45 Self-Love Quotes

A person who knows their value is a powerful being.  Trust me, I know how hard this can be at times.  For years, I could not look in the mirror without criticizing everything in my reflection.  Day by day, I learned to talk to myself like I would to anyone one else in need.  I still have moments of insecurity, but overall I love every part of me, especially the parts which are flawed.  Be kind to yourself.  Here are 45 of my favorite quotes about self-love!

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‘Creating Instead of Cutting.’ An Artistic Alternative To Self-Harm

Self-harm is an emotional, and misunderstood topic.  It is difficult to comprehend the logic behind people inflicting intentional pain on themselves.  It is part of the struggle for many people suffering from mental illness.  Self-harm is not commonly done with the intentions of committing suicide.  More so, as a way to release internal pain.   You are thinking, Isn’t that backwards?  Inflicting pain to reduce it?  

When you are a kid, and get a scrape, your parents probably said at one point to, “let it breathe,” before covering the wound with a bandaid.  Self-harm is a way to uncover an invisible wound, and “let it breathe,” in hopes it will heal your mental pain.  Obviously, this is not the case, and this form of coping does more damage than good.  It is a major goal of the mental health community to find healthy alternatives to self-harm.  With that being said, you can imagine my excitement when I came across this artistic alternative on Instagram!

The Butterfly Project is featured on the Tumblr account of a woman, known as “momma butterfly.” A simple concept with extremely healthy benefits. Drawing, or painting, instead of cutting.  The image gallery below depicts people using their body as a canvas to express their emotions. It allows for people living in a moment of deep despair to turn pain into artwork.

Do not be ashamed of your struggle, your pain.  Find the art in feeling emotions so deeply.  You are not alone.-Halfway2hannah

It is important we share this information with individuals struggling with self-harm, past and present.  Below is a list of helpful links and information pertaining to self-harm.

Help Stop Cutting: 146 Things To Do Instead

Distractions & Alternatives to Self Harm

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The Truth About Mental Illness: Finding Home In A Place Unknown 

Last Halloween, a local costume shop was scrutinized, and banned from selling costumes of “mentally ill” people. I assume dressing up like Einstein was not generating enough profit, and therefore the store resorted to blood smeared hospital gowns. This incident came up in a recent conversation, and encouraged this question: Why are we so terrified of mental hospitals, and worse, mentally ill people?  

In my area, the local mental institution, Dorothea Dix, is located on acres of land at the top of Dix hill. At one point, the hospital, which opened it’s doors in 1856, was seemingly abandoned. As a teenager, the big ‘to do’ was to go on Halloween, and see how long your friends could last walking around the buildings without getting spooked. This was a place that housed some of the most severely mentally ill patients across the United States for over a century. One year, I partook in these immature stigma increasing activities (karma), and watched my friends shivering in fear as our ‘boys’ waited for their moment to comfort and caress my girlfriends and I. The boy with me did not get what he anticipated. Unfortunately for him, I was not scared that night. I walked around the buildings, with feelings of empathy, not fear.   

Throughout history, mental hospitals have been deemed as ‘scary’ places. I mean c’mon, at one time they were referred to as, “insane asylums” DUN-DUN-DUUUN! It sounds like an eerie fun house that you come out of headless. In society, mental hospitals are pictured as a cold place with white walls, and a protruding harsh smell alive in the air. Mental patients are draped in hospital gowns or secured in straight jackets, with glossy eyes and sinister attitudes. It is gloomy, and depressing, silent and hollow. However, this is not the reality, and was not the case for me. 

In the years leading up to my hospitalization, day by day, year by year, the feeling of loneliness and despair increased, leading up to my hospitalization. When I walked into the facility, it was not cold; it was warm. I was not revolted by the smell. I was greeted by patients with hugs, not hostility; comforting words instead of threatening ones. The food was terrible, and far from paradise. However, it was the home I had been searching for in the period of time I felt lost, and disconnected from my family and friends.. It was the place where the people knew my pain, not my face. It was not love I was missing from my home, prior to the hospitalization, it was “acceptance” that was missing from my life.  

