Tag Archives: life

My Definition Of Happiness

Picture: Space GirlWoah… wait, wow! o_o

It’s been a long while since I’ve last written a post on this old blog.  The WordPress editor has changed drastically and… hang on, I’m trying to figure out what buttons work for what on this new ship. *Beep-boop! Kabump!* Ah, that sounded like a small explosion somewhere… I probably shouldn’t press that button again. o_O

So… Hello, dear readers! ^o^/
If there is anyone around that still reads my random ramblings anymore, that is. Heehee!

Since I’ve been getting what I suspect are spam signups for my blog lately (a lot of emails from Outlook… does anyone really use Outlook for email anymore? That’s like still using AOL in this day and age. I apologize, if you still use either service…), I decided to give one last post to top it off for prosperity sake. ^_^

The reason why I haven’t been blogging lately is that I have found happiness in my life. True, stable, and awesome happiness in my life. Right here in Minnesota! Yes, it’s cold, we have snow blizzards in April, Summer last for a second and Autumn is non-existent, HOWEVER, the hearts and spirits are warm here – loving, selfless, giving, progressive, and kind. I finally found my true community and family, here in this awesome state! Huzzah! ^o^/

Most days I am happy, content, and excited about facing each new day. It’s not perfect, as nothing in this world ever is, but I’m in a place that I can truly call home. I’m well beloved and cared for in Minnesota, I’m free to be my absolute self and people like me for it! I mean, they REALLY like me. And I really like them in return.

So, to recap since my last political post – leaving the politics aside, of course… I had mentioned my health goals and I have some good updates: I’ve been smoke-free for over a year now. And I have changed my diet, started a workout routine, and have lost in total thirty-seven lbs. I plan to lose a bit more and continue my new healthy diet for life. For the first time this year, I treated myself to a new pair of skinny jeans!

My friendships are going well now, as I learned how to set boundaries (aka: how not to be a doormat to others) and had gained a better perspective about the kinds of people I will allow into my life or not. I realized that I HAVE THE POWER (He-man!) to choose who gets to stay in my social circle or not, and I have the ability to change my mind at any given time.

So, I tend to choose those who are not of constant negative attitude or drama-queens, and I align with those who are similar to my own values and ideas, with a healthy space for those around me to be their unique selves and celebrate our differences together. In plain terms – I don’t care if you’re a Diet Coke fan more so than a Pepsi fan, come on in out of the cold and let’s be friends!

I DO care if your attitude is to exploit the weak or to do harm to others for your own selfish gains or agendas – GTFO and freeze to death in the Minnesota snow! >_>

My definition of happiness has taken on a new form, so I will share what I’ve concluded on this possibly last blog post. Possibly. Or at least for a very long while, as I have a happy life to return back to and LIVE. ^w^

This is just my personal definition of the term “happiness”, it may be different for different people. Humans are very complex in that way, what is happiness for one person may be a total nightmare for another. This is why I believe setting an authoritarian-like standard for what happiness should be for a grand number of people is a highly flawed idea and a crime against humanity in general.

However, that’s a rant/debate for some other time. ^_^

Happiness is not static nor something that can be captured and held in place forever. Emotions ebb and flow like an ocean. As a human, I will experience the many different tides of emotions in my lifetime: Sadness, loss, despair, doubt, fear, anger, contemplation, hopefulness, amusement, acceptance, contentment, and so on.

For me, happiness is about experiencing more of the positive than the negative in any given day, week, month, or year.

I’m happy to report that I’ve felt positivity for the majority of this past year of 2018. Most days, I’m content and living my life to the fullest, within a loving community of awesome friends, family, and neighbors. I’ve joined in the efforts to fight world suck and to help others, through charity events or to help spread the word about important human events to that end.

My quest has changed from seeking happiness to fighting to make the world a better place for myself, my community, and for many others far away from Minnesota.

At the end of the day, I rest knowing that I’ve spent my time wisely and is excited about what more I will experience on the following day. I have my sad moments, but it lasts only for a day before I find my “positive mental attitude” once again and I’m back on track to living my happy life and advocating for others.

I write my fiction novels, as usual, gaining such a fiery delight in spending hours on completing manuscripts. Currently, I’ve fallen into writing women’s erotica, and I happen to be very good at it. I enjoy sharing my writings with my friends, gaining valuable feedback and I hope to publish someday soon.

As for my other passions, I enjoy spending hours as a “Professional Smart-arse”, trading witty jokes of high sarcasm and satire with my friends, while incorporating that humor into my novels as well.

I live in a very safe community, in a quiet little house, with my sister and one awesome roommate, a little dog named Apollo, and a cat named Bubbles. In my household, there’s no drama or upsets, no screaming or fighting during the day or nights, and we pretty much all get along and is respectful of each other.

