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Mental Health Resources

Avoid Going Sideways – Asking the Right Mental Health Questions

Thank you
Heidi for sharing the inspirational post. I like the conversation of reality vs. what we tell ourself. We’ve been there. M

Braving Mental Illness – Inspiring Hope, Courage, & Strength One Life at a Time

Sideways

Have you ever been asked some of the most inappropriate, odd, or unnerving questions about your mental illness or disorder? Maybe you have or haven’t because the answer to this question is subjective and based on perception.  There’s a chance, the person asking the question just isn’t aware of what questions are appropriate or inappropriate.  Although a lack of mental health awareness can lead to misperceptions and ambiguity, below are my top ten questions or comments that I wouldn’t recommend asking or saying to your friends and family members diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder; followed by a list of questions that might be deemed more appropriate.

  1. “I hope you’re 100% by tomorrow”

(This just doesn’t work because 100% doesn’t exist in any context excluding the world of academics.  This comment may cause resentment because it can come across as having a nonchalant attitude)

  1. “Are you going to eat…

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Double Shot Thursday *New Artist*

Enjoy the music, I’m mending slowing from knee surgery but it’s time to play. I pray for more music next week.  M

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Addiction Resources

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Dissociative Identity Disorder: Isolation and the Fear of Rejection

Robert,
Thank you for sharing the complex details of the mental illness Dissociative Identity Disorder. This helps start a dialogue and I hope more understand. M

Art by Rob Goldstein

I like the idea of meeting with other bloggers
but dread the thought of doing it.

The internet truly does free the creative
mind.

I hear that my blog is interesting, creative,
provocative, and sometimes full of shit.

I’m OK with that.

I’m OK with rejections of my disembodied
selves and their ideas.

I’ve seen video of other patients with DID.

What does my DID look like in real-time?

How young do I act when Bobby is out; and how
feminine is my behavior when Sara is out?

Portrait of an avatar posed to illustrate a dissociative alternate named Sara Sara, 2017

In real-time, people don’t see the idea.

Before my symptoms worsened in 2011, I enjoyed
giving parties; I had a large circle of friends: people
with whom I shared ideas.

Six years later, I am almost completely isolated;
I see my partner and my therapist.

I discuss the isolation in therapy and my therapist
and I agree that I need…

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Bring Change To Mind

My daughter lost her battle with mental illness on March 19, 2013. She had just turned 23 years old. She was studying for the MCAT, and planned to cure cancer. She was curious and gentle and loving. She was too young.

The pain of losing Emily is indescribable. And, I truly did not know how I would ever be able to move forward. In some ways, I do not think that I ever will be able to really move on from it. But, I knew that I had to try.

Two weeks after we buried Emily, my sister saw one of Bring Change to Mind’s PSAs on television and told me that I needed to check out the organization. A month after my first conversation with the Executive Director, I joined the BC2M Board of Directors. After weeks of seemingly insurmountable heartache, I finally had a place to channel all of my emotions into something that felt productive. I had an opportunity to work with an organization dedicated to erasing the deadly stigma that surrounds mental illness. I had a chance to try and prevent another parent from going through what I had experienced.

After Emily passed away, it felt as though I had become a member a club that I never wanted to join – a club for people who have lost a loved one to mental illness. No one wants to be a part of this club. And, I think that I speak for all of us who are united by loss when I say that we do not want any more members. We do not want anyone else to have to go through the unspeakable pain that is burying someone that you love.

So, we need to use our common understanding of this daunting topic to speak up and to speak out about mental health. We have a chance to gather our voices to create change. We need to share our stories in the ways that feel sustainable to us, and to honor the beautiful lives led by those that we have lost. We have to create safe opportunities for others to open up about their experiences of living with mental illness – both their successes and their hardships. We have to connect with those who are too scared to seek help and who are unsure about what exactly they may be going through. We need to support impactful programs, such as BC2M’s Student Movement and PSAs, that are elevating the mental health conversation to unprecedented levels. Our High School and Undergrad Programs are creating peer-led initiatives that empower students to create dialogue and connection on their own campuses. Our PSAs are reaching billions of people with our message that it is time to talk about mental health and to eradicate stigma once and for all.

