Just A Brief Blog (I Hope)

     Happy Thursday!!! I am hoping to keep this particular blog entry brief for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is  that its a beautiful day outside and I want to enjoy it before I go to my volunteer training for the Warm Line.

       I just want to update you on what’s been going on the last couple of days since I didn’t blog yesterday. If you been reading my blog you know I was suppose to have a job interview yesterday. It got rescheduled again. This time it was due to miscommunication with the interviewers. I am a getting a little annoyed with the rescheduling thing. Its next Wednesday at 10am. I was disappointed because I was already on the city bus half way there. Since the interview was rescheduled that means I could go to my volunteer job at the homeless shelter. I emailed the supervisor saying I would be there and she said to come in cause they had to shut it down for the day because of plumbing issues that had to be fixed by the time it was check-in time for the clients to get beds for the night. Thankfully they were able to open for the night. Unfortunately, I am unable to volunteer at the homeless shelter next Wednesday due to the interview being rescheduled for that day. I really hope I get the job because of the interview being rescheduled twice.

     Well, my grandparents are going to be in town later on today because my grandma has an appointment at a Parkinson’s Center because there is no one in near her rural town that specializes in Parkinson’s. I love my grandma dearly. She and my grandfather helped my dad raise me. It saddens me to see my grandma struggle with Parkinson’s.  They wanted to have dinner with me tonight but I cant because of my volunteer training for the Warm Line so I am going to have dinner with them tomorrow. My grandparents are staying at my dads. I am so looking forward to her cooking. I love my grandma’s cooking. I just wish I could have some her cooking  tonight but I have training.

     I am looking forward to my volunteer training for the Warm Line tonight. I am hoping I learn a great deal from this training. The cool thing about volunteering at the Warm Line is that I will be able to take various types of training regarding mental illness, suicide prevention and other such topics. The cool thing is that most of the trainings will be free to me because of me being a volunteer and low income.

     Anyway, I better get going. Like I said I wanted to keep this blog entry brief and unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. Well, have a good Thursday everyone. Peace out!!

Tuesday Night Rambling

     Today was another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Before I go on about my ramblings I want to tell you about my celebration last night regarding 1,000 day of being out of an inpatient unit. Well it turned out that roughly 50 people showed. Some of the people that were there came as a shock to me because I didn’t realize that cared. It is nice to know so many people care about me and my recovery. The best part was that my own dad was there. It was nice that my dad is supports me in my recovery process.

     Something I did today in regards to recovery was start training for a peer run Warm Line. A Warm Line pretty much always run by Peers. When I say peers I mean people who are in recovery from a mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders. A Warm Line is designed to help others struggling with a mental illness and/or co-occurring disorder. The training for the Warm Line is 5 weeks long at 2 days a week and 4 hours each day. If you do the math that is 40 hours of training before you are a call taker on the Warm Line. I love being of service to people and if being of service to people means volunteering then I am more than happy to volunteer.

     I unfortunately am not going to be able to go to my volunteer job at the homeless shelter tomorrow because I have an interview with another program at the agency that runs the shelter. I don’t like missing my volunteer shifts at the shelter for any reason because I really enjoy volunteering in the shelter. At least missing the shift is for a good reason which is for the interview. My interview is 10 o’clock in the morning and it will last about two hours which why I am not going to make it to my volunteer shift. I wont make from my place and back in time because I would want to change and I take the bus. I really hope I get the job even if that means that I have to quit my volunteer job at the shelter. See I cant be a volunteer and a employee at the same agency even if its in a different program because of conflict of interest and L&I laws. Even though I will be sad to have to quit volunteering at the homeless shelter if I get the job, I really want the job. If I get the job then the volunteer job at the Warm Line couldn’t have come at a better time. I really want this job because its time for a career change for me. Wish me luck with the interview.

     Well, I should get going because I want to be well rested for my interview as well as being as prepared as possible tonight so I am not rushing tomorrow morning. I really don’t like feeling rushed. Its one of the worst feelings one can have.  Anyway, have a good night everyone. Enjoy the rest of you Tuesday night. Peace out!!

