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Archive for the ‘gratitude’ Category

The BEST things to ever happen to me…


Disclaimers: There aren’t any or many, given the fact that this blog is personal and it’s meant to concentrate on what’s the best things about our lives. I might put restrictions at the end, only because I’m not going to be “babysitting” my Facebook and Twitter accounts, as I’m not on social media very much and don’t plan on going on either of those accounts, anytime soon. Thanks.

I’m trying to feel a little more positive about things, as of late. It’s kind of a struggle because I don’t feel the greatest and am kinda reclusive, while I can use the internet in a positive way, personally, I’d thought I’d try to extend that kind of positivity, in my own blog, where I do such serious life and death type of activism.

I’ve been trying to achieve that, by looking at the best things that ever happened to me and my best traits and concentrating on them, as of late, as well as of best things about people I admire versus the sucky mindset we can get into, if one is scared of a lot of things, that aren’t in the realm of their control, that sometimes we have to let that go, so we aren’t in a chronic panic anxiety state.

Here are the BEST things to happen to me, broken by year and event, in the last 3 decades for me:

1992- Zachary was born

1996- Going to London, as a poor single Mom on business with Princess Diana being on the flight.

2003- Zoe was born (and turns 15 in 2 1/2 weeks!!!)

2005- The hope I had as a single Mom of 2 amazing kids who was going to be a small business owner (I can use that as a good thing, even though my life didn’t turned out that way, because I remember I still had hope and was working hard to achieve a dream).

2011- Met my boyfriend who’s my best friend, who’s patient with having a girlfriend with medical, mental health and cognitive disabilities

2015- Going to Las Vegas, all by myself. Getting from McCarran International to the strip by bus and walking everywhere in between in the desert, with my current disability sets (which are now worse). Negotiating a decent hotel room rate and staying in a cool hotel (which trip is highlighted in a past blogs) like the Stratosphere, where I had a Jacuzzi tub and an amazing view from the 22nd floor.

2018-??? It’s gotta be something, cause while I can take pride in that I’m still an activist, from a “seize the day, even it’s only a DAY’ recluse point of view (will never be a YOLO chick, um just not me) have to do something.

Best skill sets I’ve had in the last 3 decades:

1988 to 2006: Could get decent jobs and had great interviewing skills. Never lived in fear while I was a functional mother, was in awe and grateful for the experience. Was a good friend. And was good at my jobs that I had and I would’ve been great at the business I wanted to start, had I not been so blindsided by circumstances that were not in my control.

2008-2011: A self awareness that I could survive a lot of bad things and circumstances and still have the decency to try to help people, even as minimally as it was, the best I could, which was very limited.

2011-2018: See directly above but add that I didn’t go through the bad stuff in vain, given my limitations, that it would be used to serve a greater good to people, in whatever way I could help, even being as limited as I am.

Knowing how to give a sincere compliment, genuine apology and constructive but kind feedback and insight. Still possessing a desire to help those who don’t have a voice and advocate on their behalf. Having the ability to engage in an intelligent conversation, debate or argument. Having gratitude for the smallest of good things and blessings.

1969-2018: Never taking anything or anyone that’s good for granted. Finding good things in trying adversity. even if it’s the little stuff.

SO,  between concentrating on the above, reading Mr. Rogers and Oprah quotes and trying to see those who overcame great odds and did good with their lives, is helping me try to not be as pessimistic, even though I’m kind of always going to be of “partly cloudy” at best, in personality.

So that’s mine. What are your best things in your life and your best skill sets???

Note: I have social media ties or know a bazillion wls peeps. Like seriously, A bazillion.

AND YES, I’d prefer you didn’t use a bariatric and/or reconstructive surgery as one of the best things that happened to you. That would count for not just wls but any surgery, unless someone’s sight was restored with corneal implants, or something extremely unusual.

I’m not trying to be mean, and I’m not short sighted, see my year “2005”.

You climbed Mt. Everest post rny gastric bypass???

Great, would love to hear about it. The fact you just had any weight loss surgery, you’re going to have to try harder, it’s for your own good, OK?


My Holiday Season-2009

In my more personal blogs vs. activism, I think I’ve kind of made it clear, I’m kind of way stuck in the past. Specifically, of where I was, EXACTLY 5 years ago.

With my memory issues, I was hoping initially that I’d forget the time I spent in the system. But I’m realizing whether I like it or not, it’s serving a very important purpose as I move slowly forward in my life.

