I got the idea for this post from another blog, which I of course follow. Thank you Marci over at http://marcimentalhealthmore.com/ It means a great deal to be able to share ideas (and sometimes even still them with permission of course) with other bloggers. Yes, I did add, change not include some questions so I could make it geared more to my blog. .
1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging for two reasons: 1) to educate those who don’t have a mental illness in hope to lessen the stigma that goes along with it. 2) to show others who do struggle with mental illness that recovery is possible and there is hope.
2. How did you come up with the title of your blog?
I came up with the title, Gertie’s Journey because Gertie is my nickname and I would be discussing my journey along the way.
3. Why not use your real name in your title?
I originally didn’t use my real name because of the stigma that goes with having a mental illness. I now don’t use my real name because I work in the mental health field and need to protect my privacy.
4. Does that mean you have a mental illness?
5. What are your diagnoses?
As of right now my diagnoses are Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), PTSD, OCD and ADHD. So, I’m an Alphabet Soup. At one point in time I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I no longer meet the criteria of BPD and consider myself a Recovered Borderline.
6. Do you consider yourself in recovery?
Yup, I do!!!
7. What do you do to stay in recovery?
Most importantly, I make sure I see my therapist and psychiatric nurse practitioner (ARNP) on the regular basis. I take my meds as prescribed daily. I make sure I go about my regular routine even if I’m struggling. I exercise on the regular basis.
8. How are you, really?
Overall, I am doing pretty good despite having high anxiety due to PTSD symptoms.
9. How are you feeling right now? What are you thinking about?
Umm….I think I just answered this. If you can’t remember go back to the previous question (as I say sarcastically). I’m thinking about what I’m going to have for dinner. I’m also thinking about working on scrapbooks I’m making for people for their holiday gifts. Yes, I know the holidays are six months away.
10. What is your favorite color?
11. What is your favorite food?
Mac & Cheese, Strawberries, Mexican Food
12. What is your favorite dessert?
Strawberry short cake and peach cobbler
13. How old are you?
Somewhere between 30 and 39. (Said sarcastically) Honestly, I am in my mid-30’s.
14. What have you learned today?
I learned about Buddhism and meditation from a book I am reading about Buddhism.
15. What do you do?
I am a Consumer Advocate in a supportive housing program at local mental health agency.
16. What are some of your favorite books?
Enders Game by Orson Scott Card; The Stand by Stephen King and J.A Jance books. I also like many poems by Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Emily Dickenson
17. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, J.A Jance, Emily Dickenson, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou
18. What are some of your favorite movies?
BIG, Speed, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, comedies, horror, and many movies Robin Williams is in.
19. Who are some of your favorite actors?
Robin Williams, Winona Ryder, Betty White, and Will Smith
20. What kind of music are you into?
I like 80’s and 90’s music and I also like Punk Rock, Grunge, and alternative.
21. Who are some of your favorite musicians?
Nirvana, Tori Amos, K.D. Lang, Kurt Cobian, Amy Grant, Tears for Fears, Journey, Queen, AC DC, and I can continue on my favorite musicians but wont.
22. If you’re going to write a book, what would it be about?
It would be memoir of my life with a mental illness and my recovery.
23. What’s the scariest thing you have ever done?
I think it would have to be starting my recovery with both the eating disorders and my mental health diagnoses.
24. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Graduating high school, getting my peer specialist certification and being in recover with my mental illness.
25. How did you meet your fiancé?
I don’t remember meeting my fiancé but will tell you how we met. We first met when I had attempted suicide and one of my housemates found me unresponsive and called 911. He was one of the firefighters on duty who responded to the call.
26. Do you have any children?
27. Have you thought about fostering or adopting?
Yup, Junior and myself want to do foster care in hope of adopting the foster child/ren.
28. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher.
29. What profession are you currently in?
I am in the mental health field.
30. How did you get into your profession?
I got into the field because I have my own mental health issues and want to be an example of what recovery looks like. Plus, I have a peer specialist certification.
31. Would you recommend your profession to other people? Why / Why not?
Honestly, it depends who the person would be because not everyone is fit to work in the mental health field.
32. What do you do for fun?
Camp, hike, rollerblade, walk, read, blog, watch movies, do jigsaw puzzles, do Sudoku puzzles, scrapbook, go to sporting events especially baseball games, going to concerts, listening to music, hang out with friends and select family members, and volunteer.
33. Do you like traveling?
I love it.
34. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?
Its a tie between Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. I would like to go to Ireland because I am half Irish and its part of my heritage. I want to go to Australia and New Zealand because I learned about it summer school between the 3rd and 4th grades and grew fascinated with both countries.
35. Who are some people you’d like to meet someday?
President Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Sigmund Freud
36. If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet?
Refer to the previous question with the exception of President Obama since he is still alive.
37. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say?
The future belong to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
38. What’s one of your favorite habits you have?
Going for a daily walk listening to music.
39. What are some things that make you really happy?
Sunny days, humor, my brother, my fiancé, nature, water, and my job
40. What are some things that make you really sad?
My miscarriages, most of my childhood, and how I have treated people in the height of my mental illness.
41. What are some things that scare you?
My PTSD symptoms I deal with on the daily basis. The mental health symptoms I deal with when I’m in crisis.
42. Do you like to plan things out in detail or be spontaneous?
I like both planning things and out and being spontaneous.
43. Are you a religious person?
No but I do consider myself Spiritual. I am on a Spiritual journey and looking into various faiths at this particular stage in my life.
44. Would you rather live in the country or in the city?
I am a city person. I love living in the city.
45. What was your life like growing up?
It wasn’t the best of childhoods.
46. What were you like in high school?
Depends on who you ask.
47. Do you have any brothers or sisters? How many?
Yes, I do. I have one half brother.
