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We Have Moved

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.

WE HAVE MOVED TO A NEW PAGE

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2014/10/we-have-moved.html for actual post date.



The Halloween GACHA Spooktacular! Oct 7 – 21

Original post @ SLGBT Alliance.

SLGBTA Halloween Gacha Spooktacular

 

Second Life allows us to be whoever we want to be — younger, older, male, female, Furry, skinny, curvy. We can wear what we want to wear, love who we want to love, and do anything and everything that inspires us. Second Life allows us to express who we are openly. Here, we are free to be happy being ourselves.

Unfortunately, Real Life isn’t always so kind, and so many times we suffer at the hands of those who can’t accept us for what we are, what we do, who we befriend and who we love.

This Halloween, on a holiday that embraces the unique, The SLGBTA is joining forces with the community of Second Life Designers in support of Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project. You are invited to help fight real life discrimination with your Second Life creations.

The Dan Savage Project, founded and headed by writer Dan Savage, is an ongoing effort to provide LGBT youth with the resources they need to know that eventually, life gets better. Donations help fund anti-bullying campaigns and suicide prevention.

We hope you will join us in supporting this important cause! Click HERE to submit your confirmation application. Applications are due by September 25th, 2014.

 


Visit http://slgbta.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/the-halloween-gacha-spooktacular-oct-7-21/ for actual post date.



Psychosis, Stress and The Holidays – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit by .

Psychosis, Stress and The Holidays
Last night I had a severe outbreak of paranoia. I hadn’t felt like that in years now. It goes to prove that I will always need to manage my condition in order to stay in recovery and that sometimes I will relapse. And there is nothing wrong with relapsing. In order to get back on my feet and feel better, I followed all of my coping skills and got myself quickly into recovery once again.
Today I woke up brand new as if nothing even happened last night, full functioning once more. With part of my condition being psychosis, I realize that I will always have to do certain things to avoid full blown episodes such as stress. 
I have been through a lot of changes lately, holidays are coming up and that means being in situations that I feel unease with and on top of that I had a lot of salt last night. Believe it or not what you eat has a lot to do with your mental health. All these things compiled together caused me to have a psychotic break. I started to hear voices, see things that were not real and feel extreme paranoia.
How did I overcome it? I used my coping skills.
I immediately turned to second life and other websites in order to distract my mind. If I am distracting my mind nothing else has full power. I kept breathing in slowly and exhaling slowly, reminding my body to relax. While breathing I used affirmations. “There is nothing wrong. I am ok. Everything is alright. I am safe. I am grounded. I am here in the present. I am alright” 
When I felt that my coping skills will not work, I kept reminding myself that it was alright to go to the hospital if need be. I decided to give myself a few hours to try and calm down and if I didn’t I was not afraid to go to the emergency room to get medication and the help I needed. 
In the end my coping skills did work and I woke up doing well but I never doubted myself going to the hospital if it came down to that. I have drank Haldo before and it has done wonders for my psychosis therefore I am not afraid of medication nor getting treatment.
So what I learned for the holidays when dealing with psychosis?
1. Keep stress to the minimum if possible. Try to not make big changes in your life during the holidays as the holidays seasons in itself is stressful enough.
2. Watch what you eat. Eating high salts and sugars can exacerbate your condition. 
3. Remember your coping skills and apply them if need be. Whether is breathing techniques, distraction techniques, grounding techniques, or music therapy….keep these things in mind and apply them according to what works for you. Only you know what is best for you to feel better.
4. Drink your medication/s if you have them. Many medications do work and can help with your condition.
5. Phone someone. You might just need to have a chat with someone in order to figure out what are your options during difficult illness time or just talk about how you feel. 
6. Don’t be afraid to go to the hospital if need be. If you feel a threat to yourself and/or others, don’t be afraid to seek help. 
Remember that everyone heals differently, copes differently and reacts differently to medications. So it is always important for you to research what are your options and what works for you in order to feel better. 
Happy Healing and Holidays Everyone =]
Check out what I am wearing from XIAJ @kustom9, :REBELL: and more HERE
***LEGAL DISCLAIMER: the information provided is not intended to replace any professional help. Discretion is advised. I am not a professional nor pertaining to act as such. The information given was gather from personal experience and educational resource.

