SADIF: Triggered by the Truth & Triggered by the Lies |#NEDAwareness

Song a day THUMB

Song Choice:

“Skeleton” by Jessie Paege

Trigger Warnings & Themes:

Eating disorders: anorexia/purging, mental health.

Empowerment, recovery, triumph, growth.


Chosen lyrics:

“I don’t know how to feed myself
A perfect body can’t fix a broken brain
This insanity keeps playing over and over and over
Throwing up my problems won’t make ’em go away


And I’m so scared when I’m feeling hungry
But am I more afraid of finally feeling okay?


But I’m not gonna let you turn me to a skeleton, skeleton
You just wanna throw me back into your head again, head again
You just wanna leave me with no body, and nobody
But I’m not gonna let you turn me to a skeleton, skeleton


I need to apologize to my body
Will you forgive me for everything I’ve done?
All the secrets that I’d hide, late nights
Triggered by truth and triggered by the lies


And I’m so scared when I’m feeling hungry
But am I more afraid of slowly fading away?


Rest……..peace, my disease
Rest…in…peace, my disease
Rest in peace, my disease

My Meaning:

So, I didn’t actually fall in love with this song the first or second time that I heard it. It was released by the Youtuber and proud mental health advocate and LGBTQA+ community member Jessie Paege back in January this year (2020). But the more that I listened to it, the more that I saw and read the lyrics, the more I fell in love with the message about bringing awareness to a heavily misunderstood and stigmatized and even deadly mental health condition (eating disorders) as well as the story of immense and ongoing triumph over ED’s and moving forward in recovery. It’s honestly an immensely empowering, powerful and beacon of light type of song.

In it, Jessie describes her struggles with her ED and what she became aware of losing if she were to give into her ED voice and do as it says.

I’m thankful that she hasn’t and is continuously choosing not to to this day.

I, myself, have never experienced an ED. I have followed social media influencers who have struggled with them, read about them in forums and read over personal anecdotes from people who have at one point or another struggled deeply with them. I have friends from my day program who have struggled firsthand with EDs and I know that they are certainly no walk in the park. They are debilitating, serious and distressing conditions that, when unleashed recklessly by the disorders themselves, can consume an entire person’s identity and world, vastly warping their reality and so very often taking lives as they convince the owner that they don’t need help or that they can get better “on their own.”

A lot of times, for a lot of mental health conditions, we need to accept and know when to ask for help. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, I highly encourage checking out some of these awareness based websites and hotlines:

  1. NEDA
  2. Important calling information (pictured and highlighted below)
  3. NEDA’s page on ED Awareness Week (Feb. 24th-Mar 1st 2020)
  4. Teen Line for Youth with EDs
  5. ED Hope
  6. In particular these infographics from NEDA stood out to me: EDs and Co-Morbidity, EDs in Men, & EDs and Bullying and Weight Shaming

Contact the Helpline (USA) for support, resources and treatment options for yourself or a loved one.

Helpline phone hours are Monday-Thursday from 11AM to 9PM ET, and Friday from 11AM to 5PM ET.

Helpline chat hours are Monday-Thursday from 9AM to 9PM ET and Friday 9AM to 5PM ET.

Helpline volunteers are trained to help you find the information and support you are looking for. Reach out today! Or for crisis situations, text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line.

You may reach the Helpline at

(800) 931-2237

Additionally, because I am also writing a mental health based fanfic story, I have done some amounts of research for that through incorporating things I’ve heard or seen others use to describe their experiences. If you are interested in reading about a Loki centered Avengers mental health fanfic, delving deeply into depression, anorexia and suicidality, you can find it here:

Distorted & Disordered on & Distorted & Disordered on AO3

But besides all of that, I’d like to finish this post with a few last words. Although I’ve never struggled with the pain and suffering evoked by living with an eating disorder, I have a lot of empathy and some baseline of understanding when it comes to the struggle. I, myself, was once bullied in school for how thin I presented. I still find it too triggering to look back on photos of myself from before 2018 where I gained weight due to an increased medication dose to treat my other mental health conditions. Although I am far happier and far more stable at my current weight, it was a shift and sometimes continues to be a shift to this day.

I know and I remember that when I was “thin” it wasn’t all this glamor and loveliness that my mind paints it to be. I know that I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight despite how underweight I was. As part of the depression I live with, I had a lack of appetite and can only recall a handful of times over four years that I’d almost feel “good” about not having to eat or not caring to because I was planning to end my life in other ways. (Which, really isn’t all that great either!)

But when I look back on old videos or photos (which I make it a point NOT to do these days, avoidance is my biggest behavioral issue) I do “miss” what I once had. Even though it was terrible and shitty. I’ve never acted on it and the medication I’m on has actually increased my appetite and I know that it’s such a vulnerability factor to go a while without eating (like with sleeping and other generalized PLEASE skills from DBT) a proper meal and I don’t really tailor my food intake to a healthy degree (which I probably should, but I feel I’d have to see a nutritionist about it because I won’t do it by myself, or who knows, maybe I’ll turn a new leaf by looking at cooking blogs or something–I basically need a higher level of accountability, to be honest) rather “healthier” options (vegetables, fruits, etc.) but when I do see myself at lower weights or others at low weights, it messes with my brain a little. I find myself wanting to “go back” to that, even though I know it wasn’t glamorous or this glorified thing that my brain likes to paint it as (as it does with other issues in my life, thanks Brain!)

That’s as far as I’m able to relate, however. While I may have wandering thoughts or emotions about the topic of eating and overall food choices, I recognize that I lack the behavioral aspects of it and thus am not claiming to have struggles with an eating disorder. I cannot imagine that level of pain and mental torture each day as eating is such an overwhelming need to face multiple times a day. Or, maybe in some ways I am able to imagine it, I just haven’t had the lived experiences to match. Which, I want to make sure I don’t ever land into that category of “needing to experience it to understand it” (again, a lot of my other mental health conditions or warped brain processes are to blame for that issue) when empathy can go a long way and education and awareness can get me the extra few miles.

I don’t want to minimize or trivialize disorders as intense and distressing as eating disorders or disordered eating in general. They are absolute hell.

And I still believe that recovery from them is possible. I think, like with other mental health conditions in general (depression, bipolar, anxiety, OCD, BPD, etc.), that recovery is not necessarily a destination rather an ongoing choice each day to maintain wellness–physically and mentally–and to choose to tackle a situation that is causing harm and pain and suffering. I don’t believe EDs are a choice, there are so many factors and no one in their right state of mind would choose to have an ED. I do believe, as I do with many other conditions, that the recovery and treatment portions of the disease are choices. And I recognize that it is so complex and multi-faceted. It’s not as easy as “just eating” or going without several layers of multiple jumping loops. And ED’s themselves have so many reasons and beginning points, while also having similar ways of treating them and they are treatable, if the person is willing and ready to embark on that recovery journey.

For me, when it comes to watching some of the content of these creators in the limelight that sometimes border on glamorizing these conditions, I’m going to try my best to stay away and avoid them. I don’t want to be triggering myself into something so much larger than my own experiences. So I’m really going to try and stop and the process of that, like anything else, will have its ups and downs. What matters is that I keep trying. Ultimately the decision to get better is up to the one suffering from the condition. I have to learn to accept that there’s little I can do as an outside supporter. It sucks, it’s hard and it’s critical. It’s okay to take breaks and to distance myself from things that threaten my own well-being. The same is true for you, too. ❤

Some other great ED related Youtube channels that I’ve watched or could recommend include:

  1. EDucating Shanny
  2. Of Herbs and Altars
  3. Elzani

Finally, back to the song, I can relate to the emotion behind the song if not exactly the way it is acted upon. I think the song is catchy and has an extreme importance of a message in today’s society and those out there who may be struggling and trying to find their voice. I love the idea of the “funeral” for the ED, that now it’s time for Jessie, for the Listener, to take their power and wreak havoc out of what’s left of the ED. The idea of leaving it behind and recognizing that it doesn’t bear in mind the Survivor’s best interests is hugely critical. (It actually reminds me of the process I went through with “The Line” by The Dear Hunter for my mental health conditions back in the day).

Because, no, the ED is lying to you. No, the ED will never be satisfied. No, the ED won’t ever realize when enough is “enough.” The Survivor may experience moments of “bliss” between reaching “goal weights” yet there will always be another one set up thereafter. ED’s are bitches that need to be punched in the face. Tis the best treatment for any mental health condition. 😉

And I also want to reiterate that ED’s can happen to anyone at any size, weight, struggle, SES, gender, identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity etc. Eating disorders do not discriminate. They are damaging and they are serious, serious conditions ranging from minor/mild to quite severe. If you think you or someone you know is struggling with an ED, please check out the websites above or the hotlines or Google them or call or check out videos or articles online that describe other people’s experiences and what helped them and then ask the one you care about those tough and necessary questions.

And if you are struggling, please know that you are strong enough to get through this and that you can one day be happy, genuinely happy, and that you’re going to be so proud of yourself when you’re able to reach a stabler mental state. It will be worth it. YOU are worth it. You have the power in you to get better and you’re gonna be so bright and light one day. You’ve got this. Keep fighting. xxx


Overall, thank you so much for reading this post, this song’s lyrics and the power and importance sang about it. Check out the resources and the people I’ve linked above! Thank you again. xxx

❤ ❤ ❤

PS I should mention, I’ve made it a point in my life to never count calories or exercise (which the latter is turning into more and more of a problem at work, I really need to improve this! D: Because actually having work where I need to use my muscles and strength to lift things is another factor in why I wouldn’t behaviorally act out in trying to do anything unhealthy to myself, luckily.)

Who I Am At Work vs. Who I Am Everywhere Else

Journaling THUMB

I really wanted to write this blog post in particular a few hours ago, on Tuesday January 28th 2020, but life got in the way and the song I was listening to when I thought back on the idea again (it’s been on my mind the last 2 weeks, maybe?) just came onto my iPod soooo, we’re gonna roll with it. It may not be perfect, because I really have zero writing vibes now, after I went downstairs to eat dinner but we’ll not strive for perfection, rather “just” completion. 🙂 Let’s go!!

The premise of this blog post is that who I am at work (Amaryllis) is different in many ways to who I am everywhere else in my life. I’d like to explore more of that, what characteristics make up which parts of my identity and just spend some time thinking of it and trying to understand and come to terms with it all. Of course, it’s not necessarily a “bad” or “good” thing, it’s just how it is right now and that’s not to say that it can’t change in the future. Any who, let me get into this (I will be writing up a life update post by the end of this weekend).

Let’s start where it’s easiest, which is namely:

Who Am I Everywhere Else?

    • I think I carry myself with strength, resiliency, clear-headedness, confidence, high self-regard, compassion, honesty, transparency, vulnerability, inspiration, humor, and at times, leadership.
    • I don’t worry about what other people think of me: I row my own boat and if I pass someone trying to sell me something I avoid all eye contact to make the rejection of me not paying attention to them a little easier to handle (my thought process being that maybe if I ignore them and avoid them, they’ll take the hint).
    • I bury my head in whatever it is that I’m doing, especially when it’s of a one-to-one interaction or something I can engulf myself into completely–if not lingering hands of wandering thoughts. I still make it work.
    • I’m passionate and talkative, I’m a proud advocate for mental health and recovery. I’m able to explore a lot of this with online creativity and in person compatibility.
    • I get easily distracted when I’m discussing something or trying to listen and other background noise gets introduced. I have a harder time, as of late, filtering out what’s actually happening around me (I have terrible senses of self-awareness, like, physically speaking) between what I’m trying to pay attention to or ingest (metaphorically speaking).
    • I get anxious when it comes to driving in unfamiliar places. It’s something that I’m working on, by going to….familiar places. Ahaha. It’s a work in progress.
    • I’m active in my work to help dispel stigma in regards to mental health.
    • I’m a lot more open. Again, I don’t worry what other people may think of me. I’m not the best at consciously being aware of body language cues and then interpreting or acting in regards to those conclusions going forwards.
    • I blog, I create, I write fanfic, articles, lots of things.
    • I’m an expert in my lived experiences
    • I maintain my stability and recovery daily
    • I do like 5 different places of tracking information regarding my moods and behaviors and general to do’s and how things are going stuff.
    • I like to do random acts of kindness to strangers and friends
    • I’m a major MCU fan, I have big dreams and integrate myself well with those around me.

