Writing 101: Finding Your Inspiration; Day Eighteen: A Map As Your Muse

The above map resembles the path I have chosen for my career. It has taken some time and energy to get where I am at, both personally and professionally. If it wasn’t for the growth I have had in personal life, I would be where I am professionally.

As many of you already know, I am in recovery from a mental illness. The journey with my recovery from a mental illness has not been an easy process. A process that was and still well worth all the work. It is because of my journey with a mental illness, I am choosing the field of mental health as my career path.

Three years ago (2012), is when I truly started my career path. In fact, that is when I started volunteering at my current employer. Then a year later, back in 2013, is when I took the forty (40) hour, one week, peer support specialist training and exam. I of course passed the exam. Then last year (2014), is when I not only got employed with my current employer as a Consumer Aide but started volunteering at the Warm Line as a caller taker. Earlier this year I started volunteering at a local young adult homeless shelter because I ultimately want to work with young adults who struggle with a mental illness. Now that I have been at my current employer for a year, I plan on applying for jobs as a peer support specialist.

I realized last year when I was applying and interviewing for peers support specialist jobs that many mental health agencies wanted people who had paid experience. That is one of the reasons why I applied, interviewed and accepted my current job. I also know from experience that many employers, know matter the company, what people who have been at their current employer for at least a year.

Now that I have the year paid experience, I have been working on updating my résumé and working on cover letters. Like many others, I don’t like writing cover letters because I don’t like “bragging” about myself. Even though I don’t like “bragging” about myself, I try to look at it this way; if it gets me the job I want along my career path then I am getting from point A to point B on my career map.

I may not be getting to point A to point B the way I thought I would career wise, I like the fact that my life has been a journey of self acceptance and resilience. A resilience that only a few know if they choose to be in recovery.

Thank you for reading about my career path and the road I have travelled to get to it. Have a wonderful day and Peace Out!!

Writing 101: Finding Your Inspiration; Day Seventen: Mine Your Own Material

When I think of the word mine, two things come up. The first thing is a toddler not wanting to share and saying “MINE” in a loud voice. The second thing that come up for me are the seagulls in Finding Nemo saying “Mine, Mine, Mine.” When most people think of the word “Mine” they think of being selfish. In some cases that is true while in other cases its not true at all.

A time when the word “MINE” is selfish is similar to the examples I gave in the above paragraph. An example of the word “MINE” not being selfish is when one wants their own privacy. Another example is in the case of underwear and shoes. Sharing of underwear and shoes is not a good thing.

I realize this is not what the writing assignment was necessary about but this is how I interrupted it. Or at least its what came to mind and will to do at the moment. Not feeling well has put a road block in my creative side and I am okay with that at the moment. I will blog again tomorrow when it is time to do my Writing 101 assignment. Peace Out!!!!!

Daily Prompt: Home Turf

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Home Turf.” Name five things in your house that make it a home.

I currently live in an apartment in a major city. Not only do I have my own apartment, I stay with my fiancé at his house about half the time. With that being said I will say what five things make my apartment home and what five things make Juniors house home.

GERTIE’S APARTMENT: 

1)     Having Junior around. Who wouldn’t want their loving partner around to may their home a home.

2)     Having friends over. Being able to have an “open door policy” helps with having my place feel like a home. Of course the “open door policy” isn’t always an “open door.”

3)     Pictures of family and friends. It always makes any home feel homey when there are pictures of loved ones around.

4)     Stuffed animals. I love having stuffed animals around.

5)     Art work. I have art work around that my brother, Junior’s niece and nephew, various friends kids and myself have done. I hang it up around my apartment because having artwork and craft projects up makes it feel more welcoming in my opinion.

JUNIOR’S HOUSE

1)     Having Junior around. Of course I would want Junior around especially his own house.

2)     Having Junior’s family around. I love his family. They have become my family. They are welcomed at my place anytime as well.

3)     Pictures of family and friends. It always makes any home feel homey when there are pictures of loved ones around.

4)     Junior’s Awards and Medals. Junior has a lot of medals and awards from the Nave, Fire Department and College.

5)     Framed Puzzle’s. Yes, Junior has frame puzzles up around his house. Some of those puzzle’s we have done together and some he has been helped by others while some he has done by himself.

As you can tell both places have some of the same homey things while others are completely different. There is one that is similar. I love how both his place and my place feel home in the same yet very different ways. Have a great day. Peace Out!!

