Smile And Nod – The Passive Aggressive Dilemma

Hey guys 🙂

Question for you – Do you ever have to bite your tongue? Like really bite your tongue…like almost right off?

You don’t have to answer that because I already know the answer to that question for most of you. 😉

We all have a threshold for how much…umm…”interesting” situations we’re willing to take on in our lives.

For some, that threshold is a short fuse. A firecracker.

For others like myself, it’s a long…long fuse with a massive explosion waiting at the end of it.

I’m here to tell you that the long fuse with the big explosion person is their own worst enemy and can ultimately do the most damage not only to themselves but the people around them.

I don’t care to admit this…but I will.

This sort of behavior is classic passive aggression and I am slowly but surely making a point to remove my face from the dictionary definition.

Whether it’s family, friends, or your job, how many times have you found yourself biting your tongue to try and avoid perceived conflict?

In the moment, you think you have spared all involved but you are still left with a bitter taste in your mouth because you have suppressed your true thoughts and feelings regarding that person or situation. You find yourself doing and saying things you really didn’t want to do or say.

You might even replay that conversation in your head, repeatedly picturing what you wanted to say. You may confide in someone about it and retell the story as if you had been assertive. Embellish a bit to make it sound like you have a backbone. A mixture of what really happened and what you wanted to happen.

Time goes on. You smile and nod and smile and nod. Then one day, reality flicks your ear and the floodgates open leaving everyone around you scratching their heads.

Now you have a bigger mess to clean up provided there is any room left for that option.

Sound familiar?

Now before I go any further, I would like to point out that in some cases, it doesn’t hurt to bite your tongue. Pick your battles wisely because they’re not all worth fighting but for the purpose of this post, it will be assumed that things should have been addressed long…long ago…

For myself, I have been making a point to delve deeper into the reasons why I shy away from conflict or what I believe will be conflict if I speak my mind and the truth is, it’s not easy to write about it because I know I fall into this category and honestly, who wants to admit that?

Not the passive aggressive person that’s for sure.

For all the therapists I have seen and the countless articles on psychology I have read, you would think I have this passive aggressive thing figured out and under control by now.

I don’t. Not entirely, but stay with me as I try to breakdown my thoughts on the matter.

We are all guilty of being passive aggressive to some degree. Like the white lie for example. We’ve all told one here and there. The problem is too many white lies add up to trouble.

So no more tip toeing around. It’s time to dive in and explore the psyche of the passive aggressive person according to me…the passive aggressive with some insight.

Contradiction much?

Yes…but no…

Remember Your Childhood?

Many of us have failed to communicate with our inner child. I believe it makes sense to say that our upbringing plays a role in who we are today. I will use myself as an example:

I grew up in a dysfunctional home…I am assuming many of us in our own way, can say the same. Abuse existed in my home both physically and emotionally. When I look back, I start to see the stage was set.

As a child, you have no control of what goes on in your home. Well, I didn’t at least. In my case, watching my parents battle it out nearly everyday was not a fun time. In an effort to keep peace, the best thing I felt I could do was to not rock the boat.

Do what I’m told. Be agreeable at all times. Be nice to everyone. Overachieve in school as a way to please my parents and teachers in order to obtain some sort of control.

Reality sinks in as I realize I lived in constant fear of conflict because I saw it everyday. That on edge feeling knowing your parents would get into it at some point in the day.

I knew the drill. Go to my room, and pretend it wasn’t happening. It will blow over at some point and we’ll all sit down to dinner as if nothing happened. This walking on eggshells becomes very routine. You just get used to it.

Now I could be childish and blame my upbringing for my own shortcomings forever and at one time I did, but that is not why I am writing this post. Move to present day and my family has overcome a lot. Many “forgive me” coupons have been exchanged and redeemed. We’re stronger now despite the past but that didn’t happen over night.

Talking about my childhood is simply to benchmark how my passive aggressive behavior snowballed (although that snowball is starting to melt) into what it is today.

This is what happens when you don’t acknowledge your inner child. You fail to become a true adult and instead you become a big albeit high functioning, child.

Yes, I am an adult on paper but I have certainly stunted the growth of my inner child and so she continues to have tantrums until I just say –

“What!? What do you want!?”

For visual effect, the inside of my head looks something like this –

Stewie Hi GIF - FamilyGuy Mom Momma GIFs

 

Who? Me?

As you grow from childhood into adulthood, the passive aggressive person you have become now has to face a huge reality check.

Accountability.

If you relate to my story, then I think you will follow my logic on this. You spent your childhood not in control of the negativity around you. You tried in vain to compensate for the turmoil and part of that was by shutting off your feelings.

As you get older, those feelings don’t really go away. They are stored up inside and it’s really getting cramped in there.

