My Fourth Liebster Award

Standard

The Liebster Award seems to float around every year around this time, and once again I’ve been nominated for this award by my fellow blogger Vinnie of the eponymously named blog vinneh (vinneh.wordpress.com).  Please check out his blog as well.

This is now the fourth year in a row I’ve received this distinction, and it always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that other bloggers are enjoying my writing enough to show some love towards it.

Now to answer Vinnie’s questions, some random facts about me, and set out a few nominations of my own.

  1. Do you prefer a shower or a bath?  Always love to read while soaking in a nice bath, but generally go for a quick shower instead, especially if I’m rushing to work in the morning.
  2. Have you ever met a famous actor or actress?  Yes – many years ago I worked in a coffee shop in Kingston, ON, Canada and served Dan Ackroyd and his wife.  They were somewhat regular customers and my co-workers had always said they were rude.. but was the opposite for me.  I think they used to hound them for autographs, where I just served them without any fuss.. and I got a nice big tip for it too.
  3. Do you consider yourself a talented dancer?  If only!  I can keep a beat and have been told I dance well for a guy my size, but tend to get self-conscious.
  4. Have you ever skinny dipped before?  Many times.. most recently while in Gran Canaria on holidays.  I spent each day on the nude beach and swam in the sea several times a day.  Was a glorious feeling.
  5. What is your birthstone?  The moonstone, but have read June also counts pearl and alexandrite among it’s stones.
  6. What movie, no matter how many times you watch it, makes you cry?  Probably ‘Steel Magnolias’.  It’s a beautiful film full of amazing actresses.
  7. Who is your favourite author?  It’s a toss up between Stephen King and Anne Rice.  I’d love to have a writing career even half as popular as either of them.
  8. Are you a person who sleeps for a long time or rises early?  It’s changed over the years.. used to be able to sleep for ages, but nowadays I find I’m rising early when I don’t need to.  Which sucks cause I love nothing better than a long lie in on the weekends.
  9. What is your favourite holiday?  Pretty much anything that gives me a day off work.  LOL Have always been partial to New Year’s Eve, but think I tend to put too much pressure on having a good time to set the tone for the following year.
  10. Are you a horror movie fan?  Oh yes, though I don’t watch as many as I used to when I was younger.
  11. And finally, describe what you think of my blog with five adjectives.  Witty. Intriguing. Informative. Entertaining. Fun.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I have dual citizenship – Canadian and British.
  2. My first time flying in an airplane was when I moved from Canada to London.
  3. I have an honours diploma in Computerised Bookkeeping.
  4. I worked in an accounting office during tax season after graduation and hated it.
  5. I lived in Montreal for 8 years and I still only speak basic French.
  6. I regularly get mistaken for someone of Mediterranean decent – Italian, Spanish, etc – due to my dark complexion.
  7. I eat way too much pasta.
  8. I’ve been a smoker for over 20 years.
  9. I won a Gold and Silver medal in Bowling at the 2009 World OutGames in Copenhagen.
  10. I’m a comic-book geek, though haven’t read them in years.  Love the movies, TV shows, and some of the games on the iPad.  Make mine Marvel 🙂
  11. One of these days I’ll finally finish my novel.. or my series of erotic short stories.. or my ebook compilation of self-help articles I’ve posted on here.  One of them at least.

Now here are my nominees and my 11 questions for them.  All I ask if they continue to pay this honour forward towards other bloggers they enjoy reading.  It’s a great way to support each other.

    1. Ivan’s Blogworld – https://ivansblogworld.wordpress.com
    2. lgbt Icons – http://lgbticons.com
    3. Things I like.. and then run – https://trunkguy.wordpress.com
    4. A Life (not) in London – https://johngodley.com
    5. Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights – http://flightstightsandmovienights.com

And here are my questions for my fellow bloggers.  And the above list is in now way exhaustive.. there are tons of amazing blogs out there.  Please support them anyway you can.

  1. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  2. If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
  3. What’s your favourite holiday destination?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
  5. Newspapers or online magazines?
  6. What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
  7. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
  8. What’s the most public display of affection you’ve ever done? (And I don’t just mean kissing LOL)
  9. Are you the little spoon or big spoon when cuddling?
  10. What is the one thing on your bucket list you absolutely must do before you die?
  11. Describe my blog in five adjectives.

