Blogger Recognition Award #awards #amwriting


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Thanks to Sascha Darlington for nominating me for this award. I think we both have only recently began following each other and I’m pretty obsessed with her short stories about Clare, Damien, and Dominic already. She writes them according to whatever the prompt is that day for each story. It’s a complicated love triangle for Clare. 

Check-out this recent piece here. I garuntee you’ll want to go back and read up on what happened before.  

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THE RULES FOR THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD

For all the nominees for this award, here are the rules, if you choose to accept:
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1. Write a post to show your award.

2. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

3. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

4.Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.

5. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to them

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WHY I STARTED BLOGGING:

Well I’ve explained before, but not sure where. I was sick in 2008 to 2009. After a brief psychotic episode I had a depressive episode. I never had a psychosis again but the depressive episode meant I developed difficulties reading and writing (cognitive skills were impaired). I had to build both skills back up.

 I’m an English Major from back in 2007. I wrote well and wanted my talent back. I started the blog to improve my writing, editing, and reading skills and to write about my ongoing mental illness — depression with severe fatigue. 

I have worked so much on my writing, especially writing more creatively. I took writing courses online from WordPress and from certain extension programs at several universities. I have done years of Flashfiction and started writing poetry about a year or two after first blogging. Poetry is something I’ve wrote since I was small. I started learning and practicing different forms of poetry (sonnets, Tankas, Cinquins, Laurenells etc.) and doing not only free verse (which comes fluidly for me) but metered and rhymed poetry on my blog.

In January last year I began focusing even more on fiction and poetry so I could submit my work to different literary websites, magazines, and do guest blog posts; I continue doing this. I finished the first draft of a novel which took years to get past chapter four and now I haven’t had time to work on the second draft of late past chapter seven. 

I also occasionally blog nonfiction about movies, books, music, current events, beauty, fashion, or maybe a certain experience or memory. My blog has evolved a lot over almost five-years. My writing is much improved and I’m so grateful that as well as being able to write well, I read well too. I read books on writing, romance, adventure, fantasy, and the enjoyable books published by my Blogger friends along with reading many blogs whenever I’m able. 

Blogs are fluid things and they become whatever you’re focusing on at a certain time or place in your life. That’s my opinion ūüėČ.
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MY ADVICE TO NEW BLOGGERS:

When you start blogging, pick a theme that looks professional (easy to read from and visually pleasing) and ensure you complete putting together your blog as much as you’re able including contact page, about you, and any social media links, so your content will be automatically shared to Twitter for instance. You can put links to other social networking sites on the sidebars of your blog such as a directly to your writer/blogger Facebook Page or Instagram page on your blog. 

My most hated thing to do on a blog is to have to search all over for a ‘Follow Me’ button. Put that at the top of your page and the bottom. You want people to follow you even on a whim so make it easy for them to do this. Also, when you’ve started posting, make sure we can see your other posts which are relatable or recent on the bottom of your blog or side – somewhere. If I like a blog, I want to read more. Also, pop-ups are annoying and unneccesary. 

As for writing, don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and in your writing. Honesty and authenticity shows through and is attractive to readers who seek to relate. Edit well but remember you can always edit more after you post –happens to me all the time. 

Cutting your word count and doing Flashfiction is a great way to learn how to edit well and make each sentence count. Do prompts and challenges and write everyday, even if you don’t post on your blog. Keep your anonymity if you like, but I have found with blogging, through writing more personal pieces, you can help many people through their challenges in life with your own.

Make it a habit to follow and read other bloggers. WordPress is an awesome community and it helps everyone and their writing to comment on their pieces and in return make friends and gain followers. You can even reblog posts you love or Press them as a new post, share them via social networking, email, or print them out. Allow your readers to have these options as well, when they read your blog. 

Also, be kind in your comments. Concustructive criticism is helpful for many but it doesn’t always come across as positive. So be careful how and when you use it and with whom. 

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BLOGS I NOMINATE:

If you want it the Award is yours! 


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Poem: Tankas – “Semi Colons in Tattoo Inked” and Thank You to my 1000 Followers!¬†


Hi happy Tuesday. Thank you! Thank you to all my 1000 followers, I appreciate you all a great deal and am so honoured to have you follow me on my writing journey. I received the badge which says 1000 followers but ashamedly, I haven’t figured out how to do a screen shot on my IPhone 6 or IPad Mini 4. But, you guys are amazing!

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The summer flu has hit, so lucky I had some posts mostly, ready to go . . .

There is an interesting trend happening concerning the use of semi-colons, that bit of punctuation our English teachers told us, we dont need to use.

Mental illness and suicide have given the semi colon new meaning. An article from the online tool Grammerly states from project semi colon’s website:

‘‚ÄúA semicolon is used when an author could‚Äôve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life . . . ‚ÄĚ’

Please see here for the Grammerly Article: Why A Semi Colon Tattoo is the Most Beautiful Tattoo.  Also you can read about Project Semi Colon here.