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/11/psychosis-stress-and-holidays-mental.html for actual post date.



You Survived Yesterday – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit by .

 You Survived Yesterday
You survived Thanksgiving Day and for that you should celebrate today. No matter how bad it got yesterday you pulled through. You should be proud of yourself. You should acknowledge your strength. 
Don’t feel guilty if you didn’t make out your door yesterday or didn’t accomplish the things you wanted to. It doesn’t make you any less for it. It just means you had limitations and it is alright to have limitations. Nothing wrong with that.
Take time today to love yourself, you deserve it no matter what <3
Check out what I am wearing from .iRetro @The Dirty Turkey Hunt 4.0 HERE

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/11/you-survived-yesterday-mental-health.html for actual post date.



My Wish Right Now – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit by .

My Wish Right Now
I wish people came together and spoke about mental health like they do cancer and HIV. How people come together for gay rights and civil rights. Organizations joining forces together for the common goal of one cause, knowing there is power in unity.
I cried when I took part of relay for life this year and it wasn’t a good cry. I cried because I saw designers, club owners, organizations, and people come together to raise awareness for cancer as well as funds. Everyone was so helpful and supportive of each other. Every single person was considered amazing for their efforts (in raising awareness and funds) no matter how big or how small.
When it comes to mental health it seems to be the total opposite. People are ashamed to spread awareness because “omg people are going to think I’m crazy..I’m a loony…I’m pathetic”. People tend to hide their mental health groups more then proudly show it. They tend to not even advocate due to the high stigma and discrimination of the illness.
But was even worse is that organizations fight each other. Instead of coming together for the cause they attack one another of whose better and yet many are not doing what they are suppose to do…focus on mental health! Not how big the organization is! Not how many members you have or don’t have! Not on how famous your group is or isn’t! And surely not! on how much money you make out of the organization. The sole focus should be always the advocacy, true advocacy of mental health!.
It seems people don’t matter with this cause and many tend to look the other way. Somehow we are less human and overlooked. As if we didn’t have feelings and emotions. Just some bag of apples that sit in a corner emotionless. If WE, the people with mental illness don’t stand up then who do you expect to change things for us?
I started to advocate for mental health because I am! mentally ill and you have no idea how much abuse I have seen. From “doctors” (if you can call them that after the abuse), therapist, and those involved in helping the mentally ill to family members, friends, and society in general. I am not going to sit around and wait for someone to change things…I will simply try my best to do what I can. But I am going to tell you this. I, alone, can’t change the world. There is power in unity and until we realize that, mental health will continue to have issues with many people hiding in shame instead of standing up and educating. With people hiding behind stigma and not standing up and providing resources. With people trying to bring another organization down, instead of rising up, getting together and raising awareness.
Martin Luther King said “There is power in unity and there is power in numbers”
I don’t know why people are so afraid to stand up for themselves but I will tell you this….In order for there to be change, we must rise up and stand up for what is right. It is the ONLY way, things will! change. Don’t expect change by doing absolutely nothing.
With that said, I have been trolled for a while now on running Mental Health Awareness Retreat and recently my account was compromised. I was ready to give up, I won’t lie. After much hardship one just feels this urge to quit, to give up, to not continue with what’s causing the hurt anymore. But thanks to the support of those around me who helped me to continue to see what it is that I fight for daily, I will not! be giving up. I will continue to advocate for mental health until I am no longer alive and/or things change. Until people start to come together for mental health like they do for relay for life. Until people start to talk about mental health openly without shame, proudly! displaying their mental health groups just like relay for life. Until people start supporting others who are mentally ill just like they do cancer.
As many of you know, the only thing touched during the time my account was comprised was the mental health awareness retreat group. Nothing else to my knowledge was touched. I assume then that this is an attack towards mental health and what we do.
No matter what happens from here on, I will continue to do my best to raise awareness and provide resources for mental health even if it’s not via second life’s platform and I hope that you (the readers) will also take a stand and rise up, raise awareness for mental health, talk about mental health, provide resources and come together for the common goal of one cause….to change the outlook on mental health from a negative view to a positive view.
If you will like to support Mental Health Awareness Retreat and what we do, you can share our blog where people are able to find resources for various mental health disorders. You can host a sign in your second life land that will give out the blog and Mental Health Awareness Retreat’s LM. You can share our facebook page. And you can share our pintrest page.
You don’t have to support Mental Health Awareness Retreat to support mental health either. You can raise awareness and help stop stigma in different ways such as talking to others about mental health, offering them resources and information; educating others. Writing about mental health in blogs and/or web pages, forums and groups. Starting an event that helps raise awareness and stop stigma on mental health and many other things. Feel free to research on what appeals to you.
Together we can end mental health stigma and change how people see the mentally ill from a negative to a positive light <3
Take a look at what I am wearing from DOZZE and [geek.] HERE

