10 Rules Every Guy Should Follow When It Comes To Her Body

I will never forget when my ex would grab the rolls off the table as I would reach for them, and say to the waiter, “She doesn’t need these,” or all the times he asked for a togo box after I took my first three bites of a meal at a restaurant.  I am not looking for sympathy by telling you this.  I already disposed of that garbage.  I am letting you know this actually happens.  Body image issues are heavily present among women.  We are surrounded by things that make us question our reflection constantly.  The last thing we need is for our guy to do the same.  So I am going to help you guys out.  Here are 10 rules to follow when talking about body or weight to your girl that could potentially save your relationship, get you a second date or even asked upstairs.

10 Rules Every Guy Should Follow When It Comes To Her Body… Read more

Then & Now: A Story About Friendship and Mental Illness

Then & Now: A Story About Friendship and Mental Illness

It was six years ago that I had my first major episode with Bipolar 2 while in College.  I was  living with a group of girls who this story is about. In the last month before I withdrew from school, I kept my struggle hidden from others, especially myself.  Two days before I left, my parents were called by 2 of my friends.  They told them that I was falling apart.  Day by day I was getting worse.  They realized they couldn’t help me, and decided not to tell the other girls.  I do not like to talk about the pain of the past.  However, a few days ago I learned that sometimes it is necessary to walk down memory lane, no matter how dark the road is…

13667832_3859513011835_7044867885864528456_o Read more

21 Images That Make You Understand Why The Stigma of Mental Illness Exists!

The stigma of mental illness SUCKS!  It is so bad that it causes those in the mental health community to ask, Why does the public have such a deep misconception about mental health?  The images relayed to the public pertaining to mental health are disturbing to say the least.  To reduce this “madness” we have to acknowledge the ridiculousness of the images, and words, used to describe mental illness.

21 images that make you say to yourself, “Oh thats why people think the way they do about mental illness!” Read more

Dear Dad: A Letter From Your Daughter With Bipolar

I was walking through a dark tunnel, no light to be seen.  All I could hear were the echoes of my own voice.  In the moment that I wanted to stop, to give up on finding the light, I felt the strength and confidence you had instilled in me over the years, prior to this moment.  You didn’t come into the tunnel to guide me to the light, for you knew that would not help me in the end.  You gave me the knowledge, the power and confidence to overcome this battle prior to me entering.  As I walked into the light again, you were standing there gleaming with joy saying to me,  “I never doubted you Hannah….I knew you wouldn’t give up.”-Halway2hannah

The first man who had his heart broken by me,was my father.  To see the little girl who danced to the beat of her own drum laying in a hospital bed, withering away only 19 years later;  he could protect me from everything in my life, but the one person he couldn’t protect me from was me.

This is a letter to my father from his daughter with bipolar… Read more

6 Things Women Need To Stop Doing To Other Women

She is such a slut!  Ew, she is huge!  Did you see what she was wearing?  Why is he dating her?

The goal is to build a ‘sisterhood’ between women, however, there is still much work to be done.  We are harder on each other than we are on those keeping us below the glass ceiling.  Several women shared with me a situation, in which they felt abused or embraced by their fellow female comrade.  It is evident that a readjustment of our attitudes towards one another is necessary.

These are 6 things women need to stop doing to other women.  

1.  Stop blaming her for his infidelity.

This is common.  The boyfriend cheats, we blame the woman for our relationship problems.  She is not your problem, he is.  In many situations the “other woman” does not even know he has a girlfriend, and if she does, karma will be a bigger bitch than you could ever be!

I gave another woman hell about sleeping with my boyfriend.  She didn’t even know he had a girlfriend.  I married him, and we had two children.  He cheated on me with three different women throughout our marriage.  We got divorced two years ago.-Melissa, 42

2.  Don’t diminish each other’s life choices.

Whether you are a “work-aholic” or a “mom-aholic.” We need to empower each other’s life choices.  We are all making progressive steps as mothers, and boss ladies.  Clap for her, not at her.

I chose to have a career over having children.  It was my decision.  My sister has two daughters. My sister and I love to jump in each other’s shoes once in a while.  We respect one another.-Erin, 38

3.  Stop calling her a Slut.

We are justifying this type of name calling when we say it about other women.  If your girlfriend is living a lifestyle you think is dangerous than confront her about it, don’t call her degrading names for her sexual decisions.

I have had my fair share of sexual partners, but always use protection.  I enjoy sex, and I am not ashamed to say so.  I have been called a “slut” more by women, than I have been by men.-Johanna, 27

4.  Stop body shaming.

It’s bad enough we have to hear it from guys.  Women have the power to change this, but for some reason we brutally scrutinize other women’s bodies.  Body shaming other females is more mentally damaging than you think.

