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Did You See That Post? And Let’s Connect!

Hey everyone,

I noticed the other day’s post on Black Mental Health and the state of America right now didn’t show up underneath the tags in the same way as usual, and so I wanted to write another short piece and include the link to that post here. We talk about what it feels like existing within the realm of white therapy, particularly in certain areas of California where I am now, and why it’s just not enough for therapists to be “culturally trained.”

I’ve been talking a lot about my experience with hearing voices, internal and external, as well as my experience of being in the mental health system more on my Instagram page: @written_in_the_photo. I’d be more than happy for you to stop by. We talk about African-American mental health, biracial issues (as I’m biracial), mental health, psychosis, and I tell a joke or two.

I’ve been connecting with a lot of people locally via Instagram as well, so you may see posts about Santa Cruz specifically. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like living in a small, coastal tourist town in California, I’ve got to tell you, it’s pretty white.

I mean great.

I’m also looking for people to collaborate with in terms of creative writing (any beta readers out there? Swap some chapters for some chapters?) and in terms of mental health writing. If you’re interested, Instagram is the quickest way to connect with me. Otherwise, you can contact me here.

Posted in advocacy, Emotions, Freedom, Late Night Thoughts, Peer Support, psychology, Supporting Friends/Family, Uncategorized

Mental Health And African-American LIves

There was not a Mental Health Month post on Thursday for Somatic Disorders as I anticipated, not because I ran out of time but because my mind has been engrossed in other disturbing realities and going-ons in America. I will do a post on Somatic Disorders soon. But firstly, we need to discuss something.

For all the mental health websites and advocate pages on Instagram who are American-run and have not mentioned ONE DAMN THING about the riots in Louisville, Kentucky and Minneapolis, Minnesota right now, you should be ashamed of yourselves. ASHAMED.

How dare you claim to be an advocate of mental health and not bring to light the racial issues that are not only causing MORE trauma for today’s generation of colored folks, but is fueled also by the generational trauma of our ancestors.

I am a mixed race individual; my father is African American and my mother is Caucasian. I am light skinned, often mistaken for Mexican, and my mental health and physical health has been impacted by this. Doctors are less attentive. They don’t listen properly. They accuse me of drug use in the middle of my panic attacks.

For African American people in America, there is a lot of grief. There is a lot of trauma, a lot of loss, a lot of pain. We feel unsafe, unheard, tossed aside. That births anger, rage, and perpetuates violence. With the recent murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Abery and Breonna Taylor (George and Breonna murdered by police; George was already on the ground with three cops on top of him and Breonna was IN HER HOUSE), all of these feelings and this connection we have to each other is growing stronger. Violence is happening because of the angst of hundreds of years of BULLSHIT.

So the fact that so many pages are claiming to talk about Mental Health and are avoiding this issue for political reasons I suspect makes me sick to my stomach. Until this is addressed in all facets, nothing will change. As social media has been circulating: No Justice, No Peace.

Not only does blatantly ignoring this subject aide in the problem rather than the solution, it also sends the message that those of us in the american mental health system who are dark don’t matter as much. We don’t need to talk about this collective pain we feel right now because your page can’t afford arguments in the comments.

I say affectionately, FUCK YOU.

Get off your fucking high horse.

Remember when I said I have made very frank posts on my previous blog? This is one of them.

Get off your fucking high horse and recognize that the deaths of these people, the murders of these people, affect African-American people across this nation. My anxiety, my grief, my voices, my paranoia have all doubled because of what I see happening to the people who are part of my ancestral family. I feel the same for the Native Americans who are hit the hardest with COVID-19 and receiving absolutely no help, except a box of body bags rather than PPE. Part of my family is Native to North America and their suffering has only added to my grief.

This IS a mental health topic. Racism IS a mental health topic. Not because racism is a disorder, but because how it effects people dictates their mental states. To advocate at this time for mental health without reminding followers and subscribers that people of color are collectively struggling mentally with this, to the point that VICE has to be the one magazine to offer self-care tips for African Americans, IS SELFISH.

It’s SELFISH to ignore this as a mental health topic.

I’ve been sick to my stomach all day, lost in my thoughts and my pain and watching Minnesota burn down their police station.

If we truly are all in this together, then where is your support for the black community right now? Where is your acknowledgement of our mental health in a time when we are watching ourselves get killed? Somewhere up your ass?

