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Posts tagged ‘compassion’

Bi-Polar Unmasked

 

Many don’t know or understand what living with a mental health illness or living with someone who has one is like. It’s definitely more recognized now than in years past and I’m thankful that more are taking this seriously. Mental health illnesses deserve acknowledging, being researched, funding for help, etc. From bi-polar to schizophrenia, doctors, scientists, and more are taking notice and working hard to help those of us that struggle with these seemingly invisible illnesses. Still, there are many out there who treat mental health illnesses as though they’re unimportant, made up, or those who have one are some sort of freak show. Being treated like what we live with isn’t a big deal or like we’re damaged goods gets old. It can be hurtful to be treated like what we live with is just something we can just snap out of at anytime.

Maybe if you eat better, surely it’s just a matter of diet. Maybe if you just willed yourself to overcome it. Maybe if you just get over yourself. Maybe you should just stop being so dramatic. Maybe if you prayed harder. Maybe if you did this or maybe if you did that. Gah!!!!!!

OR…..

You’re a total freak show. I can’t associate myself with someone so messed up. Your moods are just too all over the place. Your depression brings me down. Why are you so anxious all the time? Does it really matter if things are out of place? Why are you freaking out? Is there a reason you’re crying, again? How long has it been since you brushed your hair? I can’t be your friend, you’re just too high maintenance.

Unless you live with a mental health illness, you can’t truly understand how crippling it can be. How long has it been since I brushed my hair or showered? You know, I’m not sure. Why did I just spend money on things I don’t need? I felt a compulsion and couldn’t stop. Does it really matter if things are out of place? Yes. YES! If things are out of place, I feel an agitation I can’t put in check. I MUST have order. I MUST have things a certain way. I won’t rest until I do. Rest? I feel like staying in bed all day. I’m just exhausted. I feel so depressed. The tears won’t stop. I’m a failure and a freak. Why would anyone love me? I’ll just call in today, again. Mania sets in and now I’m crazy cleaning, extra irritable, and ultra hyper. I have such energy. What’s wrong with you? I don’t know. Why are you so touchy? I don’t know. Why are you snapping for no reason? I don’t know. Why are you crying, again? I don’t know. Why can’t you just snap out of it? I DON’T KNOW!!!!

Therapists, pyschologists, psychiatrists, and medications, oh my!!! Say that five times fast! Insults are hurled if we utilize these to get help. Can’t you deal with things without meds? Why do you need some shrink? You’re just weak. You’re just having a few bad days here and there, just suck it up. But then again, if we refuse to get that help, then we are wrong too. Clearly you need help, so why not get on medication to control your mood swings and stabilize yourself? You know, it’s not just about you, right? See a therapist, you need help. No matter what we do or don’t do, we’re failing in someone’s eyes.

It’s a daily struggle, on or off meds. Whether we see a mental health specialist or not, things are still hard sometimes. Fighting your mind isn’t an easy feat. You’re constantly torn. You try so hard to be “normal”. Why can’t I just be mentally stable? Why am I like this? Why?! Why is it so hard to maintain friendships? Why do people turn their backs on me? I know why. I wouldn’t want to deal with me either. I want to hold a regular job. I want to succeed. Eh. This job just wasn’t right for me. Maybe the next one? I want to be loved. I don’t deserve love. I can overcome anything. I am strong. I can beat this. I can’t do anything right. I’ll never amount to anything. I can’t beat this. My past stirs up awful memories. The nightmares leave me barely able to function. The past won’t beat me. I survived. I can survive anything. I am lonely, but I don’t want to leave the house. I want to make my dreams come true. I’ll fight to do just that. Well, maybe tomorrow. Up, up, up, and then crashing down, HARD.

I have bi-polar, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD. I’ve been ridiculed, laughed at, treated like a freak, and pushed away, by many, including myself. Many can’t make sense of what goes on inside my head, least of all me. Growing up, I didn’t know what to make of what was going on inside my head. I just thought I was broken. As an adult, I got diagnosed with bi-polar first. The others followed behind that. I have been on many medications and seen many doctors. It’s been a fight the whole way, with or without that specialized help. One thing I’ve found that’s helped the most is a personal support system. They have made and continue to make a huge difference in getting through the really hard days. They deserve so much credit.

Those who live with people that have mental health illnesses should never be overlooked. They deal with our mood swings, meltdowns, odd behaviors, and more. They help us through. When we’re beyond reason, they just wait it out and deal with whatever we throw their way. If they themselves deal with mental health illnesses, that makes things even tougher. When you have more than one under one roof, it can be a challenge. My son and I both deal with them. Our relationship sure has been tested. Then there’s my husband, the stable one, trying to deal with us both. It’s not been easy for anyone. Somehow, he manages. Accepting us both hasn’t been easy, but I’m thankful he has. Since he’s entered our lives, there’s some semblance of stability. He deserves a thousand shout outs. As hard as it is to live with the actual illnesses, it’s plenty difficult living with those that do. So, thank you.

