Social Media Can Filter Only A Small Part of Motherhood

compassion, courage, depression, empathetic, gratitude, happiness, inspiration, life changing, lifestyle, love yourself, mental health, mental health awareness, Motivation, parenting, personal development, personal growth, relationships, role models, self belief, self care, self-growth, story, strength, transformation, wellness

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Only on social media can I create the illusion that these precious boys are such well-behaved Angels 100% of the time. These pictures capture the beauty of childhood.  The truth is that only filters or the right angle of a picture will cover up my messy sheet on the bed, the pile of laundry in the corner and some dishes in the sink or hide the fact I just dealt with an hour long meltdown with my 6-year-old right before we snapped this shot

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The truth is that motherhood is friggin hard; It’s not always smiling and snuggles & in those hard moments, I felt alone for a long time. I compared myself to everyone, especially the “InstaMoms” that capture only the glitz and glamour of motherhood. I wanted to be the “old me” who felt good about herself. But then I realized I LOVED who I was evolving into through motherhood

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If your house doesn’t look like Pinterest, you’re still a good mom. And you are not failing because you didn’t get to make homemade lunches every day or because you didn’t send the kids to school in Cashmere sweaters. You are still a good mom. To our little ones, we’re the world; we are more than enough. And part of being a good mom is making sure you’re HAPPY because a happy mom makes a happy baby. 

 So as we honor the mothers in our lives this weekend, take a minute to realize what a badass mom YOU are.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s this belief that Mothers are the heart and soul in a family; If the heart isn’t taking care of herself than everything else will suffer.  So take the time to care for yourself. Take the idea of motherhood perfection and throw it out the window. Being in love with our children and feeling so grateful to be their parent can coexist with the reality that it’s also really, really hard. Allow yourself to be frustrated and “over the moon” in love with your child. Don’t shame yourself for having these feelings. It’s a reality. It’s a common theme that we all feel, but we don’t talk enough about. Take care of your mental health and don’t hold on to the guilt that comes naturally in the hard moments of parenting. In reality, we feel guilty because we love THAT much. Lean into that feeling. 

 

199e1fb32250bf0c455592a07c5feb15Different roads can lead to the same destination. We can parent 100 different ways & still raise happy, respectful, successful children. Don’t compare yourself to the InstaMoms. You keep rocking that messy hair bun, yoga pants and that heart of gold. You keep trying your best & keep doing what makes you happy so that you can keep shining and making this world a better place.

Wishing all of you wonderful and powerful women an (early) Happy Mothers Day!cropped-adamire2.jpg

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This Is What Taught Me How and Why I Needed To Become The Leader Of My Own Life

anxiety, bipolar, courage, depression, empathetic, featured, inspiration, life changing, lifestyle, mental health, Motivation, New Year Resolutions, personal development, personal growth, self belief, self care, strength, transformation, your story

DSC_0008 (1)Last year around this time, I reflected hard on my year of decisions and memories in 2017 to create a promising vision for 2018 and even hosted a mini party with my sister to create this vision board. I saw that board every morning on the way out the front door. Sometimes it kept me in alignment with the best version of myself, it inspired me. Sometimes I’d blow it off or completely fly by it when we were running out the door.  Either way, it was the first time in a long time that I shifted my habits and did something outside my comfort zone, like holding myself accountable to take action. And to think that this tiny step in holding myself accountable in a fun, creative way (like making vision boards, crafting…)  was just practice for what 2018 had in store for me.

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I’ve had some major shifts in my life, I’m sure you’ve had years like this before too.  They kind of sting and at the same time, provide you with this confidence and deep inner strength that you didn’t know existed before, right? Well, that feeling is what I grew into (or should I say grew from) over the last 350+ days.  Nearly a full year and trip around the sun.
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From the feeling of losing my mind and being petrified that I’d never come back to reality to the epiphany of seeing the larger picture in life and ultimately understanding my mind more, understanding me better. From so many “this is a first” experiences like car crashes, new friends, home invasions, loss of friendships, pregnancy… to the new endeavors, vacations, and adventures that came like planned.   Life keeps shifting as soon as it was about to get comfortable and for the most part, I actually didn’t mind it.

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It was one of the hardest years, I can’t even try to deny that. But it was also so rewarding all at once. It was constant noise, movement, and change and yet I still feel so content, calm and empowered by the end of each hardship or adventure. In summary, 2018 has led me to live my life incorporating one of the many new lessons that I learned. One important one, which is this simple truth:

Life will not always go as planned, fact number one.
Life will not always go your way, fact number two. 
The way you deal with life’s uncertainty is your choice, fact number three.

You will realize when you become the leader of your life that:

1) you’re going to be okay, one way or another during life’s uncertainty

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2) life is going to go even better than planned; either by chance or because you have an opportunity to make it better.

I share this because it’s taught me how to battle through the deepest depths of my mental illnesses. It’s helped me step outside my comfort zone and experience growth in such big ways. It’s helped me find like-minded people that help me grow, pushing me to become better. It’s helped me finally take action towards making some of my goals come to life and ultimately, it taught me to be the leader I needed to be in my own life. None of this would’ve been possible without realizing the power of being optimistic, empathetic and positive.  Being positive is much more than presenting a happy face to the world: you need to develop a strong sense of balance and recognize that setbacks and problems happen – it’s how you deal with those problems that make the difference.

eb1cb2a2f74b68c91811ca20c7962b29I hope this year has been easier for you in the sense of hardships or setbacks, but I also hope you had the chance to live the life you envision living and stepping into the blueprint you have for yourself, which requires uncomfortable moments and vulnerability. I believe everyone is capable of extraordinary things and each of us has unique skill sets that set us apart from each other. I hope that in some way, shape or form: you realized that you play a significant part in your life story. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond. It might not always feel like that, but when we become the leaders of our life instead of letting life lead us wherever it wants; we will learn to grow through the pain, not just go through it. On the other side, you’ll see a remarkable, courageous, strong and significant person standing in the mirror that realizes you are capable of anything you put your mind too. 

