What I heard yesterday on Star 99.1 FM on the radio had to do with accepting and being yourself. I’ve said many times that I am the person I want to be. I wouldn’t want to be someone or something I’m not. I really can say that I like myself. I have a positive self image. I am thankful to God that I like myself. I know I’d still be that broken fragile self conscious girl I used to be as a teenager if it weren’t for the supernatural Love and Healing from Jesus Christ!
My Success Story is in MCCC News “Alumna Ayesha Karim Circles Back to College That Launched Her”! I am so happy. I remember going to the AD Bldg this January on the first day of classes for the Spring 2016 semester and meeting Miss Wendy who took down my answers to the questions she asked me. Miss Wendy basically transcribed my Mercer alumna success story. I go back to work at Mercer in August ’16 as a Mentor for the DREAM program. My success story is now on Mercer’s website!
At every level there’s a new bunch of haters ready to yap about me. I have come so far from where I was just 5 years ago. My self image is good. I smile in my bedroom mirror after I put on my lipstick. I am a Memoir alumna. I am a member of NJCU Memoir, a closed group on Facebook. I got in to Cave Canem twice: Fall 2014 and Fall 2015. I went once in Fall 2015. I had such an amazing experience at Cave Canem. The other women made me feel like I was a part of the fourteen woman group poetry workshop. I don’t care if I’m not popular or anybody’s favorite person. I like my life and I like myself. I’ve had some successes in Poetry and Writing Memoirs and now I’m writing a Young Adult novel called, Girl Meets Boy.
Maddy Monheit a board member of NAMI and a member of the NAMI Mercer newsletter staff did a story on me for this month’s (June 2016) newsletter. There’s a nice headshot of me, Ayesha Karim, and it says:poet and volunteer. I am so happy that I am in the spotlight this month. I have volunteered with NAMI Mercer since December 2010 the first time a woman at NAMI Mercer NJ, Erika Reading, asked me if I would run a Just Friends social group event, the Bowling and Pizza event. The Bowling and Pizza event is the first Saturday of every month unless there’s a reason for some other special event to be on that first Saturday of the month.
I want to live. I don’t want to die until I’m in my 80s. I like who I am. People give me and other women like me who struggle with mental health problems every reason to not like ourselves. Liking yourself is a revolutionary act in a society that gives you and others who have various disabilities every reason to have a poor self image. I put on my Tropic pink Fashion Fair lipstick and I smile in my mirror. I buy nice dresses for myself and other times I wear nice pantsuits. Years ago I had a job interview and my mom bought me a black Lane Bryant pant suit that I loved. I have a nice red jumpsuit in my size. I wear a 2X and an XXL. There is this 3/4 length mink coat in brown in The Fur Vault at Macys that costs like $5,100 that I want! I love fur, leather and Le Vian chocolate diamonds.
I am so happy I was chosen as one of the winners of this year’s (2016) 22nd Annual NJ Wordsmith competition. I am going to be honored with the other winners on June 18, 2016 at the South Brunswick public library. Also a woman at NAMI Mercer who is responsible for the newsletter Maddy Monheit did a story on page 4 of this June 2016 newsletter about me with a lovely photo of me in my fancy Sophia Loren eyeglasses I got at Walmart Vision Center in Princeton, NJ. I love the photo taken by Liz Hagen. I’m 35! I have been getting headaches and my ears hurt too from hearing my voices but I am doing pretty well despite that. In the newsletter it says Ayesha Karim: volunteer and poet. Oh it’s a dream come true for me. A dream I never knew I had but my dream came true. I’m so glad it did!
Mud makes me think of creation and the Holy Bible and Christmas time.
I have been doing really well for the past five years. I have been better. I have been a better version of myself and I have been enjoying my life. I am not where I want to be but thank God I’m not where I used to be. I’m studying the driver manual to prepare me to take and pass the Permit test so that I can get driving lessons and practice driving. I cannot wait to get a car of my own. My mom said my step dad Neil will buy me a new car. I appreciate Neil for that and for picking up my medication yesterday. We are a family my parents and my grandmother and aunts and uncles and cousins. I realize my mother and I need Neil and could not get along well without him. How’s that for a reflection…(Neil is my “difficult other”).
I shared my personal narrative my last two semesters at NJCU. I shared in class in both Memoir classes. I shared from the two memoirs I wrote in Edi Giunta’s classes at Memoirfest in December 2014 and May 2015. I had never shared outside of a safe space like NAMI Mercer NJ or AAMH partial care program or in a therapy session. I took a risk being that vulnerable but I am so glad I took that risk. Everyone responded positively at Memoirfest!
I’m an amateur Poet. I’m a Cave Canem workshop Poet too! I have written about 100 poems so far. I have published a Chapbook called Through Ayesha’s Eyes that consists of twenty five poems. My poem My Enemy is a winner of the Very Special Arts 22nd Annual NJ Wordsmith Competition in the category of poetry. I am a memoir writer. I hope to publish my book length memoir The Schizophrenia Memoirs by age 40. I am taking a Writing for Children and Teenagers course right now. I am working on Assignment Two. There are ten assignments to complete the course. I have until January 2018 to complete the course.