Short Post

So I wanted to share with you all that I’ve done the most irrational thing I have ever done.

I’ve withdrawn from my classes, and I’ve taken a leave from my job. And honestly, I have never felt more free in my life.

I’m going to be spending the coming weeks very devoted to creating things and I think you all will benefit from it too!

So keep an eye out for me, we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other! If you have requests for something you’d like me to talk about, but let me know!

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(Photo credit to Kaitlyn Edens. See more of her work here.)

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Long Time, No Contact

Wow has it been a while. So many things have happened since the last time I posted! It’s awesome and kind of scary how much your life can change in just a short amount of time. So this post isn’t going to be long, and I doubt there will be very many people who will actually read it, but I have a few things in the works. I don’t anticipate this blog being brought back to life in the general sense of a blog. I’m not going to be posting pointless articles just for the sake of posting. I don’t want this to become a typical and predictable blog. Therefore, I’m only going to post actually good material – and sometimes good material takes a while to create. So I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get something together, but I promise I am working on it!

In the meantime – do me a favor and go take a look at my photography! Perhaps you will find some inspiration for your own life! All of my photography can be found at ViewBug.com/member/KotaKai. You can also follow me on Instagram @PandemKai (because why not?)

Here’s a very small sample for those of you who won’t go look at my photos:)EP1280147.jpg

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Reaching Out To You

Hey everyone!

So I desperately need something from you: your feedback!

I want to hear from you all! What do you think of my posts so far? What would you like to see me talk about in the future? What are you dying to read about right now?

What are some things that you are struggling with and would like advice on? What have you always wondered but never felt like researching? Give me something to write about! Something tailored to you!

So please, I’m begging you, leave me a comment below, or if you would like to reach me privately, go this this contact page, and you can get ahold of me there!

I’m trusting you guys!

Leading By Example

Today’s post is no where near as elated or confidence exuding as my previous ones. It is a rather solemn one, and a hard one to write.

I firmly believe that one of the best ways to lead someone is to lead by example. The best way to teach, is to teach through your own story. Well, I can’t exactly lead by example or teach you through my story if I never tell you what that story is.

Well, I am about to.

There are things in here that I have never told anyone. This is also where I say that this post may trigger some people. I will not go too far in depth, but if you are highly sensitive to things such as self-harm, the topic of suicide, or talking about depression, I urge you to think before continuing.

That being said, I suppose I can continue.

I haven’t really any idea where to start. I know the things that I would like to talk about, but finding one to start with is difficult. I can’t start from the beginning, because that’s just too far back, and I can’t start at the end and work backwards, because you will be lost until about half way through.

I suppose I can start here: Approximately five years ago, in my freshman year of high school, I had my first major depressive episode. For much of the winter, I existed in a very dark frame of mind. I was not actively suicidal, not that I remember, but I saw no reason to live. I would lie at the edge of the road (we lived on the outside of a curve in the road), hoping that some car would pass and be just a little over the outside line. I jumped off of my one story house, into a pile of mulch. I began to self harm – a mix of cutting myself and alternating between not eating enough, and eating too much. I became an insomniac. I would get maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night. I felt nothing inside. I lived in a hollow, numb, dark place.

As time progressed, I lifted out of my depression, and have yet to experience another major depressive episode that lasts that long. About two and a half years later, during exams of my junior year of high school, I was admitted to the hospital for suicidal and homicidal ideation. Simply put, I had no specific plans to do anything, but was thinking a bit more about it than I should have been. The first doctors didn’t want to admit me, and couldn’t to the hospital I was at, but someone fought for me, and got me a bed at a hospital in a city a few hours away. I spent a week there, with other kids. I miss that place to this day. I had absolutely no worries, no concerns. And I was able to help other kids while I was in there. It was wonderful.

Upon leaving, I received a diagnosis of Type 2 Bipolar Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. At the time, I thought they were wrong. Even until recently, I thought for sure they got it wrong. But they didn’t.

I don’t know how informed you are about these things, but I am just going to tell you what I personally struggle with. Everyone who has a BP or an OCD diagnosis does not experience the same thing. Each person has their own flavor they deal with. I urge you to read more about Bipolar disorder (A good place to start, Read: This article by the NIMH).

In my Bipolar, I have long periods of time where I am relatively normal. Life feels kind of hum drum, but I can get through it okay. Not much of a fight these days. But this never lasts, I always cycle down. My depression does not last very long, I rapid cycle. Most of the time, when I am actually in a depressive episode, it will last at least 3 days, and up to about a week, maybe a little longer.

Recently, my depression has changed. It is no longer the numb hollow dark feeling that I used to feel. I now become self conscious, I lose self worth, I feel actually sad as opposed to numb. I have cried more in the last 2 or 3 months than I have in the last 5 or more years before that. I feel trapped in my situation and all I want to do is run away or hide.

I can usually maintain some shred of hope though, and that is knowing that my depression will never last forever. Usually right after a depressive episode I will cycle right up into hypomania. I become highly optimistic about life. I regain all of my self confidence and self worth, and it usually becomes slightly inflated. I will get a lot of energy, but I usually do not have a decreased need for sleep (something that is very common in mania, and to a lesser extent, hypomania).

Often times, I will also experience what is called mixed state. That is when I feel depressed and hypomanic at the same time. I will usually become very agitated, my sleep and eating patterns may change dramatically, and I am just not a very pleasant person to be around.