So, I think that’s a pretty good list!! That was easier to think up…

Now, let’s compare:

Who Am I At Work? (Amaryllis)

  • I’m anxious. I don’t know what I’m doing a lot of the time.
  • I’m stiff physically, I’ll either be standing awkwardly or sitting nervously, leaning forwards on my knees. I hold my tension in my shoulders and I’m physically exhausted (as well as emotionally drained) by the end of my 8 hour shift.
  • I’m worried. I hope that I’m doing the right thing. I do ask here and there if it’s of particular need or importance.
  • I don’t–can’t–self-disclose. This is a HUGE one for me, such a contrast with this and the advocacy above. I had to learn and re-define what “private” versus “public” information meant to be. Like, “private/personal” vs “public”. It seems still odd to me even now but I do see why it’s so important. It also feels like hiding a part of myself. I don’t bring up mental health stuff at work. (I work in a residential for trauma informed care of youth between ages 5 and 12).
  • I have been working there for 3 months, which is the longest I’ve gone in a long time at any job.
  • I have excellent, validating, encouraging, presentable and enthusiastic co-workers. I think the co-worker environment really adds to the experience of my work.
  • I use my hand sanitizer (I have plenty now, ahaha) when I want to sanitize my hands but also to help ground me.
  • I feel like I’m tiptoeing and walking on eggshells–afraid that someone is going to ask me to do something I’ve never done before and that I’ll fail or be fired for it. I guess, I feel internally based pressure. Like I’m supposed to do something a certain way but I either forget (which happens a lot, I have to repeat things for hours on shift in my head so that I remember to go back and do them (writing it down helps, too)) or I haven’t done it before or I have to ask someone else.
  • I lack confidence. Even though I AM a staff, I look to others for approval. I’m uncertain in my speech and body language. I don’t have a good idea of what script I should be using. I get better when I observe my co-workers and add in their perspectives to my own work.
  • I’m not versatile enough. I don’t tune my approach to kids based on each kid. I have been able to discover that I CAN be stern and not, demanding, but something similar to that. So when I need to, I can. It’s just it takes me a lot longer to get to that point.
  • I have instincts that I observe but 95% of the time I don’t voice them.
  • I wait for others to lead rather than taking the lead myself. (This will come with experience, in fact, most of this will!).
  • I work best one to one rather than juggling all the tasks of multiple kids and situations occurring.
  • I don’t know how much the kids respect me, to be honest. I think I flounder when I’m rarely alone with them.
  • I ask, not tell. “Can you do…?” “You okay?” “Which X would you like to use?” etc. I basically don’t tell them what to do, I ask them what to do. Which isn’t super helpful.
  • I have a soft, dainty approach. I’ll likely never be as stern as Devern, my co-worker, my supervisor said and there’s a time and place to be less stern, that I can make it work for me either way, and that some kids will gravitate more towards me if I have that approach
  • I struggle a little with group groups because I talk more than I’m meant to, ahaha.
  • I don’t like, and I’ve been this about other jobs before (P2P mainly), being overseen by a higher up because it freaks me out and I’m afraid I’ll do something wrong and I don’t know, I’m not sure what the fear is there. But I feel like I’m trying to be careful but probably over-compensating. Like I feel I need to make more of a good impression, you know?
  • Trying not to take things personal is interesting. A few times I’ve let it roll off of me, but I also don’t deal a lot of with this, either. I think. Hm.
  • I’m afraid of getting MAP certified and having that level of responsibility (so I’ve been avoiding it) as well as the driving on off-grounds, which I still haven’t done, but am worried each time that that’ll be the day to. :/
  • I need to review more of my notes and the restraint stances (something I’ve not been reflecting on, etc.)
  • TO EVEN OUT THIS LIST: Here are some of my strengths. I bring to the table more knowledge about coping strategies, breathing techniques and grounding techniques. I can validate. I can recognize where I’ve gone wrong, when I have, and work towards correcting it. I’m nurturing. I’m polite. I’m still learning. I improve daily (although I don’t work every day). I recharge. I’m able to have perspective. I like the cleaning the kitchen type stuff, let’s me think for a bit. I’m getting more and more used to the routine. Even when I have a tough shift, I look forward to coming back and trying again. I stick with my tasks and see them through. I’m persistent.
  • Also, if I’m having a particular anxious or hard time I remind myself of the estimated time commitment I’ve made with this particular job. It’s not my end goal and that helps to ease my mind a bit. Remembering that there’s more I want to do and one day I’ll get to do them. 🙂


And honestly?

I think that list is plenty fine. Yeah, I just needed to get that all out. I have a LOT of work to do, as can be seen through this outpouring of words. But I’ve picked up another shift during the school week (they moved me from Fri evenings to Sat evenings) so that should help get me more exposure and building up the rapports with the kids.

All right, that’s all I have for you guys for now.

If you want to be extra fancy:

You guys remember Recovery Home, right?

Check out my featured column on the Oddball Magazine all about it! The Prologue. 🙂 This article is an introduction to what Recovery Home is all about as well as background on myself and yeah. Give it a read and leave a comment!! 🙂 ❤

I will be writing Chp 1 this week. Comes out bi-weekly! I also hear I’ll be getting paid on Fri, whoo.

Okay, I do have to go now though. I hope that you appreciated this blog post, even if it was only to see me rag on myself about how I’m doing things, ahaha. I definitely have LOTS to improve on, and I have to trust the process that it’ll all work itself out soon. Are there particular things that you struggle with in your career? What helps you move past them?

Again, it’s not necessarily “good” or “bad” for me to have such a distinct difference between who I am in two different settings. It’s natural to compartmentalize ourselves depending on who we’re with or where we are. I still get my work done even when I’m faking it til I make it. I stick to my tasks and see them through. I think, if nothing else, this is very fascinating and the biggest difference happens when I get home from work and hug Mokeys and just…re-enter my sphere again. It’s interesting, I think.

Any who, I’ll let you go, now. 🙂

Hope you have a wonderful weekend/mid-week ahead!!!

❤ ❤ ❤


Why Are You So Kind?

Be Brave, Be Kind - THUMB 2 - BLUE HAIR - 12.18.19

Made on DesignCap–another graphic design website I will be reviewing. 🙂 ❤

Your parents don’t fight. Your parents aren’t divorced. You’ve never been in the system… So you can’t understand. You’re not me, you don’t know what it’s like…. That’s probably why you’re so kind and compassionate, because you haven’t been through what I have….

—-  Anonymous

I was working at my job, Amaryllis, about a week ago. I picked up a couple of extra shifts with the holiday season going on, whereas I primarily and exclusively only work Friday’s.

It was after doing phone calls with one of the youth when the paraphrased discussion took place. I, of course, can’t go into the details of their history and their story (hell, it’s only theirs to tell if they so wish to) but I can talk about what this sprouting plant begged my attention for: why am I so kind?

How much of ourselves are a product of our family? Our environment? Our journey onwards?

It’s true that problems that occur in our childhoods can bleed and linger on into adulthood, I think anyone who’s been through trauma can tell you that.

And I think there’s a bigger question in play with this: how can one identify the root cause to why they believe in the good of humanity? The good of the world? That nice and good people out there exist? Let alone being one of those people, yourself?

I think it begs the question: people who go through traumatic experiences can react one of two ways (a bit all or nothing, I’ll admit): they can grow from it and be empathetic towards others or they can let it color their vision and take out their angry anguish out on the world surrounding them (and arguably, towards themselves as well).

Who decides which way a person will go? Who says? Who holds the key–the power? The control?

Again, I don’t really know the answer to these questions. I guess, in truth, I’m just someone asking them.

It’s said that we are sometimes born into vulnerabilities to certain conditions. That our environment can pull out additional vulnerabilities or mute others. That our family life may influence other characteristics and behaviors than we ever truly realize the full potential of. Sometimes the same two people who go through a traumatic event can still come out perfectly healthy or uniquely ill. But they both went through the same thing. So, what gives? Why did one person develop a condition and the other didn’t?

Again, unanswerable questions that could take years of ruminating and thinking on without getting much further than that.

All I know is that sometimes life gives us the shit stick.

We don’t ever choose for it to happen, it’s just handed to us. We’re expected, as per the rules of life, to figure out how we want to react to it. We do, inherently, control our own actions.

So, let’s circle back to the start of this conversation–moving beyond the why it’s happened and how it’s happened and instead focus on the concept of pain.

Here’s a pretty commonly used, easy to aggravate the person you’re coaxing into choosing life and choosing to “look on the bright side”:

“I understand.”

But do you? Do you really?

I think a lot of people forget that empathy exists. Sympathy is feeling sorry for another individual (something more at arms length away); empathy is feeling sorry WITH them, beside them, amongst them.

I think especially when it comes to trauma, tough family lives and general mental health or physical health conditions running rampant, that it’s easy to feel alone and easy to be upset and easy to think that no one else in the world knows how deeply you’re feeling pain.

And, maybe they won’t know. Maybe they don’t care to know.

But statistically speaking, that you’re the one human in the billions of years that the Earth has existed and that people have been alive for, that people will continue to be alive for, that you’re the ONLY one feeling as you do? It’s unlikely. That NO ONE has ever experienced similar pains before? Again, unlikely. (Also, this is probably just as invalidating so stay clear of this concept too).

The point is, I don’t believe someone has had to have gone through 100% the same thing in order to feel something for another human being. I think as humans, we are so diverse and different and individually made that we can never truly understand another’s experience. Not completely.

But we can understand a fraction of it. If we can’t know what it’s like to have gone through something, we can ask. We can look towards the individual and see how badly their pain is affecting them and from there, draw our own conclusions.


“It’s not about how bad the situation is, it’s about how badly it’s affecting someone”

So, yeah, maybe no one will ever know 100%. Yet if they can know 50%? 80%? Would that change mean it all?

But, alas, I went on another tangent. I think it’s important to know what validation is versus what it’s not. The “I understand” card is a fickle creature. Not even using it as a starting point is good because people can get immediately defensive even if that isn’t what you’re trying to say. And sometimes it’s just as important, if not more important, to recognize that this is where the person is at in their life and to acknowledge how shitty that must be for them and that they can take the moment to observe their emotions, thoughts and physiological changes in their bodies and then, only then, dive into problem-solving and trying to “fix” someone else.

Because maybe we don’t have to fix someone. Maybe we can just say, “Hey, I see you’re suffering. That sucks. What can I do to help?” And if there isn’t anything or if they can’t think of anything, then just be there with them while the pain ebbs away, as it will naturally do.

So we return once again to this integral question:

Why are you so kind?

Because, it’s true: I’ve had a very supportive family life. An often validating and important family life. Even enabled to some respects. I didn’t grow up within the system, I grew up in a nurturing environment. I grew up in a steady paycheck household. Both my parents went to college and got their degrees. I grew up with a caring and dutiful, Spanish grandmother (who would smoosh spiders or ants with her hands, as ruthless as can be!). I went to my doctor’s appointments. Had surgeries. Went to school. Wasn’t so negatively impacted by bullies or anything. So what happened? What, what went “wrong?”

I don’t know, I don’t have a genetic predisposition towards mental health conditions. I don’t have any trauma that I’ve really been through. I barely skate across living with BPD.

All I know is that I went to college and the first few years were fine (all things considered) and then everything kinda snowballed out from under me. I was so creative back in the day, back in high school without mental health conditions, I was so creative with original characters and original works.

Then my mental health took a nose dive and I lost a lot of that, I still haven’t really gained it back, unfortunately. I’m not, I’m not even sure that I can get it back, sadly.

I began my recovery journey the most in 2015. I started on a round of medications. I had to learn what psychiatric emergency’s were. I self-harmed, I attempted suicide. I went to the hospital. I went inpatient. I went to the OCD-Institute for 5 weeks.

In 2016, I began my advocacy journey with NAMI MA and the newspaper. In fall 2016, I relapsed after 9 months out of the hospital. I dealt again with suicidal ideation.

In 2017, I was hospitalized 5 times (due most often to the suicidality, of course) the most in any year thus far. I was more unstable than stable during this time. I received ECT in September to cope with the many symptoms I was experiencing that was making my life utter, utter hell.

In 2018, I relapsed again, this time with depression. I experienced my darkest ever days. I started at a day program. I started DBT-Intensive there. Slowly, I came out of it.