Writing 101: Finding Your Inspiration; Day Sixteen: Search Your Stats For A Post Idea

I unfortunately was unable to do my assignment for day sixteen of Writing 101 yesterday because I went to work and ended up going home sick. After coming home from work sick, I ended up needing to go to the Emergency Room (E.R.). It turns out that I have a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), bladder infection and the starts of a kidney infection.

In fact as I write this particular post, I am suppose to be at work. I feel okay enough to be at work but the doctors in the Emergency Room (E.R.) told me I needed to take today off. Not being able to go to work today is difficult for me. It is difficult because I love my job. Plus, not being able to go into work make me feel like I am not being productive or being a productive member of society.

Now on to day sixteen’s assignment. The assignment ask us to look at our stats for post ideas. In fact I have done this before. I have realized by looking at my stats and reading other’s blogs that titles of the post matter. For instance last Thanksgiving I posted twice. Out of the two post, my Happy Dead Turkey Day post  received the most views, likes, comments, etc. If the title catches the eye of the reader then the reader is more likely to read the post. I also know that if you have a picture involved with a post people tend to read a post. Clever titles and/or post with pictures tend to get the most reads/views.

Now that I have accomplished day sixteen’s assignment, I need to go get my antibiotic for my UTI, bladder infection and kidney infection. Then I will do day seventeen’s assignment and maybe a daily prompt. Peace Out!!!

Weekly Goals

Its the start of another work week. That means it is time for my weekly goals. I am grateful that this past week my goals weren’t to difficult to accomplish. As always I will share with you on how I did with last weeks goals.

1)  Read Speaker of the Dead by Orson Scott Card. Yes, I did read this week. Not as much as liked because I spent a lot of quality time with Junior.

2)  Work on jigsaw puzzle. Of course I did this goal. This is one of the ways Junior and I spent some quality time.

3)  Color. Yes, I did color.

4)  Writing 101: Finding Your Inspiration. Yup, I did do my assignments for Writing 101 and am really enjoying the course.

5)  Blogging 201: Branding and Growth. I finished this course on Friday. I was and am sad that it finished with.

6)  Work on a self-help workbook; The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, PhD., Jeffery C. Wood, PSY.D., and Jeffrey Brantley, MD. I did manage to do a few pages.

I am happy that I am able to make goals that are difficult for me and able to accomplish them. Now on to this weeks goals.

1)  Read Speaker of the Dead by Orson Scott Card. This is one of my favorite goals and will be completed when I am done with the book.

2)  Work on jigsaw puzzle. Like I said last week, this puzzle is 1500 pieces and will take a while to do. I love doing puzzles.

3)  Color. Of course I’m going make coloring a goal. I am currently coloring four different projects. I do multiple coloring projects at time so I don’t get frustrated or loose my creativity.

4)  Writing 101: Finding Your Inspiration. I am enjoying this course and will hate to see it end this Friday. It has helped me find inspiration that I didn’t realize I had. I’ve also learned a couple of things that I didn’t know before.

5)  Update my résumé. I am wanting apply for Peer Support Specialist jobs this week.

6)  Work on cover letter. Like goal number five (5), I am wanting to  apply for a Peer Support Specialist job.

7)  Apply for a least one job. There is at least one Peer Support Specialist job that I want to apply to. I will most definitely apply for that job and maybe another one.

8)  Work on a self-help workbook; The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, PhD., Jeffery C. Wood, PSY.D., and Jeffrey Brantley, MD. I am slowly but surely accomplishing this goal. Its always nice to be reminded of skills that I have learned.

9)  See my therapist on Wednesday. I have a scheduled appointment with my therapist this week. We will be discussing weather or not it is a good time to start back up on trauma work.

I may have a lot of goals again this week but I have confidence that I will be able to accomplish them. Like always my weekly goals are part of a blogging event over at: http://greenembe.rs/2015/09/28/building-rome-week-39-for-2015/ Have a great work week and Peace Out.

Now That I Have My Foot In The Door

As I sit here at my laptop, I can’t help but think about how much I love my current job as a Consumer Aide at local mental health agency. The last year working in my current position has made me realize that I made the right choice in my career change from bagging groceries at grocery store to  being a Consumer Aide at a mental health agency. I have come to the conclusion that I am meant to work in the mental health field.

