Welcome

This blog is dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness; Bipolar, Depression, and Suicide. MLO exists to encourage, love and inspire.

You are important; Self-care is priority; Recovery comes first.

As a mental health advocate, I want you to know that you are not alone. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of- it is not a weakness. You are not your illness- it doesn’t define you. You have an individual story to tell- it is important and you matter. You play a necessary character in the narrative of those around you. You have a name, a history, a personality, and staying yourself is part of the battle but you are here to remind others to fight and face their fears, to step out in courage, and to realize and embrace their purpose. Don’t give up, you have a purpose and you are needed.

Your imperfections create a crown of literature, that will cast your timeless story to serve as inspiration to somebody, wear it proudly.

They say you should blog about something that you are passionate about. I am passionate about getting well, obviously. I’m so glad you stumbled upon my blog and hope you find something here that helps you. Whether you have a mental illness, think you do, or love someone who has it, know that there is help out there, and there is hope. If you are interesting in sharing your story – please feel free to email me at mindslikeours@yahoo.com.


about kayla fae

 ~

CHILDHOOD – EARLY ADULTHOOD

{1987 – 2009}

“WE WERE BORN TO BE REAL, NOT PERFECT.”

I was always very shy and timid growing up. I never did drugs, ran away, drank, or
broke the law. I never self-harmed or did things for attention.
I didn’t have a lot of friends and FB_IMG_1453847773628was often bullied, or made fun of for my appearance. I tried to participate in sports but never made the cut. The lack of validation and inclusion took a toll on my self-esteem. I often felt that I wasn’t good enough for anyone or anything. I didn’t have a sense of self for years and this resulted in being a follower. I was only interested in the things that my small social circle were interested in. Overall, at home and at school, I didn’t have the best childhood or teenage years. I felt trapped and worthless. Although I didn’t believe it at the time – I know now that I was a good kid.

 The FB_IMG_1453847629925moment I could – I tried to escape the pain. I graduated high school early and started working full-time immediately. I fell in love, got pregnant and married at eighteen. We bought a brand new house by the age of twenty. Everything happened so quickly. Then, what felt like out of the blue, I found myself with intense emotions that felt out of control. I felt clueless, lost and completely alone surrounded by everything I could have ever dreamed of having around the age of twenty-two.  

CRY FOR HELP 

{2009-2011}

“NOT ALL WOUNDS ARE VISIBLE.”
Although I wore a cheerful facade and kept my life busy, I eventually started behaving in ways that I didn’t understand. I didn’t feel like myself; I began screamingreacting to certain situations and people in ways I never thought I would. I started seeking out attention, being angry often, crying immensely, cared less for others, and didn’t appreciate anything around me. I was crumbling on the inside. My husband, at the time, didn’t understand what was going on, or how to handle it. He had me on a pedestal and it still wasn’t enough for me. I was lacking the emotional support in my life. “It’s just hormones.” or “It’s just post-partum. You’ll get over it” or “PMS’ing again I see”. I knew it was more than that, but instead of seeking help, I continued to act out – quietly. My facade came crashing down after my illness took me hostage. Not long after, I left my marriage and house behind. I wanted to live alone and free to do whatever I wanted. I behaved selfishly and was self-destructive in a lot of ways. I tried escaping the pain yet again by leaving. It didn’t work. That’s when I was introduced to Rock Bottom. 

MY DIAGNOSIS

{2011-2012}

“WE ARE SURVIVORS FROM THE MOMENT OF DIAGNOSIS.”
It’s been six years since my first diagnosis. I can remember the day vividly; being handed a buddhapamphlet from my psychologist titled “Borderline Personality Disorder”. I was relieved and scared. I finally had answers to my years of suffering but I didn’t know where to begin to recover. The word that stood out to me most that session was, “recoverable”.
My psychologist immediately advised I should be on a mood stabilizer and considered me an “at risk” patient. A few painful months  later – I decided to take the medication, albeit reluctantly, due to my own ambivalence. I did so to help ease the intensity of my emotions in order for me to learn how to cope in a healthier, more positive, way for myself and my two kids. 

MY RESEARCH

{2012-2016}

“RESEARCH IS FORMALIZED CURIOSITY.”
According to the DSM, an individual must meet 5 of the 9 symptoms to be diagnosed with BPD. You can find my personal experience and symptoms here. At the time of my diagnosis, I had 7 of the 9 symptoms: avoided real or imagined abandonment, unstable interpersonal relationships, identity disturbance, impulsivity, emotional instability, chronic feelings of emptiness,  and intense anger. The two other symptoms that I never experienced were suicidal behavior and dissociation.  One thing I learned was that everyone experiences every condition differently. Some have more severe symptoms than others. IMG_4908
After reading, I learned that I was a High Functioning and Introverted Borderline“. In other words, just about anyone and everyone in my life didn’t know I had a mental health condition because I have always been self-reliant and capable of meeting all of my basic necessities. I have always held a steady job and maintained a good work ethic all my life. Although I acted out, many people didn’t see it, or recognize there was a problem, aside from my husband. I was suffering quietly inside and was afraid to show my intense emotions to friends and family members, for at that time, as well as growing up, I believed that emotions were wrong or bad.

