Writing is a lot like like gardening. When we’re willing to get our hands dirty, the blank page becomes a space to cultivate and sustain life — a little plot for growing seeds that, when exposed to just the right slant of sunlight, blossom into nourishing fruit. But as any gardener would know, there’s an art, a cadence to growing green things: A season for uprooting, and another for tilling. Next, a time for waiting while the elements work their magic. Then, finally, the harvest.

The same rhythm rings true in growing ourselves. Thankfully, unlike actual gardening, storytelling requires no green thumb. You don’t even have to identify as a writer to reap the benefits of writing — you just have to want to do the work.

Whether we wish we could serve the poor and alleviate suffering like Mother Teresa or pioneer critical scientific research like Marie Curie, we all dream of doing beautiful, world-changing things with our lives. Yet, no matter how much we might long to follow in the footsteps of such women, who in fact believes themselves capable of that kind of greatness?

Perhaps we can imagine ourselves doing so in the future — when we are “older and wiser” — but in our present, imperfect condition? Hardly.

For just a minute, try to remember what it felt like to be five years old. The half-second lag at the top of the swings, the smell of fresh cut summer grass, the feeling of sand in every crevice of your swimsuit. As children, our sidewalk chalk drawings were Picasso’s and our bicycles were magic carpets. We colored the world with crayons, curiosity, and laughter.

Children possess a special kind of contagious optimism that carries them through their small lives. They are blissfully unfazed by the opinions of others. Through all the scraped knees and playground splinters, they continue to try new things and peak out at the world through a lens of joy. Their hearts are bigger, their blues are bluer, and their afternoons are longer. Can you remember how good it felt to be that full of wonder?

We have all been witness to somebody saying “I’m so OCD!” as a means to get a point across that he or she is very particular, detail-oriented and organized. Brands like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics have been using this term as a way to market their products as something we ‘need.’

The media has also been throwing around this term, rather carelessly, as being a trait one would aspire to have instead of it being a serious disorder. For example, Khloe Kardashian has a regular segment on her website titled KHLO-C-D. During each segment she demonstrates to her followers how she organizes her cookie jar, packs for an upcoming trip or rearranges her closet. Is such branding an innocent advertising tool, or is it instead stigmatizing to those whom live with this disorder?

The truth is, using this term inaccurately can be quite offensive and hurtful to somebody living with actual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). What does it mean to have OCD? Tackling the myths of this serious disorder is the first step to decrease the inaccurate use of the term and bring awareness to those who are suffering.

As troubling as it is, it’s not uncommon to hear someone negatively refer to another as being so bipolar.”  This term can be used as a way to conceptualize your boss’ behavior after he looses his cool during a meeting (no way it could be due to the recent missed deadlines … right?) or to describe your partner during a relationship dispute (again, I did nothing wrong … he is “bipolar”).

We all have that friend who is emotionally unpredictable, impulsive and just plain moody (we all know the type ), but does that mean they are suffering from the serious mental illness that is bipolar disorder? Not only can the incorrect and lax use of this word be offensive, but it also infers that those who are living with bipolar disorder have a choice in the matter. That could not be further from the truth.

What exactly does it mean to have (yes, have … not be) bipolar? Below, the common myths of this very serious disorder are discussed.