What’s happening in the world right now?

It’s been a few crazy months since the election over here in the US. I’m sure I’m not the only one who got into the habit of mostly ignoring the news because they couldn’t take anymore. I’ve hit a point now where It doesn’t upset me nearly as much, but in case you’re interested, here are just a few of the things going on right now around the world:

Donald Trump signed an executive order banning citizens of seven countries in the middle east (Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, and Somalia) from entering the U.S. for 90 days. All refugees are banned for 120 days, although refugees from Syria are banned indefinitely. A federal judge temporarily suspended parts of the ban. The 9th circuit of appeals upheld this temporary stay , denying the U.S. government’s motion to resume the ban. Both sides will have to submit arguments before a ruling is made. Regardless of what the court of appeals decides, the case will probably end up in the Supreme Court.

About a week ago the Russian Parliament voted 380-3 in order to decriminalize domestic violence.

Romania is trying to ease corruption rules for public officials.

The Queen has become the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, celebrating 65 years on the throne.

The House of Commons speaker has said he is strongly opposed to allowing Trump to address Parliament during his upcoming state visit.

Syrian Government forces have cut off a main supply route into al-Bab, a city in the Aleppo province, which is now almost completely surrounded by Syrian Rebels backed by the Turkish Government.

I may do a few more of these pieces as we move forward in the year. If you’re feeling down because of all the crazy things, please keep fighting. Our voices matter more now than ever.

xoxo,

Miss Lunatic

 

Sweat it Out

Apologies for the lack of posts, I was really sick last week and then I spent the past few days laid up with a sprained ankle after I took a tumble down some stairs at work and there were not enough spoons to deal with that, school, and to blog.  But without further ado: A post!

I spent all of last Wednesday being so sick I could barely move until about 11:00 pm when my fever finally broke and the ‘sweat out the bad stuff’ stage began. Sweat it out is such a widely accepted notion for when you’re sick (out with the bad, in with the good) but for some reason this concept doesn’t really get applied to mental illnesses, even though it should be.

When you have a mental illness, sometimes you have the urge to just bottle up what you’re feeling. The illness can be so loud inside your head that nobody cares about how you’re feeling and nobody wants to be burdened by your bad day. So you keep it all inside and let it fester. Things like that are why, in cases of suicide, often people say they had no idea that person was even thinking that way. The person was so good at pretending to be okay that nobody had any idea they were falling apart on the inside. But, and this is very important, YOUR ILLNESS IS LYING. 

As with any traditional, easier to see illness, you have to get the bad stuff out. If you let it in, it’ll only grow. Seeing a therapist is always my number one recommendation for anyone, regardless of if they have a mental illness or not. Anyone can benefit from a therapist. They are there to help teach you coping strategies and how to work through any sort of emotional obstacle you encounter. However, not everyone has access to or can afford a therapist, and with the new incoming administration’s slashing of healthcare in the USA the number of people without access will only grow.  Although a therapist is awesome, I have some good resources on my Mental Health Resources page that can help you if you aren’t able to see one right now.

I hesitate to advocate venting to friends because it can be very easy to set up a friend as your confidante and then dump everything on them until your illness is dragging them down just as much as it is you. It’s totally okay to occasionally vent to your friends or to be completely honest with them if they ask how you are.  “I’m not doing super awesome right now, struggling with mental health stuff.” is okay to say! They’re your friends and that’s what they’re there for. If someone has a problem with you being up front about how you’re doing then that person shouldn’t be your friend anyways!

If you can’t afford a therapist and you don’t want to dump on your friends, I personally find a journal (physical or not) is a great way to get it out. Write out a ton of letters you’ll never send. Write letters to yourself you’ll read later and cringe about. This is for you, not for anybody else. Write out all the bad stuff you don’t want to deal with and then let it escape. Let it get smaller until you can deal with it. And if the bad stuff is happening because someone is doing something fixable then, in the words of Captain Awkward, Use your Words!

If the bad stuff is because you’re in an abusive situation, there are a ton of great resources available across the ‘net to help you. I would suggest archive bingeing on Captain Awkward because she’s dealt very specifically with this topic multiple times and way better than I could, but there is help for you out there and you deserve it.

