Mental Health Awareness

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental Health Awareness Week is from October 1st through October 7th.  I will be participating by posting blog posts on this blog and my two other side blogs. Mental Health Awareness is very important to me. I have relatives who have been diagnosed with a Mental Illness and I have had my own issues with Anxiety and Depression as well. I do consider myself an advocate for Mental Illness. It is important to learn about Mental Illnesses and Mental Health as well as it is to spread awareness and break the stigma. There has been a huge stigma surrounding Mental Health for years. I personally was affected by the stigma as I struggled with dealing with issues with Mental Health in my own family. There were times when I didn’t understand why those things were happening and there were plenty of times when I was too afraid to talk about it and admit that I had Mental Illness in the family. I remember there were times when my Mom was at a Mental Hospital and I didn’t know what to tell people because I was too afraid of what they would think of my Mother and what they would think of me.  Through the years I have learned, especially after I had gotten more involved with NAMI, how to learn more about Mental Illness and about the importance of talking about it. Part of Breaking the Stigma is talking about it and not being afraid to tell people what is going on. When people are too afraid to talk about it then people suffer through it alone and suffering alone makes it much harder for them to go through their difficulties with Mental Health.

Here I am doing my part in trying to break the stigma. This is what I will be doing:

On my Personal Blog

  •  Post a Flash Fiction on Mental Health
  • Post a personal reflections post on Mental Illness and how it has affected my life

On my Philosophy of Entertainment Blog

  • Positive Portrayals of Mental Illness in TV and Movies
  • Disappointing Portrayals of Mental Illness in TV and Movies

On my Writer Reading Blog

  • Fictional Characters and portrayals of Mental Illness that inspire me in writing of my own characters with Mental Illness in the books that I am working on.
  • Writing about my Fictional Characters with Mental Illness.

I will also write some Fan Fiction that deals with Mental Illness and I will post it on Fan Fiction.net and Tumblr.

Learn more about NAMI and Mental Health Awareness Week here: NAMI

 

 

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Daily Prompt Crumb

I take the bread crumbs off of the plate and lick it off of my finger. Each little piece is just as delicious as the bread that just came out of the oven. Fresh baked bread is the best. The way it is so soft and hot it makes my mouth water in anstispitation of it. There is something soothing about the smell of fresh bread. I can feel it give me this warm happy feeling, Smell is connected with memories and I suppose it brings me back to my Grandma when she would bake for us. I will always hold a memory of visiting my Grandma and how she was telling us a story of the old song she knew. It was called, “If I knew you were coming I would bake a cake.” Then she started to sing the song and then at the end of the song she said, “And so I did.” I remember being so happy and excited that my Grandma made us a cake for no other reason then she knew we were coming. That made it special to me. When I think of crumbs I also think of my Grandma and how there were always crumbs of Graham Crackers around. When we visited we always got Graham Crackers. She had them stored in these green plastic containers. She had those containers forever they had old faded designs of flowers on them. I remember when we found those containers years later when we were packing her stuff years after she died and after my Grandpa passed we looked at those containers with fond memories. Those little plastic containers gave us joy. It was not just the fact that we were kids and we loved any kind of treat when ever we could get it. It was the fact that she always had something for us. She had her love and kindness ready and waiting for us. Crumbs are simply little small pieces of things but sometimes those small little pieces make a deep impact. Just like small acts of kindness.

The Window 

So it feels like I have been searching for my window forever. You know from the saying “when God closes a door he opens a window”. I feel like I finally found my window. It took a really long time and a lot of other windows that seemed to open up only to slam on my face. Now I just really hope this window stays open and it really is the opportunity I need to finally have some momentum and move forward. 

I feel optimistic about this window even though I know something still could go wrong. I am hopeful that this finally is my chance to really grow and move on. 

I am excited about this window. 

New Beginnings Again

I feel like I am continuely embarking on new beginnings over and over again. I keep on searching for the next step and the next phase in my life and how I am going to begin again. There are so many things so many ways to go that it is difficult find where is the right way to go. It’s like I am going in circles or zig zags. I am finding a way a direction and I make a plan for myself and in the next week that plan turns into another plan and another until I’m not even sure what my plans are any more. So I have to start all over again and make another plan again. All I can do is hope that I can find the right plan and stick with it. I also have to realize things do not always go according to plan. Life happens. Things get in the way and sometimes I will be pulled in different directions that I did not have planned. I feel like there is a way to have a balance between making and seeing plans through and going with the flow.

Finding Inspiration

I was having a hard time writing and coming up with ideas so in my frustration this is what I wrote. Sometimes doing an exercise of free writing helps me get those inspirational juices flowing.

So this is what came out of that little exercise:

I need to write. I need to let the writing flow smoothly out of my fingertips. I need to let this go and need to release my mind and let the inspiration overtake me. It is like this thing called inspiration is its own entity. What can I do to wield it? What can I do to control it? How can I let it come when I need it, when I call for it? It is like I am some kind of witch calling for the goddess to inspiration to come to be of assistance through, spells, incantations, or prayers. It is like I have no power to wield it at all. But then I again I am going a bit overboard in my metaphor. Of course I have the power. Of course I’m not some slave to the powerful being “inspiration”. I can find my own inspiration by just writing by simply trying by thinking and brainstorming and listening to music and yes finding things to inspire me. That is what it is all about isn’t it? I want to write to inspire others and I must read to be inspired myself. Sometimes it feels like there is no connection there that I am void of any inspiration that maybe it is loss to me but that kind of thinking is a trap that I get stuck into. Thinking I am stuck or blocked keeps me stuck and blocked. If I obsess over how I am stuck and blocked and that I can never write again then of course I stay obsessed and blocked. The longer I stay in that mode the longer I really won’t write again. I think you get out of ruts by doing. That is all you can do. That is all I can do. All I can do is keep trying and going at it. And if I accomplished nothing then at least I have found myself out of my rut.

So there that is. I think that actually helped. Sometimes I do get into my ruts and making myself keep writing something helps me get out of that rut. How about you is there anything that gets you out of your Writers Block? How do you get inspired to write?

 

 

Confidence 

Confidence was always a hard thing for me to deal with. I know when I have it, it makes things so much easier and better. So why is it so hard for me to have it and keep it? I’ll have confidence in spurts. I’ll be positive, upbeat, and hopeful about the situation and then suddenly I’m overcome with that deep encompassing doubt. I will be overwhelmed. All I see are all of my flaws and wondering how could I be so confident when I have so many short comings. I know some of these doubts are just my anxiety overtaking me. Some of it is irrational and exagerated thoughts of flaws I have but then some of it is  legitment. I know it can be good to know what your short comings are so you can work on them and improve. 

Having confidence is a good thing. It is something I try to have. I’m working on it. I would stand tall smile in the mirror or to my Mom and my sister, put hands on my hips and boldly say, “I got this.” For a while the statement spoke true I did “get this” whatever it is. Then as the day went on and  things aren’t going according to plan and a little disappointment happens here and a little doubts creeps out there than by the end of the day my confidence is gone.

I don’t know what to do about it. All I can do is work on it. Fake it until I make it could be a good option. Even when I’m not feeling it and the doubts make a reluctant appearance I can tell myself, “I got this!” so that eventually one day the statement will remain true.

Final

What is final? Some things are final. Are all things final? Do all things come to an end? For every ending there is a beginning. As a person is who I am ever final? I don’t not think so and I  take hope and solace in that fact. I can always learn and grow and become new and a better version of myself. It is my belief that even after I die the person who I am can still learn and grow after that. There are something’s that are final, that do have an end. Those things are hard to deal with sometimes. Like a death of a loved one, even though I know they are in a better place their life on earth is over. There is a great big finality in that.  You will never be able to speak to that person again in this life, so in that sense it is final. That finality hurts. That sense of finality will still ache even years later after they have passed. I still hold onto that belief, for me, that knowledge that that person is in another place learning and growing and becoming better;that is where the comfort lies for me. It brings other things into perspective like the finality of losing a job. While that job is over another one, a better one will come. The next phase of my life will come and it will get better. There is comfort in that hope. For every ending there is a beginning just waiting to be set free. 

My Top Five Bucket List Goals

Oh the ever infamous bucket list. That list of ever so far reaching things of things that I just must do before I die. I like to call them goals instead of wishes. Wish sounds like something that could never happen. It sounds like, “I wish I had a million dollars.” Or, “I wish I could ride a flying unicorn.” Using the word goal on the other hand makes me think that it could be attainable giving the right time, effort, and circumstances. It is a Bucket List so it is a list of things that I want to do before I die. This list is in no particular order.

So here it goes:

Travel to Italy

This will have to be number one on my Traveling bucket list. This is the place I want to travel some day. Or maybe even live here for a few months or a year. I took Italian in college because it was on Bucket List then. I love the rich history, the culture, the art work, and do not even get me started on the culinary aspects of Italy. Anytime there is any kind of travel show on Italy, I am all over that. I will read anything I can get my hands on about the beautiful country and if a rom con is set in Italy the chances are pretty high that I am going to love it.

