I am also open to new ideas-always. Mine is a lifestyle blog, so I write on a wide range of topics although I favor wellness and quality of life subjects. I need some variety and fresh perspective! Please email me at email@example.com or message me on social media. I am on Twitter @AndreaWrites137 and this is the best way to contact me since I am on there a lot.
To Let Me Write a Guest Post For You
I may be asking too much, but honestly, I need the backlinks and exposure. I have writing samples to send or you could just take a look around my blog and see if I would be a good fit for you. I am capable of writing in different styles too, so don’t think the tone of my blog is the only card in my hand. I cannot pay any money for these services, but I am willing to trade post for post if you’re down for that!
I have a lot of topic ideas, such as:
Increasing confidence and self-efficacy
Symbols that speak to me and how I integrate them into my life
How meditation is helpful
Showing love to others
Life with autism
How to write better
Homelessness and its societal affects
…And so many more! Plus, I would be honored to write on a topic that YOU want. I can even write more than one for you if you desire. I work on building my writing carer for at least 10-12 hours per day and this is part of it so I have lots of time. I genuinely appreciate your consideration. Thank you!
Hellooo again my beloved readers! In honor of World Mental Health Day, I have decided not only to post twice today but also to share my own experience will mental illness. What? Me, mentally ill? No freakin’ way, right! It’s true. I’m a bit touched in the head. And although I may make light of it at times, it has really done a lot to cripple my growth, development, social skills, and all around functioning in life, as it does for most who are affected by a pathology. I know I am not alone, and neither are you. So let’s dive right in and give it up for awareness day!
Over the years I’ve sustained many different diagnoses and overly much medication trial and error. Before I go on, I need to point out that it is possible for every provider you see to diagnose you with a different disorder. After all, a diagnosis is little more than an educated guess. In fact, nearly every type of doctor I have seen since I was 14 has had their own opinion. That’s why we call it a “practice”. It all started with the diagnosis of depression when I was 14 years old. Wait! Not really. My problems were identified and treatment started late. I have been trying to hurt myself and having occasional hallucinations since I was about 8 years old as far as I remember. But after a while it was decided that I had something much more sinister and insidious going on in my head. As I transitioned into my twenties I started to hear voices and see things that were not actually there. Did you know this doesn’t automatically make you schizophrenic, as one of my prenatal doctors once assumed (seriously, if you are not educated in the field do not attempt to diagnose anyone, Ms. bitchy vagina doctor!)? It can happen when your depression is reeeeally bad , as mine has been through most of my life. Hallucinations and voices and things usually start to really manifest in a woman’s early 20s, as mine did.
So it was not just depression. I literally could not function in reality anymore without being heavily medicated, and then, only just barely. Nearly everything was a hallucination. I had no friends, could not feed and bathe myself on a regular basis, and did things like running down the street to the library in the middle of the night with a blade to my throat (seriously). It was also said that I would often speak in actual different voices and with out of character attitudes. So my providers brought a bit of sophistication to my diagnosis. For a while it was major depressive disorder, recurrent, severe, with psychotic features. What a mouthful. I was on antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, tranquilizers, and heavy antipsychotics at that point. Lots of anti. Anyway, that diagnosis only stuck for about a year.
When she realized I was actually getting worse instead of better, my psychiatrist decided it was time to move on and dig deeper. Then a stroke of genius befell her. She came to the conclusion that I actually had DID, or Dissociative Identity Disorder. This is just a fancy, newer way of saying multiple personalities. Interesting, right? The thing about this disorder is that it is truly rare, and often characterized by losing chunks of time, mood swings, depression, sleep disorders, and suicidal tendencies; it definitely seemed to fit. But was it an accurate diagnosis? To this day I do not know. It sure made a lot of sense, if that’s what I mean. Medication was continued and switched around, increased, and stopped. I had so many different kinds of pills running through me at any given time that I lost track of what I was taking and my now ex-girlfriend stepped in to take care of it. I was a pro at refusing my meds. Of course, my voices told me that they were poison and belonged in the gutter-especially the antipsychotics. I would often compromise by stubbornly insisting that I either take 42 pills at once, or zero. This, of course, was not the right answer.
Now at the age of 40, I live in Boise, Idaho and my diagnosis is different. I skipped a lot of time there, huh? But let’s just stick to the highlights. Now I am saddled with the label of “Bipolar One Disorder With Psychotic Features”. I’m fine with it. I am more at ease and at least there is not so much speculation and experimentation going on anymore. I am still medicated and my life is still under constant disruption, but I am better able to handle it now. I still can’t hold a steady job or make friends, but whatever-I guess. They found that if I don’t receive it in injection form, I simply won’t take my antipsychotics. Which reminds me, I am about ten days late for receiving my shot. Oops. Now you may be asking yourself, “So what does this all boil down to… how has impacted your life, for real?” Well, darlings, I will tell you.
Living with a mental illness is not easy, especially if it is severe, like mine. I will never be able to work consistently without winding up in a hospital. I will never be able to make friends organically. I will never be alone, as my voices and hallucinations are always right there. I will never be able to take care of my home, my son, or myself without heavy medication which means that if I lose my health insurance (likely, at some point in the future) I am screwed. I could lose it all just because of my stupid head. I will never know what it feels like to be “normal”. I will never be able to relate to others on a functional, typical level. I will always need my family around (bummer-they’re all busy dying right now). Plus, I never marry again, because it takes someone truly special to put up with and assist in symptoms like mine and I have never met anyone that special. I can’t even manage the girlfriend role properly. I will always rely on doctored-up, rigged, and most times unhealthy ways of making it through each day (this is why I write). I will never truly know if what I experience is reality or not. I will always hold skewed and misguided beliefs about the world and about myself (did you know I am not human, but rather an angel of destruction sent here to wipe out humanity?) Yeah. I truly believe this, and I know it is not normal. Now this sounds like a bunch of negative affirmations, doesn’t it? But I would challenge that thought. After 30+ years of dealing with my own bullshit, I can tell you that these are simple truths, not self-fulfilling prophecies. I have an education-I am not fooling myself or you here. I’m not stupid, just crazy.
So, that’s a glimpse into my life and times with mental illness. I know it was long, but you survived, and are hopefully more aware because of it. I really do love life. I’m not going to kill myself or anything. I appreciate what I have and who I love and I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s, although I may feel that was occasionally. As long as I can keep doing what makes me happy, I will be fine. And you, my sweetlings, help to keep me fine. Feel free to comment below or email me with any questions or conversations that might pop up, I would LOVE to hear from you. Til next time. I’m out.
Since I am a generous witchy-poo and I wish to give back to my readers in the spirit of Halloween, I am holding a spooky giveaway for this month. I will be giving a free tarot reading to my most engaging follower this month (yes I am qualified to do this). By engaging I mean the reader with the most comments/likes/reblogs/shares. The contest will run until October 29th. I will get your reading to you by October 31st. Here are the rules: you need to be an actual follower on my WordPress site. That’s it (but I need your email)! Yes, I am good, no you will not be disappointed, and sure-let’s talk about it! If this goes well, I will be holding more giveaways in the future. Let’s make it a success, my third eye is dying to open for you! Til next time lovelies!
Hello beauties! Thanks for coming again. This is a topic dear to my heart and I have to thank my amazing father, licensed counselor extraordinaire, wonderful human, and all around awesome dad, David Rice. He has taught me many things, but these are ten of those that stick out the most in my mind, and I’m saving the best for last. So without any more chatter I would like to present to you The List. So let’s go!
