The Blogger Recognition Award


Some people don’t care for Blogger Awards or have mixed opinions. Personally I deeply appreciate being appreciated. It is encouraging to know people hear me and even though I am working on feeling worthy of awards, I know that my voice counts. Thanks so much to  Kat from, a Mental Health Blog, for this nomination and most of all her kind words. To be nominated for an award is wonderful; but, to be recognized for being “humble and honest” means even more. Kat writes about being a mom and taking care of her daughter who struggles with several mental health issues. Please check her blog out at you

I started my blog as a place to share my journey back from a severe mental breakdown in 2005. I got stuck on my About me page for 2yrs before I came back and moved on.  I took some blogging courses here on that set me on my path. I try my best to share my life and my struggles as a woman with mental illness. I am inconsistent and disappear for a months at a time; but, I always return and am always welcomed. It is a home to come in out of the storm. 

My advice to beginner bloggers would be not only to write about what you are passionate about; but, also what you know. I have tried to write about other subjects; but, having mental health issues is something I know about, therefore, I will always have something to write. Also, learn how to free write. This is something I am still working on. As you are writing your post, just let it out and then go back and edit. I have a habit of trying to perfect it as I go along and then lose my momentum. Lastly, read other blogs; it is good to observe what others are writing and how they have their blogs structured, and best of all, it is how to build your community.




My nominations are to people whom I’ve traveled through this blogosphere for a while now. I respect them, their creativity and bravery to share their stories. I wish I could pick more than ten, because everyone who shares themselves deserve recognition. ❤













To participate in the Blogger Recognition Award:

1. Show your gratitude to the person who nominated you and provide a link back to the person’s blog.
2. Give a brief story on your blog.
3. Share two or more pieces of advice for beginner bloggers.
4. Choose 10 other bloggers to nominate.
5. Comment on each blog, letting them know they’ve been nominated and provide a link to your award post.

Update: Graduation&Restoration

herbalist certificate

Wow! I did it! I actually graduated and am now an herbalist! I fantasized about sharing the journey along the way; but, my life was spinning ever since I began my plant journey in April. I was swept up in a tornado of magic, self discovery, and the growth and pain that accompanies it.

With the very first drumbeat of opening circle at orientation class, something deep within me stirred, emotions welled up and burst forth in my heart. I knew I was home. I had returned to my sacred self. The part of me that carries inner wisdom of healing, intuition, and magic.

The journey along the way only continued to prove this path I had begun. Our very first class we learned about flower essences and herbal extracts/tinctures. I sat in the rain next to a plant and ‘spoke’ with it for a good amount of time. Then I asked for it’s essence and proceeded to make medicine with it. I unlocked the part of me inside that believes in communing with nature.

I am amused by the irony that years ago, a state psychologist evaluated me for a program that offered permanent disability assistance. There was a question that asked if I believe flowers talked to me. I had a really hard time knowing the right thing to put down. I honestly thought, of course they do, just not in a language we are familiar with; but, I knew if I wrote that, they would think I was more crazy than I’d already been labeled. So, I simply wrote no. I smiled remembering my mother and how she taught me EVERYthing had feelings and how magical she made my world; but, I was too broken to find it on my own at the time.

I was soon to realize that I am no longer as broken as I thought I was. The fact that not everyone graduated, made me realize how capable I really am. I found over 110 plants in the wild and pressed them for my materia medica. I completed 60hrs of physical labor in the gardens, where my deep love for the plants blossomed even more. I made it to all but one class, made herbal products and kept up with piles of homework. Then I successfully presented my final project with a 17pg paper!

As the course proceeded, I came head to head with every inner saboteur that lied within me! Every self doubt I had seemed to manifest in some sort of way. Either chaos surrounded me, grief enveloped me or good old fashioned panic attacks that kidnapped my breath and logic. There were times my heart pounded and pain radiated in my arms convincing me this was it, the big one! I should just give up, I can’t do it, I am not good enough…With every step, I pushed through another personal barrier.

With every barrier I crossed, I built a deeper relationship with the plants, nature and myself. Much to my surprise I developed relationships with the staff and classmates too! With my social anxiety I never dreamed of being able to be comfortable in my skin long enough to make (shall I dare say), friends! Wow!

I waited 18 yrs to take this apprenticeship, and I now know that I was there exactly when I was supposed to be, with those particular people in that moment of time. We helped each other through and now share a forever bond and journey. Though our paths may be separated, the goal is the same. To use our gifts and of nature to help heal ourselves, others and the planet.

