What’s ADD like?

A lot of people have this plague of a disease. Yes, it’s a plague. I speak from experience. I’m on Omegas and Neurovance just so that I remember to make my parents coffee or what tasks to do at work. If I make a mistake, I don’t even remember doing it. Yes, I know it sounds like dementia–trust me, it’s not. My brain has a great memory, but, as my father would say, an even better forgettory. So, what’s it like inside my head? Well, let’s begin with my morning.

When I wake up if I do not have a set routine, I forget to take my medication, brush my teeth and, yes, often put on deoderant. It’s really embarrassing let me tell you. If I am away from home I have to sometimes set alarms, otherwise I’ll forget to do something. It sometimes feel like I’m navigating through a maze in my own head.

Please don’t think that because you forget something once in a while you have ADD, you probably don’t. With life being as rushed as it is for everybody, forgetting something here and there is inevitable. What I’m talking about is sitting in a meeting watching the speaker’s mouth move, but you’re far away. You have to keep bringing yourself back to what the meeting is and in the process of doing that you find yourself down a rabbithole in your thoughts.

If you’re like me, then you feel the need to assert control over your situation in order so you know what to do and when. Unfortunately, we never have control over our situations. In my case, I recommend a notebook or diary. Someone actually recommended this to me and it saved my life. Now all my thoughts are organized on paper and I get so much more done.

Multi-tasking

Don’t even try. Unless you have a list, having multiple thoughts or ideas running through your head all at once is a recipe for chaos. Doing things step by step I find works best for me. “Go to the kitchen. Get the sugar. Bring it here.” This is something my mother had to do with me when I was little because I would get there and forget what I was doing there. It’s really annoying now that I’m older. If you’re a parent and your child is doing something similar try that with them. It worked (and still works) for me.

School

Now here is where you see it the clearest. When I was in school we were very well structured. We had specific ways of doing certain things and since I was little this was ingrained in us. So for me the structure was bliss. Then came the silly mistakes. I felt like I was stupid all the time. A lot of kids with ADD feel this way and often a teacher can look at a child and call him lazy or undisciplined when in reality we can’t remember. I’d skip out words while working. I still do. Editing is my best friend when I write because I get to go back and say, “I missed that one. Whoops.” Although, I’d rather someone else do it most of the time.

My Math teacher almost throttled me when he found out I had dropped Mathematics. At the time I had 10 subjects and couldn’t drop any, so Math was something I just kept failing. I had three major study subjects as well as many others that took up so much of my time. I would work until 6/7 at night doing homework. Now I know that’s normal, but it was not normal for most of the kids in my school. I failed Math so often because of silly mistakes that it caused me to believe I was stupid and would always be. When you have ADD you tend to miss the finer details. You see the big picture, but forget to check the little details. This is where you will find the majority of your mistakes. This happens to me regularly. My mind will catch a thought and run with it and I can’t seem to focus on anything else. I become obsessive over it to the detriment of my other tasks.

How do I live with ADD?

The doctors will tell you all sorts of things. Take meds. With kids they’ll say let them learn through play. Make lists. Set reminders. This is all wonderful advice and it works, it really does. It’s just that not everyone is the same. The only time I can truly focus is with music or when I’m completely alone. I did my school work through most of high school with music. It helped block out the other kids and helped me tune into what I was doing and not what they were doing.

Routines are another thing that ADD sufferers need. Routine helps us go into a kind of auto-pilot mode. We don’t need to remember because it’s habit. It takes two weeks to form a habit. Just two weeks and once you’re in that routine, you will see everything will become so much easier to remember. The only trouble is if you’re taken out of that routine you may spiral and panic forgetting what you’re supposed to do. This is where lists (notebooks, sticky notes on the fridge, really whatever works for you) or alarms come in. You can arrange these to keep you in sync with your established routine. Having everything organized also helps so that you can think clearly and see everything you need instead of having to try and remember where you put it.

This works for me. I try to keep my living space and working area as clear as possible. This rule even extends to my closet. If there is too much in my closet or draws I can’t handle it. If I buy new clothes, I must throw out old ones. It’s a little compulsion, but also it works in my favour as I tend not to lose things or forget where I’ve put something.

I have not included any research in this blog. Everything I’ve said is from my own life experiences as someone with ADD. If you have any experiences you want to share. Start a feed or type something in the chat forum. 🙂 I’d love to hear from you guys.