One: Education Is Important
It is-no matter what your teenager thinks. Oh, how my dad tried to pound this into the head of his wee soon-to-be high school dropout (me). Of course I didn’t listen, and dropped out of high school only to move on to bigger and better things like hanging out at the mall, getting drunk, and smoking weed. Well, those last two came before I dropped out, but you get the point. Soon I was living happily under my local bridge and not too much later I wound up on the west coast marrying basically a stranger at the age of (Ohmygodpleaseno! Go back in time… back in timeI say!!) eighteen. Now, I am not saying that these things happened because I dropped out of school. But the not giving a s*#t that I had been experiencing for a few years beforehand was totally solidified by the act of giving up. In fact, I didn’t give a s@*t for a long time after that. Even when I birthed my first child at the age of nineteen, my happiness was a lie. I finally realized in my 30’s just how nowhere I was getting without an education. I then enrolled in University of Phoenix and studied my ass off, holding a solid 3.97 GPA throughout my courses.
Two: Do The Right Thing Regardless of Who’s Watching
This, my friends, could be the definition of integrity. Now, I’m a moral relativist to the core, but the “right” thing in my mind usually aligns with the majority. And to do what is right without anyone watching is something extra special. Often, us selfish humans only do this if we are being watched, or if we figure we will get something out of it. You know I subscribe to evolutionary theory. There is no such thing as altruism-fight me. But doing what’s “right” every day in one way or another keeps me feeling good about myself and gives my guilt response a reason to shut the hell up.
Three: Stand For What You Believe In
And I do. Staunchly. To wuss out and compromise my belief system is just not in my nature. Dad taught me open defiance in the face of oppression, and I am so grateful for that. I am a Taurus after all-wink! Thank you father for teaching me to have a firm foundation.That being said, what I believe is that it is perfectly okay-good, actually-to regularly evaluate our beliefs and change those that do not serve us or exhibit logic in any way. A belief system based on evidence is much preferable to me than one based on spoken word and scripture. I stand firm on that.
Four: It Doesn’t Matter …
…What anyone thinks about me other than me. Man, this one took SO long to learn. But I think this may be true for a lot of younger people. For a good chunk of my life, I really cared what other people thought about me. I let it give me anxiety and keep me from enjoying life. Blech! My dad spoke the words when I was probably about nine or ten, but it didn’t sink in until much later. Other peoples’ opinions simply don’t matter. They have no bearing on my life. Unless it’s an employer or a spouse, who cares? It’s not like that snarky teenager over there is going to determine whether or not the sun rises tomorrow. Or that judgmental coworker is going to say whether or not my kids love me. You see, it just isn’t worth it, worrying about other peoples’ thoughts and responses to moi. It takes up way too much time and energy and I’ve got way better things to do. Plus, I like myself a lot- I’m a fun girl!
Five: Honesty Is...
The smart way to go. Lying sucks! Now talk about something that takes too much time and energy! I remember the exact moment I decided to stop lying to my dad. I was seventeen, a dropout, a loser. And a smoker. I decided I would no longer try to hide anything I was doing from my father. So I sat in the driveway smoking a cigarette until he got home that night. Then the confrontation came. It was not bad, actually. As a former smoker himself, he understood how hard it was for me to quit after the last three years. We talked about it and he gave me tips on how to quit. I found that I loved not lying, it was so freeing! I decided to extend that policy to the rest of the world. Yep, I’m a straight-shooter through and through. My life is easier and my conscious is clear. I am still a smoker, but I know I don’t have to hide anything from Dad. He knows my secrets and I’m fine with that.
Six: Be True To Yourself
This one is especially important if you ever want to be happy. When you are living to please other people or fit in, you really aren’t living at all. Because you can’t do that without being who you are. It’s just not possible. This is one reason why so many people are miserable in their social roles. They do what they’re supposed to do instead of what makes them happy and that is a slippery slope, my friends. My father taught me this lesson by example. When I was younger I remember him working as a car salesman and a loan officer and I don’t know what else. He has always worked hard, but it was only in his early fifties when he started working happy. Yes, working happy is possible-I’m doing it right now! My dad decided to drop everything and go to school to be a counselor. And he’s still going even though he should be retired. Do what makes you happy. Be true to yourself.
Seven: Keep Your Word
Dad taught me to say what I mean and mean what I say. I just never could trust someone who says they’ll do something and then doesn’t do it. If it’s yes, then it’s yes. If it’s no then it’s no. This one can be hard sometimes, I know. We want to do this, or we say we’ll do that to placate somebody else, but don’t always follow through. Keeping your word is important. I have more respect for the person who promises to give me a ride and does it than the person who promises to buy me a car and disappears. It’s the action that is important rather than the words. Plus, any littles you have in your life will love and trust you for it. Anyone can talk big. It takes someone with real character to make good on their word.
Eight: Follow Your Gut
Oooh, this one is super important! I learned this the hard way. Once upon my twenties, I decided to go visit my parents in California. I was pregnant, had two little kids in tow, and a car that should’ve been scrapped long before I got my hands on it. But I was young and dumb and missed my parents. I decided to actively ignore my gut and start the drive anyway. Two hours in, what do you know, my serpentine belt flew off going 70 and I was stranded in the middle of nowhere. When help did eventually come, I was taken to worse than the middle of nowhere. A tiny town called Winnemucca, Nevada. With my two toddlers, extreme morning sickness, and shoes that didn’t cover my feet all the way I waited all night for a bus to take us home. My kids screamed, I cried, and eventually one of them barfed on the Greyhound as we were pulling into Salt Lake, the must-see destination for every Greyhound traveler. All in all I spent a day and a half and a lot of grief waiting to reverse my two hour mistake when I could have avoided it all if I had just followed my gut like my dad had taught me to.
Nine: Time Passes...
…Whether you go for it or not. What I mean is, if you want to do something, but it will take a long time, don’t be discouraged. Go for it! Look, the time is going to pass by whether you take the plunge or not. Want a master’s degree? Get one! Sure it’ll take six years but guess what? In six years you can either be a) six years older or b) six years older with a master’s degree. It’s up to you. Time should not be a factor once you have decided you want something. Looking at things this way helps to take the pressure off and assuage any doubts. You will also stop questioning yourself. Thanks, dad!
Ten: I Can Do Hard Things
I promise you, it is true. It is so true that it applies to everybody, no matter who you are. This is the biggest and most important lesson I have learned in my life time. Thank you, father. I keep it as a mantra inside my heart. I use it whenever I am feeling hopeless or lost or frustrated. My dad tells me the story of how I, as a little girl, entered a race full of only boys. I knew I couldn’t win, but I told him “I’m going to try anyway”. And so I did, and so I lost. But I was not defeated. I had tried my hardest and lost nothing for my effort, besides a couple minutes out of my life. It was a hard thing to try and beat those boys, especially since it was already established in our first-grade world that Boy A was the fastest in our class. I did not just come by this attitude on my own, though. It was my mother and father’s love and reminders that I can do hard things that really drove it into me. This has literally kept me alive at some points in my life. I battle with mental illness and occasionally this mantra is the only thing standing between me and oblivion. I promise that you can do hard things. I promise you that. I don’t go back on my word, and I don’t lie. So believe it, and live stronger.
So there they are, all lined up pretty. The 10 really big important life lessons I learned from my father over the last 40 years. I will be grateful as long as I live. Who have you learned your big important life lessons from, and what are they? I would love to hear about them in the comments section. Please take a second to tweet or otherwise share, I always appreciate it. And remember, I take requests and I love guest posts! Thank you my lovely audience. Again and again. Stay blessed remember what you are capable of.
