My kluk (“guy” in Czech) and my nook

via Photo Challenge: Security

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I realize this is a photo challenge, but I could not resist responding to the word “security”, without a story attached.

When I was a young holka (Czech for “girl”) through perhaps 32 years old, I had very few fears. It didn’t phase me at six years old to walk two miles to school by myself. At 17, I didn’t mind walking four miles home. When I reached 21, I flew to Taiwan by myself and found a source of living. I went there again by myself at 23, then traveled throughout Asia. I wasn’t intimidated as a young woman. My parents weren’t scared, as many parents would be nowadays. That fact gave me confidence, as did my general fearlessness.

The first time I really started to experience major fear was when the worst of my mental illness struck. Continue reading

My therapeutic writing is on the cusp of a new period

via Daily Prompt: Cusp

hand writing in journal

I remember the very first things I ever learned to write. My name, of course, then the days of the week and the weather. Miss Matuza wrote the day and the weather on the chalk board each day, and we had to hand write it in our little paper booklet. I guess my mom taught me how to write the letters of the alphabet by then. That’s been so long ago. Forty years ago! But those first words were definitely not the beginning of my love for writing. Actually, I don’t think I developed a fondness for writing until I was much older. I think it started a little bit in college, but I wouldn’t say I wrote for the true love of writing, or even therapeutic purposes, even then. I think that unlike many bloggers here on WordPress, I was a late bloomer in this respect. Continue reading

Not everything is a symptom (speaking to myself and others)

via Daily Prompt: Symptom

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This is about misjudging symptoms of many sorts.

I think it is common with some illnesses to often think everything you feel is a symptom of the illness. I can see that with people who have heart disease, perhaps thinking that innocent heart burn is a symptom of their heart disease. In the case of bipolar disorder, many people with bipolar disorder having a burst of energy or even an especially good day wonder “Am I getting manic?” Perhaps sometimes it is an early warning sign, but other times it’s just within the normal range of experience. Continue reading

Labeling yourself (or others) “I am [insert illness]”

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Are you an illness (label)?

A topic that sometimes comes up in my circles is the use of the “be” verb with medical or mental illnesses. Have you ever noticed that for some illnesses people say “I am [insert illness]” or “He is [insert illness]”? Some specific examples of this labeling include “I am bipolar”, “I am schizophrenic”, “I am an addict”, “I am diabetic”, and “I am epileptic”. I find that strange, especially because you would never say “I am a headache”, or “I am cancer”.

Stigma and Continue reading

Depersonalization and derealization – Grounding techniques I’ve found effective

Stay connected to yourself in the present…

out-of-body-experience

For all of you lucky enough not to be in the know, both depersonalization and derealization are states falling under the category of dissociation, which the Mayo Clinic defines as “a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and/or identity.” Continue reading

A cook and baker’s view on non-sugar sweeteners

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I know there are many people out there that are dead-set against using non-sugar sweeteners. And some research on select non-sugar sweeteners support (or at least used to support) such opposition. Sweetness and no calories? Too good to be true? Well, I have decided that in some cases (or at least for some times) that select non-sugar sweeteners are the better choice for me, not just because of taste or texture, but for baking. Continue reading

The emotional support pet

dog-and-catOne week ago, my husband and I lost our beloved 15 year old parrot. He had been ill for about a month, but we were hoping so much that he was on the mend. But the two days before his passing he took a sudden turn for the worse, and it became obvious that he  might not survive for much longer. Before he was up for another ride to the avian vet, he had another seizure (he had had two in the past month) and he was gone. My husband and I were devastated. We are both still in the midst of the grieving process, and feel a deep deep loss.

My parrot, Lima, was not just a beloved pet to me, but was for me, an unofficial emotional support animal. Continue reading

The very beginning…

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Hello readers. If you’ve made it here, then know that I am very very excited!  This is my first blog post on a site like WordPress. My purpose in blogging here is to hone my writing skills, explore several topics that mean a lot to me, and serve as an emotional release for all of the goings on in my mind. Continue reading