What to Do When S.A.D. or Depressed

What's love got to do with it? Read on...

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Routine and habits

As I shared in a previous post,  routine and habits are essential to hang on to in times of SAD or depression.  Yes,  it might take longer to do the chores,  and yes,  it will definitely be harder to fulfil them.  BUT,  when they are part of your system,  you can decide not to pay attention to how you feel about them,  but just do them.  That is the beauty of habit.  Mindlessly doing what you always do.

Why is order so important?

Keeping order in your mind starts with keeping order around you.  It is so easy to let go of housekeeping duties,  especially laundry and dishes (made easier with a dishwasher, I know,  but it’s luxury I don’t have),  and within a few days your house is a mess.  Cleaning up the mess seems impossible and soon you feel like drowning.  The mess overwhelms you,  causing more anxiety than you can handle,  which in turn increases the feelings of helplessness,  hopelessness,  guilt etc.

Been there. Done that. Forever.

HOWEVER

I discovered that habits in and of itself do not really cut it.  You need a good reason for doing them.  Otherwise you drop them at the tip of your hat.  Or at least when the going gets tough.  That used to happen to me all.the.time.

What made the difference for me,  though,  is the motivation WHY I do what I do.  The secret?

SELF-LOVE – doing what is in the best interest of ME

Finally I know how it feels to do things because they are in my best interest.  The fact that when I pass my kitchen,  I stand still to simply enjoy the look of my window sill.  It looks so nice,  after it has been a mess for so so so long.  Because I have an extra kitchen cabinet,  now it makes sense to keep the clean look.  Every time I am in the kitchen,  I do the dishes,  so I will not be overwhelmed again with the amount of dishes overflowing from the sink.  It makes me feel proud of myself that I am keeping it up and I thoroughly enjoy the clean look of my kitchen (and no, this does not mean my floor or my stove are clean – I am still working on that 🙂 )

The fact that I feel happy in my bedroom because there is order – everything has it’s place.  I never realised that simply dumping all my clean laundry on a heap was in actual fact disturbing to my soul.  I am even able to keep up with the laundry,  the hanging up and even putting away.  Right now,  my wash bin is empty!  This is unbelievable as I never seemed to get ahead of it.

So.

Here are some things you can do,  because they are in your best interest.

Getting up – even if it turns out later than usual.

Getting dressed – even though I love my jammies,  I noticed that being dressed changed my attitude about the day.

Have breakfast – sounds so logic, eh?  But I tend to ‘forget’ it.  Then hunger strikes and I eat snacks and junk food.

Have a cuppa – tea,  coffee,  whatever.  Keep the fluids going!

Take a walk in the morning
Yikes… Confession time:  I don’t like to go out for the sake of going out,  especially in the mornings.  But if I have to go out for whatever reason,  when I come home,  I notice the difference.  It feels so good!  Yet,  the experience is not strong enough to get me going by myself.  So especially when I am in a funk/depressed/SAD I try to make appointments in the morning to get myself out of bed and out the door!

The scientific reason to do this is to get yourself in day light in order to re-set your sleep-wake cycle.  Getting day light kicks the melatonin in your body in its place.  Melatonin is the body’s sleep drug.  Resetting it helps your body to feel sleepy when it ought to in the evening.

Speak to a human being
Make contact with someone.  Doesn’t need to be long,  nor about something serious.  Main focus is being in touch as opposed to isolating yourself.  This is especially important for singles (like me).  When you have a spouse and/or kids,  they will keep you on your toes.  Which is good.  And raises other challenges,  I know…  Still.

Do something creative
I maintain the view that each one of us is creative.  Either with writing,  knitting,  gardening,  drawing,  designing,  photography,  card-making, whatever it is you do that get your creative juices flowing.  Do it!  It will definitely make you feel better as you have accomplished something.

Do something you know you enjoy
For me,  going to the library and having a coffee there is a treat.  It’s just one of the simple things I love,  even on my own.  Whatever it is you love to do,  do it!  ANd don;t think that you are accomplishing nothing,  you are working hard on your self-love ;-)!

Do you have any ‘home remedies’ that help you deal with S.A.D. / depression?

Please share with us in the comment section below!

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Feeling Blue, Depressed or S.A.D.? Or Plain Confused?

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The blues
Yes,  everyone at some point or other ‘has the blues’.  (It beats me why it is called blue,  rather than grey.  Besides,  I quite like the Blues,  as in music.)  It is not uncommon to feel ‘blue’ when Winter is upon you.  The days are getting shorter,  you leave the house in the dark and return when darkness has set in.  During the day you hardly see the sun or you are not able to take advantage of daylight.

Time change
On top of that, the time change can seriously affect people who have a sensitive body clock. The inner sleep-wake cycle can become pretty disturbed. Honestly,  I don’t understand why we haven’t cancelled this whole stupid Daylight Savings Time already!  It influences my hormone balance,  sleep-wake cycle and what-not.  Why can’t they leave the time alone?!  It would save me,  and countless others,  a lot of hassle.  Let’s start a protest group…

Ok,  joking aside,  it does upset the system.  It takes time to get used to the coming of Winter,  especially in countries where daylight is cut short the most.  So,  feeling blue for a while is nothing to be worried about.

But when does it turn into being depressed or having S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?

Signs of depression
This list contains most of what you experience when you feel depressed and not just blue.  The symptoms must last longer than two weeks to become officially a ‘depression’.

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/ or helplessness
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease, even with treatment
  • Source

No,  you don’t need to suffer from all af them!  But if you can tick of a fair amount,  it might be worthwhile to explore it further for your own health benefit.

SAD (got tired of punctuation)
SAD is in actual fact a sub-category of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).  It has to occur at the same time every year and a minimum of two years in a row.  It also affects those having Bipolar Disorder (BD).  According to the DSM,  the psychiatrists bible,  SAD does not stand on its own.

I might disagree.  But then,  I am not a psychiatrist!

The reason why I say this, is that many people suffer from the blues or depression in some form or other during the darker times of the year.  While it might not disturb your life enough to warrant a doctor’s visit (in your thinking) and a psychiatrist might not diagnose you,  it doesn’t mean you have to silently suffer through it.

SADdies, Unite!!!

So,  what can you do about it?
What I have discovered in the past several months is that having a strong routine and solid habits can keep you going when a depression hits.  Of course it depends on the depth of the depression,  sometimes it just kicks out your legs from under you.  But all the same,  refusing to discuss ‘if I should make by bed;  do the dishes; hang up my coat;  put away the laundry’  it with myself by just doing it,  helps to keep an ordered and uncluttered house.  This way the chaos and disorder is contained in my head.  If my surroundings get cluttered and disordered,  my anxiety rises exponentially.  I don’t need no more of thát,  honestly!!

Next post I give you a list of practical things you can work on during the good times,  so you can fall back on it in the bad times.

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Are You Affected or S.A.D.?

Hang on!

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Habits.  Routine.  Having a mode of operation.

Those things come in so handy when you are swinging around on the mood swing!

Since a couple of months I have been able to implement some basic habits.  They are pretty simple really.  Like making my bed everyday.  Having breakfast every morning.  Hanging up my coat,  my purse,  my scarf,  each in its own place when I come in.  Putting my shoes away.  Having my laundry organised.  Going to bed and getting up about the same time every day.

Talking about organisation – I finally ‘organised’ the shelves and desks in my back room,  tidied up my bedroom,  created order in my kitchen.  And you know what?  It makes such a difference to my daily life!

The kitchen happened first,  because a new kitchen cabinet was placed where one obviously had been before.  Now all my stuff disappeared from my window sill and counter top and it suddenly looked so neat and tidy!  I gave my window sill a new look and every time I passed my kitchen I stood still and simply enjoyed the view…

The rest is history,  as they say.  Soon the other parts of my house followed.  I started to feel at home for realzzzzz!  An awesome experience 🙂

After arranging everything I somehow managed to even put some order in my daily habits.  I am determined to keep my kitchen uncluttered.  To stay on top of my laundry and not ‘forget’ to put it away (i.e. dump it in my bedroom and ‘fishing’ in the huge heap for clean stuff).