I went to join a sorority my Freshman year at the University I attended.  We had to do the cliche “rush.” One night the sorority sisters lined us up in our bathing suits, and used a marker to circle the areas of our body they found unflattering.  I went home to see myself in the mirror covered in marker with words like PIG! FAT! UGLY!  I dropped out a week later.-Alison, 24

5.  Start embracing, and stop competing.

Being a woman is not a sport, and girlfriends are not suppose to be enemies.  We are all different, and bring something different to the table.  If you feel insecure around other women, look inside yourself to find the root of the problem.

My best friend is a supermodel, but she has always empowered me.  We go shopping, and she dresses me up when we go out.  We did not compete, we built each other up.  She is a major part of the reason why I am so confident today. Kara, 25

6.  Her style may not be your style accept it.

She is not “white trash” because she has tattoos, and she is not a “snot” because she wears Lilly Pulitzer.  Instead of calling her blue hair “weird,” call it “eccentric.”  Let’s embrace our differences, and respect each others style.

I came from a Conservative home, and my best friend was a wild child from Boston.  Her style was totally different, she had tattoos, talked about sex and everything in-between.  At first I bashed her.  Then one night, we drank wine, and I opened up to her about everything.  She was my Maid of Honor at my wedding.-Catherine, 28

 

 

6 Stereotypes That Hurt People With Mental Illness

Our ways of thinking may be different, our minds crafted differently, but who is to deem one mind more corrupt than the other.-Halfway2hannah

When a violent crime occurs, it is assumed that the perpetrator must have been mentally ill.  Has someone with diabetes ever killed someone?  Yes, but we do not hear of this in the media.  “His blood sugar was low which caused him/her to carry out the mass shooting…”   Has a young African-American male shot someone?  Yes.  Does that mean that all young African-American males are murderers?  No!  It is natural that we want to blame “others” for negative behaviors, because it refrains us from looking in the mirror and realizing that we are all capable of corruption.  Stigma is a barrier that keeps people with a mental illness from progressing in society.

6 stereotypes that influence the publics negative perception of mental illness… Read more

9 Things Your Friend With Depression Wants You To Know

Close friends are the people who we create unforgettable memories with, and who know us better than we know ourselves.  So what do you do when your friend suddenly disappears from your life?  You reach out but receive no answer.  As someone diagnosed with Bipolar II, trying to help my friends understand mental illness has always been a challenge.  The behaviors of someone struggling with mental illness are hard to interpret by others, especially by our close friends

9 things your friend with depression wants you to know… Read more

17 Things You Should Know About Dating A Girl With Mental Illness

Dating is hard enough with or without a chemical imbalance. People are heavily influenced by stigma which makes it challenging to build a romantic relationship with a girl who has a mental illness. As a young woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I know people struggle to see beyond the label that society has placed on me, so it is important I write this post. If you are dating a girl with a mental illness, toss your preconceived notions aside and get ready to see the world through a much more colorful lens.

17 Things You Should Know About Dating A Girl With Mental Illness

1. It is not expected of you to completely understand mental illness.

She does not expect you to be a book of knowledge about mental illness. Mental illness is meant to be a mystery, and those of us who live with it are the only ones who can truly understand the world that exists within us. It is not expected of you to completely understand, however, it is expected that you support us on our journey. I mean that is a rule in every relationship, right?

2. Mental illness does not define her.

If her mental illness blocks you from seeing her beauty and individuality than it is best to leave her be. People with mental illness are professionals, educated, well traveled, creative, artists and individuals. Do not judge her character based on her condition.

3. Listening is more important than fixing.

Mental illness cannot be fixed. It is not a broken table or flat tire. She does not, or shouldn’t expect you to know how to ‘fix’ her problem. In my experience, when a guy feels like they cannot come up with a logical solution, they become frustrated. It’s as simple as saying something along the lines of, “If you want to talk about whats going on, I’ll listen, but I can’t promise that I will know the answer.” Boom! I am making it easy for you. When it comes to my mental health, the only people that can help me solve my problem are my therapist and psychiatrist.

4. Do not blame all you relationship problems on her mental illness.

This is a biggie! Mental illness causes us to have emotional extremes, however, not every mood change or situation should be blamed on it. She is not a scapegoat. It is important to eliminate mental illness from the conversation, unless it is obvious that its the root of the problem. I accused my ex-boyfriend of cheating on me, and he tried to convince me that I was paranoid, and my bipolar disorder made him a victim. Unfortunately the girl he cheated on me with didn’t get the memo about texting, and turned out I was right about every single suspicious.

