Weekly Check-In

Good Afternoon, World!!! It has been a while since I last did a weekly check-in and have been encouraged to “make more of an effort to blog on the regular basis.” I agree with the multiple individuals who have pointed this out to me. The one way I can “blog on the more regular basis” is by doing the weekly check-ins.

In fact one of the individual’s that have encouraged me to start “blogging more” is my case manager. I saw her this past Monday (September 25th) for our regularly scheduled appointment. My case manager checked-in with me about what happened to me and am greatly appreciative for it. We spent most of our half hour session discussing ways to use my skills to help me through the not so good moments. One of those skills is blogging and that how the topic came up. We also discussed me doing some art work after I showed my case manager some of the art the I did in art group before our session. We also discussed how I can use other skills that I have in my tool box which I will bring up one that I’m surprisingly enjoying later on in this post. Before the session ended my case manager wanted to make sure I was going to attend my doctors appointment the next day (Tuesday). I reassured I would.

In fact as mentioned in my previous post, I did go to my doctors appointment. My doctor and I discussed how I was doing as well as checking in with me regarding my mental health. She is “concerned” that I’m “not receiving the proper mental health” that I need. I reassured my doctor that I am. I informed her that I am not only receiving both therapy and case management services but attending three groups. She inquired more about the groups and I happily obliged. My doctor appeared to be content with all this at least for a moment.

Since I’m on the topic of groups, I attended all three groups this past week. The first group I went to is held on Monday’s and is an Art group. I love attending the Art Group however I don’t attend every Monday but I did this past Monday. I highly enjoy attending it and both my case manager and doctor would like me “attending every week because being creative appears to be of help” to me. I can’t argue with that.

The second group I am attending is on Thursdays and about Sexual Health and Relationships. Primarily it’s about sexual health. In fact my case manager co-facilitates this group.  I’m not quite sure about this group yet because of what happened. I’ve only attended once and it has only been a group in existence for two weeks. My case manager recommended this group to me before I got sexually assaulted. I’m toying with the fact if its a good idea to continue with this group however it’s something to discuss with my therapist as well continue discussing with my case manager.

A group that needs no discussing for me to continue for me to attend is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) on Fridays. In fact attendance is a requirement of DBT and is one that has a waitlist to for is which why once I finally got into it, I make it a priority to attend DBT. I did attend yesterday. In fact I admitted to group and will admit to you that I was willful with not doing part of my homework. In fact I don’t want to do part of my homework that is due next Friday. I will however do the homework as I know it will ultimately help me. Validating others is easy. Self validation is not so easy and it’s something that would hopefully help me. In fact I am pretty sure self validation will be helpful.

Another thing that is helpful and a major part of DBT is mindfulness. In fact I mentioned earlier in this blog post that I would bring up a skill that I have found surprisingly enjoyable which is mindfulness and meditation. In fact a fellow peer (specialist) suggested an app that I have found quite helpful and is how I found out that mindfulness and mediation is enjoyable. The app is called Calm and I highly recommend using it if you have a smart phone. I have found it quite helpful. The longest stretch I’ve used the app is seven days in a row. Unfortunately, that stretch ended when I was assaulted. That’s why my case manager encouraged me to start using it again since I have found the app helpful and enjoyable. In fact she informed me that she will let my therapist know about the app. In fact I have a two day stretch as of today. Hopefully by the time I see my therapist it will be a five day stretch. I’m hoping that I can make mindfulness and meditation a daily habit.

Speaking of habits, I need to make blogging a habit. Which is why I am planning on making an effort to put it into my schedule to blog. That’s why I want to make I at least do my weekly check-in post.

As I end this post I want to thank you for reading. I hope that everyone has a great day and Peace Out!!!

An Update From My Last Post

Hello, World!!! It has been about a week since I last posted. Sadly, my last post was about me getting traumatized again. I apologize for not updating you sooner. I’m just attempting to get my baring’s back after what happened and its not an easy process to do so.

