Thursday, 28 August 2014

Getting in Touch With Life

The last couple days have been amazing! I have gotten in touch with a bunch of stuff and I love it!!
First off, I have been finding more family and learning more about my heritage. I knew that my dad's side of the family is from England and are a part of the Romany Gypsies. However, more recently I have been actually able to get a hold of cousins and other relatives (mostly cousins). I just think it is super exciting and neat! But because of my BPD I do get intense emotions so I have to do my best when I meet these people to not come off as needy and intense! I know these people are fairly non judgemental (mostly because of the discrimination they face themselves) but it is something I do need to practice control. So far they have been great! Love it!

I have also been getting in touch with nature and trying to set up a regular hiking date with someone. This would be great for me since working out has become more difficult because my knee has been getting worse. I can't do lunges and even squats are getting difficult. So I need to take it easy on the knees. So I decided to go a different route on being healthy. Plus nature has been proven to reduce stress and depression! It is a good idea for those who are easily stressed, anxious and/or depressed to spend some time out in nature. Even if you are alone it is a good way to practice meditation and being in the now. Do your best, find social groups on Facebook that are dedicated to hiking or outdoor activities. My next step is to do rock climbing. Lets stay fit! 

Sorry today is short, I wrote another blog on travelling ( just started it about my Edmonton Trip in April. I was pretty excited about it. I figured if I am going to do hiking and travelling I might as well document it and speak about how it has affected me. This one was just generic, but I will try to post tomorrow my hike through Albion Falls Trail and talk about how it has worked for me and my mental health. Sorry again! Please be patient! Much love, stay healthy, and do your best to be happy and safe. Love you all!! xx

Monday, 18 August 2014

I Shouldn't Be So Open About My Mental Health

Today, I phoned someone close to me to ask for some advice (as I have been sick with a cold and wanted to know something about treatment). The topic of mental health comes up (like it does with me fairly regularly because it is something I have become passionate about). This individual said to me "..talking about it to friends and family is one thing, but you shouldn't be so open about it online. What if a future employer sees and you don't get that job?" Well then, I wouldn't want to work for someone who doesn't want to give everyone equal opportunity. I could understand if being unhealthy in any way would affect the job (example: you can't lift a required amount of weight) but I would not want to work for anyone who saw mental illness as something "wrong".

I am currently trying to lift the stigmatism we have towards mental health; that it should be spoken about behind closed doors. I remember when I was first diagnosed, one of the first things I said was "who the hell gets diagnosed with BPD? I am so alone." Over time I realized how wrong I was and I learned others are afraid to talk about it because of two reasons:

1. The negativity that we, as a society, give mental health
2. They are afraid that they are alone in how they are thinking/feeling

A friend of mine has recently gone to see a therapist/psychiatrist and when he told me he said "I am so pathetic and weak I need help." I had to tell him EVERYONE needs help, it's just you need different help than what your brother may need, or what your cousin may need or what your best friend from third grade may need. Everyone needs some sort of help, and if they think otherwise, then they are very niave and it the time will come when they will grow up and realize. When I say help, I don't just mean mental help, I mean help with homework, help with the chores, help learning how to use a diswasher, etc. Help is a very generic word. Society has also deemed it negative, especially for men. Help actually means (according to Oxford English Dictionary: Make it easier or possible for (someone) to do something by offering them one's services or reources. Not everyone (both men and women alike) are not always given the same resources to deal with life and what it throws their way. THAT'S OKAY! That is why I know how to do "A" and you know how to do "B". Help is social, help is good, help is positive! Society hs just told people that relying on others is bad. Ask yourself (and post below, I would love to see people's responses):

Why is needing help bad? 

We are told that being social is good; it helps eliviate depression, feelings of lonliness and helps teach us things. So getting "help" is a form of being social. It is asking other's their thoughts, feelings, opinions, likes, dislikes, what they agree on and what they disagree on. Help is what we do when we meet new people, talk about ourselves to one another, to teach.

