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feels, human interaction, orphan problems, personal

The Care and Feeding of Your Found Family

May 27, 2016

Orphan Survival Guide- Care and Feeding of Your Found Family

Hey y’all! It’s been a while! I got swept up in mental health stuff, school stuff, and work stuff this semester, but I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m hoping that with stable work schedules and better meds (maybe?) that I can get back in the swing of things this summer.

This week marked the 10th anniversary of me moving to Iowa, which is huge! 10 years ago I left a pretty crappy family in Florida and started building up a family of choice in Iowa. It’s been hard, but 100% worth it.

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blog admin, personal

Word of the Year: Focus

January 11, 2016

Orphan Survival Guide - 2016 Word of the Year: Focus

Last January, I wrote about my new semester resolutions, because I’m too noncommittal to adhere to long-term goals. Last week, I went over Orphan Survival Guide’s progress in 2015. I’ve learned a lot about how I work and process things, and I think I’m ready to set some more abstract resolutions for 2016.

A lot of resolutions I’ve seen lately haven’t even been resolutions, they’ve been a Word of the Year. Happiness. Clarity. Purpose. Gratitude. Mindfulness.

Mine is focus.

I want to streamline my life and find the few things I’m passionate about instead of spreading myself too thin.

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blog admin, personal

End of the Year Roundup

December 28, 2015

The end of fall semester was pretty brutal this year and I fell behind in OSG. I have some drafts started and some ideas for future posts and resources, but I didn’t get around to much in the last few weeks.

I missed the first anniversary of OSG starting up, but here’s a recap of what we covered in 2015!

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feels, orphan problems, personal

Depression for Extroverts

October 8, 2015

orphan survival guide - depression and college - life is pointless and nothing matters

I have major depression.

The smallest thing can set it off–and there are a thousand smallest things when you’re in college. Professors who won’t make accommodations for your work schedule, bad feedback on a paper you worked really hard on, finding the sidewalk in front of your class blocked by homecoming stages, your crazy neighbor’s cats picking fights with your cats…

Depression isn’t rational.

Most of the time, the things that set it off don’t make sense or they’re not a “good enough” reason to be depressed.

Depression isn’t just being sad for no reason.

Irritability, apathy, hopelessness, exhaustion… it comes in so many forms. It’s anxiety and perfectionism over minute details that keep you from finishing anything. It’s wanting to do nothing but lay in bed all day. It’s composing dozens of angry emails to your asshole professor that you’ll never send.

It’s being sad and then getting frustrated because you don’t know why you’re sad.

It’s keeping everything bottled up inside because you’ve created a reliable, stable, happy persona. It’s people saying, “But you seem so happy!” and “Considering your childhood, I’m amazed that you’re so functional!” when you feel like setting up permanent residence in bed.

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free stuff, moving, orphan problems, personal, resources

How To Run Away From Home: After

July 3, 2015

orphan survival guide - social media - how to run away from home- after

When thinking about the resources and support network you need, consider these three basic things:

  1. Where can I go?
  2. What do I need?
  3. Who can and will help?

In the last post, I covered what all you need to bring or consider when preparing to leave. Now, have a big list of places and people who can help you once you’re out.

Who Can Help?

What kind of things do you need on your Bug-Out Bag info list? Think about what you’ll need once you’re on your own. Money, food, housing, medical care, emotional support…

Keep a list of all of the people and places that can give you that so you know where to go in the middle of the night. These can be:

  • friends
  • family members of friends
  • your own sympathetic family members
  • social services/child protective services
  • the police
  • hotlines
  • domestic violence centers
  • shelters
  • food banks
  • employment offices
  • clinics
  • college financial aid offices
  • the library, which can put you in touch with all of the above

Seriously, I cannot emphasize the last one enough. Your local public or school library has so many regional-specific resources available for you if you just ask. If nothing else, the library is a good place to stay during the day when you have nowhere else to go.

How To Run Away From Home

  1. Intro: How To Run Away From Home
  2. Before: Planning & Preparation
  3. After: Resources & What’s Next

A version of this series was originally posted on the Orphan Survival Guide Tumblr.

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