Whoa it has been so long since I blogged... can't really believe it myself I've been away so long. Here's a bunch of randoms thoughts...

But I have great news to share!

I'm getting published!!!!

Can't leak details yet but I will have 2 short story islamic Fiction published and three poems and 6-8 artworks published!!! YAY!

So that is what I have been working on the past few months. April saw the contest for 1 short story and a poem, May I worked on another short story (well two really but I couldn't finish the second in time) and two more poems. June has seen the emergence of an artist :D I've been working hard at designing some black and white drawings (which is not an easy medium to work in).

I signed my first legal Publishing forms yesterday and gotta get them into the mail this week. YAY!

Sometimes I enjoy those milestones where I sign my name at the bottom line...getting my own bank account, my own apartment, marriage contract, passports for my children, publishing deals. There is just an immense satisfaction in writing my name at the end of months of work.

On the personal side of things, I'm working on completing a long to-do list that I promised myself I would complete BEFORE I try to open my own business. Seems the time is ripe for having my own shop and researching for this business is way down on the bottom of my list. I don't want to overwhelm myself with too much stuff which is why I made myself this promise. When the check list is completed only then will I take the plunge. It's not necessarily a hard list with items like :
Sort and file papers that are cluttered in the book shelf.
Sort out the medicines (which have been stuffed in bags and piled up for years) and I just finished this chore yesterday.
Wean my son.

He's almost at the two lunar year mark and I gotta figure out a strategy to wean him without it being torment for either of us. He's so severely attached ever since i tried to wean him back in April. But I cannot be trying to make business deals with a toddler trying to undo my jilbab, not at all professional eh?

So slowly I'm getting there....

I made this month's chart for my daughter long ago for her Homeschooling and it has the names of the month vertically listed with a season symbol next to it. I made it back in December of last year. How far away June and July felt. With their bright yellow sun symbol. Even March,April,May with the raindrop symbol seemed ages, now they are gone. I have accomplished so many goals this year yet still I feel it's all moving too slow on the home front. I still struggle with my ADD everyday to get things done quickly and orderly. Nearly everything on my to-do-list has to do with my home. Because I don't feel I can be successful outside my home if the inside is chaos. So I'm still trying to Calm my chaos.

Today's chore will be going through the kid's toys and weeding out old ones they don't even look at anymore and donating them to charity.

I love PEZ Candy toys, they come in favorite characters my kids love like Tigger, Pooh, Pirates, Tinkerbell Fairies, and the best part is islamically they are good because they don't have bodies. they are hollow with just a head on top that opens. And they double to serve a special treat when the kids have been good, suddenly they will open the pez that has stood empty for ages and find candy inside...hehehe i love that game.

One of my friends is leaving the country soon and she gave me a lot of her children's toys and her daughter's clothes. her daughter is 8 and mine is 4 and I was so happy to get these hand me downs because they fit my daughter perfectly, masha'Allah she's so tall, and now I don't have to buy her new clothes for a long while. Maybe til next year.
Ah my daughter, what interesting things we've been up to. I've always tried to steer her to some tough sports like sword fighting, martial arts, but alas she has alas succumbed to the age old tradition of wanting to be a girlie pink ballerina dancer. *sigh* I'm loathing having purchased "The twelve dancing princesses" she suddenly become a barbie movie addict. But at least so far Barbie doesn't have lengthy kissing scenes like Disney does. I mean really have you ever realized how long or deeply Pocohontas is kissing John Smith before Kocoum comes to battle him? It's embarrassing! I'm like Sweetie, come tell me what this is and how it works (to any random toy in the room) to distract her from the movie scene. The barbie movie, after they got married it just showed them holding hands. Much better..... arg everytime they ask for a Disney movie I just feel I'm corrupting my children..... but I explain things along the way Islamically, like we don't do this, or this is not right to do, we don't dress like this (ala Jasmine, Pocohontas) etc.... it's so hard walking the line between cultures.
She's reading really well though. I'm so proud of her!

