Tag Archives: daily prompt

Daily Post – Writer’s Block? Nope, Writing Helps me Cope

Word Press Post A Day – When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?

I just started doing these Post A Day things from Word Press – I thought it might help me expand on my topics – bring in new ideas to relate to mental health…which is what my blog is about.  For the most part, I think it has helped a bit.  I think most of them I have been able to relate to mental health/illness in some way, even if it has been a bit of a stretch at times.  Except Unlikely Pairing – that one, nope, I just couldn’t tie in.  I wrote about it anyway, just to write.

I am passionate about mental health though.  I have been affected with mental illness my whole life.  There is so much stigma associated with mental illness though.  You rarely hear about the great people that have mental illness, just the horrible stories related to it.  Everyone just gets a bad picture.

I created this blog to show my struggles, but also my triumphs over my disorders – my bipolar, my borderline personality disorder, and my PTSD.  All of which I struggle with daily.  I also overcome it everyday though.

Each day I get up, I write on here.  I write about what mental illness is, or how to cope with it,  quotes related to it, how it has affected me, how it might be affecting me that day, what I am going to do in the future to overcome a challenge that I faced because of it, suicide, sexual abuse, past traumas, therapy, etc.

I’m sure I had writers block in high school related to some silly essay my AP English teacher wanted me to write.  When it comes down to something that I am interested in though, something I am passionate about – no, I haven’t had it.  I am sure it might come eventually, but so far, it hasn’t hit me.  I hope it doesn’t because this is a topic that needs to be spoken up for and needs to be heard.

This is my coping skill.  It’s keeping me mentally healthy right now.  Or as much as it can anyway.

Post A Day – He Followed His Passion

Word Press Post A Day – We often capture strangers in photos we take in public. Open your photo library, and stop at the first picture that features a person you don’t know. Now tell the story of that person.

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He was feeding stay kittens.  There were 5 of them.  We were in an old church in Malaysia.  He drew these amazing pictures, both in pencil and it acrylic paint.  I have never seen any that were so good.  He didn’t even ask for much – only 10 ringgit for the pencil drawings and around 65-75 ringgit for the paintings.  In American money – that is nothing!  (ex. About $3.50 for the pencil drawings).

There were quite a few artists set up at this church, and a lot of them were actually quite good.  He had many people buying from him though.  What set him apart?  He was feeding these poor, helpless, defenseless, little kittens.  According to him – everyday he would bring them food and water.  Not just any cat food, but canned cat food.  The good stuff.  He had food bowls for them, the food, and a bottle full of water to pour for them.  He had named them and knew which was which.  They seemed to really love him too (more than just because he had the food).  They knew him and would play in his backpack, would cuddle with him, and purr around his leg.

He was a native of Malaysia.  He grew up there his whole life.  He hadn’t gone to school over grade school, and didn’t earn much money.  This was his job – drawing.  He knew he was good at it and wanting to make a living off of it.  He didn’t earn much money, probably because he really didn’t charge much money.  Honestly, I bet the tourists would have paid a lot more for his drawings.  He even was giving discounts to those that bought multiple drawings – and people were buying a lot of them, including myself.

On this trip, I met a stranger.  I stranger that showed love and care to those that couldn’t care for themselves.  That isn’t a quality that you really see in today’s world.  Not many people do possess that anymore.  This world is about competiveness – at least in America from what I have experienced. From my earliest days in school it has been about getting the best grades, being the best student, participating in the most activities, being the best in the class, learning the most – all so you can get in the best college/university – which will get you the best job/career.  This will ultimately make you the most money.

But he – he didn’t even care about this.  He did what he was passionate about.  He followed his passion and he took care of these defenseless animals.  He didn’t make the most money.  He was ok with his life.

I know that money does make life easier – it definitely does.  You don’t struggle to pay bills, you can buy food much easier and pay for a house/apartment.  You can pay for your doctors and medication.  It definitely can make life much easier.  But it can also make life a lot more complicated too.  I know you need money to live off of.  That is definitely a fact.

