Figuring Sh*t Out While Being Creative

Hello, World!!! Today, hasn’t been the easiest of days for me. Especially, since I’ve come to the realization that my case manager’s supervisor is providing me with therapy. I came to this realization today when I saw him and at the end of our appointment we scheduled another one for this Friday. It appears from my end of things or perspective that he (my case manager’s supervisor) is attempting his best to gain my trust with him and the rest of my treatment team after what happened three weeks ago when my therapy services were pulled. The reason, I’ve come to the realization of him providing me with therapy is because this will be the third week in a row where I’ve had three appointments with him in one week. I am a little suspicious of this for several reasons but it appears that he wants me back in therapy services and working with me to get me back in it.

On that note, my “temporary” therapist and I discussed a little about my safety with self-harm and suicide ideation stuff which led me to showing him one of the mandalas I colored last night. I would have shown him the other one I colored but I gave it to the therapist I had right after Diana left but the one before my last former therapist. Anyway, my “temporary” therapist and I discussed how coloring is quite helpful to me. He thinks that me being creative is a good thing, whether its with writing or some sort of art work.

So when I got home, I rested for a while, ate and then went to a local art supply store. A store with in walking distance of my place of residence. I pick up some paint supplies including canvas. The picture below is what I painted this evening with my newly bought paint supplies.

IMG_0018I realize its not the best photo of my newly painted piece of art but it resembles what my recovery has been like throughout my life.

Another thing I did after my painting was write a couple of poems. Poems that represent the not so good head space I have been in lately. Below are photo’s of the poems I wrote.

The first poem is as follows:

Shit Hit The Fan

by Gertie

Shit hit the fan.

Nobody seams to hear, what the fuck I am saying.

How loud do I have to get to be heard?

How much shit has to hit the fan before its noticed?

Why can’t I get a break?

Even for an hour.

The second poem is as follows:

Searching For Lost Hope

by Gertie

Looking for a sign.

Any sign, for a sign of hope.

Hope that seems to be no where to be found.

Searching for the lost hope is becoming more hopeless as the search drags on.

As I painted and wrote some poetry, I listened to some music. Music that appears to be helping drown out the voices I’m hearing. Voices that nobody hears. I also am just realizing that when I am doing art, writing or even playing a musical instrument, my voices get quieter. They’re still quite intense but not as intense if I weren’t doing the above mentioned activities. I think I need to share this with my case manager and her supervisor.

As I end this post, I want to thank you for reading and allowing me to share my creative side with you. Peace Out, World.

(Side Note: I realize people might think after reading this post that I am suicidal or thinking about self harm. I am NOT suicidal and am NOT thinking about self harm.)

Ramblings About The Day & Friends

Good Evening, World!!! Today, was a sunny, crisp, cold day in Seattle. Extremely beautiful out yet way too cold for my liking however it’s always nice when it’s sunny outside this time of year.

I spent some of the day with a close friend. We had lunch and went rollerblading around a local lake at a park. It was nice spending time with a friend despite the both of us being cold at the end of rollerblading. I’m just happy that I have friends who are there for me through the good, the bad and the ugly. Many people would have just walked a way or distanced themselves when the symptoms of my mental health conditions reared their ugly head yet I have friends that don’t do that. I am forever grateful for those friends.

On that note, we then have those “friends” who are more like acquaintances and sometimes not even that. An example of such a friend happened today as well. I get a call from a local community mental health agency saying a particular person is using me as a professional and personal reference for a job. The thing about this is, is that this individual never even asked me if I would be a reference for them. I never really worked with this person and have only attended peer specialist/counseling related trainings with them as well never really staying in touch with them outside of trainings unless it involved other training. In reality I couldn’t be a reference for this person. I informed the person on the other end of the phone that I couldn’t give a reference of any kind as I don’t know the individual well enough and explained to them on how know the person we were discussing. The person on the other end of the phone was “grateful” for my “honesty” and that I wasn’t the only one “surprised” by being a reference. I realize that me informing the potential employer about this person that I really don’t them could cost them this particular job in their chosen career however it could look bad on me if the person didn’t work out especially if I ever want to work at this particular mental health agency. I know that sounds selfish but if I don’t know the person to give any type of reference, I don’t want to look bad.

Now on to another form of friendship. This more of romantic relationship. Right now as I write this post, Junior, is making dinner for the both of us. He is making homemade mac & cheese, ham, corn, and homemade peach cobbler. I love Junior and the support he has given me. He is an amazing person as well as an amazing partner.

Thank you for reading about my ramblings of the day. I hope you have a good rest of your evening. Peace Out!!!

Weekly Check-In

Good Morning, World!!! The last few weeks hasn’t been the easiest for me especially since therapy services was abruptly pulled from my mental health treatment. Which is something many people on my treatment team are “not too thrilled about.” Yes, it’s been two and a half since therapy services were abruptly pulled from my mental health treatment yet my case manager, her supervisor, my group leaders have been giving me the support I need through this. In fact my case manager’s supervisor is now seeing me three times a week for an hour each time I see him. Granted, it’s not exactly the therapy I need however, I think he realizes with the rest of my treatment team that what the program manager did was unethical and in my opinion he is trying to smooth things over. He does appear to care.

