Welcome to the latest installment of my interview series!
Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on. (Including bloggers like Krystle!)
That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.
This is our twenty-sixth installment of my interview series, Meet the Blogger, all about Krystle, a fellow blogger.
Interview series questions
First of all, tell me a little about yourself.
I’m a relatively new blogger who focuses on mental health, self-care, education and resources, and poetryon Journey to Peace Within. On my “day job,” I’m a Psychosocial Rehabilitation Counselor for children for a community mental health center. I provide counseling services for children who have displayed issues with their behavior at home or school. I have my masters in social work and have spent most of my career working with individuals living with a mental illness. However, my first professional job was at a domestic violence center providing assistance for survivors of domestic violence.
In my personal life, I consider myself a poet who needs to write and perform more. I have so many ideas for poems floating around in my head and I feel like I never have time to write them down. I also live in South Florida with my inspiring, beautiful mother and my loveable, greedy, dog, Shaggy.
What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community?
I’ve been blogging, consistently, since April, 2019 (I fell off between September and November). I posted for the first time in April, 2018. I blog mostly about my journey living with Bipolar, Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’m also connected because I’m in the mental health field. I believe that my own experience having a mental illness and being hospitalized helps me to have empathy and understanding for the clients I work with. It can be a curse and a blessing at the same time.
What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?
I don’t think my blog is considered successful, yet. I do know that making it successful is hard work. Working as a counselor, helping my mom, making sure Shaggy is not neglected, writing poetry, blogging, promoting my blog, and taking care of my mental health makes it difficult to post consistently. At this time, I don’t find it hard to come up with material to post. I’m constantly coming up with ideas. It’s the promoting and posting consistently that is difficult.
What is the biggest challenge the mental heath community faces?
Even though we have come a long way, stigma is still a roadblock for the mental health community. I see it especially in my Caribbean Community. I have known some people that believe that therapy is “airing your dirty laundry in public.” We need more outreach in the Black/Caribbean community to educate and provide resources in the community.
In addition, at least in the states, receiving mental health care is expensive. It’s depressingly expensive if you don’t have insurance. Since I have worked in a few mental health clinics, I know that even though they are mostly free, they are inundated with clients. So, getting the care is a challenge for the mental health community.
What are 5 things many people do not know about you?
1. I wanted to be an actress when I was younger. I actually practiced giving my Academy Award speech in the mirror with a barbie which substituted for my award.
2. I’m horrible in math. I almost didn’t graduate high school because I couldn’t pass the math section of my state exam.
3. I’m obsessed with natural/green skin care. I love meditating with a moisturizing or clearing mask.
4. My first love of writing was actually fiction writing, not poetry. I want to write a novel. I have notes on an idea right now.
5. I’m a procrastinator. However, I think most people already know that about me.
What is your favorite book and why?
When I was younger, I was an avid reader of fiction. I enjoyed books from Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Omar Tyree, and others. Currently, I’ve been lacking in the attention span department. When I do read, it’s mostly non-fiction, inspirational books. I listened to an audio book by Elizabeth Gilbert called Big Magic. I loved it. It’s excellent for anyone who considers themselves a creative. I am also a huge fan of Brenè Brown.
What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?
I usually talk to my mom or call one of my friends; if it’s a really rough day. I’m trying to practice self-soothing techniques like playing with Shaggy, meditating, exercise, writing, or just taking a day to do nothing.
What makes a person brave?
“People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.” I agree with this quote from Brenѐ Brown. Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. It’s being true to who you are. Every time a person shares their story of abuse, mental illness, any difficult or crippling situation they experienced in their past, they are being vulnerable; a badass. That takes strength.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?
I aim to be an empathetic person by trying to put myself in that other person’s shoes. Excuse the cliché. Due to the type of work I do, I feel that I must have this character trait in order to be effective.
I’m funny. At least I think I am. When people first meet me, they think I’m serious. I’m just shy and need to warm up. With people I’ve known for a long time, I’m constantly joking around and laughing.
I’m painfully shy. Places with large groups of people make me extremely anxious and I just don’t know how to act. I’m terrified to say anything or do anything that people might see as stupid or offensive. I’m also an introvert. Sometimes, a group of people can exhaust me and I need a break by spending time alone.
What is your biggest flaw?
I’m way too cautious. I’m afraid to travel alone, to speak my mind, and to take risks. However, writing on my blog is a huge step for me to show people the real me. Due to my blog, I’m becoming surer of myself and my talent.
What is your greatest strength?
I would say my greatest strength is my ability to remain calm during a stormy situation. I’ve been told that I have a calming effect on other people. I might be boiling up inside with anxiety, but outside, I’m a like a sip of Chamomile tea. At least, that’s what I’ve been told.
What is your best childhood memory?
It’s pretty sad, but my childhood memory has been disappearing as I get older. I do remember going to New York City, Queens, and spending my winter breaks and summer breaks there. I would stay in my Aunt’s house and play in her basement; even though I was terrified of the dark laundry room in the basement. I remember the smell of the basement and pretending to be a bartender at her bar. Her backyard was the best when it snowed. It was a pillow white when the ground was covered.
Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?
This is a good question because I don’t know. I hope that I’m still blogging consistently in five years. I hope that my audience will increase to more than just family and friends.
While I do love their support,, I’m hoping that my blog reaches more people and more people comment on it.
Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?
I hope the stigma of receiving mental health care or support decreases a great deal in the black/Caribbean community. I’ve been seeing a lot of changes in that regard. There is a radio personality named Charlamagne Tha god who discusses issues regarding mental health in the black male community. I see it becoming more acceptable to receive help.
Who do you follow to stay updated on all things blogging and/or mental health? Share their links below!
Of course, I follow Jen’s blog, Diffusing the Tension
I read, listen, or watch stories of people who live with a mental illness on This is My Brave: https://thisismybrave.org/stories/
I follow my friend, and fellow poet/writer, Mackenzie Littledale on Blogspot. She is in the middle of querying her manuscript for her book about someone who lives with Bipolar: https://mackenzielittledalewrites.blogspot.com/
I don’t know if I can add a podcast to my list, but I listen to Kara Loewentheil’s UNF*K Your Brain. She’s a Master Confidence Coach. You can listen to her on Sticher.
I just started following Koral Dawn’s blog: theunsanityblog.com
Spence’s blog: themindberg.com
The last two I read up on them on Jen’s Meet the Blogger posts.
About the Author
Hello! I’m Krystle Nicole, author and editor of Journey to Peace Within. My main goal is to help people who are living with a mental illness through telling my own story about living with a mental illness and providing resources/education and a safe place to share. I’m a dog lover, book lover, poet/writer, and a blogger. I have my masters in social work and have experience assisting people with a mental illness.
Social Media Links:
Thanks, Krystle, for participating in my interview series, Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!
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