However, high-pitched squeals over new awesome movies, music, or an event coming to town IS allowed – and happen often. ^_^

Our home is often the hub of Queer Pride as well, with a stance that everyone should be free to love who they love. Period. We don’t engage in negative put-downs or harmful criticisms (about weight, appearances, or anything of that nature) and such negativity isn’t allowed to enter our home! Not at all. Home is a place to relax and not put on a beauty pageant nor to attempt to gain self-esteem by putting someone else down.

However, gay-pride celebrations and pageants are a go! Paaaaaaartay! ^o^/

Happiness is learning how to love and accept myself, to appreciate the good and the shortcomings that make me Dani. I’m 37 years old, but I don’t shy away from expressing myself honestly, not only in words but in my own personal fashion style. My hair is currently the color royal blue, burgundy, a hint of blonde, and dark brown, with a side-haircut.

I receive compliments on my hair all of the time, but I wear it this way because it’s SO Dani – It’s me.  I dare to be myself with no apologies and without any fucks to give.

So, in conclusion, happiness to me is building a nice environment and social circle of awesome people, being my honest self, protecting and standing up for myself, fighting against world suck, and practicing positive mental attitude.

I have found happiness, you guys, so my quest is complete. This blog is done, for now, I think. My happiness may not last forever and I am fully aware that it will not always be constant, but if I lose it, I know what to do to find it again. And I’m not alone, I have others who will take up torches and help me search for it as well.

Picture: Blue-haired Girl Underwater.

Song for today: Nexeri – Ocean (ft. Yvette Adams)

Thank you for spending so many years with me, dear readers. I wish you all the best and DFTBA – Don’t forget to be awesome! ^o^/

-D

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Surviving Politics

Picture: anime blue haired girl
Yuumei.deviantart.com

Hey, dear readers. ^_^

I had hoped to avoid the orange elephant in the room for as long as possible, ever since the November 2016 US Election. This is a blog about finding happiness and there’s hardly any happiness to be found within politics. Especially with the recent drop in my country’s democracies, freedoms, and overall morality under the helm of the current Administration.

First of all, I’d like to explain that I’m neither Republican or Democrat. I’m Independent and a casual observer of politics, and have voted in the last three elections, which includes 2016. I’ve been an Independent ever since the Bush Administration. I’ve written letters of complaint and concerns of my community to Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama in the past. I’m not interested in political teams, but in fairness for the majority of American citizens and upholding our US Constitution and freedoms for ALL.

And, unfortunately, calling out this current Administration in any way causes its supporters/fans to go wild with indignation. The keyboard warriors in support of “Dear Leader” are often poorly educated people that have learned a logical fallacy term, in “Word Of The Day”-like fashion: Ad Hominem. They honestly argue, “You’ve used an Ad Hominem! That means your point is invalid! You’ve just opted out of the argument! Bahahaha!” and rally-cry this to ad nauseam. Hmm.

The problem with their argument is, that the Electoral College appointed POTUS is the King of Ad Hominem, so they’ve just “logic” themselves into a corner of making the argument that most of what this current Administration says is invalid and he has opted out of America’s and the rest of the world’s discussions and debates.

And I can’t help but agree with that notion, to be honest, as most of what the current POTUS says is invalid or devoid of any reality or sanity. Yes, he has opted out of any discussions held by the majority of American citizens or any discussions held by other countries or allies with America. He has deemed anything that he doesn’t agree with as “Fake news!” However, he’s not simply inept because he uses insults in his arguments, it’s because he uses lies and alternative facts/reality to further his own greedy agendas.

Since the supporters/fans of the current Administration insist on making Ad Hominem into an internet meme, rather than use the term correctly in debates and learn the other logical fallacies that accompany it (Here’s a good one, for example, The Fallacy Fallacy), I shall respond with an internet meme in return. Cue in Zoidberg!

Picture: Zoidberg Meme

 

“Your Administration is bad! And you should feel bad!”

 

However, this is not a post meant to rehash over the political nightmare of America, but a reason to share my list of how I try to retain my happiness within a country hijacked by a minority base of deplorable types and insanity. I hope this list can be helpful to the MAJORITY of Americans who can honestly respond to my ramblings with “I feel you, dawg”. ^_^

Step One: I’m on a 96% political and news media blackout. Six months into following every news update and vile tweet, I noticed that my mental health was declining rapidly. My depression and anxiety issues were soaring to the max, which concerned my therapist and myself.

So, I opted out of following the news and avoid clicking politically charged headlines online. I will check in from time to time, mostly for updates of Special Council Robert Mueller’s findings, but my political consumption is down to few reports once every couple of weeks or so.