Hello again beautiful readers! As you probably are aware, you and I don’t know each other too well. (Surprise, Captain Obvious!) Well that’s okay. You see, today I am taking another hint from another lifestyle blogger and presenting you with ten things you didn’t know about me. I hope that when I am all done, you will tell me something I don’t know about you! That is, if I can figure out how to create a comment section, for heaven’s sake. It’s so tricky with WordPress and I don’t technology very well. Nothing to do now except jump right in. So let’s go!
One: I Have A Cat
And her name is Pantera. We got her at the Idaho Humane Society almost two tears ago. I wanted to get her so she could be a support animal for my son, Lucien. She really fills the role nicely. She loves humans and she loves love. She is always rubbing up against us, begging to be petted, She sleeps on my face at night, or on her boy’s head-either one will do. She is nine years old and has just recently discovered how awesome outside is. Now she spends half the day outside instead of how she used to spend all day inside, never hinting at going out. She is so patient and calm, too. Whether she is being hauled around by my son or getting her talons clipped, she just takes it with grace and waits until the activity is over. Then she slinks away to hide upstairs in the sunniest of rooms in our apartment.
Two: I’ve Had 7 Kids
Yes, I know. That’s a lot. Tell me about it. Three of the seven were triplets (I don’t recommend doing this on purpose) and they were all nice big healthy babies. In fact, most of my babies were healthy at birth. Only my first and my last (being 13 years apart) were born premature and needed a little extra help to get going in life. My kids’ names are, in order: Naomi (Nemo), Lilian, Eli, Jarence, Lawrence, CJ, and Lucien. How did I do it all? Well, that’s for me to know. I have to keep some information to myself, after all.
Three: My Favorite Book
Is called “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey. This book is gut-wrenching, bold, sickening, and fan- freakin’- tastic. It kept me up at night, devouring it. This is a “memoir” that lends a bit of creative license to the author. Not all of it is true. But a lot of it is. This book is followed up by another, called “My Best Friend Leonard”, which continues the story in a beautiful, heartbreaking manner. For an excellent read or two, get both and gobble them up!
Four: I Used To Bleach My Hair
Absolutely freakin’ white! Did it look good? I think so. Did it feel good? Why yes, it did. What it a good decision? Hell no! I spent like a year and a half trying to grow back my long, lustrous, undamaged hair after my blonde/white phase. I have really experimented a lot with my hair (my favorite color is pink :D) but I have never had such consequences as I did when I was bleaching it. My hair became too thin and fragile to brush out. It fell out of my head on a whim, and left me with a thin layer of cotton white wisps that I could do almost nothing with. It made for some really great selfies, like this one on the left, but it was not worth those shots, as they didn’t even get me anywhere or anything. Not that a picture could…could it?
Five: I Majored In Psychology
Yes, it’s true. I am a psych nerd. Originally this blog was going to be about psychology in every day life, but I gave up on that idea and handed it over to my sister, who now writes a blog called the tiny couch. She got further in school than I did anyway. She has a master’s degree and I am 3 credits away from a bachelors (dammit!). Sometimes we collaborate and a lot of the time I edit her work. She writes on really cool topics, you should check it out! And of course, we all love Freud, tongue-in-cheek. Seriously though. She takes a humanistic/existential approach and I lean more toward an evolutionary one. Go science. I studied at University of Phoenix for as long as I could-about 4 and a half years-until my wheels fell off right at the very end of my bachelors program (again, dammit!).
Six: I’m A Total Nerd
It’s true. I love all things Star Trek, Stargate, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter. These are my fandoms and I go absolutely crazy when I see my favorite actors, hear my favorite lines, or when new stuff comes out. I totally fan-girl over these things. Especially Lord of the Rings. Anything Tolkien,actually. Yes, I have read the Silmarillion. The Hobbit was my very first favorite book as a child and I still read the trilogy over and over again as an adult. Now this picture you see hear refers to a specific scene in my favorite Star Trek episode (season five, episode 2 Next Gen). It’s awesome. If you don’t ever watch another episode of Star Trek, at least watch this one.
Seven: I’m A Witch!
And by that I mean I practice witchcraft the Wiccan way. I burn sage, light incense, collect rocks and crystals, pray to the Goddess, dance naked under the full moon, observe and celebrate the cycles of nature, and all that other stuff. Do I own a wand? Yes. A Cauldron? More like a bowl, actually. Can I fly? I wish! Some things you just shouldn’t believe. For more information on this way of life, I suggest you read “A Witches’ Bible” which you can find online or at your local witchy shop. Yes, those are a thing!
Eight: I Paint
Okay, I never said I paint well. I just kind of slap colors onto canvas and add a few different things as medium and bam! I have a painting! I have used dirt, rocks, cigarette butts, needles, blood, ash, skin, and tin foil in some of my past works, among other things. I know it’s weird and kinda creepy. But all works of art call for their very own individual touches, and mine just call for stranger things I guess. I use brushes or fingers or rags to paint. I add charcoal or marker or chalk on top of the paint for effect. I write words on my paintings-long poems or short blips that I used in past writing projects. Check out this Rock-N-Roll-Jesus I did a couple of years back. Charming, huh?
Nine: I’m A Tattooed Freak
How many do I have exactly? Well I don’t know. I do know that I have around 22 professionally done tattoos, and then I have a whole lot that I did myself or my best friend did for me. You see, he bought a tattoo gun and let me play with it. Bad move. If I can color, I will…on myself with a tattoo gun and tons of ink is the preferred method at this point. No, I don’t regret my crappy self-made tattoos. They have their own style and they make sense to me, if nobody else and that’s just fine. Life’s too short to not take the opportunity to illustrate yourself. These ones in the picture are ones I did myself.
Ten: I Throw Knives-Well
To round out my tattooed, freak painting, nerdy experimenting self, I gotta add that I love throwing knives. It is my favorite hobby. I began to learn about two years ago. My friend bought my this beautiful set of throwing knives which I promptly named Sarah, Annie, and Betty. They were my ladies and Betty was my favorite. (see them in the picture to the left) I started by balancing them, then moved to dancing with them (to loosen up and get the flow of it all), and finally two months after they came to me I threw one for the fist time. I sucked. Bad. But with hours of practice every day and over time collecting more and more sets of knives, I became absolutely lethal. There was not a target I could not hit, no matter how small. As long as it was not at a long distance, I was dead on every time. Then practice time dwindled down and I lost my edge. But with renewed effort I am gaining it back. I am passionate about this hobby and my collection. I just love knives!
So there you have it. Ten things you didn’t know about me. I’m twisted in some ways but oh, so delightful to be around! I’m sort of well-rounded and practiced in a few different things. I love what I choose to do and I love the freedom it gives me. I follow my dreams, and they take me to sometimes strange but wonderful places. Til next time!
Yes, everybody, it’s true. I’m back again with part 2 of the best apps for 2020 and I’ve got 10 more amazing apps that you just have to try. Why? Because our lives run on apps. Plus, it was a lot of fun doing the first part, I just had to have more-and hopefully so do you. This time we have music, writing, security, and more! So strap yourself in for a wild ride through app-land and get ready to share “What’s App?” with your friends and family!
We kick things off with this home security app called Alfred. This one truly is a gem. I have used it at work and at home for peace of mind and security. You need two devices to run Alfred properly. One is for displaying what’s going on and the other is for watching what’s going on. It’s kind of like a baby monitor, but way more sophisticated. You set up the display device in a place where you have the best view of the area you want to watch. For example, at my previous job, I used it to monitor my client’s bedroom, since she was severely disabled and needed to be watched 24/7. I could see and hear everything that went on in her bedroom all night long, even with the lights off, thanks to the night vision. On the other end (my phone) I watched and listened. I could even speak through my phone and she could hear me on her end if it was needed. You can set up the devices anywhere you want, set alerts for movement, add cameras, and review specific moments. You can even upgrade to a paid plan for more features.