I honestly don’t know why I was able to get on top of things this time.  I have tried before,  real hard,  to no avail.  But what matters most is,  it is happening!

Behind me is a period of doing really well.  It took me by surprise.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Nearly got used to what I started to think of as my new ‘normal’.  That is when SAD hit me.

SAD,  or Seasonal Affective Disorder,  is a type of depression that comes with Fall.  As the leaves are falling, so am I 😦
I actually thought I was going to miss out on it this year.  I am taking my vitamin D (since I am officially low on D),  was energetic,  my social life was on the up.  It couldn’t have been better.

Then one day I woke up in a funk.  For no reason whatsoever.  Really.  No rhyme or reason.  The next day it was a little worse.  The next day,  still worse.  Then it started to settle.

Sluggishness and tiredness followed.  I am fighting to go to bed at a reasonable time.  I am struggling to get up in time for my activities.  I need more time for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. which is totally annoying and irritating.  My proper eating habits that have served me well (I lost weight,  a story for another post if I don’t gain it back) are flying out of the window.  I want to eat junk food and snacks.  I don’t feel sociable.  I sit behind the laptop doing mindless games,  wasting time I should spend on my study and some other projects.  This irritates me to no end!

Keep hanging on!!!

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BUT.  I am hanging on to my habits.  I am still making my bed,  doing my dishes,  doing my laundry,  keeping order in my house.  I try to cook every day and eat regularly.  Will have breakfast.  I am going to work,  I do my activities.  I will celebrate St. Nicholas with good friends on Sunday and they will be my guests.  So I am sociable and I am determined to enjoy it as much as possible.

I don’t know when this episode will pass.  The only thing I know for sure is that it WILL pass.  That’s the nature of my illness.  Till then,  I have to hang on with all my might.  Even if I am hanging by nails,  I will hang on!

What do you do to get yourself through such times?
Help me by answering in the comments.

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Happy Birthday…

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YUP!

While being absent,  my little blog turned

ONE!!!

 

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I’m Back! Sorta…

Dear Faithful Readers!!!

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Thanks for not abandoning my blog!  I am amazed by the amount of traffic my ole little blog still attracted while standing still… Thank you!  I don’t feel it deserves it since I left it alone for so long,  but am so grateful!  Means that my efforts have not been wasted and that is always pleasant to discover, is it not?

It has not all been bad,  as some of you may wonder since I disappeared.   There was the typical bout of difficulties and struggles. And then Real Life took over,  somehow.

This has been good since it is not healthy to live life from behind one’s computer, now, is it?

The trouble is getting back in any type of groove for blogging 😦

At the moment there are two big projects that are asking, no demánding my attention,. one of which is my college degree I never properly started.  I ‘started’ my two-year college degree about…. a million months ago,  I think.  And it is about time I start otherwise I might run out of time,  which would be a waste of a lot of money.  We can’t have that, now, can we?!

So,  I am making myself study and have to pick up on the other project too.

Meaning that I won’t be very present,  but I will try.  There is still way too much I want to write about and focus your attention on.

A BIG THANK YOU to those who are holding on,  and let’s continue the ride!!!

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Book Review: Promissory Payback & Unrevealed by Laurel Dewey

A while ago I joined a book tour from “Partners In Crime Tours.”

About Partners In Crime Tours:

Partners In Crime Tours was founded in  2011. We are a Virtual Book Tour site that helps new, rising and popular crime/suspense/thriller/mystery authors promote their books in the virtual world. We are dedicated to helping YOU sell the books and spread the word!

Every eBook received for review on the tours for Partners In Crime is given in exchange for an honest review.

I received two eBooks called “Unrevealed” and “Promissory payback” by the author Laurel Dewey.

Book Synopsis:

In UNREVEALED, Laurel Dewey gives us four indelible portraits of Detective Jane Perry:

Anonymous:  One of Jane’s first AA meetings leads her to an encounter with a woman in need of her detection skills…and a secret she never expected to uncover.

You can’t judge a book by its cover:  Forced by her boss to speak at a high school career day, Jane meets a troubled boy and finds that his story is only the beginning of a much more revealing tale.

You’re only as sick as your secrets:  An early-morning homicide call introduces Jane to a mystery as layered as it is unsuspected.

Things aren’t always what they seem:  Jane finds herself sharing a 2:00 am conversation at a downtown bar with an old acquaintance. Will the bloody night that preceded this moment complicate Jane’s intentions?

My opinion:

Dewey seems to be a master in twisting plots and surprising story endings.  She definitely makes it more than a who-done-it;  her character Jane is a very straight forward person with a cynic, but humorous look at life events.

However, one shouldn’t mind her profanity and use of some strong language.

The writer takes you into a situation that becomes clearer while you read on, but just when you think that some pieces of the puzzle are falling into place, it turns into quite a different picture than you thought. I love that! Nothing is as boring as halfway knowing how the story is going to end.

Some stories are written in the “I”-form, which bothered me for some reason I couldn’t make out.

In Jane, Dewey has created an interesting character; someone you want to follow to know what happens next in her life and career. It makes me want to read her earlier novels. A great accomplishment, I think!

I wonder, though, how Dewey is going to continue the twisting plots, without becoming predictable in her unpredictability or boring in the expectation.

Book Synopsis:

In PROMISSORY PAYBACK  detective Jane Perry is called in to investigate the gruesome murder of a woman who profited greatly from the misfortunes of others. The case leaves Jane with little question about motive… and with a seemingly endless number of suspects.

My opinion:

Promissory Payback is a very enjoyable novelette to read. It’s great getting to know Jane Perry better, how she thinks and works. The plot is very good, carefully build up and keeping you at your toes till the end.

She is without doubt an excellent writer and I hope to read more of her novels in the future!

Book Details:

  1. PROMISSORY PAYBACK and UNREVEALED
  2. Number of Pages:  Promissory Payback (80); Unrevealed (94)
  3. Genre:  Suspense
  4. Publisher:  The Story Plant
  5. Publication Date:  Promissory Payback August, 2, 2011;  Unrevealed October 4, 2011
  6. Books are available in Print or PDF for reviews
  7. Reviews, guest posts, interviews or any combination of those are available. Click here.

Author Bio:

Laurel Dewey was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is the author of two nonfiction books on plant medicine, a Silver Spur-nominated Western novella, hundreds of articles, the Jane Perry novels, PROTECTOR,REDEMPTION, and REVELATIONS, and the Jane Perry novelette, AN UNFINISHED DEATH. She lives in Western Colorado with her husband, where she is currently working on a stand-alone novel.

Connect with Laurel Dewey:
Website
Facebook

 

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Wordless Wednesday: The Hague, the largest village of The Netherlands!

Coat of Arms of the monarch - queen Beatrice - of The Netherlands.

Ridderzaal - or Knights' Hall - (at the Binnenhof - or Inner Court), which is used for the state opening of Parliament on the third Tuesday in September, Prinsjesdag, when the Dutch monarch drives to Parliament in the Golden Carriage and delivers the speech from the throne.

Binnenhof again. This is also where our government is housed.

Art. So typical for us. Biking in the rain. And yes, we do use umbrella's while biking...

Dutch New Herring... yikes! That's right, I abhor the delicacy of The Netherlands. Sad. I know.

Het Torentje - or The Little Tower - is the office of our prime minister. Cute eh?

One of the very few left-over phone booths in our digital age. Had to 'use' it!

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How to deal with emotional overwhelm

‘Tell me one last thing,’ said Harry {to Dumbledore}.  ‘Is this real?  Or has this been happening inside my head?’ Of course it is happening inside your head,  Harry,  but why on earth should that mean it is not real?’

Quote from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Part 7; p 579 by J.K. Rowling
Photo credit:  Wikia 

What is real?

As I have been reading the Harry Potter series,  I came across the above quote near the end.  It is a question that swirls through my head on a regular basis.  Recently many memories are coming to the surface.  Neither real bad,  nor very pleasant.  They just are.

Just like Dumbledore I know that my thoughts, feelings,  understanding etc. from those memories are real.  And as such they are part of my truth.  It is my perception of that event when it happened.  Even though my parents perception of that same event completely differs,  my experience is still valid ánd real.