Things like cancer, MS, Cystic Fibrosis, and heart disease are major concerns and definitely deserve to be recognized, researched, have people fighting for cures, and to have people across the globe raising awareness for them. I find no issue with any of that, at all. I have had family members and friends face cancer, Type One Diabetes, heart disease, CF, Dementia and Alzheimer’s, and more. Some I love have even lost their lives to these. It’s not been easy watching people I love suffer. So I support causes that try to help them and others that live with or have lost their lives to such illnesses and diseases.

I just want to also raise awareness for people who live with mental health illnesses. What we go through is serious and deserves recognition too. So, here is bi-polar and such unmasked. Yes, the illnesses are in our minds, but only in the sense that’s what they effect. They stem from imbalances in our brains. They’re very real. If you know someone that lives with one, try showing compassion, patience, and love. I know we’re not easy to deal with, but we’re far more than the illnesses we live with.

I am not bi-polar. I’m not my illness. I have bi-polar. There’s a difference between being and having something. I refuse to let it define me. The mask is off. Here I stand, telling you about a part of myself. I hope you’ll learn something. Maybe it’ll help you with someone you know or maybe you are dealing with this yourself.  Either way, I hope this opens eyes and minds. Mental health is important. It starts with the mind, but it also effects physical health as well. A healthy mind and body go hand in hand. Having support instead of insults and ignorance is the first step to helping. Let’s all take one step forward today….

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Break the Cycle

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I’ve been working really hard to be that person. It’s not an easy feat, at all, but when I look at the world today and see so much hatred, ignorance, cruelty, and bitterness, how can I just be a part of that? Sometimes I look at how people treat others and wonder how they came to act that way. I wonder if they were hurt somehow and ask myself what if they’d been shown some compassion, love, forgiveness, or acceptance? What if they had been taught to do the same by someone? Maybe they’d been hurt really badly, but what if just one person had shown them there was a different way to handle things?

We are NOT what happened to us. We are NOT our pasts. We are NOT our mistakes. We are NOT our illnesses. We are NOT defined by the color of our skin, what neighborhood we come from, who are parents are, how much money we have or don’t have for that matter, our political views, our sexual orientation, or any of that which many decide should label us.

We CAN be whatever we choose, no matter what others say we should be. We CAN be greater than the choices we’ve made thus far. We CAN be better than we have been. We CAN make a difference. One person CAN change things for those around them. We don’t have to let the cycle continue. Don’t let the cycle define or confine you. Let the anger, resentment, bitterness, vengeful actions, and state of constant sadness stop here. The choice is yours.

All Lives Matter

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With everything that has happened in our country, one would think there would be some unification. Instead, there seems to be more division than ever. The level of violence, intolerance, and hatred makes me both sick to my stomach with grief and so very angry. We are Americans, we should start acting like what a true American should be, instead of what we’ve become. This statement is about our country as a whole, I do realize there are many individuals that show the level of love, compassion, integrity, and honor that many expect, but not nearly as many demonstrate.

Some preach things like, “Black lives matter” or “Gay lives matter.” You know what? They most certainly DO matter. The things that people do to one another simply because they don’t like one’s color, religion, political views, sexual orientation, and so on is sickening. It is downright awful that people assault, rape, vandalize, and more in the name of “their people”. We are in a country where we are supposed to be free to be who we are, but how free are we really if we have to fear for our lives for being true to ourselves? We don’t have to like everyone, but we should at least be respectful and decent to one another. It is possible to co-exist.

Why do we feel the need, as the human race, to tear one another down? Why, since the beginning of time, have we felt the need to control, dominate, and do whatever it takes to get what we want, no matter who we hurt? Why do we pick a race of people and say they’re either inferior or superior? Why do we attack others for believing in something other than what we do? Why? And why do we have to continue to divide, among our own citizens and throughout the world?

I am one that will never pick one group and think they’re better or worse than another. I will not put them down or attack them. I will not put another down for having different views or faith. I am human and I am not perfect, but I will do my best to love everyone, regardless of color, faith, political views, etc. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, etc. What matters to me is how you treat me, treat those I love, those around you. If you show me respect, I will do the same for you. There are many out there who feel the same way that I do and to you, I tip my hat. Let us stand together and show everyone that love’s power is infinite and our voices can be heard. Let us continue to show love in the face of adversity, compassion in places where it seems to have vanished, and kindness to even those who hard to be nice to.

