A Letter of Introduction – by Embeecee

via Letters to the Mind
Contributing Author: Embeecee

A letter of introduction | Letters to the MindI have been in therapy a good portion of my life and I don’t have a definitive diagnosis as such.  They keep changing it to suit the therapy group I’m participating with at the time.   I don’t know if they don’t know how to categorize people like me or if it’s ME, because part of my own complaint is the ability to morph into what I think the ‘person in charge’ wants to hear.

In the latest therapy effort, I’ve tried hard not to do that and to be as honest as I can about my problems.   I still feel pretty mixed up about it all though.   I do a group therapy session about once a week (it’s a long drive and our weather has been bad, plus I’ve been sick a lot this winter so far) so I don’t always make the group session.   In that group we deal with addictions of various kinds, of which I didn’t ever really think I had any, save food, and so I have been resistant to the process. Others deal with drugs, alcohol, sexual addictions and the usual type of stuff.  I’ve felt like an outsider.   I’m also a good deal older than most of the women who attend that group, and I’m further along (in my own estimation) in the healing/dealing process.

It’s been odd therefore to realize that in that group I’ve discovered some depths to my own mental illness that I hadn’t considered before.   The group is a trauma group, all of us in there have suffered some sort of traumatic event, whether it is childhood or spousal abuse, abandonment, physical abuse or whatever fits under the umbrella of “abuse.”

And again I’m worried that I over-identify with the ailments of the other patients. One has pretty severe OCD and through her sharing I’ve identified some traits of that in myself.   I always knew I had elements of OCD, but I thought they were pretty minor (I continue to think that), so I never thought I ‘had’ OCD.

I overthink things.  And this ‘letter of introduction’ if you want to call it such is getting too long.

My own problems include:

  • Chronic depression
  • Dysthymia (or major depression)
  • Insomnia
  • Possible bipolar II (depressive bipolar disorder)
  • Possible BPD (borderline personality disorder)
  • Very mild (to me) OCD
  • Agoraphobia (very mild)
  • Social phobia/anxiety
  • Slight paranoia

It sounds really stark and overwhelming listed out that way.   I don’t think if you met me IRL, you’d even suspect any of these.   I have learned over decades to hide them well.  Privately I know I have some issues and I’m not comfortable around people.   Someone recently told me I have a true introverted nature, which in psycho-speak means I draw energy from myself best, and I expend it when I have to be around other people.   Being in crowds exhausts me and I don’t do well if I’m forced to wait for things or if someone is holding up the progression.   I find that I’m becoming more vocal about it, and this leads me to want to stay home.   I’m embarrassed by being that way, but I’m finding it happens more and more.   People stare at you if you are grumbling to yourself about what an asshole the guy in front is being.   Or if you openly ask this asshole if they are EVER going to conclude their business and get the %$@# out of your way.   I have anger issues.

Well that’s enough about it for today.   Thanks for inviting me here and for listening.

Author’s note: I was invited to Letters of the Mind by B.L. Memee of Memee’s Musings, and I thank her for offering this chance to address mental illness in a safe venue.


About the author:

I’m Melanie. I have been diagnosed with major chronic depression.   I also deal with social phobia and anxiety.

I’m a 56 year old woman who was born and raised, and remains in Utah in the United States of America. I have degenerative bone disease (type undiagnosed), diabetes and the mental health issues [I’ve discussed], and therefore I am under disability and retired now. I am widowed (going on five years in February). I live alone and have one pet, and I prefer it this way. I am considered reserved. I am Mormon in faith, but I am not judgemental nor do I consider myself holier than thou or anything. I try to be open-minded and accepting of everyone. I TRY.  🙂

Blog: Sparks From a Combustible Mind

“Life Is Not Waiting for the Storm to Pass; It’s About Learning to Dance in the Rain.”

☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀

Please, if your life is impacted by mental illness help spread awareness and understanding by writing to that illness and sharing it at Letters of the Mind blog project.

Click here to Contribute.

☀ Memee

Submitted to Letters to the Mind by Embeecee Dec 2015
A Letter of Introduction post: © Embeecee (Author) & Letters to the Mind (Publisher) 2015-2017. All rights reserved.
A Letter of Introduction by Embeecee post © Memee’s Musings, 2016-2018. All rights reserved.

