Daily Prompt: Blogger With a Cause

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Blogger With a Cause.” If your day to day responsibilities were taken care of and you could throw yourself completely behind a cause, what would it be?

This daily prompt is an easy one for me and if you regularly read my blog the causes I am would be completely behind would be a no brainer. The causes I would be behind are causes I am currently behind. They are mental health issues, recovery and ending homelessness.

As many of you know I have a passion when it comes to mental health and recovery. Everyone has the right to get the treatment they deserve if they choose to seek out help. The first thing about recovery is that you have to choose to want to be in recovery. Sadly, not everyone decides that recovery is for them and that is their choice. Not only is recovery a choice, it looks differently to each individual.

Another one of my passions is ending homelessness. Everyone deserves to have a home if they choose to accept housing. Again accepting housing is a choice just like choosing recovery. Becoming homeless is as uniquely and circumstantial as the person. As you may know some people who become homeless is because the came on hard times and lost a job. Then their are those individuals who are homeless and have a serious mental illness. Many individual’s who are struggle with both mental illness and homelessness have difficulty keeping housing due to their mental illness. In return if you are struggling with a mental illness while homeless it’s difficult to get to your appointment because you are too busy trying to get shelter for the night.

As you can tell housing can be a major part someone’s recovery. That is why I work at mental health agency that houses those who are the most vulnerable in regards to mental illness. They help house those who have a serious mental illness in hopes that once they get help then they will seek help for their mental illness. Only about have who get housed through the agency agree to seek mental health treatment and we are fine with that. It is their choice to seek treatment. Getting housing is a major deal and if we can get them treatment then that is a major plus.

As you can tell, I am already a blogger with a cause and I don’t need to quit my day job to do so. I love my job and I love blogging. I love the causes that I am involved in. I will call it a day in regards to blogging. Have a good weekend all. Peace out!!

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Daily Prompt: State of Your Year

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “State of Your Year.” How is this year shaping up so far? Write a post about your biggest challenges and achievements thus far.

It’s the third day of July and that means the year is half over. The year now being officially half over is why I decided to do this particular past daily prompt.

The year didn’t start off on the happiest of notes. If you are a regular reader and/or follower you are aware that I had miscarried a set of twins in January. It was a devastating start to the new year. I was looking forward to being a mama. Needless to say the miscarriage has had me wanting this year to end two weeks into it.

As January turned into February, I realized that I not only wanted the year to be over, I wanted to end my life. I wanted to end my life due to miscarrying. That is when I realized I needed to get help by putting myself into the hospital twice. The first time for two weeks and then a week after I was discharged had to go back in for another five days. I was disappointed in myself that I needed to be hospitalized for psych reasons because it had been nearly three and half years since my last discharge from my last psych hospitalization. The miscarriage hit me harder than a bag of bricks hitting the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Despite being hit by a bag of bricks, I realized that this particular crisis was different from the rest; I didn’t harm myself in any way. Yes, that means I didn’t attempt suicide nor self-harm. If one thing could come from the sadness of loosing a set of twins and the crisis that came after it, is that I don’t need to self harm nor do I need to go through it alone.

The major thing I have learned this year is that I am not alone and most importantly I know who is truly in my corner. Don’t get me wrong, I have known who has been in my corner for quite some time, I just fully realized on who is in my corner. I also realized that, those of who I thought were in my corner when it came to me being in a crisis weren’t able to do so, like I once thought. Now I know that it doesn’t matter how long you have known someone or how you met that person, it matters that they step up to the plate when a crisis arises.  Sometimes it’s a person you don’t necessarily expect.  An example of someone like that is my friend Susan over at https://bravelybipolar.wordpress.com/.

As the year continues on and the help of many people like Susan, my fiancé, Junior and many others, it is slowly but surely better. Yes, I still have my difficult moments but realize that the initial crisis of the miscarriage is over. It has taken quite some time for it to be over however I have accomplished the fact that I not only not harmed myself in the crisis, I was able to allow others in my life to help me in one of the most darkest hours of my life.

Looking back on my year thus far, I would say that one of my major accomplishments is continuing to live my life as I would have before miscarrying. That means, I continued on going to work, going to my volunteer job at the Warm Line and most importantly spending time with friends and select family members. I also allow myself to grieve over the loss of my children. Amongst the major accomplishment of living my everyday life in the middle of a crisis, I decided to volunteer other places.

