Just A Photo For Today | #WWRRM

My thoughts and ideas are winding down for the evening, so I’d just like to make this very, very short and head off to bed for another day tomorrow.

Did my presentation today–it was the first time I wasn’t anxious beforehand!

Did my whole references list for homework, napped, ate, and just have to go through my journal/planner/diary card etc. now.

Here’s today’s photo (another coursework one even though I didn’t do a lot for that today):

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Good night!!

A Glimpse Into My Weekend | #WWRRM

#WWRRM THUMB(1)

A short post for today because I am tired again and want to head to sleep very soon.

So, for now, here’s a glimpse into what my weekend will be like and a little bit about how my Friday went. Photo of course at the end.


I feel bad if I don’t make a post for today while also feeling bad for getting sushi because I felt bad because I fell asleep for 2 hours this evening and missed doing coursework but I’m also very tired and still have to fill out some things so this is all I’ll say:

  1. I found all of my references (10 minimum, got 11) for my second project (on apoptosis) for my couse
  2. I couldn’t really read much today so after I woke back up I worked on the project
  3. Even though I ate today more than I initially recalled I was still super hungry for dinner so I got myself some sushi (salmon) and mango juice
  4. A pulled a little bit just now from my left brow mainly because I was having dry skin around my brows.
  5. I’ve also eaten some candy already for the evening and will be tracking increase of candy consumption before I fall asleep to see if there’s any evidence to compare to nights and circumstances when I pull from trichotillomania or not
  6. Tomorrow I have a NAMI IOOV and I did finally email my co-presenter asking about the setup for it (we have to be re-trained this year) and it’s the same as always, hasn’t changed yet, so I have to just fix up a couple things for that presentation.
  7. Because I have an IOOV I will be out of work for a bit Sat, but I hope to achieve my soft deadline of Sunday all quizzes done and Tuesday hard deadline all quizzes done
  8. I want to keep working on my project to read over everything, create my MLA formatted references list, start reviewing and thinking up diagrams and how to approach the art portion of the project and what I’ll be writing about to explain the project. (two pages)
  9. Mokeys was a bit sick Thursday so I’m not sure if I’ll be taking her to doggy playtime this Sunday but if I do (and even if I don’t) I’ll be hanging out with Kaiden and working on homework later when my parents are out of the house.
  10. I started a new watercolor piece today on blank paper and am pretty excited about that
  11. I wish I could have done more today–I knew falling asleep was a bad idea. This always happens to me around finals–I just run out of steam, so another way I can look at today’s losses is that I needed a break to just do something else for a while and take care of myself effectively.

With that said, here’s today’s photo:

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And that’s all I got.

Until tomorrow. πŸ™‚ ❀

It’s Never Easy to Walk Away; Let Her Go, It’ll Be Okay | SADIA2| #WWRRM

Song a day THUMB


Song:

Be All Right by Dean Lewis

Warnings:

Substance use, cheating, break-ups

Video:

Chosen Lyrics:

“I look up from the ground
To see your sad and teary eyes
You look away from me
And I see there’s something you’re trying to hide
And I reach for your hand but it’s cold
You pull away again
And I wonder what’s on your mind
And then you say to me you made a dumb mistake
You start to tremble and your voice begins to break
You say the cigarettes on the counter weren’t your friends
They were my mates
And I feel the color draining from my face

And my friend said
“I know you love her, but it’s over, mate
It doesn’t matter, put the phone away
It’s never easy to walk away, let her go
It’ll be alright”

So I asked to look back at all the messages you’d sent
And I know it wasn’t right, but it was fucking with my head
And everything deleted like the past, it was gone
And when I touched your face, I could tell you’re moving on
But it’s not the fact that you kissed him yesterday
It’s the feeling of betrayal, that I just can’t seem to shake
And everything I know tells me that I should walk away
But I just want to stay

And my friend said
“I know you love her, but it’s over, mate
It doesn’t matter, put the phone away
It’s never easy to walk away, let her go
It’ll be okay
It’s gonna hurt for a bit of time
So bottoms up, let’s forget tonight
You’ll find another and you’ll be just fine
Let her go”

But nothing heals the past like time
And they can’t steal
The love you’re born to find……”

Lyrics adapted this time from: Genius

My Meaning:

I included a lot more of the lyrics this time with this song because I just love the story that is being told and I really appreciate how full of emotion and change and breathtaking betrayal is within every line of this song. I didn’t even realize it was a story of cheating until maybe ten times into listening to this song (I was using it as background noise after doing my coursework for a while this evening after it being suggested to me again on YouTube except that I’ve had it on replay on the loop videos site for the last couple of hours) and I found that to be a cliff-hanger and a game changer and really, really knew I wanted to share this song with all of you as well.

I think it’s more than even being about romantic relationships but any relationship that you thought one way about a person and the truth turns out to be so very wrong and vile in some other way that you were not expecting.

And of course there’s the logical side of you that knows they’re toxic for you for whatever reason but emotionally it’s so much harder to keep up with and know that you need to break away from them. Reminds me of Luna, to be honest. Especially since I have a bit of internal cringe every time I think of my two sketchbook drawings inspired from them which is also probably the reason why I’ve been avoiding my sketchbook for the better portion of this year, 2018.

I also appreciate the way the friends to the speaker in this song reassure him (them?) that things will be okay eventually, it hurts now for sure and it will for a while and he will still find a way through it. It’s humanizing and relatable and I love this song so much (which is why I wanted to download it until my iTunes fucked up and made me even more pissed off than what I already was feeling).

I was almost going to title this post with the line “It doesn’t matter, put the phone away” to relate to that Online Toxicity post I did a week ago, but then I decided to do the one I chose above instead. Mainly to separate this post from the one a week ago. πŸ™‚ Plus in a way, I think it does even relate to that post with the current reference.

I think the whole concept of letting people go, especially those we’ve been emotionally or physically involved with and know that logically they’re no good for us (or vice versa) is so, so crucial and critical in the theme of recovery and wellness. Because we can love someone so dearly and need to let them go all the same. And it hurts. Badly. But sometimes it’s for the best–either for them, or ultimately, for us.