I’m a Versatile Blogger!

versatile-blogger

 

I’ve been recognized and labelled as a “versatile blogger” by Rachel Ann over at Start With Sparkles. Thank you, Rachel! Some people view a blog that has no particular niche a mess, unworthy of acknowledgment; however, by definition “versatile” is in fact a great talent. So now I’ve got to come up with seven clever things to reveal about myself while proving I am indeed versatile. Oh, Rachel, I do hope I live up to your expectations!

1. I love those games that were flying across the walls of Facebook in 2009-2010, it is what got me addicted to the website and, honestly, I miss them. Now I have to entertain myself with “click” games, which is so mind-numbing not to mention socially isolating.

2. I am a Days of Our Lives addict. I admit it. I have seen almost every episode since I was 15 years old… that’s 31 years for those of you counting. A lot of people say nothing ever happens on soap operas and that if you missed a day or a week you wouldn’t miss anything. However I have always noticed that if miss a day I am always confused about what is going on when I find my way back. And I am pretty sure it’s not a case of me being dumb. Maybe I pay more attention than the average viewer and so I notice the minute changes of story or perhaps it’s just that the days that I have missed are coincidentally the most important episode of the year, but I doubt it. I am glad that NBC allows me to view episodes after they have aired. Now I don’t have to be confused.

3. I am enjoying learning the art of writing a story. It amazes me just how easily it comes once I figure out the first sentence or two. Memee’s Supershort Stories

4. I hate talking politics. In fact I hate it so much I am not going to go into the reasons why for fear people will want to begin arguing with me and each other in the comment section. Sorry I mentioned it.

5. I live for love yet I feel that romantic love has alluded me thus far.

6. In the 70s I was a child model for the mega-chain Montgomery Wards and that began a lifelong relationship in the modeling industry both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

7. And just to prove all models aren’t dumb I will include the fact that I was a professional court reporter for ten years.

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. It’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you cannot figure that out, go to their nomination post and thank them personally.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly who you deem as versatile and excellent in their writing and nominate/award them with the Versatile Blogger Award. It is good practice to let them know of your nomination on their about page.
  •  Finally, share 7 things about yourself. The person who nominated you probably wants to learn more about you and so do your regular followers.

And so it is that I shed the cloak of Blogger Without Purpose and proudly don my Versatile Blogger sash and announce my nominations for the Versatile Blogger award.

1. Mindstorms and Randomness
2. Coloring Outside the lines
3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Internet
4. Randoms by a Random
5. Listen to the Babe

6. A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales
7. What Sandra Thinks
8. The Falling Thoughts
9. Butterfly Ramblings
10. Riddle from the Middle

11. Hugh’s Views and News
12. Curious Queendom
13. Problems with Infinity
14. Hummingbird Redemption
15. Theory About a Theory

It has taken me 3 months to complete this post since my own nomination because I am very choosy in my nominating process — Thank you Rachel Ann for your patience with me! I want to nominate for you my readers and minions, only the very best that I find out there. And with this one, versatility was an additional layer of choosyness! And if that wasn’t enough, I wanted to be sure they hadn’t already received this award. Anyhow, these are the people who are relatively new to me and, in my humble opinion, excellent versatile bloggers, the best of the best, the cream of the crop! Check each of them out, I’m sure you’ll find a new favorite amongst them. (And yes, I am crossing my fingers that some of the newest of newbies are still actively blogging. Two of my nominees have become “award free” and three of them have, since I placed them on my list, received this award from another. But I’m not going backward. Everyone remains in position and on my list. If I rubbed those people out, we’d likely never get to this point of published acceptance!)

Oh, and guess what, nominees: There’s an added bonus to winning this award: There is an entire blog dedicated to it and you can link your acceptance post to it and even more people will learn of your versatility and choose to visit your blog! How’s that for an added bonus? Oh, and did I mention, you can go there to choose your own trophy if you don’t want the green one I picked out and attached to this post! It’s true even the badge is versatile: Everything VBA

So I guess I am warming up to these blogging awards.

I used to hate the chain-like quality of blogging awards, but now I am understanding more and more the importance of the nomination process. It allows us to get more eyes on the blogs that we ourselves appreciate and/or take inspiration from, whether in our writing or our life.

