Can You Be Both Assertive and Kind?

Me standing in the trees

Me standing in the trees

Saying “No” to someone and voicing my opinion have been struggles for years. Not wanting to get in trouble or make others unhappy, I went along with whatever people desired. My own feelings and desires did not matter. After awhile, I did not even know who I was or what I wanted. All that I knew was I needed to be obedient, good, and sweet.

Yet, there were some times when listening to others created complicated situations. Teasing increased, “friends” manipulated me into doing whatever they wanted, and I lost sight of my identity. However, standing up for myself by not agreeing with my peers or setting boundaries seemed impossible.

One day, a theater friend made a joke about me that was humorous but also frightening. She stated, “You know, I think that if you asked Anna Rose to kill someone, she would say, ‘Only if I can do it nicely and without hurting them.’”

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Recovery in the Media: #56. Waiting for My Clothes

Waiting for my Clothes

This book of poetry tells the story of a girl who defeated her eating disorder.

56. Waiting for My Clothes by Leanne O’Sullivan

While looking for poems and other material written on eating disorders for a speech, I stumbled upon this book. Leanne O’Sullivan crafts each poem uniquely, displaying her ability to write in many different styles. The pieces touch on difficult elements of recovery, dealing with mental illness, and everyday issues. As someone who is easily bored by poetry, I found this book to be engaging and inspiring. That is why I decided to discuss it today.

Synopsis: Mental health, family, growth, relationships, eating – there are so many difficult elements of recovering from an eating disorder. Writing about these issues can be a very helpful for both the author and readers. That is what Waiting for My Clothes does. Leanne O’Sullivan shows how bumpy the road to health is but also gives hope for others who join her along that journey.

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Just a Burst of Thoughts – And a Choice for You to Vote on my Tuesday/Wednesday posts

Mario holding up food necklace

Mario and I made an eatable necklace as part of Christine’s present. This is a practice one that we made for him.

Sorry, this is coming out so very late! Today has been hectic, to say the least. My sister, Christine, turned 21. Mario and I spent the day together. We went to see a show, buy gifts, make gifts, have lunch, read a book, etc. Then I had to finish working for the dinner cruise of retreat center that I live at with my family. Just now, I finally tumbled into bed.

However, so much has been on my mind lately that I have thought about writing about on this blog. Instead of just bombarding you with information that might be boring or strange, I would love to hear your opinions on some topics. These could be addressed in posts this week or later this month.

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Coping Skill: #55. Paying Attention to the Little Things

leaves

Leaves

Sometimes, we get so stuck in anxiety and worrying about the future that we forget to look around us. Yes, there is much pain and hardship in life. However thousands of little things of beauty surround us each day.

This week, I took a walk a tried to notice some of the details in the world around me. Instead of overlooking a spider on its web, I crouched down and watched it scuttle about, trying to find food. The ripples in the stream were no longer just moving water but a beautiful pattern of flowing liquid. Birds singing and lawn mower growling added a bit of sound that I normal drowned out with music. Experiencing these small things was rather magical. To help you see how much it impacted me, I too some photographs.

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Even Super People Have Depression

“You have depression? But you are so happy!” “You have an eating disorder? But you are so pretty.” “You have OCD? But you seem so normal.”

This list could go on and on as people are confused by those with mental illness. Many of us do not fit an exact stereotype of our diagnoses. Even if we do, putting on a mask is one of the first things that we learn. You do not want others to know the confusion, chaos, and agony inside otherwise they might reject you.

The truth is that all types of people have mental illness. No one is too smart, pretty, wealthy, kind, rational, you insert whatever adjective to escape these disorders. No one. As this video shows, even a super hero can be depressed.

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One Thousand Thanks: 681 – 692. Poignant Films – Part Two

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite films growing up.

Well, it is Thankfulness Thursday again. Following up on last week’s post about movies, I am going to write about inspiring films that I am thankful for viewing. Since the first post highlighted my life to the age of 11, this one will begin when I was 12-years-old. Hopefully you will enjoy this list and find some new movies to watch. If you have some films that have touched your life, please leave their name in the comments. What are you thankful for concerning this type of entertainment?

681. The Wizard of Oz - I watched this at a much younger age. However, the character of Dorothy continued to grow on me as I grew older. One of my dream roles was being her in a show. The witch’s cackle terrified me, but listening to my father do her voice as well as the lion made this movie even better. Plus, as someone deeply depressed, this reminded me that my home was so important despite the fact that I longed to go to a fantasy world. (Age 12)

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Rediscovering the Joy of Writing

Friends studying in Oxford

Two of my classmates studying outside our house in Oxford

Lately, my depression has affected my writing. Instead of looking forward to working on a story, work, or blog, I find myself feeling apathetic and unmotivated. Nothing seems to interest me, and the energy to be creative and think of words seems drained from me.

This has made me rather miserable. How can I blog each day if my heart is not in it? What is the use of going to school for professional writing if I cannot do the work? If I cannot find the inspiration to write, am I a failure who needs to stick to simple jobs like being a hostess in a restaurant for the rest of my life?

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Ten Things Not to Say to Someone Who Self-Harms

Self-hate and self-harm

When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves. – Chuck Pahlahniuk

For centuries, people have used self-harm to cope with life or discipline themselves. From religious ascetics to depressed teenagers, SIB (self-injurious behavior) can be found in all cultures and eras. Some societies have embraced it while others criticize it. Currently, most people lack awareness and even empathy for this symptom of mental illness.

I am not going to debate what drives every form of self-harm and the validity behind those motives. There are people who believe one can self-harm for good reasons. However, any form of inflicting pain on oneself (outside of for some extreme purpose) is problematic. Yes, that is very controversial and black-and-white. Yet, I have seldom, if ever, seen an exception to this.

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Recovery in the Media: #55. Maleficent

Maleficent

Maleficent shows the power of our actions, good, evil, revenge, and love.

55. Maleficent

Last week, my brother and I took an unusual visit to the movie theater to see Maleficent. Although I struggled with the film’s use of violence, the overall message touched me deeply. Fairy tales were part of what taught me to love reading. However, their black-and-white view of people has come to trouble me sometimes. Thus, seeing villains redeemed gives me hope for mending my own faults as well as finding good in this hurting world. Because of this hopeful message and other similarly positive themes, Maleficent seemed like a good choice for Media Monday.

Synopsis: Everyone knows the story of Sleeping Beauty. However, how much is known about the villain, Maleficent? This movie shows the story through her eyes. Once a sweet fairy with huge wings, the girl falls in love with a boy, Stefan. At first, these two share true love’s kiss. However, they grow apart as her magical kingdom is attacked by its human neighboring land. After Stefan betrays Maleficent, vengeance and deep hatred replace her tenderness and joy. How will she respond when power-hungry Stefan becomes king and has his first child? Surely, revenge is in order for her pain. Continue reading

When the Panic Rises

White water lilly

I want peace like this water lilly.

When I begin to panic, nothing seems to control me or make sense. I begin to hyperventilate as my brain spins and tears run down my cheeks. My heart races and stomach churns. All that I want to do is curl up in a ball, sob, and be safe.

Safety – that is all I want sometimes. Silly, you might think, for a girl who restricts food until she is deathly ill or hurts herself to deal with pain. One might argue that my personal safety is the last thing that I consider.

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