Ikkikon 2017.

I will be at Ikkicon 2017 and I will be doing a panel on invisible disability on Saturday Dec 31st at 6 pm to 7 pm. Come join me as we talk about living with invisible disabilities and share in a safe space our experiences and ways to help each other. I will have a special prize for the first two people who come up to me in the panel and say “clumsy draconequus” will get a small prize!(Kudos for those who get the reference).

I cant wait to see you all!

Come out and hug a pony with me!

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PS – Picture from http://tygerbug.deviantart.com/art/Hug-Life-Shirt-319992930

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Happy Holidays

Winter has come and brought its dark skies and cold nights to us. In this time of joyous celebration and hot cocoa, Let us all take some time to pay attention to those around us who may need some help. From single mothers and divorced dads, to those who illness is worsened by the cold, to the quite children who don’t get swept up in all the bright festivities. Someone will be in your life that will need a little encouragement.

It amazes me that so many people can go through life and not realize what or who is around us. I watch as people ignore anything that does not pertain to them. Working retail makes this abundantly evident as people respond to your greetings with abrupt dismissal. We become so focused on what are doing, who do we need presents  for, how am I going to make all the parties that we tend to not see those of us who need help around us. In this spirit of giving and merry making, we miss those who are not able to enjoy the holidays.

I encourage all of us to go forth and find someone to help this holiday. It could be the single mother with 3 kids who just needs a night off. It could be the recently divorced dad who isn’t going to be able to spend time with his kids for the first time. It could be the person with the illness who cant make it to that party they always used to enjoy. Chances are I have described someone you know. You are thinking of them right now.

Act on that.

Stop doing things.

Start on being this holiday.

#hugapony

PS I have not had much time to write and for that I apologize. I have my next few posts planned to carry me into the new year. Thank you all who read this blog. As a reward, a small comic i found that speaks to me in so many ways.

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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

I am worthy.

I love my wife. She is one of the most honest, blunted person I know. She will tell you how it is if you ask for it. She lets you make mistakes but will help you if and when you ask for it. It was one of the reasons I married her.

She told me my biggest issue is my lack of self worth.

I argued back about confident people and how they can appear to be stuck up in a lot of cases and how I didn’t ever want to be like that. She told I had no worry about that, but that is not what she had said. She said I lacked the belief in the worth I had as a person. I agreed and tried to make a joke but she brought me back over and over again. 

You need to work on your self worth. 

Now, in my mind, telling myself I am worth something over and over seems cliché. Watching videos of football players pump themselves up and motivational speakers also came to mind. I knew what my response was.

Anxiety can have the fear of never being good enough. You can try and try but it’s never enough. However much you stack your worth it is never high enough.

Depression is a hole, in which you can never fill the feeling of being good at all. It makes you stay in bed and never leave because of the emptiness inside. 

The two are circular and when you have both they make it almost impossible to break. I told her all of this and her response was simple.

Have you even tried lately?

I took stock in the thought patterns I had had in the past few months. I looked at my good weeks (were they actually good) and the bad (more of these than I would want). Had I given up? 

Yes. 

I made a decision. I would spend the upcoming months working on my self worth. I would document my progress on here and the methods I used. I would share how my wife and friends would help me along the way. I will use this soapbox of a blog of mine to help more people. 

Who knows. Maybe it will turn into a book.

#hugapony my friends.

Our daily choice.

I read an article that had something that struck a cord with me. I have heard the saying “just be happy and you will be happy” or “why don’t you just feel happy” or my favorite “you are choosing to be depressed”. I read the following and I was taken back. It fits so well.

If I told someone who was happy right now to be sad, they would likely have a hard time doing so. The opposite is quite true. 

I do want to give credit to the writer. The rest of the article is here.

https://themighty.com/2016/04/happiness-as-a-choice-meme-feeds-stigma-around-mental-illness/
I think we need to shout this out more for the people in the back to hear.

