Weekly Check-In

Good Evening, World!!! It’s been a few weeks since I last did a weekly check-in. As many of you know, I’ve been struggling lately. Despite my recent struggles, I’ve decided to make an effort to do some things this week.

One thing I did do this week was go to my appointments. Attending my appointments is what helped me NOT isolate as much as I would have done. When I saw my case manager I informed her of what was going regarding the isolation as well as the voices I’m hearing. We discussed going to a group specifically about hearing voices. At this point in time I am putting that on hold for various reason that I might tell you at a later time. We also discussed me isolating. My case manager and I talked about ways on how I can not isolate. Most of which I am willing to do yet have difficulty doing so.

Another thing I did this week was today. I went and visited my grandparents. My dad was there as he is staying over at their place for the weekend. It was nice to my dad a grandparents. My grandparents helped my dad raise me. I love my dad and grandparents so much. I feel lucky (and blessed) that I still have a set of grandparents at the age of 38. Not many folks my age have one grandparent still alive much let a set.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been isolating a great deal. That usually means, I do introverted types of things. One of those things I tend to do when I am isolating is play one of my musical instruments. My instrument of choice is my flute as I’ve been playing it for 25 years however it needs some major repairing so I go to the two I’m teaching myself to play. I’ve been practicing my recorder a great deal the last few weeks. Still not very good but its helping a great deal.

Another thing I tend to do a lot when I isolate is art. I’ve been doing some coloring, collaging and water colors. One of these days, I’m going to need to take some picture to show you all. With all the art work I have been doing lately, I’ve realized that I can give the art as holiday gifts especially if I frame it.

The other thing that I do when I isolate is read. I usually read comic books when I am in isolation mode as my concentration is usually low however this time around I am actually able to read a regular book. I am reading Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. In fact I met her at the Emerald City Comicon this year. She signed a four books for me. She is from the Pacific Northwest. I’m on 30 pages into the book but so far so good.

Thanks for reading and I hope to give a book review on Ship of Magic when I am finish with it. I hope everyone has a good rest of your weekend. Peace Out, World!!!

First Time Attendee to Emerald City Comicon

I attended the Emerald City Comicon for the first time and had a blast. I know its now Wednesday but wanted to share my experience with you all I had the weekend we just had (March 2 – March 5).

It being my first ever time attending any form of such event, I didn’t know what to expect. Thursday, I ended up just taking it all in by wondering around. I did a lot of people watching but met up with a friend to attend a panel  focusing on the women side of comic books. Mainly the panel was on women superhero’s or the lack there of. Wonder Woman was brought up a great deal at this panel and rightfully so.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, I did some cosplay and dressed as Wonder Woman on Friday. I attended many cosplay events on Friday that I attended with friends. As fun as cosplay was, it was a bit overwhelming for me.

Despite Friday being overwhelming for me, I think I had the most fun on Saturday. I attended many panels. In fact all the panels I attended were publishers and authors of Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. My favorite panel of the entire event happened on Saturday and it was Women in fantasy with authors Callie Bates, Kristen Britain and Robin Hobb with editor Anne Groell moderating.  I had a blast being able to hear them speak and talk with them one on one.

I did attend on Sunday but that was the day, I really got overwhelmed and only stayed a couple of hours. I did get a lot down in the two to three hours I was there. I ended up buying five Wonder Woman magnets  and a Wonder Woman bathrobe. I also was able to get nine book Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. Four of which I received for free and seven of the nine books I did get I was able to get signed by the authors.

I may had have had my struggles regarding my lived experience with a mental health condition at Emerald City Comicon but I am thrilled I went. Overall, attending ECCC ultimately helped with the symptoms of my mental health diagnosis. I am definitely  attending next year but I will be staying in a hotel in downtown as I think it will ultimately be easier for everything.  Have a wonderful rest of your week. Peace Out!!!

1,000 Days

     Happy Monday, Everyone!!! Today, marks 1,000 days since I was last discharged from a inpatient psych unit. Hence, the reason why I titled this blog entry 1,000 Days. For me 1,000 days is a major accomplishment. This is the longest that I have been out of the hospital for psych reasons since I was a teenager. Being out of the hospital for 1,000 days just shows on how much I have accomplished in my recovery and of course I had many people who have helped with this process.