And so, I guess I have to find a way to nominate without allowing the nomination process to take away from the sincerity of my feelings. And in this moment I can only really see doing it in the manner I did when I received the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. In that case we were “required” to nominate 15 people. I did not nominate 15 people. I wasn’t inspired by 15 people. The awards I pass along must remain sincere. So like I did then, I will continue to nominate the people I feel do deserve the awards rather than generating a particular number of links.

And as for the inspiration for this particular post, it came from Chris who nominated me on July 19th for the Liebster Award. I want to take a moment to tell you briefly about Chris because he is someone who I find to be a remarkable human being.

As many of you know I live my life with a mental health label: Bipolar Disorder. And it is because of this label and how greatly misconstrued and misunderstood it is that I occasionally weave posts about it into my blog as well as follow a lot of other mental health blogs that I find to be useful in combating (external) social judgement and (internal) judgement.

Chris has one such blog. It is entitled, Surviving the Spector because as you will learn on his About page, he is a suicide survivor. He, like all of us, still has demons to face each day, however his past action has given him a new strength that each of us can learn and draw from. He is now a teacher among us and everyone can learn from him. So please, check out his blog and give him a follow. You’ll be glad you did! Thank you, Chris, for being YOU! And thank you for this nomination.

Now, on to my newest blogging award: The Liebster!

liebsterpic

 

Like 99% of the online blogging awards, this award comes with a set of rules to follow. Someone created a wonderful image so that they’ll really stand out on the page. I’d like to give that person credit but unfortunately I don’t know who did it. I will however use it (as I am sure they intended for its use to be carried forward) with gratitude and hope my nominees will do the same.

liebsterpic_001

 

Chris asked:

1.  In what state and/or country do you live (if outside the U.S.)?
A. Memee lives in Washington state but hopes to move to California in September.

2.  What is your favorite genre of music and THE band that goes with it?
A. Dating me huh? 80s pop! And as for “THE” band. I cannot really say there was one. I loved the women vocalists mostly. But, being that I said at the beginning of this post that I would strictly follow the rules I will identify Duran Duran because Girls on Film, Hungry Like the Wolf, Rio, Union of the Snake, The Reflex and The Wild Boys still gets me itching to dance!

3.  What is a life quote of yours?
A.  Well, Chris, I wasn’t sure if you meant one I created or one I live by.  I am going with the one I am trying to learn to live by.  It was originated by John Wayne:  “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

4.  Where do you find solace?
A.  with God.

5.  What are three triggers you have?
A. (1) Victimizing oneself (2) Patronizing words (3) Accusations (direct or alluded to)

6. Insert your favorite meme in the space below-

Koala

7.  What is a coping mechanism you use to combat your mental situation?
A.  Attending Group and/or seeking out time with friends because I have a tendency to isolate.

8.  When you sit down to write a blog post, where does your inspiration come from?
A.  Life, Death and the World around me. I thought you read my About page?! {snicker snicker}

9. Right here, right now, say something to the person who has hurt you the most, beginning with, “I promise to…”
A. I promise to keep trying to communicate my needs and feelings effectively with you.

10. What one regret do you hold onto that you wish you could let go of?
A. I am sorry but I am going to keep that one between, myself, my God, and my counselor.

11. What’s the most valuable piece of advice someone has given to you?
A. Accept yourself.

11 More Random Facts About Memee

1. I hate apple pie.
2. I love baseball.
3. I hate coffee.
4. I love coffee ice cream.
5. I prefer almond milk.
6. I don’t actually care for almonds themselves.
7. I lived in Mexico for a month during my 7th grade school year.
8. I lived in China for 1 month in 2004.
9. I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA for 3 months.
10. I lived in Boise, Idaho for 6 months.
11. I enjoy my Juice Plus+ every day.

Blogs Deserving Of Your Attention

1. Kokkewietblog.com She’s only begun her journey in July, but I see her humor and love her artistic strokes!

2. Thoughts of a Trainwrecked Pineapple I don’t know how many followers Carlos has, but I sure recognize myself in his blog and he started the same month I did. If you enjoy me, you’ll like him too!

