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.

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🌸

An Odd Demotivational Poster

Be bold! Be brave! Believe!

We’ve all had those days when we wake up and we feel like nothing is working out–as though we were born for failure. Why was I even born? Just to screw up? Just to be unloved, unaccepted? Sometimes we just don’t even want to try anymore.

Can I tell you a secret? Even the most successful people have days when they wake up and they feel empty or uninspired to do anything. I, myself, prefer to look for my motivation in the one place I know I’ll find it. I look to the Bible, all throughout the pages of the Word of God are people who felt like we do. I woke up this morning and it was just the most frustrating and horrendous morning. I had just finished an article the day before that Ihated and I just felt like a failure. While hanging up laundry, a lightbulb went on and I knew what my next article should be. My source of motivation and the inspiration for my next article would come from the pages of My Father’s Living Word. So I looked at a man who lost EVERYTHING, but still knew where his comfort and salvation lay. His story is found in the Old Testament.

His name was Job and he was a very wealthy man who lived in the land of Ur. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters. He had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 she-asses. He also had a rather large household, that would include servants as well as family members. He was a righteous and upright man in the eyes of God. One day when all the angels came to present themselves before God,

Lucifer said “I have been all over this earth”

and God asked him “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is a good and righteous man.” Lucifer’s counter to this was that God had made him prosperous and that was why he served Him. He then went on to say that if God took all his wealth away he would turn on Him. So God said to him that he could take everything from Job, but that he shouldn’t harm him. In one day Job lost everything–his wealth and his family. All gone in the matter of one day. Job went into mourning for the loss of his children. Still, he refused to turn on God and praised Him rather saying that what he had God had given to him. Lucifer saw this and challenged God again saying that if his very flesh was touched with illness Job would turn on God. So again, God gave permission to harm his flesh only he was not allowed to take his life. So we see Job become struck with boils from the very top of his head all the way to the sole of his feet. In this condition, Job’s wife said to him, “Curse God and die!” Job would not and rebuked his wife for saying such a thing against God even calling her a “foolish woman”. Despite all that had happened Job still would not blamed God instead thinking he was the reason. Had he sinned? Throughout the rest of the book right up until Chapter 38, God is quiet in all Job’s bemoaning. Then God speaks and reminds Job that God is God and that He had made the very ground Job sat on. He then proceeds to ask Job a series of questions such as “Where were you when I made the very foundations of the earth?” and “Who provides for the raven his food?” After all these questions Job admits that he was wrong to doubt that God was all-powerful and Job just needs to trust in God’s plan. In the end of the book, we see Job is blessed doubly in all he had before. He had 7 more sons and 3 more daughters. God blessed him and exalted him. A man who had no motivation found it in God and God encouraged him by showing him that God was always there and that He is all Job ever needed.

Next we move to the New Testament. Now in this section of the Bible we are going to take a look at a man whose journey starts in the book of Acts chapter 9. A man by the name of Paul. Now Paul’s life did not begin as a man of God. He was a persecutor of God’s church. Paul was a witness at the martyring of Stephen. He went on to persecute the church, until one day God stopped him right in his tracks and asked him “Saul, Saul why are persecuting me?” Paul asks him, “Who are you, Lord?” and the Lord answered him, “I am Jesus whom you persecute. Why do you resist my pricking in your own heart?” Paul, understandably astonished, says, “Lord what would you have me do?” And from that moment on Paul went far and wide preaching to all the churches that he, himself, had been instrumental in scattering. People were scared at first not trusting this man who had killed so many of their fellow believers, but assured by God and Paul’s own testimony, he became a great messenger of God to the churches. His letters to the churches make up most of our New Testament, we call them ‘epistles’. However, Paul did not have a life of sunshine and roses. Paul experienced tons of rejection, in one town it was so bad that the church there lowered him through a window in a basket so he could get away before they killed him. He was shipwrecked a total of 3 times, beaten 3 times, stoned once, and spent a day and night at sea adrift. Yet, not once do you hear Paul accusing God, instead we see a man who carried on doing the work of His Saviour. If anyone had cause to be demotivated and discouraged, Paul would’ve probably been him.

Let me take us back into the Old Testament and just briefly discuss two major prophets: Jeremiah and Elijah. There are many more I could discuss, but these two are the most prominent. Jeremiah you will probably remember as the “Weeping Prophet” or the “Prophet of Doom”. Jeremiah had a very painful calling of God, yet he kept on as God had commanded him. God sent Jeremiah to Israel despite the fact that they wouldn’t listen and his ministry would be rejected. Now how’s that for motivation? Being told that what you’re doing is going to be of no purpose to the people it was supposed to be teaching. We, as children of God, can now look at the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations and see warnings and comfort from God, but for Jeremiah this was probably the hardest time of his life. He suffered greatly from depression, as did many of the prophets, which brings us to our next prophet, Elijah.

