The Brilliant Blog Award

A lot of the same blog awards have been floating around lately.  I thought it was about time for some fresh meat.

The Brilliant Blog Award, hot and fresh out of the kitchen.

Of course, with every blog award, there are rules:
Da Rules

  1. Write an acceptance speech, linking back to the person who gave it to you.
  2. Write 7 things you believe in.
  3. Give the award to as many brilliant blogs as you would like to share the love.

Since I am the originator, I’ll skip to nominations:

  1. Manic Monday
  2. Seasons Change, and so have I
  3. A Canvas of the Minds
  4. Pride in Madness
  5. Mental in the Midwest
  6. Mm172001’s Blog
  7. A Little Bit Stronger
  8. Crazy in the Coconut
  9. Just a Thought
  10. witheringtulip
  11. aliceatwonderland
  12. A Clown on Fire
  13. How Do You Eat An Elephant
  14. Infinite Sadness . . . or hope?
  15. Laura Susanne Yochelson
  16. Anxiety Adventures
  17. Overcoming Depression
  18. Struggling with BPD
  19. Electra.me
  20. Disorderly Chickadee
  21. neveraloneblog
  22. Manic Muses
  23. Snippets and Glimpses
  24. Someone Fat Happened
  25. My Journey with Depression
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Exercises to build self-esteem: #5. Write a gratitude list

It’s too easy…

to lose sight of the things that are really important.  When I’m entangled in my laundry list of woes, I tend to get tunnel vision, all centric to problem solving things that maybe really don’t need fixed.

It’s important to take a time-out.  Step back, and breathe.  Life can get a little easier to manage when I take the time to stop and smell the roses.  I appreciate the little things, though it’s too easy to take the for granted when they remain constants in my life.

Therefore, I am creating a gratitude list to be referenced when I start to lose sight of what is really important in my life.

 

Writing your gratitude list

1. Take a clean sheet of paper (or brand spanking new blog post) and get comfortable.

2. Write down as many things as you can think of that you are grateful for about your life (no matter how insignificant it may be.)

3. When you have finished, read the list aloud and allow yourself to feel the gratitude.

4. Keep your list somewhere safe so you can add to it in the future when new things you are grateful for come to mind.

 

  • Xan
  • Beast
  • Blogs
  • Bloggers
  • Blogging Friends
  • Friends
  • Internet
  • Email friends
  • Family
  • Lilly
  • The Ocean
  • Pittsburgh
  • Clear night sky
  • My home
  • My in-laws
  • Xan’s job
  • Our income
  • My marriage
  • Fridays
  • Saturdays
  • Sundays
  • Uplifting television
  • Inspirational blogs
  • Good people
  • The life I was gifted
  • The medicine that keeps me going
  • Doctors that treat me
  • Kind nurses
  • Contacts
  • Androids and smartphones
  • Email
  • The ability to buy necessities
  • Showers
  • Forgiveness
  • Noise reducing earbuds
  • Journals
  • Places of solace

All that I am, all that I ever was...

That will never happen to me!

There was a point in my life where I took things for granted. I had a relationship, friends, a reasonable income, relatively stable mental health and no physical ailments to worry about. My life was full off laughter, smiles, regular sex, all the hugs you could imagine and a future that anyone would be proud of.

If you had told me six years ago what was about to happen to me I wouldn’t have believed you, in fact, I would probably have paraphrased Spike and asked if you were stoned!

Like the vast majority of us, I took my life for granted. Like most I thought ‘it would never happen to me’.

Today, and for many years now, I am eternally grateful for everything I have.

Most have heard the phrase you don’t realise what you have until it’s gone because it is 100%…

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Last of the Belated Blog Awards Ceremony

Sisterhood of the Bloggers Award

Here are the Rules:

1. Thank the giver.
2. Post 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers and let them know they’ve been nominated.
4. Include the logo of the award in a post or on your blog.
Angel, again, I’d like to thank you for your thoughtful nomination.  I am overjoyed at the invitation to join this sisterhood.  I think it’s so important to have a camaraderie between bloggers, especially female mental health bloggers.  This means so much to me.  Again, thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness in another nomination.

