Weekly Check-In

Good Afternoon, World!!! If you been reading my blog on the regular basis you know that I have been struggling with the symptoms of my mental health condition. You may have noticed that I have making an effort to blog on the more regular basis. I’m doing this for a multitude of reasons. One is to keep you, the reader, interested in continuing to read my blog. Two, is more of the selfish part of me blogging and an unexpected bonus I didn’t realize was going to happen when I started is that its helping me with my recovery. I have many other reasons I am making an effort to blog more regularly however I am sure those reasons will bore you.

As you are aware that this past week has been a challenging one for me. Challenging in many ways yet I managed to get through some of them with creativity. Creativity in the ways of art and poetry. The main way I did both my art and poetry this past week was collaging and I really enjoyed it. I think its something I’ll continue to do on the regular basis.

Something that appears to be happening on the regular basis for me especially over the last two weeks and I haven’t even been trying is advocating. I’ve had several people inform me in the past two weeks is that I am really good at advocacy including self-advocacy. I don’t know about being good at advocacy especially when it comes to self-advocacy, I just do and say what I think needs to be done. If that’s advocacy then so be it.

I bring up the self-advocacy up because I was signed up to take a continuing education training for peers. A continuing education course I signed up for several months ago. I was informed yesterday (Friday) that I was waitlisted due to the fact that I’m not employed as a peer currently and priority goes to employed peers. I understand this full well and would have let it go and not advocated for myself if I was informed sooner. See, the continuing education training is this Monday and I made arrangements and rearranged appointments to be able to attend it. So, since I was informed on such short notice I thought it would be best to email the folks putting on the training. Since I advocated for myself and the training ending up in a “slightly bigger room” the folks doing the training said I could attend. I realize they couldn’t do this for everyone on the waitlist and won’t be able to this for me in the future however I am grateful that they made an exception for me. In fact the folks putting on the training informed me on who was doing the training happens to be someone I did a continuing education training with a few years ago. A person I have become friends with. I am looking forward to seeing them on Monday.

Now that we are on the topic of friends, two of my friends decided that I needed a girls night out. Or in this case a girls night in. They decided this because I’ve been isolating myself due to an increase of symptoms in my depression. I’m thrilled that they were persistent in their efforts to get me out of my apartment. We ended up at one of my friends places to watch the Seattle Mariners play against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I did have a good time with my friends even though they were rooting for the wrong baseball team. Actually, I’m just living in the wrong city but I love this city I’m living in. I just have to deal with getting a hard time on occasion when I root for particular sports teams.

Looks like I’ve pretty much told you how my week has gone. That means I’m at the end of my blog post. I hope to blog again tomorrow however if I don’t, I’ll make sure I do on Monday evening. I want to share with you how the continuing education training goes. I hope that everyone has a good rest of their weekend. Peace Out!!!

 

Weekly Check-In

Good evening, world!!! I realize its been a couple of weeks since I posted a weekly check-in even though I have posted a couple of times since then.

If I’m honest with myself and I mean really honest with myself, I have to admit something that I really don’t want to but have to if I want my recovery to move forward. That is that I am retreating back to some old behavior. Behavior that I am not proud of. My behavior at the appointments I had on Monday was inappropriate no matter what the circumstances were. My behavior in recent weeks and even the last two or three months has not been the best. I can make excuses and have some good ones I could use for my behavior but I’m not going to because it will just allow me to give myself permission to continue the not so good behavior.

I’m sharing this with you because if I continue on the path I am on then I’m giving up on my recovery and all the work that myself and many others put into me doing well, will have been time wasted by everyone involved. I don’t want to give up on my recovery. In fact I am at that point that I need to make a major decision in what direction I’m going to go in. The direction, I want to go in will require me to make some major changes in my life as well as some help from both my treatment team and natural support system.  Help I know I’m going to get.

With the help I know I’m going to get, I hope you can tell that I am choosing to be in recovery. It’s not going to be easy and its going to take a lot of work on my part. Work that I am fighting against at the moment but am going to do. I am an extremely stubborn individual and I’m going to use that stubbornness to help me get myself back to a place where I want to be.

If my intuition is correct I know that my therapist will help me get to where I want to be. She has proven to be an advocate for me. In fact I’m pretty sure my case manager will help me with this process as well. Granted, I may feel like my voice isn’t being heard but I know from experience with both of these individuals have advocated for me regarding my recovery. In fact my case manager knows that one day I won’t need her for the extra support and she was asking what that would look like during our last session. Even though I know that it didn’t end well but it gave me something to think about and when I see her next I will let her know my thoughts on it. I know she will be appreciative that I did give it some thought. I’m thrilled that both of my clinicians appear to be recovery focused.

