Choosing Recovery

Right now, I am fighting within myself. I’m battling the symptoms of my mental health diagnosis. I’m arguing with myself and the voices I hear that nobody else hears. See, one of the diagnosis I have is Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with psychotic features. That means when my depression act up I hallucinate. Actually, I have what they call auditory hallucinations which means I hear things that nobody else hear and aren’t real.

I’m telling you this as I don’t choose to have a mental health condition/challenge but I do choose to be in recovery. I may not being doing well at the moment however, I am choosing to fight against the urges to self harm and what the voices are telling me to do.

My voices are encouraging me to act on the urges to self harm. I of course am NOT going to act on the urges or what the voices are encouraging me to do. I am choosing to NOT act them because I have the tools (or skills) to help myself. To help myself to NOT self harm by using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills.

Using the DBT skill I’ve learned over the last fourteen years is what has saved my life. It’s what has helped me start my recovery and remain in recovery despite set backs or “relapses.” I choose get back up and wipe the dust off when I do relapse in self harm behavior.

In fact when I realized that my self harm urges were high and that the voices were encouraging me to act on them, I contacted my treatment team to help me through. The person who helped gave me some encouragement as well as some suggestions they know that helps me. One of those suggestions was (and is) blogging. However, before I chose to take the persons suggestion to blog, I did a couple of other suggestions first so I could blog in a better head space. I first ate something and then I went for a three mile walk. After eating and going for a walk, it put me in a better head space to be able to write this blog post.

In fact blogging is helping me at the moment however, I am going to go do other DBT skills now. So, yes that means I will be ending this blog post. FYI: I AM CURRENTLY NOT DANGER TO MYSELF OR ANYONE ELSE. (In fact I’ve NEVER been a danger to anyone else.) I hope everyone has a good rest of their day. Peace Out, World!!!

I’m Dreaming of Sleep

Good Morning, World!!! It’s nearly two thirty in the morning in my neck of the world. Right now, I’m dreaming of sleep. I haven’t been sleeping very well since I was assaulted nearly a month ago.

Having a good nights sleep is crucial to ones overall health especially for those of us who have a mental health diagnosis. Something I have learned over the years is to have a sleep schedule or what people in the mental health field call sleep hygiene.

For me sleep hygiene means going to bed at the same time as well as getting up at the same time. For me, I tend to go to bed at 11:30pm on week nights (Sunday – Thursday) and get up at 7:30ish in the morning on week days (Monday – Friday). Unfortunately, I toss and turn and unable to sleep so I get up. I tend to get up and stay up at the same time week days and wish my sleep hygiene schedule would work right now.

Now that I have rambled on and on about my sleep hygiene and the lack of sleep I am getting, I might as well as end this blog post and try to sleep. I hope you have an awesome day. 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!!!

Ted, Through Thick & Thin

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Good Morning, World!!! I think it’s time that I introduce the world to my best friend; Ted. Ted is pictured above and YES, he is stuffed Teddy Bear. Ted is a 38 year old stuffed animal that I’ve had since the day I was born.

This means he has been with me in both the good and the bad times. He has seen me through the trauma’s I’ve experienced as well as witnessed the triumphs in my life. For me Ted has been there when no human has. So, I guess you can say Ted has been with me through thick and thin.

I bring up Ted because he is the one thing I do to self soothe. As I mentioned in a previous post (https://gertiesjourney.com/2017/09/05/poor-air-quality-therapy-challenging-day/) my therapist and I talked about self soothing and how I feel like I don’t deserve to self soothe. During the discussion about self soothing, I brought up Ted and how he is the one thing I self soothe with. According to my therapist, as I talked about Ted, my body language changed to “being relaxed and comfortable.” She also brought up the fact that it was the first time she had seen me smile when discussing a part of my childhood. I can’t deny the fact that when discussing Ted, I’m relaxed as well it is most likely the first time she had seen me smile while talking about my childhood since she has been my therapist for only five months.

I, of course avoid talking about me like the plague. In fact, I rather have the plague than discuss my childhood. My therapist picked up on this quite quickly am grateful for it. She just like Diana, doesn’t push to talk about things I’m not ready to discuss. She might ask me questions but she respects how much or how little I tell her, just like Diana did.

I miss Diana and hope that she is getting better however I am happy with my new therapist. In fact I think my new therapist is realizing how beneficial stuffed animals are for me regarding therapy just like did. The reason I think this is because she saw how “relaxed and comfortable” I was when I talked about Ted. I’m hoping that when I have my next session with my therapist that she will be okay with me bringing a stuffed animal to therapy as it helps me discuss painful memories of my childhood.

As, I finish up this blog post, I realize that I’m holding Ted as write. If I think back to the start of my blog, I’ve held Ted during most of my blog post. So, yes, Ted has been a part of most aspects of my life including blogging. I hope that everyone has a great day and Peace Out all.

Weekly Check-In

Good evening, world!!! I realize its been a couple of weeks since I posted a weekly check-in even though I have posted a couple of times since then.

If I’m honest with myself and I mean really honest with myself, I have to admit something that I really don’t want to but have to if I want my recovery to move forward. That is that I am retreating back to some old behavior. Behavior that I am not proud of. My behavior at the appointments I had on Monday was inappropriate no matter what the circumstances were. My behavior in recent weeks and even the last two or three months has not been the best. I can make excuses and have some good ones I could use for my behavior but I’m not going to because it will just allow me to give myself permission to continue the not so good behavior.

I’m sharing this with you because if I continue on the path I am on then I’m giving up on my recovery and all the work that myself and many others put into me doing well, will have been time wasted by everyone involved. I don’t want to give up on my recovery. In fact I am at that point that I need to make a major decision in what direction I’m going to go in. The direction, I want to go in will require me to make some major changes in my life as well as some help from both my treatment team and natural support system.  Help I know I’m going to get.

With the help I know I’m going to get, I hope you can tell that I am choosing to be in recovery. It’s not going to be easy and its going to take a lot of work on my part. Work that I am fighting against at the moment but am going to do. I am an extremely stubborn individual and I’m going to use that stubbornness to help me get myself back to a place where I want to be.

If my intuition is correct I know that my therapist will help me get to where I want to be. She has proven to be an advocate for me. In fact I’m pretty sure my case manager will help me with this process as well. Granted, I may feel like my voice isn’t being heard but I know from experience with both of these individuals have advocated for me regarding my recovery. In fact my case manager knows that one day I won’t need her for the extra support and she was asking what that would look like during our last session. Even though I know that it didn’t end well but it gave me something to think about and when I see her next I will let her know my thoughts on it. I know she will be appreciative that I did give it some thought. I’m thrilled that both of my clinicians appear to be recovery focused.

Speaking of being recovery focused, I need to get going. I need to do my DBT homework. I’ve been quite willful in doing it and need to be willing, so I’m going to work on it or at least look over it.  I really hope that my treatment team will help me with getting back into a good head space. Have a good evening everyone 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!!!

Weekly Check-In

I’m going to keep this weekly check-in brief. I’m not feeling all that well and don’t really feel like blogging at the moment. Lets start with why I am not feeling well. I woke up extremely early this morning with right flank pain. (That’s pain in my back on the right side in the kidney area.) So, I took the bus first bus of the morning to go to the hospital. To find out, I have a double kidney infection with kidney stones added on top of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). UTI’s and kidney infections are nothing new to me but this is only the second time I’ve had kidney stones.  Not my idea of a fun weekend but it reminds me that I need to drink more water.

Since we are on the topic of health, I say my doctor almost two weeks ago to get blood test done to make sure nothing medically is causing my depression. To find out that I’m lacking Vitamin D which isn’t exactly helping with the depression. Its not 100% why my depression is acting up but it part of the reason why it is acting up so I am taking a once weekly Vitamin D supplement of 50,000 units. Yes, you read right; 50,000 units

On a plus note in regards to my depression, I started Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) yesterday. I’m looking forward to what DBT has to bring. I love the fact that its strict. Not as strict as the two year intensive outpatient DBT program I was in several years ago but strict enough to what I need. I’m glad that homework is a requirement. It will give me something else to focus on when I am struggling.

Speaking of struggling, I am struggling a little bit with both my depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the moment. I’m realizing the I am hungry and need to eat something. Making sure I eat on the regular basis and at least semi-healthy foods always seem to help even if its only a tiny bit. After I eat, I will do some of my DBT homework.

As I end this post I want to thank you for reading. I appreciate each and everyone of you even if it seems that all I do as of lately is bitch and complain. Again thank you for reading my blog. Peace Out!!!