Ramblings About The Day & Friends

Good Evening, World!!! Today, was a sunny, crisp, cold day in Seattle. Extremely beautiful out yet way too cold for my liking however it’s always nice when it’s sunny outside this time of year.

I spent some of the day with a close friend. We had lunch and went rollerblading around a local lake at a park. It was nice spending time with a friend despite the both of us being cold at the end of rollerblading. I’m just happy that I have friends who are there for me through the good, the bad and the ugly. Many people would have just walked a way or distanced themselves when the symptoms of my mental health conditions reared their ugly head yet I have friends that don’t do that. I am forever grateful for those friends.

On that note, we then have those “friends” who are more like acquaintances and sometimes not even that. An example of such a friend happened today as well. I get a call from a local community mental health agency saying a particular person is using me as a professional and personal reference for a job. The thing about this is, is that this individual never even asked me if I would be a reference for them. I never really worked with this person and have only attended peer specialist/counseling related trainings with them as well never really staying in touch with them outside of trainings unless it involved other training. In reality I couldn’t be a reference for this person. I informed the person on the other end of the phone that I couldn’t give a reference of any kind as I don’t know the individual well enough and explained to them on how know the person we were discussing. The person on the other end of the phone was “grateful” for my “honesty” and that I wasn’t the only one “surprised” by being a reference. I realize that me informing the potential employer about this person that I really don’t them could cost them this particular job in their chosen career however it could look bad on me if the person didn’t work out especially if I ever want to work at this particular mental health agency. I know that sounds selfish but if I don’t know the person to give any type of reference, I don’t want to look bad.

Now on to another form of friendship. This more of romantic relationship. Right now as I write this post, Junior, is making dinner for the both of us. He is making homemade mac & cheese, ham, corn, and homemade peach cobbler. I love Junior and the support he has given me. He is an amazing person as well as an amazing partner.

Thank you for reading about my ramblings of the day. I hope you have a good rest of your evening. Peace Out!!!

Everyday Inspiration; Day 17: A Map As Your Muse

Good Evening, World!!! Today’s assignment is finding your inspiration through a map. Last time I took this course, Finding Your Everyday Inspiration, I decided to have fun with the map assignment and decided to do the same, this time around. Last time, I found a “map” for “career planning” as a way to have the topic of my career goals. This time around, I’ve decided to use “Self Management” to bring up the topic of how I am needing to come up with some goals for my life or least when it comes to my recovery, emotions and behaviors.

We don’t get a “map” for life and choosing to map out my own life can be challenging at times which is why I want to discuss this “Managing Self” (Self Management) map. Self management means different things to different people. For me self management is similar to self care. Self management means that we are the managers of ourselves.

To me self management means being in control of my emotions and behaviors as well as my reactions to other peoples emotions and behaviors. I may not have “control” over all my emotions when my symptoms of my mental health condition are high however I am in control of how I behave and react to them. Self management is not any thing for anyone but everyone’s self management plan looks differently for each individual.

My self management plan right now is to focus on my recovery. I may be in a “middle of a relapse” however I am choosing to continue to be in recovery by focusing on what I need to do to get back to do well. Going to and participating in my appointments and groups is something I am doing to get back to do well. Doing good self care like eating, sleeping (or at least having a good sleep hygiene schedule), showering, taking my meds and so on are is another way I am focusing on my recovery.

I do the above stated things so I can go back to the career I worked my ass of for as well as maybe get an education related to the mental health care field. The educational aspect of my career could and will be helpful for career advancement. Its a matter of figuring out how to fund my education. Or at least looking in grants and/or scholarships.

So, as you can see self management is about reaching for goals. Goals that might be interrupted or detoured due to unexpected events but goals to aim for. The big goals need to have small goals so one doesn’t give up on the ultimate goal. So that what my self management map looks like.

Again thank you for reading. I hope everyone continues having a good day and weekend. Peace Out, World!!!

An Opportunity I Couldn’t Say No To

It’s been just over two weeks since I last blogged. I have usual excuses as of lately, which are: my symptoms were acting up or I was not in a good head space. Both of which are true but there have been times where I could have blogged.

One of those times I could have blogged was last Monday at this time. I was at the train station waiting for a train and I arrived three hours early by accident. I arrived three hours early because I thought my train left two hours earlier than it was scheduled to be. I was bored and I could have blogged as I waited for my train but didn’t.

I bet you’re wondering where I was going on the train. I know I would be wondering where someone was going if they were writing (or talking) about arriving at a train station two hours early. I will tell you where I was going.

I was offered a scholarship to attend a conference at the last minute. Not just any conference but conference specifically geared toward peer specialist here in Washington State. As badly as my symptoms were acting up I knew if I turned down the scholarship of attending the peer conference that I would regret it. I am beyond grateful that I attended and the only thing that it cost me was the train ticket to get there and back.

Attending the conference was just what I needed. It gave me the hope I need to help me with my recovery. Hell, not just my recovery but my career as well when I go back to work when things improve. It helped me a great deal with me getting refocused on what I need to, to get back on track. Things to help with my recovery and career as well as maybe some educational opportunities. In fact attending the conference was educational in it of itself.

We all know education can help with ones career. I hope that one day I will be able to get more of education to help with my career but that’s not what today is about. Today is about those who worked their asses off to get what they need to help themselves and the rest of us get better working conditions. Those people are the individuals that were apart of the Labor Movement. With out those fine individuals in the Labor Movement we wouldn’t have today; Labor Day. To those individuals working this Labor Day, thank for working today.