In the meanwhile, I’ve tasked my family and friends to alert me of important things in the news. Such as current natural disasters, the death of artists, important community events, and so on. Or to alert me of a moment when America is at war with North Korea, China, Russia, Mexico… *takes a breath* The Middle East, The UK, India, Japan, Germany, South America, France, Australia, Isreal, Canada, Africa… Whew… At this point, I think our POTUS is just knocking at every door, in a sing-song, “Will you come outside and play war with me? PLEASE???” ;u_u

Step Two: I focus on my own health goals. Although my corneal transplant has been a huge success, I have other health issues to work on, a few other surgeries I must face (removing non-cancerous tumors) and feeling okay within my own body. I bought a Mi-fit (discount Fitbit) to work on my daily steps and started a new healthy diet, in an attempt to gain a model’s figure… Nah! Not really, but it couldn’t hurt for me to lose thirty pounds. And, I’ve been 221 Days without a cigarette! ^o^/

Step Three: Learn new things! My favorite topic is SCIENCE! However, I try to keep a keen eye open for other data, like world history, music production, game developing, or simply learning about another culture and lifestyle outside of my own. I sometimes delve into philosophy with my best friend or learn a new word in another language. It’s nice to stay educated and to keep learning.

Step Four: To have fun and to be silly! I enjoy long sessions of laughter with my sister and best friend, trading jokes or witty retorts for hours. I enjoy funny videos online and comedy shows. And adding a bit of humor to my blog posts.

Wink! ^_-

Memes can be a lot of fun to share with friends! I’m memelord trash, by the way, and I claim it with a sense of pride as well. Yes, I allow myself to be childish sometimes, staying up late to play a video game or binge-watching Netflix (I definitely suggest “Bates Motel”, it’s completely binge-worthy!). To quote a famous Doctor, “There’s no point being a grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes.”

Step Five: ??? Profit! (Sorry! I just had to! ^o^/)

Step Six: Following my passions! And for me, personally, that means writing. I’m currently writing a romance/erotica series that I started in the spring of 2017, a full 90,000+ word novel each. I’m writing book number four, as of yet. I’m not sure if I’ll publish the series or not, I wrote it for my own enjoyment. However, if I do decide to publish the novels, I’ll most likely send it to Harlequin Books for review or something along those lines.

The point is, I’ve decided to spend my time immersed in something wholeheartedly enjoyable and passionate to me, rather than to focus too much on the negative going-ons in my country of late. And it has worked wonders in keeping my depression and anxiety levels low to moderate.

Picture: Anime girl traveling.

I’ll definitely vote again in the next elections, for whatever worth that will do but, for now, I’ve chosen to ignore a rather boisterous and oppressive regime, to stay calm and carry on with my quest for happiness.

Song for today’s post: Furious 2 by Niklas Gustavsson.

Thanks for reading my usual ramblings, as always! Be excellent to each other and take care! ^o^/

– D

Another Kind Of PSA?

Picture: Blue haired anime girl.Hello, dear readers. ^_^

It’s been a while since my last post. I have a personal story that I’d like to share with you about my past and a little idea lately…

When I was a young teen, I had a best friend in Philadelphia that was around my age, a lesbian girl who knew of and accepted the fact of my bisexuality. We had known each other since we were just little girls but, in our adolescence, we pretty much came out of the closet to each other.

In that moment, I felt such a relief that I wasn’t alone, as we both lived in a very conservative community that was super religious and outspoken against homosexuality.  The ministers of our church would often preach about how homosexuals were going to be tortured in the fires of hell for all eternity.

We had both witnessed a minister’s family in our neighborhood toss their eighteen-year-old daughter into the streets because she confessed to them that she was a lesbian. The other neighbors gossiped about the event and they felt sorry for the parents for having a gay child, giving them their condolences and offering prayers that their daughter would “come away from that evil lifestyle.”

My own mother sat me and my sister down, to talk about the incident, and to tell us that if we were to commit a crime, or become teen mothers, or get into any trouble she would always be there for us and love us regardless. Except if we were gay. If we “decided” to be that, she said it would be an unforgivable embarrassment to her and she would do the same as the parents of the lesbian eighteen-year-old.

I knew that I was bisexual since the age of twelve, at a time where homosexuality was not really accepted in the media and so forth, and her warning came to me around the age of fifteen. I felt horrified and buried the truth deep down inside of me until my best friend confessed that she was lesbian.

Picture: anime girls hugging.My best friend was so afraid when she told me that she is lesbian, because she thought I wouldn’t want to be her friend anymore. I was so relieved and told her about my bisexuality, welcoming her with open arms, and our friendship seemed to grow closer since that moment.

However, my lesbian best friend decided to come out of the closet to everyone in her life. I admired and envied her courage to do that, but I was a coward and couldn’t follow in her footsteps. I witnessed the abuse she had gained from it, both verbal and physical abuse.

