The Truth About Mental Illness & Link Up On the Edge #32

Many of you may already know that I have a history of Bipolar Disorder. And if you didn’t know, now you do. Recently, someone asked me how I have dealt with this disorder and if I could offer some input for a loved one of theirs who is suffering from depressive episodes. I unfortunately did not have adequate time to elaborate on how I overcame my mental illness. So I am dedicating this post to that person (who will remain anonymous due to privacy issues) and giving the topic the time it deserves and needs.

If you have never suffered from mental illness or have never loved a person with mental illness, it can be quite a staggering and confusing concept. There is so much stigma attached to the entire idea of “mentally ill”. And that is the worst possible thing for the people who suffer from it. Because more than anything, it is important to feel normal in order to overcome the pain caused by mental illness. In order to feel normal, we need to be able to talk about it without eyebrows being raised or judgments being passed.

With that being said, I am going to let you know some of the truths that I have learned as a survivor of mental illness. I do feel an obligation to share what I know as I have come out on the other side in one piece a stronger, healthier person.  I have been medication free for 9 years and I am much better for it.

*This choker necklace was provided to me for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

What I know:

1. Mental illness is a very real thing just like any physical illness. It is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and it should be treated with the same compassion and seriousness as any other illness.

2. Like any severe physical illness, mental illness can very much be life-threatening. People who suffer from depression, mania, bipolar episodes, psychotic breaks, etc. are very susceptible to death by overdose, by suicide, or by reckless behaviors. Oftentimes, these behaviors really are out of that person’s control.  I want to stress it here…people die as a direct result of mental illness.  It is not a joke. Please take it seriously.

3. Drug and alcohol use or abuse and other reckless behaviors are symptoms of the underlying illness. These are methods which a person in mental and emotional anguish use to numb the pain.

4. Mental illness is very painful. It is a very dark place. It is a very confusing place. Especially for someone who has been newly diagnosed. Often, a doctor will give a diagnosis, a bottle of pills, and send you on your way. It is scary, frightening, embarrassing, and there is so much unknown.

5. Treatment is extremely individualized. And there are countless ways to treat it. Some treatments work for some people. Other treatments work for other people. Some people struggle to find the right treatment. It is a difficult road to travel and very frustrating mostly in the beginning stages when you are trying to find the best treatment for you.

6. Types of treatments include medication (anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotic medications, and the list goes on), talk therapy, bibliotherapy, behavior therapy, psychotherapy, support groups, electroconvulsive therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and various complementary and alternative methods (i.e., massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, acupressure, etc.).

7. Any one of these therapies or a combination of them could work. But again, each person’s symptoms are unique to that person, so each treatment will consist of a unique combination of methods.

8. Whenever a new treatment is introduced, it is important to be patient and give it time to see if it works. However, if sufficient time has passed and the treatment is not working, try a new one. Eventually, you will find the magical combination that works best for you. (This is true of medications and other therapies).

9. It is so important to be patient with yourself. I know from experience that with patience and lots of hard work you can come out on the other side.

10. It is equally important to talk about it with your loved ones, your support system, your friends. There is absolutely no shame in being ill. There is only shame in not at least trying to make yourself better, in accepting defeat.

What methods worked for me:

1. Medication. Initially, medication saved my life. There was so much chaos inside my own head that medication was necessary to calm it down enough so that I could properly deal with the illness. Finding the right combination of medications for me was a long, frustrating road. Either the medication worsened the symptoms, did nothing for the symptoms, or caused unacceptable side effects. After about 2 years of trial and error with dozens of different medications, the cocktail that worked best for me was Depakote and Lithium. Yes, there were side effects that I had to deal with. Water retention required a daily dose of Hydrochlorathorazide as a diuretic. Tremors were a daily and quite annoying side effect (I could not eat soup without spilling it everywhere due to trembling hands). And the weight gain was unbelievable (80 pounds in 6 months). But it was all necessary at that point in time.

Once I was able to quiet my mind enough to try other approaches, these methods worked wonders for me.

2. Journaling. I was always writing. It was an outlet for me to express what was inside my head without judgment from others.

3. Bibliotherapy. Reading everything and anything that I could get my hands on that dealt with my diagnosis. If I was going to beat this thing, I needed to know everything there was about it. (I will provide a list of books that I found most helpful at the bottom.)