You start to resent things like “adulting”  because you never really got to enjoy being a kid. It’s wasn’t your fault you had to grow up in that environment. You had no choice and now you’re expected to carry the burden of adulthood?

That’s not fair!

Subconsciously, your inner child demands you protect them from this injustice and because you have failed multiple times to show your inner child that you are in fact the one in charge, the result is quiet rebellion with an escape route.

The inner child wins because just like everything else in your life, you just don’t want to go there. It’s too hard and if something appears to be too hard or uncomfortable you can bet the passive aggressive person has a way out of it.

When things get too real, tough or simply adult in nature, your inner child takes over. You revert back to survival mode and are reminded by the inner child that it’s not your fault.

The Truth Is You’re Living A Lie:

Many passive aggressive people don’t really see how they are lying to themselves and ultimately avoiding their biggest problem.

It’s not everyone else my friend…it’s YOU. You are your biggest problem.

You say to yourself – “I am peaceful, I’m polite and I don’t hurt people’s feelings. I turn the other cheek for the greater good, I’m helpful (etc etc) so how can it be that I am the bad guy?”

The truth is, you’re not a bad person. I promise. Your intentions are good and true. However the problem there is, your intentions are still coming from the mind of a child and that child does not understand the importance of assertiveness in adulthood.

That child has no concept of assertiveness…that’s an adult thing and so that child does what they know best. They go to their room and hide until the bad stuff stops and then sit down with everyone at the dinner table as if nothing happened.

3…2…1…

The danger for the passive aggressive person is the fact that sooner or later things will blow up…big time.

You may hear this sometimes. People saying that it’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for.

Look at serial killers for example. You hear these horrific stories about murder and when friends or family talk about this person, you’ll sometimes hear things about how that person seemed so happy, friendly. A pillar of the community. No surface reason to believe this person was capable of killing another human being or in this case multiple ones.

This example is extreme but but if you could look back at a serial killer’s childhood, you can bet abuse was a piece of the puzzle. That sense of no control over their negative environment and so in this case they would literally kill for control.

I am not saying all passive aggressive people are serial killers in the making. There is much more to it than that but it gives you an idea of just how toxic passive aggressive behavior can get.

Solutions:

I won’t leave you hanging. If I am going to explain how passive aggressive people work then it’s only fair I offer solutions to this epidemic so here are a few things I have been trying out.

  1. It’s OK to say No: For real guys. You’re allowed to say no. No no no…NO…Wow, that felt pretty good! 😉 Passive aggressive people in particular associate the word “no” with negative connotation. Since most passive aggressive people are being ruled by their inner child, it makes sense that no = bad and yes = good. Starting today, I encourage you to say no to at least one thing you actually want to say no to during the span of a week. Baby steps. Show yourself that there is no monster waiting for you under the bed if you dare speak the word “no” because honestly, after a few times, it starts to get easier.
  2. Turn off the filter: OK I say turn off the filter but to be clear I mean that within reason. Remember. Baby steps. Take little situations and speak your mind on them. Say what you mean and mean what you say. For example, if your spouse asks “Where would you like to go for dinner tonight?” Do not, I repeat DO NOT say – “Oh, it doesn’t matter to me. Wherever you would like to go is fine.” If you had a place in mind, SAY IT. Do not be afraid to follow through and answer the question truthfully. You were asked where you want to go. Take that for what it is. An opportunity to express what it is that you want. You’re allowed to do that you know but don’t you dare say let’s go where you want to go and then cry inside that you didn’t really want to go there.
  3. Cut the cord: It’s time to let go of the inner child. This will take time and at some point you will find yourself in the throws of empty nest syndrome as you let that child go. You will feel as if you are lacking a true identity and in fact you are. Your identity was wrapped up in your past and other people but here is the good news, all of this is fixable. It’s not a lost cause…unless you want it to be. Start small. Don’t go on a rampage of no’s. Aim for balance and I do recommend seeing a therapist as you transition into this new and improved you. There is a lot of fear and anxiety that revolves around breaking the passive aggressive mold (paralyzing fear in fact) and there is no shame in acknowledging that and seeking help for it. Taking the time to reflect and accept the past for what it was is no easy feat. There are a lot of walls that need to be broken down in order to build a wall that’s up to code and if you are willing to do that, then you are more of an adult in that moment than a lot of people so see the need for help and acknowledging that you do as a sign of strength and liberation. ❤

I will stress again. Baby steps. It has to be because us passive aggressive people will run and hide from anything that seems too difficult or scary and so you have to introduce assertiveness gradually and learn over time that assertiveness is actually a healthy part of being an adult. Conflict in small doses is OK…it’s normal and your world will not come to end for facing it head on. The fears you have are the fears of inner child. You’re not a kid anymore and you deserve to graduate into adulthood with your own thoughts, feelings and identity. You are worth that! ❤

In closing, I will leave you with a bible verse that I hope you will find helpful and serve as spiritual therapy on your journey to find and love yourself –

 

1 John 4:18 

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let It All Out

Hey guys 🙂

As I enter into a new week, I have put my armor on and I’m ready to kick some butt. 🙂

One thing I have done to help with that is I have started making a point to get back into church and make it routine. For awhile there I just couldn’t get seem to get it together and just go to church…an hour out of my week, and yet something as simple as going to church seemed like a challenge but I am determined to make that stop.