Let us show the world that ALL lives matter, that the senseless violence needs to stop. Let us show the world that we don’t need to hurt those who are different from us. You can be who you are and be accepted, loved. I get why some say things like, “Police lives matter.” They’re simply standing up for a group of people that have been wronged. I loathe all senseless violence. I respect the views people have and do stand on the side of making things right. It’s just that for me, I think separating people into groups is causing more division, instead of banding us together. So, I will continue to say,”ALL LIVES MATTER!” Let love be the force that is heard today, showing others that we do matter and that coming together is what we need to do, not drift further apart.

A Request From a Sensitive Heart

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When watching a movie I have seen so many times

I still cry when it gets to the emotional scenes

It was only a harmless joke, so my friend did say

Yet it still got to me in such a profound way

 

I often hear phrases like, “Why does that bother you so much?”

And another common one is, “Don’t take things so seriously.”

Berated for wearing my heart on my sleeve is a common occurrence

It’d be nice if now & then people instead offered respect & reassurance

 

I’m not necessarily asking you to walk on eggshells around me

My skin isn’t that unbelievably thin, I am not as fragile as I seem

So don’t hold the truth from me because you think it’s more than I can take

Highly sensitive I might be, but know this tender heart of mine won’t break

 

I just ask that if I take something more to heart than you might

To not put me down, to not sit there & call me weak

My sensitive nature isn’t really a bad thing after all

It helps me help others, once they’re ready to break down their wall

 

My compassionate nature & sensitivity go hand in hand

I am not ashamed of that, nor of who I am

We’re all made the way we were meant to be

So please stop trying to toughen my skin, stop trying to change me

What Are You Thankful For Today?

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On Facebook, I have been saying something I am thankful for each day for the entire month of November. It’s actually something I think we should do all year. I was thinking about how when a holiday rolls around, many get into the spirit, but then when it’s over, it’s back to “normal”. I wish “normal” was being thankful every single day, being in the giving spirit, wanting to help our fellow man (or woman teehee). Thanksgiving is upon us and so right now I see a lot of people focusing on that and some on Christmas too, though sadly it’s mostly on the food to buy and prepare, decorations, gifts, and so forth. Though there are also a number of people focused on the heart of those days as well. I am delighted to see a few other friends doing the same thing I am on Facebook. Sad thing is, Thanksgiving will end and the posts will stop, but why should they? Shouldn’t we find things to be thankful for everyday? Perhaps we don’t need to post about them, but at least perhaps take a moment to ourselves and say thank you for something. A thankful heart is a happier one, I think.

Religious or not, Christmas too becomes a stressful time for many because people are so consumed with having enough money to buy presents, figuring out what to get and for whom, having the house decorated, do we have the time off work requested, traveling worries, is our house ready for guests, and so on. I am of the Christian faith, so Christmas to me is largely about Christ. However, I don’t see a problem spending that time with loved ones and celebrating our love for one another as well. I think Christ compels us to do just that, that is how I honor my God. But, sometimes even I get so caught up in “what needs to be done” and lose sight of what I am really celebrating. It happens to a lot of us, sadly.

It is all too easy on Easter to get stressed about buying presents for the kids, figuring out good hiding spots, meal preparations, and so on. Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Veteran’s Day….we try to honor our country and those who have defended it….but when those days are over, again, back to “normal”. I don’t like what “normal” seems to be for our country as a whole. Individually, I can not and will not speak as to how people go about their lives. I am sure there are some very humble people who give thanks often for what they have and to those who have given them what they have. But, when I think about 9/11/2001 and how our country really came together…but then later when things had quieted down, our country went back to the way it was, I am saddened. Why does it take a national tragedy or a major holiday to trigger togetherness? Reflect on that for a moment.

Then there are days like Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, and the like that have people in a frenzy. We feel obligated to buy things for our loved ones and I don’t like that. What happened to showing our love for one another throughout the year? Sometimes we can be so compassionate, warm hearted, and really treat one another with respect and love. But then, there are times when we’re so selfish, cruel, and insensitive. *shakes head* I know I fall into all of the groups I complain about from time to time and that’s what’s harder for me to personally deal with. I resolve to be kinder and more often, not just when the calendar orders me to do so. I resolve to be more thankful and not take the people in my life for granted. I resolve to honor my country, my God, and my loved ones as often as possible. While I have time yet, I resolve to waste as little of it as possible. That is my wish for all I love, that you all will do the same. Let’s start right now. 🙂 I am indeed thankful for so much in my life, like for instance…all of you who read my blog and support my writing and support me as a friend. What are you thankful for today?

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A Plea For Empathy From An Empathetic Heart

Empathy
How can I explain with mere words
The way that my thoughts and emotions work?
When someone I love is hurting, I hurt too
As if their heartaches and burdens were my own

Many times the empathy I feel allows me to help
So there are times when this serves as a blessing
By putting myself through the pain and stress
I can often find ways to help them hurt less

To be able to be there for those I love means a great deal to me
I wish that there was a way for me to make you all see
Though I feel as if most haven’t even begun to discover
Just how deep my love, empathy, and compassion flows

There are times when the stress upon my shoulders crushes me
From the inside out, I begin to wear down
Sometimes people take advantage of my good heart
And their needs begin to tear me apart

It’s not always of malicious intent
From others that has my spirit bent
In fact, often times many are oblivious
To the state of exhaustion I’m in

Now and then, I find that I need to take a step back
To renew the mental and emotional strength I lack
As badly as I feel to tell a loved one no
Sometimes it just needs to be done

Often, I am left with an ache of wanting to give and do more
Giving comfort, support, and love is something I live for
And I feel as if I was put here to do just that
But if I ignore my own needs for too long, I become a mess

I ask that you understand when I need to take some time for myself
That you won’t think I’ve become rude, crass, and uncaring
There are just times when I have my own needs to attend to
But know that my love for each of you will always be strong and true

What is sexy?

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I was reading my friend’s blog today and the question she asked us was, “What makes someone sexy?” I replied and she liked my answer, said I needed to share this and so here I am, sharing it with you as requested. 😉

But before I do, I would like you to check out Ionia’s blog. Read what people had to say and maybe give her your own feedback. Also, she does some awesome book reviews and has other amazing topics to discuss as well. 🙂

Now onto what I had to say to her blog….what makes someone sexy in my eyes? Well, let me tell you just that….

 

Oh my goodness, there are so many good responses that I have read. Each has their own definition and well, mine goes along with what some have already said and more.

 

I do agree that upon seeing someone for the first time, initially looks have a lot to do with it. Though, as also stated before, an ugly personality can ruin any amount of good looks. To me, someone who is truly sexy is someone I am attracted to both their physical appearance and their personality. I have met people who I find physically appealing, but upon getting to know them, I can’t stand them. I have also met some people with wonderful personalities that while I do love them and know God finds beauty everywhere, I don’t personally find them sexy. It really is a combination of so many things….

 

I too have been attracted to musicians. If you can play an instrument and/or sing really well, I have been known to draw to them like a moth to a flame. Oddly enough, the man I fell head over heels with and so happy with now is NOT a musician, though he does have an intense love for music. Common interests definitely plays a role in things.

 

Confidence does as well, as long as it doesn’t go from being confident, loving who you are, and sure of yourself to arrogance. One who takes care of themselves and takes pride in their appearance is important, just don’t come across as thinking you’re the greatest there is. ;)

 

Kindness, a sense of sincere compassion towards others is a huge factor for me. Be one who is going to take care of themselves, but also be more than willing to lend a helping hand to someone in need, to be there for their friends, family, and community. A warm heart really does win me over.

 

Being able to speak your mind when needed is huge too, must be able to communicate, but also that ability to be confident in their silence as well is not to be overlooked.

 

As far as looks go, I tend to gravitate towards people with brown hair, striking eyes, and a warm smile. I can also appreciate a man who has nice muscles and lean, but firm figure…..not to be overdone though….just healthy and in shape. I don’t seek bodybuilders and such. ;) I am happy the love of my life takes pride in his appearance and staying in shape. He also motivates me to do the same, another factor I find totally appealing….his genuine care for my health and well-being, as much as he cares about his own.

 

Being able to handle me, deal with my insane family, and keep calm is very big with me too. I am a bit much sometimes, but if you can stay patient, keep calm, and weather everything with me….you have earned some major sexy points. ;)

 

And yes, laughter….being able to smile, laugh, and find the joy in life is a MUST! There are times to be serious, you must be able to take care of things, know when to buckle down, know when not to make a joke of things….but if you’re too tightly laced, it doesn’t matter how gorgeous you first appear….I’ll soon look away. Being able to make me laugh is so important…..lucky to have found someone who knows how to make me laugh, even when my day is so very dark. Never overlook that factor in someone….their ability to make you smile and laugh. ;)

 

There are the lists that tell you who are today’s sexiest people….and some of them certainly make ya go…oh yeah, yum….but, ya wonder…if we were to actually meet them and get to know them….how many would we still say are legitimately sexy? Take away the cameras, make-up, fancy clothes, and strip them down to who they really are….who would we befriend? Who would we find as sexy inside as we do out? I wonder that from time to time….

That concludes what I had to say….for now. 😉 And if you’d like to chime in here as well, feel free. I’d like to know what you find truly sexy in another human being….

 

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