WANA

Calling All Authors

Author Interview Questions and Submission Process.

In December 2012 I had the privilege to do Author Interviews with three newly published friends and blogging acquaintances of mine. I found that it was something I really enjoyed and was an opportunity for me to introduce new blogs, new books, and new writers to my readers here.  So, I have decided to make it a regular feature. How regular a feature will depend on how many authors decide to let me interview them.

If you, or anyone you know, is a published author (self or otherwise), with a personal tale of growth, healing, and recovery that you are willing to share, please click the link above or share the link. I would love to hear from you or them and work together to put together a quality interview to be featured here on Human In Recovery.

Blessings,

Kina

Mommy needs a time out . . . (part 2)

continued from Part 1

As a person of faith, I know that God is with me and that I am provided for.

However, not only were we created to be in relationship with God, but also to be in relationship with others in this life. I think that’s one of the reasons why most faith systems have instruction in their holy books about how to relate to other people and reminders to take care of those who are not in a position to take care of themselves without assistance . . . which truthfully describes every single, living, and breathing human being, whether we realize it or not.

For a lot of reasons, many of which have to do with my own history and habits, the few relationships I have are primarily one-way.

Jerry is out on the road, doing a job that not many people can handle, and struggling with the stress and uncertainties involved in that position and whether or not he’s going to be able to fully provide for our little family. Homesick, missing the light of his life (and me too, I’m sure ~ smile, it was a joke), and no idea how or how soon he’s going to get his few days to spend with us, he is not well positioned to offer practical, rubber meets the road support for me.

Marco and LaLa my adult children are adults living their own lives and trying to make their own way in the world. 25 & 19 year olds should be moving ahead and into whatever future they are building for themselves. Marco and I are still navigating the rocky terrain of the dysfunctional childhood and adolescence he was raised in.  There are very deep feelings there and he has to be ready to engage in two-way relationship with me and he just isn’t there yet. Our conversations vibrate with both of us treading and tiptoeing around a lot of pressure bombs that could be triggered by either of us.  Things are improving, however slowly.  LaLa is repeating my past mistakes in her unique ways and all I can do is stand back and let her, while making sure she knows I’m here for her.  We probably have the least tense relationship, but it’s still a parenting relationship for me to a large degree.

There are people who care enough to ask what’s going on, occasionally.  They offer some encouragement and support,mostly verbal.  However, with one exception, the closest “true” friends I have live everywhere but here.  The two nearest friends I have are really not positioned to give me practical assistance, although they have the sincere desire to do so. I haven’t been able to build friendships outside of the times I show up for service at the tiny, budding, church we became involved with a couple of years ago.  The pastor has called to check on me a couple of times and everyone is genuinely interested, sincerely asking about our lives, when I do manage to show up.  Yet, aside random status updates on facebook, I have no connections to anyone there during the week.  I take that back.  One person brought soup a few months ago when Jerry first left for his job and both Luna and I were home sick with bad colds.

No insurance and limited funds mean I’m seeking my own services as a counselor and a therapist.  Life has been my educator: a variety of experiences receiving therapeutic services, multiple books and classes, and numerous healing and recovery efforts have all been part of my growth and development process. Thankfully, all of these things have given me many tools for dealing with my feelings and navigating the challenges.

None of this is intended to seek sympathy or imply my life is crap, because it isn’t.  I live in a beautiful city with many resources, services, and opportunities.  We have housing, clothing, and food. I may have physical and mental health issues, but I still have comprehension, intellect, and know how to help myself. The relationships and people I have in my life are amazing and committed to sticking around, even if they are difficult and challenging, at this time.  There are so many others in the area I live in, not to mention the world who don’t even have this much, I’m blessed, I truly am.  As I stated at one point last week, being my level of poor in the US, just means I’m less privileged.

This is just me reminding myself, that feeling drained, tired, and in pain is valid and not the manifestations of the symptoms of my illnesses. I will get through this, I’ve gotten through worse, with less and as in all things, this too shall pass.

Mommy needs a time out…(part 1)

An hour for each year + five extra hours might do the trick.

48 hours just to myself.

No having to monitor my thoughts, words, and actions for appropriateness or for the sake of others’ needs, wants, issues, concerns, demands, or expectations. No putting on a “front” to belie the pain I feel ~ literally and metaphorically.

No non-stop demands and obligations of being responsible for someone else’s needs and care.

No interruptions of thought, creative flow, reflection and the process of honoring my need to just be.

I love my family.

I am learning to love my life and myself.