Speaking of being recovery focused, I need to get going. I need to do my DBT homework. I’ve been quite willful in doing it and need to be willing, so I’m going to work on it or at least look over it.  I really hope that my treatment team will help me with getting back into a good head space. Have a good evening everyone and peace out!!!

Hump Day Hopes & Difficulties

Good Evening, World!!! It is still Hump Day in my part of the world. Well, technically its still Wednesday but I like to call it Hump Day because its exactly in the middle of the week we are over the hump of the week.

The week thus far has been both filled with hopes and difficulties all wrapped up into the same event. So, yesterday (Tuesday) and Monday I went to the WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) 1 seminar which is a two day seminar to be able to attend the WRAP 2 seminar to become a WRAP facilitator. The WRAP 2 seminar is a five day course and hope to be able to attend it next month. Anyway, doing your own WRAP can be emotionally exhausting but well worth it. The last two days I nearly finished updating my WRAP which I am proud of especially since its been almost a year since my last update. Taking the two day WRAP seminar has given me the hope that I’ve needed to turn my recovery around to be able to find a purpose in my life.

With the hope that the WRAP seminar has given me, I’ve realized that difficulties, I am still having in my life currently. In fact I discussed the hopes and difficulties with my relatively new therapist today in our session. I showed her my WRAP and looked over it. In fact she wanted to make copies of it so it could be my “crisis plan” since its more person and recovery focused than the crisis plans the agency I am a consumer at are. I told her I would be more than willing for her to do so once I am finished with updating my WRAP.

Not only did my therapist and I discuss WRAP, we discussed how my first Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group went. I told her it went well and showed her my diary card.  As we discussed DBT and WRAP I started crying as I was feeling inadequate because I am not in a place in my life I am desiring to be at due to trying to get back into a good space in my recovery. A place to where I can go back to work.

When my therapist and I got on the topic of work I discussed with her about the two main reasons I took the WRAP 1 seminar. The first reason was to update my WRAP and get back into a recovery state of mind. The second reason is so I could take the WRAP 2 seminar for five days so I could become a WRAP facilitator. Becoming a WRAP facilitator will be great on the résumé and will be quite helpful for me in my career plans on going back into the mental health field.

The cool thing about my session today with my therapist is I found out that she will be a strong advocate for me and my treatment just like Diana was before she got sick. I was even expecting my therapist to bring up the topic of advocacy and being an advocate for me. Just like Diana, she informed me that she will be an advocate for me no matter what however, I also need to advocate for myself appropriately as well as be able to empower myself. She used me updating my WRAP as both self-empowerment and self-advocacy.

As difficult as things are, I am starting to see some hope. Or at least a small tiny light at the end of the of the tunnel. As I end this post, I want to let everyone know that no matter how difficult things are at the moment, things will get better. It might take longer than you want it to, like in my case but things will get better. Things do take time and sometimes they are longer than expected. Have a good rest of your evening everyone and Peace Out!!!

Ass+U+Me=Assume

I don’t really know where to begin. After doing a (scheduled) phone “check-in” with my therapist, I realized that I have some built up emotions. For example, my therapist sounded a lil surprised that I prefer the pronouns, they/them and not she/her. Its never been an issue until recently.

It hasn’t been an issue until recently due to colleagues making assumptions of me. Assumptions that are getting to me. For instance, I talk a great deal about my fiancé, Junior a great deal and have accidently said boyfriend. When they hear boyfriend most of my colleagues assume that I am straight. Well, I am not straight. I am pansexual. There are quite  a few of other assumptions that I can share but I won’t for a multitude of reasons.

I realize that maybe I should start “correcting” people on their assumptions and especially the pronouns but sometimes its not worth it for me. Its not worth it because, I have come to accept that even if I do “correct” people they won’t always remember or won’t accept my preferred  pronouns. For me self acceptance is more important than acceptance of others. I say this because others are more likely to accept you if you accept yourself.

I appreciate the time you took to read my blog. I hope to have an honest, respectful and open dialog on the issue of pronouns. Again, thank you for reading. Peace Out!!

Weekly Check-In

Good Afternoon, World!!! It’s been a couple of weeks since I last blogged. I know, I have said, this before, I want to blog more regularly. I enjoy blogging.

