STOP THE BLEEDING

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Mini-post today, just wanted to share a quote with you :]

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” – Henry Havelock Ellis

A higher power for healing?

Today’s blog post will be very quick because most of it, I will leave up to my readers. About a month ago, my handy-dandy Google reader produced an article from the website PsychCentral called Why is Religion important to Mental Health. Now obviously as a journalist, a month is not exactly timely. However, religion is a sensitive subject and I debated it in my mind on whether or not to discuss it here. Over the past week though, it is something I have been itching to ask the readers of this blog.

In the article, author Therese J. Borchard begins by discussing the context of religion and mental health historically. The two rarely coincide peacefully. Borchard uses excerpts from a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) newsletter. The newsletter consisted of an interview with Jay Mahler, an activist and founder of The California Mental Health & Spirituality Initiative and a reverend, Laura Mancuso. In the excerpts used from the professionals, they both seem to agree that mental health and religion have some sort of link in patients.

“For many people with mental health issues, spirituality is key to understanding this experience. It is essential in their journey of recovery. Also faith communities have provided a sense of belonging and welcome to me, and to others who have been marginalized and experienced stigma and discrimination resulting from the public’s fear of persons with psychiatric diagnoses,” Mahler said.

The comments on the article span more than half of the page with readers of all different backgrounds and religions (or lack thereof) weigh in on their personal feelings. Some fear that introducing religion into psychiatric treatment is a great idea because that very thing helped them find solace while others believe that it is a violation of church and state, possibly only including mainstream religions but focused on Christianity.
Now here is where I pose the question: Is religion an important aspect in mental health? Does religion coincide with mental health at all? Is the use and discussion of religion aide the healing of the mentally ill? What are your views? Let me know, lets spark a discussion! (But please be tasteful)

“Every shadow is evidence of sun.” – Nichole Nordeman

Words can heal the soul

As I mentioned in a previous post, I will share more and more about me as time goes on. I am a quote collector; I even own a notebook specifically for quotes so I can keep up with them when I want to use them in the future. I write down quotes that inspire me in some way and today I would like to share them with you. Here are 10 of my favorite quotes, one of which comes from Albus Dumbledore, the esteemed head master of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry from Harry Potter (another one of my obsessions).

10. ‎”I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose we where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”-Perks of Being a Wallflower
9. “Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle occurs. To gain that worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.” –Bernadette Devlin
8. “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’”. –Mary Anne Radmacher
7. “If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.” – Flavia Weedn
6. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us”- Helen Keller
5. “It’s something everybody wants–for someone to see the hurt done to them and set it down like it matters.” – Sue Monk Kidd
4. “We are miracles and we’re not alone.” – Switchfoot

3. “Tears are words that the heart can’t express.” – Unknown
2. “In the end, it doesn’t matter that everything’s in pieces. It’s how you carry them.” – Garret Freymann-Weyr
1. “We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, but battle on.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter

Got any ideas you would like me to talk about on this blog? Any topics dealing with mental health are welcome because I am always looking for creative input from my readers. I write for you!

Even though today’s post was all about quotes I will still end with the quote of the day, because I promised it to you.

“Use what talents you possess; the woods will be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” – Henry van Dyke

Six-word memoirs

“What would you tell the world if you only had six words?”

Six-word memoirs are just that, six words to share something significant whatever it may be. They are short, sweet and to the point.

Another gem that I stumbled upon in my Google reader, (I LOVE THAT THING!) six-word memoirs hosted by smithmag.net, is an ongoing project similar to efforts like PostSecret. They are similar in the way fans are the direct resource for its existence, but six-word memoirs give more of an instant gratification. Where one may send a secret and hope for it to be chosen and published, six-word memoirs pop up instantly. The memoirs are broken into categories varying from anything to Life to Moms and Food to War and it’s really easy to get caught up on exploring and reading the memoirs for hours.

Smith Magazine is a magazine that hosts a bunch of contests and forums for people to share their content on its website. Many of the story projects where participants can submit their work lead to publication through a competition to be the next published work by Smith Magazine.

Created in 2006, the six-word memoirs have been published into five books and has received over 200,000 memoirs. Larry Smith, creator of Smith Magazine, was inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s legendary six-word novel, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” He wanted a forum for people to share with each other using only six words.

Now TWLOHA has jumped on board with this project and together with smithmag they are creating a book called Six Words on Pain and Hope. There is still time to participate and try to get your six-word memoir into the book, just click on the TWLOHA tab and submit your story.

TWLOHA invited the University chapters to recreate this project on their respective campuses back in last Oct. (National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month) and I found a compilation video on the tumblr of the uchapters with some of the submissions that students shared. BEWARE! This video is great, simple and touching. It made me cry and even though it might not have such an effect on you, it’ll definitely tug at your heart strings at bit.

TWLOHA UChapters 6 Word Memoir Project from TWLOHA UChapters on Vimeo.

Sorry it’s so small! I played around with the height and width of the video and it just won’t center itself when I make it fit so if you have trouble viewing it, please click to view it on vimeo.

Overall, I thought that my readers might enjoy this site because it’s easily accessible and a quick way to vent on those bad days. No one can stop you from posting 30 of these if that’s what you feel you need to release what you may be going through. It’s also a great reminder that you are not alone. When you can look through and read some things that people from around the world have to say on certain topics, it’s a great way to evaluate your personal feelings and emotions. Some submissions are crappy, some are just simple and trivial but some are truly profound so it’s worth some inspection if you find a few extra minutes.

You have to register to post but you can register as you post your first memoir. The registration is also quick, not all the other information some sites ask for. Smithmag only asks for a valid email, a username, password and full name.