Then,  something occurs,  that emotionally overwhelms us,  we overreact and don’t understand what is going on.  To make life more complicated,  we can overreact because of two reasons:  because of how our bipolar mind works,  and/or because of past traumatic events.

What we have to realize,  is that an occurrence today will also tap into our emotions from the past and emotions trump.  It means that the two merge and cause our emotions to intensify and overwhelm us which in turn causes our response to be much stronger than the present situation warrants.

The challenge is this:  to respond to todays event with the appropriate action without being able to trust our emotions.   In other words,  to be aware that an event is a trigger to past events,  check ourselves and keep a reign on our emotions.

how to dealw with emotional overwhelm

How do we achieve that?

I find I have to step back sometimes when I feel overwhelmed.

Being aware of our bipolar and trauma triggers.  I can never stress it enough:  we need to be(come) students of our own life!!!

Once we know what is triggered,  it is important to attribute our feelings.  If it is the bipolar disorder brain or if it is an overreaction because of,  for instance, a certain trauma,  we label it accordingly.  Then we give it value:  do we want it or not?  Is it in our best interest?  Maybe we have to take note and work on it with a counselor or talk it over with a friend or support group.

The next step is to focus on the here and now and practise mindfulness.  Why the here and now?  Because a bipolar mood as well as unprocessed trauma will always drag us to the past or the future.  The past might be full of memories that trip us,  the future is full of ‘might-be’ and ‘ifs’ causing anxiety and fear.  It all feeds into our emotional system and as a result we get easily overwhelmed or hijacked by what we feel.

Real life example

As far as I can I have made peace with the total abandonment my mother subjected me to.  I am in a much better place than I have ever been.  Yet,  if something happens that triggers those feelings of abandonement… it is still a hard nut to crack!

Recently I met an old friend,  we used to have a deep friendship that stopped quite a number of years ago.  We made an appointment for coffee later that week.  

Afterwards,  my emotions were out of whack and I wondered what was going on.  I figured (amongst some other things that were happening) that the old emotions were surfacing of the time our friendship shipwrecked.  I was really angry.  More than the situation warranted.  

So I thought some more and realized I felt abandoned by her… and that triggers the abandonment issue with my mom which is very strong powerful stuff.  

I decided to use my anger in the here and now to keep a safe distance between her and me.  I also figured out what I wanted to say if the issue came up.  

When we met for coffee I was calm and I had a strategy in place to end the time together early if I felt I needed or wanted that.  It worked out fine – in that the issue came up,  I calmly explained my side and we will see what happens next.  

Afterwards I talked the situation over with my counselor. 

When we apply these steps,  like in my example above,  it is possible to deal with triggers and the emotional overwhelm it causes.

Step back, take stock, be mindful and live in the here and now!

Photo credit:  dvs

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Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Cron: A book review

This book … “is a record of my life as I remember it – but more importantly, as I felt it”  is how Ian himself describes his memoir… of sorts.

Somehow, Ian is able to not just look back at his life as a little boy and teenager,  but rather he becomes the boy/teenager again, viewing his life through their eyes.

He grows up with what later turns out to be lies or at best half-truths.  The mantra of his family is ‘don’t ask (specifically about his dad’s work) and absolutely don’t tell (about his dad’s drinking)’.

At 16 year’s of age, Ian learns that the innuendoes his father dropped from time to time are true and he indeed works for the Agency since before his birth. It leaves him bewildered since he sees his father as an uncommitted, untrustworthy alcoholic who is not able to take care of his family.  How on earth could he be useful to the Agency?

This double life his father leads,  the personality he plays during his assignments, catches up with him when he becomes the one he pretends to be.  A harmless, shallow American who drinks too much.  Later in life Ian learns more about the mental background of his father giving him a deeper understanding of who he really was and how that affected the family.

His mother, who didn’t sign up for this type of life, but stuck with it till her husband passed away, is a strong woman who picks up the slack when her husband lets them all down.  However,  motherhood doesn’t come naturally to her and Ian receives more love and compassion from his nanny.