In 2019, near the very end, I’m almost 2 years free from the hospital. I’m more stable than not every day. I use my DBT skills daily to upkeep my recovery–often in more ways than I truly realize. I’ve taught a Peer to Peer class. I’ve been on a podcast. I’ve been making Youtube videos, tweeting and growing my audience in multiple sites. I’ve been actively updating and writing fan fiction. I walked for graduation back in May. I got a job. Everything is looking up. (And when I have a  bad day at work, I can see it as a bad day rather than a bad job or a bad life. I can separate a lot more than I used to).

So, why am I kind?

Maybe I haven’t been through the very same things you have.

Yet I know what pain feels like. I know what feeling alone in the world feels like. I know how tempting it can be to numb the hurt. I know how fast the brain can jump from helpful to unhealthy.

I know that I cannot take away your pain. And I know that I can ease the burden of it.

I know that my story matters. I know that what I’ve been through can help someone else.

And truly, if I could change it all?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

There’s an interesting take on living with a mental health condition that I’ve realized over the course of my journey: I can be just as valuable, if not more so, having had experiences with this that new opportunities can open up hundreds of doors for me than whatever is shut away.

Getting to where I am now in my journey has been a lot of hard work. I don’t intend to mess with that any time soon. I’ve made many, many strides. And I know what pain is, because I’ve been through it. And I know what freedom is, having come out the other side.

I’m no longer as plagued by my demons as I was before. My tolerance for pain has increased tremendously. When I struggle, hell, I struggle. But I’ve found the way through it. I’ve found the way to get through that pain.


Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.

I’m kind, I think, because I choose to be. Because I choose to see the good in people, in the world, in mankind. I believe the best in others, and hell, yeah, that’s naive, but for the ones that doesn’t apply to, I choose to focus more on how those of us like myself exist too.

Because, yes the world is fucked up, painful, angry and misunderstood.

And there are still good people out there.

Because 50 people are assholes doesn’t negate or erase that 1 kind, kind individual wanting the best for everyone (and taking care of themselves appropriately).

I’d like to be that one. I’d like to be somebody. Someone to have changed something, for the better. Someone to have overcome adversity. Someone to have a voice, loud and clear. Someone to be kind to those I come into contact with and reach those whom I may not be able to knock on their door individually, one by one. I’d like to be a force to be reckoned with.

I’m kind because it matters. I’m kind because it’s who I am. I’m kind especially because I know how the simplest of gestures can mean the entire world when we’re deeply, deeply struggling.

Sometimes it’s enough to smile at a stranger. Give someone a hug. Give someone a card. Tell someone they’re courageous. Tell someone they are loved.

Because we never really know when someone else is gonna need to hear that. And sometimes if we wait too long, sometimes we lose that chance to ever get to say it again.


Stay safe, peeps.

xxx ❤ ❤ ❤

PS Music listened to in this crafted piece: “Somebody’s Someone” by Daphne Willis

PPS Related watercoloring piece I did back in 2016 that I’ve mentioned briefly before on my blog but hope to dedicate a proper post to in the future:


Faults of Stability….

Stability: it’s great, it’s awesome, it’s healthy, it’s wonderful, it’s beautiful, it’s breath-taking, it’s heart-warming, it’s cozy, it’s comfortable, it’s skillful, it’s busy, it’s artsy, it’s creative, it’s high self-esteem, it’s doing activities, it’s pro-active, it’s…stability.

Instability entering the sphere of stability: it’s sadness. it’s not being able to cry when I really, really want to. it’s avoidance. it’s pushing away thoughts, pushing away feelings, pushing away urges, pushing away things that will help, things that COULD help, people that could help, resources that could help, pushing away, away, away. Instability is keeping things to myself. Trying to get through it myself. Alone.

But it’s hard.

Being stable for so long has come with new challenges I never imagined I would face.

Here’s a list of them:

  1. I can’t reach out for help, not in the same ways I once did.
    1. I’ve learned the difference between inappropriate people and places and appropriate people and places within my recovery journey. This means that I cannot reach out to people online because it is an INAPPROPRIATE people/place. But this doesn’t stop other people from doing it. And this doesn’t stop me from seeing other people do it. So I have my judgments, judgments I am more and more often silent about and keeping to myself. The Internet is an inappropriate place because the people on it are NOT professionals, not guaranteed to reach out in a timely fashion (often I’m searching for immediate assistance so anything longer than a minute has my brain telling me bullshit), not guaranteed to be kind, not guaranteed to be helpful, not guaranteed to be what I NEED. This comes with extra issues:
    2. If I can’t reach out online, who can I reach out to?
    3. I don’t know because no one seems to be appropriate people or places. I can’t call a hotline without having memories of the past slap me in the face. Friends from my day program, Passages, are a no-go because they have their own issues and don’t need mine on top of them. I can’t reach out on Twitter because I’m supposed to keep up this image of stability and appropriate versus inappropriate behaviors and it’s a sliding slope that I know all too well. I could use a chat service but I’d rather talk to someone which leads me back to the first problem and then I judge myself for not being able to handle it myself, which makes me wonder what the hell I’m going to do soon when I’m no longer at program, when I’m in therapy regularly again, when I’m completely safe but dealing with a lot of tumultuousness and then I just don’t reach out to anyone except my Mom when she checks up on me and is worried and I BLAH it all out to her. This helps. But she’s not always going to be there. And then I’m faced with the same self-judgments and being stuck all over again.
  2. I’m 100% safe with all the urges, thoughts and emotions that would have led to behaviors in the past but currently are not.
    1. Which means I’m using my DBT skills, which is great, I’m just not aware of it or thinking of it as I’m doing them but it sucks because when they don’t go by in 15 minute intervals I start looking at days at a time of issues and other ways where I’m not using skills and am practicing more avoidance behaviors and prioritizing yet at the same time still maybe avoiding other larger tasks I need to do? I don’t know how it all works. It sucks. Big time.
    2. I’m safe but I don’t know what to do. Does this mean I can’t reach out for help? Do I need help? Or is this all a by-product of my brain? I hate this.
  3. I can’t go to the hospital.
    1. I mean, I could, but I wouldn’t be hospitalized. In avoiding my thoughts, I’m avoiding in some respects my urges and I know I WON’T act on them but then that’s another resource that I would have had in the past but can’t access now. So, another burned bridge, apparently.
  4. I don’t know where to draw the line: when do I need extra help and when can I handle it on my own?
    1. When does the issue become a larger issue that I need other people’s brains, eyes and help with and when does it become something I can self-regulate with and handle myself? I don’t know. I’ve not been in this terrain before. Being from SUCH a stable place but then facing instability within it. Not for longer than 20 minutes in a one day span. This has been multiple days, a week or so, and encroaching into a longer span of time. I honestly have no freakin clue what to do and I don’t know how to help myself. I just want to sit here and avoid and hell, I’m SITTING here which is a MAJOR step, even if I (haven’t):
      1. Showered
      2. Combed my hair (it’s all in knots)
      3. Brushed my teeth
      4. Reached out for help
      5. Gone to Passages
      6. Ate properly
      7. Overslept
      8. Used Youtube
      9. Avoided even going to the bathroom
      10. Laid in bed from 10a – 4:30p
      11. Didn’t go to work for P2P
      12. Shut my phone off to not receive ANY alerts
      13. Didn’t email anyone
      14. Didn’t get a call from program
      15. Trying to blog
      16. Trying to understand, cope… do something
      17. Trying to make next step plans for today, tomorrow, the week, etc.
      18. Thinking of going to the library
      19. Really wanting a glass of Mountain Dew
      20. Yeah
    2. I feel like there’s expectations that I’d need to know when to handle it myself and when to get support. I just don’t know where that line is drawn. When are the signs there that I need extra help? That I need to self-regulate? What are the signs? Because I don’t know them!
  5. I censor more than I would used to.
    1. I try to keep up appearances. When I’m not doing well, I go silent. I try to handle it and not tell anyone about it, because see previous issues. I try not to let anyone know about it, which is easier because online it’s not appropriate but even in real life I do it, too. So then it just builds and builds and builds and that’s just it, for right now. Also, that “used to” should it be “use to” or is “used to” okay? Ugh. This is what happens when I’m not in school anymore.
    2. The problem with going silent is that it impedes the fact that I have such a small audience (depending on the social media platform).
  6. I speak into The Void.
    1. There’s not many, sometimes not any, other people’s support or validation (I know I shouldn’t be relying on this either though) or perspective or help or comments or thoughts or suggestions for me to take into consideration. So I’m essentially speaking into The Void, it’s just myself echoing back. Which isn’t all bad (I want to do a future blog post about this, but when I’m back in stable mindset) because then I’m not developing unhealthy relationships and I CAN talk myself into helpful and healthy things myself because not everyone is going to be there all the time but I will be. So I have to help myself out. Maybe more than I do or am doing right now.
  7. I shut down.
    1. Like turning off my phone, not emailing, not telling anyone, just blogging here in my room with all my lights on that I never turned on myself, wanting a drink of soda and to eat something and to be off my period and be okay again. Kinda like waiting it out but being a little tiny bit more productive.
  8. I forget what it’s like to struggle.
    1. So I can’t relate when people are struggling more with their mental health condition. I’m just on such a different plane that I can’t empathize. And when I can empathize, because I am struggling, I hate it and resist it and refuse to acknowledge it.
  9. When I do struggle, I listen or crave old, sad, familiar songs.
    1. One More Light was definitely on my mind today, I think I would have cried if I heard it but I went with “Goodbye I’m Sorry” instead. Some mood music and some relatability there. It’s also nice without being AS nice as Kamikaze but still enjoyable in some ways. Odd ways, maybe.
  10. I struggle with different things.
      1. Nowadays it’s Internet consumption. Nowadays it’s pulling and picking. Nowadays it’s the fact that I can’t get myself over the blockade that is trying to read a book which is isolating, frustrating and seemingly impenetrable. So that sucks.
  11. I make sad lists.
    1. Like, this one.
    2. It reminds me of a venting session and I don’t know how healthy or unhealthy that is for me.
    3. I have vibes to write some fanfic
    4. I also want to color and listen to scary stories and figure out my own path.
  12. I get through it, one way or another, but always safely, now at least.
    1. I don’t know how or when or in what way exactly but I know this will pass. I think I can do this part now:


How am I going to get back to Stability:

  • I have to eat a meal. Properly.
  • I have to go to sleep early (not past 11p)
  • I have to spend some time at a library (it’s out of the house at least)
  • I have to post this
  • I have to shower
  • I have to change my outfit
  • I have to change my pad, seriously, not sorry.
  • I have to consider going to program tomorrow as a make-up day or figuring out some other exception
  • I have to attend my appointment tomorrow (psychiatry)
  • I have to read a book
  • I have to journal properly
  • I have to watercolor a coloring page
  • I have to watch a movie
  • I have to include enjoyable activities into my life again
  • I have to do what’s best for me in whatever way I think is going to be best for me
  • I have to speak up
  • I have to voice my concerns and my issues
  • I have to plan ahead with up to 3 alternative plans
  • I have to do opposite action
  • I have to reach out for support
  • I have to download new music
  • I have to film a video
  • I have to do something creative
  • I have to write a new chapter of fanfic (whichever one I choose)
  • I have to be honest
  • I have to listen to music
  • I have to help myself. For myself. Sometimes just myself.


And that’s where I go from here.

I’ll see you all on the other side. Thanks for reading.

❤ ❤ ❤

Graphic Design Website Review: Visme


Hot off the press and take #2 on writing this post, this post will feature various creations I’ve made using the website! Enjoy!!!

The Visme Review on RecoverytoWellness is finally here!

It’s taken me a few hours and many renditions and re-rendering renditions (and then the next day, fuuu) to get this post out to you all but I hope it finds you all well. To the artists, creators and graphic design whizzes in you, I bring to ye a graphic design website review for:

In this post, I hope that you’ll learn from each of these components of my review:

      • The Origins of How I was Introduced to Visme
      • Pricing, Plans and Perks
      • The Mechanics of Visme (How Does It Work?)
      • My Thoughts & Impressions. What Works and What Pitfalls Exist For Me
      • The Competition Between Graphic Design Websites
        • Examples of my designs (dispersed throughout)
        • Any valuable links that Visme itself hosts (throughout)
      • My recommendation score

So, sit back, buckle in and let’s jump into this!!!