People often approached her and shouted “dyke” and people would fight her, leaving bruises and black eyes. She was determined to be herself and she was a scrappy fighter, giving it back as good as she got it. I was just a shy and weak wallflower that had zero skills in fighting, so I hid in my closet for several years and began to hate myself. I believed that I was “born wrong” and fell into deep depression, which led to many suicide attempts and inpatient stays in mental hospitals.

I carry a guilt of lashing out towards my best friend, as a church woman that didn’t know of her sexuality approached us and was especially kind to her. The woman mentioned how much my best friend was a good friend to me and how my best friend was certain to enter the kingdom of heaven for her good deeds.

I blurted, out of spite, “She’s gay and so that’s not true.” I put my best friend on the spot and the woman responded with a disgusted frown, but then tried to assure my best friend, “If you come away from that lifestyle, I’m sure that God will forgive you. And you will be able to go to heaven.”

I will forever be so sorry for what I’ve done to my friend. I was so angry and hated myself, and I was so jealous that she got to be free from her closet, in spite of the abuse she had suffered, to have the support and friendships within the gay community when I was too much of a coward to come out. I wanted to hurt her and I think I did on that day.

And even so, she stayed true to our friendship and never exposed my truth. I never got the chance to apologize to her, before I left Philly, and I hope that someday I will get that chance somehow. I did a very shitty thing and I’m so very sorry for it. u_u

In the meanwhile, I fell deeper into my depression and self-hatred, the suicide attempts increased. Out of sheer luck did every attempt fail, as I was determined to die and rid this world of a mistake. I truly thought of myself as not human but a mistake.

And then a wonderful PSA began to show up in my online feed: It Gets Better.

At the age of 21, I gave up my secret and came out to the people that I felt was important in my life. My mother didn’t take the news very well, most of my other so-called friends abandoned me, only my siblings and oldest nephew accepted me with unconditional love. It was a tough road to travel, but my self-hatred and depression began to lessen from that point on.

I’m now currently age 36, at the moment of this post, and I completely accept and love myself as a bisexual woman. I still struggle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, due the abuse and trauma I had suffered – not related to my sexuality per se. I’m currently under the care of a very good therapist, in my new wonderful life in Minnesota, and I’m on the right path to recovery.

However, in the wake of the recent suicides of music artists, it does rattle me that so many people in this world who suffer from mental illness are left without hope that things can get better for them. There is no PSA for those living with mental illness to suggest that “It will get better” for them.

The PSAs for the LGBTQ+ community was very helpful to my life and good therapy has been overwhelmingly helpful to my mental illness. I have learned that it does indeed get better within mental illness, with a lot of effort and hard work with the proper help.

I am thinking that perhaps it’s time for mental illness to be understood and to be taken from the shadows and brought into the light, to let those who suffer with it know that they’re not alone and it can get better for them on the same level it is for sexual orientation.

It’s a just a little idea, but I wanted to share it anyway. ^_^

For all those who suffer from mental illness, you’re not alone. There are plenty of people who are willing to help, you don’t have to suffer by yourself! If you don’t have a friend or relative that you can turn to, there are places you can reach out to for help: Get Help. I reached out to my medical doctor, told her that I was feeling very depressed, and she referred me to my current awesome therapist of three years.

When I first moved to Minnesota, I felt my depression returning and thoughts of suicide again. I reached out to my medical doctor, three years ago, and told her that I was feeling very depressed. She referred me to my current awesome therapist, thus my depression is mild and manageable these days.

I can promise you, that it does get better. It’s very difficult, but when you come out on the other side of it, life is so very beautiful and has SO much to offer to you.

Picture: blue anime girl with dove.

Song of the day: Linkin Park – Iridescent.

Thanks for reading, as always. And be excellent to each other. ^o^v

-D

Rest in peace, Chester Bennington. Your music was always a companion to me on my most difficult days. I will surely miss you! (つ﹏<)・゚。

Life Is An Adventure!

Picture: Blue haired anime girl.Hello, my wonderful readers! ^o^/

Yes, I’m still very much alive and happy. For now, at least, before my country gets wiped off the map by a nuclear blast from Korea or Russia! Hooray!

I’m kidding. It’s just a joke. Maybe. Hopefully… o_o

Anyhoo, I realized that I haven’t left a post here for two whole months and I happen to have a rambling thought on my mind, so… Don’t worry, it’s not political but life stuff. ^_^

I’ve realized that people are a bit confused about my interests in life. I love to study physics with the wish of becoming a scientist someday. I love to write novels with the wish of becoming a great writer someday. I’m currently writing a script and coding for an app game, with excellent input from my best friend, and the wish of becoming a great video game developer someday.

