Nothing happens instantaneously. So oftentimes it’s hard to figure out if your treatment—meds, therapy, everything—is working or not. Things happen gradually and in different orders for everyone. If you think you’re not improving, also try asking a loved one; sometimes they can notice change before you do.
Signs your treatment is working:
1. You feel better! You notice that you’re happier, calmer, more at ease, more hopeful about the future, and generally more upbeat. If you keep a mood chart, you might see a long-term uptick in your mood.
2. You are fixing your own issues and not looking to your therapist or anyone else to fix things for you. Your doctors are not there to “rescue” you from the issues you are facing; instead, they help guide you toward the best solution. They help you move toward a healthier emotional state, which includes making the right decisions for yourself.
3. You find you have more control over your emotions. You handle life’s ups and downs more easily. You see hard times as part of life and temporary, rather than becoming overwhelmed by them.
4. You’re more forgiving and accepting. You see those around you as humans who make mistakes, just like you do. (That includes people who may have hurt you.)
5. You’re more connected. To yourself, to your emotions, to those around you, and to life in general. You look forward to living your life instead of just moving through it.
6. Your perspective begins changing. Your view of yourself, others and life begins to shift, and you may see solutions and possibilities where you previously saw problems.
7. You are looking at your own needs more often. You are making choices that take self-care into account and you look at your own needs in addition to others’.
8. You smile or laugh more; your entire demeanor has changed and is more positive. You may be more future-focused. [Ask a close loved one about this; often this is very hard to recognize by yourself]
9. Other people notice differences in you, and they are beginning to react in different and more positive ways. Think about little interactions, like the barista or a casual acquaintance.
10. You’re getting along better with the other people in your life. Your friends, family members, coworkers, strangers—there are fewer fights, more laughs and better conversations.
11. You have more hope for a better future. Tomorrow doesn’t look as gloomy as it once did.
12. You have a plan or a goal for what you want your life to be. You’re working towards that goal (or working towards making one). Bottom line—you’re making positive changes in your life.
13. You are setting healthy boundaries with the people in your life—and your relationships are actually stronger because of it.
14. You notice that you feel better most of the time, not just when you’re talking to your therapist.
15. You feel safe both emotionally and physically.
16. You feel important, competent and significant in the lives of those around you. Your self-worth and personal value relies less on outside factors, such as grades or others’ opinions.
17. You feel stronger and better able to express your needs and wants. You’re no longer a victim of circumstances and other people—you know how to ask for what you need.
18. You’re making healthier choices for your body, your behavior, your thoughts, and your feelings. Maybe you finally threw away that razor, broke it off with the toxic boyfriend, or conquered a fear food.
park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu. park jongkyu.
*whispers* park jongkyu.
[Trigger Warning: This video contains discussions on sexual slavery, abuse, rape, and violence]
COMFORT WOMEN WANTED, a very short documentary filmed by Chang-Jin Lee discussing the lives of Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Indonesian, Filipino, and Dutch “Comfort Women” survivors, and a former Japanese soldier. Comfort Women comprised of 200,000 young women and girls, referred to as “Comfort Women,” who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army. The title, COMFORT WOMEN WANTED, is a reference to the actual text of advertisements which appeared in Asian newspapers during the war. When advertising failed, young women and girls from Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Netherlands were kidnapped or deceived then forced into sexual slavery. These women and girls were raped and beaten by 50-100 soldiers a day at military rape camps, known as “Comfort Stations.” There are estimations that only 30% survived the ordeal. The “Comfort Women System” is considered the largest case of human trafficking in the 20th century. The remaining Comfort Women are now in their 80s/90s still waiting for a formal apology from the Japanese government, which has attempted to suppress, silence, and erase the issue to the extent of protesting the Comfort Woman statue. Just recently, the imbeciles at Gawking’s Valleywag published an article called “Start-up Flying Dateable Women to San Francisco Like It’s Imperial Japan” essentially trivializing and romanticizing the experiences of Comfort Women and stating it’s “inspiration” from the Comfort Women of World War Two. Many Asian and Asian American readers demanded the removal of the article and an apology. But the writer, Nitasha, wrote a lazy apology instead of constructing an in depth apology, and the article is STILL on their website. Despite the growing awareness of the issue, this aspect of history has been at most unacknowledged. In this documentary, Chang-Jin Lee attempts to bring light on the organized violence against Comfort Women, and to create a constructive dialogue for the future by acknowledging their place in history.
Check out the contrast between these search results. Not a single “loser”, “easy”, “desperate”, “stupid”, “scum” or similar insult in the search results for fathers.
Why, society, are single fathers so often seen with sympathy and admiration, yet single mothers are painted as a washed-up, disgusting strain on the system?
This is fucked.
I know this is rhetorical, but we know the reason.
Motherhood is not valued in this country, it’s demanded. We have people fighting tooth and nail against abortion, birth control, and then any social program that helps poor mothers. If the world sees you as a woman, you are expected to desire, birth, and raise children, and if you don’t do that, or you do it while poor, or single, or not white, you’re not only failing as a woman but as a mother.
But men, they don’t get defined by their reproductive abilities! They get to be multi-dimensional! And if they spare an occasional thought for the children they brought into the world, it’s a cherry on top of their identity as a person.
