Interview With Jasminder Bains


Welcome to another biweekly interview on Mandibelle16. I’m hoping where ever you are the weather is nice and spring is on its way or summer isn’t too hot. This week I interviewed the impressive and talented writer Jasminder Bains from the United States. You can check out her blog here: Confessions Of A Reborn Girl


interview-jasminder
Credit: Jasminder Bains

1. Hi Jasminder. Please Tell Us About Yourself? 

Where to begin…I live to write because it’s my form of therapy and I love weaving words into stories. I’m a full-time dream chaser with a knack for crafting things and philosophizing and overthinking when I can.

I’m two years clean and keeping it that way. Psychology fascinates me; hence, I’m majoring in it. You’ll find there is a lot of psychology based posts on my blog. I love to sing and dance to KPOP when nobody’s around, or at least when I think nobody’s around. I had to run up three flights of stairs because I got caught once.

Also, I’m obsessed with green tea and I like to meditate because it clears my mind. I prefer video games and Doc Martens to dresses ( I only own one dress) and makeup. The only makeup I wear is eyeliner and it’s about as good as my sense of direction. I get lost even with a GPS to help me find my way. I’m an aggressive middle-class minimalist who pillages anything I can get my hands on; this is why I have a ring of rocks sitting on my dresser.

I have moments where I’m incredibly with the times and others I’m not. I set up a Twitter account recently. I have no idea what half the buttons mean. But I can give you Excel pointers and talk about ‘markdown formatting;’ I can’t tell you much about Facebook.


2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging? What Does Writing and Blogging Mean To You? What motivates and inspires you?

I started blogging last July, but I’ve been writing since I was in fifth grade. Poetry and blogging are how I vent as well as defeat stereotypes. I write because I want to heal other people and because I love doing it.

I find inspiration from my life because I’m an avid people-watcher and I overthink everything. I find new material is as simple as walking into the middle of a cafeteria and sitting down. I learned so much about human interaction by doing this. I make time for writing whenever I can.


“I live to write because it’s my form of therapy and I love weaving words into stories. I’m a full-time dream chaser with a knack for crafting things and philosophizing and overthinking when I can.” – Jasminder Bains


3. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Any Future Projects You Have In Mind?

I’m planning on participating in the 2017 Kindness Challenge! The link to sign up is here if you’re interested. I’m also hosting my own blogging challenge, it’s called the ‘Boundless Challenge.’ The premise of the challenge is to share a #boundlessmoment from the past week where you did something that you thought you weren’t actually capable of doing.

I started the challenge not too long ago so it’s relatively new. My goal is to inspire people through this prompt. Maybe they will believe they are capable of doing much more than they think they can do. Check out the sixth #boudlessmoment challenge on my blog HERE.


4. Can You Tell Us More About Your Blog and Why You Started Blogging?

When I founded @Confessions (Confessions Of A Reborn Girl) I had one goal and one goal alone: to teach others about human potential. Too many times I’ve heard stories of people who gave up on their dreams because they didn’t think they had it in them or someone discouraged them from their path. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and that nobody can tell you otherwise.


“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker


That being said, [my blog] would qualify as a lifestyle blog, though I focus more on mentality and mindset rather than fashion or food. My blog categories are different takes on that ‘boundless lifestyle’ if you will.

Life, as the catagory name states, revolves around my everyday thoughts and experiences. [As I noted above] you can also find my own blogging challenge, the Boundless Challenge, which is devoted to inspiring the WordPress community to achieve their full potential. At the end of each week, I share #boundlessmoments of my own and from across the internet. . . Who knows? Maybe next week you’ll be featured!

Writer’s Corner is [a segment on my blog] where I analyze social norms and American culture along with occasional philosophizing. DIY is exactly as the name states. I have this category because crafting opened up my thinking in a way nothing else could. I believe that it can do the same for you. [Lastly, my] meditation journal [catagory] stems from my adoration for — well — meditation. [Since I] over-think, meditation is the perfect counter to my habit and it helps me analyze my emotions and inner conflict. 


“Too many times, I’ve heard stories of people who gave up on their dreams because they just didn’t think they had it in them or someone discouraged them from their path. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and that nobody can tell you otherwise” – Jasminder Bains


5. How Does Your Blog Tie-In With Your Stance on Mental Health?

I continue to challenge the stigmas and negative stereotypes surrounding the field of mental health. There’s so much more to psychology than depression or schizophrenia or bipolar disease; [these are] only a small branch of [what is called] abnormal psychology. In order to understand the abnormal, we must first understand the normal.

