LIGHT for MI

Love that Inspires Growth and Hope through Trials

Love that Inspires Growth and Hope through Trials

Mental Illness and Our Take on It
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Our Struggles, Our Testimonies, Our Hopes, Our Dreams

This is a 10-part series that I am calling Resources of Recovery. And as the title suggests, I’m going to gather resources that have helped me with my recovery or that I think may help others with theirs. In this collection of parts, I will give a short summary of whatever I’m covering and why I believe they help. Thank you for investing time out of your schedule to read and look into these and I hope you enjoy.

 

Today, I am covering Gamifying Your Life. Alright, so what exactly is Gamification? Well it’s defined meaning is; “the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.” As the definition suggests, below are some resources on games (e.g. apps, websites, books, videos, blogs, etc), that help you in specific tasks (e.g. habit tracker, fitness, music, dancing, writing, and recovery etc.)

 

In this day and age gaming is essential part of many young-- and young at hearted lives. With vast new worlds being in view and even engaging due to the ability to make your own story and participate in the actions of the character, it was a true revolution in how stories could be told. So, it’s no wonder that games would advance in the real world for one to live their lives and perform their tasks. Combining fun with our day to day chores became a whole ‘nother view of Mary Poppin’s “spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down”. And bringing back childhood to even the grown.  This is why I believe this helps recovery.

 

Habits, Tasks, & To-Dos

Habitica: Gamify Your Life - site - iOs -android

Bounty Tasker

Qwestr

Task Towers

LifeRPG

Epic Win iOS - android

Kingelf Habit RPG

Habit Tycoon

Chore Wars

Superbetter site - iOS - android

 

Health

 

Healthy Eating & Hydration

Aloe Bud

Plant Nanny - iOS - android

Rare Candy

 

Fitness

Zombies, Run! - iOS - android

Run an Empire - iOS - android

Fit For Battle

Dungeon Run

Fat Kingdom

Pokemon Go - iOS - android

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite [Coming Soon in 2019]

Fitness RPG - iOS - android

Kameetures

Steppr

Walkr - iOS - android

Wokamon - iOS - android

Nerd Fitness - site - iOS - android

 

Mental Health

Bad Habit

Peak - iOS - android

Mission Me - iOS - android

DareMe - iOS - android

Hops: Journey of Tree Spirit

 

Creativity

Minecraft

Lego Worlds

Rocksmith

Kinect Disney Fantasia

Kinect Just Dance Games

Write Or Die - site - iOS

Fighter's Block

4thewords

Writing.com Apps

 

Finances & Business

Fortune City iOS - android

Gamifier - iOS - android

QuestLife - iOS - android

 

Other Media

 

Books

Level Up Your Life By Steve Kamb

Reality is Broken By Jane McGonigal

5 Must-Read Books on Gamification

 

Articles/Blogs

LEVEL UP YOUR SELF CARE WITH HABITICA AND TAKE THIS

Gamify all my Behaviors, Please!

Gamify Your Mental Health: 10 Simple Tools For Gamers & Geeks

Yu-kai Chou: Gamification & Behavioral Design

10 Ways to Gamify Your Life Today

How to Level Up In Life – Turn Your Life Into a Game by MARELISA

Gamified Nutrition

Design Experiment: How I Gamified My Life by Mriganka Bhuyan

How to Gamify Your Life by WikiHow

Adapting Habitica for Anxiety and Depression by Habitica Wiki

Habitica for self-care & personal projects by Jennifer Parsons

Playing at Being Motivated: Habitica for Writers by Cat Rambo

Habitica for Writers by Shannon Lawerance of The Warrior Muse

Caring for the Mind: Guilds for Mental Health and Wellness by BEFFYMAROO

Habitica Wiki

THERAPEUTIC AND MENTAL HEALTH-RELATED GAMES

GAMIFYING MUSIC INSTRUCTION - PART 1: WHY “FUN” IS NOT A DIRTY WORD. - PART 2: FLIPPING THE FUN-WORK BALANCE

 