We all have an opportunity, and we all have a role to play. We all have the chance to bring change to mind.

David Watson speaking about why his company, GLOWBIOTICS, donates 1% of sales to Bring Change to Mind in memory of his daughter, Emily.
I hope that you will be able to join me in giving to Bring Change to Mind this year to support their life-saving work to raise mental health awareness. Every bit helps more than you could know so whether you are donating $5, $50,000, or your time and commitment to this mission – thank you from the very bottom of my heart. I will never know if I could have saved Emily, but I do know that the work that we are all doing to normalize the conversation around mental health is changing the lives of so many others. And, for that, I am eternally grateful.
Donate

From my family to you and yours, please know that I am wishing you a safe, warm, and stigma-free holiday season.

All my very best,
David Watson
BC2M Board Member & Chair Emeritus
GLOWBIOTICS Co-Founder

The memory of fire

Reblogged from my friend Candace at The Feathered Sleep. Her writing is addictive, stop by her site to look around. You’re bound to find plenty to read. M

TheFeatheredSleep

Most habits

Are learned lazily

Incorporated into being, before aware

Of what it means to be.

A habit is a slothful fellow

Whispering in our ears;

You’ve done it before

Come sit by the fire

And watch others rush at life

Put your aching bones close to the warmth

Feel the security of what you’ve gone and done

So many times

And if you were asked

To break out of your stupor

Throw water on the fireplace, dousing heat

And with no preparation

Launch into a violent rain storm

Obscuring your direction

Lashing your sides with chill

Would you follow?

Thrill seekers maybe

The very young, the chronically overlooked

That girl with braces who wanted to be the busty blonde

Maybe they’d fall like extinguished stars

Into the storm

And from their yearning to matter, to win

They’d keep going long after the memory of fire was lost

Fighting without…

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The Vote Is In On Net Neutrality!!!! QUIT BULLYING Users *WE GET YOUR POINT*

WORDPRESS GET OFF MY BACK!!!!!

Survivors Blog Here

Users will not take WordPress Bullying any longer. Stops the game tactics and get down to reality. The reality of business ahead and support committed to WordPress Users.

Please pass along to everyone you know so WordPress will quit interfering with our blogs.

Thank you  Melinda

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2018 جعله على!

سنة جديدة سعيدة

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2018 ¡Adelante!

Feliz año nuevo!  Melinda

 

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2018 Bring It On!

Happy New Year! 2018 is our’s to mold.  M

 

childhood sexual abuse

Thanks Sedge for bringing light to the many unknown abused children. M

Survivors Blog Here

It’s all well and good that the royal commission has addressed the institutional, systemic abuse of children in care…

https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

But what about all the many thousands of children sexually abused by a family member or a neighbor ???

These people have NO voice, because they were NOT abused in institutional care !!!

I was chronically abused by the next door neighbor for three years !!!

I will NEVER get any reparations for what was done to me, and has made my life hell.

sedge808.

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WordPress Still Bullying Users With Net Neutrality Messages

WordPress continues to hijack and bully Bloggers over Net Neutrality. Push back, NO More Bullying. M

Survivors Blog Here

Stop your games, we are tech savvy enough to know without you hijacking our sites.

M

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WordPress Stop Bullying Bloggers To Neutrality Message

Get loud if your tired of being bullied by WordPress. M

Survivors Blog Here

Most Bloggers are on the same side of Net Neutrality, stop disrupting our sites. Take your message to the general internet user who may benefit from your information. Advertise in Trade Magazine, hit the public hard but leave your users the hell alone.