     I guess if I really look back my recovery process started back in 1999. Yes, my recovery process started 15 years ago. I may have not been in recovery with my mental health for 15 years but I have been in recovery from the eating disorders for that long. In my late teens and early twenties I considered myself a Christian. In fact I was highly involved in the Christian community. I share this with you because its part of my story of how I am in recovery with both Anorexia and Bulimia. Being active in the church I was attending and being a huge “Christian” music fan at the time, I had heard of this place called Mercy Ministries. Mercy Ministries is a place for “troubled young women” with all sorts of issues including eating disorders. The thing that drew me to Mercy Ministries at the time was that it is Christian and free. At the time it was the best choice I made. In fact to this day I don’t regret making the decision to go all the way to Nashville from the West Coast of the United States. I did graduate from Mercy Ministries and it is one of the greatest accomplishments in my life. I as a thirty-something may not consider myself as Christian anymore and am happy that as a twenty-something Christian, I made one of the best decisions in my life. I may not agree that I was healed from Anorexia and Bulimia but I do believe that because of Mercy Ministries I am in recovery from both eating disorders. I haven’t had any relapses with either eating disorder but I do struggle on occasion with the urges of the eating disorders. I believe that both eating disorders are a life long struggle and it is a choice I make to give in to those urges or not. I choose to not give in to those urges.

     Now that you know where I my recovery started or at least with the eating disorders, now let me tell you about my mental health recovery. My mental health recovery is much more of a rollercoaster ride than my eating disorder recovery. My mental health recovery started October 2003 when I entered an intensive two year out patient Dialectical Behavior (DBT) program. At the time I entered the  DBT program I had been in and out of inpatient psych wards and hospitals more than 40 times. That’s more times than my current age. While being in the DBT program I was required to get a job which I am beyond grateful that I was required to do. In fact the job was a requirement for the second year of the DBT program I was in. If it wasn’t a requirement for me to get job I wouldn’t haven’t gotten a job and I am forever grateful that it was a requirement because I have been employed with same employer now for 9 years. The two years I was the program I only ended up in an inpatient unit once. I graduated from both years of the DBT program (first and second years).

      After I graduated from the DBT program in November 2005 I decided to go back to the current mental health agency I seek services at. Since going back to the current mental health agency in February of 2006, I have had a high turn over of clinicians and many more hospitalizations. In fact if it wasn’t for my last clinician switching to a different team in the agency, I wouldn’t have gotten my current therapist. I have had my current therapist since December of 2008. In fact Diana is the therapist I have had the longest in all the years I have been in therapy. Diana has helped me a great deal in the last 5 1/2 years. In fact if it wasn’t for  Diana helping me through the pain I have struggled with and still struggle with I wouldn’t have been able to stay out of the hospital for 1,000 days. Diana is one of many people who have helped me in the last 11 years. 

     Over last the last 11  or so years of mental health recovery I have found out a lot about myself. For instance when I was in DBT I realized that I am passionate about politics and got involved with it. I stopped for a long while when I started working and now I am wanting to get back into it. I also realized with one clinician I had that I am bi-sexual. I thank the universe that I figured out I was bi. Yes, my boyfriend know I am bi. I have also realized how much I love music and collecting comic books. I love Wonder Woman comic books. I got into collecting comic books. I am not only collecting Wonder Woman but Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and X Men. When I was in the height of my mental illness I stopped playing the flute and decided about 2 years ago to pick it back up and to start teaching myself to play the harmonica again. I also realized that I not only love rap and alternative music but country music as well. I also enjoy jazz. I also realized that I really enjoy reading and that I love reading Classic Literature. I tend to read memoirs and autobiographies of those who struggle or have struggled with mental  illness. I also enjoy reading mysteries, horror, sci fi and fantasy. I am telling you all this because when you are struggling with a mental illness you don’t realize what you like or enjoy and if you do know what you like or enjoy you forget about it because mental illness sucks the life out of you. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to educate myself about my particular diagnosis as well as the latest research regarding mental illness, therapies and meds. Another major thing I have learned or come to realize is to depend on my natural support system.

     Speaking of my natural support system they are throwing me a barbeque because of being out of the hospital for 1,000 days. They know its a big deal for me. I just wish they weren’t making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. This small barbeque is turning out to be a party. I just wanted it to be about 12 or so people. Apparently there are more than twenty people coming because they want to celebrate my success of 1,000 days. I know its a big deal but I wish they weren’t making it out to be a big deal.

     I better get going. I need to get ready for the barbeque. I am suppose to be there at 5:30(pacific time) and its now 4:22pm. I should get going and allow my support system to celebrate this day with me. Peace Out Everyone!!