Mental Health: Awakening – Part V

Preamble

Firstly sorry I missed last week, I was at a friend’s wedding. Happy one week anniversary Mr & Mrs Sweetman from myself and Le’Boo!

Awakening: Mental Health
Happy one week anniversary Mr & Mrs Sweetman!

Well, Moonlings, don’t worry, today my thoughts on mental health are positive. Often I forget to write down how I’m feeling on a good day. Or maybe the processes that helped me get through a particularly bad day. I think once the bad day is over I’m so happy to be balanced again I neglect self-reflection.

So that’s what this is. A simple bit of self-reflection. I look back to when someone recently hurt my feelings, and how I processed those feelings so no more fighting happened.

The Issue

Somebody bruised my ego. Look I’m not perfect(much to my chagrin), and when people say cruel things they sometimes hurt my feelings. Normally I’m pretty much used to people not understanding me or saying hurtful things in an unsolicited way. I’ve grown to have a thick skin because I like who I am, my style and how soft I am in regards to the flora and fauna of the world.

Some people don’t like that, they are afraid of what they can’t categorise or understand. Does this make me any less valid? It certainly does not.

I also have the added bonus of not doing something just because it’s always been done that way. (I’ve been called the black sheep in my family more than once). If we didn’t question our realities then citizens would still be legally allowed to own slaves in America, homosexuality would still be a crime in Ireland, and women would not be allowed to vote or own property.

Anyways I digress. Basically, I realised that when someone makes you feel bad, you are allowing them that right. Have you ever heard this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt?

“No one can make you feel inferior, without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

This is a sentiment I come back to time and time again. If something cruel is making you feel bad, then there must be a break within yourself. The cruelty is an external force, and you cannot allow it to penetrate and become an internal force.

A Solution

Notice how I wrote ‘a’ solution, and not ‘the’ solution as there are many ways to tackle mental health, and they are all valid as long as they follow this cardinal rule. They don’t harm another person. (This includes yourself because you are a person).

So I used one of my many solutions. The “letters we write, but never send,” method. Why do people do this? Surely talking it out is the only way to resolve a conflict between two sentient beings?

Nope. Sadly sometimes the other person is incapable of seeing things from your point of view. You cannot force them to see, because the only person you have control over is yourself. So what you must do is write down all your feelings, problems and thoughts so you can see them in a thoroughly organised way.

Address the letter to the person, tell them how they hurt you and why. Explain that you’ve tried to see from their perspective but you don’t understand because it seems unduly cruel. Then end with forgiveness and feel your calm returning.

I am not spouting ‘hippy’ nonsense, these methods do work to an extent. Especially on a once off fight or situation. However, if someone is being continual cruel or worse, abusive, you may simply need to walk away from that person.

Once you are done you can seal the envelope, burn it(safely), or even just rip it up and throw it away. Under no circumstances should you give the letter to the person, as this will just cause more hurt. Healing cannot happen if there is continued hurting on both sides.

Then do your best to forgive and move on, knowing that in your own heart it’s ok to be you.

Myself and Le'Boo wedding ready
Myself and Le’Boo wedding ready.

Samaritans Ireland: Call: 116 123 or Text: 087 260 9090

Pieta International: Call: 1800 247 247 or Text: 51444

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

I have written about mental health before, and you can read about that here.

Messages #17: Mental Health Issues

Depression & Anxiety

For those of you out there that clicked on this because you relate to having mental health issues, I’m so sorry. If you are just curious and maybe want to learn more, you are still welcome here. I will just warn you though, this won’t be a particularly fun post.

When I was originally diagnosed with anxiety & depression, my counsellor told me, “You will get better at managing it, but it will never really go away.” Instead of taking this as a cautionary tale, I jumped back into work. Then slowly, but surely, I slipped into my old bad habits.

What are these bad habits? In a nutshell, I overwork myself. I’m so afraid that any opportunity I get will never come around again, so instead of thinking it through I just say yes to everything. I don’t think about what I already have, I focus on what I still need to do. Which is my bucket list, the arbitrary list of things I want to do before I die.

No one is watching me, or evaluating me. If I don’t get through the list nothing bad will happen, there is no finish line or prise. Yet my ambitious doesn’t just rule me, it screams at me.