4. Talk Therapy. I was fortunate enough to have fantastic therapists and one amazing psychiatrist. Most psychiatrists will only prescribe medication, mine spent hours at a time in talk therapy sessions with me before prescribing anything. In fact, it took her two years before she would even give me an official diagnosis.  If you have a therapist and it is just not working, that is okay. You need to find another therapist. One that is compatible with you and your needs.

5. Psychotherapy. Getting deep into the the reasons and causes of what is going in your head is so scary. Self-examination is exhausting. Psychoanalysis is super threatening and intimidating.  I cannot even describe the level of exhaustion that results from this process. But in the end, all I can say, it is so worth it.

6. Education. As I was becoming healthier, I started taking classes toward my Masters in Mental Health Counseling. This process provided so much more clarity on the road to complete healing.

7. Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). Most Bipolar support groups did not work for me. I would often become very frustrated and annoyed with the other members of the group. I found too many that spent the time in session really just complaining about their symptoms and never attempting to find ways to help themselves. Until one of my Masters classes required us to attend an A.A. meeting. I never was an alcoholic so never would have thought to explore this option. But the methods used in recovery were so helpful to me in so ways. See The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. They really can be applied to anything.

8. Knowing my triggers. Discovering and being able to articulate what exactly triggered my episodes of mania and depression was a key component to preventing the episodes from happening. All of the above methods were instrumental in helping to learn what these triggers were. One big trigger of mine was lack of sleep. If I missed a night of sleep for whatever reason, the result was about 3 weeks of complete and total mania where I could not sleep which ended in an downward spiral into depression and often psychotic breaks from reality. Very scary stuff. So now I know…sleep is very important.

9. Art therapy (sort of). I never really attended art therapy sessions, but I found so much solace in refocusing my attention on something artistic. I would often sew by hand and the concentration required not to stick myself with the needle was enough to move my brain into calmer territory. Coloring provided the same solace (I wish they had adult coloring books back then).

10. Exercise.  I am not going to lie, I hate exercise.  But there is so much truth behind the healing powers of exercise-induced endorphins.  At the moments when I literally felt that I could take no more, a walk or a jog in the fresh air worked wonders.  When you are depressed, it is one of the most difficult things to motivate yourself to do.  But if you can just get yourself started, it is nearly miraculous how much it helps.  Seriously, do not underestimate the healing powers of exercise.

11. Positive self-talk. This is so important. When a person is depressed, there is so much negative self-talk coming from all directions. From things others have said to you, from your own skewed self-perception. These “voices” are so destructive. And finding a way to silence them is of the utmost importance. I was able to quiet them over time by reinforcing to myself the positive. Repeating uplifting and positive mantras in your head. Mine were often song lyrics like “Ain’t nothing gonna get me down” and “I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell.”

12. Most importantly, self-reliance. Yes, creating support systems and talking to loved ones and finding community are all so helpful and necessary. But becoming self-reliant is the most important. Because at the end of the day, you have to live with you. You cannot escape yourself. You are always in your own presence. And only you can help you. Knowing when to ask for help is crucial, but becoming self-reliant will save your life.

Outfit Details
Dress: Old Navy (No longer available. Similar in black here).
Jacket: Fort Drum Exchange.
Choker: Faux Leather Velvet Bowknot Shape Choker (c/o Zaful).
Combat Boots: Corcoran Tanker Boots.

Suggested Reading
*This list contains books that cover a variety of different mental health diagnoses as well as some that are merely inspirational and helped me through hard times.

*Castle, L. R. (2003). Bipolar Disorder Demystified: Mastering the Tightrope of Manic Depression. New York: Marlowe & Company.

Chase, T. (1987). When Rabbit Howls. New York: Jove Books.

Coelho, P. (1997). Manual of the Warrior of the Light. New York: Harper Collins.

Didion, J. (2005). The Year of Magical Thinking. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Hornbacher, M. (2008). Madness: A Bipolar Life. New York: First Mariner Books.

*Jamison, K. R. (1999). Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide. New York: Vintage Books.

Kaysen, S. (1993). Girl, Interrupted. New York: Turtle Bay Books.

