The Tale of Blogger Woes

Good Evening, World!!! I want to apologize for not following through with what I had planned to do with my blog. As you all know life can get in the way at times. It also doesn’t help that I have been a little discombobulated.

The last few weeks haven’t been the easiest for me but I realized once again how important it is for me to be blogging. As, I have said many times before I need to keep a regular schedule when it comes to blogging. I am also needing to get on both my contributing authors for writing on their scheduled days. For me setting up a schedule for my blog will be helpful especially since I want to keep you the reader reading.

My rough idea’s for a schedule is as follows:

Sundays: Nothing in particular scheduled for this day.

Mondays: Nothing in particular scheduled for this day.

Tuesdays: Educational Piece. This will be dedicated to educating you my reader on mental health related stuff. It might be on a specific diagnosis or a treatment that is specific to a diagnosis or even a news article regarding the topic of mental illness or recovery.

Wednesdays: Junior. Junior will be writing on this particular day. For those of you who may not know, Junior is my fiancé. He will be writing from his point of view what it is like to be a support person of someone who lives with a mental illness as well as the first responder point of view. He is a firefighter.

Thursdays: Weekly Writing Prompts. This will be writing prompts that I have from a Writers Magazine and a Journal or any other source I am able to access writing prompts. The prompts might be pieces of fiction or based on my life.

Fridays: Mama Bear. Mama Bear is a woman who works with Junior and who has taken me under her wing. She has taken on the mother role in my life. She will be writing from the point of view on that of a support system to someone who lives with a mental illness. She will also be writing from the point of view as mother who has children who lives with mental illness as well that of a first responder. She too, is firefighter.

Saturdays: Weekly Check-In. This will be a where I check-in with you my reader to tell you how my week went and how I am doing over all.

I will also be having a friend of mine doing a monthly contribution. Of course, I will be blogging on the two days I have nothing scheduled as well when there is something scheduled. It is my hope that this will keep you reading my blog as well as keep you following my blog if you follow it. Have a wonderful evening everyone. Peace Out!!!

Two Years of Blogging

Today, marks two years since I posted my first blog post. It’s hard to wrap my mind around that it has been two years already. In fact I am surprised with myself that I have stuck with blogging. I thought I would have given up on it for various of reasons. I could have multiple times and didn’t give up.

I could have given up when I miscarried. I could have given up when my mental illness reared it’s ugly head. I could have given up when I didn’t reach the amount of followers I think I should have by a certain time. I didn’t give up.

I didn’t give up because there is still stigma out there regarding mental illness. I didn’t give up because there are people out there still struggling with mental illness that needs to find hope. To find hope that recovery is possible. I didn’t give up because I have found out in the last two years of blogging that blogging helps me and helps me with my recovery. If fact I wasn’t even expecting it to be helpful for me. I didn’t give up because I have found a support system within the blogging community.

The blogging community has a sense of respect for each other that other social media does not. There is very little drama in the blogging community. There is some drama but it’s extremely rare and that is what I like. We all respect each other no matter the topic of our particular blog or post. We may not always agree with each other but we respect each other and our different opinions and point of views. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of an awesome community.

I need to be going. I need to get going and head for work.  Again, thank you for being so kind to me and allowing me to be me. Have a wonderful day and Peace Out!!

An Idea or Two

Good morning, everyone!! Or at least it’s still morning for another twelve minutes in my neck of the woods. I have come up with an idea or two for my blog. As many of you know that I recently acquired a writers magazine that has fifty-two writing prompts for every week of the year starting in on the first Monday in June. You may know that I have decided that I am going to do the weekly writing prompts here on my blog for the next year (52 weeks) starting in June. Of course this is an idea that I have had for a week or two and that  may or may not be new to you.

The idea or two that are new to you is that I was thinking about doing a weekly check-in with you all. I would do this weekly check-in with you all on Friday evening or Saturday morning or afternoon. It is my hope to engage you my reader a little bit more as well as to let you all know how things are going with me. Part of the reason why I am wanting to do this is I am realizing I am not blogging as much as I would like to and this will help me with being more regular about blogging.

