#MakeChesterProud

Trigger Warning: I talk about depression and suicide in this post.
(Photo is from wikimedia commons)

If you need support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

It’s 100% okay to ask for help.

Like many people all over the world, Linkin Park was/is a source of validation and solace in dark times. I still find myself listening to their songs when I need the outlet they offer. I’ve never dealt with addiction, but depression and thoughts of suicide, feeling trapped and alone, I understand those feelings. I don’t often get to that dark place as often as I used to (when I was a teen it was horrible), but I still find myself there at times.

When I found out Chester (and Avicii and Robin Williams) had died of mental illness complications, I was incredibly sad. I was sad for him, that the darkness plagued him had finally won. Even people with the financial means for great healthcare have trouble. People we think are somehow not touched by the same problems that get to us regular folks have struggles too. I felt terrible for his bandmates, friends and family because that had to be uniquely painful. Then for his fans, especially those, like me, who had found acceptance in his and Linkin Park’s music. But I was also proud of him, he’d used the depression to create music and songs that touched many. He’d fought that battle for a long time and did amazing things. He helped a lot of people. So #makechesterproud today however you feel that works for you. (Self-care, writing, listening to someone, hugging your pet/friends/family, saying hi to someone you know is struggling, attending a memorial, donating time or money to a cause,…)

For me, I’m sharing a couple things today in addition to self-care and cat snuggles. (I’m having a flare today and I have to do something later and need to rest for it. I was at a funeral yesterday for a family member and I’m a bit wrung out.)

First, this article from The Mighty that includes Linkin Park songs that folks said were influential for them.  I would add Iridescent to that list.

Second, memorial events are going on all over the world if anyone wishes to join online or in person.

You are not alone. You matter.

Sending virtual comfort and praise to Linkin Park and Chester’s family and friends.

Blog Challenge: Liebster Award

A fellow blogger, Kim who writes I tripped over a Stone, shared that she was nominated to do this blog challenge, and nominated anyone who wanted to join in.

I’ve been staring at spreadsheets and creating newsletters for long enough that my brain needs a break. I even took a nap today, but still tired. Blah!


How it works:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Share eleven facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the eleven questions the blogger gave you.
  4. Nominate eleven bloggers who deserve the award.
  5. Create eleven original questions for the nominees to answer.
  6. Let them know they have been nominated.

Eleven facts about me:

  1. I wear the mantle of Crazy Cat Lady with pride, and like most cat people, there are more photos of my furbabies on my phone than anything else. I’m the human to 5 cats.
  2. I am a huge geek/nerd. My house is full of collectibles! Mainly comic books, sci-fi, and fantasy. There is a Millenium Flacon in my kitchen and a Tie-fighter in my living room. Thor’s hammer is sitting next to my Pip-Boy box.
  3. I love dark chocolate, Marrons Glaces, pizza, cheese, and mints.
  4. I make seriously good lobster mac and cheese, among other things. I enjoy cooking and baking, and do a lot of special foods for the people I know with food allergies and sensitivities. I keep a list of all my friends’ and family’s food allergies and sensitivities in an excel spreadsheet.
  5. Hats! Hats! Hats!
  6. I want to make webcomics and write stories. I’m taking online drawing classes.
  7. I’ve taught myself several skills such as crochet, baking, photography, and doll wig making. I have way too many hobbies. I plan to sell the dolls wigs for mulah.
  8. I literally have a wall of board/card games.
  9. I’m a tea snob.
  10. I collect art.
  11. I’m working on a Bachelor’s Degree in IT – Project management.

“Take eleven photographs that will help us understand what you blog about and post them! There is no right or wrong way to do this. You can write explanations or not. It is all up to you! Help us learn about your purpose!” – Kim

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My family! The reason I get up in the morning.

 

 

 

 

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Our local botanic garden has stunning water lilies. (Photo by me)
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My first crochet project.

 

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The not so glamorous basket of medicines.

 

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Second doll wig I’ve made. Yes, I’m an adult and I play with dolls, get over it.

 

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You are safe with me, I am an ally (From the MKE LGBT website)

 

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I survived.

 

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Healthy relationships take many forms.

 

 

 

 

Ok, so I ended up with 12 photos. 😉


If you are somehow still with me, I nominate you to do this also!

Your mission, should your choose to accept it.

Make eleven memes about your life and what you blog about. Travel, chronic illness, food, art, whichever.

Here’s my example.

 

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My chronic illnesses cause brain fog.

 

 

 

 

Feelings on Florida

In regards to this latest act of domestic terrorism:

Yes, I’m going to call it terrorism, the point was to terrify the victims and to then destroy them. To become infamous. The shooter wanted attention, he was angry, he’s a product of a toxic culture both close to him, and in our society.

We need to address this as a society. It seems like a lot of these domestic terrorists lack the emotional tools necessary to handle stress, disappointment, toxicity around them, and even fundamental social interactions (i.e., Being rejected as a love interest/sexual partner). We need to make sure that people are equipped emotionally and educationally as they grow up. Find healthy ways to channel their anger and aggression. And end the stigma and scapegoating of those with mental health issues (like depression and anxiety, or autism, etc.), who are more likely to be victims than aggressors. Tossing people in prision*after* they commit the crime is only reactionary, we need to get in front of the issue to prevent further suffering.

We are creating these people because hate and anger in our culture are encouraged; homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, fear, toxic masculinity, and hatred of non-christian beliefs or lack of religion. Men are still men even if they cry at a movie, like pink or purple, can cook and do other domestic tasks. Aggression is lauded as a masculine trait, well folks, look what that does. It kills. It destroys lives.

 
We need studies, we need compassion. We need to do better.

30 Things, Relief

Finding relief is quite the task, especially when a person has more than one condition that causes pain or uncomfortable symptoms. I possess multiple chronic diseases, and some of them conflict with one another regarding care. For example, my Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and my Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have semi conflicting diets.

The first thing I do it try to prevent flares from happening by eating right, stretching, and taking my medications as directed. Prevention helps the need for relief, but this doesn’t always work. I am mindful of my pain and overall health, sometimes it can be all consuming, but I do my best not to let it take over, which is why I feel preventative pain and health care are essential.

This is a list of things that I do to help with pain and discomfort:

  • Cat cuddles – warm kitty purrs and cuddles improve my mind and body
  • Human cuddles – are comforting and affirming, many chronically ill people have tumultuous relationships
  • Tens unit – helps with fibro and muscle spasms
  • Heating pad, throw – helps with IC, muscle spasms, and cold intolerance
  • Stretching and moving – helps with tension and muscle aches
  • Prelief and Azo – Prelief helps take acidity out of food which can prevent IC flares, Azo is a dye that acts as an analgesic for the bladder
  • OTC pain medication – Tylenol and Alieve help with some of the pain I feel
  • THC/CBD – I live in a state that allows both recreational marijuana and medical, I’m grateful as it has helped me be able to sleep and alleviate some of the pain
  • Antinausea – OTC meds help when I’m having nausea
  • Hobbies – a distraction from pain and discomfort after health has been addressed

 

Image found on Plexels.

30 Things, Distractions

I had to think about this a bit and came up with this list.

My cats

  • Anytime I feel cruddy I go to my cats. Petting and snuggling with them helps me focus on something positive and comforting

Video games

  • Video games keep me distracted and entertained

My go to movies

  • Alien, Aliens, Pacific Rim, LoTR, and a few others help me be distracted

Music

  • Genre depends on my mood, I like metal, some pop, trance/house/etc., classical or soundtracks

Audiobooks

  • If I am unable to focus, I will go for audiobooks while I’m laying down and resting

 

30 Things, Hobbies

Hobbies! (I had a little time to squeeze this in)

I have a lot of hobbies. I love to make/create things, it’s improved my mood, and I feel like I accomplished something when I finish a project.

  •  Knitting
    • I’m going to learn to crochet this year. Yay YouTube!
    • It’s a fun activity to do while watching TV/Movies.
  • Sewing
    • I like to make my own clothing and costumes from time-to-time.
    • I also enjoy silk embroidery.
  • Painting and drawing
    • On pretty much anything. I find it relaxing.
  • Photography
    • I have a quality DSLR, and I love taking photos outside when I’m feeling up to it.
  • Camping
    • I feel the most relaxed and happy when I am able to disconnect and enjoy nature.
    • Also, gives me lots to photograph.
  • Reading/audiobooks
  • Learning new skills
  • Games
    • Board games, table-top, card, video, I like them all.
  • Other random things I pick up because I like making stuff with my hands.
  • Volunteering
    • I have volunteered for animal rescues, literacy and art, and health.

What are your hobbies?

And now I’m tired, so I’m going to go lay on my heating pad in a nest of blankets. Have a wonderful night!

30 Things, Age and Conditions

I’m going to be busy today and tomorrow so I’m doubling up.

Happy Holidays!

Day 2, Introduce your conditions

If I had a dollar for everytime someone said, “You’re too young to be this sick!”

  • Migraines
  • Allergies/chronic rhinitis
  • Tinnitus
  • Complex PTSD/Anxiety/Depression/Mild OCD
  • Arthritis (Osteo)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder (Super PMS)
  • IBS
  • Eczema/contact dermatitis/atopic dermatitis
  • GERD
  • High possibility of mild narcolepsy and hip dysplasia (Not diagnosed, but the doctors suspect)

Things I had in the past but are better after surgery/treatment

  • Dysmenorrhea –  I had a partial hysterectomy which helped greatly
  • Gastroparesis – It’s not gone, but it is better
  • Gallstones – Surgery helped
  • Tonsilitis – Had them out as an adult, not fun, but I have fewer sinus infections and fall ill far less often now
  • Septoplasty with turbinate reduction – Fixed the deviated septum in my nose and shaved down the turbinates, I can breathe through my nose more easily

Day 3, Age your symptoms began

I’ve had Fibromyalgia my whole life, I can remember wondering as a child why when someone poked me in the arm it hurt more than the reaction other children had to the same stimulus. I also had PTSD/mental health issues as a child. As well as hip issues and sleeping problems, I was really good at naps. I’m still really good at naps.

The PCOS, PMDD, and dysmenorrhea cropped up around 11-13 age range. Migraines also started when I hit puberty.

Allergies and skin issues started when I was 14 and have progressively gotten worse, though allergy shots have helped curb that.

Arthritis started bothering me in my late 20’s, and the GERD, IC, IBS, gallstones, tonsilitis, and increase in fibromyalgia pain happened when I was 26.

The tinnitus started more recently in 2015.