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As part of my therapy for depression, I’ve been openly talking about my struggle on social media (google + and facebook, mostly with a few posts on DreamWidth which are mirrored to LiveJournal).  I’ve been thinking of setting up an actual blog to try to reach more folks.  Not out of vanity but because I want other folks suffering from mental health issues to know that they are not alone.  Mental illness is not a moral failing, it is a health issue.   I also want to point folks at useful resources such as www.nami.org

NAMI is National Alliance on Mental Illness and it raises awareness, offers support for those with mental health issues and their families.  There are NAMI chapters all across the US.

I also hope to find resources for those outside the US but most of my experience is US based including with the deeply flawed US health system.

I also have physical health issues which are tied into my mental health. I have arthritis and chronic back pain.  So I will likely write often about coping with those.  It is all connected to my overall general wellness.

Welcome aboard.  I hope to provide useful information and insights amidst my ramblings here.  I welcome feedback but will moderate comments to weed out abuse, trolling and the like.

~hugs~

Cheryl

 

Personal things

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Haven’t updated in a long while. So, got out and skimmed the pool. Trying to do this every day but not always succeeding. So that was exercise plus time in the sun (need that vit D). It’s 9000 degrees here and the air quality sucks so I’m actually avoiding spending a lot of time outside at the moment. When monsoon season kicks in, I’ll probably go spend time on the patio post deluge when the air is clear and stuff. Hope it happens soon but the forecast for the short term is just very sunny and very hot.

I’ve also taken to dancing around the living room for exercise. The birds really don’t like my taste in music though.

Been having pretty bad pain levels in my right hand, right hip and lower back. Not sure why but hopefully, more movement will ease things. Or I resort to drugs.

I think I posted somewhere about taking classes to try to keep my brane engaged. I started with a full slate but quickly realized that I was being unrealistic and setting myself up for failure. So, I now only have Art History which I am enjoying quite a lot.

I managed to read yesterday!  I devoured an entire book in a few hours.  It was great.  My review is here: Flowers of Luna by Jennifer Linsky

Plus I’ve watched the Black Panther Teaser Trailer many, many, many times.  I’ve also watched a slew of blerd reactions videos.  I. Can. NOT. Wait!  So excited for this.  I really want to make a Dora Milaje costume.

Actually, I’ve gotten the urge to Make.  I created a crafty things wishlist on Amazon here.

Well, that’s it.  Still not sleeping well.  Still anxiously stressed about money.  Still overwhelmed by the news of the day.  Still overwhelmed by all that needs doing around the house.

But I have an adorable kitten and a wonderful, cuddly cat who purr and frolic.

Finn and Pete

 

 

https://www.youcaring.com/HelpCherylThrive

Mental Health Month

is over.  Done.  I spent much of it in a sort of mental health haze of low-level depression and lack of motivation with some lovely dips into deep depression and paralyzing indecision, fear and doubt.  Fun times.

So that month is over.  What will June bring?  Warmer weather certainly.  It’s regularly been in the 100s here. I imagine it will start heading towards 110 pretty soon.  Plus monsoons!  Yay!

I still haven’t heard any decision on the disability claim.  Sent back a ton of paperwork though.  I know it took me a while to complete so I imagine it is being reviewed closely and carefully.

I was going to take a couple of classes this summer to occupy my mind but my mind is pre-occupied and unfocused and stuff.  And things.

The world continues to be a mess.  Reading the news fills me with despair, rage, sadness and makes me feel powerless.  Though there are bits that are somewhat hopeful.  People taking stands and resisting and fighting back.  I do what I can.  I write to my reps and state my opinions.  I sign petitions and pass along fundraising for causes I think are worthy.   I actually donated $5 because I felt so fucking impotent.  It was all I had to give and I hope it helps.  I think groups like SPLC, ACLU, PP and others are fighting for me and I should support them as I am able.

Plus, Sense8 was canceled. It was a show that filled me with hope and wonder.  I am sad I won’t get to see the whole story.   WoW doesn’t hold my interest anymore.  I log on and run around a bit and then sigh and log off.   Maybe I’ll go play Neverwinter or SWTOR or GW2 or Tropico.  Yeah, Tropico.  I can be a benevolent dictator and create my own city.

My booster campaign to raise money for NAMI was a bust.  ~sigh~

My campaign to help me with copays and the like and other debt is still running here:  A Helping Hand  or if you wish to help keep me writing:  Tip Jar

I need to go see a dentist but the copays for dental work plus the thought of the work I need done overwhelms me with anxiety whenever I try to look for a dentist and make an appointment.  I’m still working on it and will get there.   Bleh.  Need to get a fasting blood draw.  I was supposed to get follow up labs last month but somehow May evaporated.  Time sure goes wonky when you are depressed.

Thanks for reading this far.  I’m totally rambling now and could ramble forever but I’ll sign off for now.