Part 1: The Origins of How I was Introduced to Visme

So, I can’t believe it’s been THIS long ago (I swear, 2019 went by in a blur, most of which I don’t remember, ahaha) but I was originally approached by a candidate of Visme back in July 2019. They saw that I had tweeted about my longest running graphic design website account that I use to make all of my Youtube thumbnails, blog post thumbs and the like (Canva–which I hope to create its own review for some time in the future) and remarkably, they contacted me via my blog’s Contact page (**hint, hint, if you want me to review anything of yours or check something out, feel free to message me!).

After linking me to this helpful video which depicts what Visme is and what makes it different to other similarly based websites:

we wound up discussing their gratuitous interest in having me try it out so that I could review it here for you all (at least, I hope there’s an “all” of you out there, otherwise, I’m talking to myself which would be quite silly–“One day! One day I will be discovered!”) to consume, consider checking out or creating for yourself!!


And thus, my adventures, journey and creative explorations with Visme began!

Over the course of these past 5 months, off and on, I’ve created some wonderful designs or have had the chance to at least START some (we all know how forgetful and absent and avoidant I can be, after all) and they, early on, had offered to boost my account from the general perspective to a premium perspective, just so I could offer you guys more details and information from what I tinkered with, what options I had and all things from that conceptualization.

So, over those 5 months, that’s what I did, and that’s what’s set in stone my being able to tell you guys about that! Therefore, without further ado, we shall explore what I uncovered, the things I made (some are still works in progress, just FYI) and what my overall opinion of them is, in hopes that some of you who may be willing to create artsy things can check them out or if you know of other graphic design based websites that you’ve tried, you can leave them in the comments and we could make a little review series out of it! Hooray to the functionality of the Internet! 😀 ❤


Oops, I just realized now that I made 2 ThTh9’s, I’ll have to fix that later, but this is one I made on Visme! Free jar/fairy light images. 🙂

Part 2: Pricing, Plans & Perks

Here is a link to Visme’s official page discussing all the pricing of plans and perks for each type of category whether you’re looking for an individual basis, a business basis or an education basis.

For each category (the three I listed above) there are three options to choose from at different rates that gives you different sets of perks. I’d suggest looking at their website in full rather than reading this section here (although, keep reading, too!!) because theirs is a lot more interactive, loads easily and has a more striking visual caption than this plain text.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure which one Premium falls under for the time that I was using the site, but it offered a lot of access to more templates, more configurations and more, more, more. We’ll get into that in a bit though (see the section where I discuss my thoughts and the mechanics of the site itself).

RtW-Youtube-Banner-NEW-8.26.19 (3)

This sleek, professional and phenomenal creation is my newest logo/representing image to the introduction of my Youtube channel’s videos, the icon for this blog and the banner for my Youtube channel. Made in August 2019.

Part 3: The Mechanics of Visme (How Does It Work?)

So let’s set the scene: I have an account on Visme and I want to create something.

First, I have to identify what I want to create. So, I go to the Create button. I then am shown various options ranging from: presentations, infographics, documents, various types of printables, web graphics (and their own various types), social media graphics and/or my own custom dimensions. Of course, social media graphics are further organized into these types: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Pintrest and Instagram. In fact, if you want to see a more stylized play by play of what you can create here is this helpful link!

So, say, for this example’s sake, that I choose:

A template for a presentation, whichever one catches my eye.

Here’s what I CAN do:

    • I can upload my own photograph/image for the project OR choose from various free images that I can use by typing in what I want into the search bar
    • I can work with icons or shapes supplied by Visme, often through searching or the category they may be in (Both of these are found under: Graphics)
    • I can tinker around with the basics of the program: headers and texts; stats and figures; graphics and text or diagrams
    • I have plenty of font styles that I can play with and choose from
    • I can change the color of the font through a small choice of colors or through the larger color wheel
    • I can add data
    • I can add media
    • I can change my theme colors
    • I can save the project to whatever fits my aesthetic
    • I can download the project in whichever way I see fit

Those are the basic, bare bone components to what Visme offers, as best as I could describe it. 🙂

**Additional Section**:

Hi again, this edited section is to inform ye all on a few other scopes of interest that you may be thinking up in your noggin that you’d like to use Visme for but that I didn’t really go over in depth above. So! Visme can be used to create flyers, scatter plots and social media graphics!

  1. Check out this link for making graphs and charts
  2. Check out this link for FLYERS and other printables
  3. This one makes SCATTER PLOTS
  4. This one you can publish SURVEY RESULTS


Part 4: My Thoughts & Impressions. What Works and What Pitfalls Exist For Me

I don’t know what it is exactly about Visme, but I find that when I have started previous projects, especially within this review, I get really overwhelmed and I have a great idea at first and then somewhere along the production line I get an incredibly large art block and then can no longer create what it is that I wanted to. It’s sooooo frustrating.

Essentially, I go from FRESH IDEAS to NOTHING–really, really fast and it’s really, really irritating and discouraging. However, when I AM able to create with Visme I like what comes out! And I am able to tinker and move with it more than I can on sites such as Canva. I guess we have to take the downfalls with the climbs.

Here’s some of my thoughts in the process originally written from the last section:

I click on whichever one my heart desires and for whichever one my artistic soul is speaking through to me from. **Let’s be careful in our choices though. If I choose to create a custom dimension creation I do NOT receive a template (I suppose, understandably) for it, unless I’m ready to add in all that I want to to it specifically. Personally, this feels a bit overwhelming so I’d rather just work with a template, once I pick one from any of the categories, so that I have some form of a baseline that isn’t just completely white and blank and distressing.

I want to do something artsy, so let’s see which style I go for. Something colorful, maybe. Something simple, for sure.

I go with a black&white photograph presentation because it speaks to my soul and I can see my own black&white photos shining here.

…Then I get frustrated because my creative juices all just flew away like ravens wings batting the air and I can’t think of what to create. Pretty much, the untold story of this entire post….


But yeah, I find that I get a lot of ideas or a really great mental image of what I want to create and then somewhere along trying to find the bits and pieces the dream shatters and then I have nothing left. It’s so disheartening and it doesn’t happen as often on other websites so I don’t know what it is exactly that gets in my way, other than my own brain. Sigh.



For example, this attempt at creating…it has so much potential…but it’s just not there, you know?


Part 5: The Competition Between Graphic Design Websites

Even with this cautionary tale, I do still enjoy Visme. I find there exists some more freedom on it and using it than with Canva. Even if I feel I’m more productive and out-put faster on Canva.

I guess, in many ways, the previous section bleeds into this one, in that the competition that exists between businesses is very, very real. I don’t think I run into the creative block process as much with Canva, and maybe it’s because Canva still offers more to templates than what I feel Visme offers when I first get started trying to change a project into what I want it to be. (As in, what objects I can use, the photographs, the free sources, etc.)

Both sites offer printing availability which is wonderful, although I’ve only ever used this option with Canva and not Visme, so I can’t express too much on how that all works and how it comes out quality-wise.


Part 6: My Recommendation Score

Overall, I feel that my experience with Visme has been nice. Aggravating at times and nice all the same. I may have more projects that I’ve abandoned than what I’ve created but maybe that’s just a depiction of where I’ve been mentally rather than a direct reflection on the site and the business as a whole.

I think Visme would be particularly helpful for students and businesses and wanting to show and create informational brochures in an effective, sleek and crafty manner.

I think places like Canva work more with a creative edge, with templates that are well defined and curated and can be minimally edited and changed and still work as its own thing.

Visme, I feel, is more for someone who has either less of a perfect vision going in or knows more about how they want to convey their information than just to create something different, you know?

Overall, with all of this said, I’d say my recommendation score for Visme, purely from my own experiences is rated as:


When I can create on it, it’s lovely.

When I can’t, it takes me forever and I get really frustrated with it and acquire so many strange, strange art blocks.

I’m probably more of a Canva girl than I thought going in HOWEVER it was super, super nice to try something new, something different and something still worthwhile and fun to play with.

So I mean, you can make your own decisions up of what Visme has to offer you and what you can potentially expect if you do decide to use it for your own craft. It’ definitely worth a shot and hell, maybe you can give me some pointers on what to create next or where to go for other services and everything to that nature.

Overall, I hope that you enjoyed my review!!! I wanted to be honest and fair and real and authentic and I think all my work from yesterday and today shows that. I really worked hard on this post so if you could comment on it or share it around that’d be sooooo great!!! Let me know what you think of Visme now as someone from the inside (myself) who used it and if your interest has now piqued to use it yourself!

This is my first real review on a product so I hope it read all right! I’m sure there will be other opportunities to hone my craft in the future. ❤ There’s a first time for everything! Ahaha.

Thanks again for reading, visiting and liking or commenting!

See you all in the next one, which will be soon! ❤ ❤ ❤

And here are images, though they make ME cringe because they were placed on hiatus and weren’t “finished” and meant to be “seen” yet that I’ve decided to go all in and place here REGARDLESS, these are drafts that I’ve made, some are banners I did for someone else and some are ones I was trying to do for the blog here as well: (I hate how wordy this is and it makes me soooo frustrated. Ugh. Sorry that this review isn’t much better!! :/ I really, really tried.)


Sept. 2019. REBRANDED for a friend on Twitter, this is the old version.


July 2019, just playing around, seeing what Visme does. My own photograph.


OG for a friend, abandoned soon after. Sept. 2019


Dec. 2019. Started getting closer, then hit the wall again. D:


Sep. 2019, another banner attempted.


An abandoned thumb that went out of season, to be honest.

Thank you so much for reading!!

And thank you to Visme, for reaching out to me and letting me play with your website!! I hope this review is okay, I really did try, it just proved to be more difficult than I imagined it to be! Story of my creating on there, ahaha. Honestly though, I really appreciate your kindness and letting me have some creative expressions on your site. Sending you this as soon as I can! Best, ❤ ❤ ❤

Music that helped create this post:

“Rescue” by Lauren Daigle; “Broken and Beautiful” by Kelly Clarkson; “1800 273 8255” by Logic & COVER by Lynnea M….

Oh, How My Journey Has Evolved | Thoughts on Recovery & Music

create. inspire. love. - TWITTER HEADER NEW - 7.4.19 (2)

My current Twitter header since July 2019. ❤ I chose this photo to represent where I’m headed in my recovery and because it visually conceptualizes everything I want to focus on going forwards. Photograph is from uni back in like 2013 or so.

Dear Reader,

I thought of making this blog post as early as September 2019. I wanted to revisit not only where I’ve been but more importantly where I am now and where I plan to go from here. These 5 songs are only but a snippet of my journey, as you may know how impactful and reverberating music has been in my life, my art and my recovery. Music is a powerful force that allows us to feel understood, emote and to tell a story. It’s amazing how we can find other like-minded individuals, a reflection of our souls in others and this post, I hope, will highlight that further. I want to write this post as a PSA about suicide prevention, what’s helped me the most and how I can relate to these 5 particular songs, share the lyrics and their meaning with you all and place a thumbtack on my current experiences so that one day, in the future, I can look back on this post and smile, knowing I’ve done all I could and that that mattered most. Without further ado, and an activation warning in general, watch out for the topic of suicide and suicide prevention will be discussed in this post. Tread carefully.

Sending you light and love, and I’ll see you at the very end.

— Recovery Raquel ❤ ❤ ❤

Song #1:

  “1800 273 8255” by Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Gosh, do I love this song. To describe a little about where this song reached me, where it transported me and where I see it today, I have to give you all some backstory. Although, to be honest, I stated it pretty well here: Newspaper Article, StWS: Give it Time (2017)

I first heard this song when I was on an inpatient unit back in June-July 2017. I heard it on the radio that someone was listening to from down the hall, hearing the words clear as day and crying to myself as I stared out the gated window, feelings washing over me as the lyrics rang around in my mind.

If you don’t already know, the title of the song itself: 1800 273 8255 is the USA’s nationwide suicide prevention lifeline phone number. People who are struggling or know someone who is can call for information, feedback and hopefully pulling someone away from or out of a crisis, no matter how temporary.

I’ve called this number many times. I’ve had my parents call it for me. But at the time, of 2017 and especially in Jan-Feb 2018, I could only relate to the song’s beginning, the struggle, the pain and the ambivalence. Deep into the throes of depression I genuinely thought life wouldn’t get better. I would listen to this song over and over, hoping desperately that things would change, that I would become myself again.

I been on the low
I been taking my time
I feel like I’m out of my mind
It feel like my life ain’t mine
Who can relate?

