Author Archives: Tessa

About Tessa

Teresa (Tessa) Smeigh at 60 plus is still going strong despite her disabilities affecting both physical and mental abilities. She has bipolar disorder (mental), Fibromyalgia (nerves), degenerative disc disease (spine), and arthritis (joints). Her new journey's include Diabetes controlled by insulin. She is also working on 2 fiction books (mysteries). The books will probably never be finished. She keeps her blog filled with useful content, occasional devotionals (She is a Christian), stories and poems. Plenty to keep you busy. She has also been interviewed by blogs and had other posts published on many different blogs. She is from Southern, NJ. Her family and blog keep her busy.

Where is Spring? 2015


Taken by Teresa Dean Smeigh

There is spring on my page. Picture taken on one of my nature walks with a friend last spring/summer. My friend and I spent a lot of time in the different nature areas in the state parks near the Pine Barrens in the state of NJ. It is hard for me to walk, but my doctor wants me to walk everyday for at least 30 minutes, preferably 60 minutes. Right now that isn’t possible although last summer we had gotten closer to walking at least a half an hour before I needed a break. Walking in the nature areas is softer and easier on my feet. I can’t handle walking on harder surfaces for long at all. The only major problem is that we have to deal with ticks. They freak me out and after our walks have to look for the little buggers.

My son dug out a space on the road so I could park my car out there and get in and out easily enough. The snow plow only does one single land sweep down the street. There are 3 cars here and my dad is in the driveway and my son and I are on the street. Between the trees and the way the house is positioned we are usually the last ones with snow. It is quite deep and very icy so it will take a while to melt.

As the weather gets milder I should start walking again and take my camera. I have a lot of digital pictures, but not sure if there are some I can use to spice up my pages. I need the picture to go with the post. I am finding writing a post everyday harder than I thought.

Today is Saturday and every Saturday my friend and I meet for brunch and talk about everything, but part of the conversation is geared to decluttering. I personally am a hoarder (low level) and have a problem letting go. This blog will also contain my progress once I restart. I just went through a severe depression and that halted my progress. I was manic for about 4 weeks and got so much done and then bam I started sliding backwards again. Perfectly normal state of affairs for me. Like I said in an earlier post “I want my mania back!”


Self Esteem/Paranoia – written in 2015

Self Esteem and Paranoia

I have severe Paranoia and very low self-esteem. Now in ways I think a lot of the Paranoia is linked to the self-esteem. If I felt more comfortable with myself then I would not experience such severe Paranoia. I can’t walk among people who are talking among themselves and glancing at me and laughing without being sure they are talking about me. I am slightly agoraphobic as large crowds and new situations and being by myself (in a crowd and new situation) really freak me out. I miss out on so much because I am so afraid of people laughing or talking about me. And I can tell myself that they aren’t even looking at me, but it just doesn’t work. It is even worse if I walk by someone and then hear a laugh. It can be paralyzing. I don’t leave the house unless I have to. I do on occasion, but I am living like a hermit if at all possible.

Now my self-esteem is so low I trip over it. Funny? Not! I have been writing ever since I was a child, but I was sure I was terrible no matter how many people told me it was good. I wanted to submit my writing and when I did and got rejected (still in my teens) I said I would never write again. I did write I just would’t show anyone. Many years ago (I am 62 now) I started to write again and I got brave enough to start a blog and post my work. I was afraid to push the publish button. What if people laugh at me or write something terrible? Well I finally pushed the publish button on in 2012 and my writing blog was born and it is fairly successful. I am over the fear of showing people my work for the most part. This is blog number 2 and it is more of my personal life and that can be difficult to write about since I suffer so many mental illnesses along with the physical ones. My dr wants to know what went on in my childhood that made me what I am today. There are some things I can’t put on here since they deal with family and friends or things I don’t want people to know. I have to remember that I am sharing this with the world.

Now as for my self-esteem I don’t remember much about it before my elementary school years. The first thing I really remember was having the chance to play an instrument in the 4th grade. I chose the trumpet. At the time girls didn’t play trumpets or trombones. We were supposed to play flutes and clarinets. So I knew from the beginning that the teacher didn’t want me in the band, but I stuck with it.

Now at home, of course, I had to practice and I hated people hearing me for one thing. My parents thought it would be nice for me to play for their friends. How embarrassing that was! I dreaded when they had company and forced me to play. A couple of years later my brother decided to play the trumpet too. That is when they shot me right between the eyes. My parents told me that my brother was better. Now maybe he was, but why would you tell me that? My self-esteem went lower. That was almost as bad as being told they loved him better too.

I withdrew more and more into myself. I was nice to me in my world. I read tons of books to take me out of my reality and give me a breather. They didn’t know I had mental issues and thought nothing of it. Just yelled at me to go outside to play and go to sleep at night. They did take my book and force me out, but they couldn’t force me to sleep.

I was bullied at school. I was a nerd. I didn’t have nice pretty new clothes. We couldn’t afford them. I got laughed at for what I wore. Kids are cruel. I withdrew even more. I did have friends, but they certainly weren’t the cool kids. I always felt like everyone was talking about me even if they weren’t. I would not repeat school again for nothing.

I am still paranoid and have low to medium self esteem. I don’t think I will every be comfortable in my own skin.

Stop the Bullying please. It really hurts and somethings are hard to forget!!


The Family Tree – originally written in 2015

I was raised by the 2 people who conceived me. Unlike many of my friends and a large majority of today’s households. My parents stayed married for over 50 years until my mom passed away in late 2013.