1,000 Days

     Happy Monday, Everyone!!! Today, marks 1,000 days since I was last discharged from a inpatient psych unit. Hence, the reason why I titled this blog entry 1,000 Days. For me 1,000 days is a major accomplishment. This is the longest that I have been out of the hospital for psych reasons since I was a teenager. Being out of the hospital for 1,000 days just shows on how much I have accomplished in my recovery and of course I had many people who have helped with this process.

     I guess if I really look back my recovery process started back in 1999. Yes, my recovery process started 15 years ago. I may have not been in recovery with my mental health for 15 years but I have been in recovery from the eating disorders for that long. In my late teens and early twenties I considered myself a Christian. In fact I was highly involved in the Christian community. I share this with you because its part of my story of how I am in recovery with both Anorexia and Bulimia. Being active in the church I was attending and being a huge “Christian” music fan at the time, I had heard of this place called Mercy Ministries. Mercy Ministries is a place for “troubled young women” with all sorts of issues including eating disorders. The thing that drew me to Mercy Ministries at the time was that it is Christian and free. At the time it was the best choice I made. In fact to this day I don’t regret making the decision to go all the way to Nashville from the West Coast of the United States. I did graduate from Mercy Ministries and it is one of the greatest accomplishments in my life. I as a thirty-something may not consider myself as Christian anymore and am happy that as a twenty-something Christian, I made one of the best decisions in my life. I may not agree that I was healed from Anorexia and Bulimia but I do believe that because of Mercy Ministries I am in recovery from both eating disorders. I haven’t had any relapses with either eating disorder but I do struggle on occasion with the urges of the eating disorders. I believe that both eating disorders are a life long struggle and it is a choice I make to give in to those urges or not. I choose to not give in to those urges.

     Now that you know where I my recovery started or at least with the eating disorders, now let me tell you about my mental health recovery. My mental health recovery is much more of a rollercoaster ride than my eating disorder recovery. My mental health recovery started October 2003 when I entered an intensive two year out patient Dialectical Behavior (DBT) program. At the time I entered the  DBT program I had been in and out of inpatient psych wards and hospitals more than 40 times. That’s more times than my current age. While being in the DBT program I was required to get a job which I am beyond grateful that I was required to do. In fact the job was a requirement for the second year of the DBT program I was in. If it wasn’t a requirement for me to get job I wouldn’t haven’t gotten a job and I am forever grateful that it was a requirement because I have been employed with same employer now for 9 years. The two years I was the program I only ended up in an inpatient unit once. I graduated from both years of the DBT program (first and second years).

      After I graduated from the DBT program in November 2005 I decided to go back to the current mental health agency I seek services at. Since going back to the current mental health agency in February of 2006, I have had a high turn over of clinicians and many more hospitalizations. In fact if it wasn’t for my last clinician switching to a different team in the agency, I wouldn’t have gotten my current therapist. I have had my current therapist since December of 2008. In fact Diana is the therapist I have had the longest in all the years I have been in therapy. Diana has helped me a great deal in the last 5 1/2 years. In fact if it wasn’t for  Diana helping me through the pain I have struggled with and still struggle with I wouldn’t have been able to stay out of the hospital for 1,000 days. Diana is one of many people who have helped me in the last 11 years. 