My sleep has been destroyed as a result. I lay in bed planning to perfection how I’m going to fit it all in, then have panic attacks in the dark. My body is sore and tired, and it needs a break.

Depression & Anxiety
Depression & Anxiety

Thinking Moon

I’m here today to tell you that Thinkingmoon.com will be slowing down for a while. I bit off more of the Moon than I could chew and sent my anxiety into overload.

My priority is and always has been my PhD, but lately, I’ve been overextending myself. Taking extra jobs to pay bills (proof reading), writing this blog, filming YouTube videos and spending waaaaay too much time on Twitter.

I’m not going away completely but I will only be posting once a week, on my original day, which is Friday.

When I feel better and more grounded I will post some extra days again. When the mood strikes or inspiration cannot wait, but this will not be permanent. Not until at least next July 2020.

In the meantime, please use me as your cautionary tale if you are struggling. Your health is more important than anything else. Go rest, then reevaluate. What is important to you?

Thank you all for reading,

Depression & Anxiety
Depression & Anxiety

I wish you all love & peace.

Jaycee. xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

depression-3912748_1280

https://thinkingmoon.com/category/messages/

My Anxiety & My Magic – Part VI

– Red: Depressed / Anxious / Angry / Negative

 – Orange: Sad / Unsettled / Low

 – Yellow: Empty / Tired / Fed-up

 – Green: Middling / Feeling Nothing / Don’t Care

 – Blue: Feeling Strange / Unsure

 – Indigo: Happy / Relaxed / Smiling

 – Purple: Very Calm / Content / Happy / Positive

 

I went to Iceland in 2016 with my parents and Le Boo. While driving around we listened to Björk a lot. Her voice and music style makes more sense to me now I’ve seen the landscape of her homeland. It’s incredibly beautiful, but also quite alien. I can only imagine living there before the industrial revolution.

It’s desolate and lonely fields of lava coupled with intense coastlines feels genuinely out of this world. It was the trip of a lifetime. We went to the Blue Lagoon, and I’d paid my ticket in advance to swim in it.

iceland-139016_1280

That never happened. While my parents and Le Boo were swimming in the Blue Lagoon’s naturally heated water, I was in the bathroom of the facility. Crying as quietly as I could in a stall, while my body panicked so fiercely it felt as though I was going to die. For days afterward I was exhausted, and couldn’t enjoy the holiday as well.

When I got back to Ireland, instead of being able to sleep the night before I returned to work, I tossed and turned. My stomach was sick, and I vomited at one stage. When Le Boo was getting ready for work in the morning he was surprised when I didn’t get up. I informed him as soon as my GP’s office was open at 8am I was going to make an appointment with her.

He was extremely supportive by the way and still is to this day.

I sobbed in my primary care physician consulting room, which was a new experience for me. I told her how I was feeling, and how there had to be something wrong. She suggested I quit one of my jobs (which I never had to do before, I have like 3 jobs now) and try some anti-depressants.

I then found a counselor recommended by a friend. She kindly informed me I had a mental breakdown after many years of suppressing pain and illness.

It’s been two years since that breakdown.

Let me make something very clear. At the time of the breakdown I was with Le Boo, and that is an extremely loving relationship. My parents, brother, and friends are all phenomenal people. I had managed to get a scholarship for my Ph.D. which was what I had always wanted, and my career was finally moving in the direction I wanted.

And yet…

You think you get what you want and your mental illness will just dissolve. There isn’t a chance of that. What might happen is finally recognise if your internal monologue is healthy. If your relationship with yourself is kind. The road to discovery this may be tough but I found journaling helped. I included a colour chart I use at the beginning of this post. It has been indispensable to understanding and processing my emotions.

What I discuss on this blog is not revolutionary. It’s not ground-breaking in itself. Except for those suffering from cycles of anxiety followed by depression. When someone with other chronic illnesses discusses their symptoms, tt makes you realise you are not alone in your disease. Although it wants you to feel as though you are.

The community of people I’ve surrounded myself with on this site has been eye-opening. Those suffering from an array of mental illnesses from bi-polar to PTSD to social anxiety, and many more. They describe moments of pain, and they share their load. Hopefully making it a bit lighter.