I am the eldest of the 3 of their children. I was about 3 1/2 years old when the 2nd child, my brother, came along and 4 1/2 when the youngest my sister came along.

Now the 3 of us have children of our own and even grandchildren. Hard to believe that my oldest grandchild is 17. (The oldest grandchild is now 21 and a Marine himself. He was in boot camp almost 40 years to the date of his grandfather)

Our family also consists of 4-legged children. One dog and one black cat. Neither one of them gets along with the other and the cat doesn’t like anyone although now she has fallen in love with my son. I think she loves him more than me sometimes.

We all miss my mom. She had Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia, but my dad took sole care of her to the end. She never went to a nursing home. We kept her with us. She is missed by a lot of people. She would talk to anyone who needed to talk. She wasn’t a professional counselor, but people were drawn to her and her advice. She never turned anyone away.

I was born and raised in southern NJ with a 4-year period spent in North Carolina due to my now ex-husband being in the Marine Corps. This meant that our 2 oldest children, both girls, were born in NC on the MCAS Cherry Point base. Our son 8 years later was born in NJ.

Now I have been divorced for 15 (20) years. I can’t completely wish it never happened because then I wouldn’t have my 3 children and they are a blessing.


Why Not? This explains to my new readers why I think I need to advocate for mental health! 2015

The stigma of mental health is one that needs to eliminated. I hereby pledge to do what I can about the stigma of mental health issues and to share my own experiences with these disorders.

I am very open about my life, my medical (physical and mental) problems and life in general. My medical problems are things I don’t have a lot of control over. Even the mental is open to conversation. I feel if talking about it helps just one person, I have done something worthy. Even though there is a stigma attached to most of my medical conditions I want to make a mark in this world so they become just medical conditions like cancer. I don’t feel like an outcast even when I shared with coworkers or my actions while manic caused a small ruckus at work. The way I figure it is that this is the way I am and I have to do with it what I can.

I have recently returned to God. I felt for a long time that there couldn’t be a God because why would God allow this to happen. Why would he make my life so miserable. They say God only gives you what you can handle. Maybe God made me this way to help others in my situation. Maybe this is my purpose. I haven’t felt too worthy of anything for most of my life. I didn’t feel I deserved much out of life because I wasn’t contributing much, but by reaching out to others I do feel worthy. I am working on accepting my purpose as I now see it.

So in answer to why am I talking about these things, my answer is – WHY NOT!

Why? For those that are new to this blog this is why I started this blog in 2015

I have asked myself this several times. Why am I writing this blog rather than working on my story/poem blog and the best I can answer is because writer’s must write something and I need to get a lot out of my system according to my psycho-therapist. I know he wants me to journal and to work on my childhood. Your childhood is what forms you and so it makes sense to try and work on that part of my life. I have resisted so far, but I find myself starting to get a little excited and if that means writing a journal style blog rather than my story/poem blog for now then so be it. Writing is writing.

If I am honest I am dwelling on things that happened in my past and they are overcoming my current existence. I will say I will be writing this in no particular order. I will write as the thoughts come so we can go from past to present and possibly even the future and back again. I find it difficult with my mental health to stay focused on the present. I am a worrier (someone has to do it) and so tend to constantly be thinking of multitudes of things at one time. My thoughts race due to the BiPolar Disorder and to add to that I have Borderline Personality Disorder which means my moods cycle more rapidly than someone with just Bipolar Disorder and I never know what mood I might be in. Go from mania to depression in 30 minutes or less and wonder how you would feel if you can. It is not fun. My family never knows what to expect from me.

I also have Anxiety and Panic Disorders, OCD (Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder), PTSD and possibly ADHD thrown in for good measure. The ADHD was never officially diagnosed, but I was on Ritalin for a while and it did help me focus better. Right now I can’t focus on anything much for very long. I start something and find my mind and body focusing on something else and before I know it I have 20 projects started and none completed and that adds to the hoarding problem I have. I am a low-level hoarder and you won’t find nasty food or animal feces all over. I have a cat and she has a cat box which thankfully she uses. I belong to several online groups for the clutter/hoarding and they are giving me positive support to help me through the experience of trying to  clean it all up. Will I ever get it all cleaned up. I would like to say yes, but it is doubtful as I work on it depending on my moods and with the mania I feel like doing it, but the depression I would rather stay in bed and that is usually what I do. I have made a difference in here during my last mania session, but now I am severely depressed and I really don’t care at this point. I am even starting to slide backwards. That is why I doubt it is possible to finally get it all cleaned up.

Speaking of support groups, I have gone to a local one in real life. Little bit harder to talk about these things face to face with a group. I do much better with online groups.

My head is full of things to write for this blog. Shame I can’t focus that on something more creative, but maybe a rest from that will be good for me.




Today’s sentence: “That’s not a litter box!”


Rules from:


Welcome to the new Story Starter Challenge!

Every day I will post a new sentence prompt. Use the provided sentence somewhere in your post. It can be a starting sentence, closing sentence, anything you choose. Read it and see where the sentence takes you.

Have Fun!


Bad Cat

By Teresa Smeigh 2019

“That’s not a litter box!” I swatted the kittens away.

They had just shredded my pile of bills waiting to be paid.



Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog



#Haikai Challenge #82 (4/21/19): Easter Lily #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

#Haikai Challenge #82 (4/21/19): Easter Lily #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga


This week, write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that states or alludes to the Easter lily

As always:

Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

Image on Pixabay

Easter Lilies

by Teresa Smeigh April 2019

while Easter lily

symbol of the purity

memory of Mary


Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog