Blog for Mental Health

Blog for Mental Health asks each person who has had an experience with mental illness, either with themselves or through a loved one, to write a blog post about it. The objective is to pull mental illness out of the closet and change the stigma attached to it so more people who need help, will reach out and receive help. For more information regarding this challenge, please go to their website:

blogformentalhealth.com


My experience with mental illness began shortly after my first child was born. I was left in hard (difficult and painful) labor for 2 1/2 days before they decided to take him with forcepts. In those days, Cesarian births were very rare and even rarer in a little bitty farming community of about 900 people. I began having panic attacks after this experience.


When my husband and I were going through a divorce and custody battle, I began to sink into a depression which continued getting worse. I describe the experience as “hitting the bottom and the bottom falling out.” It was a horrible experience that worsened as the grip of mental illness swallowed me into it’s gut of paranoia, severe depression and high anxiety.


For a long time, I couldn’t sleep at night. Often, I would stay up all night and pace, trying to get away from the horrible fears that had gripped me. I would write in my journal excessively and go on long walks in my neighborhood. I would have frightening hallucinations. I tried my best to look “right and normal” on the outside when on the inside my illness was eating me alive. My family members were ashamed of me and this caused me to try and look normal to them and other people.


After years of therapy and trying different medications, I was finally helped when anti-depressants were introduced to me. Apparently, I had a severe chemical imbalance and the correct medicine was able to correct this imbalance. Finally, I was able to feel and experience joy again, and to think as a normal person again. This was a huge breakthrough for me. There is hope. With the medications, knowledge, and therapy available now, there is hope and help for those who are experiencing mental illness. Mental Illness does include simple depression because simple depression can grow into severe depression if left unchecked. Please, don’t be ashamed to ask for help or ashamed to help your loved one find help.

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog of Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics, not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

I would like to give a “shout out” to my friend Cat, author of, “My Travels with Depression,” for introducing me to this site. (Please click on the gravatar below to read his excellent “Blogging for Mental Health” post).


My Travels with Depression

 



 



 

Teacher of Impact

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.”

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her? ~ Daily Prompt 02/01/2015

Laurna and Murna were two sisters that lived down the road from me and were my best friends in second grade. We ate lunch together every single day. One day at lunch, as usual, we were together in the lunch line and got separated by tables. I was the last one to be seated at one table and they began the next table. I was anguished over our separation. I stood up and over the noisy crowded room yelled, “Laurna, Murna!” They didn’t hear me, so I yelled again.

Suddenly a teacher who was on lunch-room duty came and grabbed me by my arm and yanked me up from the table. She told me she was taking me to my teacher for a spanking. I had no idea what for! Why was I getting a spanking? Because I yelled for my friends? Apparently, it was because this lunch duty teacher had motioned for me to sit down and I didn’t mind her.
The truth is, I didn’t see her motioning for me to sit down.

When my teacher got back from lunch she took me to the back of the class behind a partition and walloped me several times with a wooden paddle. I happened to have on jeans that day so it was very painful.

After my paddling, I laid my head on my desk and cried for the remainder of school day. I was humiliated and I had been punished for something I didn’t know was wrong.

About a month after this happened, we had eye tests at school and it was discovered that I was near-sighted and needed glasses. I didn’t see that teacher motion for me to sit down because I COULDN’T see her.

I think the impact that this had on me wasn’t the fault of my teacher that only carried out what she was told to do, but of that old cranky prune that picked me up by my arm and marched me to the principal’s office.

A Letter from the Battlefield of the Civil War

Waiting for James Henry


Written by James Henry Triplett

Ship Point, York Co. Va.

September 4, 1861

My Dear Mother and Sister,

I received both of your kind letters late last night and was indeed very glad to hear from home again. I have had a bad spell of Bilious fever since we left Yorktown and am very week (sic) yet. If I take proper care of myself I shall be as well as ever. I think that this may be a healthier place than Yorktown, but the water is very bad, mudy (sic), and salty. We are encamped on a point of land on the Bay, covered with pines. We have pine poles for a bed, pine poles for a table, and pine poles to cook with, and have to make a smoke with pine brush in front of our tents at night to keep off mosquitoes. I received the oil cloth and drawers that were sent and like them very well. I do not know whether to send for my overcoat or not but I will need another blanket pretty soon. If you have any chance to send a small box I would like to have some paper & envelopes ink & pens,(jsp?) I would like to have some butter too, but you need not trouble too much. We can get plenty of fish and sweet potatoes here and a few chickens, by exchanging our bacon.

 

Our regiment has never been paid off yet. We have not seen anything of the Yankees yet except ships, we see vessels sailing down the Cheasepeake (sic) everyday and one of the Blockade Steamers is constantly in sight. Jim Young, Bob Coleman, (not sure of this next name) Stringler or Stringles or Dringles or Dringler; and several others were out scouting last night. They caught a Tori Verginian (sic), near fortrep Munroe; who was keeping a light house on some point there, for the Yankees. He was sent to Yorktown this morning.

Gen Hill is here looking well as ever. We can hear heavy firing here almost everyday, and our chance for a fight are pretty good.

I would like very much to be at home now, to eat apples & peaches.

Our time will be out about the 18th of Nov. The I will be home to spend the winter as soon as I get there. Give my love to all the family. I want to see you all very much. Give my love to all my friends, and write again soon.

Yours Affectionately

James

This is all the paper that I’ve got and it is borrowed, so I wrote to both of you at once. James

James Henry Triplett

Born: November 3, 1843

Died: July 1, 1863 ( Died in the Civil War in the Battle of Gettysburg)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Forgive me for it being over 200 words. I was going to write a story about a mother, sister, or wife waiting for their soldier to return home from war. I remembered the original letter that I have which was written by my distant cousin to his mother and sister. I felt this might be very interesting to the other participants and readers of this challenge.

As a footnote, James Henry’s sister and another brother, died the same year as his him, 1863.

 

Burned and Burnt

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burnt.”

Remember this prompt, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind? ~ Daily Prompt 1/30/2015

Yesterday my house was suppose to be on fire and I was suppose to grab five things to take out with me (the family and pets were already safe). I wrote that I had been in a house fire before and that you do not take five things with you, you simply get out.

Today I am going to write about those five things I was suppose to grab and take with me and other things I would feel the loss of if they burned.

First, I would mourn the loss of my purse

Second, I would mourn the loss of my iPad and blue tooth keyboard because that is what I do all my computer work on.

Third, I would miss my camera, even though it isn’t the best on the market, it is the best for me at this time of my (no)skills of photography.

Fourth, I would miss all my art paraphernalia; pencils, erasers, measurement devices, circle templates, line drawing devices, special drawing pads, books, rulers, leads, etc.

Fifth, I would miss my clothing. Although my clothing is nothing special you don’t realize how important it is until everything you own (and wear, including under garments) are all burned and you have nothing to wear except the clothes on your back. (In my case, I was asleep when it happened so I had on a nightgown). As a footnote, the day after this fire happened, I had to call my employer and tell him I couldn’t come to work because I had nothing to wear (because of a fire) and I was fired (and he was fired shortly after).

Sixth, (this should be higher on the list, but it didn’t occur to me until now), I would mourn the loss of all my paper photographs and photograph albums.

Seventh, I would miss my Password Vault.

Eighth, I would celebrate life. I would celebrate that I was still alive and that the things I mentioned above are all replaceable except the paper pictures. Yes, I may mourn the things that I have lost in the fire but I will celebrate that which did not perish. Me.
.

F I R E ! ! !

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burning Down the House.”

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab? – Daily Prompt

I HAVE been in a house fire and I will tell you right now you don’t think about grabbing five things. In fact, the only thing a person should think of is to GET OUT. (I personally had to break my bedroom window and crawl out).

If you are a person that is going to grab five things before you get out of the burning building then you aren’t one of the brightest bulbs on the block. But, just say you are and you want to grab five things; well… by the time you grab that third, fourth or fifth thing then you don’t need to worry about escaping because it will be too late.

This wasn’t a very smart prompt if WordPress wants to teach their clients “how to stay alive in the event of a fire.” You just lost all your clients while they were grabbing five things in a fire. As for me, I waited until the fire was out before I submitted my response to the prompt. :o)

Friday Fictioneers Jan 30, 2015

Dusk was falling fast on the high security prison, filling Ray's cell with an eerie dusty light. Anticipating his last meal, Ray knew he had chosen well, T-bone steak, baked potato; corn, a whole wheat bun and apple pie ala-mode.

Later, the guards came and led him down the long hall to the electricity room, where they put him in a chair and tied a black hood over his head.

After making sure he was secure, the old guard yelled, “Ready! Set! Power the juice!”

Ppppzzzzzzzzzttt

(Ray wasn't dead).

Ppppzzzzzzzzttt

(Still wasn't dead).

“Oh hell! Get em' up. He lives.”

  • ~100 words~

copyright: Ted Strutz

It is time once again for Friday Fictioneers, which is graciously hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Our challenge is to write a story, using the photo prompt given, with a beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. It's fun. Join us.

If you are interested in participating, click:

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – Addicted to Purple


 

 

Old 1947 Buick

Although I don’t know if that was the year or the make of her car, I do know it was old and manufactured prior to 1950. It was a dark green color but much of the paint was worn off and showed the rusty color underneath.

Every summer I would go to my grandmother’s and spend the summer with her. Often, my cousin who was close to my age, would join me. This story is about my grandmother, her old car, my teenage self, and my teenage cousin.

One particular summer, after I had obtained my drivers license, my cousin and I were at my grandmother’s home and like 100% of teenagers, we were bored. I finally got the courage to ask my grandmother if we could take her car to the Dairy Queen and get an ice cream. She agreed and asked us not to be gone long and to be careful.

What she wasn’t aware of was that the Dairy Queen, in this particular town, was the “hang out place” for all the teenagers. WhooHoo! We were free to go, had a car (even though it was older than dirt) and the okay to go where all the teenagers of this town go, THE DAIRY QUEEN!

As soon as we pulled up to the Dairy Queen, about four boys (who we had never met in our life) piled into our car. We were teenage girls and the boys were cute, do you think we minded? Heck no! We were having fun talking to these cute boys and sitting at the dairy queen when a voice came over the loudspeaker paging me! What? Why am I being paged?

I went to the window and they handed me the phone. (This was way before cell phones). It was my grandmother and she was mad! We had lost track of time. So, we scurried our little butts home. (Fortunately, she wasn’t too mad).

Oh, and did I tell you that the car wouldn’t go over 20 miles per hour?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wrote out a lot of different prompts (mostly single words) and put them into a box so that I could pull one out once a week and write a story about the prompt that had been selected. The story could either be fiction or non-fiction. Today, I pulled out the prompt, “Old 1947 Buick.” This particular story is non-fiction.



Monday’s Finish the Story 1/26/2015

She was unaware she was being watched as she was watching over her romping playful pups. Food was getting scarce and she needed to make a kill today for her hungry family.

The ranchers were outraged that wolves had been re-introduced into the Mancos Valley. They were a threat to their calves and were not willing to share.

Miska kept the calf in her site as she crouched down in preparation for the kill. As she began slinking toward the calf, she was careful not to be heard. Mangral, the oldest male, came bouncing toward her playfully. The calf heard him and ran to the safety of it’s mother.

The rancher dropped his gun.

Wolves are not the only predators in the valley.

Wolves have been introduced back into the wilds of the southwest United States. Ranchers were outraged and have killed most of them off. The last I have heard, the environmental groups were considering re-introducing them again. This particular conflict is kept fairly quiet in the news media.

This story was written for the challenge, “Finish the Story,” hosted by Barbara Beachem, author of the blog, Monday’s Finish the Story.

Our challenge is: using the photo prompt and the first sentence, “She was unaware she was being watched” write a story using 100 – 150 words. If you would like to join the fun and participate in this challenge, click here for more information:

Monday’s Finish the Story


(I think wolves are beautiful and have a story about “my baby wolf” I need to write someday).

 

Sunday Photo Fiction: Words

Life was so simple then. You were tall, dark, and handsome and I, the nerdy bookworm filled with a hope for some kind of a future, of which, I don’t know, but something. Our romance picked me up off my feet and we flew through life high and then higher, from one city to another and from one country to another country, never looking back. We were the unstoppable Rosy and Cruz. They would write a book about us and make a movie about us. We would be famous and never to be forgotten.

You captured my heart with your gaze and I melted into your laugh. That special laugh that told me life was good and you were happy and I was happy. Dear God, we had fun and life couldn’t be better. And every day just got better.

“There’s no stopping us now,” you’d say, “There’s no stopping us now.” I would say. You would laugh and I would laugh while our feet left prints in the sand and our toes were tickled by the rolling tide.

The bookstore closed, never to be opened again, and you became just a memory… to me. A sweet memory of words, beautiful words.

Alastair Forbes hosts this wonderful flash fiction, called, “Sunday Photo Fiction.” We are all challenged to write a story of about 200 words which should reference, in some way, back to the photo prompt.

It’s fun! It’s addicting! Would you like to play with us? Click on,

“Sunday Photo Fiction.”

 

Ryan Lanz’ Writing Prompt – 1/21/2015

* Start a scene with, Clock’s aren’t suppose to stand still like that. Ryan Lanz

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Clocks aren’t suppose to stand still like that! What the hell is wrong with this place?”

“What do you mean clocks aren’t suppose to stand still like that? That’s a grandfather’s clock.”

“No man, I mean, well, I mean that clock is standing still.”

“Of course it is standing still, it’s a grandfather’s clock.”

“I don’t know what a grandfather’s clock is. Where I am from, clocks don’t stand still. They move. They dance and sing and stuff. They interact with all the parts that are within and with the ticking of the second hand. They DON’T stand still!”

“Wow man, where the hell are you from?”

“Third galaxy to the right about 5 million light years away and the planet, Bortheo, the fourth planet from our main sun.”

“So, dude, how old does that make you? “

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kind of silly, I know, but it was fun to write. So, I hope you all enjoyed it. ~PJ~ Would you like to join the fun?

Check out Ryan’s post: Writing Prompts-Court Jester