It can be hard to be inspired. Sometimes I have the inspiration, but my technology isn’t optimum. So what do I do? Often, I do nothing. I admit that is not the best strategy. It’s the worst. I am trying to work on that. I am regularly attending a WordPress blogging class at Next Door. I try to jot down a note on a topic from time to time. The thing I really need to work on is the action of writing and publishing the post. I am doing that tonight. The blogging class with Joan Margau has freshly ended just over an hour ago. I think the most popular phrase tonight was “keeping up with the momentum”. What inspires and motivates us to blog — to write and click publish? Well, for me, tonight’s class does part of that. I walked into the class with sort of a craving. The other part comes from a bottle of momentum. I used birthday money to buy a cheap bottle of wine. I haven’t had much. It’s just been so long since I had any that a glass or two feels nice. It makes for extra motivation, the delusion of being a normal grown up. Maybe I am just using writing the blog post as an excuse to have wine. Maybe the wine is part of the momentum contributing to writing it. Whichever it is, I am getting the project done. I am writing and soon I will do the final action: clicking the publish button.
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!
It is no secret that I have my ups and downs. Life is totally against me! Or is it? One thing that keeps me going — besides my faith — is that I have an open mind and try to see different perspectives. I might think I can read people’s minds, but in reality I know that I cannot. I don’t know the other person’s story or reasoning for his/her beliefs. This is tough because sometimes I just want to be angry toward everybody in the world without knowing what really is going on behind the scenes. I’ve experienced a lot of difficulties in my life. Multiple types of abuses, by a number of different people; rape; homelessness; stalking. If I could make a list, I am sure there would be more negative experiences than positive. Then again, it is a matter of perspective. So to account for that I would need to make an addition to the list to view each negative as a positive. I try to always do that. I don’t always want to. Sometimes stress can be so overwhelming that I feel like I just don’t care, that nobody cares — that some say they do, but I’ll feel that it’s just an act and they really don’t. Despite my occasional lack of faith in myself, I do realize that I am somebody important. That even without having financial income, I am successful. I am somebody and I can be somebody more! All I need to do is give myself a chance.
Go to http://wgntv.com/2015/09/17/out-of-the-woods-bigfoot-goes-to-a-funeral/ to view the video on WGN’s website! As an extra there was no speaking part, but I played the part of a “mourner” very well, I think.
Post by @WGNNews.
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. 😦
My brother’s name is Duane. He is a bit eccentric, but he is my brother and I am proud of him! I would like to end rumors once and for all wondering if he is real or not. I am tired of seeing stories on WGN News and hearing comments on @ChiefOliver‘s radio show “Breaking Good“. My brother IS REAL, people! His name is DUANE! If you see him, do not be afraid! He is a regular guy. Just really hairy.
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!
WARNING: If you are my relative, you probably do NOT want to proceed reading! You may wish you hadn’t. The following is of a very personal and sensitive topic.
So. A friend came to me today and asked if I’d like to walk to the store with her. No, not just any store. She even showed me the ad in the paper. Here it is:
A free pocket-sized dildo! (We start cracking up laughing as others around us think we are nuts.) Nope, no nuts! I was like, ok, this should be hilarious! And I went with her and someone else. Now I had NEVER been inside a sex toy store before in my life! Yes, I was a virgin shopper. Well, not literally a virgin. I was married once and gave birth to two children from him. But it was my first experience in an adult toy store. So yes, in my mind, that is a virgin shopping experience. So this one friend of mine goes to the counter and asks the good looking sales guy about the item in the ad. There was no mention about a purchase being required so he handed us each one pocket-sized vibrator. To which one friend looks at it and says, “What do you do with it?” LMFAO!!!!! I couldn’t believe she said that! It’s like, DUH–you know! The sales guy was polite and enjoyed the humor I saw in it. He was actually very nice and came around the counter toward the back wall and opened one up and showed us how to place a battery inside and turn it on, further explaining to use it “down there” and on the clitoris. At this point we are still more giggly girls who can’t believe where we are and what is happening. The sales guy turned the vibrator on and let us touch it to feel how strong and quite capable it was. I must say, we were quite impressed that the “Pocket Rocket” really seemed like it could blast off! So we got our toys and looked around the store a little, eyeing the sights before coming home. (No pun intended–get your mind out of the gutter. Ha!) Once at home we thought of the health social work intern. She is a young college student, just finishing her last days with us. We went to her office, laughing and giggling. We had something to show her–you know, so she could go and get one to do a sex ed class, show people how to put on condoms or whatever. We were so bad doing this to her! But her reaction was absolutely hilarious! Once she realized what it was she was holding, (“Is this what I think…..?”) she was like almost pushing it away–but then she brought it back to her to look at and examine some more. And repeat. And repeat again. She could clearly not believe what was happening! She seemed so innocent. LMAO! My friends and I just thought that we would share the experience of our afternoon out. Now that I have mini vibrator, will I use it? Ha! Probably not but it will be a great conversation piece! Honestly, I prefer the REAL thing to small, hard plastic. Hey, penis envy is real! Just saying I now own a vibrator makes me feel like I have at least cum to every woman’s right of owning a penis alternative. No, I have not used the plastic penis. It is still inside the clear plastic wrapper where it will stay. This has been a LMFAO kinda day. Many thanks to my lady friends and inspirational sales guys with toys. 😉
I can’t believe I just blogged this. 😛
I type this straight from the heart. I pray all fire fighters, paramedics and other first responders stay safe and away from harm–or worse. They do things I would be afraid to do, running in to inferno buildings to rescue occupants and put out the roaring blaze. But in one other capacity in their rescue of people (and other living things), I have a little more experience with. The rescue calls when someone is sick or injured, not due to fire and smoke, these men and women are always at the ready. I live in a building with about 30 people. They come around frequently. Last night they were here yet again. I didn’t get all of the numbers on the trucks, but they surprised me and an abundance of fire fighters arrived to care for someone with breathing problems. We actually had a ladder truck outside, then an engine, and finally the ambulance crew. Things were under control and not too hectic. Of course there was some joking around–by the firemen, as well as, um, me. Okay, another person or so may have joined in a little, but I was the main culprit giving the firemen some friendly harassment. Example: One other resident commented to fireman on what big feet he has. She was serious. He came back and said, “well, you know what they say about guys who have big feet?”. Here I smirk. My friend asks him what. The fireman hesitates slightly and says, “they have big boots”. It went on and this fireman joked that a different fire fighter in the group had even bigger feet. Ok, I couldn’t resist! I said, well, maybe he could show us? (Hee hee!) The banter back and forth continued from there. Overall, considering the circumstances, it was almost a good time! I really like the crew that was on last night. They had an awesome sense of humor and were very friendly and social. The one guy commented that it (being here on the call) was kind of like an episode of Chicago Fire. That had already crossed my mind. The one fireman had reminded me of a guy from that TV show. I mentioned it to him. He laughed and told his buddies, “Seeeee?”. I guess he had a small part in the show before. Very cool! Anyway, no matter what the personalities of these wonderful first responders who hopefully show great care and concern for total strangers, I will say prayers for their safety. Even better if they have the personalities of the men who were here last night, Monday night. God bless you gentlemen. And hugs to you.
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.