And so people often wonder, “Which is it, Dani? Do you want to be a scientist, a writer, or a video game developer?” My honest answer is, “All of the above. Or just one. Or a combination of two. We shall see!” ^_^

Oh, please don’t be surprised if “music artist” (mixing dubstep) or “juggler” wind up in the list in the future. I shall explain my madness…

I’ve decided that I will honestly follow my interests in life and see how far they will take me. I’m highly driven in writing, video games, and science. These are the big three in my life. I’ve had a passion for them, ever since I was a little girl, and I have some talent in each.

I’ve decided that life is an adventure, it’s supposed to be lived and not spectated. I can’t cram myself into one little box or career goal at this point. So, I’m enjoying everything and trying my hand at new skills and experiences overall.

And this honestly makes me feel happy. I wake up every day with a sense of adventure of, “What project will I do next?” ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

So… that’s what I’ve been up to lately, living a “wild” adventure, working on many different projects, and enjoying every waking moment in writing, coding, and studying science.

I have one life lesson that I’ve learned thus far, that I will share with the rest of the class – It doesn’t matter what others may think about my odd choices in life. What matters more is that I’m happy, healthy, and content within my life. And I’m SO AM!

I shall never let anyone try to dictate to me how I should live my own life, what I should follow or not follow, what should be my focus or not. As long as I’m not harming anyone or myself, I will try out everything that comes across my path and make up my own mind of what gets to stay in my life or not stay.

And yes, I will make mistakes but they will be my own mistakes, not ones caused by following someone else’s script. I will discover my own ways and habits, to not be indoctrinated into other people’s ways or habits without question. And most of all, I will live the way I always wanted to live, as Dani.

I think this what growing up and being an adult is all about. ^_^

Anyway… here’s a health update – I’ve been cigarette free for seventy-four days and counting! Huzzah! ^o^/

Picture: blue haired goth girl.

Alright, now I shall bugger off and get back to my scripts and science educations. Today’s song is: OMFG – Pancakes. Be excellent to each other, my wonderful readers, and thanks for reading as always! ^_^v

-D

Positivity In 2017!

Picture: Blue haired anime guy reading book.I know it’s been a while since I’ve added a post to this blog. I’m determined to not allow this blog meant for positivity to be swayed with the negative political climate of my country right now. Thus, I haven’t been inspired to write or add anything lately.

However, I’d like to remind myself yet again the purpose of why I created this blog. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with an eye disease named Keratoconus, which was highly overwhelming to me at the time, with very little answers as to what to do about it. I decided to create this blog to find positivity in my life, in spite of the diagnosis, to leave myself notes of encouragement and to put into perspective of the good things in my life versus the struggles of my eye disease. For the most part, my blog was very helpful to me to keep my spirits up. ^_^

Over the many months of writing this blog, my eyesight had gotten so bad that my writing and reading skills suffered greatly and I relied on a screen reader just to decipher my email messages from friends and family, to carry on with my blogging and reading the blogs of others. And yet, I was determined to stay positive and continue to write uplifting notes to myself via this blog. Thankfully, I was granted an option for my eye troubles, and I now experience excellent sight in my left eye due to a corneal transplant.

I was amazed and flattered that others liked and subscribed to my ramblings. I’m still amazed by that! I’m just a random woman with an eye disease on the planet and honestly didn’t set out to have readers or to meet the acquaintances that I have through this blog.

Anyway, I could use my platform to rant and rave about political nonsense, the negative of what is happening in my country today, but I don’t want to. So, I won’t. Instead, I will carry on with positive and hopeful notes to myself, reminders that even if the world burns around me, I’m going to be alright and persevere. So, that translates to a few posts in the coming years, however, it will also mean that my posts here will be more positive than negative I think. And that’s exactly what I want for this blog.

So, here’s a little story of what is positive for me thus far in 2017! ^o^/

I’m still struggling to stay quit with my smoking addiction, but I am not giving up on quitting cigarettes by far. I’ve made it to a month and three weeks smoke-free, before my last slip, so the clock has been reset and I’ve currently been five days smoke-free. I hope to make it to the month and three weeks mark again and then push forward to staying quit further than that. Wish me luck! ^_-

Picture: Shy anime girl.

The biggest happy story of 2017 is that I have managed to make a new best friend. I don’t want to put him on the spot so I won’t mention his name here, but I began chatting with him in June of 2016, almost a year ago. We don’t always see eye to eye, we debate sometimes, yet we hold a core respect for each other and care about each other’s well-being in general. It’s been a learning experience for me that it’s possible to have a close friendship and mutual respect for one another, in spite of differences in religious beliefs, politics, race, gender, sexuality, and other social views. For example, I’m Pro-Choice and he’s Pro-Life.