I just need a time out.

It’s like building muscles and getting physically healthy.  It’s a process by which new patterns and new habits have to be exercised in order to create conditioning.  The breakdown and destruction of existing, unhealthy cell structures is a pre-requisite for new, healthier cells to form.  Light weight with a series of repetitions performed in sequence for a set number of times to break down the surface cells. Then rest a day and allow the body to eliminate the broken toxic debris and for new cells to form.  There is soreness, tenderness, and occasional pain as the body goes through this process.  Rest a day, sometimes two, then do it again, being careful not to overdo any one muscle group and allowing enough time for good recovery.

The same thing needs to happen for mental and emotional processes.

However, life, culture, society, and family don’t stop or allow for that.  There’s no time, we’ve got to move on now…

Recently, I watched an episode of Eureka when one of the characters experienced great loss of the one person and relationship he’d never hoped or expected to have, but was blessed with died, in a situation where he was completely unaware.  When faced with the knowledge of this loss, bewilderment and grief set it.  As happens in Eureka, some freak of science experiment happened and required all hands on deck and he decided to fast-track himself through the grieving process.  The resulting fall-out made for funny and entertaining television, but it makes for crappy and dysfunctional living.

I’m in the midst of huge transitions in my life’s circumstances, which are uncertain and seemingly endangered on a weekly if not daily basis.  At the same time, I’m actively seeking to change multiple layers of myself into a healthier version of me.  I’m working hard to carve new neurological pathways, redirect and change 40+ years of psycho-social-emotional conditioning and response.  I’m actively seeking to apply new behaviors in my parenting and intimate relationships.  Meanwhile, life goes on, bills must get paid, garbage needs to be taken out, and Luna needs to get loved, educated, engaged, disciplined, bathed, fed, and rested.

And I am alone.

Well, not completely…to be continued in tomorrow’s post

What has blogging given you?

I started Bloggers Unite! because, at this time, the only thing I’m writing or aspiring to write is my blog.  At some undefined point in the future that may change, but, for me, writing in my blog is my outlet and it’s starting to let me tap into my creativity again.

When I joined WANA every other tribe and most of the chat conversations centered around stories, novels, and publishing.

The majority of blogging references have been about how to support those efforts, which is fine, but I was feeling a bit alone and “left out.”  To be perfectly clear: No one was actually leaving me out of anything. Everyone I’ve met at WANATribe has been wonderfully engaging, accepting, respectful, and encouraging.

However, I blog to blog and for me blogging includes reading, savoring, and being inspired, informed, and engaged by the blogs of others. Visiting the blogs of others, seeing their content, how they put it together and witnessing the interactions between them and their followers is as satisfying as posting my own writing.

Blogging has given me:

  • An outlet for self-expression
  • My “voice”
  • A silent playground to explore the recesses of my inner being and the unlimited expanse of the silent and not-so-silent playgrounds of others
  • A reconnection to The Me I Used To Be
  • Courage to seek out and engage in community
  • Inspiration to explore my own, long dormant, creativity
  • Examples of how diverse, creative, informative, challenging, beautifuf, poetic, artistic, familiar, and connected those of us who are reader-bloggers can be.

_____________________________________________________________________

What has blogging given you?

Throwing myself a party

Yes, it’s that kind of party ~ a pity party. It’s MY party and I’ll cry if I want to…and I want to.  Actually, I need to. And, you know what?  It’s ok that I need to and I want to, so, I’m going to.

I’m not planning on wallowing in it.

I’m not going to live in it.

I’m not going to bore anyone with it, bitch, moan, whine or complain about it.  I’m just going to cry about it.  Honor the fact that I’m hurting, literally and metaphorically.  Acknowledge that the pain is REAL, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I held it back as long as I could to keep those who know me and those who don’t from feeling uncomfortable and to not have to see the contempt, bewilderment, and pity in their eyes and on their faces.  I stuffed it and repressed it so I could breathe and be calm, cool and collected and act like a grown up and say all the reasonable things and show acceptance, tolerance, and do my part in keeping things from escalating, exploding, and blowing up with people I love and care about because I’m working as hard as I can and doing as much as I know how to take ownership of my piece of the problem.

Now, I’m drained, tired, spent, and…alone…except for Luna.  Guess I’ll have to wait until she’s asleep, however long that’s going to take tonight.  Whatever, this is the only place or space I have to let it out, so out I’m letting it be.

Yes, there are good things to think about that have happened, and I’ve acknowledged them.  They may temper the pain and take the edge off, but the pressure has been building up and if I don’t let it out, it’s going to come out sooner rather than later, in an inappropriate way, at an inconvenient time, during an unacceptable moment, and in a hurtful way toward others who may or may not deserve it…so, yeah, I’m throwing myself a pity party tonight, and seek the blessing in it.

Then, tomorrow, I’ll wake up, and deal with life on life’s terms again.

Good night and be well everyone.

Progress, Planning and Perfection

July 2, 2012 09:45 pm

It’s been almost 16 hours since I woke up this morning and I must say, despite the depth and intensity of the physical pain I’m experiencing, and the whiny, fussiness of the pre-schooler in my bed, I must say this day has gone swimmingly!  I was both more productive than planned and less so…how in the world does that happen?

Progress

Let’s begin with the progress report: The kitchen and laundry were my two successful skirmishes against the clutter and dirt today. I established a beachhead in the battle of the living room, but still have an uphill battle if I’m to rout out the clutter. All that said, it’s amazing how much de-cluttering of the entire apartment happened merely by getting the laundry and dishes done! All of this happened in approximately 4 – 4 1/2 hours.

  • The Kitchen ~ All dishes washed, dried, and put away; the kitchen counters, stove top, and microwave surfaces sanitized; and per FlyLady’s day 1 Beginning Baby step, the sink is shiny!
  • The Laundry ~  Two large loads gathered, sorted, treated, washed, dried, folded/hung up and put away!

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So, how did I get so much and yet so little accomplished?

Planning

Yesterday I created a plan for tackling the cleaning in the kitchen and living room, as well as taking care of the laundry.  It was a good plan.  I’m glad I had the plan.  It gave me structure, a starting point, and a goal.  All of these were good things.  Because of these things progress was made.  However, the plan wasn’t perfect and I couldn’t perfectly stick with that plan due to a variety of factors.

  1. Physical Stamina ~ the fatigue and pain of fibromyalgia may not kill me, but it certainly slows me down and requires me to adjust almost any and every plan I make.  So, I had to take more “rest periods” than planned.
  2. Relationships ~ as far as I’m concerned people take priority over cleaning, especially if it’s people in my close family circle, like Jerry.  Since he had an incredibly frustrating and upsetting weekend AND we don’t get to see each other except 4 days every 4 weeks or so, when he reaches out to me, I need to respond.  Since I’d already put off responding to him last night and early this morning, I had to ensure that I made myself available when he wasn’t driving during the rest of today.
  3. Distractions & feeding myself (figuratively) ~ (read: The Internet) I did wind up spending considerably more time online today than I had planned.  However, I also spent considerably less time online than I have been without having a plan (that is partially why the clutter built back up after my last cleaning frenzy a couple of weeks ago).  The thing is, the community and network of friends I’m engaging in are what’s motivating me to make these changes and put in the work.  So, during some of the necessary extra rest periods I blog surfed.  I also decided to work on creating a place inside of the WANATribe for Bloggers.  So, there is a social network blog tribe called Bloggers Unite! I created it about 8 hours ago and already have 14 members.  I’m so excited! So, while I did spend quite a bit of extra time online, it was time spent pursuing my passion for meeting new people and  building community around what I’m learning I absolutely love to do: BLOG! That’s got to be worth something, right?
  4. Wrong tools ~ I have a kitchen timer that has a very loud, buzzing, distinctive ring that can be heard through the music I listen to when cleaning and just doing whatever it is that I’m doing.  I didn’t know where that was and I decided to use the timers on my phone and on the microwave, neither of which could be heard when the music was on and I was focused on the kitchen and laundry.
Perfection

In the past, not sticking to the plan had the huge potential of sending me into an internal negative feedback loop.  However, one of the blog posts I read yesterday is from a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I’ve been following for a while now, David J. Miller.  Creating failure from success – 9 Ways to Self-Sabotage, reminded me that doing that to myself is a form of self-sabotage and so is seeking the unattainable “perfect.”

FlyLady knows this too:

The voices that you hear in your head keep telling you that you are behind and you have to get it all done now. We are going to quiet those negative voices that are beating you up constantly and replace them with a loving, gentle voice that tells you that you are not behind and you can do this one BabyStep at a time!

The first baby step was to shine my sink and the second baby step was to get dressed to the shoes. Step 3 is to explore the FlyLady’s Big Tent site.  This is kind of like a command and control center that can be used to see what’s on the Flying agenda of the day and week, as well and a place to get organized with calendars and planning.  This is not something I’m ready to fully utilize yet, but I did check out the Tuesday agenda for FlyLady and I think I’ll adapt it to establish my plan for day 3 of my challenge.

See? I’m already learning to let go of my need to perfectly follow what seems to be the perfect plan. It’s the progress that counts . . . and I’m rockin’ & rollin’ right along!

I WANnA ROCK!

Challenging myself

It’s been a month since I left my job to prepare for when I become a full-time mommy in mid-August, when Luna’s Early Head Start Program ends.  It’s been a crazy, busy, and kind of overwhelming time.  (If you are REALLY curious you can read about all of that here and here.) It has been a time when I let myself ride the waves and just kind of be and explore.  However, now it’s time to get real.  I have approximately six weeks before my little girl is home with me full-time and I’m not yet prepared to give her what she needs from me. It’s rather daunting, really.  I have to challenge myself.

As a group of us were chatting at WANATribe, one of my new friends, Athena Brady, asked if we had signed up for the blog challenge.  None of us had heard of it.  The Ultimate Blog Challenge starts today, July 1, and goes the entire month of July.  I checked it out and decided that I am going to challenge myself to do a post each day for the month of July.  31 posts in 31 days.  What did I get myself into?

A lot of the information and resources offered are geared toward gaining readership and traffic, increasing “business” or “brand recognition.”  None of that resonated for me, personally.  There’s nothing wrong with it and I can see the value for those who have a business or brand to build, but I’m not on that same path, at this moment in time.  However, since I’d already committed myself to this process, I had to figure out why I’m doing it and what I want out of it. There is also the fact that I don’t want to blog merely for the sake of blogging.  Small talk and filler chatter in the form of a blog post is a straight up waste of my time and energy and, as far as I’m concerned, that of any unsuspecting reader who comes across it.

As usual, I jumped into it without really examining my motivation and desire to do it. I get excited by the shiny and new and that’s what this is to me.  The excitement of being in community with other bloggers, meeting new people, making new friends, reading new content, and, let’s face it, the feel good buzz of having others read what I’ve written, is all bright and alluring.  It’s been so alluring, in fact, that I have not paid much attention to the other things I need to be giving time, focus, and energy to in my life…specifically setting up a structure and routine that will help me to nurture and grow Luna in healthy and constructive ways, while coping with the ongoing symptoms of depression and fibromyalgia.  I realized that all the buzz and excitement has been a distraction from my fear that I’m not going to be able to do it well.

After reading today’s entry from Shameca Tankerson at The Stiletto Wealth Society and her “90 Day Mission for health and well being,” I was inspired by the fact she’s Doing It Scared!  Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s action despite the fear. So, I’m taking the challenge and doing it scared. Over the next 30 days I am going to use this space to chronicle my journey to transition from unstructured and disorganized distraction and move into establishing a healthy structure and routine for taking care of myself, Luna, and our home.

Finding myself at #MyWANA

Recently I posted about reconnecting to a part of myself that I thought I had lost.  One of the things that I had lost was my sense and ability, my sensability as it were, to really be involved in community with wonderfully witty, snarky, bright, and intelligent folk such as Le Clown from A Clown On Fire and Dotty Headbanger from Notes from a She-Hermit.  What happened next has been quite the roller coaster ride and through that one post, I have come to find many other wonderful and interesting bloggers from all over the world with varied interests and challenges.  The following contains just a few examples:

The Howler And Me

Running Naked With Scissors

Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars

My Electronic Jukebox

Brother Jon

and so many, many others.  Look them up here, where Dear Dotty has created a space for us all to find and be found.

However, so much more has happened as a result of the overflowing cornucopia of likes and follows I received.  I found Kristen Lamb’s blog and found out about a new social networking site for creatives called WANATribe.  WANA stands for We Are Not Alone and is where I have already made some wonderful new friends and engaged in actual conversation via the main chat room and gotten a chance to read excerpts and synopses of pre-published works in progress by up and coming authors.  I’ve met a Nerdfighter and learned about the movement against world suck and witnessed beautiful and creative photography.

Here’s a sample list of my newest friends’ blogs:

Chad Carver

Davonne Burns

Athena Brady

I’ve found so many interesting blogs to read and follow I don’t think I’ll ever catch up.  More importantly, I’m rediscovering excitement and playfulness and the creativity that lives inside of me, that I thought life had killed a long time ago.  Turns out it was a banked and smoldering coal waiting to be uncovered and given oxygen and fuel to grow again.

Come catch the spark, you know you WANA!

http://www.wanatribe.com