Is atheism motivation to live a healthier life?

As an atheist, what is your attitude towards your health? 

Do you pay attention to what you eat or how much physical activity you get? Be honest — do you get a yearly physical? Do you go to the dentist?

What about mental health? Do you practice self-care? Do you get enough sleep? Do you show kindness and compassion to yourself and others?

Can “YOLO” push you to better health because you know this is it – there’s nothing after this life? Are you determined to live each moment to the fullest? Does “living to the fullest” always require a healthy mind and body?

As far as mental health goes, I feel atheism has given me a sense of clarity. I feel grounded knowing everything has an earthly explanation. This has been hugely beneficial to my recovery from schizoaffective disorder.

But right now, I kind of feel like a blob. I have a knee injury and spend a lot of time lying around the house. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to get better. I am seeing an orthopedic surgeon on Monday and hope to have some sort of resolution soon.

Despite my setbacks, I do believe knowing I’ve got this one life to live has been motivating, although I think I’ve shown that more through being ambitious rather than health-conscious. I’d like to change that or at least find some balance.

I am definitely a “YOLO” person and I hope I have a lot more life left to live.

Can you relate? What defines living life to the fullest? Is it ambition, health, both, or something else? Has atheism motivated you to live a healthier life?

My artwork is now for sale at The Gilded Exchange! Thank you for your support!

If you are in the Northwest Ohio area, my flower finger paintings and drawings are now for sale at The Gilded Exchange in Perrysburg, a local furniture and home decor store and consignment shop. These are the pieces I dropped off yesterday. Fingers crossed I sell some!

It’s really hard to put yourself out there as an artist and so many of you have been really supportive. Thank you for that; I really appreciate it. You’ve given me the strength to keep going! With my current health struggles, sometimes all I can do is hide and paint. My artwork is a way I can still stay connected to the world and that has been really motivating to me. It’s how I’m turning a negative experience into a positive one and I’m so happy you’ve supported my journey.

What is the central theme of the Bible?

I don’t really know a whole lot about the Bible. I know the basic stories like the Garden of Eden and Noah’s Ark, but not much more.

I was raised in rural Ohio in a conservative community. While my family didn’t go to church, many people around me did, and unfortunately, there was peer pressure. When I was in middle school, I decided I would try to be a Christian. I was determined to read the Bible from cover to cover, but I didn’t get too far. I got to this part that was like, so-and-so begot so-and-so who begot so-and-so who begot so-and-so, and I gave up.

I now live in Toledo and sometimes local churches will leave letters or pamphlets on our door or mailbox. I do read them out of curiosity. The latest was a pamphlet from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, “How do you view the Bible?” It claims we can believe what the Bible says because of its “amazing harmony, honest history, and reliable prophecy.” 

Amazing harmony? It states, “The Bible was written over a period of 1600 years by some 40 different people. Most of them never met one another. Yet, the entire book is harmonious, with one central theme!”

Do you agree? Is the Bible harmonious? Is there one central theme? All I could think of for a theme is something broad and generic like, “god is a powerful god” or something to that nature. I’m sure many of you have read more than I have. What do you think? What’s the central theme of the Bible? Is there one? Obviously, I’m not a Christian, but that doesn’t stop my curiosity.

I’m Still Here! Let’s Bitch About American Healthcare!

Hi guys! I’m alive!

I’ve had a few weird moments, definitely a little up and down, but I have not relapsed. I’ve been hiding because I didn’t think I could trust myself going through med changes, but I’m not going to wait around any more. I’ve been nervous thinking the shit is going to hit the fan at any time, but I know that’s no way to live. I need to enjoy the good days and be grateful that I’m doing so well despite all the shit I’ve been through. 

Whew. It’s good to be back.

Now I need a moment to complain about the American healthcare system. While dealing with my mental health issues, I have also been dealing with physical issues. I’ve had knee pain for months. Some days are better than others, but it always hurts. 

After a few doctor’s appointments, I was referred to physical therapy even though we really didn’t know what was wrong. My health insurance made me go through several weeks of physical therapy before they would pay for an MRI. It was really painful. 

Three weeks ago I finally got the MRI and there are several things wrong with my knee including a meniscus tear. It felt like physical therapy made my problems worse and I was really angry that I had to jump through hoops just to get an MRI – to finally get answers. It just all felt unnecessary. Had my insurance covered an MRI earlier, I could have been feeling better by now. 

I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on the 26th.

Dealing with insurance companies is absolute shit, and it’s not just my insurance company, my doctor said any insurance company would have made me go through the same thing. 

Are you up for a bitch fest? Tell me your American healthcare horror stories. I’m injured, I’m broke, I’m running out of patience, and I know I’m not alone. 

Medication Changes: A Rock and a Hard Place

I need to write this post while I’m still feeling good and have my wits about me.

I have schizoaffective disorder, and last summer, lithium, a medication that I had taken for nearly seventeen years, may have caused or contributed to kidney failure. I’m okay, but I had to stop taking the medication. When I quit taking lithium, I had a horrible relapse and it took me quite a while to recover.

My doctor put me on a new medication to replace the lithium. I have only been on it for about six months but I recently learned that it might be negatively affecting my liver enzymes, and now I have to stop taking this medication as well. I am currently weaning off of it.

If I relapse again, my husband and I feel a little more prepared this time, and thankfully I have a very understanding employer. I just wanted to let you all know what’s going on in case I disappear for a while or say something weird.

My blog is very important to me and I will post when I can. Medication changes can be really difficult when you have a mental illness. I just have to remind myself that this is temporary.

Proud Atheist Mom Moment

We’ve been having some pretty harsh wind chill advisories the past few days so schools have been closed. Yesterday I took my daughter to work with me. I was facilitating an art group so I thought she would have fun painting.

My daughter and I are a lot alike. We look alike. Our personalities are alike (which isn’t always a good thing). At some point, our likeness came up in conversation during the group and my daughter said, “Mommy made me.” 

I said, “Well, dad helped.”

Then a group participant chimed in, “No, GOD made you!” I was a little stunned and there was a slight moment of silence. I didn’t know what to say to my daughter or the participant.

My daughter then very enthusiastically exclaimed, “NO, Mommy made me! I came out of her private parts!” To which another participant said, “She knows too much.”

First of all, yay for my daughter for not falling for the god stuff. My daughter will occasionally talk about god or Jesus because she saw something on YouTube or TikTok or the little girl next door said something, but lately, she’s been totally shooting it down.

Second of all, my daughter is seven; I don’t think that’s too young to know where babies come from.

I thought the interaction was pretty funny and just wanted to share. Do you have any proud atheist parent moments? 

Do you know when you are dreaming?

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. I am dealing with some health issues and have zero energy. What little energy I do have has been given to my memoir and working my part-time job from home.

However, I had a bizarre dream last night and I couldn’t help but post about it. In my dream, I was supposed to attend a dinner party but I had somehow overslept and was still in my nightshirt with messy hair and no makeup. There were other people at my house, people I didn’t recognize, but I was telling everyone that I was dreaming and that’s why I wasn’t ready. I told them to please wake me up so I could get ready for the party.

Did I know that I was dreaming because I told people in my dream that I was dreaming? (Did that make sense?) Is that lucid dreaming? Does anyone have any experience with this?

I occasionally take Klonipin to help me sleep and that sometimes gives me really weird dreams, but I didn’t take any last night. 

Either way, I woke up this morning feeling a little uneasy and disoriented. So weird.

Has this ever happened to you? 

I would love to hear about some weird dreams you guys have had lately. 

Nostalgia and Feeling the Feels

I’ve spent the weekend mostly on the couch watching TV since my knee hurts. I feel rather stuck right now.

I watched a series called “Rewind the 90s” which was fun to remember everything they talked about. I grew up in the 90s and I think it was a fun and interesting decade. Seeing how the technology developed during the 90s led to everything we have today was amazing. Do you remember having a Nokia phone? My dad gave me my first cell phone when I started driving and it looked like a big gray brick. I didn’t get a Nokia until college. Do you remember your first cell phone?

This series made me feel a little nostalgic about my childhood, but the decade had its downside, too. Something that sticks out to me about the 90s was homophobia. I don’t know if it’s because I was raised in Middle America, but the way kids talked then is not the way kids talk now. It’s quite incredible the things that came out of our mouths that were considered acceptable, maybe even encouraged. Fast forward ten years and I learned that I had many scared friends and family hiding in the closet in the 90s. I can’t even imagine how horrible that must have felt. I know we still have a long way to go but it’s good to look back and see that progress has been made. 

Argue with me all you want; I still think the 90s was the best decade for music. 

Then after that series, I watched “1989: The Year That Made Us”. I thought this documentary was interesting because the first big news story I remember as a kid was the Berlin Wall coming down. Of course, I was a little kid and didn’t know what it all meant, but I remember watching it on TV. What big news stories do you remember from your childhood? Could you make sense of it?

I like to binge-watch documentaries when I’m not feeling well, especially history and true crime. My husband thinks they’re depressing but sometimes I like it when shows make me emotional. One show that makes me emotional is Intervention. I’ve seen every episode – some of them multiple times. I cry every time but I continue to watch it. Do you ever feel that way? What show gives you the feels?

What are you guys watching this weekend? 

Random Acts of Kindness

My family went grocery shopping tonight, and as we entered the store, a man approached me and said, “This is for you.” He handed me a forty-dollar gift card for groceries. I just stood there with my mouth open for a second before finally exclaiming, “Thank you!” I had no idea who this guy was. He just smiled and left. My husband and I looked at each other in disbelief. I really wonder what this guy’s story was and why he did it. There’s no way he could have known how much my family has been struggling and how much a gift card for groceries meant to us. It really made our day.

One day, if I ever have enough money, I think I will also pass out gift cards for groceries to random strangers. We all need to eat, so if you want to help people out, that’s a great way to do it.

Have you ever had something like that happen to you? Did it motivate you to want to do the same? Let’s hear some feel-good stories!