10 Great Fictional Books/Audiobooks About Characters with Mental Illness

Three Things to Know for Mental Health Awareness Month - Healthy ...

Lately I haven’t been blogging but I couldn’t let the entire month of May go by without contributing to my blog to bring awareness to mental health (although 90% of my blog posts are concerning mental health).

Speaking of mental health, I’ve been working on finishing the sequel to Borderline, which is a story about a woman dating while secretly coping with Borderline Personality Disorder. I’ve blogged specifically about BPD before in the past. If interested, feel free to read Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

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If you’re like me and are intrigued by fictional books based on mental illness, then this particular blog post is for you. I’ll also be posting another blog on movies of the same subject. This post isnt to make light of mental illness, but to help bring light and education on the subject. The below selections are also available on audio, incase you’re like me, and love getting lost in a good audiobook while working or driving.

So let’s get started shall we?

golden vase with assorted flowers

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com


1. The Darkest Child by Delores Philips

The Darkest Child audiobook cover art

I had to start off this list with the only book written by the late Delores Philips. The book is guaranteed to move you. It takes place in 1958 and tells the story of a mother with mental illness raising 10 children on her own. This fictional story is told from a first person account of her daughter, Tangy Mae, the darkest of the ten children. If you read the reviews, you’ll find that alot of readers have found it very difficult to read because of the sensitive subject matters, primarily physical and sexual abuse. I’d recommend listening to the audio format, as Bahni Turpin is a superb narrator.


2. The Supermarket by Bobby Hall aka “Logic”

Supermarket audiobook cover art

I must say that I didn’t even realize that Logic had authored the book until I was about mid-way through it. The book was so good, that I was eager to look up information about the author of the book. I don’t want to give too much of the story because there are a couple of twists and turns. It’s described on audible as a psychological thriller but there isnt really any violence in it. However it does get the job done at shedding a huge spot light on mental health awareness while being highly entertained. He also did a great job at narrating the audiobook as well. It’s definitely worth the read.


3. The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon

The Burn Journals audiobook cover art

This is the only book on this list that I havent gotten around to reading yet, but it was brought to my attention by a young reader on Instagram. The story details the suicide attempt and recovery of the author when he was only fourteen. Since I have yet to read this true story, below is a synopsis from Amazon:

“In The Burn Journals, Runyon describes that devastating suicide attempt and his recovery over the following year. He takes us into the Burn Unit in a children’s hospital and through painful burn care and skin-grafting procedures. Then to a rehabilitation hospital, for intensive physical, occupational, and psychological therapy. And then finally back home, to the frightening prospect of entering high school.

But more importantly, Runyon takes us into his own mind. He shares his thoughts and hopes and fears with such unflinching honesty that we understand—with a terrible clarity—what it means to want to kill yourself and how it feels to struggle back toward normality.

Intense, exposed, insightful, The Burn Journals is a deeply personal story with universal reach. It is impossible to look away. Impossible to remain unmoved.”


4. Psycho by Robert Bloch

Psycho audiobook cover art

If you’re into classics and psychological thrillers, then you know all about Psycho and Bates Motel. This story is told in third person about Norman Bates, a motel owner with mental illness who kills his motel guests. The thriller is said to be based on the real life story of Wisconsin murderer, Ed Gein. In the story, Norman Bates suffers from dissociative identity disorder as a result of severe emotional abuse as a child. There is also an implication or theory that Norman may have been in an incestous relationship with his mother by readers. I, too, believe that this is the case. Alfred Hitchcock also directed a movie of the same name based on Robert Bloch’s novel.


5. The Secret She Kept by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

The Secret She Kept audiobook cover art

This novel kind of has a slow start but it gets interesting. The main character, Tia Jiles, is a successul lawyer who suffers from both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. She’s just gotten married to a magazine executive who has no idea what he’s gotten himself into because he is in the dark about his new wife’s mentally illness. The audiobook is narrated by Patricia Floyd, who is my 2nd favorite narrator. (Bahni Turpin is my 1st.)


6. Tell Me Lies by J.P. Pomare

This book is only available on audio and only on the Audible website but it’s worh mentioning. The story is about a psychologist, Margot Scott, and her account of the various patients she sees. Things begin to get interesting when one by one her clients are targeted by a mystery person (one of her patients). It is considered a psychological thriller, somewhat a mystery, and is very fast paced. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that the ending will have you feeling mind-fucked, because everything isn’t what it seem.


7. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Another classic. Girl, Interrupted takes place in the late 60s and is based on the real-life story of the author, Susanna Kaysen. The story follows her stay at a psychiatric hospital at the age of eighteen and her interaction and interesting drama with the other patients. During her two-year stay, Susanna is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. This book is not available in audio format on the Audible website, but it is available on audio on Amazon in cassette format. (That was not a typo. Yes, cassette.)

Girl, Interrupted by [Susanna Kaysen]


8. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Allegedly audiobook cover art

Allegedly is one of my favorite books and one that i’ve recommended to friends. Tiffany D. Jackson shows off her god-given talent in this wonderfully told story of Mary B. Addison, a teenaged fictional character convicted of murdering a baby when she was only 9. Mary lives in a group home with other colorful teens and soon finds herself pregnant. This page-turner also ends with the ultimate mind-fuck. Bahni Turpin does a wonderful job (as always) as narrator in the audiobook.


9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest audiobook cover art

This best selling novel kind of reminds me of Girl, Interrupted except in this tale, the story only takes place inside of the mental facility and the nurses aren’t as trusting. Like Girl, Interrupted, the book was adapted into film. Randle Patrick McMurphy has just been sentenced to a mental hospital for a battery and gambling crime by faking insanity. The facility is changed by Randle’s antics and rebelliousness, such as sneaking in prostitutes and being a menance to the nurses. There are also a few other interesting patients in the ward as well. According to wikipedia:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was written in 1959 and published in 1962 in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement[6] and deep changes to the way psychology and psychiatry were being approached in America. The 1960s began the controversial movement towards deinstitutionalization,[7][8] an act that would have affected the characters in Kesey’s novel. The novel is a direct product of Kesey’s time working the graveyard shift as an orderly at a mental health facility in Menlo Park, California.[9] Not only did he speak to the patients and witness the workings of the institution; he also voluntarily took psychoactive drugs, including mescaline and LSD, as part of Project MKUltra.[10]

This is definitely a recommended read if you’ve never read the book or seen the movie.


10. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

I had to end this list with another classic. The Catcher in the Rye has a history of being censored and banned in schools. Although it is told in the first person of a 16 year old depressed and pessimistic male teen who refers to most adults as phonys, it definitely held my attention. Tthe main protagnoist is Holden Caulfield and takes place in New York and Pennsylvania. I’m not really sure how to adequately describe the book or Holden, so i’ll copy and paste the synopsis from Amazon:

“Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.
There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.”

For some reason the audiobook isn’t available on Audible nor Amazon. It may be available on other audiobook websites, however, below is the full audiobook edition on Youtube.


Are there any other books that should’ve made the list? Please comment below as I am always looking for new books to read.

I hate My Writing

Why Creative People are More Prone to Depression & What we Can Do ...

 

I think I may or may not be going through another bout of Writer’s Depression  and I hate. It makes me feel miserable and wonder why I write. I struggle with vanishing from social media and ive deleted a few Instragram accounts in the past for my author page. Then I have to start over with a new account and grow my followers again once the depression has lifted. And it’s not like I can just not write anymore otherwise I feel Writer’s Guilt. I hate being a writer. I hate that creatives, especially writers, are more prone to mental illness and depression. It’s great suffering being in your thoughts with negative self-talk. I feel like my shit sucks and I don’t know why I continue to write.

I also believe that when I blogged about 11 Things Ive Learned the Hard Way About Being an Indie Author & Finding Your Purpose/Gift I had been depressed. There was two other writer who read that post and it discouraged them from publishing. I want to say that it was more than likely own self-loathing talking when I posted it. I still feel awful about that.


I am currently working on this:

Abel's Revenge eCover -final

 My fear is I wont be able to do justice to the powerful message.

Quotes About Manic Depression: top 39 Manic Depression quotes from ...


Althoug i’m no artistic genius I can relate to Van Gogh. 

I really hope you watch the 13 minute video below.  It’s a peek into the world of creatives dealing with depression,

There is also an impressive Hulu documentary on the life of Vincent van Gogh called Loving Vincent, 

” It is the first fully painted animated feature film.”-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_Vincent


And because i’m also a poet, I may also have the Slyvia Plath Effect

The Sylvia Plath Effect – Who are you Anesu? | Sylvia plath quotes ...


My mother was/is a writer. My daughter is also a wonderful writer. My fear is that i’ve passed on that gene to her. She often go through phases of depression, announcing that she’s quit writing, then I’ll find her typing away on her laptop writing chapters to a new book.

