Help Us Hit 10K

My pal, Stephen, needs just 70 more followers. Personally, I think he ought to offer free honeycomb ice cream when he reaches that milestone; too bad he’s over in Ireland and can’t deliver.

Fractured Faith Blog

We are less than 70 followers now off the BIG 10K at Fractured Faith. It would be great if we could reach this milestone by 21 May which is the blog’s second birthday. So, while we normally seek to give as opposed to take, it would be much appreciated if as many of you as possible could hit us with a reblog in order to help us over the finishing line. We are always grateful for the love and support we receive from our WordPress tribe.

THANK YOU!

View original post

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Sorry for the delay, but I will hold you all in suspense no longer! After a close bet between three finalists, the winner is: Bruce Goodman.

Acrostic to an unnamed personage

by Bruce Goodman

Hell!
I don’t really detest anyone much.
Look, I’m not happy with the unfashionable woollen fabric
Like what some people wear;
About as frumpy as possible I reckon.
Really, I guess that means a detestation,
You know, of some sort.

Congratulations, Bruce! You are once again the most terrible poet of the week!

As I mentioned, it was a close race at the end. The two others had some intentionally misused words and some rotten rhyming. Bruce ultimately won because of his overall terrible poem. It wants to sound like a poem; it makes us think it might possibly be poetic. Then, it leaves the mind hanging like a sandwich at lunch that may have had some not-quite-in-date mayonnaise.

I mention finalists but the others weren’t half bad, either. I eliminated most on minor technicalities like not being terrible enough or not really reading like a poem. You all know I have trouble picking a favorite child each week.

Read through the terribleness and see for yourself:

Voldemort

by Peregrine Arc

Very tyrannical are you, bald headed twit
Oh, look at your Death Eaters running away again, you idiot
Lost is Nagini, curled around your toes
Dementors would have nothing to suck out of your remaining soul.
Everyone knows you were a spoiled brat
Many a time you could have turned back.
Or did you not care?
Really, I don’t think you ever loved another in your life
Twould have been just another game for you to ruin and set fire to with strife.

—–

Untitled piece

by Cynical Wordsmith

Does she have to scream at every meeting?
I can’t handle it
Am I allowed to punch her?
No but I can get up and walk out
Evadable

—–

Scientia Pontentia Est

by Violet Lentz

Could I possibly implore you
Oh ye of little sense
Not to fall for every 
Schemers
Ploy, as you peruse the
Internet?
Really, I’m not the only one that thinks, you
Are coming off half cocked
Claiming insider information
You most assuredly haven’t got

The ‘truths’ you’re privy to online
Have to be weighed with common sense
Evidently, in which you’re lacking-
Or you’d have thought of this yourself.
Really, I’m not judging- 
I just absolutely believe, that when Sr. Francis Bacon
Said, “Scientia potentia est”- he knew 
That knowledge can only be power, when your
Sources are correct.

—–

Marilyn

by Ruth Scribbles

M alevolent woman
A ppalling stink*
R ight-always
I nstigator-you name it
L iar (because she’s not always right)
Y acker-constant
N icotine addict*

—–

Tove

by Ruth Scribbles

T errible
O pinionated
V indictive
E vil

—–

To My Enemies

by Fresh Hell

Thou fiend
Of hell

May you never see light
Yearn for …light

Even I don’t like you
Now go away
Ease my workplace drama
Mind your own business
I think you
Stink

—–

Henry Clay

by H.R.R. Gorman

He looks like a dead opossum
E
xcept with much less hair
N
ever won a duel in his life
R
otten butthole of a man
Y
outhful joy never became him

Corrupt bargains were his specialty
L
ost more elections than Nader
A
llied with gilded corruption
Y
our political party is dead

—–

John C. Calhoun

by H.R.R. Gorman

Just a rotten son of a gun
Obsolete before he was born
H
air was an absolute mess
Nullification was the sword he fell on