God bless and have a lovely week.

Modern Art in the 20’s

I was talking with a friend on Saturday and it made me think that it’s about time I discuss art that isn’t cursed. Instead, I will be looking at a few famous artists of 2020. My descriptions will be quite brief as I I have selected specific artists from around the world and I will be attaching their links so you will be able to read up their full stories and see some of their artworks.

Donald Judd, New York.

image provided by artsy.net

Donald Judd has created many 3D, large-scale works with aluminium, steel and Plexiglass. Despite this, he has refused to be called a sculptor. He was big in pioneering the field of Minimalism. This year will be the first time in 30 years that the Museum of Modern Art in New York will be giving him a solo exhibition to showcase his works. Below is Judd’s works courtesy of artsy. You can find his artworks and where to purchase them if you’re an art aficionado. https://www.artsy.net/artist/donald-judd

Artemisia Gentileschi, London.

image provided by christies.com

Heralded as the best female Renaissance painter. She was granted a scholarship in the 1970’s and 1980’s, allowing her to enhance her painting skill. Due to a reassessment of female artists input in art history. Her art has a tendency to depict strong women performing acts of violence. Despite it being claimed that her artwork was an aftermath of being sexually assaulted, this has been brushed aside and she has been praised for the genius in her artworks. The National Gallery of London has managed to acquire her work, Self-portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1615–17). Find her works and biography on https://www.artsy.net/artist/artemisia-gentileschi.

Otobong Nkanga, Berlin.

image provided by awarewomenartists.com

This famous Nigeria-born artist combines research, drawing, installation and performance. She uses these tools to explore the interdependent relationship between man and land. In her exploration of how various cultures interpret different parts of nature, she traces how various minerals, goods and people move. Find her works and full biography on https://www.artsy.net/artist/otobong-nkanga

Cao Fei, Beijing.

image provided by news.artnet.com

Cao Fei has started to emerge as one of China’s most important artists since the countries Cultural Revolution. She makes use of multimedia to address critical issues in pop culture, tech and urban development. Her 47-minute film, Haze and Fog(2013) explores her alienation from the world. In it she blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Her UCCA presentation this year will be her first major solo exhibition in China. Find her works and biography on https://www.artsy.net/artist/cao-fei.

Alessandro Tomasetti, Barcelona.

image provided by kaifineart.com

A Canadian born painter now living in Barcelona. He paints seductive and subversive paintings of men making use of tenebrous palettes and dramatic lighting. Unlike other painters of the male form, Tomasetti depicts the men’s vulnerability and sensitivity. Instead he paints in the same fashion one would to paint a female subject. This is seen through his prose and styling, as well as the glints and reflections used his work. He is a revolutionary painter, going against the norms of society. For more on Alessandro Tomasettie and his artworks click on the attached link. https://alessandrotomassetti.com/

Max Frintrop, Germany

Image provided by dailycollector.org

Frintrop’s incredible bursts of colour and pigmentation create the boisterous and archetypal canvases he is known for. His paintings convey a sense of urgency and directness that only true virtuoso painters can create. Frintrop, originally born in Oberhausen, now lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. His recent solo exhibitions among others took place in Cologne, Budapest and Brussels. Frintrop has also been included in many various selected art groups as a result of his work. For more on Frintrop go to:

https://www.artsy.net/artist/max-frintrop

Tomm El-Saieh, Haiti

image provided by www.tommelsaieh.com

El-Saieh’s prints are large and enveloping swaths of colour with almost linguistic patterns forming grid-like artworks. Haitian by origin, El-Saieh now lives and works in Miami. Building his own encyclopedia of artworks, he creates amalgamations of Haitian painters and abstract American artworks. He takes particular inspiration for his abstract works from Haitian historical artists such as Levoy Exil and Prosper Pierre Louis. Their verve and energy provided him with the needed nudge into near complete abstraction. El-Saieh will be having exhibitions in Miami and Los Angelos. He is also the co-director of the Central Fine run by artists in Miami. For more info on El-Saieh go to: https://www.artbasel.com/stories/elisa-turner-interview-tomm-el-saieh

Tal R, Israel

image provided by artsy.net

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, currently living Denmark. Tal R was first known for his flamboyant colours and expansive imagery, his works constantly challenge the viewer’s knowledge of perspective and reflection. This technique causes the viewer to question the narrative based on what they know and see. A perfect example of this would be his solo exhibition entitled “Pink Road Through Forest” that took place in 2019. This exhibition takes the idea of visual theory and uses it to put the viewer in the middle of the artistic narrative. Visual theory employs a broad variety of mediums from sculpture and paintings to drawings or textile. This adds an intricacy in Tal R’s works by causing us to question our previously formed conceptions and presumptions of our surrounding reality. For more info on the artist and his works, go to: https://www.cheimread.com/artists/tal-r.

