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!!!

Apprehension About New Job

     It’s another amazingly beautiful Sunday evening!!! I know it’s a beautiful day out however I am extremely apprehensive about tomorrow. I start my new job tomorrow and that is why I am so apprehensive about it. I don’t know why I am so apprehensive about starting my new job. It’s in the field I want to be in.

     My boyfriend is trying extremely hard to make sure my apprehension about the new job decreases. He fixed me my favorite meal. My favorite meal is Mac & Cheese (preferably homemade), Ham, and Corn on the Cob. We had Pepsi to drink and for dessert we had my favorite of Strawberry Shortcake. I love my boyfriend and how he tries to calm my nerves. I love the fact that he knows my favorite meal and that he made homemade Mac & Cheese. How many men out there make homemade anything for their girlfriends?

     I think I will keep this particular blog entry short. I need to make sure I have everything ready for my first day on the job tomorrow. I need to make sure I have what I need to give to my new employer. I hope to blog about my first day on the new job tomorrow evening. I really hope I am able to blog about it but not sure how tired I will be. I hope I didn’t bore you all today with this blog entry. I just hope I don’t forget anything I need for my new job. Well, I am going to call it an evening and a night. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening everyone. Peace out!!! 

Last Day Of Work At The Grocery Store

     Well, it is Saturday, September 6, 2014, 11:19pm (pacific time) and today was my last day being employed at the grocery store I was employed at for 9 1/2 years. I no longer work there because of getting a new job as a Consumer Aide at a local mental health agency that I start on Monday, September 8, 2014. I am not sure how to feel about today being my last day at the grocery store.

     The reason why I am unsure of how I am feeling is because I have a number of different emotions on board at the moment. I am a little sad that today was my last day. A little sad because I was employed at the grocery store for 9 1/2 years and my co-workers and customers have become family to me. I’m going to miss seeing them pretty much everyday. Yes, I will still hang out with my co-workers and about a hand full or so customers because they have become family. I’m also happy that today is was my last day because I know being in the grocery store business isn’t the field I was suppose to be in. Plus corporate was and is just expecting too much from there employees and some of what they expect isn’t always in the job description of the particular job class. I am also a little sad because I started working at the grocery store at the beginning of my recovery process with my mental illness.

     Of course starting my new job on Monday just means I am at a different stage in my recovery. I am at a more stable point of my recovery process. My mental illness is finally at a place where I can let people in and start trusting my natural support system. I’m not saying that I didn’t trust them, I’m saying that I had difficulty asking them for help and letting them in. I am in a good place at the moment even though I had to make a difficult decision in regards to my dads current health crisis. (Side Note: I am happy that I made the decision to have my dad get a tracheotomy.)

      Being in a good place means knowing when I am getting tired. I am really tired and need some sleep. Needing some sleep means I need to end the blog for now. It is 11:35pm (pacific time). Have goodnight and don’t let the bed bugs bite. Peace out!!!

Monday Cant Get Here Soon Enough

     Its another Sunday evening and I am so looking forward till tomorrow. As most of the world dreads Mondays, I look forward to them. For most of the world it is the start of the work week. For  me Mondays mark my Friday. Hell, for most of the world it’s already Monday. 

     My shift at work today seemed like it was a 12 hour shift instead of a 6 hours shift. The customers just seemed ruder than normal when most of my coworkers seemed to have an attitude problem due to the rudeness of the customers. I just wish people realized how their behavior can effect others. I mean people working at a grocery store are just trying to pay their bills and take care of their families and don’t deserve to be treated like shit. If we treated our customers the way they treat us we wouldn’t have a job anymore or the company would go under. Its not my fault or the fault of the checker’s (cashier) if corporate decides to discontinue an item. In fact its not always corporate that  does it. Sometimes its the manufacture of the product. The employees at a grocery have no control what so ever what item is discontinued. Oh yeah, if you have an expired I.D/Drivers License we can not legally sell you alcohol. Obeying the law doesn’t give anyone the right to hit anyone. Sorry for bitching but seriously please be nice to the employees of the grocery store or supermarket you shop at. You have no idea how an previous customers may have treated us.   