She never seemed shattered; to me, she was a breathtaking mosaic of the battle she’s won.-Matt Baker

5. Remember that she is probably self-conscious about her diagnosis.

Why are women with a mental illness self-conscious? Well, isn’t it obvious? Society puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on women to be flawless in every area. No matter how confident we are, stigma still follows us everywhere we go. If you love her, you’ll find ways to shed a positive light on mental illness. If you don’t have anything positive to say about mental illness, then do us all a favor and do not pursue anything further with her.

6. She is not pushing you away on purpose.

I am definitely a pusher! People with mental illness can say hurtful things or act like they don’t care, however, it is meant to protect you rather than to hurt you. Speaking from personal experience, it is difficult to trust others, and let people in to that part of my life.  This fear causes me to reject my feelings, and push him away. This does not mean these actions should be condoned, but confronted at an appropriate time. An apology will follow shortly after, and if not she may just be a bitch!

7. She does not want you to hide your feelings from her.

Be honest about your feelings with her.  Do not conceal your personal problems and feelings due to your fear that she will get upset. Relationships are based off of reciprocity.

8. Just because she is different, does not make her wrong.

She is probably different than other girls you have dated. Great! You obviously got bored with women who dress, act and think like everyone else. Life would be stale if everyone believed in the same things. Do not reject her because you are unfamiliar with the way she expresses herself. You may not fully understand her way of thinking, but do your best to listen and learn.

There are parts of me that will always remain untamable, messy, and reckless; but I refuse to apologize for it anymore.-Kaitlin Foster 

9. Mental illness is a disease, and should be treated as such.

If you believe mental illness is not real, then stop reading this blog post and cancel your next date or don’t move forward in your relationship. Save her from your ignorance. Not to be harsh, but anyone who does not believe mental illness exists is ignorant. If you love her put your personal bias about mental health to the side and educate yourself.

10. She can be overly sexual or not sexual at all.

People with mental illness can be extremely sexual at times. I know some of you are like, Score! However, there will be periods where not much is happening between the sheets. It may be due to medication or simply she is going through an episode of depression. Do not be offended or insecure! Be patient and it will come at its own time.

11. Sometimes she ignores her internal pain.

Contrary to what people believe, people with mental illness are usually the ones helping others with their problems. People with mental illness may try to cover up their internal pain by exerting themselves on the behalf of others. Just remember, do not always be deceived by her smile.

12. She wants to tell others about her mental illness.

The stigma of mental illness makes people feel obligated to hide their condition. She wants to explain her diagnosis to friends and family at her own time. The last thing you want to happen when introducing her to your mom is to hear, “Nice to meet you. Wow, you sure don’t look mentally ill!” It’s happened to me, so trust me when I advise you to let her come forward.

She had been through battle and though no one could her demons. They could see the face that conquered them.-Atticus

13. Like any relationship, there will be challenges.

Challenge is a part of life, whether you are dating someone with a mental illness or not. Do not freak the moment you notice a change in her emotional behavior. Overcoming these challenges will only make your relationship stronger. If it is too much for you to handle, then you may not be the right fit.

14. It is not doomed from the start because she has a mental illness.

Do not set your relationship up for failure. If you go into anything assuming you are going to fail then most likely you will fail. Let me leave you with this line by one of my favorite authors Jen Sincero, “What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.” 

15. Support her, do NOT try to save her.

My romantic partner finds out about my diagnosis & BOOM he rips open his shirt with a big ‘S’ on his chest. We don’t want to be treated like victims. You are accompanying her on this journey. In my opinion getting involved in the mental health community is the biggest way to show support. If my boyfriend told me he wanted to do a 5K for Suicide Prevention, I would be so turned on we probably wouldn’t even make it to the event. Trust me, you’ll meet some of the most passionate, empathetic and unique individuals. Your outlook on mental health will change in a good way!

16. Sometimes she will withdraw or be distant.

There is no doubt that at certain points she is going to be mentally distant from you. This has nothing to do with her love for you. It means one of two things-she do not want to bother you with her problems or she needs a moment to reflect. If it continues, there is the option that she is just not that into it anymore. Sorry!

17. What makes her different, makes her beautiful.

What makes her different, makes her beautiful. Embrace it.

She was never crazy, she just didn’t let her heart settle in a cage. She was born wild,and sometimes we need people like her. For it’s the horrors in her heart which cause the flames in ours. And she was always willing to burn for everything she has ever loved. -R.M Drake

 

If you are having trouble in your relationship, do not be afraid to suggest therapy. In 2018, counseling is easily accessible through online platforms and technology. Resources such as BetterHelp provide online couples counseling with licensed and professional therapists. There is no shame in reaching out for help if you want to make it work with your partner.

 

 

 

 

 

9 Stars You Will Be Shocked To Learn Have Mental Illness

9 celebrities you may have thought had it all, almost lost it all when confronted with mental illness.  It holds true, “Stars Cannot Shine Without Darkness.”