65 Best Psych2G0 images | Psychology facts, Psychology, Fun facts

Deep And Inspirational Quotes: top 72 famous quotes about Deep And ...

Sylvia Plath quote: Very depressed today. Unable to write a thing ...

RP Moans, Community Zone on Twitter: "#RPMoans #RolePlay #RP ...

Hypersexuality Disorder, Nymphomania, & Satyriasis (Sex Addiction)


I was recently chatting with a friend and was shocked to learn that this friend has a sex addicition. The first time i’d ever heard of someone allegedly having a real sex addiction was Tiger Woods. I never really considered or believed that sex addiction was a real thing. However, it is real and from what i’ve researched, it seems to stem from past sexual abuse or other mental illnesses. The clinical term for this is

Hypersexuality

37 Hypersexual Synonyms. Similar words for Hypersexual.

Hypersexuality isn’t the same as an average guy or woman who really enjoy sex. Sometimes the addiction comes with negative conseqences and affect one’s everyday life, as well as relationships.


Nymphomania versus Satyriasis

Nymphomaniacs = Hypersexual Woman

Satyriasis = Hypersexual Man

Inside Nymphomania

Hypersexuality: Is It a Bad Thing?

nym



CAUSES

Some causes may be childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, as well as mental illness such as Bipolar Disorder.

For those with Bipolar Disorder, it’s a little more complex than just a sexual addiction. Check out the video below for more detail:

Those with Borderline Personality Personality (BPD) may also suffer from hypersexuality. You can read more about BPD, by reading my past blog post about this: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Hypersexuality: Is It a Bad Thing?


TREATMENT

Hypersexuality: Is It a Bad Thing?

Do you or someone you know suffer from hypersexuality?


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Great Pacific Garbage Patch & Plastic


THE PLASTIC PROBLEM

For about two years now, I’ve started bringing my own reusable bags when I go grocery shopping. Ive also always tried my best to recycle plastic containers.  It seems like with everything going on in the world, especially with this current COVID pandemic, majority of us have forgotten about or are not aware of another big problem: Single Use Plastic. It’s really it’s own kind of epidemic. I encourage you to watch the short videos provided as well as take time to review the ways listed that we all can reduce our plastic use.

How to reduce plastic use? Different ways to do it - Iberdrola


PLASTIC’S EFFECT ON BIRDS

(This may be hard to watch)

 

THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH – TWICE THE SIZE OF FRANCE AND ...


EXACTLY HOW BIG IS THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH?


HOW DOES PLASTIC GET THERE?


HOW YOU CAN HELP

Ways to Reduce Plastic #reducewaste #plasticfree #cleanliving ...

 

9 ways to reduce plastic in your workplace - Posters & Postcards ...

 

9 ways to reduce plastic in your school - Less Plastic


HOW OTHERS ARE HELPING


What are you doing to reduce your use of plastic? Do you have any other suggestions on ways to limit its use?

Gerontophobia (Hatred or fear of the elderly) & Gerontophilia (fetish or attraction to the elderly)


So today  I wanted to post about 

Gerontophobia

which is the irrational fear or hatred of the elderly,

not to be confused with ageism

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 I came across this term while doing a little research for my last post ( Catoptrophobia, Eisoptrophobia, & Spectrophobia (Fear of Mirrors/Reflections)

From what I’ve read so far on gerontophobia, are those who fear old people usually have this phobia due to their own fear of aging or fear of death.

Then there are those  with gerontophobia who hate the elderly and i’m still not really sure why but I do have a couple of videos below of youtubers who speak on their hatred for old folks, as well as one video of one who fears them.

Check them out below:

 

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In contrast, there are those who have a particular fetish or attraction to the elderly. 

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and I’m not gonna lie, actress Sarah Paulson came to mind while writing this, due to her relationship history with older women.

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But i’ll save that for another time. If you’re curious and would like more details about that, check out Sarah Paulson Still Doesn’t Get (or Care) Why People Think It’s “Fascinating and Odd” She’s Dating 74-Year-Old Holland Taylor


What do you think of those who have gerontophobia or gerontophilia? How do you personally feel about the elderly or growing old? Let me know in the comments below!

Catoptrophobia, Eisoptrophobia, & Spectrophobia (Fear of Mirrors/Reflections)

 


When I first heard about catoptophobia, it made no sense to me. Why did grown people of all people, suffer from this phobia? Was it their reflection they disliked seeing? Was it in any way connected to eating disorders or body dysmorphia?

After digging a litte more into this, I can now kind of understand and sympathize with those coping with these mirror phobias.


What  exactly

is 

Catoptrophobia, Eisoptrophobia 

&

Spectrophobia ?

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Spectrophobia  … Sufferers of spectrophobia can fear the breaking of a mirror bringing extreme bad luck. They can fear the thought of something frightening jumping out of the mirror or seeing something disturbing inside of it next to their own reflection when looking directly at it.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrophobia

Eisoptrophobia – Fear of seeing yourself in a mirror

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So, in short:

Eisoptrophobia– don’t want to see themselves in mirrors

Catoptrophobia– dont like anything reflective, including mirrors

Spectrophobia– think something or someone will jump out of mirror or appear in mirror, also superstitious


Please check out a short but very interesting video below on the “whys” of these mirror phobias:


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Image result for spectrophobia facts

Image result for spectrophobia facts


I can’t help wondering if maybe the fear stems from childhood stories or movies, as they seemed to be based off some sort of superstition and the supernatural.

 


TREATMENT

Treatment typically includes exposure therapy  and psychotherapy.


Conclusion

Even after the research i’ve done, I still can’t help but wonder:

  1. How these people drive (or if they drive)
  2. Do they ever use any mirrors to dress or comb their hair in the morning,
  3. Do they wear makeup?
  4.  How do they cope when they  go out to eat in restaurants where beverages are served in glass?


Do you or anyone else you know have any of these mirror phobias? Have you ever heard of it before today?  Let me know in the comments below.

3 Bizarre but Interesting Movies I’ve Watched on Streaming Services This Year

As a writer and fan of scifi/fantasy and a big fan of Black Mirror, I’m always delighted  when I discover a bizzare movie on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube or whereever.  If you’re into odd movies like I am, you can thank me later. I wasn’t a big movie watcher in the past so you may have already heard of or seen these, as these aren’t new movies. 

So without further ado, let’s get right into it. I promise not to include any spoilers for those who haven’t seen any of these and wanna check it out.

man eating chips while watching tv

Photo by Amateur Hub on Pexels.com


GREENER GRASS

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Release date: October 18, 2019

Running time: 100 minutes

The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, as a shorter film, but was then released as a longer movie in theaters.( You can watch the original short Sundance version here.)

Very Brief Summary:

Ummm….this film is very hard to explain. Long story short: everyone wears braces in this small town, a woman gives away her baby on impulse to her friend, but then regrets it and her friend refuses to give the baby back, and a boy turns into a dog.

 


DOWNSIZING

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Release date: December 22, 2017 

Running Time: 2h 15m

Very Brief Summary:

Imagine if you didnt have to work anymore and live a life of luxury. Only catch: being shrunken (think Honey, I shrunk the Kids but not as small as they were in that movie.) I’m pretty sure many of us would sign up. 

Well a married couple with financial problems decide to sign up to be small, but find out the downsides to being small. One more thing: The procedure is permanent.

 


THE CLEANSE

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Release date: May 4, 2018 

Running Time: 1h 21m

Very Brief Summary:

Weird movie about a guy who joins a retreat because a woman he likes joined. Some weird stuff happens, such as all the retreaters vomiting up gremlin/furby-looking things. The creatures aren’t harmful and everyone kinda gets attached to them, until they start to get bigger. Someone dies in the movie but I won’t say who.

 


Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever watched any of these bizarre movies or/and if you have any others I should check out.

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My Diabetes Diagnosis (& what i’ve learned)

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So it’s literaly been less than a week since i’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. On Sunday, March 1st, 2020, I went to an urgent care center because I was urinating so freqently that I thought I had a UTI (urinary tract infection) I had also been feeling dizzy for the past week but thought it was nothing more than a simple case of vertigo. I thought it would be a quick visit where i’d be given a prescription for antibiotics, and be on my way.

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Instead I was instructed to go straight to Baptist Hospital’s ER. And this was after the urgent care doctor conducted a few visual tests to make sure I was okay enough to drive. This would be the beginning of me changing my lifestyle. After being held for observation in the E.R. from 2pm to around 9pm, and after my shock, I began soaking up information on everything there is to know about diabetes. I took screenshot, notes, advice from others, and googled, joined several Facebook groups for diabetics, and watched educational videos on Youtube.

