Archive | March 2013

Spring Lovin’ <3

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  .  For the last few years I have been blessed to be invited to my good friend’s house with his lovely family & friends to celebrate the Passover Seder.

On Monday, I attended the Seder. It is always beautiful and inspiring.

I’m not a religious girl but I tend to find inspiration and light everywhere, in various quotes/readings/celebrations/ideas/books/concepts even if they have a religious tinge to them.

One of my favorite readings is the song “Dayenu” (It Would Have Been Enough for Us).

I love the expression of gratitude that is this song.

The message is beautiful. We have so many blessings and even if we had less than what we now have, that would still be enough. We are incredibly blessed.

Also, I love learning about the struggles and pain and then the liberty and hope that people experience. The readings about Miriam are also lovely. She made the choice to go against someone in charge to do what is just even though it was risky.

It’s Spring here in Philadelphia but it does not feel like it at all.

It feels much like Winter and sometimes Fall everyday. It has been raining and snowing. But that’s ok to me because I love love love what many people consider “miserable” weather. Lol!

But my little heart has been longing for some beautiful warm days. ❤

I am feeling incredibly grateful today. A couple days ago I bought lots and lots of amazing books at a bookstore. I have been wanting so badly to go to a bookstore and splurge on some amazing books but I don’t have much money.

But my sister and me got to go recently.

I will post about some of those soon! 😀

In my house, there is a very unpredictable environment. I live with my mom, dad, and little sister. My mom and dad have always, for as long as I can remember, had problems with each other off and on. Yelling, arguing, my dad moving out and coming back, and through the years, even physical violence (my dad throwing things, breaking things…, threats of physical violence..) And domestic abuse on my dad’s part. He has explosive outbursts of anger that he doesn’t care to control or try to get help for so it does get somewhat crazy, I guess you can say, in my house.

And there was recently a trivial conversation with my mom and dad that turned into a big blowup because of my dad.

But that ended and for that I am very grateful.

Here is my list of happy for today!

 

1.) Spring weather coming soon!

2.) The stars and birds outside my window.

3.) Amazing books 

4.) Oldies music

5.) Seeing great friends recently

6.) Friendly strangers

7.) Inspirational quotes

8.) The beautiful sky

9.) Cake :-p

10.) Belly laughs that hurt

11.) Becoming emotionally stronger more and more everyday! ❤

12.) Furfriends. ❤

13.) I have been selected for jury service which I am required to attend on Monday, April 1, 2013!! I got selected every other year since I was 20 years old and now every year and I love it! I don’t know anyone else that I know of who loves being selected and going to the Criminal Justice Center as much as I do! They usually complain and try to do all they can to get out of it! Lol!

But not me! I would volunteer if I could every week or month.

On the “It’s Your Turn” paper it says it’s a privilege to be selected. It sure is! 😀

 

I always wanted to be on a trial but never even came close to being selected for that until last year! But I was not selected afterall. :-/ I was interviewed in a court room for a homicide case for second degree murder. No death penalty involved.

But the judge decided that the case was too similar to something that happened to me years ago.

What a disappointment!

In this homicide case, a man was murdered by a man with a gun. He was shot and killed for money. Years ago a man held a gun to my chest while I was working alone in a store and he stole money. He threatened to kill me unless I gave him the money. I refused. I know some people think that is stupid and just crazy but that was my decision.  

So he demanded it again and I still refused. I did not really believe he would kill me and it was shocking and unexpected.

 

  But then he said if I did not give him the money, he would kill me, take the money and then go over across the street to the bar that my boss owns and kill as many people there as he could. So I gave him the money and no one was hurt.

After he left and I thought about it, I realized that made no sense at all. What would be the sense of killing everyone else after he kills me and gets the money?  

Those people had nothing to do with it.

So, I think he just said that to get me to give him it.

I saw something similar in a movie after that happened to me.

A man tried to force a girl to get in a casket to bury her alive. She would not do what he said so he said he would kill her. She still refused so he said he would kill her then kill her friends and family so she had to listen to him.

Then three months later the man who threatened me came back and said he had the gun again and that I better give him the money but that day after three months of thinking about it I said no way. He’s not getting the money.

