I am for relationships in my future.

I want to be able to form and keep friendships I was able to form over the years with friends I have at NAMI Mercer NJ who also struggle with their difficult mental illness. I have been working since January 2016. I am back to work this September 2019. I will be working this semester. I also plan to retest for the Praxis Core Reading test next January 2020. Early in January I plan to retest and take the core reading test for the second time. I may try a third time to see if I pass. I may be able to pass this second time. I’m studying the Barron’s Praxis Core Exams and I will be studying it for the rest of this year. Early January 2020 is retest.

I discovered Alicia Keys in a music therapy group when I was at St. Francis Medical Center on the Psychiatric unit in Trenton, New Jersey back in the 2000s.

I really like Alicia Keys. I am around her age. I’m 38. I love singer/songwriters. I feel like they are cool for singing and especially if they are like Alicia and have fifteen Grammy awards and write their own songs. I like her music. I love how she plays the piano. She is so cool and she seems to be down to earth. I like how in one of her music videos she has on a nice outfit playing the piano. She has a Yamaha piano too. To be a pianist is something very cool and to write your own songs. I just like and admire Alicia Keys so much.

I had a health scare.

I was hospitalized for blood clots in my lungs and I was having anxiety too. I have been up since 7 am. I am going to be working on my writing. I am taking a course with The Institute of Children’s Literature. I am half way through my course. I need to work on my assignments and make them better. I will be in the library from 10 am to noon. Then I’m just going to chill until 12:30 pm a friend is picking me up and we’re going bowling and getting pizza.

I am so happy I am working at my alma mater as a Mentor.

I am happy to be able to help my Mentees. Some of them are African American and I work at Mercer. I try to be helpful to all of my Mentees. Some of them are Caucasian and others are Hispanic. They are all very nice and I have been able to connect with almost all of them. Sometimes when I meet a new Mentee at the beginning of the semester I introduce myself to them to familiarize myself with their names as well.

Some of the best advice I have ever gotten was to pursue my own interests and not what my mom or my dad tell me what to do. I had loved art class since I was a child. I have an adult coloring set that I love to color a page or two every day. It is a great therapy for me art and writing is one of my favorite means of expressing my thoughts and feelings. This past February I had a poem I published called Poem for my grandfather and I have a newer poem I wrote that I wrote for my mother called You Inspire Me that is coming out in July 2020.

I have turned to spirituality and God because I know God is with me. I am trying to encouraged myself to think more positively. I start my morning off with a five to ten minute pray for myself and my friends and loved ones. I am happier. I have relatives that I friended on Facebook who I reached out to also. Any time I visit Brooklyn I see my grandmother and my aunt and my cousins. I have a large extended family and cousins in Canada too.

I’m happy that I had quite a few successes in my 30s. I look forward to turning forty. I’m finishing a course I took to write for children. I am excited that I did well on the revisions I did, for my course with The Institute for Writers. I entered a poem I wrote in the silver linings poetry contest for an adult audience called Happy Birthdays.

Whenever I have trouble sleeping it triggers me. I was able to take a class at NAMI called WRAP class. It stands for wellness, recovery, action, plan. I know WRAP class helped me. I found all four WRAP certificates in binders I got at NAMI over the years. I put all four certificates together that each have my name Ayesha Karim on them. I feel really blessed to have had insight into my difficult illness. I eat healthier now. I try to get fresh fruits and vegetables as much as I can. I don’t eat meat but I love chicken and seafood. I like fish too. I weighed myself today and I lost almost fifty pounds on my own following a regular eating plan but eating nothing other than fish and seafood for months. I’d love to lose another thirty or forty pounds but that’s it. I like my curves though. I don’t want to be thin or weigh under 177 lbs.

Sometimes I think of when I started to genuinely feel better about myself was in my early 30s. I had quite a few successes in my 30s. I will be turning forty early next year and I take my life seriously. I want to put my best face and foot forward. I want to also be helpful to my family and friends too. I offer support to friends and I get support from friends too. It’s always nice for a friend to help me out with something and also wish me a happy birthday on my birthday every January. I feel so much less alone because I connected with a lot of my family and friends on Facebook. The moment I saw my sister Alison she told me “Ayesha you always had a gift with literacy”. It was such a nice thing for Alison to say. My sister Alison is actually a literacy coach and so is my aunt Kay my mom’s sister.

As a little girl I got teased a lot about my skin color. Now that I’m older all I try to do is reinforce all of the compliments or even positive traits I have to always think about the positive aspects of my life situations and try more to dwell less on the negative aspects though they may seem to linger I tell myself “enjoy things while the happiness lasts and try to let the past go.

For me I don’t want to try to be like anybody else that is not like me. It felt so cool to have my blog be doing so well on www.wordpress.com website. I know now that the more true you are to yourself the happier you feel. No one wants to have to live in the past. This is always going to be something I feel really good about. I felt really disconnected for a while before I started to come out of my shell I have the blogging community here to thank. I feel like I am a part of this community of cool people that all love blogging for their mental health.

I am feeling so much better about myself now that I’m older. I’m looking forward to my fortieth birthday next January 2021. It was a real struggle for me until I almost couldn’t believe when my spiritual awakening occurred in my early 30s until now. I am really amazed at how much happier I am now that I have been having successes with my course with ICL. I was also invited to enter ICL’s poetry contest. My instructor encouraged me to send a poem in to ICL’s poetry contest. Here goes.

I feel pride in my identity as a black lady but because of racism certain prejudices still exist against African Americans and others in The United States of America and elsewhere. I believe in God. My strong faith and conviction in my higher power keeps me sane and grounded. I’m sure God is with me in this fight. I know I am not alone. God is with me. I believe in God and I find it easy to forgive others and let go of offenses. I feel so much better about myself since God made himself real to me in my early 30s after having a spiritual experience when I was alone in the middle of a parking lot. As a little girl in my birthplace of Brooklyn, New York I got victimized and bullied a lot as a little black girl even before I had any weight issues. I actually became vegetarian a few months ago. I was able to lose like 50 pounds on my own without help.

My experiences as an eight or nine year old with bullying and colorism was just hard for me. I got picked last and I had been bullied at school on and off since third or fourth grade. I know God is real and he is a healer.