Self care day 11:Appetizing Friends

Again, thank you for joining me on the grand undertaking. There is going to be a lot of work for me and  I hope to be able to keep up. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

It can be physically and emotionally exhausting socializing with social anxiety. You tend to make a lot of acquaintances and just a few close friends. I feel that generally society does not realize the time and effort it takes to go out. If I had my way, I feel as if I would never leave the house.

But I need to do it.

A dear friend of mine puts together a dinner every so often. He has a place in mind that has some amazing food and a bar to knock your socks off. He invites people he knows well and some he doesn’t. He tells them to come, hang out, talk, and be together. These groups can be as large as 20+ at times.

And you meet people.

It is amazing seeing people from all walks of life and backgrounds come together and talk. I find it fascinating to engage people from around the country or the world at these dinners. Seeing them all come together at one table is an incredible thing.

And all my friend does is order appetizers.

He orders almost all of them on the menu.

People sit around and eat fantastic food and they order a drink or two (some just stick to water) and they socialize. They pass around plates of appetizers and ask “Have you tried this?” and “Oh my god. These are amazing.” It is truly incredible seeing people open up about food.

It can be extremely fulfilling for the soul as well.

So I say plan an outing, with friends and others, and just order appetizers. You all just pay for one (which makes it cheaper) and you share. Pass the food around and enjoy each others company. Tip your waitress well while you are at it (make her smile at the fun you all are having).

It takes some planning but it is well worth it.

#hugapony my friend.

Self care day 4: Finding your towel.

Thank you for joining me on the grand undertaking. There is going to be a lot of work for me and  I hope to be able to keep up. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Taking care of yourself involves so much. Mental and physical well-being should be considered crucial in keeping you healthy as a person. Sometimes, in my opinion, it can all come down to something as simple as one thing.

Do you know were your towel is at?

Towels are amazing. They provide warmth and comfort. They can be associated with going to the beach or swimming. They also make a great reference to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

One Christmas, my dad decided to do a present to each member of the family. He did not tell anyone, even my mom much to her annoyance, what they were. These large light boxes were stuck under the tree, shaken daily as we tried and tried to guess what they were. Christmas morning arrived and we all dashed to see what these mystery gifts were.

They were very large, soft towels.

We sat around confused at such a gift when my father explained how we have had ragged old towels for awhile now and being something that we use (or should use) daily, why do we keep using them? Why not have a bit of luxury in having nice, big, soft towels.

With this simple message in mind, I bring it to everyone else.

Part of self-care for everyone is cleanliness. I know with some mental and physical disabilities, it can be very hard to get the energy to clean yourself. I wrote a post a few weeks back on a picture on Facebook that I got angry at for the tone of it. One of the items them mentioned was bathing. While I did not agree at all with the tone, I understood the message that cleanliness is an issue.

Why not motivate yourself with a new towel?

Here is an item that is used so often but how often do we think of buying a new one? When the old one rips? When it is so thread bare it takes another towel to finish the job? Do you have that nice towel the whole family fights over because it is so nice? Why not take a time and find a nice luxurious towel for you.

Knowing that you bought yourself a new, soft, warm, beautiful towel can be the thing to motivate you to take care of yourself.

It can all come down to just a towel.

#hugapony my friends

My Triggered Moment

I have taught myself not to be triggered by anger about many things in my life. I feel that we all could use a bit of compassion to those who we disagree with. However, I came across a picture that is making it way across the social sites and my jaw fell open.

OK, wow. This is a very angry person. I understand they are wanting to be the tough love type. They are sadly misinformed and are quite judgmental.

You are telling a person who has “mental issues” and possibly other disabilities to go and do things without regards to what they are facing might be. You are telling someone to take a shower or eat something more than a cracker because they need to accept the responsibility of taking care of themselves. Does this person not realize that most of us want to do this but we cannot? That we struggle to find the energy to get of bed and make it to the bathroom? That we are not sulking teenagers who are just lazy and don’t want to clean our room?

This person is telling someone with mental issues to call friends and let them know that you are OK because they must be worried sick. Let that sink in for a second. You want a person who cannot make sound, mental healthy decisions to call someone for help. Not only do you want them to reach out, but you want them to apologize to others about how “I” don’t have the capacity or mental strength to do basic things in life. You want them to call and say that “I” need my space. Oxymoron much or is this going to be “crying for attention”?

I weep when I read things like this.