Campaigned against himself

Carolina was his weapon
Attempted to dissolve the union
Lied about Adams and Monroe
How ’bout that Vice Presidency?
Oh, you did nothing?
Until you became a traitor?
Nullification was so stupid

—–

Don

by Michael B. Fishman

Diarrhea complexion & smelly mouth. Why do you talk so much about so little?
Oafish lapdog smile, your man-boobs wiggle and you’re not funny so stop trying.
Nasty Muzak is more interesting than listening to you drone on and on and on…

—–

Thank you for the laughs, the cleverness, and the horrible feeling in my gut. Perhaps the latter is indigestion and not at all related to the poems.

Tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt!

friend-2754278_1280

Bruce: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety

At first quite nervous, Wil found a surprising level of obscurity behind the words of her story. Her audience helped as well; gasping at Carl’s stupidity, glaring at the incompetent office secretary, leaning forward when she told of reading the internet story, then bursting out in laughter at poor Carl’s panic and intentional pants-dropping.

Even Hope giggled, a sweet chirping noise that Wil suspected Hope rarely voiced.

Not everyone laughed; to her side, Stephen appeared shocked. He almost looked as though he had been the one who spilled chemicals on half his group and then exposed himself in mistake.

Reagan noticed his discomfort. “Relax, Stevie,” she drawled. She wiped at her eyes.

“Stephen,” Stephen mumbled in correction as he glanced down at his chocolate cupcake wrapper.

She laughed a snort. “No shit, Sherlock.”

“Reagan,” Hope said.

The outspoken girl turned to the much smaller, meeker one. Their eyes met before Reagan lowered hers. “Sorry, Stephen.”

Wil nearly choked. Again.

“Thanks, Reagan,” Derek said. “Hope.” He smiled. Wil realized Derek smiled to help others calm down; she wished it had that effect on her.

“So…” Art began. Most shifted to face his direction. “Why’re we meeting today?”

All eyes flitted to Derek. “Welll,” their leader answered, “Stephen and I have been talking more about our group-‘

And the name, I hope,” Reagan interjected.

“Sure,” Derek acknowledged, blinking. His confusion cleared, and he continued, “Um, so we’ve talked about why we got together as a group anyway….” His voice cracked a bit and he swallowed. His gaze shifted around the group. Reagan made a rude gesture, which startled him into a shocked expression, then a genuine smile. “Ha! Thanks, Reagan. Thing is, I think we ought to actually do something with this group.”

Stephen nodded but the others’ expressions ranged from wary to (in Wil’s case) blank.

“You mean….” his main heckler said, “…like the Girl Scouts?”

This time, even Stephen laughed.

“Actually, Reagan,” Derek said, “That’s not so far off…”

 

Continued from Eighty-Nine.
Keep reading to Ninety-One.

 

Want to start at the very beginning? It’s a very good place to start.

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

WELCOME to The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, Week 22.

Please remove all dignified, appropriate rules about poetry and drop them behind a dumpster somewhere, read how to terribly poem, and look at the specifics below:

  1. This week, we are going to make an acrostic poem. The Topic of said poem is a person you detest.
    If his name were Bob, your poem might read:
    lessed waste of
    O rgans is
    ob
  2. For Length, your masterpiece must be no longer than the person’s name.
    Also, keep the number of people you hate and therefore wish to honor with a poetic address to three.
  3. Rhyme if you wish; don’t if you’d rather not.
  4. As always, make it terrible. The person you hate must sense, by aura of recitation alone, your loathing and aversion. He (or she) must follow the scent of vitriol to your computer and vow revenge upon your children’s children.
  5. Keep things PG-13 or nicer, if you please.

My children have Spring Break next week, which means I do not. Therefore, the deadline for this ‘weekly’ contest will be in two weeks. You have till 8:00 a.m. MST Friday (April 26) to submit a poem.

If you are shy, use the form. Leave me a comment saying that you did as well, just to be certain. I will be able to tell you whether I received it.