Updating you is one way I am attempting to get my baring’s back. As you may realize it hasn’t been the easiest of weeks after dealing with an assault. Not just any type of an assault but a sexual assault. An assault that I don’t remember much of due to the fact that I was knocked out by a rock or brick or something similar.

At this point in time I don’t know if its a good thing or a bad thing but I do know that detective is looking into it as that a stranger reported seeing the first part of the assault. The part of me getting knocked out was reported to the police. The fortunate part was someone not only called the police but took pictures as well. Unfortunately, by the time the police showed up, I had left the park unwillingly with the person who assaulted me. I don’t remember this  and wish the detective didn’t tell me. I am however grateful that someone did call the police and took pictures. Anyway, the detective and I set up a time for me to “be interviewed” to share what I remember (or the lack there of) and put me in touch with the victim’s advocate.

The victim advocate contacted me shortly after the phone conversation with the detective ended. She told me what to expect next in the process of reporting. She will be in attendance when I talk with the detective in person. The victim advocate will me walking along side of me the entire way. The victim advocate also encouraged me to do “good self-care.”

Doing good self-care for me includes me going to my follow up appointment with my doctor. My doctor looked me over and she took my stitches out. The stitches that were located below the belt. She also helped me fill out some paper work that could help me pay for any future appointments regarding the assault. Knowing that I can have more help paying for any therapy or doctors appointments has given me some hope. My doctor has encouraged me to continue getting the support of my mental health treatment team as well as my friends and partner, Junior.

My friends as well as Junior  have always been in my corner and they are continuing to do so. In fact my friends have been checking up on me on the regular basis. Junior continues to be the rock I need as well give me the love and support that is much needed at the moment. Junior and my friends are such a blessing to me in my life and am beyond grateful to have them in my life especially right now.

As I finish up this post I want to thank you for reading and being a support in your own way. I hope to post again soon however I do ask for your patience if I don’t blog for a while due to recent events. I plan on blogging in the next few days but the way things are at moment I don’t want to give in false hopes. Again, thank you for reading. I hope you have a good night and don’t let the bed bugs bite. Peace Out!!!

Bruised Face & Stitches Where The Sun Don’t Shine

Hello, World!!! It is just barely two in the morning in my neck of the woods. I haven’t had the best of nights. I was sexually assaulted yesterday evening. Unfortunately, Junior is working his shift as a firefighter so I don’t have his support at the moment.

I will however have his support once he gets home later on in the morning. I didn’t call 911 but I did take myself to the emergency room (E.R) to get checked out. I have a bruised up face and stitches where the sun don’t shine. Yes, I did get a rape kit done but haven’t filed a police report yet. I plan making a police report later on in the morning when Junior gets home as having the support might be easier for me to report it.

Thank you for reading and sorry for the sad and awful news. I know I will get through this with the help of my friends and the professionals that help me. I hope to keep you all updated. I hope everyone has a great day. Peace Out!!!

Finding A Peaceful Way To Have Daily Structure

Hello, World!!! It’s just after eleven o’clock at night in my part of the world. Even though I haven’t accomplished much the last few days in the eyes of what society calls accomplishments, I feel like I have made some significant accomplishments.

Accomplishments that are a major deal for me. Lets start with something that is difficult for me to do and that is taking time out of my day to do a mindfulness meditation. A fellow peer specialist introduced me to an app called Calm. So I decided to get the app however I didn’t start using it until about ten days ago. I’ve been using the guided mindfulness meditation of the Calm app. In fact I’ve done it for, four days straight now. I’ve noticed over that last ten days especially the last four days straight that I’ve had a sense of calmness and peace I haven’t felt in a long while. I am making a conscience effort to do a guided mindfulness meditation each morning to start off my day in a good way.

Another way that I am starting off after my morning mindfulness meditation is having a nice cup of hot tea with honey and half & half in it while reading the local news paper. Yes, the news can be quite depressing at times however, I find that reading the news paper helps me with being less traumatized by the news. I can always put the paper down when it gets overwhelming and pick it up at a later time during the day. I do end up reading the entire paper without needing to put it down and I have both the mindful meditation I do before hand as well as what I do next.