If you are a writer, chances are you have spent at least some time taking voice notes instead of directly writing stuff down. I have done a lot of this, and my problem has been getting my voice recordings down in writing. I recently found Live Transcribe and was immediately impressed. I can hold my phone up to my laptop, push play on the desired file, and the words pop up on my computer as the file is playing. It even works with voice clips on Facebook messenger (which is where all my audio files are). This app is a life saver. Now I don’t have to sit down and write out every word of the hundreds of minutes I have spoken. What a relief!
Here is a cool app. Shazam can identify the music playing around you. It’s so frustrating when you hear a song on the radio or something and you really like it but don’t know what it is. Shazam fixes that problem for you. It tells you what the song is. You can also search for lyrics, songs, and artists that you are interested in. For example, when you type in “standing in line” it pops up with Gucci Mane’s “Standing in line”. But this is not the song I was looking for. Never fear, for Shazam will display more than one result., The number two result is the song I am looking for, “By the Way” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Then it plays a clip for you and gives you the option to go to Apple Music. Not only that, but it also plays other song clips from the same artist! It goes even further to play other artists’ clips in the same genre. This app is awesome.
This app is essential for anyone selling services online. For example, I write web content for BizMilk on a monthly basis. How do they pay me? Through PayPal business, of course! I send them a detailed and descriptive invoice with the template the app provides. I send it via email. Then one of the guys at BizMilk pays the invoice and viola! Done. Easy. I can even add memos to the invoice that the client cannot see…stuff that only I need access to. Then my invoice is kept and filed away in order. I love this app. It costs a little bit to move your money around, but it is worth it, especially if you are getting paid larger amounts of money in one go. I find this app invaluable to me and my web-based clients.
This app is super cool. It allows you to gather people into groups; say your best friends are in one group and you family in another. As long as everyone is running the app, you can see where they are in real time. You can see what percentage their phone is at and you can request check-ins and send out an SOS if you are in trouble. This is a great app for staying closely connected, especially if part of your circle is going on a trip, you can always know where they are and if they are okay. There is also a crash report to tell you if your friends have been in an accident. Very handy.
YouCam Perfect-Best Selfie Camera & Photo Editor
Here I go with another photo app. This one is close to my favorite. You can do so many things with this app. It will take pictures for you, unlike other apps. Then you have a wide array of editing tools, including face shaper, highlights, filters, auto correct, acne remover, and many others, Some features you can only use if you go premium, which I don’t. I find I can make a great selfie without spending extra money. This is a good one for making sure your social media pictures are the best they can be.
Microsoft Swiftkey Keyboard
I like this app a lot. I use it on my phone. The Swiftkey keyboard actually learns how you type. It uses that information to predict what you are going to type next. It is so much faster to tap on the predicted words while texting than it is to type out every single word. Give it a try-you won’t be disappointed!
This is one app that I find essential. YouTube music gives you pretty much any song or artist you search for. Listen for as long as you want for free-no downloads required, but this option is available if you do want to download. The only thing is that there are ads and if you leave the app to do anything else on your phone, the music stops. But for a small monthly fee you can get rid of the ads and have your music going no matter what else you are doing on your phone. The investment is totally worth it.
Plenty Of Fish
Yes, I went there-for my readers. I find it incredible that POF is still the best dating app. It’s free, and you can message other people for no charge (unlike most other dating apps). Also, you have the option to swipe through pics or look at a user’s full profile before you swipe. You can also do an advanced search with all the filters. It is so easy to use and user friendly that this app stands out from the others. If you are looking for a partner, friend, or occasional hookup buddy, Plenty Of Fish is the way to go.
I saved the best for last here. I freaking LOVE this app. It teaches you another language with ten minute long lessons that are easy to grasp and work through. There are lots of languages to choose from, including Spanish, German, Japanese, Italian, Russian, and so many more! The app is beautifully made and sleek. It makes learning fun, and you go at your own pace. Things you missed are presented to you later, so you don’t just miss out on material. I am currently learning Spanish and I recommended this app to everyone in my family and all of my friends. I recommend it for anyone who even has the slightest interest in learning another language.
So there you have it. Ten more amazing apps to keep your life fun, secure, and efficient. Check them out if you haven’t already. Share with friends and family, use the apps together so everyone can enjoy! What are some of your favorite apps? Comment below and let me know, I’ll give them a try! As always, I love guest posts and comments, plus I take requests! Hit me up!
As a species, we have evolved to rely heavily on technology. Most of us spend most of our time in front of screens whether we are working or playing. We there is a big disconnect between human existence and the natural world. We belong in nature, we started there. Yet we have moved away from it, building our cities higher and higher, grouping together. It is a terrible loss, this disconnect. In our existential search for peace and balance, we have cut out one of the most important parts of life in its full, rounded homeostasis. It’s as if we’re trying to win a footrace with a broken leg.
In theory, the gap between nature and the human race contributes to the development of mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. When we take the time to go outside and commune with nature, we reap the benefits of a free, natural solution to many of our mental discomforts. Dozens and dozens of researchers have compiled mountains of evidence that points to the physical and psychological benefits of spending time in green spaces.
Whether you take 15 minutes to go for a stroll in the park or you take all day to go for a hike in the wilderness, you will most likely experience lower stress, improved attention, better mood, reduced risk psychiatric disorders, and even increased empathy and cooperation.
Interacting with nature also has cognitive benefits. When a person is exposed to natural environments, they experience improved working memory, cognitive flexibility, and attentional control. This is much different than exposure to Urban environments, which causes attention deficit.
The biophilia hypothesis argues that since our ancestors developed in the wild and depended on natural environments for survival, we have an innate drive to connect to and interact with nature. The stress reduction hypothesis suggests that when we connect to nature, we experience a physiological response that reduces our stress levels. The attention restoration theory posits that nature replenishes a person’s cognitive ability and helps them pay attention and concentrate better.
It couldn’t be a combination of factors that makes up the correlation between spending time in nature and cognitive function. But no matter what the actual cause, the link is powerful. But there are also existential and emotional benefits that go along with contact with nature. It is associated with an increase in happiness and subjective well-being, positive social interactions and positive affect as well as a sense of purpose and meaning to life and a decrease in mental distress.
Connectedness to nature’s something that everybody should develop in their lifetimes. It has many benefits. It improves cognitive function, social interactions, existential and emotional improvement, and others. Spending time in green or blue spaces is good for us. It counts as self-care too. Reduce stress by taking a walk out in nature. Researchers have taken a shot at determining the amount of time necessary to spend in nature in order to reap the benefits. A good guess is that if you get 2 hours per week out in the green or blue spaces you will see much improvement in your mental state.
I bet you have heard a whole lot about this recently, and I find it a little bit funny how this phrase can bring about both rage and confusion in melanin deficient people. For me, it sparked curiosity. So I decided to use my autistic superpowers and take a serious trip down the rabbit hole. Fear not! I will summarize and provide you with hyperlinks, this is going to be fun. Ready?
WHAT IS IT?
Well, basically it says that race is a social construct designed for oppression. In a nutshell. It also points out that every aspect of the US legal system is racist because it was designed to keep white people above all others, but especially African Americans. It also attacks liberalism as being too narrowly focused on equality and not equity. Okay, I have to be…
I wish I could write on what’s actually important. I wish I had the experience to do that. Living with chronic illness is something that I’ve never done, but I’ve definitely seen. I wish I could take the pain away, I wish I could take it all away. All I can do is write on what I know – sitting helpless on the outside. And this is important – because even though we are not chronically ill, we have been affected by it greatly. So I try to write to you now to let you know that I am here with you, just as I am here with Her.
