My college graduation

Today is a proud day. I was finally able to have a graduation ceremony with my family watching, it wasn’t the one I expected but I am still blessed. I never thought this day would come, I struggled so much during my high school years, I dealt with learning disablities and trauma and just graduating from high school was a feat for me.

Even though I made the effort after high school, I didn’t believe a college degree was in the cards, it seemed daunting and I didn’t have the confidence to take college courses and soon dropped out. But slowly but surely, I did take classes, I passed them and gained my confidence.

I entered a program of study that I was passionate about and I flourished. And the last semester was a really struggle; being forced to take a course that I have learning disabilities in, I must have taken this math class at least 3 times and dropped out each time, I was so frustrated and I felt stupid. I thought I would never graduate and eventually had to petition the school to allow to subsitute the math class ( which is something they rarely did) Through a lot of meetings with the school and prayers, by the grace of God, I managed to get a subsitute class and I passed it, leading to me to finally get my degree.

So today, I can say what I never thought I could say, I am a college graduate, I am so proud of myself, I had a dream of a college degree and it seemed impossible but I never gave up, no matter the obstacles in front of me. I learned more fromt he courses I took, I learned about perservance and patience, I learned that there is hope in a hopeless situation. And I hope to use this part of my story to inspire others to never give and never stop reaching for their dreams.

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My writing is published

I wanted to tell all of my followers that I submitted one of my poems to a writing website, it has been approved and they are going to publish it. I am not getting paid but this will give my writing more exposure, I am so excited right now because I have never published writing outside of my blog and social media. And I was really afraid of my piece being rejected but clearly it’s worth publishing to them.

 

I am so grateful for all of the support I have gotten from my blog and my social media platforms, I never in a million expected this. I wrote and continue to write for therapeutic reasons and I really didn’t think I would get such a positive response from sharing my writing.

 

I felt so alone for so many years and I kept my feelings inside; not expressing them for fear of judgement. I had so much hurt and pain, that I was just a broken person. But once I started writing, it became a flood of emotions and I wrote and wrote and wrote, I just needed to get it all out. And afterwards I was able to finally heal. And my purpose was to help myself but I had no idea that it was helping others as well, which warmed my heart, that my writing could encourage someone else to open with their feelings, that was never my original intent but words have power, don’t they?.

 

For everyone who has supported my writing and shown me love and understanding, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your support means the world to me and you have given me the confidence to share my writing and grow as a writer. Thank you for coming along with me on my writing journey and I will continue to write, it’s an essential vitamin at this point.

Dealing with online bullies

You know, I really take pride in my writing and I do it for therapeutic reasons and also I hope my words can reach people in a meaningful way. I do mental health advocacy across all social media platforms including creating a mental health group that is growing and has become a means of support for a quite a few people, I am so proud of that.

I share most of what’s happening in my life and for the most part the support has been incredible, people are kind and their words have really made a difference and I hope that I have made a difference by being a supportive, caring person who wants to help those with mental illness.

All that being said, every so often ( I am sure it’s the same person) will go on my blog and post a barrage of insults, usually they are small and it rolls off my back but this time this person was brutal and I thought the best thing to do was to address it head on.  This person basically alluded to the fact that I whine and am looking for sympathy.  I am not trying hard enough to get a degree and that I don’t want to work and live off of my family, they said I had no life experience and I wasn’t a writer, based on my ignorance and use of vulgar language ( according to them).

Now, I don’t go around insulting people, in fact I think, I am nothing but nice. I don’t see anything in my blogs that are hurtful and I don’t think reaching out and talking about mental health is “whining”. So I have no idea who this person is and why they felt the need to say such hurtful things. But it  is clear, they are hurting and taking it out on me, which is a symptom of mental illness, because a happy healthy person wouldn’t feel the need to do that.

I have nothing left to say. I blocked them and hopefully by making this private they can’t see this post.  Right now, I am really upset and it’s the kind of thing that makes me want to share less or stop writing all together.

Online bullies on WordPress

You know, I really take pride in my writing and I do it for therapeutic reasons and also I hope my words can reach people in a meaningful way. I do mental health advocacy across all social media platforms including creating a mental health group that is growing and has become a means of support for a quite a few people, I am so proud of that.

I share most of what’s happening in my life and for the most part the support has been incredible, people are kind and their words have really made a difference and I hope that I have made a difference by being a supportive, caring person who wants to help those with mental illness.

