Stuffed post.

I have just received two more of my “My Little Pony” Build a Bear stuffed ponies. They will be added to an ever growing collection. The two new ponies are from the MLP movie. When I get them stuffed and ready, I will share a picture of this collection.

I have gotten more than a few strange looks these last 7 years over my love of the “My Little Pony” show. I have gotten even more strange looks from being in the furry fandom for over 20 years. I have weathered them all with an understanding of being different. I have never felt the need to change. Why should I change what I like and enjoy because you are uncomfortable with what I like and enjoy. I don’t shove my fandoms in people’s faces so you are free to ignore me. I would rather you ask questions and try and understand.

I would have to say I have been an ambassador to those fandoms for a long time. Quite a few people have come to me with questions or to seek my opinion on my fandoms. I have never backed down from answering honest questions. I feel privileged that people trust me enough to ask about them. It gives me great joy seeing others who knew nothing about these fandoms show interest. If not interest, at least the understanding of why i, and others, enjoy them.

Stuffed therapy is also in that vein of being weird. I have been a proud advocate for this self therapy that I have seen help others. I have work panels, sat privately with people, even started a blog on trying to help people. Having something big or small, round or thin, fuzzy and soft near you when you need it. That little totem that grounds you.

Your stuffed little therapy.

And mine as well.

Find things that make you happy. Share that happiness with others. Improve yourself and then help others improve themselves. Share your love and passions.

#hugapony my friends.

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Event time!

I have an announcement! I will be having a Stuffed Therapy panel at Nightmare Nights next month! This is a My Little Pony convention in North Dallas, Tx on Oct 27-29th. My panel is set for 12 pm on Sat the 28th. I am very excited to be bringing my panel to even more people. I love being able to talk about the benefits of stuffed therapy and how it can help you. Being able to help people with their anxiety and depression is always enjoyable.

I hope to see some of you there!DanielPermenter

#hugapony my friends!

Self care day 27:Inner Plushie

Being this blog is dedicated to exploring Stuffed Therapy and finding ways to help people, it is fitting to set aside the last post before recap day to my favorite tool.

The Plushie.

The warm, soft stuffed bear, animal, alien or even a pet rock or worry stone can help you through those tough times. I cannot tell you how much my plush has helped me through tough times. Having a small plush on you through out the day can help put your mind at ease.

A totem to help you in the rough times.

I have a friend who attended one of my panels, who heard me speak on the subject. He immediately went out in the convention we were at and got himself a small plush. He was so excited that he got it, I was one of the first people he came and saw. I heard about him talking about it to all his friends. They came up to me and commented on how he was doing better because he had his plush.

I found out that he still has it on his desk even now several months later. It brings a smile to my face to see some good brought back into this world.

Even if it is in a small plush.

Knowing you have something at home that can bring some peace to you. Having the worry stone in your pocket to rub when times are stressful. Seeing the small plush Rainbow Dash on your purse. All of these things can bring you some peace of mind.

All of this self care, wrapped up in a soft, fluffy plush.

Or rock, if the case may be.

#hugaplushie my friends.

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Labor Day quickie.

I find the title funny because I am now employed! I am back in the labor force and am going to be stocking shelves overnight at a big box store. My family is in need of a little extra income to make it through the month and pay some bills off. I really wanted to be able to make my blog work on donations or my convention work to pick up the slack but that is not the case.

I hope everyone remembers to treat others as humans this weekend and not like robots. I do believe in good karma and treating our fellow man as a person and not a cog in a corporate machine. As you encounter people working this holiday weekend, go out of your way to say thank you. Make them feel special. You could help save a life.

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

Helping hands.

I had a solo panel at Anime Overload in Austin, Texas this past weekend. I managed to speak clearly, not break down crying, and I hope I change some lives.

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It might not show it here, but it was an almost full panel with most of the chairs filled (including my thumb at the bottom right corner of the screen!). One of the things I do at this type of panel is close the door and make it a safe room. We keep what happens behind those doors safe and secure. Stories that are shared and experiences that happen are locked for only those in the room to hear.

I enjoy the help it brings to others. I have been asked to continue this type of panel for at least two other shows. It shows the growing need to talk openly about things like depression and other mental illnesses and give support to those who need it. I have been blessed to have people support me on this adventure and I am humbled to have been put in this position.