HELP IS OUT THERE

{2012-2016}

“BE STRONG ENOUGH TO STAND ALONE, SMART ENOUGH TO WHEN YOU NEED HELP, AND BRAVE ENOUGH TO ASK FOR IT.”
Once I committed to recovery and changing my whole lifestyle, I discovered how much help was actually out there. Initially, I created this site to jot down my thoughts, feelings, and emotions
Don't give up
regarding mental illness. I wanted to track my recovery and record everything I learned on my journey. That’s when I found this amazing mental health community on Word Press. I had no idea how many people struggled and suffered as much as I did. E-mails, comments and Facebook messages came pouring in from people all over the world thanking me for sharing my story and how much it helped them to recover. These beautiful people I barely knew offered love, support, and admiration. It made a profound impact on me. Their loving energy and support from my therapist gave me a sense of empowerment, and the realization that I didn’t have to hide or fight this battle on my own.  Since, I have become close with several people all over the world that I met through blogging on Word Press. I am truly grateful for each and every one of my supporters.
You can find more resources located on my page, here. Please remember, help is out there – you are NOT alone.

RECOVERY

{2014-Current}

“RECOVERY ISN’T SOMETHING YOU DO; IT’S A LIFESTYLE”
This is the part where you find out who you really are. This is where I found my true self, my passion, my true friends, and my strength to overcome just about anything. Recovery starts with IMG_20160124_105217_117000~2willingness. It’s a long road but I assure you – It’s worth it.
As of June, 2014, I got out of my unhealthy relationship of three years and decided to make a change in my life; focus on recovery, self-care, and overall life-improvement. Aside from my two beautiful children, these have been my top priorities. I was terrified to leave my relationship and face my fears alone, but I knew I had to. My lifestyle needed to change – I needed a healthier social circle, I needed away from home-brewing beer with the gang, I needed less drama, and an overall better support system.
So it began: I moved in with my parents to pay off debt and build up a savings plan again. I spent
more time with family members, joined a women’s group, and stopped drinking so much. I focused more of my attention on the kids, finished my Associates degree, and joined the Recovery International community group. I mentored teenagers who were suffering with an illness, started my bachelors program in Psychology, and focused on DBT therapy. I made therapy a weekly visit rather thanUnderstanding a – whenever I have an episode – visit, I faced a lot of fears,
traveled alone, and I attended mental health conferences on my free time. It took a lot of courage and strength to take these steps, but I was determined to be healthy and happy. Now I am.
It’s easy to lose sight of self-care just because I’m simply doing okay for a minute, or life gets busy being a single mom, working full-time, and attending school but it’s important to stay focused on your road to recovery, even if you’re doing okay for the moment.
Four years into my recovery, I was/am considered a recovered borderline. Today, I don’t meet the number of criteria in the DSM for Borderline Personality Disorder. I do, however, still struggle with my emotions. I will always be an emotionally sensitive person but with my DBT therapy, skills and high emotional intelligence (EQ) – I am very capable of handling my emotions in a healthy and positive way.  Recovery has led me to new clarity and a deep appreciation for life.

WHAT I LEARNED

{2016}

“THE CAPACITY TO LEARN IS A GIFT; THE ABILITY TO LEARN IS A SKILL; THE WILLINGNESS TO LEARN IS A CHOICE.
During my recovery – I learned that I have never actually loved myself, and I never focused on self-care or self-love.  I have a whole new perspective in life due to recovery. I challenge you to focus on you and do things that make you happy, alone. Date yourself, and learn to love yourself. I have had so many moments and memories of self-pride during my road to recovery and self-discovery, and I hope you do too. Below are a list of a few things I learned in recovery:
  1. My passion for Mental Health
  2. Mental illness doesn’t define us
  3. Self-Reliance
  4. It’s okay to not be okay
  5. There are no good or bad emotions, but there are good and bad ways of expressing emotions
  6. Resiliency
  7. Self-Compassion is a priorityLove Yourself
  8. Self-Awareness is key
  9. Coping skills that best work for me
  10. We don’t owe anyone an explanation for self-care.
  11. Beauty lives in our differences
  12. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  13. Mindfulness
  14. The more I loved myself – the more I fell in love with my kids
  15. Not to feel guilty for self-care
  16. Patience and understanding for others
  17. Recovery comes first
  18. How to stand up for myself and fight against stigma
  19. Things will always work out – do not give up
  20. We are not broken, weak or worthless

You can find my complete list of 100 things I learned in Recovery here. Enjoy!

 

OUTCOME

{2016}

“STRENGTH AND GROWTH COME ONLY THROUGH CONTINUOUS EFFORT AND STRUGGLE.”
Recovery is possible! I am living proof. This is truly the happiest I have ever been in my life. The experience has lit a fire in my soul. From that moment forward, I have been inspired to seek out new avenues to nurture my inner self.  I still continue therapy twice a month for overall personal development. I am passionate about Long Roadlearning and becoming a better person every single day.
Recovery has become my lifestyle and I can’t ever imagine ever going back to any other lifestyle.  I still have many things that I want to work on in my life and with that, I am aware that nothing is perfect. I realize there will be bumps in the road, but I am stronger than I ever have been before, and I know I can handle any challenge that comes my way.
I often get asked, “If you could go back and change things {past mistakes, my illness, suffering, and overall life path} – would you?” My answer is no. I have no regrets and everything I have done and been through has made me the person I am today, and I am proud of the person I am now. I wouldn’t be here or have learned everything I I know now if I didn’t go through the past pain, mistakes, and sufferings. I am wiser and more intelligent because of it all. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. It all plays out the way it’s supposed to. I own my story.
Read my VISION here.
Thank you for reading about my journey and I hope you can take something from my experiences to help you.
Much love,

MINDS LIKE OURS

{KAYLA FAE}

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24 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. La Panzona {Pahn.So.Nuh} says:

    “During my recovery I have learned that I have never actually loved myself”, that’s really powerful. I resonate with this truth. Self-care, especially when taking care of small children, is challenging. Mucho gusto. Nice to meet you 🙂

    Like

  2. knn says:

    Thank you for sharing this extremely personal journey with the world! You are incredibly brave! I would love to have you come on my blog, theknnlife.com as a guest blogger sometime!

    Liked by 1 person

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