Blogging, Mental Health, Writing


I have had some ups and downs during this period of recovery. I was manic for a while and wrote a shitload of stuff…none of which is on my blog. Thank god! It’s better that you don’t read my manic writing šŸ™‚

Now that I’ve come back down…I fell a little too far, but not far enough to not want to breathe in and out and open my eyes. In fact, I landed with the type of discomfort that is pushing me to be hopeful….

Today, I showered. I went to lie in the sun…15 minutes on each side. My pasty (and it is pasty) white ass wasn’t showing since I had the compassion to wear shorts…my neighbors don’t need to be traumatized whilst I soak up some rays. My neighbors are Somalian and are shocked by the sight of my pale legs alone!

I felt really low today. The girls left for their dad’s visitation yesterday, and I have been blah feeling.

This past week, I have been sick with a head and chest cold that I caught from my lovely youngest daughter. Yep. Gave me all her germs and then some.

I’m feeling better with minor congestion, but I’m really tired. I have narcolepsy and didn’t take my Concerta (Ritalin) all week so that my body could rest. I am taking it again and my body just feels run down.

I plan to go to mass this evening.

Until then, I will continue snuggling with my dogs and I plan to read some blogs and research mental health recovery-I have an idea for a book on that subject.

Oh…and there is a pile of laundry that I need to sort and put away.

I am new to Instagram. My Canon dslr comes in the mail the first week of June, and I plan to learn photography this summer with the girls.

For now…I just have some basic iPhone shots posted. You can follow me if you want @ carolina.maine

Thanks and have a well mental health day šŸ™‚



Blogging, Writing


I’m having doubts about if there is truly a book in me.

I primarily write poetry and read nonfiction; I am not sure I have the skills to write a novel.

I don’t know that I have the drive to either.

As an aside…

My Google Chrome account appears to have been hacked.

I thought the virus was limited to one computer, but when I logged into my Chrome account on another computer-the virus followed.

I don’t know if anyone else is having this problem…

Blogging, Books, Writing

Novel Structure

Last year, I bought a book that was supposed to help me write my novel in 90 days, and it was an okay book, but I did not write my novel in 90 days. I didn’t write it at all!

I did some minor planning of characters, but that is as far as I got.

This summer, I am determined to make progress. My first novel will be a mainstream, southern, chick lit. I figure this is an easier structure to master before moving on to my other novel ideas in the future.

Amazon has Structuring Your NovelĀ by K.M. Weiland. I read several reviews and downloaded the sample before purchasing. I’ve been burned by novel writing books in the past, but this one was worth the $9 I spent. It also came with an accompanying workbook in Kindle version as well-the combined price was $9.

I feel more hopeful about completing my novel now that I am learning more about structure. Also included in my studies isĀ Dialogue, Techniques and exercises for crafting effective dialogueĀ by Gloria Kempton. I have this book in paperback and had read parts of it earlier. After reviewing it again, I decided to spend time studying it to completion.

I should have more success this summer with my writing projects now!


Blogging, Books, Writing


I’m recovering from a deep depression, and I’m beginning to feel much better! It’s spring and summer is around the corner. I feel in the mood to write!

I’ve been using my ancient Kindle to search books on novel structure today. It takes forever to search on my Kindle because it is the old kind with the buttons at the bottom and the buttons on the sides to navigate. I like it because it was $60. I keep it because, despite how luring the newer models are, it costs a lot more to replace the old one!

I have a Nook glowlight, but I’m trying to use theĀ Kindle more in that I’m worried Barnes & Noble might not be around longer than Amazon. That is my concern with buying ebooks. I want to keep them forever, and the reality is that Barnes & Noble and Amazon can go the way of the dinosaur and I’ll be stuck with 0 books.

Anyway, I digress…

I have two print books:

90 Days To Your Novel by Sarah Domet


Dialogue, Techniques and exercises for crafting effective dialogue by Gloria Kempton

Both are helpful, but I read them so long ago that I don’t feel interested in re-reading them for inspiration.

I do haveĀ The Copyeditor’s HandbookĀ by Alice Levine, and I want to work through it before June arrives. I need to revisit grammar rules and learn how to edit with symbols to make the editing process more streamlined.

Do you have any suggestions of books that cover structure and style for novels? If so, please share them, and have a happy writing day šŸ™‚



Blogging, Mental Health

Fear of Recovery?

It seemed a strange feeling-to be afraid of recovery. So, I did some research to see if other people with mental illness have ever felt the fear of recovery. And to my surprise-it is a common feeling!

Recovery has been defined by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) as ā€œa process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potentialā€ (SAMHSA, 2011). Ā “Fear of Recovery” by Susan Noonan MD

Lately, I have been picturing myself attending a Catholic retreat this summer, being an active Catholic mom, attending biblical school this fall, eating a diet that is high in protein (No sugary sodas-well-maybe every now and then!), and becoming fit through a very expensive six month personal training package I purchased at my gym.

I picture myself learning Spanish and Hindi, writing some fiction, reading books, blogging, and going to a few writer’s groups this summer while the girls are with their dad. I tend to fall into deep depressions when they are gone for long periods of time. My therapist says the time I spend alone is time that can be spent reinventing myself outside of being a mother. I am trying to focus on that positive aspect instead of feeling the loss of not being needed.

My illness has kept me from participating in the Church. Mass is stressful for me. I feel ecstasy that turns to terror, and I often suffer from intrusive and obsessive thoughts during the service. I avoided mass for two years thinking that I would improve, but I did not. The same symptoms returned when I started attending. I am trying to stick with it. Having a spiritual connection with God through the sacraments is important to me. I have felt lost and alone without them, and I want my girls to experience the love of God through the sacraments as well.

I have been picturing myself being active and healthy for the first time in five years! I recently experienced a deep depression and I am recovering from it; however, I have developed unhealthy habits during the depression that I am now trying to leave behind. For instance, I tend to isolate myself and sit on the couch binge watching television shows and movies. Chores aren’t a reason to be active as I am tired of doing them after years of cleaning and organizing. The last time I cleaned (thoroughly) and organized was last October 2016 during a manic phase. My apartment is due for a deep clean now, and I want to get on top of it, but I feel overwhelmed by it all. I am newly recovering and it may just be too much to tackle all at once. I can break down the organizing and cleaning schedule, but I do need to be committed to actually following through with the plans!

I want to recover, but I’m afraid that I will recover and then my illness will resurface and ruin all that I worked hard to achieve. I’m not sure that I have repetitive resilience to start over again each time I experience a prolonged mood episode.

The blog post on Psychology Today that I quoted above includes questions to ask yourself about recovery. I will post my answers below. Read the article and answer the questions…it might just help you too!

  • Identify your fear.
    • I am afraid to succeed only to have my illness destroy what I have achieved. And I am afraid that I will not have the resilience needed to try again after each prolonged mood episode I may experience in the future.
  • Think about how it makes you feel (afraid, anxious, etc.).
    • I feel anxious and afraid; however, I am hopeful that I can achieve a more self-directed future.
  • What are the thoughts you have associated with your fear?
    • I think about being a failure. I think about being too weak to start again after a prolonged mood episode in the future. I think about letting other people down after they begin to depend on me while I’m well.
  • What are the benefits of staying in your old comfort zone?
    • I can lie in bed or on the couch and avoid the pain of failure. I can isolate myself to avoid losing important people I may grow to love.
  • What are the costs of staying in your old comfort zone?
    • My body and my mind grow weak without direct stimulation, and I am missing out on friendships.
  • Identify a few small steps to help you confront these feelings and negative thoughts.
    • I have confronted the thoughts, researched them, and I am trying to picture myself being successful in all that I attempt while living a life of recovery.
  • Identify the support people you need to help you face your fear.
    • My Catholic psychologist friend whom I share everything with. My psychiatrist and my therapist and my friends.
  • Begin with a few of the small steps you just identified
    • I will make a chore and organization chart. I will keep paying on my tuition for the biblical school that begins this fall. I will read books on writing fiction, try to attend a writer’s group, and study Hindi and Spanish. And I will actually cook the food I buy and attend my personal training sessions and fit in workouts on my off-days. I hope I don’t overload myself! I have turned down some volunteer engagements that I found to be stressful in the past-activities that I am passionate about but that would exacerbate my depression.