“Renee” (1951). Autobiography of a Schizophrenic Girl: The True Story of “Renee”. New York: Meridian.

Schreiber, F. R. (1973). Sybil. New York: Warner Books.

Schiller, L. & Bennett, A. (1977). The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness. New York: Warner Books.

Simon, L. (2002). Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D. New York: Washington Square Press.

*Viorst, J. (1986). Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow. New York: Fireside.

West, C. (1999). First Person Plural: My Life As a Multiple. New York: Hyperion.

Wurtzel, E. (1994). Prozac Nation: A Memoir. New York: Riverhead Books.

*The books marked with an asterisk are more informational while the other books are either inspirational or an individual’s personal story of mental illness.

______________________________________________________________________________________________
And now on to the business of linking up.

Your favorites from last week!

Jodie, Nancy, and Charlotte of Jodie’s Touch of Style with their gorgeous outfits in Adding Print To Your Red and Gold.

Lana of My New Happy showing some poncho love in her post New Year Styled: The Poncho.

Alison of Get Your Pretty On showcasing her new pieces from Stitch Fix in Why I Gave Stitch Fix a Second Chance.


I do hope this post has brought some clarity, some understanding, some helpful tips, some encouragement, and some support to those who suffer from mental illness, those who love someone who suffers from mental illness, or those who simply have a desire to be more educated about mental illness. I am by no means an expert, but having lived through it and survived, I definitely feel an obligation to share what I have learned.

Sharing my truths on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.

Follow shelbeeontheedge@gmail.com:

I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

74 Responses

  1. Thank you for hosting us each week and sharing your life.
    I know you will benefit someone today.
    As a daily migraineur, even after 4 brain surgeries, I know it
    is not fun when the brain goes wonky.
    I wish you peace & good health – from one brain ‘warrior’
    to another!
    Mimi
    http://inmyprimetime.blogspot.com

    • Mimi, thank you so much! And thank you for sharing your story. I had no idea that you had 4 brain surgeries. You are much more of a warrior than I! I do love that term “brain warrior” though! Thank you for that!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  2. wonderful post, Shelbee! I know several people who suffer from mental illness including bipolar and depression. Thanks for sharing this with people. I think our state mental health departments are awful and the stigma surrounding it is so unfair for the people who deal with mental health issues. It’s so important to spread awareness and help people understand so their loved ones can get the help they need. Thanks for being brave enough to share your story. you look fab in floral, by the way!

    • Thank you so much, Tianna! I couldn’t agree with you more. The system is so flawed. And while I definitely want to spread awareness about the issues, I also want to let people know that recovery and healing are possible. You don’t have to be defined for your entire life as mentally ill. You can get well if you do the work!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  3. Awesome post, Shelbee. I definitely think this a great read for those with mental illnesses and their family/friends. You’re right about the stigma associated with mental illness, and I’m glad more awareness is bring spread about how they need to be understood and treated like a physical illness. I’m also glad that you were able to find what worked for you, even though I’m sure it’s been a rough road at times.
    -Kristin
    countdowntofridayblog.com

    • Kristin, thank you very this thoughtful comment! It is super important to spread awareness, but I also feel compelled to let people know you can overcome it, too. So many people get trapped inside their diagnosis that they can’t find a way out. For me, it is important to let them know that you can recover and lead a normal and happy life!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  4. Thanks for sharing, Shelbee! I know this will help many people. Great list of things that helped you and great list of resources.

    I think the stigma that is attached to mental illness is so detrimental, and the more we talk and write about it, the more progress we can make. I think it is sad how many people are against seeing a therapist when they go through a difficult time in their life (with our without mental illness) and clearly can’t function well. Maybe it’s because if they seek help, they have to admit they are not well… Yet, there is help out there…

    Have a great weekend!

    • Andrea, thank you so much for this insightful comment! It is so true…even when I am healthy, sometimes I still need an objective person to talk to (like a therapist). It really only helps. Spreading awareness on this issue is one of the reasons I started my blog. I know I don’t write about it often enough, but oftentimes the topic gets too heavy even for me! So I add it in when the inspiration strikes! And keep it light and friendly and kind the remainder of the time!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  5. Shelbee-
    Thank you so much for sharing this. My father suffered from mental illness, but he refused to properly address it. Awareness is so important. Like you said, it is an illness just like any other, and needs to be treated that way. You are a very brave person, and I’m so glad that you have come through to the other side :)! PS LOVE your floral bomber, and thanks for the shout out!