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/my-wish-right-now-mental-health.html for actual post date.



I Am A Champion – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit by .

I Am A Champion
This video I am going to share helped not to quit once. I didn’t have a support group. I didn’t have family members that supported me nor a mental health team because I was so severely mentally ill that I couldn’t even leave my house to attend therapy. All I had was inspirational videos to help me make it through at one point in my life while struggling with my mental health illness.
I hope this video helps you to not give up as much as it helped me =]
Of course my mental illness is not a game. Of course not everything in this video applies to me. But here are the key words that helped me to not quit but rather persevere and keep on going:
“Who am I? I Am A Champion!
That’s right, and you need to remember….I will conquer what has not been conquered
Defeat will not be my creed
I will believe what others have doubted
I will always endeavor to pull esteem, honor, and respect….
I have trained my mind and my body will follow
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
I will acknowledge the fact that my opponent does not expect me to win
But I will never surrender
Weakness will not be in my heart
I will look to my comrades and to those who are a part of me in this world and those have trained me
and I will draw strength from them
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
I will gladly go out into the field of battle
And I will move in everything I can do….
Because he cannot stop me
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
No one will deny me, no one will define me
And no one will tell me who and what I am and can be
Belief will change my world
It has moved continents, it has moved countries, it has put men on the moon
And it will carry me through this battle
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Defeat, retreat: those are not in my words
I don’t understand those definitions
I don’t understand when things go wrong
I don’t understand mistakes
But I do understand this:
I understand victory,
And I understand never surrendering
No matter how bad things go my heart and my mind will carry my body through limits and weakness
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Today will be that day
Not tomorrow, not next week, but right now, right here
In your house and in your homes
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
History will remember me
I will not let worrying affect my cause
I will define myself
I will write my own pages
And no one will tell me what I cannot be
I will never give up…
Because who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!
Who am I? I Am A Champion!”
Check out what I am wearing from [Urban Wealth] and more HERE

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/i-am-champion-mental-health-awareness.html for actual post date.



Rape Culture – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.

Rape Culture
Rape culture is where society excuses, tolerates, normalizes and condones rape/sexual assault. People victim blame (“she asked for it, look at how she was dressed. She was practically naked”, “She shouldn’t be alone late at night”, “If he wouldn’t have stolen, he wouldn’t have gone to jail and gotten raped”, “He shouldn’t have gone to the bar”). They trivialize sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”, “oh you know how guys are”). They pressure men to “score” (“I bet you can’t get that girl in bed?”). Rape culture assumes that only promiscuous women get raped and that only “weak” men get raped or men don’t get raped at all.
Today I deleted someone from my Facebook because they wrote “rape and record it”. That person is not the only person that takes rape as a joke. I’ve come across countless of people who use the word rape as a joke by saying things such as “I’m gonna rape you lol”, “I raped the replay button”, “She wants it…she likes it rough”.