As a young boy Ian experiences God at his first Holy Communion,  impacting his life profoundly,  even tough he later gets angry at God for not answering his prayers.  Ungrounded and convinced he is not lovable,  he mostly parties his way through high school and college.  But Jesus stoops down to him and at long last he reaches a measure of peace regarding his faith.  He continues to grow as a believer and later becomes a priest.

Even though Ian touches many tough life issues,  he manages to write his memoir with a lightheartedness and humor that entertains and gripes you from the start.  Often times,  you don’t really know if you should laugh or cry. It is an amazing read that keeps you captivated till the last page!

Jesus,  My Father,  The CIA,  and Me:  a memoir … of sorts
By Ian Morgan Cron

Thomas Nelson Inc.
Nashville, Tennessee,  USA
2011,  257 pages
USD  15.99
ISBN  9 780849 946103

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of the book from Book Sneeze.  My obligation is to write a book review.  My opinion expressed in this review is my own and in no way influenced by Book Sneeze.

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Blog Awards from Shah Warton – WordsinSync and Allie Rambles – RWAHM

Honored & overwhelmed.  That is how I feel!

It is such an encouragement to receive these two blog awards,  just when I was thinking ‘why I am blogging again?’

The greatest joy is in knowing that my blog means something to people,  enough to think of me and my blog when it comes to passing on awards they themselves have received.

The first award I gracefully accept from Shah Warton – who blogs at Words in Sync.  Thank you so much,  Shah,  it’s a real pick-me-up to get digged by you!  You are a special lady,  truly versatile in your blog,  showing your many creative sides.  Talking about books, writing, sharing your own art, poetry and stories while also being an advocate for mental illness.  (Or is it against? Whatever!) It’s been great to ‘meet’ new people through your Monday Madness linky and I am glad to take part in it !  May you and your blog continue to thrive!

What I need to do:

  1. Gratefully accept this award & link to the wonderful person you received it from.  Done
  2. Post 3 interesting facts about yourself.
  3. Pass this award around to, at-least, 5 blogs you dig.

Fact 1  When I drink black tea,  I like to drink it with milk.  Only after I lived in England people around me noticed and assumed I had picked up the habit there.  Nope.  Just love it that way :).

Fact 2  Since a few years I really,  really like bright colors.  My favorite color is orange,  followed by bright green (not the fluorescent type,  mind you!).  I don’t exactly know why,  but my taste made a dramatic change,  my friends here in Holland will testify to that!

Fact 3  I love,  love,  love teddy bears… I had quite a collection at one point,  but traveling and moving internationally doesn’t help to keep it together.  I am utterly in love with Winnie the Pooh – especially the original version by A. A. Milne,  both text as well as drawings.  It’s simply beautiful, what can I say?

Once my team in Ukraine gave me a big Winnie the Pooh – who could sing a (Russian) lullaby!   Whenever I’d had it completely I would walk around in the office with him in my arms singing (Pooh, that is, not me!).  He lost his voice,  sadly.  Sigh.  Precious, peeps,  precious.

Also,  I named my first pet,  a cat,  after him.  Pushok.  Yeah,  well,  that is a Russian pet-namefor Pooh.  Can’t help it either.

The people I present this award to are:

Melody from Life’s Twisted Stitches.
Her life is in a real stitch,  but she is one heck of a strong woman lady!  Managing her own ADHD as well as her children’s not-so-defined problems.  It’s wonderful to be able to encourage one another and be friends,  even though we haven’t ever met in real life.

MommyLebron from Rage against the washing machine
Her rage is against the stigma of mental illness and her goal “to wash away the stains of mental illness and to soak you in all the knowledge I find along the way.”  She knows first hand since she has a daughter with various mental diagnoses.  She is also a gifted writer.  

LeBella from Silli-licious Princess.
The precious daughter of MommyLebron who has her own blog.  I totally dig her blog,  she can teach us a thing or two about childhood bipolar disorder and some other great things!  

Lindsay from Life Lived Fully
Another treasure.  Lindsay blogs about life as it is,  including her relationship to God,  with no niceties,  just straight in your face.  She is always so open and honest,  very real.  Out there.  I appreciate and respect her so much!