On Genius as well, you can see a blurb from the artist and he mentions how while about breaking apart this song is also about hope, which I do agree with. It’s the end of one relationship and the start of a new one. πŸ™‚

Chosen emoticon:

🀬 🀬 🀬


11p Edit:

Okay, I took a break and during the time of my writing this post I got the newest version of iTunes and am now downloading some new songs to my iPod. I’d also like to share, of course, today’s daily black&white photograph below that showcases my current annoying grade which is a solid C in my summer class (I got an 80 on the quiz today) and I’m still a bit further behind than what I’d like to be and still have some art stuff to finish for tomorrow and am not sure if I’ll finish that plus I had coffee so I may not fall asleep til about 1:30a again like last night (which if that’s the case I may as well just stay up to do the watercoloring) We’ll see.

Okay, that’s it from me. Hope you got something out of this post!

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And yes, I have on my hot pink Hello Kitty crowned socks. :3

Thanks for stopping by!!! ❀ ❀ ❀ xxx

PS I can’t wait til this school crap is over with. Although overall it’s all right, it just takes longer to prepare than it is to actually do the project/quiz. Regardless…

In Which I Take A Badass, Eerie Photo & Talk More about my Cancer Biology Class | #WWRRM

Life Update Thumb

This is technically more of a general life update post that I’m going to squash into the WWRRM category because I need a post for the day, time to unwind and less activity for my brain to be hauling ass over because I am very, very tired.

So, let’s begin, shall we?

#WWRRM THUMB(1)

And, in a way, isn’t that what WWRRM is really all about anyways? Just some journal blogging and progress making and credit taking, you know? πŸ™‚

So I just came online mainly to write today’s blog post as it’s sneaking around to 11p at night (I had coffee again around 7p, probably why my head is still up) and I only JUST, like 30 minutes ago (10p) got done with coursework so I need a break and some time to settle into everything that I’ve just shoved into my brain about cancer and biology.

I wasn’t sure I was going to finish the four pages I had left of Chapter 10 (the only pages mind you of that chapter that I needed to read) as my thought processes became scattered, distracted and I was getting internally fed up with having to put in all of this work for the last 6 hours (plus 45 minutes during the day at program and excluding the 45 minutes I had for small breaks and dinner–I’ve been working since 3:30p and it just hit 10p, although I stopped from 7-7:30p for dinner and a little break) I’m sure you can do the math better than I can right now, but yeah, it’s been a LONG day.

Luckily I’ve been really, really lucky in being able to focus for so much of today and I took my book notes along the way so now tomorrow I just have to take the slideshow notes, watch the video with notes, review all my notes and take the third quiz and then rinse, recycle and repeat for another quiz and probably do the same thing all over again on Friday too–which ultimately should leave me with all six completed quizzes before the weekend so I can spend the last 4-5 days just working on the final project.

I purposefully chose the topic apoptosis (I was also considering angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels)) but went towards apoptosis as I remember it from my first college biology course and it’s essentially cell suicide and why not expose myself to small quantities of people using the term “committed” suicide when “kill yourself” is probably more accurate and less stigmatizing and hey, oh look, we’re talking about cells but still it applies and it matters to say! You know, the usual.

Any who, so I decided to jump onboard of the WordPress train but before I did that I took some EERIE CREEPY CHILLING photos of what, well, you’ll have to guess! I’d say more but I’d rather you figure it out for yourselves πŸ˜‰ I will include of course the black&white version but also the color version. Hope you enjoy it!! Here’s the black&white:

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I’ll add the color version at the very bottom of this post!

What? You thought I was done talking? Nope!!

I also wanted to check up on any grades from my class so I promptly opened my laptop (which was not really in sleep mode, annoyingly but also meant I didn’t have to login properly) and tagged along onto WordPress and Twitter (I also have zero music playing right now which is odd for me but I’m so tired it would probably be distracting…more on this soon!) AND I just found out that I got an overall grade of a 96 on my first project!! YAY!

I don’t know if I was able to tell you guys yesterday or not (and I’m not going to bother checking now) but I got a 90 on my second quiz too!

So, really, this is just further proof that for some reason I do really, really well in summer courses. Strange. (And I’ve taken 3 summer courses in my college years; English 2, Psych Statistics and this cancer biology course).

Although I’m definitely cramming everything into this last week, it’s overall been pretty fun. The two chapters I was reading today involved radiation and cancer and … fuck, I forgot. OH RIGHT *checked syllabus* chemicals and cancer. That’s right, plus a bunch of DNA biology bullshit regarding mutations and CC-TT mutations and errors and homologous repair-ments and shit. The usual biology stuff.

Everything may have already seeped out of my brain, I can’t be sure. But it actually gave me some FANFIC writing ideas and vibes which I legitimately haven’t gotten for the last 2 months so that was pretty awesome. Now my eye is watering uncontrollably, noooooo. I should probably take an allergy pill so I don’t pull again (my left wrist is killing me for reasons I don’t totally understand although I was playing with thinking putty a lot today).

Annnnnd yeah. Despite overload of information for the next week, things are pretty good. I have a NAMI thing on Saturday so some of the day’s work will be taken out that day which will serve as a break for me and then I can’t WAIT til I’m all done and have 2 weeks to RELAX and read 3 library books! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

I think that’s about all I’ve got for right now.

Time to let all that information seep into all my CSF. πŸ™‚

Good night!!

IMG_0100 --

Leave your guesses on what this could be in the comments below!

Stay safe ❀ ❀ ❀

PPS:

This hour long train sounds are lovely for me during homework time: (especially to block out additional noise in the house and also to comfort me in the absence of external noise)

My Coursework To Do List | #WWRRM

My To Do List THUMB 11.26

Black&white photograph for Day #7 featured at the end of this post!

Today I bring forth to you more information about my coursework–because I genuinely can’t think of anything else to write about and I want to dip back into that work before I fall asleep for sure this evening (and I’ve had some coffee in the last two hours so that falling asleep right away may or may not happen tonight). So, here’s more information about my course–that none of you asked for! πŸ˜€


So today I finally took my notes for chapters 3 and 4 (that I had already previously read and previously taken textbook notes from) and was just working on the slide show notes, watched the fifty minute long documentary and took notes on that as well and then reviewed all my notes to take the second quiz.

