Sarah Fader Needs a Job

Hi, I’m Sarah Fader and I’m looking for a job in social media. I’m a dynamic, powerful assertive woman who also happens to be a single mother. Below is a video describing what I bring to the table and why you should hire me.

My resume is available upon request. You will be so happy you hired me.

 

 

Hostess Cupcakes – Win a Hostess Coupon!

One day when I was hungry, I bought a Hostess Cupcake.

 

cupcake

I tweeted this picture to the Hostess Cupcake people and told them that these special cupcakes remind me of my childhood in the 1980′s. I have fond memories of buying these after my long day of elementary school at P.S. 87. The corner bodega, West Way Deli (which is still there by the way), was chock full of these lovelies.

The beautiful people at Hostess sent me and my family a coupon for a Hostess product of our choice. So the kids and I went and got a box of cupcakes at the grocery store!

kids and cupcakes This was an incredibly happy day for everyone involved.

So guess what? I am giving away a $2.00 Hostess coupon to get your very own cupcake! You can get any of these delicious items:

cupcake-1

twinkies-1

 

ho-hos-1

Ooooooooh! You want them!

So enter to win this coupon below!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER! 

Pop Up Cat Cafe in NYC – 4/24-4/27

If you know me, you know that I love cats.

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So when my friend Candice told me about a Cat Cafe that was opening up in New York City (where I live) I was psyched.

A pop up cafe will be opening up at 168 Bowery in Manhattan on Thursday 4/24/14 and existing through Sunday 4/27/14.

You can visit this cat cafe and pet a variety of adorable kitties…like this one:

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Cat Cafe Neko no Niwa (via Facebook)

So the question is, who wants to go visit the kitties with me?

Stigma Fighters- Byron H.

I have an abnormal mental health condition, and I’m awesome. In fact I have two. Two very different ones. But who’s counting? I’m still awesome. Am I fully functional? Not exactly. But it hasn’t stopped me yet. I’ve got a great family and a ton of amazing friends.

A lot of my friends also live with various mental illnesses. They are awesome too. If somebody decides not to like me or my friends because they witness how differently we can behave, we’ll be okay. But it does make the world a little lonelier and a little harder for us. Most of us are working on it. Every day. It’s hard. It takes a lot of our energy. Some even manage to pretty much fit in.

It never hurts to have more people supporting our efforts. Please consider empathy. For everybody! Empathy is the willingness to understand, and it’s pure gold. Especially to us folks who live with mental illness.

I live with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This means that certain events and situations I encounter can make me relive specific highly negative emotional experiences. People invite me to things, and I often say no, because I’m too afraid I’ll react to something in an embarrassing way. Dealing with the fallout of flipping out at a social gathering is a lot more stressful than dealing with the fallout of saying no to an invitation.

I tell all my friends I have PTSD, and what it is. I ask them all to please not take it personally if I can’t make it out to something I was pretty excited about only hours before.

Still, nothing says “fuck you” like refusing an invitation. It breaks my heart sometimes when somebody I love is really looking forward to seeing me or involving me, and I just can’t do it. What sucks the most about this dynamic is that the person on the other end might feel like I don’t care about them. But that simply isn’t true. I just have a disorder, and need to care for myself a good deal more than most people need to.

Every social situation I encounter, no matter how positive, has stresses for me. These stresses build. Unless I remove myself from these stresses, and allow my brain time to reset and rest, I can put myself in danger. With all the work, the childcare, the daily business of life and making money, it adds up to me experiencing feelings of self-loathing, self-destruction, and various other instabilities including emotional flashbacks and violent mood swings.

This is why I regulate my social life so heavily. In all honesty, I can’t afford to lose the stability of my family I’ve worked so hard to create. I can’t jeopardize the order I’ve created for myself. Life is hard and shaky enough without deliberately pushing myself too far and creating situations which become dark and uncontrollable.

Most of the people in my life don’t understand the depth of this. I don’t hold that against them. Why would I expect anybody to get me at a core level? On rare occasions, I decide to breach the rules and standards I set for how much stress I can take, and then I have a breakdown. I have no doubt that small doses of pushing my own limitations are good for me, and are helping me succeed in better managing this aspect of my social life. But like most things, this is best in moderation.

