1,000 Days

     Happy Monday, Everyone!!! Today, marks 1,000 days since I was last discharged from a inpatient psych unit. Hence, the reason why I titled this blog entry 1,000 Days. For me 1,000 days is a major accomplishment. This is the longest that I have been out of the hospital for psych reasons since I was a teenager. Being out of the hospital for 1,000 days just shows on how much I have accomplished in my recovery and of course I had many people who have helped with this process.

     I guess if I really look back my recovery process started back in 1999. Yes, my recovery process started 15 years ago. I may have not been in recovery with my mental health for 15 years but I have been in recovery from the eating disorders for that long. In my late teens and early twenties I considered myself a Christian. In fact I was highly involved in the Christian community. I share this with you because its part of my story of how I am in recovery with both Anorexia and Bulimia. Being active in the church I was attending and being a huge “Christian” music fan at the time, I had heard of this place called Mercy Ministries. Mercy Ministries is a place for “troubled young women” with all sorts of issues including eating disorders. The thing that drew me to Mercy Ministries at the time was that it is Christian and free. At the time it was the best choice I made. In fact to this day I don’t regret making the decision to go all the way to Nashville from the West Coast of the United States. I did graduate from Mercy Ministries and it is one of the greatest accomplishments in my life. I as a thirty-something may not consider myself as Christian anymore and am happy that as a twenty-something Christian, I made one of the best decisions in my life. I may not agree that I was healed from Anorexia and Bulimia but I do believe that because of Mercy Ministries I am in recovery from both eating disorders. I haven’t had any relapses with either eating disorder but I do struggle on occasion with the urges of the eating disorders. I believe that both eating disorders are a life long struggle and it is a choice I make to give in to those urges or not. I choose to not give in to those urges.

     Now that you know where I my recovery started or at least with the eating disorders, now let me tell you about my mental health recovery. My mental health recovery is much more of a rollercoaster ride than my eating disorder recovery. My mental health recovery started October 2003 when I entered an intensive two year out patient Dialectical Behavior (DBT) program. At the time I entered the  DBT program I had been in and out of inpatient psych wards and hospitals more than 40 times. That’s more times than my current age. While being in the DBT program I was required to get a job which I am beyond grateful that I was required to do. In fact the job was a requirement for the second year of the DBT program I was in. If it wasn’t a requirement for me to get job I wouldn’t haven’t gotten a job and I am forever grateful that it was a requirement because I have been employed with same employer now for 9 years. The two years I was the program I only ended up in an inpatient unit once. I graduated from both years of the DBT program (first and second years).

      After I graduated from the DBT program in November 2005 I decided to go back to the current mental health agency I seek services at. Since going back to the current mental health agency in February of 2006, I have had a high turn over of clinicians and many more hospitalizations. In fact if it wasn’t for my last clinician switching to a different team in the agency, I wouldn’t have gotten my current therapist. I have had my current therapist since December of 2008. In fact Diana is the therapist I have had the longest in all the years I have been in therapy. Diana has helped me a great deal in the last 5 1/2 years. In fact if it wasn’t for  Diana helping me through the pain I have struggled with and still struggle with I wouldn’t have been able to stay out of the hospital for 1,000 days. Diana is one of many people who have helped me in the last 11 years. 

     Over last the last 11  or so years of mental health recovery I have found out a lot about myself. For instance when I was in DBT I realized that I am passionate about politics and got involved with it. I stopped for a long while when I started working and now I am wanting to get back into it. I also realized with one clinician I had that I am bi-sexual. I thank the universe that I figured out I was bi. Yes, my boyfriend know I am bi. I have also realized how much I love music and collecting comic books. I love Wonder Woman comic books. I got into collecting comic books. I am not only collecting Wonder Woman but Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and X Men. When I was in the height of my mental illness I stopped playing the flute and decided about 2 years ago to pick it back up and to start teaching myself to play the harmonica again. I also realized that I not only love rap and alternative music but country music as well. I also enjoy jazz. I also realized that I really enjoy reading and that I love reading Classic Literature. I tend to read memoirs and autobiographies of those who struggle or have struggled with mental  illness. I also enjoy reading mysteries, horror, sci fi and fantasy. I am telling you all this because when you are struggling with a mental illness you don’t realize what you like or enjoy and if you do know what you like or enjoy you forget about it because mental illness sucks the life out of you. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to educate myself about my particular diagnosis as well as the latest research regarding mental illness, therapies and meds. Another major thing I have learned or come to realize is to depend on my natural support system.

     Speaking of my natural support system they are throwing me a barbeque because of being out of the hospital for 1,000 days. They know its a big deal for me. I just wish they weren’t making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. This small barbeque is turning out to be a party. I just wanted it to be about 12 or so people. Apparently there are more than twenty people coming because they want to celebrate my success of 1,000 days. I know its a big deal but I wish they weren’t making it out to be a big deal.