I wanted to share some of the information i’ve found and will be updating this post periodically with new useful information for diabetics. (Note: all of the below information, videos, suggestions etc…are from friends and family who have diabetes or know someone who reversed it)


As always, please consult with your physician before starting any changes to your diets or fitness.


First I had to start with the basics to even begin understanding about diabetes.

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My first call to action was working on the 50 pounds that i’d gained within the last four years. I vowed to myself to walk,jog, jump rope, or do SOMETHING at least 10 minutes a day and gradually go on to an hour a day. Because I sat down to work all day, I had to make it my business not to become complacent in resuming a sedentary lifestyle ever again.

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Its said that 4 hours a week of working out is recommended for those who sit during work .


If anyone else out there suffer from diabetes and high blood pressre would prefer not to read the entire post, i’d strongly suggest watching this INSPIRING free hour-long video below. Trust me when I say it’s worth the time to watch it!


OKRA WATER (“Lady Finger”)

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(Some use 3-5 okra in 8 oz of water)

Health-Benefits-Of-Okra


STOP STRESSING!

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Stress just isn’t worth raising your glucos level or blood pressure. Seeking a mental health professional, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or having someone to vent to are just a few suggestions.


WATER (LOTS OF IT!)

“Drinking enough water can help your body eliminate excess glucose through urine.”- Healthline.com


Get Enough Sleep

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Image result for sleep and diabetes


GREEN JUICE


GLYCEMIC INDEX

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INTERMITTENT FASTING

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In conclusion

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Recommended Read:

The  Diabetes Code (only $10.99 on Amazon)


Bonus:

 

 

As always, please consult with your physician before starting any changes to your diets or fitness.

Any other useful tips or inspirational stories? Comment below:

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

NARCISS

Narcissistic personality disorder is a subject or disorderI never really wanted to blog or research. Moreso than those with Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic personality disorder are disliked and hated by many ex-lovers. However, since I have released a new book  where the main character is suspected of having traits of NPD (it is never confirmed or denied in the book), I wanted to delve a little in the world of narcissists. 

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But first, a little self-promotion of the book:

The Best Thing

ebook

Paperback

TBTPAPERBACK (2)

“I’M THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED to Hope Richardson. She was Hope Meyers before we married five months ago. Up until meeting me, my wife admitted that she’d given up on finding a good man.”
Habitual cheater , Xavier Richardson, likes his women naive, subservient, and plus-size. Hope Richardson, his wife of five months is all of the above in addition to being a homebody who’s self-conscious about her weight; something Xavier takes full advantage of. After attending her husband’s class reunion, Hope forms a friendship with socialite and social media influencer, Vivica Love, who’s happens to be an old high school nemesis of Xavier’s. As a result, Hope’s self-esteem flourishes and is evident in an inner and outer transformation, something her husband isn’t too supportive of. When one of Xavier’s past affairs comes back to haunt him, he’s forced to face his demons and insecurities in a fight to repair his marriage.

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Image result for narcissism


 

Gaslighting

Speak to those in relationships with narcissist and i’m pretty sure they’ll mention the term gaslighting. Like the main character in my book, narcissist tend to gaslight, or manipulate, others.

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Have you or anyone you know ever encountered a narcissist? Have you been diagnosed with NPD? Let me know in the comments below.

Physician-Assisted Suicides

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What is Physician Assisted Suicide?

The choice and views of physician-assisted suicide versus the natural course of death for terminally-ill patients have been a long-debated and controversial matter. There are those who prefer the widely-accepted and traditional route of hospice palliative care, and then there are some who believe in the right of choosing euthanasia. Simply put, euthanasia is the practice of intentional suicide with the aid of a physician. These physicians can either supply a terminally-ill patient with a prescription for the life-terminating medication , or administer the drugs themselves. Euthanasia allows the patient to have more say over when and how to end their life.

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The Great Debate

As with any controversial debate, there are valid contrasting ethical and moral concerns on assisted suicide. Not surprisingly, most religious organizations view the act as immoral and an act against God. More than the fact that they consider the act a sin, are other concerns. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, for example, predicts a possible increase of mishandling for those who are most susceptible, such as the elderly, the poor, minorities and the disabled.

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Medical organizations and professionals who oppose believe that physician-assisted suicide would be in paradox of a physician’s Hippocratic oath not to harm patients as a trusted healer and medical advisor. Like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The American Medical Association also have concern for our vulnerable members or society. They fear providers may possibly be more inclined to suggest assisted suicide instead of providing whatever support needed to ease the transition. There are apprehensions within the medical community about patients being protected from corrupt doctors. The belief is that assisted suicide would pose a high ethical risk for the future, much like the opposition of eugenics.

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In addition are concerns that some patients may opt in assisted-suicide for reasons unrelated to pain and suffering, such as guilt, being coerced, or feeling as if they’re a burden to their loved ones.

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Safeguards

In contrast, those who do support assisted suicide believe that those in their last days should have the right to die in accordance with their own wishes. As far as shady or unethical doctors, many states that have legalized the practice have safeguards in place to prevent corruption. For example, in Oregon, not only must the request be voluntary, but it also requires two witnesses who can attest that it’s voluntary. In addition, the patient has to be the one to administer the drug. In a Colorado proposal, the state of the patient’s mental health during the request would be reviewed by a mental health professional if there is reason to believe that patient is depressed or not mentally sound. Two physicians would also have to confirm the terminal illness.


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My Personal Thoughts on P.A.S

The decision of an end of life choice has always been a controversial subject matter and should remain so. The legalities, ethical, and morality of the issue should always be held under a microscope to be certain that society protects the vulnerable. Those who want the option to decide their final months of life should have that freedom, within strict regulation. Only those who are in this dilemma or have witnessed the pain and suffering of a loved one can truly speak on the significance of respecting and having an end-of-life choice. As far as everyone else, the moral and ethical obligation to keep this practice from taking a turn for the worst in the future relies on our due-diligence in keeping provisions in place.

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Check out the video below for an unbiased and equally fair view on the matter


Other related video(s):


Sources:
deathwithdignity.org/learn/access/.
http://www.government.nl/topics/euthanasia/euthanasia-assisted-suicide-and-non-resuscitation-on-request
vitas.com/hospice-and-palliative-care-basics/about-hospice-care/hospice-care-myths-and-facts/
“Religious Perspectives on Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) – Euthanasia – ProCon.org.” Euthanasia, euthanasia.procon.org/religious-perspectives-on-euthanasia-and-physician-assisted-suicide-pas/.
euthanasia.procon.org/questions/should-euthanasia-or-physician-assisted-suicide-be-legal/
‌ academic.oup.com/jlb/article/5/2/436/4996523
time.com/4572377/dc-council-approves-death-with-dignity/.
dailycamera.com/2016/10/25/editorial-death-with-dignity-is-about-personal-liberty/.

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Color Therapy (Chromotherapy)

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My favorite color is YELLOW. It’s bright, it’s cheerful, and it helps with my mood, especially when dealing with writer’s depression. Two years ago I even went as far as decorating my apartment livingroom in bright yellow decor with gray accents.

I recently found out about color therapy, also known as

Chromotherapy

and realized that this may be the reason to my attachment to the color yellow. So of course, I wanted to do a little more research on the subject.

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Some of what I found was that color therapy is a not a new type of healing. The practice began in ancient Eygpt and is still practiced in that part of the world for healing.

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In the western parts, I noticed that it’s not used much nowadays for healing except by natural healers, in saunas, by spa companies, and by some skin care retailers.

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What Exactly Is Color Therapy?


Check out the video below about color therapy and how even some skin care retailers are using it to sell products.


COLOR THERAPY IN GUIDED MEDITATION

My favorite content creators on YouTube for guided meditations are The Honest Guys. Feel free to check out this guided meditation video when you have time, as well as other regular guided meditations by The Honest Guys.


Other ways to incorporate color therapy


References:
https://www.regain.us/advice/therapist/what-is-color-therapy-what-is-it-for-and-is-it-right-for-me/

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Health Benefits of HUGS

man and woman holding free hugs signage

Photo by Alexander Daoud on Pexels.com

Recently my daughter had a stressful week. During that time, I noticed that she asked me for more hugs, as well as hugged her cat and stuffed animals more. Hugging seemed to have a healthy effect on her. Which led me to researching about this everyday physical contact that we take for granted.

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The benefits aren’t limited to just children & babies

I remember reading that hugging is great for self-care and help boost high vibratons. Well, it turns out that there are more health benefits to hugging than people even know.

Check out the video below to learn more about the benefits of hugs for adults and children.

the-simple-act-of-hugging

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20-Second Rule

Keep in mind that it takes atleast 20 seconds to reap the healing benefits, according to studies.

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BEWARE

Hugging should only be acted upon with consent. Mainly with people you know. Some people have phobias about touching or aren’t as comfortable with the idea.


In Conclusion:

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The Power of Cucumber

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I’ve always had a great respect for cucumber and have always recommended eating them daily. My daughter thinks they’re a tasteless, bland, and boring fruit. In reality they’re a godsend and I especially have a greater respect for cucumbers now that i’m 37.

Why?

Reason #1

CUCUMBERS HAVE ANTI-AGING POWER

As a kid, I used to always wonder why women in spas placed cucumbers over their eyes.

woman girl beauty mask

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

As an adult, I realize the anti-aging power in cucumbers and always try my  best to include cucumbers in my diet (with the skin on).

Cucumbers keep the elasticity in your skin TIGHT!

Copper promotes collagen production and aids elastin. Cucumbers are packed with copper and antioxidants such as vitamin A & C. These vitamins regenerates collagen, prevents wrinkles & sagging, fights acne, and reduces the risk of skin cancer. They also hep lighten and brighten skin.

Cucumbers also contain vitamin B-12, B-5, & K.

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Reason #2
CUCUMBERS AID IN WEIGHT LOSS

It should go without saying that cucumbers are low  in calories. Because they’re high in water (95% water) and low in calories, research shows that they’re one of the best vegetables to add to your diet when trying to shed some weight.


 Weight loss and the anti-aging  benefits are my main reasons for respecting the fruit. Check out the video below to discover the many more health benefits and power of

Cucumber


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References:
https://www.herbaldynamicsbeauty.com/blogs/herbal-dynamics-beauty/cucumbers-anti-aging-power-for-skin
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-cucumber#section4

Nomophobia (Phone Addiction)

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If you’ve read my scifi book, Negus, you may have remembered a short story about aliens secretly conducting research on earthlings. In the below passage, the aliens provide send communication back home about the use of mobile phones on Earth. Check out the excerpt below:

Have the technologists yet figured out what the rectangular objects are in the photograph?

We are working on finding a way to have one of these devices in our possession. That feat in itself has proved to be quite the task as these devices seem to always be in the clutches of these beings. Perhaps it is of some sort of lifeline? We are eager to learn from our expert technologists on what purpose these devices serve these beings.

The device is always a short distance away. It must be a lifeline as we have both seen the beings in panic when the device is missing. This reason alone makes it a difficult task in obtaining the device for research. 


Definition of nomophobia

fear of being without access to a working cell phone 
-Webster’s Dictionary

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If you’re like 66% of Americans, you may suffer from nomophobia. This year you may want to add descreasing phone usage to your list of new year resolutions.  Execept unlike you’re other resolutions, stick to it.

There are those that have it so bad, that they develop

ringxiety

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or

Phantom Vibration Syndrome,

See the source image


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Breaking Your Phone Addiction:

This year, think about reducing your phone usage and/or phone addiction. Interact with those in front of you, find a hobby, learn a new skill, read more, etc. Disconnect from the matrix and explore the world around you without posting it to social media

Tips:

Get an alarm clock instead of using your phone

Turn off notifications

Put your phone away while eating, watching television, or anything else.  Be present.

Stop taking your phone in the bathroom with you. Opt for leaving a couple of magazines in there instead.

Check out these videos for more helpful tips:


References:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nomophobia
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rewired-the-psychology-technology/201305/phantom-pocket-vibration-syndrome
http://anewdomain.net/smartphone-addiction-stats-new-survey-infographic/

Interesting Related Video(s)

Haitian Independence Day- Jan. 1st, 1804

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Haiti became the first black republic on January 1st 1804. I wanted to dedicate a blog on the Haitian revolution and a Haitian tradition many haitians, including myself, practice every year on January 1st. But first check out this wonderfully put together video on the Haitian revolution.

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New Year’s Haitian Tradition

Go to any Haitian household on New Year’s and you’ll most likely find a big pot of soup joumou on the stove.  This isnt to celebrate the new year, but to celebrate Haiti’s independence day.

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Chef Philippe’s Soup Joumou

Start With: 2 lbs of pumpkin squash–kaboucha, substitute: butternut squash and lots more good stuff Preparation time: marinate meat overnight, 45 minutes-prep time, cooking time-1 hr 30 minutes.

Marinate the meat the Night before
2 lbs of beef marinated overnight with
3 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 tsp of thyme
1 tsp of fresh black pepper
1 medium shallot
1/4 tsp scotch bonnet
3 scallions
juice of 2 lime
1 tbsp of kosher salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Ahead of Time:
Soup Stock:
beef leg bones: 2-3 lbs, cut into 2” pieces
1 onion
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
parsley, salt, and pepper to taste
Boil for 1 hour, add enough water for 12 cups of stock or substitute store-bought, sodium-free stock.

Vegetables
2 lbs of pumpkin squash–kaboucha, substitute: butternut squash
4 big carrots, medium slices
3 celery stalks, cut in medium cubes
2 medium leeks, cut lengthwise, in 2 pieces, half or third the length
2 medium turnips, peel, cut in medium cubes
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut in medium cubes
1 lb cabbage, sliced & cut in med. sizes
12 cups of beef stock or store-bought sodium-free stock
2 tbsp of olive oil

  1. Prepare your mise-en-place, clean, and peel all your vegetables.
  2. In a large pot, add marinated beef with the olive oil,
    add 2 cups of cold water, cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut squash into 3-4” wedges. While the meat is cooking in a medium pot in 6 cups of slightly salted cold water. Cook pumpkin for about 30 minutes on medium heat, covered. Drain, remove pumpkin from peel, puree and set aside.
  4. Add pumpkin puree, simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Note: The soup broth should not be thick, after adding the Joumou puree you can always add more beef stock.
  6. Adjust seasoning, salt and fresh black pepper to taste.

My New Year Book Reads (for self-development)

I recently wrote about Self-Care & Getting High (on vibrations) .

I wanted to share two well-known books that I’m currently reading while on my journey.


In conjunction with reading both books, I am using Higher, a self-care planner I created, as well as the Year of Yes Journal.

higherfrontcover1


Are there any books that you’d recommend for self-improvement?

Self-Care & Getting High (on vibrations)


Getting High

I recently released a daily self care planner/journal. I originally created it after searching Amazon for a planner specifically like the one I ended up creating myself.

The material simply lists over 50 acts to choose from and check off daily to help boost self-care, self-love, and higher vibrations. This daily self-care planner was created to promote self-esteem, self-care, self-love, aid in raising your vibration, and most importantly, transform your way of thinking about yourself. Each entry starts off with spaces to write in your affirmation (Example; I AM BEAUTIFUL/ I AM SMART). The goal is to perform at least one act from the 2-page checklist each day or to check off acts of self-care listed when performed organically.

higherfrontcover1

$10.99

Click here for purchase or more info


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Living Life as a Recluse

The thought of being amongst people causes uneasiness in me. Family functions are even worse. I avoid them at all cost, much to the annoyance of my cousin, who knows how I feel. Im just not comfortable being out unless its to do something for or with my daughter, and even then, it takes a great deal of effort. It’s something that I’m working on.

And forget about hanging out with friends. It’s gotten to the point where I prefer not to make new friends for this very reasons. The ones I do have usually have to drag me out and very rarily are successful at it.


Like everything else, there are negatives (isolation, depression, etc) and positives (self-reflection, focus, creativity, etc) about being a hermit. Check out the video below.


Interesting Stories about Hermits/Recluses


Click the pic above to be directed to my virtual bookstore

Codependent Relationships

In codependent relationships, you lose yourself in the other person and become needy. People like this usually feel like they HAVE to be in a relationship with someone or at least “talking” to someone. Experts say this sometimes stem from abandonment in childhood or stem from a child taking on a role of the parent.
It’s hard to leave, break up, or make a clean break. You end up breaking up and getting back together over and over again, finding it difficult to break the cycle.

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It is especially complex and harder to deal with when or if theres substance abuse or alcoholism involved on top of the low self-esteem or emotional issues.

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There are people that I know right now that are in codependent relationships and it has become their norm. They don’t even realize it’s toxic. Keep in mind that what I experience and what others exeperience in a codependent relationship can be different. Some also receive emotional abuse or physical abuse as well.

For more information on codependent relationships check out:

Are You in a Codependent Relationship? (Article)

6 Signs of a Codependent Relationship


The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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The Dunning-Kruger Effect: cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are.
The crazy thing about this is that, while we may know someone who this describes, we may be suffering from The Dunning-Kruger Effect and may not even recognize it.
This is something I briefly mentioned in bullet 1 in a previous post: 11 Things Ive Learned the Hard Way About Being an Indie Author & Finding Your Purpose/Gift

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As stated at the end of the video right above, because of the internet at our disposal, there are many people posing as experts online just because they’ve googled a topic. The Dunning-Kruger Effect is one reason why I made sure to clarify on my About Page that I am NOTan expert or mental health professional. I enjoy doing research and compiling the most informational resources into one blog so that others may learn, along with me.