In the last couple of weeks I have started to dig deep and get back to basics. I long for a simple, uncomplicated life and that has meant keeping my inner circle as close to me as possible and the rest will have to make an appointment.

Self preservation is not a bad thing. ❤

Last week when I attended church, I managed to show up early for Sunday School before the main sermon. The topic that morning revolved around being born again, being saved.

This struck a chord in me and actually made me emotional. I had been so wrapped up in earthly, day to day junk, that I wasn’t feeling as spiritually in touch as I wanted to be.

I spoke up in class and asked how can I truly be saved when I am bound to make mistakes and falter? Do I just ask for forgiveness and continue to be born over and over again?

I said, I feel guilty that I have missed so much church. I feel I have let my church family down. I said, it’s not just my work schedule that makes it challenging to show up. It’s an internal thing…it’s me.

When we discuss being saved, I am never sure how to approach it or what to say. I feel I have a relationship with God and I certainly have faith and believe in him but I said, I struggle to come right out publicly and proclaim that I am saved or that I want to be saved and make that true commitment to God.

I mentioned the persecution I feel sometimes as I become more rooted in my faith and more outspoken about it. That lead to discussion that as we get closer to the day when God will return, the bible clearly states Christians will be persecuted more and more each day…

Timothy simply states:

2 Timothy 3:12

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted

 

I continued to discuss the fact that am not sure I am ready to go there yet. That I tend to sit on the fence when it comes to making something like being saved offical and so I feel behind sometimes.

I didn’t mean to hijack the class and I said as much but the result of me speaking up and allowing myself to be vulnerable turned out to be a much needed positive experience and great discussion among the class.

Emotional and overwhelming but truly cleansing in its own right. I received so much support from the ladies and they were happy I spoke up and they prayed with me. I didn’t even realize I had so much pent up emotion until that moment.

One thing I have realized is that on a subconscious level, I think the reason I had started to avoid going to church in the last few months is because it was striking too many chords within me and overwhelming me.

Also, I am not used to receiving that kind of support…I don’t know how to ask for and accept it and so it feels awkward to me. I walk through those church doors sometimes and think, I don’t deserve to be here…I am not a stand up Christian. Church reminds me that I am painfully human and sometimes I just don’t know what to do with that and so I hide.

But I am starting to realize and understand what church is really about. It’s not about being the perfect Christian or keeping judgmental tabs on each other. It’s about helping each other as we walk our path with God. It’s a support system, a safe haven and a social outlet with like minded people that I desperately need but tend to avoid.

Today, I managed to make it to church again (2 weeks in a row woo hoo!) and today’s sermon was great. Now that I am really starting to dig deep and allow myself to be open I am getting much more out of the sermons and Sunday School lessons. I am left full with soul food and it makes me feel ready to face my week as I know that’s when the devil works the hardest. He loves to beat us down and encourage stress and worry over the day to day.

It’s also a nice outing not only for me but for my fiance too. It brings us closer together as a couple. It makes us stronger.

I finally have a man in my life who also has faith and believes God is with us. We are able to rise above a lot simply because we hold God’s hand together and if one of us is down, we’re able to lift the other up by reminding the other that God will take care of us.

The uphill climb a Christian faces today and throughout history is real. For some reason, many people cast stones on religion…They associate the word “religion” with being radical, close minded, judgmental, self righteous, corny, out of touch, uptight and stuffy.

This is unfortunate and I am not trying to say none of that exists within the realm of religion…but Christian or not, there will always be someone pointing fingers…always… in fact we’re all guilty of it if we’re being honest.

We are ALL human.

There will always be good, evil and everything in between… more importantly there will always be wolves in sheep’s clothing no matter where you turn but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself and it starts with surrounding yourself with the right people instead of trying in vain to get people to see what you see, think what you think and feel what you feel…we need to stop focusing on that, myself included and turn inward and hold on to the people who are truly there to offer love and support.

Keep your friends and family close and your enemies as far away as possible. Don’t engage, don’t react and fuel futile fires.

Try saying that three times fast. 😉

I made that mistake just in the last month in one of my posts…it reeked havoc on my Facebook page.

People deleted me and lashed out at me…persecuted me…I had a strong, controversial/Christian opinion and when I wrote the post, I was frustrated and instead of just leaving it alone and turning the other cheek, I sparked one of those futile fires and promoted the wrong kind of conversation and energy…for that I feel remorse and have learned my lesson. I ultimately took down the post because it’s not my true goal to start a social media firestorm of that nature.

