I know God is right here with me.

I know wherever I am God is with me. I have even been able to commute back and forth to NJCU the college I attend. I graduated in August of 2015. For years I had a hard time sleeping until I had a spiritual experience that made me sure that there is a God despite what atheists say. I never want to let myself get bogged down with a lot of negative thoughts. I know just me sharing my experience of what my life is like and me having a cool experience being nominated four times in the past two years. I had someone ask me in French one time if I spoke French. It made me feel exotic. I also like French but there are some people that say they don’t like French people. It was just so cool that Miss Michelle blogging all the way in Paris, France said : “hey girl guess what I nominated you?” I have had some unique experiences in my life but I count my blessings. I know things are sometimes hard even for the more popular people that makes it harder to even really know if they die young and seem to have way easier lives that the average person. I know having the experience of being nominated makes me feel grateful to the people who nominated me and it just made me feel cool to say I was one of the bloggers to be nominated. I appreciate both Mister Stuart and Miss Michelle for the nominations they gave to me.

I feel happy to be nominated for four blogger awards and just to have had the experience.

I have been thinking about my nominations every waking minute and it is because this is really a first experience for me to have had like this. I give praise to God first and foremost but I like taking credit for it. I spent a big portion of my life with the most difficult mental illness you can imagine. I sympathize with people who have mental illnesses because I’m one of them but I have insight into my illness. For years I volunteered with NAMI and it was a Godsend that I was able to find socialization through the Just Friends Social Group. Some days are still really difficult for me. I learned to be proud of the woman I am and to feel gratitude to the people that gave me opportunities along the way. I never had a lot of people like me or many experiences that were positive and happy like this one that I could look back on but now that I’m older if someone asks me “do you like yourself Ayesha?” I say yes because I do I learned to accept myself just the way I am. I believe God had a reason for creating me this way. It was never easy for me. I was this shy, quiet, bullied black kid that got teased a lot that never really had a lot of friends maybe a few friends but not many. I feared bad things happening to me like getting beaten up or just things other than losing my figure. I am always judged or criticized by people one or the other. I remember early on in my early life having difficult experiences that were hard for me and when I had this sudden moment of clarity and there was divine intervention involved I had a peace wash over me when at that moment I knew I had made peace with my difficult illness. I heard mean vicious voices that would make me feel really sad and I wasn’t even able to have a voice. When people read my writings and they say “Ayesha you nailed voice I can hear your voice in your memoir”. I just love that I have my own distinct voice as a writer even if I didn’t say much.

Sometimes in life the way we see ourselves and the way others see us can be very different.

I feel like God put people in my life to help me with things that would otherwise be hard for me. When people say they like me or they find me to be a kind caring person it takes my breath away but it wasn’t always easy for me to see myself the way I began to see myself in my 30s. I have had experiences with racism that are sometimes so hard to talk about but then the other part of my story is God put people in my life that saw something in me that I may not have been able to see in myself as a person that was diagnosed with a mental illness before I was fifteen years old. My illness stole so much from me that it is hard to even think about. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of things that I cannot control I’ll be 39 years old in a few weeks.

I have learned so much in my short life of almost forty years.

I am looking forward to being able to have a good experience doing jury duty in February 2020 and wear my new faux fur. I want to be able to just enjoy an experience that I have never had before at The Trenton Court House. I really feel like even if my life is far from perfect it would be a good choice to make to just appreciate my life and the things I have. I want to be able to help others too and even just being able to make a positive difference in the life of a friend or a family member who has a mental illness too and anyone like a peer who has a mental illness and can also use some help from NAMI. I had a really great experience over the years just being a part of NAMI both as a consumer of the social group and later as a volunteer. NAMI gave me quality of life and their programs and team of staff and volunteers do such good work. Most of the people there are very kind and helpful and just wonderful with a number of supports for people out there struggling with mental illness. I think because I was able to make peace with an illness as difficult as schizophrenia I can try to help others who are affected by mental illness reaching out as a peer who has herself experienced some of the most difficult symptoms among them mean voices before I was fifteen years old. I was scared of my own shadow. I could barely sleep. I know if I have lived experience that are more difficult to describe. I feared so many things. In the past maybe eight or nine years I have had a number of successes that have built up my confidence including being nominated for four blogger awards and thinking of that just being something I can say that is beyond cool that I was able to do. I appreciate both Miss Michelle and Mister Stuart for reaching out to me and caring enough to nominate me and I also appreciate the other bloggers that like the content on my blog even in other countries like France. That is so cool!

I may struggle with my mental health but I never intend to give up on my life getting better.

I plan to try to graduate again from the program that I am going to. I have been there for about two months and I have been getting my medication injected for a while now so I can get rid of having to take all of these pills. I am looking forward to my 39th birthday later this month. I will not isolate myself. I have gotten perfect attendance for both October, November and December 2019. I feel like no matter how hard I try it is still hard. I need to get my sleep at night and power down the internet after like 11 pm. I have had struggles in my life with my mental illness and racism and insomnia. I sleep better but I can still used to getting my shut eye around 11 pm. I get up to use the restroom but then I go back to bed. I don’t stay up all night anymore but sleep is a big trigger for me that and people pushing my buttons all the time. I am almost forty years old. This experience for me blogging and being nominated for blogger awards has been amazing. I have so much gratitude for being nominated. I feel like I am a part of this blogging community that is something nice to be able to say. I think when a person isolates themselves from others they lose. It’s something I really appreciate here that I am a part of this blogging community and there are so many cool mental health blogger like Mentally Speaking, Hannah Blum’s blog H2H is really great mental health blog and there are a few others that just do a great job as writers and have great content.

Some day are harder for me.

I always remind myself of how far I’ve come from where I started from. I am attending an adult partial care program where I socialize with other adults who have mental illnesses. I made like five friends at program a group of maybe nine or ten of us who have mental illnesses and are in our 30s who I socialize with. I will be 39 years old later this January on the 28th. I am feeling good about my choices. I feel like now that I have a year to complete my course with The Institute of Children’s Literature I need to spend more time working on my course. I need to focus on the Praxis Core too. I got an assignment back this past weekend that I did really well on assignments 5A and 5B. I have a new writing instructor for this course and it felt great to have my new writing instructor like what I did for the assignment it was much more difficult. I plan to spend my weekend working on assignment#6. There are ten assignments and I am more than halfway through the course. I get a special diploma from The Institute of Children’s Literature by next January 2021. I want to write for kids. I enjoy it! People say I am really good at writing for children. I would love to have my children’s books be popular!

I realize how some of my life I was living with things other people wouldn’t understand.

I got my first nomination when I was 37 years old. I remember the experiences I had been nominated checking my stats and seeing my following and feeling so cool to have a presence on this WordPress.com platform. I like having a social media presence. I am one of the first people to have this experience  to have different countries like India, UK, Canada, France and other countries seem to like some of the content. Top influencers have a much larger following but I appreciate the other bloggers and the nice people on this site who write poetry, have memoirs in the works or even soon to be published like Hannah Blum. I feel excited about it on rough days even. I feel young but I had never really had perspective on life until I had been working on a memoir that was to be a shorter piece. I remember the support of my memoir professor Dr. Edvige Giunta. I got from my memoir professor at NJCU and had challenging assignments after choosing memoirs to read by popular memoirists I admire. “Tale of three half sisters” was my memoir it was an eighteen page piece about my early onset mental illness. One day in class Dr. Giunta had us read a contained piece called “The Giara of Memory” where she shared a piece from one of her memoir anthologies. I was blown away by how nice she had been to me. I just love reading other people’s memoirs.  I read Lil Wayne’s memoir. I read a memoir by a black actress I don’t really care for as much but I read her memoir and her name is Taraji P. Henson. She has a memoir called Around The Way Girl. It was kind of cool to get a glimpse of her life and you know popular actresses and even rappers write their own memoirs. The next book I plan to read is probably Free Cyntoia.