Everyday Inspiration; Day 4: A Story in a Single Image

This image doesn’t inspire me to “write a story” but it does inspire me keep doing what I am doing when it comes to keeping myself both mentally and physically healthy. When I first saw this image I am inspired to go out and enjoy nature especially since I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For me this image inspires me to make plans to do what I enjoy especially since it is summer and easy to do the things I enjoy in nature.

In fact this image reminded me of the plans I already have planned to do with friends. Plans to go do a day hike every week with friends who like to do day trips but no time do go on multi-day trips to go camping. I also have plan to go on two camping trips with friends and we plan on going hiking then.  Going camping and/or hiking helps me a great deal. It helps me get into nature so I can connect to nature.

I live in the city. In fact the city I live in is Seattle. Yes, it is easy to connect with nature in Seattle due to all the awesome parks we have but going out to the middle of the forest connects you to nature that city parks can not do. So, for me going hiking and/or camping helps me connect with nature. Being in nature helps me reconnect to what is important to me and my recovery with mental health challenges. Its like a type of therapy for me.

Even though I already have plans to go camping twice this summer and weekly hiking trips, I am wanting to make plans with fellow peer counselors. Plans to at least go for a day hike. I think after this post I will reach out to fellow peer counselors to see if at least a handful of us would be able to schedule at least a day hike. So this image inspired me to get people together to at least do a day hike.

I don’t have much more to say in this post. I do want to thank you for reading my blog. It is greatly appreciated from my end of things. Peace Out, World!!!

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Poetry, Day Four: Journey

Fork in the Road

by Gertie

There is a fork in the road

Which way to go.

Continue on the miserable journey you already know

or choose the one less traveled one.

What the hell?

It couldn’t be any worse than the journey,

I’m already on.

Turns out that fork in road changed

my life I would have never imagined.

A life worth living.

A life in recovery.

Something that wouldn’t have happened if

I didn’t have that fork in the road

to choose what recovery journey I wanted to take.

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.

Just Another Beautiful Saturday!!!

     Well, it’s another beautiful Saturday and I am planning on enjoying it especially since the household chores are done. The bathroom is clean, laundry is done and my least favorite the dishes are sparkly clean. I like getting the household chores done first so I can get them done and out of the way so I can have fun the rest of the day or in this case the rest of the weekend.

     My boyfriend and I are going to go hiking again today. We are going to go in about an hour or so. I love hiking and so does he. I am grateful that I live in a big city that is only an hour or two to great hiking as well as some pretty good camping. Today, my boyfriend are only going to go hiking because this time of year the great camping areas near by are usually all filled up. Plus we like campsites that require some type of backpacking and those are at are about a 4 hours away by car plus another 3 or so hours hiking. I love camping especially backpacking type camping. In fact once my boyfriend finishes the frying up the chicken we are taking on the hike we will head out.

     My boyfriend is the sweetest man in the world. He is always so caring and loving. He is always thinking of fun things for us to do on days we are not busy with work and other such things. Its awesome that we enjoy a lot of the same things and have similar interest. In fact he loves it that I am a huge sports fan. We are both die hard baseball and football fans. He is a die hard soccer, basketball, and hockey fan while I am a die hard  track & field, roller derby, skateboarding, rollerblading and surfing fan. Its nice to have someone in my life who enjoys sports as much as I do.

     I best be going and help my boyfriend pack up the car for the hike. Have a great Saturday everyone. Enjoy the weather. Peace Out!!

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.