Share your pain, listen to your emotions, and finally be kind to yourself first. Otherwise, you won’t have anything left to give to others.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

I also make YouTube videos on occasion to accompany my posts. You can check it out below:

Mental Health: It’s not your fault – Part IV

I’m going to make everything really awkward for a bit so buckle up. Last week I was very ill. It was spent alternating between crying and feelings of numbness. Immediately after that week, I had 24 hours of pain in my abdomen. Thinking I was constipated or something (despite the large amount of fibre in my diet) I proceeded to eat plenty of beans and bowel friendly food.

I wake up on Tuesday morning and boom. Period in my pants. Less than 25 days since the beginning of my last one. So, in order to make myself feel better, I apply makeup and do my hair. Less than a year ago. This would not have been the case.

It's not your fault
It’s not your fault

By the way, this blog post was not planned. I actually have my blog posts planned until pretty much 2019. (I haven’t necessarily written them, but there you go). Also if you don’t feel like reading all this today, I have a link to my Youtube video below explaining everything.

I want to talk about: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Now although I have not been diagnosed with this, it would appear that I have many of the symptoms, especially in regards to depression.

I’ve been keeping a journal just monitoring my general well-being and moods. It appears that the week before my period, my depression is heightened. I’ve always had some form of depression and was only recently diagnosed in 2016 / 2017. I will be bringing this evidence to a gynecologist as soon as I can.

When you think you’re doing everything right by eating well, maintaining healthy relationships, working in a job you love, you feel like depressive episodes shouldn’t be too frequent. For me though it’s always bubbling under the surface. The symptoms are as real as any other disease and there is no definitive cure. So if my period is making it worse, well then I’m going to try everything in my power to, A) find ways to alleviate the pain, and B) build a better internal dialogue with myself.

Women are often ridiculed, “Oh don’t get so offended, you must just have your period.” Which, besides deserving zero response, is not fair. If our internal workings are really affecting some of us so deeply, shouldn’t we at least be allowed talk about it like adults?

It’s been 15 years since the beginning of my period and the realisation of its effect on my life has only recently clicked. When I said earlier that less than a year ago, I wouldn’t have bothered with makeup and hair to make myself feel better, I’m being honest. The general feeling during my period was self-blame. You shouldn’t feel sad, just get on with things, stop being such a baby.

This is not ok. Remember, if you are suffering from depression, regardless of how it is caused or exacerbated, repeat this to yourself. “It’s not my fault.” That’s like saying your auto-immune disease is your fault or the symptoms from the flu is your fault. It’s crazy and it’s pointless.

If anything I’m going to continue to make people uncomfortable and talk period talk. Especially if I spend up to a week beforehand alternating between crying uncontrollably and feeling completely numb.

The mad part? A lot of friends and family will read this, who were with me last week, and they will be super confused because I didn’t let any of this out in front of them. Which is just exhausting, let me tell you. I’m always exhausted.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

My Youtube Video:

 

Resources:

https://www.webmd.com/women/pms/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder#1

Lilly Singh:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAGI-k5petk

Feel like you agree with something I’ve said here? Why not look at some of my other mental health blog posts?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/mindfulness/

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/23/introducing-my-anxiety/

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/my-anxiety-my-magic/

 

Perfectionism.

I was in the middle of writing a different blog for today, but I’ve given up because I have a massive headache. It feels like it’s slowly turning into a migraine. I don’t suffer from them often but I feel the weather may be causing it. It’s very ‘heavy’ outside. So basically the other blog, which was about anthropology and food, has been abandoned until next week. It’s pretty much done, but I have perfectionist tendencies, and therefore cannot focus my brain enough to finish it to my own imaginary standards.

It’s something I have slowly been trying to turn around, especially being in academia. There are only so many times you can proof-read something, change it around, and then find your way back to the same spot again. Perfection is an impossible goalpost, yet I continue to set these requirements for myself.

In fairness, me staring at this screen isn’t really helping the situation. I’m going to have to put the laptop away soon, otherwise, it’s going to make me nauseous. This has turned into a stream of consciousness now. I normally put my blog up the night before and schedule it for the next day so this will be a strange one for you to read.

So this is a very quick blog post today, the fact of which actually hurts my brain. Does that happen to you? Like the fact that I will barely proof-read this and then put it up on my blog irks me. As if I’m accountable to someone. I’m the person who is the boss, the big honcho. Ok, so that’s it. Leave me a comment if you’re a perfectionist and therefore your own worst enemy.

