Truth

So it seems that telling what i have done in life is upsetting to people. A few people have said that it isn’t relevant to life, well i am not bragging, but trying to show that we can overcome anything. No matter what.

I guess that doesn’t matter. Whatever. The message is heard correctly in one part of my life, and not in the other. Well to those that find me a selfish bastard, thats you. I am just trying to use this life to help others.

If you all think i am so arrogant. Let me tell you want i see and feel. I am a non working person, whose illnesses make them have to rely on others to survive. That is what i see.

That is not the truth of who i am, but it is who i see when i look in the mirror. The truth is between the two i guess. I have been told i brag, i am not humble, my message isnt alcoholic enough, and that people say i dont care what anyone else says.

Well the truth is, i dont care about the good things people say, or i do in life. Life isn’t about about that, it is about overcoming the bad to do the good things in life.

My journey isn’t any harder than anyone else’s. Yeah i have mental health issues, and a bum heart where the doctor’s gave me an awesome message of a lack of a future.

I still have found an awesome wife, and her family loves me. The support is beyond anything i could imagine. I am asked to talk at the local level of NAMI (National Alliance for Mental illness) on more then one occasion.

This isn’t about what I have done in life, this is what i am trying to give back. The doctor’s gave me 2 years unless i get a heart transplant, 1 year 4 months ago, yes i might survive, but i got better, not fully. I have found myself nearly being shocked to death, because i will not just sit back and wait to die.

When it shocked me 3 times in 6 minutes, i didn’t think it was going to stop shocking me. It is very scary, but i am still here trying to help others and fighting hard. Last time they checked my heart, it improved from 19% to 27%, yes i am functioning at 27% of my heart. A lot less than half of a full functioning heart.

I still feel blessed and happy in my life. I just want to help as many people as i can before the end. I might live for a minute, or 20+years. When you are told that you will not live long, and at middle age, your actually old, for at 43 there is really more of a chance that 86 will not be in your future, the world changes in how you approach life.

I live to help others, always have. Now i just have a shorter time to do it.

Hating the Carbon Copy Jr syndrome.

I am compared with other people way to much, to the extent i fully believe my own family doesn’t know me. They dont. Let me tell you not even my own head rules me. If i fear it, get beaten by it, or you like, or dont like me. NOTHING stops me from running through it.

I might project a lot. I once tried even being me, now i am. I might be like others. But no one will be told they are like me. What I am saying; now that i know i am insane, I no longer insane! 🤣😂😅🤔😎

I dont let my head rule me anymore. If people truly understood what i think- well i glad they dont. I like this statement, i might not make sense, i really do not have too.

The thing that used to ruled me, was feeling like i was a carbon copy. You are just like so and so. Now i am not. I get to remind myself of this when a person says i am like another, for a reason of assumption. The truth of life is what rules us. I am different, and no one cares what is truly the thing that destroys them the most. I look and have similarities to certain people. I AM NOT THEM.

Thats what destroyed me for years, till i realized, why would anyone care to know just a carbon copy. So i became truly COLORFUL. Thus i made a family who saw me. Thus i might opinionated, but it is truly known i have different opinions. The hurt isnt gone, how i react is. Thus the point.

The funny part of this is that those people who have spent a lifetime comparing me, are getting mad because i compare myself to the same people. Seriously i am the crazed one?

What Matters is you, those that allow me to see I am not alone

When i started this blog, what matter was opening the world to what is inside the head of a mental health client. It was to let everyone in on the similarities we all share. The problem we face are, that most people look at the differences of those around them.

I am in a great position to speak about both mental, and physical health, I have both. I have done a lot in my life. The truth of who i am, is not the journey, but the way i have overcome the obstacles that were put in front of me. I wanted to be accepted in the world, the reality is that i am. I am loved for my desire to be of service and help others. It was mental health, because it was what was dealing with at the time. It is the world i knew. The ups and downs were all about the mental health. Then it happened.

My world collapsed around me, while I fought on. See as my world collapsed, I still kept going, three little words availed me a way to fight. “NEVER TAP OUT!”

I ended up with an enlarged heart, and this began a very difficult period of my life. My 42nd birthday, I was told that I would either have to have a heart transplant, or i was done. I am 43 now, and my heart has gotten better. That two year mark has increased to a longer time frame.