    • Lana, thank you so much for sharing your story as well! I cannot imagine the emotional roller coaster you must have been on as a child. I am so grateful that I was able to properly heal before I had a children. But I will always be open and honest with my kids about it, too.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  6. Shelbee, thanks SO MUCH for sharing your story. I have a family member who is also doing really well after treatment. Getting help is key, and being willing to do whatever it takes to heal. So true that there is not just one right way. I know your words will encourage others!

    • Susan, thank you so much for sharing your experience as well. Treatment is so important. And it is really hard work. But doing the work is so beneficial in the end. So many people give in to the illness because the self-examination becomes too difficult. But, I promise, it is so worth it in the end…to see light, and feel hope, and gain control. Every second of the pain is worth it when the work is done.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  7. This is so courageous and insipiraing of you to get down and dirty with reality! Thank you for being so honest, I am sure this can help many people feeling and experinicing this.

    xo
    Mel

  8. Excellent blog. My daughter suffers from depression and she has been very vocal about mental illness. Here is her blog
    https://lystakesflight.wordpress.com/ Thank you for sharing your story–you will touch a lot of people with this post.

    XO Susan http://www.themidlifefashionsta.com

    • Susan, thank you so much for commenting and letting me know about your daughter’s blog. I am heading over to check it now! And much applause to her for writing about it as well.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  9. I think it’s so fabulous that you talk about this Shelbee! Because the more it’s out there, hopefully the more we can understand others who are going through it!
    That’s so amazing that you are medication free right now and what an accomplishment for you to have overcome so much!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Jodie, thank you so much for your kind words. It is a topic that is very important to me and one of the reasons I started blogging was to share what I have learned through my struggle. I really do hope I can help people with my message!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  10. Wow, that was some read, some much information and so interesting. Well done for your success, I can tell this has been such hard work for you, but I’m sure it will be very helpful to so many people. Thanks Shelbee. x Jacqui
    http://www.mummabstylish.com

  11. Thank you for sharing – you have probably helped more people today than you realize!

  12. Really interesting and informative post Shelbee. Thankfully it seems to be getting easier to talk about mental health but there’s still a long way to go.

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    • Thank you, Emma! It is getting easier, for sure. And the stigma seems to be lessening. But we really do have a way to go. And there are many improvements still needed in the mental health care system as well. But that’s a rant for another day!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  13. Good on you Shelbee for writing this post – I am so proud of you.

    As I am sitting here anxious due to personal issues, it was nice and refreshing to read this.

    🙂

    • Sammy, I am sorry that are you in the midst of anxiety. If I may offer you one suggestion that a wonderful therapist offered to me…when anxiety strikes, give it it’s moment. Let it wash over you, give into it for just a moment, perhaps a day, but no more. Be at one with it and it will move on much quicker than if you fight it. For me, resisting anxiety only gave it more power. I hope it passes quickly for you! Thanks so much for reading!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  14. Wow Sweetie, what a post – I read every word of it and found it to be fabulous.

    Three years ago now one of my best friends committed suicide because of depression – it was such a hard thing to come to grips with as I had looked up to him in so many other ways. But I know he used to write – in fact so much of my younger years is in his journals – a whole group of us loves going through them from time to time.

    I always wished I could have helped him more – he was amazing and also did loads of sports but at the end…

    In any case you are wonderful and it is fabulous that you publish this to help others!

    xx http://www.funkyforty.com

    • Yvonne, thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. Suicide is such a difficult thing for so many people to understand. But when you have stood at the brink of it, it becomes so much clearer. I am fortunate that my personal story of mental illness did not end that way…there were many times when I was convinced that it would take my life. So I feel it is my duty now to help others understand it. I am so sorry that you lost a great friend, but how wonderful that you have his journals to keep his memory alive. I have so many journals and I have been battling in my mind what to do with them. While I want to keep them, I don’t know that I ever want my children to read what’s inside of them! For now, they are kept hidden away until I figure out what the future holds for them!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  15. Wow thank you for sharing this! I had no idea that this was a part of your life. These are all great tips for dealing with it! And it’s best to find what works best for you because each person is different.