I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die today
I just wanna die
I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive
I just wanna die
And let me tell you why

All this other shit I’m talkin’ ’bout they think they know it
I’ve been praying for somebody to save me, no one’s heroic
And my life don’t even matter
I know it I know it I know I’m hurting deep down but can’t show it
I never had a place to call my own
I never had a home
Ain’t nobody callin’ my phone
Where you been? Where you at? What’s on your mind?
They say every life precious but nobody care about mine

This song spoke the words out of my mind and out of my mouth. I resonated with it deeply as I struggled, struggled, struggled. But it got better, as it always gets better. It’s a powerful song which sets a dark tone starting out yet brightens at the middle and especially at the end.

I want you to be alive
You don’t gotta die today
You don’t gotta die
I want you to be alive
I want you to be alive
You don’t gotta die
Now lemme tell you why

It’s the very first breath
When your head’s been drowning underwater
And it’s the lightness in the air
When you’re there
Chest to chest with the lover
It’s holding on, though the road’s long
And seeing light in the darkest things
And when you stare at your reflection
Finally knowing who it is
I know that you’ll thank God you did

Not only does this song share the darkness, it spreads the light ever farther. It’s amazing to know that others out there may be struggling, not that that’s a great thing in and of itself, but rather that these thoughts, these emotions, these experiences, can often times be universal, not caring for the ethnicity, race, language, culture, age, sexuality, gender identity, socioeconomic status and more of the individuals it impacts. Whether that’s a person with lived experience, friends, families, strangers, loved ones, etc. Suicide can impact anyone at any time. It’s one of the more tragic causes of death and the hard reality is that it’s being sought after more and more these days. So some people can think it only happens to a few, that mental health isn’t as “serious” or “important” as other illnesses, and yeah, you can live in that fantasy world, but it’s just that: a fantasy. Suicide won’t go away the more that you ignore it. In fact, invalidating and shaming someone for experiencing hardships and mental health conditions and substance use disorders, only perpetuates the stigma, silence and shame of the conditions in which these individuals are living with. Shame thrives on silence.

Which is why people like myself aim to break the silence. We aim to tell others that it’s okay even though everything FEELS not okay, it’s okay. You can make it through these thoughts and back on the other side of life. It’s possible. Recovery is possible. Give it time, things will change. Suicidal crises are temporary. They are time limited. Just buy yourself one more second, one more minute, and the rest will turn into days, weeks and months. It’s possible. It’s so, so possible. It will require work and effort, and it will be the brightest, most impactful work that you do.

I know where you been, where you are, where you goin’
I know you’re the reason I believe in life
What’s the day without a little night?
I’m just tryna shed a little light
It can be hard
It can be so hard
But you gotta live right now
You got everything to give right now

I know the struggle. I know the pain is larger than everything right now. I know it’s hard to find any reason to keep on living, to keep on surviving, and I can tell you that it’s STILL out there, IN YOU, for a reason. You are never what happened to you, you are how you choose to get through it. Suicide can seem like the answer. It can seem like you weren’t cut out for living. That you may think others would be better off without you.


Your brain is lying to you. And I know how tempting and disillusioned we can all get when facing them day after day after day.

But I’m here to tell you that it gets better. It gets brighter again. That life changes, that circumstances change, that your tolerance for pain will increase, that you can go from thoughts everyday of suicide to little to none. You can change your responses to events that happen in your life. You can learn new coping strategies. You can put the bottle down. Put down the substances. Put away the Internet. You can do it.

I believe in you, and I always will.

I finally wanna be alive (Finally wanna be alive)
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die today
I don’t wanna die
Finally wanna be alive (Finally wanna be alive)
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die
I don’t wanna die
(No, I don’t wanna die)
(I just wanna live)
(I just wanna live)

Even though you may still have the thought of suicide, the image of it, that it may creep in in another way, it doesn’t mean that you have to act on it. A thought is just that: a thought. Thoughts are not actions. You can still be safe even when your mind is telling you otherwise. We can’t choose having a condition but we can choose how we respond to it. We can choose our actions. We can choose to live another day. To find hope, to find true freedom within this realm, to find purpose and understanding, love and acceptance. It’s out there. It’s waiting for us. We have to have faith in ourselves and in the process to be able to go out there and catch it.

Pain don’t hurt the same, I know
The lane I travel feels alone
But I’m moving ’til my legs give out
And I see my tears melt in the snow
But I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry anymore
I wanna feel alive
I don’t even wanna die anymore

And lastly, for this song, I will say this:

I went from chronic suicidal ideation over the course of four years. Today, 2019, I have little to none of those thoughts anymore. For my journey, finding purpose, advocacy, creativity, inspiration, the MCU and kindness has been essential. My journey isn’t over yet, far from it, there’s always more ways in which I can improve and cope and manage. Recovery will be a life-long commitment for me. But it’s there. It’s possible. I can work a job, I can get more experience in my field, and my first response to stress these days are to problem solve rather than take my own life. That’s huge. That’s HUGE. I still think of it here and there, intrusive OCD and all, but I don’t act on it. I don’t want to act on it. And even when I do, or I think I do, I persevere. I get through the urges. I write, I blog, I watch Youtube, I think of the next Marvel movie I want to see, the next book I want to read, the next person I could have the honor of impacting for the positive, the next great sunset, the next amazing video, the next recovery based project I can use to help others, and much, much more. It’s the little things and all the big things. It’s everything. Truly. Safety contracts were always helpful for me, and they saved my ass quite a few times. There’s some level of accountability there that keeps me going and preserving myself, ahaha.

And lastly, if you read my mental health based fan fiction story, you’ll have seen this song featured in this chapter: Distorted & Disordered – Chp 18

Song #2:

(COVER) “1800 273 8255” – Lynnea M.

I love Lynnea’s cover of this song that I hold so close and special to my heart and soul. Her angelic voice is perfect and I truly find myself seeing this song from a different perspective. After listening so many times to the original, it’s nice to have a fresh break with a cover that’s slightly different, slightly more emotive, slightly more…strong. I’ve listened to the original so much, it’s even on a CD I burned for myself, that I really want to add this edition to a new CD soon. The piano is a great touch too.

Also, if you want to see a little more about my story and journey you can check out this Youtube video I did where I incorporate this cover as well as my LONG version (short version to come soon) of my experiences with suicidal ideation and how I’ve gotten better.

Song #3:

“One More Light” by Linkin Park

This is a hard song to post. Harder to listen to. I almost cried a little hearing it again. It is a beautiful, beautiful song with a deep meaning and emotion. It’s just…too emotional for me.

Unfortunately I created a terrible relationship to this song when I was struggling the most in 2018. I still haven’t quite fixed that yet. Let’s jump right in (the quicker we can, the quicker we can move on):

Should’ve stayed, were there signs, I ignored?
Cannot I help you, not to hurt, anymore?
We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep
There are things that we can have, but can’t keep
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do (did)

Bear with me as I edit this song’s lyrics a little. I didn’t realize it was “can I help”, rather I thought and always heard it as “cannot help”. I also took out the “do” and made it into a past tense of “did”, as you saw.

Personally, I used this song when I was very, very, very low. As you may know, the singer of this song was from the band Linkin Park, name Chester Bennington, who sadly took his life in 2017.

In 2018, I listened to this song religiously. I’m sad to say that I used the knowledge of his passing and the theme of this song to encourage myself to take my own life. It was just so sad and tragic and horrible and at the time I thought it was the perfect ending to my own story. I wanted to send these lyrics to my friends over text as my final goodbye. I know, really fucked up, but that’s the history behind it for me.

It wasn’t always like that and maybe in the future it will change again, too. It is a lovely song and I think it has a powerful message of grief and coming to terms with trauma as well as wanting to be there for others who are struggling and to let them know they aren’t alone and that their existence in this world is ever, ever so needed. I can recognize that and realize this without always appreciating the finer details of this song. But, it’s a part of my story, regardless.

The reminders pull the floor from your feet

In the kitchen, one more chair than you need

Oh, and you’re angry, and you should be, it’s not fair

Just ’cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

I suppose I can see how it (this song) relates to more than suicide, rather death in all its ugliness in its entirety. I still don’t love it, though. But, we’ll move on….

Song #4:

“Goodbye (I’m Sorry)” by Jamestown Story

Aaaaa, Jamestown Story!!! I LOVE this song. I’ve been in love with it for years, despite how sad and heartbreakingly sad, to be honest, it is. I am completely in love with the instruments used, the production of it, the beat, the captivation of the words and the story it tells. I was honestly concerned for the musician for a while before I found out how/why the song was written.

I think, in general, it’s a good time to also mention that if you find anyone listening to any of these songs, or others that are concerning to you, that it’s so, so, soooo important to bring it up to them and ask if they’re okay! Having a conversation matters so much and what we listen to for music, or watch on TV or read as a book, etc., can be a mirrored reflection of where we feel we’re at in life. So it’s always important to ask if someone is okay, naming specific patterns of behavior or expressions of sadness and pain. You can tell them that you care, that you’re worried/concerned for them and assure them that you’ll be there, if you really can be, for help or to listen to them vent. And you can also point them to local resources or the hotlines and even practice self-care for yourself and do the same! That’s my PSA at least. 🙂 Now, for the song itself!

Time has run out for me, everything’s distant and I don’t know what to believe
It’s so hard, lost in the world confusion and I need to leave for awhile
Life is so meaningless
There is nothing worth a smile
So goodbye, I’ll miss you

And I’m sorry, but this is my fate
Everything is worthless, no one who wants me to stay
And I’m sorry, but I’ve waited too long (waited too long)
So here’s my goodbye, no one will cry over me
I’m not worth any tears

IT’S. SO. SAD. And yet so beautifully, beautifully written.

This song came into my awareness of existing back in 2015, possibly even end of 2014. I can’t recall if this is the song that was presented in my abnormal psych class for depression but it is depression to a T! Maybe I just found it through searching on Youtube but shit, I love it. Like it’s awful in the sense of the subject matter, in the sense that the narrator feels SO low that they genuinely believe that they’re worthless and incapable of being helped and feeling better, and also just so descriptive of being what struggling with suicidal ideation is like. I don’t know, I love the functionality of this song so much that I can’t help but listen to it, even when I’m doing well and am not having thoughts, it’s just a classic from this band and speaks to the pain so, so well.

It’s been the years of abuse
Neglected to treat the disorder that controls my youth for so long
I’m in a fleshy tomb buried up above the ground
It’s no use, why should I hold on?
It’s been five years, don’t need one more
So goodbye, life’s abuse

And I’m sorry, but this is my fate
Everything is worthless, no one who wants me to stay
And I’m sorry, but I’ve waited too long
So here’s my goodbye, no one will cry over me
I’m not worth any tears

Every 12* minutes somebody dies from a suicide
Every 28* seconds somebody attempts one
If you or anybody you know is suicidal call 1 800 273 8255

So the lyric I put in bold here really represented what depression was first like when I first heard this song back around 2015. It was like the most classic depiction of it for me and really made me fall more in love with the song. Again, it’s a very, very sad song and at the same time I love it all the same. I highly encourage checking out the band! Some of their other songs that I love include “Nothing’s Forever” and “Cry” and “How You Learn to Live Alone”.

PS Here is some information on suicide prevention, suicide loss survivors and those who have attempted suicide in the past, present or if it sadly happens in the future:

  1. The USA Lifeline
  2. HelpGuide
  3. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  4. Beyond Blue (AU)
  5. Mind (UK)
  6. Metanoia

PPS: Think of the acronym IS PATH WARM? for suicide warning signs.

Song #5:

“Kamikaze” by WALK THE MOON

This is another great example of how I shouldn’t love this song, I shouldn’t love what it’s about but I am absolutely ENTHRALLED by it. I can’t help it! It’s so catchy and like upbeat even though it’s dark and tumultuous at the very same time. Let’s see…

I believe I just came across this song from my Alexa Echo Dot this year, so, that’s something. I just love the music in it and the beat is, like I said catchy, and just something to dance to and again, like I feel I shouldn’t like it but I do. Gwah!

