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Relapse and Recovery

I'm going to let you in on a little secret- it's okay to relapse. Now, hear me out, relapse is a part of recovery. Two steps forward, one step back is still progress and you are still in recovery.

The tightrope is knowing when to know you need help again, when to know you need to return to therapy, the psychiatrist, the hospital. It's okay to relapse as long as you are not a threat to your own life or the life of another.

Don't let your relapse drag you back down into the darkness.

I no longer have a "sobriety date" from self-harm. I feel guilt and shame but I also know that this is a part of recovery. Relapse is a part of recovery.

I'm still working my program, I'm still in therapy, I still actively seek help, and I still have hope that one day, this will be all behind me.

But for now- relapse is a part of my recovery story.

I love you, and I'll see you soon.

#Selfharm #TWLOHA #Depression #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1 #Recovery

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The Only Way Out Is Up

I can still remember the first day I heard auditory command hallucinations- telling me to kill myself. I can still hear them, whispering, telling me how useless I was, how much of a burden I was. I can still remember that day on January 12, 2012, when I was only 16, how I tried to take my own life.
And I remember waking up the next day thinking to myself “why does God hate me so much that He wants me to live?”

It has been an uphill battle of medications and hospitalizations. Bandages around my wrists and long silences in group therapy. Self-harm was my way of coping with the pain of living. Albeit it was a negative coping skill, it was the one I turned to nonetheless. Everyday when I got home from school I would march upstairs, peel off the bandage from the night before, and cut a little deeper.

But it never really fixed the pain. I have trauma, I have my own abandonment issues. But all things considered, I have a good life. And I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just “snap out of it”. The depression was a room with only my name on the door and no matter how many times I screamed for help, it seemed no one could hear me. So I cut deeper.

It got to the point that I truly believed I was a burden on those around me. I was becoming a regular at the psychiatric hospital in my community.

But then something -and to this day I’m not sure what, clicked- I realized that I couldn’t climb out of my hole that I alone had dug if I didn’t reach out and grab someone’s hand. And along came my therapist, my boyfriend, my mom, and God (or whatever higher power you believe in). I found hope. I found that even in my darkest trials, I was not a burden. So I grabbed their hands, I grabbed every life preserver they threw at me, even if it was a floating pink flamingo, and they pulled me to shore. Up and out.

You see, the only way out is up. And once you’ve hit rock bottom, well, the sky looks pretty damn enticing.

But I couldn’t give up, no matter how badly I wanted to- because my dog needed me, my boyfriend needed me, my mom needed me. Tomorrow needed me.

So I held onto hope. Because God loves us so much that he wants us to live.

It was a long process to get to where I am today, and it didn’t happen over night. I stayed for a month at the psychiatric facility, I switched therapists and medications. But I stayed and I worked the program. I fell in love with the little things in life.

16-year-old Bri would have never thought that she would be 26, running her own business and working for a community magazine- telling other people’s stories. But hey, I guess dreams really do come true.

I live with bipolar 1 disorder and I stopped self-harming on May 5, 2021.

#BipolarDisorder #Bipolar2Disorder #Bipolar1Disorder #Selfharm #TWLOHA #BipolarDepression #Depression

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Hope is real. Help is real. #TWLOHA

September is suicide prevention awareness month and this year I decided to take the first step in starting a conversation… just by asking “how are you today?” Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. This years message is this: you are NOT a burden. 700,000 people die by suicide every year. 1 in 100 deaths globally is a suicide. Anxiety and depression has increased by 25% since the COVID-19 pandemic. But hope is real. And help is real.

One day I’ll write my autobiography about living with bipolar 1 disorder and I’ll publish it so you know you’re not alone. But for now… hold on to hope and remember… you are not a burden. You are loved and worthy of love.

Stay. Tomorrow needs you.

#BipolarDisorder #Bipolar1Disorder #MentalHealth #SuicideAwareness

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To Write Love On Her Arms #TWLOHA

Why does this thing go away then come back, it haunts you. When you think it's gone then suddenly it's appealing again?

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#Mysuicideattemptanniversary #imhere ##TWLOHA

Hey My mightiest, I just wanted to share that a year ago today, I was at a Low point in my life and I attempted suicide. I felt my head above water...and I couldn't breathe #MySelfharming was getting bad and I felt I was #Relapsing into my #Depression #Codependency . Luckily, I had a sjpport network from my (then Therapist) #RachealDorty she saved my life and my son. That night in the hospital changed my life. I've been through so much and I have been resilient ever since ❤ I just want to help others in need and #spreadawareness about #MentalHealth and support each other and create that #safeplacecommunity . I never imagined I would be Here #alive and I have a beautiful 6 year son that has taught me and is still teaching about life as we experience this journey together. #mom #MyOsiris I love all of you and thank you for letting me #sharemystory ❤💪🏾🔥🙌🏾🙏🏾👊🏾👊🏾


Worth Living For #TWLOHA

How do you deal with a diagnosis that you don't understand?

