Day 14: BPD Challenge (Obsessive)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 14: Do you ever become obsessive?

Obsession is: Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.

I’m going to use an example that my friend and I recently talked about.

8 Years ago I fell head over heels in love with this guy that I worked with; he was funny, witty, charming, sexy, caring and a wonderful father to his son. We had only expressed our “obsessive” feelings for one another and talked for a month. We became so crazy about each other in just a short amount of time. Granted, we had worked together longer but once our feelings were out there, we became obsessed with each other. I had honestly never had such strong feelings for someone in that short amount of time. This guy immediately quit work (without telling me or giving me a heads up) and never spoke a word to me again for 8 years…until two weeks ago. I saw his name pop up on my Pinterest, found him on FB and couldn’t believe it. Apparently we both had been searching for each other on social media for 8 years. We were both in utter shock. I’m glad we found each other and can discuss the past.

One thing he told me upfront was this:

“I was so obsessed with you 8 years ago. I knew you were a good person, you were beautiful, and I wanted to be with you. However, in that month we talked, I hardly knew anything about you as a person. We have addictive and obsessive personalities and tend to act irrationally in relationships.”

He hit it spot on.  I have learned over the years to be more rational and I am learning patience. I thought I’d give this as an example seeing as how fresh it was to me.

Being obsessed isn’t a good thing (my opinion based on personal experience). When I am obsessed with something or someone, I tend to lose sight of who I am as a person. I focus all of my energy into one thing and it isn’t healthy. It’s compulsive, it’s vapidly addicting. I don’t become obsessed with things or people anymore, I am learning to channel my energy evenly amognst everything I care about.


Day 12: BPD Challenge (Family)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 12: What’s your relationship with your family?

I have a great family. My parents are fairly young; they had me when they were 18. They are still together, married for 28 years now. They used to battle with drug and alcohol addiction when they were young. When they had my siblings and I, they committed to changing their lives and overcoming addiction. They have been sober for 10 years  now. Although I have never done drugs in my entire life, let alone smoked a cigarette, I do drink from time to time and this worries them. My parents are the strongest people I know, they are funny, supportive and only want the best for me.

I have two wonderful younger siblings. My sister, who resides in Austin, Texas and my brother, he lives close by. They are my best friends, they aren’t judgmental and have always been there for me when needed. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful, big family. Every time I am around all of them, it’s a great time and constant laughter.


It’s OK to be OK


Posted on: 2 September 2014

By: Jessica Cooney

“Two years ago, had you asked me if I wanted to be happy, I would’ve told you that I would do anything for a light at the end of the seemingly endless tunnel that was depression. I thought that as soon as I saw the light I would run toward it, and I would leave behind the darkest parts of me without ever looking back. So I fought, and I put the work in, and I waited for the light to peek through.

Then one day, the light was there. And yet for some reason, it scared me. I found myself stalled; I was in a much healthier place than I had been, but I still wasn’t living the life I knew I could.

In many ways, this was even harder to admit to than depression. Who would understand a fear of what was undeniably better? I convinced myself that I was singlehandedly embodying the myths associated with depression. Maybe I was seeking attention. Maybe Iwas lazy. Maybe I needed to just get over it.

In reality, though, that wasn’t the case. After a lot of reflection, I started to grasp what made that light so scary. I was so used to depression that it felt safe. My methods of coping, while undeniably unhealthy, were easy. And staying at rock bottom felt easier than climbing and falling again and again. I had grown so accustomed to the struggling version of myself that I wasn’t quite sure who I was when I was healthy. Surely this meant my healthy self was even more forgettable and insignificant than I imagined.

Eventually, and without me even realizing it was happening, a lot of factors came together that helped me let go and leave behind that darkness. A new project gave me a sense of purpose. A friendship formed that was based on positivity rather than mutual pain. These things helped me realize that most of my fears were unfounded.

Still, I needed to be convinced that letting go of the past was OK.

It’s OK to not be OK” is a message I believe wholeheartedly. It’s a phrase I’ve heard a thousand times and will say a thousand more. We don’t talk about the opposite message as often because it seems so obvious, but I think it’s equally important: It’s OK to be OK.

It’s been over a year since I started to embrace the light at the end of the tunnel, and once in a while I still need to remind myself that being content isn’t a synonym for “waiting to sink again.”

Finding safety in the familiar doesn’t mean you’re seeking attention or choosing to be depressed. The unfamiliar can be scary, even when it is undoubtedly healthier, happier, and freer. Healing doesn’t mean admitting that none of your struggles mattered. It doesn’t mean you are leaving behind the people who are still hurting. It doesn’t mean that you no longer have permission to hurt or ask for help. It doesn’t mean that you are setting yourself up for a fall.

I have spent so much time reflecting on and reliving my hardest moments.

But starting now, I am embracing this “OK-ness.”

I am OK, and I am grateful for the journey that got me here.

I am OK, and I matter just as much as when I wasn’t.

I am OK, and I am still allowed to have bad days and ask for help.

I am OK, and that makes me excited for the future instead of fearful.

I am no longer spending my days desperately searching for the light at the end of the tunnel or wishing for the comforts of the past. This is an entirely new chapter in a long story, but I finally believe that where I am right now is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Wherever you are in your journey, OK, not OK, or somewhere in between – you matter, you’re living an important story, and however you feel is OK.”

– Jessica Cooney, TWLOHA Fall 2013

#100HappyDays – Challenge

I’ve heard of the 100 Happy Days Challenge, but today I decided to look into it. I think it’s a cute idea!

We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towardslong term happiness of any human being.

71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason. These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?
The Challenge is to post a picture of something that makes YOU happy, everyday. It can be anything from a meet-up with a friend to a very tasty cake in the nearby coffee place, from a feeling of being at home after a hard day to a favor you did for a stranger.
#100happyday challenge is for you – not for anyone else.
It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting.
I am starting my 100 day challenge on Monday, Sept. 1st. via Instagram (kla.fae). I will share a picture of what made me happy everyday and link it to my blog for those of you who do not follow my IG. I encourage you to try it!


Self-Care Isn’t Selfish


  • Posted on: 25 August 2014
  • By: Tiffany Keesey

“You know those moments where someone perfectly puts words to something you’ve been feeling but haven’t named?

That moment happened for me when I was sitting in the conference room at Invisible Children three years ago and a guest speaker was talking about insecurity. It wasn’t even his main point, but I will never forget when he off-handedly said, “You can’t invest in others if you don’t invest in yourself.”

It struck me. It felt as if he had just given me permission to embrace something that I had felt stirring within me. At that point, I had been working for the organization for 5 years, and I was exhausted. I loved my job and the organization, believed in the mission, and was surrounded by the most incredible community, but I was worn down. I couldn’t understand why I felt continually tired and overwhelmed when I knew I was doing the job I was supposed to be doing.

And here’s what it came down to: I was putting myself last. The tendency in the nonprofit world is to always put the cause above ourselves. It’s easy to forget to prioritize self-care when you are doing something you feel is more important. I had been working crazy hours and pouring most of my energy into my job, and I was doing it without putting much thought into what was fueling me.

I know this is not just true in the nonprofit world. My friends that are new parents struggle to find any time for themselves when their kids demand all their attention, and students are taught to achieve in order to get into college or to land a good job, often forgetting to take care of themselves. Somehow, as a culture, we’ve come to view rest as weakness and self-care as selfish and unnecessary.

None of that is wrong. Working for a cause, working hard in school, and being there for your child are all wonderful things. But I believe it is time for a shift in our mentality. When we take time for ourselves, when we prioritize balance, and when we cultivate other interests, we are better for it.

Studies show that we are 20 percent more productive when we work from a happy state of mind, as opposed to a negative, stressed, or even neutral state. When we are energized, we are equipped to tackle the game-changing tasks instead of just checking our inbox. We’re better prepared to solve problems, to overcome obstacles, to make the hard decisions, and to innovate.

Every now and then, let’s trade practicality for play and work for balance. Think of it as preparation for the next season in life where your life or your family or your job demands a lot from you. You need to be your best in those times. You need to show up. So, for now, let’s free ourselves of the guilt of having to always be busy because busyness just masquerades as productivity.

It doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Here’s where you can start:

1. Go back to the basics. Feed your mind and body with nutritious food. Stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Get outside for a few minutes if you’re stuck in an office all day. Be active, even if that just means choosing the stairs over the elevator.

2. Incorporate a daily ritual. We all can find an extra 15 minutes a day to invest into ourselves, whether that means waking up a little earlier, cutting out some wasted time at work, or getting off Instagram for a little bit. Begin or end your day with something that energizes you – maybe it’s journaling, taking a brisk walk, reading poetry, practicing yoga, or just making coffee and letting your mind be still.

3. Find time to cultivate larger interests outside of work. If you don’t know where to start, go back to what you loved when you were young. If you were a bookworm like me, join a book club. If you miss sports, join a kickball league. These activities remind us who we are.

4. Learn how to say no. This was the hardest thing for me, as a recovering people pleaser living with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I challenge you to think of your time to recharge as sacred. Put it on your calendar if you need to, and don’t allow it to get pushed to the bottom of your priority list.

Repeat after me: I will be a better [student / friend / leader / spouse / professional / parent] if I take care of myself.

Great. Now go be amazing.”

To Write Love On Her Arms

RI Week #3: The Major Motives of Behavior


“Behavior is guided by motives. There are two main types of motives: service and domination.

The motive of service produces love, friendship, admiration, neighborliness, good citizenship, patriotism, honesty, ethical conduct, loyalty, and courtesy. The motive of domination produces anger, hatred, contempt, disagreement, jealousy, envy and discourtesy.

In average life, the motive of service and the motive of domination do not exist in their pure state. A person inspired only by the spirit of service would be a saint; one inspired only by the urge for domination would be a monster. The average person is inspired by both motives and tends both to serve and dominate.

How can two opposite motives of behavior be expressed by one person? The answer is, by means of a healthy balance. A healthy balance of the two major motives makes for healthy group life.  IF those in a group insist on domination only, group life turns into endless struggle. If service is the only motive, group life is monotonous, colorless and lifeless.

You know the game called, “Tug of War”. One set of people tug at one end of a rope, another set of people tug at the other end. If the pulling strength of the two groups is equally balanced, there will be no action. On the other hand, if the distribution of forces is too unequally balanced, there will be no contest.  One of the groups will have a runaway victory. A healthy contest occurs only if the pull of the one team just over balances the pull of the other. So a balance is healthy if the opposing forces are neither equally matched nor too unequally matched. With motives, a healthy balance is maintained if service over balances domination without overwhelming it.

It is a popular belief that the spirit of service is most fully express in the home and that the spirit of domination is expressed more with strangers. In other words, it is thought that family is usually dealt with in the spirit of service, while strangers are dealt with in the spirit of domination. If this were true, irritation would be rare at home and common among strangers.

However, if you think of your own life, you know that most of your irritations come from your close relatives and friends. A smaller amount of irritation comes from people you know less well at school or work.  The strangers you see in the store or on the street are only occasionally a source of irritation. In other words, the average individual tends to be polite with strangers but loses his temper frequently with those close to him and is likely to be rude and impatient with them.

You all know of the person who frequently is late for dinner at home but on time when he meets his friends. When he is late for the outside date, he offers an apology. No apology is even thought of for being late to the dinner at home. The promptness and the apology to the friend are expressions of a spirit of service. The lack of courtesy to the family is an expression of domination.

In this persons pattern of behavior, there is no healthy balance between the two sets of motives. Domination wins at home and service wins outside. I call this kind of behavior “devil-at-home-angel-outside.”

Too many people save their best behavior for social contacts, but tend toward the domination when dealing with members of their own family. Your family life will greatly improve if you learn behavior and attitudes that express a healthy balance, with the spirit of service stronger than the spirit of domination.”