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, April 6, 2013

HAWMC Day 5 - Aspirations

Today's prompt asks me to share my blogging aspirations and my highest aspiration as a health activist.  This is a great question!  I suppose any blogger that writes about hope should have aspirations for her blog and I do.  This year, I want to take my blogging more seriously.  I want to become my own website, instead of using a free platform, because I think that will be more professional.  I want to keep on writing more often and my big goal is to self publish a book with entries from my blog.  It would have pictures, poems, recipes, and a list of resources.  Several people have mentioned to me that they think it's time that I expand my blog.  I really want to write the book and it wouldn't be that incredibly difficult, because most of the writing is already written.  On one hand, I feel really intimidated by the thought of self-published, but on the other, I think it would be really rewarding.  Writing a book is something I've always wanted to do.  I have other book ideas in mind and I think if I published something, then that would give me the momentum I need to work on my other ideas.  Plus, I recently became friends with a woman who is self-published and she said she would be happy to help me.  I feel like meeting her is sort of a sign that I am ready to take this step.  I definitely know that I want the book to be available in electronic form and in hard copy.  Why?  Because there is nothing more satisfying than holding a new book in your hands!

My big health activist dream is to create a feminist mental health center.  I think that would be absolutely wonderful.  Diet talk, self deprecating talk, and excuses would not be allowed.  We would hold all kinds of classes-some would be intellectual-I would offer classes on how the patriarchy and society's expectations damage us and how we can combat that (like learning to not base our self worth on pleasing men or the patriarchy), because knowledge is power.  I would offer Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, family therapy and individual therapy.  I would make sure that my staff was diverse, representing people of different races, sexualities, and backgrounds.  We would have tons of support groups, some for purely mental or addictive issues and some to provide support for people who are trans, queer, of color, those who deal with chronic pain, trauma survivors.  I would have a fat acceptance group.  There would be groups to help those with eating disorders and there would be an eating disorders nutritionist.  We would have social groups too.  We would have clubs that would help people become more social and develop more friendships.  If someone was doing well in their recovery then we would let them lead their own club based on their interests.  We would have music, art, and recreation therapy, and a feminist library.  We would offer self-defense classes and workshops on female and other minority empowerment.  We would offer avenues for people to become involved in advocacy and we would make sure that our clients had many opportunities to offer their input and develop leadership skills.  There would be cooking classes and practical classes on how to take care of yourself, building up skills like balancing a checkbook, how to save money, how to interview for a job, etc.  While many of these services would require some kind of fee and registration-the fee would definitely be on a sliding scale-most of the support groups and clubs would be open to the public.  In that way, even when a person left the program, they could still get support by continuing to attend the support groups and clubs.  (Free aftercare has been a majorly important part of my own recovery, so I know for a fact that this is important.)  There would be 12-step group of all kinds for both consumers and families.  Families would be very strongly encouraged to go, because it is never only the patient with the problems.  There would be classes on how to get in touch with one's spirituality if one wants.  Yoga and meditation would be offered.  Writing my big dream out is painful, because I want it so badly.  To me, my idealistic feminist mental health center is close to heaven.  The problem is I have no earthly idea how to get even a little bit of this started.  It's a wonderful dream I have, but I am afraid that it is totally impossible.  Not without a lot of help and support.  If anyone has any ideas on how to make this dream a reality, let me know.

So here are my goals and dreams.  The first part is practical and doable-the second, probably not so much.  I feel like the second is so big that there is no way that it could ever happen, especially by someone like me, who is poor and disabled, but I figure the first step is to say what I want out loud.  The rest can happen later.

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Actually, what really gets me is when you speak up for the marginalized, and the general response from some is something like, “Why did they invite that kind of treatment?” I’m beginning to wonder if human beings can’t help blaming the victims of this world.

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