 

Write and Publish a Novel

Well, I do consider myself a writer and I have been working on several books for years and years. So hopefully it is a Bucket List Goal that will get accomplished. It has been one of my highest goals and biggest dreams to become a published author. I keep on reworking my novels but I still believe that one day this ultimate dream and goal of mine will come true and I will accomplish this  great feat.

 

Own and Drive my own Car

A lot of people might think this is silly to be put on a Bucket List. It is such a regular thing that most people accomplish regularly. I’m thinking but since I live in a city with a bus system and I have had issues in my life where I could not own and drive my own car for me this will be a great accomplishment when I finally able to do this.

 

Write A  Musical

Yep, when I dream. I dream big. I can write music a bit. I wrote one play before but to write a musical and have it performed that is a big deal to me. It is a big dream and goal. I know this. I just love musicals. I always dreamed of making one of my own one day.

 

Play My Piano In Public or Make Videos

Ever since I started playing my key board I fell in love with piano and I would love to get good enough to perform in public one day.  I also have recently fallen in love with people making vids of making covers of them on piano or the violin on Youtube. That would be amazing if I could do something like that.

And there it is my list of top five things I just got to do before I die. What are something’s on your Bucket List?

 

Measure- One Word Prompt

Measure. How do I measure up? Against what exactly? I’m not so sure. I sometimes measure myself against too much. I measure myself, my accomplishments, and where I should be based on other views on how I should be. I let others measure me and tell me how different I should be. So I tried to be more like them and less like me.I felt uncomfortable and out of my own skin. I didn’t feel right to who I was or to who I wanted to be. So was there such a thing as improvement without changing who you are at your core? And who am I anyway? What does that even mean? All I know for now is I’m going to stop measuring myself to others and what I feel is right. That is all I can do. 

Writing my Book

I have been writing my book for some time now and I have been through my “in and out of it” phases. After my bosses decided to move in a different direction I have been out of it even though this probably is the perfect time to work on it, since I have so much more supposed free time. It has been harder for me during this time since my inspiration level has fallen flat with my spirits being crushed a bit by former employers that shall not be named.

 I have gotten to a point through my “disappointed and now I have to rethink my life again phase”where I can start thinking more about my creative projects and that includes my “will I ever finish it?” Novel. So I am in the “reasses and evaluate” phase of my novel. Part of that is to think about what influenced me in writing this novel.

So here a few books that influenced my Novel:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis– I have loved this since I was young. I loved reading this to my sister when she was younger. My story has become about finding portals or a different way to get to a different world, well in my books case to get to a different Time. It also has that theological symbolism aspect of it, as well. The sibling relationships in this affected mine book as well since I have big important sibling relationships in my book. 

The Hobbit by JRR Tolken–  This book really follows the whole “Joseph Cambell” hero format pretty well, where you are introduced to a character in his normal world and he is sent on an all important quest. Bilbo Baggins says it perfectly, “I  am going on an adventure!” I follow this format or at least I have been working on following it. It is a work in progress. 

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell-I read this book in my British Novel class in college and I have fallen in love with it ever since. I really identified with it and with the main character Margeret. Having endured a move or two that I haven’t been that pleased about at first. I really felt that moment when she went back to her old town and realized it wasn’t the same as she had been dreaming about. This book really influenced me with being a coming of age story and having my character start to question things she never did before.

Vampire Academy and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead- So I have been obsessed with these series for a while.It was all my sister’s fault she dragged me into this world. I feel like my main character  is a bit influenced by Rose Hathway and Sydney Sage. She is a bit of a mix of both. She is stubborn and tough like Rose and very smart and intellectual like Sydney. I feel like my main romance does have a similar vibe as Sydney and Adrian romance in the Bloodlines series. 

Now my last influence goes into the religious category.

The Book of Mormon by a bunch of different prophets but edited by Mormon and translated by Joseph Smith- So I mentioned that it was a bit of religious allegory like  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Since I am a Mormon that is what influences me largely on the religious side. My book is called the Book of Time. One day it dawned on me that wow that is like the Book of Mormon. It also works since it is a Time Traveling book about Ancient times and the Book of Mormon does talk about Ancient times as well. I don’t mention spiritual or religious things directly in this but there is a lot of symbolism in it talking about that. 


And there it is. Those are a few of the books that have influenced my current book that I’m working on.  Stay tuned for more musings about my adventures in writing this book.