Good Night.

Posted in Uncategorized

Sunshine Blogger Award

Although I couldn’t put the man hours into the usual Mental Health Month blog today, I paused in writing a Case Study on Donald Trump (yes, it’s a real assignment) and blogged something fun. Thank you Caz over at mentalhealthfromtheotherside.com for nominating me. She writes about her experience with mental health, like anxiety, depression, and trauma, from a personal and professional lens. She’s a great writer and the depth of her openness on her blog is inspiring.

Now, I haven’t done one of these awards since I wrote on MentalTruths, my old blog I started in July 2015. I notice there’s been followers from that blog who have jumped over to this one, so if you all are reading this, you know my other style of writing is full of sarcasm, blunt humor, and, well, weird stuff. If you can’t quite picture what that means (I’ve been very formal on this blog), I implore you to read this piece on Clinical Arrogance, and any other piece. A laugh might be needed today.

What I do remember about these posts is that there are rules. And the rules for this one are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, because that is common decency here in the blogsphere and in life. Also link their blog so we may all find their wonderful writing.
  2. Answer the set of questions asked by the blogger who hence forth knighted you with this blogging honor.
  3. Nominate others, and ask them to answer new questions. They’re easy to come up with, I promise.
  4. Notify the nominees, of course, with a comment.
  5. Put up these gallant rules and don’t forget to display your badge of honor(the sunshine thing) on this post or your blog.

Is the Liebster blogging award still going on around WordPress? I’m so out of the loop now. Let’s answer some questions.

1.What is your say on an all-positive approach to life?

This made me giggle because you all know how I feel about this. I don’t believe keeping a constantly positive mindset is one that promotes health. I think it’s helpful to remember that a negative moment does not doom one to a negative life. I think it’s helpful to remember all moments in life are temporary, including ones filled with grief, pain, horror, and sadness. However, I think it’s equally as helpful to embrace the pain we feel as a species (like mortality) and as an individual (like our mental health conditions). Pain cannot exist without pleasure, and pleasure cannot exist without pain. We must give both attention to foster a balanced relationship.

2. What do you do in times of Writer’s block? Also mention any reasons for writer’s block.

I read my old writing, or I read other’s writing. What I haven’t shared yet on this blog is that I also write fiction stories and have a novel in the works. I haven’t had much time to work on my short stories, but after finals I will be spending out some for (hopeful) publication. It’s a dog eat dog world out in the creative writing sphere. I took to writing on Booksie some time ago, which I guess is kind of like saying “I’m a Wattpad author”, and that’s kind of the writing equivalent to when your friend calls you and says “hey bro, I sent my SoundCloud link, check it out.” I haven’t written on it for a while, but here’s the link. Yes, I’ve taken creative writing classes and workshops, and was published when I was 17. I didn’t get to go to the ceremony because I’d spent the previous night in the E.R from a panic attack and slept two whole days on the max dose of Ativan they shot me with. They told me it was Ativan, at least. But I slept two days.

I also simply let the writer’s block be. Some people like to force themselves to write but I don’t always have the mental energy for that level of discipline sometimes. If I want inspiration, I will go for a run, a walk, or a bike ride. Nature inspires.

3. Have you ever deleted a frank post, thinking it was too bold? What do you do if that happens?

Ha. Hahaha.

No. I will never delete a frank post. I never did my 5 years of writing on Mental Truths, and that blog tore into so many sensitive topics. I don’t believe people should be shielded. I remember one post I was very angry and I discussed my personal level of aggression, how I felt like I manipulated people sometimes, that I was, essentially, “an unfeeling asshole” and one person commented “you just lost a follower, you say you’re violent.” And I let them know they have every right to unfollow my blog, that they actually don’t need to tell me, and that I’m not a violent person, I am just angry in the moment.

The world is offensive. There is no need to censor that, but rather it can become a strength to acknowledge that, and a strength to know your limits. It’s not enyone else’s job to censor everything because of your sensitivies or your traumas. It’s your responsibility to put up boundaries against what you feel you can handle and what you feel you can’t. I do that often. There are some things that are too violent or sickening or scary for me to read about. I couldn’t watch the Aumaud Arbery shooting video. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be posted.

That also doesn’t mean go around purposefully disturbing people. That’s just sadistic. It’s a fine line, people.

4. Do you believe in planning?

Some things I plan. If I am going on a trip, I plan the time I’m going to leave and what I’m going to take. My boyfriend insists on planning activities, and I go along, but I prefer to have a couple things planned and a couple things not planned. I need flexibility in my existence.

5. What is the weirdest flavor or combination you ever found in a drink or snack?

7-up cake. Enough said. I was looking for the Mountain Dew cookies, though.

6. What is your most embarrassing moment?

In High School we had a substitute teacher in my honors class. He spoke quickly, and was a very boisterous, fun personality, and I hated that. He made me very nervous. When he suddenly called on me to answer a question, my anxiety caused me to speak in tongues. Nothing I said was a word. In fact, it came out like this: bleepsdhajfjpeajdjiepad. He said “oooooooookay” and moved on to someone else.

7. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

I own a cat, but I love dogs as well. I want both.

8. If you had the opportunity to pick one superpower for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

There are listed options, like time-travel, teleportation, telepathy, psychokinesis, and invisibility. I already believe I have telepathy so I won’t touch on that. If I had to choose, I’d choose the ability to time travel. I feel I’d learn so much about the universe.

9. How do you cope with stress or anxiety? Any special tips?

The basic ways are breathing exercises, reminders, and exercise. I throw most of that out the window. Math helps me tremendously with anxiety. Any focused, intense task activates my executive functioning, the frontal lobe, and removes focus from my amygdala. If you want to get scientific about it. I’ve had anxiety since I was a toddler, so a lot of my coping comes from pushing through or using biofeedback (blood pressure, heart rate, e.t.c) to show my brain that my body isn’t as broken as it thinks.

10. Is the universe finite or infinite? And why do things even exist at all?

We are physical beings, made of matter. Matter is made of atoms, and atoms are simply condensed energy (once you get past all the tiny particles that make it up). Matter then, is condensed energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Many people have heard of the double slit experiment, where we learned photons and electrons can behave as both particles and waves. If you haven’t read a physics textbook though, you might not know that we can never know whether it is our measurement of the particles that changes its presentation or not. We can never know because when we take away an important part of our measuring tool: the camera with the light, we can’t see the particle’s behavior. Our physicality limits what we can learn about nature. That’s part of a paradox and part of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.

And so, evidence points toward the universe being infinite, from our limited understanding of how gravity and other forces push through the universe. Will we ever know? Probably not.

Things exist and do not exist simultaneously. If there is a reason, it’s probably beyond physical measurement and therefore we can only speculate. Poorly.

11. If you had one week left to live what would you do?

Eat all the junk food. Reconnect with nature. Mull over mortality and the normalcy of it. Speed-finish my fucking book. That’s such a hard question to answer. I prefer having no clue about when I will die.

Alright.

Nominees. I will do 8. I need to get working on my homework. But all of you are worth nomination. You can still have fun answering the questions if you’re not listed below. I encourage you to, actually. (There are also listed blogs to check out on my homepage on both my current blog–this one–and my old one. Please check them out, they are all great people!)

1.Mellytheblogger.wordpress.com

2.mentallyillinamerica.com

3.collinmintz.wordpress.com

4.bipolarmermaidwriter.com

5.iammyownisland.wordpress.com

6.lampelina.wordpress.com

7.winterdrangonflies.wordpress.com

8.brittianismental.com

No pressure to participate, I remember these things being very fluid and fun. But if you do, here are your questions:

  1. Where do you get strength?
  2. Do you prefer tidiness or some chaos?
  3. What keeps you balanced in life?
  4. What’s one of the scariest moments of your life?
  5. What does writing do for you?
  6. What is your dream career?
  7. Would you swap your life for someone else’s?
  8. Where do you fit in this world?
  9. Any tips for fellow bloggers?
  10. Where will you be five years from now?
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Mental Health Month: Update

I really tried all I could to finish up my articles for this weekend but it looks like Bipolar and Dissociative Disorders will have to be pushed back to Monday evening and Tuesday evening, assuming I don’t work late on Monday.

If you’re wondering, I am still a student and have a couple finals and a paper to finish. I was at work yesterday too to help hire some people, and I needed some extra self care these last two days.

We will still cover those two diagnoses and continue on the regular schedule next week.

Thank you everyone who has been reading, following, and reaching out to me on social media. If you are interested in sharing your story for any part of Mental Health Month, I welcome all experiences. Please contact me on my social media:

Instagram: @written_in_the_photo

Twitter: @philopsychotic

OR reach out to me on here via my contact me page.

Thanks everyone! Enjoy your weekend.

Posted in Uncategorized

Yesterday

For some reason, yesterday’s post entitled How Important Are Your Psychiatric Meds was posted as three hours earlier than when I actually posted it. This caused the post to show up later in the tag feeds. Some of you managed to find it, but not everyone. If you haven’t read it, give that link a click!

Today there hasn’t been a full post because I’ve been in and out of the local hospital with my father, to my own physical therapy appointments, and to a thrift store. Tomorrow I work and will be at the hospital in the evening, but will try and belt out a post on their WiFi network. It just feels ill NOT writing a post one day.

If anyone has any ideas of a topic they’d like covered, shoot me an email, comment below, or find me on my social media:

Instagram: @written_in_the_photo

Twitter: @Philopsychotic

How has January been treating you all? Hopefully a little better than it’s been treating me! 2020 is a year of transformation, and with transformation and understanding comes pain and hardship.

Posted in Community, Uncategorized

Questions…

While everyone eagerly awaits my post which would have posted already were I not at work, I figured I’d pose some questions to all of you lovely people who have joined this journey with me. I’d like to learn more about all of you since I have put so much of myself out there.

1. What is your greatest achievement? I don’t mean this in some superficial, interview question way. I mean this in a “what has really helped you grow?” Way.

2. What is one of your passions? Do you have a particular hobby you wish could be your main source of income? What will it take for that to happen?

3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and what inspires this decision?

4. Do you have any formal education or vocational training? If not, would you like to? What interests you in the sector of education?

5. How was 2019? What will be different in 2020?

6. Is there any philosophical or mental health related topic you’d like me to cover on this site?

Sometimes I like to remind myself of my passions, hobbies, and things outside of myself that remind me I’m still alive and kicking.

If you’d like to comment below any answers, I’d love to read them and start a conversation with you!

A real post will be up shortly. In the meantime, check out my Instagram handle: @written_in_the_photo and Twitter handle: @philopsychotic for funny memes and more mental health discussion!

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Totally Inconsistent

My writing schedule has been all over the place this last week and I apologize to those who have dedicated time to reading these posts. I work two overnight shifts in a row (Sunday and Monday) regularly, but have also gained a new connection in the mental health sector who I am interviewing with, and am planning a trip to a national park this weekend, so it’s been a little difficult to squeeze in quality writing time.

So, posts may be later throughout this week and into next. Today, this late post will be about how to manage panic attacks, and how to work through them. It’s something I think many of us have experienced at one time and the feeling of being out of control and unhinged is almost like a trauma.

So, stay tuned! Do not give up on me yet.

I haven’t been posting as much to my Instagram handle @written_in_the_photo, or my Twitter: @Philopsychotic either, but come and follow me there for more discussion and funny memes. We all love memes, right?

Thanks to everyone for joining this site as a follower recently! It’s great to have you all on this journey with me!

If you have any topic you’d like me to write about, you can send me a DM on Instagram or Twitter, or find my email in my CONTACT ME page.

Remember, wellness is possible.

You are more than enough, and anyone who says otherwise has no conception of your true self.

Posted in Emotions, Peer Support, psychology, Uncategorized

Quick Post

Hey everyone.

In an effort to keep this blog rolling and the momentum up, I just wanted to send out an update that because of some bad obsessive anxiety and the resulting paranoia, I won’t be able to crank out my usual post for the day. It was going to be about who we let speak for us in mental health advocacy.

As much as I’d love to do that, I need to take some time today and possibly tomorrow to get myself well again.

In the meantime though, please feel free to give a read to yesterday’s post, “What Is Trauma?” And any of the popular featured posts!

If anyone wants to send some positive vibes on my social media accounts or below In the comments, that’s welcome too. I’ll be tweeting and posting an actual explanation on my Instagram, if you’re curious.

I will resume my usual schedule on Thursday, Jan 9th.

Here’s to all of our wellness and the hard work it takes for us to sustain stability. Thank you to my newly dedicated readers and commentators. You’ve truly been another driving force for me these last few months.

If you’d like to join me on social media, they’re here:

Instagram: @Written_in_the_photo

Twitter: @Philopsychotic