My doctors are arguing over why my body is failing me at 23. They're arguing over how I'm so sick from #Lupus #BipolarDisorder and #Mitralvalveprolapse

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm 23. I should be living life, finding myself, and falling in love.

Instead, I'm living in hospitals, finding new diagnosis, and resenting myself for having a failing body.

Sometimes, I wish I was never born.

So please tell me:

What are you living for?


Nothing at all

Today was a day that I was not okay. Flare ups after flare up.. And still going.. Will it stop? Will someone realize? Or will it be too late? #CardiovascularDisease #Depression #Bipolar #PanicAttack #PTSD #Asthma #recoverme #TWLOHA #SuicidalThoughts #AnxietyTriggers #MentalHealth #PsychiatricSurvivor #Helpinghands

Another darkness gone through alone.
Another disappointment.
Loss of color, and loss of sight.
Sinking, wasting, and crumbling at every piece of me.
Trying to stay afloat but never reaching above water to breathe.
I swear the worst things in life are free..
Free emotions, free burdens, free trauma and memories that won't ever go away, let alone be prepared for it to come..
For it to come and go alone.
Never Again.


Illness Is Illness - Period. (Healing Pt. 1)

As a human with a physical body, you have physical health.

As a human you have teeth, you have dental health.

As a biologically male human, you have prostate health.

As a biologically woman, you have ovarian health.

As a human with a heart, you have heart health. 

Therefore, as a human with a mind, you have mental health.

Illness is illness. Just like you can’t snap out of having a fever, cancer, cavities, or a broken leg - you cannot just “snap out” of severe depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, OCD, PTSD, or crippling anxiety. If you wouldn’t compassionately tell someone with a shattered femur to “walk it off”or “fake it til you make it”, then I implore you to not tell someone who is literally being attacked from within their minds and their souls to just try to shake it off. Be supportive. Encourage them to try doing little things - simple things that may be easy for you but hard for them. When they get up after days to take the trash out or clean their room or make pancakes, embrace and celebrate the fact that they’re trying! Because we are. We are trying. If you’re reading this and you are the one fighting an illness - KEEP FIGHTING! Every day, every moment, every step.  #BipolarDepression   #Bipolar2Disorder   #AnorexiaNervosa   #BulimiaNervosa   #ChronicIllness   #Depression   #Anxiety #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Healing #Hope #NEDA #TWLOHA

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World Suicide Prevention Day - Unhealthy Metaphors & Advice

Last summer someone close to me that I love deeply & look after was given “advice” by an old friend to buy a plant, not water it & watch it die.

This was intended to be a “metaphor” for “killing off” a major medication & treatment-resistant depression that was going into it’s fourth year. It’s also important to note that this person also survived a suicide attempt in early 2017.

I spent the last 10 months nurturing this plant, which is like family now (& my long-suffering loved one), back to health so both can continue growing & flourishing. 

Now to ME, helping something or someone grow & evolve is a MUCH healthier approach to life & obstacles, making the intentions a better metaphor for mental health struggles than watching something die.

Some people may disagree with my rationalization; however, my essential point is not every friend, family member or colleague is capable of arm-chair counseling in a productive, safe & healthy way. 

While a person may have the best of intentions, good intentions don’t equal sound, healthy support or care. A loved one needs to know you’re there for them: Listen...empathize..listen even more. And just love them through it. I know how difficult it may be to understand mental health diseases when the struggle is not tangible or showing up on a scan or lab test. Personally I’ve struggled myself for over twenty years with clinical depression, severe anxiety, PTSD & panic disorder, making me a member of the club, as well, so to speak. Consequently, I can say with confidence my own experiences qualify this narrative because I’ve been through, seen & heard it all.

This is an important point since just because someone may love or care about  someone going through mental health struggles doesn’t mean they have the education or experience to advise them on something so intensely personal & complicated. Sometimes uneducated (relative to mental health support) or inexperienced advice can be even more harmful & lead struggling loved ones to become more frustrated & confused.

In the end if someone you love is in a crisis or experiencing suicidal ideations always lean in to “being there” for them & encourage them to seek medical help. Don’t tell them what to do such as stop taking medications or treatments or tell them they need homeopathic methods that fly in the faces of their doctors & overall care plan because you may end up sabotaging their recovery rather than helping it. #WorldSuicidePreventionDay #MentalHealth #MentalHealthAwareness #TWLOHA