But I do think that our lives would be much better if we weren’t all about the competitiveness that we face today.  When I met this stranger – I learned that.  My mental health is in my genes, it is a chemical imbalance.  But it was also affected by the environmental factors around me.  Things in my life can help it or hurt it.  Growing up in a competitive world where I was expected to be the best, hurt it.  I had to hide that I was hurting because I had to be the best, I couldn’t show weakness.

This stranger showed me otherwise.  You don’t have to be the best.  You can just be yourself.

Daily Post – Ice Kacang — Who Would of Thought?

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(found on http://www.foodily.com)

Word Press – Post A Day -Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

 

Ok Ok, so I thought about this…. and  my first one wasn’t exactly well thought out- there actually was one food that I had that was absolutely completely bizarre to me.  BUT, it is a staple dessert in Malaysia!

I went to Malaysia for the month of March.   I have never been there before and it was absolutely amazing.

There is a dessert called – Ice Kacang!  Also known as ABC in some areas.

This dessert has an assortment of things in it – nothing that I would ever imagine putting in a dessert!  But everyone there seems to love it.

So the ingredients are:

  • Crushed Ice
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Condensed Milk
  • Canned Red Beans
  • Cream Style Sweat Corn
  • Grass Jelly Pieces
  • Attap Chee (Palm Nuts) – optional
  • ice cream – optional

Now, I would never think of eating a dessert like this.  It just seems like a weird combination to put together.  Corn with shaved ice?  Red Beans with shaved ice?  And those Jelly pieces — they looked like worms to me.  But, I guess you never know what something is going to taste like unless you try it!

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(found on – http://www.photoblog.com/chanchiewsoo/2008/09/22/durian-abc.html)

So, again, I would say — never judge a book by it’s cover.

Daily Prompt – Don’t Judge a Book By it’s Cover

Word Press Post A Day – Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…..we are told this over and over again growing up.

Honestly, I can’t say that I really have any weird food combinations.  I like ranch dressing on things – french-fries, to dip my pizza in sometimes.  I like pancake syrup on more than pancakes like I’m ok with it getting on my eggs or bacon.  But I don’t think that’s weird — is it?  I’ve seen others do these things anyway.

But….I had a roommate in college, she had an interesting combination.  Perhaps it isn’t weird to others, but to me, it was a brand new combination!  Caramel dip and French fries!  In the dining court, we had the caramel dip for the apples…and of course French fries — she would put the two together! I was introduced to this concept on my second week of school while eating with her and some other friends.  I tried it once, it was definitely not my cup of tea (I am not sure it was any of my friends either).   It sound similar to milk shakes and French fries I guess, which is much more common and I have tried and is much more enjoyable for me – but it is a completely difference consistency and to me definitely did not taste the same at all.

I’m not really in to trying new things, so I was pretty proud that I even forced myself in to trying this crazy concoction that my roommate had devised.  Although, I wish I would have known that this one odd thing was just a preface to a whole semester of craziness and disagreements— a semester of us not getting along, a semester of arguments – because she wanted to go to bed at 8am but be awake at 3am, she wanted to change her sheets in the middle of the nights for no reason except cleaning seemed to be better at that time, she thought loose cheerios and underwear were appropriately placed on the desk (including mine), and the playstation 2 must be angled at a specific direction with the cords not wrapped around the controllers – a semester of mediations with the RA (luckily my RA was definitely on my side), a semester of mediations with the RLM (he was less biased, blah), and finally — thank goodness! – me getting to move out of that ridiculous situation!

Odd choices don’t always lead to odd people, but sometimes, just sometimes they do!

Daily Post – Memories in a State Psych Hospital – Chocolate Cake, Flip Flops, and The Wise One

Word Press Post A Day – Time for another Odd Trio prompt: write a post about any topic you want, in whatever form or genre, but make sure it features a slice of cake, a pair of flip-flops, and someone old and wise.

 

I was stuck in the state hospital.  Well, pretty much stuck.  I had reached level 4, so I had some freedom.  See, when you reach level 4, you can leave the hospital.  If there is a field trip or outing, you are eligible to go on it.  For example, we took a trip to the Indiana Pacers game – it was amazing!  It was actually my first time to a professional sports game and I had a blast. Who would have thought I had to get sent to a state hospital to go to a professional sporting event? 

As time gets closer to your release, you are actually able to spend a few hours outside of the hospital with family and/or friends and even weekend visits out – yep you can leave the hospital for a whole weekend and spend the night at home!  My family didn’t lie in Indiana, so this didn’t even seem like an option for me, but for one week, both my parents (who lived in different states), came up for a visit!

I was due to be released in 2 months if all went well.  I would be off of my commitment and we were still figuring out where I would go – a treatment facility, group home, independent apartment, back with my family, etc.  Ok ok, so where do these flip flops, cake, and someone old and wise come in?  Well, I was free!  My family was there and I was level 4!  At first, I would only be out for 4 hours for the first 2 days, then 8 hours the next two days, then I got to spend the night at the hotel for the next day and didn’t have to be back until 8pm the next day! 

You can’t have shoes with laces in a psych hospital.  Nope.  You might just hang yourself.  So flips flops!  Yep, you bring flip flops or house shoes, or my favorite were my converse shoes that they make now that have elastic and no strings (I make sure to always have those around in case I get sent to a hospital).  But the days I was out with my parents, I just wore my flip flops, easy to put on, light, and freeing!  It was like going on a vacation to a beach – you just have to flip flops on. 

Chocolate cake!  We met up with my friend and his family from my city I was from.  State hospitals are rarely going to be in the city you actually live in.  I was in one that was 1.5 hours away from where I was from.  My friend and his family was amazing though, they had come to visit me about 2x a month, bring me food (yep you can also bring food into the state hospital) and basically being my second family. So my family and I met up with them at Applebees! This happened to be my friend and my favorite restaurant!  We always ordered chocolate cake for desert here when we went to ate – so to celebrate my freedom (even if it was just for a few hours) – we had some chocolate cake!

Tech M – he was old and wise.  He made sure to tell me what to do and not to do on my outings.  Of course I knew.  I knew not to drink or do drugs.  I knew not to do anything crazy or get out of control.  I knew that anything illegal or out of control would get me to not be able to go out, lose a level, and perhaps even delay my release.  But he sat me down and really explained the gravity of it.  He spent time telling me how proud he was of me.  He spent time telling me how important it was to spend time with the people who loved me.  He spent time telling me how hard I had worked to get to the level I was at.  I left for my outings with a sense of pride for being able to go on my outings, a sense of responsibility – more than I had before. 

I still think of psych hospitals when I wear flip flops.  My friend from Indiana, he still will text me pictures when he goes out to eat (anywhere) and gets chocolate cake – “Remember Applebees?”  Tech M, I will always remember him.  He was kind and caring.  He actually got very ill while I was still in the hospital.  He took some time off, and never came back.  A week or so before I left, we were told he had passed away.  He was a wise soul and I think he gave a lot of good advice to a lot of people – he touched a lot of lives. 

People have a lot of misconceptions about psych hospitals.  I know not all are good.  And I know not all state hospitals are like the one I was at.  I definitely went to one that was beyond amazing and got incredibly good care.  I have a lot of fond memories there.  I wanted out of the state hospital so bad when I was there especially the first three months. The last past of the 6 months, I just wanted out because I thought maybe I would be stuck there forever otherwise – and yet when I left, I actually missed it.  I missed the friends that I had made there.  I missed the groups that I had gone to.  I missed the support that I had.  Even the stupid roommate situation – I missed it.  Being on my own was hard, incredibly hard.  Thinking back on these memories actually make me smile.  There were some bad ones, but there were a lot more good ones than bad ones. 

Daily Post – Abuse of One’s Power

Word Press Post A Day – Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?

Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride.  The 7 deadly sins.

There is an 8th deadly sin for me.  Well there are probably a 100 or more deadly sins in my book, but today – we will talk about the 8th. 

I can’t sum it down to one work, but four – abuse of one’s power.  Taking advantage of someone because you have more power of them.  Using your title, your badge, your degree, your social status, or whatever it might be to get what you want or enforce your punishment or authority on to someone else.

I guess, a lot of people would think of cops when I write them – they pull someone over and get overly aggressive.  Or there is even a higher number of domestic violence cases within the households that have a member of the law enforcement living in them (of course, many cops are good).  People will say cops speed even when they pull others over for speeding and they are not even chasing anyone or going anywhere special. 