Elijah was the prophet that challenged the prophets of Baal. The challenge was whose god was real and whose god Israel would serve. Israel was on the fence, about which god to serve–Baal or the God of Israel? So, Elijah then presents a challenge to the prophets of Baal. The conditions were very simple: both were to prepare a sacrifice and the true god would send fire from heaven to burn up the sacrifice. You can read the whole event in 1 Kings 18: 20- 40. Suffice to say, as He always does and always will, God came through. Yet after this, Elijah runs into the desert to hide from the wicked queen Jezebel who was none to pleased that all her prophets had been killed. We find him in a cave bemoaning his lot, similar to Job. He says to God, “I am the only prophet alive in Israel.” and God’s reply is, “No, you are not there are 100 prophets of Israel hidden away.” All this time God sends food and drink to give Elijah the strength he would need to continue on the journey Elijah still had to take. God was’t finished working with Elijah.

I have only mentioned four of the thousands of prophets and teachers mentioned in the Bible, but as you can see, despite one day being on top of the world, they sunk to the bottom very quickly. It happens to everyone. We all need God’s strength and motivation to keep moving forward. It can be something you hear from a friend, a song, a message on the radio or a thousand other ways.

I started this blog feeling so demotivated, but now I feel motivated to keep writing. Simply walking through the Scriptures has reminded me that no matter how sad or demotivated I feel, the only source of inspiration I will ever need is my God.

God bless you and keep you motivated, my avidReaders.

The Will to Survive

I was asked a question by a follower of this blog and it made me wonder, “What would happen if mob mentality took over? Would we plunder stores? Start ransacking empty houses while the inhabitants fled perhaps to a safer location?” While I can’t answer for everybody, it is an interesting thought, isn’t it? “What would happen if we were all put in a position where we had to fight to survive?” This thought, in turn, made me ask myself, “Are we selfish creatures?” And while there are people who will say ‘no’ and others who would agree, it is a very good question to ask ourselves. Who am I? Am I selfish? Am I selfless? Where do we stand on this existential question?

In H.G. Wells book, “War of the Worlds”, Wells puts his Narrator in a position where he is forced to share an abandoned house with a selfish drunkard. While the Narator is trying to ration out their resources between the two of them, he struggles with his greedy and selfish companion to ration out what they find in the pantry and wine cellar. Still, one morning he wakes up to find that, not only has his foolish and selfish companion almost emptied what was left of the pantry, he has also almost depleted their supply in the wine cellar in his gluttony. Here, for the first time in his life, the Narrator is faced with a difficult decision: does he kill his companion or leave in search of other provisions and, perhaps, a safer place to hide? I won’t tell you the answer to that question, if you wish to find out, read the book. It is the most amazing look at what a person will do to survive.

Another example of this is “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding. In Lord of the Flies we observe a group of young boys that quickly strive to develop a semblance of order after finding themselves stranded on an island, but instead of working together to establish a community, all that happens is we watch them rapidly disintegrate into absolute chaos and brutality. They end up with a power struggle amongst themselves and begin to fight over resources. Golding, like Wells, had a very firm grasp on humanity’s will to survive and the lengths we’ll go to in order to survive. In the book he takes a further look into mankind’s base nature.

Two examples that come from both movies, as well as the books they’re based on, are the Maze Runner trilogy and the Hunger Games trilogy. In both trilogies we witness what happens when people are pitted against one another and forced to do what they must to survive. The Maze Runner puts their characters in scenarios where they are forced to participate in a set of various experiments where their will to survive is tested. In this book we see only a few of these characters survive in the end as not all of them were able to survive despite their companions doing their utmost to assist them. Here we see a positive look at what they were willing to do for each other, as well as what some of them were willing to do to survive, sometimes even sacrificing themselves in order for the others to survive. Definitely one of the best of the modern day teenage ficition I’ve read.

