Straight Talk on Mental Illness

Straight Talk on Mental Illness Part I

On March 19, 2017 I recorded a video about the prevalence of mental illness in adults, teenagers and those with chronic illnesses.

Here is the link to the video I recorded:  https://www.facebook.com/events/704566376371322/?active_tab=discussion

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A Daughter's Reflection

A DAUGHTER’S REFLECTION – REWRITE

Today is a good day for writing, I think. I am working on a memoir I started in my late teens but never fully developed because I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted to go with it.

A Daughter’s Reflection is my account, as a teenager, of having a mother who was ill with cancer, and having to take care of her for several months both day and night. The book consists of several journal entries. I don’t think I had ever kept a journal until that year. I know, I know. A teenage girl without a journal. Strange, right? I just had never thought of writing until that year when so much was happening and becoming overwhelming I needed a someone to talk to when no one else was around and a place to vet everything. A notebook became that place and God was that person I talked to.

This book will serve to relate my story as a teenager going through grief, depression, anxiety, and a sense of loss, not just in losing a loved one, but not knowing where I stood in the world, you know, where I belonged. In my story you will see changes of the teenager I was while caring for my mother, then through depression, anxiety and loss of self, and then through finding myself in Christ.

I have written a new preface and reorganized the chapters. I have to go through them for some editing. After that, I will need to determine the last chapter or two of the book. I am hoping to have this book out by summer time. I am aiming before that. I will keep everyone updated as I go along. God bless.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 25 of August Camp NaNo – Late Evening

 

It has been a busy day around home today…planting eight pink lady apple trees all grown from seed, watering them, tending the vegetable garden, cooking dinner, having a bath, then Bible study with my husband and father in law and so on. It was a great day with beautiful warm weather with a refreshing breath of wind. What an awesome day God has given us here and now, after having a glass of Sangria for the first time, I am feeling relaxed, all be it a little sleepy, but I am finally able to sit down and work on my story again.

How far I will get depends on my ability to keep my eyelids open. lol. That should be job in itself. But I will belt out some words no matter what. Don’t think I’d be able to sleep well knowing I didn’t at least write SOMETHING today…er…this evening.

So I will go for now and continue working on chapter three. I made a great dent in the chapter last night so I hope to make a bigger dent in it tonight. Curious to see how far I will go.

**God, please help me with this endevour and to succeed at my goal, Amen.**

Here goes!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Day 24 for August Camp NaNo 2012

 

It’s after 10PM on the east coast and I have the opportunity to work on my memoir about depression, what caused it, and how I came out of it with God‘s help.

The desire to write, to tell my story is there, but also lingering within me is fear. Fear of going back to those places that caused such pain and sadness. It is hard to write about one’s experiences in relation to hard times especially losing not only one loved one, but several. I sit here with a need to tell my story believing what I say may help someone out there, but also that writing it out may be therapy for me, and praise to God who helped me through that valley to the mountain top so to speak.

But how to get through those moments that make you want to cry…or just push the book off somewhere else and find something else to work on. Just because I don’t feel depressed, doesn’t mean that the pain of losing someone is gone. It’s still there and I believe that is what is causing me to struggle on with this book. I believe that God puts struggles in our path for a reason and that is to help us grow to become stronger for whatever purpose He may have for us. Since I believe this, and since I believe that with God I have nothing to fear, I must practice what I believe and press on.

So currently, my book stands at 26,892 words. I will now end this post and work more on my book and write another post before I hit the sack and let you all know how I have done. But first, a little prayer to God to help me with this journey.

Back later!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNo Day #23

 

Here I am on the 23rd of Camp NaNo. It’s just after midnight here on the east coast of the U.S. My mind things of the story I should be writing, but my stomach is yelling it’s monstrous voice to feed it, and my eyes and mind are screaming “Let me sleep, PLEASE!” Oh, what to do  in moments like these, knowing you must press on to meet that deadline? Knowing the next chapter you are about to write is going to be hard, but knowing it will lead to a published work someday that will prayerfully help at least one person in the world.

My desire and my heart want to continue on, but I am afraid I must call it a night. Get a snack to quiet the beast in my gut and close my eyes to end the constant straining to keep them open and rest my mind so that tomorrow…or should I say later today…I’ll be able to do more writing and make more progress on my book than before.

Ah, sleep is a friend and I know I must relinquish to it. But it is hard when the words come and with them feelings and dialogue…all plays in the sleeping mind, waiting, wanting, yearning to be written for other eyes to see. By I must quiet the mind with prayer and let God take over my sleepy body and ease me into a restful sleep.

Camp NaNo day #23 continues….much later today. 🙂 Night all!

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

August Camp NaNo Day 17

 

Okay, so today is day 17 of the August 2012 Camp NaNo. I have made some good headway on my book. I hope to work more on it tonight. I’m currently listening to the podcast Books on the Nightstand and it is so inspiring me to write. I also like to listen to the Creative Penn Podcast. I get both of these through iTunes and listen to them on my ipod nano or through iTunes. It depends on where I am writing either on the computer or with pen and paper.