For me, I personally had a teacher abuse his power.  I was molested by a teacher when I was younger.  He took advantage of me.  He abused his authority.  I was depressed and he found out what was going on in my life and told me he would make it better, he would fix it, I just had to listen to him and do what he said.  For months, he made me do things.  He verbally abused me, he sexually abused me.  It took years for me to trust a teacher again.  My life was turned upside down.  My mental health was awful – and still is.  I struggle every day with trust and socialization. 

When someone abuses their power, they take away someone freedom.  They take away that persons self worth.  It might not seem like a big deal.  It might not seem like it affects anything at all.  But it is a big deal.  Whether it is simply doing something because you can – because you know that no one will challenge you for fear of what you will do to them even though no one is going to get hurt, or because you want what you want and someone is going to get hurt – emotionally or physically. 

The 8th cardinal sin – abusing one’s power.

Daily Post – Predicting the Future, Looking at the Past

Word Press Post A Day – Back on January 21st, we asked you to predict what day #211 would be like. Well, July 30th is that day — how have your predictions held up so far? If you didn’t reply to the prompt at the time, is this year turning out to be as you’d expected?

 

I wasn’t even on WordPress back on January 21st, so I definitely didn’t predict what today would be like.  I do often think about my future though.  I think about my past and my future quite a bit.  I look back on my past and question why things happened, what would have happened if I had done something different, why didn’t I do this or that.  I focus a lot on my past.  People always say to look towards the future though.  I listen to them, I do look towards the future.  I question my future just as much as I question my past.  What is it going to be like, am I ever going to be “normal.” Yes, yes, what is normal?  I guess I should say, am I ever going to overcome this mental illness completely?  Will I be able to hold a job, be happy, be able to socialize with others without being in a panic, will I ever just be ok?  I can’t say that back in January I was expecting for that to all magically happen in July, especially on this day – but I do wonder if it will happen, and if it does, when will it happen.

I know it won’t though.  I know I am battling a lifelong battle.  I know that I am always going to struggle.  And sometimes, even seeing a future for myself in general is hard. 

In January, I did expect July to be better than what it has turned out to be.  I was hoping that I would be happier.  I was actually planning on moving back up to Indiana earlier in the summer, but in January I resigned my lease to stay an extra year here, to give it another chance.  I thought by now, I would have found out that it was nice here. It is nice here, but I’m not happy here, well not happy yet.  I suppose I still have until April of 2015 to find out if signing that lease for another year made a difference or not.  I just thought it would have happened already.

Living with mental illness is hard.  You can’t focus too much on the past.  You cant focus to much on the future either though.  There are too many what if’s both ways.  Too many should I have, could I have, and why’s.  The questions are endless.  I really have to stay in the present moment, and just think about today. 

Daily Post – I Wanted To Feel Human, I wanted to Feel Alive. I Thought Suicide Could Do This

Word Press Post A Day – After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again?

 

Feeling alive again, feeling human again.  How I long for those sometimes.  It is so easy for me to just feel numb and dead.  My depression can take over.  It can consume me.  Lifting a piece of paper, can feel like I just moved a boulder. 

Three years ago, I wouldn’t have done anything to feel alive.  After a grueling week, an exhausting week, a horrible exam, or anything that just overwhelmed me — I would have attempted suicide.  If I was alive, then I could die.  Bizarre thought process right?  That is how it was for me though.  Mental illness was lying to me, it was messing up my thoughts, my emotions, and really destroying my life.  Over and over again I attempted suicide, landed in the ER, the ICU, and in psych hospitals

Today, I don’t do that anymore.  I still have the suicidal thoughts, yes.  I reach out for help before anything happens though.  I also use my coping skills.  To feel alive, I paint, I juggle, I draw, I write, I spend time in nature, I do anything and everything to keep me from ruminating on whatever it was that made me have an exhausting or overwhelming situation.  I don’t do one thing to feel human again.  I can’t do one thing – for me, I have to do multiple things, I have to keep trying things and if one thing does work, I have to move on to another thing. If I don’t do that, then I might fall back into my old pattern – and I don’t want that.  If that happens, then I won’t even be able to be alive. 

