Hello, I am JJ ODonnell. This post is about who and why I am starting this blog. I have two main reasons for starting it. One I hope this can be a form of therapy for me and hopefully can help others with this blog. Second is to practice my writing skills.
When I was young I used to like to write. I would write poems and short stories, unfortunately many of them have been lost in my many moves over the past two decades. Then for some reason I stopped in my early 20’s, most likely I just got to wrapped up in the chaos that was my life for so long. I have been diagnosed and dealing with Major Depressive Disorder. I have a hard time finding enjoyment in many things, I am always tired and I hated myself and others. I have secluded my self in my home, except for work and even that is hard at time and of course the really bad thoughts about myself.
Over the past couple of years I have been trying to get stuff together. Before that my depression had taken a large toll from me. I had 2 hernia surgeries in the span of 2 years. My family had moved back home to Minnesota from Florida, where I was still living with my with and step daughter. This is where I really felt trapped I loved my wife and step daughter, I still do care for them dearly. I also despised living in Florida and missed Minnesota so bad. I ended up moving back to Minnesota and filed for divorce. She was not a greedy person despite what some people would have you believe. All she wanted was for me to be happy and get the help that I needed. The only material thing the divorce took from me was the lawyers and court costs. I could go on but I will save the rest of the details of my descent in future blog posts.
Fast forward 2 years, In 2014 I here on the internet about this Young woman who stood up to the Taliban in Pakistan so that girls had a right to an education. Malala Yousafzai’s story stirred something in me. “With all the death and destruction in this world here is this kid at the age of 15 was shot and came back a couple years later to win the Nobel Peace Prize.” I said to myself. ” This young woman can take on a ruthless extremist like the Taliban. Look at me I am almost 40 and have not done?” I asked myself again. So I decided to make a loose plan to get me on the right track. What am I good at? What inspires me? And what do I want to do? I realized I wanted to go back to school to become a teacher, specifically Social Studies. I also realized I want to try and help people as much as possible. So, I also want to join the Peace Corp and help out around the world. I also feel if you are going to teach about other cultures I should at least experience a few other cultures than just the American Culture. This way I can be able to put context into my teaching tool chest. I also had to get help to battle through my depression and went to the VA.
Which leads me to here. I just finished up a group counseling class at the VA (Veterans Administration) Hospital here in Minnesota. The class was called CBSST (Cognitive Behavioural Social Skills Training). In this class we are taught how to think of things in different way using critical thinking skills. I started this class 3 months before I started back to college, in September of last year. Now I am About to go into my Third semester of college at the end of August. I use school as a form of therapy for me. It is a place where I can exchange ideas with people and become a custom to more social situations. Instead, of hiding from the world.
I am doing this to learn as much as for therapy. So if you have constructive criticism it is welcome. If you have questions or need clarification about anything do not be afraid to ask.