Jaycee. xxx

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Also if you liked this post, try my last one in this category:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/cheers-to-love/

Traffic-induced Anxiety – Part III

Traffic.

We are being herded like cattle.

When I began commuting to Dublin in 2012 it was busy but bearable. Now it’s torturous. The transport infrastructure has not kept up with demand, as current traffic levels were not expected until 2020.[i] Some TDs are even calling for a second ring road to be built.[ii]

I’ve spoken about my anxiety here before, and nothing exacerbates my anxiety quite like traffic. When I’m in a room, or shop that’s too crowded, 9 times out of 10 I can leave. When I’m in Dublin traffic, there is nowhere to go, and I’m trapped. Not a good feeling when you have anxiety (or just when you are a human being in general).

I’ve tried many solutions. Trains and buses were out of the questions because they were far more expensive than my own car. (I am on a student stipend). Leaving earlier in the morning, leaving later in the evening was also doomed to fail, as the volume of traffic prevents this from being a viable solution. I’ve listened to audiobooks in an attempt to distract me from the stress and not waste those hours. I’ve even tried breathing meditations. Which work for about 5 minutes until a fellow road user does something completely inconsiderate and I’m back to square one. My only option was to work from home.

Yet I am one of the lucky few. Being able to work from home for most of the last 2 years comes from the flexibility in my career. There is only a need to venture into the city when I have a meeting or some other unavoidable human interaction. This has made my life infinitely better and I am more grateful than ever for my job.

Millions are not so lucky.

Humans continue to behave in ways our bodies were not built for because it is ‘expected’ of us. It is unhealthy for us to sit for 1 – 2 hours plus every day in traffic, with our blood pressure rising, and our mental health deteriorating.

No wonder there is an increase of road rage.[iii]

It’s not healthy for us to spend our days in pursuits that literally makes us depressed. Draining our vital mental energy, so when we finally arrive home, even cooking a healthy meal for ourselves seems like a cruel joke.

Remember, if your brain is sad, this will transfer to your body. That’s because, spoiler alert, your brain is part of your body!

People are out for themselves when they are driving in traffic. I’ve stopped a few feet extra from a red light, to let a car out of a perpendicular road, and I’ve actually been beeped, by the car behind me. More than once. Where is common decency when traffic is involved? People are so amped up and unequipped to deal with the misplaced rage. All we can do as an individual driver is to be the sensible one. Be the one who’s kind and let’s other drivers out. If someone is driving dangerously, get out of their way, because you could end up getting hurt because of their lack of human decency and consideration.[iv]

Working from home is not for everybody!” I hear this on a daily basis, people argue that you’re isolating yourself, or you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. That you need to work harder to prove your worth. As always I say there are positives and negatives to both kinds of jobs:

“There’s also evidence that some freelancers “overcommit” to work and find it difficult to disconnect or relax, which they say negatively affects their mental health. But overall, the health effects of self-employment seem to vary from person to person and—like office jobs—can be either positive or negative.”[v] 

For me especially the good outweighs the bad, because let me tell you something, it would appear that a large majority of workers who have to commute to work aren’t flourishing in that environment either.

Stress is horrible, stress kills, and although we all know this, for some reason we continue to run like hamsters on a wheel. Just because it appears to be the norm, doesn’t mean it’s normal. All of your friends and family are stressed out, so I should just get on with it, right? Wrong. Just google stress-related illnesses. It basically causes a huge amount and apparently autoimmune diseases too.[vi] If that doesn’t scare you it should.

Also, what about the massive amounts of people who die or are crippled on our roads each year? 78 people have died on Irish roads already in the first six months of this year.[vii]

The answer to all of this? Mindfulness. Be aware of who you are as an individual and a human being. Figure out what works for you. If a job is causing an illness and it’s not satisfying, find a way out. Trust me, working for less money, in a more fulfilling career is worth it. I know because I did it, and gave up a lot of luxuries most people think they cannot live without.

Traffic is one of the worst side effects of humanity’s rapid urbanisation. I literally dream of a house in the country. Not because I don’t want people in my life, but because it seems that as soon as someone gets behind the wheel of a car, a rational part of their humanity switches off and they forget common courtesy. We need to reduce traffic anyway for the environment, why not be one of the innovative individuals that changes their own lives for the better.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

References:

[i] http://www.thejournal.ie/m50-traffic-3-4090729-Jun2018/

[ii] http://www.thejournal.ie/m50-4092277-Jun2018/

[iii] https://www.dublinlive.ie/lifestyle/travel/majority-irish-motorists-think-road-14882430

[iv] http://www.nkytribune.com/2018/07/melissa-martin-whoa-you-crazy-drivers-road-rage-we-dont-need-could-you-please-exercise-control/

[v] http://time.com/5333239/is-working-remotely-bad-for-you/

[vi] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-antidepressant-diet/201806/will-stress-lead-autoimmune-disease

[vii] https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/78-people-die-on-irish-roads-in-first-six-months-of-2018-854135.html

Do you like this? Try another!

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/sustainability-half-year-update/

Troid

Don’t fight who you are.

 

I am. I am. I am.

When did the world decide what the perfect human being looked like? Acted like?

They’re early risers.

Not gluttonous, and thin.

Humans are orderly.

We will drive in traffic 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year for a job.

Don’t forget community activists, parents, joggers, book clubs, and coffee.

 

I am, me. My brain is messy. It’s loud in here, and it’s always on. Even my dreams are problem-solving.

I love the dawn, but not from the side you’re used to.

Night time is when I come alive, and my muse is awake then.

She sleeps during the day. She is the owl, the bat, the wolf.

 

When I ask why we have decided what the perfect human being looks like, I realise, I’m asking for your permission.

When I don’t need it.

I am, me, and I cannot fight myself. I won’t. There is too much in the world I need to be strong for.

I’ll fight myself no longer.

 

A Saturn cycle is ending, and a new one begins.

In this one she loves herself, her muse, and the night.

Throw off the shackles of humanity’s portrait of a young girl, quiet in her ways, and opinions.

Welcome the wild woman.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

_____________________________

Did this speak to you? Why not check out some more?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/sustainability-half-year-update/

Also this, Sunni Patterson’s ‘Wild Women.’

Why I’m voting YES on May 25th

When I was 15 I was forced to watch a video of childbirth in science class. I went to an all-girls Catholic school, and I assume this was done to try to prevent teenage pregnancy. To this day, at 28 years of age, I’m terrified of becoming pregnant. I do not want children. I’m not a monster, but I’m not going to change my mind. Having children was never in the cards for me, I knew I couldn’t marry my first love because he wanted children, and I didn’t. You can’t compromise on a child.

The day I was born I nearly killed my mother. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but I did damage to her body. To this day she still suffers the consequences. Now I was desperately wanted, loved unconditionally and so was my younger brother. However, my parents had to discuss if it was safe for my mother to have another child before she became pregnant with him. Woman have to give some of their body and soul to have children. Of course, when a child is wanted, this is a small price to pay for the mother-to-be.

It’s a huge price to pay though, for the woman whose liberty has been taken away. Childbirth is traumatic. So when you say ‘love both’, you are telling the frightened teenager, who got pregnant by accident, that she will have to go through this trauma. That she will have to give birth, and then ‘give up the child’ as you so easily put it.

Even if you thought you were ready to hand over the child, when you’re suddenly faced with the reality of giving the baby away, it’s harrowing. Woman are not monsters and when we hold a baby in our arms, we want to love it. This isn’t always possible. When you say love both, you’re saying to a woman, you must carry this child to term, give birth, and then decide can I, A) give up some of my life force to raise this child or, B) give the child away. All the while knowing that when the child grows up, they will feel rejected because you couldn’t keep them.

That’s what your love both is saying.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are some tweets by the Vote No side, which have validated my feelings on repealing the 8th:

VN1

Trust me, if a woman is considering having an abortion, she is way ahead of you. Abortions are not just physically painful. Women do not have abortions as a form of birth control, and the decision is never taken lightly. Can you imagine if you’re trying to make this awful decision, and you read something like this?

VN2

This person is particularly callous. Note how they say, “Abortion to treat a “mentally unwell” mother is much like treating anorexia with liposuction.” Aside from that horrific statement, lets read what they’re referencing. Yes, in cases abortions may take place after the limit of 12 weeks. Why? Because continuing with the pregnancy will not only result in the death of the child, but the death of the mother. How can you love both if they are both dead? Savita Halappanavar would be alive today if it wasn’t for the 8th amendment. Please get your facts straight, and try to be kinder to those who are already suffering.

