Nothing Makes Me Feel More Worthless and Just Stupid Than My Spelling

Man, there is nothing that makes me feel more worthless and just stupid than my spelling and grammar! When you read my blogs, you might not think I have a major problem.  In reality, it took me years to improve my basic writing skills.  I’m dyslectic!  That diagnosis was given me back in 1979.  Today, I think it would have been ADHD.  Reading and writing is a CHORE for me!!

Even now, my spell check has given up on me!  To understand the embarrassment and horror, you would really have to walk in my shoes...In a world powered by data and information, it's "crucial" to express yourself clearly in the writer world.  When I was 13, my reading level was only 3rd grade. It didn't help that while growing up, my father called me "stupid" and belittled me at every chance!  It’s no wonder I’m crazy!

I remember this one time, while he asked me to spell one word… He made me sit on a chair for 8 hours until I could spell it! Once I spelled it correctly, he made me spell it out loud over and over again… I was ten; the word “information.”

By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

Five Steps to Overcoming Anger by W. Robert Nay, PhD

Today, W. Robert Nay, PhD wrote an "Awesome" post on his blog that I wanted to highlight.  Dr. Nay is a clinical psychologist in private practice and Clinical Associate Professor at Georgetown University.  He is the author of  Taking Charge of Anger and Overcoming Anger in Your Relationship.

In his post titled, The ABCs of Overcoming Anger in Your Relationship he gives us 5 steps to a good relationship.

Here are Dr. W. Robert Nay's five steps to overcoming anger in your relationship… accompanied with 5 of my cartoons:

By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

Mental Health and Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders

Cartoon-A-Thon’s  Mental Health Hero: UPDATE
It's the 22nd!  Yes, we are coming to the last few miles of mental health awareness.  I planned on drawing all week but due to work and some kind of jaw/tooth pain, I've been sidelined until today.  For the last few weeks, the pain came and went.  I went to the doctor yesterday cause...OUCH, the pain was so severe!!  I've always had a high tolerance to pain.  Well, when you consider my past issues with cutting and branding, you  have be able to take what you're dishing out to yourself.  Still, constant building pain can be overwhelming...meaning, I want this pain over with and fast!!  I know a lot of you reading this understand what I'm talking about first hand.

Now, I'm at the doctor's office and right off the bat she tells me, 'my symptoms sound like TMJ.'  I have to get a CAT scan to rule it out.  Other issues could be a tooth thing and then another possibility... (She did not specify since she did not have all the facts)  I'm thinking cancer but she assured me, most likely, it's TMJ.

I found this info on a website about TMJ.  When I read the symptoms, I had and "AHAAA" moment.  I bolded all of the symptoms I've experienced over the past few weeks.  This is not the first time I've dealt with this thing. It's just the first time the pain was off the scale!

By Chato Stewart of Mental Health Humor

How Much Time Does It REALLY Take to Draw a Few Cartoons?

Have you wondered why I volunteered to draw 31 cartoons (caricatures) for my Cartoon-a-Thon’s Mental Health Awareness Month Project??  Someone questioned me the other day as to why I volunteer so "little" time toward mental health advocacy.  Implying drawing these cartoons and caricatures could never match her 3 hours a week of volunteering at a local mental health service (names withheld to protect the uninformed).

I’m not on SSI and have to work even when I’m symptomatic! I have to push through the depression or mania to make sure my wife and 4 children have food and we have a roof over our heads.  Sometimes, it does not always work out so smoothly! For example, my cartoon below, reflects what a few of my mental health movements consisted of… Me moving!!


Cartoon-A-Thon’s Mental Health Hero: May 15th UPDATE

Cartoon-A-Thon’s May 15th  Mental Health Hero:  UPDATE
I can't believe the month is half over!  I had to work a lot this week and that put me behind in my drawing.  I knew sitting down today, I had to draw and ink at least 8 people... I was only able to do 6 and a half.

Before getting started, I knew I'd need some encouragement and motivation.  So, I tapped into my Facebook friends!  Let's take a quick look at some of my friends' replies:


TODAY I DRAW! I've been working all week at my "REAL" job. You know, the one that pays the rent. I'm 5 days behind on the Heroes... Today I will try and fix that... Send me some encouragement and motivation... Stroke my ego please and pray my pens are full of ink... I'm heading and there is no stopping till it's... drawings are done or I'm done.

Here's what a few of my friends said:


Cartoon-A-Thon’s May 10 Mental Health Hero: Bonnie Neighbour

Cartoon-A-Thon’s May 10 Mental Health Hero:

Bonnie Neighbour
Today's Mental Health Awareness Month Hero is Bonnie.  She is known for letting her voice be heard.  More often then not Bonnie is "Vocal" for people whose voice has been silenced by the stigma of mental illness.

She volunteers an average of seven hours a week to various health community projects including several peer-run programs.  As Advocacy Coordinator for the Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership (VOCAL), the Virginia state-wide mental health consumers' network, she is involved in changing the mental health care delivery system for Virginia.  She feels privileged to support others who are trying to do the same thing.

Are you listening? Let it be heard, today's Mental Health Hero is Bonnie Neighbour.  Thank you Bonnie for being a good "neighbor" -- keeping your voice VOCAL for all of us!!


Mental Health Humor Cartoon-A-Thon’s May 8 Mental Health Hero: Ken Jensen

Cartoon-A-Thon’s May 8 Mental Health Hero: Ken Jensen
I was introduced to Ken Jensen in May 2008 when Alicia Sparks did a blog post series called, "This Is Why I ROCK! "  At that time, I was just starting out on my journey with Mental Health Humor Cartoons.  However, I did have a precise and direct focus on how the cartoons would be used to help my peers.  The post she wrote about me is called, Success Story: Using Mental Health Humor As A Coping Skill.

This is how I met Ken.  It's best that I just quote Alicia, since her introduction is what kept me reading his story.
"Ken Jensen puts us through psychiatric boot camp with his system for surviving bipolar disorder...  Ken Jensen is a former soldier – not just any soldier, but a Marine. (“A MARINE!” I’m reminded of Marty Maraschino in Grease every time I say that. What can I say? I’ve always been partial to the devil dogs – ex-husband aside.) -  Bipolar Survivor Ken Jensen Explains Why It Takes Guts To Be Him."
I knew as soon I started drawing Ken, I wanted to bring out his strength.


Cartoon-A-Thon’s May 7 Mental Health Hero: John Grohol

Cartoon-A-Thon’s May 7 Mental Health Hero: 
John Grohol
Psych Central is celebrating 15 years as an online community!  Doctor John was and is a "visionary" when it comes to cyber mental health.  Dr. John Grohol's Psych Central is the home of  "down-to-earth, reliable and objective mental health symptoms and treatment information."  A place to come when you need help and a place to come to share experiences that are helpful.

When I sat down to draw him today, I could not help but think about all the work he has done online.  I envisioned "DocJohn" as a programmer ("USER") from the 1982 movie, Tron.  With his battle disk in hand and a shield to ward off stigma, he pressed forward....
"How are you going to run the universe if you can't answer a few unsolvable problems?"
This quote from the Tron movie is asked by Kevin Flynn (Played by Jeff Bridges).  I think that "Psych Central" is the answer!