Not Alone – Strawberry Singh’s Monday Meme

In light of Strawberry Singh’s Monday MemeSecond Life Made Me Learn Challenge”, here’s my contribution for today. I will warn you upfront, this is a more serious post than I’ve ever done before and possibly a little heavy so I won’t blame anyone for scrolling past my answer to her Meme and heading straight down to “the look”.

What Second Life made me learn doesn’t lie as much in software programs or discovering hidden passions. I dabbled in Photoshop and imaging software long before Second Life existed, I never used WordPress but I’ve been writing fiction since I was 15. I messed around with 3D mesh stuff before I ever discovered Second Life, many thanks to the Sims! My biggest and most valuable lesson lies in something else entirely; Second Life taught me that I’m not alone and I’m not broken. All my life I have struggled with depression, anxiety, the most horrendous mood swings and heavy emotional loads. Growing up it was often blamed on my parents’ divorce, a death in the family, I was wrongly diagnosed with ADD and whichever didn’t fit that label was filed under puberty instead. Once I hit my early 20s I found myself having dropped out of high school after having made several fiercely dedicated attempts to graduate and I was jumping from one job into the next. They never lasted long. I couldn’t make them last, somehow. The problems I had always had were still there and this time there was no puberty to blame it on, there were no deaths in the family and by then my parents had been divorced for a near 15 years. By all means, surely I should be doing better by now and be more stable yet I wasn’t. If anything, I was worse than before. Every few weeks, sometimes with a few good months in between, I’d call in sick to work. I wasn’t actually sick as in shaking with fever and nauseated but I was in that dark hole of despair again where I felt lifeless and the mere thought of leaving the comfort of my room, my house, send me into a massive panic attack. Getting dressed and setting up to actually leave the house would suffocate me, send my heart racing, have me break out in sweats and tears until eventually I’d just drop myself to the floor and cry. I was never able to explain this to my bosses, I didn’t understand it myself and I felt ashamed and how could I possibly hope for understanding and compassion from others when I had none for myself? I hated myself for getting like that, for lying about being sick and figured I was just a lazy and manipulative person. I deserved to get fired time after time for being such an irresponsible and selfish person. I didn’t know where the depression and anxieties came from, often enough there wasn’t a ‘trigger’ to pinpoint at all. I’d wake up like that and that was it for the next amount of days or weeks. Eventually I just told myself I was crazy and wrong, broken. I wasn’t the right kind of human being, I was a mistake that should have never happened. Other people were fine and normal, they’d go to work and make a career. They had no trouble getting out the door, they didn’t have a panic attack in the middle of a crowded mall and fainted as a result of it but I did so surely, I was just wrong and bad. Alas after being fired from my longest lasting job to date, one I actually enjoyed and was starting to advance in, I fell into the deepest and darkest hole of despair yet. I was unemployed yet again and all I had to entertain me, to keep me connected to the world somehow was this little ‘game’ I’d heard about on MTV. Second Life. Second Life resident Keiko Takamura was featured on an episode because she was a virtual musician. After watching the episode, thoroughly impressed, I joined Second Life myself and began my adventure expecting nothing more than some entertainment and perhaps social interactions. Along the way, I made friends and lost friends, joined venues and watched my favorite hangouts close down but more importantly, I met a few really close friends. People I genuinely connected with, felt comfortable with and through getting to know these people from literally all corners of the world I discovered one massive revelation; I wasn’t alone and faulty at all. I wasn’t the only person suffering from depression, panic and anxiety episodes. It wasn’t even an uncommon thing. Many people I met had similar issues and some were worse of than I was. I wasn’t faulty, I wasn’t broken or a mistake. I had a disorder. In a sense, I had never lied at all. I was ‘sick’ just not in the common sense and understanding of the word. There were names for these disorders and entire studies, something I just simply never knew because in the real world it’s often still treated as such a taboo. There’s a lot of stigma and misconceptions attached to any mental disorder and people don’t really talk about it openly. But they do online. I guess it’s somehow ‘safer’ that way. You don’t have to sit face to face with someone and tell them all these things, dreading the moment where you look them in the eye and see the disdain that screams “You’re a freak and psycho!”. The fear for a lack of acceptance and the fear of judgment is still very real even online but it’s somehow easier to cross that bridge when you’re on your computer at the other end of the world, safely in your own room. Being able to talk like that, make friends and find out that I’m not alone in all of this has really helped me accept myself more. It’s helped me understand myself and my ‘condition’ more. It’s even been very ‘healing’ towards my condition. I’ll never be fully ‘fixed’ obviously, I still have my episodes here and there but I guess you can say that nowadays I know how to handle myself and manage those episodes better because now I understand it more. Not always, but most of the time. Furthermore I’ve discovered that through this all, despite of how I am, I deserve to be loved and cared about. Something I had never known or felt before. My best friends and my fiance accept every single part of me. The dark despairing morbid part of me that sometimes rears it’s ugly head as well as the better sides of me. With them, I don’t have to be afraid to be depressed, to cry, to be upset and share my dark thoughts. I can talk to them, tell them every ugly part of it and they still love me. They still care, they’re still there. I can tantrum and scream and cry and bitch and push all I need to, they’re not going anywhere. I never knew such a thing existed but it does and that’s probably the most priceless lesson and gift I’ve ever gotten out of Second Life. That is what I’ve learned. I’m not alone, I’m not a mistake, I deserve to be loved, I am a good and loving person and if anything, I’m simply not perfect. And that’s okay.