Watching a loved one die slowly of a long, horrible disease can put you into a state of mourning that can last for years. You experience anxiousness, guilt, anger, and uncontrollable sadness. When I talk to my sister on the phone, I hear her pain in her voice, I know what’s going on in her body, and I feel all these things at once. This is common. So here are a few tips to deal with these emotions and cope through being the survivor.
First, get some help. Mourning is something you can’t do alone if you want to keep your life in balance or at least livable. Therapy is the best option, there’s no shame in talking to a professional. Make sure to feel out your therapist. Ask questions, think about whether you’re comfortable with the answers. Keep in mind your religious or non-religious preferences. In many cases, you are allowed to switch therapists if you need to. If it’s not a good match, then it can do damage rather than help. So make sure you get a therapist that you are comfortable and can be honest with.
Ask about medication. When you get a therapist, they will evaluate your condition and can refer you to a medication manager. You may need some type of pharmaceutical help as well. Don’t shy away from this – it can be very helpful especially in cases of anxiety or depression. Again, there’s no shame in doing this. I know that mental health problems are surrounded by stigma and we are working to crush that. But until then, we just have to hold our heads up high and know that we are doing this for us and not anybody else.
Guilt over a loved one’s illness is a big problem for many of us. How do you overcome guilt? Well first you need to be talking to your therapist about it. Second, learn the practice of meditation. Prayer is good for those who believe, but meditation is good for everybody. Studies show that meditation can increase awareness and help you relax. Look into some of these techniques and see which one is right for you. It may be difficult at first to “get it” but keep going – it gets easier.
Anger can also be a major problem when you’re watching a loved one progressively get worse over time. With chronic illness, we know that there’s only one way that it ends. Sometimes we think of our loved ones as already dead. Sometimes we turn from our faith. Sometimes we self-destruct. Sometimes, our anger gets the better of us and we live in a constant state of madness. Anger is something that I don’t really understand. I don’t know the mechanics of it, where it comes from, or what its purpose is. All I know is that to get over it, you need outside support and internal work. Meditation is good for calming anger. Any techniques that you use for anxiety are good as well. It can also be important to sit with your anger. Feel it, acknowledge it, and respect what it means for you. Just don’t stay there forever.
Anxiety can plague your entire existence. I’ve gone over how to help with anxiety and other posts, but in this one, I need to go over it again. When you’re experiencing anxiety, the best thing to do is to try and calm yourself as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to sing. Singing stimulates your vagal nerve and in doing so tells your brain and your body to calm down. This is because when you sing you’re getting more oxygen to your brain and stabilizing the tone of your vagal nerve, which affects your fight or flight response. Another great thing you can do for anxiety is to practice breathing exercises. There are many of these all available to you on Google. Here again, meditation has a great calming effect. Occasionally, taking a nap is a good idea because you can wake up fresh and restart your day in the way that you see fit.
Uncontrollable sadness can also run your life if you let it. You need to remember that it’s important to feel your sadness. Sit in it, be with it. Ponder the depth of your sadness and everything that it contains. Cry. It is healthy. Yet sometimes it can be so overwhelming that it threatens to swallow you whole. If you’ve reached this point, please get help immediately. Suicide is a threat here. Nobody wants you to get to that point. Moving on from sadness can be nearly impossible, but you can do it. Talk to your therapist, make sure you are taking your meds correctly if you’re on them. Talk to your friends and other people in your support system that you can count on. You can come out of this.
When you are faced with a loved one’s chronic illness, and you are sitting helpless, there’s not much you can do to change the situation. All you can do really is still at that person know that you are there for them and you can help them in any way you can. When you’re not close enough to help, it can hurt. So make sure to keep in contact with them so that you can at least have some peace in the knowledge that you are there to support them. For those of you out there who are in this position, I am here with you. I feel you. And I feel for you. It’s a difficult road, but it’s the road we must walk down. Don’t turn away from yourself in this time. Practice self-care, get yourself help, and stick by your loved one’s side. Until next time,
A guide to not pulling your hair out and running screaming into the night this summer.
Let’s face it, covid still has us all in its grasp. This last school year has been, well, something out of hell let’s say. At least it was for me. Most of the school year my kid had to do it online, (which he never actually did). Then it was hybrid time, a burst of inconsistency and confusion for my little guy. Then it was full on school, which he had by that time forgotten about and fought me about going. Now, after such a facepalm year, they’re only a couple days left of school for my kiddo and I honestly don’t know if I can handle him coming back right now. I need a break I’ve been doing this since that fateful March in 2020. We all have, and we’ve all been wrung dry.
Fortunately, for a lot of us, covid kept us in our houses alone or with our kids. Bored. Desperate. At the end of our ropes. And this boredom and despair led to the surprising effect of increasing our creativity. We had to find something to do. Some of us started collecting rocks, some of us painted in watercolor, some of us found spiritual strength and were lifted. Others just sat around chewing their nails and twiddling their thumbs. But never fear! I have some great ideas for what to do when the kiddies come home for the summer.
My favorite answer to every complaint of boredom is “well you can clean something or go outside”. Although generic, this answer actually gives kids lots of opportunities to do many different things. First off, I want to talk about debit cards for kids. I just recently got my son a goHenry card. This system allows me to pay him allowance if I want, but more importantly it allows him to earn money for working around the house. And then when he earns enough, he gets to spend his money in a real store and it’s a real debit card! He loves this. It’s his favorite thing since paper now (don’t get me started on paper with him). There are several different apps that are attached to these debit cards that you can choose from. I chose go Henry because it was the cheapest, and it looked like I could use it. So far I’m happy with it. But if you go to the Google Play store and search “debit cards for kids”, you will have lots of results to choose from. This is a great way to teach kids how money works, and how to be responsible with it. It’s a genius idea!
Now let’s talk about going outside. We all think of family outings when we think of summer time. And if you’re lucky enough to live in an area with lots of outdoor activities available, then you shouldn’t run short of any ideas. There’s hiking, camping, playing in the river or the lake, going to city parks, having barbecues, playing with friends in the neighborhood, and urban hiking, which is just as cool as regular hiking because you always see things that you’ve never seen before.
Let’s talk about the value of a nature walk. First of all, it’s something you can do with kids of all ages. All you need is an outdoor area to walk in. So you go around as family, observing nature and gathering a little bit along the way. Fallen leaves, interesting sticks, little flowers that aren’t in a garden, and even real rainwater collected in a jar all make for great crafts at home. So you go around gathering your things, maybe stop for a picnic somewhere, and then go home. When you reach home again, then you can start putting your puzzle pieces together in a collage, or by making cards with it, or by telling stories about the objects and where they might have come from. In the case of water in a jar, you can decorate the jar all nice and pretty, and if you have a little kids you can add some glitter and a lid, you can talk about where water comes from and it’s cycle, or you can pretend it’s magical water that protects them from bad dreams.
A trip to the River or the lake takes more organization. And if you’re lucky enough to have a beach around, then even more fun is headed your way. You can organize these trips and put together a “play basket” that contains sunblock, swimsuits, dry towels, another things you might need beforehand. You can make the planning a whole family affair if you want. Sometimes planning for a thing can be almost as fun as doing that thing.