‘Home’ is an ever-changing term. As a child my home was where my family lived. Into my teenage years, my home was where my friends, family and school was, and for a brief period of time my home was a mental hospital. As we enter new phases of our lives, our definition of Home changes. A mental hospital is a place that is portrayed as ‘scary.’ However, just like any other hospital it is a place for healing and hope. Who’s to say the people on the inside are not hiding from us on the outside?

The night I walked around Dix hospital at 14 years old, there was one hair-raising moment. In the distance I saw a blonde girl, who I assumed was one of my girlfriends. I yelled to the horny boy behind me, that I saw my girlfriend in the distance. She was waving for us to come over. He came up behind me, with his $5 dollar cologne and small hard on and whispered, “There is no one there Hannah. The girls and them are waiting at the car.” I giggled and walked away saying, “I guess all this Halloween shit got the best of me.”  

Ten years later, I realized the girl I saw in the distance that night, was not a ghost. It was the girl I saw in my reflection; standing on the outside, reaching for the people she understood the most on the inside. Boo!

Reduce the Stigma on Mental Illness.

P.S. The boy trying to get some action that night, didnt even make it the dugout. Strike, your out.

Note: There are many people who have had a different experience with mental illness and hospitalization. This is my personal story, and does not represent all opinions on this matter. The lack of mental health funding leads to conditions that are not suitable in many cases, and this I acknowledge, and hope to change.

The Mental Mask: Revealing Your Mental Illness

“Well…I have um..you know I am uhhh…it’s not a big deal (awkward laugh) it’s just I have this thing…I swear I’m not crazy…um, okay I have fucking bipolar.”

This was me when I had my first epiphany, “Holy shit, the doctors weren’t joking, I really have bipolar disorder.”

The image we project to our friends, family, co workers and peers is just a portrayal of how we are expected to appear, and expected to behave; the mask created to blend into guidelines of normal behavior.

Revealing personal information about having any type of illness makes you vulnerable, and at risk for harsh judgment by those who surround you.  In my life, the ‘mask’ I wore, prior to confronting the diagnosis, was a  far cry from the one I wear today.  If I could draw this mask, it would consist of a gleaming smile from ear to ear, a mouth wide open as if   laughing hysterically, and minimal makeup to appear very gentle and calm.  It  only conveyed the parts of me that fit into what people ‘wanted me to be.’  The girl who is always happy, the funny girl, the athlete, the homecoming queen.  Embracing flaws?  Yeah right!  Behind the mask I beat myself up for being taller and overweight.  I am a blondish with brown eyes, and blend in with a crowd.  Well in society, over a size 2 with big lips and hips, you might as well spend your extra curricular time in the gym.

In the community  where I was raised, mental illness did not exist; it was for the people at the state mental institution, five minutes up the street. Mentally ill folk did NOT exist on the outside.  The reason for keeping this quiet and hushed, in most cases; the moment you reveal you have a mental illness, you go from the person you are to the disease.  It’s like you go from Kate Middleton to the mug shot version of Lindsay Lohan in the blink of an eye  (love you Lindsay).  All of the great accomplishments disappear when you utter those words “I have a mental illness” Gulp, faint, step away.   We cannot allow the stigma of mental illness to dictate the extent to which we are honest with others, including ourselves.  We cannot allow people in society to dress us in the costume, the mask, they see fit.  We have to separate ourselves from our struggle.  Our diagnosis, or inner struggle, is a part of you, it is NOT you.

How do we do this?  Here are some personal strategies to help you gain confidence in the person you are, not the person others ‘see’ or want you to be.

Reveal Yourself…To Yourself.

It sounds silly, but it works.  You have to embrace and acknowledge your illness and/or inner struggle before anyone else does.  Look in the mirror & say it with me:  

My illness does not define me, I will use those times of despair to embrace these emotions and find the light within a dark room.  I cannot see the sun today, but tomorrow the clouds will go away.  And if they don’t, I do not fear, life is beautiful, and its mine to share.

Write.  

Write down the things you love about yourself.  If you have trouble finding these in times of depression, write down any compliment a person and/or persons have given you.  Mold your mask around positive words, not the words that costume you in darkness.

I am beautiful, smart and loving. 

Express the Best.

The things you write, the positive is what you reveal to people.  It is in the way you walk, speak and stand. Remember we are unique and creative individuals.  Be the unique you.