Does that mean I retract my stance? No. It does not. Could I have expressed myself in a better way? Definitely.

All I know is I am going to screw up and that day I did but the quicker I make peace with that and stop worrying about what other people think of me the better. I have never claimed to be perfect and I never will be.

I think that’s what non-believers need to understand. Being a Christian does not mean being perfect or living some prim and proper, holier than thou lifestyle. We all have free will and are free to choose our own path so maybe we all just need to focus on paving our own path instead of trying to pave someone else’s.

This has been a valuable lesson that I have learned.

There are many things going on in today’s society that I do not agree with. Things that make me cringe…things I find hypocritical and totally backwards… I am sure there are people who feel the same about me and my beliefs but the one thing I have realized about that is to just stay true to myself and walk the path that is right for me. Talk about that and keep my mouth shut about the rest because honestly, why waste energy on and argue with people who already have their mind made up. Why stir that pot? In my experience, it was nothing but trouble…a total waste.

The best thing I can do is keep promoting the positive example I strive to be. Continue to grow in my relationship with God, with my spouse, my family, my friends and my church. The rest will fall naturally into place and will weed out the people who don’t need to be anywhere near my inner circle.

Aim for simplicity, for peace. Sure, you won’t always get it right. You won’t always practice what you preach but I will leave you with this cliche –

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. 

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Need To Start Treating Your Life Like A Business

Hey guys 🙂

Wow. What a week it has been. I will spare you the details because I would end up spending all my time talking about it and personally, I just want to move forward and look for the silver linings. 🙂

The week I have had ties into what I want to touch on today. So I will start with this question –

What if we lived our lives as if we were running a business?

I have pondered this question many times and have even applied this concept to my own life and I have to say, it’s rather effective.

If you were to start a “life ledger” what would it look like? Is the business that is you generating a surplus or are you finding yourself in the red more than you’d care to be?

In my mind, a life ledger would be quite basic and look something like this:

  • Assets – What do you and the people around you, bring into your life that is positive? Are there enough assets to cover the liabilities in your life?
  • Liabilities –  We all have responsibilities in life. That will never change but I imagine there are many of you who, if you looked at your life ledger right now would see you take on more liabilities than is necessary. This can make or break the business that is you.

Starting today, it’s time to balance the books. For the sake of the business, we need to start letting go of some of the liabilities we have taken on .

The numbers don’t lie.

If your life is currently in the red, look at your ledger. Perhaps you will start to see some patterns.

I certainly have past liabilities that needed to go as it almost put me out of business more than once.

A good source of our life income comes from the connections we make with other people. Anyone who runs a literal business will tell you that connections count and keep a business afloat.

No clients, no business.

However, some clients can in fact hurt your business. You spend all your time and energy on this particular client yet the return on that investment turns out to be a waste of time.

This client keeps the purse strings tight and are high maintenance. Their loyalty to your business only benefits them, not you.

This is hands down a liability and whether you believe it or not, this is one liability you can scratch off your books ASAP.

They are not helping your business, they are sucking you dry and that time and energy could be better spent making room for a new client who is willing to work with you and for you.

This kind of client truly appreciates your service and you appreciate their business.

Do you see how this concept can easily be applied to our lives? Do you have that long time friend, significant other or even family member that you’ve hung on to simply because they have been part of the furniture for so long?

Ask yourself. How is this person an asset to my life? Why am I going into debt over this person? In some cases that question can be asked quite literally.

If you find yourself pausing to answer that question, then I challenge you to dust off your life ledger and look for the patterns.

For example, if this person was on your bank statement, chances are they would show up as multiple, micro transactions.

Useless spending.

These micro transactions add up and if we’re not paying attention to them we can lose out big time and not even know why…until we look  honestly at the numbers.

This can also apply to your current job. In this case we’re talking real numbers but it all ties into the business that is you.

Are you unhappy with your job? Is showing up to work everyday with dread worth the paycheck?

Is the time you invest into your job paying off for you or for everyone else?

Let’s say you work 8 hours a day for a modest pay. That modest pay in most cases is going to everyone but you. The time you invest into your job is many times an expense on your life ledger.

You get paid and pay the bills and if you are not happy with your job on top of that, what is left for you exactly?

Many of us fall into the trap of believing that if we can just get our finances in order everything else will fall into place but honestly, how often does that truly work out?

The truth is, we need to get our life in order. Have you ever thought that perhaps if you did that first your financial struggles would in fact resolve themselves or at the very least, improve?

Some of you may think I’m a bit bonkers to suggest you stop looking at your bank account and look to your life ledger first but the way I see it, perhaps you struggle financially because you haven’t balanced your life ledger.

Therefore, you may be making poor decisions (financial included) due to a lack of life assets.