Whiiiiiiich, I got a 90 on! I got a 70 on the first one, so, this was a lot better.

Which is also rather ironic to me (that might not be the right word I’m looking for buuuut) because I struggled with adding more internal pressure and expectations to myself trying to remember everything that I read and every little detail so much so that I was worried I wouldn’t be able to retain all the information that I needed to (and that I have, surprisingly, otherwise thus far) and that I procrastinated on the homework because of or couldn’t focus entirely and pushed it off when really, I did even better overall than how the first quiz was.

So, it’s like smoke and mirrors. All this worry when in the end I did even better than I could have imagined.

And that then begs the question: Why did I procrastinate at all??

And for that I don’t have much of an answer, all I know is that the next 4 days are going to be spent shoving in information into my brain about cancer, taking notes on book chapters, on slideshow chapters, watching videos, taking notes on those videos, reviewing all my work and taking the next four quizzes (there’s six in total).

And then the 4 days after that will involve researching most likely on apoptosis (unless I do in fact change my topic to angiogenesis as I do understand a lot more of it now and am not so sure how much I want to learn about cell suicide but we’ll see), finding 10 research articles/information/studies, taking notes on that, creating artsy diagrams and writing up a two page explanation of said project.

The other thing I’ve been worried about, besides the middle portion of my right eyebrow not growing back in, has been my wrist pain as of late. I think it’s because the angle of my elbow is below the angle of my wrist and that’s been causing some pain localized to my wrist which isn’t all that great because then I start worrying about how I’m going to take all these notes, how I’m going to manage that pain with the fall semester, how will I write as an MHS, how will I cope with life seemingly one-handedly and so forth. Right now it isn’t hurting though. I will find some relief and solace in that.

Regardless, I have about 10 chapters (2 repeat/different parts of) that I have to read through in the next few days, so I’m going to try and get started on more of that now. Let’s hope I fall asleep reasonably well tonight and that the coffee hasn’t kicked in completely (or that I cope effectively otherwise).

Good night!!


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Ta-da, you get another schoolwork oriented photograph for today. πŸ™‚ For some reason chewing on mints or other candy (while unfortunately rotting my teeth as of late) helps distract me and keeps my hands “busy” when I want to pull or would otherwise wind up pulling. I don’t doubt this will be one of many more school related photos to come for the next week. πŸ˜›

Any who, until tomorrow! ❀ ❀ ❀

A 15 Minute Interlude| #WWRRM

my goals_reaching for the stars THUMB

This interlude is brought to you by: Struggle City.

Featuring but not limited to:

#WWRRM THUMB(1)

As is the tradition for this month’s assignment, I will be featuring the chosen black&white photograph for submission #6 at the end of this post. Until then, bear with me as I need to vent, sort through my thoughts and come up with some form of a game plan. Because, I really, really, really need it right now.


Initially I started this post at about 8:30p EST.

It’s now almost 10p, and it’s safe to say I have NOT been working on it for over an hour. Instead, I played with Mokeys, with Galaxy (my hamster), watched as Mokeys babysat Galaxy in his ball and played with Mokeys some more, got some new candy from my Mom and had my Mom come home from work to begin with.

All, of course, instead of doing some of my homework.

I can be fair–this coursework is really starting to kill me now. Mainly my lack of ability to focus and all or nothing thinking is proving to be more and more difficult to manage and try to overcome.

It’s not impossible–not by a long shot–it just FEELS impossible.

What I need to do?

I need to give myself more time. I need to give myself the space and the place in my mind to thrive and do the best that I can and accept that sometimes that best I can do is all I can really offer to begin with.

I need to not cram everything into this last week and a half because I may have more minutes, seconds and hours like these–the ones where I can’t focus, can’t concentrate, miss my “opportunity window”, etc. I have to come up with a way to tackle what I can when I can, when I’m optimally at my best, without shoving too much too far into the distant future and then having TOO much to do all at once (by this I mean I need to either do the majority of the textbook reading this week plus the quizzes or do the same for the project or mix it up a bit–I’d prefer to just have one thing left to do for next week, namely the project, but we’ll see how it all goes).

I’m setting these really high expectations for myself that are causing me to crumble because I can’t live up to them. The point then is not to not try but rather adjust my thoughts and emotions–while I also tackle the thing I’m most afraid of: the homework. The note-taking, the quiz, the reading, the documentaries, etc.

It can be done. It can be done. It can be done. I need to smarten up with how I choose to tackle it.

 

But for now, it’s evening, nearly 10p, and I need my sleep.

So I’ll unpack my candies and hopefully not pull at all tonight. The last thing? Today’s photograph: I could have done a little more for this shoot, as much as I could have done more homework today, but this is what I got:

IMG_0028 -- Chosen

Thank you again for reading. ❀ ❀ ❀

Until tomorrow.

PS I did get a letter from my friend Diary today, which was delightful. πŸ™‚

I Want To Be A Role Model, But I’m Only Human | SADIA2 | #WWRRM

Song a day THUMB

Chosen black&white photograph of Day #5 will be at the bottom, PLUS a BONUS photo!! πŸ™‚

Enjoy!!!


#WWRRM THUMB(1)

Song choice:

Sober by Demi Lovato

Warnings:

Substance use, relapse, suicidal ideation

Video:

Chosen lyrics:

“I got no excuses

For all of these goodbyes

Call me when it’s over
‘Cause I’m dying inside
Wake me when the shakes are gone
And the cold sweats disappear
Call me when it’s over
And myself has reappeared
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know why
I do it every, every, every time
It’s only when I’m lonely
Sometimes I just wanna cave
And I don’t wanna fight
I try and I try and I try and I try and I try
Just hold me, I’m lonely
Momma, I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore
And Daddy, please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor
To the ones who never left me
We’ve been down this road before
I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore
And I’m sorry for the fans I lost
Who watched me fall again
I wanna be a role model
But I’m only human
I’m sorry that I’m here again
I promise I’ll get help
It wasn’t my intention
I’m sorry to myself….”
My Meaning:

Again, the spacing is a little fucked up but we’ll work with it. I actually really adore this slow song because there’s a familiarity and a community within it. It’s markedly different than the other songs Demi’s done before in her career and she is such an advocate for mental health awareness and the trials of substance use disorders and I am really, really glad she is still with us.