Summer is the time when parents are busy and children are bored. There’s not a lot we can do about this, but many of us don’t want our kids on electronics inside all day everyday. So we need to plan ahead and brainstorm. Is there any sort of nature reserve where you live? Do you have enough money to go to the zoo or to the local History museum? Are there any community activities planned around these things throughout the summer? Where I live, there’s almost always something going on in the community downtown during the summer time. We plan to go to these things if we have the money for them and if we don’t come up then we can always fall back on the river.
Look at where you live. Look around you, see what there is. Use those local newspaper and the local magazine listings to see what there might be to do. Check your local library for ideas. Visit your local Firehouse, or set up a time for a tour if they do that. Major local emergency workers. Go park hopping, visit every Park in your city if you can and maybe make a list of the ones you like best. You can make bingo cards that you take with you while you do your urban hiking so when you see something you’re expecting to see you can check it off your bingo card and see who wins at the end.
Summer can seem like a long, overbearing wave of heat coming your way, or it can be a time for adventure and fun, even if you don’t have money to spend. It can be what you make it. Until next time,
It’s a world you can’t see until you leave your home and shut the door behind you forever. The switch is a tumble and can happen fast, or if you’re lucky, you get to see it coming. When you land on your back in the street, all of a sudden you lose your bearings. You stand up, brush yourself off, and take it all in – your new life in the streets. From now on, people will be able to see you, but at the same time, they will never “see” you again.
Welcome to homelessness. It’s likely that you have very little with you, if you started like me. I’ve spent many years of my life being homeless, and unless you have experienced it for yourself, you would not, could not understand it. Life through the Looking Glass is very different from a normal life where you have a home, somewhere to sleep at night.
The first thing that usually happens when you become homeless is that you’re magically cut off from those who love you and those you love, unless you’re taking them with you. I had the experience of being homeless with my 7 year old son, and it is not an experience I wish to repeat ever. But why are you cut off? It is that division between the “real” world and your new world. Automatically they don’t understand, and they can’t understand. You may stay in contact with them, and they may tell you things like “keep your head up” or “just get a job”.
They’re missing two fundamental things when they say that type of stuff. First, if you want to survive in an inherently violent environment, one packed full of drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness, then you actually need to keep your head down. Second, the idea of just getting a job it’s ridiculous, especially if you have children. You cannot just get a job and suddenly afford to get into a home. Even those people with the job and homes already struggle to keep their position because the wages are just too low.
Now let’s say that you actually do have a job, and child care for your children. There are still barriers that stop you from getting into a home. A couple of these are any past evictions you may have had, any money owed to any utility company, bad credit, felon status, and lack of availability of homes you can afford. So, no. It’s not just a simple matter of “get a job”.
Another thing you might not expect but it’s glaringly obvious when you’re homeless is that being homeless is incredibly expensive. You have to provide food, water, and basic necessities for you and whatever family you have with you all month long. Rinse and repeat. Many of the homeless community members are on disability so they have limited income and often that is why they are homeless. Now first of all, finding water that is accessible to you at a reasonable distance from where you’re situated can be a pain. If you go the cheaper way and buy jugs from a grocery store that you can refill, then there’s a matter of carrying the water while carrying everything else you own on your back. It’s not easy.
If you are lucky, then you can stay in a shelter. Right now, because of covid and because states have neglected their homeless populations during this time, many of the shelters around our country are simply shutting down. There’s no room for anybody, and you just can’t find a place. But in some places, the shelters are still running and if you’re lucky enough to be in one, stay there. Otherwise you’ll be illegally camping in the parks or on the sidewalks.
Another thing about being homeless that I absolutely hate is that you’re not welcome anywhere. You have to keep moving otherwise you’ll get kicked out of wherever you stop and rest. It’s best to find a nice city park and set up a spot somewhere for you and your family to just sit and chill. This works in the spring, summer,and fall usually. But once winter comes, we’re talking about a whole new beast. There are extra challenges that come in the winter time, the biggest one being how to stay warm. I went through one of the coldest winters that happened in a long time homeless with my son and we were absolutely miserable and without hope.
Since this post is running long, I will touch on one more point and then we’ll be done. Eventually you will find other people in the homeless community who you can trust, who you connect with, who you might learn to one day consider your “street family”. This is a good thing. You should be building upon this daily and nurturing those relationships. You will need them later on in life after you’re out of that situation, or if you ever go back in. Your street family is a group of people who have come together in hardship and lifted and supported each other. They are the ones who “see” you for real, and you can identify with them better than you can your regular family. Treasure this.
Living homeless is an entire different lifestyle than any other. It’s unique and at the same time undesirable. It’s extremely hard, but you get stronger as you make it through longer. It tests your survival skills in the middle of a city, and it is possible for you to come through it more confident, strengthened, and smarter. Although I would not wish it upon anybody, I know for a fact that if it were to happen to me again I would be able to make it. Until next time,
First of all I would like to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there! What a great day for us to have some relaxation and rest while we bask in the glory of our children. If you are one of those who doesn’t get any basking, and is stuck going to the laundromat, doing dishes, cleaning up the living room, or other chores, have no fear. I know it might suck for today, but in this post we’re going to talk about some things that we can do everyday to honor our motherhood and ourselves. Now please excuse me while I preach to this choir for a minute.
Let’s face it, being a mother is hard. Not only are you dedicated to the lives and well-being of your children, but you also have obligations surrounding them. You also have domestic duties, and those are no little things. Sometimes you can spend all day grocery shopping, working on after school projects, cooking, etc and still not be done. Let me ask you this. As far as your to-do list goes, do you ever make the list? And I’m just going to throw this out there – everything is a lot harder when you’re a single mom, including going to the bathroom without an audience. Okay, for real that almost never happens.
So if you can’t even use the toilet by yourself, how are you going to put yourself on that to-do list and make time for self care? I feel obligated to say “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. Don’t think you can do it? Well, start small. I need you to mentally pick up a pencil and schedule yourself 10 minutes every single day for you to have alone time. During this alone time, you need to be true to yourself, and open with what you really want. You could meditate, paint a quick picture, read for a few minutes, or just lay there on your bed relaxing. 10 minutes is not a lot of time for self care, but you can work your way up as you go as you figure out the mechanics of your alone time and fitting it into your family life.
One thing is very important-know when you are done. You have to know your limits, or you will run yourself ragged. I should know, I do it all the time. Sometimes it takes an outsider to tell you to stop for the day. My sister is really good for that. You need to learn to recognize the signals that your body is giving you, and that your mind is giving you. You need to learn when to stop. Everyday can seem like a battle, but it doesn’t have to be. Prioritize your tasks for the day one day at a time, and when you’ve reached your limit, stop. This may take some creative rearranging of tasks that need to be done. For example, if I have to write an order I’ve received one day, that I focus on that. I don’t focus on cleaning. And that’s okay, because we will get through it and the dishes will still be there tomorrow.
Another thing you need to do is make time for intimacy. The kids have to go to bed eventually, and every woman has their needs just like every man does. You need to create time to have sex with your partner, and if you don’t have a partner, then create time to help yourself out. Sure, it’s kind of a taboo subject, but we are all adults here. It’s a natural thing, a healthy thing, and doing this regularly will help your mood and your outlook on life.
One vital part of self-care is taking care of your medical needs. Pay attention to your body and what’s going on with it. Schedule regular checkups with your doctor, dentist, eye care specialists etc. I remind you of that empty cup thing. You need to keep yourself healthy in order for everything to run properly. And lumped in with this is eating healthy. I know that children get first priority of healthy foods, but that doesn’t mean you can live on junk food or occasional snacking. You need to carve yourself out of portion of every healthy thing that your family eats. Put yourself back on that list. You belong there.
