The Creative Bloggers Award … YAY !


I have been nominated for the Creative Bloggers Award by Lisa from the Rebirth of Lisa Blog 

Thank You Lisa, for choosing my Blog !

Here are the rules:

• Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all via their social media/blogs
• Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
• Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
• Pass the rules on to them

Random Facts About Myself 

1.  I recently learned how to make the words change colors and I am having  WAY TOO MUCH  FUN  playing with it !  L O L

2.  I also write for the TMU (Thoughtful Minds United ) Blog and sometimes guest post for the Kindness Blog

3. My comfort foods are Veggie Straws , raw almonds, and peach wine coolers (fuzzy navel)

4. I drink too much coca cola. I used to drink diet but had to change for health reasons. I actually think that my coke drinking is part of a weird eating disorder where I make up for the calories from the soda by restricting food.

5. I am very happy to have loyal followers that are supportive, kind and inspiring

6. I have trouble sticking to restrictions like “write 5 facts”, even when I set the rules myself ! I have often started a Top 10 post that ended up a Top 14 and a half post LOL

7. I will post my nominees later today. I like to choose blogs that I have not previously nominated, when possible. Although sometimes there are reasons for giving someone an additional award. because the awards are for different things.

8. I do not like to worry about hurting people’s feelings about these awards. but they are chosen out of evaluation of the blog. the effort into the blog, the theme and how it fits into the type of award.

I once got a nasty comment from someone who thought I should have nominated them. They were not a regular follower of mine and did not even now me well. I am not sure why they read my post about the award and then left the comment, but it bothered me. This is the reason that I need to write this about how I choose blogs.

There are no hard feelings and I do not think in terms of “leaving people out”. I follow over 100 blogs and sometimes I like to look outside of my usual reads, to find new blogs to nominate.

9. Ok. Hopefully that will reduce my anxiety about that.

10. I am deciding about mu dinner right now. I think I am going to make the girls tacos for dinner. It is one of the few things they will both eat.  LOL

11. Some of the posts I have written as guest posts for other blogs are. Yes I have been very Busy !

A Funny, Sweet and True Story from  a Nursing Home I Worked At  The Kindness Blog

True Story by Annie Mimi Hall ... written for David Snape’s Blog Just a Regular Guy With Autism

Kindness Connection Brings Out Our Humanity – written for Kindness Blog

Where is Your Safe Space ? …written for the Mental Health Writers Guild

Is There a Way to Get 200 Percent More Clicks on Your Blog Posts? ..TMU (Thoughtful Minds United Blog ) 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ...guest post for the Confessions of a Depressed College Student Blog

Living With Severe Anxiety Disorders .… guest post TMU blog

Being Mindful and Kind to Others While Being Assertive written for the Kindness Blog

Blogging is Community – Written for TMU blog

Richard and Molly , a True Story From an Assisted Living Facility …Guest post for Kindness Blog

One ALS Patient’s Ability to Share his Kindness with Others...guest post Kindness Blog

anxiety, depression, health, health and wellness, life, mental abuse, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, psychology, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Showing Kindness to Yourself About Your Mental Illness

your heartYour mental illness has caused some level of disorganization in your brain. What the cause of your mental illness is, could be a variety of possibilities, but the feeling of disconnection is there.

Disconnection exists at various levels within our brains and in our lives. It feels like having broken pieces, jagged edged that no longer seem to fit together the way they used to. Bits of pieces are over there…and bits of pieces are over there…

We are not entirely sure if all of the original pieces actually still exist, because we cannot fit enough of them together to check for missing puzzle pieces. Sometimes ot seems like we are being forced by therapists to shove all of the pieces back together again.

The problem is…these are not the original pieces of your brain, in the original form. You cannot just put things back together and miraculously be the same as you were once before.

The mind is like a stream. It is constantly in movement. You cannot step into the same exact  stream twice, because as soon as you life out your foot the water has changed again, before you place your into the water again.

The neurons in our brains are constantly adapting to our behaviors, including our emotional behaviors.  Every new experience creates new neuronal connections. The more times you repeat a behavior, the more solid the connections relating to that behavior become. But they can always be changed.

The original combination of connections from any given point in our past, cannot be recreated by therapy or anything else. The reason for this is that we have had new experiences since then.

We are at the place where we are. The connections that exist right now, in your brain are what you have at this moment. The reasons for the exact combination of connections are many.

The experiences that we have had, up until this very moment are part of our organic brains. They cannot be removed. You cannot suddenly become a person that was never abused, never hospitalized or never had a mental breakdown.

The things that happened are part of your past, and we have to somehow find  way to survive and thrive, in spite of the trauma we have experiences in our lives.

The feeling that things are disorganized and broken into pieces, is a very real feeling. If you have mental illness, or are recovering from mental trauma, you may have trouble connecting the parts of your brain together, needed to function.

The brain is made up of different parts that have different functions. There can be a failure of the parts to work together properly.

The mentally ill brain does not connect the halves of the brain, the frontal cortex , the nervous system and the other functions, in the way that they connect with other people. This is a reason for memory problems, feelings of severe depression when nothing is seemingly wrong, and feelings of a severe threat when no threat is imminent.

In a well oiled machine, the parts all move together as a unit and help each other. They each do their job to the highest level of function and each part is functioning properly.

missing a piece

Trauma can cause damage to certain parts of the brain, They become overloaded and do not know how to protect us from further trauma. In any mental illness, your brain will try to protect you from further mental trauma, in a ditch effort to survive.

When you are in danger of retraumatization, your brain will change the way it connects the parts together and the way the parts function. It is no longer working the way a “normal” brain works, during safe circumstances.

So, your brain is disorganized, and your perceptions can be altered. It is really that you just cannot tolerate any more pain and trauma to your mind. Stigma about mental illness is one of the things that can cause retraumatization. The need to hide the mental suffering from others, is very traumatizing.

We can rewire our brains to become healthier and more functional, over time, with kindness to ourselves. We have to be mindful about our limitations and not judgemental of ourselves.

Understanding that our brains are  really are not currently wired the same way as other people, will take a great amount of guilt, shame and anxiety off of us.

People with mental illness deal with stigma and judgement from others, but we tend to be hardest on ourselves.

 Feelings of shame, inadequacy and guilt actually serve to retraumatize the brain. Having the emotional behavior of self judgement, is something that will prevent healing. There is no positive result from shaming ourselves.

You are who you are today. You are functioning at the level of function that you are able to. You cannot do anything to change the moments that have lead up to this present time.

Forgiveness is something you offer to others. Why not offer forgiveness and tolerance to yourself?

You are no less worthy of patience, kindness and love from yourself, than anyone else. You matter. It is not your fault. Your brain is a little crazy but… what.

Often times what makes us crazier than most, also gives us gifts of understanding and empathy, that others do not have. We can keep these gifts and see the value in ourselves for having them.

You can be kind and patient with yourself today, just the same as you would be if you were interacting with a person outside of yourself, that was suffering.


Boxed In

I want this box to crawl into…

Broken Light Collective

Photo by Dee, who has been diagnosed with many things through the years. She primarily suffers from depression, but this picture speaks to her bipolar nature.

About this photo: I was actually quite hypomanic here. My baby and husband had gone to sleep already and I was getting more and more revved up. I had a strong need to create something, so I decided that since I had taken photos of them playing in a large box earlier, that I would take some of myself with the box too. I put the camera on my dining room table and set it to 10 second timer mode, and ran back and forth shooting away. I thought if I went quickly, that I would finish quickly and no one would know, but there is never quick with hypomania. I started getting a bit spooked. It was dark, and quiet, but there were…

View original post 274 more words

life, parenting, single mom, single mother

Is There Still Stigma About Single Mothers ?

vSketchpadSingle parenting is hard. There is no way around it. Unless you have a tribe supporting you, there are more jobs that need to be done than there is time.

Life for single mothers is a balancing act, which often leaves us mentally drained and physically exhausted. There is still stigma about being a single mom and it comes at you when you are least expecting it.

You have spent your day off getting everything ready for the kids, so that they will be okay when you are at work. You buy extra frozen food that they know how to make. You organize the house in a way that they can easily understand. You spend any free time you have on your day off with the kids.

You check and double check that they either have someone with them, depending on their ages, or that they can reach someone if they run into a problem. You go over everything in your head, while you are laying in bed, trying to sleep. Will they be safe enough? Is there enough food?

Before you leave for work you check and recheck everything. The babysitter is there, if you need one. The older child has been instructed by you ( if they are the one babysitting), about the last minute things. They have your work number and a family member’s number.

Before you leave for work, you go over the last minute things in a frenzy, as the anxiety threatens to choke your throat. Is the battery charged in their cell phone? Do they know where their shoes are? Is the flashlight accessible in case the power goes out? Do they know where the first aide kit is?

Finally you drag yourself out the door feeling guilty for having to lose this time with them, You would rather not have to spend so many hours working. You feel guilty when you are at work, because you would rather have the luxury of being a stay at home mom.

But the bills must be paid, the kids have to eat and no one is helping you. You even text  the oldest from the parking lot at work. “Just checking that you guys are okay” You remind her that you will check your text messages on your break, so to text you if she needs anything.

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me. Some woman who hardly knows me at work will come up to me and say…”WHO is watching your kids, while you are at work?”

You hardly know what to say. You were already having enough anxiety about having to go to work. You would rather be home than to  be underemployed at this job.  This woman knows next to nothing about you.

“How did you know I have kids? Do you know how old my kids are?” you ask.

She says, “Well, Tiffany, told me you leave your kids at home when you go to work. Are you sure they are safe?”

Who in the hell do they think they are? They don’t even know how old my kids are. Why would they automatically assume they are small children, and that I have left them unattended?

I am 49 years old. How tiny could my kids be?

The woman is standing there, looking at me and waiting for an answer. I mean, what is the appropriate answer to “Are they safe at home, while I am at work?”

Should I say “OH ! My god ! You are right. They are not safe and the issue of leaving them alone never occurred to me, in relation to safety. I am so glad you reminded me. I will quit this job right now and go home. You don’t mind covering the rest of the shift do you ?”

To make it worse, the woman questioning me is only about 5 years older than my oldest daughter. She could be my daughter, by age.

My 18 year old is home with my 12 year old. I left the food and the instructions. I called from the parking lot to check and now I am trying to be at work.

Do I have to give this person a whole run down of my entire household situation? Come to think of it, she has kids too !

Who is watching her kids, while she is working the same shift I am?

Why does this question apply to me and not her? Because I am a single mother. There are still people that consider single mothers irresponsible.

Like we woke up one day and said to ourselves.“I don’t need any help. I am going to become a single mother and deal with working, childcare, finances, getting groceries, making dinner, homework and everything involved in parenting ..all by myself !…

I am going to have no social life and spend all of my time struggling to survive, just so someone half my age, who is married to a doctor can ask me “Have you thought about the safety of leaving your kids alone?”

So, I asked her “Do you know the ages of my kids? Did the person who told you that they think I leave my kids alone, tell you how old my kids are?

“No, she does not know,” she said.

So, now I am thinking to myself…Ok, so someone who doesn’t know me well enough to know the ages of my children,  told another person who does not know me…that  I leave my kids alone and unattended?

She said “well, we were discussing it and we were just concerned.”

Why were they discussing my childcare choices? They have never bothered to find out anything about me or socialize with me, in any way. They have never been friendly to me..but now, they are “concerned.”

So, I informed her that my oldest daughter is 18 and the youngest is 12. Technically 12 is old enough to be left alone.

But at the current moment the 12 year old is in a house with her 18 year old sister, her grandmother and her aunt and her cousins. And their father is stopping by to eat dinner with them, because it is his mother that I live with.  “Is that okay?”

I am not sure why some of the married women at my job, seem to think that they are more responsible than single mothers are, but it is really annoying.

I could ask her why she is leaving her kids to go to work, when her husband makes enough money that she could stay home…but i didn’t. Why? Because how she deals with her family situation is none of my business !

life, love, love poems, love poetry, poetry

Why do People Click More “Likes” on Love Related Poems than on Other Poems?

I was reading someone’s poetry  blog tonight and they wondered why more people clicked  “like” on the love related poetry, compared to their other poetry. To be sure, I enjoyed all of this poet’s work, but I also found myself reading the love poems.

As I thought about why more people clicked on the love poems, I realized that many different types of people who visit poetry blogs, must select different types of poems based on their personalities.  But in addition to their other favorites, they each liked the love poems.

This speaks to the fact that all different kinds of personalities, people from different cultures and socioeconomic groups all were choosing the love poems, in addition to their other favorite themes.

The common link between the readers was that they could all relate to the love poems from personal experiences. The poems may not speak of exact situations you have been in, but they speak of conditions of your humanity.

Being in love creates vulnerability. Vulnerability is a human condition that everyone has experienced in one way or another.

People gravitate toward reading things that they find themselves in. People like reading about themselves and trying to understand themselves better. People also like to feel that they are not alone in their feelings.

The feelings of love may vary from person to person, but the situation of having had to deal with romantic love in some way, is pretty much across the board.

People all relate to vulnerability, and also what it feels like to trust your vulnerability to someone.

People also relate to issues surrounding love and vulnerability such as trust, compassion, deception and betrayal. They know what is feels like to need to trust another person, whose actions we cannot dictate. We can relate to having been at the mercy of another.

It is  part of the human condition to have to trust someone, at some point, for our lives, our stability, our emotional / mental health or for something that is critical to our personal well being.

Everyone can see themselves in writings that have to do with the need, the fear and the blessings that can happen when we have to trust another person. Good or bad, we have to trust others sometimes and it can be scary.

The other theme that is eventually related to love, is death. We all know that we cannot physically hold onto another person forever. Spiritual views vary, but sooner or later we have to be physically separated by death, unless something separates us first.

People can see their own personal struggles with the feelings surrounding love, mutual love, unrequited love and lost love. These are all conditions of humanity that people have in common.

The beauty, pain and  vulnerability of  love, is a timeless theme. This is why poets, lyricists and philosophers have talked of love for so many, many generations and in very culture.

Love is beautiful. Love is painful. Love is vulnerable which makes us human. 

Love Well,