I cannot begin to imagine the immense strength it takes for her and others struggling with these issues to stand tall, proud and push onwards towards recovery each and every single moment and minute of the day.

It’s difficult for all of us when we relapse–or even when we lapse. This song is being truthful and honest in struggling and slipping up. It is so, so, so important for us to recognize that we ARE only human and that we won’t always be happy every minute of the day and that the things we struggle with have the capability to knock us down whenever they can–and that this life is still so very much worth living.

So, hold your lights up high as you sway to the beat of this song. And know that you are not alone in this audience. You are never alone at all. I know it might be easier to let the darkness win, but you matter so very, very much and you can get through this difficult time to shine like a rainbow lighthouse for hundreds of others. It is a power to not hold lightly (no pun intended), and I hope that you choose to hold it either way, for your sake and for the thousands of others who watch silently by your side.
You can inspire thousands by the choices you make each and every day. If only you are to turn on the light and raise your voice up high.

I believe in you. ❀ ❀ ❀


Photo submission: Day #5 out of 31.

I brought Mokeys to doggy playtime today and brought my camera along so I could take pictures for today’s due date! I chose two into black&white from the original color and I think they both rock it well. There was a German shepherd puppy 4.5 months old named Drax playing with Mokeys for a long while and then this black&white doggo Gracie. I found their facial expressions in this shot to be a great depiction of the hour there! Ahaha. I forget what the little guy’s name is XD The little guy was totally just taking advantage of the situation though, and you can just see Mokeys in the top corner sniffing at him XD

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In the second photo, I took shots of Angelo the husky with one blue eye and with one brown eye. He was chilling in the kiddie play spaces. The color version REALLY pops, and I think it also rocks in black&white too. πŸ™‚ Hence the bonus photograph of the day!

IMG_0014 Choice 2

I hope that you enjoyed this post! I’m off to work on some kind of coursework schedule, plan for tomorrow, fill out my planner/journal/diary card/DBT-I homework and eat some yummy ice cream!! πŸ™‚

Love to all of you! ❀ xxxx

I Didn’t Know I Could Get This Low |SADIA2; ft. New Layout Photos, Day #4 Black&White Photography & A Vent| #WWRRM

Today’s Day #4 submission of black&white photography is at the end.

I will also include the new photo images for the layout of this blog. πŸ™‚

Enjoy this post!!


Before I get started with the main topic of this post, I need to clear my head from the cobwebs and spindly spiders that are encompassed in my mind at the moment. (And as you can now tell from the title we have a LOT of ground to cover here. Feels like my life at this point!!)

So, I was supposed to work a lot on coursework today (as you’ll see at the end, that’s what today’s photograph is on) but things didn’t go according to plan. Using the coping strategy “a brief vacation” turned into a two hour nap that at LEAST when I woke up from I felt more energized (although I’m NOT very tired now and it’s 9p) and got my assessment assignment done within one hour. But procrastination rolled into YouTube videos and Twitter threads (not my own this time) made the hours go by fast and now I’m struggling to keep my head up above the water. Because there’s A LOT of water here now.

And I mean I DO have a plan for how I’m going to attack the situation now, so that’s SOMETHING. I’m going to write out a more concise and understandable list for myself for all my remaining assignments and the weeks they were attached to, or something like that.

I was able to use my planner for dates things are due so that’s also helpful. I have to return 3 books to the local library tomorrow/Monday, as one of the books I started but was really, really struggling with so I’m going to write down the notes for the review from the page flags I currently have so I can take them out and return the book and later this year attack the 3 again when I have more time (hopefully before the end of this year).

I have about 6 other books from various places plus ones I own that I can use and read and review in the interim. There are no shortage of books in my possession, that’s for sure!

I’d like to update with a new video relatively soon, although I’m having problems with that quality-wise and I’m stuck with how to fix that because my quality of 4 videos have been shot with a muddy shoe (only online, the originals are fine) and I think it MIGHT be because of a setting when exporting that I changed but the alternative cannot be large GB files because they crash my computer entirely. So, I’m kinda stuck there.

I’d also like to update my fanfics soon, but that’s a whole other problem.

I also need to clean/re-organize my room because it’s a hella mess. There’s just so much stuff EVERYWHERE–and probably would help my mental health if I fixed it up a bit. There’s just SO MUCH to do all at once!!!

I don’t know, it’s just a lot. I know I’d like to clean my room by the end of the summer. I still have to order my fall materials from the website–hopefully tonight. Then I have to finish the academic list from that current class and fill out how long I was online today (I’ve been tracking that for 3 weeks now) and fill out my journal for today’s post.

Speaking of, I’m converting yesterday’s post into an article for the semester.

I figured today would be a good day to do another song a day challenge because there’s a song I’m listening to right now that’s pretty neutral and is setting myself up nicely in terms of being enjoyable and calming. So, with everything said out of the way–I’m hoping to bring Mokeys to the doggo place tomorrow and do some art with a friend although I don’t feel that I deserve it because I haven’t done my schoolwork but maybe that list soon will help.

Thank you for reading.

I also want to get more involved again on WordPress. Sigh. I’ll try my best and call it an evening. πŸ™‚ ❀ Until the end!! ❀ ❀ ❀


Song a day THUMB

Song choice:

“Low” by Greyson Chance

Warnings:

None!