Yes, I’m now volunteering not only at the Warm Line and the Mental Health Clubhouse I am a member of but a young adult shelter. I’m doing this because, I not only miss volunteer at the main shelter of the mental health I agency I am now employed at but I want to eventually work with young adults struggling with a mental illness. The reason being is because, I’ve been there. I was a young adult seeking treatment and felt like nobody understood because everyone else to start getting treatment till their late twenties and early thirties if not older. Volunteering at the young adult (18-25) shelter is a way to make sure I want to work with particular age group in the profession sense. What’s the worse thing that can happen? I realize its not the age group I am meant to work with and another thing to put on my résumé. So far I’m loving the fact that I am not only volunteering in a homeless shelter but volunteering with the age group that I am wanting to work with professionally.

As the year continues on, I am looking forward to what it brings professionally. I love my job as a Consumer Advocate however I want to be a Peer Support Specialist. I have been looking at Peer Specialist positions within the agency I work for as well as other agencies however I realize I am more likely to get hired on, if it is at another agency, if I have been at my current employer for at least a year. My one year anniversary at my current employer is September 8, 2015. Since my anniversary is in September, I have decided to wait to late November, early December to apply for Peer Specialist positions due to the fact that I will have been employed for an entire calendar year (January to December) by the time I find out if I get hired for a job. The longer you are at an employer the better it looks to future employers. Not only that, I also need to do a few things done to ensure I will able to get a job as a Peer. They are to get my teeth fixed as well as to get a drivers license. Yes, you read right, I don’t have a drivers license. I have always lived in area’s that have pretty good public transit. Another reason why I want to get a drivers license is because many positions require one. Not only will having a drivers license be helpful to me professionally, so will getting my teeth fixed. People do tend to look at ones smile when it comes to an interview as well as in everyday encounters and that is why I want to get them fixed. Plus it will make me feel better about myself.

Overall, I am feeling better about myself as 2015 continues. Yes, it has not been the best of years so far however, I am going to make sure it ends on a higher note than it did when it started or at least try. We all know that there are things beyond our control. The year may have started badly but I know as it continues, I am making sure there are positives in it. One way I am making it positive besides professionally is by hanging out with awesome people. That is what I am about to do after I end this particular post. I do apologize for it being so long. I hope to blog again tomorrow for the 4th of July. If I am unable to do so, have a Happy 4th of July. Be safe and Peace Out!!!

Pride Parade 2015

It has been a long, exhausting yet exuberating day. I marched in the pride parade today with my employer. It was awesome and an honor to march along side with my co-workers and clients. Many of the clients were quite surprised that many staff were not getting paid for their time marching in the parade. The cool thing about marching in today parade is that I had an option on who to march with. I could have marched with the Warm Line and Crisis Clinic staff and volunteers since I’m a volunteer with the Warm Line. I also had the opportunity to march with fellow volunteers as well as “guest” of the young adult homeless shelter I recently started volunteering at. In fact a couple of “guest” of the young adult shelter were disappointed I wasn’t marching with them however they understood why I would be marching with my employer.

My fiancé, Junior, even marched the pride parade. In fact he was with his employer. Junior is a firefighter and plays the bagpipes. Yes, that means he was marching in his rainbow colored kilt playing the bagpipe with the fire department pipes and drums. Junior, is quite the talented bagpiper. Unfortunately, I was unable to see Junior march in todays parade because I, too was marching in the parade.

Marching in todays pride parade had me thinking about my junior high and high school years. I was in marching band and loved it. Marching in todays parade had me realize how much I miss being in band.

Enough with my marching band days in junior high and high school and back to Pride Parade and its festivities. Today, was a warm, humid, cloudy day. In fact while marching in the parade, the weather decided to throw a thunder and lightning storm in the mix. In fact the rain felt good. The clients loved it. In fact they broke out into song. Not just any song. They sung “Dancing in the Rain.” Yes, they even started dancing. I wish I was able to get a picture of it however due to HIPPA laws I was unable to do so. In fact even some of my co-workers decided to join in the singing and dancing in the rain. I didn’t because I was enjoying the fact that the clients were enjoying the moment. It was a blast had by all.