Make sleep a priority. The way you do this is set a regular bedtime and a regular wake up time. I personally go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 and wake up around 7:00 everyday. This may seem like a lot of sleep, but it’s what I need to function. I don’t waste my sleeping time doing extra chores while my kids are in bed. This is just a recipe for burnout. Remember your limits and go to bed when you are tired. Not when you’re ready to lose consciousness because you work so hard, but when you feel tired. Remember your circadian rhythm and honor it.
And now the big one – possibly the hardest one of all. You have to make time to do things that you love. If you absolutely cannot extend your 10 minutes at all, and you need to find a way to use that 10 minutes to do something that makes you truly happy. Hopefully you can expand on that time. If you do not take the time to do the things that bring you happiness, you’ll just be miserable. A life full of work and more work and more work is not healthy for anybody. If you don’t know what makes you intrinsically happy, then sit down and brainstorm a list of possible activities. You will eventually be able to find something that makes you truly happy. And this something doesn’t need to have anything to do with your kids. It’s just you and the specific activity.
I hope I have given you some ideas of how to take care of yourself as a busy mom. I’m sure there are more, but this post is running long. So, once more I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day, I wish your day is full of peace, contentment, and the love of your children. Until next time,
A beautiful child lies sleeping in my bed. I watch him quietly, controlling my breathing so I don’t wake him up. He’s perfect; an Angel. I roll slightly to my right side. His eyelashes flutter and his eyes fly wide open. “Mama. I’m bored, give me breakfast. Where’s my phone?”
Downstairs, I hand him a plate of Pop-Tarts. In less than a minute, he asks for cereal instead because his stomach just can’t handle the sweet little rectangles. I acquiesce. After the marshmallows in his Lucky Charms have melted mostly to mush, untouched, he looks at me and says “I need REAL food”. I know what he’s talking about, but I’m unwilling. I’m broke, and I’m not wearing a bra. But he is now at the point of demanding that we go to the corner store and get him chocolate muffins, a banana, and a large Sprite.
You see, this is HIS BREAKFAST. And I knew this from the beginning, back when I was controlling my breath to keep him asleep. I shouldn’t have even tried to feed him something else, this waste of time and food was my fault. So I wrap a sweater around myself, slip into my house shoes, and grab the car keys. He’s ready, I’m ready-ish, and we’re out the door. The lady at the corner store greets Us by name. After all, we see each other every day.
Happy of heart and chocolate of face, he sips his Sprite in the dining room until it’s time to get on the bus, phone clutched in one hand. This is my routine with my son, Lucien. I know what to expect everyday, and he has the right words to say to make me do it. Our lives are full of these little rituals and rules, combinations and values. Lucien is autistic, and never short on commands that in his mind I need to comply with.
Lucien receives Services outside of school. Particularly, he goes out into the community with Patrick and they work on behavior together. Unfortunately, his expectations for me are a lot more rigorous than those he holds for Patrick. My son follows his dopamine, and I am the sole recipient of it’s byproducts.
It may be strange to the outsider to look in and see what happens in the lives of a pair like us. Most people don’t understand it. This is why I have absolutely no social life. A life with Lucien always brings some excitement. And hilarity.
When you have a kid with special needs, the most important thing to remember is to roll with the punches. You will get knocked off your feet sometimes. You will be shocked occasionally, and you will definitely fall out of your chair laughing. My son has said some of the wackiest things to me, including what I’ve written in the title and The pictures in this post.
Punishment is absolutely useless on an autistic child. Spanking is the worst, threats are laughable, and bribery is poison. I certainly wouldn’t use any of these on any neurotypical child, because of the damage it would do. But when you’re talking about an autistic child, these things just slide off as if you’re shooting blanks.
So, you’ve got to get creative. You need to listen. You need to respond appropriately. You need to set clear expectations and boundaries. You need to know your child’s triggers and sensory needs inside and out. For example, I know that being around a bunch of other kids sets my son off, but letting him listen to his music calms him down.
When your kid comes at you sideways, saying stuff like “Maybe it’s because you suck ass” (yep, he said that to me) you have to roll with it. You can’t yell or smack them. And you definitely can’t laugh in their faces. If anything, send them to the other room, turn around, and laugh your butt off until you can compose yourself again. Then going to the other room with grace and deal with it calmly.
You have to be prepared for everything and the only way to do that is clear your mind and open it up to accept anything and everything from this kid. A lot of the time you may not like it, but it is coming from a child who does not lie. What comes out of his or her mouth is valid, even if inappropriate. So deal with things as they come. Don’t drag it out and make it last for days. Don’t bring it up later and hold it over them when you’re mad. That’s just manipulation, and they won’t really understand your intentions anyway.
Loving an autistic child has its ups and downs. But if you keep your sense of humor intact, it won’t be so bad at the low points. Don’t shrink away out of confusion or anything else. Open wide and embrace them just as they are, just as you would any other of your children. You may need to earn “kiss passes” like I do, but doing so will be well worth it and you’ll get to know your child more openly in the end.
Now if you’ll excuse me, “I lock you out now” because “This house isn’t clean”. And I need to fix that. Until next time,
Hi everyone! I have great news. I was just nominated for a bloggers recognition award and I am so excited! It is my first potential award ever and I’m just learning how to participate and I hope I’m doing it right. I want to give a huge thank you to Caz Hannah over at mentalhealth360.uk. If you haven’t had a chance to check out her blog you should really give it a try. She writes about all things mental health, from self care to living in the covid pandemic. I first met her when we did get posts for each other, and I am so grateful for her nomination.
THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD RULES
Thank the blogger that nominated you and give a link to their site
Do a post to show your award
Give a summary of how your blog started
Give two pieces of advice for any new bloggers
Select up to 15 other bloggers for this award
Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and give a link to your post
GIVE A SUMMARY OF HOW YOUR BLOG STARTED
Strange story here. One day last autumn, I was wondering what a blog was. Then somehow magically as Google is inclined to do, they showed me a blog by a lady named Elna Cain. Her blog is wonderful, by the way. After reading a bunch of her posts, I decided that I wanted to become a blogger too. So I began blogging not really knowing what I was doing. At first My blog was called psychallday. This is this is because I wanted to write about mental health issues and the psychological world.
I thought after reading a few other blogs that my thing was not very relatable (remember I didn’t know what I was doing or what was what) so I gave the idea to my sister and she ran with it. I still regret that. But to be fair, she is more qualified than I am. She is absolutely amazing and she’s my first choice for nomination of this award because she is just that good. I eventually got over the lifestyle bit, and fell back into mental health and wellness blogging. I’ve been doing it ever since, and I love it.
GIVE TWO PIECES OF ADVICE FOR ANY NEW BLOGGERS
1. Find your niche.
Now, this can be way difficult, especially when you consider my story. So why do I say this? Well, it’s because consistency is important. Your niche and the topics you choose to write on are what draw your audience in. They like you for what you write about. And if it changes all the time, they may not like it so much. Part of blogging is building an online community that you can engage with. So you want to have clarity and consistency.
2. Keep Going
Riding my blog has been a struggle, first of all because of my trouble finding my niche, and second because I just didn’t believe in myself sometimes. Then I realized that even though I didn’t believe in myself, I was still getting views and likes. So I kept going because it is what I love to do. If you have a passion for writing and building an online community, then don’t give up. Keep going.
I have always dreamed of being a writer. I know that blogging and writing are a little different, but I have found my passion in blogging and although it’s hard to believe that I could be as good as others, I have to keep going. For myself. I would like to thank Caz one more time for this lovely opportunity. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to let me know. Thanks! Until next time,
I recently received some money and was so happy that I could afford to purchase some clothes. I went about my online shopping all giddy, dazzled by all the choices I found in the new plus-size women’s clothing arena. I had never seen so many options before! So I picked out a bunch in my size, paid for them and waited patiently for them to come.