There are many great artists out there that have yet to be recognized. We used to tease my best friend about her art, saying that we would kill her then her art would be worth a fortune. Sadly for a lot of the famous artists of days gone-by this was a reality. Today, however, this is no longer a reality with new artists getting discovered daily. Using technology we are able to go further than any of our predecessors ever could. As demonstrated by the works of Cao Fei. We are able to use platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as well as a host of other platforms that are being established all the time. The friend who suggested this topic is herself an artist, for more on her art check out her page https://www.facebook.com/cmrencken/. She’s really talented, has a deep passion for art and is constantly exploring new mediums.

These are only a few of the new artists that have made their debut in the art world, but there are many more gifted artists out there. I recommend you look up some of these artists, with the advent of social media it makes it so much easier to discover new artists. I myself am following one I came across on Pinterest (you can find his work on my pinterest page, AvidUpdates).

If you liked this article and want me to do more on art, please let me know either via the social links below or on my new comment page.

God bless you all, my darling avidReaders.

Delicacies You’ve Probably Never Tried

We all know that every culture has foods that form the core of their customs and rituals. In this article I am going to through a few of these dishes and where they originated as well as a bit of the history behind some of these unique dishes.

BIRD NEST SOUP

Bird Nest Soup. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Our first dish takes us into Asia, more specifically, China and to a dish called Bird Nest Soup. This particular dish has also been called the “caviar of the east”. Contrary to what you may think, the soup does not contain sticks, but rather the bird’s saliva. The “nest” is covered in a light chicken broth and is a very rare and expensive dish ranging in price from anywhere between $30 to $100. It is the most expensive meat in the world!

FRIED TARANTULA

This is image is courtesy of thedailymean.com

Our next dish takes us into the land of Cambodia and to a dish, that for a long period, was considered an essential food due to the extreme poverty they experienced. This dish is fried tarantula. It was first discovered during Khmer Regime rule. These insects are deep-fried and seasoned with garlic and salt. This is not just any tourist or native delicacy–this is something that reminds Cambodians of their history and the trials they have endured during the Knmer Regime. The price of this treat is 8 cents per spider. Let’s put this into perspective, many poor Cambodians live on the same as $1 per day.

BALUT

Balut image provided courtesy of “primer.com.ph”

This next rare delicacy is found in the markets of the Phillipines. It is definitely something that bears mentioning. This dish is called Balut–an egg yolk with a twist, instead of raw egg yolk, it is a fertilized egg that has an almost-developed chicken or duck embryo. Balut is boiled and eaten right out of the shell, much like we would eat oysters. This dish can be found in the street markets and is purchased at $12 a dozen. Balut is often accompanied by a beer.

CASU MARZU/MAGGOT CHEESE

Casu Marzu image provided courtesy of “tasteatlas.com

This next dish takes us to the faraway land of Sardinia and to a specific type of cheese that will blow you away! Known to Sardinians as “Casu Marzu”, this dish contains live insect larvae. Now here’s where this dish gets interesting. As a result of the obvious health threats it presents, it has been banned. Essentially Pecorino, which has the cheese fly, Piophila casei, in it. The cheese is fermented as the maggots eat at the cheese fats. As a result, it becomes soft and creamy with liquid sometimes seeping out. This cheese has to be consumed while the larvae are still alive as once they die, they become toxic.

SANNAKJI

Sannakji image courtesy of “chicagoreader.com”

This particular dish is a raw dish consumed in Korea. Typically served as live octopus, Sannakji has been described by locals as a “party in your mouth” as the octopus essentially fights to preserve its own survival. Sannakji is cut into pieces, seasoned with sesame oil and served immediately with the tentacles still squirming.