If we reverse that, you may see that by taking care of you first, you are in a better position mentally and emotionally for making better overall decisions, have the confidence to take on a better job opportunity for example instead of convincing yourself that leaving your steady, yet totally depressing job is the only way.

Make yourself an asset! We are our own worst enemy sometimes. Don’t be your own liability on top of the ones you already juggle.

Now for those of you protesting that the bills need to get paid and you have children to support, I get you. I am not saying to go into work tomorrow and just go down in a ball of flames, yelling something about your life ledger to your boss…lol please don’t do that.

What I am saying, is that it is not too late to come up with a life plan and in this case, a financial plan that will truly be to the benefit of your business.

It’s a cliche job interview question but where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you can’t answer that question, what has prevented you from setting goals which will benefit your future?

Setting goals that benefit you both personally and financially, will ultimately benefit the ones you care about most and in return, the ones you care about are better able to support you and help to keep your life business grow and stay strong.

It’s never too late to balance the book of life but in order to do that, we need to read the numbers and accept them for what they are. No more grey areas. No more fudging the numbers to make them balance. Accept the entry errors as errors and correct them. Question the imbalances instead of simply writing them off.

Sometimes, this will involve making tough decisions but if you were running a real business and the decision was the difference between staying in business or not…the decision wouldn’t be all that hard. What business wants to shut down?

So apply that concept to yourself. You will find that by taking this approach, the liabilities that are risking your life business will stick out like a sore thumb. It will be obvious what cuts need to be made and it is my hope that if this post speaks to you, you will open up that life ledger and get down to business! ❤

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mixed Bag

Hey guys 🙂

I hope you’re all doing well ❤

Today, I have no real topic to present to you. Just me kinda talking about…well…stuff.

*Warning* It’s going to be really random…

Let’s see… Things have been going pretty good lately. No major bipolar episodes which is great. Sometimes I worry about that with the change of the season. Not sure if anyone else experiences that but if I make a point to keep track, I find certain times of the year are more “bipolary” than others.

Job is stable! Finally a job that is stable. Anyone who lives with mental illness of any kind can probably relate to the difficulties of finding stability in that area of their lives in particular.

For awhile there I was job hopping to the point I honestly just felt like a failure. I see people sticking to their jobs for years. They seem to be able to handle all the crap that comes with a job and I was barely making the first 3 months. For various reasons but bipolar disorder certainly played its part.

In a perfect world, I would like to quit smoking. Yes, I smoke. I know it’s bad. I don’t like that I smoke…yet I really don’t want to stop…yet I do…*sigh*

I have been missing church way more than I care to. The last time I missed church this much I was going through some major depression but since then I have just found it really difficult to get back into the swing of things.

That being said, regardless of church, I could stand to be saying my prayers more often. I don’t really “pray” I just sort of talk to God in my head. I don’t hear any voices reply so I figure that’s a good sign my mental health is fairly stable lol but God always responds to my prayers. I love God for that. He’s more action than talk. Sometimes He doesn’t act right away but on the bright side, it makes me exercise patience and faith. God acts when it truly counts.<3

You know what’s nice? Being in a relationship where big blow out fights are NOT the norm. Not even close. I was starting to think that didn’t exist. When you finally pull yourself out of that vicious cycle of constantly picking the wrong apples, you realize just how much of that can exasperate bipolar symptoms. Now that I am finally in a stable, loving relationship, sometimes I forget I even have bipolar disorder…of course I get reminders but not nearly as bad as before.

Regardless of your mental state…make a point to surround yourself with the right people…seriously, it makes a huge difference.

I keep a very small, tight knit circle of people around me. Mainly my family. This is in part because of the burns I suffered as a functioning alcoholic ( I was going to say borderline alcoholic but looking back, who am I kidding?)

I thought that the karaoke bar flies I mingled with were truly my friends…then one day I realized…I don’t know these people outside of the bar. I don’t know them by day or sober…I say and do stupid crap thinking it’s all fun and games. At the time, I thought my social life was truly booming. Oh yeah…I was the bees knees in my drunken book…

When I look back at that time, I don’t even know who that girl was…I’m past being ashamed about it but it’s still cringe worthy.

Not really sure why I brought that up but maybe I am working through my writer’s block in real time…like I said, this is going to be random lol

Speaking of random, is it just me or does Earl Grey tea smell like Fruit Loops? I love both ❤

Also, I have a confession to make…I’m a nerd. A gamer to be exact. My finance and I recently bought Elder Scrolls Online for our PS4…I loooove this game. ❤ If you are a fellow gamer and you don’t have Elder Scrolls Online, you are seriously missing out. Of course you have to be into MMORPG (Massive Multi Player Online Role Playing Game). Fellow nerds and gamers will totally get what I am saying here…the rest of you…just ignore this section of the post lol.