He has been the most caring, thoughtful, and encouraging friend I ever had in my entire life, if I’m to be honest and upfront about it. I think it’s because we both tend to focus more on what we have in common (and there are a plethora of things that we do have in common) rather than to focus on the few arbitrarily traits or ideas that we don’t have in common. So, there’s that. ^_^

I’m uncertain on how long this friendship may last, as my friendships tend not to last with others in general, but I am happy all the same that it did occur and I’ve learned so much more about true friendship from it. Our relationship has set a new set of positive expectations for what I want in a friendship with others and what I should be willing to give in return – tolerance and respect, for such positive friendships.

In other words, I’ve learned that disagreements and differences in views do not make or break a friendship. What matters the most is mutual respect for one another and each person trying their best to understand the other’s point of view or feelings. It doesn’t mean that I have to agree with the other, it means giving that person the respect to have their view or feelings, without calling them names or suggesting that they are insane or stupid for having them.

Being “right” or “winning” a debate is not more important than having a good relationship with another person. Winning is shallow at best, if I find that I’m alone with no one to celebrate such a victory with, then what have I really won? Absolutely nothing. Sometimes, it’s best to “agree to disagree” and leave the topic alone. My friend and I often have respectful debates and then move on the things that we both can agree on and cherish, like the fact that Jacksepticeye is the most boss YouTuber ever! ^w^

By all means, feel free to disagree with that last bit and substitute it for your favorite YouTuber, show, or music artist! It’s just a fandom that my best friend and I share, is all. Heehee!

Picture: Anime friendship.

Anyway, I shall end my rambling here, to get back to chatting with my new friend about anime, YouTubers, science, music, pets, and kickass movies like “John Wick”. And thanks to the new readers who’ve decided lately to subscribe to my ramblings. I do appreciate it! I’m honestly a little confused as to why anyone would want to subscribe to my rambles, but it’s awesome, all the same! ^o^/

Today’s song of the day: Darren Styles & Gammer – Feel Like This.

Thanks for reading as always, dear readers. Until next time, take care of yourselves and be excellent to each other. ^o^v

-D

I’m Growing Up

Picture: anime girl with birthday cake.In a few weeks, I will turn age thirty-six on my birthday. ^_^

I’m getting older in binary code, just four more years left until I’ve reached the age of 40! I have been growing up a bit lately, becoming more of a responsible and independent adult within my life.

No. I haven’t ended my love for anime. No, I haven’t stopped listening to dubstep. No, I haven’t given up video games or Pixar movies! Hey, these things will stay with me well after I’m old and gray! SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE! >_<

What has changed is that I care about my health these days. I’ve stopped treating my body with a blatant disregard as I have done so in my twenties and younger years. I’ve been through three surgeries in the past two years; an emergency appendectomy, an eye surgery (keratoplasty), and one myomectomy. Surely, everything is alright and set within my body for a long while, and I will not need any more surgeries any time soon. I hope. o_o

Before every surgery, I was asked if I had a “living will” while the surgeons simultaneously assured me that everything will be okay and I didn’t have to worry about dying on the operating table… but… just in case, did I have a will? I did not.

After my myomectomy, I decided that I would sit down with the forms and fill out a living will. It was several pages long and a very daunting task, as it asked very tough questions concerning when it would be okay for doctors to stop performing resuscitation, what mental or physical state would I have to be in when I would want a loved one to “pull the plug” on my life support, etc. It was a bit morbid to fill out these forms, to say the least, but I learned something very profound about myself.

Picture: girl with flower.I have learned that I have a very strong will to live, as the only situations that I would agree to the end of my life support is if I have suffered brain death or if I’m so far gone that I’m not aware of who I am nor aware of anyone else in the room with me, with no chance of recovering from that. In order words, trapped unaware within my own dying brain is a good reason to pull my life support, I believe.

Other than that, I very much want to live, even if I lose limbs, can no longer write or do the hobbies I enjoy anymore, and can only communicate like Stephen Hawking with a special machine in a chair for the rest of my life. I don’t care! As long as I can keep communicating while being aware of myself and those I care about, I can always gain new hobbies in life. I know it may not be easy and there could be a bit (or a lot) of pain involved, but I will go through it and face it, as long as I keep living for just a few more days longer.

And this is a very profound thing that I’ve learned about myself, because in my twenties, I didn’t care to live at all. I tried to take my own life constantly and when I wasn’t doing that I treated my own wellbeing and safety as very unimportant objects. I’m a bit in awe that I am looking forward to age forty and beyond. Whereas in my early twenties, I had believed that I wouldn’t see the day of reaching age thirty.