Enough about me talking about blogging and on to my weekly check-in. Let’s start with earlier this week. I was struggling with fleeting suicidal thoughts with no plans. It’s also commonly known in the mental health field as “passive suicide ideation.” Before I continue, I want to make myself clear, I am NOT currently suicidal and I did NOT harm myself in any way. I was able to use my good ole Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills as well as using my support system. It is always nice to have people to depend on especially since that wasn’t always the case for me. It is a wee bit concerning both my support system and myself that I had fleeting suicidal thoughts however everyone agrees that I am not letting it get me down because I am choosing to pick myself up and dusting myself off.  I’ve been able to do this for the fact of being in a relatively decent place. I owe being in a decent place to me working fulltime.

Speaking of work, lets talk about my high light of the week. Yesterday (Friday, 8/26/2016), was our recovery celebration for clients at work. Seeing clients facial expressions as they received their certificates and hearing the speeches of those who chose to speak was not only rewarding but humbling. Witnessing the progress of the clients I am able to serve has been an absolute honor for me to watch.

As, I finish  the post, I want to sum up the week with its been recovery focused. As always, thank you for reading. Its much appreciated from my end. Peace out, everyone!!

Wabbit Hunting

You wake up one morning and find yourself inside a “Looney Tunes” cartoon 

 with a burning desire to hunt down a certain mischievous bunny, no matter the cost. 

What happens next?

I wake up thinking I’ve lost my mind once again so I wake up Junior and ask him if I am loosing my mind. Junior nods his no as he says “I think we both lost our minds.” At that moment it time the phone rings it’s my brother, Jay who asked “What the hell is going on? I’m in a “Looney Tunes” cartoon.” I then told him that both Junior and myself are in a  “Looney Tunes” cartoon as well.  I invite my brother over so we can discuss the situation of waking in a cartoon.

My brother arrives at my place quite quickly in a panic speaking gibberish. When we were finally able to understand what Jay was saying we realize that the entire world became amerced in a “Looney Tunes” cartoon. The good news of this is that it appears that everyone is loosing their minds. The bad news is that you may not be in the same “Looney Tunes” cartoon as someone who is close to you even if you live with the person.

As Junior, Jay and myself were discussing about how the world was loosing their minds due to being in a “Looney Tunes” cartoon we all realized we wanted to go hunt down a certain bunny. We all came to the consensus that since we wouldn’t think about murdering somebody when the world wasn’t in a cartoon, we wouldn’t do it now since we weren’t a hundred percent positive the mischievous bunny wasn’t really a person in the non cartoon world.

Now on to bigger problems, how do we help ourselves and the rest of the world get out of being in a cartoon. It might be fun for a few days however realistically we all would need to get back to reality. The reality of being human and not a cartoon.

The world was complete chaos for the obvious reason of everyone being in a “Looney Tunes” cartoon. Now it was time to attempt to get everyone in the same episode so maybe just maybe things can get back to whatever the hell normal is and being human again and not a cartoon.

Junior, Jay, myself as well as our friends and family all decided to  share our ideas with local first responders and Politian’s. Surprisingly enough everyone was on board about brining everyone back to reality and out of a cartoon. Fortunately, after two weeks with the world being a “Looney Tunes” cartoon everyone became human again. Only this time there was world peace. Yes, I did say world peace.

Introduction: Mama Bear

Hello! Let me introduce myself. I am who Gertie refers to as Mama Bear. As you know, Gertie has asked me to be a contributor to her blog. I will be sharing my personal experience on what it is like to be a support system to someone who struggles  with a mental illness.

I have been asked to also share my experience on what it is like to be a parent of two children who are diagnosed with a mental illness. I may consider Gertie like a daughter, I have four other children. Two of which I had biologically and two of which I adopted. It is my adopted children that have a diagnosed mental illness. Not only will I be sharing my experience of what its like to be the support system of someone who struggles with a mental illness and being the parent of two children with a mental illness, I will be discussing what it is like to be a first responder who deals with the mentally ill.

I have known Gertie for nearly 16 years and have seen her grow. Grow in ways that many of us didn’t think could happen. We didn’t think it could happen because Gertie was so close to death due to multiple suicide attempts that we didn’t think should would make it. Gertie’s will and determination to start recovery and to remain in recovery is what has helped to get to the place she is in now. She is doing awesome. She is following her dreams of being in a romantic relationship with my colleague, Junior as well as working as a Peer Specialist to help show others recovery is possible.

I thank you for reading. I hope to post as often as I am able with being a working mother to four children and a motherly figure Gertie needs.

Mama Bear