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http://www.upworthy.com
http://www.nymeta.co

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It’s such a little,

Mark of punctuation, 

And all difference,

Makes; those desperate choose life;

Have semicolon tattooed.

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Life washing over, 

As rolling waves, drown us deep;

Force within us break, 

Desiring pain of life stop,

New chance; life doesn’t cease.

—–

The semi-colon,

Says, the story isn’t over, 

Soul keeps on living, 

Body keeps on struggling.

Living life; there’s no period.

—–

Life isn’t a simple, 

Sentence written, controlled by us, 

Life has complexity, 

Harsh and wonderful–

Aches; but never choose end game. 

—–

Countless stop their life,

More live to see second chance.

A semi colon —

Inked; life goes on they didn’t —

Cease to be; their pages over —

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Flowed with more writing, 

Characters transforming,

They lived through darkness, 

Writing more and more, living, 

Not ending themselves. 

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Begging others please, 

Don’t chose an empty passage, 

Live until you’re —

Dying; and don’t let the page,

You’re on, become a blank space.

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Tattoo it in your arm,

On those wrists you sliced —

Or somewhere else —

Holding meaning; your story —

Starts again; breathe life and live. 

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http://www.upworthy.com

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¬©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Maydays: Poem – Free Verse – “Left Out.” #Maydays #amwriting



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Thanks to K.L. Caley from new2writing for hosting #Maydays prompts. I skipped the prompt about geeking out for now. But am going to write about today’s prompt on friendship. My view in my poem today is that even though friendship is excellent, there are times it is frustrating. 

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http://www.pinterest.com

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I know all my friends are out, 

And I’m stuck inside.

I know we’re true adults now, 

I still feel left out.

As if I wasn’t living life, 

As if I’ve missed so much to time.

Conversations and memories, 

I was never privy too.

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Maybe I’ll never grow up,

Maybe a job high up isn’t so vital.

I’m making life up as I go, 

It’s the best I can do, 

I wish sometimes you understood, 

It’s extremely difficult for me sometimes, 

Not only dealing with what life throws at you,

But trying to work through problems, 

Going through a veil, more like a brick wall —

Somedays.

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Cancer is killing my friend, 

I don’t know if she knows, 

How wonderful a friend she is to me,

And I don’t know why but she always, 

Floods the room with her beautiful light.

She has cancer and yet, 

Her energy level is much better than mine.

I don’t know how to make my best friends understand, 

They do, but sometimes, 

They don’t see anything at all.

——

Two hours in, needing to sit down and not move, 

Having eaten two pieces of cake, 

One I shouldn’t have eaten. 

Brought the hostess wine, 

Do all the right things to be a gracious guest.

But rarely, do I feel ‘in’ on all the things going on.

I don’t know that feeling anymore, 

I’m used to friends talking around me, 

My mind fading in and out.

I try to pay attention, all the hours I’m out, 

Don’t treat me as a child, like I can’t handle life.

Like I can’t handle honest words and your normal lives, 

Mental illness is a bitch and people have little thought, 

Of what you’re working past.

People may think things, 

At this point I assume my besties understand my battle, 

But maybe they don’t understand?

——

Maybe it’s still a disease people feel uncomfortable about, 

Because they’re grown up into adults with jobs.

They have kids and careers, 

They’ve the normal life.

I’m at home after years, fighting to have energy, 

Writing writing, who picks that as a career? 

But my dreams live and drive me forward.

No matter if my story is polished and presentable, 

I make myself impeccable.

Nice hair and makeup, 

Cute clothes for my size, 

Trying to be thin, like most of them, 

Pretty as them, but more width to my hips.

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Striving for someone to take interest in me, 

Not feel I’m doing nothing with my life, 

Ask questions about me and be curious, 

Just as I am curious about your life.

Don’t talk over me, 

I know you all have your own fights, 

Cancer the biggest I believe right now.

I wish because of it, you’d understand me more too.

I’m launching myself forward, 

But I must move to a slower pace.

I don’t want to lose my best friends, 

I don’t want to be the only one who feels, 

We need to stay in touch.

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An attractive guy would be nice,

A listener, a toucher, a hockey game lover.

I’d love a dog and our own condo, 

No debt, and the ability to exercise well.

All these things I want, 

With boundless energy, 

No more worry about what my friends think of my illness.

Just like them, normal.

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I want safety in his touch,

Seeking closeness with him and equality.

Connected to me, he’s not half-treating me, 

As of I’m forever a spoiled kid, 

Just because I need a ride.

Because I’m not well enough to drive.

Themes that under lie my life at times, 

Girls looking above me, raising their noses, 

Not knowing I fly in stars and midnight showers of rain.

