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ISOLATION BREEDS DISCONNECTION

Hello Friends,

First, I want to thank all of you who support me emotionally in my writing and art.  I appreciate it more than you could ever know.  I enjoy bringing a smile, a laugh or even tears to you.  This is another long post and a little you may know already…but this is where I’m at.

I have been going through a lot of emotional upheaval in the last few months – losing my brother to suicide, trying to figure out exactly what I want to spend the rest of my life doing, and both of our kids leaving the nest temporarily (tomorrow.)  Our son is gone during the week living and working with friends, but he likes to come home some weekends to spend time with us.  He will be going out on an 8-day trip with his crew from the California Conservation Corps.  Also, our daughter is going to visit a friend for a while, possibly the rest of the summer!

So…because of all of the things I just mentioned, I decided to do two things:

1)  Go back to counseling for a while

2)  Go to suicide survivors meetings

Last week I did both which I will continue a few more times.  I do not feel at this point that I am going to need to go to either for a really long time.  I have been in a good place mentally for quite some time now since recovering from some significant losses three years ago.  What is really great is that my counselor can see me in the hour before my meeting starts on those two Mondays every month.  Also, I met some great women at this meeting that I want to get to know.

Here’s what I learned at my first suicide survivors meeting:

  • I am not alone – suicide has touched almost every family. Survivors feel angry, sad, abandoned, and wish we could have said or done something to prevent it.
  • We feel guilty to some degree that we couldn’t stop it or didn’t see the signs.

Some people find their loved ones who died.  I can only imagine how emotionally traumatic that would be to a person.  Just hearing how my brother killed himself and hearing how people did CPR on him for at least 20 minutes, puts images in my mind that I will never forget.  Finding out that his best friend had brought my brother a wheelchair the day he died and didn’t see the signs of suicidal thoughts in him, helped me understand why my brother may have made this choice.

When he called me a few weeks before he chose to die, the last thing he told me was that his legs didn’t work anymore.  He said he could barely stand up or walk.  I always knew that my brother was a prideful man.  He never wanted to show weakness.  He was always sensitive, loved animals (whom he knew could love him back,) and I think he just felt out of place his whole life.  He was not a follower nor was he a leader.  He was determined to go his own way which he always did.  He didn’t confide in me or anyone else in our family about anything.

I can relate to some of this.  I have felt this way for most of my life.  Some may think I am projecting part of who I am onto my brother.  However, I would disagree.  He and I were a lot alike in many ways that I just never really thought about until now.  I will always miss him even though he never did let me get close to him.  For some reason I’ll never know, things were just always intense between us.

The difference between us, though, is that I hit bottom at 27 years old, reached out for help, and eventually began taking medications for depression and anxiety.  My brother self-medicated from his teen years on, what I believe, was some type of mental illness.  Thinking back over a lot of his behavior – his anger, impulsiveness, pride – makes me wonder if he had extreme anxiety which is why he drank.  Alcohol is a depressant, though, and he was not one to sit around feeling depressed, which is why I think he became addicted to speed.  All of this stuff can really mess up a person’s brain which just complicates mental health issues even more.  It is a vicious cycle!

The saddest part of all of this for me is that about three years ago he called me to apologize for how he had treated me most of our lives and tell me he didn’t deserve forgiveness; he said he wanted to quit the drugs but couldn’t.  He felt stuck, scared, and defeated.  I think he just had not hit bottom yet – until he saw that wheelchair.  Unfortunately, hitting bottom for him didn’t mean reaching out for help.  I believe he may have thoughts like:  “I am not going to become an invalid.”  “I will not become helpless.”  “I will not become dependent on anyone to help me with everyday things I can no longer do for myself.”  I knew my brother well enough to know that this is very close to what had to be going through his mind that last day.

Yet I believe human beings are made to need other human beings.  As much as some of us may not want to admit we need people – we do.  Isolation is not a solution to relieve anxiety.  Desiring to get away from people is natural – for a time.  But to stay alone for weeks, months, or years is to disconnect.  Disconnection from healthy relationships leaves a person in their own head where they can deceive themselves so easily into believing lies such as:

  • I’m ugly.
  • I’m not worthy of love.
  • No one will ever love the real me.
  • How can anyone love me when I am such an emotional mess?

