Category Archives: Writing

MENTAL HEALTH: Getting Well is Possible.

Hello Friends,

Over the last few days I have been deciding how I plan to deal with my brother’s suicide and how I would like to be involved in a large community near where I live.  I met with a woman on Tuesday at the open house for a new mental health facility that opened in Redding, Ca.  Here is a link to the article:   http://anewscafe.com/2017/05/25/county-officials-mental-health-professionals-and-public-attend-open-house-of-new-mental-health-facility-in-redding/

It was exciting for me to hear about all of the many services this group of people is going to offer to Shasta County.  I knew then that God was showing me how my life is going to change real soon.  I signed up to be a volunteer.  I will start out doing simple things at first such as answering phones or e-mails or helping with mailings.  I also plan to begin attending meetings facilitated by the woman I met with.  She facilitates meetings for friends and family members of people who completed suicide.  It has been many years since I went to any kind of open recovery meetings such as this, but I am looking forward to it.  I remember back in 1988 when I went to my first recovery meetings after I stopped drinking and using drugs.  I felt very nervous and afraid.  However, I am not that person anymore; I know what I need to deal with, I have good boundaries, and there is no pressure to share.  I think just meeting new people and hearing other people’s stories will help me begin to deal with the unfortunate choice my brother made.  I will have no problem sharing or talking, though, so I am sure I will.  The next meeting isn’t until June 5th so I have some time to process all of it some more before then.

I have my first counseling meeting set up for June 2nd with a therapist I met a couple of months ago.  I am also looking forward to talking with her.  It has been a very long time since I went to a woman counselor which will be different.  When I first went to counseling in 1988, I went to a woman.  However, after several months, I felt really uncomfortable with her for some reason.  So I stopped.  I kept going to the ACA meetings, and then found a male counselor at the church I was attending at the time.  I went to him for several years, and he was encouraging, safe, and the first man I ever felt connected with emotionally whom I knew I could trust.  I grew a lot in those years, and he helped me through the transition of entering a second marriage which has been healthy and loving.  My husband and I have been together since December of 1994.  It has been quite a journey!  And now we are looking toward the future when our nest is empty and he retires someday.

So as far as working with Hill Country Care Center, I am planning to take some time to get to know people, get a good feel of all of their services to the community, then possibly go through their Shasta Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Academy which is a “FREE 65-hour certificate training program…designed to help people prepare for entry-level positions within the public mental health field and/or prepare them to become Peer Mentors.”  (That is a quote from their brochure.)

It has been many years since I have taken any kind of classes, but I had already been thinking about something along these lines for the last year or so. I just had no idea I would find out about this wonderful care facility this way.  So hopefully, as I said in my last post about my brother, something good will come from his death.    It is possible that I may eventually get to use my writing and art to contribute to the creating of flyers, etc.  So that is exciting for me, too.

Thank you to all of you who read my last post about the suicide of my brother.  I appreciate all of your support, prayers, and comments more than you know.  I am planning on keeping you updated on what I will be doing and learning as a volunteer in the mental health community.

I am still doing art and still plan to keep working on the picture books I’d like to write and illustrate, but for now it is just for fun.  I am feeling like this other work is going to become more important to me for the time being, but the facility does also have a program where they train people to go into elementary schools and talk about suicide.  Who knows?  Maybe somehow, all of this will meld together into something beautiful.  I sure hope so.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

 

 

SUICIDE: Don’t Make That Choice!

Hello Friends,

I have been feeling a little reluctant to write about this, but honestly, I don’t see how I can NOT write about it.  This will be long; bear with me, please.

On the morning of May 5th, I learned that one of my brothers committed suicide on May 4th.  In a way, I wasn’t surprised when I thought back on the last time I had spoken with him.  He called me out of the blue about a month before this and asked me if I knew where his daughter was.  I thought this was a strange question since I have not seen her since she was three years old!  She and her mom left California in the early ’80’s when her mom and my brother divorced.  Anyway, I asked him why he needed to find her.  I asked him if he was sick.  He said he wasn’t sick, but he couldn’t hardly walk anymore. He said he wanted her to be able to have all of his part of the financial investments that our parents left us “just in case something happens to me.”  In the back of my mind I had a flash of what he may have been planning.  However, I did not ask him if he was feeling suicidal.  I wish I had.   I was actually surprised that he even called me.

