like a light switch, but it is a start, and lets be real, you have to start somewhere. It lets you start trying to fight for control.

I’ve found most of my control in this disease through medication, but even those of us who have had a lot of luck with our bipolar medications can tell you that we still swing some, and I still have to take on those swings one on one. Rational brain verses the chemical brain.

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Your social bubble doesn’t always reflect real life:

I’ve talked about the danger of falling down internet rabbit holes before, about how being hit on every side by really strong opinions can rewrite your thought patterns. It’s not just online though, it’s also in real life. I don’t seem to struggle with it as much in real life as I do online, but that’s only thanks to having a very interesting and complex mix of friends. But many people don’t get that variety, they hang out with their core group and they bounce all their ideas off of that core group.

This is especially true for students, even more so for college students. You find yourself completely ingulfed in your social bubble and therefore don’t venture far from that familiar comfort. There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable in your social circle and finding joy with like minds, it’s just when people from outside those like minds start feeling like others. It’s when you don’t understand how anyone could have a different viewpoint or opinion on something that it seems like everyone you know holds. It’s when you can’t understand how people form other behaviors than how your group acts in social settings.

It’s when we get tunnel vision because everything outside our normal feels abnormal, even when the actual population is split 50/50 on how to approach a problem.

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Life update: Baby on board

The title says it all, doesn’t it? I’m pregnant! And both my husband and I are thrilled.

It’s been a long road to get here. We had to get my Lyme Disease in remission before we could start trying, so if you’re wondering where the posts about chronic illness have gone this is also a post to say that I got Lyme dormant. I thought about making a post to announce that, I did on my personal social medias, but I was fighting very hard with the fact that that it might come back. I was worried I’d announce it only to have to make a post a few months later saying “jk!” and it made my gut twist so I simply never made the first one. It’s possible that Lyme does come back sometime later in my life, but for now I can say that I’m done with it.

Now back to the baby- I don’t have a lot of news to share on the baby per-say. This isn’t going to become a motherhood blog overnight, it is still mainly a mental health blog, but it is also a reflection of my mind, so there will be some motherhood related content, which is also very much needed in the mental health, selfcare, and personal development world.

I will tell you more when I have more to tell, but for now just know we are very excited and wanted to share our wonderful good news!

Why you should change the world on a small scale instead of trying to on a big scale.

We all like the idea of being that woman or man who changes the world, who goes down in history, or at least, we do a kids, when our dreams aren’t weighed down by the reality of everything. That kid like state often follows people through college, which is why I think college campuses are so activist centered. At that stage I think we part from wanting to be the one that goes down into history and instead want to be part of the group that goes down in history.

It’s a cool notion, but I don’t really think that’s the best way to change the world.

Trying to change things on the big scale doesn’t normally work like it should, and when it does work it’s only because their are a *ton* of people doing the same work on a smaller scale. Without changing daily habits and lives the big scale picture never comes together, because people either resent it or they fall back into their old habits.

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Striking the balance between overloading people and suffering in silence:

It is very hard to tell people about the hardships you are going through without being an overall mood crusher. It’s why a lot of people suffer in silence- without support. They are afraid of being turned away. They are afraid of the texts coming in less and less, especially those who suffer from chronic depression. At some point people want and expect a different answer when they ask you how you are doing and start pulling back when they don’t because they can’t handle it.

It is easy to blame this all on bad friends, they don’t love us unconditionally! They should, at least we feel so, but we also have to know that talking about our depression all the time can drag other peoples mood down too making it harder for them to support us and also harder for them to cope.

Hoping to find a balance? It’s possible though, like most things with mental health it is also very difficult.

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Peace in the unsettled:

Well, we’re a month in and I don’t think 2021 is going to be less weird than 2020.

It might be a “different brand” of weird, but I still think it’s going to be weird, I still think the news is going to be stressful, I think we’re still going to get current events that make us collectively go “wtf”. I mean, did you see the Gamestop verses Wall street news of last week? Oh, we aren’t done. I don’t think it’s going to be a forever thing, but times of unrest don’t magically go away, government doesn’t magically change, pandemics take a long time to wrap up. We are still in the trenches- and that is surprisingly starting to stress me out less.

Maybe I’m adapting to my environment. Maybe this is the new normal everyone talked about. I don’t know. I don’t love it, I’m not going to pretend I do, but my heart is starting to rejoice in the things I can control. It is slowly but surely finding it’s new true north and helping me work through the rest. I’m finding my peace not reliant on the worlds peace.

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