This happened during my college days at the university i attended. The quarter I was supposed to graduate in, i had to miss due to this issue. I still went back after fighting to get some of my tuition so I could finish. I finished, and tried an online masters program. I was only able to complete one term, but i have a 4.0 there.

I decided to go back to work, and I did. The doctor’s are baffled by my drive to beat out my biggest challenge- me. I always thought this was a new way i did things, it isn’t. I have been figuring out ways to keep going forward my whole life. It isn’t life, without challenges. I can’t see myself from the outside, so how can I know that I am not like everyone else? I am not unique though, just a little different than the society’s version of the norm.

I look at the similarities of all people, we as a whole have similar feelings, different experiences, and issues. It why mental, and physical health reaches out to all kinds of people. The world is not about fairness, it is about getting up each time we fall down. I recently realized that this blog isn’t about me, it is about a person who doesn’t know how to quit. We all have that in us.

I am here to say that you are not alone, and we can conquer anything together. I need everyone that is in my life to show me the way. I hope i can help others in the same way. Learning that I was not alone was the greatest gift i have ever received. I am here to pay it forward.

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I am a fighter are you?

Life is a journey that has led me down a steep and crazy path. I have not written for a while, due to the fact that my heart started to get better, that better is 27% means that i was sleeping and working, and that was all i was doing in the last few months.

Yes after fifteen long and trying years on social security for mental illness, i went back to work for over three months. It might not seem like much, but if my heart wasn’t damaged i would still be working. Which to me, is a clear cut win and victory for my fight with mental health issues.

See my ICD went off three times one after the other in a matter of six to ten minutes. It had gone of previously two other times in two different months, and they were months apart. So after it went off twice in six month, it went off three times in less than ten minutes. This was scary, and my wife asked me to quit my job.

It was difficult because i found a job that fit me. I helped people with disabilities like myself. Now unemployed again, and trying not to whine. I was so close this time. My world was coming together finally. The three shocks really scared me as well, i thought that the 911 call, due to the fact i was standing through shock one and two, and dropped for the third one on purpose, due to the fact that the shocks were not stopping, was going to be the call for them to pick up my body.

Living with mental health is bad enough, adding this physical issue, now that’s what makes my life crazy! The idea that i have five unseen issues; really and truly sucks. Though the world only truly acts like it cares about the one issue.

They said i couldn’t read, so i ended up reading for fun, they said i was two stupid to to make through college, so i got my bachelor’s degree,they said i was going to die in two years unless i got a heart transplant, so i went back to work and got better.

I am still fighting, and i will win the overall war, because i do what they say i can’t. I have lost the little battles. I will continue to lose some battles, but the war is won, because i choose to fight in it. I get up each day and i fight. The hardest thing i do these days is get out of bed. You know after three shocks and two more days in the hospital, they still had to convince me to stop working.

I am a fighter are you?

Interview with T.J. Akers, Author of The Final Paladin

I had the pleasure to interview my uncle upon release of his new book. Tj Akers helped me in so many ways over the years. I was struggling to find myself, he not only helped show me I had the ability to write, and he also edited my essay that I needed to enter the university I achieved my Bachelor’s degree from.

So here we go:

Today we have T.J. Akers, author of two new books, The Final Paladin and Dusty’s Adventures.

Tim currently lives in Minnesota with his wife of thirty-two years, two cats, and a dog. He works as an IT professional at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has an adult son and a desire to move out of the frozen north, but refuses to live in California. He has been an ordained minister for nineteen years, the last nine of which he was senior pastor.

Q: Wow, Minnesota. Why do you want to move?

Tim: I’m a natural curmudgeon, Minnesota Nice and I don’t always get along. I’m smiling when I say that. I am tired of the winters here.

Q: When did you know you wanted write fiction as a serious endeavor with commercial publishing?

Tim: Specifically, the Spring of 2011, probably the month of February.

Q: You’re teasing me, right? That’s not the answer I was expecting.

Tim: I know. Let me tell you the story. Set the Way-back Machine to when I was 20-some years of age with a learning “issue.” I used to have all kinds of problems in class as a kid and with learning in general. I got away with not being noticed because I could read well and memorize with pretty good recall. I was in Bible School, and my friend’s wife was a third-grade teacher. I used to help her grade papers on Saturdays, and I told her about some of my problems. She suggested I see someone about it. She got me a referral, and I spoke to someone. I can’t remember what they said I had, but the first thing I was told is that they really couldn’t help me unless I wanted to take pills that may or may not work. The doctor suggested, since I’d adapted so well, to keep doing what I was doing. This was 1981. It explained a lot, but the reason I didn’t pursue writing was because I didn’t have the patience to write. I could hyper-concentrate on reading, but writing made my skin crawl. Move the Way-back machine forward to 2002 and my then eight-year-old son was giving up on reading. So I wrote him novel for a birthday present and loved doing it. Of course, the difference was using a keyboard and computer. It worked. For the record, I want everyone to know that I also gave my son real presents too.

