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!!!

A Well Deserved Get A-Way

There is nothing like coming home from a well deserved vacation. A vacation that needed to be taken. I love my job with a passion but I needed to a break.

I just didn’t need a break from my much loved job but the city. City life can get to a person if you don’t get away every now and then especially if you live near a highly traveled freeway. I am a city girl to the core but even this city girl needs to get away from time to time.

I went to go see my brother in the town that he lives in. While visiting my brother, I did spend some time with my mom. My mom surprisingly respected most of my boundaries. The time I spent with my brother was nothing but fun. My brother, fiancé and myself went to the fair (or carnival) that was being held. We had a blast. Junior and my brother won five gigantic stuffed animals from the carnival games. My brother gave me one of the stuffed animals that he one and the other to our mom. Junior gave me one as well as giving my brother one of three he won and gave the third to my mom. The three of us (my brother, Junior and myself) went to the movies. We saw Antman. I highly suggest you all go see it even if you don’t like comic books or comic book type movies.

After spending a few days with my brother, Junior and myself went to a small town in Oregon that is located on the Columbia River to visit my grandparents. My grandparents own a river front home. Junior and myself did some fishing. Junior caught some salmon and he grilled for dinner one night. It was yummy. Junior and I also swam a lot in the Columbia River while visiting my grandparents. We also helped my grandparents out around the house. We painted the outside of their house, mowed their lawn and fixed a few things that needed to be fixed. It was nice being about help my grandparents out with things around their house. It was also nice to be able to relax while at my grandparents. With all the fishing and swimming I did I got a sunburn and I know that my dermatologist wont be happy with that. I put sunblock on every two hours. My grandparents were and are grateful that we helped about the house. We got all the house stuff done in less that two days and enjoy the rest of our stay at my grandparents.

Now that I am home I am happy to be here. Cant wait to sleep in my own bed. I best be going. Have a great Saturday evening!! Peace Out!!

Daily Prompt: In the Summer Time

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In the Summertime.” If it’s autumn or winter where you live, what are you most looking forward to doing next summer? If it’s spring or summer where you are, what has been the highlight of the season so far for you?

It’s definitely summer in my neck of woods and I am loving it. The weather has been awesome all summer and am grateful for the beautiful weather. Having beautiful weather during vacation always makes it that much more enjoyable.

Junior and myself are currently staying in a hotel in the town where both my brother and mother live. We came to their town because of my brothers birthday and wanted to be here to celebrate it with him. In fact as part of my brothers birthday gift we took him to the fair that always happens around his birthday that is in the area he lives in. Thankfully, we were able to take him on his actual birthday which was on Friday. The cool about coming to see my brother was we were able to stay at his place on Thursday and Friday nights. We could have stayed at my brothers last night and tonight but Junior and I wanted time to ourselves before the next part of our vacation which I will tell you about later in this particular post. About an hour after Junior and I checked into our hotel, we watched the parade. We watched it because my brother was in it. My brother was in the parade because he is a part of the Special Olympics. After the parade, Junior and I came up and had a much need intimate moment that last more than an hour. The best part of our hotel room is it looks over a lake and the state capital building. We can also look down at the local fair that is going on and we will be able to watch the fireworks from our room that end the fair tonight.

Tomorrow, Junior and I take the train to go to see my grandparents. I am looking forward to seeing them. They live right on the Columbia River. Being at their place is very peaceful. One of the things I’m looking forward to when I’m at my grandparents is fishing. Yes, this city girl enjoys to fish. Being able to relax is a great thing and that is what I plan on doing when I am at my grandparents.

In fact Junior and myself not only plan on relaxing at my grandparents, we are relaxing now in the town my brother lives in. We are going to go and do a few more fun things before the fireworks tonight.  So far my highlights for the summer are spending time with my brother and the beautiful weather. Now that you know what my summer highlights are, I am going to get going so I can relax with Junior. Perhaps we might have more intimate moments before we head out for the day. Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone. Enjoy your summer and peace out all!!!

Daily Prompt: Thank You

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Thank You.” The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

As I was searching through the past daily prompts today, I came a crossed this daily prompt. I thought it would be a good one to do just because I have a lot to be thankful for.

First things first I am thankful for my dad. There are so many reasons I am thankful for my dad. Granted he may not have won the father of the year but I’m okay with that. My dad had to take on the role of mom when my own mother abandoned the both of us in the middle of the night. He not only raised me (with the help of my grandparents) in the 80’s and 90’s but showed me what it meant to persevere despite his developmental delays, Traumatic Brain Injury (TPI), mental illness and alcoholism. Most importantly, my dad showed me what recovery looked like. He showed that recovery isn’t an easy process but is well worth it. He also taught me that the road to recovery is uniquely individualized to each person.

Secondly, I am thankful for my grandparents for helping my dad raise me. I was not the easiest of children to raise especially when I was a teenager dealing with an eating disorder, mental illness and self-harm issues. My grandparents weren’t perfect but at least I know they tried to the best of their abilities and most importantly they love me with all their heart.

Another person I am thankful for is my fiancé, Junior. I am thankful for Junior for many different reasons. I am extremely thankful that he not only chose to ask me out and date me but asked me to marry him. The reason being is because he knew what he was getting into when we started dating. He knew how difficult it could and can be with my mental illness and that didn’t scare him. I thankful for Junior’s love for me and his encouragement with my recovery.

I have yet another person I am thankful for. This person has played a significant role in my recovery and am forever grateful to her for it. The person is my own therapist, Diana. (Side Note: Diana is a pseudonym to protect her, her family as well as her past, current and future clients.) Diana has been an incredibly formable person for me in my recovery. She has been in my corner, encouraging me, challenged me (when needed), listening to me and most importantly believing me when I tell her stuff that happened to me as a child. Diana has helped me grow as a person since she is a person who believes that recovery is possible despite how differently it looks to each person.

Last but not least I am thankful for my recovery with my mental illness as well as my eating disorders. I am thankful for my recovery because I am able to enjoy my life despite what difficulties I encounter. If I wasn’t in recovery I wouldn’t haven’t been able to get my certification as a Peer Support Specialist much less have my current job as a Consumer Advocate. I also wouldn’t be able to volunteer at the Warm Line or the young adult homeless shelter I just started volunteering at. Being in recovery means that I am now living a life worth living.

A life worth living also means finding out what you enjoy. That what I am going to do now. I am going to go and enjoy this beautiful summer day. I am going to go and eat at my favorite restaurant on the water front. Yes, that means I am ending this blog post for now. Peace out and enjoy your day.

Daily Prompt: Strike a Chord

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Strike a Chord.” Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

As I was searching through past topics of the Daily Prompts, this particular topic caught my eye instantly. It caught my eye for a multitude of reasons and decided that I would do this daily prompt before heading out to work today.

Yes, I do play an instrument. I play the flute. I’ve been playing the flute since the sixth grade. That was back in September of 1991. Holy shit, that was 24 years ago. The story around why I started playing the flute is quite humorous. I originally started playing the trombone and my arm was to short to slide to the fifth and sixth positions and even with the extension I was still unable to slide to the sixth position. Since I was unable to play the trombone due to short arms, I had to choose another instrument. I was debating between the oboe and the flute and was ultimately persuaded into choosing the flute by my best friend, who was learning to play the flute at the same time as well. I am beyond grateful that I was talked into playing flute but part of still wishes I picked up the oboe. The oboe has a beautiful yet unique sound and is an instrument that catches my ear.

I find many musical instruments quite pleasing to my ear besides the above mentioned instruments. One of the instruments I find particularly pleasing is the bagpipe. Yes, the bagpipe. People tend to laugh at the fact that I not only enjoy the sound of the bagpipes but want to learn how to play them as well. Over the years I’ve come to study the history of the bagpipe. The reason being is because it is a part of my heritage. I am half Irish and identify as Irish. Yes, I do know it’s also a part of Scottish heritage however, I don’t have any Scottish in my blood. A cool side note about bagpipes is my fiancé, Junior can play the bagpipes quite well. In fact he is a part of the pipes and drums with the fire department. He in fact is a firefighter and paramedic. The cool thing that I find about Junior playing the bagpipes is that he is Mexican and isn’t afraid to do so. (Junior is also able to play the trumpet and plays in a Mariachi Band).