So what do you think? Do you know anyone who falls into the The Dunning-Kruger Effect description? Do you?


Reference(s):
https://www.verywellmind.com/an-overview-of-the-dunning-kruger-effect-4160740

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Sugar: Toxic and More Addictive than Cocaine?

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If you’ve read my scifi book, Negus, you may have remembered a short story about aliens secretly conducting research on earthlings. In the below passage, the aliens provide feedback on sugar in a letter to other reseachers back home:

“There was one sandy textured ingredient in many of the food that we learned was called refined sugar. It is the most detrimental of all so far. We believe this is the main aggressor and contributor to the progressive aging and cell damage. The beings do not seem to be aware of this, as they feed their offspring this poison. It must also be noted that almost every single “food” here has this poison.

However, the chemicals have a very delightful taste! We have found in an unfortunate way, that some components of the additives are for addictive purposes. You see, after having sampled a few processed foods under the category of what they refer to as “sweets”, we began to experience a deep yearning for more. We have finally weaned off of the poison for good after numerous fails, with no intentions of ever consuming it again.” – Excerpt from my scifibook, Negus.


Virtually every processed food has sugar, including foods that most wouldnt classify as sweets (bread, pasta, pizza, etc). This may be one reason why processed food/comfort food is so addictive. There are other addictive additive in processed foods that also also accounts fot this. However, on this post, sugar will be our primary focus.


Why Sugar is so Satisfying

Hedonic Value:
According to verywellmind.com, “The hedonic value of sugary foods is the intensity of pleasure experienced by the person eating it. The point at which sweet beverages are most pleasurable has been identified at 10 percent. This is known as the “bliss point.” Food retailers keep their foods as close to the bliss point as possible to stimulate people’s desire to re-experience the bliss point by eating that food again and again.”
Dopamine:
Like drugs, sugar also releaeses dopamine, which is the brain’s reward system.


I also recommend everyone read or own a copy of The Brain Bible by John Arden, which explains in detail the physical affects of sugar on the brain.

An excerpt fromt The Brain Bible:
“Sugar is potentially destructive to the body, especially the brain. High levels of sugar contribute to premature aging, and aging makes you less tolerant to sugar in your blood.”
“Sugar stiffens protein molecules by creating pigments called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs act like a chemical glue that fuses molecules, causing a process called cross-linking. Consider what happens to a piece of meat when you leave it too long on the grill. Not only do you brown the skin, you toughen in. Overcooked meat is cross-linked, making it difficult to cut ot chew. When your cells have cross-linked, many processes become impaired.”

 


Just How Toxic is Sugar?


Beating Sugar Addiction

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References:
https://www.verywellmind.com/sugar-addiction-22149
http://theconversation.com/fact-or-fiction-is-sugar-addictive-73340

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11 Things Ive Learned the Hard Way About Being an Indie Author & Finding Your Purpose/Gift

black and red typewriter

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Imma gonna jump right into this. No need for an introduction as the title has already introduced exactly what this is about. This is to all the indie writers who had to learn the hard way, for those who may have already knew this before becoming independant, and to those who have no idea. (This may offend a few folks.) Here it goes:

  1. You probably aren’t as good as you think you areStop listening to your friends and family. They’re BIASED. Especially those who don’t read; they have no standard to go by. ( see The Dunning-Kruger Effect)

  2. Read your reviews (the real ones) for the right reasons- Don’t read reviews for an ego boost. Especially if majority of the reviews are from people you know. Read the real ones for a gauge on your work. Embrace criticism and learn what you need to work on. Even if the reviewer did not mention anything useful , be grateful that your work is out there and is being read by folks other than your loved ones.

  3. Your friends and family aren’t obligated to support you- Stop getting upset or down because your friends and family arent buying all of your books or sharing all of your posts. Not everyone is into what you’re into. Not everyone likes to read and not everyone is into the genre(s) you write. Also you may just not be as great of a writer/storyteller as you believe you are. (See #1). Go out and find your audience. This means you may need to pay for advertisements, do podcast interviews, give out a few free books, go out in person and find your audience through bookfairs, book signings, etc.

  4. Stop asking people to read your stuff (finished or unfinished)- It took me awhile to stop being offended whenever my boyfriend (ex-boyfriend now) would not read something I was working on or had just finished. I vowed to never be with another man who didnt or couldn’t support me by reading my stuff. But perhaps this is selfish of me (still not sure). However i’ve learned that not everyone wants to spend valuable time reading pages of whatever youve written. Not everyone is interested in hearing about your writing. Especially if they don’t even like reading. I like to read and even I dread reading something that I may have no interest in or just don’t feel like reading. It feel like homework or just plain work. Let them volunteer or ask on their own. Hire a beta reader or do what i do: I go on facebook and ask for volunteers to act as a beta reader for me. I will say that sometimes this isnt a good idea if you’re looking for honest opinions, though. Why? See #1.

  5. It’s okay to go back and revamp your sh*t- You will make mistakes. You will cringe on some of your earlier work and book covers. Hell, i’ve been thinking about changing my pen name for awhile now. I have gone back a few times and revamped lot of my old covers as well.

  6. Just because you spent so much time writing your book, doesn’t mean people are willing to spend $25 or more on an unknown author- PERIOD. I know there are some who say that you need to know your worth but do it within reason. Think about all the facts first and research. Are you a well-known author? How long is your book? Is it a hardcover, paperback, ebook? Research the average ebook price in your genre and platforms, etc.

  7. Hire a professional- This is something I need to take my own advice on. If you’re serious about writing and don’t want to embarrass yourself: hire an editor, proofreader, beta-readers, graphic designers, etc. I do hire graphic designers and once in awhile I hire an editor. (I know, I know)

  8. Your readers aren’t idiots- They can tell when you’ve rushed on a book (guilty), they remember if you said that a character was an only child an a previous book, but now has siblings in the sequal, they know good writing, they know bad editing or lack of, and if you’re lucky enough, they know if you’re usually a good writer but didn’t deliver as good as they know you can. Take your time and do it for the ones who support you (not talking about friends and family)

  9. It’s okay to take a break- I don’t know if it’s the virgo in me, but it’s taken me awhile to learn not to have Writer’s Guilt. I’ve always felt alot of pressure to finish or start on the next book to a series. Especially when I receive messages from readers who are questioning when it’ll be out. I’ve been guilty of rushing on books to please readers but in the end, it ends up backfiring on me. (see #8)

  10. Don’t beat yourself up too bad when bitten by Writer’s Depression. Be grateful for the fans you do have and have try not to take yourself too seriously. Remember to have funIf you’re a writer, you know this is easier said than done but it’s important to know that alot of writer’s suffer from depression. I talk about this more in Writer’s Depression is REAL. Create a blog to vent, journal, or join a community of writers on social media or in person who will understand what you’re going through.

  11. Writing may not be your calling, gift, or purpose- It’s the truth. This is something that takes some searching within and really being honest with yourself. Below are videos on finding your calling/gift/purpose.


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Apotemnophilia/Body Integrity Identity Dysphoria (BIID)-The Desire to be Amputated

This post will be mainly videos from the views of those suffering with

APOTEMNOPHILIA

also known as

BODY INTEGRITY IDENTITY DYSPHORIA (BIID)

or even

BODY IDENTITY DYSPHORIA (BID)


Definition:

In short, BIID is the overwhelming desire to be disabled, which may or may not include a desire of being amputated. Some wish to be paralyzed and even blind. People who suffer from this feel a huge discomfort with being able-bodied and sometimes go through extreme measures to have their wishes come to fruition. People suffering with BIID are said to have had their desire starting from adolescence.

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The condition is said to be related to a condition called:

Somatoparaphrenia

which is said to be a delusion where someone denies ownership of their own limbs.


MY TIN FOIL HAT THEORY

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So I know that this is a mental illness. However, as a scifi writer and someone who is very open-minded, I believe that it’s possible that these people may have suffered some form of disability in their previous lives (past lives).

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Now go ahead an grab some popcorn before getting into these videos. As you will soon discover, BIID/BID is a truly interesting condition. Dont forget about what I’ve said about my past-life theory while you watch! 🙂

Check out the video below of a woman who purposely blinded herself because she’s always felt she should have been born blind.