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This month’s Uber is in full on Boho theme, one of my favorites. So colorful and rich, so cheerful and alive. The cockatoo on my shoulder was a gift from a friend. She’s very interactive and cheerful, she learns tricks and chats your ear off. Mine’s a flirt, hitting on anyone I’m hanging out with and she does ask to be fed but thankfully, feeding her is a simple menu option and totally free of charge. No breeding, no food to buy, just a loving and fun pet. I adore her! Oh and my Slink hands are the newly updated ones! I’m quite pleased, I love my updated multipack folder which has all hand types packed up in 1 single folder and size, the size which is now changeable via the brand new utility HUD. Great product update and if you haven’t gotten yours yet please do head on over to the Slink mainstore and hit the redelivery terminal.

HAIR: TRUTH HAIR Delphine – variety *NEW* @ Uber
BODY: Own shape & Maitreya‘s Mesh Body – Lara V2.1
SKIN: -Glam Affair – Angelica Cygana – Jamaica 03 *NEW* @ Uber
LEFT HAND: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands V2 – L – Prosper
RIGHT HAND: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands V2 – R – Victory
FEET: Slink AvEnhance Feet Female Flat
EYES: IKON Charm Eyes – Fjord *NEW* @ IKON
LASHES: *Mon Cheri* “Falsies”

TOP: -Pixicat- Bohemian.Top (Green) *NEW* @ Uber
SHORTS: Blueberry – Cossy – Denim Ripped Shorts – Blue *NEW* @ Uber
SANDALS: MG – Barefoot Sandals – Bali Gypsy
JEWELRY: Izzie’s – Coin Jewelry Set (silver) *NEW* @ Uber
SHOULDER PET: [ free bird ] My Pet Cockatoo – Green Crested

SCENE: All items are available at this month’s Uber
Kalopsia – Gipsy Shack (Cream)
N4RS Boho Sideboard
N4RS Copper Bowl
:CP: Falling Over Books
:CP: Delilah Blossom Prints – Floral B
:CP: Scattered Wine
:CP: Delilah Mirror
:CP: Delilah Bed – Blossom
:CP: Composition Notebook

 

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I’ll Rise Higher Yet

I’m starting to truly enjoy Mondays, mainly because of this; Strawberry Singh’s Monday Meme. I find them entertaining, inspiring, a nice challenge towards myself and I have a lot of fun doing them. Granted, this is only my second time participating but certainly not the last. Strawberry Singh is one of the people I most look up to in Second Life I guess and someone who inspires me to work harder on my photography and grow and without any creeper tendencies you’ll see some more of that below in the questionnaire that comes with today’s Meme Challenge!

For today’s outfit I went with one of my new favorite items, the Zenith ‘Dark Empress’ rare from this round’s Fantasy Gacha. My SL sis actually won it for me so I’m proudly showing it off along with Ikon’s brand new eyes. I adore Ikon. I’ve been wearing Ikon eyes since 2011 I think and very VERY rarely sway from them because his design is just so very good and the range of eye colors will fit most any look and situation. To top it off I’ve added some accessories from Aisling and I can honestly say, I’m quite pleased with the turn out.