     I better get going. I need to get ready for the barbeque. I am suppose to be there at 5:30(pacific time) and its now 4:22pm. I should get going and allow my support system to celebrate this day with me. Peace Out Everyone!!

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Last Day Of Vacation

     Its an absolutely beautiful day in the neighborhood. I spent this Sunday afternoon at a baseball game with my boyfriend. My boyfriend and I saw a lot of his co-workers there its always good to see people I consider family even if they are not blood. I love baseball even if the team I am rooting for looses. I had a blast like I do every time I go to a baseball game. I of course had my hot dog, Pepsi, slice of pizza, and garlic fries like I do at every game I attend. You would think that I would be full after all that food but I wasn’t.

     Apparently, I had enough room in my stomach of mine to have a steak at a barbeque I went to with my boyfriend after the baseball game. The barbeque was at one of my boyfriends co-workers place who happens to have a swimming pool. In fact this particular co-worker of my boyfriends is the person I consider to be my second mom or my other mother. She more of a mom to me than my own mom has ever been to me. So I of course ate the steak and had more food which include corn on the cob, potato salad, 3 pieces of chocolate cake and more Pepsi. It being a nice beautiful sunny warm summer day out, I of course went swimming. I love swimming and according to my boyfriend and our friends I should have been born a fish. Hell, that’s nothing new to me; I was told that all the time when I was growing up.  I enjoy myself even if I was acting like a kid (and a fish) for while.

    I think its okay to act like a kid every once in while especially since I have to go back to work tomorrow and start acting like an adult again. Today is my last day of vacation and I had an absolute blast today. In fact I enjoyed this entire vacation. I have to say that the best part of my vacation was spending time with my little brother. I really don’t want to go back to work tomorrow but its a reality I have to deal with. In fact its a reality a lot of have us have to deal with. I am hoping that I wont have to work at my current employer for much longer.

     The reason why I am hoping to not be working at my current employer much longer is because I have a job interview this Wednesday. I am really hoping I get the job I am interviewing for because nine years working at a grocery store is just getting to be too much for me. I am grateful for my current employer and being employed at the grocery store has helped a great deal with my recovery process.

      My recovery process has been a journey. That journey has not been easy. In fact today marks 999 days since I was last discharged from a psych ward. This is the longest I have been out of an inpatient unit or hospital regarding the mental illness I struggled with since forever and a day. The first time I was hospitalized for psych reasons I was only a teenager so 999 days out of the hospital is a good thing. I will be blogging more about my recovery process and being out of the hospital for so long tomorrow.

       Speaking of tomorrow I need to get going and make sure I have everything ready to go to work for tomorrow. I don’t even know if that last sentence made sense. Anyway, I will blog again tomorrow and I will be blogging about my recovery process. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Peace out!!!

Had A Great Weekend

     I had a great weekend. Yes, I know it’s Tuesday but I am now getting around to writing more about my weekend. I was too exhausted to blog yesterday when I got home.

     I really enjoyed my weekend. As I told you in a previous blog my boyfriend and I went to the city where my brother lives to celebrate his birthday. The first night we stayed at his place and the second and third nights we stayed at a hotel. Saturday my boyfriend and I spent most of the day with my brother. We of course had the barbeque at my brothers place. My mom and two of my uncles were there as well as some of brothers friends were at the barbeque. Surprisingly, my mother didn’t cause any drama. After the barbeque was over my boyfriend and I checked into the hotel and then met up with my brother at a local fair/carnival. The three of us of course had a blast.

    After my boyfriend and I spent most of Saturday with my brother we decided to spend the rest of the day and pretty much most of Sunday being intimate with each other. For people who have had intensive sexual trauma like I have endured have trouble with sexual intimacy. My boyfriend is always gentle with me and we stop when I need to. It takes a great deal of trust for me or any trauma survivor to be intimate with anyone. My boyfriend has proven time and again that I can trust him. That is a huge deal for me personally and he knows that. Like I have said he is always been gentle with me and I know he wont hurt me. Their is no proof that he will hurt me cause he hasn’t hurt me in the past. I have to believe what the past says about my boyfriend. It has taken a lot of therapy for me to trust a person to be intimate with and I am beyond grateful for that therapy.

    After spending most of Sunday being intimate with my boyfriend my brother came over to the hotel we stayed at to watch the fireworks to mark the end of the carnival/fair. I was impressed with fireworks. It takes a lot for me to be impressed with fireworks because of growing up near Disneyland and watching their fireworks. After the fireworks were done my brother and I said our goodbyes and he went home.

