I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Psalm 8

My Godde and everyone’s Godde,
There is none like You;
Your glory surpasses all.

The weak of mouth shout Your name,
They praise You as they can.
And this weakens Your enemies.
The strongest enemy cannot stand up to Your strength.

When I gaze upon the stars,
The moons,
The constellations;
I consider that all come from You.
What is so great about humankind?
Why do you care about us?
Why not give up?
Yet, we are still one of Your greatest creations
And one day we will share Your glory.

You have even given us the birds, beasts, and fish on Earth.
We must care for them like You care for us.
Perhaps they ask the same questions!

(The pics are courtesy of http://nationalgeographic.com)
This is one of my favorite recreations so far. It's really, just one of my favorite psalms, period. To read the original, go to http://biblegateway.com

You Don't Have to Change At All...

I am feeling a bit sad this evening and although this video is cheery, I'm afraid it's not helping much. This video is from "Free to Be, You and Me" and features a young Michael Jackson and Roberta Flack singing the song, "When We Grow Up." The movie, music, and book influenced my life in ways that I cannot even begin to appreciate. Oh, Michael, when Flack sings, "You don't have to change at all," I think she meant it...

Aside from all the news about Michael Jackson's death everywhere, I am struggling right now for a whole variety of reasons.
#1-I thought I was going to have an interview with the executive director of NAMI today. I had a telephone interview with him Wednesday and he said that I might get an email about scheduling an interview for Friday and he even asked me what time of day would be good for me and then he never called or emailed. I sent him an email Thursday night, but received no response. I am crushed. I really long for a better job and I am truly talking about more than merely material goods (though more money and the ability to move out would be fantastic...)

#2-I woke up this morning with a huge sore lump on my neck and had to go to the doctor. Apparently I've got a staph infection. I look gross! I've got sores all over my body and just feel overall unappealing and yucky...

#3-I decided that since I had to cancel working today and it really did need to get done, I got a new driver's license to replace the one I lost when I visited my brother about a month ago. It was a HoRrIbLe experience! The new computer system broke down, the lines were long and confusing, ultimately leaving me in tears at one point.

#4-I'm going on a church retreat tomorrow and I'm more worried and anxious than my usual self-I'm always in at least a small part worried and anxious..because the pharmacist told me that the antibiotics I'm taking will make me very sensitive to the heat and just afraid that I am not going to be any fun. I'm 28 and a fuddy-duddy. Oy!

Anyway, so I am trying a new thing where I remind myself of the things I am grateful for, so let's see if there are any possible reasons...

#1-Honestly, the only thing I can think of with the job is that there has got to be something even better. It's a little hard to grasp right now, since I, of course, do not know what it is... I found out yesterday that my favorite manager at work just left-the official title is "lead sales associate"-and I'll try to capture the promotion. It would be an improvement, but certainly not a career.

#2-I was able to get my medication for free at Publix! (Publix has eight common antibacterial prescriptions available for free and mine was one of them.)

#3-This one is actually where I feel a little pride in myself! When I've been wronged, I have a rich herstory of swallowing my emotions and inwardly torturing myself. Hence, the eating disorder. So even though, I did get a wee bit teary at one point, after there was all this confusion about what line I was supposed to stand behind and other such shit, I did ask the manager if she had any comment cards and I got one and will fill it out and send it out sometime this weekend. To the staff's credit, most of them were very nice and I really felt sorry for them, as my Sears Outlet is also currently undergoing the woes of a new software program.

#4-I am going to the North Georgia mountains! To an awesome cabin with some of the coolest people ever! I get to supply the kids with sugar-water (aka Pop-Ice) and since it was planned, I won't be blamed when they all get strung up on the sugar! heh heh Okay, so that made me smile. All I can say is M. better give me one of his signature hugs! (He's the youngest of the kids that will be there and somehow we've formed a bond.) So, M.! Listen up, bro! "You don't have to change at all!"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rich in Golden Summer Squash

Wednesday night I made a simple, yet scrumptious dinner using squash from my mom's own organic garden.Wonderful!

All I did was cut it up,

Cover it with Ken's Lemon Pepper Marinade,

Sautee it,

Add noodles, and parmesean cheese, and voila! Done!
And my stomach was full and happy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Psalm 7

I set my case before You, O Godde-
I trust in You.
Do not stand aside while
Wild beasts tear at my soul.
But deliver me into Your hands,
For I trust in You.

If I have killed another,
If I have lied,
If I am filled with evil,
Then condemn me like all the others.
Judge me, Godde-
Then judge my enemies;
I know their trouble should fall back on them.
Anyone who curses You or I curses themselves.

I praise the Just Judge of the universe,
Who delivers those falsely accused.