I loved it so much that I posted my own:

“beauty is everywhere, just believe it”

Lastly, a little birdie told me that IMAlive, the online crisis network I mentioned a few weeks ago will launch THIS WEEK! It’s only a test launch or “soft launch” to not overload the system and hopefully it will go according to plans and yield good results for a full scale launch. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the IMAlive blurb.)

Quote of the day- I couldn’t decide which I wanted to post so I’m actually giving you two.
“In the end, it doesn’t matter that everything’s in pieces. It’s how you carry them.” – Garret Freymann-Weyr
“We all live in suspense from day to day; in other words, you are the hero of your own story.” – Mary McCarthy

Build you up to break you down

So I thought I would change gears for this week’s blog post and do something a little more personal. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog for the last 2 months, then you have experienced a lot of my interests and things that I find helpful to those looking for comfort.  I’m sure though, you may be thinking, “Who is this person?” “ Why does she write this blog?”

Instead of spilling all of my guts and telling my whole life story at once, I’ll give you (my readers) little bits of me as time goes along.

Below I have listed my top (originally 10, but I added two) songs that comfort me when I get down and have my really black days.  The first five, are songs that will most likely break you down emotionally and the last five, will build you back up.  I won’t even explain them, I just hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Some of these are sad, some are just slower and more solemn but personally when I have bad days I enjoy listening to really intensely sad music while I cry and get all of my emotions out. Here are five of my many emotional escapes. (Some of the videos will not Embed on the blog, no matter how many different videos I post for them, it has something to do with their record label so clicking on the name will take you to them on youtube. :])

7. Avril Lavigne- Slipped Away

6. Idina Menzel and Lea Michele- I Dreamed a Dream (Glee)

5. Coldplay- Fix You

4. Robert Pattinson- Let me Sign

3. My Chemical Romance- Cancer


2. TLC – I Miss You

1. Adele- Chasing Pavements

To break up some of the length, I will post this in two pieces :]

I will post the last part first though so it will appear in order.

Build you up to break you down: Pt. 2

The next five songs are more inspirational and uplifting. Once I have cried my eyes out and allowed my feelings to surface. I try and combat all of my bad thoughts with some happiness. These songs just put a smile on my face on those difficult days when smiling is the last thing on my mind.

[Just like the last post, some of these song UNFORTUNATELY won’t embed so just click the names to list on youtube if you’d like]

5. U2-Original of the Species
4. Kanye West- All of the Lights
3. P!nk- Funhouse

2. Lupe Fiasco- The Show Goes On

1.Noah Gunderson- Moss on a Rolling Stone (LIVE)

The quote I chose this week I stumbled up on in my English class, it was in a handout the teacher passed out. It resonated with me so much that I had to write it down.

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights but you can make your whole trip that way.” –E.L. Doctrow

It talks specifically about writing a novel but I really felt like this quote applies to life in general. If things seem dark and hopeless, sometimes we can only take it one day at a time, as far as our headlights, but eventually you will get home. Eventually you will see the end.

IMAlive: online 24hr crisis center

So I’m really sad that IMAlive is something that I am just learning about and I’m sure that many you, my wonderful readers may not have heard of it either. IMAlive is still in the works but when it launches, it will be the first live online crisis network. IMAlive will be a 24 hour, 7 day a week internet help line. When launched, anyone can log on and chat live with a certified volunteer, through instant messaging.

“The terror of picking up the phone to call a hotline not knowing who will answer you prevents you from doing so,” the site reads. “Or, even if you have the courage to pick up the phone, the sound of the person’s voice scares you and you hang up. We know this happens because over 30% of all people who call our hotlines do just that—they hang up as soon as they hear the human voice.

More importantly, we recognize the technological age we find ourselves in today and we know that millions of people in crisis will never pick up the phone. We believe that IMAlive is part of the solution to the problem.”

IMAlive is a revolutionary idea as it brings the help right into your living room. Through partnership with To Write Love on Her Arms, PostSecret, and the Question, Persuade, and Refer Institute, which provides training and certification of volunteers, The Kristin Brooks Hope Center plans to launch IMAlive.

Originally set to launch in 2010, IMAlive is innovative in the way it plans to offer these services. Instead of hired hands to work the online help network, IMAlive is seeking volunteers from all over the U.S. and Canada. IMAlive allows real people, who are passionate about helping others become a part of the solution.

The criteria for volunteering includes:

• A genuine desire and willingness to help people in need
• At least 18 years old (*16 with parents notarized consent)
• Must have reliable Internet access
• Must complete at least 50 hours training and a series of tests and screenings.
• Must be willing to commit to responding four hours a week for one year. Or can commit to responding eight hours a week for six months.

There is, however a $250 cost combined with becoming a volunteer. The fee goes to training necessary to properly deal with people in crisis situations. So far, there are only 60 (!) trained and certified volunteers so if this is something you feel you want to do and are able to handle, SIGN UP PLEASE. I know I will be very soon.

IMAlive allows its volunteers to set up a personal page in which they can solicit donations for their fee, so if the fee scares you from signing up, don’t let it. It’s possible to fundraise the entire thing.

I personally cannot wait until this online community is launched. IMAlive has the potential to change and SAVE so many lives. It allows survivors to help others and those in need to find a solace where people truly understand their struggle. If this is something you are passionate about, if you have the resources, please donate to the cause. It’s already behind on its launch date, LET’S HELP IT GET OFF THE GROUND! This is something that people need and the sooner, the better.

Along with its own merchandise, To Write Love on Her Arms is selling IMAlive shirts which the proceeds will go to the launch of IMAlive.                                                    

The back is the lyrics to “Go” by Boys Like Girls :]

If you’re a twitter fiend, follow the movement: @_IMAlive

As promised, my quote of the day is:
“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough.” – Mary McLeod Bethune