My Instagram Account got Hacked

Hi all! I just wanted to let you all know that my Instagram account got hacked. If you get a message from my account right now it;s not me. Report the account and block it if you have the time please! Thankyou! To be honest, I’ve been away from social media for a while now and I think I’m going to continue that for right now. Now that I’m back to blogging, I think I’m going to focus on my blog slowly for now. 

Well, that’s all for now guys! See you in the next post! 

Mental Health: Stigma, Misconceptions, and Research

Picture taken from Pixabay

I started mental health treatment in 2020, and it has been a very interesting journey. I began therapy for my depression and was quickly diagnosed with major depressive disorder, however, I was soon also diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder after spending some time in treatment (I go into a bit more detail about my my experience with receiving the diagnosis and what borderline personality disorder is in a previous post). My first time hearing about BPD was when I joined the blogging community, but when I received my diagnosis, I still didn’t know much about the condition. I decided to do a little research on it and learned a lot. Some of the information was useful and interesting, others not so much. 

One interesting fact I learned is that BPD and bipolar disorder are similar in some ways. In fact, sometimes a person with BPD might be misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and vice versa. One similarity between BPD and bipolar disorder is that people with the condition have a lot of mood swings, sometimes severe mood swings. I’m sure a lot of people have heard statements like “she/he is so bipolar today” before. That of course is a huge misconception that many people have of bipolar disorder. I can’t speak for people with the condition, because I don’t have it, but I do know that people with bipolar disorder don’t flip from being happy to being angry or sad in matter of seconds.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by swings between extreme highs and lows. The moments of extreme highs are called manic episodes and the moments of extreme lows are depressive episodes. In order for a person to be diagnosed with with bipolar disorder, they need to have experienced at least one manic episode, and the episode needs to have lasted at least a week. A depressive episode needs to have lasted at least two weeks. There is also bipolar disorder with mixed episodes (when a depressive episode and a manic episode occur at the same time) and bipolar disorder with rapid cycling (when a person has four or more manic episodes in a year), but these forms of bipolar disorder are also very different from how the general public understands the condition. Changes in mood happen much more swiftly with BPD. A person with BPD can switch from being stable to being completely sad to happy within hours. This is due to the fact that BPD mood swings tend to be influenced by events more than bipolar mood swings are. Bipolar mood swings can happen suddenly with seemingly no trigger. With all this in mind, it would probably be more accurate to say “that person is so Borderline right now”, although it would, of course, still be very wrong to say this too. There are a number of symptoms a person has to be showing before a diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be made, and the same goes for borderline personality disorder. Also, throwing the name of a diagnosis around and making statements such as “I’m so bipolar right now” minimizes the experiences of people who really have the condition.

Another important piece of information I found during my research on borderline personality disorder is that the condition is very stigmatized, even amongst mental health professionals. When it comes to BPD, I think many people fit into two categories: they either don’t know about the condition, or they do and have negative views on it. Although, thanks to the recent Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial, it is very likely that a lot of people who didn’t know about borderline personality disorder know about it now. The mention of BPD during the trial definitely did not help with the stigma associated with the disorder, only seeming to reinforce the idea that people with BPD are manipulative and should be avoided. In the past, even some mental health professionals would try to avoid people with BPD, considering them too difficult to work with. I even came across a recent article warning people about getting into a relationship with someone who has BPD.

The truth is that mental illness and a borderline personality diagnosis does not equal abusive or vice versa. If a person does happen to have BPD or any other mental illness and is also abusive, their mental illness is not an excuse for abusive behavior. An abusive person is just that: an abusive person. Also, a person with BPD is not a hopeless case. There is a particular type of therapy treatment just for people with the disorder called Dialectal Behavioral Therapy. With treatment and support, a person with BPD can develop the skills they need to live productive lives. 

All in all, one big take away from my research on borderline personality disorder is that views on mental illness are still pretty warped. We’re much more open to discussing mental illness now, however, there is still a lot of misconceptions and stigma around. 

I’ll wear it with Pride

“It looks like someone tried to chop your head off”, my father joked.

He was referring to the new scar on my neck. I’ve mentioned before in my blog that I have a a genetic disorder called Turner Syndrome. This condition can lead to a lot of complications, and one of those complications include issues with the thyroid gland. Blood tests were showing issues with my thyroid for a while. My doctor first decided to monitor the condition, but blood tests started to show that it was slowly getting worse and worse over time. She eventually suggested surgery. 

For those who are familiar with surgery procedures, I’m sure you already know that a lot of doctor appointments are involved to prepare a patient for surgery. Not only did I have an appointment to meet with the surgeon, I had a lot of appointments to make sure I was in good shape for surgery to begin with. It was definitely a stressful time, but I was just happy that my thyroid issue was being dealt with. I was so relieved, in fact, that there was no room in my mind to really think about the scar the surgery will leave.

After the surgery, my next priority was making sure I was getting rest in order to get better. Plus, there were bandages covering up the surgical scar. It wasn’t until about two weeks after the surgery when my doctor removed the bandage and stitches, but I didn’t see the scar until I reached home. 

“Awww. Now you’re gonna have a scar.”, one of my siblings said.

The healing process proved my sibling right of course. The surgical incision has healed pretty well, but it definitely left a scar. It also managed to form into a small, lumpy keloid that disturbs the otherwise smooth skin on my neck. However, my sibling’s lamentation over my scar is not what stuck with me during the healing process but her words right after:

“But I guess as people age and go through life signs of what they’ve been through start to show”.

Sometimes, what we’ve been through in life definitely does leave scars, whether physical or mental, and these scars tell our story. They are a reminder that we’ve been through some rough times, but we get through them, and that means we can weather through anything else that comes our way as well. This is how I’ve come to see my surgical scar. I thought I’d share this to give an idea of what’s been going on with me lately, and why I’ve been gone for a while. I also wanted to encourage anyone dealing with a rough situation right now that you will get through it even if it leaves a scar. Hope this post did the job, and I’ll see you in the next one! 

Mental Health 3: The Journey Continues

I always knew I was different from my peers when I was a child. What I did not know was why. A blood test taken during my teen years eventually showed that I have a genetic disorder, and that answered a lot of questions for me. I finally knew the answer to why. Receiving a diagnosis of a mental illness is no different. 

I have been seeing a counselor for a little over a year now. My biggest issue when I started going to therapy was depression, and that was the focus of my sessions. However, as time went on, I started talking with my therapist about other issues outside of my depression as well. Around March this year, my therapist added borderline personality disorder to my major depressive disorder diagnosis. 

The American National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) describes the disorder as thus:

“Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition characterized by difficulties regulating emotion. This means that people who experience BPD feel emotions intensely and for extended periods of time, and it is harder for them to return to a stable baseline after an emotionally triggering event.

This difficulty can lead to impulsivity, poor self-image, stormy relationships and intense emotional responses to stressors. Struggling with self-regulation can also result in dangerous behaviors such as self-harm (e.g. cutting)”. 

People with BPD can be extremely sensitive, and HelpGuide describes having the condition to “having an exposed nerve ending. Small things can trigger intense reactions”. 

After doing a bit of research on BPD, I felt my new diagnosis was accurate and described me in a way. After diagnosing me with BPD, my therapist changed my therapy sessions slightly. Research shows that Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is the most effective therapy treatment for patients with BPD. In fact, DBT was created to treat patients with Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT helps patients with borderline personality disorder regulate their emotions “… – it encourages them to solve their problems. It focuses on skills training to equip clients with tools to effectively cope with their issues. DBT also helps them create long-term goals and work towards it”. My therapist started incorporating some DBT techniques into my therapy sessions, and they have definitely been a helpful new addition to the skills I have already been learning. I feel like a puzzle piece that has been missing a long time has finally been found, and now I have all the pieces I need to reach a place of mental stability soon. 

Life is a journey, and we never really stop learning. My BPD diagnosis is helping on my journey of self discovery the same way my genetic disorder diagnosis did. Answering the “why” questions (why I am I having these problems I’m facing), leads to answers for the “how” questions (I know why I’m having these problems. Now how can I fix them). Now the road to recovery can really begin.

Until next time,

Charli ❤️

Sisters no Matter the Color

There are a number of leading ladies throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some are beautiful love interests, some are relatives of the heroes, and some are heroes themselves. Two leading ladies that caught my attention are Cate Blanchet and Lupita Nyong’o.

When the first Lord of the Rings movie (The Fellowship of the Ring) was released, a close relative of mine was the first to see it. He told me about how much he enjoyed the movie, and that he couldn’t wait for part two. As he told me about the movie, he mentioned a good looking blond Elf (not Orlando Bloom), who became one of the protagonist’s many friends. 

For those not familiar with the world of the Lord of the Rings, the protagonist, Frodo Baggins, is tasked with carrying a ring that corrupts its wearers to a place where it can be destroyed. During his journey, he meets an elf named Galadriel. Galadriel gets temporarily corrupted by the ring, mentioning that the ring would make her a beautiful queen. 

“She was already very beautiful”, my relative said. When I finally got a chance to see the movie for myself, I had to agree with him. That is how I was first introduced to the actress Cate Blanchett. 

In 2013, the movie “Twelve Years a Slave” was released, with actress Lupita Nyong’o in the role of a slave named Patsey. It was Nyongo’s breakthrough role. She received many accolades for her performance, including an Academy Award. As a Black woman myself, I was very happy to see Nyong’o get the support and recognition she was receiving, and very excited to see what the future had in store for her. 

Cate Blanchet and Lupita Nyong’o are very different women from very different worlds. Blanchet is from England, Nyong’o is from Africa. Balnchet has very fair skin and silky hair, Nyong’o has very dark skin and fluffy hair. They are very different women, but are equally beautiful with equal value. 

The world is a rainbow, and no two people are exactly alike. Even twins have characteristics that set them apart. The world would be a completely boring place if everyone was completely the same. One thing we all have in common, however, is that we are all unique and have something special to offer. No person is better than another. We are all equals. We all deserve to feel like kings and queens, and it starts by seeing each other in that light. Regardless of your background you, dear reader, are my brother and sister. Thankyou for visiting. Until next time. 

Challenge 8: An Unforgettable Day

 A little girl woke up one morning with excitement bubbling in her chest. Today was a very special day. She was so excited she had a hard time sleeping the night before, and made sure she was up early in the morning. 

The small girl’s mother woke up early too to help her prepare for the day, and they started with getting her into her new lily white dress. The girl felt like an angel in it.

 Next, they moved on to the girl’s hair. The mother put her daughter’s hair in rollers the night before, and when she took the rollers out in the morning, beautiful curls fell around the daughter’s shoulders. The girl loved her curls, and couldn’t help wanting to put her fingers through them. Mom put hairspray over the curls to hold them, and told the daughter that if she wanted her hair to stay pretty for the entire day, she had to stop touching her hair! This was the first time the little girl remembered ever getting this dolled up, and when she looked into the mirror, she saw nothing but beauty.

After putting on white lace gloves to match her white dress, the small girl was ready to head through the door. When she reached her church, the girl happily threw rose petals when it was her turn to walk down the aisle. She looked on in awe as she watched the special lady of the day finally take her turn walking down the aisle, and watched tears of joy fall down down many faces as the lady and her new husband kissed. On her way to the reception party, the girl felt like a princess during her ride in the limo, and enjoyed drinking out of fancy glass cups at the reception dinner. 

The day was beautiful, and the girl had lots of fun. When she reached back home, the exhausted girl quickly went to sleep, eager for the day she would get to wear a white dress again and walk down an aisle.  

Until next time,

Charli

My Biggest Pet Peeve

Hello everyone! Remember my 52 week challenge posts? I sure hope you do, because I’m back with another one! I was on a pretty long hiatus, so I pretty much failed this challenge, but I still want to continue it! These posts are so much fun to write! This week’s challenge post is number 9, my biggest pet peeve! I thought a bit hard about this actually, because this topic required a bit of introspection. After giving this post some thought, I realized what might be one of my biggest pet peeves. 

According to American author Gary Chapman, there are five love languages. In other words, there are five different ways we give and receive love: acts of service (doing tasks for others), gift-giving, physical touch, quality time (giving some of your time to loved ones), and words of affirmation (hearing uplifting words). Every person generally uses all five love languages to express his or her love, and we enjoy receiving love through all five as well. However, there are usually some love languages that or more preferred than others, and it differs from person to person. We don’t really do a lot touching in my family, so I would say physical touch is pretty low on the list for us. We hug each other from time to time, but we don’t do much of any other types of casual touching (like putting our arms around each other’s shoulders for example). 

Since we don’t touch each other much, I’m not very used to being touched. Also, I’m used to a lot personal space, so whenever I’m talking with someone there’s usually a large amount of distance between us. My father knows this, and sometimes taps my shoulder knowing that will annoy me! This leads me to one of my biggest pet peeves (finally right?): taps on the shoulder!

Do you have a pet peeve? Share it in the comments! Also, if you would like to know your love language, take the Love Language quiz (My love language is Words of Affirmation)! The link is below! Have fun, and see you in the next post! 

Five Love Languages Quiz:

Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald

Drunk History Episode “Legends” Season 4 Episode 2 by Comedy Central

How many of you have heard of Marilyn Monroe? How many of you have heard of Ella Fitzgerald? How many of you knew that these two legends were close friends? I first learned this fact through an episode of the show Drunk History. I found this little gem recently. It aired in 2016, so I’m late seeing it, but I thought the episode was pretty funny. I also thought there was a wonderful lesson that could be learned from it: sometimes we have more in common than we think.  

Checkout Drunk history video above, if you haven’t seen it already, to learn more about the friendship of two legends.

2021: My Hiatus and Looking Ahead

I know I’m late, but Happy 2021 everybody! Last year was definitely rough for everyone, so I hope you were all able to have a good start to the year! Here’s to hoping 2021 will be better and brighter!

I know I’ve been away for a while. I really needed the hiatus to focus, and my focus last year was on my holistic health, meaning my mental, physical, and spiritual health. I’ve reached a point in my life that I used to call “the pause button period”. Life slowed down a bit for me, and that left me feeling worthless and useless. My plans for my future were not coming to fruition like I wanted them to. Unexpected events started to send me on a downward spiral. I felt like a lot of stumbling blocks were being placed in my way. Then the pandemic started, and everything slowed down even more. It seemed like my life was put on pause. 

Little did I know that this pause was actually a blessing. As some of you probably already know, I finally decided to start seeing a therapist. Let me tell you, it’s a good thing that I’m at a slow point in my life right now, because one thing I learned from my sessions is that going through therapy is not easy! You have to work hard, and you have to practice a lot! Change is not going to happen over night! The job of the therapist is to give you the tools you need to mange your mental illness. Your job is to practice using those tools so that using them when you need them becomes second nature. In short, I had been neglecting my mental health slightly for years, and this break has given me a chance to fix that. 

This little hiatus period also allowed me to do a little introspection. I have been spending time asking myself a lot of questions trying plan my future and take control of my life. Taking the time to learn more about myself has been amazing and rewarding. They say that no one can love you better than you love yourself (one of my siblings keeps reminding me of that). I’ve always struggled with self-esteem, but I’m learning to love myself more and more each day. I’m also feeling genuinely happier these days. 

All in all, I’m heading in to the new year with a new attitude, new plans, and optimistic feelings. I hope you’ve all been enjoying the new year so far, and are feeling as optimistic as I am! Until new time!

  • Charli