Writer’s quote: Erin Hanson

Writer’s quote: Erin Hanson

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Hello, and welcome to writer’s Quote/poem Wednesday, where I share some of my favourite poems written by other authors. Today’s poet is a 22 year old Australian,
Erin Hanson, who is hands down, my favourite poet from among millennials. Read her poems and you will find out why.

Marilyn Monroe once said, “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are“, and that, right there is truth. We forget sometimes, that the soul within our body and the heart encaged by our ribs are enough to reflect who we are. Everything else are just bonuses, beauty, hair, size, wealth, they are just extras.

We shouldn’t let them define our worth or give them more value than the fickle nature which they truly are. What happens is, when we value them more than should be, when we let them define us, we lose ourselves and we lose our identity with their loss and it shouldn’t be that way. We are much much more than than that. We have an identity behind the clothes and the cars and the jobs, we are a person first. Those things, should always come second.

Below is a poem which talks about letting ourselves be defined by all the things we are NOT.

Not by Erin Hanson

You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak,
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried,
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home,
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of,
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.

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Writer’s Quote: Nick Flynn

Writer’s Quote: Nick Flynn

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Something horrific happened recently. I hear you say, “which one?”, because sadly, every single day brings on a new horror story. The incident in question is the suicide by an 8 year old boy Gabriel Taye, after he was brutally assaulted in school by some students to the point of unconsciousness. A video released showed Gabriel lying unconscious on the floor being beaten and kicked by other students.
His mother had no idea about the incident, (which I believe the school should have called and explained the situation to the mother because, her kid was assaulted to the point of unconsciousness), and after Gabriel got back home, he killed himself.

I am saddened by his death and the incident surrounding it. It is stories like these which remind me that I cannot stop writing. Something needs to be done, kids with anger issues need to be taught ways to express themselves and an 8 year old kid should be playing with dolls and toy cars and not be tortured to the point of not wanting to spend another second on earth

It’s due to this I’m going to share a poem by Nick Flynn called Cartoon physics Part 1 as my writer’s quote/poem Wednesday submission. It Better expresses what I want to say than I can. Thank God for poetry.

Cartoon Physics, part 1 BY NICK FLYNN
Children under, say, ten, shouldn’t know
that the universe is ever-expanding,
inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies

swallowed by galaxies, whole

solar systems collapsing, all of it
acted out in silence. At ten we are still learning

the rules of cartoon animation,

that if a man draws a door on a rock
only he can pass through it.
Anyone else who tries

will crash into the rock. Ten-year-olds
should stick with burning houses, car wrecks,
ships going down—earthbound, tangible

disasters, arenas

where they can be heroes. You can run
back into a burning house, sinking ships

have lifeboats, the trucks will come
with their ladders, if you jump

you will be saved. A child

places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus,
& drives across a city of sand. She knows

the exact spot it will skid, at which point
the bridge will give, who will swim to safety
& who will be pulled under by sharks. She will learn

that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff
he will not fall

until he notices his mistake.

I apologise for my absence, will try to Get back on track with my writing and blogging ❤

Mental Health Friday #22

Mental Health Friday #22

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Hi. I’m Angela and I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar 2, borderline personality disorder, binge eating, and general anxiety. I can’t remember how old I was when I realized I had a mental illness. I know I’ve always been suicidal. I think my mind uses it as a coping mechanism. I know I was at least fifteen. It wasn’t until I turned seventeen that I sought help. The catalyst was I went from being suicidal to homicidal. I wanted to stab a kid in my class and it terrified me. I went to the counselor at school and started therapy. Still no one recognized my true diagnosis.

It took me twenty two years to finally get diagnosed properly. I had to get a psychological evaluation for myself. After being treated for depression off and on and then general anxiety with meds that didn’t help, I now have a good mix of medication and therapy. Most days I’m good and for those off days… Well I take one moment at a time.

One final thought… Always self advocate. I wish I had sooner. It took me almost being imploding to realize I need to be picky in my doctors and to get second opinions. We need to take care of ourselves before we can others.


This week’s submission is by Angela who blogs at I am my own island , do pop by and say hello. She writes about life in general, living and improving despite mental issues.

As always, The goal of Mental Health Friday is to break the silence, talk about mental illness with the aim of blurring out the stigma one story at a time. If you’d like to share your story, I’d love to have you. You can contact me at my email: mykahani@yahoo.com . For more information, visit HERE.