Playing the flute has been a life safer to me in many ways. Playing the flute in the high school marching (and concert) band is what helped stay in school and prevented from dropping out. That’s why I am so passionate about keeping both the performing and fine arts in schools. The arts keep people like me in school.

Not only did playing the flute keep me in school, it has helped me enormously in my recovery with mental illness. Playing the flute helps with my mental illness in several ways. It helps keep me distracted at times. It relaxes me. Most importantly it helps me focus on my breath and breathing well. When I am dealing with severe PTSD symptoms I tend to forget to breath and the “normal” breathing techniques and exercises don’t help me much. The “typical” breathing techniques and exercises tend to make my PTSD symptoms worse due to some trauma. That is where the flute comes in to helping me focus on my breath. You need to breathe well to be able to play the flute properly. That means, me being able to breathe well not only helps me with playing the flute helps with the symptoms of my PTSD. You can say that playing the flute has been a type of therapy for me; music therapy. Unforantenly, not many places offer music therapy despite how helpful it is to many different people in this world.

When I chose this particular daily prompt, I had absolutely no idea where it would lead. I honestly didn’t think I would be discussing how the flute helped (and still helps) with my PTSD. I thought I would me discussing more how band kept me in school and how I now have life long friends because of band. In all honesty, I have my best friend since the third grade to not only to join band by picking an instrument but persuading me to choose the flute over the oboe when I was not able to play the trombone. Playing a musical instrument gives one a community that they will always be a part of.

Now that I’ve done this daily prompt, it brings joy to my soul that I was able to share one community I belong to, to you the blogging community in which I to belong to. Thank you for allowing me to share all this. I am going to have to end this blog for now because I have to go to work now. Have a wonderful work week everyone. Happy Monday and peace out everyone!!!!

What Can I Say, It’s Mothers Day

As many of you know it’s Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is a source of pain for many us out there in this world of ours. The cause of the pain of Mother’s Day is as different and unique as each of us are as human beings.

For me Mother’s Day has been a source of pain since childhood. A source of pain I wish I could forget or at least no longer be as painful as it has been and currently is. I guess now is as good of time as any to bring up the source of many years of pain, my own mother.

The first memory I have of my childhood was not exactly the happiest and you guessed it, it involves my mother. I was the tender age of three when my mom did what many mothers would not even give a thought; she abandoned me. She didn’t just abandon me, she abandoned my dad. A dad that wasn’t exactly the worlds most perfect dad but a dad that loved me and tried the best of his ability to raise me. With my dad being a single father, that made realize how truly special my own grandmother was in my life.

If it wasn’t for my grandparents helping my dad, my dad wouldn’t have gotten custody of me when my mom decided to reappear into our lives two years late when I was five. At this point in time my dad had already gotten divorced my mom and got custody of me due to the fact that my mom abandoned me. In fact the lawyer that my wonderful grandparents got for my dad to make sure he remained the primary caregiver pointed out to the judge that if mother could leave her sick three year old alone at night as her husband was working didn’t deserve to have custody. Unforantenly, the judge to granted my mother visitation. The visitation was a complicated thing due to the fact that my dad and myself lived in Southern California and my mother lived in Western Washington.

Due to the visitation I spent my summers and Christmas’s in Washington State and the rest of the year in California. That meant as Mother’s Day rolled around, I was going to mother/daughter tea’s with my  grandmother. As I got older it got that much more difficult.

It got more difficult because mother started dating a guy who wasn’t exactly prince charming. He not only beat my mom but decided to take out his anger on me as well. He not only took out his anger me but also desired me in a way grown adults shouldn’t desire children of any age. Yes, that means I was sexually abused. Actually, I was raped by this man. I was put through years of it before he just upped and left my mom and brother.

