Two Strong Advocates For Mental Health

Good Evening, World!!! I am going to be posting more about the conference I went to earlier this week. I will be mostly talking about the people who are very active in the the recovery movement here in Washington. One of which is a local politician as a state Representative in Lynnwood. (I want to make it clear that when I write about both these individuals especially the politician that I am NOT  in her district nor am I asking you to vote for her. I am just informing you of how awesome of an advocate she and the other person I will be talking about are.)

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Awesome Mental Health Advocates: Heather & Lauren

The picture above are two extremely awesome mental health advocates. Heather is the Director of the King County Collation at Washington Recovery Alliance while Lauren is the Executive Director at Washington Recovery Alliance as well as a state Representative for the 32nd legislative district in the Lynnwood area. Anyway, both Heather and Lauren are awesome advocates and speakers. They with the help of a handful of other people helped create a Recovery Day at a Seattle Mariners game and from my understanding from many people, it turned out to be a HUGE success. Heather and Lauren not only are example of what recovery looks like but help create ways to celebrate recovery like having a recovery day at a baseball game. Not just any baseball game but a Seattle Mariners game.

Seeing both Heather and Lauren at the peer conference earlier in the week was amazing as they are both two of the kindest women, I know and hope that someday I can be just a small portion of the advocates they are. If you ever have the chance to meet Heather and Lauren then you are in the presence of people who can help you advocate for others.  Both are awesome speakers.

I don’t have much more to say except I am thrilled that I was able to see and talk with these two awesome advocates again. I want to thank you all for reading my blog. It is greatly appreciative from my end of things that you read my blog. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog. I hope everyone has a great Friday. I also hope everyone has a great weekend. For those living in the United States, I hope you have a wonderful three day weekend. Peace Out, World!!!

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Everyday Inspiration; Day 1: I Write Because…

I write for several reasons. Reasons that are personal to me in which I will share with you. I started my blog for several reasons. Reasons that I have mentioned many times before and will share with you again in this post and most likely again in future post.

I originally started blogging for two reasons. The first reason was and continues to educate those who do not live with a mental health challenge in hopes to help end the stigma for those who have a mental health diagnosis as well as to show those who do not have one that we who do have one can live productive lives. The second reason why is to give people who do live with a mental health challenge that there is hope and that recovery is possible. Hope is one of the things that is needed for those who live with a challenge and it my hope that I can be a beacon of hope to those who are struggling.

Little did I know when I started blogging that it would be helpful to me. Helpful in ways I never imagined and am beyond grateful for. Blogging has helped realize how to find a voice that I didn’t realize I had. It helped me find life long friends. Blogging has been a type of therapy for me. It also helped me an advocate for others as well as myself.

So as you can see blogging about mental health is why I write. I continue to write on my blog because of you my reader, my audience. If it wasn’t for you I don’t think I would continue to to blog.

I don’t have much more to write about on this post as I feel like I got straight to the point. I want to thank you may audience for reading my blog. If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be writing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Peace Out, World!!!

Poetry; Day Five: Imperfect

Untitled Poem

by Gertie

Looking at the their arms.

Arms that look like railroad tracks.

Arms that aren’t suppose to look like a railroad track but do.

Sadly the scars have others stare.

Fortunately, the scars have help with being an advocate

An advocate for those who have no voice.

The Joys of Being a Homeless Advocate and Pearl Jam Fan

Good Afternoon, World!!! It was announced yesterday that Pearl Jam is going to be playing their first concert here in Seattle in over five years. I, as Pearl Jam fan am beyond thrilled that they are finally coming back to Seattle to hold a concert. Not just one but two concerts and am looking forward to attending at least one of them.

As being a Pearl Jam fan finding out that they’re coming to the city you live isn’t exciting enough but being a homeless advocate this is even more exciting. Pearl Jam having what they are calling “home shows” is going to be donating money to help fight homelessness. If you been following my blog for a while you know I am a huge homeless advocate. It just happens I haven’t blogged much about it since I haven’t been doing all that well. However, with the news that was announced yesterday, and the hope that I am slowly getting back, it reignited my passion to help the homeless population. In fact they will be donating one million dollars. That money can and will going really far if they know where to donate it.

So as you can tell, that as I end this post, I am filled with hope and joy that one of my favorite band is playing two “home shows” and fight homelessness at the same time. Thank you for reading my blog once again. Peace Out, World!!!

P.S. I want to thank Pearl Jam for their donation to help end the homeless crisis here in Seattle.

A Year of Change

Good Evening, World!!! It has been two weeks and three days since 2018 started and have decided that this year will be a year of change. A year of positive change. In fact in October of this year (2018) it will mark fifteen(15) years since I made an active choice and decision with being in recovery. Yes, fifteen years. It’s difficult to wrap my mind around that I chose to be in active recovery back in 2003.

As I look back at 2003, I wasn’t where I wanted to be at in my life when I was 24 years old and am finding myself in a similar spot at almost 39 years old. The difference between now and then is that I have the skills and insight to know what to do to help and advocate for myself. Knowing how to help and advocate for myself is why I am making the decision to make this yet another year of change.

As many of you know, 2017 was not the easiest of years for me which is why I am wanting to make an active choice and decision to make an effort in my life regarding my recovery. I am making this year, a year of change in the positive direction with my recovery. I am planning on doing this in various ways which I plan to tell you how I’m going to this.

Many people have various ways on they get help for their mental health. Without sounding redundant, I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing with going to see my psychiatric nurse practitioner, (temporary) therapist, case manager and attending groups. On that note, I’m going to add on somethings that will be yet a year of positive change for me. Some of what I’m going to mention are things others around the world have done to better themselves and their mental health.

One of the various ways I’m going to do to make this year a year of change is to set out a time to do mindfulness and/or meditation. I am doing this because I have found it quite helpful in the past as well as in the present. It helps me refocus what needs to be done when I’m dealing with an anxiety attack as well as help me focus on the day to come.

Another way I’m going to make this a year of change is to journal. I’ll continue to free write journal however I’ve decided I’ll do guided journaling. It is my hope that the guide journaling will help me remain positive or get me in a positive mindset. Yes, I know being positive or in a positive mindset isn’t going to happen every moment of everyday however I don’t want to be the one who bring negativity into this world.

The last thing I’m going to be doing to help myself make it a year of change is something many around the world have done. That something is doing self-help workbooks. Yes, I know that sounds corny and maybe even superficial however if it is something that has helped me in the past then it can’t hurt to try again.

In fact I ordered some self-help workbooks and a guided journal from Amazon and received most of the items I ordered today. I plan on starting on of the workbooks as well as the guided journal this evening.

Before starting on a working book and the guided journal, I need to make dinner and eat. I also need to do laundry however I can do laundry and workbook and/or guided journal at the same time.I hope that you found that me making an active change in my recovery refreshing from many of my past post over the last year. It is my hope to tell you more about the guided journaling and workbooks I am doing as I am doing them. Have a great evening, everyone. Peace Out, World!!!

Looking Forward to Tomorrow

Good Evening, World!!! Tomorrow, I am going to be attending a town hall regarding the Office of Consumer Partnerships and advocacy regarding peer support. It’s being put on in city where the state capital is which is about an hour and a half car ride from where I live. The Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) and The Department of Social and Human Service’s (DSHS) want to hear from the peer community. They want to hear what we have to say and how to better advocate for us.

I’m looking forward to it for many reasons. One reason I’m looking forward to it is that I get to spend time with people I consider my “tribe” or part of my community. Another reason I am looking forward to it is being able know what the state is doing to better serve the community I’ve been a part of most of my life. Hell, I’ve been a consumer of the mental health system since I was nine. I’ve been volunteering in the mental health field for the last five year. I also worked in the mental health field for two and a half years and plan on working in the field again. So, I guess what I am saying is that I am looking forward to the town hall because of the many aspects of mental health has had on my life and how I can better advocate for others as well as myself.

I hope to talk more about the town hall tomorrow evening when I get home from it. I can’t make any promise’s as I am not sure how drained I will be afterwards. I want to thank you for reading. Have a good evening. 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!!!