As I go and enjoy my Labor Day and end this post, I hope that I will post at later time about the peer conference. I learned a great deal there and would like to share my knowledge. I hope everyone has a good week. Happy Labor Day. Peace Out!!!

A Reminder of Where I Want To Be, Again

Good Evening, World!!! It has been a long yet rewarding day. As I have been writing about with you, my reader, I attended a continuing education training. Most of it was common sense stuff while some was review from other trainings. Even though most of it was a refresher for me however I did learn a couple of new things.

Most of what I learned that was new to me was what other agencies do in regards to ethics and boundaries when it comes to a Peer Specialist. Another thing that wasn’t much of surprise to me but just confirmed what already knew what that there isn’t a “set in stone” code of ethics for Peer Specialist nationally. Mainly because there is a massive gray area being a Peer Specialist.

Attending today was bittersweet because it reminded me of what I am currently at which is not a good space to be working with people who to, are struggling with their own mental health struggles. However, it also got me to thinking about my future. A future that will help further my career in the mental health field. I’m hoping to go back to school. I want to get my Associates Degree in Social and Human Services and hope to get a Bachelors Degree in Applied Behavioral Science. In order to do this I  need to do a few things first and hopefully when those are done I can be back in school in Spring of 2018.

As hopeful as I am toward my future at the moment, I need to focus on the here and now. The here and now means I need to eat and spend time with Junior. Yes, that means I’m ending this blog post for now. I hope that everyone had a good Monday. Peace Out!!!

Not Good Start; The Rest Will Be Good

Good Morning, World!!! I’m up at 4:09 in the morning because of a nightmare. A nightmare that is a symptom of PTSD. I highly dislike having PTSD and would not wish this on my worst enemy.

Waking up from a nightmare is never a great start to any day. I did have Junior by my side helping me through the after effects of the nightmare. Junior sat with me as I cried through the pain. The emotional and physical pain the nightmare brought. Yes, PTSD symptoms can cause not just emotional pain but physical pain as well. As I allow myself to cry, Junior held me to help me feel safe.

After I finished crying, I gave myself a few moments to recompose myself. As I recomposed myself I decided I will blog. Blog about what!?!? Nobody knows not even me.

I am looking forward to what today has to bring. I will be attending a continuing education training for Peer Support Specialist. Its on Ethics and Boundaries in Peer Support. Ethics and boundaries is something we all need in our personal and professional lives. This continuing education training I am attending will help me with my career when I get back into being a Peer Specialist.

Having a career as a peer specialist is know when to step away from things to focus on ones recovery. That’s what I am doing. As much as I would love to be working as a Peer at the moment, I realize focusing on my recovery is important. I just hope that me focusing on my recovery will help me grow as a person and as a Peer Specialist.

Anyway, I’m thinking that I should end this particular blog post for now. I need to get ready for the day ahead. I want be in a good space when I attend the continuing education training I will be attending. If I’m not too tired when I get home from the continuing education training, I hope to blog about what I learned I hope everyone has a great work week. Happy Monday 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!!!

The Reawaking of Weekly Check-Ins

Good Afternoon!!! About a year and a half ago or so, I joined a blogging event through WordPress that occurred on the weekly basis. This event focused on how your week went and when the event ended I decided to continue to do it but on a different day. I chose Saturdays as Saturday is the last day of the week.

Unfortunately, due to a relapse in my not so lovely depression symptoms as well as symptoms of other mental health diagnosis’s, I ended up stopping the weekly check-ins. It’s something I wish I didn’t stop and wish I started the weekly check-ins sooner than now. The weekly check-ins, ultimately helped me with my mental health symptoms and it also kept you the reader update date on what was going on in my life as well as keeping you interested in reading my blog.

Now that you are aware that the weekly check-ins are now being awoken; I guess, I will do my weekly check-in for this week. I pretty much isolated most of this week with a couple of exceptions. The first exception was on the 4th of July when I went to celebrate it at a friends picnic at their house. I’m glad I went because attending the 4th of July celebration helped me get out of my head as well as helped me forget even for a few moments that I have a mental health condition. Plus, I had fun spending time with people who truly care about me.

The second exception is when I went to an appointment to see my case manager’s supervisor on Thursday. I saw him this past week instead of my therapist or case manager because they both happened to be on vacation at the same time for week of their vacations. Normally, I would be “okay” with not seeing someone on my treatment team for a week or two but due to, two recent suicide attempts as well as not improving as quickly as I have in recent years from a crisis. My case managers supervisor is a nice dude and is quite helpful. He is concerned about “the lack of progress as well as the lack of purpose” I have in my life at the moment. He has every right to be concerned about the lack of progress as well as the lack of purpose of my life. As I mentioned in my last post that work gave me sense of purpose and the supervisor knows all to well of the purpose work gave me. I discussed with him about wanting go back to school and he appeared to be of support of this. Having the support of going back to school gives me hope.

Hope that I want to give to others, which is why I am needing to end this post. I am needing to get ready to go so I can volunteer to give others hope. Before I go to give hope to others, I need to eat. I hope everyone has a good rest of their weekend. I will be making every effort to do weekly check-ins every Saturday. Have a wonderful day everyone. Peace Out!!!