In fact if it wasn’t for my brother, I would have asked to go to court to ask the judge to take away my mother’s visitation rights away from her. In fact I would have asked the judge to take away her parental rights away. If I would have that means my brother would have ended up in foster care  again and me no longer being able to see him. In fact my brother and I are close and we both call our mother, our egg donor because that is what she ultimately is to the both of us.

Despite all the pain my mother caused me throughout my life, there is a different pain I struggle with. That is the pain of loosing a child. In fact in my case, it’s children. I miscarried two sets of twins within 14 months of each other. This year Mother’s Day is more difficult for me than last year because we (myself, my fiancé, doula, and doctor) were more hopeful and encouraged about how my last pregnancy was progressing verses how my first pregnancy had progressed. I cant help but think how big my first set of twins would be if I didn’t miscarry them. I also cant help but think about my last pregnancy, if I didn’t miscarry back in January (of this year). I wonder if I would still be pregnant or if I would have delivered the twins because this set of twins were due on May 29th (of this year). As any parent knows, there is no greater pain a person can endure than loosing a child. I unfortunately, lost two sets of twins. As much pain I endured as child, the pain of miscarrying two pregnancies is a much great pain to me. The children I miscarried will always be a part of me.

As you can tell by this lengthy blog, Mother’s Day is quite painful for me for many different reasons. As you celebrate your mother’s or are being celebrated as a mother please take a moment of gratitude for the mother you have and/or the child(ren) you have. Not everyone has the blessing of having mother who cares or (a) child(ren) to take care of and love.

Before I end this blog, I would like to take the time out and wish all the Mother’s out there a Happy Mother’s Day. I would especially like to thank my grandma as well as others in my life to stepping into the mother role when I needed it the most. Happy Mother’s Day.

Mental Illness, Miscarriage and Recovery

Happy Friday!!! It’s the start of another weekend and not just any weekend; Superbowl weekend. Like many other people in America, Junior and myself are preparing to watch the Superbowl with friends. In fact we are hosting a Superbowl party. As stressful it is to prepare for such an event, I am looking forward both preparing for it and being a part of the party.

I am looking forward to it, not only because the Seattle Seahawks are going back to the Superbowl but because it is going to be an enormous distraction for both Junior and I. It’s going to be a distraction because, I miscarried. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for both Junior and myself. We were looking forward to becoming parents. We were really hopeful that I would carry to term this pregnancy because I had made it to 20 week mark and ended up miscarrying at 20 1/2 weeks. The reason why Junior and I thought I was in the clear was because I miscarried another set of twins at 19 weeks and were told that once I hit the 20 week mark that the risk of miscarriage goes down substantially. Loosing a child is the greatest pain a person can endure. I know this because, I’ve lost children through miscarriage and have dealt with some severe childhood trauma.

Grieving is not an easy thing to do especially when it comes to loosing a child however it is something I will be able to work through with the help of others. Asking help from others is not an easy thing for me to do, however it is a sign that I am in recovery. I would be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t struggling with the miscarriage because I am struggling with my miscarriage big time. Suicide has even crossed my mind the last couple a weeks. Don’t worry I am NOT going to attempt or commit suicide because I have too much to live for plus I have the skills and support that I need to help me through this pain. Part of my recovery is letting people who love and care about me, help me through this difficult time of my life.

Recovery looks differently to everybody and part of my recovery is this blog. Blogging about the miscarriage is a difficult thing to do. I think miscarriage, just like mental illness is something that people don’t really discuss. I am not really sure why people don’t discuss miscarriages but I know why people don’t discuss mental illness. Mental illness has a lot of shame and stigma attached  to it. It is for that shame and stigma with mental illness is why I share myself with you all (and try to educate). If I wasn’t in recovery, I really don’t think I would be able to keep myself safe from self-harm or suicide in dealing with the miscarriage. It is because of my recovery I am able to be doing as well as I am after loosing a set of twins due to miscarriage.

I was hoping that I would be able to blog more however it is getting a little difficult for me to do so at the moment. I need to go and allow myself to grieve. I hope to be able to blog sometime on Superbowl Sunday. Have good weekend everyone. Peace out and GO SEAHAWKS!!!