The Day After

Hello, World!!! The last twenty four hours have been quite difficult for my family and I. It has been difficult because of the death of my grandma, yesterday.

As difficult as yesterday was for me, I realized on how much support I have. Support I didn’t realize I had much less folks who actually read my blog. For instance, a shout out to my recovery coach for reading my blog to see how I am doing. Thanks!!! Another shout out to both my case manager and therapist who have been reading my blog on the semi-regular basis to “check-up” on me. Even a shout out to my friends who read my blog to see how I am doing when I haven’t check-in with them.

Having the unexpected folk read my blog is a blessing to me. It’s a blessing because to me it shows they care and concerned for how I am doing especially those who identify as people with lived experience. The power of peer support is amazing.

As amazing as peer support is, I am grateful for it as well as grateful for the professionals in my life. My therapist and case manager are putting back on “daily check-ins” as a preventive measure. A preventive measure to help keep me on the path I want to be on. A path of recovery and to get back to work.

Thank you for reading. Peace Out, World

Weekly Plans

Good Morning, World!!! As I sit here starting this post, I realize that I forgot to do my weekly check-in yesterday. I’m disapointed that I didn’t do it like I said I would however I’ve also been blogging more on the regular basis that you a well aware of what my week was like. So my plans for the week are as follows:

Sunday:

  • Blog which is obvious as this is my third post of the day. I also plan to blog my poem for the intro to poetry course later on today.
  • Art. I plan on doing some painting. I plan on painting something for my case manager.
  • Read. Pretty self explanitory.
  • Clean my apartment
  • Workbook

Monday:

  • Blog. This is the day where not only will posting my poem for the intro to poetry course but start the weekly fictional writing prompt. I’ll be doing the writing prompt every Monday.
  • Attend Knitting Group
  • Attend Art Group
  • See my case manager
  • See temporary therapist, Gilbert
  • Read
  • Workbook

Tuesday:

  • Phone Interview
  • Read
  • Clean apartment
  • Art
  • Blog
  • Workbook

Wednesday:

  • Go to clubhouse
  • See temporary therapist, Gilbert
  • Art
  • Read
  • Clean apartment
  • Blog
  • Workbook

Thursday:

  • Go to social security office
  • Pay bills
  • Clean apartment
  • Blog
  • Art
  • Workbook
  • Read

Friday:

  • See temperary therapist, Gilbert
  • Blog. This particular post will be Fun Facts Friday
  • Art
  • Clean Apartment
  • Read
  • Workbook

Saturday:

  • Blog; Weekly check-in
  • Volunteer
  • Read
  • Workbook
  • Art

Thank you for reading my long boring post about my week to come. As you can tell I’m cleaning my apartment a lot. Its because its a disaster area. I tend to not keep up household chores when my depression gets bad. I plan on spening about 15 minutes a day to clean so I don’t get overwhelmed.

Thank you again for reading my blog. Its apreciated. Peace Out, World!!!

Needing Consistency W/My Mental Health Treatment Team

Good Afternoon, World!!! I’m a little sad as I’m having yet another change in my treatment team. It involves one of my DBT Group leaders is leaving. She was one of the biggest supports I had right after Diana left suddenly due to a life threatening illness. So it came to a shock to me when the female group leader said she was leaving. I am feeling sad. This makes the fourteenth change in my treatment team in as many months. As much as I am sad I know this group leader is going to make sure I have a goodbye with her.

Even though she is not a clinician who works with me a good portion of the time she has worked with me a great deal. That is why she is wanting to have a half an hour goodbye session with her. She say and I quote “You deserve goodbye from me. We have always had a good rapport and you deserve to have a goodbye and proper goodbye” unquote. I’m glad I’m having a goodbye with her.

I just want to have some consistency in my treatment team and not have so many changes in as many months. Realizing I was getting upset with the lack of consistency I decided to do a mindfulness exercise using the Calm app as I was on the bus home. After the mindfulness exercise I listened to music. So more or I used my DBT skills to help me not be so upset and/or angry with the inconsistency in my mental health treatment which helped reduced the urges to self-harm. So I am proud of myself for reducing my anger and self harm urges by using skills.

Thank you for reading about my not so good news. I am truly proud of myself for using my DBT skills. Peace Out, World!!!

Weekly Check-In

Good Morning, World!!! The last few weeks hasn’t been the easiest for me especially since therapy services was abruptly pulled from my mental health treatment. Which is something many people on my treatment team are “not too thrilled about.” Yes, it’s been two and a half since therapy services were abruptly pulled from my mental health treatment yet my case manager, her supervisor, my group leaders have been giving me the support I need through this. In fact my case manager’s supervisor is now seeing me three times a week for an hour each time I see him. Granted, it’s not exactly the therapy I need however, I think he realizes with the rest of my treatment team that what the program manager did was unethical and in my opinion he is trying to smooth things over. He does appear to care.