Women don’t get the luxury of existing as people outside of parenting, even in 2013. And until we do, this is the shit we’ll be dealing with.
"Motherhood is not valued in this country, it’s demanded."
I am a queer Chican@ Immigrant and a chronically ill person with able bodied privilege.
Being sober means that I rarely ever go out to clubs or events unless I can drag along a sober friend. I have gone out before without that support and I end up feeling overwhelmed and panicky. I need at least a friend with me that will agree to not drink or use substances while we spend time together. In the past this has saved me by knowing that I have someone to be accountable to (I will stay sober) and that I have someone that understands when I feel tempted or miss drinking and using.
Tonight I went dancing. My body missed it so much. I did my awkward shuffle, my cumbia inspired body movements and let my arms relax into the music. It was 90’s dance night at a small club. On the dance floor were awkward people trying to dance while balancing drinks on their hands, bad lip synching, or standing in the middle of the dance floor and talking loudly over the music. It was refreshing to see so many people dancing. We left right as it got crowded, our strategy for limiting time around drunk people.
I went with my sober white friend, I joke that she is the only person in the world that wears crocs but she isn’t. She is however one of the few people I really spend time with in Seattle. Seattle is very white and although the people of color community here is tight, most of us are introverts spend a lot of time alone and only hang when at events centered around alcohol or drugs.
I am shy and I am sick off and on due to multiple serious allergies although when I am not I still often times stay in. It is heartbreaking how little I go out. But I know that sober spaces are often not considered or mentioned as an accessibility issue. I have to decide before any event whether or not I have enough energy to deal with the pot or alcohol smell (if I am not doing well it is triggering), the offerings (it is so uncomfortable), the glorification of drug and alcohol use and the drunk or high people. Most of the time I opt out. I find it easier to spend time alone then have to spend my energy trying to navigate nights of sober inaccessibility; and I am bad at navigation. I am still building skills to function as a sober person in this world and I have been sober for 4 years.
But really though, who has the skills to navigate the drunk culture that queers live in all the time? Like myself most sober queers that I know choose to opt out of going out even when they want to. It’s sad to feel that the connections I make with other queers of color are often blocked off by this unnecessary barrier or occasionally tolerated without trying to understand it. Often times I am asked to accommodate drinking or drug use and I have become used to it; but I still wonder why is it that a recovering addict and alcoholic be exposed to the substances that could’ve have killed them in order to hang out with friends?
When I say that I am recovering I mean that I am one of the 45% of the LGBTQ community that has struggled or is currently struggling with alcoholism (compared to 15% of the general population) and that does not differentiate between race or gender. Studies suggest that “stress of dealing with stigma and bias also manifests in high rates of substance abuse among gay and transgender people of color” that varies with the intersections of oppressions that we face. We have a lot to de-stress from as people who face different forms of oppression daily, don’t we want to learn how to support each other in different ways of coping too?
I am often times disappointed by the lack of compassion that I get for my requests for sober space in queer communities. I am often times disappointed by the lack of support that I receive by my queer people of color when it comes to my sobriety. I do not want to have to share my sob story to receive compassion or expose my scary and vulnerable drinking past to be understood. I want my people to see this as real, as a something to consider. I want there to be communication that can lead to compromise. For example I know friends who use substances for pain management but will do it before we hang out or after, or in a different room if I am around.
Right now an uncle of mine is dying of cirrhosis of the liver in Mexico. I have lost more people than I can count to alcohol related death or overdosing, I came close to being one of them. I want to be clear that I am not a staunch abstinence-is-the-only way to recover from addiction person but I know that it is what I need and I am not alone. I know people who are not sober but limit their time around drinking or drug use as harm reduction for their use of substances. I also know children of alcoholics and addicts who are not sober but cannot be in spaces that trigger memories of their neglectful or abusive childhoods. I also know youth who have never used and don’t want to and people who just don’t like being around it.
I believe that having more consideration for sober spaces not only will nurture relationships with recovering addicts, it also will be more accessible to youth and will build more skills around de-stressing and coping with the microaggressions that we face daily; More importantly it will start conversations about the people who are not hanging out because of inaccessibility. I dream of a world where I can be with my differently abled friends more than once a year. I want to be able to talk not only about how sober spaces are not considered in queer spaces but how it is connected to the ways that ableism runs our lives and how our attitudes toward ableism keeps disabled people isolated. This is only one way that the queer community can improve, there are many ways that ableism separates us, consider learning about those too.
I write this to honor my ancestors, to honor those who struggle with addiction and alcoholism and to love all my people.
This video was shot and edited by Dean Peterson.
Dean and I got in contact a few months ago. He liked the project, I liked his work, and so we made this video that documents the process behind creating STWTS posters.
It’s important for me to show the process behind creating these pieces. Each portrait is an actual woman who has a story, who goes through this treatment daily, who has something to say about it that deserves to be heard.
I initially decided to portray the women as drawings instead of photographs because it was my natural inclination as a portrait painter. But also, drawing someone’s portrait makes you really look at them. You have to recognize their humanity not just physically but personally. And I hope that’s what comes across when people see these portraits in the street.
I’m rambling. Watch the video.
Thanks to Zahira and Koku for talking so candidly with me.