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If Mental Illnesses Were Monsters, This Is What They’d Look Like | [REBLOG]


Check out these cartoons of mental illnesses created by U.K.-based artist Toby Allen. He decided to draw different mental illnesses as monsters, as a way of helping himself and ultimately others. Check out the article I found on Huffington Post as well as his Real Monsters series.

monsters_001 monsters_002 monsters_003 monsters_004 monsters_005 monsters_006 monsters_007 monsters_008 monsters_009

 

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Who is Morgueticiaatoms? [GUEST BLOG]


I asked several bloggers whom I’ve become acquainted with if they would do a guest post on Surviving the Specter. They have all graciously accepted, and I am really excited to feature them over time. They have in one way or another, inspired me, made me laugh, made me think, told it to me like it is, been supportive, reached out to me, and been there to pull me through my rough stuff. They are beautiful people and excellent bloggers. They have so much to share and it would be a dishonor for me to hoard them all to myself, haha.

My guest blogger today is Morgueticiaatoms. She is a whitty and sarcastically beautiful person. Please visit her blog and drop her a line in her Comments section. Unlike me, she is really great at holding dialogues! Check her site out – https://morgueticiasmentalhealthmausoleum.wordpress.com/

And now, I’ll turn it over to Morgue’…

My name is Niki aka Morgueticiaatoms. I am 42.  Bipolar, seasonal depressions, and anxiety are my biggest demons. I have a daughter about to enter first grade and she is happy and healthy, which proves mental illness is not contagious. I struggle daily and feel the sting of being on disability as the stigma of mental illness does takes its toll. Especially when you know you’re for real, not some scammer too lazy to work. I enjoy long walks on the beach, sunsets, and poking dead things with a stick. Okay, that’s my macabre humor but it gets me through. I like writing, reading, watching TV shows, blogging, and am addicted to the game Word Poker on neopets. (No, I feel no shame.) For the most part, I consider myself boring. Occasionally amusing. Blogging has been a lifeline for me, especially after being told “no one wants to read about your mental crap” by someone close to me. I’ve found a supportive system of people through blogging and I am grateful for each reader, each like, each and every comment. I am also grateful for the chance to spew my demons in blog form so they don’t systemically poisoning me. Venting is good.

1.   How long have you been blogging?

Off and on for about eight years, four years steadily. I also have boxes of old school pen and paper journals I’ve kept though the years.

2.   What is the focus of your blog?

Life with bipolar and anxiety disorder, for the most part. How I cycle, how I react, for better, for worse.

3.   Is there a particular time that you write/post?

Nope. Whenever the notion hits, or more like, possesses me.

4.   Where do you get the inspiration/ideas for your blog posts?

From outer space. Seriously, it could be anything, what’s going on in my life, a TV show, an ad, a song, another blog post, a book, or just some random spark. As unpredictable as bipolar, creativity is.

5.   From your experience, what three pieces of insight/wisdom can you give to new/growing bloggers?

Be honest, use your own voice, and if your goal is readers, learn to use the tags appropriately. It counts as to quantity of views though for me it was more for quality, weeding out the flotsam and jetsam trolls.

6.   What mental conditions (“illnesses”) do you survive with? E.g., depression? PTSD? anxiety? self-harm?

Bipolar two, generalized anxiety disorder, seasonal affective disorder, ADD, panic attacks, personality disorder not otherwise specified, chronic depressions related to seasonal affect

7.   For each condition, what is at least one coping mechanism you have found to be successful?

Sarcastic humor. If you can mock yourself even at your worst…You’ve got signs of life in spite of it all.

8.   Do you have a personal story you would like to tell? One of success? One of growth? A story that tells about your rough stuff?

I was improperly diagnosed for ten plus years. They gave me anti depressants, which just made the bipolar worse. It resulted in a lot of instability, impulsive decisions, and burned bridges with family and friends. Followed by an interaction to an MAOI that landed me in the hospital and they were unsure if I would come out of it. I suffered brain damage, to a small but still relevant extent. I was granted disability after that. Took three more years to get proper diagnosis and so much finally made sense. I proved med resistant as far as the anti depressants went. But in spite of it all, I managed to have a gorgeous daughter who is happy go lucky so you can be a parent with mental illness. Kids need love, not perfection.