For a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments.

Have fun!

 

friend-2754278_1280

Photo credit:
Pixabay

Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Nine

“Well,” Reagan greeted Wil, “It’s about time!”

Wil glanced around the blue table’s occupants in confusion but realized none of them seemed upset. In fact, several were smiling. Art laughed outright. Compared to Reagan’s laugh of earlier, his sounded from a well of authentic joy. “Relax, Wil,” he said. “No one’s mad.”

Wil tried to relax, but Reagan looked the way she’d sounded: mad at her. To Reagan’s right, Hope still smiled kindly. To Hope‘s right, Derek also smiled. Wil felt something flutter inside her and glanced in the safer direction of her clutched tray of food.

“Sorry,” she mumbled. She couldn’t help it.

Art rose and headed to another table. “You’re fine.” He grabbed a yellow chair. Carrying it and setting it between his chair and Stephen’s, he turned to Reagan and mouthed, Knock it off! Reagan rolled her eyes in response and continued the serious study of consuming her sack lunch. To Wil, Art turned halfway and gestured for her to sit. She did, sliding her food carefully onto the crowded surface.

“Maybe we’ll send Hope next time,” Derek teased.

Reagan snorted.

“You already had Hope deliver the note,” Stephen stated. His lunch was finished and he was in process of eating his dessert. Bits of chocolate cake clung to his fingertips and lip. “Did that fail?”

Reagan snorted again. “Didn’t you hear?”

“No. Hear what?”

The dramatic girl fixed him with a look. “About this morning?”

Stephen glanced around the table. The rest of his friends appeared bemused, though Wil appeared very interested in her chicken-like gravy. He shook his head in the negative, the gesture making him look like a nervous owl.

“Well!” Reagan began, in a tone of conspiracy, “This morning, right after Wil discovered her note, Ol’ Dr. L. decided to change things up in class.” She took a drink from her water bottle. Swallowed. She leaned forward a bit, then sat back up. “Actually, I think Wil should tell it.”

Wil gagged on her soggy green beans. Startled, Stephen observed Wil’s coughing and then smacked her on the back. Wil managed to wave him off and regain composure. “I…” she began, “I know Hope was there.”

The shy girl gave Wil a half-smile. “I was.” Wil sighed in relief. “But,” Hope added, “Dr. L. was in front of my view when I heard the yell.” Wil’s former optimism died.

“Yell?” Stephen asked. “Who yelled? Wil yelled?”

“No,” Wil said. “Well -maybe yes.” Everyone stared at her. She blushed. She didn’t know how she’d been talked into this but saw she couldn’t back out now. “Carl Hurn yelled. His frien- Harry yelled. That girl probably did, too.” She stirred at her stale rice with a bandaged hand. “You see: she’d just gotten our supplies from the closet and set them on her desk. Carl said something like, ‘I know what to do,’ before heading over and tripping or something and crashing right into her…”

 

Continued from Eighty-Eight.
Keep reading to Ninety.

Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Eight

Yeah,” Wil said. “Harry.” She adjusted her backpack the best she could and glanced over at Reagan’s face. The girl appeared to be somewhere besides the crowded common room they were about to cross. “You all right, Reagan?”

Reagan’s eyes followed a blue spoon-shaped artwork on the wall before she returned Wil’s attentions. “What?”

“I asked,” Wil stressed the word, “If you were all right.”

A few teenagers brushed past them. “Hm …yeah,” Reagan answered. Another group walked between them, eyeing them; sending a nonverbal query as to why the two girls obstructed the base of the stairs.

“Oh.” Wil thought to elaborate; decided against it. “Well!” she said in a brighter tone, “Should we go see what the others want?”

“Oh!” Reagan blinked. “The thingie! -Yeah, Wil, let’s go!” She grabbed for Wil’s backpack again, but Wil was quick enough to pull it away this time.

“I’ll walk faster without the dragging.”

