As I sit here reflecting on my journey towards sobriety, I still can’t believe I’ve made it to my 1 year milestone. It’s crazy as hell! Originally I quit drinking in an attempt to conquer my crippling colitis symptoms and it definitely provided me with some immediate relief. I had always known I was a raging alcoholic but up until last year was not willing to face my addiction and alter my lifestyle.
Over the course of the last 10 years I’ve met some pretty incredible people in my life. It’s never really been a surprise to me that the majority of my friends have also been diagnosed with some form of mood disorder (3 specifically with bipolar). We can relate, offer support, and hold each other accountable if one of us starts to fall off track. It’s really quite beautiful.
It wasn’t until the last couple of years that I started to recognize a pattern within my close knit circle of friends. We represent the LGBTQ+ community, we’ve experienced multiple traumas throughout the course of our lives, and typically struggle or have struggled with some form of substance abuse as a means to self medicate. We’ve unintentionally lived up to various statistics and stereotypes as a direct result of discrimination and repression.
Did you know that those of us diagnosed with mental illnesses are twice as likely to struggle with substance abuse issues than the general population? We are at a higher risk of developing an addiction to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism or means to self medicate. What’s worse, if we are genetically predisposed and alcoholism runs in our families, these statistics are even higher!
Let’s be real, maintaining your sobriety throughout your twenties feels like a never ending battle. It’s possible to go long periods of time without drinking, unless it’s summer…or Christmas…or the weekend. You feel me. Living that sober life is tough s*!t and it can be increasingly difficult to maintain while trying to balance your mental health and social life.
Boundaries are the new black. If you follow any holistic wellness or mental health account on social media, then you’ve probably noticed this word popping up ALL over the place. What are boundaries? Why is everyone and their dog talking about them? What’s the deal? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Boundaries are meant to be implemented because your time and energy is valuable! Without them, we end up attracting people with ill intentions, we welcome negativity and abuse which in turn sacrifices our mental health and overall well-being.
Think of boundaries like clothing. Sure getting dressed in the morning can be fun, sifting through different prints and fabrics until we decide on the perfect combo that most represents our unique personality and style. But why wear anything at all? Why try to cover up our natural beauty with textiles and hide our bodies from the outside world? Well that’s a no brainer. Because it’s not safe to wander the streets of society nude! We wear clothing for protection. Protection from varying climates and strangers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ALL for the whole #freethenipple movement (let those bitties free ladies!). But there is a certain level of vulnerability that comes with exposing our raw selves to the outside world and I can acknowledge that my clothes exist to protect me from unwanted attention and harm.
Boundaries are no different. They exist solely to keep us safe! They exist to protect us from perpetrators, narcissists, and manipulative abusers. They exist to preserve our mental health and our energy so that we can communicate with others and interact assertively without fear. Metaphorically speaking, boundaries are your emotional armour. If you wouldn’t leave the house naked, I certainly wouldn’t advise forgetting your boundaries on the way out hunny.
Is it just me or is it crazy how quickly our lives have come to a screeching halt? A week ago I was trying to juggle both of my jobs, workout, and tend to my creative pursuits all while prioritizing time to rest and recharge. Your girl was hustling and in desperate need of some serious downtime! As always, the universe was working it’s magic in the background, preparing for a shift that would force all of us to slow things down a notch…the global pandemic of 2020.
Our world has been struck with a very serious illness that’s spreading like wildfire. Many of us have been forced into self isolation, are working from home, or have been laid off as the coronavirus continues to spread. Out of respect for those around us, we are being forced to practice #socialdistancing and stocking up on toilet paper at warp speed…once I figure out the fear associated with running out of TP I’ll get back to you guys.
With all of this newfound free time, I can’t help but notice the alarming amount of people struggling to keep themselves entertained. The minute I hop on social media it’s all “I’m bored” or “there’s nothing to do”. HOW? For us introverts, this forced solitude is a dream come true! The universe has answered our prayers and we are revelling in the calm and blissful energy that stems from spending time in our safe space.
Looking for ways to keep yourself from going stir crazy?
So I Dated a Narcissist: Codependency + Trauma Bonds Do Not = Love
If you’ve ever experienced the colossal torture that stems from dating a narcissist, I feel you. I feel your pain and suffering, your confusion and overwhelming anxiety that’s left you feeling suffocated and alone. You are not alone! Unfortunately there are many of us who have blindly fallen into the malicious and deceiving web of an abusive individual disguised as a lover or friend. As tragic as these relationships might be, they exist to guide us along the path towards self-discovery. To teach us of our worth so that we can protect ourselves against future perpetrators and put an end to abusive cycles once and for all.
I’ll be the first to admit that my track record when it comes to dating is an absolute nightmare! But let’s be real, whose isn’t? I am notorious for attracting all of the wrong people into my life and sticking around far longer than I should in hopes that I might just be the person that can enlighten and inspire my partners to change (this is NOT a thing). In fact, I only recently started attracting positive, like minded people in the last 9 months after a very drastic lifestyle change and countless hours of therapy. Never underestimate the power of communication my loves!