Seven bloggers:

  1. Withering Tulip
  2. Crazy in the Coconut
  3. Stuff She Said
  4. Manic Monday
  5. You Know You’re Borderline When…
  6. Seasons Change, and so Have I
  7. Pride In Madness

 

 

Reader Appreciation Award

I believe this is the last one from Angel!  You have been the biggest self-esteem booster.  And if there’s something I am just a quart low on, it’s confidence in myself.  Thank you for being an inspiration to me, and such a thoughtful and giving person.

Rules

1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.–See above.

2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.–See below.

3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy Or you pick the number.–See below. It seems so many wonderful blogs have already received this award. I’ve picked 8 blogs and tried to choose those who haven’t gotten it yet.

4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominees’ links in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.–See below.

5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.–See above.

The questions:

1) What is your favorite color?  Blue.  Any natural blue color, especially turquoise.

2) What is your favorite animal?  Many different kinds of birds.  I love owls and parakeets.

3) What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Pepsi.  Hands down.

4)  Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook because there’s more to do on it, such play games – same

5)  Favorite pattern? Paisley

6) Do you prefer getting or giving presents? I like giving.  I’m pretty awkward at receiving.

7)  Favorite number?  5 and 1 and any combination containing those two numbers.  When I see those numbers, it means something is significant.

8) Favorite day of the week? Saturday.  It’s the only day of the week where I’m not doing anything at all, with the exception of karate class.  Xan is off, so I have another parent to help me, and we usually do something fun that day.

9) Favorite flower?  Daisies.  The white ones.

10) What is your passion? Blogging, music, writing, journalling, reading, crafting
The nominees:

  1. Hello Sailor
  2. Manic Monday
  3. You Know You’re Borderline When…
  4. Alice at Wonderland
  5. Seasons Change, and so Have I
  6. Withering Tulip
  7. Anxiety Adventures
  8. Views of the Slow Lane

 

One Lovely Blog Award

Mood Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified bestowed this award upon me.  Thank you so much for your nomination!  It was incredibly wonderful!

And now, The Rules:

  1. Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.
  3. Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.
  4. Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know and link back to them

Number 2: seven unknown things about me.

  1. Up until last Friday Confessional, my first kiss was from a girl.
  2. So was my first relationship.
  3. My schoolgirl boyfriend had cancer and was out of school for a year.  I stayed with him in that relationship.  When he got back to school, he dumped me on my birthday so he could ask another girl out.  She turned him down.  Ha ha.
  4. I attempted to have my father arrested once.  That’s another Confessional Friday.
  5. I have a brother with moderate autism.
  6. Sometimes, I talk about a sister.  My sister isn’t my biological sister.  She’s actually my third cousin.  But, we grew up in the same household, so it was like having a part-time sister.
  7. I am clautrophobic

I nominate everyone reading this right now.  You may take this, because if you are reading it, then you are a lovely person with a lovely blog.

 

TMI Blog Award

Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars suggested me for nomination.  I guess sometimes I do get a little personal.  Thanks for thinking of me!

 

This one doesn’t really have any rules.  So feel free and snatch this for your blog too!

A Different Kind of Spiritual : 30 Days of Truth

Day 19 : What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

Again, two hot button topics.  And again, I am far less than inclined to share my personal opinions on one of these subjects.  However, I do think it is important for a person to explore their own spirituality and maybe get ideas from another when they are unsure of their own beliefs.  Not to say that I intend on cramming my own spirituality down a reader’s throat.  Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.

Therefore, I am entitled to my own, and under the First Amendment, I am guaranteed the right to express these beliefs.  I’d like to preface this post with the following.  I have disabled the comments, because of the sensitive nature of this post.  I highly discourage flame wars and refuse to provide a forum for them to happen.  I would rather remove the temptation than have to mediate later, once the damage is already done.

I do not expect anyone to be on the same bandwagon.  I have some unusual beliefs that come from a mixture of an Episcopalian upbringing, a self-proclaimed spiritual parent, and living amongst the Jewish people in their community for certain durations of time.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please address me directly at lulu.em.stark@gmail.com.  I will be happy to engage a person in a private conversation on this matter.

With that said, I will begin the exploration of my spirituality.