 9.   From your experience, what three pieces of insight/wisdom can you give to others surviving with mental illness?

The best counselor I have ever had told me, “Some days you just have to accept you feel the way you feel. Happy, sad, depressed, anxious. Accept it because fighting it makes you feel defeated if you fail. Set one small goal for the day, accomplish it, and LET yourself feel the way you do.”

Do NOT ever let societal pressures, resistance to medications, chronic cycling,or self doubt dictate your self worth. You LIVE your truth, and if others aren’t accepting and supportive, it is hardly your fault.

Remember that in spite of all our programming, doctors are humans and fallible and prone to their own biases. You can respect a doctor without having to agree with their every word, especially when it comes to the medications you put into your body. Don’t be a people pleaser when it comes to your mental health. Politely but firmly assert yourself or the doctors are prone to treating you like just another file number.

Again, thank you Morgue’ for being a guest blogger and taking your time to write this! Such powerful feeling and useful information here for all of us. X

Please be sure to drop over to Morgue’s blog and leave her some comments on this wonderful post. 

 

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Who is Sassafrass, The Feisty? [GUEST BLOG]


I asked several bloggers whom I’ve become acquainted with if they would do a guest post on Surviving the Specter. They have all graciously accepted, and I am really excited to feature them over time. They have in one way or another, inspired me, made me laugh, made me think, told it to me like it is, been supportive, reached out to me, and been there to pull me through my rough stuff. They are beautiful people and excellent bloggers. They have so much to share and it would be a dishonor for me to hoard them all to myself, haha.

My first guest blogger is Sassafrass, The Feisty. She is a quick-witted, high energy blogging machine. Also, a sarcastic word smith and a beautiful person. Please visit her blog and drop her a line in her Comments section. She would love to have a dialog! Check her site out – https://sassafrass20blog.wordpress.com

And now, I’ll turn it over to Sass’…

I’m a 35 year old separated mom of 2 kids-a 13-year-old teenager *WAHHH* and an 8-year-old girl. I live with Bipolar1 with my parents, kids and my dog-a 50 pound Black and Red German Shepherd named May. I’ve been diagnosed for 9 years, and I’ve been on MANY medications, and I know that I will be on meds for the rest of my life. I’m ok with that-my sanity is worth the trial and error, even though I whine about it at times. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color pink-as obvious in my blog theme and desktop glass, phone case and purse, and half of my wardrobe 😉 I’m also living through a HARD marriage and separation. It’s not been easy for myself or the kids, but we are making it through J I am a high school dropout, though I did go on to get my GED in November of 1999 followed by my CNA Certification in December of 1999 and I have been in the health care industry-geez sounds like some kind of universal cannery or something!-but all in long term health care facilities. I’ve recently hurt my shoulder and I am most liking going to have shoulder surgery in the next coming weeks-YAY L. Ah, the life and times of a CNA lifer! MY life is a chaotic as my head. My Gramma would always tell me this quote when my life was always in turmoil: “This Too Shall Pass” and it is my mantra. I’m also starting to incorporate a quote from one of her favorite movies “Strictly Ballroom”: “Vivir con miedos, es como vivir a medias!” which translates to “A Life Lived In Fear Is A Life Half Lived”, and I think it’s perfect for what a lot of us are going through.   I LOVE to read-a lot of fantasy, some “main stream” stuff, young adult fiction…but I WON’T read anything on current political stances because it’s a trigger and then I’ll think the world is coming to an end and who needs that?! I also am a big movie fan. Not much I won’t watch, but Horror is OUT OF THE QUESTION-because I am a HUGE chicken shit. Plain and simple. Vampire movies are my favorite-my son is named after a Vampire! Wish I could say the same for my daughter…still kinda pissed about that one, actually. I visit my Grandparent’s grave often to gather my thoughts at times, and those are some of the most peaceful times as of late. They encouraged me through so much in my life, and they would be so proud of where I am today.

If I can leave you with one thing it’s this: I have never once, in my entire life, ever regretted a single decision I have ever made. Because of those I made, I am on this path, at this certain point in my life for a reason. I can look behind me and see the lessons I have learned, and for that, I am grateful. Even if those decisions were REALLY stupid and made when I was manic or depressed, I learned something from them.

1.   How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging just over a year. I started May 30, 2014.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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