. 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 ❤