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!!!

Weekly Check-In

Good Afternoon!!! This week hasn’t been all that eventful despite it being a busy week for me. Busy and uneventful is always a good thing when things haven’t been going all that well.

I saw my doctor on Monday to get blood work done. Blood work that would see if there is anything health wise that could be causing my depression to not improve. All the blood test came back “normal” except my Vitamin D levels. I’m now going to be on a prescription strength dose of Vitamin D instead of the over the counter supplement. I’m hoping this does the trick with at least improving the depression enough to where using my Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills will be slightly more easier to use than they currently are.

Now that we are on the topic of DBT, I received a call on Wednesday from one of the clinicians from the agency I am a consumer (client) at, that my name finally came up to be able to attend one of the DBT groups there.  It’s only taken way too long but hey I’m glad I’m going to be able to attend. I do have to go through a screening process which I am pretty sure is not all that difficult to do since I went through the screening process at another agency to get into their two year intensive outpatient DBT program which I graduated from. The DBT group at the agency I am a consumer of is not as challenging as the one I graduated from but I’m okay with that since I am in need of a refresher. Yes, I would like it to be challenging and from my understanding it is slightly more challenging that it was the last time I took it. Just as long as being in DBT helps me get back to doing well, I don’t care how challenging it is.

A DBT skill that is challenging for me to do is the Self-Soothing skill and my new therapist is attempting to have me use this particular skill. When I saw her on Tuesday we discussed things that happened since the last time I saw her which led to an uncomfortable conversation for me. We talked about how I feel like I don’t deserve to self soothe. Self soothing is not exactly easy for me.

In fact I’ve been think great deal about self soothing since seeing my therapist and the many ways I actually do self soothe but don’t do enough. Music is the main way I self soothe and actually do this everyday by listening to it. Now playing my flute is extremely self soothing and don’t do enough of it. Hopefully I will make more of an effort to play my flute more.

Another self soothing skill that I tend to do and didn’t realize it was self soothing for me is art. The type of art I tend to do is color and/or collage with some drawing. I color and collage to self soothe and express myself. I tend to draw to express myself; usually when I am angry, scared or feeling like a scared child. I’m not very good a drawing but it sure helps when I’m not doing well. Now coloring and collaging I think I’m pretty good at and am grateful that is soothes me.

Talking about art brings me up to another thing I did this week and that was hanging out with my friend Susan from https://bravelybipolar.wordpress.com/ and her husband on Thursday. Susan does glass art. Actually, she does stained glass and I had her make me a piece which is quite lovely. We met up so I could get the stained glass piece she made me and we hung out for a couple of hours. We went to lunch and had some pretty awesome food.

Food always seems to be a major part of getting together with friends which brings me up to what I did yesterday. I hung out with two friends that I’ve known for the last two decades. We ate some pretty good food and the main topic of discussion was the books we are reading and/or just finished reading. During this get together with my two friends we realized that starting a book club with ourselves and a few other friends would be a good way to get together. In fact we thought it is the perfect excuse to get together. My two friends and I are thinking about asking two to three other individuals to join in this book club and hope to start it up sometime in mid to late September as many people go on vacation this time of year due to it being summer in my neck of the woods. September seems like the perfect time to start a book club as kids go back to school and people tend to have a more of a regular schedule.

Speaking of schedule’s, I need to get going. I need to go and eat. In fact my doctor wants me to eat on a more regular basis. As I end this post I hope all of you have a great weekend and enjoy the nice weather outside. Peace Out!!!

Consistency is a Necessity for Recovery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crisis & Not Being Able To Say Goodbye

I don’t know where to begin. Lets begin with how difficult things have been lately. In October I lost three clients and a colleague. This put me in an unexpected whirlwind of a crisis. Dealing with four deaths so close to the third anniversary of the first miscarriage put me into a major crisis. A crisis that got me the “extra support” I had been advocating for since I got promoted to a Peer Specialist. The “extra support” came too late as was I was already quickly approaching hospitalization.

I met with my “extra support” and she made an already volatile situation worse. This person informed me that she “would not be able to use humor in sessions as it is unprofessional and wont abide by not using the two terms” that trigger me. Needless to say two days later I ended up in the hospital for fifteen days.  While in the hospital I found out that Diana, my therapist, wont be back till December due to medical issues. Okay, everyone deals with health issues. I was in the middle of a health issue at the moment myself. Granted it was a mental health crisis but I understood.

Dealing with a personal health crisis is not an easy thing to go through which is why when I was discharged from the hospital, I would be a chemo-buddy to friend of mine who was on an oncology unit. An oncology unit that my therapist was on. I being the person I am quickly walked past her room to see my friend. A friend who knew something that was up. I informed my friend that I would let her know more when I was able to get more information.

I was able to get some information the next day at the mental health agency, I see Diana at. They were “surprised” that I found out and “find it odd” that I had a friend on the same unit as my therapist. I found the statement “find it odd” a little odd because why would I spend my time and energy to figure out if my therapist was in the hospital especially since I was and am in a crisis dealing with my mental health and grief of a butt load of recent and past loss. Long story short I was given an appointment with Diana’s supervisor who informed me that Diana does have cancer and it is unlikely that she will be returning. To make matters worse, I have been put on the waiting list for another therapist. This makes no sense to me as they had given me a person to be of “extra support” in addition of Diana and now I have to wait till at least February to get a therapist. To make matters worse my extra support is going to be out till mid-January.

It really bothers me that I not only don’t get to say goodbye to Diana but I am not going to get any support till mid-January. Seriously, someone who recently got out of a psych ward is going to have little to no support. I feel like I am not being heard. What part of I am not doing well don’t people understand and to make matters worse my therapist of eight years is not around to help due to cancer. If Diana knew what was going on I am sure she would advocate for me or at least have a “goodbye” session like she promised. I know realistically I won’t have that “goodbye” session and I feel like my treatment team is just putting me on the shelf in hopes everything will resolve itself because “she is strong, has skills and resiliency” but that’s who they should be most concerned about. Those of us who “appear to be doing well” despite some major struggles at the moment.

The only reason why I am not going to do anything is because I am going back to work on Monday after being on FMLA for a month. Yes, I am going to only be working a limited schedule due to partial FMLA but at least its something to look forward to. Another reason why I am not going to do anything is because my clients don’t need to lose another staff member and if I leave my current employer I would like to give my clients some closure with at least being able to say goodbye. Something I won’t be able to do with Diana. As far as I know she is still alive but not coming back.

I should get going before the tears on my face short out my laptop. Have a good weekend everyone.

Weekly Check-In

It is Saturday morning and that means its time for my weekly check-in. I enjoyed my three day weekend last week.

I unfortunately called in sick most of last week because I wasn’t feeling well. I was dealing with a migraine that just wouldn’t go a way. Missing work is not my favorite thing especially since I love my job. I did end up going to see my doctor yesterday. She agrees that it was a migraine. She suspects that my migraine was caused by a combination of weather change, allergies, the fluorescent lights in my work environment and my depression symptoms increasing.

My doctor prescribed  me some allergy and migraine meds as well as suggested ways to decrease my exposure florescent lights. For example go for two, ten minute walks to get some natural light which will also help with my depression symptoms. My doctor also informed me that she would be in communication with my therapist and psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Long story short, my doctor did get a hold of my therapist who in return called me. Diana and I discussed on ways I can decrease my depression symptoms. We of course discussed the skills that help the most. The plan we came up with was to hang out with people from my natural support systems or at least call and talk to some of them on the phone. Other things on the list are, to blog, go on a walk, color, journal, read, and of course lots of chocolate.

Its amazing that I have health care professionals that are willing to communicate with each other. You don’t find that much now a days or at least here in the United States. I am grateful that I have people who look out for me. My therapist emailed Junior and Mama Bear to let them know what was going on even though they both already knew. Junior is working an overtime shift so he’s been checking up on me via text. Mama Bear took me out to breakfast and did some walking.

Yes, I still have my migraine but at least the pain is subsiding with meds and skills. I am grateful that I have health care professionals in my life that care. I am just as grateful that I have natural support system the love and care about me. Have a wonderful weekend everyone and peace out all.

Hello, 2016

Happy New Years!! As I sit here typing, twenty hours into 2016 I cant help but think of my hopes and dreams for the coming year. I also cant help but think on how much differently my hopes and dreams for the coming year are different from last year.

They are different because last year at this time I thought I was going to be a mama however I am not because of a miscarriage. The miscarriage did a major toll on me emotionally last year and hope that the grief work that my therapist and I recently started helps.

The reason why I hope the grief work helps is because I felt like I went backwards with my mental health recovery in 2015. Yes, I realize that the miscarriage was what ultimately caused my depression relapse. In fact I was diagnosed with postpartum depression which I didn’t really realize could happen with women who miscarry. It doesn’t surprise me that women who miscarry can be diagnosed with it but I just didn’t connect the dots.

As many of you know my recovery means the world to me. As I look at what I want my life to look like at the end of 2016, I have to look at my recovery and what it means to me and how it will look to me. Of course, this is something I will be discussing with my therapist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and natural supports to see what they have to say about what I want my recovery to look like. They are apart of my recovery and without them and their help, I wouldn’t be in recovery.

I am realizing as I continue to write this blog post, it is going in a different direction than I had originally planned and I am okay with it. I am okay with it because I will be able to devote what I was planning on blogging about today and blog about on that topic tomorrow.

I know that discussing how my miscarriage affected my depression and recovery will not only open doors to help others discuss their struggles but help me as well. The miscarriage affected me a great deal including my blog. I wish it didn’t effect my blog but it did.

As I end this post I want to thank you for reading and/or reading my blog. I am grateful for each one of you. Have a very Happy New Years. Hello, 2016, I am looking forward to what you have to bring even the bad and the ugly.

Weekly Goals

Happy Monday!!! Its a start of another work week and we all know what that means; time for me to do another set of weekly goals. So I will say how I did with last weeks goals.

1)  Read Speaker of the Dead by Orson Scott Card. I was able to spend about an hour in one sitting this week to read which is a rare occurrence. I was able to read twice for an hour so I am a happy camper.

2)  Work on jigsaw puzzle. Spent about fifteen minutes a day doing the puzzle. It is taking some time to do.

3)  Color. Did some coloring but not much.

4)  Finish Writing 201: Poetry. I finished the course and hope that you all enjoyed my poems.

5)  Work on a self-help workbook; The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, PhD., Jeffery C. Wood, PSY.D., and Jeffrey Brantley, MD. Yup I worked on an entire chapter.

Now on to this weeks goals.

1)  Read Speaker of the Dead by Orson Scott Card. I will finish this book eventually.

2)  Work on jigsaw puzzle. The jigsaw puzzle is getting done slowly but surely.

3)  Color. Looks like I could be finishing up one coloring page here in the next week or two.

4)  Work on a self-help workbook; The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, PhD., Jeffery C. Wood, PSY.D., and Jeffrey Brantley, MD. I’m hoping to get another chapter done this week.

5) See my therapist. I see my therapist on Wednesday. We will most likely be discussing ways to cope with getting my yearly done.

6)  Go to my doctor’s appointment. I have my annual female exam on Thursday. I have a difficult time with these particular appointments because of all the trauma I have been through.

Well, those are my weekly goals for this week. Please don’t hesitate to take a look at the blogging event over at: http://greenembe.rs/2015/10/19/building-rome-week-42-for-2015/ Have a wonderful week. Peace Out!!!