Soaked to the bone in my imagination, 

Dipping my toes in the rain as I write, 

Sharing my gift and my faith, 

Wisdom of magic and belief.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Award: Epically Awesome Award #amwriting


Thank you to Paul of wwwpalfitness for nominating me for this award. I don’t do awards often but I keep getting brand new visitors to my blog from Paul’s nomination post. So, I should probably do the award. Thank you Paul it was very kind of you.

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Rules:

Display the Award in your post, mention your nominator, link back to them, answer 5 questions and nominate 5-10 people.

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Questions: 


1. What made you choose WP as your blogging platform?

I chose WordPress as a blogging platform because a friend on Facebook used WordPress and I read her blogs all the time, and enjoyed her blog’s appearance and content. I had dabbled with some other blogger sites before, but I like that the WordPress site had many themes to pick from and appeared professional. Learning to use it was also fool proof. My second choice of a blog site would be Tumblr but the Tumblr blog site is a bit simplistic. I do link my blog to Tumblr. My user name is: Mandibelle16 

2. Introduce yourself and tell us about your blog?

My name is Amanda or Mandi, whatever you wish to call me on here. I’ve been blogging for about four-years now. You can read about me on my About The Author Page here or on the right side of my blog I have another short About Me section from my Gravatar Profile. I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and I began my blog to improve my writing skills and share and use my blog as a platform for a mental illness I was dealing with, and am still dealing with. 

These days, I’m more interested in writing creative fiction, poetry, and a few nonfiction pieces. I finished my first draft for my novel, last week. It’s a paranormal romance called How Was Last Night For You. Yesterday, I made sure from chapter 1 on, you can link to the next chapter at the bottom of each chapter. 

I also write a lot of flash fiction and I have been experimenting and learning new poetry forms this year. Additionally, I did NaPoWriMo in April, #Maydays prompts in May, as well as I’m finishing another round of Writing 101.

3. Are you a once in a while blogger or a daily one? I have become a daily blogger since I first started taking WordPress writing and blogging courses. Those courses helped me to develop my writing and to write something at least once a day. Usually, I think I post three times a day, but every once in a while I skip a day to work on other writing. You have to plan your writing schedule, it’s vital to being a blogger. I might be missing blogging days as I get into editing my novel in second draft.

4. Do you wish to publish and if so, what type of book? Yes, I wish to publish my novel. On my own through Amazon or with a Publisher I’m not sure yet. I’m collecting information and researching this right now. I think the novel will eventually be a series of three books all of the paranormal romance genre. 

5. What is your favorite thing to do besides write? I like to be doing something with a friend or relative. Having drinks, sharing a bottle of wine, coffee, lunch, meeting at a Pub, doing some activity such as seeing a play, or going to the spa myself on a Groupon every once in a while is fun as well.

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Nominees: 

1. Sandra of What Sandra Thinks

2. Rosema of A Reading Writer

3. Rosie of Hook Up Culture.

4. Mark of Colouring Outside The Lines

5. Eric of My Sword and Shield

6. JoyRoses of Nuggets of Gold

7. NJ of NJ Says

8. Emily of Poet Girl Em

9. Kat of Like Mercury Colliding

10. Maria of Doodles and Scribbles.

11. Christopher of CLCouch123

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Please Note: I don’t know which bloggers do blog awards and which don’t. So if you’ve the time and want to do the award, by all means do. If you don’t have time, there is no pressure, you don’t have to do the award. But please know I love all of your writing ūüôā 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

A Late Night’s Tale: Memories of What Was


  
 You can let yourself be stressed out and take everything upon yourself. You can force yourself to do too much when you know that you should stop. You don’t think “me” time is needed; you think it’s a bit selfish. Then you break, you shatter. The person you become is not someone you recognize. It is you at rock bottom and you wonder if there is a method of putting yourself back together. You wonder if you can ever be whole again. Because right now you are empty. The busyiness and fast rhythm of time ticking  can never be stilled. You were never told to be careful, to slow down.

 

http://www.pinterest.com
 
You ignored the signs that things weren’t right. You thought maybe you had a bad flu or ongoing cold. You thought a trip to the medicenter would make it all better. That you could put band-aids over the ever widening crack in your persona. You thought you could hide behind laughs, smiles, and declarations that you were feeling terrific. You never said how tired you were, how you lay awake at night. How this ‘thing’ started to creep up on you until it owned you and had you shuddering and suffering, bracing for impact. Your breath was shallow, you were lost beneath the pain. You became your pain and the torture of what you had become ate at your insides so that you wouldn’t eat; you weren’t interested. You thought it would make it easier on everyone if you would fade away. You suffered. No one is able to handle suffering at first but you grew used to it. You entertained suffering in the drawing room of your mind over endless cups of tea. Your world was a dark dank prison that you couldn’t escape. You wished for light to rain on you but all you got was a few cinders of fire. You became angry, blamed God, blamed the world, blamed your parents for giving you such genes, for your existence. And when you were at the deepest and most pitifullness of your trial you saw a candle in the window of your soul and held your frost bitten hands to the flame and began to soak in the warmth.