PUFFIN HEART

Puffin Heart image courtesy of “telegraph.co.uk”

Sometimes called the “clown of the ocean” or “sea parrot”, the puffin is an adorable bird and something looked upon with wonder. Come to the shores of green Iceland and you will find a different use for the puffin. As a result of the large puffin population, Icelanders have a different use for this bird. The birds are first caught in big nets, then killed, skinned and their hearts eaten while still warm.

You will find hundreds of intriguing dishes out there, one such dish I came across in my research was something served in Vietnam called snake wine. I encourage you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Please let me know what you think of these dishes! I’d love to know what you all think! 🙂

If you are a foodie or someone who just loves good recipes follow the link below for some fine dining.

https://www.thesocialcafesa.com or follow their Instagram account on “the_social_grant_sa”

God bless all of you, my darling avidReaders!

What’s a Good Friend?

It’s a good question, isn’t it? What is a good friend? Is it someone who buys you chocolates when you feel sad or perhaps it’s someone who always wants to talk to you and seek your advice? Is it that one person in the world who never judges you regardless of what you tell them? Do they reply to your texts or answer the phone before it’s even dialed for a second? In truth they are all of these. They are the people you can turn to when the world falls apart around you. They are the people who will always know just what you need, whether it’s a bag of crisps, a chocolate or a stern lecture. I am blessed to say I have people like this in my life, they are more family (in fact I refer to them as ‘blood’) that’s how close they are to me.

When a person walks into your house and shouts at you for not having cheese, then you know they’re blood and no longer friends. Then there are just people you meet on the spot and know that they are kindred spirits. These are the people who become some of your closest friends and may even become family to you. We all have these people that we like on the spot. Those are the people who will always stay with you, even if they stay far away.

Then you get people who flit in and out of your life, leaving a lasting impression on your soul. They may have said only a single word of encouragement or seen something perhaps no one else had. These people will never be your friends, but their words will never leave you.

I could look at what leading scientists and psychologists say about how relationships affect us. For now, let’s just look at how to distinguish between a user and a forever friend. The following traits may help you see whether that one friend is worth keeping or leaving before you get involved with them. Sometimes we don’t always see them straight away and may even feel like we are helping them, but you aren’t and they will only drain you and make you feel unhappy. Don’t feel guilty, these traits may lead to toxic relationships and end up destroying both of you.

These are the signs that you need to watch out for:

  • The relationship is always one-sided. All relationships require quid pro quo.
  • The relationship is mentally and emotionally draining, often including or creating drama.
  • These people always talk about what they are going through and never return the favour when you need to talk about what’s going on in your life. This often shows little to no empathy on their part.
  • The relationship can often make you feel down as these people may do or say things to degrade you or make you feel inferior.
  • These people may feel like they have to be better or the same as you, even to the point of competing with you in everything you do.
  • They can often copy or become very jealous of you, this is a very dangerous thing as it may lead to an obsession.
  • You never do what you want to do, instead you find yourself doing what makes them happy
  • You friend may lie or gossip about you.

There are ways to get out of a relationship like this. You can start by distancing yourself from them, treating it like a break-up and, as hard as it is, you have to move on.

Now that we have seen the signs of a toxic relationship, let’s look at what a good friendship looks like:

  • They have your best interests at heart, even when you don’t see it straightaway.
  • They respect you and consider you before themselves.
  • You love to be around them regardless of what you are doing or where you are going
  • They tell you how it is, regardless of whether or not you want to hear it. At the end of the day, you will love them for it.
  • They are your rock when life gets crazy and never expect anything in return.
  • They love and forgive you unconditionally, showing you how to be better than you are.
  • They see the good in you, even if you don’t, and help you see it, too.
  • They make the time to really listen to you.

These are the people you want to hold on to. They are the ones who make your friendship a priority. Ofcourse, people get busy and the friends you had in school won’t always be able to stick around, but putting in the effort means all the world to you. I have one such friend, who makes the time to visit all her friends at least once a month. People like that are the ones I hope to have until the day I die. A good friend is a jewel no amount of money can ever hope to purchase. Hang on to these people, but most importantly, to have a good friend you need to be one. If you saw that you matched any of the negative criteria here make sure you make it right with your friends before you lose them forever.

To all my dear avidReaders. I love you and I know I’ve been quiet lately. I apologize for that. I will try to write more regularly for you.

God bless all of you! 🙂

Dear Dads

Thank you, Daddies!

