It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that (blogger/self-publisher/mental health activist/thoroughly great person who was always there for anyone who reached out to her) Ashley L. Peterson has passed away. Fortunately, family is keeping her site up, Mental Health @ Home: A safe place to talk openly about mental health & illness.
At Ashley’s blog, you’ll find her family’s recent post about her. In addition, they created a memorial site where you’ll see photos of Ashley, learn about her life, and of their great love for her.
Ashley contributed twice to Happiness Between Tails. What follows below and in today’s audio/podcast version, is her first contribution (the second one is here), worded exactly as it originally appeared…
Mental health nurse/author Ashley L. Peterson of MentalHealthAtHome.org blogs out of Vancouver, Canada, and writes from both a personal perspective as well as that of a medical professional. She’s adamant that it’s time we remove the stigma around mental health issues.
When it comes to self-publishing, she finds it’s wise to stay flexible with her listings at Amazon. On a daily basis, she experiments with keywords, especially in terms of how they work with setting bids per clicks on ads at the amounts suggested by Amazon.
Ashley L. Peterson publishes regularly on mental health issues.
Here’s why she calls herself, “a proud crazy guinea pig lady”…
“Thank Goodness For My Thera-Piggies,” by Ashley L. Peterson of MentalHealthAtHome.org
I am a crazy guinea pig lady. Crazy in more ways than one.
The most obvious, perhaps, is that I have 5 guinea pigs (3 girls and 2 boys), and I treat them like my children.
What may be less obvious is that I’m crazy in a mentally ill sense. I have depression that only partially responds to treatment, so I deal with effects of the illness every single day.
I take medication and do various other things to manage my illness, but my guinea pigs are an important part of my overall wellness.
I live alone, and my illness has made it difficult to be around other people, so I’m on my own a lot of the time – at least in terms of human contact. But I’m never actually alone when I’m at home because I have 5 very active, very vocal munchkins to keep me company.
Routine helps me manage each day, and the piggies thrive on routine. I have a rather odd sleep schedule, which they’ve adapted to quite happily. They know that when I wake up, they get fed, so as soon as they hear me start rustling around in bed, they start wheeking (an onomatopoeic word for their “feed me” noise). It’s a pretty good motivator to get my butt out of bed.
I prefer to practice mindfulness focused outwardly rather than inwardly, and my piggies are a perfect target for that. I can just gaze at them in fascination as my mind just shuts off.
More than anything, though, they need me. They’re very good at making their needs known, and they know that I can be counted on to meet them, no matter how lousy I’m feeling. Because of that, I mean the world to them. It’s definitely mutual.
Each of us is precious…