     Over last the last 11  or so years of mental health recovery I have found out a lot about myself. For instance when I was in DBT I realized that I am passionate about politics and got involved with it. I stopped for a long while when I started working and now I am wanting to get back into it. I also realized with one clinician I had that I am bi-sexual. I thank the universe that I figured out I was bi. Yes, my boyfriend know I am bi. I have also realized how much I love music and collecting comic books. I love Wonder Woman comic books. I got into collecting comic books. I am not only collecting Wonder Woman but Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and X Men. When I was in the height of my mental illness I stopped playing the flute and decided about 2 years ago to pick it back up and to start teaching myself to play the harmonica again. I also realized that I not only love rap and alternative music but country music as well. I also enjoy jazz. I also realized that I really enjoy reading and that I love reading Classic Literature. I tend to read memoirs and autobiographies of those who struggle or have struggled with mental  illness. I also enjoy reading mysteries, horror, sci fi and fantasy. I am telling you all this because when you are struggling with a mental illness you don’t realize what you like or enjoy and if you do know what you like or enjoy you forget about it because mental illness sucks the life out of you. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to educate myself about my particular diagnosis as well as the latest research regarding mental illness, therapies and meds. Another major thing I have learned or come to realize is to depend on my natural support system.

     Speaking of my natural support system they are throwing me a barbeque because of being out of the hospital for 1,000 days. They know its a big deal for me. I just wish they weren’t making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. This small barbeque is turning out to be a party. I just wanted it to be about 12 or so people. Apparently there are more than twenty people coming because they want to celebrate my success of 1,000 days. I know its a big deal but I wish they weren’t making it out to be a big deal.

     I better get going. I need to get ready for the barbeque. I am suppose to be there at 5:30(pacific time) and its now 4:22pm. I should get going and allow my support system to celebrate this day with me. Peace Out Everyone!!

Last Day Of Vacation

     Its an absolutely beautiful day in the neighborhood. I spent this Sunday afternoon at a baseball game with my boyfriend. My boyfriend and I saw a lot of his co-workers there its always good to see people I consider family even if they are not blood. I love baseball even if the team I am rooting for looses. I had a blast like I do every time I go to a baseball game. I of course had my hot dog, Pepsi, slice of pizza, and garlic fries like I do at every game I attend. You would think that I would be full after all that food but I wasn’t.

     Apparently, I had enough room in my stomach of mine to have a steak at a barbeque I went to with my boyfriend after the baseball game. The barbeque was at one of my boyfriends co-workers place who happens to have a swimming pool. In fact this particular co-worker of my boyfriends is the person I consider to be my second mom or my other mother. She more of a mom to me than my own mom has ever been to me. So I of course ate the steak and had more food which include corn on the cob, potato salad, 3 pieces of chocolate cake and more Pepsi. It being a nice beautiful sunny warm summer day out, I of course went swimming. I love swimming and according to my boyfriend and our friends I should have been born a fish. Hell, that’s nothing new to me; I was told that all the time when I was growing up.  I enjoy myself even if I was acting like a kid (and a fish) for while.

    I think its okay to act like a kid every once in while especially since I have to go back to work tomorrow and start acting like an adult again. Today is my last day of vacation and I had an absolute blast today. In fact I enjoyed this entire vacation. I have to say that the best part of my vacation was spending time with my little brother. I really don’t want to go back to work tomorrow but its a reality I have to deal with. In fact its a reality a lot of have us have to deal with. I am hoping that I wont have to work at my current employer for much longer.

     The reason why I am hoping to not be working at my current employer much longer is because I have a job interview this Wednesday. I am really hoping I get the job I am interviewing for because nine years working at a grocery store is just getting to be too much for me. I am grateful for my current employer and being employed at the grocery store has helped a great deal with my recovery process.

      My recovery process has been a journey. That journey has not been easy. In fact today marks 999 days since I was last discharged from a psych ward. This is the longest I have been out of an inpatient unit or hospital regarding the mental illness I struggled with since forever and a day. The first time I was hospitalized for psych reasons I was only a teenager so 999 days out of the hospital is a good thing. I will be blogging more about my recovery process and being out of the hospital for so long tomorrow.

       Speaking of tomorrow I need to get going and make sure I have everything ready to go to work for tomorrow. I don’t even know if that last sentence made sense. Anyway, I will blog again tomorrow and I will be blogging about my recovery process. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Peace out!!!