I know I’m a day late, but I wanted to spend the day with my Dad.

I wanted to write a letter to all the men out there who defend their families, all the men who work two/three jobs just so their kids can go to school and have food in their lunchboxes. I think of all the Dads who let their children cry on their shoulders. All the men who stay up at night crying because they can’t anymore, yet smile the next day when they say goodbye to their wife and children. Thank you to all the men who sometimes have to travel to different cities or provinces just so they can get work.

The sacrifice you make is something your family see and appreciate. You are all more than men–you are heroes. Heroes to your children who will defend their “strong daddies” no matter what. Heroes to your wives who are there to help and hug you when you get home and they can see the stress and frustration on your face. They see that you fight, not for yourself, but for them. You may miss your family, but your strength and determination is something your children will never forget.

You have a huge responsibility to us. You set the example and when we grow up, everything you’ve taught us will go with us into the world. We will live our lives having learnt what we saw from you. Your words will always have power, but not as much as your actions. Showing us how much you love us, have as much power as telling us. You’re the men who fight for us, cry over us, break your backs for us. You are the men who brave the harsh, cold world so that we can be protected from it’s heartache and pain, but you are also the men who have to step back and watch us bump and bruise ourselves. You have to watch us make mistakes and watch us cry, so that one day when we have families of our own we’ll have learnt lessons we wouldn’t have if not for those bumps and bruises.

You are also the men who, if you are lucky, will get to have your grandchildren sit on your lap one day and pass down the same lessons you taught us. You will tell stories of your youth and pass down family history, the same way you would’ve with us. You will play with them, build puzzles with them, colour in with them and love them as much as you did us.

In the very end of it all, you will be mourned and missed by those you have left behind, but your stories, your lessons, your love, all of it will remain. Your legacy will stay behind after you’ve gone and, as long as we live, we will always remember you. We will pass down everything you’d have taught us to our own grandchildren.

You are men of valour, integrity, love, boldness, courage. You are also men who face fear, depression, anxiety, sorrow, pain and anger, but you cover it. You hide it from us, so that we never have to know what wars you fight for us every day. We love you for it and we always will.

So, thank you, fathers. Thank you for keeping us safe, for teaching us to ride bikes, for helping us with homework and teaching us all we need to know for when we are on our own out in the world. Thank you for all the times you repeated yourselves when we wouldn’t listen. Even though it’s difficult, you somehow manage to be patient with us.

As a daughter, I want to thank my father who, despite all his own worries and responsibilities, has always been my knight in shining armour. If not for him, this blog would not exist. I love you Daddy!

My Furry Anti-Depressant

Over the passed weekend my friend and I were talking and laughing about all the bizarre things our pets do and I’ve heard and seen countless weird things the furbabies in our family get up to. They dominate our furniture, our laps and stare the food right out of our mouths. They take over our beds, our cars and almost all our time. Yes, I know they sound like toddlers, but they are our toddlers. They warm my lap, as well as my heart. When I’m sick or depressed these little Baskerville Hounds crawl under my blanket and start making grizzling little noises as they sort out who sleeps where. My youngest furbaby demands love 24/7/365, but she gives as much as she takes. Whereas her sister is docile and only wants to know someone is there.

There are many ways in which these little creatures have benefited mankind other than just as constant companions. Some have been trained to sniff out landmines, detect terrorist cells as they have a very unique sense of smell as well as being companions to their fellow veterans. They have received commendations and are even honourably discharged from war just like any other veteran of war. If they have been lost they are honoured and, if they are wounded, they are honourably discharged and sent home to live with their handler and his/her family. These companions to man are just as important to our survival as any man or woman who has fought for us in war.

Service Dog and His Handler

In the police force, they have a special unit for these “policemen” called the Dog Unit. They are trained from puppies to sniff out drugs, dead bodies, missing persons because of their honed sense of smell. They are also used as attack dogs should the need arise. They are treated as well as any other officer in the police department. Some handlers even become so attached to their police dog that they form lifelong bonds with them. When these dogs retire they are taken home by their handler. Most often Retrievers, German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Bloodhound or Dutch Shepherd breeds are used for this purpose.

There are many other uses for our canine companions. They are trained as guard dogs to protect their family or private property. They are also protective in other ways. Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle, German Shepherd, Akita, Rough Collie, Rottweiler, Cairn Terrier and Great Pyrenees breeds all have the ability to detect epileptic seizures before they occur and are especially trained from when they are puppies to warn their owner of this so they can take protective measures quickly in order to limit the damage caused by the seizures. Animals have a unique ‘super power’ as it were, they are able to sense when something is going to happen. They can sense danger, weather disturbances and when there is something wrong with their owner/s.

Guide Dog in Training

One of the most famous uses for canines is as blind guide dogs. These save their owners lives every day, by stopping their owners from walking into traffic or other dangerous situations they may find themselves in. Labradors, Retrievers, German Shepherds and Poodles are used for this specific purpose.

If any of you have ever watched the Netflix series “The Healing Powers of Dude”, you will know that there is one last service our canine companions do for us and that is as therapy dogs, or as they are more commonly called “emotional support animals”. I mentioned above how my two canine companions can detect when there’s something off with their owners, but they also have this amazing ability to boost your mood as companions for people with social disorders, depression or anxiety. In “The Healing Powers of Dude”, Dude is a support animal for his owner who suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder. These special friends accompany their owner everywhere as they provide comfort and security for their owner. They have the ability to distract you from what is bothering you by wanting to play a game or attempting to keep you busy using other methods such as demanding attention or giving you affection themselves. They are truly “man’s best friend” sometimes just a touch from these special companions is enough to cause you comfort.

Therapy Dog and His Little Friend

I know not everyone is a dog person, so for all you cat-parents out there, I will cover some of the sparkling aspects of your very own kitsies. I, myself, love both of these fluffy little friends. Unfortunately, I’m horribly allergic to cats. My companions of choice will always be dogs. My breed of choice: Jack Russells. Then again, I have two of my own, so I’m biased.

My dear avidReaders, if there are any topics you want me to cover, I have a forum up and running with some feeds where you can discuss which topics you want me to cover next. The forum is preferred since all your fellow avidReaders can discuss it with you and have their own input. It’ll also help me see what the most popular requests are so I know what to cover next, but don’t worry I will do my best to cover all your requests. I promised you when I first started this blog, that I would do my utmost to see to all of your requests.

God bless you all, my darling avidReaders.

What is Fear?

After Earth

There are many varying definitions of fear. Some describe it as “an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined.” In the movie After Earth, it is described as something that exists in your thoughts of the future. It is something we allow our brains to believe. However, there’s a lot more to discuss. Let us dig a little deeper into this emotion that seems to control so much in our lives.

Fear has many interpretations. It is referred to as one of the 7 universal emotions that are common to all human beings, it has also been described as a self-preservation instinct. Something that tells us, “Maybe I shouldn’t poke the snarling dog with a stick?”. This emotion is not just a physical response, however, it can also be psychological. As I mentioned above fear sometimes manifests in the mind. From my own personal experience, this fear is the hardest to overcome. It can sometimes become a war you wage daily and I know I’m not the only individual living with this struggle. There are various mental disorders to describe this struggle. There are panic disorders, anxiety disorders, PTSD and various phobias. This fear isn’t always caused by an external or imagined fear, sometimes it can be caused by a biochemical imbalance in your brain that has to be treated as a chronic condition.

Biochemical and Emotional Response.

Symptoms of fear’s biochemical responses include sweating, an increase in heart rate as well as increased adrenaline levels which enable us to be more alert to the impending danger. This reaction has been defined as “the fight or flight” instinct. On the other side of the fear coin, is the emotional response. This is something unique to each individual as we all experience fear in different situations. Some fear can even be experienced as a pleasant emotion as it involves the same chemical responses as happiness and other pleasant chemical reactions in our brains. An example of this would be riding a roller-coaster or watching a horror movie. Some people even become addicted to this emotional response. These people have been called ‘adrenaline seekers’. They would be the ones doing sky-diving, bungee-jumping or other extreme sports and activities. As I already mentioned above, not everyone experiences fear the same as others. Some find it exciting and others find it unpleasant.

What Happens When I’m Scared?

Well, in answer to this questions there are various biochemical responses attached to the emotional state of fear. I have already listed a few of these above, but there are many symptoms you may experience such as chest pains, chills, dry mouth, nausea, upset stomach, trembling, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath. Some of these you will have experienced. I, myself, when I am fearful or anxious about something get nausea and loss of appetite as well as a rapid heartbeat. It may not stop at the physical effects, it can cross over into psychological responses as well, such as a feeling of being over-whelmed or upset because of a lack of control in the situation you are facing. Sometime this intense anxiety can cause a person to go into a deep depression.

