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.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fine Tuning Our Self-Awareness

It is more useful to be aware of a single shortcoming in ourselves than it is to be aware of a thousand in somebody else.  ~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
I am loving this new format!  Here are two excepts from conversations I had on a recovery social media site.  I am posting my words only and I'm not going to provide a link or to give more details for confidentiality reasons.  The first is responding to a post about being triggered and urges to self-harm.  The second time was responding to a post I had started about the difficulty of self-care when being physically sick. 

No matter how well we are, there is always going to be the potential to be triggered and to want to respond in self-destructive ways. When I can recognize that though and be able to stop myself and do something else... That's really pretty cool.  I think recovery is about fine tuning our self-awareness but getting to where we are not intimidated by it.   In other words:
Recovery is about fine tuning our self-awareness but not living in fear.
   I have a hard time being okay with taking it easy and spending a whole day sleeping or relaxing. I constantly feel the need to be productive. Of course, this leads to a faster burnout. I'm trying to tell myself that I am able to get more done if I actually slow down and take care of myself. Hard to unlearn the old way of thinking that I need to be perfect. In other words:
I do not need to prove my worth by extreme levels of busy-ness.  
                  Another piece by artist, Sacha Chua.  A Creative Commons license.  (I really like her stuff!)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Be Strong - Trying Out Something New

O [wo]man greatly beloved, fear not!  Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong! Daniel 10:18
  Even though I have a new fancy keyboard and IPad, I am finding it hard to blog like I used to.  I realized last night that something will have to change.  It's strange because I worked hard to hone my blogging skills and become a good essayist but I may have to go back to the basics.  The funny thing is that even though I have stopped writing long posts, I still write a lot of shorter posts on Facebook that I think are quite good.  Ultimately, I want to get back to writing longer, more thoughtful pieces.  In the meantime, in order to keep this blog going the format will have to change and so I think I will start sharing my short little tidbits that I post on various websites on a nearly daily basis is a good compromise. There's no sense in keeping my writing confined to my friends when I'm wanting to share a wider recovery message with the world on this blog.   

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 In response to the article, "The Rise of the Artisanal Funeral," which is about getting more in touch with death.  I want to meet the funeral director and be her friend.  I'm giving my body to science and medicine but I love the idea.  Since I won't be giving people a body, we're going to have to go the party route.  I think about this often, actually.  I wish more people were more comfortable with death-I think we would lose a lot of fear. 

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 I identify as many many many things.  One of them is disabled (mental yes, but I have some physical stuff too - all invisible - except for my height which I am realizing more and more lately is a disability in itself as the world really is not made for people my height).  I find it empowering to claim my limitations and demand that people honor them. 

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 In my response to the article, "Anglican Communion to Restrict US Church Over Gay Marriage."   So much for actual unity and now more people are going to leave the Church.  If the church doesn't become relevant, it's going to die.  In this case, it wouldn't be a bad thing.  I love my own church but news like this is discouraging, mainly because I know churches as progressive as mine are super rare outside of big cities and fundamentalist churches cause death to LGBT people, especially teenagers. When you're told that there is something inherently wrong with you and your only option is to abstain from any kind of romantic or sexual relationship then people, especially young people, are going to experience serious issues including high suicide rates and homelessness.  Which I seriously don't think is what the church is supposed to be about.   A friend responded that there is something inherently wrong with all of us, hence the need for salvation. My problem is that the church is separating gay relationships from straight.  All relationships have the potential to be sinful or loving - it's not the gender that matters and saying so kills.  "It might be the need for salvation but it's not the need to abstain from honoring loving, consenting partnerships between two people." 

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 Got a bad headache, so went home instead of to the rally, which is disappointing. In case you don't know, there will be a 24/7 vigil in front of Decatur County Courthouse from now until January 21st for Anthony Hill.  If my body starts cooperating, I may pop over to support - we shall see.  In any case, it is cold and they could use your prayers, good vibrations and warm blankets.  If you can, stop by and say a good word.  It is organized by Rise Up Georgia, an intersectional social justice group that I really respect.  Their hashtag for the event is #mentalillnessisnotacrime  

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 This was fun putting together!  My hope is that consolidating my weekly blurbs will be a lot easier to put together and so I can be still blogging more.   Everyone is sick in Atlanta right now, so be sure to drink lots of hot tea, sleep well and take your vitamins - we need each other to be present during these times.  Blessed be!
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
From artist Sacha Chua on Flickr, a Creative Commons license