I will state this up front, so there is no confusion later on.  I am far beyond disenchanted with organized religion.  I do not believe in religion, and I feel that it has done more harm than good in the world.  We have seen holy wars since the beginning of time, no matter what people would like to term them these days.  Many people have been forced from their homes.  Others have been sentenced to painful deaths and were cast out into exile for what they believed in.  All over differences of opinion on religion.

This is where everyone is going to get riled up.  I do not believe that Jesus ever existed.  I believe that Christianity was an idea that was concocted by the Romans for social control.  They had a population that had a monotheistic religion and another with a polytheistic religion, the latter dying out.  It was an attempt to get everyone on the same page.  Essentially, the Romans wanted to put a code of conduct out there and make it profitable.  And that they did.

There is no historical record of Jesus.  There were many historians living in the Mesopotamian area at the supposed time of Jesus’ life and death, and no one recorded a man who could perform spectacular miracles.  There may be tomb markers, but many people were entombed as part of commonplace burial ritual.  Jesus was an extremely popular name at the time.  There would be no possible way to find him on a registry, as all of those names were rather common.  Hence the suffixes, John the Baptist, etc.

I can say this with confidence, not because I am ignorant of Christianity, but because I am well educated.   I am baptized and confirmed Episcopalian.  I had perfect attendance in Sunday school for nine years running.  I started teaching the courses myself when I came of age.  I have read the Bible cover to cover.  And I find that so many of the rules are antiquated and just plain common sense. Wash your hands before eating?  Of course.  Don’t sleep with your brother’s wife?  Of course not!!!

I suspect that my subscription rate will plummet after this.

With all of that being said, I’ll continue with my own ideas of spirituality.  First, I prefer terms like spirituality and higher power in reference, because they are broader scope, less offensive, and do not indicate that I am a member of any religion.  I am not religious.  I am spiritual.

The universe is all made up of the higher power’s energy.  Energy and matter can never be created, nor destroyed.  That means that all of the things that exist today have existed in one form or another since before the beginning of time (because you know time is a human construct).  It was at the beginning of space.  If this is true, then that means that we’re all a part of each other.  That is true too.  We are all one in the same, from the amoeba to the complex human and beyond to planets, places, and beings we don’t even know exist.

We are all born with temperaments, and that’s all.  As for the rest of it, we are blank slates.  No being is inherently good or evil.  There is no black and white in those terms.  Which means that the higher power is not entirely benevolent, nor is the lower power.  They are opposing powers, as described, but they are not God and Satan as depicted.  They are one in the same, two sides of the same coin.  But, it remains the same coin.

We can take notes of our own morality from basic religion.  I do have a belief that all religions are really worshiping the same higher power, and generally all of the same moral guidelines.  However, it’s not as cut and dry as they would have you believe.  You will not be condemned to hell for failing to wash properly, although you might get an infection.  Some of those rules were made for practicality sake.  Cleanlinesss is next to Godliness, just means that we don’t want you getting sick and getting the rest of us sick with your epidemic.

As for other things that are outdated, I feel as if premarital sex is outdated.  In the days of old, the reason a woman did not engage in premarital sex was for lack of birth control and Maury Povich and paternity tests.  In those days, women relied on men to be their breadwinners and protectors.  A man is not biologically inclined to take care of a child that is not is, nor was he burdened by the responsibility that society would place on him.  Therefore, a woman would be left to do so herself.  But, in those days, women couldn’t work and take care of children at the same time.  The last thing villages needed was a whole family of fatherless children, relying on the resources of others to care for them.

Here are the things that are not dated.  The Golden Rule is the first and foremost guide for a moral compass.  If you don’t want it done to you, then refrain from perpetrating the offense onto another.  Period.  It really is that easy.  We all know that hitting hurts, robbing another is unfair and sometimes devastating, and taking another life away from someone else and their family is beyond devastating.  We all mourn the loss of those that we love.  Why would someone take something that isn’t theirs, only to destroy it for themselves and everyone else?

My belief in the process of death is rather unusual, because it borrows from several cultures.  There is no such thing as redemption at death.  One is judged by their actions or inaction,  positive and negative, the quality of their life and spirituality, and it is weighed out.  Only, the judge is not the higher power.  The judge is you.  There is no immediate heaven, or immediate hell.  We have souls that are always learning.  To be enlightened is to have a soul that is wise and open to education.  That is our point to any life that we lead.  We are here for a purpose, for a lesson.