M

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stuck

From my friend Marcus at Survivors Blog Here. Thanks Marcus. M

survivor road

not so sure if i’m “stuck” as much as not at a place where i want to move on.  Mitchel was one of the great memories.  tragic ending maybe, but still so much good.

why is there so much pain?

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What It All Means

This video floored me, it’s real for me, he spoke works to come from my mouth, Jim was able to show the guts, inside, raw communication and how struggles are battled. I ran across this last week, I don’t know who to give credit to. I’ve watched over and over and each time I see one of my dark times, suicidal journeys and crawling back from hell.

I hope you will watch and reblog on. Everyone can learn from the inside look of depression.  M

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Lyme Update #20: *Moving Forward*

I fired my Lyme Literate Doctor

The last straw!

My Lyme PA prescribed a medication which interacted with a psych medication. Making me Psychotic, pure bat crazy. Scared of myself. Walking in circles non-stop until exhausted. It took days for the medication to clear my system and bring me back to earth. It was life changing. I said horrible things to my husband I can’t back.  All said in rage, I was a Monster.

The PA replied by saying the two drugs are in different categories and would not interact that way. I don’t believe my chart what checked against new prescription for interactions. Who knows. I didn’t do my standard process of checking the FDA site. My normal practice is to read the FDA history and related interactions before starting a medication.

Next Update will discuss how I’m building a local Lyme team, the illnesses, ailments, permanent changes I have and regression. Some topics listed below.

Building local Medical team

Early on set Dementia

Cognitive challenges

Neuropathy

Severe headaches

Uncontrollable shaking 

Antibiotics, skin sensitivity 

Immune System impacted indefinitely  

 

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Gavin Kerslake Featured Blogger for December

have a beautiful weekend! Melinda

Survivors Blog Here

Introducing

It’s an honor to introduce good friend Gavin Kerslake as Featured Blogger for December 2017. Gavin’s highly successful personal site Noir, http://www.sedge808@wordpress.com. I have no doubt you will want to follow his work. Gavin also contributes to http://www.survivorsbloghere@wordpress.com, a Survivors community.

Gavin is a Professional Photographer, Music Lover, Street Dancer and Published Author. His first book ‘Noir’ released in September 2017.

20 somethingWhat hobbies do you have outside of photography?

Music is my favorite thing in my life. I’m into electronic music, but love all kinds of music. Film (movies, TV Series etc) are a big thing in my life. Love Horror and Science Fiction, but also like Foreign Films very much too. I watch a lot of them.

When did you start dancing? Did you dream of having a Studio? 

I started dancing in my late teens, and went to jazz classes every week. In my early 20’s I…

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Easy Christmas Wreath Suitable for the Chronically Ill

Thanks for sharing the great tips for holidays or any occasion. I’m reflagging to my site. Hope you still have a small on. Do you need any WP Admin help from me, it can get quite frustrating. I’m here to help you. Melinda

Survivors Blog Here

This easy Santa wreath is the perfect wreath for everyone, however, it’s more suitable for the chronically ill. Having several chronic illnesses, my hands become numb after moving my hands for a long period of time. I also have extreme fatigue that severely limits me. This is a craft to get you into the Christmas[…]

via Easy Christmas Wreath Suitable for the Chronically Ill — Life with an Illness

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​DISBILITY: A DIFERENT FORM OF ABILITY

Please enjoy the powerful and currently powerful. words of Mum C Writes, don’t leave without stopping by her blog site. Have a great Sunday.
Melinda

Mum C writes

None knows how seeds form

None knows how they’ll turn up

Only Onyankopong Otwereduampong knows

So let your tongue be with no meanness

Let your eyes marry your mind in learning

That disability is a different form of ability


II

Every womb loves its proceeds

None is special than the other

It transcends boundaries

Class

Wealth

Fame

Intelligence

A mother is a mother

A father is a father

So let your voice be with no malice

Teach your mind to know that disability is a different form of ability


III

In a world where big and wholesome trees

Are at the mercy of some winds

Ailing seeds need shades of protection

Shades of love

Shades of mentoring

For the fact is like a stomach

Every body owns one

So teach your ears to listen in correction

That disability is a different form of ability


IV

Open your arms to the…

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How Do You Say “I Love You”?