3. Beatriz shares stories about plants and animals on her blog, gardeningB, where she shares her experiences with edible gardening in tropical Florida, sharing unique but delicious sounding recipes and highlighting her posts with gorgeous photography.

4. Carol has time to share her favorite recipes on Retired? No One Told Me! now that she has retired to “sunny Phuket where some will say I am living my dream ..well never wearing stiletto’s again is one of them realised..Long live bare feet and flip-flops!” Aside from the wonderful recipes, I have noticed that she loves chatting with her followers, helping them with the recipes and creating online friendships along the way.

5. Chad speaks of his extremely personal struggle with bipolar disorder while weaving in how his Mormon doctrines have guided him to a new discovery of a happier, healthier self on his website CMMcDonaldbooks and although I don’t think he will pass the award along, I think his journey can help others better understand what our lives can look like with mental illness and/or with God by their side.

6. Kelli Blogs “just not as often as she thinks she should,” which I find to be refreshing, honest and downright witty. And do you know what else she does? Kelli Cooks! But this blog is dedicated mostly to adoption, though she has music and food posts as well.

7. This one is for all the female bloggers out there. Anything and everything relevant to the emerging powerful woman within each of us can be found at I Blog For Us.

8. Chris posts the best motivational quotes! Everyone needs motivation: Students, Parents, Bloggers! The Motivational Mentalist

Yes, I am aware that was eight nominations and not eleven, but for the sake of sincerity of my appreciation these are the blogs I believe are deserving of your attention. Also, I am not sure I adhered strictly to the “less than 200 followers” rule as some of my nominees don’t have a stat count showing for followers and there may be one or two that, like me, had a few more than 200 at the time I began this article posting (last month).

Nominees, Your 11 Random Questions Are:

1. Do you believe in ghosts and if so have you seen any?
2. What animals, if any, do you currently reside with. Names too please!
3. Tell me, what is your favorite nickname and why?
4. Is there anyone that you would step in front of a train for? If yes, who is it?
5. Can you wiggle your ears?
6. Do you brush your teeth in the shower?
7. Why do you think drinking water from a bottle is a good idea?
8. Have you ever eaten anything that sounds gross but wasn’t?
9. Do you ever talk or walk in your sleep?
10. Are you easy to read?
11. Is there someone important to you that suffers from a mental illness (yourself included)?

Riddle Memee This!

Okay, Minions, this riddle is super easy. It is in fact so easy you won’t even have to go to my dedicated blog to solve it.

You’ve got one guess… type it in the comments below.

Untitled design

How You Can Use Your Blog Readers to Get More Blog Readers

via Reflections
Author: Janice Wald

use-your-readers-1Like many bloggers, are you concerned with your stats? Do you frequently check your number of blog followers and page views hoping to see them rise?

During your visits to your stats, do you ever click the “shares” tab to see if people are sharing your writing with others?

If the goal is to grow your blog, you need more exposure to other readers. If your current readers share your writing on other forms of social media, their followers will be able to see your link, and you can potentially get more blog followers.

This post will explain how your current readers will be motivated to share your writing with their social media followers. Continue reading

Inspired Blogging Begets Inspired Bloggers Begets Inspired Blogs

very-inspiring-blogger-award

I am still in the beginning stages of learning the ins-and-outs of blogging despite a decade of editing other people’s websites. I have had many bloggers and readers personally reach out to me and tell me that I have inspired or touched them in one way or another. And a few days ago my fellow blogger, Bonny, took it yet another step further. She publically nominated me on her blog Thoughts and Things for the Inspired Blogger award. And I love it, so thank you, Bonny! Continue reading

You’ve Made Me Feel Like Family

Wordpress Family Award

I began this blogging journey on Halloween of last year, which means I’m almost 3 months in already!  With every single new post there are new hurdles to leap over, obstacles to overcome and things that must be learned. Journaling in blog form is so much more complicated than journaling in a diary. So far it has taken me a minimum of two and-a-half hours per post (if I am extremely lucky) to get something written and uploaded. My scheduler doesn’t seem to work.  Every time I’ve tried to rely on it to post, nothing posts which is frustrating — and inevitably does not get the attention it deserves.  And so I have found myself having to insert back-posts to their appropriate, scheduled dates. However, the rewards of blogging make the struggles of being a beginner well worth it! Continue reading