I travel, blog, and try every new restaurant that comes into town.  My goal is to read every book by Wally Lamb, and dance to every Justin Bieber song that comes on (Hair flip…exit).

 

The Botton Line.

Reveal the gifts that your uniquely crafted mind gave to you.  “Blending In” is a rule for eye shadow, not for living.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Things I Learned While Falling Out Of Love — Thought Catalog

b.p.r.yIt’s okay to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is in our core essence as human beings. Why do people resist it? It is beyond me. I find vulnerability healthy. Not only healthy, it’s beautiful. Part of it maybe because I like real people and real people have insecurities, real people have emotions and weaknesses. It’s okay…

via 10 Things I Learned While Falling Out Of Love — Thought Catalog

25 #ConfidentGirl Quotes

There is nothing better than looking in the mirror and loving every inch of your reflection. Here are 25 quotes to those seeking to find their confident selves today. Part of improving your mental health, is improving the way you feel about yourself.  Love it, Spread it.  Work the world like a runway…

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A ‘Life’ Story At A Mental Hospital: Little Did We know We Weren’t Falling In Love, We Were Falling In ‘Life’.

The day I arrived at the mental facility, the last thing I thought was ‘I wonder if there are any cute guys.”  I don’t think these places have a location status on Tinder.  I can imagine that status, “Hannah is located within 2 miles of you at the local mental hospital.”  However, I did meet a guy, who was very ill at the time,and his scars told his story.  His name was Jared, and we didn’t fall in love with each other, we fell in understanding with one another;two souls destined to meet, to help lift one another from the dirt under which they were so deeply buried.  A type, and kind of a stretch of West Side Story; two kids from separate neighborhoods who were destined to collide right in the middle.  This was our story.  

When I got to mental facility, my knees were trembling, and my stomach felt as though it had fallen into a jar of acid.  I was a 20 year old girl who was at the end of the road; no light, no future, just noisy darkness.  Jared was a baseball player who was raised by a rough crew.  I will never forget the day we were in the dining hall and his mother came to eat dinner with him for the first time.  Out of shame she stormed out of the dining room. He sat there sobbing, not embarrassed in the least. He was accustomed to that behavior.  A tear dripped down my face, because I knew he did not mean to do the things he had done to himself.  

I became familiar with Jared, trying to coax him out of his shell.  I heard stories of his life, which were surreal to me.  He told me things that I will forever keep to myself.  His life was different than mine, yet we ended up in the same place at the same time.  Every night, at our mandatory ‘bed time’ we would catch each other looking across the hall, and we would make sad, funny faces.  We acted like children who believed laughter was the only way to survive.  However, his stories were far from childish thoughts, and his scars made it obvious.  He would relentlessly encourage me, telling me how special I was, and that the future held something big for me.  He motivated me to come alive with confidence.  It was like I was his vessel into light.  

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The day I was released, I was filled with mixed emotions; fear, sadness, excitement, happiness and gratitude.  Jared came to my door to say goodbye.  I asked for his number, and he wrote it on a piece of paper.  I told him I would contact him when he got out, that maybe I could help him get an athletic scholarship somewhere.  Maybe in the distant future, when we were healed, I would watch a game, and sit next to his blonde, blue eyed, fake boobed girlfriend.  He laughed, but it was a laugh filled with pain.  He looked at me and placed his hand on my shoulder.  I had tears in my eyes, because without one word exchanged I knew what he was silently saying to me.  Through his eyes, he was telling me…’that’s not going to happen Hannah’.  I felt that truth, that hurt for months into my recovery.

As a woman, and I think we all can agree, diagnosed or not, God made us beautiful, and He sure as hell made us flawed.  When someone crashes into your life, and tells you the things you need to hear, the words that have been missing from your life, it is more than love.  It is a bond that will be sadly remembered and will always remain beneath the skin.  I feel and I know that I will never be in a romantic relationship with Jared if I ever see him again.  We had a brief and powerful experience together.

 I have tried to reach out, but the closest I got was a dead phone line.  I give him a lot of credit for who I am today.  It was not love, it was courage that he gave to me.  Thank you Jared for helping me breathe again.  This story is for you.

Love, Hannah B.