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, July 30, 2016

The Rise Theater

And it shall come to pass that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing.  Do not fear, let yor hands be strong.  Zechariah 8:7-8


It's funny how the universe works.   All my life I wanted to be part of a theater company and I thought I would need extensive schooling and training to be great.  When I had to switch majors from music performance to English because of my anxiety and depression, I felt like a total failure.  I was giving up my dream, I thought, forever.


All those years spent thinking and dreaming of being onstage since a young child did not go to waste, however. I am now part of a theater company. I've found that our intentions come true but never on our own time frame.  In order to perform successfully, I had to learn how to be totally in the moment and how to let myself go - two things I learned in DBT.


The Rise Theater is a theater company in Georgia made up of people in recovery.  We collaborate and figure out ways to tell little snippets of our recovery stories in the most creative way possible.  Our stories are powerful, deep, and empowering.  It occurred to me yesterday after a performance that I am now living my dream - it's not in the way I originally wanted it to be or in the time frame I wanted but I am now doing what I love and have always wanted to do.  I always wanted to support myself as an artist and while I am not there yet, I no longer see it as a failed dream.  I am currently working on another altered book to submit in an art contest and the goal is to get enough funding for The Rise Theater players to be paid.  In short, I now feel like there are possibilities where I used to see failures.  I am on my way. I do not know exactly what it will look like but I now know that I will one day be able to support myself, at least partly, onstage and on canvas.


If there is something you really want, think about it night and day.  Think about it in a positive way - don't dwell on your fears.  Take a deep breath.  Unfortunately, our intentions do not manifest instantly.  The universe - higher power - God - has to prepare us and make us ready to step into success.  We have to let go of fear in order to embrace our future in a positive, recovery centered way.


Let go.  Divine Love will not let you fall.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Thankfulness for Sadness

Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut from the fold , and there be no herd in the stalls-yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18
I am very sad.  Yesterday, my roommate and I had to put our other roommate's dog down.  It was one of the saddest things I have ever done.  Opal was a beautiful black lab with a sweet heart.  She greeted everyone at the door with a shoe and in fact, often would wait up for me late at night, even though she was not my dog.  I thought it was funny how she would turn to look at me and give me a little kick with her back leg when I would stop petting her. 

 I petted and petted her yesterday as she was dying. I cried off and on yesterday, took a nap, ate ice cream, visited with a friend late at night and colored to soothe myself.  It's funny, but as I was doing my nightly gratitude list, the main thing that I thought of was that I was glad for my heartbreak.  I still am.  I am glad that I can feel.  I am glad for the reminders of such a sweet being.  I am glad for the joy that she brought while on Earth. I am glad that she is no longer in pain.  I am nervous for what the house will be like when the roommate-owner returns.  I am sad.  I am glad that I can feel all these things and not want to die. I can get what I need done and still be gentle with myself.  This sadness will probably last a while and the waiting is hard too, but it still does not have to turn into depression.  I can take care of myself and for that I am grateful and proud.

 I am glad I can feel, for if I could not, then I would not be aware of just how much Opal meant to all of us. 

 Give your pets a hug today and be glad.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

It Seemed Like A Good Idea: Creative Writing

Your task is to be true not to be popular (The Message Bible)
Often I lead creative writing at work.  These are two little pieces I wrote one day during the activity:

It seemed like a good idea at the time: putting it off til tomorrow.  Not saying anything right now.  Not saying what I want to say.  Not speaking my mind.  Not standing up for myself. 

I need to stop ignoring my own internal demands.  My needs are just as important as anybody else's but I am the only one that can enforce them.  Therefore, taking care of my needs are more important than pleasing other people, even if I love them.  By taking care of myself, I give myself validation and love, which frees me to better validate and love others.
The cosmos is within us.  We are made of star stuff.  We are a way for the universe to know itself.  (Carl Sagan, Cosmos)
Without the dark, we'd never see the stars...
 Unless the stars aren't there. 
 And why is it dark? 
 Maybe it's smog.
 Maybe I'm so busy examining my soul that I forget to look up in wonder. 
 I wonder...
 Is my internal darkness brighter than the sun? 
 Where do I look when I forget to look up? 
 I look inside and I remember -  
 That we are all made of the same matter that makes up the stars. 
 That even on the darkest night, we all have an inner glow that shows the way home.