This course gave me my mojo back; reconnecting me with not only the magic of my mom; but, helped me find my own unique magic that I never believed I had. This journey renewed my relationship with nature and helped me heal myself and offer healing advice to others. It gave me a community, a tribe, a home. 

What now? Restoration!

As much as my enthusiasm wants me to race off and begin again, I have finally respected the value of rest. I am tired and worn.

The weekend before my graduation I had a reunion with some girlfriends to celebrate one’s 50th birthday. It was a wonderful time and a beautiful realization that while we are no longer the ‘hot thangs’ we once were, we are indeed incredibly beautiful in a wise and empowered way. It was the first time seeing some of these women in about 25 years! I was deeply grateful that I had come far enough to attend.

Then, my final presentation and graduation was an all day event, that my best friend and my daughter shared with me. An incredible ceremony that left me in simultaneous shock, contentment and elation.

The weekend after my graduation, I was in Pa for a huge family reunion, which had its pros and cons. The joy of seeing us all together, for some of us it has been many years, crossed with the emotions and stressors that are expected with holidays and mental illnesses, depleted my system, and I became slightly ill.

These were three life time events all back to back. I learned that even good emotions are overwhelming and I am at a point of much needed resting and regrouping. Nurturing my health with herbal remedies and taking time to process all that has occurred. 

My car is broken down and I am not sure how to get through the month; but, if it’s one thing I have learned, is that I WILL make it! I am taking advantage of down time and catching up on cooking and cleaning. Two things that went mostly undone for a long time now. 

Last winter I started my antidepressants to prevent seasonal depression. This winter, I am using herbal adaptogens and nutritive plants to sustain balance. I have found a tiny bit of inner peace that take all my effort to maintain. Yoga helps. I am trying to stay grounded with herbal roots and root vegetables. Staying in the moment and returning to writing are my focuses. 

I am so grateful that I have this blog to come home too! I want to share details on everything I have learned. I want to tell you about my experiences, my conversations and even my crazy dreams that I had along the way. I want to put my knowledge to use and make some medicines and self care products. I want to revamp my blog and then begin to share ways that will help my readers heal too!

My course may be over but another journey begins ❤

Right after some well deserved restoration! 😉




Hearts As One Drum Beat Award

Thank you my dear Amity for passing this award to me. I am terribly sorry that it has taken so very long for me to post it. It sat in my drafts for a whole year! However, it does NOT mean it isn’t special. It is an absolute honor to be viewed as a blogger who shows empathy and speaks from the heart.

This award was created by Sue Dreamwalker. Thank you so much Sue for creating such a lovely award. It is my belief if we all spoke our truth more often, we could develop compassion and understanding for one another, and prejudice and judgement would be unknown words.


The rules for passing this award on:

“Within their posts whether if be through Poem or Word

Caring for others is a must for this Award

Be it through laughter or Humour

Photograph or Story

Love and Compassion 



I’d like to share my Love is post here. It was an exercise that my writing sister Krissy invited me to participate in a while back. The challenge was to write about Love in ten sentences. Here is what I wrote:

1. Love can be illusory; but, it is seen with the soul.

2. Mislead people think love will make them whole.

3. Self love is the highest of good.

4. Love is often misunderstood.

5. Love is not obsessive or out of need.

6. Love should not make your heart bleed.

7. Love is meant to be given unconditionally.

8. Money can’t buy love; because it is free.

9. Whether it’s family, friends or a lover;

10. Love is an emotion like no other.

Spreading the love and passing the drum onto a few of my lovely blogging peers:


These and so many others here on wordpress have reached out to me and share their innermost feelings. I love you all!!! 


The Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Thanks so much Ms. Ethel Duck! Your blog Diary of a Recovering Codependent is truly inspiring. I am honored to receive this award from you.

This award isn’t like the others and is special to me because it acknowledges being a loyal fan and reader. I do pride myself in trying to keep up with reading the blogs of my peers. It’s challenging at times; but I feel it’s so important to show my respect and support.

If it weren’t for the support of my readers, I am not sure I’d be blogging still. It’s their loyalty that keeps me sustained.

Here are the rules to accepting the award:


I apologize for bending the rules; but, it was impossible for me to list only 15 and very difficult to stop at 20. Whether you frequently like my posts, or comment in times of need; I thank each and every one of you that has stopped to read my words.