Anyway, I have been looking after my health for the past three years now. When I first moved to Minnesota, it started with a diet change; less salt, less carbonated sugars (less soda and more natural fruit juices and water), less takeout or fast-food meals and more home cooked meals, and more fresh vegetables. This has greatly improved my blood pressure stats to normal and I get great reports back on my heart as well.

I began to work on my mental health and stress levels. I don’t allow toxic people within my life anymore. I had to say goodbye to a few toxic people last year, but more on that topic some other post. I have a list of activities and things to do in order to de-stress, which I wrote up with my therapist during a session. I make sure to show up for all of my therapy appointments and to work hard on my homework assignments.

I do go to regular medical check-ups, blood work is done and so on, and I follow the doctor’s advice. I do get my flu shot every year. I try to exercise a bit, not just sit in front of my laptop all day (which is highly tempting to do!), so I do go out for walks every now and then.

Picture: anime girl in front of laptop with cat.I try to make sure I get enough sleep, at least eight hours, but sometimes I do slip up and stay up all night when I’m working on some project or other. Oops. I’m still improving that habit. ;^_^>

Lastly, it’s been 13 days, 16 hours, 34 minutes, and 50 seconds since I’ve last smoked a cigarette. How do I feel? Well… like I want to rip the head off of a wild boar!!! However, besides my nagging cravings, I guess I’m doing alright. Perhaps. Yeah. *twitch* >_e

I believe that caring for my well-being and health is a part of what it means to grow up, even just a little. Overall, I am doing very well these days. The better I physically feel, the better I feel mentally and spiritually.

Anyway, I shall end this long post here, with a song: Until The End (feat. Q’AILA). Thanks for reading and I wish everyone an awesome November! ^_^v

-D

Living With Mental Illness

Picture: anime girl with aqua hair.Today, I would like to write a post, clarifying a bit about my life with mental illness. I’ve alluded about my struggles with anxiety, PTSD, and past struggles with depression in several of my posts, however, I realize I haven’t yet discussed it head-on. That is kind of strange that I haven’t done so yet, on a blog about my quest for happiness. Hmm… o_O

Mental illness is often stigmatized in society and I did grow up hearing the popular criticism that people with mental illness are “crazy”. It was a very common judgment from my relatives and community. So, when my issues started at the age of six years old, the first emotions I felt was denial and shame. I tried to pretend that there was nothing wrong with me and I tried to keep an appearance that I was “normal”.

My issue started as social anxiety at the age of six, during the time that I was enrolled in the local Elementary school. My parents kept me very sheltered and away from peers, so I was terrified of being around other children for the first time. It didn’t help that I had a sadistic father who thought it was amusing to whisper to me that the other children were going to hate me because I was so stupid and lame.

I’ve always been a nerd, even as a child, so I was excited to go to school because I LOVE learning. However, my father’s cruel joke messed with my head considerably, and every time a fellow classmate made fun of me or a clique shunned me, it served as a confirmation that what he had said to me was the “truth”.

During all of my school days, from age six to eighteen, I pretty much withdrew away from my peers and was much bullied for being “odd” or different, as I was usually the only nerdy kid in the class that always followed the rules and loved to do homework and other learning projects. Yes, I was very much the Hermione Granger character in school, minus having cool pals like Harry and Ron. In fact, I didn’t have any friends, apart from a few cats at home.

By the age of twelve, the lack of friendships and increased bullying is what caused my first bout of severe depression. Not to mention, that was the age that I had first discovered I am bisexual, which only added more anxiety and shame on top of what I had already carried. By the age of sixteen, I was convinced that I was a mistake to the world and the only way to remedy it was by killing myself. This lead to many unsuccessful suicidal attempts and five hospitalization stays at local in-patient mental health facilities.

I was alone, felt very ashamed, and hated myself more than anyone else could ever do so.

At age 21, something terrible happened to me, where I nearly lost my life. I will not share those details, it’s private information only for my therapist and relatives to know about it. Thus began my struggle with PTSD. It wasn’t until I was age 25 when I decided to reach out for help, to stop trying to pretend that I could handle my issues on my own, and to face my fears head-on.

It was terrifying for me to show up at the local clinic for outpatient treatment the first time. It was a lot nerve-wracking to sit in the waiting room with other patients, as most were there for medical appointments. I kept worrying that everyone could tell that I was the “crazy” one in the room, that at any moment I would be criticized for trying to seek help.

I grew up in an environment that often taught that asking for help is a sign of weakness, not a strength at all, and I still struggle to ask others for help even at the age of 35. I try so hard to handle every situation or task on my own, which can be a great trait sometimes, but often times it can be a huge burden. And my mental health issues are very serious, I couldn’t handle it on my own, no matter how much I had tried to. It even stings a little for me to admit it now, in this very post. However, it’s the truth. ;^_^>

Picture: cute anime girl with pill.In my first years of therapy in Philadelphia, I was prescribed a few anti-depressants, some helped a little and others just made my situation worse. It took trial and error to find the correct medication for me, which was a low dose of Lexapro. I stayed on the medication for a year, but after some time in therapy treatment, I didn’t need to take it anymore.