To go back to my statement before defining what help is and why it is good, if I am trying to help lift the stigmatism against mental health, then why should I be quiet about it? That would be renforcing the stigmatism. As I said to both friends (the one who needed help and the one who said I should keep quiet) "Change does not happen if you keep doing the same thing day in and day out. Change happens when you change. You can not change the world without changing yourself." I stand by this. Change does not happen unless WE change! I also said to them "The way our society looks at mental health is how we have (previously and currenlty still in some places and people) look at gay people; they are "bad". It is how we looked at (and again, some places and people still look at) coloured people, Aboriginals, Asians, etc, they are "bad". Those individuals could not help how they feel about a certain gender, how they were born a certain colour, race, etc. yet we still say they are "bad" for being that way. Just like those with mental health. They are "bad" and yet, they can not help that the stress they dealt with caused a trigger to go off that had them be diagnosed with schizophrenia, or that they were born with a chemical imbalance that gave them austism. So why do we still look at it as "bad". Same idea, all these individuals can not help how they were born/created and yet, they are "bad". Why?" And a silence was my answer on the other end. The sentence of "What if a future employer see this, and you don't get the job?" was the response to follow that silence. My answers stays "If someone or some compnay decides that people with certain illnesses are not to be treated as equals, then fine. I do not wish to work for them. Everyone, whether they are black, white, yellow, red, phsyically healthy or unhealthy, mentally healthy or unhealthy, gay, straight, transgendered, etc. has a right to be treated with respect and love because they are a living being."

This is how I feel and I will stand by it until the day I die. If somone has wronged you because of their ignorance and refusal to see any other way but their own, or because they are just jerks, remember "They are not against you, they are merely for themselves." Being a certain way makes them feel better, just tell them you do not agree with their way of thinking, if they ask, elaborate. However, do not meet hate with hate EVER! Hatred brings hatred, love brings love. Remember this.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Physical and Mental Health

For me, the hardest part about mental health is keeping myself physically healthy as well. A lot of people with mental health also suffer from insomnia. Insomnia is either the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or wake up. Unfortunately, depending on the day, I have all three. Perfect example, last night I couldn't fall asleep, then I couldn't stay asleep, and in the morning (when I had to get up for work), I could barely get myself out of bed. Sleep plays a major part in both our physical and mental health, along with eating healthy and being physical.

Over the past three years of actually facing my mental health head on, a mixture of keeping my physical health and therapy has worked the best for me. I understand in today's society, it is hard to eat right, sleep right and keep fit. But it is all about managing your time properly. Schedules work the best!

I work, and unfortunately my work I get called in a lot for shifts. So my schedules have to be fairly flexible. And I am still working on it. I am not a morning person so I tend to sleep late (until 10am), this also means that I stay up later then most people. I do my best to get around 8 hours of sleep a night, that way I am not lacking in sleep. If I can't sleep or don't sleep well, I do NOT "make up" for my lost sleep. For me, I find that doing my workouts and physical activity later on in the evening is best for me (based on my sleeping schedule). So I do it usually after dinner. I go on a walk to warm up and then I end up doing a workout on my Xbox One. Since, in the past, I have also suffered from binging and purging, I do my best to watch when I eat and what I eat. Currently, I am doing a 10 days of real food challange (hopefully I will move up to the 100 days). All of this did not come overnight though and I am still working on it as go!

I took tiny steps and created reachable goals to make my schedule happen. That schedule I have created, will help me in my long term goals. So firstly, I focused on exercise. To me, that was the easiest place to start. It began as one half hour walk a day. That actually changed a lot in my mood and made me want to do more. Since my boyfriend had bought an Xbox One, it came with Xbox Fitness. That made working out easy, fun, and manageable.

Then I focused on eating right. That was the next easiest thing. If I cooked a meal, I knew my boyfriend would eat with me. He was a huge factor in how I ate, since he wasn't overly healthy, I wasn't. But when I started eating and cooking, he joined in. It was easier for him and healthier for me. Also I had to find a way to make food good for me. By that I mean, my previous "relationship" with food was horrible. I wouldn't eat, and when I did, I binged and then purged it in some way. So I had to make food something I wanted as a part of my life. So I learned to cook unique things and add more flavour. I was sick of bland, dry food, so I started cooking spicier, adding more natural sweets (I have a huge sweet tooth!), and trying new things.

