Hi readers. I’m sorry I’ve slacked on the posting these past couple weeks. I’ve been exceptionally busy with freelancing. Which is great, because it allows me a larger platform to talk about issues that are really important to me, and it gives me a way to be paid for writing, which in turn helps keep Betty’s Battleground going (about to pay my internet bill–woot!!). I promise that I will have a shiny new post for you–written by me–this Wednesday, and then on Friday a very special guest post that I absolutely cannot wait to share. Good stuff’s acomin!
For today, because I do need to get back some edits back shortly, and get working on an article about addiction recovery, and get researching an article about addiction recovery, and get working on a blog post about addiction recovery (I’ve been writing a lot about addiction recovery lately, if you haven’t noticed), I’m going to take a quick moment to share with you some of my recent articles and blog posts that have gone up on different sites. These are my personal favorites from 2017, so if you haven’t read them yet, take a look.
Before we get to it: a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS…I am seeking poetry about any subject related to domestic violence, trauma, addiction, PTSD, or mental health in any aspect. I am going to be putting together a post with a collection of poetry written by my readers, other mental health bloggers, and (hopefully) YOU. Yes–you! I will be accepting these through November 15. Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may send as many as you’d like, but just know that unless they are very short (like haiku short) I will only be able to publish one per author. Looking forward to reading your mental health poetry.
My Favorite Articles That I Have Written 2017
Now for the favorite articles I have authored 2017:
Let’s start with my latest. This is part of a guest post exchange with the lovely Ana from Faded Spring. Her post will be up on Friday–I can’t wait. For now, read my end of the exchange right here:
How A Caress Gave Me Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
“When I was 20 years old, I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an intrusive mental health condition that causes a host of disruptive symptoms. Many of them are debilitating. Imagine wanting to go out and get a slice of pizza down the street, but instead staying in and having a PB&J because the idea of being around people makes you too anxious. That happened to me last night. Imagine staying up until dawn because your sleep is haunted by nightmares that re-enact the worst moments of your life. That was how I spent my summer. Imagine having to quit your job because every time you saw a six-foot white guy, you hallucinated the face of the man who raped you. That’s why my last conventional job ended. Living with PTSD is one of the saddest and most difficult trials I have ever faced.”
How to Buy Nothing, Get Stuff, and Make Friends
“Imagine you could keep your wardrobe chic and updated all year round, or keep up with your toddler’s ridiculous rate of growth, or even easily replace your belongings after an emergency — all without spending a dime.
What if you learned that not only are these kinds of experiences all possible, but they are taking place right now — and all you need to participate is a Facebook account?”
Opioid Addiction and Pregnancy: Why are Doctors Ignoring Best Practices?
“When Pammy became pregnant, she had been using methadone to stay clean from heroin and pills for over a year. She and her husband were happy about the news. They had each been doing well in their recovery, and felt ready to care for the needs of someone besides themselves, an accomplishment Pammy credited to her Medication Assisted Treatment. But her OB, who worked at a state-funded clinic, had a different view.
“I won’t treat you while you’re taking methadone,” he informed Pammy at her first visit. “If you want prenatal care from me, you have to get off of methadone first.””
Can I Be Traumatized Again if I Have PTSD?
“What happens when someone with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is traumatized again? It’s a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. So many scary and potentially traumatic or anxiety-provoking natural phenomena are taking place in the world right now. Whether we’re talking the hurricanes in the Southern United States, the West Coast wildfires that caused ash to rain over my city for a day and a half, or the fatal floods in Southeast Asia, the world has watched a lot of unpredictable events unfold. Statistically speaking, some of the people affected by these natural disasters must already have PTSD. Are those people with PTSD being traumatized again?”
They were opioid addicts on their way to recovery. Then the hurricane hit.
“”It’s awful. I haven’t dosed in 5 days.”
The message popped up on my Facebook feed on August 29, a day after Hurricane Harvey first hit Texas. A woman named Clair, a methadone patient who lives near Houston, could not make it through the flood waters to get the dose she needed. She was going through withdrawal.
This was just one of several such stories populating my newsfeed. I’m a recovering heroin addict and former methadone patient who lives in Seattle, far from the paths of Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma. But through a private Facebook group for methadone patients and allies, I’ve witnessed a crisis develop: the inability of people in addiction recovery to access methadone due to the storm.”
This Is What it’s Like to Overdose on Heroin Nine Times
“I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear my mom chattering on the phone. Quick, Cuban Spanish broken by an occasional burst of laughter. Her television blared in the background. A reality show, I think. I couldn’t feel my body, either.
I don’t know how long I spent in that noisy blackness, but when my vision returned, I was not with my mom. My boyfriend knelt over me. I could see our empty apartment behind him, the one we’d lived in for months but had never furnished. There was no TV. No Spanish phone conversation. I’d been hallucinating because I overdosed on heroin.”
I was pregnant while addicted to heroin. Methadone saved my baby’s life.
“She wouldn’t stop crying. Lying in her crib in the NICU, her tiny body clenched into a ball, she let out a shrill, eerie wail that no infant should ever make. I instinctively went to comfort her.
“No,” said the nurse, picking her up and out of my reach.
“Let me hold her,” I said. The nurse refused.
I was a new mother. I was an opioid addict. And my nurse wouldn’t let me hold my baby.
I became pregnant in the summer of 2013. I was addicted to heroin. I told my husband — also an addict — his parents, and his two brothers that I was using. No one else.”
I Have a Pathological Fear of Being Happy
“My husband and I are lying together on the couch. The air is cool and damp. The room is dim, illuminated only by the street lights shearing through the blinds. My husband snores deeply, content, beside me. I stare at the ceiling, awake and slightly angry, while the sweat and other fluids grow cold and sticky on my skin. It’s not my husband’s fault that I am, once again, dissatisfied. I stopped myself from having an orgasm. I always do.”
Four Ways Buddhism Can Help You Lead A Happier Life (Even If You’re Not A Buddhist)
“Happiness. We all know we want it, but very few of us can pinpoint exactly how to get it, or even what it would look like to “be happy.” Most people, however, can agree that a happy life is one which is enjoyed more than it is not enjoyed.
Sound simple? It is…sort of. It’s also very confusing and difficult to achieve.”
How Domestic Violence Kept Me From Coming Out
“I remember the first time a pretty girl kissed me. We were both on ecstasy at a rave. She had shiny bleached hair, so over-treated it was silver, and it fell perfectly straight just to her jaw line. I thought she looked like a model or a pop star, and I couldn’t believe she wanted to kiss me. I remember seeing the odd look my boyfriend gave me as he watched us kiss, but he never said anything, because that wasn’t the boyfriend who would make me deny I was bisexual.”