Do you ever see themes occurring in your life?  Those themes are meant to teach you something.  It is your life’s lesson.  Without enlightenment to your life’s lesson and experiencing all of the fulfilling experiences meant for you as a part of the nature of your being (whether it’s animal, human, etc), then your soul does not get to move on to the next life.  You will repeat the lesson and the life until you have reached full enlightenment.  It is at that point that a being is allowed to choose what they would like to do with their eternity.

More of the Belated Blog Awards Ceremony

The Versitile Blogger Award

I’d like to thank Angel at The Mirth of Despair for this award.  It was extremely thoughtful of her to gift me with this.

As per the rules, I am required to share seven facts about myself.  So, here are seven randomly chosen facts:

  1. I am currently using The Hunger Games Soundtrack as my backdrop for writing.  I write better when I’m listening to music, but it has to fit the mood.  I think The Hunger Games is all around inspirational.
  2. I am currently in love with the following song:

  3. On a more serious note, I wage a war against alcoholism. I have talked about it briefly, but it’s actually very real, daily battle.
  4. I actually have two different colored eyes.  One is a blue / grey and the other is a green/ gold.  It’s hardly noticeable.
  5. I have a son with Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified.
  6. Some of you are newer and unaware of the unique relationship I have with my husband, Xan.  Xan and I were actually very good friends for five years prior to being romantic.  If I had advice for anyone single, it would be this.  Marry your best friend.  Because when the romance melts away, you still have a solid friendship to lean on.
  7. I have never been very good at being single.  And I’ve usually avoided it as most costs.  Nothing scares me more than having to be alone with myself.

My Nominations:

  1. Someone Fat Happened
  2. A Clown on Fire
  3. Laments and Lullabies
  4. Alice at Wonderland
  5. Finding Finn

 

Outstanding Blogger Award

Again, I’d like to thank Angel for nominating me for this lovely award.  It is a huge deal to me and means the world.  I appreciate all of your awards and sentiments.

Per the rules, I have to share one important thing about myself:

I am naive, jealous, and terribly insecure.  I just want to put that soft, vulnerable side out there for people to see.  I know it’s not always evident, but there is so much storm going on beneath this surface.

And then there’s the business of nominations:

  1. Manic Monday
  2. Mental Health Writer’s Guild
  3. Seasons Change, and so Have I
  4. …But She’s Crazy
  5. Struggling with BPD
  6. Angel’s Blog

 

Thanks for Writing

Angel has been entirely too generous over the last year when giving awards.  Honestly, I don’t know if I’m so deserving, but I appreciate every last award.  Especially this one.  This award makes me feel as if my writing is worthwhile, like it means something to my audience.  Sometimes, I really do have to wonder.  I mean, in those dark moments where I torment myself with my stats.

This is really the ray of sunshine in my day.  Thank you for this award, however long ago it was given.  I appreciated it then, and I hope that it still stands today.

Belated Blog Awards Ceremony

Today, I’d like to take the time and properly accept all of the awards that were bestowed upon me while I was writing Pendulum.  It was a lovely thing for all of these bloggers to do, and I have yet to take the time to thank them appropriately.

One Lovely Blog Award

Bipolarmuse nominated me for this one.  The rules are as follows:

1.Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2.Pass the award to other newly discovered blogs.
3.Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

  1. Withering Tulip
  2. Crazy in the Coconut
  3. Stuff She Said
  4. An Incidental Life
  5. bRaving Bipolar

Sunshine Award

Again, I was nominated by the lovely and wonderful Bipolarmuse.

The Sunshine Award, like all other rewards, has some rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

TEN QUESTIONS

  1. Favorite color: Blues.  All kinds of blues.  Especially turquoise.
  2. Favorite animal: Owl.  Wise and a night animal.  Maybe the nocturnal part is right about me…
  3. Favorite number: 51.  Or 15.  Any combination of 5 and 1.  It’s a sign to me.  Whenever I see it, I know I’m on the right track.
  4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee or Pepsi
  5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter? Both
  6. My passion: Helping others, my son, my husband, psychology, and music
  7. Prefer getting or giving presents:  Giving.  I’m very awkward at receiving.
  8. Favorite pattern: Paisley
  9. Favorite day of the week: Saturday, ruled by the planet Saturn, Cassiel as a patron saint.
  10. Favorite flower: Daisies

My nominations:

  1. You Know You’re Borderline When…
  2. Anxiety Adventures
  3. Struggling with BPD
  4. Manic Monday
  5. Christian Concern for Mental Health
  6. Slightly Manic Mummy
  7. If You Actually Knew Me
  8. Finding Finn
  9. Seasons Change, and so Have I
  10. Many of Us

Inspiring Blog Award

Kevin, from Voices of Glass, was kind enough to gift me this award.