48. What’s your favorite part about today, so far?
The sunny weather, the strawberry shortcake I had and reading about Buddhism.
49. Who in your life has influenced you the most? How did they do it?
I’ve had many people who have influenced my life throughout my life and how those people did it is as unique as they are as people.
50. Have you ever tried sushi? (Did you like it?)
No, I have not tried sushi and never plan on trying it.
51. Do you like spicy food?
The spicier the better!!!!
52. How do you like your steak cooked?
Some pink but not a lot of pink.
53. If you were a type of animal, what would you be and why?
I think I would like to be an Orca because they are beautiful, intelligent animals and they get to be in the water all day.
54. What’s one of the strangest things you’ve ever done?
What are you talking about? Everything I do is strange because I am strange.
55. What kind of vacations do you like?
I love camping and any vacation I can learn something new.
56. What are some of your major goals in life?
To continue on my journey of recovery with mental illness.
57. What are some of your smaller goals in life?
To update my résumé and apply for peer support specialist jobs.
58. What do you like least about yourself?
The scars on my arms, legs and torso due to when I use to self harm.
59. What embarrasses you?
My speech impediment especially the stuttering (Its pretty much under control now but it acts up when I am under stress), being in little kid mode and being in a dissociated state.
60. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?
Being a psychiatrist.
61. What’s your earliest memory?
When I was three and my mom abandoning me.
62. What’s the best decision you ever made?
Being in recovery and choosing to stay in recovery. Trusting my gut with being in a romantic relationship with my fiancé, Junior.
63. Who’s your best / closest friend?
My fiancé, and three people I grew up with and/or went to high school with.
64. What do you think people think of you?
I don’t want to think what others think of me.
65. What were your grades like in school?
They weren’t the best in the world, mainly because of learning disabilities and/or mental health issues.
66. If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn?
To learn American Sign Language (ASL), Spanish and German.
67. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m a little of both.
68. Have you ever taken a personality test? (How did the results turn out?)
Honestly, I’m not sure because, I’ve I had so many different test throughout my life that they all kind of run together. I must have if I was diagnosed for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I am really grateful I no longer meet the criteria for Borderline.
69. Do you enjoy the particular sexual pose of what the number of this question is?
Very much so!!!!!
70. What’s the first thing you notice about people?
I notice both a persons eyes and smile.
71. Do you think people can control their own destiny?
To a degree, yes.
72. Do you think all people are equally valuable, or do you think some people in certain situations might be more valuable than others (say, a severely mentally ill patient vs. a doctor who could potentially save hundreds of lives)?
73. Do you think people are basically bad or basically good?
This is a difficult question for me to answer due to the fact that there are many factors to consider.
74. Do you think morals are universal or relative to the beliefs, traditions, and practices of individuals or groups?
I think it I need to know more before I could answer this question.
75. Do you think God exists?
Another complicated question. Yes, I do think that there is a spiritual being out there. I just don’t know who he, she or they are.
76. Do you think any kind of afterlife exists?
Yup, I am positive there is an afterlife.
77. Do you vote? Why / Why not? If you do vote, how do you usually vote?
Yes, I vote and I don’t disclose how I vote.
78. Do you think gay people choose to be gay? Do you think straight people choose to be straight?
I don’t think we choose our sexual orientation.
79. Is torture ever a good option? If no, why not? If yes, when?
Torture is NEVER a good option for any reason.
80. Would you kill an innocent person if you thought it might mean saving a dozen other people?
I would never kill an innocent person.
81. What’s the most money you’ve ever given away?
I rather not disclose. The amount I give away to a charity or person is between me and the charity or person.
82. What’s the biggest personal change you’ve ever made?
Choosing to be in recovery.
83. What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve done many stupid things that I cant just name one thing.
84. What do you think would be one of the best steps we could take toward ending poverty around the world?
This is a loaded question and difficult to answer. It is something I will have to ponder about.
85. What do you think we could do to best improve the education system?
Pay teachers more, smaller class sizes and bring back fine and preforming arts.
86. In general, what do you think about art?
I love it.
87. What are some of your favorite websites?
Any website that I am able to learn something on.
88. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
That my ex-step dad wasn’t abusing me when he actually was.
89. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I cry myself to sleep because I miss the babies I lost through miscarriages.
90. What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?
I love being able to help others.
91. What are some of the first things you do in the morning?
Go to the bathroom, take a shower, eat and take my meds.
92. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?
Loosing two sets of twins within 14 months of each other due to miscarriage.
93. Do you cry easily?
94. How do you feel about public speaking?
I hate it.
95. Do you like to talk on the phone?
Its better than texting.
96. How many emails do you get each week, roughly?
Depends what account. I have a work email, a personal email, a professional email and an email for this blog.
97. If someone were to make a movie about your life, who would you hope would play you?
I wouldn’t want my life made into a movie so I hope nobody plays me.
98. What’s one of your favorite questions to ask new friends or to get a conversation going?
It depends on the situation I am in.
99. Would you ever sky dive or bungee jump?
I have always wanted to sky dive. When I was younger I wanted to bungee jump but as I get older it becomes less appealing.
100. Have you ever been in a fist fight?
Yup, in junior high.
101. What’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled?
My senior prank in high school.
102. What did you do on your 16th birthday?
My friends had a surprise party for me.
103. What do you think is one of the most undervalued professions right now?
Teaching and any profession in the mental health field.
104. How would you explain your basic life philosophy?
When I look back on my life I rather regret the things I do than the things I don’t do.
105. Would you rather be hated or forgotten?
106. If you knew you would die tomorrow, would you feel cheated today?
I don’t want to know when I am going to die.
107. Now, how do you honestly feel after answering all these questions?
Exhausted but overall still doing well.