Suz from SuzRocks.
Well,  what can I say?  Suz does rock!  Not shy seeking adventure,  not for the sake of it,  but for the good she can do,  she is a special lady indeed.  Her view of life is absolutely refreshing.  She does rock the boat and gives you a giggle as a side dish.

Courtney from Ups & Downs of Bipolar II
I found Courtney because she found me, and left a comment.  She writes about her bipolar II diagnosis and life,  giving lots and lots of useful information in a very readable form.  Good stuff!

The second award I received from Allie Rambles – who blogs over at Ramblings of a WAHM.  Allie and I got to know one another through SITS-girls and the 31 Days to Better Your Blog as well,  hosted by Shelley – another fine lady who writes I’m Still Standing.  Somehow Allie and I linked up,  even though our ‘niches’ have nothing in common.

I keep learning from her.  But the best about Allie?  She is honest and shares it all!  I love seeing her blog & business grow and I’m sure will continue to learn from her in the future.  Thank you,  Allie,  I am really chuffed to receive this award from you :).

What I need to do:

  1. Thank the wonderful person who gave the award and link back to them in your post.  Done
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.  Only 4 more left…
  3. Pass this award along to up to 15 recently discovered blogs.

Fact 4  Since I have the skin complexion of a red-head,  but I am blond,  I feel really cheated!!  I dearly love my freckles,  but the sensitivity and burning-in-the-sun-skin I am not too mad about.  But the hair,  folks,  my hair – it should be red by all means!  So that is what I do – whenever I get a chance.  Hair dye is really expensive here in comparison to Ukraine and the States.  Not happy about that.

Fact 5  I’m not much of a movie watcher,  but I am totally in love with ‘A beautiful mind’ about the life story of John Nash, Nobel prize winner and schizophrenic.  The movie shows how he deals with this illness, living in the hospital where everyone around him says he will never leave.  He shows them wrong!  He is able to leave the hospital,  deal with his illness and go back to teaching University students.  A MUST-SEE.  

Fact 6    This,  incidentally,  is my 100th post!  Doubted at the start of my blog how far I would make it – well this far I have now come,  with the encouragement of many.  Thank you to each commenter,  every e-mail and every Tweet.  I am still here because of you!  This post was not planned,
I feel like St Nicholas,  who on his birthday gave presents to kids instead of receiving presents himself.  I must say:  it feels real good!

Fact 7  I have a 101 list that I am still adding to,  that I am supposed to fulfil in 1001 days.  It is called Day Zero Project and I love it!  It was so much fun to compile the list and even more so to work on each goal.  It helps me to discover new things,  pushing me over the edge to do certain things that I would have held out on or never have thought about doing.

Phew,  I made it to 7, yay!

The people I present this award to are:

Sharone from Zizzivivizz.
Haven’t known her and her blog for long,  but another beautiful lady who shares the truth of life,  opening up her heart in every post.  Courageously showing the hard,  clean down-to-earth truth.  Love her!

Michelle from Italian Mama Chef.
Michelle presents you with her journey into authentic Italian cooking.  I totally dig her as she keeps going even in the face of food allergies – she goes forth,  learning more and sharing it with you!

Lara from LaLa Land and Tea & Ink
Another SITStah.  I won a frugal blog make-over and we sort-a hit it off.  She is  such a friendly,  giving lady!  And gifted – in writing and design.  You’ll see for yourself 🙂

Jan from The Wounded Warrior
A real new blogger to me,  Jan is an encourager I ‘met’ through Twitter.  He is an eloquent writer.  His poetry is heart wrenching,  for one because of what he shares and two because of how he writes.

Michael from A Daddy Blog
It’s so nice to read a blog by a real father.  And by ‘real’,  Michael,  I mean that you are a precious father to your daughter,  a force to be reckoned with,  a dad who affirms her being and personality,  cheering her on in everything she does.  One lucky girl 🙂

Congratulations everyone,  you so deserve it!  Thank you for providing me with endless reading,  learning,  giggles and tears.

*And sorry for the delay in posting,  it took me much longer than anticipated,  plus,  you know,  real life gets in the way sometimes. 😉

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