I promise this randomness is not mania by the way. I am on my night shift right now and totally bored. Super glad I enjoy writing. It passes the time and is therapeutic for me. A win win.

Speaking of therapeutic, music does the trick as well. I love when I am alone and can crank up the tunes and sign along…sometimes I do a little dance…it’s me time and something no one will ever witness lol

Music videos however…wow are they getting rather umm…demonic in nature. Like what is with all the devil worship? I feel like music videos have become rather pornographic with a dash of Illuminati symbolism…ok not a dash…blatant. I can’t be the only one who sees this…Like not long ago I saw Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” video and all I can say is…who made you go from “Teardrops On My Guitar” to umm…that?

And does anyone remember Kesha’s “Die Young” video? Super catchy tune but wow nothing like a santanic ritual to spice things up. It’s like all these pop songs have a very addictive melody while you watch…well… satan worship for lack of a better term and now she’s singing songs about praying and such… I’m confused…are we being brainwashed perhaps?

I guess at this point I need to stop rambling but I will leave you with this recap and words of wisdom:

  1. Know that God is watching over you. Always ❤
  2. Keep your friends close and your enemies as far away as possible.
  3. A healthy environment makes ALL the difference.
  4. If you live with mental illness or someone you care about does, keep the lines of communication open. It’s hard sometimes but it can literally save your life.
  5. The change of the seasons can affect mental illness. Be mindful of this.
  6. Don’t watch music videos? I’ll let you decide on that one.
  7. Earl Grey tea really does smell like Fruit Loops. I have decided this just now. Case closed.
  8. Being a nerd is OK. Embrace it ❤
  9. Smoking is bad…if you’re a smoker like me…I get it. It’s bad but don’t worry, you’re not ❤
  10. Taylor Swift went to the dark side…she said it herself “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, cause she’s dead.”
  11. I love to sing and dance to music…when I’m alone…like totally alone lol
  12. This randomness is brought to you by night shift boredom. I hope it was somewhat entertaining/informative.

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Little Things

Hey guys 🙂

Today, I feel the need to take a personal inventory of what’s good in my life. Things are not bad right now, I simply just want to add to what’s already good. I like to build up those reserves for when the next storm hits. I prefer to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

So what do I have to be grateful for? Well, a lot actually. The last year has blessed me more than my 33 years of existence.

For starters, just over a year ago I finally put an end to an unhealthy relationship (there were others just as unhealthy prior to). This required a lot of inner strength that I didn’t think I had.

I was living on one side of the country and picked up and left for home on the other side of the country. It wasn’t planned, it just happened.

One day after a minor argument, my finance at the time went out. I don’t know what happened, it’s not like it was some blowout fight but for some reason in that moment there was an overwhelming fight or flight response. By the time he came home I had booked a plane ticket (I chose flight) and told him I couldn’t do this anymore. I knew that if I didn’t follow through this time, it was going to be a long time before I had the guts to try again.

God was surely with me that day.

Needless to say I am grateful for that moment because as soon as I moved home my brother introduced me to his friend. My brother’s friend is now my fiance. This all happened quite quickly. I had no intention of finding love after what I had just left but isn’t that always the way?

I found out a little later my brother was playing the role of matchmaker. He knows my struggles well…especially in relationships and so I am glad he sneaked in there and helped me to find a good apple this time. 🙂

To finally be in a healthy, truly loving relationship is something I almost gave up on but when I was ready to let all of that go, God blessed me for it.

So yeah that’s what kick started a healthy, consistent, loving environment which I had been lacking for a very long time. It was scary at first. I wasn’t used to this healthy stuff and wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it lol but over time I embraced it and I continue to hang on to it with everything I got because I will never allow someone to take that from me again…including me! Gone are the days of self sabotage and you are talking to the former queen of it but I have since hung up my crown lol someone else can have it.

So yes moving on to present day, what do I currently have to be grateful for? Let me count the ways :

  1. God
  2. My wonderful soon to be husband
  3. My family/friends of course ❤
  4. A roof over my head, food, gas…you know the everyday stuff
  5. Did I mention the bills are paid? Take that bills! (for now lol)
  6. The cats<3. Truthfully I should have just included them in #3
  7. The church. Great pastor and wonderful people
  8. My job (there’s a first) love my job!
  9. Good neighbors and a great landlord.
  10. Country living…oh how I have missed home after 10 years of city living.
  11. Being the cool aunt. My fiance and I are fine without children personally but my nieces and nephews? Yeah don’t mess with them because you will see this aunt go from zero to mother hen in an instant.
  12. Standing up for myself (it’s been a slow process but it’s getting easier…almost fun! lol)
  13. My ability to express myself through writing.
  14. Giving myself credit (again, long overdue)
  15. Knowing I have a best friend in my partner. He truly is my best friend ❤
  16. A sense of humor. Although sometimes dark, my sense of humor has helped me survive a lot of crap.
  17. Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Yes you read that right. If I had never reached a place where I was aware of my disorder I would still be out there drowning in a dark sea. I believe knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle. Now that I know better I do better…I know, a string of cliches there but it’s all true.
  18. Being able to see the silver lining in just about everything. I will never let go of that. It holds a lot of power and gives me a sense of control. You can let stuff bring you down or you can counterattack with a list just like this.
  19. Patience. I always have that in my back pocket.
  20. Resilience. I can say this with confidence about myself and my family….we always get back up…always. We have God to thank for that and no matter what is going down in my life, God makes sure I can reach his hand. Even if he has to drag me along, as long as my hand is out he will take it ❤

