Think Positive

Today is a nice day to think positive.

A little over a week ago, Paris and Lebanon were attacked.  And since then, the world has been reeling from the chaos caused by terrorism.

So yeah, today is a nice day to think positive.

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Embrace the colorful details in life; the way art catches the eye.  Think about the different places we find love in our lives– in varying people, in hobbies, in words, in creation.  Remembering all the good memories of the past and the many to come: sitting on the beach licking a
snow cone as a kid, typing away at my computer as I create stories of my own design, and one day graduating from college with a grin on my face.

Whoever might be reading this: have a nice day, today. 🙂 

[Photos taken by me in Washington, DC]

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MIA

I’ve been MIA on here lately but I’m back!

I want to share something personal that maybe others can relate to, or if not, something than can help those who don’t get it, better understand.

Being a newly minted (as of September) 21-year-old and a college student and as someone who attends parties… things get tricky when you make the ‘choice’ (yes, technically a choice, even if I wish I didn’t feel like I needed to) to abstain from drinking alcohol.

I’m trying this no drinking thing.  How long will it last? I don’t know.  How long should it last? I don’t know.  Why am I doing it?  That much I do know.  Also, has it been easy for me so far?  No.

But I’ll tell you why it’s so important right now:

  1. I’ve never had a good history with alcohol. Ever.  From my first sips at 15 while living in Europe to a negative experience in high school to drinking to numb before medication and then drinking post medication … yikes. It’s been bumpy.
  2. The fun doesn’t last for me.  9/10 times it doesn’t.  Usually I drink and my mood goes up and I catch an intense high, higher than most (and people tend to think I am drunker than I actually am because of this).  Then, after having what feels like an insane amount of fun, I crash harder than most.  I cry or feel worthless and empty.  I question things.  The pain is loud.
  3. Bipolar disorder (and mental illness in general) do not go well with alcohol.  Hence why reason #2 happens for me more than most people.  Every single time I drink.
  4. On that note, psychiatric medication, particularly mood stabilizers/antipsychotics, do not go well with alcohol either. The alcohol reduces the effect of my medication quite a lot.  I learned this semester, after going a few weeks where I would drink every weekend, that one drink (with or without medication) would set my mood off for the entire week– depression, hypomania, or mixed, as well as rapid cycling.  It was rough, and I finally realized that maybe it isn’t worth it for me.
  5. Addictive and obsessive personality. That’s me.  Between having an addictive personality (hence eating disorder history) and having OCD, I know that drinking is a very, very fine line for me.  I always want more, and never feel satisfied.  I feel like I need to achieve a certain feeling or high, and I have enough self-awareness to realize that for me this could go too far very easily, as it did with food and exercise in the past.

So now that you know WHY, I’ll tell you how I got there: negative experiences having added up, strongly encouraged by therapist and friends, medically in my best interest according to my psychiatrist etc…

I don’t want to be an addict.  And I’m not saying that everyone with bipolar or everyone that is in college or everyone that drinks is going to become an addict.  I just know myself, having gone through this mental health journey in the past year.  I don’t want to make that risk.  I’m going to struggle during certain moments at parties when the temptation is high, but I’m going to do my best to fight it.  I figure telling people that I am sober is the best way to start– accountability is super important with things like this (my prior experience having been with my eating disorder).

ON THE POSITIVE, I have awesome, supportive friends and family, as well as my mental health team.  Maybe I’ll write my next post on ways I can still have just as much fun without alcohol even while attending parties where others are drinking– I had my first experience with this just this past weekend at a wedding for a relative.  My mom (WHO IS AWESOME) got me cranberry juice in a cocktail glass, made it look all fancy, just so I would feel like I had a drink and no one would ask me if I wanted or needed one.  I’ll admit, I did feel isolated and trapped in my thoughts, but my mom had a great way to solve it.  Plus her being sober/reassuring me also helped a lot.  🙂

Until next time—–

Kelly