Here are but a few of you:





















The next part of accepting this award is to list 7 interesting facts about me. I’m not sure what constitutes interesting; but, here goes:

  1. My name: I am named after the Virgin Mary. Maria is the greek version of Mary. I also don’t have a middle name, because it’s greek tradition to use your father’s name; but, my mother protested. My greek last name is Kritos; however, when my grandparents came to America it was misspelled in translation and became Kriton. I use my mother’s maiden name Fairbrother. I always thought Maria Fairbrother would be a great name if I had made it as an actress.
  2. When I was 8yrs old, I decided I wanted to be a movie star. A dream I carried well into my adulthood.
  3. I attended both Modeling and Acting school. I worked as a model for many years, hoping it would lead me to an acting career.
  4. When I was 22yrs old, my movie star ambitions derailed; and I became an exotic dancer. I climbed this career ladder for 16yrs, and worked as a burlesque style showgirl traveling across the country.
  5. I was 25 when I moved to Hampton Beach, Nh. to perform in a Hypnosis show based on Star Trek. My hypnosis partner would later become my daughter’s grandfather. We also traveled to La to perform in Star Trek conventions where I had the oppurtunity to meet some of Star Trek’s cast members! Seeing Hollywood disillusioned my movie star dreaming heart. It was not as glamorous as I pictured.
  6. When I moved to Hampton Beach I also opened up a new age shop with my mom. It was called Mystic Visions. My mom did psychic readings and I made and sold candle, soaps, jewelry and more. These were very happy days.
  7. I met my (hypnosis show) partner’s son and fell in love. At 29 yrs old, I moved to Alaska in hopes of beginning a new phase of life. My relationship didn’t work out but a week after I came back home I found out I was pregnant! A new phase of life indeed!!!

None of these intriguing tidbits beat the fact that at 38yrs old, I lost my mom and had my nervous breakdown, leading me through the most interesting journey of my life. I am grateful you are all here with me. 🙂


The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thanks so much to Charitha Subramanyam for nominating me to receive The Sunshine Blogger Award! Please visit her blog to follow her “adventures.”

The rules for accepting this award

1) Thank the person who nominated you.

2) Answer the questions from the person who has nominated you.

3) Nominate some other bloggers for this award.

4) Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated.

5) Notify the bloggers you have nominated.

Here are Charitha’s questions :

1) Given a chance what is that one thing you would change about yourself ?

I’d like to say that I wouldn’t change a thing, because it has taken me an entire life to try and accept myself the way that I am. I guess it would be to change my lack of self love. 

2) What is that one thing you are proud about yourself ?

For most of my life I’ve beat myself up; but, I’ve learned to be proud of myself for even just being here on this earth still. After all I have survived, it is a miracle that I am intact.

3) What is the reason behind the name of your blog ?

Labeled Disabled represents not only the fact that I am on disability; but, the feeling of being labeled (&forgotten). I hate the fact that we humans label and categorize everything and everyone! It’s part of my journey to break free from the labels and move beyond the disability.

4) Which is the last movie that you watched ?

Frances, Excellent movie portraying the story about Frances Farmer, starring one of my favorite actresses Jessica Lange.

5) While answering these questions which site is open on the other tab of your browser?

Yahoo Mail

6) What is that one thing… if you loose ..will drive you crazy ?

My compassion

Here are my nominations;













These are my questions:

1) Who is the person you admire most? This person can be anyone; dead or alive, known personally or a celebrity, superhero, etc.,

2) What has been your most difficult challenge in life?

3) What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?

4) What motivates you to blog?

5) What annoys you most?

6) What brings you joy the most?


The Premio Dardos Award

A big warm Thank you to Amity for this nomination!

Please visit their blog, Amity Out Of This World for some incredible poetry.

Premio Dardos is a Spanish word for “Prize Darts.”

It’s an award given “in recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.”

I am deeply honored to have my writing recognized in such a manner.

The rules for this award:
Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and link to his or her blog.

2. Include the image of the “Premio Dardos” in the post.

3.Pass the award to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment.

Here are my 15 nominations:

The Encouraging Thunder Award

My friend Darren Scanlon of The Pen And The Page nominated me for this award last month. I had been feeling pretty down and this news helped lift me back up.

Thanks so much to you Darren! If you haven’t checked out his blog, you really should. From poems to protests, his blog always entertains!