All that being said, every so often ( I am sure it’s the same person) will go on my blog and post a barrage of insults, usually they are small and it rolls off my back but this time this person was brutal and I thought the best thing to do was to address it head on.  This person basically alluded to the fact that I whine and am looking for sympathy.  I am not trying hard enough to get a degree and that I don’t want to work and live off of my family, they said I had no life experience and I wasn’t a writer, based on my ignorance and use of vulgar language ( according to them).

Now, I don’t go around insulting people, in fact I think, I am nothing but nice. I don’t see anything in my blogs that are hurtful and I don’t think reaching out and talking about mental health is “whining”. So I have no idea who this person is and why they felt the need to say such hurtful things. But it  is clear, they are hurting and taking it out on me, which is a symptom of mental illness, because a happy healthy person wouldn’t feel the need to do that.

And people say it’s just a troll and to ignore it but it doesn’t hurt any less. So I didn’t want to do this but I have my blog private, only viewable to those who are already following me. That hurts because I know my family reads my blogs, they love it but they aren’t following me, only looking through the website. But to stop the harassment, I have no choice but to make my blog private. And it’s due to an obviously sick individual that needs serious help. I have nothing left to say. I blocked them and hopefully by making this private they can’t see this post.  Right now, I am really upset and it’s the kind of thing that makes me want to share less or stop writing all together.

 

Is there a way to report this person to WordPress if they are not a registered user ( Only posting through email?

Writing for myself

I made a post last night about giving up writing, I was was frustrated at the lack of feedback I have gotten across all platforms and the irony is that when I made this post, I got the feedback that I had one wanted. But in reading the comments on my blog and Facebook, I realized something, my writing at times has been self serving. It hasn’t been about a means of therapy for myself ( which is what it started out to be), it hasn’t been about helping people although I thought it ( other than myself), it’s been about getting validation, feedback, praise, and that’s not why we write.

I think we should write for ourselves, because we are confident in our words, thoughts and feelings and not worry so much about how our writing is perceived.  Oftentimes, my ego gets in the way, a part of me wants to get credit for being a “Great writer”, when the only critic that matters is myself.   Writing is about expressing oneself and speaking from the heart, that’s how I started. I started out sharing the rawest deepest feelings, I hadn’t shared with anyone and it was so cathartic, I felt this weight off my shoulders and when I realized my writing was affecting people in a positive way, I soared but sadly I took the praise too seriously and that’s where I am today.

I also play into the comparison game, I look at other bloggers and posters on social media and see they get more reactions or shares or comments or whatever and I compare myself negatively as if the amount of likes adds to the value of my writing.  I see other people getting published or writing for magazines and getting accolades and that makes me feel inferior, when I should be happy for fellow writers.. I mean, I have never even tried to publish to an online magazine, I am full of fear and self doubt.   I am  mess of a person with a bit or narcissism sprinkled in, it’s about me, I must have the attention and praise or else I am the worst person on the planet. Man, that sounds terrible but it’s the truth.

So right now I am working on writing, posting on social media without focusing on feedback. Whether I get 1 like and comment or a millions reactions, I am going to share my writing with confidence, with the hopes that it can resonate with just one person ( whether they give me feedback or not)

It is going to be a long road, I am person who struggles with self-worth and constantly needs validation. I don’t know where it come from but it’s always been with me. I used to actually ask people if they liked me ( which of course backfired) and old habits die hard.  If I could only learn to love myself enough where I didn’t external need validation ( because that is unpredictable).   I pray that whatever is going on with me will pass and I can be me again.  Thank you as always for the love and support and putting up with  my bullshit, it’s appreciated

My blog is dying, I’ll never be a writer

I’ll never be a writer, my blog is dying, it feels like half my followers have vanished. I share my writing on Facebook and Instagram and get nothing so I delete it half the time. I wouldn’t even try to submit because it would just get ignored, like on every other platform. And it kills me is when I see other people’s writing thriving, so well written and articulate, writing about subject matter that actually interests people. Its a fun hobby but I’ll never be a writer because no one is interested in what I have to say. Success is always out of reach and for someone else. Why shout when you only get your echo back?