The other idea of the idea or two is to have contributors to my blog. They would be people in my support network. For instance, I have Junior my fiancé to be a contributor and he thinks it’s a wonderful idea. Another contributor would be a friend of mine who has taken me under her wing and is a second mother to me. In fact she has been more of a mom to me than my own mother. I call her my Mama Bear and that’s how I will refer to her by here on my blog. Anyway Junior and Mama Bear both think its an “awesome idea.” They will both be posting at least once a month and posting from the perspective of having a loved one that struggles with a mental illness. They might even give the perspective of being first responders and dealing with the public and those of the public who struggle with mental illness. I am hoping with having contributors that it will give my reader and/or follower a different perspective on the side of mental illness and how it effects them and the stigma they to deal with.  I am not sure when my contributors will start but I will inform you when they do.

Before I go I hope that you like the idea’s I have come up with to keep you my reader and/or follower to continue to want to read my blog. I know when other bloggers I follow don’t post much, I start to loose interest and I hope that you all aren’t loosing interest in my blog.

Well, it is now exactly 12noon. So have a good afternoon everyone. I hope you all have a good weekend and Peace Out!!

Getting the Groove of Things

As I sit here at my laptop, I realize how much I love to blog. I haven’t blogged as much as have liked in recent months for various reasons.

One of those reasons is that I now work fulltime as a peer specialist. It’s a job I love and am slowly getting in the groove of things especially since we have been short staffed. The colleague I told you about two or three entries ago decided to quit and quit in a way that left everyone in shock. He left a text with my bossing he quit. Ultimately, this colleague was let go (or fired) for job abandonment for not quitting in an appropriate way that my employer would be okay with. So, with one colleague no longer with the agency has left me and my other colleague short handed. Short handed in a way that is not very fun for anyone especially someone who is learning the ropes. So, I am ultimately trying to get the groove of things at work as well as my personal life with now working fulltime which I am loving.

At this point in time, I am slowly re-learning time management skill with working fulltime and good self-care with my personal life. A lot of the things I have been doing outside of work happens to be work related. I am starting to learn how to drive or will be in a week and a half. I was reading the drivers book to get a drivers permit. I need a drivers license for work. I’ve never needed one because I’ve always lived in a major city with public transpiration. I have also been working on getting my agency affiliated counselor licensure. So as you can tell I am needing to do good self-care.

Part of the good self-care thing for me is blogging. I am needing to find time to blog for a multitude of reasons besides it being good for my own self-care and recovery.  I am wanting to continue with the education part of my blog. The education part is a two part deal. The first part is education piece of my blog is to continue to share my story and show to those who don’t struggle with a mental illness that people who do struggle with one can recover and recover in their own way. The second piece of the education part of my blog is to post facts about mental illness and various diagnosis and treatments. I’ve been failing majorly on the fact part of the educational piece of my blog. As many of you already know if you read my blog regularly, I started my blog to not only educate others but to help others who struggle with a mental health diagnosis that recovery is possible and show that there is hope. Hope  that recovery is possible. Another thing that I have come to realize in the almost  two years of blogging is that it is helping me with my own recovery.

Another part of my recovery is that I like to write poems and short stories. Yesterday, while at the mall I went into a book store and bought some magazines. A couple of the magazines that I bought are geared toward writers and/or poets. One of the magazines has 52 writing prompts to do starting in June. One a week for a year and it reminded me of what WordPress does with it’s daily prompts. So, it is my hope that starting in June I will do the weekly writing prompts for a year. I think it would be fun to do and it is something I could also schedule to post so if I start to struggle again or if work gets busy that you my reader wont wonder where I am at. I love to write and hope that it wont only be fun for me but fun for you the reader. Plus, it would be a given weekly entry. Again, all this will start the first Monday in June. I think most if not all of the weekly prompts are suppose to be fiction and I will attempt to keep them fiction if the topic allows.

It seems to me that I am getting long winded again and I think I need end this particular post for now. I just wanted to update you on things as well inform you on what I am planning on doing with my blog. I love my  recovery and what I am able to do with my blog in regards to my recovery. I just hope I can be able to educate people to lessen the stigma that goes with having a mental illness and show people that recovery is possible. Recovery isn’t easy but is it possible and a lot more fun. Well, have good evening and I hope everyone has a good week. Peace out!!

Improving My Blogging Once Again

Good evening everyone! I once again signed up for another WordPress course. I signed up for Writing 201: Finding Your Story. There are many reasons I signed up for this course.