Here in this room
I’m chasing down my demons, I can hear them breathing
But who knew
You would be my comfort, you could bring me healing

Well if my friend’s gonna let me slide
How come you never left my side
Before I go make it last all night
While I slip into the great divide

Stepping out of body, no matter what you call it
I’m a kamikaze (oh I, oh I)
Abandon all your logic, and put your money on it
I’m a kamikaze (oh I, oh I)
Going down with my wings on fire
Guess I’ll see you in another life
Stepping out of body, you can tell everybody
Mama I’m a kamikaze (oh I, oh I)

So, I totally never knew it said “woman” I thought it was just like “MA-WA” but, apparently it’s an actual word, lmao. I just love the head banging potential this song has, you know? I definitely don’t get the deeper meaning of the song itself but I’m pretty cool with just jamming out to this song, you know. Yep. I can accept this fate.

All is not lost
My veins are seething, I can feel the freedom
Let them talk
It’s not about the crown, we could share the kingdom


Stepping out of body, no matter how you call it
This is suicidal, honey, nothing you can do about it
Let me take the check with the reckless abandon on it
Just call me kamikaze

Maybe it’s about romantic relationships? Maybe it’s about self-destruction? Maybe it’s about self-destruction because of romantic failures? I don’t know for sure, honestly.

However, that about wraps up the entirety of this post!!


I hope that you enjoyed reading this, that you gathered something out of it, and it was a mission, it was time pretty well spent on my end. It took me 2 hours to write this, so there ya go. But I really wanted to write it so hopefully you have learned more about myself or about recovery and everything else about it like that. I hope that this post finds you all right and maybe gets you thinking about other ways that the entertainment you consume on a daily business shapes and molds you in different ways.

For now, that’s it from me!

I’ll see you in a next post, either about my recovery projects, fanfiction, art, and more. Thank you so much for reading!!!

Stay safe. ❤ ❤ ❤

PS Disclaimer: I don’t own any of these songs or their lyrics and all credit goes to their respective artists. I found the lyrics through Google and shared the videos I listen to most for that particular song. 🙂

My 4 Recovery Based Projects. This Post: #RecoveryHome (2016)

**See this post here to check out my first project in this blog series: Recovery Restoration (2017)**

#RecoveryHome THUMB - ABOUT - Project - 1.18.19

Project 2: #RecoveryHome (born 2016)

Relevant past blog posts that discuss this particular project (including a couple of articles I had written about in my uni’s newspaper about the subject):

  1. An article just about exploring and explaining #RecoveryHome (from Dec. 2016)
  2. Week 1 of identifying RecoveryHome foundations (from July 2016)
  3. Touching on the Workbook Idea (from April-ish 2018)
  4. Where the idea began (from June 2016)
  5. Day 1 of a daily post (from Nov. 2016)
  6. Day 2 of a daily post (from Nov. 2016)
  7. Day 3 of a daily post (from Nov. 2016)

**Related photographs, as a reminder to myself, will be scattered throughout this post as well. This post will discuss the project itself, details that I’ve involved in previous blog posts (as can be originally found above), newer details, future plans for the project and logos for RecoverytoWellness. 🙂 ❤ Enjoy!!


Watercolor drawing from my Sketchbook #2 created on July 18th 2016. It depicts a sign with two little birds on it that are pointing ahead towards where my #RecoveryHome resides.


The origins of my second project, titled #RecoveryHome, is really the first recovery based project that I had created way back in the day. As you may know, I created this WordPress blog back in May 2016. Later in Dec 2016 I created my Youtube channel (under the same name) after being inspired by another blogger turned vlogger who began to spread her sparkle and shine onto that platform.

As far as I’m aware, I distinctly recall struggling in June–whether that was in 2015 or 2016, I’m unsure–and beginning to take the reigns on my experiences with chronic suicidality caused from mental health conditions when I turned my focus away from the death and gloom of my brain and rather onto the light and sparkling rainbows that could co-exist in my mind.

If I was going to imagine and fantasize about dull, gloomy topics, then that meant I also had the ability to use my imagination for powers of good.

Thus, #RecoveryHome was born.

I suppose the effort is partially from acceptance and partially from artistic endeavors and partially advocacy and wholly about spreading positivity, recovery and self-expression. To hold both co-existing circumstances–to hold say, wanting to live and wanting to die–in the same vessel gives…more power to a person than we sometimes realize.

But I’d like to take in the negative while focusing more on the positive. So I began to build what my #RecoveryHome would look like (and have described in better terms in the links above)–there was no limitation to my imagination. If I wanted heart shaped skylights, I could have them.

Which is the second best gift of #RecoveryHome: being able to create in this reality versions, prototypes and creations from that imagined place. It’s borrowing the idea of creating a visualization so pure and descriptive that you’re in it, even if technically you’re not. That is what the #RecoveryHome do (purposefully grammatically incorrect, in the voice of ZeFrank from Youtube 😉 ). And the bonus? Being able to create art about it that conceptualizes the idea in further manners, so that your imagined place can find some physical sustenance in this realm.

My #RecoveryHome features a large house on the top of a hill. Below the hill are a goodie bag assortment of shops: a Barnes & Noble (because books and stationery-which is reason enough), the Target Dollar Spot (from back in the day, 2016 era, because nowadays their stationery housing is absolute shit), Michael’s (arts and crafts store), Bath and Body Works (because scents), a movie theater, and a Paper Store.

The streets in the town are of a varied assortment, some including but nowhere finished yet, “Lapse Circle”, “Relapse Boulevard”, “Hope Avenue”, “Cherry Blossom Way”, “Coping Lane”, “Life Worth Living Alley”, “Kill Yourself Road” (a dead end, because puns and this contribution is from the mental health conditions that live in a shambled, disarray, broken home upon this street, ew) and “Bloomingdale Cove”. “Life Worth Living Alley” is a golden walkway which sparkles in the sunlight. We can spend time at the Resources Reservation Park, to guide fellow travelers through their own potential pitfalls and struggles. The park features a platform from which I’ll interview our community’s resources, what they do and their role in all of our journeys. At the Community Center, I’ll ask questions to our community and receive responses to their views on stigma, advocacy and the outlets that exist within our world to promote mental health awareness.

Together, we’ll clear up misconceptions about suicidality and how to continue talking about it through the Say the Word Suicide presentations in the large, white building dedicated to all those who we have lost to and whom have struggled with suicidality. The building is a memorial and an avenue for change in our future.


Created from Summer 2016.

The trees that line the walkway towards my #RecoveryHome range from snowy winter-time, to summer to autumn. There is a large carved stone that says “Recovery Residence” at the corner. Then there’s the house of mine itself. There are heart shaped skylights upon the roof, a painted Fleur-de-lis of a pastel green, yellow and pink on the front door (of which the back interior to the house has the scrawled phrase “Your Life is Worth Living”), to the left of the property is a gazebo with flowers and fairy lights curling around the beams and to the right of the property is this world’s logo: a seven colored rainbow based lighthouse that serves to be a beacon to others who are upon their travels, fighting their way through the shadows and the dead trees to make it to better days ahead.

I hope that this description thus far has made everything click into place if you’re a returning reader of mine. Everything in this realm, in my mind, is connected. The logo I’ve traditionally created over and over is a part of this entire mission.


This piece, a watercolor, was created in March/April 2018. The slogan, for which my blog resides upon, is written out down below and the lighthouse, with all its colors, can be clearly seen.

It holds a special place in my mind and in my heart and, honestly, probably in my soul as well. There was something about color, about sparkles and glitter and sequins and rainbows that really popped out to me when I began my recovery journey. My original sketchbook went from blue and black ink to a flurry of color, bursting from the page and enlightening my world. The rainbow lighthouse serves this purpose too. Any time I see regular lighthouses now, I feel that they need a splash of color to them. 😀

Unfortunately, having such a concrete image in mind of what I want my logo to be–I don’t have the technology to create it digitally, thus I’ve resorted to a silhouette lighthouse in my Youtube channel videos or the shoddy photographs of traditional images. One day, hopefully soon, I can figure something out–even if it’s just a quick free trial of Photoshop or something (and if you have any ideas, pleaaaase let me know down below!). For now though, I create it with physical things I can reach out for now. But this story is far from over….


Over the course of time, I’ve forgotten what my vision for #RecoveryHome was. I think that’s a pretty normal and natural thing to have happen. Sometimes our dreams collect dust for a while as we get busy with other things in our lives and we forget what hope and inspiration that was once brimming at the rim meant to us and in our lives.

I think most of my projects, hell my blog entirely itself, has fallen into that pitfall. But the goal of this project is that after I publish my recovery memoir (detailing through blog posts, old Mass Media articles, old DA journals, incidences of my own original work or mentions at least to fanfic endeavors and more) which will end with the projects I have in mind going forwards, that I will create a workbook for #RecoveryHome. The workbook will follow my template of creation with space for the reader to include and model their own.

Hell, if this project really gains traction, maybe I can include some other examples of others works. 🙂 That would be nice.

But yes, for now, I want to make it more interactive and I think a workbook will be helpful with that. I also want to write a fiction novel and other art-based projects with the theme of recovery from mental health conditions in mind. 😉


I guess the big dream would be that I make something in contribution to the art world and if that’s too broad then maybe just the art therapy world and the mental health world and advocacy and recovery worlds. 🙂 It would be so amazing and cool to see what others create with my ideas. Hell, some things already kinda exist like it (using the house metaphor). I think it’d be really empowering and artistically inspiring. And people could paint their own stories with their sharing, which I think is especially inspiring and beautiful.

Especially if #RecoveryHome DOES become a workbook and I can sell some, which would be lovely, that I hope and dream it could be something nation-wide in America or even worldwide if we dream really big. 🙂 It makes me happy and smile just thinking about it. But I suppose I’m getting far ahead of myself, ahaha. Also, earning some money would be nice.


Conditions: This will be mentioned a little more specifically in a section up ahead called “How much I can share online.”

Limitations: With my wavering attention span and the time it will take to build the home, the environment, the artistic inspiration, the publishing information, the memoir being written (at worst, I could do that second, honestly), the money being dished out (and hopefully brought back a smidge! I don’t work for peanuts! :P), the commitment of the project, the any involvement with other creators for the project and general life experiences and everything… yeah, it’s definitely still in the novice stage and there’s A LOT to be dealt with before it’s properly up and running. We shall see. I think I can start making some SMART goals about it in my planner though, especially after this post which will serve as the hubbub of the project in and of itself. Yay 2019!


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**These are made and used for my Youtube channel 🙂


Good, goooood question. I think if I want to create a workbook that will be gradually if not abruptly shown to the public, than that means I have to keep most of it under wraps. Which will be a challenge, but maybe if and when I gain more support around this project or my other ones, maybe that will be helpful and keep me accountable and allow for a success rather than a flop! But I’d imagine most of it needs to be private until it can be public. Which is why I’ve left some of the other posts linked above alone once I inevitably stopped working on it due to other extenuating circumstances.

Also, I’ve considered making like a Kickstarter on this project or some of my others. It’s a possibility!


Oooof, honestly, I’m about an hour into this post but I need to do other things too, so I’m going to give myself some time to come up with some more specific SMART goals for this project on my own, but let’s say with a check-in in 2 weeks with a blog post telling you guys about where I’m at and any problems I ran into and maybe a mind map sharing if we’re all lucky. My planner is really well-equipped to handle this mission. 😀

So, basically, soon but not right now. 😉


Honestly? Not so sure. Maybe launching 2 years from now? Depending on various other factors, of course. Maybe I should watch that Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star collab/series to get some ideas on marketing and all that jazz. Worth a thought!


I think creating the workbook itself (bound, with images, with text, etc.), any supplies for the prototypes in this reality for the concept, costs of the workbook themselves for others to buy, and like any payment for others if they contribute their own examples will all need to be taken under consideration. Time will be a cost, too. A necessary evil. 😛


Almost done!

So, along with #RecoveryHome, it’s ideal to create your Recovery self as well! If we’re going to describe in great detail what the terrain and tribulations of the realm will be it’s only natural to create your persona and what they look like, what they enjoy, their style and more. This is where my tagline on Twitter, Recovery Raquel, came into play in as early as 2016 but not officially until about 2017. My persona has her brown hair but the ends are dyed blue (something I aspire to in this life as well). Make-up is usually worn for her as well (unlike this reality). And essentially it would be Recovery X (whatever X is as your name). Recovery personas will have their own, upcoming project post themselves, so look out for that!!

And finally….


Maybe less so with this project, but most of my projects will leave behind my business cards in case others want to participate within the projects themselves. 🙂


And, honestly that’s the end of this post for now! I’m on a major time crunch, so here’s to hoping this long awaited blog post was worth it all in the end!!!

