The Blog

Featured

Finding the Ying to Your Yang

Me and my husband have been together nearly twelve years. We experienced high school together, our first time moving out, paying bills, getting married, buying a house, having a child and all of the other firsts you can experience. Throughout this time we have changed and grown not only as individuals but also as a couple. He has put up with things from me and I have put up with things from him. But we have never tried to change one another. He is who he is with his own set of morals, and thoughts and feelings and I am me with mine.

Most of the time people like to judge their relationship on things they have in common. I will tell you from personal experience that commonalities aren’t as important as they are made out to be. For some reason, society feels that you need to find someone who likes the same things you do and is similar in every way and I think this causes unnecessary dependency issues. It also causes people to feel like they are doing something wrong if they don’t like the same things their partner likes, which can lead to self-esteem issues.

The first thing I would like to advise is to always check with the big stuff first. The deal breaker stuff. The things you know you want for yourself and your life that you won’t give up. For example, if you know you want children 100% for a fact, no chance you would compromise, then you need to make sure the person you’re investing in wants children too. It’s something that needs to come first before you dedicate yourself to someone and then have to decide whether to erase a piece of yourself to be with that person. Marriage is a big issue with some people, religion is a big issue.

Discuss your financial situation. I didn’t have to do this since we were together already when this became a factor but it has been an issue for people I know. Make sure you are both aware of the other’s finances. And I’m not saying you need to know their bank balance, but you should know if they’ve filed bankruptcy or had their wages garnished for some reason because those type of things will affect you and your financial standing if you continue on.

Discuss your strengths and weaknesses. One of the things that make my marriage so strong is that he is strong where I am weak and vise-verse. I never have to carry a load that is too heavy. When I need him, he is there. We can comfortably call on each other to share in whatever we are going through and be whatever the other person needs. This has especially helped in parenting. When consistency needs to be had and I am down for the count, he swoops in and makes it happen.

Discuss your likes and dislikes. Discuss your hobbies and what a normal week looks like for you. Realise that the differences mean more. If you are both into everything the same, then you don’t get to broaden your mind and your experiences by seeing it from your partners’ view. Being able to see things my husband’s way has allowed me to be a more open minded person in general, whether I agree or not. For instance, my husband loves cars, and I have grown to appreciate going to car shows and races and seeing him fix things. Doesn’t mean I have to love cars too, but I do enjoy being part of it with him. He never liked classical music. One day I introduced him to acapella and now he loves it. It’s something that we can listen to together.

There are still things we don’t like and we handle that by giving the other person the space to do it independently. For example, he likes to watch shows I don’t like, so when he watches those shows, I go in the other room and crochet or watch something I want to watch. We don’t have to do everything together and I think that is a huge problem for most people.

Parenting style is a HUGE thing if you plan on having kids. It wasn’t something I realised was a big deal until our opinions differed on something. That was a big fight. You always want to protect your children and if someone doesn’t agree with something you’re doing, you take it personally, even when you shouldn’t. It’s definitely something that should be discussed before you go having children.

Knowing a person’s past can tell you a lot about their behaviours and coping mechanisms. If you know that your partner used to get hit by their parents, then you can understand why they may flinch when you go to touch them, or if your partner was bullied in school it could explain why they get so defensive about any criticism. With me, I had some mental issues with chemical imbalances that caused erratic and irrational behaviour and he had to learn not to take it personally, and I had to learn to tell him how I was feeling before I got out of hand. And we are still learning about things every day, but it’s nice to be able to understand why someone does or reacts to something the way they do instead of having to guess. Guessing is bad.

Insecurity on either end will eventually kill the relationship. Your life partner is supposed to be your safe place, your home base and if you are constantly worried about where they are, what they are doing or having to constantly be in everything they are doing it will not work. My husband can go do whatever he likes to go do if there is time, and I don’t sit and home and worry about who he is with. I have never felt unsafe with him. I have never worried about how am I going to raise these kids by myself, because I know he will always be here. But cheating isn’t the only insecurity people have. The point is you have to be willing and able to give 100% trust to the person you are with. You have to be able to know that that person is your safe place, and not stress out like you’re in limbo. Constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop instead of enjoying each other will eventually cause the other shoe to drop. You need to know you are good enough and deserve to be happy. If you don’t then you will constantly be projecting that on your partner and pushing them away. If they tell you-you are beautiful, don’t let insecurity take over, trust that they believe you are beautiful and believe it yourself!