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After her first marriage failed to Atlanta Braves baseball star, David Justice, actress Halle Barry came forward to People Magazine about her suicide attempt. “I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me.”
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Singer Demi Lovato was diagnosed with Bipolar II a few years ago after being hospitalized. She is now a mental health advocate fighting to reduce the stigma, “Our Society tends to shame or ignore those with mental illness, and I want to change that”
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Mad Men Actor John Hamm admits he suffers from Depression, “I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me. Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own bullshit. It helps. And honestly? Antidepressants help! If you can change your brain chemistry enough to think: ‘I want to get up in the morning; I don’t want to sleep until four in the afternoon. I want to get up and go do my shit and go to work and…’ Reset the auto-meter, kick-start the engine!”
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Actress Catherine Zeta Jones came forward about her diagnosis of Bipolar II saying, ” I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops, but with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it’s completely controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don’t have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it.”
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Actress Carrie Fisher, most famously known as Star Wars Princess Leila, is open about her diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder, ““I outlasted my problems,” she said. “I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.”
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Author of the infamous Harry Potter books, JK Rowling admits to suicidal thoughts after the separation to her first husband, “I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s there to be ashamed of? I went through a really tough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that.”
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Comedian/Actor Jim Carrey is open about his Depression, “I don’t think human beings learn anything without desperation,” Carrey told CBS of his early success. “Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything, or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.”
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Actress Rene Russo came forward about her diagnosis of Bipolar II on the Queen Latifah Show in 2014, “For all the people that are having trouble and maybe feel bad about taking medication… it’s okay — you will make it through.”

 

 

Why Bipolar Has Kept Me Off Dating Apps!

“It’s the world we live in Hannah, face it” is what was said by my best friend when I told her I refused to get on a ‘dating’ application on my phone.  After a couple beers, she persuaded me to download one.  As you are aware, like with any social media, the profile picture and fio come first (fake bio).  The process begins…

Her: “You need a tagline”

Me: “okay…Don’t leave home without it

Her: “Hannah thats the fucking American Express tagline”

 …damnit I forgot she was in the marketing profession.  

Me: “Okay…Do you enjoy going to the circus?  Well if your answer is yes, you wont regret buying a ticket for this show (winky face)”

Her:  “They will totally think your slutty.  No we are going to say…college student who loves a good IPA beer and having fun with friends.”

Me:  “Um…I like not love IPA’s and I’m fucking allergic to cats”  

END of PART I

Okay so here is the deal, I am not saying I want to write, “My name is Hannah. I love writing my blog about having Bipolar II, drinking the occasional bottle of wine and taking selfies to boost my self esteem,” but what was written was so freaking cliche.  The thing is, it is hard for me to put on an act.  I do not like to talk about surface shit, because it is not exciting.  “So do you like animals?” “Don’t you enjoy this weather?”  No, I want to know, “If you could have your dream job what would be?”  “What is your shoe size?”   I guess this is a problem, but the moment someone views my primped up, photoshopped profile picture (not that it is not already), and reads the ‘about me’ they have created an image of what they want me to be, and I never live up to that expectation.  Im not a trophy wife, I am good glass of whiskey on a summer day at dusk.  I cannot go into a situation comfortable knowing that the only reason a person wants to meet me is because of my looks, the fact that I like IPA beers and cats aka I am a hot alcoholic cat lady who might be easy after a few 10% beers.  

I got on the dating app and began the ‘swiping’ process.  “Swipe left, no swipe right” was the conversation for a whole 125 seconds (I counted).  

Me: “I cant judge a person based on their picture, would if they are the love of my life but were having a bad hair day.”  

Her: “Come on Hannah, just have fun with it.”

Fun? Okay so here is what it comes down to.  I have a disease that a huge chunk of society is critical about.  “I cant swipe you because your not good looking” is translated as, “I cant hire you becuase you are mentally ill,”  “I cant marry you becuase you are mentally ill.”  I live with a mental illness that gets ‘swiped’ by society everyday.  Dating applications make us think that because someone didnt swipe us, we are not good enough.  We try so hard to appear as someone we are not, and it ends up backfiring when a person gets to know you.  The you that gets too drunk sometimes, or likes to sing to Backstreet Boys in the shower; the you that isn’t religious or is overly religious, the you that wakes up and looks like Lindsey Lohan…the mugshot version; the you that has a mental illness that can make life a rollercoaster at times.  My life can be complicated and I hold onto love being uncomplicated, natural and not judgmental.

 My best friend went to the bathroom and I deleted the app, looked to the sky and said, “thank you lord for making me insane enough to be sane.”  Sorry guys, no swiping for this bipolar betch ass any time soon.