Reagan faced her, hand on hip and frown on face. “Alright.” Her tone did not sound convinced.

Wil smiled in innocence and started forward at a fairly quick pace. Pockets of chattering pupils and phone-hypnotized stragglers stood between her and the hallway to the lunchroom stairwell. She would have preferred a slower pace, but chose this over Reagan’s alternative.

With only a few stumbles and accidental shoulder-bumping, she and her impatient friend made it across. They turned and rushed down the stairs. Wil had enough spare thought to admire Reagan’s graceful descent compared to her own pell-mell lunges before she made it to the bottom without accident.

“Reagan,” she called, out of breath, just before the girl’s shadow turned the corner. The shadow stopped and looked to turn back. Wil stood and walked forward. “I. have. to. get. lunch. first,” she managed to say.

Reagan responded with another hand on hip pose. Wil took it as permission and headed to the counters.

“I’ll tell them you’re coming,” Reagan called. She left. Wil sighed in relief.

“What’s it today, dearie?” the smiling lunchlady asked. Her hair net head appeared more edible than the fare she offered, but Wil frowned and considered the options anyway. She needed to hurry, before Reagan changed her mind.

 

Continued from Eighty-Seven.
Keep reading to Eighty-Nine.

Mystery Blogger Awarded

Thanks to Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Masterfulness for nominating me last week; and on my birthday, no less!

Here are my answers to Beckie’s awesome queries:

  1. Do you collect something, if so, what?
    I just might have a problem collecting books. Yes, I can quit when I -okay; no, no I can’t.

    susan-yin-647448-unsplash.jpg

    may have more than this.

  2. Other than writing, do you have any other hobbies or activities that you enjoy?
    I am a mother and housewife (and regular wife, and taxi, and….) “other than writing.” *Sigh* As such, my other hobbies need to fit between the cracks. They include reading, running, camping, and artsing.
  3. What is your most embarrassing moment in public?
    I puked on several kids at our choir concert in fifth grade.
  4. If you had your choice of sleeping on a bed of nails or eating chocolate covered ants, which would you choose, and why?
    I seriously think this question needs more parameters. I mean; if I only had to sleep on the nail bed for ten seconds, that’d be fine. If I only had to try one ant, that would also be fine.
    Mostly I don’t think I would be able to sleep on nails or chew insects.

    mi_shots-410599-unsplash.jpg

    Cute; but, UGH!

  5. What is your worse pet-peeve?
    I’ve been thinking about this one. My worst pet-peeve is people being selfish, especially at the expense of others. Seriously, people, have some manners if you can’t have empathy.

Some of my favorite posts I giggled to myself over include “Encounter in the Alley,” “Silent but Tardy,” “Everlore,” “My Muse,” and “A Spoonful of Limericks.”

Any stragglers-on to my blog know I’m not a huge fan of this chain mail thing, so my nominees are more a list of blogs I follow that I highly recommend you all check out. If they want to answer the questions, more power to them.

Len of Len’s Daily Diary. Brilliant mind, touching observations, and excellent story-teller.

Treeshallow Musings. She’s a gifted poet and word-painter.

Geoff. If you haven’t read Mr. LePard yet, that may be better for your health.

H.R.R. Gorman. Also an excellent writer; delving into a little sci-fi, a little horror, a little fun.

Beverly Hughes. One of my favorite people. She writes moving and insightful posts about mental illness and her journeyings.

Official Nominees: you may choose to answer my questions:

  • Is there anything chocolate cannot solve?
  • Are fabric softeners really effective?
  • Who is your favorite Disney princess?
  • Which storybook villain would always win a limerick competition?
  • If you could vote for anyone to be leader of your respective country, who would it be and why wouldn’t it be Girl Scout Tagalong cookies?

If interested, here are the rules and such:

Rules:

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
  4. Answer the 5 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  7. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  10. Share a link to your best post(s).

Photo Credits:
Susan Yin
mi_shots

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

I look forward to this contest every week. I smile, laugh, feel slightly ill; then realize that I only get to choose ONE entry as winner.

