BraveHeart Award!

braveheartawardI have been nominated for the Brave Heart Award by former winner, Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC of ADD and so much more.  Madelyn is an ADD Advocate, ADD Coach and Mentor, and ADD Poster Girl”, but she is so much more!  Madelyn not only helps those with ADD, she helps others (like me) who live with someone who has ADD…and again, she does So Much More!  Madelyn is not only a survivor of abuse from many people who just don’t understand living with ADD…and more, she is also a survivor of a vicious attack.  She and a friend were mugged at gunpoint.  With bones and bodies healing; it was time for a realization that these attackers hurt more than her body, her mental health was also hurt.  She is a strong survivor of abuse!!  Please read more about this wonderful woman, how she has been dealing with the aftermath of her attack, and how she helps so many with ADD world…and so much more!  Thank you Madelyn, you are a great inspiration!

Remember you can find Madelyn at http://addandsomuchmore.com

Rules for Accepting the Award

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Take the 12 question interview and share it on your blog. (see my interview below)
  3. Nominate 12 blogs.  (my list of nominees are at the bottom of the post)
  4. You cannot nominate blogs that have already won the Brave Heart Award.
  5. Share your 12 nominees website/blog links on your blog page. 
  6. Include the Quote below with the notification to your nominees.

Madelyn formatted this to be ADD-friendly – it has “shorter paragraphs and (is) slightly adapted” — I used this version to be able to nominate those dealing with chronic illnesses (both physical and mental) – “abuse that results from the actions and comments from the many who simply don’t understand. The original version contained the word “abuse” alone, which has a more specific meaning to those who have been physically or sexually abused – or to those diagnosed with PTSD.”  The original version can be found at the bottom of this post, right before the list of my nominees.  (the words in quotations are Madelyn’s words.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stand Strong You Are Not Alone

I call you a survivor, because that is what you are. There are days when you don’t feel like a survivor and there are days when the memories trigger your past and it feels like you are losing the fight – but you are not. Take the past and heal with it. You are strong.

I want you to know that any abuse you experience as a result of your diagnosis is not your fault. It does not matter what age it happened. You did not deserve it, you did not cause it, and you did not bring it on yourself. You own no shame, guilt, or remorse.

In your life, you have faced many demons, but look around you and you will see there is hope and there is beauty. You are beautiful, You are loved, there is hope.

You deserve to be loved and treated with respect. You deserve peace and joy in your life. Don’t settle for anything less than that. God has plans for you. Your future does not have to be dictated by your past.

Each step you take you are not alone. Stand Strong.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12 Interview Questions:

1.Tell us a little bit about your blog. Who designed it?
2. What is the title and description of your blog?
3. Who is your intended audience?
4. How did you come up with the title of your blog?
5. Give us an interesting fun fact about your blog.
6. What other blogs do you own and what makes them alike?
7. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
8. How can we contact you or find out more about your blog?
9. What can we expect from you in the future?
10. What can readers who enjoy your blog do to help make your blog more successful?
11. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers/bloggers?
12. Before you go, could you share a snippet from your blog?

First – Thank you Madelyn for nominating me!

 The answers to my interview questions:

1.Tell us a little bit about your blog. Who designed it?

I used a template from WordPress to design my blog.  It takes me forever to go through all the Themes and find just the right one that I think fits just right.  I don’t want my blog to be too busy.  I like a Custom Header of some size, and a Custom Background.  I update the look of my blog about once a year.  Right now I’m using the Yoko theme.  I found an black and white image on line that was free to use and changed it up a bit with Photoshop. (I cropped it, changed small things in the image, changed the background color, and added the ants).  At some point I may pay to change this to my own domain instead of using the free WordPress options, but right now, this works for me.  (when working on changing the look of my blog I have a private blog that looks like this one and do all the tweaking there, then I change things on my real blog easily and no one is bothered by my constant changing to get it just right.)

2. What is the title and description of your blog?

The title of my blog is Picnic With Ants.    When I first started my blog it was just to help me deal with what was happening to me.  (the rapid progression of Meniere’s disease.)  I also wanted to talk about the other chronic illnesses I have.  There are a few Tabs at the top of my blog that you can check out to learn more about what my blog is all about.  This blog has grown because I found I was reaching people who suddenly found they were not alone.  Just helping one person not feel alone when dealing with chronic illnesses, is worth all the work I put into this blog.

3. Who is your intended audience?

Oops, I kind of answered this in the last question…..but I’ll be more specific.  My intended audience is anyone who has a chronic illness (physical or mental), even if it isn’t one of the illness I have, there is a comradeship found with those who deal with illnesses on a daily basis.  Hopefully, this blog can also help those who care for and love people with chronic illnesses.  Truthfully, I started this blog to help me, I was the intended audience.  That has grown, still I write to not only help others, but to help me deal with my every day struggles as a person with chronic illnesses.  I invite others to join me on my journey and share their stories with me.

4. How did you come up with the title of your blog?

I came up with many titles before sticking with this one.  I actually got suggestions from friends and had a poll for the most liked name, and Picnic With Ants won.  It was too difficult to come up with a name that covered everything that I wanted to talk about on my blog.  As I tell in the sidelines, I like to think of my life as a wonderful picnic, then the ants come and bite me in the butt!  (the “Ants” are my chronic illnesses).

5. Give us an interesting fun fact about your blog.

Let me think……an interesting fun fact.  I laugh a lot and share this with my readers.  I share the good, the bad, and the very ugly.  I think some people are shocked at some of the things I’m willing to share, but that’s a part of this life.  A fun fact…despite being disabled due to my chronic illnesses, and at times mostly house bound, I normally find humor in every day.  I share much of this with my readers.  My husband and I have the most loving and amazing relationship!  We giggle and laugh…A LOT!  There is much miscommunication due to my hearing loss….for example, I once thought I heard him say that Jesus was Jimmy Buffett!

6. What other blogs do you own and what makes them alike?

I have 2 other blogs that I used to keep up with very diligently, but as I have had to start dealing more with my health, I have let the other blogs go.  One is called Create to Heal…it is about being creative to help in the healing process.  I am a trained artist, and I believe creating makes people feel better.  Often it can help you say things that you can’t say with words.  I still create art and write, but I do not have the energy to work on blog posts to share this with others.  My other blog is called Wendy Cooks….it’s about cooking while have Fructose Malabsorption and Gluten Intolerance.  I haven’t been posting in this blog because my balance issues and vertigo have made it impossible for me to cook on a regular basis (I hate to admit I’m not cooking any more because I love it)   How are these blogs alike???  They all deal with illnesses and healing.  Reaching out to others and sharing how I deal with being sick.

7. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

I’m an artist.  I can’t do everything I used to, but I still draw in pencil and ink, I also paint.  My husband says I have many talents that I just don’t think I see….so perhaps he’d be better at answering this question…..hummm that might be a Too Much Information Moment.  *giggle*  Hobbies…I love to read, write with dip calligraphy pens….I’m trying to learn more about calligraphy, make up silly songs about our cat and things around the house, watching cartoons……let’s say I try to stay busy.

8. How can we contact you or find out more about your blog?

I guess the best way to find out more about my blog is to just look around.  Comment, and ask questions.  If you want to contact me directly check out my About Me page and for more information.  I’m always happy to hear from people.

9. What can we expect from you in the future?

Hopefully a lot more posts.  I want to talk more about the different chronic illnesses I deal with, instead of focusing primarily (almost exclusively) on Meniere’s Disease.  More of my artwork to go with posts.  Hopefully, more guest writers who can share their stories and give hints on how they handle day-to-day life.  I also plan to talk more about how people with any type of illness can deal with life in general.  (Hygiene, Oral Hygiene, Sex, Food, Stress Reduction…..ect.)  If there is any subject anyone wants me to cover please drop me a line and let me know.

10. What can readers who enjoy your blog do to help make your blog more successful?

Make sure and let me know what you enjoy the most.  Tell me what you would like to read more about.  If you have something to share, please reach out and do a guest post.  Share with others that you found a blog you really like.  : )  Mostly, just keep me informed, if I start to be boring don’t just drift away, tell me…..I may need a kick in the pants!  Who knows I may just need to know someone out there cares about what I have to say!  And always click LIKE if you like a post.  Comment if you want to hear more on the subject.  Share with others so I know many are interested.

11. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers/bloggers?

Speak from your heart.  Even if you have a humor blog, make sure you are sharing humor that touches you.  Read.  If you like to write, you have to love to read.  If you want to grow your blog, visit many blogs, like a post so the writers knows you were there, follow blogs that interest you….it all comes back to you.  The biggest advice I have for writers is to reread your posts and edit your grammar and spelling.  (this is something I think is very important, but something I often don’t find myself doing….I promise to do better)  If your blog is important to you, that should be all that counts.  I write because it helps me.  I continue to write publicly because I feel my writing has helped others in some small way.  Just as other blogs have helped me.

12. Before you go, could you share a snippet from your blog?

One post on my blog that has meant so much to me is My Songs Of Silence.
This was part of the WEGO Health Activist Writers Month Challenge in 2012.  At the time I was losing my hearing pretty fast (I’m deaf now), the challenge for the day was to create a song for your health focus or your blog.  I could no longer hear music….but I must say, I think a friend of mine and I came up with a pretty cleaver theme song.  I hope you enjoy it.

The original version of Stand Strong You Are Not Alone

Stand Strong You Are Not Alone

I call you a survivor, because that is what you are. There are days when you don’t feel like a survivor and there are days when the memories trigger your past and it feels like you are losing the fight – but you are not. Take the past and heal with it. You are strong. I want you to know that the abuse was not your fault. It does not matter what age it happened. You did not deserve it, you did not cause it, and you did not bring it on yourself. You own no shame, guilt, or remorse. In your life, you have faced many demons but look around you and you will see there is hope, and there is beauty. You are beautiful, You are loved, there is hope. You deserve to be loved and treated with respect. You deserve peace and joy in your life. Don’t settle for anything less than that. God has plans for you. Your future does not have to be dictated by your past.

Each step you take you are not alone. Stand Strong.

My Nominees

In no particular order.

To all my nominees:  You are some of the bravest people I know!  I am honored to know each and every one of you.  I know many of you may not be able to do everything required to receive this award, but know, in my heart, you are all Brave Warriors!!

  1. Phylor’s Blog: Pain, Poetry, Bipolar, Prose (and a little bit of whimsy..)
  2. Soul Comfort’s Corner: This lovely lady deserves this award.  I have learned so much about her over the time we have followed each others blogs and emailed each other.  I know she won’t accept this award, because she doesn’t do things like this….but I wanted her to know how much I think she is a BRAVE HEART!
  3. Hibernationnow’s Blog: Life with Fibromyalgia, and so much more….
  4. Bipolar BarbieQ : Writing about Bipolar, and life
  5. Lipreading Mom : Hard of Hearing, Deaf, Bullies….
  6. Another Boomer’s Blog : Hard of Hearing, Deaf, ASL…..
  7. Extraordinary Spin-ster!: Meniere’s, Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and ADD
  8. Meniere’s Warrior :  Life with Meniere’s Disease
  9. Miss Crabby Ass : A Bipolar Lady
  10. Adventures of a Deaf Adult : Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Cochlear Implants
  11. Sunshine and Chaos: Living with Invisible Chronic Illness
  12. Taking Life for a Spin : Living with Vertigo and Chronic Illness
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7 thoughts on “BraveHeart Award!

  1. BOY lady, you work fast! I loved reading the answers to your questions.

    I wish I had your artistic talents – although I don’t know when I’d find the time to use them, which would be frustrating.

    RE: cooking
    —————
    Since the Gluten Summit (where listening to the experts convinced me that everybody is better off avoiding that stuff) I have gradually been eliminating gluten from my own diet. I never expected to actually DO that, by the way — I was a skeptic until the Summit.

    I started with eliminating the obvious, and now am working on “cross contamination” — and it has made a big difference in a number of things. My blood sugar seems to be more stable (no more sluggishness after eating, for example), but the big surprise was the difference it made in my body.

    I have never been what anyone would call heavy, but as the years crept on I was gaining weight in my mid-section. You probably know that’s not good! It also is not great for the self-image when you’ve always had a fairly decent body.

    Within a month of giving up gluten I could tell a BIG difference — and now my stomach is flat again (and I lost 10 pounds). No sit-ups, no exercise, no cutting back on eating – just giving up gluten.

    That’s not why I did it, but I’ll take it. So when I read about Wendy Cooks, my interest was peaked. I can’t imagine how I would eat if I had to give up fruit too, however. Since my “cookie addict” post I have made a concerted effort to get the sugar out of my diet, and fruit has become my dessert. It is also a fav ingredient in my salads.

    I am in the process of learning to rethink how I cook because I do enjoy it. I am one of the rare “singles” who cooks for herself — every day — and rarely eats out. But I’m starting to get a bit bored with what I have been feeding myself — so I need to get some new ideas. My friends in Little Rock introduced me to Pamela’s (gluten-free flour alternative) – but I haven’t begun to experiment with using it yet.

    So I’m hoping that you will feel well enough to be able to resume your love of cooking (and posting on Wendy Cooks) — for you, of course, but also so that I will have a guide and mentor who understands that some of us can’t jump through TOO many hoops attempting to feed ourselves.

    Last but not least, I was touched by your intro. Thank you for saying such nice things about someone you barely know (um, ME!).

    I will change your link to this page on my BraveHeart post – and will also put it in the “Relateds” at the end.

    Good job!
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

  2. Pingback: BraveHeart Award! | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. Madelyn,
    I thought it took forever to get this done. Whew! That was a lot of requirements. I’m afraid non of my nominees will be able to do it.

    You can check out Wendy Cooks if you like. it’s http://wendycooks.wordpress.com Everything on there is gluten free. There’s not a lot of bread things, I just don’t eat a lot of bread. But I do use Pamela’s. Can’t use one of her flour mixes though because it has honey in it, but her pancakes…oh my! I do add milk instead of water and that makes them fluffier. We also add blueberries sometimes. Most of the recipes are not for low FODMAPs…that’s the Fructose stuff, so you don’t have to worry there. But you can eat those too.

    When I gave up gluten a lot of things changed…for the better. Then a couple of years ago I started having severe GI distress, and bloating was a big thing…but running to the bathroom constantly. Finally they figured out I have fructose malabsorption. But following that diet hasn’t changed my body as much. I gained 60lbs while running to the bathroom…constantly…and I do mean constantly! It still hasn’t come off, no matter what. Fructose Mal, is hard to deal with. As long as it’s 50% fructose and 50% glucose or more glucose, I can have it. So I can have some fruit, and some veggies. I have to watch portion control…ect. And no onions or garlic…how do I eat!!! It’s hard. And cross contamination is easy. So still lot’s of trouble and most nutritionist/dietitians in this country know nothing about it. (it was discovered in Australia, here it’s just lumped into IBS) but my doctor knew about it and I was tested…I do have it.

    If you ever have something you want to eat and can’t figure out how to make it gluten free, let me know, maybe I can help.
    I have a few Gluten Free Cookbooks I no longer need, if you would like them. I have the information I use out of them already.

    About the kind words. I know more about you than you think, just by your comments on Edie’s blog. And reading through your blog.

    again, if you need any help with anything gluten free….just let me know. (I used to have a blog dedicated just to that, called Gluten Free Greenie, it was very popular, but when the Meniere’s started taking over, and I had other dietary issues, I changed things.

    thank you again for the award.
    do you happen to know who started it?
    wendy

  4. LOL! Look how long it took me to get here! Was sick for a couple of weeks and so far behind that I had hundreds of blog posts to read. You told me about this award so I had to find it. 😉 Thanks, dear one!!

    Interesting to learn the answers to your questions. And, yes, you know I don’t do these, but you are so very sweet to have included me anyways. You are the Braveheart, for sure. I have learned so much from you about what you and other’s live through. I admire your strength and determination, my friend! 🙂 🙂

    • I’m glad you were touched by the Award. You don’t have to carry it on to know you deserve it!! When I read it I thought of you immediately! You and I understand so much. I wish we were closer and could just visit and talk. You hold a dear place in my heart every time I learn more about you…it grows.

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