Rules:

First, nominate 7 other blogs to receive this award

Second, write 7 personal things you wouldn’t normally say on your blog

Nominees!

  1. Manic Monday
  2. Views of the Slow Lane
  3. Seasons Change, and so Have I
  4. BPmom
  5. Pride In Madness
  6. Mood Swings, Mania, and other scary adventures
  7. Angel’s Blog

Seven Truths

  1. I have nervous habits that I don’t really talk about.  One of those habits is picking at any sores, pimples, blisters, calluses. etc that I may have on my body or face.  I always kind of do it, but when I’m under a lot of stress, it’s the worst.  I’ve been known to cut my toenails down to the point of bleeding.
  2. I smoke.  A lot.  I know I’ve mentioned alcohol as being one of my vices, but so are cigarettes.  I’ve never considered myself to be one of those people with an addictive personality, but I believe I stand corrected.  I wouldn’t normally admit that.
  3. Sometimes, I’ll drink entirely too much coffee, just to have a little hypomanic fit.  Usually, I just end up giving myself that crawling-under-your-skin, bursting feeling that comes with caffeine overdose, instead.
  4. This might actually make everyone who ever lived angry with me.  I am not a Tim Burton fan.  Not in the least.
  5. In addition, I really disliked Star Wars.
  6. My son likes to pee on his floor, instead of going in the toilet.  So, instead of mopping up at each instance, we have what is designated as “the pee towel”.  I mop every few days.  Kind of gross, I know.
  7. I have a gigantic mirror in my basement.  Not for vanity sake, although it is great to check myself out in to see how I look in an outfit.  It’s actually for me to practice my Tang Soo Do forms.

Very Inspiring Blog Award

I’d like to thank Manic Monday for this wonderful award.

Like all the other awards, there’s a few rules: thank the person who nominated you, nominate seven others, and provide seven facts about yourself.

7 nominations:

  1. Slightly Manic Mummy
  2. Crazy in the Coconut
  3. Seasons Change, and so Have I
  4. Anxiety Adventures
  5. Bipolar Blogging
  6. Infinite Sadness or Hope
  7. Bipolar Beach

7 Factoids:

  1. For Monday:  I’ve had bifocals since I was 12, but I don’t wear them because they’re too expensive.  I’d rather just hold something far away from my face.
  2. I wear contacts.  I wear them constantly.  I am that vain, yes.  But also, I love waking up in the morning and not having to fiddle with glasses or contacts.
  3. My hair is bleach blonde, but it is actually a natural dark blonde.
  4. I don’t like having long fingernails.  It’s just another thing to pick at.  I mean, I don’t bite my nails or anything.  I just bite the skin around the nails.  Ewww.
  5. I desperately want to start making “green arts and crafts”, but I don’t know where to start.
  6. I almost never throw clothing in the garbage.  I either recycle it into something else, or I donate.  I like to donate.
  7. I am extremely superstitious.  I mean, to the point of getting epic anxiety when someone violates a superstition.

Leep-Into-Cin – Part III

Part three and recent parts of my fight with cervical cancer

As the Pendulum Swings

Warning: The following content can be considered graphical in nature.  It may contain material that may not be appropriate for certain audiences.  Children under the age of 18, those of the male gender, and others faint of heart may want to take extra care while viewing this.  Use your own discretion.

Bringing in the Big Guns

After the experience where I was left stranded on an operating table, I had grown animosity toward that doctor that performed my surgery.  I refused to see her, and I refused to go through any more procedures.  It didn’t matter.  I had lost my insurance again and there was nothing I could possibly do.  The only other option was to return to the clinic so that they could slowly kill me with their negligence.

I did break down and go to the clinic, but only for a required Pap to receive birth control.  I…

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