My brother and I had a very rocky relationship for most of our lives.  I never really understood why.  I am the youngest.  He was the middle sibling.  We were four and a half years apart.  He would have been 61 this July.  He always seemed closer to our other brother.  However, throughout our lives we all really went our separate ways.  The closest I ever felt to either of them was when we went through the death of our mother in 2006.  Our father died three years later.  So our eldest brother had to handle all of the inheritance stuff.  It was a very stressful time for all of us.  Since then, we have all lived separately; my oldest brother left the area and my other brother and I never knew where he was until about three years ago.

That was when my middle brother decided to call me and apologize for everything he had ever done to hurt me.  He was crying and truly sorry.  This was something I had been praying for since 1987 when God had turned my life around.  I had tried many times to make amends with him, but he was just not ready.  Needless to say, I was thankful for that call.  I told him I had forgiven him many years ago and had been praying we might be able to have that conversation someday.  I told him I had always wanted to know him and I loved him.  I asked him if we could just start to have a relationship then, but he said he didn’t want to.  He was addicted to drugs and couldn’t get clean.  He was living in a trailer park where he had been for the last 20 years.  He didn’t know how to change, and he didn’t ask anyone for help that I know of.  I felt helpless, but I let him be.  I called him a few times just to see how he was doing, but he just didn’t know how to connect with me.

I believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life; most likely anxiety and depression, just as I have since I was at least 15.  Looking back on my childhood, I now believe my dad suffered from depression and this was why he drank.  I also think my mom had anxiety issues not just because of his drinking, but because of her own chemical make-up.  She was always worrying about everything and everyone.

I went through my drug and alcohol abuse days from about 1980 to 1987.  That was the year I quit everything and got help through counseling and an ACA (adult children of alcoholics) meeting every week for a couple of years. However, both of my brothers kept using drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives.  My brother who died was hurt on a job many years ago and was getting pain medicine through the veterans hospital.  He was in the Navy for four years when he was right out of high school.   Apparently, though, his back became so bad, he could hardly walk anymore.  I believe that he just chose to die to escape the pain that was consuming him.

I have been that low many, many times myself emotionally.  However, I am thankful to have a loving husband and two children who love me and would never ever want me to make that choice just to escape any pain I may go through in my life.  It doesn’t solve anything, and it leaves those whom the person left behind in shock, angry, and sad.

When I learned of my brother’s suicide, I was definitely shocked.  Then I was angry for a few days.  Then I had to begin dealing with the aftermath of what would happen to him and his stuff.  At the time I didn’t have a clue as to where his daughter was.  Then his best friend found my brother’s ex-wife’s phone number.  She was contacted and then my niece was.  Yesterday I spent most of the day on the phone with my 37-year-old niece whom I do not even know.  It was strange, but good.

Hopefully, just getting in touch with her will be the blessing that comes out of his sad choice.  My brother and his daughter were estranged from each other for most of their lives as well.  I always felt sad about that, but hopefully she and I can build a relationship with one another now even though we live very far apart.

To this day I have no clue as to where my other brother lives.  We became estranged after our parents were both gone eight years ago.  He left the area and has never wanted to come back.  However, our brother who died did have a best friend who knew where our oldest brother was.  So the same month that my brother called and apologized to me, he also went and found our other brother to make amends with him as well.  However, I have no way to find our eldest brother to try and do the same.  He is living off the grid which is what he always wanted.

I know this has been a very long post; if you stayed with me, thank you.  I wrote this to encourage anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows anyone who is, to tell you to please reach out for help.  There is lots of help to be found!  First, try to talk to someone you know.  If that doesn’t help, call a local suicide hotline.  Or call 1-800-273-8255.  This is the number for Suicide Prevention Services of America.  Their website is http://www.spsamerica.org if you want more information.  I have never used their services, but I am sure there would be someone there to talk to.