I hope that by being open about my own experiences with mental health challenges and triumphs, I can give others the strength to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day, month, or year. There’s nothing wrong with having things that keep you up at night. There’s nothing wrong with being broken.


6. Do You Have Any Other Projects On The Go? What Is Your Writing Process Like? Do You Have Any Genres of Writing or Reading that You Prefer?

I’m planning on writing a fiction book called Project Rebirth. I’ve no details other than that because I hardly know what the book is about myself. 😛 For me, writing is painful.Writing is life. WHAT WAS I THINKING WRITING THAT?!! Editing is painful. Editing is life. Rinse and repeat.

Fantasy is my FAVORITE genre. None of this 21st-century teen smut fantasy romance. I mean classy fantasy like Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series or Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling or The Ranger’s Apprentice booksI prefer these types of books so much more than teen romance novels. 


“I hope that by being open about my own experiences with mental health challenges and triumphs, I can give others the strength to do the same. There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day, month, or year. There’s nothing wrong with having things that keep you up at night. There’s nothing wrong with being broken.” Jasminder Bains


7. Do You Have Any Helpful Tips for Other Writers? Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Share Pertinent to this Interview?

Keep writing. It’s the only way you get better (and shameless). Also, I want to fight the negative stigmas and stereotypes around mental health because it’s vastly misunderstood and generalized which is dangerous for everyone.


8. What Are Your Three Favorite Blogs You Follow Of Any Kind?


interivew-live-boundless
Credit: Jasminder Bain

9. Can You Please Share With Us Some Pieces from Your Blog?

“Pain”

By Jasminder Bains

August 26, 2016

*****

What’s this? My insides feel like they’re tearing apart. 

Something’s wrong, I should take some medication.

Something’s wrong, it’s 3 A.M. and I’m awake again. Did I ever fall asleep? I feel like I’m dying. 

I’m frozen, I feel like screaming, is this really real?

Maybe this is the dream I have to wake up from, I don’t remember falling asleep so maybe I never woke up. 

Something’s wrong, it’s 4 A.M. and I’m still here. I should just close my eyes, I wouldn’t be able to sleep if it was appendicitis….would I?  

Something’s wrong, it’s only 7 A.M. and I’m already awake. No, mum, don’t leave for work just yet. There’s a patient lying here in bed who needs to be seen.

Mum is gone. My brother needs my phone for school. It’s low on battery because I stared blankly at music videos and funny vines for half the night unable to react thanks to the burning sensation in my stomach.

Dad wants to know what’s going on so I spill my guts on him. It’s time to try another medication, stay hydrated, and ride things out.

Mum says book an appointment if it doesn’t get better. I wonder if it will get better.

I’m a statue, unmoving and emotionless. I thought today was yesterday. Guess my brain didn’t register that I ever went to sleep.

Should I feel crooked that this pain is now who I am? I don’t want to do anything let alone go the hospital. It could be nothing. Just like me.

Dad wants me to make him lunch if I’m able. Fine. The pain is mostly gone and I can wait 10 minutes to pass out.

There are two types of naps: the kind that make you feel worse than before, but you know you had no choice, and the kind that make you feel energized. Mine was the latter. Maybe it’s because I slept two hours instead of 20 minutes. Oh well. At least the pain’s almost gone.

All I’ve had to eat today is half a bagel and a tin of Chobani yogurt. I should eat something else. A salad sounds divine only I’m not sure if I’m strong enough to eat the croutons and leaves yet. Only one way to find out. Verdict: I can chew a crouton. I can’t chew a spinach leaf. I’ll just have a burrito.

Something’s wrong, it’s been 18 hours since I laid awake in bed screaming in my head and I’m doing it again. Except this time in a chair with a plate of food in front of me. Forget it. I’m not eating if it’s gonna sting this bad. Time to take some more medication. 

I don’t want to be a physical embodiment of pain, I want my life back. I want to feel joy again, I want to listen to music that lifts me up again, I want to write a blog post ahead of time again, I want to have faith again, I want to feel healthy again, I want to have both feet planted firmly on the ground again, I want to be me again.

~Live Boundless.

*****


Here are Some Additional Posts By Jasminder: 


Thank You Jasminder for sharing so much about yourself and your blogging. You’re an incredibly inspiring and motivational thinker and writer. 