You also never want to cause your partner to feel insecure. If both people feel safe, then you can be free to just enjoy each other and love each other with all that you have. ❤

You are an independent individual first. You cannot add a person to your life to fix you or fill a void. Those are things you have to discover within. Your partner is also an independent individual. The reason I am saying this is I want it to be understood that one of our greatest strengths is the ability to operate separately from each other. I think a lot of people have serious dependency issues and end up in a really bad position if the relationship goes bad. You have to have your own hobbies, and be your own person so that you can grow together, but also so that you aren’t left a shell of someone else if something bad were to happen. I’m not saying you need a contingency plan because you should feel safe and not need one, but independence is so important in any relationship. Being able to have your own things to do and your own people to talk to when your partner is busy will save you from a lot of resentment in the long run.

We try to keep things 50/50. It doesn’t always work out that way, but we make an effort. The main thing is if you see your partner struggling, help them! Be a sounding board if they need it, be angry if they need you to be angry with them, make them laugh if that’s what they need but above all else always be there 100%. If you’re not in 100%, then you’re out.

Never settle. I am not saying it’s going to be butterflies and rainbows every time you see them but they should definitely make you want to be a better version of yourself. This means not compromising you to be with someone. If someone is physically/mentally/emotionally hurting you, then you should probably pursue other options. People get depressed, people get stuck, people get unmotivated and no one should be faulted for that. You should be the support system when they need support and if you don’t think you can, then you can’t. If you can’t imagine taking care of someone when they are seriously ill, mentally or physically then you should never stay with them.

Arguments and disagreements are normal. You’re never going to see eye-to-eye on everything, and each person will want things to go their way. The idea is that you are practising these things in a healthy manner and that these arguments are solving a problem or coming up with a solution I should say. If this means you have to seek a professional counsellor to help you communicate effectively, then do it! It is not a bad thing to ask for help, as a matter of a fact being able to identify that a problem is bigger than you is a huge, wonderful thing.

Lastly, this isn’t all of the facts, and some of these things will not work for you. Do what you feel in your heart is best for you. Make sure you feel safe where you are. Let those unfounded insecurities go and let yourself love with everything you have. Compromise. Talk about the important stuff. Check in with yourself periodically and see where you are.

 

I hope you enjoyed this! Please leave me some feedback below, or share, reblog, pin, save until your heart’s content! I would also love to hear something you and your partner do to keep your relationship healthy!

 

ALSO: IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING ABUSED, PLEASE GET HELP!!
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABUSE HOTLINE: 1-800-799-7233 OR http://www.thehotline.org

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE: 1-800-273-8255 OR http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

5 Things To Know When You’re Having A Bad Day

Everyone has bad days. You fight with your significant other, your kid is a complete jerk all day, you forget to pay a bill, a friend hurts your feelings, your boss is an asshole, the list goes on and on. And sometimes everything feels like it’s just turning to shit all around you. And sometimes, it is. Don’t start that pity party just yet. I know how it feels to be at the end of your rope, ready to snap at any moment and to feel that feeling of impending doom. Like a cloud is just following you around ruining your freaking day. There’s danger around every turn, something else to set you off, and just when you feel like you’re finally going to have the nervous breakdown you rightfully deserve, I want you to remember these five things.