But cutting off a narcissist can feel like you’re trying to pry a leech off the bottom of your foot. No matter how hard you try to release yourself from that blood sucking parasite, it is relentless and determined to drain you of your life source until you finally manage to break free! Narcissists are no different. They enmesh themselves so intricately into your life while hiding behind a false persona until they’ve dug their teeth so deeply that you become a prisoner with no way to escape. I promise you, there is hope! Acknowledging that you’re dealing with a narcissist is the first step towards setting yourself free.
Stress Management: What NOT to Do to Avoid a Burnout
Well my loves, I’ve officially reached my post holiday burnout. Why I thought 2020 would be the year I was finally able to skip this pesky annual slump is beyond me. I’ll admit, I’m a glass half full kind of girl, overly optimistic is my trademark and I’m not mad about it. Despite my mini christmas vacay, I have completely burnt myself out! I’m talking zero energy, unable to peel myself out of bed in the morning, vilely ill with the flu kind of burnt out (this is not my best look).
As I’m sitting here confined to my death bed (send help) I’ve had nothing but time to reflect on exactly what’s brought me here and wreaked havoc on my otherwise healthy immune system. Low and behold, it’s my inability to properly manage my current stress levels! Stress management is SO important and often gets overlooked due to over packed schedules and pressing deadlines. But you know what? No amount of stress, healthy or otherwise, is worth sacrificing your mental and physical well being. It’s just not.
Luckily for you guys, I’ve made ALL of the wrong decisions these last few weeks and have lived to share my experience (hanging on by a thread). So if you’re interested in what NOT to do to preserve your energy and prevent a burnout, I encourage you to keep reading.
Oh 2019, the lessons you’ve taught me have been plentiful. One painful and confusing hurdle after another, leaving me to question everything I’ve ever truly known about myself. Who am I? What am I doing? What is my sole purpose in this beautiful and messy thing we call life? As I sit here reflecting on the last 365 days, I’m honestly mind blown by the amount of change and personal growth I’ve fought for in order to catch a glimpse of the woman I knew had been hiding inside me all along. This transformation has been pure magic my loves, but it didn’t initially feel that way at all…
In fact, the woman I was back in January doesn’t even exist anymore! Perhaps I lost her somewhere between my impulsive lesbian uhaul or my attempt to drive a limo smack into the middle of my house? It’s possible she drowned herself in the bathtub during one of her many raging blackouts or got kidnapped in Hawaii upon deciding to hop into a strangers car after one too many glasses of Soho. Wherever she is, I’d like to thank her for teaching me one very valuable life lesson, and that’s that I deserve better.
Tis the season to be burnt out and running on fumes. I don’t know about you guys, but up until this year the holidays for me have been pretty chaotic and overwhelming. Stress levels are on the rise, banks accounts are dwindling, and it feels like every other person I know has caught some form of bubonic plague (myself included)!
On the surface, it is truly the happiest time of the year. Christmas lights twinkle along darkly lit streets, dazzling trees strewn about the city, and the lingering scent of cinnamon and cloves permeates the crisp winter air. Magical isn’t it? There’s just one thing that seems to be missing…my sanity. Perhaps she’s been wrapped up in a beautifully decorated box nestled under the Christmas tree by mistake…
Let me start by clarifying, I am no Grinch nor Ebenezer Scrooge. I LOVE Christmas as much as the next person and become easily distracted by the glitter and magic surrounding the holiday season! Ugly Christmas sweaters, handmade cookies, and curling up with the perfect cup of eggnog on a chilly winter’s night sparks my holiday spirit like no other. As comforting and extraordinary as it all seems, it can be equally as taxing on my mental health. Acting as a gentle reminder of the most important gift we can truly give ourselves this holiday season, and that my friends is self-love.
Yes, you read that correctly. I’m delving into the not so glamorous side of my femininity and exposing my menstrual cycle for what she really is; an evil, satanic force to be reckoned with! Am I being over dramatic? Maybe. Do most of my girlfriends out there relate to this statement? Probably. PMS is a real son of a b!*$h. Not to mention the fact that our cycle occurs every month…365 days a year…averaging approximately 10 years of actual shark week for the majority of us! I’ll just let you sit with that for a minute.
If only the Tampax commercials held an ounce of truth. Tanned, sporty women running around in white tennis skirts, full of energy, not a single blemish (although how could you tell? You’re too distracted by the misleading smile spread across their face, vom). I’ve never loathed marketing more than a deceiving tampon commercial.
Now take a second to imagine your worst case of PMS. You know, those days when you don’t even know how you’re feeling because you’ve cycled through every human emotion over 10 times. Your bloated, lethargic, and in such excruciating pain you’re contemplating your interest in daily living. Are you there? Great. What might happen if your brain chemistry was teetering back and forth or not functioning as it should? Better yet, what would happen if you were diagnosed with bipolar in addition to your PMS? Girl Interrupted psychosis, that’s what.