I will not talk too much about my OCD, I can save that for another post, but I would like to add that I also experience (part of my OCD and Bipolar both) frequent anxiety about multiple things. I can become very overwhelmed very quickly. I usually do not shut down from it, but it makes it much harder to function in my day to day life.

I also struggle with (and it is very difficult for me to admit it) personal hygiene, as if very common in all types of Bipolar disorder, along with other mental illness. In particular, I struggle with brushing my teeth. What makes it even worse is that I know it only takes a few minutes, I know that I would feel much better for doing it, but there are days that I just cannot force myself to brush my teeth. I also will go entire days without eating much of anything, which is also not good for me.

So why did I tell you all of this?

I didn’t share these highly personal things because I enjoy talking about myself. I shared them as a way of telling you that, if you are experiencing any of these things, you are not alone. I wanted you all to know that the things that I post, like my recent one, On Living In The Moment, I do those things. And it isn’t easy. I struggle to use the things that I tell you, but the do work. Little by little, it helps.

I could add a whole bunch more to this, but I believe that this is enough for now.(And at nearly 1200 words, I shared a lot of information!)

As always, if you see anything that you relate to, or helped you, please share it, so that it can help someone else too!

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, I implore you to seek help, or to help them seek help. Suicide is never a solution to the problem, it only eliminates the chance to find one. Call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor.

Hurricane

I hate the emotional days. The ones where my heart feels like it is just too wrong for this world and I can’t stand to see the things that are going wrong in my country. The days where it overwhelms me thinking about what the future may hold and if I am wasting a huge amount of time and money going to college to get a piece of paper that may end up meaning nothing.

I hate the days where the only thing I want is to just be back in the hospital I was in for a week because everything was so simple there. Everyone had problems there and it was so easy to actually relax and try to get better because I had no weight on my shoulders. I could listen to the people there and give them feedback and guidance and I never had a worry that I was missing something over my head, or that something was about to happen that I was forgetting about or was unprepared for. I feel like I will be living my life waiting till I can retire to a retirement place where the only worries I have is if I have enough good books to read and if I make it to the cafeteria in time to have breakfast.

All I want is a simple life filled with simple things like being able to enjoy a really good book after a really nice shower, but there is a fire in me that never lets me rest and a hope in me that maybe one day I could make an impact on the world and all of these things in my head leaves me feeling like I am on the verge of exploding or melting or something.

A hurricane lives in me and I don’t know if I should live my life inside a cellar waiting for the eternal storm to pass or if I should spend my wings and learn to ride the winds that can carry me to bigger and better places.

Pride Will Be Your Downfall

“Pride will be your downfall”

These words have haunted me for the better part of the last four years of my life.

More than one-fifth of my life. Stolen by five words.

I don’t remember where I first heard it, or read it, but these words have been a constant stream of water dousing the fires of my passions.

I was afraid of being too prideful, afraid to boast about things, and that led to being unable to feel accomplishment. Whenever I put out something of worth, or achieved something of value, I could never feel please for it. Pride was something I fought, something I detested.

For 4 years I downplayed all of my abilities. It reached a point where I stopped pushing because I was afraid to succeed. Without meaning to, I stopped getting perfect scores of tests, I became passive about homework. I never tried. All because I was afraid of being successful and as a result, being prideful.

I could never feel proud of anything, even when many people told me I should. I saw how arrogance was viewed, and how no one liked someone with a big ego. I got in the way of my own success – just so I never had anything to be proud of.

I did not know how to feel like I had worth, without it being prideful. How could I work for anything of substance when I detested the emotion that commonly followed? To this hour, I have difficulty reaching for goals. I have trouble lighting a fire in me, constantly afraid it will burn be to the ground.

Every day I fight it. I fight to feel self-worth. I battle the shadows in the back of my mind, hoping that a light will one day explode inside of me, destroying this darkness forever. I fight to find myself, and one day, I hope that I may reach for my dreams, and leave pride behind.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13

What Do You Reach For When You Have No Dreams?

This is not a post for someone who is looking for answers. This is not for a student looking for something or someone to help them, or a mid career worker who is having a crisis and is looking for what they really want. This is not a post meant to help, nor a post intended to guide.

I have no dreams. 

I don’t mean the visions you get while sleeping (though I only occasionally have those), I don’t have any ambitions, or goals, or aspirations, objectives, wishes, desires, or a determination to achieve something.

What do you reach for when you have no dreams?
What do you shoot for when you have no stars?

I am completely ensnared by contradictions and am entirely ensnared in a battle between my heart and my mind and my soul. I have a war inside that has trapped me in a rut of indecision and inability to see forward. 

I have hope that I will one day figure it out. But I am already through one year of my four years of financial aid. After 4 years, a fair portion of my financial aid will be gone, and what for? Will I have something that I can take to the “real world” or will I be no better off? I fear that I am completely hopeless, with no path before me.

I have spent literally every waking moment of the last 3, going on 4, days thinking about my future and I am no close to deciding what I would like to do than I was when I was 5 and my kindergarten teacher asked me what I wanted to do with my life.

So what do you do? What do you chase after when you are in the dark?

This is exhausting, if you do not know or remember the feeling. It is exhausting to spend days looking within and constantly questioning and thinking about scenarios and situations that may or may not be something I would like to be in. I don’t know.

Where do you go when all you can do is run in circles?

As always, comments are welcome, and even more so if you can offer some advice – any advice.