  1. First off, you are completely allowed to have a meltdown. As long as you pick yourself up off the floor afterward and don’t settle down and live there you can meltdown all you need. Get it out, think it out, cry it out, scream it out, whatever you have to do. Personally, I listen to Daniel Powder’s song “Bad Day” and cry as I listen when I need a small meltdown. Once you release all of that emotional negative energy you’re carrying you will feel better. Tired, but better.
  2. It is just a bad day, not a bad life. If you start thinking that every day is bad, you’re always going to be able to find something to justify it being a “bad day.” But if you recognize that the universe isn’t really out to get you and you have just had a few bad things happen to you, you will be better for it. Turning a few bad moments into something bigger than they are can cause the negativity to take over. Or cause depression to sink in. Neither is a good option. Find some happy music that makes you feel good and at the end of a really hard day get a pen and a piece of paper and write down five positive things that happened today. See how that makes you feel.
  3. Just remember that you’ve gotten through every single bad day so far in your life, so you can certainly get through this one. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and make sure to start your day off on the right foot with some positive thinking. It’s amazing how much you can impact your entire day with just starting out your day in a positive mood. Personally Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is my go-to song for positivity, It always makes me want to dance.
  4. Remember that someone cares. There is someone who wants to hear from you, whether it’s good or bad. And if you call and talk their ear off for 3 hours about how terrible your day was or how everything is falling apart, don’t feel bad for that. You are not pushing off your bad day on them, friends are there to listen. And the only person who controls how they feel is them, so you can’t negatively affect them. Just make sure you allow your friend to communicate back their day and not just dumping and leaving. And if for some reason, you can’t find that person you can message me, and I will listen to you. I give great advice. 🙂
  5. Remember—AND THIS IS A BIG ONE not to take out your bad day on someone else. As I said earlier the only person who controls your feelings and reactions to something is you. And when we get irritable even if you don’t notice it we start to get paranoid. And when we start to get paranoid every little thing that goes wrong seems like an attack, something trying to push you closer to that ledge. Reign it in, partner. I know when you’re upset, rational thinking isn’t exactly at the forefront of your mind, but as your reading this I want you to put it there. And I want you to ask yourself, did he really spill that on purpose? Because you will find that if you ask yourself these questions nine times out of ten you will realize that you’re not thinking clearly and you can get yourself back on track.

Most important pieces of advice: A positive attitude will win out any bad day. Music can cure any ailment of the heart. The only person who can control how you react to any situation is you. The only person who controls your emotions is you. Someone can’t make you feel any certain way if you don’t let them. And also, as Dory says, “Just keep swimming.” It’ll all be okay. Maybe not today, but one day.

 

Dear You,

Hey there, you. I know you’re tired and full of resentment. I know you wish someone, anyone would rescue you from this feeling that you’re drowning. I know you feel like there just isn’t enough time or energy to get done what you need to get done. I know you feel alone. I know these things because I have been there. I have been where you are and I know how it is when you feel like you’re just not enough.

7f6f7fef7a89ae76da301c7964a6dfa6

But I am here to tell you that you are not alone. There are many of us feeling the same way you are feeling right now. Many of us who feel alone, and tired and not enough.

You can get through this. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life. Things will get better. You will feel better. Do what you can, and save the rest for another day. You are only one person and you do not have super powers so cut yourself some slack.

Take a break. Take a breather. Take a bath, or a shower. Read a book. Watch a movie. Do something you love. YOU are important. You ARE worth it.

2974fbc45df65fb2eedbd2fa6f256788

Much love,

Amber

Free Billing/Budget Worksheet

So, if you are like me and unorganized then you are always looking for an easy way to keep track of your bills. It has taken me many, many years to get a system going that works for me, so I thought I would share it with you.

This worksheet is set up for biweekly paychecks, so if you get paid a different way, or need something else changed, feel free to contact me using the contact form and I will help you in any way that I can.

I set this up using open office (which is a free version of another popular office product) . I have it set up for a year. You can edit to fit your particular situation.

Let me know if you love it/hate it or if there’s something more that would help you in your life!! I hope I can use my experience to help you!

You can download it below!

Bills&Budgeting Worksheet 2

Working on iT!

I am currently creating a worksheet that I use to manage my finances. It’s easy, and straight to the point which is exactly what I need. It’s a great tool for people like me who like to know what the future is bringing, or at least have an idea. I need a few testers. If you would like to test it out for me, please comment below or email me @ lifeofabipolarmomblog@gmail.com !!

 

Thank you!!