Knowing that I am meant to be working in the mental health field has me thinking about my current position as a Consumer Aide. If you been following my blog for a while you know that I had applied and interviewed for a number of Peer Support Specialist positions and no job offers till my current position as a Consumer Aide. Part of the reason why I applied, interviewed and accepted my current position is basically I needed to have my foot in the door in regards to having paid employment in the mental health field.

Now that I have my foot in the door and been in my current position for almost thirteen (13) months, I have decided that I am going apply for peer positions. Unfortunately, that means I have to look outside the agency I work for because they don’t have any open peer positions. I am hoping that since I’ve been working in the mental health field for over a year now that I will be able get a peer position.

This coming up week, I will be touching up my résumé and working on cover letters. There is one Peer Specialist I have been looking at for a while now and hope that the agency that posted the job is still looking for a qualified applicant. I hope that it isn’t too late to apply for it.

As much as I don’t want to leave my current position as well as my clients it is best for me to apply for Peer Specialist positions. It is best for me if I want to move up in my career. I also don’t want to leave the agency I work for but unfortunately, there are no Peer Specialist positions open.

As I end this post, cross your fingers for me that everything works out. Have a wonderful Sunday evening. Peace Out!!!

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

I realize I am a day late with my blogging feature and I don’t have any excuse for not posting it. I decided to discuss Seasonal Affective Disorder also known as SAD since it is the beginning of Autumn. I got the information from: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en.html

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that is triggered by the seasons of the year. The most common type of SAD is called winter-onset depression. Symptoms usually begin in late fall or early winter and go away by summer. A much less common type of SAD, known as summer-onset depression, usually begins in the late spring or early summer and goes away by winter. SAD may be related to changes in the amount of daylight during different times of the year.

How common is SAD?

Between 4% and 6% of people in the United States suffer from SAD. Another 10% to 20% may experience a mild form of winter-onset SAD. SAD is more common in women than in men. Although some children and teenagers get SAD, it usually doesn’t start in people younger than 20 years of age. For adults, the risk of SAD decreases as they get older. Winter-onset SAD is more common in northern regions, where the winter season is typically longer and more harsh.

What are the symptoms of SAD?

Although your symptoms are clues to the diagnosis, not everyone who has SAD experiences the same symptoms. Common symptoms of winter-onset SAD (90% of people who have SAD) include the following:

  • A change in appetite, especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods
  • Weight gain
  • A drop in energy level
  • Fatigue
  • A tendency to oversleep
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Increased sensitivity to social rejection
  • Avoidance of social situations and a loss of interest in the activities you used to enjoy
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Physical problems, such as headaches

Symptoms of summer-onset SAD (10% of people who have SAD) include:

  • A loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Agitation

Symptoms of SAD tend to come back year after year. They also usually come and go at about the same time every year. The changes in mood are not necessarily related to obvious things that would make a certain season stressful (like regularly being unemployed during the winter, for example).

Is there a treatment for SAD?

SAD can be treated in a number of ways, including light therapy, medicine, or behavior therapy. Your doctor may want to combine therapies if using one does not work for you.

If you have winter-onset SAD and your doctor suggests you try light therapy, you may use a specially made light box, or a light visor that you wear on your head like a cap. You will sit in front of the light box or wear the light visor for a certain length of time each day. Generally, light therapy takes about 30 minutes each day throughout the fall and winter, when you’re most likely to be depressed. Another kind of light therapy involves a “dawn simulator” which is a light that is activated by a timer. It is set up in your bedroom to mimic a natural sunrise. The light turns on early in the morning and gradually increases in brightness and allows your body to wake up naturally, without using an alarm. If light therapy helps, you’ll continue it until enough sunlight is available, typically in the springtime. Stopping light therapy too soon can result in a return of symptoms.

When used properly, light therapy seems to have very few side effects. However, some side effects include eyestrain, headache, fatigue, irritability and inability to sleep (if light therapy is used too late in the day). Light therapy should be used carefully in people who have manic depressive disorders, skin that is sensitive to sunlight and/or medical conditions that make their eyes vulnerable to sunlight damage.

Tanning beds should not be used to treat SAD. The light sources in tanning beds are high in ultraviolet (UV) rays, which harm both your eyes and your skin.

I hope the above information is helpful. Please remember that I am not a doctor or therapist. There are also other treatments for SAD that you may want to discuss with your health care professional or mental health provider. Have a wonderful weekend. Peace Out!!!