Ack! I am sorry that I have not been blogging regularly when I had been doing so well, but I have been really tired lately after work. Right now I feel metaphorically rich, though, because I have two days off of work in a row, so hopefully that will mean at least two days of posting in a row! lol As always when I post my psalms, if you want to compare it to the original, here's a link: http://www.biblegateway.com This one should work!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Making a Way out of No Way - a Womanist Theology"

Today, which happens to be Thursday, June 11, my good friend Monica A. Coleman is going to be at Charis Books & More at 7:30pm delivering a discussion about her new book, "Making a Way out of No Way - a Womanist Theology." I have not read the book yet-I will after I finish my current-but I will go ahead and advise you to attend if you are in the area. I promise you will not be disappointed!!

There is something you should know about Monica Coleman - she is smart. As in WOW! smart. As in, when she graduated from Harvard she was named one of the twenty-five “intellectual elite” of her graduating class. And yet, I know firsthand from talking with her that the words she uses are easily understood. Coleman is not someone who wants to sit aloft on her intellectual pedestal, but instead wants to spread her message to all.

Karen Baker-Fletcher, Ph.D. Professor of Systematic Theology at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, says this about Coleman's book: “Monica Coleman’s elegant prose makes Making a Way out of No Way a clear and accessible introduction to postmodern womanist theology. This book is a wonderful synthesis of the best of the past with attention to the foibles of our twenty-first-century present and realistic hope for creative future possibilities.”
(Did I mention that she's gorgeous too?!)

Coleman's newest book-she also wrote the book, "The Dinah Project," about how the church can help heal victims of sexual abuse-articulates the African American expression of "making a way out of no way" for today's context of globalization, religious pluralism, and sexual diversity. Drawing on womanist religious scholarship and process thought, Coleman describes the symbiotic relationship among God, the ancestors, and humanity that helps to change the world into the just society it ought to be. "Making a Way Out of No Way" shows us a way of living for justice with God and proposes a communal theology that presents a dynamic way forward for black churches, African traditional religions and grassroots organizations. And please come to the discussion, even if you are not Black or female, for womanist theology applies to everyone! We should all look into the ways that our society can be made into the "just society it ought to be."

*Much of the material for this post was gathered from her website, http://www.monicaacoleman.com Monica A. Coleman to learn more about her and her work. Or come tonight! (Or come visit Circle of Grace Community Church in Atlanta, of which she is a member!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Read Psalm 6 and then Go Visit Femi-Nation!

O Holy One, I know I am weak,
But please do not scold me in your hot anger.
My body and soul are so weak, Godde,
But do not punish me.

Return, Holy One, to me!
Remember that I cannot praise You
In the depths of Hell;
And I want to praise You!
I am weak with crying, and
Groaning, and
Moaning for You,
Day and night, O Godde.
Remember me as I remember You!

O Holy One, I know You remember me!
Let my enemies become weaker than I,
And I become stronger in You.


If you want to compare it to the original, go to: http://ebible.org/bible/Psalms.htm
I don't know why the link isn't working, so just copy and paste. I had a great day and now I must go to bed, but before I do, let me briefly promote my new blog, "Femi-Nation." It's a blog meant to foster inclusive, feminist community and anybody can post as long as it is about marginalized voices and promoting sisterhood. People can also submit their own artwork (which includes recipes)and information about important events. To submit, email me at femination@yahoo.com The blog is at http://femination.blogspot.com (I really need to learn how to embed links... Oy!)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Nervous and Excited

Minutes ago, I emailed my resume and cover letter to a NAMI member about a new job as Executive Assistant to NAMI GA. I really, really, really, really hope I get a response soon. I really hope I get hired. Really!

I like my job at Sears alright, but it does not give me enough time to work on my activism or my blog or my church or my music or my friends and family. The job just does not fully satisfy me as a job in any way, including monetarily.

So people can gain an even better understanding of what I want to accomplish, I have posted parts of my cover letter below. Happy reading!
To a Mental Health Non-Profit in GA Who is Currently Hiring:

As someone who works for commission at a Sears Outlet and so has to approach customers and give speeches daily, I am adept at public speaking and even enjoy it. I am also currently called, “the computer whiz,” at my work by my boss and am the first one called to complete projects that involve using the internet, such as creating an account and business listing for our store on Google business. I enjoy working with others and as a team in order to complete a job and to make my customers happy. [...]

I am someone who wants to make a difference in this world for people who live with mental illness and who experience our society’s stigma of mental illness daily. I know about mental illness and its stigma personally, as I have an anxiety disorder, schizoaffective disorder (bipolar type), and an eating disorder. Fortunately, I am doing very well and consider myself a successful person in recovery.

I also know about mental illness from an intellectual perspective, as I took many classes about it in college, including abnormal psychology. I spent two years going to college to obtain a degree in music therapy and so I know a lot about mental illness, not only as a consumer, but also as a therapist.

I am also someone who is very drawn to activism. Right now, I am using my computer and English skills-I have an English degree from Georgia State University-to moderate two blogs that I created earlier this year. The first blog, called “Hope is Real!” is about mental illness and feminism. [...] The second blog is called "Femi-Nation" and is currently under construction. I plan to use it to invite feminists to break the stigma by writing about issues that are often not covered in mainstream media, such as mental illness.

I believe my computer and people skills, my experience and knowledge about mental illness, and my strong desire to be a mental illness activist make me an ideal candidate for the position you are looking for!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This is Why I Support Obama as President!

My dad doesn't like the way our president handles the economy and to be honest, I'm not so hot about the way he does either. But as a bisexual, I've got to say that I care more about my rights than my pocket and this is why I salute you, President Barack Obama.

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 1, 2009

- - - - - - -

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country's response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration -- in both the White House and the Federal agencies -- openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Go Check Out HealthyPlace.com

I received an email about a website that sounds like a wonderful resource and I wanted to share what it's promoting this week. Take a look!*******

Recovering From An Eating Disorder
SOARING numbers of young girls are being treated in hospitals for eating disorders.

A new report shows cases of bulimia and anorexia among girls under 18 have leapt by 47 percent from 2004 to 2008. In the UK, there has also been a 25 per cent rise in girls UNDER NINE being treated for eating disorders.

Recovery from an eating disorder is no walk in the park, which is why so many people suffering from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating or compulsive overeating never make it to the other side of recovery.

Eating Disorders treatment specialist, Joanna Poppink, MFT, has been treating eating disorder patients for over 20 years. Her website, Triumphant Journey: A Cyberguide To Stop Overeating and Recover from Eating Disorders, is in the HealthyPlace.com Eating Disorders Community.

In three new articles, she discusses the journey people must take when they are serious about eating disorders treatment.

Eating Disorder Recovery: Living A Balanced Life
Life Transitions in Eating Disorder Recovery - What Do I Do Now?
Getting Better and Losing Friends During Eating Disorder Recovery
"Eating Disorders Treatment: Recovery from Eating Disorders and Why It’s So Darn Difficult" On HealthyPlace TV
Our guest has been battling anorexia and bulimia for over 15 years. Shannon Cutts, author of "Beating Ana," will be sharing her struggle and the issues involved in overcoming an eating disorder.

*******This Tuesday night, June 2. The show starts at 5:30p PT, 7:30 CT, 8:30 ET and airs live on our website.

TV Show Blog with this week's show info
In the second half of the show, you get to ask Dr. Harry Croft, your personal mental health questions.

Also this month on HealthyPlace TV

Treating Borderline Personality Disorder: Is It Possible?
Child Abuse and Its Impact Later in Life
Your Child’s Mental Health: What Every Parent Should Know
If you would like to be a guest on the show or share you personal story in writing or via video, please write us at: producer AT healthyplace.com

*****Bipolar Depression
When it comes to Bipolar Disorder, most people think of the manic episodes that are connected with the disorder; which is why the other flavor of Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Depression, is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. Bipolar Depression also carries a higher risk of suicide.

We have a new section on Bipolar Depression in the HealthyPlace.com Bipolar Community. It's written by award-winning mental health author, Julie Fast, who wrote the "Gold Standard of Treating Bipolar Disorder" and the "Gold Standard of Treating Depression" for HealthyPlace.com.

In easy-to-understand language, Julie provides an authoritative look at Bipolar Depression:

Differences Between Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Depression
Why Bipolar Depression is Often Misdiagnosed
Role of Mania in Bipolar Depression
Treatment and Medications for Bipolar Depression
Treatment Differences Between Depression and Bipolar Depression
Bipolar Depression Management Tips
Bipolar Depression Special Section: Table of Contents
Getting a correct diagnosis for Bipolar Depression is not easy, but it's very important. A misdiagnosis can lead to incorrect treatment which can be hazardous to your mental health.

Online, you can join the HealthyPlace Mental Health Support Network. If you're looking for face-to-face meetings for:

Bipolar Disorder and Depression, there's the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has groups for Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.
For Anxiety Disorders, there's the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.
CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD) offers support for ADHD.
Mental Health America can also assist you in finding a support group.
Chapters of each group exist across the United States.

Also try contacting your county mental health association, local United Way and county psychological association. Usually, they can lead you in the right direction in finding a support group in your community.

Latest Mental Health News
These stories and more are featured on our mental health news page:

Iraq Slaying Verdict Highlights Combat Stress
What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You?
Japan Revises SSRI Warnings--Hostility, Violence
Psychiatrists Begin Revising Diagnostic Manual For Mental Illnesses
Gray Matter Deficits Found in Older Bipolar Disorder Patients
Why Some People Risk It All to Punish Evildoers

Psalm #5


My Commander and my Godde,
It is to you I pray.

With the morning birds, I will pray.
Within dawn’s haze, I will pray-
And I will see you in the morning.

I trust with rejoicing.
I love with joy.
Let all who trust in LOVE SUPREME rejoice!

If you want to compare my version with the original, you can find the original here: http://ebible.org/bible/Psalms.htm