The first is in improve my blogging skills. The second is to get back into blogging since I have gotten out of the habit of blogging due to my mental illness flaring up. The third reason is to give me some structure on days I don’t have much or any structure at all. Last but not least the fourth reason why I am doing this is to have fun.

I hope to have my first assignment done on my lunch hour tomorrow at work. Considering I work in the mental health field that might not happen but it is worth a try. I am looking forward to learning more about myself and blogging through this course.

Well, I am going to end this post for now. I don’t have much more to discuss at the moment. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend. Most importantly have a wonderful week ahead of you and peace out.

 

Improving My Skills In Blogging

As you can tell a number of my post have been Daily Prompts in recent days. I have quite a few reasons why I have done the daily prompts. One of which is, I was having difficulties coming up with ideas to blog about and they are extremely helpful in that way. Another reason why is I’ve been using Daily Prompts is because I noticed I wasn’t blogging as much as I use to, when I started blogging and realized that I had more people reading my blog when I was posting more often.

Another thing I plan on doing starting tomorrow is the Blogging U. 101 class that WordPress puts on for free. Yes, I am aware that the Blogging 101 courses might be a bit trivial and a repetitive blogs due to the assignments they give and for the fact that I have been blogging for just over a year now. I figured it wont hurt if I relearned stuff that I already learned by trial and error. Who knows I might even learn some new stuff. I am hoping that taking the Blogging U. 101 course will help improve my blogging skills. Granted, I realize some of the assignments they give me might have me blog about things or topics that I have already blogged about. It is my hope that you my reader don’t get annoyed with me and remain patient with me and my blogging process.

It is my hope through this process that it will improve my skills to be a better advocate for those with mental illness as well as to better educate those who do not have a mental illness. It is my biggest hope with this blog to help eliminate the stigma those is associated with having a mental illness. Discrimination against those with mental illness is why many people who struggle with one don’t seek out help. It is for them I share my story of recovery and hope that my story can eliminate the stigma that goes along with it.

Now that you are aware of what I am going to be doing, I ask for your patients and understanding. The course will last three weeks and I hope to learn a great deal with it. Peace out and have an awesome day.

Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.” Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

Here I am again, doing another daily prompt. In fact yesterday was the first time I ever used WordPress’s daily prompt and I like having the option of a specific “topic” ready for me to choose from. In fact I’m loving having the option to not only have a daily prompt but having the option to do todays daily prompt or a past daily prompt. Just like the daily prompt I use yesterday, today, I chose a past daily prompt.

It is an extremely difficult choice for me to pick just one teacher who has had an impact on my life because, there isn’t a teacher that I haven’t had who hasn’t made and impact on my life at one time or another. Since all my teachers have had an impact on my life, I have decided to only discuss three teachers in this particular post. Two of the three teachers happen to be two of my most favorite teachers. I have decided to use their real names due to the fact I want to give them all credit for what they have done. I know maybe that may not be a wise choice on my part but they do deserve credit even if what one teacher angers you (like it does me) they all are worthy of credit.

Before I begin telling you about the three teachers who have had the most impact on my life let me tell you a thing or two first. All through my school years I was a main streamed special education student. That means I was in “normal” classes with other kids in my grade with the exception of one subject and sometimes two subjects. The reason being is because at an early age I was diagnosed with not only ADHD but dyslexia and other reading and writing disabilities. The only subject I was not main streamed in was English and on occasion other subjects when needed.

Now that we are on the topic of both Special Education and English, lets talk about my seventh grade Special Ed English teacher, Ms. Phelps. Ms. Phelps wasn’t the best of teachers nor was she one of my favorite teachers. She was not always the most sensitive of people and unfortunately wasn’t afraid to speak her mind especially when it came to hurting a students feelings. Don’t get me wrong, I actually prefer people to speak their minds but when it could harm someone especially a child then its not always exactly the best thing to do. Ms. Phelps was getting fed up with me because she didn’t think I was putting much effort into my homework.  In all actuality, I was spending two hours a day just doing homework for her class alone. I had six other classes that I needed to do homework for (including marching/concert band). I spent three hours doing homework from my other classes and that includes me practicing my flute for an hour for band. I spent more time doing homework for class than my other classes. Since Ms. Phelps didn’t think I was putting much effort into my homework for her class she kept giving me detention which was nothing new for me since I was always in trouble. It was one of those detentions where she spoke her mind and spouted out her anger on me. She told me “You will never graduate high school much less make it through you freshman year of high school. You most likely will drop out your freshman year. You will be a high school drop-out just like your parents.” It was because of what she said is what made me determined to graduate high school and prove her wrong. If it wasn’t for those words echoing through my head, I think I wouldn’t have cared so much about graduating high school as I did. Yes, I did graduate high school and it made me feel good that I not only proved her wrong but I proved myself wrong as well. I still haven’t been able to show her my high school diploma and I’m okay with it because it doesn’t matter so much to me any more.

The next teacher, I’m about to tell you about was one that inspired me to be the best at what I was able to do despite my disabilities and had him throughout my junior high years. For me the junior high I attended was only seventh and eighth grades. Mr. Hahn was my band teacher. He had a sense a humor that related to every kid he taught. Mr. Hahn taught me how to persevere through difficult sections in a specific piece of  music which could be a potential metaphor for life. Mr. Hahn put a great deal of effort into me and helped me improve playing the flute. He taught me various things in regards to the flute as well as being able to use them in life now and not just in regards to playing the flute. Mr. Hahn’s constant encouragement, sense of humor and love for music is why I continued playing the flute through high school even though I wasn’t exactly the best flute player in the world.

This next teacher I am about to tell you about is one who encouraged me to get help for both my eating disorders as well as the depression I was in. Ms. Casey taught me Earth Science my sophomore year of high school and Biology my junior high of high school. She was also the class advisor for my graduating class. She taught me how to love science and that it was more than okay to be a woman who loves science. Not only did she help me get the help I needed for the eating disorders and mental illness, she helped me with my homework for her class(es) as well as other classes. Ms. Casey put the effort into me to make sure that I graduated high school. Ms. Casey was one of those teachers (just like Mr. Hahn) who put in extra hours to make sure all her students succeeded in school and beyond.

If it wasn’t for the above three teachers, I wouldn’t have graduated high school nor been the success I am today. They all taught me the power of determination in their own way and that once you put your mind to something, stay strong and most importantly keep the determination.

I wish I could write more on this particular post especially about Mr. Hahn and Ms. Casey, I am unable to do so because I have to go to work. I love my job and if it wasn’t for all my teachers throughout my life I would have it. Thank you to all the teacher who have taught me. Well, off to work I go. Peace out!!

Daily Prompt: Strike a Chord

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Strike a Chord.” Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

As I was searching through past topics of the Daily Prompts, this particular topic caught my eye instantly. It caught my eye for a multitude of reasons and decided that I would do this daily prompt before heading out to work today.

Yes, I do play an instrument. I play the flute. I’ve been playing the flute since the sixth grade. That was back in September of 1991. Holy shit, that was 24 years ago. The story around why I started playing the flute is quite humorous. I originally started playing the trombone and my arm was to short to slide to the fifth and sixth positions and even with the extension I was still unable to slide to the sixth position. Since I was unable to play the trombone due to short arms, I had to choose another instrument. I was debating between the oboe and the flute and was ultimately persuaded into choosing the flute by my best friend, who was learning to play the flute at the same time as well. I am beyond grateful that I was talked into playing flute but part of still wishes I picked up the oboe. The oboe has a beautiful yet unique sound and is an instrument that catches my ear.

I find many musical instruments quite pleasing to my ear besides the above mentioned instruments. One of the instruments I find particularly pleasing is the bagpipe. Yes, the bagpipe. People tend to laugh at the fact that I not only enjoy the sound of the bagpipes but want to learn how to play them as well. Over the years I’ve come to study the history of the bagpipe. The reason being is because it is a part of my heritage. I am half Irish and identify as Irish. Yes, I do know it’s also a part of Scottish heritage however, I don’t have any Scottish in my blood. A cool side note about bagpipes is my fiancé, Junior can play the bagpipes quite well. In fact he is a part of the pipes and drums with the fire department. He in fact is a firefighter and paramedic. The cool thing that I find about Junior playing the bagpipes is that he is Mexican and isn’t afraid to do so. (Junior is also able to play the trumpet and plays in a Mariachi Band).