Video:

Chosen lyrics:

“I am lost and I don’t know where to go no more
I’ve been hurt but I’ve never been hurt this much before
I feel lonely, lonely, lonely traveling down this road
They say through time I’ll find some healing but the clock goes slow
I didn’t know that I could get this low
And I, and I don’t know where to go
And I, and I, know, know
I see a dark reflection in my dashboard
Don’t even know where I’m driving to anymore
I think about us back together someday
What you doing this Sunday?
I needed space so I left home
But now I’m desperate for the things I know
Like how you made me laugh on a bad day
Where are you now, I need you babe
And I don’t know where to go
Remember all the days when we were so young
Riding top down in the city that I used to love
I hear those words you said when you were shitfaced
Told me to stop playing all those games
But I wasn’t then, and I’m not now
Didn’t know how to feel when you broke me down
I needed time to move around without you
But I think I’m ready to hear “I love you” “

My meaning:

As you can tell, it’s mainly about a relationship, probably a romantic one but it can be applied more generally, too, I think. I haven’t been in a romantic relationship for nearly the last decade so I don’t relate to that all that much but this song is very soothing and I’ve enjoyed his work before and his voice has matured just SO MUCH and I think he’s a terrific artist.

It interestingly has that same concept about loneliness that Demi Lovato mentions in her newest song “Sober” (which I will one day this month cover here). But I enjoy the descriptions and how I can visualize them in my mind and how I can relate to driving around and not knowing where to go or who I am entirely. I like that about this song, there’s a community, a unity, in it and I think it deserves more attention than what it’s getting.

I was almost going to listen to a different song for the background music of this post but I’m glad I chose this one. It made today’s post a little lighter in spite of all the stress and change I’m currently facing. So that’s a major plus!!

Okay, time for photos! (And I hope my spacing later in this post isn’t too messed up because the block quote kinda fucked it all up!! :/)

 

Chosen emoticon:

πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„

Because these spacing issues are bugging the shit out of me.


So here’s the traditional WWRRM thumb even though the vent portion came first. I don’t know, just bear with me on this jumbled and chaotic post because nothing is doing what I want it to. Fucking spacing!!

#WWRRM THUMB(1)

**NEW blog layout photos**

Header:

This shot is from the shoot I did on Friday but wasn’t able to share right away and may have to be postponed until the end of the month (or at least past the 15th). 1/4 through the shoot my camera didn’t want to focus on the peacock necklace and the dish so I shot with what I had which was a bunch of bokeh. This is the original first below πŸ™‚

 

IMG_9850

And this is the cropped portion that appears behind “Recovery to Wellness”:

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And this is the new photo from a sunset shoot I did at the start of July (and got plenty of mosquito bites on my legs from) that is featured as the text background on my blog:

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And here is the cropped version that shows up in the background (or, it’s supposed to, but I think the smaller portion that is actually a part of the background is the top left of the image above. It’s like a tiny part of the sky–somewhere along the pink I believe):

cropped-img_9194.jpg

And now, final part!!


Day #4’s black&white photograph (as mostly today was a battle of trying to do schoolwork and everything):

IMG_9883 - Chosen

What I find especially cool about this photograph is that the black bar showed up as this is a photo of my laptop screen, and although I shot in color, I feel the black&white really works for this piece and the black bar is especially spooky and eerie in terms of the content (cancer) of this course. πŸ™‚

Let me know if you’d like to see more of the shots that came from this shoot as well. ❀

Hope you made it through this post!! I know it was a lot. Thanks for reading. ❀ ❀ ❀ xxxx

Encountering Toxicity Online| #WWRRM

#WWRRM THUMB(1)

This post will have my third day’s submission of black&white photography at the end. Although I don’t have the heart or faith in humanity to include more of the photos in color that came out of today’s shoot (I will try and do some of this this weekend instead), I am going to try and set this post up as best as I can.


There is only one person in the world whose actions and behaviors we can control and that is each of ourselves. We can’t control what people think of us, what judgments they make of us based on our appearance or skin color or outfit, what they think our lives are like based on how many followers we have on social media or the happy photos we share publicly with the world while hiding away the fights, the insecurities and the technical or romantic difficulties.

We can only control what we say, do and act in response to them.

Fact: not everybody is going to like you.

Fact: you’re not going to love everybody around you.

Also fact:

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” – Charles R. Swindoll

We cannot control the words others speak, the triggers we encounter in the free world, the memories it brings up for us or how tumultuous the emotions that arise in us feel.

What we can control, what really matters, is how we choose to respond to these issues.

No, if you get triggered it’s not your fault. No, if you get offended by X when everyone else is seemingly offended by Y doesn’t make you “wrong” or “right”, “good” or “bad”.

We react to what we react to. Our perspectives are colored by our pasts, our experiences leading up to that moment in time, to how others have interacted with us before and who we may encounter in the future.

I like to think I think of the best in people. I believe in spreading kindness and positivity, of being kind and compassionate and empathetic.

But not every person in humanity is like that.

Some people are cruel, some people want to watch the world burn–and they even ENJOY it. Some people are toxic. Some people are rude. Some people are crude and cruel.

Some people aren’t at all worth your or my own time. Some people just aren’t worth it. What we have to do is tackle each new problem with a clear, WISE mind (ideally), and just try our best, because that really can be enough.

It is in no way easy, and the Internet, especially, can be a cruel and unforgiving place. But we won’t just encounter rude or insensitive pricks on the Internet but in real life as well. Some people don’t believe mental health is a reality. Some people believe in conspiracies. Some people think the Earth is still flat.

We won’t reach everyone with our message, with our stories, with our kindness, with our best interests and others’ best interests in mind.

We can’t necessarily control who we come into contact with on a day to day basis–whether that’s passing by a stranger at the train station or scrolling through your feed. Some people in our encounters will be the worst of humanity rolled up into one person (or if you’re unlucky, multiple people).

And, in a way, that is okay.

Because again, we can only truly control ourselves. So where you can, limit your contact with these “fishers”, people who try to drag you down and are toxic or abusive towards you. Be firm, respectful and end the conversation when it starts to get out of hand. Online we have the option to block or ignore–not every message is worthy of a response from us let alone our time and energy. So where you can, choose to let go. And choose to self-care and do what’s best for you–like writing a blog post about people and the Internet.

We won’t be able to change everyone’s opinions, and maybe, maybe that’s never been the point.

What does matter is reaching those individuals out there in the world and online who matter, who care deeply, who love fully, who are innocent and need protecting. Not necessarily by us “heroes” but to teach them how to save themselves. Because that’s a skill we could all use in our lives more–knowing how to become our very own heroes.

People will come and shit on your campfire sometimes. Some days, they’ll stick their turds onto sticks and try to sell it as a smelly s’mores. Our choice is to consider the source and evaluate whether we need to respond publicly to this person or whether we can handle the situation more privately or even not at all. Because again, we don’t have to answer someone if we don’t want to.

I know it’s tough. It is. And while there may be people in your corner trying to rip through your tent and steal your undies, I promise you that there are people out there who care about you, who want the best for you, who want you to know that you are loved, you are important, that what you’re going through is valid, that you matter, and that people DO care about you, no matter what bullshittery is being fed to you by the shit stickers and the devil behind your eyes.

Your pain is real, your story isn’t over yet, you have a life worth living.

It’s up to you how you face the obstacles.

Choosing strength could inspire hundreds. It’s not about how many times or how far you’ve fallen–it’s about the triumphs of refusing to give up and to carry on another day. When you need to, just take a break from the Internet or from those toxic people in your day to day life. You don’t need that extra pile of shit. And you don’t deserve it.

Ultimately: be kind, be safe, and realize it’s more of a character projection of them than it is on you. We won’t always know why life hands us those shit sticks, or why we attract certain people into our worlds. And maybe it doesn’t matter why at all. Maybe it’s just about how we grow from those experiences. To know when we’re facing criticism rather than solid blocks of hate. It’s no truly peaceful world out there, yet we can choose who we surround ourselves with in some respects and the little tight-knit communities we create in our corners. It may never block out the shadows completely but maybe it’s just about finding the light and the stars to guide us home.

Stay safe.

Much love and light to you all. ❀ ❀ ❀


Today’s chosen black&white photograph (with more details and shots to come this weekend):

IMG_9726 - Copy

The color shots really do wonders for this shoot, but I think the black&white suits this photo well too.

This shoot involved this blue intricate dish, my peacock necklace, and a lot of bokeh from the necklace and the light hitting the bowl (which I will likely use as future background bokeh images). I also got a few shots of Mokeys too.

I will try to have more updates and better, lighter topics this weekend.

Good night!

2018 A – Z Challenge, Recovery Edition. A is for Advocacy. #WWRRM

#WWRRM THUMB(1)

Welcome back!!

So, you may have seen my entire photography post as I just uploaded it moments ago to my blog! I worked on that for about 2 or 3 hours (including taking the photos themselves) and I’m writing this post right now around 9p (it was published around 9p too, as my posts don’t tend to show times, unfortunately (but Twitter does!!)) so hopefully it doesn’t take me too, too long as I want some time to wind down for the night, fill out my planner, journal and diary card and mentally prepare for tomorrow at program! Also though, I fell asleep for longer than I meant to this afternoon (think of this as me jotting down what I was doing when and where; and so I may not be able to fall asleep as quickly tonight, sadly; it was one of those naps where you wake up again and think it’s the next day XD). So, yeah!

You know, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to set out and cover for this post, but I’m thinking of the A – Z challenge, so let’s see what’s next!

Also, DAILY BLACK&WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY SUBMISSION BELOW! We’re officially rocking out on Day #2!


My response to this 2017 post in May: A is for Advocacy

Welcome to A is for Advocacy, 2018 Edition: (10p edit: I was going to do a unique 2018 version for A is for adaptation but I’ll cover that tomorrow or over the weekend instead)

It’s strange because I want to do more and say more but I think my 2017 version of myself said a lot of what I wanted to say. Additionally, I plan to write an article in my Treatment 101 series all about advocacy and what I do for it which probably will overlap with what ‘My Dreams in Recovery’ article covered.

But I will add new thoughts, and review old ones. I feel as though with the time I have available right now, that I won’t cover everything I want to so I apologize for that, and please bear with me. Let’s dive in…

Hello, welcome. My name is Raquel Lyons and I am the almost a quarter life’s old blogger behind the name ‘RecoverytoWellness’. I work closely with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts chapter with In Our Own Voice presentations that are newly revamped presentations about people’s lived experiences with mental health conditions and I am getting my re-certification for the peer to peer mentor recovery class they have. I got the giant binders in the mail and everything! Which is something I won’t really look through until my online course is over.

I’m currently a senior, still, in my undergraduate career in Psychology (BS) at UMass Boston. I will be graduating this year, I guess in the winter session. I am taking two courses this coming semester while taking an elective cancer biology course right now during the summer.

I originally started my college degree as a Chemistry major going for Pre-Med. Then I took Chemistry. XD And knew I had to NOPE it on out of there, ahaha. Originally I was going to stick with pre-med just as a psych major but when I failed chemistry again I knew I needed a new career path (which, by the way, I think worked out for the better as I don’t think I’m equipped to handle a medical career).

I began college at UMass Boston in fall 2012. I graduated that same year from high school and began college a few months later. I went to the team-building activities and the welcome to freshmen seminars and took a STEM group that involved meeting once a week in a science building and supporting one another as we, the FIG as it was called, journeyed through the classrooms more or less together. I made some great friends that way, and it was a unit, a pack, if you will. I’ve fallen out of touch with them now, but we had some good times. I remember FrankenSquid which was a mutilated dead squid from one of our classmates in lab, pinning its arms to its head and middle body. It was hilarious. XD

I don’t remember exactly when I took psychology still as a chem major but it happened probably in or aro–actually, no, I think it was spring 2014. Regardless, I really enjoyed it and I did very well in that class. I believe I changed my major that semester. I had also added a philosophy minor but that got removed accidentally later and I never bothered to fix it. Just to be honest. XD

In summer 2014 my Mom and I went to Peru for maybe a little less than a month. I took many, many photos there; although my camera encountered problems and stopped working which was pretty devastating.

Around this time, but technically sooner, I had begun to develop symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. In summer 2013 and fall 2013 into some of the spring 2014 semester I began to see someone at the counseling center mainly for procrastination. It really helped, actually. Fall 2013 I had my lowest grades in multiple classes and was left feeble and defeated, procrastination so bad that I often didn’t do any homework at all. End of the year, I picked myself up and reorganized my entire room and started fresh, re-taking chemistry for a better grade.