We are having a new schedule where their father takes one child with him to pick up his workers from the worksite so that leave me with quality one on one time with a child to enhance their bonding time and learning time. it's really been working out well. And boy is it calming to have one kid in the house again. I feel much better so that when the second child returns happy from their excursion with Baba I can warmly and honestly happily greet them.

Also more good news as of June, my husband quit his last job and was able to get a financial backer to open his own business. So now he's the boss with his own working hours, which has been weird to have him home so often but nice too. The kids are happy to have him around more too. Although on the slight downside I have to have the house more tidier than it used to be. Instead of letting them muck it up with their toys and doing a mass cleaning twice a day before Baba gets home I'm constantly having to pick things up as they knock them down... a little exasperating when I just wanna get through my to-do list but still... at least we get to see his kind face more... :D Also money has been even more tight without him having a boss to fall back on in times of need. So we are just struggling along making sure we have a roof over our heads and a food from each step of the food pyramid to eat everyday, well for our kids to eat everyday, we tend to miss a few steps everyday...but that is life, sacrificing for your children. Alhamduliallah.

My parents were worried because I haven't been bloggin for so long LOL. So Mom this update is for you too :)

So I'm doing overall pretty well. Some days better than others but still... I'm here and that is better than the alternative :D

As for all of those wonderful sisters waiting for me to add them to the All Muslimah Blog Directory, thank you for being patient, it's been crazy these last few months. I'm working on setting down a day to add everyone (en mass). So bare with me and keep checking out other sister's blog and supporting them.

I appreciate all the comments' I've gotten on my blog recently! masha'Allah. I apologise I don't get much time to comment back but I appreciate reading them and posting them for others to read.

For my beautiful sistas on Ivory Rouge, bare with me too hon, I'm trying to get time set aside again to get back into the blogging swing to read all your blogs again. I see sometimes titles you posted and it makes me smile but I haven't gotten the chance to get around to comment properly :( forgive me. Well that goes for all of you bloggers really too, I'm trying to find time to comment more. Fro some weird reason my PC shuts down access to certain blogs. Rudely the ones that are my favorites. ARG! So it takes ages to load and then get through the messed up graphics it loads and the error signs, then finally I get to read the post and then i gotta run off and do something before I get to comment.....pssshh the computer world is so crazy sometimes.

As if I didn't have enough stuff to do with my time, FaceBook has caught me and sucked me into it's depths. it's been nice meeting old acquaintances I knew from Tucson again, and meeting up with new people I know from writing, blogging, and the Islamic Writer's Alliance group (IWA) that I joined. You can add me under the name BRANDY AZ CHASE ... which is the new pen name I've decided to have, the AZ standing of course for Aminah-Zahira, my islamic name.

So that's what I've been up to recently and I had to just gush it out or it would never get said, I have dozens of post ideas waiting of the time to write them and post them but for now they must wait int eh back of my mind on my mental to-do list :p

Love ya All and miss going to your blogs.
Brandy AZ Chase ;) :D

12:50 AM

Suicidal Depression

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Have you or someone you know been close to the edge? That dark abyss there is no returning from. Staring off that massive edge wondering if you have the nerve to jump or the nerve to back away and go back to life. Both take extraordinary amounts of will power. Yes it takes a lot of power to walk away from suicide. To not give into that seductive whisper of peace for eternity.

What can you do if you're on that edge?

-Talk to someone who cares about you deeply. A wife, a husband, a parent, a friend, a relative, the police if need be, anyone who is willing to listen to you and take you seriously.
-Have someone around you to keep you company for 24 hours or longer until you feel free from the edge.
-Explain frankly that you want to kill yourself and you want them to prevent you from this.
-Realize you don't really want to die, you just want to stop the pain, anxiety, stress, chaos, depression, and agony.
-You have a problem and it needs to be fixed for you to feel you can live.
-Work with people on how to fix this problem in small manageable steps, or to get through your pain in small steps.
-The solution may take time to work itself out but with determination and obviously the instinct to survive and live it will work out.
-If the first person you talk to doesn't help you, find someone else.
-Don't worry about going to work or school or taking on the responsibilities you have for a good few hours while you find someone to talk to. If you have kids find someone to watch them immediately. Anyone trustworthy will do.
-It is more important to take care of your mental well being NOW so you can be there for those who count on you another day.
-If you feel counseling will help you take that step to find some. If you've been that route before without benefit try to use the network of people and friends you do have to find solutions for your problems.
-Search the internet for solutions and ideas if need be. Remember some people don't HAVE any friends.
-And above all: DO NOT KILL YOURSELF, you are loved, if not by anyone in this world, than by God who Created you, and made you for a purpose.

Many times SADLY people try to reach out in their suicide attempts. AND ARE IGNORED! Their sadness, depression, and pain are swept aside. These people are too busy with their own lives to be overly concerned with yours. It happens all too often, resulting in the tragic loss of one life, and perhaps several more with them.
If someone you know or a random stranger even tells you they are suicidal:
-Take them seriously.
-Offer to stay with them until the feeling passes, talking out their problems offering solutions where you can.
-Try to get help if you are unable to assist them
-Call anyone from their family or friends that they are willing to talk to about their problems.
-Call police if need be if it is serious and critical
-Remove any pills, sharp objects, unsafe locations from the person's immediate area.
-Show honest sympathy not just wary concern.
-If it's someone you are close to then hug them or make them feel special and loved in some way.
-If you are called on the phone with someone wanting to harm themselves then keep them on the phone as long as need be, getting their location, and how you can find them or someone near them so in case the phone line goes dead you can do your best to track them and make sure they are safe. Try to calm them and help them find a solution.
-Try NOT to take anything they say personally, life is stressing them out not just ONE person (you), so try to put aside your personal feelings of anger at anything they say.
-If you honestly cannot sympathise or help the person do NOT say "Well, I just don't know how to help you really..." Even if it's true, it will make the person feel more depressed. Pretend if you have to until you can get them in touch with someone else reliable that CAN help them.

Another important aspect of helping those with suicidal/depressed thoughts.
Depression and suicidal thoughts often do not go away over night.
Do what you can of the following to continue to support that person:

-Call them regularly, daily, twice a week, weekly etc...
-E-mail them if they are far away.
-Visit them if they are near.
-Bring gifts that make them feel happy and valued.
-Focus conversations away from depression/suicide attempt. Last thing you want is them thinking dark thoughts again. Try to be just enough upbeat to make them feel better without smothering them in "thick candy-sweetness".
-Ofter to help them with their problems, watch their kids for a bit to let them relax and unwind, perhaps help them clean the house, do those tedious chores, study for that awful exam they were dreading, anything that helps them find mental relief.
-If they started therapy ask them how they are liking it, are they feeling better yet?
-Also if they seem withdrawn from society or people try to take them on outings that are nature focused, to the park through the woods. Nature is peaceful and beautiful. AND CALMING. Sometimes just leaving a person's house can make them feel better. Somewhere where there is no pressure for them to be something they aren't.
-Do anything you CAN do to help them. DO NOT let their misery take over YOUR life but be supportive as you can. Your role is not to CURE them just to support them so they will think twice before crawling back to that edge.

PLEASE try to remember that just because someone is highly religious doesn't guarantee they will not try to harm themselves. Everyone has their weak days and weak points. Don't tell them "You are "insert religion here", so you are not allowed to kill yourself." That is stressing the negative and will likely cause the opposite effect you're looking for. Be positive. If it helps to appeal to their religious side remind them of their Creator and the Mercy within. Stay positive. Remind them of all the things life is worth living for.
Be an honestly good person. You may have saved someone's life. Follow up on people you haven't spoken to for a long while and make sure they are okay. You never know when you'll make someone's lonely day sparkle.

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