What was I doing Thanksgiving 2009? Not much. I spent midday Thanksgiving of 2009 at a drop in center for the mentally ill (Vail Place in Minneapolis). That evening there was another Thanksgiving dinner at the group home,later that evening .  I had already received finally, in the beginning of November of 2009, my 1st SSDI check. It was quite painful to sign over $900 of the $1,001, that I had received,to pay for my crappy room (and board)  that I shared with 2 other people at the group home I was living with. (note: It cost me $900, however it cost the county an additional $600 or $1500 a month, as prior to getting SSDI, I had been on General Assistance since I left the hospital, post suicide attempt). However time was moving by, oh so slow, as I impatiently awaited my backpay.

So, imagine living on a $101 a month, knowing that sometime,  you were going to receive several thousands of dollars in back pay. It really wasn’t the money I was waiting for, it was my FREEDOM. Because of missing some medication passes, I had been restricted for months, on not being able to leave the group home for an extended period of time (more than 4 hours).

Holiday Season of 2009 was my SECOND holiday season spent in the mental health system, though. The year before though,I had been in a 90 day inpatient intensive behavior treatment group home, that was slightly less scary, than my current residency in a group home that was for people who long term needed assisted care because of severe and persistent mental illness being a barrier,of them being able to live independently.

Thanksgiving came and passed. Then 6 days later, it was my 40th birthday. Which I celebrated by  having a delicious (dripping copious amounts of sarcasm) dinner consisting of having mushroom swiss Angus burger from McDonald’s, that I’d end up puking my guts out (the psych meds while I was being weaned off of most by early December of 2009, caused a wicked binge and purge cycle, even though I was almost 8 years status post gastric bypass, this was 9 months BEFORE what would end up, of my getting reversed, which I had NO IDEA that would be an issue in the future) by myself.

I found it kind of funny that in both group homes they celebrated St. Nick’s Day. While I understand the sentiment, it was kind of funny to see a bunch of people who where their medications and a lot of sugar was an interesting combination. It was less funny in me, given the fact I was in that binge/purge cycle and still dumped from sugar, caused quite an ugly reaction (projectile vomiting).

Christmas of 2009 came and went quietly. That also was spent at the group home and later that night, at a local church with friends from the group home, that offered Christmas Dinner to the indigent . A couple of days later, knocked me for a loop. In a VERY good way. When checking my balance, of my checking account, to see if I had enough money for a pack of cigarettes, I had about almost $10K that I should’ve known was coming, but kind of gave up.  Two days later,  New Year’s Eve of 2009 was spent  at a dentist appointment,checking out a condo in Plymouth for rent, which I saw, wrote a check for and then promptly moved out of that group home, next day on January 1st, 2010.

Now, all of this is in my very 1st (ranty, wordy, not capable of any logical sequence in order of thought)  blog on here, on WordPress. It bears repeating, for multiple reasons, though. Especially THIS holiday season, for ME. For someone who nearly lost their life, multiple times in the last couple of years (only once was due to mental illness, the other near death issues were medical) I know how lucky I am, to still be alive.

This blog was not written to do any type of activism. It probably explains more of why I’m passionate about the activism that I do. It also reinforces why I take nothing and no one for granted. But I NEVER did. Maybe the one thing I did take for granted was my freedom. But I had no mental health or legal history before the age of 38 1/2.

So, what will be I doing this Thanksgiving in 2014? Due to having a bad cold, I will be celebrating it quietly by myself. As I don’t want to make anyone else sick.  While most of the holidays (including my birthday) in 2010, I was by myself as I was still quite sick, after my gastric bypass reversal, the last several years the holidays have been spent with my boyfriend and his family and then stopping by my parents house and seeing my children .

I started a tradition that came from when I first moved out on my own, New Years Day 2010, after almost 16 months in the mental health system. It’s a “gratitude” tradition. Kind of quirky, but I actually thank everything that I have, and everyone I have, often. Not just on the holidays. While I’m sure, I’d look strange if I was thanking my bedding and my television (among many other things), in front of anyone else, I couldn’t care less.

There was a time when I had absolutely NOTHING, in 2008 to the end of 2009. I had to start at ground zero in 2010 and rebuild a life with a lot of medical and mental health barriers. Not only did I lose almost all my material possessions, but what I lost in abilities and in freedom. And I did rebuild a life, one I never imagined, while it’s not of my dreams that I had in 2004, it’s not of my nightmares of what my life was like in 2008 and 2009. SO,I know how lucky I am, to have what I have in my life, not to mention, WHO, I have in my life. My children. My family. My friends. My boyfriend.

And the freedom of choice. I couldn’t be anymore grateful this Thanksgiving of 2014 for that and everything else.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

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