Ten Days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly

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Over the weekend I was exploring online which lead me to the internet rabbit hole going from one site to the next. That is where I came across this unbelievable read by Nellie Blye called Ten Days in a MadHouse.

Synopsis: Undercover journalist Nellie Bly pretends to be an insane person to get herself sent to a mental institution where she exposes everything that goes on at Blackwell’s Island insane asylum.

The book brought to life in 1887, Ten Days in a Madhouse is a non-fiction, biography, autobiography story of a 23 year old young woman showing bravery and determination in unmasking the truth that was hidden away by the white-capped nurses, bolts, and bars from the knowledge of the public.

I thought by the title of this book it would be written for exploiting the patient’s mental illness who were at the asylum, but that wasn’t the purpose of the book. Some of the patients seemed normal and shouldn’t have been placed into an institute by their loved ones without having a proper psychological evaluation.

What bothered me is how the nurses got away time and time again with their disgraceful and inhumane behavior towards the patients. This book wouldn’t be recommended for the faint hearted.

Not an easy book to read, however, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. In this case, after the success of Nellie Bly’s writings, an investigation was set up as well as money invested in improving the asylum.

A few quotes from the book.

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 What a mysterious thing madness is. I have watched patients whose lips are forever sealed in a perpetual silence. They live, breathe, eat; the human form is there, but that something, which the body can live without, but which cannot exist without the body, was missing. - Nellie Bly

Ebook:

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/bly/madhouse/madhouse.html

Audio book:

https://librivox.org/ten-days-in-a-madhouse-by-nellie-bly/ q

 

 

 

 

 

Fasting

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I have been a South African all my life and what I like is the diversity of races, skin colours, and religions we have. We are a rainbow nation.

The people I have had in my life growing up were from different walks of life. Being a child I didn’t fully grasp this with my head in the clouds enjoying my childhood blissfully unaware. They were my someone I could play with, my friends and that’s all that mattered.

What does stick with me after all these years is once a year for 30 days a few of my then friends who were Muslim wouldn’t be able to eat, drink and swim.

I remember during break time at school my friends would gather together in a circle by this big tree in the field and those who were Muslim said they were fasting. Not much information was shared as to why, but only all the things not to do during fasting. I accepted it, but the back of my mind thought it wasn’t fair. In other words, they were getting the short end of the stick. How ignorant and wrong I was!

Fast forward to being an adult I have a little more knowledge when it comes to knowing what Ramadan is thanks to the people in my life who over the years shared their experiences with me, but since I never fasted I never truly knew what it was like.

After all the stories shared by others, I always wondered how did they do it? Having that amount of self-control should also be able to help in the long run with many things.

On Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 after much deliberation I wanted to do something I never in my life considered to do, fast. I searched on Google fasting times in Cape Town and found the correct timings. I knew I was behind in fasting when it officially started and my disadvantage of being an adult compared to adults who started out fasting when being a child.

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Fasting times in Cape Town

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I set an alarm early for 6:00 am to wake up, eat, drink and brush my teeth all before the sun rises at 6:15 am. All this was set and ready to happen, but I couldn’t seem to get up that Sunday early morning to do it. Instead, I woke up 2 hours later at 8:00 am all disoriented and annoyed at myself for not being able to do one simple thing. Get up early!

Sunday came and I was with my family together with some friends while having a braai (barbecue) outside. I knew I would be trying to entertain my 7 year old nephew with fun and games. It was frustrating to have missed my chance, however, I made a decision despite being 2 hours behind I wanted to go ahead and do it.

I did have this nagging feeling that I was cheating the system, or in this case, cheating when it came to fasting. I didn’t follow the most important rule and that is to eat BEFORE the sun rises and AFTER the sun sets, but I went ahead with it because I really wanted to see how much self-restraint I could have when it came to not eating and drinking for 11 hours and to try to experience what else fasting entails.

The time was 8:12 am and I quickly made myself toast and drank as much water as possible before 8:30 am. As the clock hit 8:30 am I had this knot in my stomach and wondered would I really be able to do it. Luckily this thought didn’t last too long and disappeared later.

Children are full of never ending energy and that I once again discovered while running after my nephew, jumping on the rocks at the park, sliding down the slide, spinning on the merry-go-round, swinging on the swings, kicking the rugby ball called Rug while running after it in the streets as my nephew laughs his head off at me going to fetch it all the time. Here I thought this would be a chilled out Sunday, turns out it was busier than expected.

When it came to lunchtime everyone sat at the table helping themselves to food. I didn’t want to seem I was insulting the food by not eating, so I offered to wash the dishes in the sink in hopes to get other’s minds off me not eating and mentioned I would eat later.

My stomach made grumbling noises that at the time seemed louder than anything to me, but thankfully no one heard. I knew I was hungry. Like clockwork, my brain knew it was lunchtime and time to eat. I didn’t eat though. Looking back on this the fact I ignored the voice inside my head telling me to eat made me realize people do have some control in stopping their negative thoughts that might linger in their mind.

When the time was for me to break my fast I literally ate everything off the plate and some more food. I devoured everything! I never knew I could eat that much. Drinking that soda faster than anything.

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I fasted again since my first time wasn’t exactly as it should be.

The very next day on Monday, June 4th, 2017 I once again couldn’t wake up at 6 am but later. I intended to still continue to do the fast since the last time I had eaten and drank was late at night. What did bother me was not being able to wake up before the sun rises to brush my teeth, but thankfully my breath didn’t stink. At least no one told me it does.

I didn’t feel like I was at my best I could have been. I tried to push through it and do my best. My stomach was making more noises which I hope no one noticed and my throat felt dry. This time it didn’t go as well as the first. I’m not sure if the first time was the curiosity fueling me but this time all I could think about was eating and drinking.

It was warm weather, but not baking and the time seemed to go slower. When it came to lunchtime seeing others eat and drink made me feel slightly annoyed while also wanting to breathe in the aromas of the fresh food.

I kept God in my mind to help me get through this day. Fasting is no walk in the park, those fasting know that. What came to mind when fasting is how people on the street feel when starving and thirsty. The fast felt at some moments it would never end, but I knew how fortunate I am to be able to have a warm meal after all this and drink as much as I can. Not everyone can have that luxury.

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I didn’t fast the whole month, so I can’t fully walk away with everything but the little I have taken away from fasting is being able to trust in God and knowing he will help you. Fasting isn’t only about not eating, not drinking, it is important to pray and keep God with you in your thoughts. Staying away from all the negative stuff in the world and to help others. Patience, praying and getting rid of old bad habits is so important when it comes to fasting.

We are all a work in progress. What really matters is if you try to better yourself not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too.

To all the Muslim people who are fasting hats off to you! The sacrifices you make during this holy month of yours is really something to feel proud of. I hope God rewards you in this life and the next.

 Life is a learning experience, every experience makes you grow as a person.

 

 

The 5 senses

The nervous system has a specific sensory system or organ, dedicated to each sense. Humans have a multitude of senses. Sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch are commonly known as the 5 senses.

Thank you to these 4 bloggers: Magna, Anusha, Pauline and Sara for sharing their story behind the 5 senses.

Sight: Dark and heavy rain. Being the only child my parents were always overprotective of me, they wouldn’t let me go out and protected me from everything. I would usually stay at home all day during the summer vacations.

However, when it rained I would feel so energized and free. It made me so alive! I would always open my window and let the air blow my hair until the rain splattered all over my face.

It taught me everything was possible, as rain would come through even on the sunniest days.

By Mag. Twitter: Foreverbookblog Instagram: your.only.queen Facebook: Magna Yakkha Blog: foreverbookblog.wordpress.com

Sound: Have you ever heard the sound of the sound? Nonetheless, that’s tangentially bound. Hear it once, you’ll make out the beats. All you have to do is grab your seats. The voice could be your vocal, you’ll then believe. Also, to note, you’ll then be sure about how to live.

For if you ask how that is, you need to know what is. Seek and find, a reckon that’ll beacon, booming just the right strings on. The music then it shall be forth the presence, making the playful notes to have little more sense.

About the making progress for you to relish, like a delicacy to taste. Don’t dare to wind up in a jiffy, you sure don’t want end up in haste. Defects on the effects of hearing, not the hedge of rearing. It would rather be just like another window’s ring.

A common call that muses, nothing like the sound’s sound. That’s just something about the ground that’s round.The sound of the sound is one such. You needn’t think much, For once you hear it, you’ll find the essential key, and the you in me.

By Anusha. Twitter: Annealed_glass Instagram: Anusha_sridharan1 Blog: Undestinedpieces.wordpress.com

Taste: It always amazes me how everyone’s taste buds are very different. I have always been a big food lover and enjoyed tasting lots of different types of food from all over the world. My taste buds always prefer the usual vodka and diet coke but I was much more adventurous when it came to food. That was until, in 2016, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I started a rigorous course of chemotherapy.

When I was diagnosed and advised chemotherapy was the best course of action, I was warned that my taste buds may change. Nobody was able to tell me why this would be, but it is thought it is a result of the damage of to the cells in the oral cavity, which are very sensitive to chemotherapy. I didn’t think much of it and just assumed it was one of those side effects that they have to tell about, but is very unlikely to appear. How wrong I was!

By Pauline. Twitter: Prettytwinklea Blog: Prettytwinkleadventures.com

Smell: Every morning my dad would make himself toast before he went to work, and if it wasn’t burnt to a crisp he wouldn’t eat it. I never realized how much this scent would remind me of my dad until he passed away. For months after he died, I would catch a smell of burning toast and it would remind me of getting ready for school and watching my dad make his breakfast.

By Sara. Twitter: Sara_blogger Pinterest: Sarafayce Blog: Sarafayce.wordpress.com/

Touch: Growing up I was painfully shy and liked to be kept to myself. I had this coping mechanism that I still find myself sometimes doing and that is my hands. I would interlock my hands together, rub my fingers and used my hands to soothe me through situations that left me feeling anxious. Pockets would be my best friend as no one would see what I was doing. The touch of my hands was my security that helped me face everyday life.

By Kerri. Instagram: Lovelyk01 Twitter: love_kerri

 

 

Pimples! Why are you getting it?

Nothing like getting pimples to knock a person’s self-esteem down.

Keep reading if you would like some help in finding the reasons behind this. Every person has different skin types, so bare that in mind. What might work for one person might not work for another. I’m not an expert in this field, but I hope to bring information that might help.

Food diary.

Try writing down everything you had to eat and drink when you are noticing you are getting pimples. Be very observant over everything you had. That can narrow it down to what was the reason for your breakout. With me, I used to eat all the dairy products and eggs without getting any pimples but one day that turned into months I randomly stopped having it. I got back into having dairy and eggs and realized it didn’t love me back which showed on my face. I tried to cut it out for a week and then noticed my skin clearing up, so that was the reason behind me getting pimples. It won’t necessarily be the case for you, but give it a try to see what happens.

Clean everything.

Makeup brushes. If you are someone who wears makeup consider cleaning your makeup brushes as often as you can. Neglecting to wash your brushes frequently would bring on bacteria, dust, and dirt.

Sunglasses. One thing that would never go out of style is sunglasses. A look isn’t complete without it. If you are breaking out where your sunglasses would be on your face then take time out to clean your sunglasses.

Clothing. Dirt, oil, and bacteria are collected over the course of the day, so it is vital to wash your clothing and not wear it continuously without washing. If you are someone who goes to the gym or does any sports activities then shower and put on clean clothing. Not the clothing you were wearing before! Especially if you are someone who sweats easily then it is very important not to sit around or go about your errands in your sweaty gym clothing. Get fresh.

Pillow cases and bedding. At the end of the day after a very busy day, all a person really wants to do is lie on their bed and rest or go to sleep. When your pillowcase isn’t washed regularly, a build-up of dirt and oil from the environment as well as your skin and hair touching the pillow is transferred back to your skin which can cause you to break out. Washing your pillowcases once a week can rule out any possible breakouts.

Technology. A fact I came across are cell phones have 18 times more bacteria than toilet handles. Shocking to say the least! In this day and age, we all have some form of technology whether that is a cell phone, tablet, iPad etc. Keep all your tech items clean by purchasing a tech cleaning kit. This product shown in the picture is a laptop and tablet cleaning kit. It works well on keeping all your technology clean from germs.

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In the kit, you will receive a 60ml cleaning gel spray, anti-static brush, and a microfiber cloth.  The cleaning gel safely cleans, while the soft microfiber cloth gently eliminates fingerprints and smudges from the surface. The anti-static brush removes dust and dirt particles from screens and gaps in your keyboard. You can find this at CNA Or you can buy any laptop cleaning product which works on all technology.

Makeup. Forgetting to remove your makeup at night will leave your pores clogged which can cause bacteria in your pores making you break out. No matter how tired you are and want to sleep, take that few minutes to completely remove all your makeup. Your skin will thank you for it in the morning!

Comes from within.

Mental health plays a part too. How you talk to yourself matters. When someone is always thinking negative about themselves, their environment and people around them it can affect their skin causing breakouts. When a person is under constant stress that is bound to show on their face indicating pimples.

Put on some relaxing music, watch a movie, write down your thoughts or dance. Do what gives you joy and comfort to take away the stress. Another way to feel better is to exercise. Exercise reduces endorphins, endorphins makes you happy. Simple breathing technique can help too! Taking a breath can make you feel calmer. Try it!

Don’t touch.

Think about everything you did today. Now I am sure everything you did today involved using your hands at one time or another. Regardless how many times you washed your hands there might have been a moment or two you touched your face forgetting to wash your hands before. Resting the palm of your hand on your chin, rubbing your nose and more. It is a natural thing everyone does to touch their face, but if you notice pimples then rethink before making those moves.

Skincare.

Like relationships, people can be stuck in a rut together. Changing things up can be exciting for a couple who have been together for years. The same goes for trying new skincare products, but sometimes things don’t go as well as expected which might be why you are breaking out. Go through your skincare products and throw away products that are old, products that broke you out and products that you thought you liked but did nothing for your skin. If you are going to invest your money on skincare products then the product should be helping you and not wasting your money.

If you are having a special event coming up or you are wanting to look your best I would recommend this product called Oxy Emergency Zit Blitzer. It comes in a 10ml size. Remove any makeup if you are wearing and wash your face before you apply the gel. Put a small pea sized amount on the pimple and gently tap or rub on the affected area waiting for the gel to be absorbed.  Apply throughout the day at least 4 times on clean skin and you will notice it would reduce the size of redness and spots within hours. It worked wonders for me!

The reason it is so effective is because of the tea tree oil which is known for antiseptic and antifungal properties that will remove bacteria from the skin. You can find Oxy Emergency Zit Blitzer at Checkers Hyper, Dischem and at Clicks. The prices vary from stores, but it is no more than R45. You would be surprised how long it lasts!

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Thank you for reading! Until next time.

 

 

Dog

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My dog Jocky

The word ‘dog’ has been thrown around many times. Primarily used towards men. In social situations between male friends showing off their conquests, women who have experienced bad relationships or have encountered men who have shown inappropriate behavior.

What comes to mind when the word dog is used would be wild, not being an upstanding person and doing what they like without following the consequences. If you are a dog lover or have a dog, then you know that calling someone a dog would be an insult to the real dogs out there.

The reason the old saying goes a dog is man’s best friend is because a dog is more faithful than most animals and shows loyalty towards the owner. A dog is protective, strong and will make sure no harm is done to the owner. Dogs have a sixth sense when it comes to understanding humans. Knowing if a person has good or bad intentions and cheering up their owner when needed.

If a dog loses a limb the dog doesn’t spend one moment worrying about the lost limb, the dog doesn’t think about the other dogs who have 4 legs or feels depressed for themselves. Dogs aren’t like that. A dog loses a limb, then immediately the dog learns to run fast and sometimes faster than they did with 4 legs. They don’t care! Dogs with 3 legs are just as happy as those with 4 and overcome any obstacle that may come their way.

I hope this blog post has made you think what truly is a dog before calling that word to someone as an insult. Thank you for reading!

Think outside the box

How are you doing? How is work going? Talking about the weather. Predictable questions and statements we have become reliant and accustomed using. Small talk is a natural way connecting people in conversation making them feel at ease and comfortable.

Small talk is needed, but having that as a safety net always can stop you from discovering deeper and meaningful conversations. Finding out who that person really is, what makes them tick, and what is the reasons they do what they do involves more than small talk. Asking questions that really makes you think, allowing each other to be vulnerable can make the relationship stronger and bring fun.

It is easy to ask everyday basic questions, we do it all the time. Putting yourself out there can be awkward and embarrassing and the worst scenarios are played out in your mind which stops us from taking the plunge.

It is about putting yourself on the line. If you’re not willing to do that, then how can the conversation grow?

Instead of asking how is work going? Ask, have you got anything you are working on that you are excited about? With anything in life requires effort and making the conversation progress requires effort.

Here I have a Podcast and a video which inspired me to write this blog post. The links are below!

Modern Love- The End Of Small Talk Podcast: http://www.wbur.org/modernlove/2017/03/22/the-end-of-small-talk-modern-love

Vanessa Van Edwards interview- Stop Being Boring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pT3xamrI1E

Hope you enjoyed! Share your thoughts in the comments. Thank you!

 

Motivation

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as president of South Africa. He was sentenced to jail for 27 years by the South African Apartheid government for standing up against a government that was committing shocking human rights abuse against black South Africans. He was released from prison in 1990 and went on to lead the way for the abolition of apartheid in 1994.

What motivated Nelson Mandela to not give up was he wanted South Africa to be a rainbow nation free from injustice. He sacrificed his freedom in jail for his dream so others could be free.

He faced every challenge and obstacle that came his way. That right there should be motivation for anyone who is wanting to be able to achieve something in life despite the odds not being in their favor.

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Being motivated can be found external, but wouldn’t last as long as motivation that comes from internal.

An example would be a child who nags their parents for a toy at the shop and gets it. The excitement is all there, but eventually, the toy would lose the child’s interest. When the parents try another tactic and make the child do chores in order to get pocket money to save up that instills responsibility, discipline, gratefulness, appreciation and to really think carefully what they want.

Motivation doesn’t always come easy. To boost your feel-good hormone and motivation hormone called dopamine it starts with what you feed your body. What foods you eat can affect your moods which can affect how motivated or unmotivated you are.

Motivation is inside us all but could be suppressed when things get tough and all we want to do is give up. In moments like this digging deep inside yourself to hold onto what fuels your soul and gives you a reason to get up in the morning is what life should be about.

Here are some people who share what motivates them.

Bex- My mum inspires me. She’s been through difficult times in her life: my dad cheated and left her with two young children, she has had endometrial cancer and had a full hysterectomy, and throughout it all, she’s never stopped working.

She’s always supported my brother and I and pushed us to be the best we can be. She’s never let us go without, and it’s her who motivates me to get up and go to work in the morning, and who has helped me achieve all I have done. She’s my best friend and I pray that one day when I have a daughter we have as strong a relationship as we do. Twitter: CoeliacAbroad Instagram: WanderJumper

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Jeswin- Well, my motivation is music. Listening to music gives me a special kind of positive energy to do work and everything.

My favourite music is Ludwig Van Beethovens A melody of tears and 5 Secrets. Twitter: JeswinPThomas Instagram: JeswinPThomas

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Adam- I guess the thing that motivates me most each day is being positive! By doing that, I know I’ll always have a great day. Twitter: thepeppygleek

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Mezoo- Making people feel happy by my art. I mean as an artist, I accept drawing and art requests for free because I seek to share happiness with people and this is the most thing that motivates me.

I believe people need to feel happy and the smile they give after seeing my work is the pay I take, so I never feel down or disappointed because I know my work is going to change something. Instagram: Mezoo_art

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Thank you for reading! What motivates you? Share in the comments. I would love to know! Until next time.