     Tomorrow I also here back from the agency I had an interview with. I am so hoping I get the job because I don’t know how much I can take from customers or corporate. Working 9 years a grocery store can make anyone stress out. I just need a career change and I hope I get the job as a Consumer Aide.  

     On a good note when I got to my boyfriends house after work he had dinner for me. He had barbequed chicken and corn and made freshly squeezed lemonade for me. Plus we strawberry shortcake for dessert. Oh how I love my boyfriend. He knows how to lessen my stress even if he doesn’t realize I am stressed when I show up. I should get go.

     Well, I should get going. I will try to blog again tomorrow. I am hoping to blog everyday. I am really wanting to add more followers to my blog but not sure how. Well, have a good rest of your Sunday everyone. For those of you in this world that its already Monday then have a good Monday. Peace Out.

Wiping Myself Off After A Tough Week

     It’s Saturday which means its the last day of the week and its been one of those weeks. My week has been me getting myself back on my feet and wiping myself after what happened on this past Monday (8/11/2014). But hey that is what recovery is all about. Getting back up and wiping yourself off.

     Part of me wiping myself off was and is going about the activities I do everyday. For me that includes volunteering which I absolutely love to do and going to work which is something I rather not do but do anyway. Recovery is all about doing things in both we want to do and don’t want to do. I may not like working at my current job because I know it’s the career I am not suppose to be in however in has helped me a great deal in my recovery process.

     Speaking of jobs, the person doing the hiring for the Consumer Aide position I interviewed for emailed me yesterday asking me a couple more questions. For the most part in kind of sounds hopeful. He did say he would get back to me this Monday (8/18/2014) of what his decision will be. The emails may have sounded hopeful but a comment he made kind of concerns me. He said that he asked me all those questions because the agency (that I had the interview with) wants to make I have the support I need for the job. I just wanted to email him back saying if I didn’t have the support I wouldn’t have applied for the job but I didn’t email him that. Overall the emails sound like I am at least a high contender for the job. I just hope I am not getting my hopes set to high. I know a Consumer Aide isn’t exactly the position I desire however its a step in the right direction to becoming a Peer Support Specialist. Plus it beats working at a grocery store any day. Trust me working at a grocery store with the same company for the last 9 years is not my idea of my desired career path. At least a Consumer Aide is a step in the desired direction I want to go into.

     Well, another part of my recovery process is blogging. I need to try and blog everyday like I did when I started back in late May. I’ve been slacking a little. Some of it is because I have been busy and some of it has to do with my still struggling a little. Anyway, another part of my recovery process is making sure I eat.

      That means I need to get going because I am needing to eat. I am hungry. I hope to blog again tomorrow. I might not be able to tomorrow because of my work shift but I will try. Have a good day everyone. Peace out.!!

Everything From Hiking to Intimacy to Blogging & Other Such Things

     It’s still Saturday and it has been an amazing one at that. My boyfriend and I went hiking and had a picnic in the woods. It was romantic having a picnic in the forest. This wasn’t the first time we had a picnic in the woods. Being out in nature with the person you love tends to bring you closer together.

     Being closer to my boyfriend is always a good thing especially when it comes to intimacy (sex). When we got back to his place after hiking we became intimate. It feels so good to be able to trust someone enough be intimate with. See, when you have suffered severe childhood abuse and other traumas you tend to not trust people especially when it comes to intimacy. For me trusting my boyfriend with sex and intimacy is a major deal and he knows that. That is why when we are intimate with each other he is gentle and patient. He is amazing in bed. Yes, I do have his permission blog about intimate moments with you all.