 

http://www.pinterest.com
 
You lit more candles. You felt the heat rise through your limbs and pierce the empty places you had inside of you. You began to morph into a creature you scarce dreamed you could be. You changed, slowly, and methodically. It was a process but soon the darkness became twilight and you knew the worst was over. These were waters you could swim in now. The shore was close at hand, and landing on the beach you cried tears of joy. Your frail body was regaining strength and mobility. Your tortured mind became clear and your thoughts became peaceful and you smiled for the first time in ages. The sun came up that day, and didn’t go down. It was a special day. You had recovered yourself and found in your suffering that you were stronger then you knew. Strength was in your heart and soul. You were fortified and built up. And the next time you fell, you got back up. You didn’t let yourself get sucked down into the prison you left alive. You didn’t let your life become over run thinking there was always something you had to do and couldn’t miss. You learned to cope and learned what you were missing wasn’t as good as you thought it would be. You made choices for the better. You lived to tell your tale; others do not.

 

http://www.pinterest.com
 
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¬©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Grow


Growth is a strange thing to watch from a distance; to see your bestfriends when you were young, become ‘adult’adults.

To see the drinking binges slow to every now and then; to not order drinks with dinner because we’re trying to be healthy.

To see your friends not stuck anymore in someplace that was holding them back; to see them educate themselves for work and travel for training.

To see them couple up; to see couples years together break it off; to see some couples get married to people who actually complement them.

To see your friends have babies, one or two or three; to sit at a table where Mommy topics are debated; and staying healthy, eating fresh, organic, vegetables and meat is the score.

To have friends in high school and in university who have passed away; to wonder where they went. To hope that they went to heaven because you know no one is invincible to death. 

To have friends who suffer diseases : cancer, MS, and mental illness; depression is a common thing and so is anxiety, yet our awareness that we could have any disease at our age is covered by our blinders. 

To have had a job or two in actual grown-up jobs that pay salaries that pay the bills; that you can shop for your own food; take care of a pet; to save and move into a house. 

I watch you all growing and I’m proud that you’re grown. I just hope you keep growing and never ‘act’ old. Even though your responsible to your partner now.

 I watch from the distance and you don’t see it because I’m slower then you; but I am growing too.

I have to grow in a different way to find balance in my world. I need to grow in spirit and imagine what is possible. I pray to grow just as you do someday. 

On Mental Illness and the Latest


I feel like I am moving through life at the pace of a snail. I think of all the things everybody is accomplishing and all the events happening with the beginning of school and busier times at work and I feel frustrated that I am not a part of that world. Or, I am only part of that world to such a minute degree. I use to love that world it filled me with exhilaration and I crammed every minute of it full that I could with people and events to go to. I was at the cusp of life and beginning to accomplish things that I had always dreamed I could accomplish, when I fell ill. You all know ( or most of you know) that story and my battle with mental illness and chronic fatigue.

This battle has forced me to slow down to a great degree. I look and see everyone else so busy and aware of so much around them that I feel lost. I try to get out but it’s not the same having goals now as it is having a job. I’m constantly reminded of that by the “why are you so tired” when people arrive home after a challenging day. As if, I can help the fact that I don’t work and can’t be around people all day accomplishing something and giving back to society. It doesn’t make my time any less valid or useful. But I do try to stay involved with the world to pick up little facts here and there and be aware of what’s going on in the news and in people’s lives. I’m not always able to listen as long as I like but I try to be on the same page as other people. But it’s difficult because explaining how much rest I need or that I am worn out after a couple of hours is frustrating for me and my friends and family.

Sometimes, I just need to be alone. I crave that time when the only noise I hear is the TV or the music from my Ipad. I like the soothing atmosphere I feel when people aren’t up and about doing everything around you, and I can just read my book or write what I need to write. I have always needed this alone time even when I was well but these days I just find I need more of it.

But frustratingly, I hate this alone time as much as I need it. I want to be where things are happening, where people are talking, and I want to be involved in life, not merely an observer. And it drives me crazy how when I finally get to be around people how irritated I feel lately. Irritated because they talk and talk about themselves and although I’m glad to listen, I don’t feel I have place to talk about me or I get this feeling I shouldn’t be talking about me because then I’m just feeling sorry for myself and talking about this horrible illness we call mental illness that people shy away from and stop talking about it when it is brought up in conversation.