Sleep, I am still working on. I am having issues waking myself up. I just do not want to get out of bed. I think for me, what it is, is when I am not working, there is no need for me to leave bed. So I may need to pick up a hobby or two. Something to look forward to in the morning!

All these things, you do need a reason to do them. For me, being healthy is enough. I do this for me. But you may need your own reasons. And schedules do not have to be boring. You do not have to go to the gym to be active. Go on daily walks, hikes, bike rides, runs, pick up karate, dance, anything that you think would be fun and you would be into doing! If you are tired of your regular food, learn to either spice it up by seasoning it differently, adding different ingredients, or learn something new! And for sleep, turn off your technology, get a dark room, and meditate. Take your time going to sleep. Get a bedtime routine. Mom was onto something when she bathed us, got us to brush our teeth, read us a nighttime story, and then tucked us in. It was to calm us down before we slept! Schedules don't have to be timed, they don't have to be predictable, they can be fun, wacky and absolutely entertaining! Try to put yourself on your schedule, and if you have a bad day, don't worry! You can't control everything, but you can control how you deal with things! This is my way of dealing with mental health! If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or just want to add on, feel free to do so :D always looking for input and knowledge!

Thursday, 14 August 2014


Hi! My name is Samantha and I am a young female who has suffered from mental health issues and issues with our society (as many others have). This is a brief introduction to myself and what I hope to accomplish with this blog.

Well as I mentioned I am a young female with mental health issues, I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Manic Depressive Disorder (aka Depression). Now depression is fairly straight forward, essentially it is being extremely sad with loss of hope, thoughts of suicide, sometimes self harm behaviours. Depression can be treated/helped with both therapy and medication. Borderline Personality Disorder is an emotional disorder. Since it is an emotional disorder there isn't really any chemical imbalance that just medication alone can fix. It can be cured (which is great news!), people are usually seen as cured when they are in their mid to late adult years. So BPD people feel emotions more deeply and they may resurge and persist for longer periods of time. We are very impulsive, our interpersonal relationships suffer a lot and are hard to maintain, we have suicidal thoughts and behvaiours. This is just the tip of the iceburg, if you want to know more you can check out the wikipedia description of it ( Since I was diagnosed in 2011, I have come a long way. I still have bad days, but they are getting fewer and farther inbetween. I am currently practicing Buddhism to bring myself to the now and have better control over myself and my emotions/thoughts. Hopefully one day, I will be completely free of my BPD.

As a female I have faced many challenges such as discrimination and harassment. Daily I am catcalled, winked at, groped, or followed. I have been told that I "don't know what I am talking about because you're female" and I have been told that because I don't want kids I am "selfish, rude, stupid, etc" whereas my boyfriend gets the typical "well yah, I don't blame you!" conversation. I will explain why I don't want children but that will be for another blog.

My goals with this blog are to hopefully show people who suffer from mental illness that they are not alone and that seeking help is not a sign of weakness. Also I do hope to show people another side of mental health as our society (unfortunately) still sees mental health as devient and bad. I am always open to feedback and criticism (that is how you learn!). I am not a writer, my grammar and sentence structure sucks, but maybe one day I can write properly!

This will be a safe environment for anyone seeking help, guidance, or just a place to vent! However, I will NOT tolerate the following: bullying (including but not limited to: crude/sexual remarks, insults, threats, etc.), harassment (I respect that everyone has a right to their opinion, however if it begins to make others uncomfortable, then myself or any of the other people may ask you to stop, if it continues, you will be removed), violence towards others. I would appreciate if there are any conversations/comments you have you put *TRIGGER WARNING* then if someone is having a bad day they can prepare themselves. I will practice my right to ban, remove or report any comments/users that are unfriendly. I am always open to second chances, but you have to make the case on why I should give you a second chance.

Hopefully this page will be of service to people who need help or change :D