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Insights from the Hotline Room: Planning for Holiday Gatherings

As the year winds down, folks across the country are headed home for the holidays to spend time with family and friends. While this is a time of celebration for many, it also presents challenges for some survivors of sexual abuse.

Family and friends gather for a holiday meal, respecting each other's boundaries.

More often than not, the perpetrator of sexual violence is someone the victim knows. This is especially true for those who experience sexual abuse as a child: 93 percent of children know the perpetrator, and 34 percent are abused by a family member. For these survivors, holiday gatherings can mean facing painful memories, feelings of anxiety, or a chance of repeated harm.

During the holiday season, RAINN support specialists for the National Sexual Assault Hotline anticipate helping survivors who are going through a tough time at home or during family gatherings. Here, they share some strategies to help survivors feel safe.

  1. Identify alternative housing plans. Survivors who have flexible schedules during the holidays can stay in different places to avoid being in the family home or location where the abuse occurred.
  • Consider staying with a friend or non-offending family member.
  • Plan a mini-vacation or side trip during the time you would be asked to stay with family.
  • Offer to join for family gatherings, but stay in an offsite location, like a motel or hostel (if finances allow). If you are concerned about ongoing safety, keep this location private from the perpetrator.
  1. Try to avoid close quarters. For many survivors, family pressures or traditions do not permit them to stay outside the family home. In this situation, survivors can brainstorm ways to avoid the perpetrator during gatherings.
  • Make plans that involve leaving the home for an extended period of time, such as volunteering, catching up with old friends, or offering to run errands for the household.
  • Think of possible excuses, such as having conflicting plans or needing rest, for not attending events where the offender will be present.
  • If it makes you feel safer, stick to common areas and public places within the home or building, such as a living room or kitchen, and try to avoid secluded areas.
  • Avoid talking to, sitting near, or standing around the person who hurt you. It’s okay to draw boundaries, even if makes other family members uncomfortable.
  1. Reach out to a neutral party. Survivors may feel isolated because of patterns of not being believed, fear of disclosing, or concerns about creating family tensions or division. Sometimes, it can be easier to talk to a neutral third-party that can offer support.
  • Reach out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline by phone (800.656.4673) to be connected with a local sexual assault service provider, or chat online with someone who is trained to help.
  • Download safety planning or meditation apps for a smartphone or tablet to help with stressful times.
  • Read through recovery tips from RAINN, like Self-Care After Trauma and Tips for Survivors on Consuming Media.
  • If you are in imminent danger, call 911.

4. Make a plan. Mapping out a game plan for family gatherings—in advance—can help survivors feel safe, comfortable, and prepared.

  • Think through logistics. Does this plan require a car or other transportation? Will you need to arrive or depart the family gathering at a certain time?
  • Consider how to talk to family if tensions arise. Not everyone is ready or able to disclose what happened—and that’s OK. Make a plan for how to answer tough questions or diffuse a tense situation.

If your safety plan falls through, or if you experience harm, know that you have done nothing wrong. You deserve support. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is free, confidential, and available 24/7: 800.656.HOPE (4673) and online.rainn.org

We Remember

Thanks Danica, I can’t think of a more important way to show the reality and the sense of humor the guys had. Of course the great sadness of the dead in Flanders Field.

Living a Beautiful Life

We Remember We Remember

In honor of Armistice Day / Remembrance Day / Veterans Day, I’ve created a commemorative compilation poem from the words of The Army’s Poets*.  I selected these poems, verses and excerpts from The Stars and Stripes newspaper, published in France by the American Expeditionary Forces of the United States Army from February 8, 1918 to June 13, 1919.