Daily Post – Bringing Me Back to Childhood

WordPress Post A Day – It was sunny when you left home, so you didn’t take an umbrella. An hour later, you’re caught in a torrential downpour. You run into the first store you can find — it happens to be a dark, slightly shabby antique store, full of old artifacts, books, and dust. The shop’s ancient proprietor walks out of the back room to greet you. Tell us what happens next!

 

I hate umbrellas!  I absolutely do!  This rain, did it have to rain though?  It was perfectly sunny earlier, ugh I guess I really do need to start watching the weather report.  – I think these things to myself.  I look around the dreary, antique shop, the owner appears. “Hello!”

‘Um, hi!  I really don’t want anything.  I’m sorry, I just had to get out of the rain,” I explained.

“Ok, ok.  Well look around.  There are still lots of fun things around here.  Old things, things that might bring you back to your past.”

I decide, what the heck – I’m stuck here, I might as well do something than stare out the glass door at the rain.  So I walk around, there is actually quite a mixture of things – lots of old dishes, chinaware, depression glass, pottery, music instruments, but what really caught my attention was a toy. 

I’m not antique, I’m not even old, or I don’t think I am. It brought me back to childhood though, when I was carefree.  Whenever I played with this, I was happy, I wasn’t sad.  It was this giant spinning top! I am not sure how else to explain it.  I could sit and watch it for hours.  In the middle, you pushed up and down on a stick which made it spin around on its base.  Mine was pink with swirls of yellow and orange.  I had it when I was about 5 until 8, but I took it everywhere, including out in the rain (what a coincidence!), so it became quite rusted and quit working. 

He was right, looking around did bring me back to my past.  A time when I was happy.  The rain stopped and I was free to go, to get out of the dark store.  I couldn’t leave that top behind though.  It had brought me so much happiness and maybe I needed it again now, to remind me that sometimes I just need to step back and have some fun, to look at the little things in life.  So I paid for the top, thanked the man for the shelter, and went on my way.

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Found on: NotOnTheHighStree.com

 

All too often, I don’t have good thoughts about my childhood.  I think of all the bad things, the fights, the arguments, the depression, and abuse.  I don’t think of the things in between that I held on to, the things that kept me going. My toys were one of those things.  As a kid, they are an escape for you.  As you get older, it is usually your friends. As a kid though, your toys mean so much to you!  That giant spinning top – it really took me out of my thoughts.  I was mesmerized by it. It really didn’t do much but sit there and spin, but I could play with it for hours.  It is really amazing how much a toy can bring such joy.  When I look back on my life, I realize I need to try and focus on some of my happy thoughts now.  To balance out all the negatives that I am having to deal with during therapy, I also need to focus on some of the positives.  The good people that have been there for me, the things that did get me by, the hobbies I had, the healthy escapes that I used.  I made it this far, and I did that somehow.  I need to focus on those positives – and not just on all the negatives.  If I simply focus on all of my trauma while going through therapy, it will be hard, it will be incredibly hard.

Daily Post – Age, Not Just a Number, But an Achievement

Word Press Post A Day – “Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

 

I am not sure I pay attention to my age on a day to day basis, but with each birthday I have, I feel I have hit a milestone. I never expected to be this old. The fact that I have made it this far, I am quite impressed if I do say so myself.  I do not acknowledge my age everyday, I do not pay attention to age everyday, nor do I ruminate on my age or anyone else’s age.  But to me, living another year is a milestone.  It is an achievement.  I have defeated a battle that has been going on in my head.  The battle of suicidal thoughts and mental illness.  I have been conquering them thus far. 

When I look to others, I feel like I look at them the same way.  I do not look at it in a negative way, in the way that many people say, “ugh I am getting soooo old.” But I see strength.  We all have a story, and not everyone knows it.  We all have lived to overcome our struggles though, no matter how big or small they might have been.  So when I look at myself, and I look at others – that is what I see, as each year passes, I see someone who has conquered their battles, their struggles, and has lived another day, another week, another month, another year. My age, their age, it is not “just a number” but an achievement.