Some people try, I know they do, but it is difficult for someone to understand mental illness without some experience of their own whether from themselves or a loved one. I think it’s very important that people with mental illness understand that you or your life is no less important because you can’t do things that other people can do. You are not invalid because you cannot work or socialize the way you’d like to. Also, it is vital to note that an incredibly large number of people with mental illness are extremely smart and/or creative. Why this happens especially to people with those personality traits I don’t know but I think it is good to note that just because someone acts differently then you or has the challenge of mental illness does not make them dumb or talentless.

Doing things with mental illness is often like performing tasks through a veil. If you have a mental illness you always have that problem in front of your face to work around and through as you are dealing with others and going about your daily life. Everybody has this problem to some extent with their own difficulties but it is an excellent way to understand what people mental illness go through each minute of their lives. Mental illness is like carrying all the packs of mountain on a hike while everyone else gets to hike up pack free.

My own difficulties these days are because of a medication I am on called Clozapine. I was actually doing okay and the bad side effects were starting to go away when my body became use to the drug and now I can no longer go to sleep just on that drug. I need some immuvane to help me fall asleep, and I am becoming use to the immuvane really fast. The alternative is to up the Clozapine does and that is about all my alternatives. I was so frustrated at my doctor’s office the other day that I began to cry. I didn’t mean to but it’s horrible to now I will have to experience bad side effects again in order that I may sleep. For now I am not upping the dose but I will have to do it if I want to sleep. But I can’t handle the side effects and take a course in Fall and go downtown when I need to pick up stuff, drop stuff off, or schedule an exam for in the day. But it has become very important to me to get this Residential Design Certificate. It’s like then I can say, I’ve accomplished something these past seven years.

After that life is pretty much, well, whatever I want it to be. I want to get debts paid off. But I also really want to try for a creative writing masters at UBC. I was thinking about applying in the Spring when application time is. I can receive some funding as a disabilities student and I’ll get to write so that won’t be so bad. I am also deciding on whether or not I might like to try some drawing courses in the day somewhere. I am talented in art but I haven’t done it in a while. So who knows where I will go.

After, a four-year relationship the idea of dating is daunting. I always feel as if my illness is a big mark against me. Although, I know some guys won’t care, I know a lot will and it stops me from getting back into the whole dating thing especially when it comes to be able to go out at night and date. I started some online chatting but I am wondering if I just need to deal with my health and school now and if that would be a better thing, then trying to find someone I would like to date. But my friends almost all have husbands and boyfriends and I feel as if I spent to long with A. But sometime I will meet the right person I want to date again. For now, I’m just moving along trying to deal with everything else.

Thanks for reading!

To Fight or Stand and Wait: An Internal Struggle


www.uk.urbenest.com
http://www.uk.urbenest.com

Sometimes life can be a real struggle. And while we fight our own fights other people can be dealing with worse things in life. They can be fighting for their life while you are trying to climb over an obstacle in life. I always try to think about this when I am having troubles, that I am really blessed, I just have to remember to not take the things in my life for granted. After all, we only have so long in life to live, then we are no more.

Right now I think about all the people I know fighting cancer, especially one close friend and I’m in awe of how they can take the pressure and the all the treatments they have to take to get better. That’s a disease I am exceedingly grateful I don’t have and hope I or my loved one’s never have. I look at my life and think that life maybe difficult but I am not fighting to survive.

But sometimes it’s hard being me. I feel trapped, that I need to take this new medication even though it makes me feel out of it half the time, makes my stomach upset every day, and energy wise has made my standard of life worse — but I can sleep at night. That’s a really big deal. But somedays I wonder what I’m sleeping for if I go out and then come home feeling so sick I am snowed the next day. But I try to tell myself that everything is going to work out and be okay, that God does not let this happen in my life for no reason; even if I cannot see this reason. He has something bigger and better in mind for me, then everything I’ve lost due to mental illness and chronic fatigue.

I went to my Uncle Darvin’s funeral yesterday at church. I haven’t been there in awhile.

www.oxford.anglican.org
http://www.oxford.anglican.org

Ithink part of the reason I haven’t been there is because I’m angry with God that He won’t make me better. That my friends new and old, are moving on with their lives getting married and having kids. They are at a good place in their careers and I don’t even have one. I always thought things would be okay for me because I was an an adaptable person, that I could handle change and my personality fit in well with most anybody. But now I am not sure what my purpose is in life? I didn’t even know I was angry at God until I was talking to a psychologist and started crying when she asked me if I still think God is punishing me. I don’t think he is but it really made me think. I have no right to be angry at God — ¬†it is the fact that their is sin in this world from Adam and Eve (original sin) that their is disease and a whole lot of awful diseases, events, and people that exist. We are born into sin, just as I am genetically predisposed to have a sensitivity to depression or affective disorders.