Mental Health Friday #21

Mental Health Friday #21

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I never thought I needed help, even during my darkest moments. To me, it was no one else’s business and I could take care of myself as I saw fit. The problem is, when you’re cutting up your body and someone finds out, it soon becomes everyone’s business.

I started feeling depressed and harming myself when I was 10 years old (I’m 22 now) and although I didn’t have any real identification for what I was feeling, I knew it wasn’t something that everyone dealt with. I kept it a secret until I got to high school but as my stress levels rose, so did the frequency of my cutting. It was both a freeing and a damning sensation but I couldn’t get enough of it. I had my reasons, depending on the day. Sometimes it was because I felt completely numb and other times I felt that I needed to be punished for some trivial matter which really wasn’t my fault at all. It was a release of all my anger, frustration, and pain. It gave me something tangible to focus on and to be involved with.

Eventually a friend that I trusted pressured me into admitting what was going on but I figured life would continue on as normal, at least my version of it, and it did… Until the day I got called into the counseling office. I knew immediately what had happened and my worst fear had been confirmed. The school knew about my cutting and called my parents. From that day on it became an even more difficult battle with my depression. My parents didn’t understand, my friends didn’t really understand, and eventually it became too much and I gave into the blackness inside my soul. That’s how I ended up in the hospital the first time.

Once I got out about a week later, it seemed that everyone in school had some sort of theory and the bullying I had previously experienced soon doubled based upon the idea that I was the “crazy” girl. My cutting got even worse, to the point where I tried hurting myself underneath the cafeteria table at lunch time. How desperate… How addicted do you have to be for that? I was in a dangerous place and soon enough, I was admitted to the hospital again for 2 weeks this time. Luckily, I had some friends who stuck by me and that’s what kept me sane and safe once I got back to school where the bullying tripled.

High school was extremely hard for me and I constantly felt as though I was at the bottom of a deep black hole that just kept slowly crumbling down around me, bringing me further and further into darkness. Once I got into college, things improved for a little but I soon stopped going to classes and couldn’t bring myself to care that I was failing. After multiple panic attacks and one really bad cut, I knew I needed to move back home andwork harder on my wellbeing. The feeling of utter hopelessness is something that cannot even be described. I was lucky to have found a therapist I adored and was put into group therapy with two leaders I absolutely loved. My parents took the time to learn more about my conditions and began to understand me more and work with me in more helpful ways.

Recovery hasn’t been easy. It took years for me to have more good days than bad, and I even managed to quit cutting for 2 and ½ years (I did mess up once a couple months ago during a horrible fight with my boyfriend but no one is perfect). It is a battle still. I won’t say that everything is peachy all the time, but I know now that things can be okay and that they can get better. I try to look at the little things because they are always there, you just need to find them. The darkness still hovers around me sometimes and I know that I may fight this for the rest of my life, but I know the good outweighs the bad, now. If I had ended my life when I tried to those times, there is so much I never would have experienced and I always remind myself of that. You can do it too. If I can and many others can make it through, then I know you can too. There is always a reason and there is always hope. You just need to find it.
With hope and love,
Clare


This week’s story was submitted by Clare of DestroyedRazors.com. She was diagnosed with Major Depression, Panic Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder while simultaneously fighting an addiction to self-harm. As her tag line says, Her blog is For fighters, survivors, addicts, loners, the hopeless, the hopeful and all those in between.

If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’d love to have you. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com. Image credit: HealthyPlace.com

Mental Health Friday #20

Mental Health Friday #20

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How I made it to eleven years clean despite having a nervous breakdown and thinking terrorists had poisoned all the blueberries in my local supermarket.

When I went into rehab at the beginning of 2005, my seriousness and dedication to my treatment can be deduced from the essential items I packed:
12 pairs of Agent Provocateur lingerie (in case I got lucky)
A vibrator (in case I didn’t)
Enough benzos and diet pills to get me through the first week.
17 pairs of designer shoes (later smuggled up to 70)
36 handbags.

My therapist said I looked like I’d escaped from the set of TV Sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous.” I sincerely believed this was a compliment. I had chosen St Chillin’s, Britain’s most exclusive rehab, as I felt it would look best on my C.V. and hoped to bump into a celebrity. Despite having been arrested at Heathrow airport, as sundry dogs, passengers and tea ladies detected that my passport and all my possessions were heavily (and visibly) coated in cocaine, I considered myself to be a party girl who had simply partied a bit hard. Quite what party I was attending when I was scoring drugs in a Jamaican ghetto at midnight, thinking I was likely to be gang raped and have my throat cut, is still a mystery. Other adventures I’d got up to included being seduced by a (female) teenage stripper in Jamaica, who’d killed someone the week before (and then stole my car). And deciding that the best medication for a cocaine induced heart attack, was (naturally) to take more cocaine.

