Hi there! I’m Kriss, the driving force behind Positivity Powerhouse. I’m happy to be at your service, providing effective, applicable, practicable content for your clientele. But who am I to be writing about self-esteem, self-care, and sanity? What makes me such an expert?
I have more than 30 years of experience in the mental health field. Not as a practitioner, mind you. I don’t have the alphabet soup after my name. My experience is that of a person who lives with mental illness. Gives me a rather unique perspective, wouldn’t you agree?
I have struggled for decades with bipolar disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and excoriation disorder (aka skin picking disorder). Self-esteem, self-care, and sanity have often been elusive. Which is why they’re so near and dear to my heart. I believe they are the three essential qualities to successfully living with mental illness.
Self-esteem: Accepting yourself as you are
Self-care: Taking care of yourself
Sanity: Knowing yourself and what’s going on around you
Now, experts might disagree with my definition of sanity. They might tell you that sanity involves having the capacity to reason, the ability to anticipate and judge the outcome of one’s actions. That it’s equivalent to rationality or sensibility. Or, more simply, that it’s just plain not being crazy.
But I think you can be both crazy and sane at the same time.
Let’s say I give in to one of my obsessive thoughts – if I count the colors on the road, we won’t be in a car accident. (I say ‘we’ because I can’t drive due to physical disability.) Now, even as I’m riding down the road, saying to myself, “Gray, gray, gray, gray, white, white, yellow, yellow. Gray, gray, gray, gray, white, white, yellow, yellow,” I know it’s crazy to have this thought. Knowing that it’s crazy, that’s sanity. It’s understanding that I have this obsessive thought, which I’m compelled to follow through on, but that it’s irrational all the same.
Self-esteem: I accept that I have multiple mental and physical illnesses. I am working to improve my physical health; not much I can do for the mental other than take my meds and work on my mindfulness.
Self-care: I make sure I take those meds on time, at least four times a day. I eat as appropriate, meditate, do my best to get sufficient sleep, exercise, all that good stuff. I try to achieve productiveness for at least two hours every day, but stop in time to get ready for bed at a reasonable hour.
Sanity: I know I’m crazy. I know my physical health can most kindly be described as “interesting.” I know there will be days when the most productive thing I’ll do all day is open Netflix and click Play. And I know there will be days where I’m building a website, pitching a dozen guest blog posts, writing a couple thousand words, finishing the pieces I need for my current quilting project, and taking over the world.
The most important thing I’ve decided to do for myself, though, is to stay positive. Mary Kay Ash wrote, in her autobiography, Miracles Happen, “It’s easy to smile and be enthusiastic when everything is going along perfectly in your life. Under ideal circumstances, anyone can project cheerfulness, but the real test of a champion is being able to put on a happy face when deep down you’re suffering with a serious personal problem” (57).
That’s where I’m coming from. If you look at my life from the outside, you’ll see all these health problems, and I’m living with my best friend and his family because it’s not safe for me to live on my own, and I need help for most of the basic tasks of living, and my kids live with my parents, and I’ve been divorced twice, and on and on and on.
Or you can ask me about my life, and I’ll have you laughing in minutes. You won’t see despair, angst, pain, mania, depression, or any of the other icky stuff of life. You’ll see self-esteem. You’ll see self-care. You’ll see sanity. You’ll see positivity. You’ll see a powerhouse who can do anything.
You’ll see me.
Now that you know a little more about me, tell me about you and how I can help you build more value for your clients.