What I do next is take a two mile walk while listening to my favorite music or my favorite podcast. Right now the podcast I’m listening to is Philosophize This. Its about philosophy as well as philosophers. I am finding listening to Philosophize This extremely educational for me.

Another thing I am finding educational for me is teaching myself how to play the musical interment the recorder. It is quite similar to playing the flute and since I know how to play the flute, I’ve decided to teach myself how to play the recorder. Part of the reason I’m teaching myself to play the recorder is its not only similar to playing the flute but my flute needs some major repairs to it and will take some time to get it repaired. Learning a new musical instrument also helps bring a peace and calmness that many other things are unable to do. Playing an instrument is also a type of mindfulness and a form of meditation for me.

I hope that when I see my therapist tomorrow that I can tell her what I am doing to help myself with all the mindfulness and meditation I am doing for myself. In fact I consider all what I discussed with you a form a self care for myself. Most of which is a new form of self care for me.  I just help that I can continue this good self care with the help of both the professionals in my life as well as the people in my natural support system (aka my friends).

As I end this blog post for the night, I hope this is a start that things are starting to look up for me in regards to my recovery. It’s going to take a great deal of effort on my part but am extremely hopeful that I will stick with it.

As always thank you for reading. I hope that with what I discussed in this post helps others realize that recovery is possible and that those who don’t struggle with a mental health condition or challenge that we  who do struggle want, desire and work hard to be well. Thank you for reading. Peace Out, World!!!

A Relaxing Hump Day (Wednesday)

Hello World!!! This morning I woke up with Junior kissing me on the cheek after coming home from work. I couldn’t think of a better way to wake than having my partner wake me up than the way Junior did this morning.

We decided to have a low key day which started off with breakfast. I fixed Junior an omelet with a side of fresh fruit and chocolate milk. Like I suspected Junior was famished due working his regular 24 hour shift that was more challenging than usual.

A shift we ended up discussing. Junior needed to discuss what his shift about for a multitude of reasons. One of which was that he dealt with a child abuse case that included six children. Junior is a firefighter and if you ask any firefighter out there anything that includes a child is one of the most difficult calls they go on especially if it includes child abuse. As we discussed the child abuse call, Junior couldn’t help but tell me that once his crew was done with the call he thought about the “shit” I went through which helped him have that much more compassion and empathy for the children he helped. Junior also went on two separate calls that involved two separate women who were the victims of “brutal sexual assaults.” He and all firefighters have a difficult time dealing with calls that involve both children and/or victims of an assault of any kind especially sexual assault.

As Junior and I discussed the difficult calls he was noon, the topic of sex came up. Junior brought up the fact that he finds it quite difficult to have sex and be intimate after shifts that include child abuse and/or sexual assault. As we discussed the difficulties he had with sex and intimacy after a shift like yesterdays, Junior stated he always seems have better understanding of how I must feel regarding my PTSD symptoms even though he will “never fully understand.” As we finished our discussion Junior realized how exhausted he was from his shift and went to bed to get a few hours of sleep.

As Junior slept, I decided to start reading a book I bought at Emerald City Comic-Con (ECCC) back in March of this year (2017). The book I started reading is Green Rider by Kristen Britain. I, in fact was able to get this book signed by the author after attending a panel she was on at ECCC. A panel I almost didn’t attend but happy I did. I’m in fact looking forward to attending ECCC in 2018 and hope that Kristen Britain is a guest as I will most likely will attend a panel if she speaks on one. The reason being is that when she signed my copy of Green Rider she took fifteen minutes of her time to talk with me even though she did not have to do so.

Looks like I got on the to topic of Emerald City Comic-Con when I was wanting to discuss the book I am reading. So, on that note let get back on back to the topic of Green Rider. So far I am really enjoying the book. I’m only on page 48 and starting the sixth chapter yet I’m finding myself having difficulties putting it down and wanting to get back to reading it. When I find myself having difficulties putting a book down and wanting to pick it back up as soon as possible then it must be a good book.