After two years, my therapist was transferred to another clinic (one that my insurance did not cover), so I was forced to have a new one. And the new therapist was terrible and unprofessional, she would make fun of how I dressed in sessions and things like that. After two weeks of getting nowhere and walking away from my sessions feeling like crap, I decided to quit therapy and go back to handling my issues on my own.

I had managed to keep myself stable for five years, but then the depression returned. It started small, but by 2012, I began to entertain the idea of suicide once again. However, I caught myself and decided that my environment was wholly unhealthy for me. I lived with drug addicts and criminals, I barely ate nor took care of my own hygiene, my health and eyesight were fading fast. At that point, I decided that I will not keep up the charade of staying in that environment and pretending that everything was okay.

My sister and her best friend (our roommate) were so kind enough to allow me to live with them in Minnesota. It took four months for me to save up enough money for the move, but I was determined to live, to not sink back into depression and suicidal attempts. It’s wasn’t a perfect escape, as I had to leave my cat behind for a while, but it was an escape to a better life for me all the same. ^_^

After I had settled in a bit, I asked my medical doctor for a referral to a good therapist. My doctor pointed me to the best therapist ever (Dr. Brenda) and I’ve been managing my mental illness well with Dr. Brenda’s help. I’m not taking any medication because I don’t need it for my particular case, our sessions are a mix of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and learning much needed social skills. I haven’t had a suicidal thought since 2012 and my depression is very mild currently.

Most days, I’m happy and contented! And on my black dog days, I know just what to do! One of the things I do is to visit and read my posts here on this blog, to remind myself how far I’ve traveled in life thus far and I fight the lies of the dog, “You’ve never had a happy day in your life and you never will. You’re better off dead!”. Bad dog! That’s not true, you mutt! Where’s my rolled up newspaper? *thwack* >_>

Beyond my rambling, I really want to make a very important speech here, about mental illness. People who suffer it shouldn’t feel ashamed for it, nor does having mental illness means that you are “crazy”. Nor should you feel bad for taking medication (if it’s needed), any more than a cancer patient should feel bad for taking chemo. It’s important for you to do what is best to protect yourself from succumbing to your illness and to have the best quality of life, not to suffer in silence in order to keep up a social facade. And that social farce, in the end of all things, means nothing and is useless anyway.

You deserve to be happy. You deserve the best of what life has to offer. It’s okay to ask for and accept help for this issue. And most of all, I promise you, everything is going to be OKAY. You will get through this and experience true happiness on the other side. There are so many awesome things waiting just for you! So, keep fighting the black dog, keep moving forward, and don’t worry about what everyone else may or may not think about it!

Yes, sometimes it’s a struggle. Sometimes it’s SUPER difficult and you may want to just give up. It’s okay to feel that sometimes, but don’t linger in that emotion for too long. Cry a little, then roll up your sleeves and continue to march on. You can do this, trust me! I’m cheering for you! ^o^/*

Picture: girl by the sea.

And that’s not just a message to others who are dealing with mental illness, it is a little note for myself as well. In spite of having mental illnesses, it’s TOTALLY possible to live a happy and “normal” life (whatever the hell that means! lol). It’s completely possible to manage it down to a tiny palm-size pup and to gain a very contented worthwhile life.

I’ve done so and I’m not “special” or lucky, nor popular, nor super attractive, nor rich, nor especially intelligent. My IQ score is average, folks! If I’ve managed to achieve it, I believe that it’s possible for anyone else to do so as well, as long as they believe it can happen for them AND if they have the best support circle (therapy, understanding friends or relatives, or a caring community) to show understanding and compassion to them along their journey.

I would love to see the day when mental illness is no longer a thing to hide or to feel ashamed about. I would love to see the day when comments of “KYS” (kill yourself) isn’t thrown around online so much as a way to insult others, as it could seriously hurt someone with severe depression or encourage a person further to take their own lives. I would love to see the day when society doesn’t make fun of “crazy” people or to scoff at people who need to take anti-depressant medication in order to function.

Most of all, I would love to see the day when people are able to have compassion for others without having to share the same experience in order to spare a little bit of understanding, respect, and kindness. Not just for mental illness, but for many other subjects in today’s society. This world would be a better place for everyone, when or if that happens, I think.

Anyway, thanks for reading yet another LONG post! Ha! And today’s song is: ECHOS – Gold. Be excellent to each other and I wish you all the best on your journeys! ^_^v

-D