Everything From Hiking to Intimacy to Blogging & Other Such Things

     It’s still Saturday and it has been an amazing one at that. My boyfriend and I went hiking and had a picnic in the woods. It was romantic having a picnic in the forest. This wasn’t the first time we had a picnic in the woods. Being out in nature with the person you love tends to bring you closer together.

     Being closer to my boyfriend is always a good thing especially when it comes to intimacy (sex). When we got back to his place after hiking we became intimate. It feels so good to be able to trust someone enough be intimate with. See, when you have suffered severe childhood abuse and other traumas you tend to not trust people especially when it comes to intimacy. For me trusting my boyfriend with sex and intimacy is a major deal and he knows that. That is why when we are intimate with each other he is gentle and patient. He is amazing in bed. Yes, I do have his permission blog about intimate moments with you all.

     The reason why he is cool me sharing about the intimate moments is because he likes what I am trying to do with this blog. He likes the fact that I am not only trying to help people who struggle with mental illness and show them that recovery is possible and that hope is out there but to educate “normal” people (like him) about mental illness. In fact my boyfriend is one of the people who encouraged me start this blog. He is what I call a normie. A normie is a normal person.  A normal person is someone who doesn’t struggle with a mental illness or any other disability. My boyfriend really hopes that this blog reaches normies because he wants it to prove to them that people who struggle with a mental illness do live productive lives and are loveable. Yes, he says some moments are more difficult than other moments but he is more than willing to stick it out with me. All I want with this blog is to show people who struggle that there is hope and recovery is possible. I also want to educate those who don’t struggle with mental illness that we are like everyone else and that we live productive lives. Yes, everyone who has a mental illness has a different way to be productive but so does everyone else in this world.

     Speaking about being productive, this next few weeks are going to be quite productive. I go back to work this Monday after being on vacation for a week. This Wednesday (July 30th) I have a job interview. Then this Tuesday (July 29th)  start volunteer training for a peer run Warm Line. The training is twice a week; Tuesdays and Thursdays for five weeks. Each day of training is four hours. So eight hours of training each week for five weeks equals to 40 hours. I am looking forward to this training. For me being productive is going to work, volunteering and going to various training in regards to peer counseling and volunteering. Another way that I am being productive is by voting. I voted in the primary elections. I want to make sure that my voice is heard and one way for it to me heard is to vote.

      Being heard is a big thing for those who struggle with a mental illness. I want to be a voice for those who cant speak up for themselves. I hope that I am that voice on this blog. I am hoping that one day I can educate you all on the particular diagnoses that I struggle with or have struggled with. I want to make sure I have the correct information before I share it. For example what the DSM 5 says about the diagnosis as well as the definitions from the dictionary. My desire is to educate those who may not understand what it is like to deal with a mental illness.

     With all of that being said, I should end this blog for now. I kind of want to have more adult fun with my boyfriend. I hope everyone had a good Saturday like I have had. Peace out and enjoy the rest of your Saturday.

Just Another Beautiful Saturday!!!

     Well, it’s another beautiful Saturday and I am planning on enjoying it especially since the household chores are done. The bathroom is clean, laundry is done and my least favorite the dishes are sparkly clean. I like getting the household chores done first so I can get them done and out of the way so I can have fun the rest of the day or in this case the rest of the weekend.

     My boyfriend and I are going to go hiking again today. We are going to go in about an hour or so. I love hiking and so does he. I am grateful that I live in a big city that is only an hour or two to great hiking as well as some pretty good camping. Today, my boyfriend are only going to go hiking because this time of year the great camping areas near by are usually all filled up. Plus we like campsites that require some type of backpacking and those are at are about a 4 hours away by car plus another 3 or so hours hiking. I love camping especially backpacking type camping. In fact once my boyfriend finishes the frying up the chicken we are taking on the hike we will head out.

