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.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

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 named Terri. Her art can be found at http://www.bonesigharts.com/. Terri writes:
"During the most painful time of my life, I made a promise to myself. Instead of numbing my pain, and avoiding it, I would turn into it. I feel what was going on inside of me and explore it. At times the emotion was too much for me, filling me up so completely that I needed to let some spill out. It is in that spilling "bone sighs" were born, adding watercolor to the words was my way of completing each thought that came out, my way of honoring them."


I bought one of her "Bone Sighs" paintings for my room. The vow is a writing that resonants deep within my soul and I need to read it every day. I am so inspired by the words that I instantly knew I would need to share them with you. (I am not going to scan it in, even though the watercolors are beautiful too, because I want to support her work and if you would like to have one for yourself, I suggest you visit her website, and purchase one.)


i commit to me, myself, today.
i vow to listen to and follow and believe in my goodness,
to recognize my strength and wield it
with the added power of compassion
to know my heart and trust it and not
turn to outside expectations to feed it,
but rather turn to my own inner
guidance to lead me,
to know that i am the person i want
to be and to work to uncover more
of my beauty daily.
and to be gentle with myself when
i slip-loving myself even in
the darkness.
to me, myself, i give my love-
and it is from me, myself, my
love is returned.


Isn't that message beautiful? I stared at it for a long time in the store mesmerized. In fact, my friend and I argued about which one of us would buy it! The words are so inspirational to me and I hope they are to you too. Terri has a blog, called Honor Yourself, which I am eventually going to add on my blogroll. It's full of beautiful writing and her art site even has a community where people can discuss art, spirituality, and dealing with emotions, mainly from a female perspective. As you can tell, I am in awe of this woman!

Her message reminds me that my strength and self-worth must come from within and my Godde and no one else. Yes, people and community are needed, but still, my own personal strength, hope, and goodness, must come from within. Without a strong belief in myself and the Goddde within myself, I will flounder searching for the approval that I already ironically have within me.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Views on Godde-A Need to Remember

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!
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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.

The Way I View Godde



  • I relate to the female image.

  • I use Goddess imagery. In fact, my image of Godde is the Goddess of Willendorf:


  • We are all Godde's children.

  • Godde is LOVE.

  • Godde is within me and in relationship with me.

  • Godde is mysterious.

  • Godde is with me in everything I do and feel.

  • Godde is change. This view is brought to you by Octavia E. Butler's EarthSeed books and Monica A. Coleman. (Monica, I hope I can say that about you. If not, let me know.)

  • Godde experiences what we experience.

  • Godde is all that we are-Godde is a poor man with AIDS as She is a struggling young woman in recovery as He is a wealthy movie star.

  • Godde is the force continually working on our behalf and is always urging us to follow the better, more constructive way.

  • Godde is Complete Compassion.

  • Godde understands pain, YET...

  • Godde urges us to grow, which although it involves intensely painful moments, Godde does NOT desire us to live in misery.

  • I do NOT believe it is our job to be good enough in order to make it to the Kingdom of Heaven, but instead to help bring about Godde's Kindom to Earth.

  • Godde is Not nice or want us to be nice, but wants us to instead grow, change, and be fully real and authentic to our true Godde-given selves.

I have gotten really depressed lately, because I have forgotten what I believe. The trauma that I have recently experienced caused me to forget, as I drowned in the sorrow of what happened. I need to read this everyday to remind myself that Godde is Real and really does desire my healing, not my misery. I hope this helps you too.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

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

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.
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The Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta is a partner in C.H.I.P. an interfaith and community-based group whose purpose is to build and nurture a coalition in which public, private, non-profit agencies, and faith communities work collaboratively to assure that every person, family, and community in Georgia have meaningful access to the full range of information and services related to mental and addictive illness including awareness, prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services. See a list of current partners and read more at RCCAtl.org Contact us if your congregation or agency would like to hear more ecarter@rccatl.org.



The summer series on justice in Georgia at Central Presbyterian Church continues this week, July 3, with Standing Next to the Person No One Else Will Stand Next To (Capital Punishment in Georgia) with William Montross, Senior Attorney, Southern Center for Human Rights.
(from recoveryswag.com)
The Southeastern Institute on Chemical Dependency is now offering new "day rates" for the Summer Institute on Addiction at Simpsonwood July 9-16, 2011. This will make it possible for you to register only for the day(s) that fit into your schedule. The fee for a full day is $65 and includes breakfast and lunch. The fee for Sunday July 10 classes, which begin at 2:00 p.m. and include dinner, is only $45. The registration deadline is July 5, so please go to http://www.thesicd.org/ review the information and register now. For more information, email jewell@thesicd.org or call Jewell Meringer at 678-525-2692.

Understanding Asset Building Programs and the Myriad of Rules Governing Federal SSI/SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare & Related Work Incentives for People with Disabilities. This 4-hour workshop will give participants a basic understanding of many benefit programs offered by the local, state and federal government. If you are working with someone with a disability, you won't want to miss the most up-to-date information. Wednesday, August 3, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., The Atlanta Community Food Bank, 732 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd. , Atlanta 30318 . Registration is required by July 29. Register here...

Save the Date for the Suicide Prevention Conference which will be held in Macon September 8-This is the 10th anniversary of the state suicide prevention plan.

9/11/11 Interfaith Gathering, Sunday, September 11, 2011, at 5 p.m., the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Open to all and free of charge, the event will be held in the ballroom of the Decatur Hotel and Conference Center , 130 Clairemont Road , Decatur . The planning committee includes Atlantans from a variety of faith expressions, including Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims. The event will remember those who died on September 11, 2001, while seeking to shift our combined energies toward the building of relationships between faith communities and across lines that have divided us in the past. To become an endorsing/supporting organization, contact the 9/11/11 Interfaith Planning Committee through Jan Swanson, Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta, at worldpilgrims@bellsouth.net or 404-622-3399. More on the event later.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is the only organization devoted solely to stopping the commercial exploitation of children. "Reclaiming Childhood from Corporate Marketers."