Hey, you, pssst…over here! Wanna know what that title’s about?
I dunno if any of you blog reading people have noticed, but there are two Blogger “Awards” going around that are exactly the same, but have two different names. The “Sunshine Award” and the “Liebster Award.” Now I don’t know what happened. Did Ms. Sunshine and Mr.Liebster have a nasty divorce and refuse to co-parent their award? Is this psychic evidence of a rift in the space-time continuum? Did some narcissistic blogger decide to rip off another blogger’s award and claim it as their own? All I know is that I have seen more “Sunshine Awards” than “Liebster Awards,” but I’ve still seen a fair share of both.
In any case, I was nominated for both. This Friday would have been a new Off-Fridays Mental Illness Blog Share, but I’m putting it on hold for July in order to kinda build up my self-esteem instead. Or something. So I’m doing Friday Happy Posts on the days when I would have been hosting the linkup. Come back in August for the linkup! Really, please, do join up when it begins again..it’s really a cool project..
What makes this (these?) awards fun, is that the nominating blogger gets to ask their own set of questions to their nominees. The rules for both of these are exactly the same, but since I was nominated for both by two different bloggers, I have two sets of questions to answer.
Here are the rules:
Acknowledge/linkback the blogger who nominated you.
Answer the questions
Create your own 11 questions
Nominate some more bloggers!
Display the badge
Alright so I was nominated for the Sunshine Award by Maria from I,Mommy. Maria was my first ever Parenting with Mental Illness interviewee, and she discussed life with Post Partum Depression. Her blog tackles PPD, motherhood, marriage, and general Marianess, which is beautiful and wonderful to read. Check out her Sunshine Award post!
I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Sheila from Parallel Dichotomy. Sheila was my second ever Parenting with Mental Illness interviewee, and also the author of the Trauma Informed Care post I ran earlier in the year. She blogs about life with PTSD and BPAD, trauma recovery, and general Sheilaness, which is also beautiful and awesome to read. Check out her Liebster Award post!
1.Maria/Sunshine: If you could tell your past self something about motherhood, what would it be?
It is far more expensive than you can even begin to imagine and having savings before having kids would have been life changing.
1.Sheila/Liebster: What is the single most important driving force behind your blog?
My sanity! I was actively suicidal and hopeless before I started blogging. PTSD and regret were ruling my life. I felt that there was no way I would ever accomplish anything,and that I would always be poor. Now, my suicidal feelings are pretty passive. Just PTSD thoughts and not actual actionable plans. I have been processing my trauma and connecting with others and, most importantly: writing every day! I feel like my dreams of becoming a successful writer could maybe possibly actually happen one day. Or that I am at least on the path to being the person who’s able to accomplish that.
2.Maria/Sunshine: What are your two “mom guilts” you think about most often?
Oh..um..I don’t know if this is healthy, or happy, for me to answer..but…I guess, that I haven’t been my son’s primary caregiver. I know that his autism and my acute PTSD did not go together and that as much as it hurt (and still hurts), I did the right thing by placing him in the care of people who were better equipped to provide him with the care and stability he’s needed his whole life, but I have been shamed by so many people that the feeling leaks onto me sometimes.
As for a second one, I guess just letting my kids watch so much TV. I take them outside, and do art time with them, and play legos etc and think of creative things to do…but it still feels like there is SO much time that needs to be filled. Which ends up being with TV, because hey, they love their cartoons.
2.Sheila/Liebster: What’s your best memory?
That’s a tough one because I feel like, living a body affected by PTSD, happiness comes in snatches, and I have to horde those memories like gems, so it’s tough to pick just one as the best. But I guess, today, I’ll go with the moment I first saw and held my youngest daughter. Which is not to discount the births of my other kids. My youngest was born in such close succession to my middle child that I still very much remembered the pain of childbirth and was terrified to push. The doctors were telling me to push. I knew, having done it twice before, that I needed to push. But Anabelle, my middle child, had torn me and caused me to need several stitches, so it was a really painful experience and I didn’t want to do it again. I was basically fighting the whole birth even while I was doing it, but the moment they plopped her scrawny little body onto my chest, all of the fear and pain melted away. I said “hi” to her and everyone laughed.
