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.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Psalm 20 - A Lullaby about Letting Go

My Child,
May the Lord deliver and defend you.
May She enfold you in Her kindness.
May you fulfill your promise
And
Your heart’s desire be fulfilled by Godde.

For you are not only mine, little one,
But a child of Godde.
***********************************
To compare it to the original, go here

I started putting this psalm to music about a year ago and like most of my projects, it is still not finished... The song is a lullaby that besides voice, also uses flute and violin. I never finished it, because I got so distracted with my illness and with other stressful events/trauma in Milledgeville. I am having trouble not being bitter and resentful over the things that happened there. Everything happens for a reason and yet our purpose is not to question why bad things happen, but to move on when they do. It is difficult, but day by day, I am learning to let go of old expectations and just be.
Speaking of taking things, "day by day," here is the song, "Day by Day," from the 1972 movie version of Godspell. If you are younger or sillier, you may remember these lyrics from a certain prayer in the movie "Meet the Parents," which was pretty funny. I tried to find the clip, but no such luck...

Sunrise Food - Godde's Goodness Made Manifest in My Food

In my version of Psalm 19, I talk about Godde's knowledge being made manifest in "the sun rising and setting," and this meal I made that day also reminds me of a beautiful sunrise or set!
Two eggs, sunny side up
Toasted Flatbread
Raspberries and Strawberries soaked in Lemonade
Put some strawberries and a bunch of raspberries in a little bowl with about 1/4 cup of lemonade, mush up the raspberries, and let the mixture set until the toast and eggs are done.
Pour the mixture on top of the toast and eggs. Enjoy! The result was beautiful to my eyes and mouth and mind, as I gave thanks to the Holy One for being able to enjoy a delicious dinner!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Recovery Poetry AND I Can Finally Say I Am Published!

I am really proud of myself! The Nami Gwinnett newsletter just came out and on page ten were six of my poems! Of course, it would be nice to be paid for my work, but still, any recognition is better than none and knowing that the people I submitted my work to valued it enough to publish them gives me hope that another publisher might too. Three of the poems are ones that I have previously posted here - both of the ones on February 14th and the poem entitled, "Do Not Believe the Lie" on August 28. Here are the other three:

Failure

Failure
Is just a word away.
A refusal
To arise in the morning,
A complacency
When the sun is not shining;

When war storms through my door,
Failure is just the failure
to make another mistake.


(I wanted to picture failure, w/out being depressing. Did it work?!)

The Phoenix

Don't label my life
with a Finally
Don't tell me
that the light is at the
End.

For the light is continuous-
There is no finally.
Life carries on after death-
An eternal renewal.

What Works

The meds do not work.

Because the meds do not listen.
They don’t hold our hand-
They do not care.

The meds do not work
-At least-
not enough!

What does work?
LOVE!
And I can feel it here,
And I can feel it now-
It is enough.

(Click on the image to read the article, "Love as Medicine" by David Simon, a doctor who writes about "listening for the underlying story" behind his patients' pain.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Clerks II ABC Music Video - If This Doesn't Make You Smile, Nothing Will!


I was feeling a little down and then I watched the last half of Clerks II and everything was alright. lol I wanted to share the love, so watch the video and be happy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Silent Sunlight, Music & Lyrics by Cat Stevens, Sung by Me!

Besides posting my own poetic psalms at least once a week, I thought I would add a new feature involving my artistic talents - a video of myself playing and probably singing a song that I find inspirational. The instrument of choice may be the piano, guitar, mountain dulcimer, flute, organ, or perhaps just my own voice. The first song is Silent Sunlight, written by Cat Stevens. I'm singing this song this Sunday at church, so I thought this would be good way to practice. Hopefully, this will help improve my singing and playing-I know that it has already improved my performance for Sunday, because hearing myself sing the song the first time I played it back, reminded me not to get lazy with my pronunciation. I could barely make out the lyrics to the first verse, so hopefully you will understand it in this version!
********Whoops! Sorry! I tried and I tried, but I couldn't get the video to upload onto Blogger-I did get it to upload onto YouTube, but the video was majorly screwed up and the result was quite horrifying, so I'm gonna keep on playing with my video and hopefully, eventually, my idea of a video series will happen, but until then, here are the lyrics and two other versions... *sigh*

Lyrics:

Silent sunlight welcome in,
There is work I must now begin,
All my dreams have blown away.
And the children wait to play,

They'll soon remember things to do,
When the heart is young
And the night is done
And the sky is blue.

Morning song bird sail away,
Lend a tune to another day,
Bring your wings and choose a roof,
Sing a song of love and truth.

We'll soon remember if you do,
When all things were tall,
And our friends were small,
And the world was new.

Sleepy horses heave away,
Put your backs to the golden hay,
Don't ever look behind at the work you've done,
For your work has just begun.

There'll be the evening in the end,
But till that time arrives,
You can rest your eyes,
And begin again.
The original, by Cat Stevens, from his 1972 album, Catch Bull at Four!



Here is Dawud Wharnsby Ali's cover of the song-it's really more beautiful than mine!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Headcase - Submissions Accepted Now for Nonfiction work by LGBTQ Writers and Artists about Mental Illness!!!

HEADCASE: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, And Queer (LGBTQ) Writers and Artists on Mental Illness

Headcase will be an anthology comprised of 15-20 nonfiction pieces by writers and artists both established and new, exploring the theme of mental health, mental illness, and mental health care in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) community. The book is currently being considered for publication by a major queer press.

The anthology seeks essays, poetry, and comics by queer consumers of mental health services or queer individuals who have been diagnosed, but do not identify as patients, with mental illness. Works should explore the intersection of queerness and mental health and can include topics such as psychotropics; Gender Identity Disorder and its acceptance or rejection as a legitimate mental disorder; conventional v. holistic treatment; experiences in therapy, groups, and/or institutions; how race and ethnicity, class, sex, gender identity, age, and disability impact access to treatment; addiction, self-medicating, and recovery.

Modest compensation provided upon publication to contributors whose pieces are chosen.

Guidelines

• Pieces should be between 750 and 1500 words (approximately 3 to 5 double-spaced pages).

• While the deadline for a 2010 publication date has not yet been established, submitting a description of a work in progress ASAP is recommended.

• Submissions should be sent as a Microsoft Word document, double-spaced, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman font.

• Please provide a brief (100 words or less) bio with your submission

Please send submissions/project descriptions to headcase_anthology@yahoo.com
********************************
I can think of so many topics! Besides the ones listed, how about the prevalence of eating disorders in queer men (and womyn, of course), difficulty in finding appropriate resources, stigma, pop culture references... What topics come to your mind? As for myself, I might write about coming out in a mental institution and recovery center. Any thoughts?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Psalm 19 - Godde is Knowledge Made Manifest

Since the heavens were made,
They have praised their Creator-
And they still do today.
Each day and night reveals Godde’s glory-
To deny Godde is to deny knowledge.

O All-knowing One,
Your decrees are my decrees,
Your laws are my laws.
For I have witnessed
A soul converted,
The simple become wise
A heart rejoice
And
Eyes enlightened.

I have seen the hungry fed
The sick healed,
The dead rise,
And
The miserable smile.

And while evil does surround,
It is beaten every time I survey
Your knowledge made manifest in
The sun rising and setting.
(an old favorite Post Secret)
************************************************************
Compare it to the original, here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Family to Family Class in Walton Needs YOU!!!

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Georgia is offering the Family-to-Family Education Program at the offices of the Dream Center of Walton – Gwinnett starting Monday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. and running for 11 consecutive weeks for 2 and ½ hours each Monday night.

The Dream Center Offices are located at:

109 Lee Byrd Rd
Loganville, Ga. 30052
404-387-5740

The NAMI Family-to-Family Education Program is a free, 11-week course for family, friends, loved ones and caregivers of individuals with severe mental illnesses.
● The course is taught by trained family members
● All instruction and course materials are free to class participants
● Over 115,000 family members have graduated from this national program

Call or e-mail Brenda Vinson to register
678-231-6263 or 770-338-0468
bvquilts@bellsouth.net
Class size is limited so register now!
Check our website for more information
www.namiga.org
********************************************
I know that I have promoted this class before, but currently NAMI only has two people signed up to take it and if ten more people do not register soon, then the class will be canceled! Learning about mental illness and how to help yourself and your family member is one of the most important things you can do, plus the class is free, so please do not hesitate to sign-up! And feel free to let others know about the class.

Psalm 18 and Dealing with Disappointment

They were too strong for me,
But my Godde is my stronghold
And nothing is too strong for my Godde.

He is as gentle as lamb’s wool
And his lovingkindness has fed my heart;
Even his gentleness makes me strong.

Godde heard my cry and conquered chaos.
She drew me out of many waters
And lifted me from the well of sadness.
She has uncovered the world’s foundations
For my own name’s sake.

Surely there is no one greater than my Godde.
He is gentle, She is mighty-
They are one and make me one.

For who is my Godde except the Holy One?
The Rock of my Salvation shall live forever!

To compare it to the original, go to Bible Gateway.
*********************************************
Who is the "They" in the psalm? Depression, pain, tiredness, and self-doubt Well, that's my "They" anyway. I had a great time Friday and Saturday at DragonCon, which is a huge sci-fi convention that I attend every year, but I could not go Sunday and today, because I was too sickly.

At first, I was really disappointed when I realized that my annual vacation was going to be cut short, because there were still friends that I had not been able to see yet and there were still panels and shows and demos... But you know, that's life! Things will rarely run as smoothly and as perfectly as we want them to, but you know what? Those were probably the best two days I've ever had at DragonCon, because I was not depressed once while I was there! With fibromyalgia, my body will work fine one day, but then seem to quit working the next, with the result that I am genuinely trying to enjoy life as much as possible when my body's working. Perhaps one day I can say that I enjoy life every day no matter the pain, but right now, I'm just glad that I can enjoy life more than I used to and that even the horrible times are becoming slightly easier to bear.

What are the negative things in your life that seem too strong? How do you handle them?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We Can Find Strength in Our Vulnerability

We don't always have to be strong. Sometimes, our strength is expressed in being vulnerable. Sometimes, we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track.

We all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt, cannot stop focusing on fear, cannot be strong.

There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible. Occasionally we don't want to get out of our pajamas. Sometimes, we cry in front of people. We expose our tiredness, irritability, or anger.

Those days are okay. They are just okay.

Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to "fall apart" when we need to. We do not have to be perpetual towers of strength.. We are strong. We have proven that. Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings.

Today, God, help me to know that it is okay to allow myself to be human. Help me not to feel guilty or punish myself when I need to "fall apart."

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dear Angela-A Poem about Cocaine Addiction


Dear Angela,

It is with love
That I hold my heart
From you.

And it is most certainly
With pain each day that I keep
My heart hidden from view.

But I must.

For you are not acting
In love
Or
In kindness
Or
Anything even resembling
Your own true self.

I cannot let cocaine steal
My heart, my friends, my life.

I cannot let it destroy me
Like it has destroyed you!

And so I wait.

I wait for the day
When you return to me
Drug and drunk FREE.

OR

I wait for the day
I discover that you opted
Instead to come home to heaven.

Either way,
I am heartbroken
And sad

That you do not consider
My love and friendship-
And that of your two
Beautiful boys-

To be enough to keep you away
From the tortuous trip down cocaine lane.
********************************************
This month is National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery month. If you click on the widget on the left, then you will be directed to a site with tons of recovery support services and a listing of all the events celebrating recovery and sobriety, not just for the month, but for the rest of the year.