So I took a step back and walked towards the door and he ran away. Not getting any money.

I wasn’t hurt at all but he was never caught. I got a good look at him but the police never found him even though I tried to help them. The police/detectives were very dedicated and caring and showed up quickly to help.

I have much gratitude for all the hard and often dangerous work they do everyday.

 

I was asked to go to the detective station and try to identify the man looking at pictures. None of the pictures were of him. All of the police/detectives were all very friendly but one was in a bad mood.

He said bitterly “You keep saying you don’t see him! What if you do see him, will you bother to tell us?!”. I felt a pang of anger surge through me. He seemed to be accusing me of not trying to identify him. But why would I say I don’t see him in any of the pics if I really did? I wanted him caught too.

I don’t want a gun to be held to anyone else.

But my anger melted into gratitude for the detective. This is a man who spends days and nights looking for criminals, seeing so much violence, knowing criminals are on the loose, and putting up with people trying to cover for them and not caring and trying to interfere.

I can only imagine the stress and frustration they must endure a lot of days trying to help people and make the city as safe as possible. So instead of being angry I decided to be more open-minded and try to understand why he would react the way he did.

I try to do that as often as possible. Try to understand why people do and say what they do instead of being angry.

 

14.) And much, much more.

 

I love all seasons. I believe they are all so magical and beautiful. And I love how Spring is symbolic of new hope and growth after a long, cold, barren Winter.

 

At my work we still have Winter hours because of the cold weather but Spring hours will be here soon which means five days a week for me! It gets very stressful but I love the job even though it can be overly demanding.

You know when you have a truly blessed life? When you actually feel happy at the thought of having work that day.

It’s rare that I don’t feel like going into work. And even on the rare days that I don’t usually when I get to work, it’s all good!

I learned a lot by working at a store. Things people probably would never expect about working at an ice cream store.

I learned a lot about people and patience and working under pressure. It’s not an important job at all but to the people ordering ice cream and milkshakes, it’s important to them at that moment and it requires care and attentiveness to people’s needs and desires.  

It’s important to be kind to people and caring in all situations.

I definitely believe my job is a great preparation for future jobs working in mental health situations. Which is what I want and plan to do.

 

I have also been thinking a lot about myself. I moved to a new house recently with my family and going through some old material stuff I found a mountain of old journals of mine and some very old writings of mine that I wrote when I was thirteen years old and eighteen years old and twenty years old and a little bit older.

I did not read everything but I flipped through some pages of some journals and found some very disturbing, very graphic content about me being extremely depressed and dangerously suicidal. I was desperate and riddled with feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and despair day after day, year after year.

And I was sometimes very psychotic.

Now today I am somewhere else. In a whole new world. Reading pages and pages of my previous despair and grief is somewhat like reading someone else’s life. I remember all that stuff but I am not there anymore.

 

I am here now in my new world of joy and happiness. I still struggle with depression and psychosis, and feelings of loneliness every now and then but nowhere near like before. It is not as frequent and usually not as bad. And I am determined to stay like this, to never ever go back.

I can’t imagine going back.

And I want to help people who are struggling in any way.

 

I am treated with drug therapy as well as psychotherapy. And they are very helpful but not cures. I still have to work to make myself the best I can be. I have to work on my thoughts, actions, and attitudes, and my reactions to things.

I am aware that many people believe that anti-depressant medication is just an “easy way out” and that taking those are a sign of weakness.

Recently I told my dad about how accomplished I feel when I think about where I used to be in that cold dark place and where I am now.

I explained how I have come a long, long way. He was being abusive that day and he basically told me to fuck off. 

He is not always like this but he gets in abusive moods.

 He said my accomplishment is not genuine because I take pills that make me ok. So it’s not my own doing.

It’s definitely ok for people to hold that opinion. But I disagree. I had a Philosophy professor who held an opinion similar to that or at least he sympathized with that sort of opinion. I really always liked that professor a lot but I disagree with his opinion on psych meds.

Anti-depressants do NOT directly make people happy. They merely allow people to have the ability to work things out and be happy.

They don’t program happy thoughts and feelings into someone and they don’t make people handle things effectively and positively. They correct the chemical imbalance so someone can function normally. People hold the wrong ideas about them.

My professor one day in college asked if we believe that criminals in prison who suffer with depression should be allowed to take anti-depressant medication in prison. He said “Isn’t the whole point of prison to make prisoners unhappy? And then they’re allowed to take medication and then run around in there all happy!”. Lmao! I laughed through the whole class after that. It’s so funny how he put that like that. First of all, depression is not mere unhappiness. It’s beyond unhappiness. 

It’s pain. It’s misery. It’s Hell.

And pills will not make them happy in general or about being in prison. 

Mentally healthy prisoners are likely to be unhappy about being in there but they aren’t in the midst of a true depression. Depressed prisoners are abnormally unhappy. Medication will help them not be so depressed. It won’t make them love prison!

When I take medication for depression, I still have normal emotions like sadness, unhappiness, fear, happiness, joy…they don’t take that away or put it into my head.

I function like anyone else.

When I first began taking anti-depressants I experienced a big change. I was no longer heavily depressed in general but I was not happy either until I worked on my inner-self. Medication made it easier for me to do that.

Some people also believe that psychotherapy with a therapist is “an easy way out” but therapists do not tell us what to do or how to do something. They just listen and offer suggestions. It’s up to the patient what to do with her/his own life.

I believe the fact that someone asks for help is a sign of strength and responsibility. I don’t believe every depressed or stressed or anxious person needs professional help or treatment. Some can handle it on their own with no drug or talk therapy.

And there’s no doubt that anti-depressants are over- prescribed and some people pop pills over any little thing.

And mental illness is overly diagnosed to people who really aren’t fitting the criteria for it.

But there are cases where professional help is necessary and the best option at least for a while.

Medication can and does cause side effects for some but they are often temporary. My body reacts well to medication.

I used to think I could stop taking my medication. And I would but three days later I would begin to feel the effects of not taking it and depression would begin to creep up on me.

It was always three days later.

But in November 2012, I decided to stop taking my meds again to see if I was able to. People advised against it but it was something I felt the need to do for myself. So I did. I was able to go for way more than three days before becoming depressed. But when an episode hit, it hit hard. And it was bad and I had a psychotic break. But I handled it well.

It lasted three weeks.

Those are more signs to me that I am becoming stronger. I can handle them better and they usually do not last long.

 

I know this is a very disorganized post and all jumbled up but oh well, these are my true thoughts! 😀

 

I tried to post days ago and today earlier but it just hasn’t been working right.

Like I said before my phone and wordpress…not compatible much! But still worth the struggle with it!

 

I hope you all have a great day/night! And remember whatever problem you are struggling with, hope and healing is possible! <3. Hold on no matter how difficult! YOU are worth it!!

 

 

X0xo Kim ❤

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“Carry Me Like Water” – a novel

ImageI love to read but I usually don’t read novels. I have read random ones throughout the years that I love that somehow randomly made it into my hands but since I don’t have a favorite topic or favorite author I usually don’t know where to start to find novels I may like to read.

But recently I found one that captured my heart completely.

I go to used bookstores/thrift stores mostly for books and some of them have plastic bins full of free books. One day recently I bought a shitload of self-help books and was walking out the door and noticed a book in the free bin called “Carry Me Like Water”. I never heard of it before then and did not think for a second that I would actually read or like it before I read the description. But the name, that lovely name, “Carry Me Like Water” drew me in, touched me in an indescribable place, inspired me, and so I snatched it up just for the hell of it!

And whooooaaa am I glad I did!!

I read the back of the book and just knew I had to give it a try. But when I got home, I threw the book aside and promised myself I would read it later. A few weeks have come and gone and I finally picked up the book again and began reading. Since the very first page I was hooked!

Hopelessly, desperately hooked.

There are some books I have read and love but certain parts of it or pages kind of bored me somewhat but this book? Not one word bored me. Not one! What a page turner!

I read it day and night and was through with it in just a couple short days. If it wasn’t for having to sleep and a couple of other essential things I would have read it in one day or less! It has 502 pages.