When you are feeling distressed certain bodily processes, such as your digestive system may shut down. All of this is to enable you to react faster to a dangerous situation.

F.E.A.R

In all honesty, fear isn’t always a bad thing. It can be a warning to avoid a particular situation or something that can be overcome. If you can overcome your fear, you will find yourself stronger for it. I speak as someone who has experienced and does constantly have fears and anxieties to overcome myself. I am just like you, my avidReaders.

I write this to help you understand your fears and see both sides, but I also write this for myself. I have learnt as much researching this as you will reading it. I will try to cover chronic fear when I look at chronic conditions. For now, we’ll look at fear in it’s base conditions. If this post in any way encouraged or uplifted, let me know in the comments below.

God bless you, my avidReaders.

Wilderness

Wilderness.

It’s so hot. I can’t breathe. It’s as though all the heat and heaviness of all I’ve done is weighed on my shoulders. It’s so heavy I can hardly stand up. I lift up my head and all I see is more sand as far as the eye can see. Not a blade of grass or a single cactus, never mind tree, is within sight. Why is it so far and so difficult? Why is there no end to this wilderness? Will it never end? I’m so encumbered with my burden and so thirsty I could fall at any moment, yet I keep pushing on. I can’t stop. I keep going, as though there is no way it will ever end. Death won’t come as much as I beg it to.

I try again to look up, the sun is setting, then comes the cold–the loneliness and the unbearable cold. I can’t do this, anymore. Why can’t I just die? Please, let me die. The burden grows heavier with each step. My breath hitches in my throat, my mouth drier than the cracked ground I walk over. What I would do for a drink–I don’t even care what as long as I can feel moisture in my throat again.

This burden it’s too much and I collapse under it’s weight. Death? Will you eventually come for me? Then, just passed the great weight on my back, I see feet. They aren’t cracked or shredded like mine. Why is that? Haven’t they been walking this wilderness as I have? Their owner lies flat on the ground to look me straight in the eyes. They are so happy and open, yet there’s something about those eyes. Something different, it scares me, but somehow it also makes me feel safe. There, on the ground where I lie, he asks me if I need help. What a question, can’t he see the burden that’s brought me right to the ground?

“Yes!” I shout desperately. He points to the burden and asks if I want him to take it off. Again I shout yes. I need this man’s help–this man I met in the wilderness as darkness was about to encompass me and my only escape from it was death! I can almost feel his smile as he lifts it up and puts it on his own back–what? Why is he carrying it? It’s so heavy–how is he even standing? I was on flat on the ground with its weight! He grins at my amazed expression. It’s a compassionate smile, almost as though he was walking this wilderness in search for me. Why would he be here and why take my own burden onto his back? Who is he? What kind of man would help a stranger in the wilderness?

“What’s your name, sir?” I rasp. Instead of answering me, first, he gives me a bottle of ice cold water and then he says to me,

“I am the Lamb of God, I walk this wilderness in search of those who need me. You see many, many years ago I came into this wilderness as a traveler myself. I walked and watched the people around me doing whatever they could to get their burdens to go away, but all that happened was that they got bigger and bigger. My Father, Who had sent me here, and I knew what had to happen to help these people. You see, we’d watched and tried to help. We put our words into people who were willing to speak them to the world, but few listened. My father and I both knew from the very beginning what had to happen. So, my Father waited for the right time and then I came down to walk among you, but I myself never picked up any burden of my own. I walked in my Father’s will all the days of my life. Until, one day, the world killed me. Taking my life, because I made them see that their own burdens were what weighed them down and they didn’t care. You see, they were quite happy to keep picking up more and more burdens as they went. My Father and I knew this would happen, but that wasn’t the end of it. After I had been dead 3 days, I rose from the dead and walked the earth once more until my Father called me back home.”

“This is a lot to take in, sir.” I say, scratching my head quizzically. He grins once more at me and helps me up, carrying me as though I weigh nothing.

“There’s a lot more for you to learn, but walk this wilderness with me and I will carry you and teach you about my Father. If you would would like to? I will never force anyone to walk with me.” I look around me and see he has another ice cold bottle in his hand. It’s then that I realize I am all alone. This man in front of me–this stranger who holds me up–he’s the only one who came to help me.