3. Maria/Sunshine: If you could advocate for children, what would you advocate for?
I would advocate, for my son, a cure for autism. I absolutely hate when people from the autism community say that we need to focus less on a cure and more on accepting autistic people for who they are. First, those things are not mutually exclusive. Of course, I want my son to be accepted. I also want him to be able to communicate his needs and feelings, to use the toilet on his own, and to lead a fulfilled, independent life. The people with the ability to decry cures for autism don’t have the same level of autism as my son. He doesn’t get to add his say, because he can’t. This isn’t the X-Men Universe. Nobody is going to force a cure on people with autism who don’t want to be cured. This is for people like my son whose quality of life is significantly impaired by his delays.
Second, I would-and do-advocate for feminism and women’s rights. I don’t want my girls to grow up in a world ruled by rape culture, or to feel that they can’t speak up for themselves, or to be afraid to walk down the street at night. I want my daughters to feel empowered and whole without a man by their side to fulfill them.
3. Sheila/Liebster: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
I’m still working on it, but: Don’t judge others for the way they behave in situations you’ve never experienced. And everyone’s life is a situation I’ve never experienced. There are limits, for me anyway. Rapists and abusers are terrible people who I find it difficult to forgive. Like I said, I’m working on it.
4. Maria/Sunshine: What’s one bad habit you have as a mom?
Maria! Your questions are so negative! One bad habit I have as a mom..actually I was describe it as an un-habit. I’m really bad at cleaning. I don’t keep up my home anywhere near as well as I should. I mean I do try to ensure it’s safe and sanitary. But it’s a huge mess a lot of the time, and it doesn’t help that when I do clean, my daughter’s just undo within an hour anyway.
4. Sheila/Liebster: Do you have any other creative hobbies beyond writing? Feel free to share what they are!
Writing really is my big creative passion, but I do write more than just blog posts. Short stories, poetry occasionally, and I’ve recently begun working on a play. I’m very excited about the play because it’s been a while since I’ve completed a script, but it used to be my passion and what I was most frequently recognized for. I also like coloring sometimes, though that was something I did more often when I was working, to help pass the time. I also enjoy cooking and baking.
5. Maria/Sunshine: If you could be in charge of your child(ren)’s future career, what would it be?
Nooooo! I loathe when parents try to push careers on their kids! My husband used to try to guess what our daughters’ future careers would be based on their developing skills and abilities. It got so ridiculous that he ended up predicting bobsled racer for Anabelle because she liked to push the stroller. If I had to guess right now what I think they will gravitate toward based on their personalities, Penelope will be an engineer and a painter, Anabelle a musical theatre actress, and Robin a soccer player or some kind of athlete. Maybe a gymnast. Anabelle may also be a boxer or MMA fighter on the side. Rick’s been teaching her BJJ moves literally since birth. She mastered the triangle choke at 3 months.
5. Sheila/Liebster: Favorite band?
It definitely used to be Nirvana, and I will always have a special place in my heart for them, but now I also have to cite The Beatles and Jason Webely, who is a musician rather than a band.
I was at this show!
6. Maria/Sunshine: What is your recent mom fail?
Oh man Maria. These are not very sunshiney questions. Mom fail has to be the state of my home. It’s a mess. Though I’ve been cleaning it little by little, day by day!
6. Sheila/Liebster: What’s your typical morning routine look like?
I’m going to skip this one because I have recently been feeling very concerned that my ex is going to show up and try to kill me (if I end up dead, by the way, even if it looks like a suicide, I am not actively suicidal! My ex did it-don’t let him get away with it. My husband knows his name). I feel like revealing my morning routine will help him track me down. But let’s just say it involves copious coffee.