Insecurity

Just ran across this old post:  Stress factor 100000000   and Mother’s Day just happened.  I read all the memes and tributes and whatnot.  I felt wistful that I couldn’t call my own mom.   Though I am happy for those with good relationships with their moms.  The partner that I live with called his mom and she was effusive about the gift I sent her.  My other partner doesn’t have a relationship with his mom so he likely spent the day making chainmail, playing Kerbel and the like.

My mental health month fundraiser hasn’t attracted much attention so that makes me sad.  It’s here if you want to take a look.  https://www.booster.com/intomentalhealth   I added more color and style choices as well as a donate button for those who wish to support the campaign without getting a t-shirt.

Had a burst of energy and cleaned the parrots cages.  Also left the house and dropped by the pharmacy and visited Penzeys for more ginger (for my nausea) and a yummy spice mix that we ran out of.  V. tired now though.  Will probably curl up and stay inside for a day or two.  Feeling very drained.

Mental Health America has a list of things to boost your mental health http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/31-tips-boost-your-mental-health   Some of them are geared towards those who are higher functioning that I am (people with money, energy and good health).  However, #27 is something I can do and something I enjoy.  I have blank cards that have somehow accumulated over time and I sent out some last week.  It made me smile.  I will try to send out another one this week if I can find current addresses of my friends.  I used to keep an updated address book (on paper!).

All in all, it’s only Wednesday and it’s been a very emotional week especially with all the political turmoil.  Plus that very emotional piece in the Atlantic.   I also just read this Captain Awkward bit and so close to my mother’s day wistfulness, it wrecked me.

I have bills coming due or past due.  I was thankfully able to pay a few through the generosity of others.  Trying to focus more energy into making rather than into fretting.  My disability claim is still pending.  Not sure how much longer I’ll be in limbo in that regards.

 

Tips

 

 

Making your own Family

Chosen family. This is wonderful. I’ve written some before about this topic. I loved this movie and this is why.

Steven Barnes

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One of the things that gets me excited to wake up in the morning is that I never know what people are going to be talking about on my pages.  What emails or texts I might get about one or another issue.   What will be a theme for the day?  How can I help people?

Well, today what came up is painful childhoods.  Abusive step-parents, bullying, neglect.  Painful stuff, damaging our self-worth and what I call “self-love.” Without it, we search for love outside ourselves.

For instance:  I have a student who has a girlfriend who is more sexually experienced than he is.

He won’t leave her, but thinks of her as slutty.  Wants to be the greatest lover she’s ever had, and is constantly repelled and angered by her descriptions of previous affairs and their…attributes.

He constantly asks what’s wrong with her.  My answer is that as far as…

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May the 4th

Today is….complicated.

I am a huge Star Wars fan.  I was 8 years old when it came out in 1977.  It’s been a touchstone movie for me ever since.   So today is a fun day in many ways with all the Star Wars memes going around.    Then there is the Glitter for Carrie thing.  Which makes me smile and feel sad at the same time.

Today also marks the 47th anniversary of the Kent State Massacre.

Today is also when the House of Representatives of the United States of America voted to repeal the ACA and replace it with legislation that could kill many.  I hope it will not pass the Senate.

In addition, my partner was unwell and stayed home from work.  So I had to cope with having another person around.  Unexpected things throw me off no matter how benign.

But hey, I have a cool shirt on Booster!  Please go take a look and see if you want one!

Usefulness

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Since it is Mental Health Month, I decided to do a little Booster campaign to give y’all something tangible in return for your support.  The campaign is here:  https://www.booster.com/intomentalhealth I hope you like the design. I think it is pretty spiffy.  As stated in the information at Booster, I will donate part of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales to NAMI.  The campaign is open throughout the month with the t-shirts delivered a couple of weeks after it closes.

So, that said. Let me delve a bit into why I’m doing this.  I mentioned before that I’m coming out of a down cycle.  Doing something useful will help me keep from falling back too far.  I’m actually pretty excited to see this succeed.  There’s a minimum of 8 sales before the shirts will go to print.   However, if 20 are sold, Booster will kick in another $20, if 100 are sold it’s $50 and so on.  I doubt I have enough reach for 100 but I’d be thrilled with 20!  I’ll donate the entirety of the extra.

Anyway, thanks for listening.  I’ve been feeling incredibly useless and like a waste of air.  This campaign is a good start to quelling those feelings.  I’m going to look for other things I can do that makes me feel like a contributing member of society.

It’s May!

May is Mental Health Month!  Lots of awareness campaigns happening this month.  I’ll probably post linkage to ones I run across and want to support.

NAMI Mental Health Month

Mental Health America

Looking across social media at the #mentalhealthmonth  and associated hashtags, makes me kinda weepy.  It’s great to see so many people raising awareness.  At the same time, it makes me acutely aware that every month is mental health month for me.   There’s never a time when I’m not aware of the importance of mental health or the impact of mental illness.  Or of the stigma.  Or the lack of understanding.

It also makes me profoundly grateful for my friends and family who offer me support and caring throughout the year.  Every year.  Every month.  Every day.

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Had to come back and add one little thing.  Mental health for people of color is different.