This is Me, This is My Why.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to share this post here at The Bipolar Writer, as it was originally intended for my personal blog. However, I feel it’s important to share about the person behind the posts with all who read my writings. ~ Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and allowing me to share my journey.

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Photo by Pixabay

In contemplating my next post, I realized that through this journey so far of discussing honoring your story, love, forgiveness and finding your Truth, I never properly introduced myself. I find that to be a gigantic oversight, because how can you relate to someone who talks about having a story but never told it. While each of my posts give you a glimpse of who I am as a mom, a writer and that my path has not always been smooth sailing, I feel it’s time to give you a summary of me and how I got here.

While I could write a book about my life to this point (unpublished, but I actually have, which is how I found my love of writing). I feel a good summary of significant points in my journey would be enough to give you an idea of just who I am, and why my path has lead me to this blog and to the desire to write a book.

Me

There is beauty and humility in imperfection. ~ Guillermo del Toro

As a Child –

As a younger version of me I grew up as the oldest of two. I’d like to think of myself as a good big sister, but I was far from it. The moment my brother came home, there was something really special about him, and I knew it, and was jealous enough to make his life miserable for a while. Eventually, we were able to heal our relationship, and presently, we are closer than we have been most of our lives.

However, this particular personality trait is what drove me a good portion of my life -jealous, angry and easily triggered. I felt I was constantly trying to prove something. I was the only girl on my mom’s side of five cousins and my brother, so needless to say, I was a tomboy always looking for my place. I was also an introvert who loved reading, quotes, poetry and art, and dabbled in a little of it all, but never felt I excelled at any, which led to much self-doubt.

My Anxiety-

Most of my life, I never understood what it meant to be empathic or highly sensitive. (This is a post I plan to cover later on). I never equated this trait to my anxiety. In a nutshell I could actually feel when someone was sad or disappointed, which made me very susceptible to worry, fear, anxiety and depression. I suffered from much of these growing up, never understanding where it came from and how to name it, let alone control it. I learned to hide it well, like I did many things. I felt if I was able to hide my true feelings, I could go through life just like everyone else. Not until later did I realize that facing these truths allowed me to understand them, and embrace them, which allowed me to truly live as me.

In Relationships-

My stubborn ways stayed with me as I grew up, and if I set my mind to something or believed I was right, there was no convincing me otherwise. This is where my universal lessons came into play, specifically in my relationships. I chose partners that reflected who I wanted to be, not who I felt I was. I wanted to be confident, strong and know my place in this life, and chose people who I felt exhibited those traits. Unfortunately, these tended to be strong personalities that eventually did not mix well with my own, specifically when I was attempting to find my own unique voice.

I was married and divorced twice with two kids before I was thirty years old. After these divorces, and still trying to find my place, feeling that maybe I had it all wrong, my next relationship was with my best friend, who was female and lasted eight years, but also ended due to my need to find out who I truly was in this world. While I now share my life with a wonderful man who is the reflection of my soul, and who walks with me down my true path (this is a story in itself I may write about one day), I have learned through this journey that I am forever grateful to those I’ve shared my life with, as they have shaped me and guided me to where I am today.

My Kids-

My kids are my heart, and I feel I learned a lot as a mom as we grew up together, but it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Due to my failed relationships, my daughter moved 10 times before she was 10, and my son suffered from night terrors, which I have carried guilt about for so very long. They are now 18 and 13 and we have wonderful relationships, but the stories in between could had lead us down much different paths. The biggest lessons I have learned about life have been through my kids, and I am blessed to be in the place I am with them today.

In Work/School-

Growing up I never knew what I wanted to do with myself, and was guided in different directions, but ended up within the legal field where I spent most of my adult life. I earned my paralegal degree and worked within several different law firms over a 20 year period. I struggled with this for some time, especially because within that span I learned what writing truly meant to meNeeding a change, I am currently in school as a psychology major, and I found a place within real estate for a utility company. While my passion lies elsewhere, I love that I can support my family surrounded by wonderful people.

In Faith-

I grew up Catholic and for many years I resented the religion and much of what it stood for, never understanding that there is much more to faith than religion. I have found through the many lessons of life, including death, that there is much we can’t see, and much we don’t know, but something much greater exists. In my journey, I have found my faith again, and this has taken me to a new level of understanding and love.