7. Maria/Sunshine: What would you have been, or be if you weren’t a mom?
I would love to say “a famous writer!” but the more honest answer is probably dead. Or super strung out. My kids have been my biggest motivation to get and stay clean. I think I still have a decent shot at the famous writer dream. What do you think?
7. Sheila/Liebster: What’s your favorite Self-Care technique?
Well I don’t do it very often, but soaking it a warm tub infused with Rocky Mountain Mud Bath. Also, writing.
8. Maria/Sunshine: What’s one advice you’d like to share with a soon-to-be mom or new mom?
This was someone else’s advice, on a post I read recently (and I’m blanking on the blog, otherwise I’d link it, I’m sorry!) but: go outside. Really, even though it’s easier not to, even though it seems more comfortable to stay in, get yoself outside. Even just a little bit. It makes a world of difference. Also, if you start to feel depressed or “off,” tell someone. Like your doctor, and your friends and family who you can trust.
8. Sheila/Liebster: Dream vacation location and activities?
I really, really want to go to Cuba, where my mom and her family are from. I hope to someday…soon… before my family that’s still there all die off. My great-aunt recently died, so I do need to hurry. I would love to visit Varaderos, which my Abuelita always used to talk about. A white sand beach lapped by clear turquoise waves. She loved it so much, she wants her ashes thrown there, and I have a fantasy-and if you find this perverse, I don’t care-of mixing my Abuelita and Abuelo’s ashes together (they loved each other dearly), rubbing them onto my naked body, and then swimming out into the waters of Varaderos until the ashes have all washed away.
9. Maria/Sunshine: Who’s your hero?
I certainly have lots of people I admire, and aspire to meet or emulate. But I suppose for my hero, I will pick Lidia Yuknavitch. She is an exquisitely gorgeous writer, who studied under another writer I love, Ken Kesey. Her father sexually abused her when she was a child, and she spent a period of her life raging against her trauma by harming herself. She was even a heroin addict for a while. Then, she published one of the most well-written, and heart-wrenching memoirs I have ever read (get ready for an affiliate link that you really should buy), The Chronology of Water: A Memoir, and recently came out with a highly lauded science fiction book. Anyone who knows me can imagine how great an inspiration this woman is to me. I even got to meet her once, though I’ll always regret that my grad school canceled the class I signed up to take with her.
9. Sheila/Liebster: What advice do you have for other bloggers?
Be careful who you trust. The internet is, after all, comprised of the same exact people who live in the real world. There are plenty of kind, genuine people willing to help you, but there are also backstabbing, selfish, power-hungry jerks ready to rip you off or treat you like crap if you don’t follow their commands. Avoid the blogger FB group Bloggers2Brands, for example. I also had a pretty bad experience with Parent Bloggers Elite (who I previously recommended; see how quick things can change in this world), though I made some wonderful connections through that group, and would still probably recommend them to parenting bloggers, just not parenting bloggers with a mental illness or trauma history that you write about. Blog Support Group and Creative Bloggers and Business are my favorites. Sometimes the admins can be a bit overbearing, but they do ensure people reciprocate, which is good.Overall, they are the ones I’d recommend most for traffic building.
10. Maria/Sunshine: What would you describe yourself as, as a mom?
Uhhhh….Creative. And loving.
10. Sheila/Liebster: What’s the most useless superpower you can imagine?
Hahaha, how about the ability to make lights flicker on command. You could freak out some young folks fo sho!
11. Maria/Sunshine: What’s your biggest fear as a mom?
That any of my kids will die before me. Or be kidnapped and lost forever. Sometimes those fears give me so much anxiety it makes me want to die-which I know is related to having PTSD. I hate having PTSD.
11. Sheila/Liebster: How’s your day going?
Aww, thanks for asking friend. I’m a bit anxious about money and my legs are sore. But it’s going OK. Best I can ask for given my current life circumstances, I suppose.
Alright then! Thank you for these thought-provoking questions! Maria, yours were not very sunny! But that’s okay, I still love ya. I lean more toward the negative side of things myself.