One thing I notice in this panel is the raw emotion that comes from the room. Being able to handle that and to deal with it has never been easy. I spent the first hour after this panel trying to keep to myself and deal with all the emotional energy that comes from talking/venting/sharing. I have yet to see a panel where at least 50% of the attendees did not cry (myself included).

Now this is not just a panel about openly talking about our lives but also how to help others and ways to deal with problems. I always invite people to share their lives and experiences with others to show what works and doesn’t work. I share my life and ways to help others. I push them to form a community of individuals to bond together and to build support groups.

At the end of the day I was able to talk to several people closely and give them some guidance in their lives. I was approached by the directors toward the end of the convention because someone (or more than one I am not sure) spoke out at a meeting requesting me to continue to do the panel. Again, humbled was just the first thing I felt.

I am drained at the moment but happy. I enjoy helping people and it makes me want to do more. It takes a lot out of me to speak like this but I hope to get better at it. If you were at the panel and want to leave a comment OR you would like to request a panel for a convention, leave a comment.

Leave a comment to just say hey if you want, I will respond.

Thank you all for your love and support.

#hugapony my friends

Panelling the walls.

I am on my way to a convention called Anime Overload to work, like I do at most conventions. I am also doing Another invisible disability panel. 

Fun times. 

I believe this will be a solo run, not that I haven’t done that before, so this will be interesting to say the least. Also, working and panels don’t always mix so again interesting. 

My, what an interesting life I live. 

Hope to see you out here.

The Great Unknown.

It has not been a good day/week/month/year mentally. I have undergone many a issue. I have worked harder on finding out more about myself and what is going on. I have worked harder on myself and my illness. I have tried to make things change. I have pushed to have more control over my life.

And I feel back behind square one.

Square Zero.

I am tired of being tired. I am tired of being sick. I am tired of hurting every single day. I am tired of being a mess.

I decided to write what I feel and what goes through my head when I am having a bad day. I wanted to show what goes through my head and what my mind is telling me. I wanted to see on paper and hold my issues in my hand. Try and see the tangible evidence of my mind spiraling out of control. I only wrote for about a minute, but it was not pretty.

I AM SELF-CENTERED. I am an idiot. I am a horrid person. I am a failure. I bring everyone down around me. No one wants me. No one actually cares for me. No one wants to give me anything. No one wants to do something for me without wanting something in return. I always feel guilty, even when sitting and reading. I don’t take care of the kids. I don’t fulfill anyone’s hopes, dreams, desires. I am not attractive. 

I am trying to sort through just went through my head what my mind tells me.

I know I am not a complete failure. (But you fail at so much)

I know I take care of my kids. (You don’t do enough)

I know people care for me. (They are just faking or feeling sorry for you out of pity)

I know my wife and kids love me. (They have to, they don’t have a choice)

I should not feel guilty about sitting and reading. (You are lazy for taking time for yourself and need to be helping others or cleaning or anything but what you want to do)

My mind is a battleground. I wanted share this with everyone. Not for pity or help. But to show that I suffer as well. I fight each day. I have people fighting with me. I am seeking new ideas and ways to help/sort/better myself.

You are not alone, dear reader.

Even holding the card in my hand, I see myself and almost want to take pity on me. I have to write things down to get them out of my head? Worthless. Even now I struggle to be free of my mind.

Even now I hug a pony.

 

 

 

I wish I had Cancer

Cancer is a disease that people can relate to and under. The causal head nod, followed by the “I’m so sorry” makes it so people understand that something serious is going on. People hear it and recognize that a person is going through one of the most difficult things to go through. One of our closest family friends is a cancer survivor. Eight years ago she got a terminal diagnosis. She says her first thought was “Thank God it’s cancer and not depression.”

Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses don’t carry that same weight. People don’t understand and cannot see the changes. Family, friends, and even doctors all look at you and say “It is all in your head”. While they are not false, this makes it seem like I have the ability to change my illness and “Just feel and act better and you will BE better”. It is easy to forget that these illnesses can be just as deadly.

Here are some statistics on depression/suicide.

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
  • The suicide rates decreased from 1990-2000 from 12.5 suicides per 100,000 to 10.4 per 100,000.  Over the past decade, however, the rate has again increased to 12.1 per 100,000. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
  • There is one death by suicide in the US every 12.3 minutes. (CDC)
  • Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
  • Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
  • Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
  • 80% -90% of adolescents that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TADS)
  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)

With all this data, why is there such a stigma around mental and neurological disorders? Why are people so quick to judge? Why is it so hard to believe it IS all in my head due to my head having an illness.