Well, friends, I am definitely going to be reaching out for some help myself in dealing with this.  I have talked with someone locally whom I am planning to meet this afternoon.  Perhaps this is going to be the start of something good.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

The imaginary friend

Some lovely thoughts from my lovely friend, Julia, whom I met through blogging a long time ago. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Defeat Despair

Imagination to reality: meeting (again) in person, the smiles say it all.
Laurie, Matt, me, Kelly and Alys at Rustico’s in Old Town Alexandria, April 2017

“Writing is a job, a talent, but it’s also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” ― Ann Patchett

I think most everyone who writes can identify with this quote. But for those of us who blog, the line takes on a magnificent blur as the imaginary friend we reach through our writing may, from time to time, step through the mist and become real to us. And for many of us, this might happen again and again, with several different people who read our words, and whose words we read, leaving us with an entire family of friends we might never meet face to face.

Just last week I was exchanging…

View original post 337 more words

Writing…Sometimes It’s…toUGH!!!

Courtesy of Google

Hello friends.

I found this quote and picture on Google today, and it encouraged me.  I have not been posting much lately, but because of some personal struggles, I have been doing the best I can.  Struggling has pushed me back into tackling some writing projects again.  I am not sure if the writing is therapeutic or not at this point, though.  It feels a bit stressful at the moment…thus, the UGH!!! in my title.

One story I began a very long time ago is “Gracie, the Green Sea Turtle.” After re-reading it, I decided to remove it from my blog for now, because I realized how many mistakes were in it so I am doing a re-write and will hopefully actually finish it.  I may post it again someday, but I think posting it before was premature and showed that at the time I did not proofread it enough!  And I am usually a stickler about proofreading.  I must have been off my meds that day…

Lately I have been working on other turtle stories and a poem this week, too.  I just jotted a short poem down this morning which still needs work.  I haven’t really written poetry in years.  I already posted “The Most Ticklish Turtle in Town” this week.  It’s a good thing, too, because somehow it has disappeared off of my laptop. I have a printed copy, but I sure didn’t want to have to type it all over again!

My daughter and I did get some good news yesterday, though.  She does NOT have classes next week due to other students doing testing.  She is a senior, so she doesn’t have any testing this year.  I don’t think she is planning on doing college classes in the fall at this point.  She is planning to join the California Conservation Corps. soon, though, which is something she has been looking forward to for the last couple of years.

This has really been a trying week; to add stress upon stress, we have been having upgrades to our hatchery done in the past few weeks, so there have been lots of planned power outages so the people can work on our power poles.  It has been very frustrating to say the least.  In addition to this, we had to have our personal (not the whole hatchery’s) internet system upgraded, because our old one was having too many problems.  All I can say at this point is TGIF!!

Hopefully, the weekend will be brighter.  My husband and are planning to go to something called “Spoken Word Night” this evening.  We have never been to one, but I guess it is “an evening for serious poets, writers, playwrights, storytellers, comedians, actors of all genres.”

I may be the least “serious” of them all at this point, but perhaps we will meet some interesting people.  They meet once a month.  So we will see how it goes.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!

Jane Yolen, Picture Book Author

Hello Friends,

I have not posted in a while because I honestly have not had the energy!  My daughter left to go visit a friend in Missouri for Spring Break!  I hope she has a wonderful time.

In the meantime, I am doing a lot of reading.  I began reading “Animal Farm” which is pretty great. Both of my kids read it for school, and my husband read it years ago.  I think it is amazing and insightful already, and I am only 28 pages in!

I also began painting my drawings for my picture book, Larry the Lonely Leatherback Sea Turtle.  I am going to try to take pictures of them and put the text with them, then upload it on WordPress and try to make a “book” that can be looked through like it would appear if it was printed on paper.

In the meantime, here are some encouraging words from Jane Yolen.  I have yet to check out any of her books from the library, though, because I just learned about her the other day.  Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

http://www.juliehedlund.com/jane-yolens-20-rules-of-writing

New friends

Another writer’s food for thought! 🙂

Trudi Murray Art and Illustration

a skipping chip

It’s always been my intention to write and illustrate children’s books. I’ve been banging on about it for what feels like the whole of my life. It doesn’t matter how long, really – I do think everything happens in its own good time, when all the factors are right. I don’t know exactly what’s been holding me back though – perhaps a fear of not being good enough, or a worry that I’ve got nothing new to say, or that I can’t draw the pictures very well. Or maybe not as well as so and so, that famous person, or such and such that acclaimed artist.