Ain’t nothing funny about rape. And using it to toy around, victim blame, and anything else that defines rape culture, only degrades the severity of just how horrible rape is. Then people sit there and wonder why our society has a RISE in rapes. Because is seems to be a dam joke, that’s why!
Just about two days ago I heard someone in Real life say “human trafficking doesn’t happen in America. That only happens in poor countries”. I have to admit that my jaw fell. Obviously this person did not hear the recent news where the FBI arrested 150 people and rescued 105 children in a 3 day operation in America.
It almost seems to me that people don’t want to see how horrible this crime is. As if it’s better to joke about it and ignore it then face the severity of the issue. I guess we are so used to living a good life that accepting HORRIBLE things do! happen in America too can taint our “perfect” bubble that we live in. 
Well I am going to burst your bubble! Let me tell you what rape really means. Rape means HORRIBLE nightmares, flashbacks, and mental health issues for the victims. Rape means FEAR. Rape means HURT. Rape means TEARS. Rape means taking a part of someone that you can’t ever give back. It’s a form of killing someone.
Rape can happen to anyone. To you, your mother, your bother, your sister, your aunt, your uncle, your friends….anyone!
Laughing about rape won’t stop it. Trivializing it won’t stop it. Excusing it and ignoring it won’t stop it. 
What will stop it is avoiding using jokes with the words rape. Speaking out if you hear someone else making a joke or trivialize rape. Taking someone serious if they tell you they have been raped and supporting them. Being respectful of other people’s boundaries. Always communicating with sexual partners and not just assuming consent. Get involved! and help stop rape and violence <3
Here are some resources if you have been a victim or want to learn more about rape and sexual assault :
RAINN – International Sexual Assault Resources (resources from around the world)
One In Six – Resources for men
Stop It Now – Sexual Abuse Prevention, Helpline Resources, Adult survivors and more.
Take a look at :REBELL: New release HERE and more.

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/rape-culture-mental-health-awareness.html for actual post date.



Knowing Your Limits – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.

Knowing Your Limits
There is a real life story going around about a guy in China, Tao Hsiao, who committed suicide after shopping for hours with his girlfriend. Tao had told his girlfriend that he had enough with shopping after five hours and demanded that they go home instead of continuing to shop. Instead of respecting his limits, his girlfriend insisted on going to another shop. Tao had other options as well, but perhaps he didn’t know of them. 
People who viewed the news began to laugh via social media. “Ha,ha! that’s something I would do because my girlfriend shops a lot”, “Ha,ha! he seriously is going to kill himself over shopping? What a dummy” Comments like these were made. For me, it shows just how much we lack on educating the public on mental health issues.
Many people don’t talk about depression, psychosis and other mental health issues due to stigma and therefore people viewing from the outside don’t know what it is like for someone with a mental health illness to suffer.
I remember one day being out for pizza. At the time I was severely mentally ill but didn’t know it. All I knew was that I heard voices and saw things that were not real but due to the lack of education, I didn’t know it was a mental health issue, just something wrong with me. I remember the pizza shop suddenly becoming so crowded and I saw someone that triggered me. That was when I asked my friend if we could leave but she insisted that we stay a bit longer. She didn’t know how ill I was either.
So there I sat. Trying to pretend I was alright. High on anxiety, my mind flipping out and on the edge. Hearing voices, seeing things and I was not able to move because my friend insisted we stay. When we finally left I broke down miserably. I cried and cried and cried for what seemed forever and thoughts of suicide definitely peeked into my mind.
It took time for me to learn to always! listen to my body and leave when I feel very high on anxiety on a situation and it took time to teach others to respect my space.
Not too long ago I wrote a post “Don’t let anyone or anything set your limits” and I will repeat that again…Don’t!. If you feel high on anxiety and someone is telling you stay no matter what, don’t allow them to set those limits for you. Excuse yourself and leave. This is an option Tao could have used. He could have just said “I will wait for you in the car or at home”.
I no longer let people keep me in situations that make me feel worse mentally. I stand up for myself and tell them “I am sorry but I must go”. I have even had this happened to me in doctors appointment where the front desk won’t allow me to wait outside. I tell them that either they change my appointment for when the doctor will be available for me within 10 minutes of my arrival or find me another office that respects my limits. At the end of the day I am only hurting myself if I stay in those kinds of situations (where I push my mind over the limit and stress it) and that I refuse to do.
You will always know what limits to respect and what limits to challenge.
The holidays can be even more stressful for many, so please be careful with your limits and other people’s limits. And don’t be afraid to talk to others about your mental health and what they can do to help you feel better. You might be surprised how great people respond. For the most part for me, secretaries work with me and are willing to take one or two minutes out of their time to get me and call me in from outside the office when it’s my turn or I hardly have to wait to see the doctor since I still suffer with anxiety. 
Happy Healing and Happy Holidays Everyone =] Stay Safe
Take a look at Reckless New Release and more HERE
***LEGAL DISCLAIMER: the information provided is not intended to replace any professional help. Discretion is advised. I am not a professional nor pertaining to act as such. The information given was gather from personal experience and educational resource.

