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Happy Anniversary & Other Such Things

Today is my wedding anniversary!! First, I’ll say that it’s a day worth celebrating. Four years ago today, I pledged my everlasting love to my now hubby in front of God and many of our family members and friends. It was a beautiful day, both due it being one full of love and weather wise as well. Joyous definitely describes our wedding day.

Over the last four years since we said, I do, and even before then, we’ve faced a lot together. We’ve lost loved ones, faced financial issues, dealt with illnesses and injuries, and other things that have put strain on us. We’ve also laughed, enjoyed lots of time with friends and family, experienced great things, and created many amazing memories. Throughout the good and bad, here we are, still standing together. That’s what a team does, sticks together through it all.

So yes, for my hubby and I, today is definitely a day worth smiling about. It’s also my friend Ashley’s birthday. I remember telling her when the date was set that it fell on her birthday, wasn’t sure how she’d feel about it. She told me she was honored to share her special day with us. Yay! So today, I also say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ASHLEY!!! I hope today is full of joy and love for you, dear friend!!

I’m sure today is special for others as well. Others are likely celebrating their wedding anniversaries and birthdays. I am willing to wager that it’s also a day for signing paperwork to get keys to their new home, starting/started a new job, made a big move, started dating, stopped smoking, and more. Today is a day for many to smile and I’m happy to share in this joy with all of you.

Today is also likely a day that’s hard for some. Some lost people they love, lost jobs, got into a life changing car accident, found out they’re ill, and other heartbreaking things. My heart weeps for those that hurt today. I know that while we celebrate today, others aren’t, that others have reason to be sad. Life goes on around us, through the good and bad we face, others do their own thing.

Today too, my son has court for some poor decisions he’s made. It is hard to watch my brilliant son throw his future to the wind. He’s starting to see he wants so much and he needs to make some changes, but he’s still being stubborn, fighting it some. I hope he gets a wake-up call and starts to really fight for his future. May today end up being the beginning to a brighter future for him.

No matter what today is for you, I hope you find some joy. Even if today is sad, it brings hard times, may you find at least one reason to smile. If not, if it’s just too hard today, maybe tomorrow? My thoughts and prayers are with the world today, all who struggle, mourn, and worry. It’s also with those who laugh, smile, and celebrate. Whatever today is, at least it is. We’ve been given another day and that is cause to celebrate.

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Mental Health Awareness – Speaking Up.

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May is National Mental Health Awareness month. This is something that speaks to my soul very strongly because I struggle with mental health illnesses and so do many of my friends and family members. I, myself, have anxiety disorder, PTSD, bi-polar – type one, and OCD.

Growing up, I didn’t know what was going on inside my head. I thought something was wrong with me. I must be broken, defective. My moods changed without warning. My thoughts raced and I couldn’t get them to slow down. The littlest thing could set me off. I would cry and not always know why. I’d be extra motivated one day and then not at all the next. I was overly anxious and paranoid. I’d feel physically ill when things became too much to handle. No one understood, most especially myself. (I’m still dealing with these things, but I’m informed now and have the support system that makes dealing with all of this easier.)

On top of that, I was molested and physically abused by my mom’s ex, mentally abused and neglected by my father, and my mom retreated into herself, not knowing what to do or how to react, how to help me, especially when she needed help herself. I was placed into a foster home and went to a few and a group home within the span of a few years. I was hit on by one of my foster brothers in one of the homes to the point I ran away. Things weren’t great.

I wanted to die several times between my pre-teen years and even into my 30’s. I wrote notes, made preparations to leave those I loved, and kept it all to myself. Only those who knew me real well even had a glimpse of how much I struggled and even many who thought they knew me, they didn’t realize how much I was hurting. I either come off as really happy go lucky and people have no clue that I hurt at all or I’m the overly dramatic one, just seeking attention. I can be both and sometimes something entirely different.

Growing up, my issues and I were either ignored, treated like something to be shunned, or like everything was just some way of being noticed. Mental health illnesses and abuse are no laughing matter. They are also not things to be ignored or made light of.

I will always speak out about mental health illnesses, suicide prevention, and abuse. I didn’t always have support and in those times is when things were at their worst. Having that support now makes a huge difference. So, I want to reach out and tell all reading this, if you struggle, you don’t have to go through any of this alone.

