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Showing posts from 2011

November Books 2011

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Vampire Kisses 7: Love Bites by Ellen Schreiber  A book so forgettable that I had forgotten everything about it until I went to the author’s site, so that I could remember its name. Alas, the girl I work with loves this series and so I am condemned to read book after book from it. Fortunately, we only have a few more books left in the series to read. Alexander’s vampiric best friend, Sebastian, comes to town and falls for Raven’s mortal best friend. That’s it. That’s the whole freakin’ story. The town Raven lives in is called “Dullsville,” but that’s what I’d call this whole series of books.   A Long and Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott – This is a fabulous book with drama and suspense around every turn. It’s such a daring work that it’s hard to believe that it is written by the same author that brought us “Little Women!” Alcott wrote this sensationalist drama for a magazine to pay her bills. She was asked to end each chapter with such intrigue and excitement so that t

Sweet Dreams are Made of These...

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One Friday a month, I attend a "Dreams" group.  We're a group of women who each have some kind of big goal and we meet to share what we've accomplished and to receive feedback about what else we could do.  We meet at L'Madeleine restaurant.  I went a few weeks ago and even though I had already eaten, I purchased two cute, little pastries. To tell you the truth, they were a little bland, but at least they're pretty!  (Sorry about the picture quality...) So what is the dream that I'm working on with this group?  It's to get on disability.  No, it's not a trip to Paris or a course at a prestigious college, but to simply receive disability benefits.  Only it's not so simple.  To get disability, you have to prove you have a disability, which means filling out long, complicated, governmental forms, going on interviews, and collecting paperwork.  This would be hard and stressful for anyone, but put on top of everything that a person with a disabilit

Social Justice & Spiritual Events in Atlanta

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"God calls us to some things we cannot do alone." This is from the Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta Church Action eNewsletter  ( RCCAtl.org )  All of these events have to do with social justice, feminism, spirituality, world healing, or World AIDS day, which is on Thursday, December first. 1. Unity North Atlanta is hosting the Tibetan Buddhist Monks Nov 27-Dec 4. They will create the Medicine Buddha Mandala Sand Painting for world healing. You read about the interfaith meditation service coming up on November 30 in last week’s eNewsletter. On December 3, the famed multiphonic singers of Tibet ’s Drepung Loseling Monastery, whose sellout performances in Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center received national acclaim, will perform Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing, ancient temple dances and music. We are fortunate to again have the mystical, colorful, peaceful monks at Unity. 2. Faiths Act at MedShare is hosting the first Sweet Talk of the year on Novem

October Books

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I Hate You-Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Jerome J. Kreisman and Hal Straus – I recently underwent psychological testing and while it did NOT say I have BorderlinePersonality Disorder (BPD) , it did say that I have a lot of BPD traits.  And I mean a lot, so I decided to read up on it.  This book is considered the leading reference for helping people understand BPD.  Although full of much useful information, it is very easy to read.  While reading it, I resonated with much that was said about being Borderline, especially this line: A borderline suffers from a kind of ‘emotional hemophilia’; she lacks the clotting mechanism needed to moderate her spurts of feeling.  Prick the delicate ‘skin’ of a borderline, and she will emotionally bleed to death. (p. 12) I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the diagnosis of BPD either from the viewpoint of the patient, a family member or friend, or a clinician.  And I would give thi

Godde does not delight in anyone's death!

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Have you ever read a passage that just electrified you?  That upon reading it, just sent a shiver of electricity down your spine, because you knew it to be true?  A few weeks ago, I was reading Ezekiel 18, since I was thinking of writing a sermon and that chapter was part of the lectionary.  I did end up writing a sermon, which I will publish later.  However, it did not get used, as I got sick that weekend and my minister had already found someone to replace her on her vacation.  I did, however, start using Ezekiel 18:32 in my daily practice, as it really struck a chord with me and inspired me.  It is this: For I take no pleasure in anyone's death, says Sovereign YHWH.  That means me!  Godde would not take any pleasure in my death!  Yes, I probably should have known that already, but for some reason it provided a much needed boost to my brain and soul.  You see, when I go through my bouts of depression, I become suicidal and a few weeks ago, that's where my thinking was cent

September Books

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This book is a humorous take on the now famous fairytale about the princess that kisses a frog prince and ends up turning into a frog herself.  It’s written with lots of humor and the girl I read it to loved it, but I wasn’t wild about it.  It lacked depth and even though it was located in the “teen” section, it seemed more like a book for preteens or younger.  Not that a book for preteens cannot have depth-I just wish this book had had some.  I felt like it was a book that catered specifically to its market and could not appeal to older readers.  A truly great book appeals across generations.  Also, this book had unfortunate vibe of being regrettably predictable, even though creative.  There is definitely an art form to rewriting fairy tales-the writer has to take great care to write a story that is probably very familiar to its readers in way that is new, while still honoring the original.  In my opinion, this book did not succeed.  Of course, anyone younger and not quite the li

If I Were a Spice...

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If I were a spice, I'd be nutmeg. One, you can put some in pancake batter and the pancakes will taste marvelous. Two, I seem to be adding diagnosis to my list everyday. Lately, I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder . I am both overwhelmed by this diagnosis and relieved-overwhelmed, because it's a pretty major mental disorder with some really heavy stigma attached to it, but I am also relieved, because the diagnosis does seem to fit my characteristics. There is a sense of relief that comes when a diagnosis resonates within you, even if it is a diagnosis filled with stigma and misconceptions. Knowledge is power and the more I know about my diagnosis, the better I can help myself move into recovery. And if I were a spice, I would be in a store like Spice It Up in Asheville! Actually, the shop is in the lovely, artsy town called Black Mountain, which is near Asheville. ( 130 Cherry St Black Mountain, NC 28711) And my friend and I just had to step inside

Enriching Recovery, Spiritual, and Social Justice Events in Atlanta

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Since this blog addresses spirituality, social justice through feminism, and mental illness, I've included all these events in Atlanta that have to do with these topics. The one I am really looking forward to are the ones about suicide prevention, as that is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I will probably attend the vigil on September 6. "God calls us to some things we cannot do alone." Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta 2. Tapestry of Faith : How Diverse Faith Traditions Inform Nonviolence, Thursday, September 1, 7 p.m., American Friends Service Committee, 60 Walton St Atlanta 30303 . In conjunction with Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan, an interfaith panel of religious leaders will address the topic of peace and nonviolence from their faith traditions. Panelists include Rev. Timothy McDonald, Senior Pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church , Rev. Michael Ellison, Abbot of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center , Rev. Marti Keller,

July Books (Or Book, Rather...)

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I only read one book this July, but it was a great one. I was at my favorite used book store one day and I was at the counter when all of a sudden the thought occurred to me that I should look in the sci-fi section to see if they had any books by my favorite author, Octavia E. Butler and they actually did have a book that I hadn't previously read! This is the sequel to her book, "Wild Seed," although this book was written first. The ending was really awesome and creative and left me feeling good. I really need to get the next book in the series, as I am dying to know what happens to Mary's community. Mary is a product of the awful Doro and she is the first person who is a successful threat to him. When she is going through her transition period into her psychic abilities, she forms a community of people by using mind control. The novel, besides bringing brilliant insights to race, also brings about questions about community. Can a people be a community if th

National Relaxation Day!

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According to Facebook, tomorrow is National Relaxation Day. Sounds good to me! Unfortunately, tomorrow will probably not be so relaxing for me, so I am relaxing today. What do I listen to when I'm in my room and I want to relax? Usually classical music, like Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, or ancient chants. Here is some music for you to enjoy. I hope this music relaxed you,as much as it did me! Light a candle, listen to this music, and send your dreams to Godde.

New Recovery Poetry

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My depression has lifted for the most part. Yay! When my depression first presented itself, I started writing poetry, but I felt the poetry was too dark for me to share with my followers. Fortunately, now that I am feeling more hopeful and am transforming my life, so my poetry has been transformed too. Here is some recent recovery poetry I would like to share: How Far How far am I willing to go for recovery? Will I continue to catastrophize; Will I continue to lie; Will I continue to spend days Just wishing to die? Or will I take control? Not control over others, People, places, and over others, Not even so much control of my Emotional ascent, But of what I am to do- And who I am to be. Will I listen to my gut? Will I take care of myself? Will I listen to the voice inside? I am worthy. I am valuable. I am myself- With no one else to please. I am enough. (from the blog, redbubble . You can actually buy this picture on a tee shirt!) Life's Song Dance My

Bone Sigh Art, A Review-Strength Must Come from Within

When my friend and I took our mini-vacation to Asheville , we also visited the town of Black Mountain, NC. Black Mountain is an even smaller town than Asheville, but it is absolutely chock-full of artistic and folksy goodness and because we were under a time frame, we did not get to see all that we had planned. Oh, well... I guess that means we'll have to take another road trip! One of the best stores that we went to is called, Mountain Spirit Cards & Gifts . Frankly, I was a bit hesitant to visit, because I thought the cards and gifts might be really cheesy, but they are not at all. The store is full of recovery art, even though the owner of the shop didn't even know that her arts and cards qualified as such. My friend and I talked to the owner at length about how much we liked her store and about recovery in general and she was very personable, interested, and enthusiastic. Her store features a lot of watercolor paintings with recovery poetry on it created by a woman n

My Views on Godde-A Need to Remember

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Before I get to the meat of this post, I'm going to warn you that I very well might move this blog to WordPress soon. I've heard they handle pictures much better and as you've probably noticed, my last post is having trouble with some very basic pictures. It's very frustrating, because I like to break events up with pictures, instead of spaces, as it adds more interest and is more fun. I'm also the occassional food blogger, so I really need better picture capability for that. BTW, I AM going to do a lot more posts on food soon. I just got back from a vacation to Asheville and I have a lot of good food news to report! **************************** So, I have a new sponsor, who is taking me through the Emotions Anonymous ( EA ) steps and she had me write out what I believe about Godde and my relationship with Godde. This is what I wrote. I've already written out many of these things in my postings, but I thought it was interesting to see them together in list form

I'm Back and So Are Tons of Recovery Events in Metro Atlanta! Even More Coming Soon!

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Two nights ago, I dreamed that I spent all night posting on my blog, so I knew that I was ready to begin posting again. I have many things to write about, but this one is simply a series of events that have to do with faith, social justice, and disability rights. They are all in Georgia, but remember-if any of you want to send an event that has to do with any of the themes of HopeIsReal! then send me an email. Unfortunately, the email that I have posted is not working right now, so I guess I'll have to change it. I'll let you know when I have a new email that you can contact me with events, questions, or comments. This is a long posting, but these are all really good events and I felt the need to share. Enjoy! BTW, more postings about recovery events will be coming soon-these are only the events that were sent to me from the Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta. ********************************************************** The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta is a partn

Patience is a Virtue!

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Please, my followers: Be patient! Eventually, I will post often again and hopefully it will be soon, but I cannot make any promises. I have gone through a really rough time and I have experienced some trauma. This has really affected me and I need to take a break in order to take care of myself. Monday I start intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) at Ridgeview . Fortunately, I am able to continue working and the treatment should not affect my job, as it is after hours. This is a blessing! Also, my insurance is covering it 100%. Another blessing! I need a space where I can be brutally honest about what I have experienced and although I am very honest on this site, for various reasons, this will not be the appropriate place to talk about my recent experiences until at least a few years have passed. I am very sad/resentful about this and wish society was different, but it isn't. Sometimes in this world, we have to put our advocating passions and ideals aside and concentrate

"Easter People: Side B" - My Unedited Sermon on Feeling Depressed on Easter

Last Sunday, I preached at my church and led most of the service. I think it went well, even though I overslept that Sunday and ended up writing the bulletin and the sermon in basically three hours. I felt bad and a little embarrassed about that and I was going to let the congregation know before I began my sermon, but I decided not to let them know after all. It's not that I wanted to procrastinate, but that I had been very stressed, tired, and busy all week. Of course, once they read this blog, they'll know...haha I don't think it was my best sermon ever, but I have certainly heard a lot worse ones in my lifetime! People seemed to like that I was honest, although I felt like I wasn't honest enough. I hope that when I said I had been depressed on Easter that people believed me, because the way I painted it in the sermon, it sounds more like a case of the blues to me, which it definitely was not. I am not going to go into the details of my depression here, but

15 Sort of Random Things You May or May Not Know about Me

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Years ago there was a fad where people would list about fifteen things about them that no one else knew. I loved reading these lists, as they were usually pretty interesting and I desperately wanted to write one of my own, but my self-esteem was too low. I thought everybody that saw my list would think that I was too self-absorbed. Well, these kinds of things are pretty self-absorbed, but since I’ve got a facebook and twitter account AND my own blog, I really don’t think I can use a fear of being seen as too self-absorbed as an excuse anymore. I was also afraid of what people might think, because I’m a pretty open person, so if there’s something about me that you don’t know, then it’s probably because I’m scared you won’t like me or will judge me if you know. Fortunately, partly because of these tools of self-absorption like FB, Twitter, and blogging, I now have better self-esteem. I am, of course, still working on making it better… So even though this is years late, I am now po

2011 March Books

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First off, I promise that there will be other posts besides my monthly book reviews! I have been dealing with the stress of being a supervisor and getting up at 5 or 6am on a regular basis for the first time in my life. THEN, for almost two weeks I had a fibro flare-up and then I had a super stressful week that was topped off with terrible allergies. Whew! It is my hope that I will be able to at least do a blog posting a week. I have a lot of things I want to write about, plus some great recipes I want to share and I have really missed this blog! Here are the books I read in March. I'm not sure if there will be any in April, as I have not really had the chance to read anything so far this month, except for e-mails and facebook postings. Hopefully, I will be able to read something... Parable of the Talents – Octavia E. Butler – A great read and another book on my recommended reading list! This book is hard to read at times, as it follows Olamina’s community becoming enslav

Jimmy's Stars - Recommended Reading about the Consequences of War

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I only finished one book this month! I’ve already finished three of the books I started in February, so rest assured there will many more books reviewed in March. Jimmy’s Stars by Mary Ann Rodman – An excellent book that really should have won awards, although the girl I read it to thought it was too sad. It’s set in WWII when Ellie’s older brother goes into the army. Ellie is eleven-years-old and is a strong character who has to learn how to deal with extreme grief. The book deals with the effects of war very matter-of-factly, not only with the consequences of death, but also of the mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, or as it was known in the 1940s, shell-shock, and the sacrifices that the people on the home front had to make as well. In fact, I am going to include this book on my Related Books page, because of the way it realistically portrays mental illness. Because of how realistic and stark sometimes the book is I would only recommend it for mature middle schoolers

A New Job and A Sassy Girl

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Inside God, evil and the immediacy of sorrow and pain are transformed into something of value. Inside God, good is saved in relation to the whole. ~ Monica A. Coleman , Making a Way Out of No Way It's been a while since I've posted a quote! I have been hinting lately that something good is happening in my life right now besides cooking good food, wearing cute clothes, and learning new coping skills, but I have been reticent in saying what. No more! The good news is that I have gotten a job where I will work with adults with developmental disabilities. The job is full-time and with benefits, which is extremely good news for me. Hopefully, this job will allow me to fulfill the dream that I talked about in the "Hopes and Dreams" portion of my In Our Own Voice presentation, which is to be self-sufficient and living on my own. Of course, I know that this will not happen all at once and that I need to wait a while and save my money before rushing out of my parent's ho