    • Thank you, Nina. Whenever I offer suggestions to others on this issue, I always remind them that these are things that worked specifically for me. It is so important to find the best resolution for yourself as symptoms manifest so differently for each person.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  16. You are going to help so many people with this post! Mental illness always seems to have a stigma attached to it and it’s important to create more awareness that it’s just as serious as a physical illness.

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

  17. You are so brave to share this and help dispel all the misconceptions that go along with mental illness!

  18. Great post from a great lady! I just shared it to my social channels.
    I know I get my (mild) manic and depressive moments that go on a seasonal cycle.
    It took me DECADES to figure this out — like not until I was maybe late forties/early fifties!
    Self knowledge takes patience and kindness for sure. How often are we cruel to and misunderstanding of ourselves?

    • Anne, thank you for sharing it! It is such an important message for me to spread. Self-knowledge along with self-reliance have saved me, for sure. I think people become afraid of self-awareness because they may find faults. But how can we properly rectify our faults and become better people if we are too afraid to identify them? It is a vicious cycle and one that I have chosen to break. I am so glad that you have finally been able to identify your seasonal cycles! Even if it took decades, at least you got there!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  19. I think it’s so important to demystify mental illness- so many people are impacted by it in some way, shape, or form- and talking about it helps everyone become more aware. Thanks for being so brave and willing to share!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    • Ashley, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I love that phrase “demystify mental illness.” It is so true, there is so much unknown about it. Yet, we have come so far and there is so much that we do know about it. I think demystifying it and taking the fear out of it is a huge component to successfully dealing with it.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  20. Such a great message you are sharing!!! Have a great weekend!
    Jaymie

  21. Thank you for sharing about this important topic. I know several people who deal with mental illness and the stigma that surrounds it. I am glad you are doing well and are sharing your tips for dealing with it. I love that cute floral jacket! Thanks for linking up at Fabulous Friday!
    xo-Mary

    • Mary, thank you so much for commenting! It is such an important topic and I feel an obligation to share it in hopes that I can help others. Do share it with your friends if you think it will help them!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  22. Shelbee, this was a great post and I am going to save it. While I personally don’t suffer with something as overwhelming as Bipolar disorder, I know so many people who struggle with anxiety disorder. Your steps and tips would be good for them as well. You are so right that mental illness is something that is real and needs the right kind of intervention, just like going to the ER for a bloody nose (I’ve had to do that twice and talk about anxiety inducing!) I appreciate your willingness to be open about your experiences and I am glad that you have come out the other side! Thanks for sharing and for hosting the link up! Have a great weekend. – Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

    • Amy, thank you so much for this thoughtful comment! Any ER visit is anxiety inducing! One tip I learned about anxiety is to just let the anxiety take you away for a moment. If you resist it, it gains more power. But if you succumb to it, it generally will pass in a few moments! This works for me almost every time!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  23. Hi Shelbee, Very interesting and informative post. I think it is great that you have other things in your “toolbox” to help with feelings that occur. I also found it interesting that AA helped. I take medication for pain, but have found other ways to deal with anxiety that I have. I love your floral bomber too!
    jess xx
    http://www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

    • Jess, thank you for this insightful comment! Anxiety is a bitch, for sure. And I have so many tricks to deal with it all. It is super helpful. Physical pain is an entirely different beast!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  24. You nailed it. Well done!

  25. First off, I love your floral jacket! Such a cute look. Second, thank you so much for sharing this. Mental illness is something that needs to be talked about, so people know they are not alone and can get help, and overcome it. It’s also helps others understands what their loved ones may be going through. I had a love one commit suicide four years ago, and I still struggle to understand it everyday. My goal is to help prevent it happening to anyone else.
    Rachael
    http://www.threadsforthomasblog.com

    • Rachael, thank you for sharing your story here. It is so hard to understand it from the outside of it. And in my experience, the best prevention is being able to talk about it. People who are suffering need to be able to talk without judgment and without fear. And it is my mission to let people know that you can get through to the other side of it! Thank you for doing your part in prevention!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  26. I had no idea Shelbee! I’m so happy for you that you are now well. A few years back I had a bought of depression and anxiety which began with the death of my grandmother. I was prescribed medication and therapy, and made the decision to divorce my husband. Once I began to feel free again I slowly stopped the medication, and luckily have been ok since then.