There are 24 hour hotlines, shelters, and other resources. Also, I’m here to listen, if you feel comfortable coming to me. You do not have to deal with this alone. No one can live your life for you, but there are people out there who can be by your side as you try to push forward, heal, and get help.

If you see any warning signs, if you even suspect someone you know is hurting, please reach out. We may not always ask for help. Be the light for those who may feel lost in the dark and have forgotten there’s still hope…

Thoughts of the Day

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Why be weird alone when we can be weird together??

Though if we’re both weird, does that make us normal?

Words can heal or they can hurt, use yours wisely.

Looking for a miracle? Everyday is just that.

Storms change us, sometimes for the better and other times not, but they will change us.

The good things in life will change us too.

Alone, we’re wonderful, but together, we’re so much better.

Beauty isn’t or at least shouldn’t be defined solely on one’s looks. For me anyway, it’s not about how much make-up someone wears, the brand or style of clothing worn, the amount of bling someone wears, how their hair is done, how much they weigh, etc. Upon looking at someone that has outter beauty, I can definitely appreciate it. However, if I see that they’re cold, stuck up, cruel, etc, it’ll be hard to appreciate their outward appearance. Looks fade, but money can’t buy you a moral code or kind heart.

We are not solely one thing. We aren’t easily defined. We are not our pasts. We are not our illnesses. We are not our mistakes. We are not our jobs. We are not the various titles others give us. Yet we are all of those things combined and a lot more. We are made up of our dreams, flaws, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, talents, emotions, thoughts, lessons learned, pasts, presents, ancestral roots, memories, and choices.

There is often not a “right” time to do things. Sometimes there is a wrong one. Many times though, we just have to decide we want something bad enough that we make a go for it.

Words like always and never should be used carefully. Also, the words love and hate carry a lot of weight and should be used only when truly meant.

Forgiveness isn’t necessarily about freeing someone else, it’s about freeing us from the anger and pain. Both can consume us, many times without realizing it. Forgiveness means letting go and moving forward. It means not bringing it up in the heat of an argument. It means not letting the pain or anger blindside us. It means truly letting go, even when we feel we’re in the right to stay angry and hurt. Free yourself….

We can have different political views, religious beliefs, come from different backgrounds, look different, act and think different, etc and still get along.

I disagree with the statement that respect should be earned and not freely given. I don’t set out to disrespect someone who has not caused me to do so. So, I feel it’s important to give respect first. If it’s not returned, I will still try to be the bigger person. I don’t always win that fight in my head, but I try.

The debates on what foods together make me laugh. You may not like pineapple on pizza or ketchup on your eggs, which is fine, but it’s also fine to like those combinations. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Why are we always finding ways to disagree and make others feel weird for being different? 😉

Art comes in many forms. An artist isn’t simply one who paints, draws, or sculpts. An artist can be a musician, singer, actor/actress, chef, fashion designer/seamstress, software engineer, web designer, interior decorater, teacher, etc. Art lives within us all, in our own ways. Live your art!

Be kind. You never know what another is going through.

Be you. Don’t settle for being like someone else. You’re not meant to be an echo. You’re meant to be you in full force.

Those are my thoughts today. I hope even one of them made you smile, think, or find inspiration. Go out and live the rest of the day to the fullest!

 

 

Beauty Is All Around Us

 

Amidst all the ugly pain and destruction, there’s also beauty in this world. I like to get out there and capture that from time to time. I hope you like the pictures! See something beautiful, something that makes you smile today? Share it with me!? Let’s share some good with one another!

Semicolon Project Awareness Day

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It’s Semicolon project awareness day. In honor of that, I want to say…

Depression and other mental health illnesses aren’t always shown by making overly dramatic posts. Living with them doesn’t always mean we’re wanting to die and often times, when it is, it won’t be announced, it’ll be kept hidden. Living with mental health issues isn’t always easily visible to others. In fact, many times, those dealing depression try to hide the pain and sadness. We sometimes hide it with smiles, silliness, and a happy go lucky attitude.

They manifest themselves in different ways and they’re not on the same level for anyone. Maybe plans get canceled because we’re not up to acting happy and sometimes we’ll go out often because we don’t want to be alone. Sometimes we’ll over eat or not eat at all. Sometimes we’ll sleep a lot or barely. Sometimes the joy in things we normally love will fade and sometimes we’ll throw ourselves into it even more to try to distract our minds. Sometimes we will seem perfectly fine and other times, it’ll be easy to see. Some hide it well and others don’t. That doesn’t mean one is hurting more than another.