Speaking of caring he suggested that I take the advice of some of my friends (and fellow peers) in getting a recovery coach at local peer run community center. So, I did. I met with my recovery coach for the first time this past week. I will be meeting with my recovery coach weekly for about six months. It’s a time limited service which is a good thing or at least I think its a good thing.

The same place I get the recovery coach from does an annual fund raising event by selling Christmas Trees. This peer run origination ask for folks to volunteer at the Christmas Tree lot so, I’ve decided I would volunteer at the lot as I think it will be helpful to my recovery. Especially to my recovery regarding trauma around the holidays; specifically, Christmas.  I did my first volunteer shift at the Christmas Tree lot yesterday evening. I really enjoyed myself despite having wet, cold feet at the end of my volunteer shift.

I informed Mama Bear about me volunteering at the Christmas Tree lot and she stated that she is “proud” of me. She also gave me a much need reality check. A reality check I desperately needed regarding my recovery. Having friends like Mama Bear in my life is a blessing for me. A much needed blessing. Friends who are able to tell you like it is and keeps it real is something everyone in this world needs.

Speaking of needs, I need to get going so I can get ready for my volunteer job at a help line. A volunteer job I’ve been at for just over three years now and love with a passion.

I hope to blog again in the next few days to let you all know how things are going.  I hope you all have a wonderful day. Peace Out!!!

Feeling Supported & Heard In An Angering (& Unethical) Situation

Long time, no blog. It’s been a few weeks since I last blogged. Actually, its been neatly a month since I last blogged since that last time I did was on Halloween.

I’ve actually attempted to blog a great deal this past week or at least since last Wednesday but failed to do so as I was (and still am) pretty angry. Angry over what happened last week. Actually, it happened a week ago today which would make it last Wednesday (November 15th).

The thing that got me so angry was that I was informed by my therapist that I no longer am a part of the therapy services per her supervisor who happens to be the program manager of the program I am a client of. Needless to say I was angry. I was angry on how it was communicated to me. I unfortunately (figuratively) shot the messenger, who happened to be my therapist by yelling and screaming at her. She didn’t find out about me not being able to continue with therapy till the day before by her supervisor. So needless, to say my unexpected last session with my new therapist didn’t go all that well. I truly believe that my therapist heard what I was telling her. Not because I was yelling at the poor woman but because of her body language, what she was saying as well as her tone of voice. I do NOT blame my therapist whatsoever in this as this was NOT her decision as she was only made aware of it the day before. Unfortunately, I was not able to thank her for all her help.

Another unfortunate part of this, is that the other members of my treatment team were NOT made aware of this till I left them an angry voicemail. I left my case manager a voicemail as well as her supervisor a voicemail. Both of which had no clue about it. The supervisor of my case manager called me and he said that I must have misunderstood my therapist and would look into it and call me back when he looked into it. He did call me back to inform me that I did in fact not misunderstand what my therapist had said. He and my case manager were not informed of this drastic change in my treatment team nor the timing of it.

My case manager and her supervisor as well as my now former therapist are acutely aware that the timing couldn’t have come at a worse time for me. Finding out the news that I am no longer able to get therapy services at this moment in time came three days before the four year anniversary of the miscarriage of the first set of twins. It also came a few weeks shy of the one year anniversary of me finding out that Diana left the mental health agency I’m a client of due to cancer. It also comes during the holidays as well as other anniversaries regarding traumatic events. In fact both my case manager and her supervisor agree that what the program manager did is extremely unethical for anyone to do in the mental health field.

As angering and unethical as this situation is, I don’t blame my case manger, or her supervisor or even my now former therapist. I blame the program manager one hundred percent on this. In fact because of this I have lost trust in my treatment team.

Despite feeling unsupported by the program manager and being angry with the asshole, I do feel supported by all the other staff on the team. My case manager, her supervisor, and my group leaders have been quite supportive of me the last week. My treatment team is working hard to gain my trust back.

As I end this post I hope to let you all know in a later post on the “reasoning” behind why I lost therapy but right now is not the best time due to me still being highly angry. Thank you for reading and I hope to blog on the more regular basis. Happy Thanksgiving and Peace out!!!

Everyday Inspiration; Day 9: Writing and Not Writing

Good Evening, World!!! I’m struggling to do today’s assignment for some unknown reason. A reason I am unable to come up with at this moment in time. Today’s assignment more or less ask what I do when I am not writing.

I perceive the assignment as a way to think about my self care and the focus I must have to continue on with my recovery that doesn’t include writing. Writing is a form of therapy for me however I know it’s not the cure all for my therapy needs.

When I’m not writing, I am primarily doing something regarding my mental health treatment. I attend appointments with my case manager and therapist. I also attend group therapy. The groups I attend are Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Healthy Sexuality, and Art Groups. In fact if I really wanted to, I could write about the various topics brought up in all the groups I’ve been in as well as topics brought up in my sessions with my therapist and case manager.

When I’m not participating in my mental health treatment, I am spending time with friends. Most likely my friends and I are having a dinner get together or out enjoying the outdoors. Many of my friends and I love the outdoors and love to hike as well as camp.

So, basically when I am not writing, I am doing good self care by seeking mental health treatment as well as spending time with friends. Preferably, my friends and I are spending time outside.  I think this assignment just gave me an idea or two to write about later on.

As, I end this blog post, I want to thank you for reading. You guys are my inspiration on why I continue to write. Thanks for being awesome. Peace Out, World!!!

Weekly Check-In

Good Afternoon, World!!! It has been a while since I last did a weekly check-in and have been encouraged to “make more of an effort to blog on the regular basis.” I agree with the multiple individuals who have pointed this out to me. The one way I can “blog on the more regular basis” is by doing the weekly check-ins.

In fact one of the individual’s that have encouraged me to start “blogging more” is my case manager. I saw her this past Monday (September 25th) for our regularly scheduled appointment. My case manager checked-in with me about what happened to me and am greatly appreciative for it. We spent most of our half hour session discussing ways to use my skills to help me through the not so good moments. One of those skills is blogging and that how the topic came up. We also discussed me doing some art work after I showed my case manager some of the art the I did in art group before our session. We also discussed how I can use other skills that I have in my tool box which I will bring up one that I’m surprisingly enjoying later on in this post. Before the session ended my case manager wanted to make sure I was going to attend my doctors appointment the next day (Tuesday). I reassured I would.

In fact as mentioned in my previous post, I did go to my doctors appointment. My doctor and I discussed how I was doing as well as checking in with me regarding my mental health. She is “concerned” that I’m “not receiving the proper mental health” that I need. I reassured my doctor that I am. I informed her that I am not only receiving both therapy and case management services but attending three groups. She inquired more about the groups and I happily obliged. My doctor appeared to be content with all this at least for a moment.

Since I’m on the topic of groups, I attended all three groups this past week. The first group I went to is held on Monday’s and is an Art group. I love attending the Art Group however I don’t attend every Monday but I did this past Monday. I highly enjoy attending it and both my case manager and doctor would like me “attending every week because being creative appears to be of help” to me. I can’t argue with that.

The second group I am attending is on Thursdays and about Sexual Health and Relationships. Primarily it’s about sexual health. In fact my case manager co-facilitates this group.  I’m not quite sure about this group yet because of what happened. I’ve only attended once and it has only been a group in existence for two weeks. My case manager recommended this group to me before I got sexually assaulted. I’m toying with the fact if its a good idea to continue with this group however it’s something to discuss with my therapist as well continue discussing with my case manager.

A group that needs no discussing for me to continue for me to attend is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) on Fridays. In fact attendance is a requirement of DBT and is one that has a waitlist to for is which why once I finally got into it, I make it a priority to attend DBT. I did attend yesterday. In fact I admitted to group and will admit to you that I was willful with not doing part of my homework. In fact I don’t want to do part of my homework that is due next Friday. I will however do the homework as I know it will ultimately help me. Validating others is easy. Self validation is not so easy and it’s something that would hopefully help me. In fact I am pretty sure self validation will be helpful.

Another thing that is helpful and a major part of DBT is mindfulness. In fact I mentioned earlier in this blog post that I would bring up a skill that I have found surprisingly enjoyable which is mindfulness and meditation. In fact a fellow peer (specialist) suggested an app that I have found quite helpful and is how I found out that mindfulness and mediation is enjoyable. The app is called Calm and I highly recommend using it if you have a smart phone. I have found it quite helpful. The longest stretch I’ve used the app is seven days in a row. Unfortunately, that stretch ended when I was assaulted. That’s why my case manager encouraged me to start using it again since I have found the app helpful and enjoyable. In fact she informed me that she will let my therapist know about the app. In fact I have a two day stretch as of today. Hopefully by the time I see my therapist it will be a five day stretch. I’m hoping that I can make mindfulness and meditation a daily habit.

Speaking of habits, I need to make blogging a habit. Which is why I am planning on making an effort to put it into my schedule to blog. That’s why I want to make I at least do my weekly check-in post.

As I end this post I want to thank you for reading. I hope that everyone has a great day and Peace Out!!!