    Thanks for hosting..I hope you had a fabulous time in NYC last weekend 🙂

    • Paula, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Medication definitely has its purpose when we hit those points where we simply cannot get control over the anxiety and depression. I am so glad you were able to find your freedom through it all as well.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  27. It is so hard being on the outside and watching someone you love spiral downwards. It is even harder when they don’t seem to want to fight the spiral. Be it because they have no desire to or because they have no strength to even attempt anything of a combative nature. Thank you for sharing, friend, you know how much it means to me. I am learning every single day to watch for the signs, to understand movements of the body, and am a little better equipped now than I was two years ago xoxo

    • Sheela, I can’t even imagine what I put my loved ones through during the darkest times of my disorder. And being in it so deep, it really is difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel, to find any hope. And oftentimes, it would feel like the harder I fought, the more it will pull me in. It is so, so easy to succumb to your diagnosis and wear your label like a some sort of shield, letting everyone know “Stay away from me. I’m too messed up to be loved.” It keeps people out of your chaos and you end up being so very alone in your battle. This is where that self-reliance comes in. But for the loved ones, I think the most important thing they can do is to reaffirm the person’s worth. And no matter how many times they may discount your affirmations, you have to just keep doing it. Eventually, you start to believe the positive words and as a result, the negative thoughts begin to be pushed out. Eventually, you reach a point where the positive thoughts are stronger. That is where complete healing begins. I am sending you so much love and prayer. And of course, please feel free to reach out to me for anything through this process.

      Love you, my friend!
      Shelbee

      • Wearing it like a shield. Perfectly phrased, as always, Shelbee. I’ve gone through it with one, and now, with yet another. Unfortunately, this second one is completely turning everyone away, wallowing in the depths. I do not know how this particular story will end but all I’m praying for at this moment is to have the strength to constantly be strong. If not for the person then for the rest of my family. Be well friend xoxo

  28. I think that it is amazing how little we know about mental illness, until it hits close to home. Like you say the first step is to talk about it, no raised brows and judgement needs to be left outside the door.

  29. This was a wonderful post and I applaud your efforts to share the insight you’ve gained through your experience. You are a remarkable woman who is unfailingly kind, thoughtful, and stylish! I’m so happy to be able to say that you are my friend. Have a great weekend.

  30. It’s really nice of you to reach out to others who may be struggling with such compassion.
    Happy Saturday!
    Megs

  31. Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story!! This will help so many people XOXO

    #linkupwithlisa @ http://www.beauty101bylisa.com/2017/02/linkupwithlisa-89-formal-winter-dinner.html

  32. Thank you so much for sharing shelbee! This will help a lot of people.

  33. Thank you for hosting and thanks for sharing
    Mental Illness is something that people don’t want to talk about and try to hide. It something I grew up with as I have figured out that the parental unit that raised me was mentally ill. I have tried to learn what I can to understand things.

  34. I’m absolutely LOVING this floral bomber jacket – it’s absolutely amazing!

  35. Your transparency and bravery in this post is so admirable, Shelbee. I have struggled on and off with disordered eating for the past 4 years, so I can relate to having a mental illness. All the methods of treatment you recommended are so true and can be very helpful. For me, I find that talking about what I’m feeling makes it easier. Also, not expecting perfection overnight is a big one for me too. Thanks for writing this post and sharing your story.

    Blessings,
    Edye | http://gracefulcoffee.com

    • Edye, thank you so much for sharing your story as well. I agree with you totally that being able to talk about it is so helpful. I am so sorry that you struggle with disordered eating. I know that it can be extremely difficult for you, so definitely keep sharing your feelings (and know that Shelbee on the Edge is always a safe and judgment-free zone). And I do want to add that for me it is not about not expecting perfection overnight, but more that we are all perfectly imperfect the way we are as long as we continue working to be the best possible versions of ourselves. Keep at it, my friend. You are beautiful. You are kind. You are real. You are perfectly imperfect. And that makes you fabulous.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  36. Exercise is so good for your body and mind!

    Caitlin, Beauty & Colour
    Pinterest.

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