Only a few days after the benzos I’d taken into rehab ran out, (which caused major panic attacks as well as a serious problem with imaginary insects that kept on biting me) I was forced to do “Step 1” of the AA 12 Step programme “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.” The reaction from my therapy group to what I’d been getting up to in Jamaica was, instead of the laughter and applause I’d been expecting, shocked silence and a recommendation “to write it all down as a public leaflet to warn people not to take drugs.” That Step 1 changed my life, reducing my denial from the size of the Titanic to a one person canoe. Instead of just having a break from my using, I now decided I was going to get clean.

After relating a catalogue of disasters with my mental health, the psychiatrist at St Chillin’s diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder and said I had “too many problems” to be treated in the private sector as I would “bankrupt my family.” This diagnosis came after previous diagnoses of clinical depression and bulimia in my early twenties. The psychiatrist said I needed to move to a state rehab. I decided I’d better listen, as my decisions had ended me up in rehab, totally broke. The only place my local council would fund that had a bed, was a tough rehab in South London, bristling with ex-cons, where I met the “love of my life” an ex-armed robber, pimp and drug dealer who’d forgotten how long he’d spent in jail. Naturally, when I left residential rehab at the end of 2005, he moved straight in with me. But I’m not sure I would have got through that first Christmas out of rehab clean if he hadn’t been around.

I was going to 12 Step meetings, which I had always primarily viewed as places you went to pick up men, arriving at the end of the meeting, with my telephone number tattooed on an exposed breast. I had chosen a sponsor in NA because her handbag collection was much much bigger than mine. My local council decided I was too deranged to be left in society on my own, so my GP referred me to the Waterview Psychiatric Unit where they had a programme to treat people with Personality Disorders. I immediately renamed it the “Prison View Psychiatric Unit” as water was as absent as lakes in the Sahara, it was actually overlooking a juvenile detention centre. Read more

Mental Health Friday #19

Mental Health Friday #19

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The cop came back into the living room where I was sitting, nursing my two and a half month old daughter. “The boy didn’t make it,” he said. “Ma’am, I need you to come with me.” I handed my baby girl over to her dad as I got up from the couch to obey the officer.

His words drifted through my foggy mind as I told myself, this is all just a bad nightmare— I will wake up soon. With no socks or shoes on my feet, I silently followed the officer out of my house not knowing that would be the last time I would ever exit that front door. Yet, I felt an unusual calm and peace enter my heart as I sensed that this was “my path” or “my destiny.”
Little did I realize my journey would lead me into years of torment and pain when the truth finally came crashing through my delusional head….
*****

I once had a previous life where I attended college full-time, studying business management. I held on tight to a 3.9gpa as I managed to make mostly straight A’s in my classes. I was officially divorced from the abusive “sperm-donor” of my happy little boy who seemed content without a man in the house. I smoked marijuana on a regular basis to help me with my terrible mood swings as well as to help me focus on my homework (which I started to find hard to concentrate on while sober).

Then a few years later, during my senior year of college, I became pregnant again with my daughter. I was excited and filled with joy at the opportunity to raise two children as a single parent. My daughter’s father was a good man that kids naturally seemed to flock to. My son adored him and in spite of our cultural differences, he accepted me and my son as family.

He helped me when he could; however, with his mother being in her late 70’s, he lived with her in an apartment across town to take care of her. As a result, we never officially “lived together” and this arrangement worked perfectly with my increasingly introverted self.

Then came the day that I started speaking in tongues (and no, I wasn’t at some radical church at the time). I was home alone with my two children. I also had an “internal interpreter” who could understand just what I was saying. I went to the bathroom to use the facilities and then I started to shout out a name. I heard my son saying “What?”
This happened about three times until my son opened the bathroom door and said, “What?” again.
“In the name of Jesus you shall flee!” I shouted at him from the toilet in English.
My son replied: “Goodbye.” Then he shut the bathroom door.

Once I got done in the bathroom, I went to check on my son. He was in his room holding a little ball. He told me,
“Mama, I tried to hit that boy with the ball, but he flew out the window.”
I knew then that a demon was trying to attack my son. Yet, I had a sense of knowing that this moth that was flying around in his room was actually that demon which transformed and it would be dead soon.