Of course I can’t! And nor should I want to. They are them, and I am me. I must do it in my own way, as only I can, respecting my own self, and waiting to see what happens. And I have stories coming out of my ears. And so I’ve made a solid…

View original post 136 more words

Women in the Wilderness

Hello Friends! Today I want to share a post from my husband’s new blog, CCC: Hard Corps. He has been finding all kinds of people who write about their experiences in the California Conservation Corps. either from the past or currently.
Our son just joined them a month or so ago and is loving the great work they are doing. Our daughter will be joining sometime soon after she graduates from high school this year. My husband was in the CCC back in the late 1980’s. We met in 1990 after he had just gotten out.
Agnes’s story is very inspiring! Enjoy!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

CCC: Hard Corps

This is Agnes. Agnes is one of the organizers for Women in the Wilderness.  She hails from the San Fernando and Simi Valleys, however, the mountains of CA have been her favorite home.  She spends her winters in Mammoth Lakes, CA and summers have been spent mostly in Kings Canyon National Park, but also the Inyo NF, the Stanislaus NF, and all over CA travelling between CCC Backcountry Crews.  With an environmental studies degree and seeking something more than planning, she stumbled upon the Backcountry Program. The 22 weeks spent that first summer in the Sierra launched her outdoor career working with young people building trails and community.  Agnes has hiked over 10,000 miles all over the backcountry, she spent 5 seasons with the National Park Service and 8 seasons with the Backcountry Program as a Supervisor and Program Manager.  Following her passion, she is a founding member of the 

View original post 1,004 more words

KEEP CREATING!!

Hello Friends,

Lately I have been feeling like I don’t know the first thing about certain types of writing.  For instance, writing short stories, writing a novel, and especially children’s books.  I want to do all three of those, yet writing is definitely hard work, and lately I have had very little energy for it. Plus, I think I like drawing much more!  😉

Writing seems to be one of those things that needs to be “in your blood.”  Many people get educated, and work, work, work at it!  I would venture to say these are probably the most successful writers, but not always.  I’m sure there are tons of writers in the world that no one will ever know about in the “public” eye.  However, some of us just have an itch that has to be scratched! So we plop words on the page and let them fly into cyberspace!  (After editing of course.)

Also, there are so many different types of writing, such as the few I already named.  Add to that blogging, newsletters, technical, and _______ for Dummies (you fill in the blank) books, and we find there are endless venues for writing!

I used to write poetry.  I began in my late teens in the 70’s, but they were all sad or somewhat sadly hopeful that someday my life would change.  Why?  Depression!  I didn’t know about serotonin levels back then, and my dad was an alcoholic.  So it was a bad combo.  The rules in our home were simple:  1) Don’t talk about our family to anyone.  2)What goes on here is no one else’s business.  “Don’t air out our dirty laundry to strangers!” my mom said.  The alternative? We suffered in silence.

But I couldn’t…my poetry and other writing became my escape route just to survive childhood.When I entered recovery from various things in my late twenties, I began keeping a journal and did so for many years.  I occasionally jot things down in one now, but I don’t use it to process feelings anymore.

I am thankful, though, that now we have many blogs with tons of areas of interest regarding recovery from just about anything.  We have the freedom to write whatever we want and send it “out there.”  I just pray it is to encourage others, not just to vent, but to each his own.

I named my blog Patsy’s Creative Corner, because I want this to be my “thinking spot” and invite others to share in whatever I am thinking, feeling or doing from my little corner of the world.(Sorry I get so long-winded sometimes.)  In fact one of my first posts was about this topic over three years ago!  https://patsyscreativecorner.com/2013/08/20/creativity-and-depression/  Be warned; it’s a little long, too.

Unfortunately, periodic bouts of heavy depression rob me of my need and desire to be creative.  Lately, I haven’t had the energy to do a lot of art; I’ve worked on some writing but feel discouraged about how it is turning out. Then I think.  WHY?  Why do I want to do any of this in the first place?  Well, I have to say it is… “in my blood.”  Initially it always begins with my need to create.  Then it turns into my need to share it with others.  Also, I think fulfilling the need to express oneself is healthy.  It’s good for the brain!

