You and Your Disorder: A Guide to Living Your Best Life.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t have to be ashamed of your mental disorder. You can be proud of who you are. It’s perfectly fine to accept ALL of who you are. This isn’t a one-step process. It takes more than just saying you’re going to accept your flaws, for it to happen. You have to really reach inside yourself, dig down deep.

 

Step One:

Admit you have a mental disorder. This seems obvious, but trust me, it’s really not that simple. I lived in denial for like, YEARS. I wanted to be “normal” so badly, I just ignored it, and hoped it would just go away on its own. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. Here’s what it DID do: kept heating up inside me until it boiled over. Eventually, it was spilling out everywhere. Once the pot boils over, the water goes all over the place. It makes a huge mess, and it smells bad. The thing I’ve noticed is… most people let it get to that point before admitting their disorder exists. But, that doesn’t have to be the case. You can admit that the disorder is real, and keep all of your water in the pot.

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Step Two:

 

Don’t panic. Now, that you’ve admitted to having the mental disorder, you may start to freak out. The bad thoughts will probably start to creep in. You may worry that your life won’t be the same anymore. You may feel like a freak. You’ll more than likely feel alone. But, you’re not. You are not alone. And, your life doesn’t have to drastically change. You are the same you as you were before the diagnosis. The fear can try to take over, but don’t let it. You are stronger than your disorder. Believe that. It may be a part of who you are, but it is not ALL of who you are.

 

Step Three:

 

Talk to someone. Keeping all your fears to yourself isn’t healthy. You never need to feel like a burden for talking about your disorder. Keeping it in can eat you alive. Trust me, this is coming from experience. At the very least, write it down. Get it out of your head and on to a page. It helps.

“Don’t-be-ashamed-of-your-story.-It-will-inspire-others.”

Step Four:

 

Accept it. This is a cliché thing to say, but it’s important. Knowing you have a disorder, and accepting it, are two very different things. You can live a healthy life, alongside your disorder IF you accept the fact that it’s not going anywhere. You WILL have bad days. You WILL feel hopeless sometimes. You WILL have the disorder forever, because there is no cure. And, you WILL also have good days. Embrace the bad, and cherish the good.

 

 

Step Five:

Love yourself. This is the last step. And, the most important. Your disorder does NOT define you. You are valuable and should never doubt your worth. It is not lessened because of any diagnosis you’ve received.

 

Will following these steps make all your problems go away? No. But, they can help. Sometimes, all you need is to be reminded of how important you are. You need to know that a diagnosis on paper, doesn’t change the person you are on the inside.

You are going to get discouraged sometimes. You’re going to feel scared, and sometimes alone. Some days will be harder than others. Just don’t forget about the good days. Hold onto them. Look forward to them. Thoroughly enjoy them.

And, above all, always remember to remind yourself that you are not alone.

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I’m Loving Me.

Listen, there is NOTHING wrong with having self love. There’s nothing wrong with having confidence and taking pride in yourself. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

I’ve struggled with insecurities. So many of them. I will never lie and say otherwise. Confidence has never been a strength of mine.

I’m a social butterfly that dreads meeting new people and going to new places because of low self-esteem and social anxiety.

I always feared that people would see me the way I see myself in the mirror.

But, I’m putting this mentality behind me now. I’m checking my insecurities at the door.

I am who I am. I struggle with my weight. I have dark circles under my eyes. I don’t like my smile. But, I am so much more than that.

I’m a wife. A friend. A daughter. A sister. A believer. A photographer. A lover of all people. These qualities far outweigh my own insecurities.

I’m loving me. I’m loving me for all I am, and all I have to offer. And, you love you for all you have to offer, too. We’ll get through our insecurities together.

It’s time to start looking in the mirror and seeing past our flaws. It’s time to start seeing everything that makes us unique and beautiful. It’s time to embracing ourselves.

I’m preaching to myself here, too. It’s time to take my own advice.

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Be You. UNAPOLOGETICALLY. 

I have some advice for you, so listen up:

Stop apologizing for who you are. Do not be ashamed of being unique. The world has a serious shortage of originality these days. 

 You are allowed to be different.

You are allowed to have a mind of your own.

You are allowed to be happy with yourself. 

You are allowed to be you. 

Insecurity can set in and be a real downer. We have opinions being shoved down our throats from every direction on how we should look, feel, and act. Everyone wants to fit the mold. But why? 

Make your own mold. Make it unique and beautiful. Throw some glitter on it. Make your mold be set apart from all the other ones. 

Don’t worry about all the other people living the life of no originality. Let your personality shine so bright, people need sunglasses to look in your direction. 

Be fearless in what makes you happy. You only get one life to live. Don’t waste it being afraid of fitting into society’s definition of greatness. Worry about YOUR definition of greatness.

So here’s to all of you: 

The dreamers. The bookworms. The loners. The artists. The athletes. The misfits. The thinkers. The workers. The people. 

You are all your own kind of beautiful. ♡

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