These were some of my very thoughts, along with many other negative tapes playing in my head, from a young age.  Some of it came from emotional neglect and abuse that my brothers and I went through from our alcoholic dad.  I know now that our parents were probably both mentally ill, (my dad was depressed and my mom most likely had anxiety to some extent) but they did the best they were capable of in parenting us.  I think on some level my brother knew this, too.  I just wish he could have asked for help.  He lived in a trailer park and had some friends, but only one of them knew how depressed he was, yet he didn’t even recognize the suicidal signs that were there.  So…

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, do what could be the hardest things you may ever do – pick up the phone and call your local suicide hotline or the Suicide Prevention Services of America at 1-800-273-8225.

Lastly, please do not allow yourself or anyone you know to stay isolated.  Try your best to reach out.

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

 

Mr. C. Turtle, Page 2

Hello Friends,

I thought I would share page 2 of one of my stories I am working on right now.  In case you missed it,  you can click on the category Stories in Progress to see page 1.

I had two illustrations painted on one page, but I had to divide them so I could fit the text in.  So it doesn’t look the same, but eventually I hope to get it the way I want it!!

You know, one of these days, I really hope to get a new program where it won’t be so much trouble to put text with my uploaded pictures of my paintings!  If anyone has any suggestions on a reasonably priced program, please let me know!  Thank you!

So without further ado…..here’s page 2!

© Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

By Patsy H. Parker

 

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

Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

©  Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends

By Patsy H. Parker

 

Hello Friends,

Several months ago I wrote a story called “Mr. C. Turtle Makes New Friends.”  I haven’t put anything about it on my blog yet because I was still tweaking the story a bit.  But this is how it starts.  I decided to put the pictures of the paintings in my Word program and put in the dialogue to get a feel for how it could be.  Hopefully, you may be able to “see” where this story might be going!! Anyway, I began doodling in my sketchbook what I want my characters to look like a couple of months ago.  But I just got to trying to paint them last week.  These are just quick sketches without backgrounds.

So there is a little fish who you’ll find out more about later.  Then there is Mr. C. Turtle, the main character.  He wears a top hat and a monocle.  Eventually you will see what kind of personality he has if you haven’t figured it out already.  I have a lot of paintings to do to get this really going.  It will be one of my many summer projects I am going to be working on.

Yesterday, I also spent a few hours continuing to paint my pictures for my picture book “Larry, the Lonely Leatherback.”   One of the drawbacks of A.D.D. is I get bored with things quickly, so I have to have several different things to be working on at the same time.  I guess you don’t really have to have A.D.D. to work that way, though.  I have read that a lot of artists and writers are working on several projects at a time.  Now all I have to do is make myself a schedule for the rest of the summer!  Wish me luck!

By the way, I am also re-organizing my blog and learning to use tags correctly which I have learned that I think I majorly messed up!  Sorry if you’ve had trouble finding anything here.  It is always a work-in-progress…just like I am.

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

CREATIVES UNITE!

I repeated this post because I really, really want to feature some of you on here!  🙂

 

 

Hello Friends!

I am super excited to tell you that I have been encouraged and energized by two successful professionals today, one in person who is my new counselor, and the other is Jeff Goins whose blog is interesting which you can find here:  https://goinswriter.com/creatives-money/ and whose new book “Real Artists Don’t Starve” can be purchased along with other bonuses here!  https://dontstarve.com/

I watched Jeff this morning on a Facebook video https://www.facebook.com/goinswriter/videos/1462288047125766/

It was confirming to me of being on the right path since I had just been encouraged an hour before about the same things with the counselor I met with!  I have been blogging here on WordPress for almost four years now.  I have a few hundred followers.  However, what I always wonder is exactly what Jeff mentioned as the #1 insecurity of most bloggers – IS ANYONE LISTENING?

I have blogged about many different things here.  I have shared many forms of art that I have done here.  My desire is to share my thoughts, struggles and art here.   This blog has been a safe place for me to share about who I am.   I am going to be setting just a few new goals for myself to keep myself focused on recovering from losses, continuing to express that journey in my writing and art, and moving forward and growing as an artist/writer.  I feel more excited today than I have felt in a long time about continuing on this creative journey.

I titled this post “Creatives Unite” because I have known for a long time that I need more of a community of creative people in my life.  I have met many talented artists and writers here on WordPress and on Facebook.  So what I would like to do is feature some of you on my blog!

This is something I have been thinking about doing for a long time but had to wait until I knew I would have a big chunk of time to do it!  Now that my daughter has graduated high school and is going away for the summer (sniff, sniff) I plan to be spending more time creating my art and writing/blogging!  I hope some of you will take advantage of this opportunity to bring more attention to your own blogs as well!  By the way, I know other bloggers do this also, and it has been something that I was planning, but I am excited to also tell you that on July 21st I will be featured on my friend Jill Weatherholt’s blog.  You can check out her blog here:  https://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com.  