    My boyfriend and I got home yesterday. We were both extremely tired and that is why I didn’t blog yesterday. I need to cut this blog short because I need to get ready for my session with my therapist. I had to reschedule my session with my therapist because I was out of town. Anyway I hope to blog again later today. Peace out.

It’s Been A Great Weekend

     Well, its Sunday and I am on vacation. I have been since I got off work this past Friday. I came to the town where my brother lives to celebrate his birthday. Friday night my boyfriend and I stayed at my brother place and we had an awesome time. Last night and tonight we are staying in a hotel. In fact my brother is coming in about 15 minutes because we are going to be watching the fireworks from the balcony of our hotel room. Every year around the time of my brother birthday a fair comes to his town. At the end of the fair (Sunday nights) they light off fireworks. Thankfully my boyfriend and I were able to get a room facing the lake and where the fireworks are going to be set off as well as the fair. Yesterday, my boyfriend and I treated my brother to the fair after we had a barbeque at his place. We had a blast. Surprisingly my mom didn’t cause any drama at my brothers birthday barbeque.

     After spending time with my brother yesterday, my boyfriend and I went line dancing. I love that my boyfriend enjoys line dancing and country music. In fact my boyfriend and I have similar taste in music. I will tell you at a later date what type of music I enjoy. Anyway, my boyfriend and I spent all day together having adult fun in our hotel room. We even spent some time at the fair again and walked along the waterfront. It’s always nice to spend some alone time with your significant other to have intimate moments. Intimacy isn’t always an easy thing for someone who has sexual trauma in there life but am glad that I am able to enjoy it.

     Well, my brother is now here. He is one big goof ball. I love my brother to pieces. I am grateful that we are as close as we are because of our age difference of 11 years.

     I should get going and spend time with my brother and boyfriend. Plus we need to get ready to watch the fireworks. Anyway, I want to spend some time with my brother since my boyfriend and I are going back home tomorrow.

    Like I said I need to get going. In all honesty I feel bad for not blogging last night but my boyfriend and I were have some adult fun or intimate moments. I honestly hope to blog tomorrow to let you all know how the fireworks were tonight and to tell you what my boyfriend and I are planning for the rest of our vacation. Well enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening. Peace out all.

Hmmm….Just A Saturday Evening Rambling

     Its another beautiful day in the neighborhood. My boyfriend is barbequing steaks as I am watching the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Texas Ranger game. Right now its in between eighth and ninth innings and the Angels are up 5 to  2. I of course am rooting for the Angels since I am originally from Anaheim. I miss California. Tonight’s game happens to be in Texas.  

     Well, I worked earlier today. I actually had a good day a work today. I worked with one of my favorite checkers today. The checker I worked with today is like a second father to me. He has taken me under his wing. The cool thing about this particular co-worker is that he is very non-judgmental of me and my mental health issues. He can usually tell when things are acting up without me even having to tell him. When things are acting up he makes sure that I get my breaks because I usually don’t take my breaks. I take my lunches but not my breaks. Its always nice to have people that have your back. My schedule for this next week is okay. I only work 15 hours but I work Sunday which means I get Sunday pay. That’s a good thing. After my shift on Friday I will be on vacation again.  

     I will be going to see my little brother on my vacation. It just so happens his birthday happens that every year his birthday falls the same week/weekend of the local fair in his town. I will treat him to the fair like I always do when I happen to be around on his birthday. I love him so much. My boyfriend will be going as well. My boyfriend and brother get along great. I’m looking forward to going the rides, playing the rigged games and most importantly the fair food. Oh how I love fair food.

     The Angel vs. Ranger game is now over. The Angels won 5 to 2. I am proud of my Angels. Its a four game series and the have won the last 3 games against the Rangers and have one more game against them tomorrow.

     Now back on to my brother. I am looking forward to seeing him and spending time with him. Its hard to believe that he is going to be 24 years old. I am proud of him and everything that he is accomplishing in his life.

     As I have told you in earlier blog entries I am reading a psychology text book to better myself as well as to educate myself. I figure since I cant afford to go to college at the moment I might as well as buy and read text books from a used book store. If you know where and when to buy a text book you can get them pretty cheap. In fact you can usually get them under $20. I love educating myself. I love it when I shock the hell out of people when I know what I’m talking about especially when its on a subject that you have to go “to school for.” People assume when they look at me that I don’t know what I am talking about but they soon realize that when I know something I know something.

    Well, my boyfriend is almost done with the steaks and I should get going. I am love meat. I love food. I need to help get the rest of the food out and on the table. My boyfriend and I are going to eat on his patio because its another beautiful day out. I love hot weather like today.

     I best be going. Have a good rest of your Saturday evening everyone. I hope you have a good weekend. Peace out and have fun.

 

Happy 4th Of July!!!