In Life and Death-

My turning point came when I experienced death in a way I never thought I would experience it. While I had lost family growing up, never did I experience the depth of loss until I had to say goodbye to those who were younger than me or close to my age and heart. In a short period, I lost an 18 year old family member to a fire, a young cousin to addiction, my grandmother who I was very close to, way too soon, my three year old step-nephew to illness, almost lost my dad, and my daughter was gravely struggling in her world. These events rocked me to the core and changed my course.

Once I was able to comprehend what had happened in my life, I was determined to walk the path I was here for and live how I was supposed to live, in happiness and truth, instead of sadness, regret and anger, which took me to my WHY.

My Why

There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us. ~ Simon Sinek

My Passions-

I have so much to say about this, but will summarize because I plan to post about each stepping stone to my true Why as I continue to blog. My passion for writing started as a kid when I learned just how much quotes inspired me, and still do. I began writing my own from the heart, and at one time even submitted some for copyright. I also loved to draw and read, however, I never thought of myself as creative because my definition of creative was skewed, and felt I didn’t qualify since I wasn’t good at just making up stories on the fly, or a designer or painter.

As I dabbled in the written word through poetry and quotes, I didn’t find my true voice in writing until my second marriage. I was home with my son and struggling with being a mom again, figuring out who I was in the world, and my relationship as a whole. I decided one day to sit down at my old computer and start to type. As soon as I opened that door, the words began to pour out like they had been waiting all that time to be heard, and from then on I knew deep down this was what I was meant to do, it was the matter of figuring out in what capacity.

Me

Me!

As I found my voice in writing, life got in the way and I began to work again, and while I temporarily buried this part of me to just do the day by day thing, other passions showed themselves, reminding me that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I volunteered at the dog shelter, feeling I needed to give back, and I ended up writing about the orphaned dogs. I found I loved to coach, started with volleyball and now coach beginner runners, which is where I found that inspiring those to live their best life is my calling, which I began to write about. I then started and stopped blogging over the years and finally I started this blog and just keep going. Feeling as if there was a hole in my heart,  I was searching to fill it, and I ended up right back behind a keyboard.

While my WHY is to inspire through my own stories and lessons, my HOW is through this blog and eventually my many books 😉 I believe every one of us has a WHY and a HOW and it is up to us to find out what they are in order to live the very best versions of ourselves in this incredible life we have been given.

Our purpose is our reason, and living in that purpose is when you become who you are meant to be. I cannot thank each of you enough who take the time to read this blog and to follow my story, and my hope for you is that you find your purpose, and you share it with the world so you can live as the very best you.

Much Love,

Lisa J.

What’s Your Story?

Follow the Clues to Find the Light Inside

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The light. You may ask what I’m talking about, but what you may not understand just yet, is that you have the answer. The light, the spark, the fire within is something you have the means and ways of tapping into, you have the ability to not only find but let blaze your path intended for you in the world. As early as childhood you’ve been given clues, like breadcrumbs, as to how your light is defined, what incredible gift you possess, and how to share it. You know those clues that at one time may have been labeled as annoyances or stages or phases.

That time you doodled all over your notebook and failed that geometry test, the obsession with colors and paint, the music that played over and over in your head, the voice that would come out sometimes only in the shower, being compelled to help animals, people or bugs, the speech you gave that brought you to tears, the engine you took apart and put back together over and over just because, the way your heart was pulled to the outdoors in nature, or the pages and pages of quotes and stories in the hundred journals you have from family and friends.

Whatever it may be, whatever pulls you to your center, your truth, what makes time non-existent, that “thing” you do that drives you, gives you reason, makes you smile to your core is it. You may not recognize it quite yet, or you may have known since you were three years old, or you know, and you just don’t know what to do with it, but that my friends, is your light. That light is your passion, your gift, your reason and a beat so loud in your heart that you should not, you cannot, ignore it.

Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Ask yourself, ask what your passion is, and close your eyes and really listen to that quiet but strong voice, and the answer will present itself. We are all incredible humans, but our biggest issue is that we forget just how amazing we are from the inside. We hide from our truth, we push aside the possibility for the practical, we fear, and we question, and we lose the entire meaning of why we are here. We are here to share that light, that gift we all are uniquely created with.

I implore you to open your eyes, your heart and listen closely. Follow the clues down the path of what is meant to be for you, and as you walk toward your truth the more that is revealed, embrace it and share it. This is it, this is the time for you to live each moment, love every day and fill the world with kindness and compassion, do that, your way and the only way you do best. You have choices in this life, choices that are hard, easy, scary, sad, happy, choices that can change your course, but if nothing else, choose You, your truth and choose to shine the light from inside so that when you leave this earth you leave knowing you knew Love.

Much Love,
Lisa J

Becoming Whole

Full.  Completed.  Perfect.  Undivided.  Fulfilled.

What does whole mean to you?  To me?

For a long time, I didn’t know.  I just knew I felt incomplete, and broken.  Bipolar depression had shattered the me I knew and turned everything on it’s head.  But I knew it wasn’t just the illness making me feel incomplete.  I know this because even when I felt well for several years, I didn’t feel fulfilled really.  I was spending so much time chasing and doing, but little to no time getting to know myself and understanding what I need.

As I have tried to pull myself out of my latest episode of depression I have often told myself, “I need something for me and me alone.”  Caught up in a sea of everyone else’s needs I was feeling lost and empty.  I couldn’t get out of the lingering tide of depression that kept bringing me down.

I thought of several ideas of what I could do just for me.  Maybe I could get a job.  Working a couple nights a week might be just the thing to get me out of the house and into a world of my own.  That didn’t sit well with me, though.  I had a new baby to care for.  It wasn’t likely that I would really be able to leave on a regular basis in the evenings.  This is because I wanted time with my husband as well, and that is the only time he is home with us, due to his work schedule.

Maybe I could do a play with a local theater company.  I loved doing theater as a youth and young adult.  The idea of exploring that art again was very attractive to me.  I also desperately wanted to be creative again.  But this would not work as well, for the same reasons I couldn’t get a job.  There would be numerous evening rehearsals and I didn’t think I could even handle that big of a commitment at that time.  So that idea was also discarded.

Time went on.  I tried my best to find joy in making our house a home.  I do enjoy decorating and painting walls, and beautifying our environment.  I also have enjoyed reading.  I found little things to do each day that I could enjoy while still caring full time for my four children.  I also take time everyday to enjoy my children and the wonderful people they are becoming.  But as years went by I realized that this wasn’t enough for me.  I have spent years giving to others.  And while I love this aspect of my life, I knew that I needed something more–something that I could really throw myself into for my own fulfillment.

When my depression started to dip down again a few months ago, I knew I could not put my own needs off any longer.  I needed to find something I could do right away that would help to nourish me.  So I prayed for help and I started forming some plans.  I decided I might go back to school in the fall.  I considered moving toward becoming a professional counsellor.  I became excited about the prospect and realized how much I could bring to the table with a client, having experienced mental illness myself.  I decided it would be a good idea to make a list of everything that I had learned from having mental illness.  I did just that, and found that I had a lot of knowledge already that I could share.

So I started blogging.  Why wait to become a counsellor?  I could start sharing what I had learned, and my own experiences, with people right now–without going back to school.

It was a short month and half later that The Bipolar Writer liked one of my posts.  I was intrigued.  Who is The Bipolar Writer?  I got onto his website and was amazed.  This Bipolar Writer was doing was I was trying to do–help others with his experiences–and had quite a following.  I loved what I read here and the sense of community and understanding I felt here.  I wanted to be a part of it.

To my surprise and excitement, he posted that he was looking for contributor writers for his blog.  I emailed James immediately and told him I would love to be a part of what he is doing.  He graciously accepted my offer to write.

This is a nice story, but what does it have to do with becoming whole?  I have been fortunate to explore writing again–really explore it and get creative in ways that I haven’t since I was attending college as a young adult.  In doing so, I remembered how much I always loved writing in my youth.  It was something I could always get excited about and I was pretty good at it, at the time.

I am rediscovering a long dormant love and passion for writing!  This is what I have been needing.  Something I can get excited about and look forward to that is just for my own enjoyment.  It’s the missing piece that I didn’t know I needed all this time.

For the first time in many many years I am beginning to feel whole!  I am a becoming full, complete, undivided and fulfilled Chelsea.  I have started work on a novel and am working on developing my writing skills.  Having this outlet is making me a better mom and wife and a happier me.

So thank you.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you, James, for this opportunity.

In closing, I invite you to do some pondering.  Think about what you need, what you enjoy and how you can incorporate it into your life.  I hope in doing so you will find what you need to make you more whole.

As always, I’d love to hear from you.  Have you discovered your passion?  Do you have something in your life that brings your joy and fulfillment?  Comment to share.