VN3

While I agree that maternal mental health care, childcare, flexible work hours, housing, financial aid, and emotional support are valid issues in themselves, they are not the issue we are voting for on May 25th. The vote will repeal the 8th amendment, which will stop women from being criminalised in their own country. They will be able to access safe abortion care, rather than travelling or ordering abortion pills.

VN4

This could be true, constitutional issues surrounding abortions are exceptionally complex. However, I would like to point out, that it will not remove all rights for the unborn baby. This is very important, and I will continue to state it. A women who is 5 months pregnant will not be able to walk in and get an abortion without a valid, medical reason. When it is repealed it will take 2 years for laws to be constructed and passed to for the female citizens of Ireland.

VN5

These numbers are a reflection of the abortions being recorded. They were not recorded as well before 1968 as they were illegal or abroad. Also they are not taking population growth into account. It’s very easy to manipulate numbers to show what you want.

VN7

This was tweeted by a male. He thinks, “killing a child in the womb because they are ill or terminally ill is barbaric.” Well I think that making the mother carry a dying or dead child to term is barbaric. I think allowing a sick child to be born, who will only suffer and die, is barbaric.* I think that compassion is right answer here. Compassion for the mother, (who may have children at home already), and compassion to the unborn child, who will be lost.

*Update: An old friend contacted me regarding the language I used here. It really affected them in a negative way, and reading it back I understand completely why. I want everyone to know, that mothers who carry their sick babies to term are absolute heroes. I don’t think that it’s the wrong choice (although it sounded like I did), I think the situation is unique to each and every person. I am absolutely appalled at the idea that I hurt anyone’s feelings on this matter. I have no idea what it feels like to be in this situation. I want to thank my friend for calling attention to it. If anyone felt personally affected by anything I wrote please know, I’m truly sorry, and you are welcome to message me anytime so I can be held accountable for it. 

 

VN8

When a child who has been neglected all their lives, turns to drugs and overdoses, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a father is murdered on his way home from work at 3am, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a girl is raped and forced to give birth to a child, this is a unique life being destroyed. Why is the life of the unborn, of a foetus more important than the already living, breathing, unique life? This is a non-argument. Once the child is born, if it lives in poverty, people couldn’t care less. Also it’s ‘foetus,’ not ‘fetus.’

VN9

This is not being supressed, this kind of information is readily available on any legitimate governmental medical site. This is a insensitive description of some hard cases, and is not the norm. What is not being said here, is that these unborn children, are probably already dying. They will not survive in the world without their mother, and will soon perish. This is a terrible tragedy, and no one should have to go through it. Yet when at all possible, shouldn’t we do everything we can to preserve the life of the mother? Of the human beings suffering from the death of their child?

VN10.PNG

Of course she was distressed at having to travel. Her own government made her a criminal in her own country. I have said this, and I will say it again. No one has an abortion on a whim, or as birth control. The entire experience is traumatic, and we are compounding the issue for the women who have to leave their country to do it.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

No side debunked:

20180519_112336.jpg

  1. Yes it will, but there will be laws created in place of it. At the moment, women are criminals in their own country because of this constitutional amendment. If the amendment is repealed, it will make updating the law much easier. As a ‘yes’ voter I want the children protected as much as the ‘no’ side. Unborn babies will have rights. It’s important to state this.
  2. Yes it will legalise abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks / 3 months. A women who presents herself to a doctor, looking for an abortion will undergo a 3 day period in which she will be counselled and presented with each option. These women are being painted as evil, and that needs to stop. Life is not perfect, and sometimes a woman will need to avail of this service so her own life can continue. Don’t make an already difficult decision, more difficult by sending them abroad.
  3. When I see something like ‘Mental Health,’ on a political poster, I wince inside. As someone who has mental health problems, it only exacerbates how we are viewed. As if it’s not a real health issue. The cases they are talking about here are exceptional hard cases. You must remember repealing the 8th will save women like Savita Halappanavar. She was diagnosed, and she needed an abortion. She died because of our restrictive laws. This cannot be allowed to happen again, regardless on your views of what constitutes an illness.
  4. Finally I agree hard cases are the exception to the rule. However the argument is once again, when does life begin? A foetus cannot survive outside the womb. We must be compassionate to the living, breathing woman with a harrowing decision to make.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

To end this post, I would like to post some information for the Yes side of the campaign. If you are in doubt, if you are undecided, please read these.