Part of accepting this award is to explain why I blog. Initially, it was just to share my story and hopefully inspire a few people along the way. The mission is the same, only more pronounced.

It took me two years and a blogging course to move beyond my About page. My journey has been overwhelming at times; but it’s led me to finding my authenticity, and believing in who I am.

This award and the continued encouragement I receive helps me get through the tough times and persevere. I am determined to really open up and share what I’ve been through and where I am going; because now I know for a fact that I am inspiring people. That is why I blog; to know that my words helped another person.

Mental illness still has such stigma and people who suffer with it have an impossible time to believe they are good enough and strong enough to survive. I am here to tell them they can!

I have met many wonderful peers here and by reading their stories of survival, I am inspired. Here are my nominations for the Encouraging Thunder Award.

Thank you for reading and sharing!

Rules for accepting the award

Post it on your blog.
Add the Encouraging Thunder logo.
Grant other bloggers the award.
Mention your purpose in blogging.
Thanks the person who nominated you .

You like me! You really like me!!!







I’ve had a pretty dry spell lately, blogging wise. There were complications after my surgery, and I was in too much pain for awhile. My depression kicked in and kept me down. When I finally felt well, the words didn’t come. Hence, my blogger’s block post, and adding to the frustration, I spilled a drink on my computer and had to get a new keyboard.

Feeling pretty discouraged and dispirited, I needed an emotional boost. Suddenly something exceptionally special happened! My wonderful peers have nominated me for four awards in three weeks! I can hardly believe it! I am deeply honored and extremely grateful for this acknowledgement. Each meaningful award arrived at a time when I desperately needed a cheerful thought. Sharing my inner emotions and memories is a challenging task at times; but, when I am informed that I have inspired, I am brought to tears. It is the number one reason I am here.

I’ll be busy for the next week or so writing my individual “acceptance” posts. Meanwhile, I just have to give a shout out and big loving thank you to The Pen and the Page, Amity and Charitha  Subramanyam, for not only renewing my inspiration; but, for your beautiful words as well.

I believe we all have a unique story to tell and in sharing that story, we all connect not only as writers and bloggers, but as human beings. Thank you all for being a part of my journey.




The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!!!


“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
― Maya Angelou

Thank you!!! I am deeply grateful and honored to receive this award. When I was taking the Blogging 101 course,  I met an incredibly awesome and supportive community. The blogging course may have ended but the loving support continues.

I have met so many wonderful peers that are inspiring to me, including Nicole Davis whom bravely blogs about her life with lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome. I thank her for nominating me for this award. Check out her blog Triumphant Wings.

The Very Inspiring  Blogger Award is especially important to me. I feared for so long in beginning this blog. It took me two years to work up the courage. Various thoughts of anxiety plagued me; but I finally did it. I thought to myself if even only one person is inspired by my words, than I’ve succeeded. I did not expect this amount of encouragement. It’s  because of my “dream readers” and this award that I am evermore inspired to keep writing and sharing. Thank you and Blessings!

“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

inspiration photo: Inspiration ththinspiration.jpg

The  rules in accepting this award is as follows:

  • Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Hmmm, it’s a little challenging to come up with something new. I’ve previously stated 22 facts about me in accepting my Liebster Awards.  The facts in my first Liebster were heavy and intense; while the ones in my second Liebster were trivial and light. Let me see if I can come up with a happy medium 🙂

7 irrelevant facts:

1) First of all, one of my favorite numbers happens to be 7, along with 3, 11 and 13.

2) I have an addiction to books and magazines. I have stacks of them everywhere.

3) I have two tattoos. A dragonfly on my right shoulder and a black cat on my right ankle.

4) I am half Greek; the other half is French, Scottish, Irish, English and a splash of Native American.

5) My two favorite shows when I was little were Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.

6) I have a scar on the right side of my neck.  I was 13 yrs. old when I overheard the doctors talking about me possibly having cancer. When the doctor removed my lymphnode  he laughingly told me it was Cat Scratch Fever. I got several Ted Nugent albums during my recovery.

7) I have burn scars on my neck too. Embarrassed to say, they are from trying to use a curling iron with a broken hand.

Okay that’s enough of me, onto my nominees. I find many of my blogging peers inspiring, whether they are sharing their art, poetry, photos, stories or struggles. Here are 15 very inspiring bloggers:

1) This Sick Foundation

2) My Experience with Lupus

3) Maria Brinkley, artist

4) Perspectives on life, universe and everything.

