Sunshine Blogger Award – Interview and Nominees

sunshine-blogger-award

Thank you, Laura Cyrena of Lotus Laura for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I have recently started writing about mental health issues, particularly, social anxiety and isolation. It is great to know that I can be part of a supportive blogger community.

A note to my nominees there is no obligation to reply to this nomination because, I appreciate, you may be busy or it might not fit your blogging schedule or subject matter.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

“Once nominated for the award, in order to accept you need to write a post where you:

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog”

QUESTIONS…

  1. What is your morning routine?

If I wake early enough, I like to listen to a comedy podcast to ease negative feelings. I then wash, change and have breakfast, if I have time, and then take the train to work. On the train, I like to read a free newspaper. On weekends, I normally lie in.

     2. What is your favorite thing to write about?

One of my favourite blog-posts I have published so far is an interview with a young Polish woman, Anna, who experiences social anxiety symptoms. She talked to me about moving to England with her partner and the difficulties she experienced, from, initially, working on farms in some dire work conditions, to finally finding herself a job in a fast food outlet.

She writes of her her current job: “It is a very stressful environment, when managers are telling you to speed up every time and be as quick as possible. But I’m not letting it to get to me, because I have to think how to survive my whole 8 hours shift, not to finish one burger 5 seconds faster. Since I became a team trainer, it’s a little better for me, because managers know that they can count on me and give me more responsible jobs (like checking quality of food or managing stocks). And it’s been a few months since I started working only evening and nights shifts and it’s why better. On overnights we have less customers, we don’t really have to focus on the speed, and we basically clean the store and all equipment.”

      3. What is your favorite fruit?

Probably, mango.

     4. Do you believe in destiny?

I don’t think so – but I haven’t thought about it much.

     5. What pets would you have — if money/space/time was not a concern?

I find looking after and playing with (calm) cats very therapeutic. I have always wanted a tortoise and recently, been thinking about rabbits. So, I think any of those!

I also enjoy watching wild animals and have been inspired by Ian Young’s blog. He experiences dyspraxia, anxiety and depression symptoms and writes about his experiences of bird-watching.

He writes in a recent blog-post that bird-watching can be both comforting and difficult, as the lives of wild animals, though fascinating and inspiring, can be harsh. Bird-watching has also been a way for him to experience the outdoors and make connections with people: “The other week I had a more positive experience in identifying birds. I was in St James’s Park looking idly at the lake when a woman approached me and politely asked me what she described as a random question: could I identify that bird? Well, I could. It was a Moorhen…We had a lovely discussion about the similarities and differences between these two related birds. She said that, for the first time, she had come into the park to watch nature. I hope I helped make her visit more enjoyable.”

6. If you had to live in another country, where would you go?

I would find it very difficult if I couldn’t speak the language and didn’t have any acquaintances to support me. That said, another part of me dreams of adventure. I will say, New York or Berlin.

7. Have you ever seen someone’s doppelgänger?

I don’t think so.

8. Have you ever had a spooky moment where it felt like there was a ghost?

I am easily frightened but I think it’s just me. Sometimes I feel like the ghost!

9. What’s a song you could put on repeat and never get sick of?

I get bored of songs after I repeat them too often. Recently, I have been listening to Brazilian folk music.

10. Do you prefer to be alone, with someone, or in a group?

I like all of these. Due to my anxiety symptoms, being in groups can be frightening and stressful but there are occasions that it can be enjoyable.

11. What’s your favorite tea?

I like Chamomile.

NOMINEES…

A note to my nominees – there is no obligation to reply to this nomination because, I appreciate, you may be busy or it might not fit your blogging schedule or subject matter.

  1. Timelapse – Thoughtful observations from the streets of London, in particular, Tim Free, ‘micro-blogs’ through Twitter @Timelapse95 and writes about the Timelapse team’s public art projects, including the upcoming Berlin art exhibition, “Postcards from Berlin” presenting Berlin through the eyes of migrants and visitors. (Disclosure, Tim Free is a personal friend of mine).

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2. Being Edie’s Mum – Written by a new mother and nurse in training, Chloe Lawrence,  discusses the challenges, achievements and rewards she experiences raising her baby daughter, whilst dealing with social anxiety symptoms, in a town in the UK. She writes in a recent post: “I might still lack confidence but I am getting there with the help of my family, friends and my daughter who has made me grow up hugely in the past few months. I now have to push myself to be that outgoing person, I have to speak to people, go to appointments, speak on the telephone because who else is going to do that for my daughter?”

3. A Craichead in Dublin – American student, Ellie McCarthy, writes about her experiences having recently started a course at Trinity College Dublin. Her posts are full of exploration, insight, character, scenery and information.

4. Tearing at the Fabric – A blog about the writer’s struggles and victories against trauma, dealing with the end of a thirty-year or so relationship and betrayal, being a mother and commencing a new life with a new partner. The writer is very open about her difficulties: “That three decades, an entire adulthood, meant nothing. That you were always entirely disposable. Always on borrowed time.”

5. VanillaLingLing –  This new blogger writes openly and thoughtfully about raising her two young children whilst managing her social anxiety symptoms: “Very recently I made the decision that I was going to start taking my 2.5 year old son to fun kid groups so that he could start learning how to interact with children his own age. Yesterday we went to our first Story Time at the library and he did have so much fun and was the last kid to leave, I am sure that will become our default. But for me, I had a very difficult time socializing with the other adults. In the moment I can keep it together okay, sometimes I can’t find something to say and blurt out something I would deem weird, but it probably doesn’t come off as THAT weird, I’m hoping.”

6. Anxious Birding – Ian Young writes of and photographs wild birds in Britain as a hobby and an antidote to the pressures of worklife and his anxiety, dyspraxia and depression symptoms.

7. Alqamar Alwardi – The diary and thoughts of a young woman living in Denmark chronicling her life as she enters her new Islamic faith. Recently, the writer has discussed her conflict with family members and the anxiety she experiences, at times, wearing the hijab: “So as it turns out, my granddad doesn’t know anything yet about me converting, which probably is for the best. Not because of Islam, but because of religion. He doesn’t like them, and to give an example, when my grandma died he was very, very upset that there would be crosses on almost all the coffins we could choose from.”

8. Catherine Hume – Writer and social care worker, Catherine is a disability rights advocate and has recently written about the need for a disability rights movement to campaign for protection of civil rights of people experiencing disability: “For every disabled person, from a wheelchair using child to a grandmother with dementia, to get the care and support they need billions more pounds must be poured into the social care budget. Carers are generally good people who do their best and genuinely do care. Most go the extra mile, staying long after the allotted times given to care for their clients. Yet they are paid the minimum wage or less for what can be an extremely demanding job in which knowledge of several laws and regulations is mandatory as well as specialised training on medical conditions and the administration of medications.”

9. Limitless Stimulus – Writer and poet who covers issues of personal life, depression and anxiety. I was particularly moved by their recent post, “If you love someone, let them nap.”

10. Anniversaries and Grief –  An informative blog full of links and personal accounts, written by two sisters dealing with grief and questions of medical negligence following the death of their father.

11. Tamra K. Garcia – Tamra writes about living with multi-morbidity, that is, a number of concurrent illnesses, including diabetes, social anxiety, depression and agorophobia. She has also experienced bereavement and a number of major surgeries. She writes with a great deal of perspective and insight: “I write this blog and live as an open book because I want to let others who struggle with chronic illnesses understand they are not alone. There are many, many of us out here and we understand what you are going through and we want to be there for you. You are not alone!”

MY QUESTIONS…

  1. What caused you to start your blog/artistic project?
  2. Where do you see your blog or writing in two years time?
  3. Do you have any upcoming projects, blog ideas or events that you are particularly hopeful about?
  4. Is there a book you have read recently which you particularly enjoyed or found useful?
  5. Is there a website, not necessarily a blog, which you have found particularly useful or interesting?
  6. What challenges do you face with writing/blogging?
  7. Is there anything that has surprised you about writing/blogging that you had not anticipated?
  8. What do you do when you have writers’ block?
  9. What helps you relax?
  10. What makes you laugh?
  11. What makes you cry?

Again, thanks so much for the nomination! Keep bloggin’ on!

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