Mania

Keep shoving it down

Don’t let it feel

Don’t let it come out 

Don’t make it real 

Turn back the clocks

Inside your head

Before you were broken 

Before it was said 

Get out of my head 

Get out of my heart

I can’t let this finish

I can’t hit restart

Let me go, let me be

Let me just run away

Relinquish your feelings

There’s no more to say

Let me fall in this hole

No lights, it’s all black

Don’t you dare try to fix it

You can’t take it back 

These thoughts overwhelm me

Taking over my mind

I’m worried for nothing

Relief I can’t find

There’s no one to save me

There’s no one who hears

The things I say to myself

That create all the fears

I can’t make them stop

No matter how hard I try

I can only keep it inside

On the outside, I’m a lie

Calm down calm down it’s nothing

I tell myself again

But the thoughts they keep on pushing

Telling me that it’s the end

Relaxing is a concept

I try to use it, but it’s gone 

I haven’t been alone now 

They’ve been with me since the dawn 

Parents, Open Your Eyes

Let’s Open the Dialogue About Youth Suicide

So over the past few days, there have been an alarming number of posts circulating on my social media. Posts I never want to see. Posts I can’t help but read with tears in my eyes. Posts that make me wonder. Posts that make me want to take action. 

Bullying is happening everywhere. In children of all ages, in every city; public or private school. Parents are at a loss. School administration is at a loss. You want to protect your children with every fiber of your being but how can you protect them from words? Or from the anonymous internet? How do you protect them from the thoughts in their heads, planted by the evil seeds of a bully’s words? How do we, as a community make school safe again? How do we make it safe for them to post their accomplishments, and talk to their friends on social media? 

I will tell you where it starts. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, and in turn, we do this with our children. If your friends’ child is walking before yours, you feel like your child is behind. This is the very beginning of teaching them that ‘different’ is wrong. We have got to stop using other children as the “norm” that our child has to match standards to, even as babies. Ask your doctor if you’re concerned, but kids learn and grow at their own rates and every child is different. We need to make sure we are aware from early on not to point out differences because it can have a devastating effect on their future.

Make sure you allow your kids to make their own observations as they grow, and don’t push your opinions on them. When they ask you questions about people they see out in life make sure you pay very careful attention to what you say. Don’t let your own biases influence your children. Maybe if we teach them that being “different” is what brings us together, versus what makes us separate they will see differences in a positive light instead of a negative one. Maybe if we stop the biases that were passed down to us from passing on to our children, we can end them completely. 

Ok, beyond parenting advice, which I am no expert on, let’s face facts. The fact is that each day in our nation there are an average of 5,240 attempts of suicide by children in 7-12th grade.* 5,240!! Now, if this isn’t alarming to you, I don’t know what would be. That’s potentially 5,240 doctors, nurses, researchers, Presidents, teachers that feel so alone they think that their only option is suicide. And even worse, 4 out of 5 of those teens showed clear warning signs.* That is a huge wake-up call for me. That tells me that parents just don’t know the signs. So I am going to share them with you.

  • First is to always take threats seriously. This means joking about suicide, and even if they are texting to their friends. Take them seriously. 
  • Pay attention to their behavior. Are they acting more irritable, seem more down, acting out of character? Are they suddenly disinterested with activities? These are all signs of depression, which is a huge red flag.
  • Are they suddenly obsessed with death? Researching it, drawing it, writing about it?
  • Some kids, when they have made the decision to commit suicide will begin prepping for it. Giving away possessions, saying goodbye to family members or friends. 
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs. This may be something you don’t immediately recognize. You would like to think your child would never do drugs, but unfortunately, a lot of them will. They are trying to find an escape for the pain they are feeling. Anything to numb it.
  • If they self-harm in ANY way. This is cutting, not eating, and anything else that could hurt them. This is another one I don’t think parents see easily. If they are wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts in the summer, there is something wrong. Something they are trying to hide. 

These aren’t all of the signs, of course, every child is different. The point is to make sure you open your eyes and pay attention. Don’t turn a blind eye to something that could just be normal kid stuff if it doesn’t feel right. You are their parent, you know their habits, so when something is off, make sure you take an interest. I know it is hard to ever think that your child is depressed or being bullied but you have to open your eyes. You cannot sit and read these news stories and think, “that will never be my child.” 