We Remember.

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Cooties - April 26 1918

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Tomorrow - May 3 1918

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Our Best Pal - Excerpt - September 6 1918

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Things We Used To Beef About - May 3 1918

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Why Is It?Why Is It - March 22 1918

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Strawberry Shortcake - April 19 1918

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Your Soldier - November 22 1918

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Have You - October 18 1918~~~

The Dead and the Living The Dead and the Living

Flanders Fields 1915 Flanders Fields 1915

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IN FLANDERS FIELDS

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from…

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Diana Nyad’s Story

Thank you for sharing her story, she’s a strong woman and can offer support to all of us. M

Patricia J Grace

Rebel Recovery shared this article from the New York Times written by Diana Nyad an athlete and swimmer. 

 
Diana Nyad at 61, during training for a swim from Key West, Fla., to Cuba. CreditJeffery Salter/Redux

Here I was, a strong-willed young athlete. There he was, a charismatic pillar of the community. But I’m the one who, all these many years later, at the age of 68, no matter how happy and together I may be, continues to deal with the rage and the shame that comes with being silenced.

My particular case mirrors countless others. I was 14. A naïve 14, in 1964. I don’t think I could have given you a definition of intercourse.

My swimming coach was in many ways the father I had always yearned for. I met him when I was 10, and…

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RAINN: Danyol’s Story

RAPE, ABUSE, INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK

“I just want people to know that they don’t have to be afraid of their truth. Your truth is important, your truth is needed.” 

Danyol Jaye was sexually abused and raped repeatedly by his older cousin between the ages of 7 and 10. The cousin enabled multiple perpetrator sexual assault when he locked Danyol in a dark closet and had his friends take turns entering the closet to sexually assault him.

Danyol first disclosed the abuse at age 15 to a close neighbor who was a friend of his mother’s. Not ready to share his story with his family, Danyol trusted the neighbor with the information. However, she immediately told his mother, who confronted him.

“It just felt like another violation. I felt in that moment that not only did my cousin violate me and take something from me, but now a person I trusted with this information also violated me and stole another choice from me. That feeling of violation was as hard as it was to endure the actual trauma.”

Danyol underwent a retraumatization from the violation of losing control of his story, and from his family’s reaction to it. Many of his family members questioned why he waited to speak about the abuse, and openly expressed their disbelief in his story. “There was so much conversation about me without me, but no one ever had a conversation with me.”

Because of the abuse, Danyol has suffered from body image issues, depression, and trust issues. Certain triggers related to the abuse—such as dark rooms—also cause him anxiety.

Danyol’s healing process began when his high school counselor encouraged him to attend student group therapy sessions, where he was able to open up about his story and receive support from his peers.

Other important aspects of Danyol’s healing process have been the support of his best friend of 15 years, connection to his faith, and artistic expression. Danyol created a one-man dramatic stage play about abuse and self-discovery. He wanted to tell his story in his own way and to reclaim the power of sharing what happened to him with his family and friends.

“It was very therapeutic. I remember days when I’d be working on the scripts and rehearsing lines—I would break out in tears. It was the first time I really came to terms with it. This happened to me. This is my truth, I am not a liar, I am not making it up.”

Danyol advocates for ways in which family and friends can be more supportive when a survivor discloses abuse. He recommends not pressuring survivors into giving detailed informations about their assault. This forces them into reliving the incident and can cause repeated trauma. This pressure to gain information makes the interaction focused on the individual who is asking, rather than on the survivor. Danyol instead suggests listening to the survivor, letting them share aspects of their story when they’re ready, and showing your support through believing their story. There are certain obstacles survivors who are men and boys face; learn more about them and find information and resources.

Danyol is currently pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and finishing his autobiography, which he hopes to complete next year. It has been important to Danyol to use his voice to empower other survivors to tell their stories when they’re ready.

“Talking about it really does take back power from the trauma.”

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