When I break down, I spend what could be hours, sometimes days, afraid for my life. Afraid for the lives of my children, and obsessing that everybody I know and love is somehow dying right at this moment and I can’t do a thing about it.

Once I allow myself to enter this space, it is no longer a matter of attitude and willpower. It isn’t a matter of being more positive, or turning “that frown upsidedown.” When I break, I break, and it’s all I can do to not have a heart attack. I hurt hard. Instead of shopping, I would prefer to end my own life and escape the world. It’s terrifying and terrible, and I’m very good at avoiding it.

It is a dark place I never want to go. I have people who need me, and I need to be there for those people. I have a mission to complete, and it has yet to be completed. I have a calling that has not yet been answered in full.

So I say yes to things.

And I say no to things.

Sometimes I put my life at risk and power through, and then I sleep a lot and try to avoid all human contact so that I don’t alienate my friends and family with this horrible but honest part of who I am. Quietly making my children’s meals and not saying much in general to anybody. Not answering my e-mails or texts.

All of this sucks, but I refuse to take any of it on as a personal flaw in my character or something. It isn’t. It’s just a disorder. One which requires me to regulate my life in specific ordered ways if I want to maintain balance. I’m working, extremely slowly, at making it all less a part of how I interact with the world, but for now, I need to be patient with myself, and I need to accept that this is just my life. I’ve learned to truly appreciate the people I know who say “you know what? It’s fine. Call me when you’re up to it.”

My particular brand of PTSD is not as straight forward as much of the PTSD you may be aware of. A lot of PTSD is related to combat, various sexual assaults, or acute threats and disasters. These are often curable, can run their courses, and then you’re done. As long as you get treatment, you can eventually be clear and free.

Because my complex PTSD was developed throughout my childhood due to elements like physical and psychological torture, love deprivation, starvation, sexual molestation, attempted murder, and severe school bullying, the trauma runs very deep, shaping my being and how I interact with the world. It’s lifelong learning and growing and struggling for me.

Complex PTSD isn’t really something you ever entirely “get over”, but it is something you can effectively manage most of the time if you know your brain works that way.

My kids know a life free from abuse and neglect, because I’ve chosen to work hard on myself to end the cycle. (The person who abused me the worst is one of my “father figures”, and is currently awaiting the death penalty for infanticide in California).

The legacy I was left is terrifying. The conditions and circumstances of my upbringing did their best to create a monster out of me. But I said no to all of it. I beat all of it! Because I deserve better. My kids and the world deserve better. Love is a better choice. Goodness is a better pursuit.

So when I say I have a disorder, please don’t fear me. Don’t judge me harshly. And never EVER count me out. I’m a good man with a strong heart, and the courage of a trumped up army. I’ll be there for you, but you have to meet me half way and drop the stigma.

Fight stigma, and get great friends like me.

Byron

BIO:

Byron Hamel is an award winning journalist and researcher living in Manitoba Canada. He’s written and produced content with CBC Radio, Canada’s most respected media network, for over 12 years. His work has been enjoyed by millions on award winning Canadian radio programs like DNTO and The Current.

Byron is a survivor of severe child abuse and neglect. Byron is an outspoken champion of interracial unity, and an advocate for children’s and women’s rights.

Despite living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Byron works hard to overcome the history of violence in his family. He raises his own two little daughters with dignity, love, and respect.

He writes about his journey on his blog Trauma Dad

http://traumadad.blogspot.ca

You can also follow him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/traumadad

Or twitter:

https://twitter.com/ByronHamel

Stigma Fighters – Derek S.