YOU are your child’s only advocate in this cruel, unforgiving world. So it is important that you fight for their right to be happy, and feel safe in places that are meant to be safe! Join in on every parent/teacher conference, every school board meeting, anything that could possibly give you a platform to not only learn things but also let the school and other parents in on the information you know. Find groups on Facebook, join in on efforts to end youth suicide and to end bullying. Do your research. Learn everything you can. Soak up information like a sponge and use it to help your child have a happy life. Find out about programs they can join, introduce them to the school counselor and most of all make sure they do not feel like they are alone. Make resources of all sorts available to them early on, and make sure they are educated and know they have them and can use them without being judged, or shown disappointment. 

Be proactive, if you notice any of these signs as mentioned above, or that your child just isn’t acting normal to you–GET HELP! I know there are soooo many people out there with this negative stigma on therapy, and psychiatrists/psychologists and that needs to change. These people are put in place to help your child in a way you just can’t. And medication if necessary, is NOT A BAD THING. Firstly, it doesn’t mean they will need it forever. Most people with a combination of medication and therapy are able to learn coping mechanisms and are able to live a long, happy life without medication. Second, if there is a tool out there that could possibly make your child’s life happier, and easier for them why wouldn’t you want to use it? Medication can be so helpful in rebalancing the chemicals in the brain that set off depression, or anxiety.

I think there is a common misconception about anti-depressants and what they do. Anti-depressants are also known as SSRI’s which stands for Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. These medications ease depression by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is one of the chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that carry signals between brain cells. SSRIs block the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin in the brain, making more serotonin available. So they aren’t made to get your child “high” or make them a zombie. Also, you won’t see results right away. These medications need time to build up in the system in order for them to work. I know a lot of people on anti-depressants don’t know this and end up stopping the medication because they don’t feel better immediately.

Please remember, we are our children’s only advocates, so it is up to us to keep them safe from harm, and from being harmful. I don’t have all of the answers, no one does.

But I would like to get a conversation started. So comment on this post, share it with your friends, and let’s try to figure out the answers together. 

 

RESOURCES:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1(800)273-8255
Suicide Prevention Live Chat
Learn More HERE!!

 

 

 

 

*Numbers were obtained from: http://jasonfoundation.com/prp/facts/youth-suicide-statistics/

 

 

Current work in Progress

If you read my about me, you saw that I enjoy crocheting quite a lot. And I’d like to say that I am pretty darn good at it. So, I’m going to show you a little bit of what I do, and things I have done. Make sure you check out my facebook page here for other awesome things I have made or to purchase some custom designed graphs!

The first thing I will show you is what I am currently working on. This is a graph I designed for my son, who’s birthday is next month. Hopefully my brain lets me stay interested enough to finish it before his birthday. The background is a mixture of green and dark green that I variegated myself, and I’m using the block stitch.


Second is a graph I designed for my love of Alice in Wonderland and it is on the back burner at the moment. It will be done in chunks with a white background.


Next I will show some pictures of finished work.

This first blanket I made off of a paid pattern from here for one of my best friend’s baby shower gift. It was a labor of love, and probably one of the things I am most proud of.

This was an owl blanket I worked on for a long time that turned out so cute! The owls are actually part of the granny square vs being sewn on.

This pikachu hat was free handed by me for my son, who loves Pokémon. Boy after my own heart. ❤️

The owl is c2c and I created the graph for it. Cinderella was a graph from Two Hearts Crochet (see link below).

Elephant was a graph by me and Ariel was from Two Hearts Crochet (see link below).

Another Pokémon! And a penguin! 2 things I love! This one was made for a friend and I made the graph from a perler bead pattern.

This was free handed by me with all of the “messy bun hat” craziness. I love this and I kept it.

This blanket was for a little born cardinals fan. I designed the graph for this one.

This malificient I got from Two Hearts Crochet (see link below).  It’s probably going to turn into a villains blanket for another of my best friends little girls but it’s on the back burner for now.


This was a graph I designed off of a perler bead pattern and was made for the same best friends other little finding nemo lover. I’ve been told she loves it! It also has her name abbreviated on the back.
Well, there’s some of my work! I highly suggest you check out Two Hearts Crochet on Facebook here or their website here as they have super awesome patterns for Dr Who, and Harry Potter and Firefly among a ton of others.

Let me know what you think!