Daily Archives: November 1, 2014

Featuring Mihran Kalaydjian

Kitt O'Malley:

Mihran Kalaydjian has been a constant supporter of my blog as well as many others in the blogging community. I just read Nicholas C. Rossis’ interview of Mihran and was particularly impressed by this statement made by Mihran:

“The experience at my parents’ house in Jerusalem, Israel marked the beginning — in my memory anyway — of a journey full of curiosity and a passion for coming closer to the sense of the mystery of life that revealed itself so gently to me that morning.

“It no doubt opened the soft place within me from which the music seems to rise — a place of felt grace and communion, of not being separate. The themes and concepts in psychology and spirituality – and the way in which music helps us open to the deeper truth sometimes held within them — often found their way into my conversations with people. I guess I could say it became my heartbeat.”

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksToday I’m sharing with you an unusual interview. For the first time, I’m not featuring an author, but a musician. You may have seen Mihran Kalaydjian hanging about and leaving comments. I listened to his music and was fascinated by it. So, I decided to find out about this musician who has such a passion for reading!

Hi Mihran, it’s good to have you here. Your music style combines east and west. Would you like to tell us more about you and your music? What inspires you?

This is also a difficult question, as whatever I might think of it may not have any relation to what someone hears. 

Playing the piano has always been one of my greatest passions. During my childhood, while being influenced by other masters of music, pianists and composers, I started teaching myself to play, developing my own style over a span of 25…

View original 1,856 more words

Filed under: About God, Mental Health, Theology, Vocation Tagged: Music, Oneness, spirituality

Gotta Love The Government…Not

 So today I check the mail like I do most days, and today there was a huge envelope in the box. Upon closer inspection, I see it is from the Social Security Administration Disability Determination Services. My nightmare has come true. They are requesting additional information on my abilities and how having Bipolar disorder, PTSD, […]

When all else fails

Sometimes I just cry. Because it’s not like there’s much of a choice.

Except in the mixed states.. then the choice doesn’t bear thinking about too much.

This is such a time.

Helloween Utopia

I rarely ever say this because it rarely ever happens…But Halloween was the ideal day. I was functional, my mood was level, the anxiety was lowered…I dressed up, I had fun, my kid had fun. Dad and stepmonster kept her overnight so Bex and I went to R’s house for drinks with him and his wife. It was…dare I say the word…FUN.

And today, while my back is killing me due to wearing high heels for 14 hours with my costume yesterday, I feel good. I do miss my kid. Place is like a morgue without her bringing life to it. I called this morning to check on her and the sound of her sweet little voice on the phone saying “Mommy?” made me almost tear up. I couldn’t begin to put into words how my heart burst with the love and joy I feel being her mommy. I sometimes feel like my life didn’t begin until I had her. Or at least I didn’t start living life. I don’t define myself through my child, but she has made me a better person and she makes wan to be even better.

Having spewed all that sunshine and rainbows and puppies…

It’s 25 degrees out, the clocks go back tonight, and the hellidays are coming my way. This is the juncture where I come flying apart every year, like clockwork. Seasonal affect, bipolar, depression, anxiety, family stress, money stress…It all combines to turn me into this husk of a human being who lives in pajamas and thinks everything in the world sucks. Because that’s what mental illness does, it robs you of joy, taints everything in darkness. It will come. This is not pessimism. This is hard learned fact. Part of my disorders. Some might say self fulfilling prophecy. I call it preparing myself for the next cycle, and cylothymia guarantees ever changing cycles.

For today, or at least this chunk of the day…I feel good. Actually…I feel happy and content. And that’s worth so much more than any money, possession, treasure…It is elusive and rare so when you feel it…It’s overwhelming. It’s also something you want to cling to with all your might. Losing it hurts, but not enjoying it sucks, too. I am going with the flow.

I will post a couple of Halloween pix as soon as Bex transfers them from her camera.

Embrace this positive post. It may be the last I write for the next six months. But if you’re into depression, well, have I got a treat for you. ;)

Any Concerta users out there?

So I am on Concerta 72 mg. My husband thinks I am wrong (little does he realize I am never wrong) but I swear my body odor has changed. Not that I’m a stinky mess but it’s almost like my body chemistry is altered and created a stronger smell emanating from my pores.

Anyone else have a similar experience?

Mental illness and faith

Today I came across a blog that made me sad.

Being in contact with many women like me who have bipolar disorder, there isn’t much that can shock me anymore.  Suicide attempts, psychotic episodes, cries for help in the depths of depression – our online community shares the ups and downs of life with a mental illness.

Yet, this blog – titled “Is there a link between religion and mental illness?”- was the saddest thing I have read yet.

In it, the author used a range of handpicked statistics to argue that there is a correlation between religion – and in particular Christianity – and mental illness.

What followed was a flood of responses on Twitter – both attacking and supporting the author. Knowing I am a Christian, one of my Twitter followers asked me to comment.

I never want to attack another author for their opinion, but what I will say in response is this:

She is partially right.

Religion, including Christianity, has sometimes got it wrong in regards to mental illness. It is the hidden disability in many of our churches. We have wheelchair friendly ramps and toilets, but often don’t know how to reach out to those with a mental illness.

Like in many other organisations, people in churches may feel embarrassed and like they have to hide their struggle with mental illness from others.  While we feel comfortable requesting prayer for other forms of illness, it is sometimes embarrassing to let others know we are struggling with depression, anxiety, hearing voices or mania.

But at the core of Christianity is Jesus.

A man who ignored social norms and reached out to those who were stigmatised.  In his day, they were people with Leprosy, tax collectors and women.

Jesus’ message was in direct contrast to what religious leaders of the day were teaching.  It was not a message of judgement – it was one of forgiveness, grace and hope.  His followers set up the first hospitals and soup kitchens for the poor and outcast – actions which caught the attention of all around them. Of the  25 biggest charities in Australia today, 23 are Christian organisations.

Some, like this author, argue that feeling constantly feeling guilty for ‘sinning’ is causing people to become – or stay – mentally unwell.  I admit that I have struggled with feelings of guilt after doing the wrong thing.  I wouldn’t be human if I hadn’t. But knowing that I am loved anyway and forgiven – the slate wiped clean – gives me freedom.

When I was at my lowest point, sitting alone in the high-dependency unit of a public hospital psychiatric ward, my faith was the only thing that sustained me.  Everything else: my career, my health, my appearance and even my sanity, had fallen away.  To get through this time, I clung to God’s promise that He had a plan for my life, that He would give me hope and a future.  It was my faith that enabled me to forgive others for what had been done for me – rather than becoming angry and bitter.

My intention here isn’t to push my faith onto anyone else.

It’s simply to encourage those who believe some mental illness is the result of guilt caused by Christianity to go beyond the Church and all its failings.

Instead of encouraging people to abandon their faith, find out more about the person at the core of Christianity.  And join me in challenging churches to model his behavior – and become a place of acceptance and refuge for those of us who struggle with mental illness.

Mariska xx

Mariska is the founder of Bipolar Mums and has a passion for speaking about the hidden disability in Australian churches: mental illness.  She inspires churches to reach out to and support those in their community who are struggling with a mental illness.




Writing Drunk

I did something I’ve needed to do for a while. I got stinking drunk. The positive thing is that I am finally relaxed. The bad thing is that I might have a hangover for our fall walk tomorrow.

I don’t really care though because for the first time in a while I don’t really care.

I’m not gonna write much, I am gonna sit down and eat some dill pickle or salt’n vinegar chips and chill. I won’t worry about things right now. Except for the factI got stuck with these kids while Jim and my mother in law went to the store. WTF seriously… I am not great with kids and they make me want to shoot myself a little..

Welp back to reality. I think I need another glass of wine to deal.. ciao