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/knowing-your-limits-mental-health.html for actual post date.



Howie The Harp – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.

Howie The Harp

If Howie the Harp were alive today, he would be the one man I would love to work with side by side. I would have learned all I could in regards to advocating for mental health and then put all of those lessons into practice. Because you see, Howie managed to accomplish such great outcomes in mental health care that now a days I could only wish for.

Howard Geld, known as Howi the Harp (because he loved to play the harmonica), committed his life to helping the mentally ill and homeless after he spend some time in institutions himself. He experienced horrible care in these institutions and wanted to change that.

He is credited with being a pioneer in advocacy for mental ill consumers, founding and co-founding many organizations that are now part of national and international mental health movements. He advocated for alternatives solutions to medications, the rights to outpatient care, the rights to housing for the mentally ill homeless, and much more. He even began a program that is in place till this day called Peer Specialist Training center which trains former patients who are recovered to help others with mental illness who are just beginning their journey in healing.

He was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, psychotic, manic-depressive and psychotic depressive but instead of giving into the system and just being another number, he chose to advocate for mental health, create movements that made changes, and stood up for what was right. When I look at Howie the Harp I know that all things are possible if I continue to advocate and be a voice. He is living proof that changes in mental health IS possible.

Here are two amazing links to read more about Howie the Harp:

Howie the Harp’s Work
Who Howie the Harp was, what he did, and his death

How about you? What are you doing to advocate for mental health? Feel free to share in the comment box.

To see what I am wearing from .iRetro, XIAJ, and The Frost Event click HERE

I hope you can bear with some fuzzy noise, definitely worth watching
(remember this video was made when technology was not at it’s best)

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/howie-harp-mental-health-awareness.html for actual post date.



Find Something To Live For – Mental Health Awareness Retreat

Original post @ Skittles In The Pit.

Find Something To Live For
The number one thing I dislike people telling me when I am feeling suicidal is “think of all the people you will hurt”. It is the same phrase I’ve seen over and over in many resourceful sites for suicide prevention. I don’t know about you but this doesn’t help at all. Heck, why would I care about hurting the people who hurt me! The same people I feel are better off without me. The same people I feel don’t care at all. So yeah, this is the last thing I care to hear about because in the back of my mind all I’m thinking is “and? your point is?”.
What does help me though is thinking about the people I want to live for! The people I care enough to not find me dead. The things I enjoy and want to keep on doing. That! is what helps me.
When my medication seems to fails and other coping skills, this is the one thing that holds me on. With the lows of bipolar even telling my mind that things will get better doesn’t help sometimes. I know for a fact the darkness will pass but somehow my mind tells me “yeah, right!”. Therefore I hold on to those people and things I want to live for. It always seem to help.
I’ve heard of people who have literally been saved from suicide because they have family members to live for, while other people have survived because they know their pets need them…who else would care for their pets, feed them, and groom them? For others is their lovers, and for some is the work they do in the world. 
Eventually it does get better. The darkness does drift away and many wonderful days do arrive where is much more then just! surviving. Days where we really enjoy ourselves and feel alive. It is those same amazing days that make it so worth it that we held on.
There are other ways you can prevent suicide as well such as calling a hotline, medications, taking a walk outside, talking to someone about what you are going through, speaking with a therapist/doctor, listening to uplifting movies/videos/music, making sure you don’t have a vitamin deficiency and so much more.  
Find what works for you best. What helps you get through your darkest times. In the end, the dark will fade away and it will get better <3
Take a look at what I am wearing from XIAJ, F R O S T event and more HERE
***LEGAL DISCLAIMER: the information provided is not intended to replace any professional help. Discretion is advised. I am not a professional nor pertaining to act as such. The information given was gather from personal experience and educational resource.

Visit http://skittlesinthepit.blogspot.com/2013/12/find-something-to-live-for-mental.html for actual post date.