T4Y1

Abortion will continue regardless of the 8th being replealed. Women have a basic medical need withheld for them in their own country. If they need to avail of medical attention, they will travel so they can fulfil that need.

T4Y6

We can save lives. Read this as many times as you want. Savita Halappanavar would be alive today, if it were not for the 8th amendment. We cannot let women die, because the law is criminalising them. We need to stand up for ourselves and vote Yes on May 25th.

T4Y3.PNG

There is a reason, human rights advocate Colm O’Gorman and others like him are voting yes on May 25th.

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When a women, whose just been told that her baby is dying, and killing her along with it, has to go abroad to seek the appropriate medical attention, a hard case is created. Woman have had to leave their baby in another country, when they died from a fatal foetal abnormality. How cruel is this? We cannot allow this inhumanity to continue. Vote Yes.

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Make them keep the baby. Force these woman who have already been violated in the worse way imaginable, to carry their rapists child. To go through the trauma of child birth, and then give up the child. A child who will either, A) find out they are a product of rape, and how is that going to impact them? Or B) will never find out why their birth mother rejected them, and have to live with the consequences of that.

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Our Taoiseach is a conservative. Yet he is voting yes.

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If this was the other way around there would be all out war. The ‘No’ side’s vitriol, spawned from a generation said and lead by the Catholic Church has providing proof of their awful natures. I can’t help but notice there are 3 men in this photo, taking down a poster which says ‘Stop Policing My Body.’ Horrific.

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Why Vote Yes?
  1. Woman should have the right to bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to create a compassionate country for woman in crisis.
  2. Abortions will happen anyway. Vote Yes so they can access abortion care at home. In Ireland,
  3. Babies that are already alive will be loved, woman that are already alive will be loved. Vote Yes so women making a difficult decision, will not have to do it alone in a foregin country.
  4. Woman will not die because of something that never should have been in the constitution in the first place. Vote Yes to allow doctors to treat women without fear of breaking the law.
  5. The UN and the EU are I agreement, Ireland is violating some of it’s citizens basic human rights to safety and bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to regulate and restrict abortion care according to Irish law.

 

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The Creature

Storytelling is so personal, it’s difficult to disguise yourself in your words. I was terrified for many years of people actually reading what I wrote. Only my English teacher or my mother were permitted. Having worked hard on my writing technique throughout my life, it’s difficult to tell if I’ve improved or not. This is a symptom of my ‘imposter syndrome.’ I’ve always felt I wasn’t a real writer.

I’ve been especially self-reflective lately. This is mainly due to my age, however there is a certain healing power in it. My internal house work has kept me busy, fixing up old memories I haven’t been in for years. My teenage years were painful for me, and I’ve only established that truth lately. I didn’t want to dwell on my school days or early college years and spent a lot of time avoiding those memories.

Now that I’m more at peace with all iterations of myself, I have the courage to post a story from when I was 14. I present it as evidence of my writings maturation. The only changes I’ve made are grammatical, because nobody wants to see that. Otherwise it is a raw example of a ‘Jenni’ story, circa November 2004.

The Creature

Freezing air filled my lungs. I knew it was going to catch me; it was inevitable. I turned up a narrow cobbled street. It was slippery but I kept on running. It was evening and the sun was setting rapidly. The tall buildings around me let very little light in so this particular street was very dark.

I could hear it breathing very heavily behind me. It was definitely gaining on me. The cold perspiration was running down my back. I could barely breath anymore. The pain in my side was the only thing I could feel. Everything else was concentrated on getting away from my creature. I wanted to slow down but my human in instincts told me that if I did it would be the last thing I ever did.

As I ran I remembered back a month or so ago. When a friend of mine had bought a rare species of monkey from the Amazon jungle. “ Go on!” He said. “ All these foreign monkeys are in fashion!”

Well it’s a pity that the creature I bought wasn’t in any of the archives in the local library. It wasn’t in any rare creature’s book and a friend of mine who studies rare animals said, “well you know what Michael I’ve never seen anything like it and I’ve seen a lot of strange things!”

Even the man who found him said that he found him in a rather strange place. He said “He somehow dug his was under some tree roots without damaging the tree, and he was asleep when I found him, so he was the easiest catch I ever made!”

“Amazing!” I thought, “beautiful, wondrous, a new chapter for human kind.” He was four foot tall, with four limbs. It walked on its hind legs but its arms were very small. It was covered in short strong fur. Its features were almost human like except for its eyes. They were large and dark. They seemed to be full of intelligence. It even bowed its head as if in some sort of greeting.

I was thrilled with my new pet, but I did not forget my old one. The next morning I awoke to find my cat John-Joe and the creature on my roof. “John-Joe come down I have your breakfast” but the cat continued to hiss and spit at the creature.

“Raorrrrr.” I snapped back to reality. I was still unable to breath and the creature was barely ten metres behind me. I was now running through the small forest beside the town, towards the docks. Night had fallen by this time,

I thought of the date. The 31st of December, not two weeks ago I had watched my cat plunge to its death. My cat knew, as he stood on that roof that the creature was corrupt. So it jumped off the roof not landing on all fours but sadly in my water barrel and drowned before I could fish him out.

I was very distraught at the death of my cat that I was blind to the truth. I should have guessed the reality of the situation when I read about the strange machine, which had been found by a logging company in the Amazon Rainforest. This I did not find strange. What I did find strange was the fact that my creature’s DNA did not match any compound I had studied in collage. I went to the library and researched this compound but I found no matches.

I was on a high. I believed I had discovered a new compound.  I thought I was going to win the Noble prize for science this year. I was too busy working to realise that my creature was building strange equipment in my garden shed.

*Crunch* I nearly tripped over a tree root, I should be concentrating on the task at hand. I ducked into a large hole in an old oak tree. I felt light headed I paused for a moment to try and catch my breath. I could hear the creature coming closer. So I jumped out of the hole and started running again.

I could see the end of the forest and the start of the docks. I reflected on how intelligent the creature was. I knew my only hope was for the creature to drown.

I had discovered the creature’s machine quite by chance the night beforehand. I was going down to the bottom of my garden to get a sample of earth.  When I heard strange sounds coming from the shed. “Click, zizz, waaag, nawk, tlick” these were the sounds I could hear. I went and looked in the window of the shed and to my great amazement and horror I saw my creature working on his machine. Oh my God I thought this creature is an intelligent life form.

Then it hit me; this wasn’t a creature from earth. I was having flash backs of the news headlines for the past few weeks. “It like some sort of metallic flying disk.” said one “It’s like nothing any scientist had seen before,” said another.  The piece of machinery found in the rain forest belonged to my creature. I thought I was going crazy but now I knew my creature was an extra-terrestrial.

I knew now that if I let my creature continue working on its machine it would eventually transmit Earth’s co-ordinates to its own kind on some far away planet, and that could only mean one of two things: 1. They would be peaceful and want to join in union with Earth and teach us new and exciting things or, 2. They wanted to destroy human kind and all it stood for and take over the planet.

I had to make a decision and I couldn’t make it lightly. As I stood there I realised the fate of human kind rested in my hands. Without further thought I went and got my shotgun and headed back down to the shed.

Before I open the door I asked God for forgiveness. I barged in took aim and shot the creature’s machine. This was my mistake. My creature turn round with anger filled eyes, it let out a deafening scream. I froze for a second then thought better of it and ran.

I could hear a foghorn echoing in the distance and it snapped me back to reality. I ran for the nearest boardwalk. I stopped at the end of it and turned round.  I could hear fireworks in the distance and people cheering happy New Year. The year was now 1980. I thought how far we had come since 6000 BC.

The creature came to a halt at the start of the boardwalk. For a few seconds we stood motionless. The creature took a running start and jumped at me, I ducked just in time and the creature plummeted into the water.

For a few minutes the creature helplessly splashed about in the water with its small weak arms, until eventually it sank. I sat on the end of the boardwalk till morning; I wanted to make sure it was dead.

I thought of how far human kind could have jumped into the future if we could have studied this creature and it’s machines. I also consider how the world could have been thrown into complete chaos if the aliens had prevailed.

I think we will leave this problem with aliens for the people in the 21st century. I stood up and started my long journey home.

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Jennifer Floody
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