You’re allowed to be overwhelmed by good things.

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There’s a lot happening in my life. 85% of those things are wonderful things that I’m excited about, but every now and then I still find myself completely overwhelmed by it all. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean that I wish it wasn’t happening and it doesn’t mean that I wish it was happening differently. It just means that while I’ve been racing full steam ahead and my engine started overheating.

I think there can be a lot of shame when you feel overwhelmed by good things, but a lot of time it just means that you’re a little too busy and you’re feeling too much. You can be excited about progress and still fear change. You can be happy about a big investment and still be nervous about what it means for your saving account. You can be busy with amazing tasks and still feel overworked by them. Also? You can be excited about too many things and simply get burned out from the force of that single emotion. Emotions are a lot to bare and they can effect us not only mentally, but physically.

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Positive things my bipolar disorder has gifted me with:

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I wrote a post a long while ago about how it’s okay for people to call mental illness a gift. It’s one of my favorite posts. I can’t decide if it’s the bipolar jokes or the fact that it’s about Van Gogh, but regardless, it still stands. It’s is okay for people to call their mental illness a gift the same way it’s okay for them to call it a curse. Both can be true.

I spend a lot of time writing about ways to function with mental illness and to overcome some of it’s trickier parts, but I wanted to make a post about the good things my mental illness has given me. So here’s a list of positives that have come from my bipolar disorder:

  • Creativity: Bipolar and creativity have long been linked. For most the creative streaks come during the manic phases, for me it seems like my creativity hardly sleeps. I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember, which is fitting because I got diagnosed at age six. Over half of my hobbies are creative ones and I fully thrive in the environment they create. I love my hobbies and I love this skill set. There is nothing I would trade for it.
  • Healthy coping mechanisms: A lot of people have unhealthy coping mechanisms, in fact, I don’t feel like it would be a stretch to say that most people do. It’s hard to function with a mental illness without learning coping mechanisms, and unhealthy ones just don’t make the cut, they end up making us feel worse. So to function, I’ve learned healthy coping mechanisms, ones that work and can aid my medication to the point where I can handle most everything thrown at me. It took a lot of work to get them, but I’m so happy I have them and am able to fall back on them whenever I need them, whether those needs are triggered by bipolar disorder or just everyday life.

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Seven (Good) Things:

 

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My seven things normally are just a collection of things from around the internet. I decided to do things a little different this time and highlight seven good things that we might have missed with the world focusing on all the bad news. It’s part of my effort to be a more positive person and focus on the things that we should be celebrating in life.

Here are seven good things!

  • This article talks about how “charitable giving reached an all-time high in 2017, with donor generosity cresting the $400 billion mark for the first time U.S. history.”
  • This tweet from ABC is reminding us that we’re still working miracles and giving people (and cute babies!) the gift of sound, something that used to be unheard of.
  • According to this article the number of Jobless claims has declined for four weeks in a row, with the jobless rate at an 18-year low of 3.8%.
  • This article is reminding us that being good to others actually improves our health and our well-being.
  • Everyone loves animals, and we’ve been doing something about it, thanks to wildlife efforts, we’ve gotten these animals off the endangered list.
  • Smoking is deadly, but it has hit a new all time low, as reported in this article by AP, meaning that we’re working towards a healthier tomorrow.
  • The longest running study on happiness found that our good relationships have the biggest impact on our health and overall joy!

The bad news has become the norm. What can I do about it?

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It’s the 23rd of April, another attack has happened, this time in Canada. I saw it, scrolled through Twitter’s hashtag for it, and I didn’t feel much, because I’m used to bad things happening in this world. I’ve become desensitized to terrible news, acts of terrorism, and mass killings. When I realize that all I’ve done is sigh and say “again?” I feel bad about it, because there’s no sympathy in that- there’s no horror in it.

But it’s what happens when bad things become the normal.

Terrible acts aren’t new, they’ve been around as long as we have. But in this age of mass sharing we hear about it more. We watch it on TV every night, we get news updates on our smartphone as they break. It’s constant and because of that it’s normal.

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