     The reason why he is cool me sharing about the intimate moments is because he likes what I am trying to do with this blog. He likes the fact that I am not only trying to help people who struggle with mental illness and show them that recovery is possible and that hope is out there but to educate “normal” people (like him) about mental illness. In fact my boyfriend is one of the people who encouraged me start this blog. He is what I call a normie. A normie is a normal person.  A normal person is someone who doesn’t struggle with a mental illness or any other disability. My boyfriend really hopes that this blog reaches normies because he wants it to prove to them that people who struggle with a mental illness do live productive lives and are loveable. Yes, he says some moments are more difficult than other moments but he is more than willing to stick it out with me. All I want with this blog is to show people who struggle that there is hope and recovery is possible. I also want to educate those who don’t struggle with mental illness that we are like everyone else and that we live productive lives. Yes, everyone who has a mental illness has a different way to be productive but so does everyone else in this world.

     Speaking about being productive, this next few weeks are going to be quite productive. I go back to work this Monday after being on vacation for a week. This Wednesday (July 30th) I have a job interview. Then this Tuesday (July 29th)  start volunteer training for a peer run Warm Line. The training is twice a week; Tuesdays and Thursdays for five weeks. Each day of training is four hours. So eight hours of training each week for five weeks equals to 40 hours. I am looking forward to this training. For me being productive is going to work, volunteering and going to various training in regards to peer counseling and volunteering. Another way that I am being productive is by voting. I voted in the primary elections. I want to make sure that my voice is heard and one way for it to me heard is to vote.

      Being heard is a big thing for those who struggle with a mental illness. I want to be a voice for those who cant speak up for themselves. I hope that I am that voice on this blog. I am hoping that one day I can educate you all on the particular diagnoses that I struggle with or have struggled with. I want to make sure I have the correct information before I share it. For example what the DSM 5 says about the diagnosis as well as the definitions from the dictionary. My desire is to educate those who may not understand what it is like to deal with a mental illness.

     With all of that being said, I should end this blog for now. I kind of want to have more adult fun with my boyfriend. I hope everyone had a good Saturday like I have had. Peace out and enjoy the rest of your Saturday.

Being Proactive About My Future

     Happy Friday!!! I have enjoyed my vacation immensely. It was great to see my brother for his birthday. Hell, I had fun seeing my brother. I always have fun seeing my brother. I’ve also been having fun with my boyfriend. In fact my boyfriend and I went hiking today and we both had a blast. We both enjoy going out in nature. It was nice that both my boyfriend and I had our vacations together and spent in it with each other. My boyfriend goes back to work on Thursday and I go back on Monday.

     I may not like my job but I am looking forward to go back to work. I am looking forward to going back to work because at the end of the day (no matter how good or bad it was) I have a sense of accomplishment. That is a big deal for someone who deals with a mental illness. Working at a grocery store is not easy and it is a thankless job a good portion of the time. Another unfortunate part about working in a grocery is that your schedule changes every week. I just wish the schedule didn’t change week to week. I’ve been working in the grocery store business and at the same employer for 9 years now its it time for a change.

    In fact I hope that change comes soon. I have a job interview on Wednesday for the agency that runs the homeless shelter I volunteer at. I really hope I get the job. Its a set schedule. I would only have to work two days a week which would be 15 hours plus get paid at least $2 more an hour than I do now. If I do get the job I will be a little nervous about changing jobs because I have been at my current employer for 9 years. Another thing is that if I do get the job I will miss my co-workers and some of my customers. My co-workers have become like family. I really want this job. I am trying to not get my hopes up because I haven’t even had the interview yet. I know the job I have an interview for is only a Consumer Aide and not Peer Counselor position, its at least a step in the right direction to get a job as a peer counseling.

   Speaking of a step in the right direction I am going to be starting training to be a volunteer call taker at local peer run Warm Line. The training is four weeks long, two days each week and five hours each day which equals to 40hours. I am wanting to volunteer on the Warm Line for many reasons. The first and main reason is that I want to help others. The second reason is that it looks good on a résumé. The third reason is that if I do get the job as a Consumer Aide that means I have to quit my volunteer job at the homeless shelter. You cant be employed and a volunteer at the same agency due to the job description and legal reasons with liability. I can understand that. I have really wanting to volunteer for the Warm Line for quite some time now and haven’t felt ready to do till now.

    Another thing I got involved in this past week is that I became a volunteer advocate for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). A field advocate for AFSP basically emails there senators and congressperson(s) to encourage them to support or not support bills regarding mental health as well be a resource for the politicians. I figure that I want to be involved with politics some how that this a good way to get involved plus it regarding another thing that I am passionate about which is mental health. I am still debating weather or not to put this on my résumé. I know it will look good on one but not sure how future employers would take to it since it involves politics. Its something to consider. In fact I sent my first emails to my congressman and both of my senators introducing myself. I hope I can be a good resource for them.

    Another good resource is NAMI. I am a little frustrated with them right now because the just cancelled the peer to peer class I was suppose to take. This is the second time they cancelled it and both time they cancelled it was because the lack of interest. I find that difficult to believe because I live in major metropolitan area. Actually, I live in a major city. Another reason why I am I am frustrated with NAMI is because I am still waiting to hear back about volunteer with them. I sent them a volunteer application a month ago. I don’t know how long I should wait on about becoming volunteering with them. I think when Monday comes around I will call them to see if they even got my volunteer application. I know that if I do eventually start volunteering for NAMI that I will put it on my résumé.

     Well, now that I bored you all with about being proactive about mental health I will end this particular blog entry. Plus I want some intimate time with my boyfriend. Well, have a good rest of you Friday everyone. Peace Out.

Volunteering And Other Stuff

     Well, it’s still Wednesday and I went to my volunteer job. The bad thing is they closed the shelter for they day to spray for different type of bugs. (Don’t worry, when they spray for bugs they open it back up in the evening so clients can check in and get a bed for the night.) I am just frustrated that I went all the way there to have to come back to my boyfriends.

     I guess I am frustrated because my boyfriend had his wisdom teeth pulled yesterday. That’s part of the reason why he took his vacation this week so he could have time to recuperate. Plus he wanted to spend time with me. Anyway, his mom took him to the dentist yesterday since she drives and has a car. I also had to see my therapist so I wouldn’t have been able to take him to the dentist. Getting your wisdom teeth pulled is not very fun especially, when its all four of them. My boyfriend cant chew at the moment and is acting like a big overgrown baby. Hell, I think if I had my wisdom teeth pulled I would be acting like a big baby. Wanting to baby and help my boyfriend today is why I am a little frustrated that I was notified that they wouldn’t need me at my volunteer job today. At least I am getting to spend time with him right now. I just wish I knew how to make him feel better. I know realistically I really cant help him feel better but I wish I could. I love him so much. I know he loves me and wishes I didn’t have to still deal with the trauma I dealt with as a child and as an adult.

     If it weren’t for the shit I went through, I wouldn’t have the passion I do to want to help others and become a peer support specialist. I start training for a peer run warm line next Tuesday. In fact its going to be two days a week for about 5 hours each day for about 4 weeks (which is a month) and that equals to a 40 hour training. The cool thing about being a call taker on a Warm Line is getting different types of training to help you be a better call taker. I also look at it that any training I get being a Warm Line call taker volunteer will help me be a better Peer Specialist when I do eventually get employed as one.

     Speaking of becoming a Peer Specialist or Peer Support, the interview I was suppose to have for the Consumer Aide position last Thursday finally got rescheduled for July 30th. The time is not officially set yet but it is either at 10am or 1pm. I am getting a little nervous about it because by the time I have the interview the job will have been posted for four months. I am nervous that I might be the one they hire. Even though I want this job so badly, I am scared of the job change cause I’ve been at my current employment for 9 years. I know I need a job change because I am bitter at my current employment even though I do enjoy many of my customers and co-workers. I don’t even know if I got the job because I haven’t even had the interview yet. Its difficult  for me to wrap my mind around that a position has been up for nearly four months.

     There are actual Peer Specialist positions up at other agencies that I am thinking about applying for as well. I am a little hesitant to apply to the peer positions the I know I qualify for because I am afraid that I will jinx myself. Even though I am fearful of leaving my current employment I need to get out of there just as badly. I just don’t want to jinx myself and get more interviews and not get any job offers. I will most likely apply for the jobs because I want out of my current employment even though I am fearful of the change.

    Before I get going and put my boyfriend to bed I want to share something with you. I finally got to 1,000 views today. Last time I checked I was at 1,003 views. I just want to know how I can get more views as well as more followers. Oh yeah, I also now have 12 followers. I just wish I knew how to get more followers and more viewers. I have more to tell you but I am getting tired and well my boyfriend is asleep on the couch drooling. It is 11:49pm (pacific time) and I think its time for bed.

    I plan on blogging sometime tomorrow. I hope I remember to tell you what I was planning on sharing tonight. Have good night all. Peace Out!!

It’s Been An Interesting But Good Wednesday

     It’s been an interesting but good Wednesday. Today didn’t start out all the pleasant. I woke up with a nightmare. Waking up to nightmares sucks big time.

     Shortly after I woke up from a nightmare this morning I got a call from a childhood friend. My friend ended up calling me at 4:30 in the morning pacific time. She forgot that she is three hours ahead of me. That means it was 7:30 her time. Anyway it was good to talk to her. Its always good to reminisce. She updated me with her life as I updated her with my life.

     As I told you all yesterday, I applied for a position as Consumer Aide. Well, I got a call this morning asking if I could come in for an interview tomorrow. The thing is I got the call for the interview 23 hours after I sent the email. It’s extremely rare to get call back for an interview so soon much less get an interview 48 hours after sending in a résumé’ and cover letter. I am a little nervous about the job interview but I am confident that it will go well even if I don’t get the job. I know that a Consumer Aide isn’t exactly a Peer Specialist position but its a start in the right direction. Maybe it will help me eventually get a Peer Specialist job in the future. I just  hope that I am not getting my hopes set too high. I am just frustrated that I’m in a job that I don’t like and am eager to move on to another job. I really hope I get the job because I’ve been employed at the same employer for nine years now and it getting a little old and boring at times. The cool thing is that I already know what I am going to wear to my interview because I have an outfit that I wear to most of my interviews.

     Enough about my job interview. I volunteered today. I told the staff at the homeless shelter that I have an interview tomorrow and they wished me luck. If I get the job I will have to quit my volunteer job because the agency that runs the shelter  runs the transitional/supportive housing site I applied to. That’s okay because I believe in what the agency does. The staff are happy for me and the hope I get the job even though it means I will not be able to volunteer at the shelter. If I get the job I will miss the clients in the shelter but I know that I will get to know and enjoy the clients at the transitional housing site I might be employed at. Part of the reason why I got the interview is because I volunteer at the agency and have been employed at my current employer for nine years. I really enjoy working with the homeless population. I was able to talk with one of my favorite clients for about a half an hour today. I know we aren’t suppose to have favorites but its kind of difficult not to at times. I really enjoy volunteering at the homeless shelter.

     Speaking of volunteering, I start training for another volunteer job in about two weeks. Its for a local peer run Warm Line. I am looking forward to it. The training is two days week for four hours each day for about six weeks. They want to make sure we get the proper training if we are going to be taking calls for a peer run Warm Line. Talking with people who struggle with mental illness is not an easy thing especially if there is the potential that the caller might be suicidal.

    Anyway I need to get going. My boyfriend is barbequing for a goodbye party for one of my elderly neighbors who is moving in with one of her children in a different state. My boyfriend said he would be willing to come over and barbeque for the going away party. I need to help out before others start showing up to say goodbye the elderly neighbor.

    I hope to blog again tomorrow and tell you how my job interview went. I really hope I get the job. Like I said I hope to blog again tomorrow. Peace out and enjoy the rest of you Wednesday evening.