 

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Writing my first story

I am really enjoying writing my first story and I have no idea what is going to happen to the characters until I write it; so even I’m somewhat surprised every time I write.  I have all these ideas of how I want to continue the story and some of it is based on my own life experiences and feelings; in a sense the main character is based on me.   When I first began the story; I was really going to make it about one main character and every other person would be a supporting player so to speak.  I have managed to introduce several characters and give them personalities and a back story and hopefully plots of their own in the future. I really life writing and I feel fueled creatively.

I am also influenced by TV shows I have seen over the years. The whole story was inspired by an old unsolved mysteries segment about a real life event where a man woke up in the desert and had no idea who he was. He didn’t know his past or his family or even his name. Eventually he did found his identity and soon realized that he had a warrant out for his arrest because he stolen some frozen food ( along with their truck) from a company he had worked for. And of course these whole amnesia thing could have been a cover because he didn’t want to go to jail; I found it to be fascinating.  I also was influenced by the show Twin Peaks.  The show started with a dead girl washed up on the beach and the investigation that ensued. As the show went it became less solely focused on who killed the girl but more focused on the town’s people and the various subplots happening in the town of Twin Peaks. That’s where I want my story to go; I want the focus to be less on the original main character and more about the people around him; his amnesia is only catalyst to all these other non-related events.  It probably sounds confusing and convoluted but I really enjoy writing this way. It’s less of a book and more of a serial drama or soap opera.  This is exciting and I can’t wait to write more. Wish me luck

 

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Two sides of me

The person I am on the inside doesn’t always match the person I am on the outside. I call that inner voice my writer’s side; I always come up with the right words and know what to say; I connect with others in meaningful way; I speak and people seem to listen; I feel understood for the first time in my life; it feels incredible beyond belief.  I am a different person when I type; I feel confident, sure of myself; I have the confidence to express my deep feelings without regret; I am not afraid to appear vulnerable and instead of mockery; I get empathy; it feels so good that I am able to have that same compassion and acceptance of others; a truly positive way of being.

The outward side of me is like night and day; I don’t have that same confidence; I never know what to say; I stumble over my words; when I speak, I feel misunderstood; the thoughts make sense in my head but I can never find a way to convey them out loud; so, I recoil and head to the corner of the room.  I am terrified of appearing vulnerable in real life; so, I keep my feelings to myself. And when I have expressed my feelings I either get blank stares or mockery it hurts. Sometimes I just want to avoid people all together.  People might tell me in person; I love your writing; I don’t how to react and I want to tell them “Don’t expect me to be the same person in real life” I’m shy and awkward and I hate myself in person; I wish I could be the same person outwardly as my writing side. I wish I could be that confident; I wish I could be the person you think I am through my writing but I can’t. It makes me feel lonely. Sorry if you’re disappointed.

How I have grown as a writer

I just finished backing up my blog; it took a long time and I finally got it done.   For the last year or so; I have been working on my old computer and I don’t have Word on it; so, everything was saved to my blog only and I was really concerned about losing everything. I finally managed to buy a new laptop for Christmas and was determined to get everything safe; in case (God forbid) something happened to my blog and I lost all of my writings; that would have been heartbreaking.  So right now, I am relieved to have everything saved; safe and sound.

As I was saving my writings, I noticed that I have written a whole lot since I started my blog in October 2017 (has it been that long?); 530 posts to be exact.  I sometimes would make 2 or 3 posts in a day; I had a lot to say; a lot of personal pain and memories I needed to get out; it was therapeutic.  My early writings are short but potent and raw, honest; full of anger, extreme sadness and a need to be understood.  It was the first time I had ever written these feelings and certainly the first time sharing them with an audience; I was risking being vulnerable and feared being judged about my posts; I wrote quite a few posts about the anxiety of sharing my writings online. I had been judged all my life and put down and wasn’t sure how people would react to my posts; I was surprised at the positive reactions I got; I didn’t expect it at first.  I was just happy people were reading my posts and could relate to them.