I understand self-care. I understand when it takes all you have to go and clean the kitchen and your body aches for the 2 hours it takes to get through it and you spend the next 2 trying to recover, but you do it because it needs to get done. Sometimes people need cute things to help them get the energy or confidence to take care of themselves. Sometimes we just need a security blanket to help us make it to the shower. Sometimes we need people to call US to check up on us and make sure we are OK.

Just because it may not work for you, why are you condemning it? I completely agree that making mental health issues cute is a terrible idea and does nothing to help the community. How is this person helping by belittling those who cannot take care of themselves BECAUSE THEIR BRAIN IS SICK!

Now I agree that responsibility is something that the community needs. Acknowledging what you have and what you need to do to take care of yourself is a tremendous step in living with a disability. Cute self-care works for some however, why would you take that away from them? Why are you forcing someone to fight through all the pain, mental stress, and more to pick up the phone and call you to let you know they are OK?

Tough love is a fine line. I feel this person missed it. By a wide margin. If you have someone that is like this in your life, please reconsider their role in your mental health recovery. You can find better people. I know they are out there.

#hugapony my friends

 

The weekend in review.

It was a long weekend. It started on Friday with my van and the water pump exploding inside of it. Being that this  our only vehicle we were kind of in a bind because we were not going to be able to make it to work on Monday. This was also our only access to most of the outside world. Now while I am an introvert and I would be content to stay at home, this did not mean that I would be permanently founded in the apartment. 

Things were not looking up. 

I then received a message that my mother was in the hospital. She has had issues with migraines and we had not been able to get a cause of why. Of course, with the added stress of the rest of life, I did not take the news very well. So I did what I do best.

I stopped and prayed for a miracle.

I did not get one.

I got many.

My wife and I went to a local dealership to look at vehicles. We have been rebuilding credit due to a bankruptcy and I knew it was going to be a painful process. I had gone online and found a decent car for the money. When we arrived, the salesman and the car was waiting for us. We were the rushed into the test drive. The car was small, very small back seat so not good with a baby on the way, and was beyond basic. While, we really needed more, we did not have a lot of options. Upon arrival we told the salesman that we would have to think about it. He brought in the manager to close the deal. He came in ready to pander and please and my loving wife put a stop to it. The manager completely rubbed us the wrong way and was not what we needed at the time. We left soon after with a very bad taste in our mouths. 

It was after this that I received the message that mom was in the hospital. Not much information to go on but needless to say, it was a terrible time for everyone. I prayed.

My dear brother in law stepped in and saved us. He and his wife are some of the kindness people I know. They knew our situation and stepped in and called to say they wanted to help. This opened so many avenues for us. I was close to tears. Hope was not dead.

The next day we had been prepared to go look elsewhere when a dear friend suggested we go back to the same dealership, talk to a very specific salesman and only work through him. I was reluctant but I decided we would. 

Upon arrival we asked to see this particular individual and he created warmly. He asked what we needed and we told him flat out our needs with kids and one on the way. He was the only person to congratulate us on that fact the entire time. There was an instant liking. We also told him of our displeasure from the day before and he agreed that it was not right. He then lead us to a path on a much better car that had been a loaner but was still considered new. It had so many fancy features and a back seat that could hold 3 grown adults comfortably. Just upon seeing the car, my wife and I were filled with hope. This was the perfect car.

The next two days were filled with better news. My mother came home and was feeling much better. We got an idea of what was going on with her. Knowledge is power and this help tremendously. 

Miracles happen.

We went in finally on Monday and got the final paperwork ready for the car. We had one last barrage of last minute add-ons that the car that we were being pushed to buy. My darling wife batted the numbers aside and in the end we ended up getting all the add-ons with no extra cost. 

We now have a car. A new car. Something I have never had. It was the first time in many years that I did not have the fear of if the car would start. I had a vehicle that did not have a warning light on the dash for the first time in 5 years or more. Relief flooded over me and mine. 

I cannot thank enough my friend that convinced us to go back and also let us borrow a car to do so.

I cannot thank my brother in-law and his wife enough for help us out in a time of need. 

I cannot thank a competent salesman who took the time to listen and care.

I cannot thank the doctors who helped my mom enough.

I cannot thank my wife for being strong and standing by my side.

I cannot thank my God enough for providing it all.

I am beyond blessed.

I still have hardships and trouble that I deal with daily. In the month of Thanksgiving, however, I recognize the need for praise and thankfulness. I am truely blessed.

What are you thankful for?

#huga pony my friends

Akon Panel #1

I am just now being able to update my blog and I thank all of you for being patient with me in my time away from the computer. I am still in the process of moving and I am hoping and praying it is this weekend. I am quite excited. I am looking forward to having a place to my own with my family and being able to be settled.

I had a wonderful time at my first panel at A-kon 27. It was Middle of Nowhere, Smashed and Thanksgiving (Featuring Two men walk into a Bar). I was joined by my good friends Nick (from Knightengale Music Advising) and Ronin (From The Gigalounge) with special guest voice actor Kyle Herbert (From DragonBall Z and a lot more!).

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^Ronin and Kyle

And what a time we had!

We always have wonderful giveaways and prizes at our panel. This year we had a “beer” pong table for the attendees to fight over great things and had some awesome matches. I was given Surge (thanks Nick) which I had not had in 10 years or more. We also gave away this year’s poster to those attending.
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We had a dynamic conversation with great chats about the state of video game consoles to the introduction of VR into mainstream. Kyle got to try VR for the very first time!!

After the panel while we gave out the posters, the strangest thing happened. We had several people come up and ask us to sign the posters.

Wow.

Not gonna lie, I felt almost famous. I had never been asked to autograph something. I was flabbergasted at first and had the thought of “they don’t want mine”. Then a gentleman came up and said “Sign this please”. I told him the artist was next to me and he corrected me, asking me to sign on my character. I stumbled around and found a sharpie and then 4 more people lined up!

Holy crap!

All told it was some of the most fun I had ever had at a panel. I want to thank everyone there for coming and I look forward to more with my crew.

I will have my second (and much more serious panel) written in a few days, as I move again.

#hugapony my friends
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Slice of peace.

This has been a very bad week for me. I have been trying very hard to post more positive things on my blog to make myself think more positive but life likes to throw us some curve balls.

This week was supposed to be a week of rest from the 3 weeks of madness of back to back conventions and then the long trek to see family (over 24 hours in a car total). I was hoping for a relaxing time to ease my soul and spirit.

This was not the case.

I got hit with the depression that likes to attack when I take a moment of peace. I feel it knows the game plan of my life and likes to find those moments and just pounce. It dregs up the worse moments and throws them in the heart. It blind me from seeing anything positive and cripples the body. I hate when it comes calling.

I had a rough few weeks. While the time I had doing what I love and seeing family, I was also faced with a lot of sorrow. I had quite a few events happen that just rubbed raw or broke me from people I know.

It hurts the most when it comes from people around you.

Now keep in mind (as I have a lot of friends and family who read this) this is not made to accuse or anger anyone. This is me just opening my soul and pouring words to a page to get them out. Words become trapped in my mind like a cage and if I don’t free them they eat away at me like water wearing down a rock. I am not asking or looking for a response, I just need to get it out.

I have had people tear me down. People have lied to me and about me. Some to my face. I have given myself freely to helping those around me, both my time, effort and even my own belongings. I have put myself to be hurt the most.

And it happened.

Over and over.

I have People who wont talk to me. I have have People now who just talk over me. I have have had People lie and steal from me. I have had People throw me under the bus and back it over me. I have been put in more stressful situations than I care to count.

Over and over.

And it didn’t stop.

It felt like dominoes falling trying to break me. Just one right after another. It broke me and then kept piling on. I had bills come in from all sides. Hospitals are very expensive at times and I owe a lot of money. I have been hit with my wife getting a car accident (she is OK, thank God) and losing one of my vehicles. My other van is being held together with wire and duct tape at times and can’t pass inspection.

But it is all I have.

I have pushed down to the point of being squished to feel so tiny that this world would be better off without me.

Yes, even those thoughts came like a crashing wave.

If I could be treated so badly, why get up out of bed? Depression seeps your strength. Your body feels like it is caring more and more weight. For me, I stop eating. All I think about is going to bed.

It is not just trying to get rest. That is just part of it. It is just trying to get a break. Sleep is just a slice of peace. It is an escape. It is a time when you can finally have a moment, between when you are awake and you dream, when you can not have everything beat you down. You may hate the day and have nightmares torment your night, but in the middle of all that you have a moment, just one brief moment of just one small break from everything.

You treasure that. You look forward to that. It is the one thing that keeps you going through some days. “Just let me make it to my moment of peace before I sleep”

I lived that for the last few weeks. It has been hard. Even with my plushies to help me through, medications still coming, and a loving wife and kids, I still lived for that one slice of peace.

Freedom from everything.

And sometimes that is what you have to do to make it through the days.

Hug a pony for me and you, my friends. May yours bring you a slice of peace.

 

PS I wanted to add that I am doing better now. I know some of you, very sweetly, check up on me. I am doing better. Thank you all.