Yeah, well, I wound up failing chemistry in spring 2014, but I did well in psych! Eventually I switched to a psych major completely, but the BS because I didn’t want to take a year of language and already had enough biology where it would make more sense to just do the BS.

In fall 2014 I was diagnosed with OCD on self-harm and suicide obsessions. Although I had symptoms of OCD for the two years previous, that’s really where things took…. a different turn.

Ironically I was taking abnormal psych during the semester I got diagnosed and we had JUST covered OCD and I had only related to it minimally before I got the diagnosis, did my own research and found out that yes, I did have a mental health condition.

I had a lot of self-stigma during that semester. I think, because I had had other identity crises before that point that finding out I had a mental health condition when I didn’t realize myself that I did was just jaw-dropping and gut-wrenching, shocking and appalling. I remember wondering how I couldn’t have known something was wrong, the OCD voice questioning in my mind whether or not I truly had OCD or whether it was just a lie.

I remember a lot of nights spent obsessing, ruminating and going over the thoughts and what was happening to me. It was the first time in my life that I faced mental health struggles. I may have dabbled in the past but this time it was raw and anxious and scary. I didn’t know it then but I’d be dealing with these symptoms for the rest of my life.

I always like to think that I didn’t act on self-harm urges during this period of my life but that would still be a lie. It was a twisted, fucked up version of a compulsion. I thought maybe if I did what the OCD said that it would go away, hide back into the shadows and I could be normal again.

It bothered me, and still does, that-that fact that people with OCD don’t act on their thoughts when I found myself defying that concept. But it wasn’t necessarily to harm. Or, maybe it was. It all kind of mixes together. I think when it was only OCD it was frightening to act on the thoughts but it didn’t necessarily stop me from acting on the thoughts but because I was acting on them at all, even minimally, it was scary. I couldn’t “go all the way” but I could do an inch, and an inch was catastrophized and magnetized more than necessary.

But these are darker memories, darker than I want to get into right now.

I think within the time frame that I was diagnosed with OCD I began to show symptoms of secondary depression as well. Depression would wait until winter break before striking. And things would get very confusing and very intimidating. And dark.

In January 2015 I had my first ever psych hospitalization. Which would be one of many. At the time of heightened OCD I remember staring at ceilings and worrying endlessly and during depression it was acting on self-harm (scratching) thoughts and suicide rehearsals and suicide preparations. It was trying to find an outside therapist and everything mental health and healthy version of myself mixing together in a pot of intricately designed goo.

Eventually I found my OCD therapist and switched over to them who I saw twice a week for a year. I had another hospitalization in June and started my first day program soon after, then attending the OCD-Institute in the fall 2015. I took the semester off from school and attended their OCD program for 5 weeks. I made some lovely art, and to be fair, I got into drawing again in 2015 itself when a friend of mine from high school visited me in the hospital and we drew together. I also discovered art therapy this year and that aided me in more ways than one thereafter.

So new drawings were made, songs were danced to (I remember struggling one evening and dancing to ‘Stitches’ by Shawn Mendes outside in the parking lot), laughs were had, trips outside were made and things were good.

For a little while, things were good.

Entering 2016 I was on the treatment high so to speak as I was in full-blown recovery. My recovery had begun back in March 2015 and I eventually developed IOS or ink on skin to try and cope with my crises when they came. Having been at the OCD-I I was doing a lot better. I took classes, I began writing for the university newspaper about my mental health experiences, I filled out an application for NAMI’s IOOV, I became certified for IOOV’s and did my first one in April 2016, and created my blog out of frustration and passion in May 2016.

Into fall semester 2016 I relapsed in my recovery. Technically I had a couple of lapses here and there before then but I was hospitalized again in September and again in November, I believe. By December 2016, I created my YouTube channel.

When winter rolled around, I got hospitalized again in January 2017.

In, I believe, February 2017 we acquired our first Chinese hamster named Nova. You know of him. ❀ He passed away in November, where we got our good, strong buddy named Galaxy.

Some time around this juncture, I changed therapists to April who was more local and who I saw once a week for a year. I changed therapists because I mainly hit a rut in my recovery and I realized I needed to advocate for myself more and change to someone new, someone I could listen to more and actually complete homework for. I realized this one time when I took a psychological trauma class and reported back to friends about the idea. I had gotten inspired by the idea of having my therapist work for me and what happens when you get stuck with someone that you don’t move either forwards or backwards. (I’m sure I could go back into my old notebooks let alone add pictures to this post but I’m still trying to get it done, more so. I’ll probably include it in the future IE in a newer post dedicated for it or in an article).

Later in 2017, I took up a job as a mental health associate at a prison for those struggling with mental health conditions who had committed crimes. I didn’t last more than a month before falling back into my own suicide attempts. I was hospitalized at the start of one week, out three days later and back in again two days after that. It was like hitting turbulence on an airplane, the road was shaky and I wasn’t standing upright all that much. Around March is when I was tentatively diagnosed with borderline tendencies, something I cautiously accepted this time around.

In April 2017, I created my first ever Twitter account, to help with blogging and getting my name and message out there. (We’re getting to it, I swear)

In June 2017, I convinced my parents for us to get a doggo (after months of persuasion, begging and the like). Thus, June 3rd, Mokeys was brought into our lives as a three month old pupper originally named Pocket. She was one of nine from a litter and the littlest one, too. We picked her up in Rhode Island and it was surreal, for sure. She was so adorable and had the most gorgeous gray eyes and she would turn out to be an incredible family member and remarkable puppy. I was still getting over a cold when we got her and I remember having a coughing fit and her coming up to lay next to me so I would rub her and she would calm me down. She was highly intuitive.

Mocha 3

She had hookworms when we first got her, so she wasn’t super happy and she was having explosive diarrhea but we took her to the vet (thinking at first it was the change in food) and she gave her medicine for it and got better. Ironically, I didn’t expect the large amount of judgment and stress from having a pupper and sadly went back into the hospital a few weeks later.

When I came out, 1800 by Logic was a thing and I really enjoyed it and wrote an article about it. (Say the Word Suicide series: Give it Time) I struggled a few more times that summer, getting help and support from therapy and school, narrowly avoiding the hospital.