Q: Was that when you wanted to write seriously, after your son’s novel?

Tim: No, I really wanted someone to tell me I had talent and my writing was worth pursuing. Any labor or work necessary to make this work was well spent.

Q: Let me guess, no one did.

Tim: Exactly right. No one told me what I wanted to hear, probably because I was a terrible writer. I was working at a University in the IT department and decided to use my tuition waivers to pursue studies in creative writing, but I had lots of reservations. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with writing for younger readers from writing for my son and pursued it with all my extra time. I worked very hard. Then I read a book called Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos. Three chapters into the book, I despaired. This is an early reader, middle grade novel. The book was, and still is, absolutely phenomenal. I almost quit right in the library of Minnesota State University, Mankato. Three chapters in and I knew I would never write like this. I had no apparent inborn talent, and no one would say to me, “You have talent, don’t quit.”

Q: Wow, what happened next?

Tim: I was taking a class on Composition Theory for teaching students composition, and read something by C. Robert Woods. He was a scholar that pioneered a form of literary criticism known as Narratology, which is the study of story narrative. His approach in writing is that books have one requirement: “They must be interesting.” Woods explained that you could treat a narrative fiction like an exercise in rhetoric. All you needed was to present a persuasive case and be eloquent. In other words, writing fiction is skill that can be learned. The lights went on for me. Writing may not be a talent, but it is a skill that I love learning about. The question to me then was, was I willing to put in the effort to develop the skill? The answer was yes. At that point, no one had to tell me I was talented anymore. So I approached learning fiction as an exercise in persuasion.

Q: That’s kind of different. Maybe a new one for me.

Tim: I have two books out or coming out, and I’m having fun, which is the most important thing. I have no illusions about how hard it is to write best sellers and popular literature. I’m comfortable with my writing, but the next thing I need to know is how shall I define success for writing. Some people quit after one novel. Me, I’ve got too many stories to get out, but I do need to ask myself: at what point do I have peace about my writing whatever happens?

Q: After how long have you been working on your skills?

Tim: Fifteen years, a new BA in Creative writing, and a Masters Degree in English. I guess I’m a slow learner, but I am a persistent skill builder. In the process, I’ve discovered something about myself. I love creating stories. It’s probably pathological.

Q: Pathological?

Tim: At age five, every night when I went to bed, I would pick a cartoon or comic book I liked and rewrite the story in my head. I would either write myself into the story, or change the story to something better. This was something I did every night, and I finally stopped around 45 after enrolling a creative writing course. I was telling myself stories all the time. Since I’ve been writing, I just go to bed now. No story telling. So, maybe that makes my storytelling pathological.

Q: Can you define writing success for you right now?

Tim: That is a work in progress, but finding someone willing to put in the time and money to publish my work. L2L2 publishing thinks I’m worth it. (I adore Michele Israel Harper, the publisher; she’s like the little sister I never had.) As soon as both books, The Final Paladin and Dusty’s Adventures, hit the market. I’m going to get a tattoo to celebrate.

Q: Seriously? So you aren’t going to quit writing?

Tim: No, I’ve got the inkling for a new goal. Ultimately, I at least want to write one book that becomes a New York Times bestseller, if only for a few weeks.

Q: That doesn’t seem very lofty.

Tim: I believe it’s doable for me, and it’s sort of one foot in front of the other.

Q: So, The Final Paladin, your novel—is it the first thing you’ve ever gotten published?

Tim: No, I’ve had two short stories published, and I have a middle-grade book out—Dusty’s Adventures.

Q: You’ve gotten this far all on your own?

Tim: No, there are lots of people who have helped me—university faculty, friends, family. Even my wife supports me, kind of.

Q: Kind of?

Tim: The deal is that I may not use regular income or funds from my job. If I do, it must be paid back within a period. So all my writing, travel for writing, and editing is paid by me, selling refurbished computers or fixing them outside my regular job. God has been really blessing me through this with funds, which is good because there is no other way I could afford to do this.

