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text 2018-03-19 21:48
Social media is weird... I don't have to have a reason [3/19/18]
Social media is just weird sometimes. I'm not sure it is the most healthy... in fact, it probably isn't healthy at all for some people.
*Random person, I've never met or seen or talked to anywhere*
No, I don't want to be your friend (I don't have to have a reason!)
No, I'm not being rude (Again, I don't have to have a reason!)
Yes, I know I'm a big girl, and all your "sweet" and not so sweet words of why I'm your type of person are not a compliment, no matter what you think they are. They are out of line, random, unwanted, and just disgusting. Anyone who does this, please stop! We don't actually like it.
A true compliment is one thing, but please stop the fetish ones. I am not your fetish. I'm not your fatty fetish, I'm not your mental health fetish, I'm not your anything fetish. You're not entitled to me, not entitled to say these thing and you shouldn't be offended when I ignore you or block you, or when I tell you point blank to stop saying stuff. No, I shouldn't feel flattered... honestly? You really think that? I won't fall for it because of low self esteem/self worth or whatever you think.
This does happen more than you think and not just on Facebook. This is why I've stopped looking for penpals.
*Random stranger who might mean well*
You came out of nowhere. I don't know you and I'm sure you are a kind person.
I appreciate your concern. I know I talk about mental health and social anxiety and you want me to know I'm not alone...thank you. I wish you realized that your constant messages, every single day makes me feel more social anxiety, and you keep messaging if I don't answer the first time... There are times I don't answer my bestest friends for days, even months... You mean well, but I don't know you. I can't tell you to stop, either, because that makes me feel worse. (You might even be a kid, I can't tell by your photos.)
*Person/stranger who are not so random*
Yes, I will be your friend if we've talked and got to know each other before adding each other.
Yes, I would love to follow/subscribe back if you are not just a person who follows/subscribes and ditches once I do the same. (People on blogs and subscribing platforms like YouTube.)
*For everybody*
Do not talk to me if I am reading a book (this includes on my Kindle or phone!) or if I have headphones on. These are clear signs that I want to be left alone/need space/need me time. Wait until I put the book down, or at the very least when you see me finish a chapter (If you're hovering over my shoulder that close.)
Retail workers... I'm good. Please don't talk to me as soon as I walk in. I know it is your job... I know it won't stop. I just wish businesses were more friendly to people with sensory issues. This goes double for retail workers who jump in your face regardless if you are blasting music into your ears via big noise canceling headphones. Um... stop.
Thanks for asking, but that is personal. I'm allowed to not have to explain every little thing. I'm allowed to say "it's personal" if you ask me something I don't want to answer.
I don't want to go to your event (I don't have to have a reason)
If I want to go to your event, I'm allowed to leave early, or sit in a corner and be quiet, or play with my sensory tools (I don't have to have a reason)
I don't want to hug you right now (I don't have to have a reason)
I don't want to talk to you right now (I don't have to have a reason)
I'm unfriending you on Facebook/wherever (I don't have to have a reason, and we can still be friends in real life, but perhaps you only post things that cause me harm, like a bunch of animal cruelty posts, or your views are different from mine and you constantly post stuff I don't like to read/see 24/7...etc. But again, I don't have to have a reason, and I don't have to tell you why if I don't want to.)
We have to part ways as friends, in real life or on social media. This rarely happens with people I really know well, just saying. Some people just end up being toxic, no matter how much you might care for them or love them. If you are finding they make you feel worse... you are allowed to part ways. You can tell them why if you want or if they ask you, you can tell them, but you don't have to if you don't want to. Though talking could fix a problem you're having with them, but sometimes it won't help.
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text 2018-03-09 16:38
Mental Health & Thankfulness [3/9/18]
TW: I talk about suicide and mental health.
I'm thankful for a lot of things, and of course the obvious things you would think of, family, friends, that I am even alive...etc. But it is hard to remember some things when you are going through mental health stuff, and I am going through it every day.
Some days are worse, some days are better. It is a life long battle. Chronic pain also contributes. So every day I am trying to think of something I am thankful for that day, even if it is the smallest, sometimes (in your opinion maybe) weirdest thing!
I am thankful that today I was able to buy (Yes, it is a material thing) an audiobook from Audible. The daily deal was a book I liked a lot and the price was %80 off (If I did the math right). Books are my happy place a lot of the time. I do have this most annoying thing that my mental health does and it contributes to me not being able to focus or read, but when I can read, it really makes me feel happy. It is an escapism.
I'm not going to stop talking about mental health. I'm not seeking attention or pity. Mental health needs to be normalized and we should not penalize someone who goes through it. It is a serious health condition that does, and can result in death.
Suicide is often a side effect of someone suffering with mental health conditions. It is horrible and sad, but it is the ugly truth. Suicide is not weakness, nor someone being selfish. True, In some cases there are people who do it who might not have mental health problems, but I think if you get so far gone that you kill yourself, there is some form of mental health disorder at play, maybe not. We can't know for sure. You should not judge that person; you are not in their shoes.
In some cases, I believe people who are suicide victims probably never had the support they needed, nobody to talk to, or nobody took them seriously. People will tell children they are just in a phase or trying to get attention. They grow into an adult who probably has a worse time, because they never got help as a kid. A traumatic event can cause mental health problems in any stage of life.
If someone suddenly seems to have depression, doesn't mean they are making it up. Even doctors will tell someone they are fine, nothing is wrong. Not all doctors know everything. Nobody knows everything.
Mental health is a illness. There isn't a cure. There are ways of managing/coping, but no cure. We need to be able to talk about it. It is never good to bottle things inside. Despite how much I post awareness or talk about it in person, I bottle so much more inside which ends up in an explosion. We need to express more.
Stop saying we're selfish and attention seeking for talking about our health problems. Would you yell at someone with cancer for updating you on their condition? I just don't get why mental health has this stigma. This goes for other invisible illnesses as well.
I'm strong. I'm valid. I'm beautiful. I'm worth it. Mental health, you tell me I am not these things every day, but I am.
What are you thankful for today?
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review 2018-03-08 01:36
Freshwater -- A new perspective on mental health and trauma
Freshwater - Akwaeke Emezi

Akwaeke Emezi is a new, wonderfully fresh, voice to add to the many memoirs of living with C-PTSD (psychobabble below review) and surviving a traumatic childhood. Most go in rote portrayal through X happened, Y is the dysfunctional way we (identity states) dealt with it, Z is the (usually much healthier) way we learned to cope and the place we landed by the writing of the memoir/book.


Instead Emezi gives protagonist Ada and her self-states their own music and more importantly, own heritage, in telling a magical, spiritual, semi-autobiographical story of how the many came to be and worked their way through life to become the person they are now. They are distinctly Nigerian, and all of that Western psychobabble below is inadequate for anyone who hasn't sprung forth directly from a textbook - even for a person who grew up in the West. Imagine how absurd it is to anyone whose background is infused with spiritual aspects, beliefs and legends the West does not allow for.


An ogbanje is an Igbo spirit born into a human body, and this is how Emezi sees her young protagonist's system of being. There is a body and the body plays host to a number of gods and people, each running the whole system from time to time, weaving in and out to deal with the situation. When you think about it, we all have parts of ourselves that take over for certain situations. You at work are not the same you that crawls into bed with a partner at night or the same you who studied hard in university or the same you who did something you may not be so proud of. Everyone's identity works on a sort of continuum.


What Emezi has done so specially is tell her protagonist's story including all of the possibilities. Yes traumatic things happened, but perhaps she was born primed to be more than just one. Perhaps the ogbanje were there, just waiting for a chance to assert themselves. Others are born along the way. We do follow the general arc of birth to present, but the path is gorgeously written, spiritual and magical.


I could either quote the whole book or tell you what happens at every step, but I won't. I will tell you that like many lives, hers is not easy. They are different; Ada's life has more scary places than others. Parts of her react dysfunctionally, she goes "mad." Hard things happen, but they take on significance for the unique way the many who live within the body called Ada cope with each new horror, wonder or challenge.


The prose is lyrical and beautiful even when the events described are not. While it's fantastical, it's also very truthful. Perhaps this much truth can only be safely told by spirits, gods and a little bit of magic. The end is uplifting. If we are going to read "DID Memoirs" or stories of difference - be they about race, states of being, health, illness, whatever, let this be one you read.



 -- And as promised, psychobabble:


Complex Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is the newest Western nomenclature for what we used to call Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) - which itself is the name used since 1994 for something formerly called "Multiple Personality Disorder" - a very misleading and much maligned term/diagnosis. C-PTSD et al are not a personality disorder, but rather the lack of a unified self-state or identity. The identities act as centers of information processing.


The term "personality" means "characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, moods and behaviors of the whole individual," while for a person with C-PTSD, the switches between identities and behavior patterns is the personality. So it's just a different way to process the world and oneself. It's not Sybil or the Three Faces of Eve or even very strange. It's called C-PTSD because it usually stems from a trauma so long-lasting or severe that the child creates a complex way to cope.


Glad we cleared that up.


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review 2018-03-03 08:07
Ape Mind, Old Mind, New Mind- John Wylie

A well written academic book written in a style and at a scientific level that most of us can connect with, even if we can’t quite compute all the scholarly depth that make up the full picture. I definitely place myself in ‘the superficial understanding’ category but never felt intimidated by complexity. Wylie reexplores evolutionary biology bringing into play his clinical and philosophical knowledge and private observations in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, and medicine. Wylie’s observations which build into a broad psychological theory that fits as a complementary extension to classic Darwinism, add considerably to our conventional understanding of human evolution. With the obvious exception of many dogmatic scripturalists, I think this book has a lot for all those interested in why we are what we are questions. Wylie adds to our understanding of personality evolution, looking at the intellectual creature that with all the psychological baggage we carry from our ancestors.

I did rather question some of what I read to be rather afterthought attempts to tie in sacred spirituality and philosophy. I guess some attempt at this is, though, beneficial if it might draw in all but the most dogmatic of ‘Abrahamists’. Anyway, arguably, religion could not be left out of a fully rounded ‘thesis’. Otherwise I had no personal issues with any ideas in this very well written book. Nearly always, Wylie found simple ways of distilling out the complexity of his arguments. A few more real-life anecdotes from Wylie’s career would I’m sure add a great deal of enjoyment for the general reader, without losing the focus required by the more scholastic. This is a serious book, exploring the whys and wherefores from a full range of psychological illnesses balanced against normal, (average), behaviours, that make us the deep thinking but not always rational creatures that we have become.



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review 2018-03-03 01:06
Poor execution
Mine own executioner, - Nigel Balchin

I have to confess that I did a thing which I am always telling people they shouldn't guilt themselves into doing...I read a book that I wasn't really all that interested in reading. My rationale was that I had gone out of my way (interlibrary loan from a different state) to get this book and I didn't want to admit that it wasn't worth the effort. *sigh* 


The book that I'm referring to is Mine Own Executioner by Nigel Balchin. I want to give you a central theme or something to succinctly explain it but the closest I can manage is saying that it's about a man who is battling an inner turmoil while also trying to be a competent psycho-analyst. There's a lot of discussion around the validity of a medical degree vs hands-on training which leads to our main character, Felix Milne, taking on a very difficult case to 'prove' that he is just as capable as a medical professional. His patient was recently involved in a traumatic experience in the war and as a result he experienced a psychotic break from reality and tried to murder his wife. While Milne tries to uncover the root of this man's troubles he continues to ignore the cause of his own marital problems. He has a strained and virtually platonic relationship with his wife and actively struggles with his feelings for her best friend. I guess there's an irony there that he is able to ascertain and ultimately help heal what ails his patients but he can't clearly see that he is the cause of his own misfortunes and unhappiness. Milne is an acerbic and not altogether likable character who plays God with those he seeks to help (and his wife). He justifies this by saying that it's a necessary part of their treatment that they come to see him this way. I don't think I can say with any conviction that I liked this book. The characters were one dimensional, the plot was fairly predictable, and the ending was highly unsatisfactory. I can't even say that I recommend it to ________ or ________. 0/10


PS They made it into a film. Why?


What's Up Next: Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman


What I'm Currently Reading: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey


Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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