When I read novels I come to get so attached. I come to love the characters almost as if I know them! And I mourn them when my reading is complete. While I can never wait to get to the end to see what happens, a part of me dreads it because while I can read the book again and again it just won’t be the same as the first read!

This book truly has my heart. I love it. It’s beautiful, captivating, heartwarming, heartbreaking, inspiring, painful, breathtaking, agonizing.

Brilliantly, brilliantly, breathtaking.

It explores some deep sorrows that our world endures such as unjust discrimination against people of certain races, incestuous sexual abuse, homophobia, classicism, HIV/AIDS.

It is a beautiful story of hope, healing, forgiveness, moving on, trust, honesty, friendship, love, and family, romantic as well as platonic/friendship love, self acceptance and the acceptance of others, even those who are different than the character or who have made seemingly unforgivable mistakes.

It takes place in the 80’s/90’s in San Francisco & El Paso and involves a group of people including Caucasian and Latino people and Homosexual & Heterosexual people who are all connected somehow but do not know or realize it. Their lives have crossed or touched somehow at some point. Some do not know it and some want to forget. Their lives are all broken and they all struggle with some sort of emotional pain and very difficult problems that are extremely hard to face and admit.

It explores borders, both geographical as well as emotional borders.

I would fall asleep at night reading it and wake up and begin again!

It shows how people can heal even after horrific tragedies like abuse and loss and abandonment and social injustices and how family is not always biological or blood.

This is thoroughly entertaining and gut-wrenching. I felt every emotion conveyed by the author and experienced by the amazing, incredible characters. I felt like I was involved with the lives and hearts of those people. I haven’t felt that way over a novel since I read my other favorite book, the semi-fictional, “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey about his beautiful, agonizing struggle to overcome substance addiction. 

It is a lovely story! ❤

 

“Carry Me Like Water”

Published in 1995

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz 

 

My favorite kind of books/novels, other than self-help, I realize, are ones of hope & healing, perseverance, and overcoming problems that once seemed impossible to overcome. I have a hunger for more of those books. I just have to see what subject they fall under. There are murder mysteries, science fiction, romantic comedy….I guess I have some exploring to do!

 

😀 ❤

 

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” 

― Francis Bacon, The Essays

 

 

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” 

― Winston Churchill

 

 

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” 

― Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” 

― Abraham Lincoln

 

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” 

― Nelson Mandela

 

“When you get to the end of your rope. Tie a knot and hang on.” 

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

“That’s one of the remarkable things about life. It’s never so bad that it can’t get worse.” 

― Bill Watterson

 

When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” 

― Elvis Presley

 

“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” 

― H.G. Wells

 

 

“It’s not how we fall. It’s how we get back up again.” 

― Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

 

Let pain make you BETTER not Bitter!! ❤

Art Journaling Love

ImageI have just recently discovered the love of art journaling and paper painting. I love to write too but there are some thoughts, emotions, fantasies swirling around in my head that cannot be expressed in writing because I cannot find the words I’m searching for!! Or they just do not appear to me to be as magical as the energy igniting in me. So they spill out in painting and coloring and drawing. And coloring, painting, drawing is just fun!!!

Like I have mentioned before I have never thought of myself as very creative or skilled at anything like drawing or painting. I’m more skilled at research and academic papers but what good is that?! Lol. That stuff is good for students and some jobs but I’m just a girl looking for some creative outlets and colorful fun!! ;-p  

But I’m actually quite pleased with my drawings! They’re not so bad! And there’s one in particular that I really like. Not so much the visual aesthetics of it as the concept. It’s a black page with a small golden yellow light and a hand reaching towards it. I drew this to symbolize that no matter how much darkness or pain there is now, there is always at least a small glimmer of light that we can reach for. And the light can always get brighter & brighter and then eventually transcend the darkness.

 

The picture of my picture isn’t the best but it’s alright. Lol

 

I hope you’re all having a beautiful day/night wherever you are! ❤

X0xo Kim ❤

My #1 Goal & sweet reminders <3 :-D

Recently at the ice cream store I work at, a sweet, happy, and friendly family came, a mom, dad, and their two little girls. They wanted some milk for the baby’s sippie cup. We don’t usually sell milk but we do have milk we use for the milkshakes so I gave them a cup of milk and did not charge them even though they offered to pay. They also got ice cream and were very pleased with it! 😀

They only spent a few dollars all together. I charged them a little bit less for the little girls’ ice cream because they got smaller sizes than we sell because the girls are so little. They gave me a sixteen dollar tip! A sixteen dollar tip?! Whoooaaa!!! That’s the biggest tip I ever received at once! I was so grateful for their kindness and generosity. Not just because I got extra money but for the fact that there’s people out there who are that giving and friendly and genuinely want to do good for others. They are just very happy and good people. I always appreciate people/customers like that whether or not they give me a tip. Their friendly smiles are enough for me. 😀

This incident reminded me of my number one goal. The goal I made the conscious decision to accomplish when I was 24 years old, the goal I decided to accomplish the day I made a decision to make an attempt to end my life and then within the same hour decided to go the other way and live with everything I have, to live. To be. To breathe.

I have a few goals now. One, I want to create a vegetable garden! I want to grow and nurture lots & lots of delicious tomatoes! MmmMmmm :-D. I also want to plant flowers and buy lots of colorful flowers for my room. Another goal I have is to get a counseling job of some sort to counsel/help people with mental health issues. I also want to develop healthy exercising/consuming habits and see if that helps better with my chronic fatigue.

But my number one goal is to be the best me I can be for myself and everyone my existence impacts in any way. This may seem quite simple but it is sometimes challenging and sometimes easy. There are so many, many aspects to someone. Some aspects are easier to tend to and work on and be good at than others. This goal encompasses all different aspects. I will not always know what is best for me or someone else in every situation and I know I will not always feel like doing the best for myself or others. I may want to slack or even intentionally do something wrong or unkind on rare occasions.

When I say what’s best for someone else, that is never to say that I will tell someone what to do or how to live. It doesn’t mean I will do things that I think is best for someone who doesn’t want me to do that to/for the person. What this means is that I will do what is best for others in relation to me. I will make an attempt to try to always act in ways that my existence will impact others for the best for the both of us. For example, forgiveness. Forgiveness is usually best for everyone involved. Also to refrain whenever I may feel like being vengeful or verbally unkind/vicious out of anger or pain.

My goal is to be as kind as possible, as loving as I can be, to grow in every way possible and to be extremely giving and generous and not merely to receive anything in return. I plan to do what is best for the world, to be a better place for us all.

This goal of mine will never be completely accomplished like some goals can be. There’s no way to objectively measure it. It’s an ongoing goal that will go on for as long as I live. And while some moments I will have lapses and setbacks I will do the absolute best I can to keep up with it.

It’s ok to make mistakes and then move on and forgive myself and others.

I’m generally very kind and forgiving and I let small, trivial things slide often and sometimes even things that may not be so small.

More often than not, I don’t say or do extremely unkind things to people even when they do unkind things to me and if they ever do say sorry I am usually quick to forgive. My mom sees this as a weakness in me. She calls me a wimp when I do not seek revenge on people who sling insults at me or do something to intentionally have a negative impact on me. It’s usually just not in me to be that way. But there are some occasions when I do feel vengeful and angry and want to get people who have intentionally caused me grief and there have been occasions when I have got revenge on people who I felt deserved it and often felt guilty later. Recently I told my mom I want to work on that part of me so I never seek revenge and instead just heal and move on. And my mom sarcastically said “sure become even more of a wimp.” Lol. I understand how people want to seek revenge on people who intentionally cause pain or anger for others; that is a natural and normal response to want to do that and it doesn’t make someone a bad person for wanting to get even or for getting even. However, I do not think it’s usually healthy for anyone and I do not think that not seeking revenge and that forgiving is a weakness. It’s actually a strength.

I think about my number one goal frequently but I want to make it even more conscious in my brain. And I love little reminders that inspire me like the family who came to my work recently. ❤

 

I hope everyone is having a beautiful day/night/ and I hope you are all coming along well with your goals/dreams/plans!!!

X0xoKim ❤Image