“You have taken off my burden and have helped me when there was no one in sight. Who are you?” I ask. It still hasn’t sunk in. Everything he has said to me.

“I was a traveller as you are, yet I never did anything that caused me to carry a burden. When I was killed, all of your burdens–everyone’s burdens–fell on me. I walk here, looking for people who will let me help them. Will you let me help you?” When I look into those eyes, I see nothing but love shining from them. I’ve never seen such a pure love and never had anyone look at me like that. So I nod my head.

“Sir, thank you. If you will let me walk with you? You see my burden, it is of my own making. You see all that it contains, are you sure you want to walk with someone that’s done the things I have?”

“I see your burden. I know all you have done and all that you will. I love you despite that. If you walk with me your burden will be gone and no one will ever see it again. All of it is erased. You need never carry it again. Watch this!” He lifts the burden off his back and drops it to the ground as he does it, it’s gone! My jaw drops as I see this.

“How….” I don’t even know where to begin.

“I told you. It’s gone. I have taken it away. My Father and I no longer see it. I am your help in this wilderness and any mistake you make from here on, it’s gone. Tell me what you did and I can help you.” I fall to the ground again and start crying.

“I am no longer alone?” I weep at this stranger’s feet. This man who saw I needed help and without me asking, helped me and says I need never be alone again and that I need never carry that burden again. I can’t stand this time for all my weeping. He bends down again and places his hand on my back.

“No, you will never be alone again. I’m here now. From here on, it’s you and me together. Stay close beside me and you will be alright. At the end of this wilderness, I will take you into a place where you will never know suffering or loneliness. You will only know joy and peace.”

“You have asked me my name.” he says,” My name is “Jesus”.” We both smile. I take his hand and shake it.

“From here on, Jesus, I will never leave you. I want to be your friend.”

At the end of my life, when I close my eyes, I know one thing. I have walked beside the Son of God. He is my friend, my guide and my only help in this wilderness. At the end of my days, I will go into an eternal paradise. My wilderness looks less lonely and I am able to look up and see everything that I was blind to before. Jesus has never left my side and when I am lost, he always knows where to go. He is my salvation!

I am free of my burden forever!

Worry

I woke up this morning feeling quite sad and dejected, but I just have the best parents. They reminded me that whatever God does He does for a reason. They told me that I need to be positive and my mother read Philippians 4 with me. It was all about having faith and not being afraid, but praying. The devotional she shared said that when we worry or are having a really bad day, we need to pray to God every time we have a negative thought. The author said that even if you do it out loud, like a looney toon, it doesn’t matter. Do it every time.

I got a work phone call from a mom in complete frustration and distress. It really helped me realize that I wasn’t the only one feeling dejected. We are all equally uncertain, dejected and feeling so alone. So I decided I would post what my mom read read to me. I hope this uplifts you, it brought me to tears because sometimes I struggle to see the good in my life. My little Jack Russell is sitting on my lap and she just yawned the cutest yawn and I got the biggest kiss. We are all blessed in so many ways and I believe if we had to sit down and make a list of EVERYTHING that we’ve been blessed with, we’ll realize our lives are better than we thought.

Scripture Passage

Philipians 4: 5 – 23.

4. Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

She also shared 2 Timothy 1:7 with me.

I hope this encourage you, the way it did me.

God bless you, all my avidReaders!

What’s Life About?

A friend was saying she was just pondering life and what it’s all about. It got me thinking, “What is life about?” What’s your purpose for living. Mine is simple I live to serve God and to be made perfect through His Son, but what about everybody else?

Some people will say, “I live for my family.” For others it may be for a specific hobby. People strive for all sorts of things: studying something they love until they’ve mastered it, playing a specific game or just games in general, the pursuit and achievement in a certain career.

Whatever the reason, I don’t believe everybody can say that they have a blanket answer to that question. Not everyone has the same goal in life. Why am I here? What’s my purpose? I suppose to look for the answers to those questions you’ll have to find out what you want and go for it no matter who tells you it’s crazy or impossible.

I’ve never known what to do with my life, but, for me atleast, as long as I’m with God I know He’ll help me find out where He wants me to be.

This is a pretty short one, my avidReaders. It was just something I’ve been pondering myself.

God bless and stay safe🌸