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:
- 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.
- Answer the set of questions asked by the blogger who hence forth knighted you with this blogging honor.
- Nominate others, and ask them to answer new questions. They’re easy to come up with, I promise.
- Notify the nominees, of course, with a comment.
- 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?
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.
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!)
No pressure to participate, I remember these things being very fluid and fun. But if you do, here are your questions:
- Where do you get strength?
- Do you prefer tidiness or some chaos?
- What keeps you balanced in life?
- What’s one of the scariest moments of your life?
- What does writing do for you?
- What is your dream career?
- Would you swap your life for someone else’s?
- Where do you fit in this world?
- Any tips for fellow bloggers?
- Where will you be five years from now?