There may be a lot of bad stuff this year guys, but you got this. Sweat it out.

xoxo,

Luna

New Year, New You…Or Not

If you’re anything like me, new year’s is a terrible time. Everybody’s on the diet train, the gym craze, the ‘let’s get our lives and houses organized and then finally we’ll be happy’ fad. In case you can’t tell, I hate resolutions. As someone who struggles with a mental illness, new year’s is the easiest time of year for that little voice of bad things in your head to gain a foothold. Look at all those people who are so much better than you. They actually go to the gym, they do more than check out books about organization from the library and stare wistfully at the clean spaces. What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you do that?

The sad reality of my life, is that yes, I’d love to lose those pounds I’ve been trying to lose for four years,  god yes I’d love to have a clean and organized living space, but no amount of resolving that I’m gonna make that happen will make it happen for me. Getting out of bed every day is a struggle. The prospect of tackling a trip to the gym in addition to the schoolwork I have to do on any given day after I’ve put in 8 plus hours on the clock is just insurmountable. Clean for twenty minutes after you just got home and all you want to do is eat and then fall over? TOO MANY SPOONS.

Of course, that never stops me from resolving. I have a lovely gym membership I pay for that I use maybe three times in any given year, and the rest of the time I stare guiltily at it anytime I open my wallet and think maybe tomorrow I’ll have the energy. Do I have the energy tomorrow? Highly unlikely.

I am well experienced in the process of moving things around in a vague motion of trying to clean but getting quickly overwhelmed and slinking away in defeat. Some days, even gathering clothes to do a load of laundry is ridiculously difficult and the only thing that makes it happen is the fact that if I don’t do laundry, tomorrow I have to go to work naked. Not really obviously, but you can only wear the same clothes so many times before perfume isn’t gonna cut it and I never want to find out where that line is.

So yes, I do have lines. Places that, even in the face of my disorder, I won’t let myself go. For some people, this is the sign that I can really do anything if I just wanted to hard enough. Much as I wish the world worked like the magic in halloween town (Magic is really very simple, all you’ve got to do is want something and then let yourself have it.) it just doesn’t. No matter how badly I want something, some days the hurdles are just too much. I can counteract this a little with friends. For example: I’m far more likely to go the gym if I have a buddy to go with. If I got to the gym by myself I spend half the time I’m there worrying about how I don’t know what to do except for the elliptical, and then after I’ve done my time on the elliptical, stare at all the equipment until I get embarrassed and leave. ElodieUnderGlass wrote a lovely piece awhile ago over at CaptainAwkward about Breaking the Low Mood Cycle and I’m currently doing what I can in regard to that.

New year, New me has never ever worked for me, but new year, slightly improved me might be. I’m focusing on what I want in order to be happy instead of the things that I feel I should want. Best wishes in the new year guys! What are some of your projects this year?

Xoxo

Miss Lunatic

Miss Lunatic’s Board Game Spotlight

Self care can be different for everybody. For me personally, when I’m feeling down, I love to play a board game. It’s just the right sort of distraction to help keep my mood from falling even further. So without further ado, here are two of my favorite board games.

 

Battlestar Galactica

 

Even if you know nothing about the show, this board game is an entertaining way to fill an afternoon. It’s a competitive cooperative game split into teams, with just one catch, you don’t know who’s on your team. All players have hidden loyalty cards, so even though everyone appears to be human, there are Cylons hiding among the crew trying to sabotage you. There are many different ways for the Cylons to win and just one way for the humans to win, but in my experience the humans win pretty dang often. Half the fun of the game is throwing insults at your friends and making assumptions about whether they’re feeling ‘toaster’-y.

You can get the base game from Amazon or from your local game store.

 

Ticket to Ride

 

Ticket to Ride is the game of trains and routes. You draw route cards from a deck and get to pick which ones you want to attempt for points. Route cars will have two cities on them and you must connect those two cities with your trains in order to get the points for the route. In order to lay down trains you have to draw colored train cars from a different deck and be able to lay down enough to match the spots on the board. You can only ever connect one city to another at a time. Depending on how many players you have, more or less spots will be open on the board. My fondest memories of this game involve the angry-yet-somehow-still-friendly yelling of friends who had their preferred route cut off by me. At the end of the game you get points for all the routes you’ve completed and all of the trains you’ve placed, and then you must take negative points for any routes you left undone. The person with the most points wins.

You can get Ticket to Ride from Amazon or your local game store. Also there’s an app! you can play by yourself against a computer or with other players. Available on Google Play or Apple. Enjoy!