5) Prayer For Anxiety

6) Living, Learning and Letting Go

7) 50 Shades of Me

8) Disordered Self

9) Otrazhenie

10) An Ever Changing Writer I am

11) Nitya Nata

12) Human Relationships

13) Kelzbelzphotography

14) The Bipolar Bum

15) Birth of a New Brain


inspiration photo: Inspiration scan0003.jpg

Another Liebster!!!


Wow! Another Liebster Award!! Thanks so much to Lyralla for the nomination who just accepted her third Liebster. Congrats! It’s great to be a part of each others journeys.

I can’t begin to explain how much it means to receive so much encouragement from my peers. This blog was in my mind for years before I ever had the courage to start it. If I had known that this wonderful community existed, I may not have waited so long.

Well, without further adieu; a refresher of the rules:

  • mention and/or provide a link back to the person that nominated you
  • state 11 facts about yourself
  • answer 11 questions by your nominator
  • nominate 11 other worthy bloggers that have under 200 followers

The 11 facts I stated in my first Liebster were pretty serious; so I’d like to be a little lighter this round.

  1. My full name is Maria Fairbrother.
  2. I am a proud mom of a teenage daughter named Serenity (whom isn’t always serene, lol).
  3. I love nature, I find it very healing.
  4. I am a big believer in holistic health and the necessary balance of body, mind and spirit.
  5. I love to write, but sometimes find it difficult and/or draining.
  6. I enjoy crafts such as, beading, dreamcatchers, drawing, painting, photography (basically any creative outlet).
  7. I am a cat lover. Though I love all animals, I have owned cats my entire life. Presently I have three.
  8. I am 46 years old. (ugh that one kinda hurt)
  9. I enjoy exploring metaphysical studies.
  10. I like to read. Though, I mostly read self help, philosophy, etc., I recently started reading fiction. I love the escape.
  11. Speaking of escapes…I secretly love the video game The Sims and play whenever I can.

Aaah, that wasn’t so hard. Now for the questions.

  1. What time is it where you’re at?   Ok, that is easy. It is now 9:41 am.
  2. What did you want to become when you were 6? – If you still remember…  How could I forget? I wanted to be a movie star. It was a dream I pursued for many years and ended up on many different paths because of it.
  3. Describe your best friend in three words!   I have two best friends which sadly I haven’t been in touch with lately. I will fix that! One I have had since 6th grade. I would describe her: Sweet, Funny, Supportive. My other best friend I’ve known for about 20yrs. We have the same birthday; but she is 11yrs older. She is Spiritual, Wise, Fun
  4. What has been your biggest challenge in life so far?  Another two part answer. I’ve been through several traumas; but, my mother’s death was the hardest. The biggest challenge has been putting my life back together since with a heightened awareness of my mental disorders.
  5. Are you happy?   Ironic, my daughter asked me the same thing last night. Yes. I am happy that I am living the best possible life I can and will continue to improve it.
  6. Do you have allergies?  Yup. I have asthma. I am allergic to many animals. (I know, I shouldn’t have cats), also pollen and dust.
  7. What is your favorite dish?   Well, a full one is always good! But seriously I love spanokopita. It’s a greek spinach and cheese pie.
  8. You’re in an amusement park: what ride are you afraid of?  Love the roller coaster but strangely enough on the ferris wheel I always get a little nauseous. I think it’s the height.
  9. Do you believe in love at first sight?  Yes, but unfortunately that stage of love doesn’t last long.
  10. Describe your first kiss!  Playing spin the bottle with my best friend and our “boyfriends.” Unfortunately, she ended up kissing my boyfriend and I ended up kissing hers for our first kisses!
  11. What is the first thing you think about when I say / write “Belgium”?   Mmmm. The Belgium chocolate stash I have in the freezer. Excuse me for a minute.

Okay, now that I got my chocolate fix, here are my 11 nominees and their questions:



  1. What is your biggest joy?
  2. Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
  3. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  4. What is your favorite song?
  5. Do you have a hobby? What is it?
  6. If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?
  7. If you had the chance to speak with any dead person, who would it be?
  8. What do you do to relax?
  9. What do you do to motivate?
  10. Describe in three words your future self.
  11. Why do you blog?

That shoud do it. Thanks again to Lyralla and all of my blogging peers! 🙂