Today, that winner is Joanne the Geek.

For You My Love

by joanne the geek

I love you so much, even with all my heart

but you can’t find any love for me at all

but with you I could still never bear to part

I’ll poison you and keep you stuffed in my hall

–♥–♥–♥–♥–

Congratulations, Joanne! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the competition every week is stiff. Most of the times I judge, I find myself drawn to three or four poems. After that, I have to search deep within them to suss out small details or turns of phrase that can set the poem apart and above the others.

This week; mostly everyone killed it with horrible rhymes, nailed awful story arcs, berated my poetic sensibilities with twisted romance, and left me gasping at an overall terribleness. Joanne’s poem did all that; plus I appreciated her ending. The meter and message left me hanging, wondering Wait -what? What did my love say to me? Short, sweet, pointed, terrible. Good job.

If I had a second prize to give, at least five of the following would tie for it. The rhymes, the messages, the “love…” You guys are amazing:

Take My Arm

by Trent McDonald

I really, really want to be your guy
I would rip out my heart for you
Chop of my head

Sure, an expensive gift I could buy
But parts of me are exclusive, there are few
Take too many and I’ll be dead

Well, actually I don’t want to die
Would ripping out my spleen do?
chop off a finger instead?

I hope you didn’t enjoy this poem 😉

—–

Yowza

by Peregrine Arc

Hello babe, I saw you from afar
I drove by in my shiny new Mustang car.
I smiled, flicked my bangs back just so
James Dean had nothing on me, as you know.
You smiled shyly, like the angel you are
And then your boyfriend leaned over to kiss the car.
“Here’s a twenty, thanks for bringing it around.
No scratches, I see. Safe and sound.”
I got out, handed over the keys
And scratched off a number on my valet receipt.
I could only stare as the tires went round
And hope the police would order an impound.

—–

One More Chance For The Unrequited Lover

by Bladud Fleas

So, the flowers I sent you
weren’t that fantastic
bought at a filling station
and made out of plastic
and you said plastic is bad for the planet
and I wrote on the card, “to my Jane”
when your name’s actually Janet
does it really mean I won’t get a kiss?
why should it mean you’ll give it a miss?

—–

Candy

by Doug

Why did you stand me up, my Dove,
Oh Dear Candy of June days, my Love
you misunderstood my allusion to
Ogden Nash day who used to say,
“Candy is dandy
but liquor is quicker.”

You are a diamond in the rough,
Is a diamond ring enough?

—–

Artificial Love

by Geoff

The Roses were red
Not that it mattered
Cos like my poor heart
With their rejection you shattered
Them both.

You blanked me all day
My life you are blighting
By coldly ignoring
The genuine plighting
Of my troth.

Do you think I’m too small
Could my voice be sexier
Just tell me your needs
And I’ll meet them forever
Your loving
Alexa…

—–

to lucy westenra i’m watching you

by count vlad dracula tepes

though you grew up on some farms
how could i resist your charms?

you may be only nineteen
and i five hundred thirteen

but thats fine with me you see
because im not so picky.

ill kill that doctor you love
and wear his skin like a glove.

then youll love me forever
no betrayal whatsoever.

—–

Be Bee Been Not to Be

by Doug

I’m not a “has-been”!
Love me in the now
now, now, now-ish

“har været” is a Danish,
a été is French
è stato is Italian
I’m a stallion immense
dense as a cloud now

—–

Why did you not?

by Ruth Scribbles

Oh my darlin’, oh my sweet
I loved you, yes, complete(ly)

You looked around me
Why? I beg you, gee!

My nose never dripped snot
I didn’t smell of rot

Was I too tall, ugly, or thin
What could I have done
To reign you in?

But now that we’re grown
And I’ve matured a bunch
I escaped a hell of a life
I now know that much!

Stay out of my dreams
You now make me scream
-with delight

Forever,
never yours

—–

Trying to Love You

by Michael B. Fishman

I sent you a puppy to show you my love.
You turned the poor thing into a first baseman’s glove.

I sent you a kitten to show you I care.
You shaved the poor thing so it had no more hair.

I sent you a toy, a cute Barbie doll.
You melted it by dunking her in raw alcohol.

I sent you a dove to show you my passion.
You sent me his bones after eating him with an Old Fashioned.

I walked to your door hoping for a dialogue.
You said some strange words and turned me into a frog.

I hopped on back home and got lost in St. Paul.
I called you on the phone but you didn’t answer my call.

I hopped back to your door hoping that you’d put me back.
You said more strange words and gave me a bad panic attack.

I begged you to slow down my speeding heartbeat.
You said more strange words and poof – I was a parakeet.

I flew around in circles and was chirping in tones.
You muttered something about a skull and crossbones.

I perched on your screen door feeling frustrated.
You said go away or you’ll find yourself castrated.

I asked if you’d turn me back into a human.
You said, “What’s the middle name of Harry S. Truman?”

I said, “I don’t know, may I have another question?”
You just stood there staring with an odd facial expression.

I said, “Please restore me and I’ll leave you alone.”
You said more strange words and I was in a NASA space cone.

I said, “Bring me back please and you won’t see me again.
You muttered something under your breath that sounded like, “Amen”.

I was back down on earth and I said, “Can I ask one last question?”
You said, “Only if you want to see more magical aggression.”

I thought that I didn’t so instead I just said, “Bye.”
You just looked at me harshly with one squinted eye.

I walked down her sidewalk and turned ‘round the bend.
And that’s where my story of unrequited love comes to an end.

Then I stopped and made just one quick backward glance.
You shouted, “Keep going. You don’t have a chance.”

—–

Your Love Haunts Me

by Doug

I’d die for your sultry voice,
for an answer to my last missive.

I loved you at the mountain venue:
drums and guitar on cliff in blue

I loved the oblivion in your voice, your
devouring sorrow and sudden run.

If only you could have loved me
I’d have loved you too, a bump
to have jumped with you

Come haunt me and
I will love your ghost
at the bottom of the cliff.

—–

let me in

by Violet Lentz

she lurks just
outside my window.
from the shadows
she implores,
“let me in.”
-eyes so wide,
so innocent.
she taps lightly
on the pane
and whispers,
“i’m scared.”
“let me in.”

she lurks just
outside my window.
it should be so easy
to just open it,
and let her in..
but instead,
i draw the blind
so i can’t see her
i write poems,
i paint with words,
and i pretend.

that the scared,
little child
just outside
my window
is not me-
i don’t long,
to let her in.

—–

If You Duck Love, How Will You Swim?

by Doug

Once we played ping-pong in the rain
following the arrows to Reign Park, and

I know you loved
the pitter-patter of rain
although too

Cupid’s ping pang pain of love
rolled off you like
rain off a duck’s back

I don’t walk like a duck though
and you’re a beautiful swan

—–

One Soul

by Härzenwort

Even if your silence weren’t quite so loud

If you didn’t wear it like a shroud

This pain of yours would still be mine

I counted seven, eight and nine

Ten on a scale from one to none

One soul, one life, what’s done is done

Beyond the count of time are these our fears

Under and above a show of tears

For in this sleep of life what dreams may come

Must give us pause: there’s the respect

No purpose, no cause. Yet each other we affect

One soul, one life, what’s done is done

Ten on a scale from one to none

I count to seven, eight and nine

This pain of yours is also mine

I only wish you wouldn’t wear it like a shroud

That your silence weren’t quite so loud

—–

Thanks, again, to all who entered! Tune in tomorrow for next week’s prompt.

fezbot2000-65191-unsplash

Joanne: D. Wallace Peach created this graphic that you can use (if you want) for a badge of honor as the winner:

The Cure for Depression: Help Someone Else

Today on Curing Depression, I’d like to discuss service.

You may wonder why this is its own item. When I initially listed it with 10 other suggestions, I felt fairly confident in the decision. As I went to type this article tonight, however, I had my doubts. Topics like seeing a counselor or psychiatrist and taking medication are real shoe-ins for curing. Service, though? I mean, what the weird?!

mike-wilson-96168-unsplash

Odd as the topic may be, I actually have some beefy research that serving helps. Many church websites or volunteer organizations like to post evidence (’cause they want unpaid workers). BUT, the less-ulterior-motive types at Harvard Health, The American Psychosomatic Society, and even TIME magazine list benefits as well.

Turns out there’s something real about serving others, something that definitely helps combat a depressive mindset.

Still don’t believe me? Did you even read my links? The legitimate sources want you to pay a subscription to find out about helping people, but they’re referenced on other sites. The coolest thing I learned was that benefits of service are not merely observed. Service causes literal changes in brain activity, in positive areas.

When someone in need receives help, he or she benefits directly from the social support; simultaneously, the giver benefits in specific brain regions associated with stress, reward, and caregiving (Psychology Today).

The group that published for The American Psychosomatic Society used neuroimaging to measure differences in specific neurobiological areas. Translation: research dudes watched parts of the brain respond to giving or receiving. They measured change, and to which areas, and what the heck that actually meant in practice.

brain-1787622_1920

Isn’t that cool? Service was associated with reduced stress-related activity, greater reward-related activity, and greater caregiver-related activity.

Okay -science lesson done. I am now going to convince you that people are worth serving.

Ummmm.

Does anyone want to fence this one? I don’t always get along with people.

Anyone?

Zut.

All right, let’s try a different approach. What would you want a friend or relative to do for you? Do you wish someone would text you? Look at you? Help move a washer/dryer combo to your new apartment?

People are selfish. Their world and everything that is most important revolves around them. They aren’t smart enough to see that others might want help, so we’re going to take the first step.

Let’s hold off on the washer/dryer combo and start simple. Start small -remember? Pick someone on your contacts list and send them a nice message. Don’t just “wave” with the little emoticon or say you like their hair or smile. This isn’t junior high. Write that you were thinking about them and wondered how they’re doing. Keep it light, airy, and small-talkish.

Did you do it? How do you feel? Better? Try another person.

After messaging or texting or talking to a few peeps, you may find approaching humans to be less daunting. You may even find yourself looking forward to interactions. You may simply like the feeling you got when one of them texted back, and even wrote a smiley face. That was your seeing the mental benefit of service.

rawpixel-651370-unsplash

Service Idea Two: Give a handmade present away. If you’re still firmly in the not liking people camp, think of this as a way to show off.

Actually, scratch that. You’ll fire up different brain areas with a prideful mindset.

So think of someone you want to do a nice thing for, and then try to figure out if they like anything you could make. Honestly, if making’s too tricky or embarrassing, go for buying him/her food. Make sure the recipient doesn’t have allergies to chocolate chip cookies, then proceed with the merrymaking and present-bestowing.

Service Idea Three: move that washer/dryer. Hopefully, the appliance only stands as an analogy. Real friends usually ask for rides, a last-minute babysitter, a spare power drill, a cup of flour, etc. Avoid moochers, of course, but be the one who’s willing to help a good friend out.

After this point, service tends to fall into more serious categories. I’m talking serving at a soup kitchen, flying out of country to vaccinate native children, offering pro-bono work to homeless fathers seeking custody, or volunteering to build houses for homeless people.

greyson-joralemon-482879-unsplash

If you are struggling with mental illness, such large ideas of helping will overwhelm you. You need to start with simple.

Thinking about others and actually doing things for them is a healthy brain-changing exercise. There’s sciency proof, “I feel better” proof, and civic improvement proof. Service also gets you out of yourself. And since the negative thoughts of depression fester when allowed private time in our minds, service redirects our focus to a cause greater than our own perceived limitations.

Service gets us out of our pit and connecting with others.

Our human connections are terribly important. I even listed connection as the first cure for depression. The best connections are forged when groups work together in service, especially in a giver/receiver setups.

In parting; don’t get discouraged. Don’t tell yourself you can’t possibly do one more thing with your busy life. You can, because there are small things (like sending the text) that you can slip in your schedule while eating breakfast, riding the train, or sitting in a bathroom. No matter how small a service you perform, you’ve made the world a better place to live and have helped your depression that much more.

rawpixel-660714-unsplash

 

Photo Credits:
Mike Wilson
Pixabay
rawpixel
Greyson Joralemon
rawpixel

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Seven

As Reagan near-dragged Wil out of the art room and down the hallway of classrooms and lockers, Wil couldn’t help but recall Art’s tease that their helpful friend was “domineering.” She tried to get a word in, or at least a trailing sneaker. “Reagan, I-”

Drag.

“But, wait! I-”

“No time, Wil!” Yank.

Wil might have found herself in a helpless twist of clothes and backpack at the lunchroom door if, at the exact moment they passed the office, her captor had not looked back to reprimand Wil’s sluggishness. As such, neither girl anticipated the collision with the exiting boy.

“Ouch!” he said. “What the- Wil!

Wil saw Reagan’s impending curse die on her lips. “Harrison?” she said instead.

Harrison’s face clouded into a scowl. He turned to face Reagan; both she and Wil noticed his bandaged hands.

“Oh,” Reagan said. “Sorry.”

He shrugged a bit, and then had to readjust the folder and book in his arms. His face still scowled. “I don’t mind the burn.” He glanced at Wil, especially at her own, small bandages. “It’s the name.” As he saw understanding cross Reagan’s face, he said, “I’m ‘Harry.’

He turned back to Wil without waiting for a response. He smiled at her. “Hey! D’ya have my phone?”

Wil blinked to recover from his abrupt manner. She was still processing that they’d crashed and that she was not still being pulled. Her eyes focused on the white, bandaged hands before her; traveled up to Harrison’s -Harry’s- face. He had an expectant expression. He’d asked her a question, something about a phone…

“Oh!” Wil said, blushing. “Yeah! I just realized I still had it, but couldn’t remember your name-”

“Harry,” Harry said.

Wil blushed more, if possible. “Right; yeah.”

He stood, still expectant.

“Oh! The phone!” Wil tried to grab for it with her bandaged hand, causing Harry to try to help her, but they both stopped when they realized neither could grasp it.

“Erm, Reagan?” Wil asked. She looked at her friend, but Reagan seemed a little lost. She seemed to be watching something near Harry’s face, or near his startlingly-blue eyes. Wil tried again. “Reagan!”

“Hm- Yeah?” her former captor turned to Wil.

“Uh.” Wil wasn’t accustomed to a speechless Reagan, though she didn’t know the girl very well yet. Maybe her carpool neighbor was sarcastic and talkative with their lunchtime group but not anywhere else. “Could you get Harry’s phone out of my pocket and give it to him?”

Reagan blinked.

“Please?” Harry asked. His tone sounded nicer than before, but still impatient.

Reagan looked back at his eyes; nodded. She reached forward, extracted the cell phone, then gingerly slid it into the side pocket he offered.

“Thanks.” he told her. Smiling a white flash of teeth at Wil, he added, “And thank you, Wil.” He laughed. “Now, I’m gonna try to eat. See ya!” He pushed past the gaping Reagan and a few other teenagers milling around the area and headed down the stairs to the lunchroom.

Wil sighed in relief. “Well, I’m glad I got his phone back. I didn’t even know his name!” She started walking toward the stairs as well; Reagan followed. “He seems like kind of a jerk, though,” she observed.

“Who, Harriso- Harry?” Reagan sounded surprised.

 

Continued from Eighty-Six.
Keep reading to Eighty-Eight.