     Happy 4th of July!!! Today is Independence Day here in the United States of America. I am grateful for our Military Personal because if it wasn’t for them fighting for my freedom’s I wouldn’t be living in one of the best countries in the world. Thank you all for your service!!! 

     I worked today. Yes, that’s the unfortunate thing about working at a grocery store, having to work holidays, even Christmas and Thanksgiving. At least I get paid double time for working today. Today at work we weren’t just busy with our regular customers and customers preparing for their holiday celebrations but busy with a Jehovah Witness convention at a near by college/university football stadium. I guess it is a 3 day event. I didn’t realize this until I wished one of them a Happy 4th of July and it offended them. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. Sometimes I get frustrated with Political Correctness. See Jehovah Witness’s don’t celebrate holidays or birthdays and I can respect that because its a part of their religious beliefs. In fact I told on myself to my manager when I was told that I offend the person I was helping. My manager told me not to worry about it because we cant make everyone happy and that we cant know everyone’s religious beliefs unless they tell us or they wear a sign someone on their person.

     Yes, I will be celebrating the 4th of July. In fact I’m at my boyfriends parents house for a 4th of July party they are putting on. Their a lot of people here. Lots of food, fun, games and swimming. In fact my boyfriends parents house has a great view of where the fireworks are going to be shot off. My favorite part is always the fireworks. I do have to say that the firework show in the city I currently reside in is not as good as Disneyland’s fireworks. I grew up in Anaheim and was able to watch the Disneyland fireworks from my backyard, roof and even my front yard. I miss being able to watch the Disneyland fireworks every weekend. Disneyland’s firework show for the 4th of July is always their best firework show. Like I said I’m at my boyfriends parents house at the moment. I’m just taking a break from the crowd. It gets overwhelming at times especially since the symptoms of my PTSD are acting up. I figure that blogging will help ease the overwhelming feeling I am having at the moment. I am enjoying the food. I’m all about being All American when it comes to food on the 4th of July. Just give me a hot dog and I am happy. I had 3 hot dogs and plan on having a steak later on. I cant wait for the fireworks.

     Enough about the 4th of July for moment. I want to discuss the Co-Occurring Disorders training I attended for 3 days. We (me and the other trainee’s) learned about the science of the effects of addiction on the body and brain. I found the science part of it interesting. We also learned a new skill in the training called OPA. OPA stands for Organize. Prioritize. Act. It was created and copyrighted by Martin K. Abdo. To learn more about OPA I encourage you to go to his website http://www.opamentalhealth.com. I  have to say a disclaimer and that is if  that you want to do an OPA group in your practice or mental health agency that you contact Martin K. Abdo yourselves so he can train you to do it properly. In fact I can see myself doing the OPA skill in my everyday life. I learned so much from the training that I’m still trying to process everything I have learned. I guess you can say that I’m still on information overload. I’m grateful that now I can put the training on my resume’.

     Now that I have bored you with my day at work and celebration of the 4th of July as well as the 3 day training I attended, I’m going to end this blog for now. I hope I didn’t bore you with the events of my day and week. I am going to apologize for not blogging yesterday. I feel bad when I don’t blog everyday because I feel like if I don’t then I’m not helping fight the stigma of mental illness nor am I helping those who I struggling with a mental illness. I want to show those who struggle with a mental illness that there is hope and recovery is possible. I also want to show “normies” (normies is just term that means normal people) that people with mental illness live productive lives and are people just like them. I want to eliminate the stigma of mental illness. Well I better end this blog entry for now because I need to go show my face at the party again. Happy 4th of July everyone. Peace out and enjoy the fireworks.

Enjoying Training

     Happy Wednesday!!! I want to apologize for not blogging yesterday. I got busy yesterday. I went to the training yesterday then went to a barbeque at friends place with my boyfriend. It got warm yesterday and was more than grateful that the barbeque my boyfriend and I went to had a swimming pool. It got warm yesterday and I loved the warm weather.

      Well I’m learning a great deal in the co-occurring disorders training I am attending. I feel like I’m on information overload. I am enjoying the training a great deal. I’m making new friends as well. I am grateful that I am able to go to this training. Yesterday we learned about the science of addiction as well as how it effects the brain. Today we learned a good way to help those with co-occurring disorders. Tomorrow I think we are learning group techniques.

      I’m a little tired and want to share more about my training but like I said I am on information overload regarding what I am learning in the co-occurring disorders training. Plus the way the change to the way it looks when you are typing the blog has thrown me for a loop and I’m not sure why. Maybe its cause I am so tired. Anyway, I don’t have much more to say. I just hope that all the tags I put in appear. I’m still trying to get a hang of this blogging thing. Have a good night all. Enjoy the last 2 hours and 14 minutes of your Wednesday. Peace out!!