Fighting Off A Ton Of Bricks

I’m feeling frustrated with myself. I’m feeling frustrated because anytime I see any type of progress or improvement it appears that I fall and fall hard. Depression is hitting me like a ton of bricks and with a vengeance yet people in my life are helping me fight like hell to make sure it doesn’t win the fight.

The reason why my friends as well as my treatment team are fighting like hell along side with me against the depression is because two weeks ago, I attempted suicide on two separate occasions. The scary thing in all of this is that I haven’t attempted suicide in nine years which is of course is why everyone is concerned. For whatever reason, I didn’t end up on an inpatient psych unit which if I really look back on it, is concerning in itself but am grateful that I didn’t end up on an inpatient unit.

I’m grateful that I didn’t end up an inpatient unit for many reasons. The main reason is that it helps me, help myself without having someone readily available to depend on at all hours of the day and night.  Being able to not have people readily available in an instant has me focus on my DBT skills. Skills, I know that will help me and able to do not being on an inpatient unit because if I was on an inpatient unit I wouldn’t be able to use some of the skill most useful to me due to “safety” which I understand. Being part of an inpatient unit is to learn new skills as well as to practice the healthy skills you already have. If one cannot not practice healthy coping skills due to safety reasons how can one be able to practice them.

One such skill is listening to music on my  smart phone or Discman because both will require headphones. Headphones can be use to strangle yourself or someone else and understand why it’s a safety issue. Listening to music is one of the most helpful and useful skills I have. Listening to music helps me get myself in a better head space especially if I am highly escalated. If I’m highly escalated, listening to music puts me into a better head space to where I can come up with other skills that help me. In fact those other skills are usually are skills that bring out the creative side of me.

One such creative outlet also involves music. I play the flute and have been playing it since I was 12. I have never been the best at playing the flute nor have I claimed being a good flautist but its something I love to do. Playing the flute gives me a sense of self-confidence, I normally don’t have when I’m not playing it or any other musical instrument. In fact learning to play the harmonica and recorder also gives that same sense of self-confidence the flute does. Granted, learning to play a musical instrument is challenging but if it helps me get outside of myself as well as help with my self-confidence, then I’m going to accept the challenge.

Art is another creative challenge I take on as yet another skill that helps a great deal. My art form right now is collaging and coloring or combination of both. There is something soothing about looking through magazines, news papers and such searching for the right picture or word to cut out. Pasting the chosen cut outs onto a piece of paper and seeing it come into a piece of art is a thrill in of itself. Another thrill I get is seeing a finish coloring page. Looking at a colorful piece of art and knowing you created gives a person a sense of accomplishment.

On the topic of accomplishment, I get sense of accomplishment whenever I write. Whether I write via blogging, journaling, or a newsletter, its another outlet for me to be creative. I love to write. My love for writing is what helped me make the decision to start my blog. One of my favorite genre’s to write is poetry. Poetry helps me get what I need to get out emotionally. Since it helps me emotionally and I didn’t finish the Intro to Poetry course WordPress offers. The poetry course will not only help me emotionally, it will help me get back into the swing of things regarding blogging on the regular basis. Blogging on the regular basis will also keep you the reader more interested in checking on my blog more regular to see what I have to say. Another thing I like to do in regards to writing is to do writing prompts. Writing prompts can help one be more open with what is going on emotionally as the prompt can be one that has you write about something in real life. Prompts can also cause one to be creative and imaginative. Something that I am highly considering to do again is to start my weekly writing prompt as part of my blog.

As you can tell being creative is what ultimately helps me and being on an impatient unit can hinder me be creative for a number of reasons and most of them are legit. I am not condoning needing to be on an impatient unit as they are helpful and maybe I should have been hospitalized especially after the second attempt in matter of three days but am grateful I was not. In the last two weeks since the second attempt I’ve done a lot of thinking and soul searching. I found that I need to start being more creative and honest with myself.

Since I’m needing to be honest with myself, I realize I’m needing to end this post to start my going to bed routine. That includes watching the eleven o’clock news and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with a cup of hot tea. Have a good night everyone and peace out!!!

SIDE NOTE: I want to make it clear that I am NOT currently suicidal. I also want to make it clear that I am currently NOT experiencing any suicidal thoughts or suicide ideation.

Being Future Oriented

Dealing with a mental health condition is a full time job in itself. Some days its like having two full time jobs. Today happens to be one of those days it feels like I have two full time jobs. Actually, it feels more like having three full time jobs at this particular moment in time.

When I’m having moments or days like I am having currently, it means that I am needing to focus on my Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills. As, I focus on my DBT skills I realize that being in my current head space that I am needing to really focus on what I need to deal to get back to doing well.

When I am doing well, I am working. Preferably, in the mental health field as it’s the field I am most passionate about. As, I think about future employment, I realize I want to further my education as it will be helpful in the mental health field. I being a peer specialist really don’t need a college education but it is quite helpful if you have one. So, it is my hope to be able to get an Associates of Applied Science degree in Social and Human Service’s with a certificate in Chemical Dependency. Getting this will make me more employable. Employable as a Peer Specialist or as a Chemical Dependency Counselor or even both.

As I think about getting an education to further my career it has me realize not working at this present moment has helped me reevaluate my life and focus on my recovery. Its also made me realize how passionate I am in regards to people being in recovery. Of course people make the decision to be in recovery and want to help others through their recovery however it looks to them.

For me blogging is part of my own recovery and as I end this post I want to thank you for reading. Thank you for reading. Peace Out!!!

Spinning Like a Hamster Wheel

My mind is spinning like a hamster wheel and my emotions as well as my thinking are most likely the culprits of the hamster wheel spinning.  A spinning hamster wheel is never a good thing for me.  A spinning hamster wheel is usually never a good thing for anyone.

As I mentioned, the culprits of the annoying spinning hamster wheel are my thinking and my emotions. At this point in time I’m thinking that my thinking is effecting my emotions.  This leads me to what I need to help myself to stop the hamster wheel or at least slow it down. I will have to use a combination of both Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) skills and Dialectical Behavior (DBT) skills.

Despite being in a place I don’t want to be in that I am slowing climbing out of, I realize I am far enough in my recovery that I need to use some CBT skills along with my DBT skills. I prefer DBT over CBT but realize there are times when using CBT is just as beneficial as DBT.  I know favoring one over the other isn’t a good idea but I feel like DBT has helped me more in my recovery than  CBT has.  Weather or not what was more helpful to me and my recovery, there are times when using both sets of skills are extremely helpful.

Before I end this post to go and use skills, I realized that blogging about the spinning hamster wheel has slowed it down. So, thank you for reading. If it were for you the reader, I wouldn’t still be blogging. Again, thank you for reading. Happy Memorial Day weekend. Peace Out!!!

Consistency is a Necessity for Recovery

Over the years I have learned that consistency with who my treatment team is key to my recovery. Unfortunately, as of lately that hasn’t been happening for me.

I learned on St. Patrick’s Day that my new therapist, was leaving the agency I seek services at for my mental health treatment. This loss hits me hard as this therapist was the direct supervisor of Diana and was updating me on her health at Diana’s request. Not only that, I was just starting to feel comfortable with her style of therapy as it was slightly different from Diana’s therapy style.

As difficult as it is to loose another therapist so close to Diana’s sudden departure due to cancer, I appreciate her effort in making sure she found the right fit. A fit I am unsure of at the moment and realize the uncertainty of a new therapist is causing some anxiety.

To lessen my anxiety of having a new therapist, my therapist thought it would be a good idea for me to meet the new therapist during our last session together at the location I will be now going to. No, I’m not changing mental health agencies, its that my new therapist is at different location than the one leaving and Diana were at. I am really appreciative of my therapist doing this for me as I know she didn’t have to do so.

My last session with my therapist has come and gone and tears shed on both ends which was quite unexpected for the both of us since our therapeutic relationship had only been for four months. Of course having therapist who was the direct supervisor of your previous therapist (Diana) was helpful to building trust with her. Even though I only met with my new therapist of all of seven minutes for an introduction and to set up a first appointment, I found it quite helpful.

As helpful as I found meeting my new therapist, no matter how briefly, I still have anxiety regarding my first appointment with her. As with any first appointment, I have with anyone, my anxiety usually increases however this time the anxiety is higher than it usually is. Not sure why but it is and if I continue to ask why I notice my anxiety start to rise.  I’ve also realized as my first appointment with my new therapist quickly approaches, there is an increase in the anxiety.

The increase of anxiety is where the use of my Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills come in handy to help even if I don’t want to use them. See, DBT skills have helped me through some tough moments as an adult. Even though seeing a new therapist isn’t the toughest thing I have experienced in my life, it’s anxiety provoking enough needing to use my skills.

As I use my skills, I realize that there is a number of reason why to my anxiety is so high regarding my first appointment with this new therapist. Actually, there a roughly a handful of reasons. All those reasons lead to both the grief I have for Diana’s sudden departure due to cancer and having a new therapist leave in less than five months which leads to the consistency I need for my own recovery. Consistency that I fear I won’t have with my new therapist as she appears to be close to retirement age but then again that might not be an issue either but its an issue I have to wait till deal with in my first session with her. For me consistency is key for me to start to trusting people and hope that my new therapist sticks around for a good eighteen months. I don’t that doesn’t sound long but I don’t want to ask for too much as I am seeing her at a community mental health agency and know realistically that people don’t stick around for as long as Diana did. I trusted Diana and still do and hope she is doing well. Most importantly, I hope I can trust my new therapist.

Before, I end this particular post I want share something positive. I am slowly starting to trust my case manager. I see she is trying really hard and to me that shows that she cares. She cares enough to try to build a good rapport and to me that is a sign I can trust her. When I first wrote about her I didn’t give her such a positive light and its not any of her fault. I was angry at needing a case manager and that anger showed through in that particular post. My care manager does care and does want to help me. For me trusting her is a big thing.

It looks like this post is coming to an end and before it ends, I want to tell you all thanks for reading. I am grateful for each one of you. Have a wonderful Sunday evening all and Peace Out!!!

Making Life Decisions in a Crisis

The last few months have been a struggle for me. A struggle that has been more or less a constant crisis for me. Being in a constant crisis and not being able to  bounce back like I have been able to do in recent years.

Not being able to bounce back as quickly as I have been able to do as in recent years got me to thinking about my recovery. I realized as I was thinking that not being able to focus on my recovery due to working fulltime under a supervisor who would not allow me to take time off for appointments with my treatment team that I needed to make a huge life decision. A decision that was not easy for me to make but I needed make it as I need to focus on my recovery. That decision was to resign from my position as a Peer Specialist.

I put in my notice on Valentines Day and my supervisor wasn’t exactly the happiest of people at the moment. He didn’t want to go through the hiring process again which I wouldn’t want to do either however I feel like my recovery is more important than sticking at a job that was hindering my recovery. Yes, I love my job with a passion and really don’t want to quit but I realize that I am doing a disservice to the clients I serve if I am in a constant crisis and not focusing on my own recovery. One of my primary job duties is to be in recovery and well its a little wobbly at the moment I need to do what is best for both the clients I serve and myself and focus on my recovery. So, my last day at a job I love with a passion with be on March 24, 2017.

I know resigning from my job is the best decision for me at the moment. I can’t help others if I’m not able to help myself. As difficult as this decision was for me, I am at peace with my decision. In all honesty I can’t help but see the dialectics in my decision of resigning from my job. I think its because of both the dialectics and mindfulness is why I am at peace with my decision of quitting a job I love with a passion. My recovery is way too important.

I appreciate you all for reading. I hope to continue to share with you my journey of recovery with a mental health condition. I hope to continue to be an example of what recovery looks like. Thank you all again for reading. Have a wonderful weekend. Peace Out!!!

Weekly Check-In

Good Afternoon, World!!! It’s been a couple of weeks since I last blogged. I know, I have said, this before, I want to blog more regularly. I enjoy blogging.

Enough about me talking about blogging and on to my weekly check-in. Let’s start with earlier this week. I was struggling with fleeting suicidal thoughts with no plans. It’s also commonly known in the mental health field as “passive suicide ideation.” Before I continue, I want to make myself clear, I am NOT currently suicidal and I did NOT harm myself in any way. I was able to use my good ole Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills as well as using my support system. It is always nice to have people to depend on especially since that wasn’t always the case for me. It is a wee bit concerning both my support system and myself that I had fleeting suicidal thoughts however everyone agrees that I am not letting it get me down because I am choosing to pick myself up and dusting myself off.  I’ve been able to do this for the fact of being in a relatively decent place. I owe being in a decent place to me working fulltime.

Speaking of work, lets talk about my high light of the week. Yesterday (Friday, 8/26/2016), was our recovery celebration for clients at work. Seeing clients facial expressions as they received their certificates and hearing the speeches of those who chose to speak was not only rewarding but humbling. Witnessing the progress of the clients I am able to serve has been an absolute honor for me to watch.

As, I finish  the post, I want to sum up the week with its been recovery focused. As always, thank you for reading. Its much appreciated from my end. Peace out, everyone!!

Thrown to the Wolves but Not Eaten by Them

Good Evening!! It’s been a month today since I started my new position as a peer specialist at work and I am still loving it. It’s been quite a month for a number of reasons.

When my supervisor informed me that he was throwing me to the wolves he thought it was only for my first week and not for my first month and beyond. A colleague  went on an  unexpected leave. A leave my supervisor was shocked as hell about and went to bat for him so he would be able to return to work. Thankfully, this colleague came back yesterday (Wednesday) and felt bad for leaving myself and my other colleague out of loop and out for so long. We may not know exactly why he was out but we understand more than others because of being Peer Specialist.

I am loving  my new position. It is quite challenging at times. Then there are times where it is fun and full of laughter. For instance today, I was called a butt loud names by client who is not doing so well and on the other end of the spectrum, I was able to joke and laugh with another client. I am learning to take things in stride as they come my way, weather is insults or laughter.

My new position can be stressful at times which leads me to the training I was able to attend called Mindfulness as Self-Care which was held by the crisis clinic. I was able to attend because of being a Warm Line call taker and the Warm Line is under the umbrella of the Crisis Clinic.

The training obviously was on Mindfulness as Self-Care. It was geared toward those of us who work in the mental health  field. It focused on mindfulness skills. Part of the training also gave some back history as well. Some of the history included the focus of how various religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism focus on mindfulness and how it is a major skill taught in Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT).  The training gave me some new ways to be mindful and more tools to add to my toolbox.

I am looking forward till tomorrow. Tomorrow in my three year anniversary with Junior. It’s difficult to wrap my mind around that Junior and I have been together for three years.  After I get off work tomorrow, we are going to go on a romantic get away for the weekend. It is a much needed get away for the both of us.

Well, I need to get going. I hope to blog again at some point this weekend. I am tired and think it is time for me to go to bed. Have a good night and don’t let the bed bugs bite.