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, January 12, 2019

Gratitude for 2018 - Excitement for 2019

A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. ~ The Message Bible
2018 was my year for healing and for accomplishing my goals - I completed my book challenge by reading thirty books in a year!

My Favorites:

Graphic Novels/Comics:

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: A Graphic Novel adapted by Pete Katz

Ms. Marvel Vol. 7: Damage Per Second

Ms. Marvel Vol. 8: Mecca

Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki

Young Adult:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Self Help:

The Posttraumatic Growth Workbook: Coming through Trauma Wiser, Stronger, and More Resilient by Richard G Tedeschi

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Nonfiction: 

Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit

More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Polyamory by Franklin Veaux

Women Who Run with Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola  Estes

The Complete Poetry of Anne Sexton

At the end of the year, I self-published my own book!

Hope Is Real: I Have A Purpose.  















You can now read the journey of my recovery after my last hospitalization, available on Amazon as a paperback or for your kindle.

In between, I started my own online mental health newsletter and I started my own business:

Hope Is Real Mental Health LLC

My business is the vehicle for my mental health presentations, art workshops, books, and art.

I led an LGBT Cultural Competency Workshop at the GMHCN St. Simons Conference to rave reviews.

I performed with the R2ISE Theater at Emory - I wrote a piece called, "The Gift of Psychosis."

I led a few mental health workshops for my old youth group with lots of enthusiastic participation.

I sold some art.

 I helped my church qualify for the United Church of Christ mental health designation (Mental Health  Hope and Wellness).
Holy Shit!  I did a lot!!  
lol. That's not even everything!
Last year was for completing goals and new beginnings-this year is to see those new beginnings grow and blossom!  Out of my trauma grew many redemptions fed by the waters of hope, love, and support.

When I reflect on all I accomplished last year, I am filled with gratitude.  Surely, I could not have completed any part of it without the help and support from my family, my therapist, my peers, my friends, my church.  I would say, "my God," except that I feel like that name puts human limits on a force that is so much bigger than what we can comprehend.
























I will leave this post with a gratitude poem I wrote last year:

God, 
Thank you for air conditioning.
Thank you for water.
Thank you for the ability to be happy with myself.
Thank you for coffee, half and half, and Nutella brownies.
Thank you for all the foods society says is “bad” and “guilty”-
We both know that there are more serious things to feel guilty about.
Thank you for laughing with me over the ridiculous seriousness
That people attach to things that could give a lot of joy.

May I always take joy in the simple things of life.
May I always be grateful to be myself, 
While never forgetting that I am not actually a single person,
But just a part of this astounding universe.

May I renounce my female pronouns and embrace they-
We are all a “one” and a “they” all at once -
Many parts make a whole.

God is everywhere, filling in the cracks.
There is gold in between my joints!
May my movements shine with joy-
I am the Georgia humidity and 

God is the air conditioning unit with no power bill.

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