Q: Everyone talks about writers being lonely. Is that true for you?

Tim: Not at all! I do have writing community that encourages me, a lot, and they’re called the Scriblerians (www.scriblerians.com). I’ve made some really good friends at Realm Makers (www.RealmMakers.com). And there’s a little dog I have named Rowdy. He lies under my desk and pesters me while I write.

Q: You mentioned the Scriblerians. What are the Scriblerians?

Tim: The finest group of YA writers you will ever meet. They encourage me, tell me the truth, and like me in spite of myself. There are nine of them besides me and are a second family to me. Since I discovered Realm Makers, that community has gotten larger.

Q: Do you want to be a rich and famous author?

Tim: Not necessarily. I would love to be able to write full time, but I’ve met my big life goal and that was getting something out that someone wanted to publish. Like I said earlier, my next goal is to sell as many as I can and make the New York Times Bestseller list. Then we’ll see what happens next.

Q: That seems really “small potatoes.”

Tim: Maybe, but they’re goals that carry a hope that I can feed and maintain. Becoming James Patterson or Stephen King is a little like threading a needle with a camel for me.

Q: So in the meantime, can you recap your writing goals until you hit the NY Times?

Tim: To keep writing things people want to read, and to have fun reading. I want my novels to keep improving. To have a blast and enjoy the people I meet. Life is short, and I need to enjoy what I do. Then there is helping whenever I can. Those are things I have control over and can influence. Everything else is in the good Lord’s hands.

Soo Bahk!

I  enjoy what i can do in SBD! Learning and a little bit of teaching is what i enjoy! SBD is my family – if they like me or not. I might be the bratty brother of the group, but i will never quit, and i will enjoy it to my last breath. 

If that breath is tomorrow, or 60 years from now. Though according to most medical advice, my life will not be as long as i would like. 

Another heart procedure in 3 days! After that i start preparing for EDan again. Third times the charm. No i never failed the test. Just keep being pulled from it, a few weeks before it. Two years in a row, i had reservations at the hotel for the test, and doctors orders preventing me from making the test. ( well my ‘heart’ actually wasn’t in it!😂) 
ENJOY LIFE! BE FREE OF THE CONCEPT OF WHAT YOU DESERVE! For the end game is life isn’t a guarantee. I will die as i lived fast and furious. Waiting around for it does not do me any good. 

Maybe it will extend my life, or not. I believe the path is set, i am just here to run it. The decision is not mine to make. Those who know my past, and what it takes for me to get out of bed, know that i spent years waiting to die before SBD. 

Now i live because of it. I will never be a person that is looked at as important, nor skilled at it. I doubt i will ever test again after EDAN, but i will finish what i started and test for Kyo Sa. To do that -Edan is important. 

My world won’t stop. I will try to continue on to other ranks. That has never been important to me. EDAN isn’t important to me, what is important is helping people like myself who this world has thrown away, to find their path as i have through SBD. 

My biggest gain wasn’t physical, nor was it the degrees i obtained due to finding myself. It was family, and it was belonging. It was being accepted, even when that felt alien to me (actually still does). I talk to much, i act differently, i desire to be socially normal. When someone says i am different, even in a good way- i despise it. 

Fitting in- has never been my deal. Always was an outcast among outcast. SBD is a place that i feel like less of an outcast! ✌🏻 and Soo Bahk!!

What I learned 10-26-17

Life isn’t about what you can do, it is what is presentable. This blog has twenty one followers. This is because I sometimes just write to write, and I can not write everyday. The truth is, this blog is meant to show how a mental Health client thinks.

Now here is the problem, I do not always see what I think or do, until later. I certainly am not always in shape to write. I fit into a lot of places, but I also fit no where. I learned today I will end my attempts at finding work. I have worked so hard to come up short. People life sucks for us all. I justed wanted a job. Now I will find a path that will lead me somewhere. Writing is a blast. 

I know people visit and some like, and others move on. I really don’t know who I am. Shoot with my enlarged heart pumping at 27% I don’t know if I will have long enough to even ponder these questions. I love to venture into this. Now am I good enough is the question? I do not think many care, for we all search are own worlds for lifes little understandings. 

What is it I want from this world? Who will care when I go? Does it even matter? My journey has always been overcoming the odds. Now what? I don’t think that I am to much a lost to the work force. Can I make a difference with my writing? here is to trying.