In fact after Junior woke up from his nap I told him about Green Rider and now he is wanting to read it. After telling Junior about the book we ate a lite lunch and then went rollerblading around a local lake at t local park. As we rollerbladed we discussed a great deal of stuff. Most of it was regarding plans for what we want to do the rest of the day as well as rest of the week before he goes back to work on Sunday for his regular shift as well as an overtime shift on Monday.

After rollerblading at a local park we decided to rent a couple of movies at a local mom and pop video store. Since we were already out and about we decided to pick up my meds from the pharmacy. When we arrived home we ended up watching one of the movies we picked up from the video store. We then fixed and ate dinner. After dinner we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. Now we are home watching the nine o’clock news.

As I near the end this post after telling you about my day, it turned out to be a relaxing hump day (Wednesday). Having a relaxing day is extremely helpful for my recovery as well as decreasing the symptoms of my mental health diagnoses. In fact everything I brought up in this post is quite helpful for me and my recovery.  As many of you know my recovery means the world to me and wouldn’t give up the path of recovery for all the money any in the world.

Something else that means the world to me is my time with Junior and with that being said, I want to spend time with him. That means this is the end of this particular blog post. I hope everyone has a good evening as well as good nights sleep. Peace out!!!

Ted, Through Thick & Thin

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Good Morning, World!!! I think it’s time that I introduce the world to my best friend; Ted. Ted is pictured above and YES, he is stuffed Teddy Bear. Ted is a 38 year old stuffed animal that I’ve had since the day I was born.

This means he has been with me in both the good and the bad times. He has seen me through the trauma’s I’ve experienced as well as witnessed the triumphs in my life. For me Ted has been there when no human has. So, I guess you can say Ted has been with me through thick and thin.

I bring up Ted because he is the one thing I do to self soothe. As I mentioned in a previous post (https://gertiesjourney.com/2017/09/05/poor-air-quality-therapy-challenging-day/) my therapist and I talked about self soothing and how I feel like I don’t deserve to self soothe. During the discussion about self soothing, I brought up Ted and how he is the one thing I self soothe with. According to my therapist, as I talked about Ted, my body language changed to “being relaxed and comfortable.” She also brought up the fact that it was the first time she had seen me smile when discussing a part of my childhood. I can’t deny the fact that when discussing Ted, I’m relaxed as well it is most likely the first time she had seen me smile while talking about my childhood since she has been my therapist for only five months.

I, of course avoid talking about me like the plague. In fact, I rather have the plague than discuss my childhood. My therapist picked up on this quite quickly am grateful for it. She just like Diana, doesn’t push to talk about things I’m not ready to discuss. She might ask me questions but she respects how much or how little I tell her, just like Diana did.

I miss Diana and hope that she is getting better however I am happy with my new therapist. In fact I think my new therapist is realizing how beneficial stuffed animals are for me regarding therapy just like did. The reason I think this is because she saw how “relaxed and comfortable” I was when I talked about Ted. I’m hoping that when I have my next session with my therapist that she will be okay with me bringing a stuffed animal to therapy as it helps me discuss painful memories of my childhood.

As, I finish up this blog post, I realize that I’m holding Ted as write. If I think back to the start of my blog, I’ve held Ted during most of my blog post. So, yes, Ted has been a part of most aspects of my life including blogging. I hope that everyone has a great day and Peace Out all.

Remembering 9/11, 16 Years Later

Sixteen years ago today, the United States experienced a sad reminder of how cruel this world is. As cruel as this world is the people of this country, quickly realized how we can come together. A togetherness many Americans have seemed to have forgotten especially in the current political climate.

A political climate that is dividing this wonderful country. As politics divide this country one can only hope that we are one nation. A nation that can come together especially in times of need.

A time of need that people a remembering today. As we remember what happened 16 years ago, I hope we can come together as a nation.

As I end this blog post, I ask that you take a moment of silence in remembrance of all the people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. It just didn’t effect our nation, it effected the world. I hope everyone has a good day. Peace Out!!!