The very next morning, as I was nursing my daughter on the couch, my son came out of his room with the dead moth in his hand. So I “knew” the demon was gone… This initial experience along with my son’s statement and behavior started my trip into what most would call a very delusional and psychotic journey.
The command hallucinations held me like a puppet on strings for about a week doing various things to rid the demon from my son as I thought the voice in my head was God telling me what to do. For example, I started fasting and eating nothing, just drinking water. Read more

Mental Health Friday #18

Mental Health Friday #18

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“I felt as though I were standing in a box and the box kept getting smaller. Every time I felt ok, something happened that would knock me around again.”

The above is an excerpt from my last post. During this time, my emotional reaction was intense. The people in my life that I had always been there for, left me feeling completely worthless to everyone. Being badgered about my medications made me feel as though it didn’t matter what I did or said, and it didn’t. I was intensely hurt, and intensely angry. I can’t say how horrible those couple of years were, but I can say it was never as bad as being with my ex-husband.

When I first left, my physical state was one where I could not safely walk an eighth of a mile by myself for worry that my legs would give out on me. I had trouble with depth perception, balance and coordination. From the start, every time I was with John and I was in pain, he would ask me to go for a walk. I found that walking made the pain better and I began to walk everyday. At this point I was medication free.

That winter, I went back to my doctor once my insurance was all set and I got back on the medication. This only lasted a couple of days before I was unable to stand up. I was extremely dehydrated and my body was not breaking down the medications. I knew it was my liver. I went to the doctor’s three times over the next year and every time I was seen by a nurse. It took until July of 2015 to get an appointment with my doctor. Then they cancelled the appointment because the doctor had to take a month off. At that point, I made the decision to find a new doctor. Over the past few months, there have been a lot of doctor’s appointments and I have been in treatment for Hepatitis C for four weeks now.

In the spring of 2014, less than a year after I left my ex-husband, I got a phone call from a friend. I had known this woman for 18 years, although I had not seen her or talked to her since before the previous Christmas. When I answered the phone she asked me why I didn’t have a truck yet and I said I didn’t have the money. She said I should have had a job by then, that it had been over a year, (it hadn’t) I told her I was disabled and she told me that she sees people in wheel chairs bagging groceries. She said I was looking to blame someone for my life and when I asked why she was saying these things to me, she said because of the conversations she had had with me over the winter. I replied to that saying, “But I did not have a phone over the winter.” She insisted I talked to her on John’s phone, but that was never true. She had obviously spoken to someone else and was yelling at me for it. I tried to talk to her about this later on three different occasions, only to be told that she didn’t have time for it. I could not continue a friendship with this woman and it broke my heart. I did not, nor do I understand why she called me to say those things. Sometimes it is the not knowing that makes it the worst. Read more

Mental Health Friday #17

Mental Health Friday #17

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“When I moved into my new room at the sober women’s house on July 2, 2012, I was mandated to attend thirty A.A. meetings in thirty days, without exception. It had already begun that people in the program were treating me differently although I did not know why at the time. I felt uncomfortable going to the meetings, in addition to the fact that being forced to go made it difficult with my defiance issues. I have never been in a detox or any other facility where I was told what to do. John went to the meetings with me and I now found it very difficult to sit through the hour meeting now that it was mandated as opposed to being my own choice.”

The above is an excerpt from my last post here.

During the next couple of months, my mind was a whirlwind. It was overwhelming to feel free and on my own. I spent a lot of time talking to my friend Kay at the sober house and talking with John. As I mentioned, he went to the thirty meetings in thirty days with me. To get a slip signed saying I was there, I had to sit through the entire meeting.

One evening, we were at a meeting and I was having an extremely hard time sitting still. At break time, I was about to walk away and give it up when a man I had never met before came outside and sat with me. His name was also John and he talked to me and gave me the hope I needed to go back in. If not for this man who at the time had thirty days of sobriety, I would have walked away at that moment. I thank him for that.

A few days after I had moved out, my ex-husband told me that he was going to have to cancel my health insurance, but that he would wait until I had gotten my own. I knew he was not going to wait. I made the decision to wean myself off of my meds before my ins. was cancelled. It took two months for me to do this. On Aug 29, 2012, my then husband called to tell me that my insurance would be cancelled the next day. If I had not weaned myself off of the medications, I would have ended up in the hospital.

Going to my home group of A.A. became miserable for me. Some people in my group would not look at me and the ones who did insulted me. I didn’t know this at the start, but my ex-husband was telling people that I was manic and out of control. He was also telling people about my eating and sleeping issues. Every Friday, when I went to my home group, I was questioned on my weight. I had been 170 pounds, 40 pounds overweight, due to bloating from the medications and when I stopped them, the bloating had gone away and it was very noticeable. At first people told me I looked good, but one week they simply started to say I was too skinny, that I looked sick. They wanted to know if I was eating and sleeping. I do not go to A.A. meetings for eating.