I already had a Blogger Recognition Award post earlier this year, which means I have already nominated a bunch of people once. I suppose there will have to be some overlap, though I’ll do my best to avoid it. Nominees: You can choose whether you take on the Sunshine Award, the Liebster Award, or you mash em together into the Liebshine Blaaargh Award. And, just to be clear and avoid any upset, this isn’t a “real” award; it’s just a way to show appreciation to my fellow bloggers.
1.Skin & Satori-who has been so supportive of my Off-Fridays project. She’s also a great writer who has a lovely blog that covers everything from natural treatments for depression, to skin care, to practical Buddhism.
2. Echoes Of Her Voice-a sexual assault survivor who writes about her experiences from a Muslim perspective, she is one of the most outspoken and powerful women’s rights advocates I have encountered, and I can’t wait to host her guest post later this year!
3. It’s Not Your Journey-AKA Rebecca Lombardo, who also hosts the podcast Voices For Change 2.0; I recently featured her book (alongside an interview with her) as my Book of the Weeks. Her blog and podcast continue to be powerful contributions in the mental health discussion.
4.Dissociative Jess-They have Dissociative Identity Disorder, and in my opinion, write one of the most interesting blogs on the web. Although I wish they posted more frequently, I am grateful for the contribution they provide in the fight against stereotyping DID.
5. The Nut Factory-a blog about parenting with anxiety that showcases the issue with a combination of humor, sentiment, and realism.
6. The Single Dad’s Guide To Life-I know, I know. I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award. But I really need to see your answer to question number 1. If you do any part of this award thingy, please do that one!
7. All Things Mom Sydney-She’s hosted my guest posts twice; the second time she reached out to me because she has a real desire to help educate her readers about PTSD, which I appreciate. She also writes a really fun and interesting blog that covers a TON of parenting related topics.
8. That Noise Is Mine-A blog that coves a lot of topics, but what really interested me were her posts about divorce and single mother life. She is a fabulous writer with a lot of insight to share.
9. Uninspired Blog-I discovered this blog via Off-Fridays and I am really glad that I did. She writes about mental health, psychology, and other topics that relate to millennials. I’m not really sure if I qualify as a millennial or I am maybe a bit too old, but I love this blog regardless. Oh! And I will e-mail you today about a guest post!
10. Real Mom Recs-her tagline is “Parenting Hacks From A Slacker Mom.” How can you not love that? Also, she has this really cool, outspoken “Ask Me Anything” interview series that I love and..(I hope it’s OK to say this) will be on in the near future!
11. Bitchy & Witchy-this is a really funny blog that I recently discovered (and hope to recruit for a guest post) which covers everything from mental illness to tarot cards. It even features customer reviews of her bitchiness!
Here, dear nominees, are your Sunshine, or Liebster, or Liebshine Blaargh Award questions:
1.How did the prestigious Liebshine Blaargh Award get separated into two distinct awards-the Sunshine Award and the Liebster Award?
2.What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome in this life of yours?
3.What do you still struggle with?
4.How have your blogging goals changed or adapted since you first started blogging?
5.What are your favorite methods of self-care or self-love?
6.What’s your favorite inner or outer attribute?
8.Favorite vegetable? Include how you prepare it!
9.Tell me about a time you misjudged or misperceived a person, situation, or community, and what you learned from the experience?
10. What is a common misperception that you would like to dispel?
11. What was your big dream when you were a kid?
Thank you again to Maria and Sheila for your nominations! I hope you all reading this will visit their blogs! And thank you to my nominees for being your amazing selves. Your blogs all contribute a measure of understanding and joy to this chaotic, complicated world of ours. I know sometimes people aren’t able to fit these blogger award posts into their schedules, but I hope you manage to do this one because I’d really like to learn a little more about you beautiful people!
And you, reader, I’d love to learn more about you too! Leave an answer to your favorite question or two (or eleven) in the comments!
Please do also take a moment to share this post. I am trying so hard to grow this blog and well, I need your help for that. Thirty seconds our of you day to share this on a social platform or two will totally make my day!
Til next time.