I want to know how my work affects you.  I don’t want to just hear that it is nice or cool or whatever.  Think about what I write, then tell me what you think (if you make it to the end…and even if you have constructive criticism.  I really do appreciate it.

Creative writing and making art are things I believe I am “meant to do.”  What I love most about creativity is that everyone has it, and it can be expressed in a multitude of ways!  Everyone is talented at something. Sometimes we just need to be encouraged and learn to encourage others.

Depression is a cross I have to bear in this life because of my silly brain.  But it led me to writing and art, so in a way I am thankful for it.  Eating the right foods consistently helps.  Exercise helps.  I am human, though, so all of these things are never in perfect balance, but I’ll…

just keep writing……just keep drawing……just keep painting…….

and just keep keeping on.  “Never give up! Never surrender!”

And finally…more drawing….using my noodle to doodle different fish poses for a story I wrote last summer.

Now off to do laundry!

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!   🙂

Illustrator Saturday – Katherine Tillotson

Meet Katherine Tillotson, a children’s book illustrator. Her work is beautiful. This interview has inspired me greatly! 🙂 Enjoy!

Writing and Illustrating

droppedimagekatherineKatherine  was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and grew up near lakes and surrounded by trees. Now she lives in San Francisco, with my husband, in a house on a hill.

Her studio is in a cozy corner of her house, in a space filled with brushes and bottles, scraps of paper and paints. Her dogs, Sookie and Chi, keep her company while she works. They nap and watch out the window for visitors, use their cold black noses in the late afternoon to remind Katherine when it’s time for a walk.

Katherine says she remembers the first time she painted a picture and the paint went where she wanted it to go. That was in third grade, working with watercolors and was very excited by the experience. Now, she uses all kinds of paint, charcoal, pens and paper. She likes playing with the materials and they all provide seemingly endless possibilities for expression.

Katherine says, “The picture books that fill…

View original post 1,286 more words

Birthday of My Son – His 20th!!

Hello Friends!

A few days ago I made this scroll for my son for his 20th birthday.  It was February 3rd.  I wanted him to be born on Groundhog’s Day, but alas, he came at his own time…

Josh is into the horror genre so that’s why I tried to do a skull at the bottom along with a hooded man with a cane in a graveyard.  The drawing was spontaneous.  I need to practice drawing skulls!  Then my daughter put it on the porch to take the picture, that’s why the background is grey which added to the effect I think.

Anyway, the main thing in the middle is supposed to be his name, Joshua Caleb, in Japanese!  I did it in Sumi-ink!  I found his first and middle names in a book I think I have mentioned in a previous post called “The Simple Art of Sumi-E, Mastering Japanese Ink Painting.”  It is by Takumasa Ono.

So then after I painted it on plain white paper, I glued it to a dowel and put a ribbon on it so he could hang it up.  I wanted it to look kind of like a scroll.

joshua-caleb-in-japanese

So here is my son, Joshua Caleb, growing into a fine young man.  I am proud of him and his creativity.  He does a lot of role playing with his dad for Dungeons and Dragons, and he is also going to be running a new game called World of Darkness with some friends and another one with me and his dad eventually.  We are still in the process of creating our characters.

Yesterday, we played a Dungeons and Dragons game with my husband and his girlfriend and another friend of theirs.  I got to play a Dragonborn Wizard and cast a spell of invisibility on a guy who had been turned into a sheep, then we were able to hide him until we could take care of the bad guys who had cast their spell on him.  I also got to obliterate an ape with a spell called Scorching Ray!!  It was a lot of fun.

 

josh-and-me-20th-birthday

 

So anyway, back to my son.  I love the way Josh thinks, his amazing ability to create stories and help others bring them to life.  He is an amazing guy (and a lot of fun to role-play with!)

What are you proud of about your children?  

 

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

www.inspyromance.com/

Inspy Romance—Fall in Love With a Good Book

The Change

6 Powerful Steps

Wendy L. Macdonald

My faith is not shallow because I've been rescued from the deep.

Vultureşti

Auf einmal ist alles relativ

charles french words reading and writing

An exploration of writing and reading

%d bloggers like this: