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”! 😜


Is being open and honest the best social media policy? #survey #poll

I am doing a little research and would like your thoughts on best social media practices with honesty in posting, and the blocking–or following–of accounts that regularly post truthful feedback, both negatively and positively. I am particularly interested in views of businesses and organizations, those who have expertise in online marketing and other aspects of the online etiquette and behavior of consumers and business. I am interested in how consumers feel business and organizational accounts treat them for posting their honest experiences and reviews as well. Please comment below or email Thank you!

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!

Color Me Happy, Color YOU Happy!

Check out this great deal by my favorite hairstylist/colorist Jon-David (J-D), also known as @mafiahairdreser and @SalonSpaChat on Twitter. I love this guy and his talent so much! J-D is so attentive and caters to his clients’ needs. I highly recommend all men and women get the J-D experience and book an appointment with him! No, this isn’t an ad post. He isn’t paying me. In fact, he doesn’t even know that I am sharing this info with all of my loyal followers. 😉 I just think that J-D is so great and I love what he does for me, that I want to share him with you too!


This Little Girl’s Cover Of ‘Wrecking Ball’ Is Uninhibited And Adorable

This Little Girl’s Cover Of ‘Wrecking Ball’ Is Uninhibited And Adorable.

Can a day be any better?!

I have been very tired and took a lazy, sleepy morning, finally leaving home at lunchtime. I immediately recognized the sure sign that despite my late start, it was a great day! As soon as I got outside I saw a @Ramon_DeLeon Domino’s delivery being made to a home across the street. (Obviously a sign from God, as the sun shone down on the pizza delivery besides.) I smiled. BIG. I wanted to post a picture to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…(you know the drill), but sadly, quite sadly, my phone has been uncharged because the USB charger cord broke. Ramon has been so awesome to help offer food to the homeless and those who live in the shelter at @DebsPlaceChi with me, I can’t help but think of him and smile when I see a pizza delivery. So before heading to the bus stop, I walked to @OfficeDepot by my home in Lakeview, Chicago. I went straight back to look at the phone chargers and price them out. And maybe do some dreaming. I checked out the clearance sale section too. I’m a smart woman and refuse to leave a store (especially a “toy store” like Office Depot) without checking all sales. Naturally, I wrote a mental wish list of everything I’d love to have. Anyway, I decided to test my luck. I spoke to the Office Depot store manager. I wish I paid better attention to his nametag! I explained my situation, being unemployed, living at a nearby shelter, and in desperate need of a new charger cord for my phone. I offered to trade gift cards for multiple stores or make any arrangement possible to get one. He gave me a new one, no cost or anything. He said that he had an extra. I damn near jumped and gave the man a hug and a kiss on the cheek! LOL! I sincerely cannot thank this manager enough! Honestly, the same goes for @Ramon_DeLeon. I have been moody sometimes and not blogging as I was, I’ve been slower to mention how greatly I — how greatly WE at Deborah’s Place / Marah’s — appreciate his kindness in delivering pizzas to us. So surely, seeing the Domino’s delivery near my home today was a sign that the day could only be better? That the world is filled with the kindness of others. We just have to ask. I admit, that is something that I am still working on. I have always tried to be very independent and hate to ask for help. While homeless, I began to learn new social skills. One of which, includes asking for help. I am still learning this one. It is okay to ask help. I don’t like to get something for nothing. I feel the gratitude and pay from my heart, if nothing else. I appreciate what my followers and others have done to help myself and others. Many a time, someone’s generosity has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, @Ramon_DeLeon, the manager at @OfficeDepot in Lakeview, Chicago, @mafiahairdreser, @Superdawg, and so many others for all your kindness and help. ❤ My phone service is still temporarily suspended because I couldn't pay the monthly bill, but having the new charging cord is a fresh start to getting it back on! I can now charge the phone, use my contacts and calendar to schedule appointments, and use email and make free phone calls on wifi. I am happy!!!!!!!