If you would like to be interviewed for my biweekly interview series, please contact me HERE on my Contact Page. Once more here is the link to Jasminder’s BlogConfessions Of A Reborn Girl.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

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Tough Decisions


Even More Meds

A tough decision – something a lot of us have to make one time or another. Now I hate to talk about my experiences with depression a lot; I do not want that to be the only example through which I can relate to you on a lot of issues; however, in this instance, well my life now is what it is and having a depressive episode a major one, has challenged me to make a lot of hard decisions.

Before, my episode I was utterly clueless to the ways mental illness actually affected someone with the exception of my Baba who is a paranoid schizophrenic. But the thing is, there are many types of schizophrenics, many different types of anxieties, and depressions and each illness experience, although perhaps sharing some similar symptoms. is unique to each person. Have you ever thought about that, how does it actually feel on the inside to be mentally ill? The other concept I did not understand was how ‘physical’ depression can actually be. Your body can literally, be “physically” depressed and not just your emotions. Your mind can be physically depressed – which means you man not even feel sad but physically your brain is still affected by the depression. My episode was three years back, but I continue to be especially physically affected by it both in my energy levels and ability to concentrate and have mental endurance to do activities for long periods of time.

My struggle to live a normal life with depression has lead me through a sizeable amount of prescription drugs. Sleeping pills because I cannot sleep on my own anymore, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and stimulants. Each drug I have tried with the exception of the ones I perhaps, had to go on when I was first very ill, have been tough decisions. Now you make think a little pill, well, is just a pill but it is not. Ever watch those prescription drug commercials on TV and ever notice the wide range of side effects each drug has? Those are the tough decisions when you are taking a medication, do the benefits of this drug out weigh the bad side effects? Now each drug I have continued to use I have continued to use on the basis that when I started to use it I felt somehow better. I do not always know exactly what that ‘better’ is but something just clicks, starts to feel better so I continue to take the drug because it helps. Nonetheless, I have tried many medications that have not worked for me. I found that doctors and nurses cannot tell you exactly how a drug will affect you, truth be told, they do not know, particularly, in psychiatry I think but maybe it is that way with medication and physical illnesses such as cancer as well. So some drugs make you extremely sick. And although I may be encouraged to continue to try a drug that makes me feel awful, where life and death are not concerned, I do not believe it is worth it to keep taking that drug. When medication is doing you more harm then good, physically and mentally making you sicker, giving you bad side effects, and not showing you that glimmer of improvement that you would like to see, I believe that drug is not for me. Now I do not want people not to take their medications because sometimes the truth is, you do need a drug even though it makes you ill, but for me, in this case, drugs that make me feel really sick even if it has only been a couple of days, are not the medications for me.

Such was my experience with Clozapine this last weekend. I have never felt so sick, not even from a bad flu, as this drug made me feel. After, two days I was done with it. Clozapine is supposed to be  a ‘last resort’ antipsychotic and it was for me to. Typically, it may be used for schizophrenia but also in cases of depression or where a psychotic episode has occurred.  It was a difficult decision going on this drug – blood tests every week for the first 6 months and less often( for a longer period), a very good chance of large weight gain, and increased chance of diabetes,  extreme tiredness, possible immunity disorder (hence the blood tests weekly), and other conditions having to do with the heart etc. The thing was though that, I had never tried this drug so it was a good option to try and Clozapine actually heals the brain a little bit every year, one of the only drugs in psychiatry to do so. Also, Clozapine causes you to sleep without the use of sleeping pills.  For some people this is the ‘magic’ pill, for me it was not. I am comfortable with that decision especially given what that means.

I have gone through so many medications that I am told by my doctor she does not know what to do to help me medication wise after this. I can function half normally on my current medications but not enough to work, to go to school full time. And suddenly, I am okay with that. I do not have a choice and I am fine. Someone somewhere may come up with a drug that may aid me in the future, but now I am at the limits of my doctor. And like a big weight off my shoulders when I decided I had enough with the Clozapine, I was okay with that. At least I can be stable, where I am at now. I know what I can expect this summer, in terms of what I can and cannot do. I still face many challenges such as my insomnia, and an energy decrease in winter months by a degree, but I know what to expect. And this brings me peace.

Tough decisions, its hard to tell yourself you are okay with having a limited life, but it is also foolish to limit yourself. Many people suffer through many illnesses and bad times, and go on to do great things. Rather, than accepting my limits completely, I am learning to work around them to the best of my abilities and that is all any one could ask of me. I am blessed by God in the place I am at in life. It was not where I thought I would be, but I am okay with that. How about you? Are you okay where you are at in life? What tough decisions have you had to make?