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  1. Have you ever owned a sim in Second Life? – No
  2. Have you ever created content in Second Life? – Several times but I find more joy in buying other people’s creations. ❤
  3. Have you ever driven a vehicle in Second Life? – All the time, much to other’s dismay.. ahem 😀
  4. Have you ever gone sky diving in Second Life? – Not tried it unless you count jumping off of sky platforms because you can’t be bothered to TP back downstairs..
  5. Have you ever played a sport in Second Life? – Yes. To this day I’m part of the Global Online Hockey Association (GOHA) in SL playing.. well duh, hockey. 🙂
  6. Have you ever gone clubbing in Second Life? – I used to and I would DJ weekly but rarely these days.
  7. Have you ever fangirled/fanboyed someone in Second Life? – Not hardcore gaga but I’ve stumbled upon Strawberry Singh a few times at FaMeshed which made me a little giddy though I kept quiet cos I’d feel odd IM’ing someone I don’t actually KNOW know. I did IM my bestie and went “Omgah Strawberry Singh’s here too!”.. still not a creeper though!
  8. Have you ever taken a picture of your avatar in water in Second Life?– Plenty.. I love love LOVE the water in both my lives. Pretty sure I was a mermaid in my previous life. Either ways, I make happy use of the water in SL also for mirroring effects. (thanks again SS!)
  9. Have you ever taken a picture of a sunset in Second Life? – Yeps! I no longer have it but it was one of my very first (and quite poor) snapshots in SL.
  10. Have you ever taken a nude picture of your avatar in Second Life? – All too often. Is it weird to enjoy your own pixel nudity and curves? Hmm.
  11. Have you ever dated in Second Life? – Yep.. Second Life is where I met my boyfriend who I then went to meet in the States first for Halloween 2013 and then for Christmas and New Years 2014/2015 during which he proposed. It’s been over 5 years now and still going strong.
  12. Have you ever had or attended a wedding in Second Life? – Yep. Married some idiot when I was like, 2 months old in Second Life.. split up 2 months after that. Attended and planned several weddings but never married my RL guy, I half feel like SL weddings jinx things because I always see couples splitting up within a month of joining their pixels in holy matrimony.
  13. Have you ever drank, smoked or taken drugs in Second Life? – Yes to the first two.. no to the third unless someone slipped something into my drink! I’ve even taken up SL vaping!
  14. Have you ever engaged in sexual activity in Second Life? – Hahahaha. Yes. Within the first 30 minutes of entering the grid I was dragged off to some Japanese girl’s home and she managed to get me on a bondage cross. Mind you I’d been stuck on Help Island having no clue how to get out of there or do anything so I was happy with her help and blindly followed every instruction she gave me.. After that I ran off but it’s never scared me away from any type of SLexing 😛
  15. Have you ever been to Bukkake Bliss in Second Life? – Not yet but I’ve on occasion mapped a friend and spotted them there.. one of these days I’ll have to go see what the fuss is about!

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BODY: Own shape & Maitreya‘s Mesh Body – Lara V2.1
HANDS: Slink AvEnhance Hands Female – Casual
FEET: Slink Female Feet (AvEnhance) XS – High
HAIR: *ARGRACE* UREI – Dark Brown
SKIN: Glam Affair – Sia skin ( Fairy Tales ) – Jamaica 05
EYES: IKON Charm Eyes – Ice *NEW* @ IKON
LASHES: *Mon Cheri* “Falsies”

BRA: Zaara : =Zenith=Black Tribal Beaded Bra – RARE *NEW* @ Fantasy Gacha
SKIRT: =Zenith=Black Tribal Beaded Belt Belly skirt -RARE *NEW* @ Fantasy Gacha
HEADDRESS: =Zenith=Dark Empress Wreath – RARE *NEW* @ Fantasy Gacha
HANDS & BRACELETS: .aisling. Endora Bracelet & Hands
BOOTS: **Dirty Princess** Madame Butterfly Princess Boots

 

Tale As Old As Time

I’ve always seen these but never participated before. Usually want to but a lack of time or downright insecurity tends to get the best of me. Today however, I couldn’t resist! Strawberry Singh‘s Monday Meme! A movie character meme and after reading that the wonderfully stunning Emma Watson is going to be portraying Belle in the new live-action Beauty and The Beast.. well the choice was easy. I’ve actually spent most of the day looking for the right dress and hair and eventually decided to use a Meli Imako kit and retexture the dress myself to make it look-a-like. For the hair I actually combined 2 different Truth Hair styles (some editing and hair breaking was required!) because the Belle hair I had just didn’t quite work. There’s no new items in this post but nonetheless, I’m quite proud and I hope you’ll enjoy! ♥

 

 

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HAIR #1: TRUTH HAIR Devinna
HAIR #2: TRUTH HAIR Honey
SKIN: -Glam Affair- Romy Jamaica
EYES: IKON Hope Eyes – Green
LASHES: *MC* “Falsies”
LIPS & TEETH: .Loud Mouth. – Alli
BODY: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara

DRESS: Meli Imako – Mesh Off Shoulder Strap Ball Gown Wedding Dress (with own texture, no longer available)

BACKGROUND BUILDING: Compulsion Manor