 

I look back at those writings and although I’m proud of all my posts; I can’t help feel somewhat embarrassed at my early writings. I hadn’t found my voice as a writer yet and while I was honest; I spoke about my feelings in metaphors. I wrote a poem about River Phoenix that was really about my brother that passed; I couldn’t bare to write how I felt about his death; I wasn’t ready yet. When talking about my anxieties about women; I wrote a poem about traffic lights and mixed signals; it’s a great poem but it wasn’t until I made posts about how exactly I was feeling (without the metaphors) could I really reach my audience in a major way.  So, while I wrote poetry; I also had raw honest posts about the death of my brother, childhood memories, my issues with mental health and disabilities. The more I wrote; the more confident I became; I stopped caring how my audience would react and just started writing from my heart. As I scrolled up; my blog posts got much better (in my opinion) I found better ways of articulating my feelings; my posts because longer and expressive and I could write about a different range of topics; with an air of confidence that I didn’t have in the beginning.

I learned a lot about myself in reading my posts throughout my writing journey; I see myself as a different person now; the writing helped me make sense of the past and cope with the present. It hurts to read some of those posts; some of the most painful things I have ever written and it was in public no less.  Sometimes I see a post and it makes me want to cry; other times I smile at my accomplishments and other times admittedly; I cringe.  I saw I’m proud but some posts I made were cliched and amateur but that’s how you get better, right?

I hope this past inspires new writers not to give up; to keep writing and to be honest; to grow as writers.   My tip is to write for yourself and hope it reaches someone; if you write (like I did in the beginning) and worry what others will think; your write will come across as authentic and the best writing is real; so be real; be yourself and keep posting; even if it’s multiple times a day.

So now I can sit back and relax; proud of this blog and grateful for all the amazing support of my followers; you guys have been amazing. I have had nothing but positivity on this blog (with some rare exceptions) and I appreciate all of you; your comments make the difference and give me the confidence and the privilege to call myself a writer. Thank for taking this journey with and will continue to blog for many years to come.

 

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Losing my social media accounts

Every day I find myself connecting online with more and more people; I struggle with over usage and it’s something I talk about often.  But it is amazing how my social media presence is growing like crazy and in a positive way.  This morning it took almost half an hour to personal respond to my blog, Instagram, Facebook and twitter; all full of notifications; it wasn’t always this way. And while it takes time; I love responding to messages and I try to get back to people promptly.  I can only thank God for giving the opportunity to reach out to so many people all at once; there was a time where I tried so hard to connect with people online and usually got ghosted pretty quickly; comments and messages never got responses; posts never got reactions and now people are responding; maybe because my posts are  more positive; I try not post things that make people sad but inspire them. Some days I need to post about depression but I use my blog for that and not Facebook. So yes the support means a lot to me.

So today I met this person on Twitter who pretty much went through the same tragedy as me and I was messaging her; she had just added on me on Instagram and my other social media. I was look forward to seeing her posts. All of a sudden Instagram was asking for a phone number to verify the account and so I put in my number and no text; I panicked.   Here’s the thing: most of my interactions with writers, mental health advocates are on Instagram. I use it to network, share my writing, meet like minded people and maybe just maybe meet other writers in person or they could suggest ways of connecting with writers in my area; it’s a great tool.  So I put in my phone number in again and still nothing.  I uninstalled the app because I thought it may have been a hack of some sort and I opened up again and got the same message and again no text. I was getting concerned at this point; I would lose everything. I got home and I tried to log in with my laptop; same thing. And to make matters worse; I couldn’t get past the security screen; so there was no way to even make a new account; I felt helpless.   I felt myself explode in anger; I felt that this means of support would be gone in a seconds because Instagram were assholes ( and they are).   I finally decided to give them someone else’s number and they finally got a text. I have no idea why Instagram locked me out; I add a lot of people but it’s the only way I know how to make my Instagram grow. My posts are positive and I don’t bully or harass people; in fact I do my best to encourage and uplift others.   Instagram is terrible and has the worst support system when there are issues with our accounts and they are a monopoly; it’s just such a mess; which shouldn’t be a surprise since it’s now run by Mark Zuckerburg. Anyways my account is back and I am now calming down; what an ordeal. It may not seem a big deal to you; but it’s the equivalent of someone erasing all of your emails, phone contacts and deleting all of your photos, videos, online conversations all in 5 seconds.  I shouldn’t have acted out in anger but I felt like I LOST everything!!  It’s the worst feeling.  Like this blog; I have no idea how I would respond if I woke up one morning and this blog was gone; all those writings and supportive comments; gone.  It makes me realize how fragile our online lives and it can be gone in seconds; it really scares me.    Anyways I just needed to vent.

Thanks for listening

Dave

 

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