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Mental Health Friday #16

Mental Health Friday #16

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Today’s MHF is a continuation of Trae’s journey with Bipolar disorder. Up until now, we’ve seen her deal with her mother passing away, the negative effects of anti-psychotics and her relapse with addiction. We ended last time with Trae getting back her life with her decision to break away from abuse and her then husband.

When I came home from spending the night at my friend’s house the day after I had fought with my then-husband on the phone, it must have been late afternoon, because I sat on the couch and my now ex-husband said I needed my medication. He seemed concerned as though I had been through something although I saw no reason for him to feel that way. It was as though he saw this as solving the problem. He gave me my medication and I took them, not thinking that the dose he was giving me was what was directed on the bottle. One of those medications was Seroquel and he had given me 1200 mg of that along with my other medications. I was only taking 800 a day. My doctor had originally written the prescription out wrong, but I was never to take 1200 mg a day.

I don’t remember much after that. The next day, I woke up and as I sat on the couch trying to focus because I was so groggy, my now ex-husband was pacing back and forth in front of me, screaming obscenities and accusations at me in front of my sons. I could not respond. This was on June 15th of 2012. I don’t remember much of what went on in the house for the next three weeks, possibly due to being overmedicated and the stress level in the house was extremely high.

At some point, I went to my friend who I will call Kay. At the time, she lived in an apartment for sober women. She gave me the number to call and apply for a room of my own in the apartment, which I did. I was accepted, but my room would not be available until July 2nd.

Over the next couple of weeks, I believe my husband continued to give me my medications, but I can not say for sure. If he was, it would explain my foggy memory.

On June 30th 2012, two days before my room would be available, my husband told me he wanted me to leave now. I immediately called my Godmother and went to her house for the night. I spent the next night at another friend’s house and was in my room at the sober women apartment the next day. I did not feel as though I had left a home, I felt free.

It was a very small room, furnished with a bed, a coffee table and a chair. Kay was now my roommate and I confided my feelings about my life to her. She was a good friend.

At this point, I continued to have coffee with John, the man I originally had coffee with on June 13, 2012 and talk to him for hours. He listened without judgment and never offered any opinion on what I told him. He listened, never pushing me in any direction with my thoughts. I told him my entire life story, over and over until I began to hear the words I was saying and realized so much more about the situation I was in. It is true that you never really see how bad things are until you are outside of the situation.

When I moved into my new room at the sober women’s house on July 2, 2012, I was mandated to attend thirty A.A. meetings in thirty days, without exception. It had already begun that people in the program were treating me differently although I did not know why at the time. I felt uncomfortable going to the meetings, in addition to the fact that being forced to go made it difficult with my defiance issues. I have never been in a detox or other facility where I was told what to do. John went to the meetings with me and I now found it very difficult to sit through the hour meeting now that it was mandated as opposed to being my own choice. To be continued


Guest Writer: Trae from (TripleClicka.com). I’m honored to have Trae participate, help spread mental health awareness and blur out stigma by sharing her story, here on Mental Health Friday. She’d be back in two weeks with a continuation.

If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. You can contact me on My email address is: mykahani@yahoo.com . Image credit: HealthyPlace.com

Mental Health Friday #15

Mental Health Friday #15

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When the psychiatrist first told me I had paranoid schizophrenia, she started it off with, “I have some bad news.” I have heard my diagnosis described as, “Every parent’s worst nightmare” and many other almost fatalistic phrases.

How are you supposed to feel about yourself when people describe something that is so much a part of you as awful, terrible, tragic, or sad? Living with paranoid schizophrenia is not for the weak, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world either. Those of us with a mental illness know that suicide is the worst thing, because in the case of suicide everyone loses and the illness is the victor. Suicide should be every parent’s worst nightmare, not schizophrenia.

Unlike suicide, there is hope with schizophrenia. I have symptoms every day, but I live a good life. I worked most of my adult life as a social worker, a library assistant, and a marketing director. I am happily married to the love of my life, and I am currently enrolled in a certificate program for writing at UCLA. I am an aunt to some wonderful young women and men. I am a sister to all five of my brothers. I am an only daughter to my parents, and I am a niece, cousin, and friend to many people. Does that sound like “a parent’s worst nightmare?” No, it doesn’t and it isn’t.

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