Well.. there it is folks.  Please do check out my nominee’s blogs, as well as the blog of my nominator Vinneh.

Keep reading and checking in and supporting your favourite blogs.  Your continual viewings is what keeps most of us going after all this time.

~M~

Understanding Depression Better

Standard

Living in a state of depression is never a fun or easy thing to have to deal with.  It’s something that can truly take over your life and leave you feeling like an empty husk inside.

As many who’ve visited here before know, I’ve dealt with my own bouts of depression over the years, and have wrote about it several times in the past.

Although I’m not particularly feeling depressed these days, the shadow of it enveloping me once again is always on the edge of my consciousness, and is something I battle to prevent happening on almost a daily basis.

Too many are afraid to talk about what their going through, and many others are loath to be there to listen as if it was contagious.  Talking about it more will help de-stigmatise how others perceive those with depression, and will encourage those dealing with it to be more willing to open up about it or to seek treatment.

Here are some key facts about depression (ref – World Health Organisation):

  • Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
  • There are effective treatments for depression.

Here are a few things to help all of us understand depression better, from the point of view of things someone with depression will understand.

‘Snap out of it!’

snap fingers

This is probably the most useless and unsupportive thing you could say to someone with depression.  It’s not as if you could just wake up one morning and decide to not be depressed anymore.

Depression is not just emotional, but can also be physical, and saying something like this just shows a person’s lack of understanding of what depression actually is.

Sadness does NOT equal depression

Feeling down or sad is not the same as living in a state of depression, though some people do misconstrue one for the other.  Depression is a clinical term, and is caused by underlying illnesses and chemical abnormalities that cause a person’s mental health to deteriorate.  Depression goes beyond just being sad or upset, and we need to stop confusing the two.

understanding-depression-5Little victories are really big ones

When you’re suffering from depression, sometimes something as simple and little as getting out of bed in the morning can be a huge victory.

Most tasks and activities become an ordeal, and just getting through a few of them can make someone with depression feel like they’ve conquered something.  Like they’ve accomplished something substantial, even if it’s something more people take for granted on a daily basis.

Beyond lack of motivation

Most of us feel that 3pm slump when you need a little pick-me-up to get you through the rest of the work day.  For someone who’s depressed, it’s like that pretty much all of the time.  Depression can sometimes make you feel like your muscles doesn’t work anymore, and it’s difficult to maintain the focus we all need to get through the day.

There’s physical symptoms as well

Most people think depression as just an emotional or mental problem, but to help dispel this misconception, you also need to understand the physical symptoms.  And these physical symptoms can sometimes lead people to misunderstand what is going wrong with their body, and pre-existing issues could be made worse.  Other physical symptoms can include restlessness, indigestion, nausea, headaches, and joint and muscle fatigue to name a few.

Life just isn’t fun anymore

shutterstock_94195759Depression can make your life dramatically different, as you can lose interest in those activities you’ve always enjoyed – hanging with friends, reading your favourite book, enjoying a night out, or even romantic activities all seem less exciting.

This lack of interest can be a major red-flag when identifying the condition, and it something to look out for in yourself and others.  Be supportive and approach them with an open mind.

It’s hard to put into words

Some people think that those with depression can talk about how their feeling until the cows come home, but in reality it’s much different.  For a lot of people dealing with depression, it can be agony to describe to someone else how their feeling – especially when there’s a stigma around your illness.  When you’re looking at life through dark-coloured glasses, it can be hard to put that into words and believe that someone else can understand what you’re going through.

It’s different for everyone

There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ experience or approach when it comes to depression.  Everyone’s experiences and ordeals are unique to them, and there’s no one method to help fight the illness.  That’s what makes depression so difficult to deal with because everyone’s journey is different.

Understanding-Depression-666x372Everyone needs to take their own path to healing and getting past the depression in order to continue on with life.  The important thing is to make sure you’re getting the help you need if you’re depressed, and you’re being supportive of those suffering from it.