Videos/Youtube

The Gamified Life

How To Gamify Your Life by Malcolm

HabitRPG PSA! Gamify your life by Enmoshin

Habitica Mini-Course by Scott Duffy

Using Video Games to Improve Your Life! By Penguin Company

How to Turn Your Life Into a Video Game by How to ADHD

Habitica Gamifies your Habits - Habit Tracking - Daily Tracking by Lawrence He

Our Gamified World




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This letter is written generically to all pastors but originally it was for one pastor. I am writing this because I have gone through this with many churches and I want all pastors to understand why this is wrong and possibly help other Christians with this issue to come to a more welcoming church. Share this with your leaders and help me spread this story. So without further ado a heavily revised letter to all pastors…

Luceo Non Uro,

Dear Pastors and Leaders of the Church and Body of Christ,

We, the Silently Broken are writing you this day because I have an obligation to speak up when we see-- or in this case experience something wrong. As your sister/brother in Christ and as someone who has been called to kill the stigma around mental illness in the church, we have been given this obligation.

 

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

Matthew 18:15-17 ESV

 

When we were at your church we did not see Jesus nor hear him in the way you treated us. No amount of us expressing our story of recovery through Christ could have justified how you humiliated us, watched us as if we were a threat to your congregants, and segregated us from your congregation. You have not properly prepared your congregation for the real world if you are so concerned by what the seekers will think if they hear that there is a Christian who self-harms, is suicidal, and struggles with mental illness. And when you haven’t properly prepared your congregants for this, you have failed future seekers…

 

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

1 John 4:18 ESV

 

Let me express to you from the view of someone who spent time in church when we were seeking Christ… We spent more time looking at people who seemed like they didn’t suffer from these things. We spent more time trying to watch how the pastors treated people with struggles like ours. We watched the pastor’s children. We watched the ones who constantly smiled and rarely expressed pain... We watched people who’d expect that from the congregants…

 

We don’t do this, because we are inspired, but because they were the ones who’d hurt others, liberally. If they hurt their other brethren, then they’d hurt us. In other words, seekers of Christ who are just starting out, they spend more time watching and listening to you and thinking badly about your actions than with people who are real and aren’t afraid to show where they struggle. It’s somewhat refreshing to seekers to find people in church without that mask. They tend to believe the word coming from an openly imperfect Christian more than from someone who mimics perfection.

 

 

There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.

Brennan Manning

 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:3-5 ESV

 

We were humiliated by your treatment of us through one of the hardest times of our lives. It really wasn’t any of your business who we choose to tell. And even when we do what you told us to do and kept silent, you kicked us out anyway. This would be a devastating and traumatic situation for anyone; because in the one place where you are supposed to be loved and helped, we were cast out. Once all this is over, we feel like we don’t belong anywhere. As Christians, we are in and not of the world and are hated by the world. But as someone with mental illness, we don’t belong with our family in Christ.

 

The church is not a museum for pristine saints, but a hospital ward for broken sinners

Timothy Keller

 

Now that I have finished expressing this, I want you to be aware that I have forgiven you, despite how traumatic this was. But I do want you to do this big favour for me. As your sister/brother in Christ, I ask that you learn from this situation and not do this to anyone ever again. If a Christian in my same situation comes expressing things like this, please be aware that it IS part of your mission to help them and treat them the same as everyone else, with the same love. Please treat the others how you’d want to be treated. Bear their burdens, because as you are your brother’s keeper. It is your problem just as it is mine.

 

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 ESV

 

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:35-40 ESV

 

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:12 ESV

 

Shalom be to you all in Christ and Yahweh,

A Ragamuffin Child

[ORIGINAL LETTER]

 

The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all.

Brennan Manning

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So, a lot has happened since I last updated LIGHTforMI. It's always an honour to come back on this ministry. It's been too long and most of the reason is due to extreme depression. So anyhoo, I'm back haha! 
 
 
So, as said on the February link, we moved out of my folks' place. And whilst being on my own, much of the stress from living there has greatly decreased. Coping with my mental illness has been more productive as well. And hitting my one year mark has also been such a great feeling. Picking up different challenges and projects during this time has helped me in my recovery and in other aspects of my life and starting on treating my PTSD and trauma through EMDR therapy and working with my BFRD. Decorating it quite nice as well and getting serious on writing, art and other things as well.
 
Through using Habitica, I have been working on my metal, physical and spiritual health. And working towards being a better person in Christ. But even so, I have still struggled. Depression due to falling out of my recovery plan, grieving the losses I sustained in 2017, and other things. It's been a lot to process and I'm trying to work through it. But I know it could always be worse. And I acknowledge that I am blessed to still be alive. 
 
I also finally finished a project back in April, Rainbow Slices is finally complete and my next goal is to revise and edit and prepare to self-publish the piece and hopefully soon sell it. This excites me as I've always wanted to publish something for my ministry. Started this Recovery Cahira Project on Mother's Day this year and am excited to finish the art and story :D Wish me well, dahlings! Other than all that, I wanted to share a poem I wrote a little while ago:
 
Depression is a Liar
Written 07/06/2018
By: Mari Fahel McKimzey
 

You want to save my life before it ends
But the problem with that, my friend
Is that I've already died
And all I can say of my life is I've tried

And you want to know why I feel this way
You say I'm a child of Yahweh
That I've certainly not died
If you hear them enough, you believe the lies

Because I'm fine and yet I'm not
I'm comfortable and yet I rot
I realize you fear for me
But I'm already dead you see?

Depression says I'm not worth it
She says to put my trust in it
She's telling me you'll leave me alone
So when you don't pick up the phone
I ask myself if I was too much for you
But nothing she says to me is true
Half truths are her specialty
And yet she's always been there for me

I know it's not true but when I'm alone
She always stayed near my heart's home
She held me when I was ditched
If you're held enough, you tend to get attached

Because I'm fine and yet I'm not
I'm comfortable and yet I rot
I realize you fear for me
But I'm already dead you see?

Depression says I'm not worth it
She says to put my trust in it
She's telling me you'll leave me alone
So when you don't pick up the phone
I ask myself if I was too much for you
But nothing she says to me is true
Half truths are her specialty
And yet she's always been there for me

Depression says I'm not worth it
She says I'm alone in this fight
Depression says they won't care
If I kill myself tonight
Depression says I'm nothing
And she makes me question who I am!
But depression is a liar!
She's a liar!
She is not who I am!

 

Luceo Non Uro,

Ari

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Hello, to all of you. I wrote this, yesterday to give a glimpse of my day to day existence. And I often create things that give you that glimpse as well. Should you want to find more done to express this I'd advice you to visit me on my blogs The Peculiar Tales of a Ragamuffin Warrior Princess#30daysofbrave challenge(on pause), and The Oneiric Ambiventure: How it Feels Project, and my journals on wattpad, and the Artisan Chronicles.

 

What time is it? Where’s my phone? There it is. 2:30PM. Really have to get up at some point. No time like the present… Time to get dressed. It sounds simple to you, but for me, I have two chest-of-drawers one with 9 drawers and the other with 6… giving me 15 in total and there are just bandannas in the top drawers with books and mismatched socks thrown haphazardly in them. Maybe I can find something from the hamper that smells halfway alright? But no, I’ve worn almost all of the variations of outfits over 100 times. You may ask why don’t I just spend a moment to wash my clothes? It’s pretty easy to do that once a week right? Well, not for me. Why? I’m depressed. So I grab the outfit I wore yesterday, I’ve only worn it like 50 times, so it can last a little longer. And thus, I get dressed and onto day 8760 of the same war different battle…

 

I’m nothing. I’m pathetic. I’m disgusting. Not worth it. Can’t do anything right…. I’m thirsty. I’m hungry. My parents would be better off without me. I’m not worth eating… Just water right now, then I’m lying down. I’m ugly. Not worth it. Am I even cared for? Is this even worth it? I get into a fight with my dad, and looking back on the fight it seems absolutely pointless. Our relationship feels like an unresolved argument… I try and try and try to fix it… I sit down and cry for a bit, Then through teary eyes I look outside and think that the afternoon is lovely. I need to stop being depressed for a moment. Music? Yeah, music…Take a short walk and maybe I’ll be better.

 

And so I take a walk, jam to my tunes. Return all hot, sweaty, tired yet pumped. And I’m drinking my second cup of water. I leave to cool down and I get enough energy to take a bath. Change into my nightgown for the evening… Then it’s dark all too soon. Even though it seemed to partially silence the voices of self-hate to have taken a walk, bathed, and rested…. The feelings never left. And now it is the hour in which the memories of the weeks, the days, the hours that have passed…By the time I’m in bed I am weeping hard. Accusing myself that I should not be considered human. That I’m a monster. That I should die and nobody would care if I did…. Hold on til morning, I beg myself. You’ve got this…. This pain will end and the light will carry on.

 

People see me smiling away. Manic, hyper and excited all the time. But even in the times I’m happy, these thoughts play in my head… I can have a an entire emotional roller coaster in one day… Most times these thoughts are there, but I hide it with my mania. I grin, and even I believe that I’m fine. But these thoughts will pop out of nowhere...And I ignore them with happy stuff. These things are not to I’m constantly depressed.

 

But I can, even while manic, feel the shadow of depression hovering silently above me, basically grabbed a stamp to my heart and pressing it on me. Depressing word in manic colours… I will joke about it, I will laugh lightheartedly at it. And I will feel it in my happiness. But it’s not to say I can’t do work, that I can’t have fun, that I can’t laugh and enjoy my day. There are sometimes, rare though they are, that I will have the most fantastic day. Everything will be fine. I’ll go up until night time, happy and jovial…. Then I’ll crash in bed… crying hard. I do what I can. I try to force myself out of depression on a day to day basis. I laugh, I love, I live. I do these things and even then, I’m not always able to stop the tears. But I’m not weak. I’m not always broken. I am just a fighter against myself.

 

Luceo non uro,

Ari Joy

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I would remain silent but I believe sometimes silence can be read as acceptance. This isn't for me for I've already made my decision to not return the church from whose leaders did this. But instead it is for future people like me who enter.... it is not acceptable nor right for a church to limit any one place in the church for the reason that they are immature, psychologically crippled or anything of the sort. I am absolutely appalled by the behaviour of the leaders of this church. I know that you believe it was for my betterment but truly you are blind to the fact that it was in fact not Christ-like to keep me from fellowship.

You said I was welcome for worship. But truly what does the whole boundary from fellowship truly say? I was not welcome. I understand where you were coming from and I commend your concern for me. But it isn't about fixing me, nor about helping me. If truly you wish to help them you went about all wrong. If you truly wanna help those like me here is where you begin;

1) don't come in, aiming to fix us. Believe it or not just cuz we are psychologically imbalanced doesn't we are impaired. We are fully capable to work on ourselves. We do not need fixing, we need open arms and ears.

2) Open your ears and shut your mouth. If we need advice we'll ask for it. Mainly when we come we just need compassion and open ears. We want a soundboard to bounce off of, not a mechanic... again we do not need fixing we are fully capable of fighting the battle. We just need a friend here as we fix ourselves.

3) don't panic and push us out of your community because you think you can't help. Believe it or not you are hendering the recovery by doing this. Scarring exactly where the church has scarred us before time and time again. Again we weren't looking for a mechanic. We were looking for open ears and open arms. We are fully capable to get through this, just not alone.

4) we aren't defects. We are human beings with strengths and weaknesses like everyone else. Casting us out because we can't connect with certain people is ridiculous. As there is no one person who can connect with everyone in a group no matter if they have a chronic mental illness or not.

5) We are not unable to mature. We only mature at our own pace. The best way for anyone to mature at all is for them to be placed in situations that we can learn from. The best places for that is meeting people they may have not been previously able to connect with and learning how to do it.

6) don't treat us like a ticking time bomb. We aren't gonna hurt you. We aren't all dangerous. We aren't much different from you. We just want to belong, to be treated with respect, and to meet people who give us that respect and are welcoming.

Well, there you have it! That's my two cents. Take it or leave it. But I do hope you learned SOMETHING from it!

Luceo non uro,
Ari Joy Schaffer

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Who We Are

Arianna
Arianna LIGHT for MI

Arianna is a proud authoress, artist, and musician, but the most important thing about her is; she seeks the hidden face of God with a passion. A lover of culture, art, music, and all things geeky and Celtic, her writings are often greatly impacted by these things.

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Valerie
Valerie LIGHT for MI

Valerie is the wife of a remarkable man, and the mother of three children, with two of whom having various degrees of mental illness. Valerie is no stranger to mental illness herself as a sufferer of depression on and off for years.

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