Playing the flute has been a life safer to me in many ways. Playing the flute in the high school marching (and concert) band is what helped stay in school and prevented from dropping out. That’s why I am so passionate about keeping both the performing and fine arts in schools. The arts keep people like me in school.

Not only did playing the flute keep me in school, it has helped me enormously in my recovery with mental illness. Playing the flute helps with my mental illness in several ways. It helps keep me distracted at times. It relaxes me. Most importantly it helps me focus on my breath and breathing well. When I am dealing with severe PTSD symptoms I tend to forget to breath and the “normal” breathing techniques and exercises don’t help me much. The “typical” breathing techniques and exercises tend to make my PTSD symptoms worse due to some trauma. That is where the flute comes in to helping me focus on my breath. You need to breathe well to be able to play the flute properly. That means, me being able to breathe well not only helps me with playing the flute helps with the symptoms of my PTSD. You can say that playing the flute has been a type of therapy for me; music therapy. Unforantenly, not many places offer music therapy despite how helpful it is to many different people in this world.

When I chose this particular daily prompt, I had absolutely no idea where it would lead. I honestly didn’t think I would be discussing how the flute helped (and still helps) with my PTSD. I thought I would me discussing more how band kept me in school and how I now have life long friends because of band. In all honesty, I have my best friend since the third grade to not only to join band by picking an instrument but persuading me to choose the flute over the oboe when I was not able to play the trombone. Playing a musical instrument gives one a community that they will always be a part of.

Now that I’ve done this daily prompt, it brings joy to my soul that I was able to share one community I belong to, to you the blogging community in which I to belong to. Thank you for allowing me to share all this. I am going to have to end this blog for now because I have to go to work now. Have a wonderful work week everyone. Happy Monday and peace out everyone!!!!

107 Questions With 107 Answers

I got the idea for this post from another blog, which I of course follow. Thank you Marci over at http://marcimentalhealthmore.com/  It means a great deal to be able to share ideas (and sometimes even still them with permission of course) with other bloggers. Yes, I did add, change not include some questions so I could make it geared more to my blog. .

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging for two reasons: 1) to educate those who don’t have a mental illness in hope to lessen the stigma that goes along with it. 2) to show others who do struggle with mental illness that recovery is possible and there is hope.

2. How did you come up with the title of your blog?

I came up with the title, Gertie’s Journey because Gertie is my nickname and I would be discussing my journey along the way.

3. Why not use your real name in your title?

I originally didn’t use my real name because of the stigma that goes with having a mental illness. I now don’t use my real name because I work in the mental health field and need to protect my privacy.

4. Does that mean you have a mental illness?

Yes!!

5. What are your diagnoses?

As of right now my diagnoses are Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), PTSD, OCD and ADHD. So, I’m an Alphabet Soup.  At one point in time I was diagnosed  with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I no longer meet the criteria of BPD and consider myself a Recovered Borderline.

6. Do you consider yourself in recovery?

Yup, I do!!!

7. What do you do to stay in recovery?

Most importantly, I make sure I see my therapist and psychiatric nurse practitioner (ARNP) on the regular basis. I take my meds as prescribed daily. I make sure I go about my regular routine even if I’m struggling. I exercise on the regular basis.

8. How are you, really?

Overall, I am doing pretty good despite having high anxiety due to PTSD symptoms.

9. How are you feeling right now? What are you thinking about?

Umm….I think I just answered this. If you can’t remember go back to the previous question (as I say sarcastically). I’m thinking about what I’m going to have for dinner. I’m also thinking about working on scrapbooks I’m making for people for their holiday gifts. Yes, I know the holidays are six months away.

10. What is your favorite color?

Purple

11. What is your favorite food?

Mac & Cheese, Strawberries, Mexican Food

12. What is your favorite dessert?

Strawberry short cake and peach cobbler

13. How old are you?

Somewhere between 30 and 39. (Said sarcastically) Honestly, I am in my mid-30’s.

14.  What have you learned today?

I learned about Buddhism and meditation from a book I am reading about Buddhism.

15. What do you do?

I am a Consumer Advocate in a supportive housing program at local mental health agency.

16. What are some of your favorite books?

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card; The Stand by Stephen King and J.A Jance books. I also like many poems by Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Emily Dickenson

17. Who are some of your favorite authors?

Orson Scott Card, Stephen King, J.A Jance, Emily Dickenson, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou

18. What are some of your favorite movies?

BIG, Speed, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, comedies, horror, and many movies Robin Williams is in.

19. Who are some of your favorite actors?

Robin Williams, Winona Ryder, Betty White, and Will Smith

20. What kind of music are you into?

I like 80’s and 90’s music and I also like Punk Rock, Grunge, and alternative.

21. Who are some of your favorite musicians?

Nirvana, Tori Amos, K.D. Lang, Kurt Cobian, Amy Grant, Tears for Fears, Journey, Queen, AC DC, and I can continue on my favorite musicians but wont.

22. If you’re going to write a book, what would it be about?

It would be memoir of my life with a mental illness and my recovery.

23. What’s the scariest thing you have ever done?

I think it would have to be starting my recovery with both the eating disorders and my mental health diagnoses.

24. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Graduating high school, getting my peer specialist certification and being in recover with my mental illness.

25. How did you meet your fiancé?

I don’t remember meeting my fiancé but will tell you how we met. We first met when I had attempted suicide and one of my housemates found me unresponsive and called 911. He was one of the firefighters on duty who responded to the call.

26. Do you have any children?

Sadly, no

27. Have you thought about fostering or adopting?

Yup, Junior and myself want to do foster care in hope of adopting the foster child/ren.

28. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a teacher.

29. What profession are you currently in?

I am in the mental health field.

30. How did you get into your profession?

I got into the field because I have my own mental health issues and want to be an example of what recovery looks like. Plus, I have a peer specialist certification.

31. Would you recommend your profession to other people? Why / Why not?

Honestly, it depends who the person would be because not everyone is fit to work in the mental health field.

32. What do you do for fun?

Camp, hike, rollerblade, walk, read, blog, watch movies, do jigsaw puzzles, do Sudoku puzzles, scrapbook, go to sporting events especially baseball games, going to concerts, listening to music, hang out with friends and select family members, and volunteer.

33. Do you like traveling?

I love it.

34. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?

Its a tie between Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. I would like to go to Ireland because I am half Irish and its part of my heritage. I want to go to Australia and New Zealand because I learned about it summer school between the 3rd and 4th grades and grew fascinated with both countries.

35. Who are some people you’d like to meet someday?

President Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Sigmund Freud

36. If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet?

Refer to the previous question with the exception of President Obama since he is still alive.

37. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say?

The future belong to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

38. What’s one of your favorite habits you have?

Going for a daily walk listening to music.

39. What are some things that make you really happy?

Sunny days, humor, my brother, my fiancé, nature, water, and my job

40. What are some things that make you really sad?

My miscarriages, most of my childhood, and how I have treated people in the height of my mental illness.

41. What are some things that scare you?

My PTSD symptoms I deal with on the daily basis. The mental health symptoms I deal with when I’m in crisis.

42. Do you like to plan things out in detail or be spontaneous?

I like both planning things and out and being spontaneous.

43. Are you a religious person?

No but I do consider myself Spiritual. I am on a Spiritual journey and looking into various faiths at this particular stage in my life.

44. Would you rather live in the country or in the city?

I am a city person. I love living in the city.

45. What was your life like growing up?

It wasn’t the best of childhoods.

46. What were you like in high school?

Depends on who you ask.

47. Do you have any brothers or sisters? How many?

Yes, I do. I have one half brother.

48. What’s your favorite part about today, so far?

The sunny weather, the strawberry shortcake I had and reading about Buddhism.

49. Who in your life has influenced you the most? How did they do it?

I’ve had many people who have influenced my life throughout my life and how those people did it is as unique as they are as people.

50. Have you ever tried sushi? (Did you like it?)

No, I have not tried sushi and never plan on trying it.

51. Do you like spicy food?

The spicier the better!!!!

52. How do you like your steak cooked?

Some pink but not a lot of pink.

53. If you were a type of animal, what would you be and why?

I think I would like to be an Orca because they are beautiful, intelligent animals and they get to be in the water all day.

54. What’s one of the strangest things you’ve ever done?

What are you talking about? Everything I do is strange because I am strange.

55. What kind of vacations do you like?

I love camping and any vacation I can learn something new.

56. What are some of your major goals in life?

To continue on my journey of recovery with mental illness.

57. What are some of your smaller goals in life?

To update my résumé and apply for peer support specialist jobs.

58. What do you like least about yourself?

The scars on my arms, legs and torso due to when I use to self harm.

59. What embarrasses you?

My speech impediment especially the stuttering (Its pretty much under control now but it acts up when I am under stress), being in little kid mode and being in a dissociated state.

60. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?

Being a psychiatrist.

61. What’s your earliest memory?

When I was three and my mom abandoning me.

62. What’s the best decision you ever made?

Being in recovery and choosing to stay in recovery. Trusting my gut with being in a romantic relationship with my fiancé, Junior.

63. Who’s your best / closest friend?

My fiancé, and three people I grew up with and/or went to high school with.

64. What do you think people think of you?

I don’t want to think what others think of me.

65. What were your grades like in school?

They weren’t the best in the world, mainly because of learning disabilities and/or mental health issues.

66. If you could learn one random skill, what would you learn?

To learn American Sign Language (ASL), Spanish and German.

67. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

I’m a little of both.

68. Have you ever taken a personality test? (How did the results turn out?)

Honestly, I’m not sure because, I’ve I had so many different test throughout my life that they all kind of run together. I must have if I was diagnosed for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I am really grateful I no longer meet the criteria for Borderline.

69. Do you enjoy the particular sexual pose of what the number of this question is?

Very much so!!!!!

70. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

I notice both a persons eyes and smile.

71. Do you think people can control their own destiny?

To a degree, yes.

72. Do you think all people are equally valuable, or do you think some people in certain situations might be more valuable than others (say, a severely mentally ill patient vs. a doctor who could potentially save hundreds of lives)?

Define value!!

73. Do you think people are basically bad or basically good?

This is a difficult question for me to answer due to the fact that there are many factors to consider.

74. Do you think morals are universal or relative to the beliefs, traditions, and practices of individuals or groups?

I think it I need to know more before I could answer this question.

75. Do you think God exists?

Another complicated question. Yes, I do think that there is a spiritual being out there. I just don’t know who he, she or they are.

76. Do you think any kind of afterlife exists?

Yup, I am positive there is an afterlife.

77. Do you vote? Why / Why not? If you do vote, how do you usually vote?

Yes, I vote and I don’t disclose how I vote.

78. Do you think gay people choose to be gay? Do you think straight people choose to be straight?

I don’t think we choose our sexual orientation.

79. Is torture ever a good option? If no, why not? If yes, when?

Torture is NEVER a good option for any reason.

80. Would you kill an innocent person if you thought it might mean saving a dozen other people?

I would never kill an innocent person.

81. What’s the most money you’ve ever given away?

I rather not disclose. The amount I give away to a charity or person is between me and the charity or person.

82. What’s the biggest personal change you’ve ever made?

Choosing to be in recovery.

83. What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?

I’ve done many stupid things that I cant just name one thing.

84. What do you think would be one of the best steps we could take toward ending poverty around the world?

This is a loaded question and difficult to answer. It is something I will have to ponder about.

85. What do you think we could do to best improve the education system?

Pay teachers more, smaller class sizes and bring back fine and preforming arts.

86. In general, what do you think about art?

I love it.

87. What are some of your favorite websites?

Any website that I am able to learn something on.

88. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?

That my ex-step dad wasn’t abusing me when he actually was.

89. What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I cry myself to sleep because I miss the babies I lost through miscarriages.

90. What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?

I love being able to help others.

91. What are some of the first things you do in the morning?

Go to the bathroom, take a shower, eat and take my meds.

92. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?

Loosing two sets of twins within 14 months of each other due to miscarriage.

93. Do you cry easily?

No.

94. How do you feel about public speaking?

I hate it.

95. Do you like to talk on the phone?

Its better than texting.

96. How many emails do you get each week, roughly?

Depends what account. I have a work email, a personal email, a professional email and an email for this blog.

97. If someone were to make a movie about your life, who would you hope would play you?

I wouldn’t want my life made into a movie so I hope nobody plays me.

98. What’s one of your favorite questions to ask new friends or to get a conversation going?

It depends on the situation I am in.

99. Would you ever sky dive or bungee jump?

I have always wanted to sky dive. When I was younger I wanted to bungee jump but as I get older it becomes less appealing.

100. Have you ever been in a fist fight?

Yup, in junior high.

101. What’s the best prank you’ve ever pulled?

My senior prank in high school.

102. What did you do on your 16th birthday?

My friends had a surprise party for me.

103. What do you think is one of the most undervalued professions right now?

Teaching and any profession in the mental health field.

104. How would you explain your basic life philosophy?

When I look back on my life I rather regret the things I do than the things I don’t do.

105. Would you rather be hated or forgotten?

Neither

106. If you knew you would die tomorrow, would you feel cheated today?

I don’t want to know when I am going to die.

107. Now, how do you honestly feel after answering all these questions?

Exhausted but overall still doing well.

Awe-Inspiring Growth Spurts In Recovery

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog. Unfortunately, not only have I been busy with life, I have had writers block. With much discussion with both supportive and inspiring people in my life, it finally occurred to me on what to write about. The topic I desire to convey to you is growth spurts in respects with continued recovery with mental illness.

Despite some difficulties over the last few months I’ve come to the conclusion that my recovery is constantly changing and evolving. Evolving into who knows what, but whatever it is I know it has to be valuable and beyond what words can describe. It has been my experience that whenever I experience some challenges or difficulties along the way in regards to my recovery, it usually means that I am about to have a growth spurt.

As many of us know from childhood, growth spurts can be quite painful. Growth spurts are usually an awe-inspiring moment once the growth spurt is complete or nearly complete. As my current growth spurt comes to an end (or at least I think it is), I can’t help but think how it has reshaped who I am and what I am to accomplish before the next growth spurt.

Before, I continue let me explain what I consider a growth spurt in regards to recovery or at least to my recovery. A growth spurt to me in my recovery is when I learn something. Something that needs to be learned and sometimes that learning something involves being in a crisis.

Unforantenly, for me the current growth spurt that is finally coming to an end, involved me being in crisis. An intensely painful crisis at that. A crisis that made me acutely aware of who I am and how far I have come in my recovery as well as knowing who is truly in my corner and who I am able to count on.

Knowing who is in my corner and who I am able to count on has helped me a great deal. If it wasn’t for those in my corner, I would have not learned as much as I have during this current growth spurt because they were there for me when I needed them the most (and they still are) when I was (and still am)  grieving  over the loss of miscarry twins. Nothing hurts more than loosing a child or in my case a set of twins.

Acutely aware, that loosing the pregnancy is what put me into a mental health crisis makes it that much more difficult recover from for me. I am also aware that I have I have the skills, the people in my life to help me when necessary and most importantly hope that I did not have in the height of my struggles with the mental illness’s I suffer with.

Over the years, I have come to recognize that regardless of what the cause of a crisis, I can make certain that its a growth spurt that has a positive learning experience attached to it. I have learned a considerably good amount of how others deal (or don’t deal) when someone has a crisis when it involves the loss of a child. Unfortunately, discussing a miscarriage (and still born babies) is quite taboo which makes the grieving process that much more difficult. The one thing that I have learned and still am learning that its not only okay to talk about the miscarriage but to cry over the loss of my children. Yes, I still struggle a great deal with not only the miscarriage I had in January of this year (2015) but the miscarriage I had in November of 2103 however that doesn’t mean I stop living my life.

The living life as I slowly recover from my crisis due to a devastating life event is what is awe-inspiring to me. The reason being is because the farther apart my crisis’s are, the more I realize that I want to be involved with life despite the pain and/or chaos the crisis brings. Having this awe-inspiring moment in my recovery has been a work in process. In fact it’s been years in the making with mounds of difficult yet challenging work and effort on my part (as well as many clinicians doing their part).

If I had not put in so much effort into my recovery with the help of other, I wouldn’t be working at all especially at job I absolutely love. Being a peer support specialist is all about being living proof that recovery is possible. Another way, I am able to show that recovery is possible is volunteering on the Warm Line. My clients at work as well the callers on the Warm Line inspire me a great deal. They inspire me to keep going  and continue with my recovery even though they are unaware of it.

I am beyond grateful for having this awe-inspiring growth spurt in my recovery and being able to share it with you fine folks out there in this wonderful world of ours. Thank you so much for allowing be share my recovery with you. I’m going to call it a night a spend some time with my wonderful partner, Junior. Good night and don’t let the bed bugs bite. Peace Out!!!