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Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_integrity_dysphoria
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatoparaphrenia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Past_life_regression

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Aphantasia (inability to visualize)

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I wanted to briefly touch on a condition that I recently learned about this weekend. It’s called

APHANTASIA

and it’s basically the inability to imagine or visualize. Of course, as an author and an avid reader, this caught my attention and prompted me to further look into this.

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This condition may also be a reason why some folks just don’t like to read. As a bookworm, and a writer of fiction I must admit this is kind of shocking and a little heartbreaking. As stated in the video, this would also be a reason why some do not do well with guided meditations.

(EDIT: I’ve gotten alot of feedback on my instagram (@author.wenda) over this post from people who have Aphantasia. Particulary the part about reading. Apparently there alot of folks with Aphanstasia who are bookworms and even authors. Go figure! There may also be a specturm as well.)

See the source image

See the source image

What do you think about aphantasia? Do you or someone you know have this condition? Have you heard of this condition before? Let me know in the comments below.


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Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

According to studies, about 1 in 50 Americans suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (also known as BDD or Body Dysmorphia). The thing about BDD is it’s important to be knowledgable about the difference between normal insecurities and BDD.


So then, what exactly is

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)?

Check out the video below by Dr. Tracey Marks


SYMPTOMS

symptoms

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TREATMENT

Cognitive Behavorial Therapy (individual or group)

Medication (serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs)


*Sources:
https://bdd.iocdf.org/professionals/prevalence/
https://www.medicinenet.com/body_dysmorphic_disorder/article.htm
https://bdd.iocdf.org/about-bdd/how-is-bdd-treated/

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Why You Should(or Shouldn’t) Stop Sleeping Near Your Cell Phone (The Dangers)

orange cat sleeping on white bed

Photo by Александар Цветановић on Pexels.com

I wanted to blog about this topic to determine once and for all if there are serious repercussions to sleeping with cell phones. Especially since i’m always finding myself reminding my teenage daughter and my friends to sleep far away from their mobile devices (or have it on airplane mode). I also frequently suggest placing your phone on speaker when on calls, instead of holding it up to your head.

Image result for radiofrequency dangers

So let’s get straight into it.

The main reported reason why there are concerns is that

the radiofrequency radiation (radiowaves) emitted from the device may boosts the risk of brain cancer* and sperm quality issues


However, there a few researchers, as well as the CDC and other organizations that say otherwise. Check out the short video below opposing the belief of dangers:

See the source image


Although the CDC says its harmless, many organzinations, medical journals, and medical professionals say otherwise.

I recommend reading Disconnect: The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Is Doing to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family, by Dr. Devra Davis.

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You can also check out:

Ann Louise Gittleman’s, Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution

and

Radiation Nation: Fallout of Modern Technology – Your Complete Guide to EMF Protection & Safety: The Proven Health Risks of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) & What to Do Protect Yourself & Family

All three are available in audio if you aren’t too fond of reading.

I have also mentioned this in one of my science-fiction stories as well



So what are your thoughts on the issue? Do you believe that there are possible risks to sleeping near your phone? Do you sleep near your phone? Do you believe that there may be reason for concern? Let me know in the comments below.


Sources:
* https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/cell-phones-cancer-8-dumb-ways-to-boost-possible-risk
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/cell-phones-fact-sheet
https://awakeandaware.ca/radiofrequency-rf-radiation-power-density-levels-for-smart-meters-various-biological-effects-and-exposure-guidelines/

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Benefits of Sunlight

There are beneficial links between sunlight, sleep, and mental health. Not only does the sun help produce vitamin D, but it’s beneficial to our brain’s seratonin levels, which helps boost moods. This is especially important because a low level of seratonin can trigger mood disorders and depression.

Check out the other benefits below:

See the source image

See the source image

See Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for the link between sunlight & depression.


SOURCES:
https://drjockers.com/sunlight-vitamin-d3-brain-health/
http://yogaposesasana.com/what-are-the-benefits-of-sunlight.html

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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You may not be aware of the known links between sunlight and mental health. Not only does the sun help produce vitamin D, but it’s beneficial to our brain’s seratonin levels, which helps boost moods. This is especially important because a low level of seratonin can equal depression. (See Benefits of Sunlight)

See the source image


With that being said, sunlight or lack thereof is associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as, Seasonal Depression or SAD. It affects over

3 million Americans a year

and can trigger depression and mood disorders.


What is SAD?

SAD

Image result for seasonal affective disorder

symptoms include:

Irritability

Sadness/depression

Change of appetite

Excessive sleep/ insomnia

Isolation

Loss of interest

Feelings of hopelessness


While some people thrive during the summer and are affected by SAD during the winter, there are those who suffer from the opposite.

Seasonal Depression can also occur during the summer

Although less common, this is often referred to as reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, onset SAD, or Summer Depression

and affects

1 out of 10 people.

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Research shows that southern states of the US are affected more by reverse SAD than nothern states. This may be due to high heat temperature, which can be uncomfortable and agitating.

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TREATMENT

(FOR SAD & ONSET SAD)

  • Light Therapy:

Image result for seasonal affective disorder treatment lights

Image result for seasonal affective disorder treatment lights

  • Antidepressants and Psychotherapy (talk therapy)

You can find these on Amazon or lightingandceilingfans.com

See Perfect Sunny Autumn Day for Walking, & the Benefits


Sources:
https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-babble/201501/reverse-seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-in-the-summer
https://thatoregonlife.com/2017/10/natural-remedies-sad-seasonal-affective-disorder/
https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/lighten-2

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Obsessive Love Disorder (O.L.D.)

If you’ve never watched the Netflix Original series, You, I’d suggest you check it out if you’re into psychological thrillers.

The series follow a seemingly friendly guy name Joe Goldberg who meets this cute young woman, Guinevere Beck aka “Beck” , at a bookshop where he works. As the series goes on, viewers discover just how obsessed Joe is with Beck.

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The series is based on a novel by Caroline Kepnes of the same name.

Book cover of Kepnes's 2014 novel

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional. Therefore I cannot diagnose anyone. However, based on the characteristics and actions of Joe Goldberg, there’s a slight chance that he would have been diagnosed with Obessive Love Disorder, or maybe not. However the series is awesome and I thought it’d make a great segue.


So what exactly is OLD?

Unlike erotomania, which is an individual’s paranoid delusion of someone else (most times a celeb or someone theyve never met) being infatuated with them, the person being obsessed over are alive, real, and someone they may even be romantically involved with However, both erotomania and OLD are considered attachment disorders. ( Borderline Personality Disorder is also another attachment disorder)


Symptoms of OLD:

  • Posessiveness/Controlling behavior

  • Overwhelming attraction to one person

  • Obsessive fanatasies about the person

  • Inability to accept rejection

  • Popping up/stalking

  • Extreme jealousy

  • Low self-esteem

  • Making/drawing images of the person or obsessive thoughts

  • Going out their way to spending an excessive amount with the other person

  • Desire to “protect” the person


DANGERS

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I’ve recently published a nouvella where O.L.D. is mentioned just to bring some awareness to the disorder. In the story, one of the characters becomes obsesseed with a coworker.

You can check it out below:

Click here to purchase or hear a sample of the audiobook.


Treatment

PSYCHOTHERAPY- As always, seeking a licensed mental health professional is highly recommended. Medication may be prescribed, as OLD is often a disorder attached to other underlining mental illnesses.


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Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Alas, the one post I’ve been dragging my feet on posting about

BPD

(also known as Emotional Dysregulation Disorder)

(Not to be confused with Bipolar Disorder, which is NOT a personality disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder.)

I want to apologize in advance on the multiple videos posted below. I wanted to include as many educational resources and references about the topic at hand.


What exactly is Borderline Personality Disoder?

I recommend listening to at least the first 10 minutes of the below video. Out of all the videos, I ‘ve found that Dr Ramani breaks down the traits and characteristics the best.

It is important to remember that not everyone suffering from BPD have the same characteristics or traits, as there is a spectrum. Not every individual with this disorder is “crazy”, violent, and obsessive as portrayed in media. Therefore not everyone with BPD are exactly alike. Also, only FIVE of the 9 criteria must be met to be diagnosed, which means not all suffering with BPD are suicidal or etc.

As always, it is recommended to not self-diagnose. Please seek a professional for a proper diagnosis.

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The Stigma of BPD

1. STIGMA ONLINE:

Borderline folks catch a lot of flack online. Just look through the many videos and comments on YouTube from disgruntled exes.

Men and women with BPD are often thought of as toxic, manipulative, and attention-seeking by some, when in fact, those with BPD feel love intensely and most have a fear of abandonment. Alot of times theyfeel a great sense of guilt whenever they do cause disruption. I wil admit that it does take a very patient person to be able to involve themselves romantically with someone with BPD. Of course this also depends on where the person with BPD falls on the spectrum and the traits they possess, as not all individuals are the same.

2. STIGMA IN HEALTHCARE SETTINGS

And if that isn’t bad enough, people with BPD are also discriminated against by mental health professionals

This is because they (people with BPD) are one of the hardest to treat because the disorder often misunderstood. In fact, not all therapist are willing to treat or understand enough about BPD. Those with BPD are often dropped as patients (see The Stigma Associated With Borderline Personality Disorder and Why Do Therapists Stigmatize People with Borderline? )

3. STIGMA IN HOLLYWOOD/FILMS

I’ve come to notice that alot of films based on a character with BPD are often exaggerated and doesn’t help the stigma already attached with BPD.

Such as:

Single White Female

Welcome to Me

A Thin Line Between Love & Hate

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

As stated, not all individuals with the disorder have the same traits. Many cannot work and receive disability, while others are high-functioning.

The lack of knowledge is one reason why I recently published a fictional short story of a woman dating while secretly dealing with BPD. The story was written to help education and bring awareness.

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(Click here to hear a sample of the audiobook)


Common BPD jargon:

SPLITTING:

when someone sees someone as all good or all bad and no in between. Its the reason why people with BPD tend to idealize others or demonize other people out of the slightest of things.

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“FP”: FAVORITE PERSON

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TREATMENT

1. PSYCHOTHERAPY (Talk Therapy).….Seeking a mental health professional is recommended. Most professionals will suggest group therapy with others with BPD. Individual therapy is often long-term.

2. MEDICATION.....Depending on the severity/circumstances, medication can also be prescribed for emotion regulation.

3. AGING/TIME....For some, BPD may not a life-long disorder. Some are only affected for just several years, with the symptoms decreasing in intensity as they get older. The disorder mostly affects young women, but there are older men and women who are affected.

4. DBT Workbook (Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook). DBT is considered one of the most effective methods for treating BPD. Some professionals use it for group therapy but the workbooks is also recommended for individual use and can be found at online retail stores like Amazon.


CONCLUSION

There is so much more that can be said about BPD that i’m sure was missed in this post such as mood swings, impulsiveness, dissociation, and etc.

If you or someone you know may be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, the best thing you can do is research. There are also online support groups on Facebook for not only those with BPD, but for loved ones of those with BPD, as loved ones are also often greatly affected. Some have admitted that being around those with BPD is like always walking on eggshells.

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Perfect Sunny Autumn Day for Walking, & the Benefits

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So today I decided to talk a walk outside in this 73 degree weather (im in Florida). It felt great. I’ve always enjoyed jogging outside. My original plan was to use the treadmills at the fitness center in my building, but once I seen how beautiful it was outside and how perfect the cool to warmth ratio was, I opted to stay outdoors. I can use the fitness center once it gets cold.

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I’ll keep this short because I have alot of writing to do. I’m currently working on my latest book titled, The Other Woman.

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I just wanted to share some interesting photos i’ve taken this morning . I also have some really interesting facts about the health benefits of sunlight and walking that you definitely wanna check out below.

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Seen this cute lil decal on someone’s car lol

A neighbor’s cute Halloween lawn decorations

The back of my shirt afterwards (“back fat”:) )

The saran wrap I’d wrapped around my waist before jogging, denched in sweat

I used the Jog Tracker app to track my hour-long walk.

See the videos below for the benefits of sunlight and daily walking :


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Normal Grief vs Masked/ Delayed/& Prolonged Grief

When I was eleven my father died. I didn’t cry when my aunt broke the news to me, nor did I cry during the funeral. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 30s that I finally broke down and cried over my father’s death. However it wasn’t without consequences. One could even point out that my clinical depression (atypical) & trichotillomania, more than likely stemmed from what is referred to as Masked Grief.

Then there’s Delayed Grief.

Unlike delayed or masked grief, sufferers of Prolonged Grief Disorder “deal” with the loss head on, but not in the most healthy way. A great example of this may be the main character of the television series, Monk.

In this series, Adrian Monk, has a hard time letting go of his deceased wife, Trudy. Even after over 9 years, he refuses to take off his wedding ring, he keeps his late wife’s office intact (while still paying rent for it), he refuses to date, his coffee table is kept the same angle his wife would have it when she rested her feet on it, and much more. His loss of his wife has even magnified his OCD to the point where he has to see a shrink. There are even scenes where he hallucinates and have full conversations with Trudy.

Although the symptoms may not be as exact as those I’ve just stated, below are signs of one who may be suffering from prolonged grief disorder:

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Normal grief is defined as having 5 stages:

1. Denial & Isolation

2. Anger

3. Bargaining (“if only..”)

4. Depression

5. Acceptance

It is not always necessarily in the same order for everyone nor do everyone go tthrough all five.

As if grief alone isn’t difficult enough to deal with, grieving isnt as always cut & dry. In fact, there are various other types of grief that many people may not even be aware that they or someone they know may be dealing with.



Coping with Grief

Below are a few resources for coping with a loss:

How to deal with Grief when someone you love dies (Video)

1-800-273-8255

It is always recommended to speak with a professional or at least someone you can confide if you’re having thoughts of suicide or feelings of hopelessness .

Bereavement Groups and Online Resources



(Update: 10/28/19)

Rest in Power grandma


Trichotillomania


I’ll keep this topic short while providing links because this a subject very near and dear to me. I suffer from trichotillomania, which is a hair-pulling disorder and the reason why I wear wigs even though I’ve wanted to grow locs for years. It’s kind of been a coping mechanism for me. Except that I cannot control it.


Sometimes I do it without realizing it. It really bothers me when people feel they have the right to judge women..especially black women..who wear wigs or weaves . Unfortunately, there are many women who need them because of cancer and alopecia. However, the one thing that most people never seem to hear or talk about is trichotillomania.



There is also a movie starring Charlize Theron about a depressed writer with the disorder. Since I am also a writer with trichotillomania it was a little hard for me to watch at first.



Like the individual in the picture above, my hair is way longer in the back. The front and middle is patchy and way short because of my hair pulling disorder.
Because of trichotillomania, I also keep my hair short under fake hair and its also a reason why I no longer date.

 


Writer’s Guilt

A few weeks back I wrote about Writer’s Depression and how a surplus of writer’s suffer from depression. Well there’s another thing that I recently found out that writers also deal with regularly: Writer’s Guilt.

I have suffered from writer’s guilt for years now. Before I go further into detail about how it’s affected me, I must clarify that there are two forms of writer’s guilt.

  • Writer’s Guilt#1: Guilt of spending majority of your time writing. I think this is a good problem to have. Many people who have yet to pulish a book or finish writing haven’t done so because they don’t make the time or simply just procrastinate. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to get your ass up and write your book, blog, essay, or etc. It’s simply procrastination and lack of focus. Well, these writers with this form of writer’s guilt are the exact opposite. They believe they are overly-focused and heavily motivated. They usually feel guilt because they feel that they don’t spend enough time with family and friends or doing other things. (Click here to read more about this type of guilt)

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  • Writer’s Guilt#2: Guilt of not writing. This is the guilt that most writers feel. This is the guilt that has been plaguing me over these past couple of weeks. I have not posted a blog in weeks, nor have I worked on my new book in days. (The Other Woman, coming soon!) I don’t know where this sense of guilt comes from. Even when I vowed to quit writing in the past (I’ve vowed to quit at least seven or eight times), I could never quit. It’s like a habit that I can’t shake. The longest I have ever gone without writing was about five or six months and whenever someone would ask about future projects or how my writing was going, a deep sense of guilt would seep in. I would feel like I just betrayed someone. I still feel that way when it’s been just a couple days. Maybe it is betrayal. Betrayal to my higher self, to God-who gifted me with this skill, or betrayal to the craft itself. I’m not sure. I do know that it’s like a pang of guilt that sits at my subconsious until I get to writing. Hell, maybe it’s my spirit guides urging/enouraging me to fulfill my passion/life work/calling. I don’t know.

Either way, below are a few links to help get you out of that Writer’s Guilt. Whether it’s guilt from writing too little or from writing too much.

1. How to Ditch Writer’s Guilt

2. Six Tips for Working Through Writer’s Guilt

3. Why Writers Feel Guilty and How to Overcome It

4. 10 Ways to Kick Writer’s Guilt to the Curb

I would also like to add that joining and participating in a writing group is also helpful. I am a member of writing group on Facebook, where writing challenges are posted each day. This helps in getting out of that non-writing funk.

You can also purchase creative writing journals under $10 on Amazon. Here are 3:

300 Writing Prompts

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Have you ever been a victim of Writer’s Guilt? Have you ever heard of it? Any suggestions on dealing with it? Comment below.

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The Problem with Black-Owned Businesses

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Before I begin, I would like to stress that I am a huge supporter of black entrepreneurs and black-owned businesses. I collect artwork from African-American artists, I purchase books from self-published authors of color, i’ve ordered hair care products from black entrepreneurs, and the list goes on.

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Among other reasons, many African-Americans are switching to services and businesses ran by our own due to the mistreatment some receive from non-blacks.

See examples below:

For that reason many are flocking where we’re accepted. However, not everything is peachy with the black-owned business. Yes, we’re accepted, and no, we don’t have to worry about racial profiling, but there’s one issue that black entrepreneurs and freelancers must correct and improve upon:

Customer Service Skills

Customer Service, Service, Headset

9 times out of 10, customer service skills and professionalism are lacking and it’s crucial when dealing with customer complaints or issues. It’s not professional to go from 0 to 100 and to lash out at the people who help fund your business.

For instance, on Facebook, Ive witnessed a start-up black-owned business, specializing in apparel, curtains, and backpacks, block a relative of mine and others after merely commenting their concern of receiving the wrong order or asking questions about an existing order. I even read a comment where someone suggested the entrepreneur who ran the business page, to hire a public relations or customer relations employee because she was turning off potential customers with her attitude and responses to their questions.

However, she’s not the only entrepreneur i’ve witnessed or heard about exhibiting unprofessionalism. ( See article: Black businesses and customer service: Our critical success factor , )

I, too, am also fed up with the lack of customer care. One of the few black graphic designers I hired to create 3 book covers for me, did not deliver within the turnaound time promised. In fact, two of the covers were completed weeks after and the third was never delivered although I had paid for it. When asked for a refund for the third cover (I wasn’t willing to wait another few weeks when other graphic designers deliver within 24 hours), I was always given the runaround about issues her paypal was having with issuing my refund. That was 2017 and I never did receive that refund.

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Within a month, I have done business with two black-owned business that left a bad taste in my mouth. One entrepreneur stopped responding to my calls and messages after filing my taxes after I asked for a copy of my filed taxes, which I somehow never received (Yes, I filed my taxes late this year). The very first time I called, she assured me she would email it right away (I live 4 1/2 hours away and desperately needed it to complete my financial aid). She never sent it. I let 2 days pass and I still hadn’t heard anything so I sent her a text, to which she texted back her business number for me to call. I called the number multiple times and the voicemail would pick up. I left a message on her voicemail and still nothing. I waited a day for her to return my call and did not receive any communication back. Finally I contacted the IRS to have a copy mailed to me. To this day, I still have not heard back from this woman or any of her business partners, nor do I know why she is holding my document hostage. I filed my taxes in June, so it’s not like she’s swamped with other tax customers, although she does have other services she specializes in.

I can’t help wondering do we only treat our own kind this way? Would those same entreprenuers provide a service of such low caliber to non-black customers???

The latest disaster with a BOB, that inspired this rant, is my disappointing encounter with organizers for a popular Atlanta bookfest for black authors. I’ll spare you all the details. Long story short, my books were to be displayed at the bookfest and after paying 80 bucks to have them printed and shipped, the post office emailed me to let me know that the address was wrong and that the box of books were sitting at some post office in GA awaiting pick up. Turns out, the address that was listed on their website was wrong. They admitted it via email, and gave me the correct address. I’m not going to lie, I was very upset. Especially because there was no apology or empathy on their part. When I asked what should I do, since I don’t live in GA and therefore cannot pick up the box, they didn’t reply. I called the number to the post office and was told that they could not change an address on a package. The package would be sent back to sender after 10 days. By then, the bookfest would be over. I emailed the organizer(s) again to ask for a refund on the small fee I had paid to have my books displayed and was promptly emailed 2 sentences back asking for my paypal info and stating that my refund would be issued by the end of the business day. It is now days later and I still have not received a refund nor have I heard anything back. I’m angry because I wasted 80 bucks and they showed absolutely no compassion, regret, or care for their error. Tired of waiting for the refund, I finally contacted my bank to file a dispute. (Update 8/19/19..I received an email after the event stating that my books had been picked up and were on display for the event 🙄)

I also paid a fee for two of my books to be sold on their online African-American bookshop. This is a service I had been receiving numerous emails and DMs on IG about. On July 3rd I finally decided to go on ahead and pay the fee to have my books added. It has yet to be added. When I emailed a couple of days ago to ask about the status, I was told they needed my books’ IBSNs (was anyone every gonna contact me to ask?) I emailed them back within a half an hour with the information and have not heard anything, nor were either of the two books added. They did not provide a turnaround time but their website stated having the products added to their site was quick and simple. I will not file a dispute with my bank for this issue because I have not asked them to cancel the service or asked for a refund. I always try to follow protocol first. I’ve decided to give them a couple of more weeks before asking for a refund if they don’t follow through with their end of the service.

All in all, I couldn’t help feeling like I was a nuisance, instead of a customer with an issue.

THIS IS NOT A CALL TO ACTION TO ABANDON

BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES!

This is a call to action for freelancers and black entrepreneurs to invest in learning customer service skills or hiring customer care professionals! To them I say: i’m sure you don’t accept nor expect anything less when you’re a customer. This has even helped me to open my eyes as a freelance writer myself. Please remember that customers do have a choice as to where and who they spend their hard-earned money with.

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Below, I have a couple of links for anyone who has become exasperated, like I have, with dealing with the below par work ethics. Hopefully, it’ll help convince you to give other black-owned businesses a shot.

Links:

HOW TO COMBAT BLACKS WHO REFUSE TO BUY BLACK

4 half-truths about black-owned businesses — and why you should still buy black

Jess Hilarious’s Viral Video Against Black Businesses Is Problematic AF

I also wanted to add a list of  Black-owned nail salons that I found on social media:

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Do you agree or disagree? Comment below.


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Writer’s Depression is REAL

We’ve all heard or read how the infamous Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven and committted suicide at the young age of thirty. (If you haven’t, click here) Plath suffered from clinical depression. We’ve also heard about other writers and creatives who suffer from depression. Many writers forget or may not even be aware that we’re more prone to writer’s depression.

My aim in blogging about this today is to ease and help cope with my own depressive state at this very moment.

Out of all creatives, those who write are more prone than any other type of creatives.

 

 

If you’re not a writer but know someone who is, check in on them from time to time. Even if they seem happy. A mental health check is pertinent to that writer because we tend to isolate ourselve for hours to day to weeks or months when creating. We’re also our own worse critic and even the slightest bad review on our work can set off doubt and self-loathing within ourself. 

The best advice I’ve ever received as a writer is to write in a public setting around other people, such as a library.

This helps with the isolation aspect of it. I personally tried this and agree that this does help with feeling isolated as well as my overeating.

So check on your fellow creatives..especially our young and teen writers.

If you or anyone you know are having thoughts of suidicide, there is help:

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

You call or chat with someone using the above link.

Deaf or hard of hearing? tel:1-800-799-4889


Recommended read:

Amazon.com Review

In 1985 William Styron fell victim to a crippling and almost suicidal depression, the same illness that took the lives of Randall Jarrell, Primo Levi and Virginia Woolf. That Styron survived his descent into madness is something of a miracle. That he manages to convey its tortuous progression and his eventual recovery with such candor and precision makes Darkness Visible a rare feat of literature, a book that will arouse a shock of recognition even in those readers who have been spared the suffering it describes


This blog post is dedicated to the late Haitian blogger and writer, Kreyolicious.


References:
https://thoughtcatalog.com/cody-delistraty/2014/03/the-neurological-similarities-between-successful-writers-and-the-mentally-ill/

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Mental Health Break

It’s important to slow down once in a while and just be still and reflect. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, napping, journaling, reading, and even coloring, put away all of the distracting technology for a minute and just be.

A lot of time we surpress toxic habits or worrying thoughts and they manifest in a different way. For me it’s binge eating and also trichotillmania, which is the impulse of pulling out one’s hair.

Smoking, excessive drinking,frivolous spending, and promiscuity may also be ways in which stress manifests itself.

Shut off all technnology, light some incense, and just be still. I recommend meditation.

For deeper issues, seeking a mental health professional is highly advised.

Your employer or insurance may cover therapy. Also, there are government programs that assist in free or low-cost therapy.

Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress and is a method I have been using, albeit not consistently. Also cooking more, instead of eating out, is another way for me to enjoy being in the moment and perfect my cooking skills.

Kicking back with friends to let your hair down is also important as isolation can often lead to depression. Having someone to talk to is encouraged rather than staying alone with your thoughts.

Whatever it is you enjoy or prefer…do it and do it often.

You deserve it.


Check out Me Time Meditation and Me Time Bedtime Journaling by clicking here