So far my book has an epigraph, dedication, and at least two chapters. I hope to add to that tonight as long as my 3yr old goes to bed okay. She is a night owl so it’s hard. But, I really believe this book on my experience with depression and anxiety attacks and how I got through the bulk of it to that Mountain Top, and trying each day, to maintain where I am, will really help others. It’s not easy to write, I must say. Some times I just want to stop writing because emotions are just going crazy. This all started with death of my mother about 13 years ago, so even though time as gone by, the pain never completely goes away. There is always a little that lingers. A lot of this book so far is my journal entries I kept the four months I was caring for my mother. I have them down, but will have to go through them for spelling errors, etc. Not really looking forward to that, but I know it needs to be done.

Please, pray for me on writing this book. It is hard to do to to bring back some of this stuff. But even if one person benefits, it was all worth it.

~Janis~

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

August Camp NaNo

 

Geeze, here it is in the middle of August 2012 and I just realized it is another Camp NaNo month. Ugh! Some time to realize it!  I do have a story in mind and I’ll begin writing, but I think I may be a little late to meet the deadline of 50,000 by the end of the month. However, God works wonders and with Him there is no telling what can happen, so….I am just going to plug along with what is sitting in my brain waiting to get out, and see what happens. Very interested and excited to see what happens! You never know with God leading your life where you’re going to be taken next, so here goes all my fellow campers. Best of luck to you and may God bless you on your writing endeavors!

 

Janis

http://campnanowrimo.org/campers/jimonroe/novels/a-daughter-s-reflection

 

General Updates

After Thoughts, Talks and Prayers

Well my friends, here I am again. It seems that after a long battle with post traumatic stress, depression and anxiety, I was able to talk to someone today that agreed that I was “stuck” in not knowing what to do to help myself. I thought reading books on depression, grief, etc.. would be helpful, but every time I went to read one I would feel dread, a pit in my stomach, and I felt overwhelmed and my brain screamed “I don’t want to do this!”.  But what else could I do to help myself understand some of what I have been through in order how to deal with thoughts and feelings I get each day and help myself move forward. Well, talking to this gentlemen, he did indeed say that I was stuck and said that the feelings I was getting toward those books was basically telling me they were not the right tools for me helping me move forward. Instead, they were acting like and anchor holding me back and that when I did read them, it was as if someone was stirring the pot keeping my thoughts and emotions at the surface, never allowing me to move on and focus on the present instead of the past, that I just want to learn from and now that I have, move on from.

I have learned that I am  in a place now to move forward with my life. That the anxiety I have been feeling on a daily basis, is an anxious excitement at the positive energy in my life where before there was mostly negative. There is positive energy in the way of support, love, caring, family closeness, enjoyment of family life (that I felt I never had before). I feel I have a sense of freedom and can fly. I prayed today, thanking Jesus for dying for my sins, for setting me truly free and allowing me to soar.

It is now my time for self discovery and I am moving away from writing. Writing was with me and useful when my mother passed away and I had a lot of emotions I need to get out and for years I wrote. But now that things are good in my life and I have worked through issues of my past, I no longer feel the need to write, nor really the desire.

Now the question is, now that I’m not writing as a career, what do I do? What are my likes, dislikes? How do I go about finding out? Well, I have a list of interests and I guess I just will go with it until I find one thing, or maybe a few things to do in my spare time.

I have really gotten into photography lately so that is one thing I am going to continue and love taking videos.

My VERY FIRST love in life when I was 3 was singing in front of the church congregation and they couldn’t get the microphone away from me. In school, I was always in chorus from elementary levels into high school. And I still love to sing. My father sings and plays piano, my daughter loves to sing and dance. So…why not try learning more about writing music and so forth. And strengthening my vocals. I bought a program called EarMaster 5 but have not tried it yet. Guess it is supposed to help you tune your hearing with musical notes as well as help you tune your voice. So shall be interesting.

Then there is art. I have always admired artists and wondered what it would be like to learn to sketch or paint. Guess I’ll never know until I try. When I was younger I could look at things and draw pretty good copies of them, so maybe that is still in me somewhere.

I also love the theater and have always fantasized what it would be like to be up there on stage acting out a wonderfully written play! But, knowing me, I’d probably be too scared to do this, but I have surprised myself before. Never know what you can do with God on your side. Life’s full of surprises!

Then, another curiosity, my husband had gotten me into a year or two back, and that is learning to program in Java. I started reading a book called “Learn to Program in Java” by John Smiley. I started picking it up pretty easily enough, but never really got into it due to the whole writing thing. Thing is, what would I program even if I became good enough?

Well, I guess that is a start of things. Now, what should I rename my blog? What should I rename my page on Facebook…actually I may have to create a totally new one if I want to have a photography or artist page. Should I create a whole new blog too? I would hate to have to do that but just continue this one so as years go by, we can see how I have changed and grown through the years.

If you have any suggestions on things for me to try out I’d love to hear them! Oh, I did try Zumba today! Boy did that kick my butt! lol

Well, I’ll be chatting with you all again shortly!

God bless!

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PTSD

Dilema – Fiction or Nonfiction on PTSD Novel

So for the past few weeks I have not gotten any writing done. Why, you may ask? Because I can’t decide on whether to write a book on my experience with post traumatic stress disorder as nonfiction, or write in a fictional way but have it “based on a true story”.  So many questions run through my head:

1) Which version would hold the most weight my audience?

2) Which would be the most beneficial to others if they read my story?

3) In which version, would be the easiest for me to tell my story?

If you were to read a book on someones experience with post traumatic stress, would you want to read the true account, or would your rather read it in a fictional context, but know that the events that happened in the book were true? I welcome any feedback.