After the parade I decided to go and volunteer at the booth my employer had set up. I volunteered for about an hour an half. It was nice to be able to educate the community about mental illness and homeliness and the effects it has on our community. The reason I decided to volunteer at my employers booth was not only to be able to educate the community but because Junior was farther down the parade route than I was and was wanting to do something productive as he was finishing up his portion of the parade.

When Junior was done with his portion of parade he stopped by my employers booth to come and “pick me up.” We then walked around the pride festivities and enjoyed our time together. In fact we discussed our wedding and how we are thrilled that one of his sister is now able to get married to the woman of her dreams anywhere in the United States as soon as she finds her. Isn’t it the most wonderful thing that now anyone can marry the person that they love despite their gender and the gender of their partner?

As we walked around the festivities we noticed some people holding up religious signs. In fact some of those signs were just plain ole hateful. I thought Christianity was a religion of love and compassion and not of hate and ignorance. Not only did the signs say hateful thing, the people holding the signs were saying hateful things. In fact one person told a little girl of 7 or 8 years old that not only are her daddies going to hell but she is as well. A nearby uniformed police officer stepped in and spoke up for that family. I just cant comprehend why people are so hateful especially to children.

Now that Junior and myself are home, we are relaxing. It has been a good day and am grateful that I was able to be alive during a part of a positive event in American History. I hope to blog again soon. Have good rest of your weekend. Peace out!!!

Happy Dead Turkey Day

Happy Dead Turkey Day!!! Now that I have your attention, Happy Thanksgiving. I really prefer saying Happy Dead Turkey Day because today is really all about eating a dead turkey as well as other yummy foods. Its also about spending time with friends and dysfunctional family and watching some good ole American Football.

It has been an extremely busy morning so far and its only 8:30 in the morning (pacific time). I have been up since 5 this morning (pacific time) cooking and baking for Thanksgiving Dinner and the thing is I was up till midnight (pacific time) doing the same thing. I am cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for about 50 to 60 people that my boyfriend and I are hosting for our friends and family. Thankfully, I am getting help with the cooking. Not only am I getting help with the cooking but am having people bring a traditional dish that they ate growing up. The only thing we asked of people bringing food is that they tell us so we don’t have mass amounts of the same dish. Anyway, its been a busy morning and it is just going to get busier as the day goes on.

My boyfriend is the lucky one right now because he is sleeping. He did an overtime shift and got of at 7:30 this morning (pacific time). My boyfriend may be sleeping right now but he will be in charge of the cleaning up after the turkey dinner is over with. Luckily how it goes on both sides of our families is that if you are not involved with the cooking then you have to help out with the clean up with one exception and that is that if you had to work. I think that’s fair enough.

Something my boyfriend and I have planned for our guest besides the dinner is to have some fun and make a day out of it. We plan on having a game of turkey bowl. Turkey bowl is where you play football with an uncooked turkey . Eventually, we replace the turkey with a football and no we do NOT cook the turkey, we throw it away. We also plan on having board games out to play and even might have a tournament or two with the board games. Hopefully, we will do some karaoke at some point. We might do some Christmas caroling. Most importantly we will be watching the San Francisco 49er vs. Seattle Seahawk football game. What’s a Dead Turkey Day (Thanksgiving) without some good ole American Football.

When it comes to who to root for in regards to the football game, I am conflicted. I am conflicted because I grew up in California and was taught to always root for the home team. Since my home team was the Rams and they moved to Saint Louis when I was about nine or ten I picked the 49ers. The 49ers then became my home team. The thing is I’m the only one in my family who was not born and raise in the State of Washington and my entire family is a Seattle Seahawk fan. The thing is that at that time the Seahawks were in the AFC so it was okay to root for the 49ers because the were and still are in the NFC. As a teenager I moved to Washington State with my dad and realized what a gigantic fan base the Seahawks had even though at that time they were a loosing team they kind of grew on me. Then a few years ago the NFL decided to put the Seahawks into the NFC and that what makes it even more complicated now because the rivalry against the 49ers is even greater now.  Now that I live in Seahawk country I am conflicted. Oh how I wish I could choose what team to root for later. I hope you see why I am conflicted on who to root for.

I should get back on topic of Dead Turkey Day. I am overwhelmed with having to do dinner for so many people even though I have plenty of help. My own family is quite overwhelming and well dysfunctional. Not only are the holidays triggering for me due to childhood trauma but my family is triggering for me. Well, my brother is not triggering. The only reason why my dysfunctional family is invited is because my boyfriend and I have some big news for our families. Well, most of his family knows as well as my lil brother but we want it to be a special announcement. I will tell you in another blog that I hope to do later this evening or tonight sometime but no promises.

Well, my self-proclaimed break is over. It is now 9:00 am (pacific time) and I spent the last half an hour blogging and I feel like a slacker for not doing anything when there are others working their asses off. So this means I’m saying ta ta for now. Have a good Dead Turkey Day everyone. Enjoy your food and friends and try to enjoy your dysfunctional families. Peace Out!!!

Woo Hoo!!!

     Woo Hoo!!! I got the job as a Consumer Aide at the agency the runs the homeless shelter I volunteer at. The sad news is that I will have to quit volunteering at the homeless shelter due to not being able to be a volunteer and employee at the same time. As much as it saddens me that I have to quit the my volunteer job at the homeless shelter, I am absolutely thrilled that I got the job. It is not exactly a peer counseling job but at least it is a step in the right direction. I’m a little apprehensive about quitting one job and starting a new one.

      The cool thing about everything is that my last day volunteering at the homeless shelter will be my first evening volunteering as a call taker at the Warm Line. In fact the volunteer stuff all happens the first week of September. Everything that is happening is falling right into place. I start one volunteer job as another one ends. Of course one volunteer job is ending because of a new job beginning. All this also means that I will be saying goodbye to some really cool people at my current employment at the grocery store I work at. My co-workers and customers have become family to me. I am going to miss them dearly even the one or two co-workers and hand full of customers who don’t like me. Hell, no family is going to like each other 100% of the time.

     Well, I am putting my two weeks notice in tomorrow at my current employment when I go into work. As I stated above I’m going to be sad to leave and say goodbye to people I’ve become close with. As of right now according to my new boss I will starting on September 8th. They wanted me to start this Monday (8/25/2014) however I have to put in two weeks notice at my current employment and I am glad that they respect that.

      I found out I got the job at about 9 this morning (pacific time). Its now 2:52pm(pacific time) The reason why I waited a few hours to blog about the new job is because I wanted to let the people in my inner circle know first. I haven’t even posted on Facebook yet. In fact I am not going to post it on Facebook until I put in my two weeks notice at my current employment. I also wrote (typed) my two weeks notice letter to my current employment. I know what you are about to read will seem kind of humorous or leave you scratching your head wondering why I did what I am about to mention but there is method to my madness. I updated my résumé with job descriptions of both my new volunteer job and new paid job. I did this so when I decide to get another job I am better prepared. Just so you all know I plan on being at my new employer for at least a year because it looks better on the résumé and I told them I would be with them for at least a year. I’m hoping that I can eventually become a Peer Support Specialist/Peer Counselor at the agency I got the job at.

     Well, enough about my new job and everything. I need to get  going and get ready for my volunteer training at the Warm Line. I am sorry I haven’t blogged in a few days. I hope to blog again tomorrow but the way I’ve been blogging lately I’m not sure if I will. I hope to. I want to. Anyway, as of right now I hope to blog tomorrow. Peace out.

Struggling A Little Bit

     It’s another Thursday and I have been struggling a bit for about a week or two now. I didn’t realize how badly I was struggling till this past Monday (8/11/2014) when I dissociated. The unfortunate part of the dissociated state it that I ended up cutting. I am so disappointed that I cut. I hadn’t cut in three years. When I started coming out of the dissociated state and realized what I had done, I freaked out and called 911. Of course the fire department came and checked me out and then I was taken to the emergency room.

      My experience in the emergency room wasn’t the best I have had in the 14 years I have been going to this particular ER for both psych and medical reasons. On the positive side both of the physicians were caring and sincere in wanting to help me. It was both the nurse and the social worker that didn’t make my experience all that great. The nurse was just negative with me the entire night. She told me that I needed to get my act together and that if it wasn’t for the HIPPA law that she would tell my boss’s about what happened. (Side note: The nurse shops at the grocery store I work at on the regular basis). When the social worker finally talked to me her demeanor was as if she didn’t want to be at work or got the short straw to talk to me. I told the social worker what the nurse said and the social worker told me that the nurse would never say that and I that I was being “hostile.” The question I have is how can I be hostile if I am sitting on the floor in a corner of the room with a blanket around me and sucking my thumb holding a stuffed animal. If that’s “hostile” then I would hate to think what her (the social workers) point of view is on violent behavior. The social worker then had the guts to tell me that she didn’t believe me that I dissociated. As she told me this one of the doctors came in to check on me and well he didn’t seem too happy with the social worker at the moment. The doctor asked how I was doing and I said I was doing better (which I was) and then said that he believed me. This doctor has treated me before and knows that I dissociate. Well, to make a long story short the doctor talked to the social work who in return said, I’m only apologizing because I was asked to. I really don’t like it when people are forced to apologize to me or others when they don’t mean it but am grateful that doctor cared enough to talk to her. His heart was in the right place. Thankfully, I wasn’t hospitalized. I was sent home.

    For me being sent home was a good thing. It means that I am far enough in my recovery process that I can continue to do what I need to do in my everyday life. For me going on with my life is what I need to do. That means continue going to my volunteer training at the Warm Line as well as going  to my volunteer job at the homeless shelter. That also mean I will go to work tomorrow as well as on Saturday and any shifts I have next week. For me if I wasn’t in recovery I wouldn’t have bothered going to the Warm Line training this past Tuesday as well as my listening shift last night nor would have I gone to my volunteer job at the homeless shelter. I consider this episode as a relapse. I am picking up where I left off before I dissociated and harmed myself. Another thing I am waiting on is my therapist to call me back. She was sick on Tuesday and doesn’t work on Wednesdays and hoping she is back in the office today. If she is still out today I will just see her at my regularly scheduled appointment. As much as I am beating myself up over what happened I have to get up and dust myself up and make the choice to continue my recovery process.

     I debated whether or not to share this with you because I didn’t want to trigger anyone nor did I want to worry anyone. I decided to blog about after I discussed it with my natural support system and they said it would be a good idea because it will show that I am human (which I am) and that I can pick up with my life even though its a little difficult at the moment. Yes, I know I blogged on Tuesday but I didn’t have my mind wrapped around what happen the night before and needed some space before I blogged about it. Now there is enough space and decided blog about what happened with the encouragement from the people who care about me. I am hoping that me blogging about this shows that people with mental illness can work through there issues as they continue with their everyday life. For me to continue with my everyday life is key to my recovery. It is my hope that this blog entry can show others struggling with mental illness that recovery is possible even if you relapse and that hope is out even if you relapse. I am worried about what my therapist is going to say on Monday but I will deal with that when it comes. As much as I don’t like my job I am looking forward to work tomorrow. I am grateful that I am able to work. Continuing to go on with my everyday life is something I’ve learned to do to not go farther backwards.

     Speaking of continuing with everyday life I need to get going. I need to eat and get my work clothes ready for tomorrow before I go to my volunteer training at the Warm Line. Have a good rest of your Thursday. I hope I didn’t trigger or worry anyone. Peace out!!

Just Another Tuesday

     Well another Tuesday is about over with and I am exhausted. I am not sure why I am so exhausted because I honestly didn’t do all the much today. I pretty much hung out with my boyfriend all day. We spent our time just being lazy. We worked on a jigsaw puzzle most of the day. We worked on the jigsaw puzzle till I had to go to my volunteer training for the Warm Line.

     I am enjoying the training immensely. I have another listening in shift tomorrow and am looking forward to it. I can not wait till I am actually taking calls on the Warm Line because I want show people hope and that recovery is possible. Volunteering gives me a sense of purpose in this world.

     Speaking volunteering I am looking forward to my volunteer shift  at the homeless shelter tomorrow. I cant wait to see the clients tomorrow. They give me so much joy and they have no idea that they do.

      Volunteering anywhere gives me a sense of purpose and I think it helps me more than it does the people I help. Giving of your time means so much more than giving of money. Yes, money helps but giving of your time means much more to the person or persons that you are helping.

      My boyfriend spending time with me means more to me than how much money he spends on me. I rather him save his money. I love simple lazy days with him like today. I love that we can work on a jigsaw puzzle and be content with it. We don’t have to go out to some fancy restaurant to enjoy each others company. I love my boyfriend with all my heart.

      Speaking of my boyfriend I should get going because I want some cuddling time with him. Cuddling is always an enjoyable event. Well, enjoy the last 1 hour and 7minutes that is left in Tuesday everyone. Goodnight and don’t let the bed bugs bite. Peace out.