Now let’s have a look at the Hunger Games. I have watched the movies, but haven’t personally read the books. When one watches the Hunger Games, it is truly atrocious how people are pitted against each other in a game of death where only one champion survives. These ‘victors’ are lauded and glorified by their districts as heroes. Nothing could be more horrifying BUT our heroine arises, one Katniss Eberdeen. Katniss, as anyone who’s watched the movie knows, sacrifices herself for her little sister, Prim. In the Hunger Games, we witness something similar to what happened in Rome at the Coliseum. However, the witnesses to the Hunger Games were exclusively the rich and their viewers were extremely flamboyant. Their blood-thirsty nature preyed on these innocent children’s lives and, in-turn, caused them to kill each other purely for the viewer’s own entertainment. We even see the effects that this has on the victor’s psyche. Man’s cruel abuse in forcing fellow humans to make a choice between heroism or survival, between life or death, is an age old act.

My last example comes from the greatest of the poets and playwrights the world will ever know, our beloved Shakespeare. In his play, Macbeth, we see Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, led by a prophecy from three witches that they would rule the kingdom one day, but this would come at a heavy cost to them. Despite the warning given, they were willing to kill anyone who stood between them and the throne. However, in the end, this cost them their very lives. Their greed for power killed them, just as the witches had prophesied.

For interest sake, other examples of what we mentioned above are the series “Lost”, “Survivor” and the movie “Life of Pi”. I can’t vouch for Survivor, but I will say that “Lost”and the “Life of Pi” are a perfect example of man’s inhumanity toward man.

We have looked at a few examples from classics and modern day fiction. Now let’s have a look at what leading psychologists have to say about this particular topic.

The term ‘Wille zum Leben’ or ‘will to survive’ was orginally coined by Arthur Schopenhauer who was a German philosopher born in Poland on the 22nd of February 1788. He stated that it was a psychological force of self-preservation, whether conscious or unconcious, representing an active and necessary process of reasoning causing an autonomic response to survive. Many people who survived near-death experiences describe it as their “driving force”, in other words what kept them fighting to stay alive. Psychologists have something else to add to this statement, saying that this is coupled with our hopes and expectations for the future. This is something I never even considered, but it is a very valid point. Why fight to survive if not for a specific purpose or hope in the future?

This desire to survive at all costs has been called many things by many people. Sigmund Freud called it ‘the pleasure principle’. Viktor Frankl, developed a type of psychotherapy he called ‘logotherapy’. Maslow’s Hierarchy, which represents the different priorities we have established in our lives, has at it’s very basis the will to surivive, before such requirements as love and the need to belong. As well as all this, our will to live is also influenced by our existent drives, should they be diminshed or achieved it may affect us in a negative or even positive aspect, this could sometimes lead to depression or feelings of euphoria/happines. Psychologists have much to say about man’s various drives and how they tie into our own will to survive, but they can all agree that every living creature has an innate will to live despite all odds.

Two other things that can affect our will to live are ‘fear’ and ‘pain’. While pain alerts us to a problem within our bodies and enables us to quickly identify the problem and treat it, it can also be an emotional suffering for example the loss of a loved one or the loss of a relationship that you greatly valued. However, fear is a far more complex creature. Typically fear releases adrenaline giving us the needed stimulus to run and seek safety or security, or even to fight off whatever is causing danger. Fear may sometimes be because of an outside stimulus, but sometimes, despite all logic, fear exists. In the treatment of this kind of fear, finding a coping mechanism is recommended, or even seeing a doctor who can help you. Sometimes it may be a chemical problem that can’t be cured by an external force. Anything as long as it gives you an escape from what causes your anxiety or fear.

We are hard-wired to survive for a variety of reasons, even the simplest of organisms face this same pressure to advance and succeed. There was a Japanese hiker who, after being seperated from his tour group, essentially hibernated for 24 days. Humans don’t hibernate. This amazing man was discovered to have no damage to his body at all. He recovered without any brain damage. Here we can clearly see he was not willing to give up his will to survive.

There are many movies and stories out there of people who suffered the most traumatic experiences, but despite all odds, these people survived. In school my mother read us the book, The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier. This story is the journey of 6 young people striving to be re-united with their parents in Switzerland during the Polish Holocast. In one scene, in order to escape a prison camp, Edek, the oldest brother, had to cling onto the bottom of a train in the freezing cold winter. If you want to read what happened to these brave children and their journey of courage, faith and survival look for the book. You won’t regret it, I promise.

When it comes to survival, there will always be the selfish and the selfless. I like to think I’m the latter and not the former, but only once I’m in that position will I know for sure. That’s a question I hope I never have to answer. It’s a question I hope none of you will ever have to answer.

I have a new Facebook page called the Weird and Wonderful on Facebook, I have shared the link on my Facebook page already. Share and follow, I will be posting weird and wonderful little facts for your interest. Again, thank you for your continued support. I appreciate each and everyone of you. 🙂

God bless you all my avidReaders. Look after yourselves.