Thank you soooo much for reading and please do share this post around! And if you know any digital art software, let me knooooow.

Looking forward to a podcast I’ll be featured in ahead! I’ll make sure to write a proper blog post soon, too. I want to do some fanfic stuff during the holidays and read some books, watch some movies and get back to my roots. And work. Have to work too.

See ya!

❤ ❤ ❤

My Future Memoir + Life Update

Life Update Thumb


I’m giving myself .30 mins to write a new blog post as I am currently feeling creative and am bursting at the seams with new ideas. 😀

So, firstly, a life update or maybe more accurately a list of things I’ve been up to lately:

  1. I finished my final observation for Amaryllis and my first full 3p – 11:30p shift starts THIS Friday.
  2. Tomorrow from 9a – ~5p I have MAP certification training for Amaryllis. This also occurs as part 2 on Wed, same time.
  3. Today I saw my psychiatrist, Phil. It went well.
  4. I hate night driving but on the plus side this winter I’ll get really, really good at it. (From work, Peer to Peer, driving in general etc.)
  5. I had a long commute from Phil’s appointment today but I made the most of it, with all the best ideas yet to come but I’ll mention this at the very end (gotta keep you in suspense somehow!)
  6. Peer to Peer begins next Mon and I haven’t prepared at all for it. Hoping this changes soon!!!
  7. I have soooo many film reviews and films in my overdue possession to watch, review and type/write onto here. I WAS going to unveil a “Movie Monday” sorta thing but it’s just not possible right now, maybe in the future though!! I just struggle getting onto a proper schedule, especially as I procrastinate because the process takes too long. 😛
  8. I have many books also on a conveyor belt that’s been broken and clogging up so there’s also that D: (and I haven’t made time to read properly soooo….)
  9. I’ve got 2 NAMI IOOV’s this month, one at uni next Tuesday and one at Suffolk on the 21st. I also want to revamp my script for these, so I have to do that soon, too.
  10. This Thursday I have a luncheon for those of us who participated in the recovery videos for Passages. That’s now at noon. I am very excited and looking forward to it! Just gotta remember to bring my business cards, ahahha
  11. I really want to adjust my business cards, too, with my AO3 profile–to come soon-ish. Probably by the end of the year.
  12. I made new profile pics for AO3 and (If I remember I’ll show them below)
  13. I’ve been watercoloring with my new paint set and coloring/sketching lately. More of the time off camera but some on camera too. 🙂
  14. I’ve sadly been delving back into hair pulling. Losing parts of my brows left and right, unfortunately.
  15. I’ve decided how I’m going to structure my memoir
  16. I’ve been writing more fanfic stuff again 😀
  17. I updated a bit of my DeviantART account last night 🙂
  18. I’ve hung out with friends and gotten some more journals and notebooks and things to that effect
  19. I got some new canvas’s and I want to create a logo piece there (and hopefully use online for now as my logo, if I can get the photo taking part of it right) and maybe a Recovery Raquel related thing on the other one (I got 2, they’re like 6×6 I believe)


So, yeah, that’s what’s been going on lately. I’ll be working at Amaryllis every Friday except next Friday and I’m not sure yet if that will change in December or if they count Friday as weekends or not but that is my temporary place for now. I’m still really dreading the whole driving aspect of the job but here’s hoping, fingers crossed, that it goes okay and I’m not thrown into the sharks right away! :/

The biggest news I’ve fallen into today was that I’ve finally figured out how I’m planning to structure my own memoir.

I was really wanting to showcase and compile ALL of my Mass Media articles together, the ones I wrote for my uni’s newspaper at UMass Boston, and I think I can do that within that memoir. My memoir will feature original works I created, ranging from fall 2014 – now-ish 2019; photographs, my Mass Media articles, DA journals, WordPress blog posts, possibly quotes from my Youtube channel, my ideas for recovery based projects and potentially some commentary and oh, yes, my IOOV scripts and how I’ve gotten to where I am now in recovery from where I’ve been before.

I’m thinking that I’ll have an intro sentence at the start, so like when the post was created and then either a photo if a photo is involved and then the text of the piece. For photos in articles I will also include a trigger warning and then have the next page be the work itself.

I think this could really, really work. I’m excited! I have no idea what I’ll call it yet, maybe some Recovery based as that’s my thing, but yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. I can probably start compiling and tracking what it is I want to include and really work with the material in depth. I also still have old articles to place online here and read them out on my channel, not sure if I’ll have to take them down in the future but we’ll see.

My logic behind this project, including all of my works over the years, is “Hell, I said it once before and what better account of how I felt in the moment than using what I felt in the moment to help tell my story”. 🙂

I think it would be really cool. A working memoir. An in progress lesson. Something hopeful, even when it’s dark at times, but overall a prevailing positivity and joy in the days ahead with wisdom sprinkled in and oh, probably some Canva graphics of mine, too! 😀

Any who, I think it’s been about 20 mins and I’m going to end this here. Of course, I’ll detail my recovery projects further at the end and probably include the fact that I participated in a recovery video (can’t wait to share that with you guys!!) and more. I also really, really want to look back over my old articles. And hopefully read them out again on video, too.

But, for now, I have to go eat dinner, take my meds and watch a movie so I can write film review notes and then head to sleep early so that I can wake up at 7a tomorrow and do the MAP training. Phew!

Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to!

Send me a comment of your excellence if you have the time. 🙂

Stay safe!!

xxx ❤ ❤ ❤

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Thumb Thursday #7: Moving in the Direction of My Dreams

I'm moving forwards! - THUMB - TT7 - 7.18.19

Question: What do you do when you have different people’s opinions fogging up the windshield of your car?

Answer: I don’t know, I haven’t gotten that far yet.


So, I have the chance to do a proper life update slash blog snazziness post and I’ll be honest with you, I really, really don’t like this particular thumb (and I’m aware it’s no longer Thursday but I’m also aware that I’ve been trying to write this post for the last two weeks and it’s getting out of hand and I’d really like to just get this over with and move forwards–no irony intended–and onto my next round of thumbs and their subsequent blog posts) but I’m here and that’s what matters, I suppose.

I’m here.

I like this idea, this concept, of “being someone.” That sentence, that concept, just holds so much weight for me. I use it briefly here and I have an upcoming thumb just dedicated towards it and I really, really love it. It really empowers and inspires me.

And recently I’ve been inspired.

Actually, in more ways than one…

Yesterday I did my Create Day versus Consume Day blog post with its own new thumbs. That was really, really cool. It was so nice to get back into blogging for a bit, even if towards the end it was getting incredibly monotonous and dragging on and on (more indicative to myself that I needed a break but was too all or nothing about it that I wanted to finish before I lost track of the Muse and where it was taking me).

But still, I did it. 🙂

So, yes, I’ve been inspired in creating new things lately–Youtube videos, getting back into writing fanfics, graphic designing for flyers (if we’re lucky, I’ll include a slideshow for some NAMI related flyers for a Peer to Peer class I’ll be teaching in November (if you’re in the Randolph MA area, send me an email/message if you’re someone living with a mental health condition and wish to attend! It’s free!!!)), graphic designing for thumbs, blog posts, and more. A couple were painting/watercoloring some wood and just getting new art supplies. 🙂 Shopping and hanging out with friends, too! 😀

All trades pursued while undertaking trainings at my new job, which I’ve named Amaryllis, I finally have a code name for it! 🙂 Speaking of my job, I got the email early this week for certain that I’d be teaching the Peer to Peer class up in Randolph. It will be my first time teaching it and you know I’ve got to spend the next 2 weeks preparing and reading over and filling out all the binders and information since I’ve forgotten everything that went into it since I last got trained for it back in April 2019. XD

So there’s that.

But I’ll also be doing IOOV stuff too, here and there, so I officially have about 3 ongoing jobs. How I’m going to balance it all….heh heh heh, that’s the real challenge.

It’s gotten all in my mind in the last week about my dreams, my successes and where I want to be.

I don’t know if this will come as a shock or not but I really want to “be someone.” Again, we return to that theme. I want to be well-known and hopefully for the right reasons. I want to be a loud and proud advocate. I want my story to help others. I want my story to inspire others.

I want to go back to my roots–go out there and make a TEDtalk speech. I want to do maybe even public speaking as a whole. Maybe do some kind of motivational speeches. I want to use my story and my strengths and what I’ve gone through to help other people out there who may be struggling in silence. I want to remove the ugly tape stains that stigma leaves behind and I want others to help me do this process, the nitty gritty work, too.

I don’t want to be confined to a desk or, maybe even a laptop. I want to be like the next Kevin Hines just minus the intense suicide attempt. (Also, this is a good nudge to what next week’s topic will cover in Thumb Thursday, hint hint ;))

I feel much like an actress, unknown to the world around her: I feel like I’ve been waiting for my next big break. I’ve been waiting to be discovered.

And some things are falling into place.

There was a recovery based video filmed for Passages earlier this year, if you happen to remember that Youtube video I did about it or if I posted about it on my blog back in Feb this year…. That will be launching online soon. (I hope). I can probably even do like some type of reaction to it or something, if that’s something people would be interested in. Not sure how I’d film that though, but I’m willing to work with it!

I also want to do some more commentary pieces on this blog towards some of the things (like TEDtalks) that have inspired me, particularly the two that inspired me in the last week to even have any of these thoughts.

It’s like I’ve just been revived. It’s like I’ve just been rejuvenated. I feel all my dreams coming back into the forefront and I’m ready. I’m ready now. I’m ready to make them into my reality.

I really think that I can make a difference. I want to write a memoir, I want to write an art and recovery book, I want Recovery Home and Recovery Reinforcer and Recovery Restoration to become big time projects to help spread art therapy and recovery stories around the world. (Although I’ll settle for just MA for now ahaha). I want to be a beacon. I want to spread my positivity and kindness and compassion for others.

This all falls back to that one photo I took three years ago. I shared this story at program last Friday but I’ll refresh all of our memories now, too. A religion based club was doing a photo booth type thing on campus back in 2016 asking people who volunteered to contribute where they saw themselves in 5 years and what they’d be doing. They gave us a Sharpie to write it on our palm, took a photo and then put it up with all the others from other hands and other hearts and other lives that had been collected, so to speak.

This was mine:

IMG_00001935 Upd

I wanted to be sharing my story. I wanted for people to hear me. I wanted for people to see me. To see where I’ve been. To see where I’m at. To see where I’m going.

It’s how I ever started getting into advocacy. I saw my own NAMI IOOV presentation while in college (fall 2014) and the lessons I learned from brave souls telling their mental health journeys stuck with me even until today–so much so that I’ve used some of their words of wisdom in my own life, in my own art, in my own recovery, in words I pass on to my friends.

I got involved in NAMI, in advocacy, because of a book I never finished and a journal I equally never finished where one of the daily prompts was to take opportunities by the horns and do something to change your current circumstances. So I got involved in advocacy. I started writing articles in the newspaper. I became, I hope, a role model. To whomever read my work.

And I, I think I’d forgotten that. Somewhere along the way, I forgot why this spark of a flame was ignited within my soul. I forgot that I wanted to be more. I forgot about the reason why I speak, why I talk, why I say, “Hey I’m struggling and you can still struggle and still live a life worth living regardless.” I want to change something. The world, one person’s world, the universe. I don’t want to necessarily limit my dreaming. 🙂

I…. I want to be more than I am right now.

Isn’t that what we all want?

There’s so much I want to do. So much I want to live to do.

I guess that somewhere along the way, I forgot why. Why I do what I do. I just got so used to doing it that I stopped thinking about the impact I could be having on others. And maybe part of that was because I wasn’t in a stable mindset, certainly not a stability emotionally that I’ve now been in for many months.

I forgot the reason why I stood up. I forgot that I wanted something in the world to be different because of my efforts. I forgot that I wanted to be something greater. I forgot that I had grown tired of waiting on the sidelines for some other bystander to stand up and fight, until I realized, well, if no one else is (or few else are) going to do it, then I guess it’s up to me.

That’s why I stand. That’s why I sacrifice my name, my identity, to place a name and a face to the struggles of mental health conditions. I knew it might kill my job placements. I knew it might interfere with other tasks and accomplishments I wanted to make in my life.

But I did it anyways.

Because I knew it mattered. I knew the Greater Good was out there. I knew I had to speak up, because if I waited too long, if I wanted in silence, I knew it might never come to exist.

So, I stand. I stand tall and I let my voice be heard. Because maybe, yeah, maybe it’s going into a Void at the moment, but I know that maybe it can be found by someone some time soon and maybe I’ll get a kind soul who takes the time out to read my words or hear my voice and then write a comment acknowledging me further in the comments section below.

I guess I’d never know if I didn’t try. If I didn’t put myself out there in any way, I’d never have feedback. The feedback isn’t guaranteed when I do put myself out there, but the possibility of it is increased. And, that’s good enough for me.


I wonder sometimes about why I’m doing what I’m doing online and offline. I’d forgotten why for what feels like centuries, but I’m being reminded again now. Being reminded each day.

I know Amaryllis isn’t my end goal. I want to be so much larger and bigger and brighter than it, but I think it will give me a lot of real world experience from which to grow and mature. It will be a challenge and a real test of my skills, and I think that is something I’m slowly getting more used to.

But, I guess like Thor tells Loki in that elevator in Thor: Ragnarok — why would Loki choose to lie and betray Thor (as it’s gotten so predictable) when he could be something more?

I want to be something more.

I think I got so confined to where I’m at in the world right now that I forgot the bigger picture. I want to work each day, each moment, each week to going further than I ever have before.

So, no, I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know if ANYBODY knows how to do it.

But we all have to start somewhere.

And I’m ready.

I’m ready now to start.


Sometimes, sometimes I also wonder if I were to pass on before I got out everything I wanted to do, if anyone else after me would be able to take up my words–take up my fanfics, take up my ideas, take up my stories. Or would that be the end of the line for me? For what I had to create? What I had to show? I wonder, sometimes, I wonder.

I also feel that those of us who struggle with mental health conditions are probably some of the most caring, compassionate, empathetic and kind souls around. It’s not easy to take on the task of bettering yourself and growing as a human being. Most of us didn’t ask for this shit to happen to us, so it’s so, so, so important that we get support from those around us, that we aren’t judged, that we are validated, that we are loved. I think those who’ve struggled probably show more compassion and appreciation to each other than most “normies” because even the normies forget that we all struggle with something. At some point, in some moment, there was a struggle, for whatever reason. And I think it’s those who’ve traveled the hard road that can share their love and care and wonder with those who may be struggling, sometimes unbeknownst to us at the time. We don’t necessarily know what demons a person is fighting. So, be kind. Be kind and show appreciation. It goes a long, long way.


Thank you so much for reading. Sending you light and love, and oh, here are those flyers:: ❤ ❤ ❤ If you can, please share this post with as many people as you can. Love you guys.


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CONSUME DAY vs. CREATE DAY | Tackling Internet Addiction in a Different Way

Hello, and welcome to this new blog post. I am under a veil of intense inspiration, especially of this particular topic so I hope that you enjoy your stay here and are inspired to swivel your perspective from blindly consuming the Internet to creating your own content (ironically of course for others to consume). Let me know in the comments what you think about this post or you can contact me over My Twitter or at my public email address ( if you’d like to speak with me privately about this subject matter or anything under the sun, ahaha. Hope you enjoy this! Sending you light and love,

— Raquel



So this is a follow-up blog post to my drafted blog post (from Sept. 27th) titled:

“Hi, I’m Raquel and I’m Living with an Internet Addiction”

As mentioned previously, this blog post was only drafted and never made it much further than the title and the inspiration at the time for me to create it. Curse you consuming rather than creating!

Which brings me to this blog post itself (which I hope will actually be launched but because I’ve made graphic designs for it, I’m pretty certain that it will).

Last week, Oct. 18th, I brought up in therapy at my day program how I felt–and this is at the moment, it may change in the future–that Consuming the Internet versus Creating for the Internet are two different things.

Maybe it’s me making excuses to further deny the fact that I’m living with an Internet Addiction. It’s purely possible. My family therapist, June, described how I separated a Youtube addiction from an entire Internet addiction as being clean from coke for several years while at the same time still drinking ten beers a day. Just because you’re sober from one drug addiction while still giving into another drug addiction doesn’t mean you have no drug addictions or that you’re completely and purely sober.

But, alas, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s back-track a bit, shall we?


I started at my day program, Passages, nearly two years ago in February 2018. Since May 2018 I’ve been attending the DBT-Intensive program there in which I’m taught a new skill in the DBT realm (Dialectical Behavior Therapy’s crux is the ability to live with two opposing ideas existing within the same space (think “I want to live” and “I want to die”) and is an extraordinarily helpful and key tool in recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) although it can be applied to many other diagnoses, like many other therapies (just because it’s for one disorder doesn’t mean another disorder can’t learn from it) as well as be compiled of 4 intrinsic categories: Interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance) for the second portion of the group and given homework for the next week, which I complete and share during the first portion of the group and if we have time I choose a situation from the last week to share on my diary card of when I struggled to use skills or could have used more skills. Diary cards serve the purpose of tracking moods and behaviors each day.

Phew! That long winded explanation out of the way…

It should come as no shock, if you’ve been following me for a while, that I use daily planners and have been since about 2017. As far back as then I’ve tracked, more or less, how I’ve used my time during that duration: blocks of Youtube and crises and schoolwork/classes.

Just now, I decided to be proactive and return to these old planners still in my room (stood up on the floor, actually) to see when the next dominoes fell into place. My treatment coordinator at program (around June 2018) suggested I more officially start tracking my Internet usage, likely nudging me into considering how much of an addiction it was for me (not that I was ready then to say so).  Mid-July 2018 I began to not only block out pieces of time but actually start calculating how much time I was spending on the Internet.

On the low end of the scale, sometimes I fell at 2 hours of usage. At the high end, sometimes 8 or 10 hour days. Most often, I ranged from 4 – 6 hours of Internet usage each day.

To be honest, this is really the first time I’m taking a look at it and hot damn, that was a lot of hours! I didn’t realize or, more likely, I had forgotten how intense and demanding it got. Nowadays, Oct. 2019 I can go some days with 0 hours, some days with 2 hours and more rarely with 5 or 6 hours. I probably hover from 2 – 4 hours more of the time than most.

Regardless, I kept this habit up more weeks than not of tracking my Internet usage in my planners. Eventually, and this I’m not sure when, but I think it was only in 2019, I started to track my Internet usage on my diary card.

Around this time, I started to separate or categorize types of Internet usage. I separated my time online on Youtube as its own category of an Internet addiction, as in, time I spent on Youtube was the only tracking of Internet usage that I was doing. So if I spent 2 hours on Twitter and 4 hours on Youtube, I’d only say it was 4 hours online for Youtube use rather than including the Twitter time. This gets a bit murky when I start to exclude creepypasta listening time if, say, I’m also cleaning my room. I think, still, that this is more productive time because of the goal in mind– say, when I’m staring at a Youtube video watching intently and focused only on that whereas for a creepypasta I can look away from the screen and create a new art piece or reorganize my room. The goal is different-one to consume and one to create with. (We’ll get back to this soon, don’t worry).

So for a while I did that. I tracked only my Youtube time, I would calculate the week’s work of Internet usage–so, from Monday to Sunday, how much time did I spend online, etc. I tracked on my diary cards (Friday’s to Thursday’s). I tracked in my planner. I fell off calculating and adding up all the times but for the most part I tracked it all.

Then came the time I went to Germany with my family in August 2019. It was when I visited Twitter for less than an hour that I felt super, SUPER guilty about it that began to twist the idea into my innards that hey, maybe I have an entire INTERNET addiction rather than just a Youtube addiction, (and the Youtube addiction is what I started to call it–think, denial of an issue, especially an addiction). I did manage about 10 days completely off Youtube during that vacation, which is STILL hella impressive to me. 🙂 As it should be XD

So in Sept 2019 when June was suggesting that they are all the same substances, so to speak, for my addiction, the more a little ding appeared over my head.

But I still felt differently about it.

And again, maybe I’m making excuses. Maybe I’m STILL not ready to admit I have a problem. I do think I have LESS of a problem than where I started out at.

And, I really, really do think that CONSUMING the Internet is different than CREATING on the Internet.

Which brings me back to this post at hand.

I’ve decided in the last week from my in-program therapy session to challenge myself. Challenge myself in creating a new way of categorizing my Internet usage: consuming versus creating.

It’s unlikely that I can completely tear myself away from the Internet. I have to check emails, research information, read articles, ask questions etc. There will always be that little bit of the Internet, I think. I don’t think it’s realistic to completely be away from it. Because in small doses, in structured times, it can be useful.

It’s just about reframing and changing the way I’m engaging with it that’s the heart of the solution, I feel.

Because, I’m an artist. I like to create things and I like to put them out on the Internet. This notion, this “Personal vs. Private” is something I wish to explore further in another upcoming blog post but for now, I’m a very public person. Yes, I need to further self-reflect on what it is I’m aiming to get out of the Internet–what is it that I want? Attention? Validation? Community? Interaction?–and from an early age (since I was 16 on deviantART ) I’ve enjoyed placing myself out into the realm of the Internet–which of course means my artwork. I find more value in placing my artwork in front of the potential eyes of others so that I can run the possibility of that occurring as higher than if it just collected dust on my laptop, never to be seen of again. If I put my artwork out there, maybe just maybe someone will see it and comment on it. If I don’t put it out there at all 100% no one would see it. But if I do? Maybe someone will. Maybe someone will engage with it. Maybe it will influence someone. Maybe it will inspire them to create, too.

So I don’t think removing myself from the Internet is what I want to do. I think because creating is so integral to my core and because I do want to be someone, I want to be an influencer, I want to put myself out there and do public speaking and perform a TED talk and all that jazz, I just have to change the way I’m thinking of the Internet and what I put out there.

Because I still want to put things out there. I want to create content that ironically other people will consume.

I’ve spent so long consuming in the last few years, so much so that it’s taken away a lot of my every day inspiration that I want to set some limits to it so that I can do more CREATING than CONSUMING. Because consuming, while it’s instantaneously gratifying, it’s also very draining and sucks me into a world of drama and unnecessary guilt and sadness and emotion that I’m ready to return to CREATING as my most powerful force. I believe it will help me introduce myself into my “Work Mode” as well as be more expansive, important, and more high achieving. 🙂

I want to feel more happiness, accomplishments and like my time is being made worthwhile. I know that I can’t ALWAYS be 100% all the time but I’d like to give myself more credit and more time to be doing what I love rather than eating up everybody else’s. I think, too, there are times for consuming to become more inspired and interact more with others than JUST creating 100% or JUST consuming 100%.

So for now, I’m going to introduce myself (and potentially others) into Consumer Days and Creator Days. Days dedicated merely to either consuming or creating.

Today, it’s been Creating. Tuesday this week it was Consuming.

Which is why I have the thumb graphic design above and so I’ve created that, I’ve listened to music, I’ve written this blog post, etc.

At the end of the day I will see which felt more worthwhile and important. Soon, I’ll also be showering, watching Grey’s episode from last week, watching a film to review it and reading a book, amongst other things I have on my to do list.

And lastly, here’s the create day thumb:

Create Days - THUMB - 10.24.19

And for that last statement–I think interaction with our audience can be both consuming and creating, depending on how you look at it. I think interaction may fall into the gap between the two definitions so don’t believe that these two thumbs are the ONLY ones coming to you, because once I have more data and more to say (which I always do) I will be hitting you guys back up with new information, new ideas and what went well/what went wrong with where this starting discussion exists.

I think this is going to be an excellent way to track my urges and see what it is that I do more of: creating or consuming. I had another idea too but I’ve since forgotten it/it’s been buried deep down into the folds of my brain.

Lastly, I listened a lot to “The Bones” by Maren Morris to create this post which is a very, very lovely song that I plan to do a song a day edition on soon. 🙂

For now, I really, really need to take a break because I’m hungry and I have lots of other things I need to get done today. So, I hope that this post was intriguing and that you got something out of it!

More posts to come at you all soon.

PS A lot of this whole creating versus consuming thing also came from the inspiration I took upon myself to find “balance” in my life, largely professionally and personally and June had noted how my personal balance was almost all Internet based. So now I’m working on another drawing that is self-care based as other stuff I have to juggle each day. Phew. This was a lot of work. ❤ I will enjoy my break extensively soon. xxx

Thank you soooo much for reading!!! ❤ ❤ ❤