I have a mental illness.
It’s hardly the nicest thing about me, but it’s certainly one of the biggest. Whether I like it or not, it’s my daily companion. We go everywhere together, taking part in the same activities, joining in the same conversations. Hell, we sound like the best of friends. Except your best friend doesn’t spend all of their time trying to kill you.
I think the anxiety started first. I say ‘I think’ because, at this point, I’m relying solely on the memory of a long lost 10 year old. The sheer awkwardness of ‘being’; feeling out of place, or out of sync with things, no matter the situation. The feeling only expanded and grew as time went on, taking on such wonderful qualities as an inner monologue designed specifically to tell me just how bad I was at everything, and an excessive heart rate (with added excessive sweatiness–sexy, I know) at even the thought of having to go outside. I simply learned to live with it over the years, and found different ways of avoiding the world as best I could. From walking back roads to avoid the crowds, to (many years later) drowning out the noise with alcohol and drugs, I became pretty adept at deflecting all things Life.
The depression came quietly, like an enemy sneaking in under the wire. The ever-present anxiety created enough persistent noise and doubt, I barely noticed the arrival of this void that seemed to slowly pull me in. Like a black hole had silently taken up residence at the centre of my heart, pulling in every emotion it found, growing larger all the while. It left behind it a daily routine of little to no energy, diminishing desire, and a general hopelessness that, eventually, would pervade every waking second of my life. Combined with the not-very-good-at-all ideas I had in “taking care” of the anxiety, this was a picture perfect downward spiral in the making.
The two go hand in hand for most, depression and anxiety. Once they’ve been together long enough, it becomes difficult to tell them apart. The medical community commonly combines them, although I do know a few who suffer one but not the other. Starting so early in my life, I’ve had difficulty remembering a time without them. They’ve been as much a part of me as my own limbs. I lived with them, undiagnosed, for over 20 years. This is an incredibly, brutally long time to live with something like this alone. That I’m still here genuinely shocks me at times. It affected everything; my social development, my education, my whole world. Everything suffered, and fell by the wayside. But after one too many breakdowns, and the realization that I really wasn’t going to be able to take it much longer, I reached out for help.
This is the first step. It’s a relatively simple sounding one, but it’s also the most important. And it can be difficult. Because you’re not just talking about it, you’re admitting that you need help. Not just to yourself, but out loud to the world, or at least to the person you’ve chosen to speak to. But, again, it’s important, and things DO get better after this, so do it. Trust me. Talk to your doctor, to your family or friends, talk to somebody. Just get it out.
I had the benefit of some very understanding people around me when I finally chose to speak. Not all people have this, and after going through what I did, I realize how much of a difference this can make. So if someone you know says something to you, chooses YOU to be their first contact, just listen. Listen to them, let them know they’re not alone and that you’ll help them. That’s it. That’s the whole beginning, and it can mean the difference between them starting down a new road or sinking back into the dark. You can make arrangements to visit their Doctor, or seek out a Psychologist or Counsellor afterwards, but just show them they’re not alone. If things are dire at this point, take them to the hospital. Yes, this is just as much an emergency as anything else, as a life hangs in the balance.
Most of the stigma surrounding this kind of thing, from what I’ve seen, stems from a lack of understanding, easily remedied by a bit of research and information. We have the internet now, so don’t be shy about looking into things on your own. Whether trying to better understand someone else’s situation, or your own, if you think you might need help with something. Finding blogs, like this one, is a good start as well. When you want information on something, go to the experts. The ones who live it every day.
And try not to judge anyone who suffers things like this. There’s an immediate change that happens with our perception when someone utters the words ‘mental illness’, and it’s commonly an unfavourable one. Having a disorder does not, in the majority of cases, equate to hearing voices, or having a predisposition to violence. There are people with this, mind you, and they need our help as well, it may just be harder to reach them. For most of us though, you’d never know there was anything wrong. We have faces we put on for the world when things are just too much, and we push through. We take things one day at a time, because that’s all anyone really has. We don’t want your pity, just your understanding. There will be days where it beats us. Keeps us locked up at home, unable to get out of bed, or even sends us to the hospital. It happens. Don’t freak out, just be there. The value of a shoulder or a hand cannot be understated. And it’s one of the simplest, most human things one can do.
Bio Photo
Derek S.
A 34 year old lover of literature, tea and technology, currently working in the Market Research industry.
Over-thinker of all life’s simplest things, and insanely jealous of his cats life.My blog was started as a form of self therapy, detailing my journey towards a happier life.Blog: http://www.lettersfrompangea.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DerekActual

Women Are Powerful Beyond Expectation

The other day my friend Alex was over helping me hang a 20 X 30 picture frame of my kids on the brick wall of my apartment. As I watched her at work, I said to her “You’re like my surrogate man.” I said this because I am a newly single mom.  I began to laugh a little to myself and then I thought: no. That’s not true. And I said it aloud.