#hugapony my friends

Something New

I have been working on a project for a bit now and I am finally ready to share it with the rest of the world. I have started a Patreon page. This is a website that helps support artists and writers, like a kick-starter or crowdfunding, and allows people like me income to support what we do.

https://patreon.com/user?u=3817496

I have been struggling with doing this for a bit now. I have never intended to monetize my blog (it will always be free if I can help it). However, with the time it take to do panels at conventions and speak (which I don’t get paid for) and the time and money it takes to work a blog (which also I don’t get paid for and I actually pay money to maintain) I have felt a need to move towards a support system.

It hasn’t been easy.

So I invite all of you, if you read what I have and enjoy what I do either online, in person, or at a convention, please feel free to donate! Thank you all!

#hugwp-1459723822817.jpgapony

Contentment v Complacent

I have been know to be complacent from time to time. I get caught in a rut and just coast through my day as best as I can. While not good, I have felt that it just gets me through another day and I am able to hope for a better one tomorrow.

Contentment is something I am striving for now. I want to be content in what I have and what I live with. Contentment is feeling happy regardless of your life at that moment. It is looking for the joy in your life and the small things that help make it through the day.

I find that a lot of people confuse the two. They are not interchangeable. Complacent is lazy. It allows people and events around you to control you. It forces itself on you. You become Complacent. Contentment is looking and choosing to accept what is going on around you. You can still have bad days and be content. It is a state of being.

I have tried always to go from a human doing to a human being.

I am by no means perfect. My wife likes to comment on how people try to be perfect and strive for that perfectionism; people who try, always fail at being perfect. I agree, no one will ever be perfect. But you can be content. People who are content live better lives with less stress.

Now please don’t mistake contentment with complacency. You can be content and still strive for a better life with more in it. Here is where people veer off and think that by being content they do not strive for more. Complacency does this. You accept your lot in life and that is all you can hope for. The cards dealt you a hand that is horrid and you got to play on through. Contentment is realizing that you might can win with your cards already but, if not, you get another round the next deal.

Complacency is stagnant.

Contentment is found joy.

I have had to do serious thinking about my life and my mental and physical health in the recent months. I have had to make choices that will affect my life. I have had to recognize my own complacency. I have just accepted my fate and I have to live with it. We all have to live my mental illness and disability. I am making those around me, nay, forcing those around me to accept me and my condition.

Selfish no?

I now acknowledge that I started that path. I am not proud of it. I am now working towards contentment. I am working on helping others; either through panels or my blog or even a phone call from a friend. In a most recent panel, I talked about how my life has given me a superpower, my condition. It makes me more aware and effective in helping others. If I can show compassion and help others, who else will it inspire? I am choosing to be a better person and be content.

So I ask you, are you content or complacent?

I choose joy. I choose to find joy. I choose my soft plush ponies to hug and help me through bad times and am thankful for them. I am thankful for my family and friends who accept me. I am choosing to be grateful for my life. Complacency is a breeding-ground for bitterness and bitterness helps no one.

What do you choose?

#hugapony my friends.20141024_131856

To the East side.

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A quite post today. I am just putting it here for my followers that we, because you join me dear readers, have been published on http://themighty.com!!

I want say that hope to grow with experience and that I will be able to help more people. It has been awesome.

Enjoy the revels!!

Link to the post.
http://themighty.com/2016/04/depression-thinking-about-failures/

On the mark.

I come across stories and pieces that hit close to home or near the mark when it comes to depression and anxiety. The past few days I have been taking my meds with clockwork timing as my mind has not had a moments rest tormenting me.

The little man in my head has been clawing at the walls.

I came across a story on Facebook (something I believe is a boon and a curse) and wow it hit the mark.

Hard.

I almost felt I was reading a story about my self. The words and feelings used were on point.

And they were sharp enough to cut me.

The article which is commented here, http://themighty.com/2016/03/when-youre-suicidal-but-you-dont-want-to-die/ , tells about living with those suicical thoughts and what you face day in and out. I applaud the bravery it took to write this. Telling people your thoughts like this makes people worry about you to the point of locking you up. But even if we don’t say what we are thinking, does that make it go away, or does it make those around us feel better about themselves?

Is it better to ignore the thoughts so they don’t mess up someone else’s day?

I feel that being open and honest about these things does several great things. First, you are being honest with yourself, a great way to admit there are issues to deal with. Second, it lets other people know what is going on. Now that has a side effect of being either an attention grabber or someone to stress and worry about. However, I feel that if I am publicly talking about it, its me admitting my flaws and faults. I am saying, “Yes there is a problem and I am recognizing it”. Third, it brings out support and help from others. Building that support group is critical in saving yourself from anything that someone might do to themselves. Again, this isn’t the “Lock them in a rubber room.” but a “I understand and this helped me” type of support. Last, it brings out your humanity. The one thing that is lacking in most depression/anxiety people is just that, they do not look at themselves as people. They see themselves as burdens, and too broken to fix. By saying or writing (better because it is a solid evidence that can be brought up later) that you are feeling this way is a way to humanize yourself to the point to save yourself. It is a gateway to seeing that you are a real person and not just a shadow.

http://themighty.com/2016/03/when-youre-suicidal-but-you-dont-want-to-die/

Well written, well said.

#hugaplushie

The big D & A

Living with depression and anxiety is hard. I hear a lot of people who tell me, and others, just get over it. If it were that simple, I would have been cured a long time ago. I know that some people think they are helping by trying to motivate or drive those suffering but I want to take a moment to describe some ways a person acts the way they do and what they are thinking while suffering.

Randomly during the day you have the crushing weight of ALL your failures hit you all at once. It’s like having a personal highlight reel of worst moments set up in a compilation video playing through your brain over and over. Most depressed people are very intelligent and have a good memory. Because of this, your flaws and failures are branded and seared into your brain for you to remember. I still remember the time when I was 7 and I burnt my thumb on a hot iron right after my mother told me not to touch it. I was so excited to be going to a friends house down the street right after that happened and I was so scared that I would be in trouble I hid my pain and went to my friends house. Soon upon arrival my friends mother noticed my tears of pain and looked at my thumb. She was surprised that my mother would send me down there without doing something about my thumb. She called my mother asking about and surprised my mother with something my mother didn’t know anything about. It was no surprised that I was promptly sent home to both be healed and to be in trouble.

I tell this story because I am still embarrassed about trying to hid it. I still have it in the back of mind of what I did wrong. I still remember the pain of my thumb on fire. It pops in my head about every other week to remind me of how I have failed. I live with that memory and every other mistake and failure I have done in my life. I wish I could stop those memories from drowning me and some days I do great.

Other days not so much.

And its not just your mistakes.

When something goes wrong with someone else, you react two ways. You question if you messed something up, EVEN IF YOU HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. You cannot stop yourself from wondering if you could have done something to have helped them or if you could have changed something. The second way you react is you overreact by being overly sorry for what happened, again even if you had nothing to with what happened. You try to comfort and help that person in such a way that you end up looking like a “freak”.

It makes for a hard time trying to deal with other people’s failures while having your own failures play constantly playing in your mind.

It also makes you paranoid. You question everyone’s jokes and teasing. You are observing all the things going on around you and analyzing it. You wonder how much is true and what is a joke. You live in constant fear of what you say and how it could be taken wrong.

And this makes you tired.

You carry the weight of that around with you. The reason it is hard to get out of bed for a depressed person is two-fold. First, you are tired from carrying yours and everyone else’s burdens (even if they didn’t ask for it). Second, you know the only relief is sleep. Sleep because it is when you finally get a break.

It is hard to be depressed. It is hard living with anxiety.

I saw a post on social media that inspired this post and I want to share it now.

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Fear. You live in constant fear.

“What if?”

The next time you see a depressed person or know someone who is depressed, take two seconds and think on these things. I could save a life.

#hugapony my friends.