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

Depression – It’s Not Just About Feeling Sad

Hey guys,

I haven’t written anything here in a month. Why? Because I have been dealing with an episode of bipolar depression.

In the last few days, this depression has started to lift. I am starting to feel more like myself but prior to that I was anything but.

Since I finally have the urge to write, I have decided to point out something that I don’t think everyone fully understands –

Depression is not just about feeling sad. It’s really not.

I would like to explain my recent experience with bipolar depression in particular to give people an inside look. I finally have the words to express myself so here it goes…

Depression crept up on me. It’s sneaky like that. I don’t experience depression all the time but when I do, how it effects me and the people around me is a dark hole of limbo that is hard to escape.

It is my hope that if someone reading this is struggling, they can be rest assured they are not alone and there is hope. I promise. ❤

In the last few months, life in general has been a series of low blows with a sprinkle of light at the end of the tunnel. Enough to get by.

I found myself saying “Things will be OK” repeatedly. I try my best to see the silver lining in everything but you can only take so many hits. You have two choices in that moment. Fight back or shut down.

I shut down.

Eventually I was adopting a robotic approach to life so that I could keep my head above water, get out of bed, get dressed and go to work. That’s pretty much it.

Funny, when I go to work I somehow manage to turn on a smile and you would never know I was in the throws of depression. In fact, even I didn’t know at first.

The robotic smile makes sure I can pay my bills. It makes sure I am not a complete waste…but it’s limited. That smile can only do so much and by the time I get home there are no smiles left for the people that truly matter in my life.

As time passed, I found myself not leaving the house (I am an introvert as it is). I work night shifts as a hotel night auditor and so pile on even more isolation. Although I must say I do enjoy the quiet and my own company.

Not leaving the house soon turned into not leaving the bed. Not bathing. Zoning out while I played match 3 games on my phone. Sleeping excessively. Cutting off communication.

No more posts on Facebook. No more writing in my blog. No more prayers to God or going to church. No more communication with my family or friends.

Nothing.

Not sad. Completely numb and isolated. Slowly but surely creating a little bubble in my bedroom, curtains drawn and simply existing.

To experience no emotions but know in the back of your mind that you should is very surreal. You start to wonder if you are in touch with reality at all. Is it a dream? You know it’s not but it’s like this dark cloud. A fog that you start to fear will never lift…except you don’t care. You really don’t.

You’re plagued with guilt and disgust. You know you should do something about it but all the life is gone…in fact you start to wonder about life and if it’s even worth it.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful soon to be husband. He let me have my space at first not fully understanding what was happening but when he saw it was too much he started to gently nudge me out of  bed…suggested things like a shower. Not in a mean way just simply to help me feel better. Sometimes it helped a little but I would soon retreat back to bed.

One day (God love him) he managed to actually get me out of the house and took me for a drive to nowhere in particular. It was a beautiful day and he simply just wanted to be with me and experience daylight.

Gradually, I started to try a little more. Not much but it’s something right? Still closed off and not knowing how to express myself I tried to be a little more present and then one day out of nowhere while my fiance sat by my bedside just to remind me he’s still there, I finally opened up. I am not sure why or where it came from but suddenly for the first time in weeks I had tears and once that happened I did not stop.

It felt good to cry. Finally something. An emotion. A flicker of a human being again.

My fiance relieved I was finally starting to come back to him, let me cry…and cry. He hugged me with no words and that’s all I needed. Things had meaning again.

The guilt of being so self absorbed in my little bubble and denying access to those I care about most hit like a ton of bricks but once the tears stopped, I realized I am loved and things really will be OK. I am worth it. I always have been and the dark clouds don’t last forever.

If you’re reading this and you relate or know someone going through the same thing. Please don’t give up. Don’t give up on yourself. Friends and family, don’t give up on them.

It does pass. It will pass and I can assure you that you are worth it. People do love you. God loves you. Hell, I will love you if you need it. ❤ Just don’t give up.

So that’s my story. I wonder did I spill too much of my guts. Probably but truth be told, I don’t care and finally it’s for the right reason.