“Wait, a second. That’s not true. Women can be just as handy as men are. Look at you working your magic on that picture frame. ”

Alex laughed to herself and said: “I was gonna say, when she’s old enough,” and she pointed to Samara, my daughter, “I’ll teach her how to use a power drill.”

We both laughed. “I would love that. And I bet she’ll be really good at it.”

Though society would have you believe otherwise, single mothers don’t need a man.  My friend Kristen (also a single mom)  told me a story about a proud independent moment she had. She bought a new futon and needed to remove her old one. With no help, she dragged the old futon out of her house, down a flight of stairs, out onto the street, around the corner and into the dumpster. The best part of the story was her neighbor came out, saw what was going on and remarked “Do you need me to get my husband?” Kristen turned around confidently, flexed her muscle and said “Nope, I did it myself.”

This story exemplifies how powerful women can be. We do not need the help of  man to complete life tasks.

Yet, the pervasive societal view is that a man is essential to a make a household complete. A friend of mine (another single mother) was at her son’s school PTA meeting. A parent randomly approached her and asked “where’s your husband?” I don’t know how she refrained from punching this person in the face, but she did. This stranger’s distorted viewpoint is (unfortunately) the prevalent view of our society. The truth is “where her husband is” is none of this person’s business.

Women need to believe (confidently) that we can do what it takes to be independent regardless of what society says about us. There is a floating misconception out there among women that if there is no man, then many tasks remain incomplete. I want to debunk this idea. Women can do whatever we set our minds to. We are powerful beyond expectation.

Sorry I Was An Insensitive Asshole

Dear many people in my life right now,

Sorry I was an insensitive asshole to you. I have been going through a major life transition/life upheaval. This is not an excuse for me being a dick. I was mean to you. The collective “you.” You may have felt singled out, or like I was picking on you personally. I didn’t mean to do it. It wasnt even about you. I was a monkey flinging my poop at everyone. I don’t want to be that monkey. And you certainly don’t deserve the collective shit that I threw at you.

The truth is, I need to deal with my own emotional stuff. It’s not the collective “you’s” responsibility to fix me or help me with my life. I got this. I am a strong ass woman.

I recognize that all of you have tried to be there for me during this time to the best of your ability. And some of you I have been mean to even though you’ve been supportive to me.

So, in short, I am sorry for my asshole behavior. You’re awesome. The collective you is awesome and supportive and amazing and you’ve been there for me even thought I was mean and erratic.

I’m working on it. I promise.

I will be more mindful of your feelings. I’m not the only one who has feelings. I recognize this. Other people have feelings too. And I need to be mindful of them. So I love you and your feelings matter to me.

Peace out.

-A former asshole monkey

Stigma Fighters – Jess D.

Chronic Pain and Depression

I was born with a chronic pain bone disorder called Multiple Hereditary Exostoses (MHE). I always struggle to explain this disorder in just a few short sentences. It seems so hard to condense everything I feel on a day to day basis, everything that I’ve been through because of this disorder, into just a few sentences. Basically, I have a genetic mutation that causes my body to produce “extra bones”, only they aren’t actually “extra” bones. They’re more like bone growths. People who have MHE call them bone tumours, growths, or spurs. I have these bone growths all over my body from the collarbone down. I have had 14 surgeries to remove the bone growths that were causing problems. When they get too big, they can cut off nerves and tendons and cause muscle damage.

Okay, so I have this bone disorder, and it alone makes my life a little tougher than average because I can’t walk very well or stand very long, and I’m not very strong. I’m also in a lot of pain each day.

I don’t know if you know this, but being in constant pain is depressing. Picture a heavy weight constantly pushing you down, and no matter how hard you struggle against it, it successfully keeps you down.

When I was a kid, I was pretty damn happy. Sure, I got sad when I couldn’t do the same things my sisters’ could, or when I had to go in for yet another surgery, but I was pretty happy regardless. As I aged, though…my anxiety and depression grew with me. I started covering up my awkwardly shaped legs and arms with layers of clothes. I started drawing into myself, keeping my pain and my disorder a secret from my peers. I didn’t want to be known as “that girl with the weird bone thing”, although I was. Being in crowds had always made me nervous, but it started to make me downright anxious.