Be open.  Be understanding.  Be there for each other.

This post was inspired by ‘9 Things Only People With Depression Can Truly Understand‘ over on The Huffington Post.

Respect

Image

20130911-192243.jpg

Definitely some words of wisdom.  No matter what, not everyone around you is going to respect your feelings or how you deal with situations.  It’s all a matter of finding the right ones who will understand where you are coming from, and not look to put you down for how you feel.

Feelings are important, and too often we’re told in today’s society that we shouldn’t fee so much.  That feelings are bad and ‘unproductive’, when in fact it might be the opposite.

Certainly some people out there rely or use their feelings too much, to the point where they are trying to manipulate others around them to their way of thinking or doing things (aka: Drama Queens).  These people are hard work and ultimately won’t get you anywhere in life.

We all need to ensure we are surrounding ourselves with people who are supportive and willing to be there for you when you’re going through a rough patch, who will be willing to actively listen to what you have to say as you describe how you feel.  And vice versa, as this isn’t a one-way street.

As well, too often we tend to shy away from people who are showing their feelings, which in the end can be disrespectful and harmful to the person who is looking for some support.  The worse thing you can do if someone is going through a bad patch is to ignore them, or to leave them alone to get through the bad stuff by themselves, as that won’t help anything.

We all need to be there for each other more, and remember to respect each other.  That is the only way we will get past where we are now and move to the future, happier and healthier.  And full of respect.

~Mx

Supporting Depression

Standard

Depression-Low1

Dealing with any kind of physical or mental health issue can be difficult, exhausting and draining emotionally.  A good chunk of your time is dealing with the issue itself and you can easily lose focus on the more important things in life, be it friends, family, work, loved ones, your health, and so forth.

This is especially true when dealing with mental health issues such as depression.  The issue itself can sometimes take over your life, and if you’re not careful, you can become completely obsessed with the issue itself.  It can create an ongoing loop of negative thoughts in your head that is difficult to break or shake off.

Of course the best thing is to ensure you have a good support base around you so you have people to talk to about what you’re going through.  And it has to be the right kind of support as well..

Sometimes you just need to vent and get it off your chest, but occasionally when trying to explain how you are feeling with someone who isn’t going through it themselves, they try a bit too hard to try and knock you out of your mood.

depression1They have the best intentions of course, but occasionally it can easily turn from a friendly ear to chat to or a shoulder to cry on, to someone trying to tell you how you should live your life.  Though they are trying to be constructive and helpful, the person going through the issue can sometimes take that as a criticism of sorts even if it wasn’t meant that way.

The last thing a person going through a depressive period needs is someone trying to dictate to them how they should do things, as if they’ve never tried what they’re suggesting.  Like they’re not trying to find a solution.

Though that can be the problem with dealing with depression, you sometimes get tunnel vision when it comes to the issue itself.  As if what is happening to you at that time is the worst thing that could happen, and you can only see the negatives and worse case scenarios.

That is a difficult mindset to get out of, and if you’re not careful, it can become a never-ending downward spiral that makes it harder and harder to get out of, with or without support.

Eight Ways to Actively Fight Depression | Psychology Today

Of course finding someone who can be there for you when you’re going through such a period can be difficult at times, because some people just don’t know how to deal with someone who’s depressed.  They think the best way to help that person is to leave them alone to deal with the issue, when in fact that can cause more harm than good.  It makes the person going through the issue feel isolated, unloved, unwanted, and like they don’t matter to that person.

shutterstock_94195759That’s not a fun feeling to have when you’re already going through a bad period, as it can sometimes heighten the feelings and issues you’re going through at the time… And perhaps make you think you’re justified in the negative feelings you’re having towards yourself at the time, because that ‘friend’ can’t or won’t be there to support you.

Ultimately only you yourself can truly pull yourself out of this downward spiral, as only you can change what is happening in your life or what is affecting your feelings.  However it makes that journal to better mental health somewhat easier and more manageable when you’ve got someone at your side cheering you on and supporting you.

If you know someone who is going through a period such as this, do your best to just be there for them, support them, love them, hug them, remind them what is good about themselves or their lives.  It helps.

tired