Reliving desperation and admiration

I interviewed with a BBC Radio show today. (It won’t air until next week. I’ll let you know when.) The topic for the host started out as basically, people being almost addicted to their cell phones. Then by chance during an internet search she came across my story.

If you somehow aren’t aware yet, I first joined Twitter and social media in 2009 while I was homeless. What started out as me not knowing a thing about Twitter or how to even use it, quickly grew to experiences that I’d have never dreamed of ever having! I could use computers at the library during the day, but other than that, I mostly tweeted by SMS/text message from my phone. My phone was my life — my dire connection to the world in my times of need. I could call someone, text or email by SMS. I didn’t have a smartphone. Just a simple, basic phone. A dumb phone. In fact, that’s the type of phone I use now.

I had unlimited texting so I could post messages to Twitter as much as I wanted, anytime I wanted, all day and all night. Whenever I had a need to say something. Which, back then, was quite a lot! I posted about my activities, shared thoughts or information on jobs or things I heard about, and wrote volumes of tweets from my emotions.

Fear, anxiety, and prayers dominated many of my tweets. I shared a number of hopes and wishes, too. There were many nights I lied on the ground, afraid and paranoid that someone would come up to me in the night. Is someone watching? Is someone here? Who is here watching me? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affected me severely. There I was alone, but I couldn’t tell because my mind conjured up invisible people who might have been lurking.

I kept my “security blanket” tightly in hand all night. My phone was my connection to the world. Anytime I needed to say something, to vent, to express my fears, somebody was able to hear me. I couldn’t get their replies until I went to the computers at the library the next day, but they were there. Somebody cared. Another person suffered the same plight of PTSD once. I’m really not alone.

The tweets from my phone led to development of virtual and real-life relationships with people and businesses. Through my sincerity and openness of my life, stigma changed to acceptance, understanding, and kindness. I got to see God’s love in action, and emotion. These people — my social media followers — said that I changed them for the better. What I saw is how they changed me.

Sharing my story online and in real life at speaking engagements has helped me to open up. I am still shy and very socially awkward, but I am much more open with my emotions. Having constant access to my phone and being able to tweet by text has been extremely therapeutic.

I still tweet Clint Eastwood style — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes I feel that I share too much. But I need to get things out. Sometimes I need to vent. In a way, being able to tweet and vent my emotions is more than emotionally therapeutic. It can also be protective against bad thoughts so I don’t try to self-injure. I haven’t done any cutting in however many years. It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes still have those thoughts about doing it. So I greatly appreciate the kindness and compassion from all of you, my followers. A small gift, a kind word, a hug. It means the world to me! God’s love in action, indeed.

I discussed all of these areas and more on the BBC Radio show. (Again, I will share the link to the broadcast after it airs.) Talking about these things have so much effect on me emotionally! Ever since then my thoughts have been on all of my followers and how you have affected me, the place you have in my heart. I am reliving the desperation of my past and the admiration and love for the compassion I have received. Thank you all so much!

PS: Side note to Joan of Real Time Paradigm, my blogging teacher at NextDoor:  I clicked “Publish”! 😜


Black Lives Matter Chicago and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“This is a terrible thing. I’ve been in many demonstrations all across the South, but I can say that I have never seen—even in Mississippi and Alabama—mobs as hostile and as hate-filled as I’ve seen here in Chicago.” —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Source: Black Lives Matter Chicago and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sadness and shock run through me in reading this article. To think that in the year 2017 there is so much hate and violence plaguing this great city–in our great America! I am all for Freedom Of Speech when it is nonviolent–but when it gets to people being physically violent and brutally savage with words and actions–lock them up and send them to Hell! Fuck yes Black Lives Matter but not at cost to destruction of human life and properties! Not with words so harsh and hurtful that they emotionally assassinate a God given life! If Martin Luther Kind Jr. were alive today, would this violence be going on? How would he respond? MLKJr. was a man who believed in people and equality, and PEACE. How can there be so much of the opposite after all he said and did to advocate his dreams? How did we go from peaceful demonstrations and rallies to such hate-filled assaults and disorder?! I pray for Peace. This is my Dream.

AF&PA announces 2017 advocacy priorities – Recycling Today

Regulations, taxes, transportation, trade among association’s priorities.

Source: AF&PA announces 2017 advocacy priorities – Recycling Today

Missing you.

I have been neglecting this blog and all of my readers, and I am sorry for that. I really have been thinking of you! Actually, for quite some time I was locked out of my account due to a new phone and 2-Step Authentication. I had backup codes but couldn’t find them. Finally I emailed WordPress with the details and proof of my identity and got things fixed. So I’m back! You don’t know how good it feels to have access to this blog again! Besides sharing interesting things and tidbits about my life, my Klout and EmpireKred scores have been suffering. LOL.

A lot has obviously happened since the last I posted. I am tired and won’t go in to everything now. I would like to say, however, that I remember how it was to be homeless. My heart goes out to those facing that situation. I help how I can, when I can, but it is not enough. I sometimes stand out among people on the CTA because I will smile and interact with homeless people riding the transit with me. There are times when others might move to another section of the bus or actually unboard the bus to wait for the next one on the same route–simply because the homeless individual was social. That being even when the homeless person did NOT have a traumatic scent. Just because of…being nice. 😦


Summer Hibernation

This is a great summer! Well, it has been rainy which I can do without. And I am having more problems with fibromyalgia. Thank God I have an awesome doctor! He really is the best–I couldn’t ask for anyone better. That’s my primary physician. My rheumatologist has just moved to California so I am looking for a new one. Quite honestly, I will not miss her.

So what have I been doing with my summer besides taking pain pills and naps because of the fibromyalgia? I have actually been somewhat busy! I am getting out to more social media and networking events. I believe the next event is August 12, the Social Media Club Chicago Annual Summer Social. I have been a blood donor. Thanks to a tweet by @GoatKING, one week ago I volunteered work at Taste of Lincoln Avenue. It was busy as heck at the Fullerton gate where I was stationed! Sadly, my blog has been in hibernation.Yes, I am guilty of blog neglect. Again. Believe me, I have thought about my blog. I just haven’t been inspired enough to get my fingers going on the keyboard. It takes some thought and my brain just hasn’t been functioning as well with the fibromyalgia going on lately. I haven’t even been tweeting as much or participating in tweet chats as often. To tell the truth, I could use a nap right now. So much for the effects of coffee. It is doing nothing for me. Anyway, I am thinking of you all. My blog followers continue to grow in number and I feel bad that I haven’t been around here as much. I do think of you! Please stop by to comment or say hello. Tweet me at @padschicago, like me on Facebook as No Longer Homeless,  and you may add me as a friend on Facebook. Feel free to connect on Linked In too!

Ms. Awesome Will See You Now

Sometimes I think that I am too nice. But is that really possible too be too nice? No. I am just very compassionate. It’s almost to a fault. People come to me for help and I am glad to offer it how I can. I’m not a doctor but I have received some certificates in health care. Sometimes people are dependent on the extra support. Being “on-call” can be a bitch! I’ve had to set limits at times. The neediness and dependency can really drive me crazy! On the other hand, I have an over-abundance of compassion and understanding. I realize that everyone has some sort of issue at some time or other, mild or severe, acute or chronic. I myself have faced PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the eating disorder anorexia, borderline personality, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I am doing well now, but for some signs and symptoms of PTSD yet. The slightest comment or action by someone could trigger emotions and bad dreams. Yes, it’s hard that others who have never experienced PTSD don’t understand. Thankfully, I have identified with a couple people who try to understand and have been very supportive. I know how it feels to have someone there in a time of need. It feels awesome! So when others come to me for help–to use me as a psychotherapist–or for health advice or whatever–I accept the challenge.  I find gratitude in observing positive changes in “my patient” who comes to me for support. The moment something “clicks” is so very inspirational to me! That is my fuel! Like a gift from God. There is nothing better than to feel the moment of positive change. My door is open if you need extra support. Ms. Awesome will see you now.

GIFT IDEA! –> Dr. Wes: MedTees for the Holidays

I am always inspired by busy physicians who take time out for charity and advocacy. Dr. Wes Fisher of NorthShore University Health System in Evanston, IL, does just that by way of MedTees, selling humorous medical and health themed t-shirts. I have to be honest and say that they are awesome! The content is very tasteful, and I add again, very funny, and any patient with a medical or even psychiatric condition would enjoy receiving one of Dr. Wes’ t-shirts for the holidays! This is not ad, I am not being paid for this post. I am passing this on to you as a great gift idea for the special person in your life (including yourself) that also gives back to others with the charities that Dr. Fisher supports. Please check out his site and products. I promise that you will ROTFLOL! 😀  Also, if you like classy medical and cardiology related tweets, you can follow Dr. Fisher at @DoctorWes. The following is a copy/paste of Dr. Fisher’s own blog post, with permission.

~~ AnnMarie, @padschicago


Dr. Wes: MedTees for the Holidays.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

MedTees for the Holidays

“Kori” – a patient with a MedTee
(Used with permission: click to enlarge)

In 2005, my wife and I started, a website powered by the t-shirt company Cafepress, to support various charities.

The idea of the website is a simple but important one: “We have few role models and few realistic stories about living with a less-than-perfect body, or less than perfect health. How we choose to deal with the cards that life gives us is what this site is all about.”  About half of the slogans used on the various t-shirts sold by the site were donated by our patient-customers with proceeds directed to the charity of their choosing.  All proceeds that we receive from the sale of these shirts (about $3/shirt) is donated at the end of each year, proportional to the themes of the t-shirts sold.  (By the way, we’re always looking for new ideas for shirts.)

Since we do not purchase advertising, this blog serves as our “ad space” for  This will be the only blog post used this holiday season to promote the site, so if you’re looking for something different to offer a friend who’s been through a tough time medically this past year, consider a MedTee.

It might mean more than you realize.

Happy Holidays –

Diane and Wes Fisher


An Open Letter: Please, I need your help!

Please forgive my plea, but I seriously need your help. In less than two days I will walk ten times around the Chicago Bears Soldier Field to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I have increased my goal to $500 and have a long way to go to reach it! It will be a long, and probably painful walk this Saturday at the event because of my rheumatic issues and edema, but it will be so *worth* it! I feel the love for St. Jude, and these children and families who they help. Since opening in 1962, St. Jude has developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent to 80 percent today. St. Jude doesn’t just focus on childhood cancers, but also HIV / AIDS, and other catastrophic illnesses. St. Jude treats the child patient and the family to ensure care and wellness of the child. My past health care work history understands the importance of St. Jude’s efforts and how much these very sick children need to be well.

I’m so impressed by the cancer research being done at St. Jude that I’m participating in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. this Saturday, November 23, and I need your support to help me reach my new, updated, fundraising goal of $500. I have just TWO days left and a long way to go to reach that goal!

Will you please help me support St. Jude by donating today at

Thanks to donations from people like us, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything.
St. Jude speeds its research discoveries directly from its labs to doctors and scientists everywhere.
One child saved at St. Jude means thousands more saved worldwide.

Visit my fundraising Web page at to donate your tax-deductable gift and help save a child’s life today. Please share this post with anyone whom may be interested. Thank you so very much!

AnnMarie Walsh

My Fundraising Page:

About Me:

Linked In:


Help me support life-saving research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

What do you give thanks for?

I give thanks for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since opening in 1962, St. Jude has developed protocols that have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent to 80 percent today.

I feel the love for St. Jude, and these children and families who they help.

I’m so impressed by the cancer research being done at St. Jude that I’m participating in theSt. Jude Give thanks. Walk. on Saturday, November 23, and I need your support to help me reach my fundraising goal of $150.

Will you help me support St. Jude by donating today at ?

How your support helps:

Thanks to donations from people like us, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything.

  • St. Jude speeds its research discoveries directly from its labs to doctors and scientists everywhere.
  • One child saved at St. Jude means thousands more saved worldwide.
  • Please visit my fundraising Web page to donate and help save a child’s life today.
  • Thank you for your support!

    AnnMarie Walsh

    My Fundraising Page:

    Should illegal immigrants receive organ transplants?

    There is a debate going on outside:  Which comes first–law, or health?


    I am sitting online by Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Across the street when I arrived there was a group of  people protesting for rights for illegal immigrants to receive organ transplants. I admit that I have slightly mixed feelings on the issue as a whole, but my heart is for organ transplantation and human life. While working in the healthcare field I saw the results of such a life changing gift! I also saw the despair and worsening illness when an organ for transplant wasn’t available. In my own family several family members needed transplants. My father died before he was able to get one. One of my my uncles died at a young age in his 30’s while awaiting transplant. Another uncle was able to receive new valves, but not a new heart due to diabetes and alcoholism. I know well the importance and value of organ donation. I have been registered as a potential donor for several years in the hope that I can share this value with those who need and their families. I hope awareness for organ donation and sharing life will rise, giving hope to all who need help.