In 2009, when I was 19 years old, I became a mom for the first time. I loved my new role, but my anxiety and depression rose even higher. It grew every single here from then to now. Now that I am a mom of two gorgeous boys and married, my depression and anxiety are incredibly high. I “have it all”…beautiful children, a roof over our heads, and a husband who loves me…but I still struggle daily with my chronic pain, depression and anxiety. In November of 2012, I actually went to my family doctor. I could no longer handle “living this way”, and I wanted a solution. It’s now April of 2014, and I haven’t yet been able to get an appointment with a psychologist. I have tried two different kinds of medication, but I’ll confess…medication doesn’t seem to be for me. It makes me even more tired than I already am, and I become unable to function because I am just so tired. With the exhaustion that chronic pain brings, you really don’t want to add any extras in.

I have a theory. My depression and anxiety are so high because they grow every time my pain does, and my pain seems to grow every year. Pregnancies seemed to fast track my MHE issues, and my pain got worse each time too. Heavier. Now that I’m a mom, I can’t take “rest days” or cater to my body as I used to. I now am up as soon as my kids are up, doing things to get us ready for our day, trying to keep house and make it to bedtime without collapsing. Most days, I struggle terribly with this. My patience takes a hit and all I want to do is cry because I have no patience and the chronic pain hurts. They don’t call it chronic pain for no reason, it’s always there. Some days, it’s more bearable, but most often…I make it to the end of the day by sheer determination.

I also deal with monstrous feelings of guilt, both of our sons’ inherited my MHE. Just knowing what I went through is enough to twist my guts in anxiety for them. I am able to relax myself by keeping proactive with them with their specialist appointment.

So, how do I deal with my chronic pain, depression, and anxiety? I force myself to push forward. When I don’t want to get out of bed, I force myself. When I don’t want to do certain things because I’m feeling so terrible, I do them. When a situation makes me anxious, I force myself to do it. I take every day just a day at a time, and I try to be as kind to myself as I can be. I talk to those who understand how heavy mental illness can be.

I remember that I am not alone, and neither are you.

MENOW
BIOJess is a married mother of two in her mid-twenties. Jess is addicted to coffee, Instagram selfies, Cadbury Mini Eggs, and Ketchup chips (only not together, because that would be gross). She has been blogging for nearly 10 years, and won a Bloggie award some time ago. She is currently in the process of getting her first novel published. You can find Jess pretty much everywhere, these days.

Blog: http://thefeveredpen.wordpress.com
Blog Facebook: http://facebook.com/thefeveredpen
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jcahdavis
Author Page: http://facebook.com/jcahannigan

Chronic Pain and Depression

Send Sarah Fader to BlogHer 14

What’s up pumpkins?

I’m raising money to attend BlogHer 14. This year has been a great year for me. I managed to get on The Huffington Post and I had a post or two go viral. The infamous 3-Year-Olds are Assholes  and then there was Stop Calling Assertive Women Bitches . Needless to say it’s been a great year.

There have been some life challenges, however. I am now a single mom. I’m raising money to attend BlogHer because this is my year to shine. I want to be able to celebrate my success as a Blogger with the rest of the social media community.

So please take a moment to click here and donate or share my Indiegogo Fundraising campaign to attend BlogHer 14. With your help I can make it to BlogHer! 

send sarah fader to blogher

Stigma Fighters – Mental Illness Series

In February 2014 I wrote an article for The Huffington Post about living with panic disorder and depression.  I wrote it because I wanted to show the world that there are people living with mental illness who are not just homeless or institutionalized. There are those of us who are living within the confines of society.

There are teachers, doctors, lawyers, psychologists, actors, writers all living with mental illness. These are the stories that need to be told; the people who seem to be “regular” or “normal” people but are actually hiding a big secret. They are living with an invisible illness. They are struggling to function like the rest of society.

I’m using my forum to raise awareness for people (like me) who are seemingly “normal” but actually fighting hard to survive.

This series is called Stigma Fighters. If you are living with mental illness and you want to share your story. Please email me the story completely edited 1000 words maximum to sarah@oldschoolnewschoolmom.com

Include the story in plain text in the body of the email. No need to attach a Word document or any silliness like that. Write a bio for yourself including your website and attach a headshot.

I look forward to fighting the stigma of mental illness one story at a time. Who’s with me? Check out the video below: