Taking inventory

Taking inventory

First, the housekeeping part of this post; I have decided to stream-line the blog a bit.  Mondays will still be posts about life and God; I’ll just be incorporating the Monday and Friday post into one single post.  Wednesdays will be a recipe day and Friday will be a DIY or homemaking project of some sort, whatever I think is a really cool idea.  And that’s the gist of it, same basics covered, just stream-lined like I said.

Ok, enough with the housekeeping; on to the point of this post.  Last night, I had a quiet night alone because my husband was “camping” in our trailer in the front yard; so the night was mine.  I was in the blessed silence, talking to God when I started to really think about how far I have come over the last five years or so.  Before I returned to God, I was a disaster.  I had an addiction and I was abusing prescription drugs in order to dull the pain I was in.  I remember taking my shower daily, crying to God begging Him to obliterate me.  No heaven or hell, just wipe me from existence.  And as that old ad once went, I’ve come a long way, baby!  Here I am now, running two businesses and at least not pulling my hair out.  I may not be racking in the dough, but I am keeping busy, and with hard work, enthusiasm and determination, I will succeed.  I have my assistant business that has become something I never intended it to be, but any good business owner will tell you, it’s all about adapting.  Then, of course, is the Mary Kay consulting business; which is so outside of my comfort zone it’s crazy.  Not so long ago, I would have told you it was ludicrous to think I would have such a business, and I have only just begun, but it is actually fun.  My husband, God bless him, doesn’t care about the money that I bring in, he wants me to have fun doing what I am doing; which is a really supportive thing for me.  He asked me the other day how one of my skin care classes went and I told him how much I sold and he said he didn’t care about that, did I enjoy it, that’s what he wanted to know.  A good husband is worth his weight in gold!

Anyway, my point is that I have changed drastically in the five or so years since I returned to God and let Him be my CEO and priority.  Do I still struggle with the bipolar?  Of course, it will be with me the rest of my life and it has an effect on how I see the world.  You see, it is very important for me to start to see the world with enthusiasm and positivity, which does not come easy for me.  I have always tended toward the negative, which I think is just basic human nature.  It takes training to think positively and to be enthusiastic about life.  It’s all about perspective.  My former minister and I had several conversations about this very thing, and he told me to carry a quarter in my pocket at all times to remind myself of one very simple idea.  That with every circumstance, there are two sides to the same thing.  There is the negative and the positive and the quarter was to remind me to change my thinking from the negative to the positive.  Not easy to do, but necessary if you want to enjoy the life God has given you and make the most of your time here on this planet.  So, if you take away anything from this post, please take away the quarter idea.  Carry one around with you as a reminder that when the negative thoughts start bombarding you, flip it over and find the positive thoughts – they are there, maybe just a whisper right now, but with practice, they will get louder!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

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Flights of Fantasy

Flights of Fantasy

I don’t know if it’s a personality quirk of mine, a bipolar thing or a combination of the both, but I am really impulsive.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve become much more aware of it and go to great measures to think before I leap now, but I still am prone to being impulsive.  For instance, this week I decided I wanted to cut my hair off into a bob and dye it red; the next day guess what I did?  You betcha, and I love it.

My new client is a Mary Kay consultant and she wants me to meet other consultants to see if they could use my help as well, which I think is very kind of her to think of that.  So, I’ll be meeting others to see if I can offer them administrative assistance in their businesses.  Not that that’s impulsive, but considering I’ve been planning this business to be virtual and God seems to have other ideas, it isn’t what I expected but I’m going with it to see where it leads me.  Now here’s the impulsive part – now I’m thinking of being a Mary Kay consultant myself.  Down the line, of course, I have this business to get up and running, but I am definitely considering being a consultant.  And I have no idea if this is one of my flights of fantasy as I call them, or if it’s a good idea.  The whole thing sounds like a lot of fun in a hypothetical sense, but in reality, I am an introverted, shy homebody.  Could I really lead a make-up party, or facial party?  Could I really put myself out there to sell these products?  I don’t know, that is why I am taking a long time to think about this – see, I do have some wisdom, I’m not completely flying off the handle all the time!

Anyway, these flights of fantasy happen a lot and I do think that has a lot to do with the bipolar.  Half-finished projects, fantastical ideas that go nowhere are all characteristic of bipolars.  And I am very well aware of it, I do my best to not fall prey to that.  That’s why I do my best to let these flights of fantasy run their course, and IF I am still interested when I’ve come back down to earth, then I look into the matter much more closely, and seriously.  If you have these flights as well, my only suggestion is do what I do, let them run their course and if you still want to do whatever it is, then follow through with it.  Good luck, because I have these flights a lot so it seems I do nothing when in reality, I am letting the initial buzz run its course to see what is left for me to work with.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

An update on my VA business…

An update on my VA business…

I just thought I would share my good news; I have my first client.  This person is local, so it won’t actually be virtual, I’ll be going on-site to help with file management, bookkeeping and organization, among other smaller tasks.  I’m really happy that I finally have that first client, and I know that I can help this person, which is a real confidence builder for me.  And trust me; my confidence could use some building up.

Otherwise, I just don’t have much to say, and I’m sorry about that.  Have you ever woken up in a mood that just leaves you wanting to just do nothing?  And I mean nothing.  All I want to do is sit my big butt on the couch and read.  Not really going to happen, since I have laundry and am making chili for dinner tonight, but you get the idea.  Maybe it’s the lull before the storm, I don’t know.  I just know that after all the drama the last two weeks have brought me, I just want to put my head in the sand and pretend I can make life go away.  I can’t, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to flip a switch and just shut down every once in a while?  I chose the picture that goes with this post because it shows rays of sunlight breaking through a cloudy day, which is the best representation of how I’m feeling right now.

What’s really weird about it all is that things for the most part are going good in my life.  There is the whole hurt/forgiveness thing I wrote about last week that I’m still dealing with, but otherwise, life’s good.  I have my first client, my husband has a job, and we are in good health and all is basically well.  It’s just this mood I’m in that is very hard to explain.  And I feel like I’m rambling here.  I guess all I can say is that it’s normal that even when life is good, to want to shut down and have some quiet time. At least, I hope so because I would hate to think I’m on the verge of a mental breakdown!  Just kidding!  Enjoy your day.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Grocery stores are a serious pain in my existence!

Grocery stores are a serious pain in my existence!

Have I mentioned recently that I am an introverted home body?  Well, in case you forgot, I’m reminding you.  I really prefer to avoid the public at all costs, and that especially goes with grocery stores.  Now considering I do love to cook, you’d think that these stores would be an oasis for me.  They aren’t.  Well, they would be if there was no one else in them and there was a person to bag my groceries and no line to the cashier, then maybe the whole experience would be okay.  But that would be in the perfect world, and that doesn’t exist.  The reason they are on my mind is because I had to go to one this morning.  I had our menu planned out for the next week and had a massive list and I was just dreading it.  But I went, and I had to thank God for His grace when I got home because the whole thing took so much out of me to do it.

That’s one thing about being an anxious Bipolar that is really annoying.  The things that other people do with no second thought, take all I have in me to do.  Do you know what I mean?  Going to the grocery store is just one example.  Shopping in general is another.  I have to psych myself up to just do it and it annoys me that I have to do that.  Going and getting gas, I do everything I can to get my husband to do it for me.  Since he now works 60 hour weeks, things are falling on my shoulders much more and I think I am doing the best I can to adjust to being the main shopper, etc.  Do I like it?  Not really, but I also don’t have much of a choice in the matter either.  And the anxiety about doing something like grocery shopping even starts the night before, when I am lying in bed – it hits; the reality that when I wake up in the morning, I’ll have to go out in the public to provide food or necessities for my family.  It bugs me so bad that something as simple as going to a store has that kind of effect on me!

The only advice I have is to just ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen?  You get a crappy cart that gives you problems (like I had this morning), or there’s a line to the cashier, or you have to bag your own groceries (which I hate, but it is what it is).  Are those really life-altering events?  Not even close.  So, I just put my big girl panties on and just go do it, and the sense of accomplishment when it’s over is staggering.  Succeeding in something that makes you anxious is a thrilling feeling and just remember that is what will happen when you face your fears and overcome them.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Ennui

Ennui

I love that word, it just sounds better than the other words describing the feeling.  I learned it from a novel that I read a while ago.  Here’s the definition:

en·nui

noun

  1. a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
synonyms: boredom, tedium, listlessness, lethargy, lassitude, languor, weariness, enervation

The reason I am sharing this word with you is because it happens to me a lot.  And it is a terrible feeling, basically a feeling of nothingness, just being numb.  Some days I am great, feeling like I can accomplish anything and all is right in the world.  But then there are times when the ennui hits and I just lie there and stare into the empty space that is around me.  I can’t explain it very well, that’s why I included the definition.  Being bipolar is not fun and the mood swings are a real pain in the butt.  I can handle the irritation mood, the elation mood, and all the various moods in between, but this numb feeling is very difficult for me to handle.

I don’t really have any practical advice about it either.  I can wake up fine and it will just hit and I have to work through it.  Usually, with a lot of tears involved.  But I do get through it and that is what matters.  The mood swings are difficult to handle like I said, but the silver lining is that they are temporary.  It’s a matter of just being strong enough to get through it, and I have my spirituality which definitely helps.  The only thing I can say about it is to just force yourself to get up and do something, anything, just keep going and you’ll feel better in time.  When it hits, I have my crying time, then I say a prayer and get up and paint or write or even just clean.  I also want to say that I think it is a totally normal feeling to have.  Bipolars are normal; we just have the roller coaster emotions instead of the steady state of being.  I know this is an odd post; I just wanted to share that this happens to me and if it happens to you, you’re going to be okay, I promise.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

I want to be the person my dog thinks I am!

I want to be the person my dog thinks I am!

Above is a picture of my beloved dog.  We got her in 2006 from the SPCA and the vet we took her to said she was a Doberman mix.  So, considering her German roots, I named her Gretchen Eva.  She’s a great dog and I love her to death.  This is something all dog owners know, when you leave home and come back, your dog is so excited to see you – like you’ve been gone for months or something.  I can be gone for like five minutes and I get the same reaction from her as when I’ve been gone for hours.  I think that is the one thing that is so endearing about dogs, how happy they are to see you when you get home.  I have cats too and I don’t get the same reaction from them, I assure you.  Also, she is wherever I am, whether in my home office, living room, doesn’t matter, she is always by my side.

Anyway, the other day I was thinking about this; how to my dog I am the greatest being alive. And I started to think how really great it would be if I thought this about myself, not the ‘I’m the greatest’ thing, but that I am worthy of such devotion.  When my dog looks at me, she doesn’t see the fat, the flaws, the shortcomings – she just sees me as being perfect.  That’s what I wish I could do for myself, to just accept the flaws and stop having issues about them.  I am what I am, and according to everyone else I am a great person.  Do I see that? No, I don’t.  All I do is constantly berate myself for not being good enough at being a homemaker, a Christian, or just plain being a human.

As you know, I am working on starting a virtual assistant business and days like today, actually, I just think to myself what a fraud I am, how I am completely unprepared to do the job, to help clients.  It doesn’t matter that I would do anything possible to give potential clients the best service possible, or that I would care about their business as I care for mine.  I just think I am just such a fraud, that I have no idea what I am doing and why would anyone want me as a VA, when there are ones out there who really do know what they are doing.  I can’t seem to give myself a break on this, and this comparititis that I have with other VA’s is detrimental.  I could be comparing myself to a VA that’s been doing it for ten years; of course, he/she will know what they are doing.  That’s why I want to see myself as my dog does, so that I can just give myself a break and be a whole lot more logical and reasonable about whom I am and what I have to offer.  Everyone I know sees me in a way that I just don’t and I really need to work on this because there are much less talented people out there that are successful because they had the self-confidence in themselves to put themselves out there.  Maybe I need to read a book or two about developing self-esteem, any recommendations?  I know in Scripture (Philippians 4) God says to think on good, positive things and the peace of God will be with us.  Maybe I should just take His advice, and learn to think positively!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Dealing with the mood swings

Dealing with the mood swings

I specifically chose a picture of a roller coaster, because it is a good visualization of what it is like being bipolar. I don’t know about you, but even with my basic stability, I still have to deal with major mood swings.  For instance, this morning alone I was irritable, then anxious, then crying, and then everything was right as rain again.  It’s exhausting!  Part of being bipolar is dealing with the mood swings.  We all have them, bipolar or not, just bipolars have them in a much more severe way.

Do I have any good advice on how to deal with them?  Not really.  Other than the basics:  good nutrition and exercise, adequate sleep, and some sense of spirituality.  It’s really just a matter of dealing with the roller coaster of our emotions as healthfully as possible.  There are going to be bad days and good days, you might be like me and have good hours and bad hours.  It just is what it is.  I can suggest you try to stay as positive-minded as possible, because I do believe attitude does play a key role in the mood swings.  I can remember back before I returned to God when my attitude about it was so bad – I thought that I had some God-given right to be miserable to others because I, myself, was miserable.  That just isn’t right, period.  I cringe at the way I used to treat others and act out.

The only thing that keeps me as stable as possible is the medications I am on and God Himself.  I can’t stress enough the impact returning to God has had in my life.  I am so much more at peace with myself, the world and others.  I do hope that you find your spirituality; I don’t care if it’s Hindu, Muslim, or Buddhist.  Just strive for that inner peace, because without it bipolars can have a very difficult time of it.  I know, I was once a menace to society because of my attitude and lack of peace, not proud of it, but it’s the truth.  So, hang in there, the one good thing about the mood swings, is they don’t last, they’re only temporary!

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth