Borderline Personality Disorder

In this episode of NES, Alicen gets personal as she talks to Andrea about Borderline Personality Disorder, a highly stigmatized and misunderstood mental illness. 

Theme song by Tyson Kerr.

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This week Alicen and Andrea tackle anxiety. What’s the difference between fear and anxiety? Find out here.

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My Journey with Depression

In our first episode of Not Enough Spoons, Alicen talks about her experience with depression. Also, if the title of our podcast confuses you, never fear! It’s all explained here!

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Introducing Not Enough Spoons

I’m sure anyone who follows me on Twitter already knows this, but May is mental health awareness month. I used to keep pretty quiet about my own mental illness, but it’s never going to be normalized if we don’t talk about it. I’m not ashamed that to quote a friend of mine, I have a bunch of letters and acronyms that follow my name. Alicen Ricard, sufferer of GAD, OCD, BPD, and depression. Not as good of a title as Daenerys Targaryen, but I own it. I am not my mental illnesses but I do have mental illnesses and I’m not afraid to talk about it.

One of the steps I’m taking in my mission to normalize mental health issues is to start a podcast about it. I’ve been working on it for quite a while and am pleased to announce that the first episode is going to be released next week.

I approached my friend Andrea and I one night and nervously told her my idea and asked if she’d produce it. To my delight, she said yes and the podcast was born.

With help from my co-host/producer, Andrea, I dive into various topics on mental illness and types of mental illness themselves while debunking common stigmas and misconceptions about them.

I’m more than a little nervous about putting my own story and mental illness on the line, but I truly feel it’s important.

Not Enough Spoons podcast will release its first episode on May 21, 2019.

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If you have a topic suggestion for us or want to share your own mental health journey with us you can send an email to

Slow the F$&@ Down!

Back in January I had to think really hard about whether I was going to post my 2019 goals and after the shit show that was last year, I decided against it. However, I am going to talk a little bit about my themes for the year. One of my themes for the year is improvement, but we’ll talk more about that in December. Right now I’m going to talk about the year of no.

People who know me know that I have trouble saying no to people. This is how I end up with more projects than I do time. So far this year I’ve designed a cape pattern for myself and a friend, made my cape, made a cloak for a friend, designed and crocheted a Hogwarts blanket (I’ll write all about these projects in a later blog post), designed and started another crochet projects I can’t talk about yet, and done a couple casual cosplays. It’s only the beginning of April. Maybe this doesn’t seem insane to some people, but it’s a lot of projects. I’ve been stressed, overwhelmed, and overtired since the year began. Now I’ll admit that my projects turned out great. I’m damn proud of the capes and cloak and blanket. Was it necessary to run myself ragged making them though?

After my first of three weddings was done this year, my body decided enough was enough and I spent two weeks being sick and miserable. To be honest, I’m still recovering, but it’s been a wake up call. It’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to say no. Hell I’ve said it a few times this week. I can’t say yes to every social engagement and I can’t say yes to every project. I’m only one person and I’m out of spoons.

For those of you that don’t know the spoon theory, it goes like this. So everything you do uses a spoon. Now healthy people have an unlimited number, but if you have a mental or chronic illness you only have a certain number. So if I only have so many spoons and I use one to get up, one to go to work, one to make dinner and then I don’t have anymore to get through the rest of my day then I have to borrow from the next day. So it becomes a cycle. Well, through March not only did I overuse my spoons and not let them replenish, I burnt down the damn spoon store. Someone actually got me a necklace with a spoon on it and every time I look at it, it reminds me that I can only do so much and that it’s okay to take a break.

So have I learnt my lesson? Probably not, but I’m trying and I’d like to say that I have. I’m taking more time for myself, and I’ve limited my projects to a sane number that I can reasonably finish. So if I say no to you, don’t take it personally. I’m just taking care of myself.

“I Suck” and Other Borderline Thoughts

This past year has been a mental health challenge to say the least. Back in October I had depressive episode bad enough that I finally went on antidepressants. Though my depression did get better after that, my struggle was far from over.

Fast forward to January of this year and things started going downhill again. I was medicated, I didn’t have the same stresses I had back in 2018, so why wasn’t I feeling better? It all came to light when a friend mentioned a topic I didn’t want to talk about and my emotions went off the rail. I had a complete meltdown and I didn’t know why. That friend grew more concerned as I pulled away from her and shut off my phone so I could ignore her and the rest of the world.

I had so many thoughts and feelings and the emotions were clearly clouding my judgement. I wanted to immediately go see my friend and hear her say everything was going to be okay, but at the same time I had pulled away, so clearly she hated me now. Right? Wrong! This is just one of the many lies my brain tells me.

Turns out it wasn’t just my depression and anxiety that were kicking my ass. If you follow me on twitter and saw my outburst this month after I had some anon asshole tell me I shouldn’t tweet about such a “volatile illness”, then you already know this, but for the rest of you, I have Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD. Don’t know what that is? You’re not alone.

BPD is commonly mistaken for bipolar disorder, and although similar, they aren’t the same. I could give you some clinical description of BPD but honestly those never make it sound great. I did way too much reading after the diagnosis, as the only things I knew about it were from watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (which is amazing and you should all go watch it!). The reading just sent me into a downward spiral as a lot of books and articles really villainize it. People with BPD are seen as volatile monsters that can’t control their emotions or maintain friendships or relationships.

Let me just say, this isn’t true. People with BPD love big. I once told a friend we have so much love in our hearts for our close friends and family that we don’t have any left for ourselves. I personally don’t really seem to have trouble maintaining friendships, but that might be because my friends (especially the select few that know I have BPD) are stubborn and refuse to let me sabotage any of the relationships in my life. The only person I struggle to love is myself, but I’m working on that. Despite the title of this blog post, I don’t suck, even if my brain lies to me sometimes and tells me I do. I’m trying my best.

Struggling to deal with emotions is a huge part of BPD. I suffer from emotion dysregulation and black-and-white thinking (using always and never statements about yourself and others that may be harmful. Example: I’m never going to be able to do this). Add my anxiety and depression into the mix and my brain is a hot mess of emotion at any given point and time. I’ve cried more in the past few months than I ever have in my life. And considering the amount I cried last year, that’s saying something. I use a mood tracker and the vast amount of sting emotions I can go through in a single day is a little crazy.

But back to my point, once I found out I had BPD and cried for a while (followed by listening to “My Diagnosis” from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on repeat), I realized the past year (longer, if I’m being honest) suddenly made so much more sense. Suddenly I knew why I was struggling to “get over” emotional situations.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, it’s been rough. I’d like to express nothing but gratitude to the people I’ve broken down and cried on because I just couldn’t handle all the emotions anymore. Nothing with BPD is a quick fix. I meditate, do grounding exercises, see a therapist, go to a BPD support group, and do daily Dialectical Behaviour Therapy homework. I work out even when I don’t want to. I journal nightly. I work so hard to maintain my mental health, and sometimes it still fails. But I don’t give up. I’m in this for the long haul.

Now, I’m not saying any of this for sympathy. There’s nothing I hate more. I’m here to break down stigmas. I want nothing more than to spread awareness about a terribly stigmatized but not well-known mental illness. Talking about all this feels like coming out all over again (actually worse, cause I never really “came out” I just started dating women and didn’t care anymore who noticed). This is worse, because I don’t want anyone to think less of me, but the only way I’m going to break that is talking about it. So I refuse to be quiet anymore.

Higher Further Faster: What Captain Marvel Meant to Me

I’d like to begin this by saying that this isn’t a review of the movie and is spoiler free.

Last night I went to see Captain Marvel and I’ve never felt so empowered. For so long we’ve waited for a woman-led Marvel movie and they finally delivered, and it was everything I wanted. However, I’m not going to talk about the movie. I’m going to talk about how it made me feel.

To be honest, I’ve had a rough week. If it could go wrong it has, and on top of that my mental health was so bad this week that I definitely spent more than one day unable to get out of bed. But I’m not here to whine about my life.

Carol Danvers is a fighter. She’s smart, witty, powerful, and yet still so beautifully human. If you’ve seen the movie you know there’s a sequence (and this isn’t a spoiler) where she keeps getting up. The odds have been stacked against her and yet she just keeps getting up.

I had a friend compare me to Carol lately. I was having a particularly bad evening and while I cried on her in her car for the umpteenth time she told me that I’m strong like Carol. That I keep getting up and that I’m a superhero. I normally struggle to believe her when she tells me these things, because clearly she sees things in me that I can’t see in myself. This though, this one I’m going to take to heart.

A superhero is all I’ve ever wanted to be. I’ve loved comics every since I was a kid and I’ve always looked up to characters like Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Kitty Pryde. However, I never thought I could ever be a superhero. I’m not special. I’m just human.

But it isn’t her powers that makes Carol Danvers special. It’s her inner strength. I know that might sound a bit cheesy, but hey, I meditate, do yoga, and light a candle and journal daily, so what do you expect from me? I may not have powers like Captain Marvel, but do you know what I can do? I can keep getting up.

Having a powerful woman superhero for little girls to look up to is so important. I know a lot of white men have been complaining about this movie, but it isn’t for them. They’ve had their movies, and it’s our turn. Every woman deserves to feel powerful, and this movie certainly made me feel this way. I may not be able to fly a plane or fight like Carol, but I can fight for myself. I can keep getting up. She gives me so much hope. That’s why these movies are so important.

Thank you Marvel and Brie Larson for giving us such a powerful film about female empowerment.

Also, if anyone wants to get me Goose, my birthday is in August.

The 91st Academy Awards: yes capes!

I’ve been watching the Oscars every year for as long as I can remember. When I was a little kid I’d dress my Barbies up in gowns and pretend I was there as a fashion designer. Then as I grew older and more into film, I would try to watch as many of the movies as I could. Last year I was so mad at Hollywood that I decided not to try at all and I didn’t even watch the Oscars. This year I came back with a vengeance and not only did I try, but I succeeded in watching all 52 nominated films.

I have a lot to say about the Oscars this year, but let me start off with the fashion. After all the black last year (yes I looked up the fashion last year even though I didn’t watch the Oscars. I can’t help myself) it was nice to see colour this time. It definitely seemed to be the year of pink and I was here for it. Helen Mirren, Julia Roberts, and Angela Bassett all looked stunning in pink. Gemma Chan even looked stunning in whatever monstrosity she was wearing–extra points for hiding cookies in her pockets! Then again she could wear a paper bag and still look stunning.

Christian Siriano forever remains my hero with all his stunning designs on the red carpet last night. I mean did you see the blue dress that Octavia Spencer was wearing? Stunning! Kelly Ripa and Danielle Macdonald also looked amazing in Siriano’s designs. The real winner for the night in Siriano though was Billy Porter, who looked absolutely amazing in a Tuxedo dress. He wasn’t the only one who subverted gender expectations.

I was impressed with the number of women in fabulous pants suits as well. I am here for challenging gender norms. Amy Poehlar’s suit was amazing, but Awkwafina’s stole the show for me. Melissa McCarthy looked amazing in a pants suit as well, and it even had a cape on it, which brings me to the fact that it was also the year of capes.

Despite what Edna says the answer for me is always, YES CAPES! They may have been a bit extra, but I was loving the capes, but perhaps I’m biased because I’m making a cape for myself for a wedding coming up this year. Anyways… I didn’t mean to spend this long talking about fashion, so just a couple more things I want to mention before I move on to the actual awards.

Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree’s costumes when they presented the award for costume design was honestly one of my favourite parts of the night. I couldn’t stop laughing at the rabbits all over McCarthy’s cape and dress. Everyone in the room with me who hadn’t seen The Favourite were very confused, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lastly, my favourite dress of the evening was Constance Wu’s. She looked like Belle from Beauty and the Beast and I was HERE FOR IT! Yellow can be a really hard colour to pull off well but she looked incredible in it.

On to the actual awards show itself.  First off, the decision to not have a host was their best decision. I’m okay if they never have a host again. There was no awkward monologue–although I loved the funny women of SNL doing a mock monologue–and the awards show seemed to go by much quicker without a host. We still got a few fun touches such as McCarthy and Tyree’s costumes and Keegan-Michael Key coming down from the ceiling with an Umbrella Mary Poppins style.

I was shocked Marvel actually won awards, but very happy. They deserved both costume and production design. Makeup was not a surprise, as the makeup in Vice was insane. Editing was not a surprise but was disappointing cause Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t have great editing. Sound editing and mixing were no shock, though Quiet Place deserved it more. I’m mad Green Book won best original screenplay over The Favourite. Thank God BlacKkKlansman won best adapted screenplay though. Best song was no surprise. I was shocked Free Solo won best documentary feature, because I thought RBG would win, but thank god it did because Free Solo was amazing. Animated feature was well deserved. I called all three shorts. I hated Skin but I knew it would win. Cinematography and foreign language film were well deserved wins for Roma. Visual effects was not surprising, but a disappointment because Avengers deserved it over First man. I wanted Beale Street to win for best score but I’m also happy Black Panther won.

Now for the big six. I called 4/6 of them. Regina King winning supporting was well deserved. No surprises in either actor win, though I’m annoyed Rami referred to Freddie Mercury as gay instead of Bi. I was SHOCKED Olivia Coleman bear Glen Close was extremely thrilled because she really deserved it. Alfonso winning best director for Roma was well deserved. Now best picture. I am so angry. I like Green Book but it did not deserve to win. Either Black KKklansman or Roma deserved that award and I’m still mad.

I Wore a Different Lipstick Everyday For a Month and Learned a Lot

Back in November I had a few friends make fun of my slight lipstick addiction. I mean I personally don’t think the 50+ lipsticks I own is a problem, but what do I know? Anyways. One of them joked about me making a post every day for a month with a different lipstick, and because my makeup-loving and slightly stubborn heart said “challenge accepted” I knew I had to do it, So because of one comment someone made, suddenly all my friends had to put up with a month of selfies on Instagram. I have to admit though, that I didn’t finish. I only managed to post selfies 28 out of the 31 days of December (let’s blame the no man’s land zone of time between Christmas and New Years), but I still feel like that’s pretty good.

It was nice to wear different colours than I usually wear. I tend to stick to reds and nudes because I love them so much, and I neglect the other colours in my drawer of lipsticks. This forced me to go out of my norm and finally wear the orangey, purple, and pale pink lipsticks I was too afraid to wear before. Not to mention brown. I had a brown lipstick I bought for a cosplay that I had never worn and through this challenge I learned that brown lipstick is a really good look on me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a huge fan of my reds, but I’ll definitely branch out to other colours more often now.

I didn’t start it as a social experiment, but it definitely became one. I noticed that the days I got the most likes were the days I wore the most makeup (usually with a red or a dark lip). I mean, this does make sense to me. I know I pull off a red lip pretty well, and some of the makeup I did over the holidays was some of the best I’ve done. I’m not shy about my makeup skills, I know I’m good at it. However, I also noticed that the pictures that got the most comments were the ones where I wasn’t wearing makeup at all. Some days I was just too lazy to put on a full face of makeup if I was working from home or not leaving my apartment. I would usually make a self deprecating comment about not wearing makeup, because self deprecating humour is sort of my thing. That’s when I’d get the most comments, telling me that I’m beautiful without makeup, and validating me for not wearing it. The thing is, the comments were very sweet, but I don’t need validation. I know I “don’t need” makeup. That’s not why I wear it. I just really love makeup. I find doing it to be really fun. I love experimenting with colours. I feel naked without lipstick. I’m not wearing it because I think I need it to look pretty, or for anyone else; I’m wearing it because I like to. That being said, I will always accept compliments on my makeup skills.

Now what did I get out of this other than the satisfaction that I did it? I mean, I did get some free lipstick out of it so I can’t complain about that. Even more importantly,I gained confidence. A new thing I’m working on this year is taking praise and admitting when I’m good at things. It wasn’t until last year I started calling myself a writer instead of just saying “I write in my spare time”. A couple of nights ago I called myself a seamstress for the first time, so that’s another step. But those are things I get paid for sometimes, I have proof I’m good at them (even if sometimes I don’t think I am). I mean, I guess I know I’m good at makeup, but despite my confidence earlier in this post, I’m not actually very good at accepting compliments when someone tells me I am. I think this challenge helped me get over that a bit. I mean, I didn’t do a full face of makeup for it everyday but when I did, it was nice that people noticed. I think I’m finally understanding that this is something I’m good at. I’m even doing makeup for two weddings this year!

Follow my personal account @alicenricard on Instagram to see my lipstick challenge pictures. If you can’t be bribed with makeup selfies, can I bribe you with the amount of cat pics I post?

List of Lipsticks used:

2018: A Summary

What can I say about 2018 that hasn’t already been said? I think I’m just going to quote Greg from Crazy Ex Girlfriend (which I highly recommend if you haven’t see it).

I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to write a year end blog post this year but after sending a list of things I accomplished to my friend Andrea, I decided if any year deserves for me to brag about my accomplishments, it’s this year.

I saw this tweet by a YA author I love, and yes, that about sums it up. It was a year of learning. I learned so hard.

So let’s sum up 2018:


The Good:

I made not one but two ball gowns this year. I got to live out my fantasy of being a princess. The first one I had help on, but the second one I made all by myself in a week. This was definitely a huge accomplishment for me considering I only started sewing last year. I also made wizard robes for two friends of mine who wore them for their Harry Potter themed engagement shoot, so that was pretty freaking cool.

I also stopped working at coffee shops this year, and am now working full time as a communications coordinator for a non-profit.

This year at FanExpo I had a table where I had 75 of my cup cozy designs. I’m not great at designing stuff myself so it was certainly a challenge. I’m not proud of all of them but I’m proud of myself for trying, and also a lot of them turned out really great. Probably the highlight was getting to sell a Matt the Radar Technician cozy to someone who has cosplayed him. Since FanExpo I’ve also increased sales on my Etsy store which makes me happy. Every time someone leaves me great feedback it fills my heart with joy and makes the whole thing worth it.

I know I already wrote an entire blog post about this, but I would just like to state again that I WROTE A NOVEL. Sorry, don’t mind me while I brag a bit more because writing is really hard. So for those of you who don’t already know (which I’d be amazed if anyone didn’t know at this point) I wrote 50k words in three weeks for National Novel Writing Month. I finished the entire first draft of a novel I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. It’s a complete mess, but that’s what editing is for.


The Bad:

Okay, I’m going to make this brief because I don’t want to go into too many details about the utter mess that was this year. This year was a very personal challenge for me. There was a hospital scare with my Grandmother, there’s been some injuries and other personal issues,  and I had a long term relationship end. I hate the phrase “everything happens for a reason” because I think it’s bullshirt. Sometimes bad shirt just happens. It’s how you deal with it that counts. And honestly I probably could have dealt with most of it better, but I’m human and I’m trying.


The Ugly:

I’ve already talked about this is my last blog post as well, but it’s an important topic I think deserves repeating. I had quite the battle with depression this year. It started back in March and I was always able to come up with some excuse for why I wasn’t happy. Stress, the stuff I mentioned in the previous section, more stress. There was always an excuse. Until I ran out of excuses. Once I had a moment to catch my breath after preparing for FanExpo I fell into a depressive episode so bad I didn’t really leave my house. For three weeks. It wasn’t until I had a complete sobbing meltdown one night on a friend of mine in her car after a perfectly fun night that I realized I needed help and had to do something.

Distraction had been how I’d been dealing get with depression. Over the summer I read a lot of books and watched a completely ridiculous number of tv shows. And it made me feel good while I was doing it, but it didn’t last.

So I don’t ignore it anymore—I embrace it. I take antidepressants, I journal, I jog, I meditate, I allow myself to feel things (even if my poor friends probably wished I would feel less). I give myself challenges. I did NaNo even during a depressive episode. I’m learning to knit. I’m not hiding this part of myself anymore. I talk about it openly, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And I’ve had amazing friends who have supported me and let me cry on them/rant about my feelings.


Bring on 2019!

Since 2018 was a challenge, to say the least, a couple friends have told me that 2019 is going to be my year. So bring it! I’m ready.