In fall 2017, I began the semester but soon after tattling on myself to a hotline, got a wellness check performed on me and wound up in the hospital for an entire month (which was abnormal for me). This was one of my darkest times. I received new medications and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and road another high from mid-October to January 2018.

In January 2018 I would experience my darkest days yet, hallmarked into five unpublished articles, countless daunting text messages and Twitter threads darker than the night sky. It was notably the darkest time of my recovery, where I genuinely didn’t believe anything would ever get better again and I was very intent on acting on my thoughts.

I was hospitalized the week school restarted after an ultimatum with my parents. I believe from there I was recommended to go to Passages, my day program; a place my therapist, April, had recommended before but that hadn’t accepted my insurance but having had a change in that, they would accept me then.

In February, there was a rough day at program, followed from the previous week where I wrote a concerning article and created an unintended ruckus on campus, shockwaving out to people I didn’t intend to harm until I did myself in…..This was a hard time.

I had been heavily imagining and re-imagining my inevitable suicide, down to nitty gritty details and illogical scenarios and who I would tell, how I would do it and everything in between. I thought it was never going to get better again.

But I spoke with a friend from the paper, who wormed hope into my radar again. Maybe it didn’t have to end in my suicide after all. Maybe, just maybe, things could get better.

So I went to program the next day and told them of my thoughts and plans, as my friend Luna was not the appropriate person or place to tell, their hands tied, making me feel saddened and uncomfortable. But I was triggered at program and I spoke to my treatment coordinator who called the crisis team who came to interview me who I wound up leaving in an ambulance to the hospital down the street.

And so, from there, I would begin anew again. My January hospitalization had decreased my medications and it was about 3 weeks later when I was hospitalized again (about twelve overall in three years). In both hospitalizations of this year I wrote fanfiction and read books, starting book reviews and stealing many things. XD In July from Unit Z I stole a decaf coffee cup. Still have it and everything. πŸ™‚

Luckily when I returned to Unit Z in January 2018 the douche canoe social worker had left and I was very happy about that (he wanted to put me in a state hospital back in the September stay; he also told me I wouldn’t have a choice in the matter either, grrr.)

I thought it was March, but maybe it was April or May, either way I was recommended into the DBT-Intensive program at Passages. It’s a 6 to 8 month commitment, can’t see my outside therapist as I’m giving one from the program and have to safety contract to not kill or harm myself while attending.

Passages. It has been so very, very life-saving.

I tell you this story because it is my own. And I guess I was feeling nostalgic. For how things were and how they used to be– and how much better things are now.

In spring 2018 I did return, after a speed bump, to happier articles and pro-recovery articles. I transitioned over more so to Twitter and have attended my day program three days a week for about 6 months. And for the majority of those 6 months, I’ve been happy, healthy and stable. Passages has given me my life back. I have given me my life back.

All of this is to say:

It’s been a long journey. My demons are still with me. Hiding in memories and hidden messages and, that is okay. Everything can be okay again and I can be okay again and you can be okay again and it IS possible to have more good days than bad days and although I’ll never be entirely free, I’ll take half-free ANY day.

Sharing my story is sharing my strengths, my vulnerabilities, my voice and ME. I’ve struggled with identity issues from the start of college. I was a Chem major, pre-med; to I was a procrastinator to a major degree; to a psychology student; to I no longer knew who the hell I was. Because if I wasn’t the person who never killed themselves, than who the hell was I?

And now?

Now I am officially and authentically ME. I am Raquel Lyons. I am an avid artist. I create photography, drawings, watercoloring, painting, scrapbooking, beaded bracelets, creative writing (mainly fanfiction). I *LOVE* unicorns, rainbows, rainbow lighthouses. I love gazebos, the idea of the woods, the beach, summer. I love my Mokeys. I love myself. I am a survivor radiating badassery. I am the blogger and face behind RecoverytoWellness. I am the mini blogger behind Recovery Raquel on Twitter. I write for my uni’s newspaper. I am certified in youth mental health first aid (I got the certificate and everything). I am an IOOV presenter. I work with NAMI. I want to be an MHS. I want to be a peer specialist. I want to one day, eventually, be a therapist. I want to be an author of a memoir, a novel, a recovery book. I want to make #WWRRM and #RecoveryHome and Recovery Restoration and Recovery Raquel a thing. I want to make something of my life, and making something of it every chance I get which is really, ultimately, what I am doing every day. I take medications daily. I attend my program as one does. I go to school. I could be your friend, your neighbor, your fellow Youtube creator.

I am me. And this is my story. Part of it, anyway.

Together we can make it through this hell. Because there’s light on the other side and I’ve seen it before and it is so, so very good. We can get easily lost in labels but what matters is our voice, is our story, is our saying ‘I’m not okay and that can be okay.’ Our stories live on, our journeys are never ending. We can inspire hundreds. We can be enough. We can be loved, we are loved, we are cared about. We can get through this. Suicide doesn’t have to be our ‘only’ choice. We can get better. Hope is out there; recovery is possible.

And I hope you come along with me on this journey of mine to self-discovery. To recovery in a positive light and fighting the battles of mental health conditions with every breath we take because one day it won’t be so difficult to breathe or to feel or to say something and we all deserve to have that CHANCE in life.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for visiting. Thank you for existing.

I will leave now with this NEW thumb and today’s photograph.

(Sorry for how winding and storytelling this post was, I didn’t necessarily intend to write so much about the past, and I’m hoping I didn’t trigger myself (only time will tell) and I hope you got the gist of everything. I would write more for the advocacy/who I am part but it’s pushing 11p and I still need to self-care in other ways! I imagine you understand. I could probably add more later to the ‘I’ part. Who knows!).

be your own hero-you deserve it - 8.1.18

Day #2 Photograph:

IMG_9580 --xxx - Copy

An older, 1.5 year Mokeys.

Thank you, for everything.

You are loved. Your life matters. Your voice is worth sharing.

If you are in the USA feeling suicidal call 1800 273 8255.

Your life is worth living. ❀ ❀ ❀


Also, if you want to get involved in other sources of advocacy, check out:

Dr1ven website or email them at: info@rudr1ven.com