I wanted to start my blog with some self disclosure by laying out all my Diagnoses:
*ADHD: a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
*Bipolar I Disorder: The presence of one or more manic episodes usually accompanied by major depressive episodes.
*Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Persistent anxiety and worry that is out of proportion with actual events or circumstances.
*Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Cognitive obsessions that increase the person’s level of anxiety and thus leads to compulsive behaviors aimed at reducing the anxiety.
*Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A set of avoidance, arousal, and intrusion symptoms that follow exposure to a life-threatening event.
I am not taking medication for any of these disorders but I am enrolled in counselling where I check-in regularly. I have nothing against medication and believe everyone should discuss all their options with a trusted professional to determine if it is something they feel they would benefit from. My Psychiatrist and myself, at this time, don’t feel it is something I need. I have grown to learn my patterns and cycles over the years and have found ways to manage my disorders through coping skills, mindfulness exercises, harm reduction, and strong support networks. This was a lot of trial and error that took many years and still needs constant reassessment and altering. Currently I am in a “Manic” phase. Mania is defined as “Excitement manifested by physical or mental hyperactivity, disorganized behavior, and elevation of mood”. This is in part why I have started a blog; I am at a stage where I am desperately trying to find time-consuming distractions. But that is not the only reason I have started the blog, please read the ‘About’ of my page if you want to know more about why I am doing this. Another reason I am starting this blog is because I am trying to get myself into a habit of consistently writing daily and doing research work. I’m hoping this will make it easier to get back into the swing of things come September when I enroll in my final year of University.
Before you start to think, “Oh wow, good for her!” you should know a few things:
- I have been in University, on and off, since 2011
- I started my Social Work Diploma in 2015
- It has taken me an extra year to complete it which means I will be graduating Spring 2018
This has been a long struggle of upgrading, failing and dropping out, re-applying and getting back in, having a baby and almost dropping out again, then staying in but only taking minimal courses a semester (3 courses/semester) to keep me at the status of ‘full-time student’. I started University two months after my little man was born. He wasn’t planned but I did have him with the man I had full intentions of spending my life with. After finding out I was pregnant, my boyfriend and I got married March 2015. You could say things have been a bit of a rollercoaster since 2014 when I first found out I was pregnant, but we won’t get into that today. Since having the baby, getting back into school, and being a newly wed, I’ve been trying to figure out my life. I started outsourcing by looking for books, podcasts, and apps that would help me organize my tasks, mental health, physical health, school, family, social life, etc. One thing I found was an amazing Podcast called ‘College Info Geek’ which I will definitely talk more about in future blogs. For now, I’m going to focus on the ‘Impossible List’ that Thomas Frank, founder of CIG, introduced me to. Thomas’s website www.Collegeinfogeek.com is full of great resources but the thing that really caught my interest was his Impossible List.
The Impossible List
This was actually created originally by Joel Runyon then Thomas adapted the idea and did his own and then I did the same. I will also link Joel Runyon’s website at the bottom of this post. Anyways long story short, doing my own Impossible List really helped me organize my goals and future aspirations. I feel like my mind is always all over the place and it’s so hard to focus on current/ future goals but this list really makes everything seem so organized and even doable. The purpose of the list is to create a space to be able to build on your goals and experiences while motivating you to take action. For me it was about taking all the ideas floating around in my head and place them somewhere so I feel my mind is more free to focus on single-tasks. I can look at the list and say “What am I working towards?” which really helps me remain focused. Here I have attached my personal Impossible List which you are more than welcome to use as a template for you own or you can check out Thomas or Joel’s Lists in the links below!
I think that will be all for my first blog. I feel it’s a bit dense and kind of all over the place so I think I’m just going to stop here. If you actually read this, THANK YOU! Feel free to leave a comment and I will try and get back to you the best I can.
My Impossible List:
Thomas Frank’s Impossible List:
Joel Runyon’s Website/ Impossible List:
National Institute of Mental Health. (2012). Borderline Personality Disorder. Retrieved June, 2017, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml
Regehr, C., & Glancy, G. (2014). Mental health social work practice in Canada (2nd ed.). Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press.