Tag Archives: recovery

Under Stress? Remember your Dreams!

My personal dream has always been to save lives, and  I hold on to my dream: to become a Volunteer Firefighter.
(My dream for the world is to see a Tiny House or at least a small well-insulated room with kitchenette and bathroom, with potable water, green vegetables, brown rice and dried beans and solar/windpower with backup pedal power for every man, woman and child over maybe, the age of 10, world wide, free for that person’s use from birth to his/her death with no charge, no questions, and no way to lose that right.)

Then I journal, walk, run or plan (esp. for my training for the fire-fighter’s test:  41MarathonVert2016 ) and work some more.

Peace,

 

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
7 February, 12016 HE

updated with my Dream for the World:
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
22 February, 12016 HE

(update:  after 3 weeks off for the start of an intensified job search, I am bumping down to a Half-Marathon…)
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
23 March, 12016 HE

Groups to join as Coping and Family-building measure

Personally, I have a high need for connection with others.  In order to avoid burning out my nearest and dearest, I’ve decided that finding groups that share my values may help diffuse some of that pressure on my supporters.  So, I personally want to find:

  1. A progressive chavurah, shul, temple or synagogue to join, and a Women’s Mosque as well, if there are any lady Imam or leaders around (there was one in Ankara back in 2005…)
  2.  A Quaker (Friends) Monthly Meeting to join and stand silent Peace Vigil with,
  3.   Greek or Balkan or other international folk dance,
  4.  a walk-run marathon group
  5.  a public library-based book or reading club
  6. A public library based writer’s critique group
  7. an NVC and also maybe Literacy Volunteering group (and give blood).

 Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
24 March, 12016 HE

Rain+Tendonitis = Nightmares??

The night before, I dreamt I was a consultant on a ship w/an insane captain somewhere in the North Atlantic, with giant waves that froze around us like a white out.  I ordered and got a shovel, dying digging while the sailors around me gaped as if I were the crazy one.  No, digging did not help, but at least I think I died on my feet.

Last night, it was me being attacked by a crocodile : not sure if it was Sacred or not, but at least I died warm!

Ok, I will admit that trippling the number of km Power Walked (Fr, but accessible) (in compensation for km not run, trying to reach 45km/week by mid-March (English, log in needed) ) may not have been the best idea I’ve had lately, but why the renewed ‘My Life is in Serious Danger’ dreams now that I’ve stopped running/walking for the last 4 days?

While I know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) aka la Dépression Hivernal, is linked to light, but also to excercise levels (which is why I always take my walks and runs early in the morning), I wonder if the feeling of a cold or flu coming on, combined with having to rest the ankle tendon due to my own stupidity, makes me feel powerless?  Obviously the answer is Yes!  But it remains irritating, and a bit scary, to see how quickly those fears and despair of just a short while ago can come screaming back, threatening to overwhelm you, just after a few days of darker than usual weather (weekends I generally do not write, so do not sit with my SunLamp), and enforced ‘rest’ (which is making me more restless by the day, but with a tendon still aching for no apparent reason…).

So, dear friends, my reason for writing this post is as follows:  if you feel down, do not give in to despair.  Drink a spicy hot chocolate (soy milk and Fair Trade chocolate with cayenne if possible, but if you feel rotten, just a hot choc. may help), and then turn on the lights for a few minutes, and bask in them.  Then, get out a pad of paper, and write.  Preferably while you wriggle your toes and think of Frodo Baggins!

Then, plan to change your life.  Taking risks is scary, but sometimes the only way to make life better, for you and for someone else.  Don’t let those dreams that tell you your life is in danger go unheeded:  especially if the one putting you life in danger might be You.

Human Love,

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
31 January, 12016 HE

Neville Longbottom and Harry as kids with PTSD?

It is interesting to see how different cultures hide the mistreatment of kids.  The Brits seem to be a bit more up front about it, but also more harsh than say, Turks, who adore children.

I am being lazy and re-reading HP2 to work on my Turkish reading, instead of continuing to slog through something by Orhan Pamuk, because I am just too tired (and I am starting to hit words like bequeath while watching my favorite family TV show of all time: My Magical Mother! (Sihirli Annem!) so it really is time to get back to some reading to keep up my Turkish.

But back to Nevile -I identified with him immediately: I was the one walking into walls in Middle School, forgetting everything, and being told to come down out of the clouds.  Now I know (and we see in later books with Neville) that these are symptoms of childhood PTSD, which presents differently than with adults.

So please, for the love of God, Humanity, Children and the Human Race, or at least for the love of the planet and the potential creativity of the human race, please look out for such signs in kids and try to understand and help them rather than yelling at them.  Don’t let them turn into Invisible Children, or worse.

 

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
5th of December, 12015  HE

Review of Invisible Children: A must read for all American Citizens of voting age

Invisible ChildrenInvisible Children by Mike Tikkanen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Check it out at a library, via Worldcat:
https://www.worldcat.org/title/invisi…

First, “States will also discover that investing in children pays big dividends for better schools, safer streets, and happier communities.”

This is the real problem:
“Because so many of us accept snippets of TV coverage of complex stories as the story, we are unable to understand and evaluate what needs to be done to solve the problem that caused it. We don’t take the time to investigate, and it’s easier to assign blame than to solve complex problems.”

Actionable take-home message:
1. “Draw attention to the importance of adequate mental health services for abused and neglected children in your community.”

2. “It is only learned coping skills and behavior modification that will keep children out of the Criminal Justice System, not medications without therapy.”

and
3. “Let your political leaders know you expect them to provide mental health services in your schools and for abused and neglected children.”

Note: “we would rather build prisons than libraries or playgrounds” yet “countries with the lowest rates of poverty and illiteracy have the lowest crime rates.”

KARA founder presents evidence of what has always been obvious to abused kids:
“Our standards for success in dealing with abused and neglected children are too low. Small achievements seem to warrant a stamp of success. Too soon the state decides: that’s enough of the state’s resources for that one. ”
but
“Pre-school programs are affordable, well run, and common throughout the rest of the industrialized world. Only the U.S. makes early childhood learning and day care unaffordable to poor people.”

Result(s):
“UNICEF found that the teen pregnancy rate in America is twice that of the industrialized nations.”

Children need far stronger community protections, partly because:
“unless a parent kills them, a care-giving perpetrator is not likely to suffer any consequences”
yet:

“If you look, you will see that children are protected, cared for, and educated better in the rest of the industrialized world. … Our systems are not functioning to solve these problems. Many of our institutional policies exacerbate the problems. A lack of resources leads to poorly trained providers and inadequate services. To ignore the inter-relatedness of the issues is to guarantee continued failure”
and on race, see: “Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, “Special Ed: The New Segregation,” Rosi Tavf, February 12, 2004).” and “a convict in China makes about twelve cents an hour compared to eleven cents an hour paid to a Minnesota convict. About 50 percent of the prison population is African-American, while African-Americans make up under 13 percent of the general population.”

and on poverty: “Americans have agreed (by voting) that incarcerating vast numbers of poverty stricken uneducated people, mostly for non-violent offenses, is a better alternative than anything else we can think of.”

Let’s think of better.
This is a book that all citizens, particularly of the USA, need to read. Then, do your part to support early and continuous learning for All, please.

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
4th of December, 12015 HE

View all my reviews

What I learned from NaNoWriMo about Writing and Depression

My second practice novel actually started on Wattpad , but much easier to track the deadline on the NaNoWriMo2015 website, has taught me several things about managing Depression (or PTSD -> anger->depression, sort of…).

First: Making a deadline feels good, even if it is Just/Only YOUR deadline. You DID it.
Second: Physical activity every day, like running  or dance, etc, is, at least for me, imperative (and also read, and have a sun lamp).
Third: Making a deadline a second time, better than you did the first time, proves you can repeat the feat, thus showing discipline and perseverance. This makes me feel like less of a waste of oxygen, provided I can find a way to use that to help other folks.
Fourth:
Writing 1.) When writing your first/second/fifth practice novel, be sure to have a physical workout routine, preferably involving boxing gloves, AND several people to talk to about all of the crap your writing will drag out of you.

(Remember NOT to use the gloves on the people…)

Writing 2.) For me, at least, plan the ending first…
Writing 3.) Plan setting, time and weather for each scene, not just the plot!!
Writing 4.) Outline by scene, not by # of words (I outlined by 300wds, which ended up driving me nuts toward the end…)
Writing 5.) Do not write a chapter per file, it is a formatting nightmare to insert 18 files (one for each chapter) into one ‘book’ file on an exhausted day 28!
Writing 6.) Lay out the chapter plan on one large calendar in the same notebook (if at all possible) as the planning notebook (and resist the temptation to plan each chapter on small scraps of paper!! You cannot believe the number of scraps I now have floating around…).
7.) Start on day one, and don’t punish yourself for not planning ahead. A planner is not a pantser, and you will feel annoyed if try to write stream-of-consciousness just because you have 2000 words to finish That Day.

Better to take the day to plan out the next two scenes and write them the next day, at least for me.

I found that when I knew the time of day and year and weather as well as what the MC was supposed to do in the next couple of scenes, I could just imagine the flow and zap, 2000 words came out of no where (I did NOT say 2000 Good Words, but that is for the next 3 or 4 re-writes!!!).

and the real

Writing 7.) Set a new notebook aside for the 30-Day 50k challenge, because it will turn into at least a year, and probably 80k words. Before it goes back down to 60k again.

🙂

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
29 November 12015 HE

Shira

Does this Climactic Chapter Work?

Dear Readers,

This is my 2nd draft of Hubris and Hemlock, a very short novel (40k words or 150 pages), which is Women’s Fiction, so: 1. Relationships are Key, and 2. The Heroine saves Herself.  But my question, before I go to polishing the prose, is: Does the plot hold your interest?    Especially Chapter 17, the climactic chapter.

I plan to post the last chapter shortly, but it is just a wrap-up, so if chapter 17 doesn’t work, neither will chapter 18.

Thank you for any feedback,

 

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
23 March, 12016 HE

Remember Patty Hearst, anyone?

Sorry, not to defend them in any way shape or form, but terrorists are not all psychopaths.  This is a crucial distinction to make because most of those kids who blew themselves up recently were brainwashed, just like Patricia Hearst, just like the people in Waco, TX, and just like the 600 followers of Jim Jones.    They were all people who felt, maybe felt too much, even had compassion, and got that compassion used against them because they did not know how to ask questions and keep asking where the answers to those questions came from.  Just like when I was in a cult group.

First they love-bomb you, half a dozen bear hugs from people you do not know, and the leader and sub-leaders welcoming you with open arms into the family.  Kind of like the military, only generally fewer push-ups.  But just as much peer-bonding, belonging, and then starts the real pressure.  You help convert others to believing because you care about them, you want to save them from suffering, and in any case, a better life awaits them on the other side.  So almost no matter what you do TO the non-believer, you are actually doing FOR that person’s own good, whether they know/accept it or not.   This is USING a vulnerable believers Compassion against him/her, to obtain compliance and even active support when that person (who is neither a leader, sub-leader, nor even a psychopath) is made to feel guilty for not helpping the non-believers -help being defined as the leader defines it.  Pamphlets, tracts, harrasment, stalking, forced-conversions, exorcisms, even torture or killing are all justified by the leader as better-for-the-non-believers-and-you-as-a-True-Believer are A BAD Believer if you do not Help these unbelievers in The Way that the leader tells you to.  No Questions Asked.

And yes, I speak from experience.  Fortunately, I started having panic attacks when I could no longer swallow what my cult leader said, and left, but it still took my months to get out, and years to understand what had happened.  And that was with help!  These kids indoctrinated by DAESCH are being brainwashed in a similar way, and they also feel isolated, or they would not have been attracted to DAESCH/ISIS, which is essentially a very large, very well-organised and very sophisticated and yet still manipulative cult group.

So please, when The Canard enchaîné (p. 8 yesterday, 25.11.2015) says that Gerhard Roth in Brême is reporting a psyopath gene in an article on terrorism, please remember that the majority of terrorist foot soldiers are only dupes, manipulated to pull the trigger, and in need of help, not just tracking and certainly not torture.  It was the torture in Abu Garib and other American prisons that created this in the first place, remember (cannot find the show that re-aired on France television last week, but it showed all the top guys having met and ‘hardened’ in the big US prison in Iraq…).

Remember that Eisenhower ended segregation for similar reasons -to deprive Japan of potential progaganda against the US, which is what the terrorist leaders are now using to convert western kids into their pawns.

 

Bottom line, we need to walk our talk as a society and take care of the most vulnerable so that there is less to use against us.  We need to feed our hungry, clothe our naked, and comfort our sick.  Educating our folks for free would be even better, so they can ask the right questions, and create the cooperative jobs that will give us true democracy and equality.

Backk to trying to write 2200 words of climtic chapter, ughghhh…

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest

26 November 12015 HE

Glad I shared a Smile that day…

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more days zero, (I have another 10k words to write), I was reflecting on the use, or lack thereof, of my life.
moving morose meditation on beauty to bottom…

When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (DC).

So, I nodded at a lady in passing, never met her, just kept going because I was too tired to say Gunaydin (Good Morning/afternoon in Turkish), and my Turkish was only rudimentary any way.
Then I heard a call behind me. I turned to see that woman walking back toward me, and her eyes were glistening.
She put her hand on my chest, nothing scary, nothing sexual, just an ordinary safe contact, and said, in very simple Turkish that was clear and slow, that in five years in Izmir, no one had every greeted her. She thanked me, and I nodded in return, too moved to get out even one word of Turkish. We both turned and went our own ways. And now, over ten years later, I am glad that I smiled at a random person whom I had never met, and never saw again.
I hope that I can share that joy with …
Everyone.

On the uselessness of being beautiful:
I have always hated being called pretty, beautiful, fine, foxy, etc, and being thanked for existing by some guy who apparently thought I was the equivalent of a painting on the wall for him to admire. well, not so useful. But when YOU (any of you, dear readers!!) smile, you too are beautiful, no matter what you look like. You are beautiful, and USEFUL, when you smile at another human being just to acknowledge that he (or she) too, exists, and is worthy of recognition as a human being.
Smiles, (2000 more words to go, it is 3:30pm -aghh!!)
Shira
24 November, 12015 HE

19.2.12016 edit via old LJ post from 2008-11-28 00:19:00

“kalbin temizmis”

“Feeling very grateful recalling a friend telling me ‘my heart must be pure’ to have found her just when I needed her, to help another friend with a CV.

Feeling grateful for the lady in Izmir who expressed such appreciation for a simple greeting in the street, and the other lady in Izmir who told me that our half hour conversation on life (in Turkish) was worth more than any English lesson.
Grateful for those whom I have helped, and for those who help me, for my dostumlar, my truest and closest friends, who really are family for me.
May I always remember your love, and love you all in return."

(STILL grateful!!  :-)  Peace, ...)

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
19 February, 12016 HE

Why we should be doing Tai Chi (and training pigeons) in the Parks

First of all, it gives us something in common with our future conquerors, ok just kidding!!

First of all, it is a Free way to socialize in a non-superficial way.
Second, it is physically and mentally health-full (free) activity.
Third, it teaches part of the skills needed for physical self-defense.
and
Fourth, it teaches moving meditation, needed for emotional self-defense.

Did I mention that being together thing, next to other folks of all ages, especially those older folks, who know how to do it all best for having done it for years?
And did I mention the FREE thing, as in spend no money, just move slowly in the public park?

1. If the first point needs explaining, please let me know.

2. I think everyone knows the health benefits of Tai Chi.

3. Many people may not know that this Soft side complement of Chinese Kung Fu is required by many instructors, like my own Shi Fu, in addition to the so called hard side, the fast Kung Fu. The same blocks and attacks or counter-attacks are used, but as slowly as possible, forcing you to develop your balance and stong muscle coordination.
4. On emotional self-defense, of which I believe meditation is an important part, having the strength of sternum to straighten your back and say “I Refuse” to a big drunk guy can often come from your memory of many expensive Tai Chi lessons after those expensive Kung Fu lessons. Worked for me. Again, ask for details if interested, please.
Ok, time to make dinner, too bad the baby lima beans I remember as a kid no longer seem to be around. Oh well, just have to train those pigeons to go fetch some decent corn and beans. Oh, no more carrier pigeons either. What, did Tom poison them all?
Peace,
In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest

21 November, 12015 HE