To continue celebrating our Two Year Birthday, we are running A Day In The Life series of all our Defying Shadows writers. We hope this encourages you as you get to know us better! Enjoy!
Mental Health Struggles: Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Depression
What does an average day look like for you? (Don’t be afraid to share about your mental health struggles!)
Anyone who knows me well, knows that coffee is a necessity. I can’t really vouch for what happens before the first coffee of the day… Sometimes the second cup.
In all seriousness… Once I’m awake, I start work. Read all the notifications on my phone, answer any texts, look at any comments, respond, then sit down and work through my emails.
Some days that’s as far as I get. And that’s okay!
Other days, I work a full work day, run errands and go for coffee with a friend. But every day is different. Some days, getting out of bed is an achievement and I focus on that. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past two years, it’s focus on the small achievements.
What steps do you find help you when struggling with your mental health struggles?
When I feel myself slipping into a state of depression, anxiety or mania, I have certain steps I have to follow. The very first thing I do is tell someone. Sometimes that can be the hardest thing. But telling someone who’s there to support you and help hold you accountable is one of the best things you can do.
The second thing I do is look critically at my life. Is there someone that’s stressing me out? How can I change that? Am I eating healthy? Exercising regularly? I attempt to focus on how to solve those problems rather than focusing on my lack of control over my emotions. That tends to help pull me back into a stable, healthy state.
How do you find your mental health struggles affect those around you?
When I first moved home, my mental health struggles were difficult for my whole family. It was hard because we didn’t understand what to expect or why it was happening. But by educating ourselves, we found healthy ways to manage the issues and work to prevent them in the future.
What’s one thing you love about yourself?
I love what I do. I love my ministry at Defying Shadows and I love my work at AIM Social Media Marketing. They say you should find a job that you love so you feel like you never work a day in your life. I’m pretty confident that I did just that.
What are five things you are thankful for (other than family, friends, food and shelter –home)?
- Defying Shadows
- My Business
- Nice Weather
- God’s Blessings… sunsets, flowers, rainbows, etc.
How has your life changed for the best from last year?
Within the last year, I completed some huge life goals. I finished college, launched my business and transitioned from being a student to a working adult. I have learned what healthy boundaries are and how to set them. I removed the toxic parts of my life and have learned that life is simply too short to put up with people and things that don’t want you to be successful.
What’s your personal motto?
“You cannot walk on water until you step out of the boat.”
What song is most played on your playlist?
Me Too by Meghan Trainor (My brother cannot stand it…. so we play it regularly).
If you had to pick a character from a movie or tv show, who do you relate most to?
Callie from the Fosters. Callie is continually making mistakes and feels like her life is out of control. My “inner self” relates to her in many ways. I try to make the best decisions but sometimes what I think is best, isn’t best for the people around me. I try to fix things on my own when I know I should simply ask for help. But when it comes down to it, I love my family and am forever thankful that they’re around.
What motivates you?
Knowing that I’ve gotten as far as I have really helps. I have come so far since my diagnosis and that’s really a testament for me. When I feel like I cannot manage or deal with what I am going through, I think back to where I was two years ago and realize that I am so much stronger than I thought.
Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, student, daughter and friend. She has a Marketing Diploma and a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.
Nichole is certified to provide Mental Health First Aid, which means she can provide immediate support and guidance in a safe environment, comfortably have a conversation about mental health related issues and offer professional and other supports. This does NOT make Nichole a psychologist, or a counselor. It simply gives her the tools to direct people to the help they need.