The Art of Relaxed Living.

‘I’m moving too slow!’ My eyes lock onto the hospital clock as I shake my head in disgust. It took me 7-minutes to chart on my patient; my usual 2-minute documentation time slowed down by the doctor’s interruption. My heart begins to race as I do the math. Those lost 5-minutes added to the 10-minute wait time for supplies, in addition to the staff meeting that ran 15 minutes over will make it hard, if not impossible, for me to complete my work today.

I stand up quickly hoping to make up time in transit to my next patient’s room…

Dispelling the personal myths that cause mental/emotional un-ease.

I was 14 and the angst of adolescence was at full throttle; the social anxiety, the need to fit in, the bullies, the constant judgment… I was cracking under the pressure of it all. Turbulent emotions surged through me stirring up dark thoughts, confusion and feelings of hopelessness. These roller coasters of emotions grew in intensity and frequency. As they did stories began to develop and accompany them. Inner stories that I told myself in a soft mean whisper:

“Something is wrong with me. No one understands me. I’m all alone.”

These stories embarrassed me, ate away at my self-esteem…

What can see you through doubt and fear

I heard a story today. It was about an open water swimmer, Florence Chadwick, who attempted to swim from the Catalina Islands to the coast of Southern California, a 15-mile distance, in the 1950’s.

A thick fog descended mid-swim and obscured her view of the shore she was swimming towards. Unable to see her destination she became fatigued, overwhelmed and began to doubt her abilities to finish the task.

She kept going for a while but eventually gave up and asked to be pulled into the accompanying boats. …

A Simple Key to Feeling More Connected

Beyond Loneliness — Are you a part of something bigger?

One of my favorite ‘coming of age’ movies is Sabrina. It’s the story of a reclusive girl who is lives a lonely life, kept company only by her fantasies. One day she gets sent to Paris on an internship. She struggles initially and reacts with her old patterns of withdrawing from the world and seeking solace in her mind. There is a change point for her which is catalyzed by a brilliant line from her work mentor:

“You seem embarrassed by your loneliness. Don’t be. …

“I began to explore who I was beyond my diagnosis and to develop more life-affirming aspects of myself.”

Growing up with a mental illness I know all too well the crushing effects of diagnoses. You are handed a set of behavior patterns, personality traits and future predictions based solely on your label. You define yourself as such and create your life in line with it. In the process self-exploration ceases, bigger dreams of achievement dim and your self-evolution gets narrowed down to managing your illness. I lived from this limited perspective for years. I took consolation in that I had…

I can still see that old paisley couch at my first shrink’s office. The old cushions would swallow my thin 14-year old frame, the same way the doctors probing swallowed my thin self-esteem. Inward we would both implode as the message became more and more clear: I was different. And somehow that difference was not okay.

My relief with finally having someone to talk to was short lived. Each time I opened my mouth and shared an experience, a new label was gifted in return. I learned quickly to stop talking. I learned to start hiding.

I lived most of…

And how you can too.

Growing up, life always felt like a pressure-cooker. I was stuck in some strange contraption that I didn’t understand and couldn’t find my way out of. With the lid on tight, I stewed in a suffocating mix of emotions, noisy thoughts, and forceful expectations of how I was supposed to be. The pressure would build; the heat would rise until I exploded in response.

The sensation of being pressurized was constant through my teens and 20s. Big changes in my life — college, my first job, and my first love — all brought on their unique form of stress. My…

What I learned on my journey from unusual to brilliant.

Growing up I always knew there was something different about me. I had a creative mind that was always at work. I was perceptive to people’s moods and often changed mine to match theirs. I could sense people’s depths of emotions even when they expressed something different on the surface.

These qualities served me well in my younger years. My sensitive nature made me a popular friend. My creative mind allowed me to make up plays and choreograph dances for the neighborhood kids to perform. …

Moving on to bigger, better possibilities

Cue the swelling music, a vivid sunset over sweeping hills, one single tear streaming down Vivien Leigh’s face as she dramatically says, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

This iconic final scene from Gone with the Wind is the ultimate example of high drama. The romance, intrigue and intensity of her journey seem to give more clout to this hopeful phrase. As if she finally deserves to return home and win back her love. As if the end result will mean more because she had to struggle to achieve it. …

Take care of yourself. You are worth it.

Quite a few years ago I was helping my parents set up their new home. My ballerina music boxes were packed with a warning label to “Handle with Care.” As I unpacked my delicate childhood relics I did what the label suggested. I took care. I moved slower, paused to admire their beauty and spent time winding each one to hear its unique music and watch it twirl. I delighted in my trip down memory lane and thanked each music box for adding a special quality to my life.

During this hour of reverence to the things of beauty that…

Lauren Polly

Author of The Other Side of Bipolar, Lauren shares her own personal journey to help others find the life they desire without limitations.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store