Depression can kill, not always via suicide, but also many times, over a long period of time, a mind can slowly give up and the body will start to deteriorate. It is not something to be ignored or treated as if it’s something we can just get over. It doesn’t have a cure. There are things that can help and make a difference, yes. One of those things is a good support system.

A support system of people that don’t judge, people that are there to help us through often makes the biggest difference. Coming from someone who has been on medicine, seen therapists, and tried many other forms of treatment, having people that stand by me has helped the most. We can be difficult to deal with. When in deep ruts, we can lash out, become unresponsive, and act out in many ways. When you stick with us through all of it, that says you love us, we’re worth the effort, and we’re more than the crippling sadness, anger, anxiety, etc that we face.

We are not our illness. We are people with hopes, dreams, desires, and goals. Thank you to those that see that. Thank you to those that help us in any way you can. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for tough love, when needed. Thank you for a kind and compassionate love, when needed. Thank you. Thank you for all you do. Many of us know that what effects us effects you too.

My story is far from over and I hope that yours is too. If we work together, we can lift one another up and get through, one day at a time. You are, he is, she is, I am, we are worth it. Our lives are worth living. I love you. Thank you for loving me too.

A Letter to My Daughter

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Dear Clara,

You’re still so young, but there’s some things I think you should know. I write this letter with the hopes that when you read it, you’ll know how much I love you.

You are beautiful.

Can’t is only a limitation you set for yourself.

If you want it, claim it.

Treat others with respect.

Give, give freely, but don’t be a doormat.

Don’t abuse any power or influence you get.

Laugh, laugh a lot.

Dream.

Chase your dreams.

You most likely won’t need things like Algebra post high school, but I expect you to do your best in ALL of your classes.

You don’t NEED to be in a relationship to have a happy life, to feel complete.

However, there’s nothing wrong with being in a committed relationship, not if it brings you joy and it’s someone you love that loves you.

If you need to cry, do it. Trying to look strong when you’re hurting isn’t necessary. Crying helps.

Girls don’t have to like pink and frills. Guys can, without being gay and whether they are or not, I go back to the respect thing.

It doesn’t matter if someone is different than you. Their skin color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, political views, etc may not match yours and that’s okay. People can be different and still get along.

I love you. I will always love you. I will be your biggest cheerleader.

Being your biggest cheerleader will not cause me to sugarcoat things when you need to know the truth or cover your butt when you’re in the wrong.

I cry, a lot. Not all of my tears are sad ones. When I’m proud of you, I’ll cry. When I’m scared, I’ll cry. When I’m really angry, I’ll cry. When I’m over the moon happy, I’ll cry. I’m not weak. Like I said above, if you need to cry, do it. Crying or showing emotions doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.

Did I say you’re beautiful? I did? Well, you are.

If you’re wrong, admit it.

If you need to apologize, do it, but only if you mean it.

Don’t let pride ruin relationships with those you love. It’s okay to apologize first, even if you don’t feel you were wrong or more in the wrong.

Like stated above, if you love someone, it’s okay to say it, but only say it if you mean it.

Words can heal or hurt, use them wisely.

Believe in yourself. No matter how much we may believe in you, it won’t hold nearly enough weight unless you believe it too.

Some people really suck. Some people are mean, beyond cruel. With that said, know that some people are really wonderful. Some people are loving and kind. Don’t give up on humanity, no matter how bad things get.

The world is huge, don’t let yourself get lost in it. Remember too that, one voice and one person can make a huge difference. So stand up for what you believe in.

And before I end this letter, once more, I loved you from the moment I knew I was pregnant. I loved you as you grew within me. I loved you the first time I held you. I loved you every time you threw up on me. I loved you every time you threw a tantrum. I loved you every time you curled up in my arms. I loved you every time you smiled at me. I loved you yesterday. I love you today. I will love you tomorrow. I will always love you.

No matter what life throws at you, me, your daddy, your brother, or any of us, you are my daughter. I love you. As big as the sky, for as long as the stars shine, I love you. You and Zach are my life.

Love,
Your mom

 

**picture I took at my son’s birthday party**

Just Be You

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Don’t be a carbon copy of another, no matter how good they may appear to have it. You weren’t born to be someone else. You were beautifully made, wonderfully created to be you. So, do that…. Be you. That’s all for today, folks. Short, sweet, and to the point. Now, go and be the best you that you can be. Much love!

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