It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Posts tagged ‘#Thanksgiving2014’

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!!!!!



***I ask if you choose to read this blog, that you read the whole thing. And if you are a new reader not familiar with me, that you do not penalize me for my cognitive disabilities that prevent me from writing well, as a disabled blogger and making an inaccurate assumption, that I’m not capable of intelligent thought, as a result.

That says more about YOUR bias, then it says about MY abilities, lack of them and barriers, which I’m fully aware of them.***

*** And NO, this blog is not in reference to the Robin Thicke “ditty” that’s been viewed on You Tube about 350 million times, well not directly***

I, unlike most people on social media have not commented on Ferguson. AT ALL. Not that I haven’t had an opinion, it’s just not a popular one. That’s about to change with this blog, though. I’m finally chiming in, but I’m sure that what I have to say will offend many. Hopefully people will understand that it’s my intention to help, not hurt anyone.

While I have a tendency on my blog to stick to medical, mental health, body diversity and anti-bullying activism, I find on social media and within myself, transitioning into being more into overall human rights. Meaning, I don’t believe in prejudicial words and/or hateful words and action being thrown on anyone due to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, size, or physical and mental health disability. And as a disabled activist, try to use WORDS for greater good, for people.

In my case, the single person I spend the most time with in my life and offline, is NOT on social media. AT ALL. Doesn’t like Facebook, Twitter or any other forms of social media. It happens to be that would be my boyfriend of 3 years. I don’t talk about him very much on Facebook (which is the preferred social media venue of my choice) too much and I’m not Twitter, a whole heck of a lot.  And this is the first time I’ve mentioned him on my blog, because while  I’m not a famous activist, I’m quite a public one of what I’ve chosen to divulge of my life and leave it to me, to find the most private person on the planet and be in a relationship with them. I’m digressing but I’ll make my point, sooner or later. As this very tidbit has relevance in a point I’m trying to make and one that I have both subtly and not so subtly since I’ve started blogging, and way before as just an activist on social media.

BUT… Because I am disabled and spend most of the time alone, when I actually see my boyfriend, it will take me 90 million words and updates about current events and what I feel about how everything on social media is newsworthy, usually for about 2 seconds. And things that should NOT be not so newsworthy (i.e. Robin Williams’s death and all the personal and media speculation in the last 3 1/2 months since then) that’s a huge invasion of privacy, people can’t shut up about. I can’t shut up about that people are getting “tried on social media” and it’s definitely, a trial by fire, while metaphorically, it probably mentally isn’t much less painful.

This is what I have to say about Ferguson. It could have happened ANYWHERE. That fact most people get. What most people don’t get that it’s not a race issue. It’s a RAGE issue. And this is what’s REALLY pissing me off about the whole matter. (I can’t and won’t comment or even hold an opinion about either Officer Darren Wilson or Michael Brown. Was not there. Anything else would be speculation)

Before anyone even thinks to say back to me, “well you’re not black”. No, I’m not. HOWEVER…I am an unattractive, poor, white, fat, JEWISH, medically and mentally disabled female who lives in an area of Downtown Minneapolis where I’m in the minority, in multiple ways. I have an idea of what it’s like to be profiled and be subjected to constant prejudice. My whole entire life.Just not by the local police. But pretty much by EVERYONE else.

This needs to be said as an activist and I’m choosing my words VERY carefully. I do get that black people are profiled and experience a ton of bigotry and I find it revolting.  There’s NO “but” in that last statement. However the biggest threat to someone’s who’s black, their lives,livelihoods  and their safety is NOT the police, it’s unfortunately another black person. Black lives DO matter. So do white,native american, mentally ill,  gay, Muslim, fat people’s and thin peoeples lives. ALL OUR LIVES MATTER. Let’s not go into whether or not people have a choice in being who they are. And hating on them or subjecting them to so much hate. That’s most of the world’s problem, right now in the digital age. We are failing to see people as human beings. Instead we see stories that we either relate to or we don’t. And then we judge harshly. People are losing the ability to differentiate that people are human beings in the digital age.

Until most of the world understands that people are people, that RAGE, INDIFFERENCE and a lack of EMPATHY, is what’s killing lot’s of people, nowadays and finding ways to reach people who are capable of violent harm, and intervene, evaluate and treat those people, not much is going to change. We STILL  are going to keep getting in our newsfeeds stories about parents killing kids,kids killing their parents, kids still getting shot and killed at schools, people getting shot and killed at their workplaces and shopping malls or in front of or in their homes, getting in a fatal car accident on their way home from work and people running over a pedestrian because they are busy multitasking while operating an automobile and another kid is going to commit suicide from being bullied for being too fat and or will die of anorexia and another child dies from cancer. THIS HAPPENS EVERYDAY!!! Where is everyone’s self righteous indignation for all of that??? Where’s the peaceful protesting for all of that??? Seriously, what the FUCK is wrong with everyone???? Where are the initiatives we so badly need now in our society so this finally stops becoming so commonplace in our daily lives, so most choose to ignore it???

We unfortunately, BADLY  need initiatives in this day and age, that people’s actions and words when hateful have consequence on people’s lives, to prevent this from happening over and over again. Whether it’s impulsive or planned. No loved one or stranger has the right to harm another physically or mentally. Unless it’s in self defense, which some of this is about. But if you’ve never experienced rage from a stranger, and I can’t say that’s what or what DID NOT happen here, you would realize that rage in itself is deadly. No OTHER weapon is needed, but others who are capable of rage, anything other than their bare hands can and will be used as a weapon, ONLY to insure loss of life.

So what is this  reclusive and disabled blogger, is asking of everyone, this Thanksgiving Eve in 2014??? Start seeing people as people. Not playthings or something for you to judge harshly for you to make yourself feel better. Realize all the outrage you show for Ferguson won’t matter on social media, if you are texting and driving pissed off to get your 8 year old a new I6 phone and if it requires shoving and pushing others or just giving them a dirty look, you aren’t the saint you think you are on this “Black Friday”. If you carry bias and hate about one classification of people, but not another, that isn’t your “Get Out Hell” free card. Stuff that is American specific is why third world countries laugh at Americans, justifiably so. We live in the world’s greatest nation, for the most part and we are the most ungrateful hypocritical people on the planet.

So if you want to change the world in a positive way, that’s great. Start with Ferguson, just don’t END there. Positively and peacefully advocate for a more peaceful non hateful world and  life for EVERYONE…..

Because either you believe ALL LIVES MATTER or you don’t…. Period…  (and note, I don’t have empathy for people who are violent)

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