 

Take Care & God Bless ❤

 

Cavelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Burning Out? Six Things You Need To Know

Stress
Does this look familiar?

 

Hey guys!

Today, I want to start off by saying it does not matter if you have an existing mental illness or not. We are all at risk for burnout.

 

Burnout:

Physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.

 

Are you burning out?

In Canada, billions of dollars (yes, billions) are spent related to mental health problems in the workplace. This accounts for over 75% of short term disability claims.

It’s an epidemic.

I have fell victim to burnout before. In hindsight, I feel I could have prevented it had I paid more attention to the signs. I would like to go over some of the signs today in the hopes that if you’re reading this, you can catch and prevent burnout before it’s too late.

 

1. Sleep Disturbances:

I place a lot of importance on this one. Proper sleep is crucial for our mental and physical wellbeing. Sure, we all have a night here and there when a full eight hours just doesn’t happen but definitely keep an eye out for insomnia and on the other end of the spectrum, chronic fatigue.

Neither one is healthy and if ignored in the early stages, it can become a vicious cycle that becomes very difficult to break out of. When your brain won’t shut off or refuses to turn on, this is the first sign something is not right. Do not ignore this!

2. Lack of Concentration and Forgetfulness:

Once your sleep patterns are off you will start to notice you just can’t seem to focus at work anymore. Simple tasks become daunting and that is if you are lucky enough to remember those tasks in the first place. This too becomes a vicious cycle. You may notice your boss is on your case more..

“Why isn’t this done already?…We talked about this yesterday…remember?”

You start to miss deadlines, memos, lunch and breaks because you are trying to make up for your lack of organization which in turn, just adds more stress to the existing problem…

3. Loss of Appetite:

Since you have been missing lunch and breaks trying to catch up on your work, your appetite starts to go off the rails. You may find you don’t have an appetite at all anymore or you may find yourself going without food most of your shift only to come home and eat one giant meal…and since you can’t sleep, you might as well turn on Netflix and eat that bag of chips and drink a gallon of pop…

4. Anxiety and Depression:

As you continue down this rabbit hole, it is not long before you find yourself on edge about your work. Not only are you having trouble getting out of bed in the morning but you are seriously not looking forward to your day anymore.

At this point, you have most likely spent sleepless nights stressing over what has to get done the next day. It makes it harder and harder to walk through those doors no matter how many cups of coffee you drink.

Coworkers who used to brighten your day just don’t cut it anymore. You look around and see everyone going about their workday with relative ease. You start to feel isolated because you feel you are the only one who is not able to keep up with the pack.

5. Physical Symptoms and Increased Illness:

Your brain rules the body and when your brain is not happy, the rest of your body will follow suit. You may notice chest pain, stomach troubles, headaches, tense muscles etc. This takes a toll on your immune system making you more susceptible to illness. You find yourself going from perfect attendance to using up those sick days at a rapid rate.

6. Anger: 

You have now gone from being a ray of sunshine at work to a dark cloud of cynicism. You’re snappy, detached, resentful, and ultimately start to not give a flying (you know what) about whether or not you return that email or finish that project on time.

After all, you’ve been coming into work early and leaving late to make up for the fact you cannot complete your work during your regular shift. You’re working overtime (and most likely not getting paid for it). In your mind, you have done more than anyone else at work and you start to resent your boss and your coworkers because none of them seem to be appreciating the extra effort.

Nobody else cares so why should you?

Once you have reached the anger stage, consider yourself done. It will officially not get any better from here on in unless you take action. Your boss and coworkers at this point would rather avoid you as your state of mind is now considered to be a liability to the rest of the team which only fuels your resentment.

Although it may not feel like it, you do have some options here. I highly recommend taking stress leave. If that is off the table for you than consider switching to a different department and then there is the option no one likes to admit, leave your job.

I know what you’re thinking right now…

“I can’t do that! How will I pay my bills? How will I… (insert one of your many excuses not to save your mental and physical health here.)

The thing is, if you do not acknowledge this for what it is and continue down this path of destruction, pretty soon you will not have a choice. You will either be fired or in the emergency room suffering from a full blown nervous breakdown.

That’s the reality should you choose to ignore all of this. It will not be a matter of if but when.

On top of that, it’s not just in the workplace, your home life will suffer miserably. The people who truly matter will be pushed away.

If you have a partner or spouse, I can assure you this will lead to arguments and fights. It can even lead to more serious complications like divorce. If you have children especially, why risk their well being because you are refusing to take care of your own?

Is it really worth it?

I sincerely hope that if you are reading this and relate to even one of the signs I have listed, take action before it is too late. Talk to your doctor, talk to HR and perhaps give yourself a talking to.

Your mental wellbeing is worth taking care of! Not just for yourself but for those you love. If you put yourself on the backburner you will burnout.

Take Care & God Bless ❤

Cavelle