When the big day came and my Dresslily clothes appeared on my doorstep, I was beside myself with excitement because they were SO CUTE on the website. I ripped open the package and was pleased to see that they were also SO CUTE in real life. I tried on the first one, and was immediately disappointed. The dress hung down below my breasts and sagged way down my back. I felt like I was trying on a circus tent. Unfortunately, I had ordered all my clothes in the same size for this order, and I had paid over $100 for it.
I didn’t even bother trying on the rest of the things. I had overestimated my size not based on the clothes I already had, but what I see in the mirror when I look. When I look, I see a huge woman who is impossibly fat, and as an afterthought, unworthy of love. But how? I blog about mental health all the time, and I thought I was totally body positive. When somebody calls somebody fat and my child notices, I always say to him, “fat is not a bad thing”. But when I think about it, I realized that in my head it is not okay for me to be fat, just everyone else.
Psychology Today says that body image is the mental representation a person creates of themselves. So we can think we know what we look like, and this representation is completely disconnected from the reality of it. And as I’m writing this, I realize that I have always thought that I was way bigger than I actually am. What’s the deal with that?
Psychology Today says that a negative body image can come from early experiences, the attitudes of our parents, emotions, moods, and other factors. Growing up in a cult, I was raised to believe that my body was bad and I should keep it hidden. This would be the attitude of my parents. I really believe that my entire childhood experience was twisted and distorted in many ways by the attitudes of my parents and the teachings of the cult. I had negative emotions all the time, and my moods were unstable to say the least. So, that’s the deal with that.
Severe cases of distortion are called body dysmorphia. But who is susceptible to this type of skewed body image? Children as young as the age of three can show signs of a skewed body image, and this has a lot to do with the parent’s image of themselves. Children around the age of eight or nine can also show signs of body image distortion, but it is usually due to things like peer pressure. Body dysmorphia happens when a perceived flaw is focused on so intensely that it becomes an obsession. I am obsessed with my fatness, and maybe some other people are obsessed with things like their noses, hair, waistline, or other things.
It becomes apparent in adolescence that a person is struggling with body dysmorphia or skewed body image, and this lasts throughout adulthood. This is a problem that is widespread in American women, and to a lesser extent, men. So, how can we overcome it?
The experts of Psychology Today suggest limiting the use of social media platforms. This is because these types of platforms serve millions of people who are hyper focused on the body, it’s size, and what it looks like. If taking selfies makes you uncomfortable, then just don’t do it. It’s better to focus on your body’s utility-what it does for you. It gets you from point a to point b, and does many other amazing things.
Another idea is to thank your body for what it does for you. Write a letter of gratitude to your body, thanking the different parts. Your hands help you express yourself, your arms hold the people you love, your legs take you to many different places. Acknowledge this, and learn to be grateful for it. If you want to help somebody you know with a negative body image, talk to them. Discourage negative talk about their body and their weight. Engage in healthy activities with them, such as working out together or eating healthy meals.
How will you know if somebody you love has unhealthy body image issues? Here are some signs you can look for:
They focus way too much attention on a minor flaw
They view themselves as ugly or unattractive
They’re afraid that other people can see their “deformity”
They display perfectionism
They avoid social engagements
They constantly groom themselves or look in the mirror
They constantly hide the perceived flaw with makeup or clothing
They constantly compare their appearance with that of others
They pursue cosmetic changes through surgery
They need a lot of reassurance about their appearance
They are never satisfied with their appearance
Now we know that body dysmorphia or even just a skewed body image is made up of our relationship with our parents and their attitudes, media, and peer pressure. I need to learn for myself that fat is not a bad word. I need to learn to be satisfied with my appearance; even though I think I already am, maybe I am not. This is a hard problem to beat. So many of us know it. And I’m here to tell you that I acknowledge you, I see you. I accept you for who you are. Hopefully, we can all accept each other even with all our flaws whether they be perceived by us or by other people. Let’s take a break from social media, and thank our bodies for what they do. Until next time,
Have you ever had one of those days where you call your kid out from school simply because he has no clean pants? If the answer is yes, then you may be a little bit like me. I’m talking about being overwhelmed. It’s something that happens to a lot of us at some point. However, people with severe depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders often get overwhelmed more than the average bear. Everyday is a daunting disaster just waiting to happen. We forget things, like doing our dishes, washing our laundry, brushing our teeth, and grocery shopping. This leaves us with mountains and mountains of tasks to do that should have been done yesterday, the day before, the week before or even longer. And it’s hella overwhelming.
Unfortunately, this is not a post full of tips of how to get over this. This is just a post about my personal experience and hopefully it will bring to light some things you might not have known. For the purpose of this post I’m just going to focus on depression. When you are depressed, your mind is in a fog all the time. You lack energy, and motivation to do anything. Time slips by effortlessly, and you miss most of it because you just can’t focus. It’s a prison of the mind, really. Sometimes you forget to take your meds, and sometimes you remember. Did you take a shower today? Who knows? It’s hard to think back and remember what happened during the day. It’s hit and miss, like a game of Battleship.
Today, I kept my son home from school because he does not have any clean pants. So he is now sitting with me at the laundromat in dirty pants waiting for our laundry to be done. I’m still trying to come up with an excuse. I can’t just tell the school, “Oh, I accidentally neglected the laundry for the last few days and now Lucien doesn’t have any pants to wear to school, so I’m keeping him home”. But what else can I say? Sometimes I think I need an IEP just as bad as my son does. They should understand that I’m severely depressed and forgive me for my shortcomings. But that’s not realistic. I’m an adult after all, and adults are on top of these things. Right? Well the answer is no, not all adults.
You see, I was raised in a cult. Nobody ever showed me how to be an adult, nobody ever taught me how to keep track of things like daily tasks, chores, etc. Nobody ever paid attention to my medical needs or taught me how to do so either. I’ve been socially stunted and traumatized by this whole thing, I never even realized it until recently. So I’m still processing some things right now. I have been depressed as long as I can remember, even as a little girl. I never learned how to function as an adult, and I don’t see anybody coming to teach me now. I have the attention span of a chicken nugget and I live in the clouds. I’m taking eight different psych meds at the moment, but none of them seem to be doing any good. Not only is this frustrating, but I feel like it’s a waste of my time and perhaps I’ve been misdiagnosed and treated the wrong way for most of my life.
As a parent, I am okay. I mess up a lot, but I also do some things that are really good I think. The truth is, it is extremely difficult for me to live and function without another adult there to help me along. I’m not talking about a romantic relationship; not at all, rather I’m talking about somebody to kind of help me remember to do those things that I forget to do on a regular basis, like cook and clean and engage with my son in a fun, happy manner. I may be spilling too many beans here, but this is the truth and I’m all about it.
I’ve had my sisters living with me off and on for some years, and when I am with them, that’s when I do a good job. They keep me on track and help me to boost my own confidence by achieving small but important goals. They help teach me by example, I am much more successful in my own life and as a parent when I have the influence of my sisters there with me. There’s nothing like a beloved sibling. This is an important point. People with depression or other mental disorders need a security net. They need a support system full of people who know and understand them. It’s great to have friends, but sometimes friends just aren’t cutting it.
I will take my son to school tomorrow. But for right now, I’m just going to get through the ordeal of the laundromat and then go feed him breakfast, which I forgot to do before we came. At least I showered today, and that’s an accomplishment. I hope you all have a great day today, and that you all have pants to wear. Until next time,