     My boyfriend is the sweetest man in the world. He is always so caring and loving. He is always thinking of fun things for us to do on days we are not busy with work and other such things. Its awesome that we enjoy a lot of the same things and have similar interest. In fact he loves it that I am a huge sports fan. We are both die hard baseball and football fans. He is a die hard soccer, basketball, and hockey fan while I am a die hard  track & field, roller derby, skateboarding, rollerblading and surfing fan. Its nice to have someone in my life who enjoys sports as much as I do.

     I best be going and help my boyfriend pack up the car for the hike. Have a great Saturday everyone. Enjoy the weather. Peace Out!!

Being Proactive About My Future

     Happy Friday!!! I have enjoyed my vacation immensely. It was great to see my brother for his birthday. Hell, I had fun seeing my brother. I always have fun seeing my brother. I’ve also been having fun with my boyfriend. In fact my boyfriend and I went hiking today and we both had a blast. We both enjoy going out in nature. It was nice that both my boyfriend and I had our vacations together and spent in it with each other. My boyfriend goes back to work on Thursday and I go back on Monday.

     I may not like my job but I am looking forward to go back to work. I am looking forward to going back to work because at the end of the day (no matter how good or bad it was) I have a sense of accomplishment. That is a big deal for someone who deals with a mental illness. Working at a grocery store is not easy and it is a thankless job a good portion of the time. Another unfortunate part about working in a grocery is that your schedule changes every week. I just wish the schedule didn’t change week to week. I’ve been working in the grocery store business and at the same employer for 9 years now its it time for a change.

    In fact I hope that change comes soon. I have a job interview on Wednesday for the agency that runs the homeless shelter I volunteer at. I really hope I get the job. Its a set schedule. I would only have to work two days a week which would be 15 hours plus get paid at least $2 more an hour than I do now. If I do get the job I will be a little nervous about changing jobs because I have been at my current employer for 9 years. Another thing is that if I do get the job I will miss my co-workers and some of my customers. My co-workers have become like family. I really want this job. I am trying to not get my hopes up because I haven’t even had the interview yet. I know the job I have an interview for is only a Consumer Aide and not Peer Counselor position, its at least a step in the right direction to get a job as a peer counseling.

   Speaking of a step in the right direction I am going to be starting training to be a volunteer call taker at local peer run Warm Line. The training is four weeks long, two days each week and five hours each day which equals to 40hours. I am wanting to volunteer on the Warm Line for many reasons. The first and main reason is that I want to help others. The second reason is that it looks good on a résumé. The third reason is that if I do get the job as a Consumer Aide that means I have to quit my volunteer job at the homeless shelter. You cant be employed and a volunteer at the same agency due to the job description and legal reasons with liability. I can understand that. I have really wanting to volunteer for the Warm Line for quite some time now and haven’t felt ready to do till now.

    Another thing I got involved in this past week is that I became a volunteer advocate for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). A field advocate for AFSP basically emails there senators and congressperson(s) to encourage them to support or not support bills regarding mental health as well be a resource for the politicians. I figure that I want to be involved with politics some how that this a good way to get involved plus it regarding another thing that I am passionate about which is mental health. I am still debating weather or not to put this on my résumé. I know it will look good on one but not sure how future employers would take to it since it involves politics. Its something to consider. In fact I sent my first emails to my congressman and both of my senators introducing myself. I hope I can be a good resource for them.

    Another good resource is NAMI. I am a little frustrated with them right now because the just cancelled the peer to peer class I was suppose to take. This is the second time they cancelled it and both time they cancelled it was because the lack of interest. I find that difficult to believe because I live in major metropolitan area. Actually, I live in a major city. Another reason why I am I am frustrated with NAMI is because I am still waiting to hear back about volunteer with them. I sent them a volunteer application a month ago. I don’t know how long I should wait on about becoming volunteering with them. I think when Monday comes around I will call them to see if they even got my volunteer application. I know that if I do eventually start volunteering for NAMI that I will put it on my résumé.

     Well, now that I bored you all with about being proactive about mental health I will end this particular blog entry. Plus I want some intimate time with my boyfriend. Well, have a good rest of you Friday everyone. Peace Out.