Hey, I’m Gertie!!!! I’m new to this blogging thing and have absolutely no clue on what the hell I’m doing, especially since I accidently permanently deleted my very first blog which was under the same title. I just hope I can come as close as possible to what I said in my original first blog. With all that being said lets start by with me telling you the two main reasons why I am starting this blog. The first reason why I’m starting this blog is to educate “normal” (whatever the hell “normal” means) people on what it’s like to struggle with a mental illness on the daily basis. Not only that, but to show “normal” people that people who deal or struggle with a mental illness can be and is a productive member of society. Every person who struggles or deals with a mental illness has there own way of being a productive member of society just like “normal” people do. Yes, that means I personally struggle with a mental illness. It is my hope that if “normal” people read this that I will help stop the judgments that they may have about the mentally ill. If I help stop judgments regarding the mentally ill then maybe just may the stigma that goes along with mental illness will start to be eliminated. I want to eliminate that stigma. The second reason why I am starting this blog is to show those who do struggle with a mental illness that recovery is possible and that their is hope. Hope is key to the recovery process. I don’t want those who struggle with mental illness to think that they are alone in their struggles. Unfortunately, having a diagnosis of a mental illness is a life long battle however there are a handful of diagnosis that you can not longer meet the criteria for. If I was told correctly it’s most (not all) of the personality disorders. I know this because I no longer meet the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I tell you this because there is hope and recovery is possible. Now that I have gotten off topic, which I do quite often, let get back on the topic of the introduction to this blog.
As I told you earlier, I am Gertie. No, Gertie is not my real name. Gertie is a nickname that I received in the third grade. How did you get your nickname, you ask. When I was in Brownies (Girl Scouts) their were three of us with the same name. (We were also in the same grade at the same school.) My troop leaders decided they would give me a nickname and was happy to get one. In fact my troop leaders got the idea of my nickname from my last name. The nickname they wanted to give me was Gertrude(which is not my last name) but I told them I wasn’t having it. Well, I told them, “Gertrude sounds like a name of an old fogey.” My troop leaders as well as my troop laughed at that statement when one of my troop leaders asked “how bout Gertie?” I smiled, shrouded my shoulders and said “oaky dokie, artichokie.” That meant I was okay with the nickname Gertie. I chose Gertie’s Journey as a title to name my blog because I’m Gertie and it’s my journey. Plus, Gertie seems to have a better ringtone to the word journey than my given name would. I also chose Gertie’s Journey because I want to be as anonymous as possible because of the stigma that goes along with having a mental illness. Since I’ve gone by my given name during my adulthood (Side Note: Their is one exception to this and that’s when I was a young adult and will be explained at some point in time), I figured Gertie was a safe nickname to use. Plus I like the ring that goes with Gertie’s Journey. I said that already, didn’t I. See, I told you I get off topic and as you can read, I am long winded. Now back to the topic of the Introduction to Gertie’s Journey.
As a thirty-something I’ve realized that I may not be where I want to be career wise but I have figured out who I am and what I am meant to be in this life. See, we as humans, finally figure out in our early thirties, hopefully, who we are and our place in this world. We also figure out what we are passionate about. I know what I am passionate about. I am passionate about mental health advocacy and recovery. Yes, I am passionate about it because of my own struggle with mental illness as well as having family members who struggle with a mental illness. I think my passion for mental health is the reason why I want to go into the field of mental health as a Peer Support Specialist or Peer Counselor. (Side Note: I will definitely explain in a later blog what a Peer Counselor is). I know I am meant to be a Peer Counselor even though I don’t have a job (or career) as one yet even though I do have the certification. Yes, I have applied to jobs to become one and even have had interviews but no job offers as of yet. Even though I have not been offered a job as a peer I will NOT let it get me down. I am too far in my recovery to let it get me down. I am passionate about mental health because I want to help eliminate the stigma of mental illness. I hope someday in my lifetime that there will be no more stigma attached to mental illness but realize that is not likely. I figure if I can educate just one “normal” person about mental illness then I’ve done my job and maybe just maybe a domino affect will happen. Educating just one person will help with the elimination of stigma that goes with mental illness. I’m just as passionate about mental health recovery. Recovery is a core aspect of being a Peer Counselor. If it weren’t for my recovery with dealing with my mental illness this blog would never have been started. I’ve realized that I’ve become off topic once again as well as being long winded.
Since, I’ve been so long winded I’ve decided to end this blog entry. I don’t want you the reader to become bored or uninterested with my blogging. Plus, I’m sure in time with my future blogs that you will get to know me. I hope I have not bored you to death with my blog and hope that you continue to read. I hope to get you interested enough that you follow my blog. Until next time, have a good day or night or whatever the case maybe in whatever part of the world you may be in.