Sometimes, I look on Pinterest to try and come up with a new blog post. It has yet to pay out, but I have to admit I look. And there was this image – that had a list of things you should do in order to have a successful blog. One of them, really caught my eye, it said, live a life worth blogging about.
But what exactly does living life worth blogging about even mean? I live a fairly boring life, but I would like to think that it is worth blogging about. Why? Because life isn’t about showing off your booty on Instagram, or even talking about makeup tutorials. Life isn’t about vanity, or watching TV to keep up with the whomevers. Life is a series of learning moments joined together by opportunities to learn. It is also a series of fairly boring moments joined together by happy and dramatic moments. It is also very much a pilgrimage to Heaven, where we will ultimately be united with Our Savior. And this pilgrimage is all of the above, joined by the binding powers of faith, hope, and love. Life is a journey.
As a blogger, I do like to share insights into my own life, but (and maybe this is where I fail as a blogger) I am not eternally looking for the special moments that are bloggable.
I also wanted to remind people that life isn’t about being thrilled and excited and quasi-manic all the time. A lot of what you see in the blogosphere is “photoshopped”. Sure, there are some really good, raw blogs out there, but for the most part, they are sanitized, beautified, and perhaps even exaggerated. A reason a lot of youth suffers from depression is because of all these happy instances on Instagram, YouTube, etc. (social media) seem to be the exciting life of others, while we forget that those exciting moments are glued together by boring, less enticing moments. So to me, a life worth blogging about is one that sets the example.
The Stigma around Mental Illness
There’s a lot of stigma around mental illness. Society stigmatizes mental illness a lot. Whether it is because society in general thinks that it is a matter of “only trying harder”, “he/she is making it up”, “he/she is weak”, or what-have-you, there are a lot of misconceptions floating around.
People with mental illness are any more crazy or violent than the “rest” of the population. This is just stigma that has been perpetuated by Hollywood and what-not.
I am here to tell you: Mental Illness is real, as real as cancer or diabetes, and recent studies point towards this direction. It is not cured by “trying harder”, just like cancer doesn’t go away by trying harder. Mental illness is not something that we sufferers make up. It is as real as a doorknob and as dark as a starless night. Also, it is not a sign of weakness as much as having cancer isn’t a sign of weakness.
Mental Illness and Religion.
However, among some christian circles, mental illness is deemed a “demonic possession”. And while demonic possessions are very real and in many cases similar to mental illness, there are clear distinctions between demonic possession and mental illness. I am not qualified to make these distinctions, but This Article from CNN explains some differences (TL,DR; This psychiatrist can’t explain certain things that have happened during exorcisms that just don’t happen with mentally ill patients.)
So, please, please, I don’t know how to start this “campaign”, but don’t equate mental illness to demonic possession – let a qualified priest or doctor make the distinction. Don’t equate mental illness as a sign of not wanting to be healthy enough or some sort of weakness, because it is not. Let’s stop spreading misinformation, and care for one another regardless of illness experienced.
Religion and Mental Health
When religion is important to the person suffering mental illness, religion can be a great step in the right direction. I practice my religion and use it as part of self-care.
With my fiance all moved in, I had reminded myself to be Semper Gumby. Which I did phenomenally and now I’m happy to report that the period of flexibility seems over.
I have started a new, working routine, which is still being tweaked but it’s working.
We have to remember that our self care needs vary with time and with each passing day, so it is necessary to adjust accordingly. The same routine of 10 years ago is likely to not be as helpful today.
Hopefully, changes to your self-care don’t have to be drastic and overnight but small cumulative changes over time. However the change to your routine happens, remember to be flexible with yourself by do not give up.
I’m somewhat of a regular blood donor. Although 2017 was a bit of a wash with my iron levels dropping below minimum to donate. However, I went on the 16th to donate with and was eligible to do a double red blood cell donation with an apheresis machine.
What happens in double red blood cell donation?
So basically, what happens with double red blood cell donation is that it takes a little longer than a regular whole blood donation, about 15-20 minutes longer. But it’s touted as more beneficial for both the donor and recipient. I couldn’t find much info to back this claim, but I’ll take their word for it. I’ll assume that they have no reason to make this up on the fly.
So, you get hooked up to a needle, like the one for whole blood donation, but the tubing is a little different. This tubing goes to the apheresis machine, and some saline solution. The blood is drawn and the apheresis machine then starts taking your blood and separates it into platelets, plasma, and red blood cells.
The red blood cells are the ones that carry the proteins that make the blood a certain type, like O+ or AB-. And they’re able to take twice as much from you than with whole blood, without dehydrating you to no end, as the plasma and platelets are returned with some saline water.
The whole experience was not much different than regular blood donation, though it did leave a slight metallic taste in the back of my mouth that lasted for like 10 – 15 minutes. You can’t donate for 16 weeks (as opposed to 8). Which is fine by me. It gives me more time to recover between donations, and I get less calls that it’s time to donate again, because their records show that I am not due to donate anytime soon.
For more information or to schedule blood donation, please visit The Red Cross.
What a long way I have come since I had my son! While pregnant with him, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, which made it really hard to enjoy pregnancy and early motherhood. To make matters a little harder, I couldn’t breastfeed as frequently and deliberately as I wanted, and then, when he was about 2.5 years old, he got diagnosed with High Functioning Autism.
Boy! It’s been a ride, but now we adore each other’s company and we love spending time together. I torture myself over raising him right, and he does his best for mama.
It’s nothing but love, even though we can drive each other batty. He is a loving, thriving boy, and even though I tortured myself over his diagnosis, it only means that neurodiversity is alive and well in our household. I wonder sometimes if maybe I am high functioning autistic, because the stuff that he talks about that no one else seems to understand makes perfect sense to me. Maybe I am just too in tune with him.
Either way, I hope my little boy continues to thrive and do better and better. I have nothing but the best of wishes for him, including some hardship, so he knows how to overcome it, and some easy times, so he knows to be grateful.
He is, however, dangerously approaching his teens! Eeek! He has been quick to remind me about this, even though there are days he wishes he could be a baby again. And as much as I long for that closeness that I wasn’t able to have when he was a newborn because of my depression, I wouldn’t change him for anything in the world! We can’t turn back time, but we can make the best out of what’s in front of us.