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Inside the Bipolar 2 Mind

anxiety, bipolar, depressive episode, lifestyle, mental health, mental health awareness, personal development, story, strength, suicide, suicide prevention

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 in the early spring of this year. Although I had heard of Bipolar, I had no idea the symptoms, the details and struggles that go into this particular Mental Illness for those that had been battling it every day.

It wasn’t for a few months that I even wrapped my head around this new concept and accepted I had been diagnosed with Bipolar. I took the medications like prescribed (of course, complaining about them the entire time), but most of the time I isolated myself so I could research, and research (and research) all the articles, data, and stories that I could find online to help me prove that this diagnosis was wrong…. but to no avail. As I read story after story and dived deep into understanding the explanation of this illness on Mental Health and Medical sites, I could easily say “me too!” to all the struggles and symptoms that consistently described how I was feeling, but I couldn’t articulate into words myself.

img_5356-e1541600399972.jpgSee, often people with Bipolar or any mood altering illness won’t explain to you the symptoms they experience in detail; partly because they don’t want to scare you and partly because they don’t fully understand them all themselves. It’s hard to understand a diagnosis so complex and then be able to articulate that into words. It’s hard for many reasons, but one being because some people don’t believe Mental Illness is real. It’s easy if you break your foot, go to the doctor, followed by an x-ray and then you get your diagnosis. When you are mentally ill, your ability to articulate how you are feeling, usually to a complete stranger,  is how we’re diagnosed which is why so many people are unproperly diagnosed for years before Bipolar and other Mental Health Disorders reveal their true characteristics which will finally lead to proper treatment. Treatment helps, I’m grateful for it because it makes it more manageable, but treatment doesn’t cure Mental Illness.

img_5355-1.jpgI still have to put in work every day to make the most out of the rapid cycling mood changes that drastically change as quick and easy as walking into a dark room and simply turning on the light switch to see; that darkness becomes light and vice-versa in less than seconds. Living with Bipolar, as simply put as I can explain it, is similar to that. Your mood will change in a matter of seconds for no reason at all and usually, it’s out of your control.

img_5357-2.jpgThe illness has a variety of symptoms which makes it even more difficult for people to get properly diagnosed. For example, I consider myself a very grounded person. I know who I am, my values and core beliefs. I know my boundaries and likes and dislikes. But, I don’t feel like I live in a ‘middle ground‘ mentally. I am either living in a state of mind called “Hypomania” or “Bipolar Depression”. Hypomania is constantly high-paced behavior and energy, accompanied by impulsive thinking where your ideas and thoughts race 100mph, you’re judgment becomes clouded and you can’t concentrate on the task at hand to save your life. It’s also coupled with heightened anxiety and can’t forget about that good old friend, insomnia, which regardless of how much sleep you get, your energy level will stay up and so these symptoms linger for 24 hours a day, weeks at a time. Doesn’t sound that bad, right? Actually, it’s exhausting. Exhausting both mentally and physically.

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The other half of a Bipolar mindset is dark and isolating. During a depressive episode, it begins to feel normal to fantasize about suicide which is why people with Bipolar are 3x more likely to commit suicide. These thoughts that become horrifyingly casual are called “suicidal ideation”.  It’s common that people with Bipolar are unable to explain the symptoms of these episodes. Personally, I don’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone, do anything, go anywhere, try anything, eat anything; I’m simply, extremely unmotivated. I’m sad for no reason and struggling to fight the dark thoughts that present themselves consistently, although they’re 100% uninvited. I’m irritable, anxious, fatigued and feel completely empty. If I could draw or illustrate a visual picture for you during one of these episodes to capture how it feels, it’d simply be the darkest rain cloud I’ve ever seen suddenly blocking out any and all sunlight from every area of your life. That raincloud can’t be moved, it will simply stay for as long as it intends too and in reference to Bipolar, this is the battle that most would say is the hardest about Bipolar 2.

Understanding Mental Health is important because it’ll help you understand people more. Perhaps you’ll feel more compassion next time your friend bails last minute because they’re suddenly depressed or maybe you’ll reach out more to be that friend who can pull someone out of that isolation when they desperately need someone.

Bipolar is hard, but it’s manageable. It’s a part of me, but not my entire story. Yes, I still have to find a balance in life with this new diagnosis, I don’t know all my triggers yet and I only have a handful of tools that I have developed to make it through these depressive episodes. But, in time I know that I will become better and stronger at caring and battling for my Bipolar 2 Diagnosis. I only know that because of the incredible people who boldly shared their raw stories with Mental Illness and shed light into a time in my life when I was feeling incredibly alone.

img_5359My PSA for you is after knowing that 1 in 5 people suffer from a Mental Illness, chances are you know a lot more people who struggle with similar feelings to what I’ve described. I hope you know that you can be their beacon of hope and bring light even in the darkest of times by simply listening and reminding them they are not alone. For those of you that can relate to this illness, remember that an illness like this doesn’t make you broken. It makes you strong and brave for battling your own mind every day. You have one little sparkle of madness, you must never lose it!

Wishing you all the best,
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