It is frustrating trying to explain why you can’t focus on the happy. Your mind looks and seeks the flaws. You go and find thinks to fill the gaps in your day so the anxiety doesn’t catch up to you. You just try to stay ahead of the wave that is threatening to drown you.

And people stare at you.

They wonder why you are so different. They wonder why you can’t just feel better. They just want you to be normal. They are tired of you and all the baggage that you carry. They get tired of you and how you act.

Believe me, if I could just “Man up” and be a better person, I would have done it years ago.

No, I would never want or wish on anyone cancer. It is a terrible disease and I am glad so much time and research goes into it. I just want people to understand that mental health issues can be just as dangerous and deadly. Keeping people’s mental state in order so they can live better lives should be a focus for everyone.

I’ll step off my soapbox now.

#hugapony

A-kon panel #2

My second A-kon panel was not an easy one. I was part of a group that spoke on invisible diseases and disabilities. I was asked several months before, if I wanted to be a part of it. I jumped at the opportunity to speak. Unusual for a introvert like me. I, however, know that I have a way with words and thoughts and feelings. I know I can help people.

That I have, indeed, helped people.

We all gathered in a panel room, all unsure of what to expect. The room was almost filled. We sat down and our head panelist called everyone’s attention.

And we talked.

We, as the panelists, gave our stories. We gave our backgrounds and our illnesses. We gave our experiences. As our stories were told, I ended up passing some of the ponies I carry on me (my talisman against the evils of depression and anxiety) up and down the panel line to help every get through their stories. We gave a piece of ourselves to the crowd.

And they responded.

I do not believe there was a dry eye in the room. I saw some people get up and leave, only to come back with tissues.

Some cried for us. I had a close friend who said they could only see us as people she couldn’t help and wept. She had me in tears when I talked to her afterward. This kind and loving soul said she just wanted to give us all a big hug and make everything better.

Some cried with us. Some in the audience stood up to thank us. They were amazed that we had the courage to speak. They said they didn’t feel alone any more. We all were in a room that was a safe place, and the audience opened up.

It was awe inspiring.

After the panel the crowd came up to talk to each of us. Some wanted to know more of what we do to work through our illnesses. Others to reach out with encouragement. One will forever stick in my mind.

I have a wonderful young lady come up to me and thank me for speaking. She told me she had been fighting her own anxiety that day and had almost left several times, but she wanted to attend our panel. She said she was so glad she did. I thanked her for coming and started talking about what she had been through. She started to cry as I could see her beating herself up for having the anxiety but she didn’t know what else to do. She had nothing to help her.

She didn’t have a talisman against the dark.

I pulled out my mini Fluttershy and handed it to her. She took it as she wiped away tears. As she started to calm down, I asked her if she had heard of stuffed therapy. She said she had during my presentation but didn’t know much more than that. I told her that the plushie she held was the first step in helping. I showed her how much she had calmed down just by holding it and petting it. I showed her a weapon to fight with.

And I gave her my talisman.

The room stopped. Many there knew my symbol of stuffed therapy. Some knew it was my first plushie in this adventure. They knew it was my mini Fluttershy, and how special it was to me. Tears started to flow from my friends who were still in shock.

This wonderful person who clutched at the plushie started crying and hugged me tight. She thanked me over and over. She took a step back and looked at Fluttershy again. As she looked, I explained that that was my first plushie. I told her that I had it when I first went to the doctor. She look on in shock as I explained how much love and help that mini had given me. Shock then spread to the rest of the room as everyone saw me tell her that I wanted this dear girl, who was suffering, that I wanted her to take care of Fluttershy.

She broke down crying and hugged me again even tighter.

I said a quiet goodbye to one of my dearest friend who brought me so much strength and love. I passed her on to the next person to take care of her. I strengthen someone else to help them through life. I started to cry myself.

Everyone started to cry.

I am tearing up thinking about it now. I wonder how she is doing? I wonder how her mini Fluttershy is doing? I wonder if I helped enough?

I believe I did.

Goodbye once more, my dear friend. May you bring happiness and peace and love and joy to another as you did me. You were there for countless panic attacks. You were with me at my first doctors visit. You were there in the hospital when I was sick. You were there in the lowest times of my life. May you do well and do the same for her.

#hugapony my friends.