I am planning to call this new feature on my blog “FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY”

Please choose one, two or all three questions you would like to address and send me an e-mail to:   larrytheleatherback@gmail.com.

Or if you are on Facebook, send a message to me at https://www.facebook.com/PatsysCreativeCorner/

Here are the questions:

  1. How long have you been a writer and/or artist 
  2. What do you like to write about and/or create? 
  3. Who has been the greatest influence in your creativity?  (This could be someone you know or someone you admire but have never met.)                                           

I am planning to begin the posts in a couple of weeks and will be doing one post every Monday.

Thanks for reading.  I hope to hear from you soon!

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

CREATIVES UNITE!

 

Hello Friends!

I am super excited to tell you that I have been encouraged and energized by two successful professionals today, one in person who is my new counselor, and the other is Jeff Goins whose blog is interesting which you can find here: https://goinswriter.com and whose new book “Real Artists Don’t Starve” can be purchased along with other bonuses here!  https://dontstarve.com/

I watched Jeff this morning on a Facebook video https://www.facebook.com/goinswriter/videos/1462288047125766/

It was confirming to me of being on the right path since I had just been encouraged an hour before about the same things with the counselor I met with!  I have been blogging here on WordPress for almost four years now.  I have a few hundred followers.  However, what I always wonder is exactly what Jeff mentioned as the #1 insecurity of most bloggers – IS ANYONE LISTENING?

I have blogged about many different things here.  I have shared many forms of art that I have done here.  My desire is to share my thoughts, struggles and art here.   This blog has been a safe place for me to share about who I am.   I am going to be setting just a few new goals for myself to keep myself focused on recovering from losses, continuing to express that journey in my writing and art, and moving forward and growing as an artist/writer.  I feel more excited today than I have felt in a long time about continuing on this creative journey.

I titled this post “Creatives Unite” because I have known for a long time that I need more of a community of creative people in my life.  I have met many talented artists and writers here on WordPress and on Facebook.  So what I would like to do is feature some of you on my blog!

This is something I have been thinking about doing for a long time but had to wait until I knew I would have a big chunk of time to do it!  Now that my daughter has graduated high school and is going away for the summer (sniff, sniff) I plan to be spending more time creating my art and writing/blogging!  I hope some of you will take advantage of this opportunity to bring more attention to your own blogs as well!  By the way, I know other bloggers do this also, and it has been something that I was planning, but I am excited to also tell you that on July 21st I will be featured on my friend Jill Weatherholt’s blog.  You can check out her blog here:  https://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com.  

I am planning to call this new feature on my blog “FOCUS ON CREATIVE ENERGY”

Please choose one, two or all three questions you would like to address and send me an e-mail to:   larrytheleatherback@gmail.com.

Or if you are on Facebook, send a message to me at https://www.facebook.com/PatsysCreativeCorner/

Here are the questions:

  1. How long have you been a writer and/or artist 
  2. What do you like to write about and/or create? 
  3. Who has been the greatest influence in your creativity?  (This could be someone you know or someone you admire but have never met.)                                           

I am planning to begin the posts in a couple of weeks and will be doing one post every Monday.

Thanks for reading.  I hope to hear from you soon!

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

Book Giveaway – Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

This is a wonderful post! Have a good day, and give someone you love a big hug! 🙂

Writing and Illustrating

Congratulations to author/illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick on her new book OWL BAT BAT OWL. She has agreed to participate in our book giveaways. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Can two very different families find their space in the world together? A wonderful wordless picture book offers stylish art, humor, and charm.

A mother owl and her three little owlets live happily on their branch. That is, until the bat family moves in. The newfound neighbors (owls up top, bats hanging below) can’t help but feel a…

View original post 560 more words

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!  🙂

 

 

World Turtle Day 2017!

Hello Friends,

This is a day late, but I just realized that I missed posting about my favorite animal yesterday!  How could I miss World Turtle Day on May 23, 2017?  Silly me.  I did, though, so here’s to turtles everywhere!

Please enjoy this little video showing some wonderful things that we can do for turtles.

 

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

Crabapple in Opera Rose

Kangaroo Feet!

Hello Friends,

Here are some kangaroo feet I drew yesterday.  I was looking at this picture of these unique feet in a book about kangaroos.  This is the whole picture!  Just feet…..

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

P. S. May the 4th be with you!  😉

 

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