But I question why God allows these bad things to happen when he has the power to stop them? Maybe, we are being tested? Maybe, God is teaching us to be faithful to Him and to pay less attention to the world? Maybe, we are meant to bring others to faith through illness? Maybe, God is teaching us to love Him through our suffering? He tells us three-hundred and sixty-seven times in the Bible to not be afraid. But I’m afraid of living my life like this when I cannot fully take care of myself, cooking meals when I need to, going to places I need to go, affording to take care of myself, and having my own life which I can develope relationships with new people. I guess that is why you just take life one day at a time. Because if you looked at the whole picture it might terrify you.

Cima_da_Conegliano,_God_the_FatherBut I was glad to be in church yesterday. There was a lot of people I grew up with there that it was good to see. But it made me realize that a lot of these people are growing old and won’t be around forever. So, I need to make a better effort to visit them, even if I am not feeling up to it. It felt familiar to sing hymns and it was good to say goodbye to Uncle Darvin and hear about his life.

I have always thought God made me fighter. Gave me strength to get through the things I need to get through. But sometimes I wonder if he wants us to fight or if as the Bible says he will fight for us, “we need only be still.” One of my favorite songs is called “Be Still.” I have shared and talked about it on this blog several times, its by The Fray. The lead singer the in song maybe talking to his girlfriend or friend but I think, or like to believe, that He is singing the voice of God, telling us to ” remember hard the words [he] said, be still, be still, and know” that he is here for us.

https://youtu.be/Vtp-p7qFI2I¬†(See my Blog For “Be Still” music video)

Another thought on the subject is the last line of the poem “On His Blindness” by John Milton a favourite poet. John Milton was a writer most famous for Paradise Lost¬†and later in life became blind. He got his daughters to write for him at that point. But he questioned God (he was a Christian) and why God would let this happen. He writes ” [a]nd that one talent which is death to hide / [l]odg’d with me useless . . . (1-2)”. And I kind of feel like him sometimes. At home with my writing and english language skills, how I am serving God and humanity with my talents when I cannot not concentrate long and get a job where I can use these skills or do any volunteer work that uses my talents. But in his poem, Milton comes to an answer about our talents and what God needs of us. He writes in lines ten to fourteen: ”

‘God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.’ “

www.biography.com
http://www.biography.com

It’s something to think about that God does not require us to be useful as the world does. “They also serve who only stand and wait.” (14) Like servants waiting for a King those who simply¬†wait to serve God, and never seem useful in life, they also serve God, they are useful to Him.

I think that clears my mind a bit and gives you some insight into my life lately. I know not everybody believes in God or my God but I hope you find it enlightening despite that. Or maybe you will find it helpful, I hope you do. Here is the full poem by John Milton:

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Automatic – Hey Whatever Happened to. . .


” . . . It all just seems so good the way we had it back before everything became Automatic…” – Miranda Lambert

HealthSometimes life speeds up and sometimes life slow downs. I feel as if this summer has sped on by and I haven’t had the chance to enjoy it. I have spent a great deal of time sleeping and in bed and the situation has not become better until this last week when thinking back to when my health began to slide down hill I remembered we lowered one of my medications. Once I began to increase that medication I have become much¬†healthier. I look better and feel better and even though I’m not ¬†good enough to go to a class at night or study for a few hours everyday I feel hopeful for once that I can go back to that point. In short, I feel better now, I feel like I can do activities again and I don’t need to sleep for more than an hour or so in the day.

But I was thinking about this song ¬†Automatic by Miranda Lambert, it’s one of my favorite songs lately, and I thought that she makes a sewing machine oldstrong point. Where would we be without all our technology? Was life better when we could just take time to¬†do an activity instead of having technology making it easy to do in seconds?

If you were to ask my Mom who is a quilter I’m sure she would say that the new sewing machines are better and easier to use then the old sewing machines that her Grandma used or even the sewing machines they had in 70’s when she was sewing her own clothes. And I have to say I most definitively like a Smart Phone over the flip phones or original bulky cell phones that some of my friend’s parents had in the 90’s.and early 2000’s. I think it’s so easy that I can go on the internet, that google maps can show me where to go to get somewhere from where ever I am, that all my music is on my phone, that I can have my own phone and # and have that privacy and that I can take notes on my tablet; ¬†I can bring my phone or tablet where ever I go.

iphone_5s_6_grassI understand Miranda Lambert’s view because many times I see people walking and not looking where there going, talking or looking on their Smart Phone. And it seems ¬†like even though we have computers and all this technology we are having worse effects on the environment. For instance, a paperless office was once surmised to exist one day and we are only using more paper then ever.

Additionally, I think that sometimes the ability to order anything you like on the internet and have it sent ¬†to your house in 2 days is not necessarily a great thing. It’s a way I got into debt myself in the past and I think sometimes it’s too easy to buy something because we don’t think about whether we need or would actually wear or use the items we buy. Also, sometimes we spend as much money as we save returning items we bought on the internet.

And doesn’t it seem that this new technology seems to break down more than old technology ¬†– photocopiers, computers, phones, appliances, and even cars. We have things that are “automatic” but what is the good if these items are not quality. My parents first fridge lasted them 30 years, now the appliance companies are aiming to make stoves that are no longer working in 10 years. Isn’t this wasteful?

But I think there is another meaning to the song¬†Automatic. I think “automatic” is a way we live our lives, an attitude. Like are bored womantechnology that has gone automatic we are acting in away that is automatic. We don’t think about what we say to other people. We are too caught up in our technology and the other parts of our life.

We don’t even bother to talk to each other in the same household sometimes we just send a text. We act the way that the media tells us — books, movies, video games — we are sometimes lacking originality and thoughtfulness. For example, maybe we think that champagne and roses is the right way to propose to our partner but we don’t consider what our partner would in their own mind find romantic, maybe we don’t get to know them well enough or talk about the situation enough first.

We give gift cards which may¬†be nice, instead of being thoughtful about a gift, It is as if these things have become ingrained in us and become automatic. We hold stereotypes that the media personifies, maybe about people with certain illnesses like AID’s or mental illnesses and people of certain nationalities. I think the song¬†Automatic¬†talks about a way of thinking and acting towards one another just as much as it talks about our technology.

hospitalOne good example I see lately of things having gone automatic¬†is healthcare in Canada. Should it become automatic for us to wait 14 to whatever hours in an emergency room when we really need to go to the hospital? Some people need help now and you are just making their illness worse by making them wait. Some people for instance aren’t able to wait that long in a waiting room, they are too sick and too frail.

There has to be a way that we spend more money on healthcare, so that there are more hospital beds for people and more doctors and nurses to take care of them. Should it be automatic that a person that it so depressed they are going to kill themselves has to wait to get into the psyche ward? Or a person who needs a kidney replaced has to wait forever until they are near death to get a kidney replacement?

These are just thoughts; this is something I have seen on the News lately. And it disgusts me. And I really think it has become automatic to act certain ways in the healthcare system just as we act automatic towards one another and with our technology. This is something I see in the overworked hospital staff, in emergency workers, in a government we elected that doesn’t seem to care enough. What do you think?

As for my health, I’m glad that I never had to go to the hospital because who knows if I would have made it¬† in? I’m glad I can deal with my illness from my home. and I hope that you can live your lives better than in an automatic mode.

All That I’ve Gained


www.clarionenterprises.com
http://www.clarionenterprises.com

Yesterday’s blog was kind of difficult for me. To admit to the world all my flaws and inabilities as a 28-year-old adult wasn’t easy but last night I was thinking. I thought that mental illness is often talked about so negatively. Often, I and others only talk about the bad experiences we have because of our sickness but you don’t stop living once you get sick. Life becomes harder but you soldier on and get through the tough times and a great number of good things happen between all the difficulties you have to face in life, just as it is for people who are mentally healthy. So today I wanted to share with you the good experiences that have occurred for me since becoming part of the mentally ill, maybe only because I had this health issue.

1. Awareness of Mental Illness – I have become aware of what it is like to be a person with mental illness. Through my experiences I am able to share what it is like with other people what it is to have a mood disorder. This generates sometimes an intense amount of discussion on websites such as Facebook and sometimes in the comment sections of my blogs. I am able to empathize with people who go through mental illness and other illnesses, especially with people who have experiences such as mine. I have also spent a lot of time on the internet researching the symptoms and medications associated with different mental illnesses and learned a lot of facts about those aspects of mental illness. There a lot of things that are common across mental illnesses but there are also certain things that are different. Sometimes, however, it is thought the same pills will help different sicknesses and this is not always the case.

There is also often a misrepresentation of how most mentally ill people are in real life and how they are shown in movies. A movie that was great at showing the truth about mentally ill people was¬†Silver Lining’s Play Book¬†with the gorgeous Bradley Cooper and beautiful Jennifer Lawrence. ¬†But movies that often make it difficult to be a person with mental illness because of how others perceive mentally ill people after watching them are movies such as¬†Shutter Island¬†with Leonardo DiCaprio and¬†Girl¬†Interrupted. That is not to say that cases such as those in the movies do not occur, it’s just that they are the extreme version or a worse scenario of what mentally ill people are truly like.

www.en.wikipedia.org
http://www.en.wikipedia.org

2. I Learned not to be Shy – Sometimes I am quite because I am fatigued or tired and that is often the case, but when I do have energy I have found I am very good at obtaining information about others and what they are experiencing in life. Plus, I am not afraid just to talk to a stranger often anymore. I used to be so shy or assume people were just a bother but now even some weirdo who is hitting on me or some people who others might consider an unsavory character such as homeless person I don’t mind talking to for a few minutes. I just realized that by being shy I was missing out on so much and as hard as it is for me to talk sometimes it’s even harder for other people to talk, especially cute guys and potential friends.

Additionally, somebody who has anxiety or who most people will ignore and not talk to often need to be heard the most and have a lot to say. Just because a stranger is talking to you doesn’t mean they are out to get you are being creepy (some are but not most). Most people just need someone to listen to them and to care about their life. People can be so intrinsically focused that they often forget everyone is experiencing their own personal battles or have their own unique stories and life experiences to share.

3. A Serious Boyfriend and More Great Friends – It has been said that when you are going into a new group of people you should have a gimmick or something that makes you memorable to other people. The fact that I am on disability, write for women’s magazine, and can only take one class a semester, well that makes for great conversation. I start sharing the details of my life and other people are soon ready to share about their lives and I have made some excellent friends this way. Sometimes I’d rather not talk about what my life is actually like but sometimes talking leads to meeting amazing people. After all, a person who does not go to work everyday, cannot be involved in many volunteer activities, and/or fitness activities anymore, needs to learn how to make friends somehow.

So I talk to friends of friends more, talk to random people more, and when it came to wanting to get out their and meet a boyfriend, I even went online to POF and found my wonderful Azdine. And best of all Azdine liked me even though I was sick and is really tolerant and understanding of my illness. He told me in his religion people who are sick are blessed. I doubt he remembers that now but it was a good pick-up line. We have gone out over 1 year and 6 months and we have our ups and downs. At heart, we are homebodies but we get along famously together.20130916-093053.jpg

4. A Closer Relationship to God – When I was first sick, I hallucinated during my psychotic episode that I was in Hell at the Hospital. I dreamed that my parents would be taken away from me eventually because you aren’t allowed to have parents in Hell. I thought the nurses in the hospital were really going to hurt me, and I desperately wanted to not hear voices. I wanted to be able to trust what I heard come out of people’s mouths. I thought God had forgotten me, that I was separated from him eternally and that things would only get worse. Then slowly, as medication began to take effect and I came out of my psychotic episode I remembered the¬†Footsteps¬†poem which states that when we think God is nowhere to be found, he is really carrying us through the bad times in our life.

Later, I realized God was trying to bring me back to Him, closer to Him. You see in my life I hadn’t really been concerned with God as a priority. I cared about drinking and hanging with my friends and I was afraid to share God with the people in my life. Slowly, as I got better I got to the point where I could mention my beliefs to people and not be ashamed to be a Christian. I learned to cast all my worries on God and that through Him I would always be supported because He is so much stronger than any problem I might have. God is the light in the darkest of times, a lamp guiding my feet when I do not know what direction to turn. I may not know exactly where to go or what to do when I face hard times in my life but I know a footstep in front of me and that is all I need.

5. A Closer Relationship With my Family – I never realized how desperately I needed my parents until they tried to leave me at the hospital after the first horrible week I spent there. I hated the Psych Ward and I hated being stuck there and I looked forward to seeing my Mom and my Dad every day for the few hours they would spend with me at night in the hospital. Since then, even though it is tough to live at home I have realized what a blessing my parents and my family are in my life. I did not see my brothers for 3 weeks in hospital and that was a long time, I actually missed them! And when my little brother moved out, he always made and makes time to visit the house or we go and do things together such as see movies, go to the art gallery, and go shopping (etc).

I also realized how important the elderly people in my life were, how their story connected to my story in this life. My Grandma, for instance, I began to talk to earnestly and make an effort to make conversation with her and let her talk about herself. I developed an adult relationship with her. I also stopped saying I would visit, and actually started visiting my God Parent’s mother, my Grandma Reeder, Evelyn.

www.chinese.fluentu.com
http://www.chinese.fluentu.com

Evelyn cooks so much food when I go over there, I always try to bring someone with me so she doesn’t make me eat it all. Her desserts especially are amazing such as uncooked blueberry pie with mounds of whipped cream and home-made trifle. She has so much to say and has experienced so much tragedy in her life. Yet Evelyn has this amazing outlook on how she deals with at life, with much conversation and a smile on her face and Evelyn is in her mid 90’s.

Other people such as my God Parent’s saw how bad I really was when I was sick and I always feel like when I go over to their house I am in my second home. They lost a daughter to depression while I was dealing with my depression. She was in her late 30’s and had just gotten married. She was my family too, when I was first sick she came and talked to me and told me to focus on 3 things in my life to not get so worried about life and just take it day by day, something my mom also tells me to do.

So, it seems as if we lose a lot when we become sick with mental illnesses but it is also important for us all, those who suffer and those who hear our stories, to understand we are many of us still extremely blessed despite our sickness.