Speaking of caring he suggested that I take the advice of some of my friends (and fellow peers) in getting a recovery coach at local peer run community center. So, I did. I met with my recovery coach for the first time this past week. I will be meeting with my recovery coach weekly for about six months. It’s a time limited service which is a good thing or at least I think its a good thing.

The same place I get the recovery coach from does an annual fund raising event by selling Christmas Trees. This peer run origination ask for folks to volunteer at the Christmas Tree lot so, I’ve decided I would volunteer at the lot as I think it will be helpful to my recovery. Especially to my recovery regarding trauma around the holidays; specifically, Christmas.  I did my first volunteer shift at the Christmas Tree lot yesterday evening. I really enjoyed myself despite having wet, cold feet at the end of my volunteer shift.

I informed Mama Bear about me volunteering at the Christmas Tree lot and she stated that she is “proud” of me. She also gave me a much need reality check. A reality check I desperately needed regarding my recovery. Having friends like Mama Bear in my life is a blessing for me. A much needed blessing. Friends who are able to tell you like it is and keeps it real is something everyone in this world needs.

Speaking of needs, I need to get going so I can get ready for my volunteer job at a help line. A volunteer job I’ve been at for just over three years now and love with a passion.

I hope to blog again in the next few days to let you all know how things are going.  I hope you all have a wonderful day. Peace Out!!!

Everyday Inspiration; Day 19: Feature A Guest

Good Evening, World!!! today’s assignment for Finding Everyday Inspiration is to feature a guest. I have two very special guest I’ve interviewed. They are my partner, Junior, and the person who is a motherly figure to me, Mama Bear.

Do you remember the first time we “met?”

Junior: Yes, I remember our first interaction. Although, I’m pretty sure you don’t remember it.

Mama Bear: How in the hell can I forget our first interaction. I’m with Junior on this regarding you most likely don’t remember.

What was our first interaction?

Junior: Our first interaction was when I was apart of the crew that got called out to your place. You had attempted to take your own life. We (the crew) really didn’t think you were going to make it as you were so close to death.

Mama Bear: I might as well as say refer to Junior’s answer as I was apart of the same crew Junior was on. You did surprise the hell of us a few weeks later when we saw you walking around the neighborhood.

When you say “crew” what do you mean?

Junior: When I say crew I mean the crew that I work with. I am a firefighter.

Mama Bear: Refer to Junior’s answer as we are both firefighter. In fact we are still on the same shift at the same station. Most of the crew has changed.

How long have we “known” each other if you count our first in encounter?

Junior: Seventeen very interesting years.

Mama Bear: Again, refer to Junior’s answer.

Out of the last 17 years what have you learned from me?

Junior: I’ve learned that recovery is possible when dealing with a mental health condition. I learned a great deal of patients.

Mama Bear: To not be so judgmental especially toward individuals in a mental health crisis. More empathy and compassion.

Is there anything else you would like to say that I didn’t ask?

Junior: I love you with all my heart and am so grateful that you weren’t successful with your attempting to take your own life. I will always be here for you.

Mama Bear: Hmmm….Boy, you’re sure trusting with this question. I love you like you are my own daughter (even though I’m not officially old enough to my you mom). I, too am grateful that you weren’t successful with your (many) attempts with dying by suicide. This world would not be the same without you.

I interviewed Junior and Mama Bear as I hope that starting in the next couple of weeks to have them start posting on the monthly basis. I’m hoping for this so you all can get a different perspective on mental health conditions. Thank you to both Junior and Mama Bear for answering my questions.

I hope that everyone has a great evening. Peace Out, World!!!

Everyday Inspiration; Day 15: Take a Cue from Your Reader

Good Afternoon, World!!! Today’s assignment for Finding Your Everyday Inspiration is to take a cue from you my reader. A few days ago I asked you to give me some suggestions. I didn’t get as many suggestions as I would have liked however I did get some.

It appears from what I received from the feedback I got is that the answers were all different however one thing everyone was in agreement with. That something is to continue with what I do in regards to sharing my journey. I guess it gives people “hope” even those individuals who “don’t struggle with mental illness.”

Another common theme amongst most of the feedback I received was the education piece of my blog. The part of my blog that I’ve pretty much failed to do. Something, I hope to start doing it again. It is my plan to start it no later than the New Year (2018). Yes, I realize that the New Year is two and half months away but it gives me time to do research. Research that realistically will be hindered by the upcoming holidays which is why I’m giving myself two and half months. An idea I have is to get suggestions from you on what type of educational topics you would like me to discuss regarding anything to do with mental health (i.e. Treatments, Peers, Clinicians, Diagnosis).

Education and sharing my personal journey may have been a common theme amongst the suggestions, I received however I got some ideas that are all great. Some are a little bit controversial however those topics are necessary to the subjects of mental health and/or a persons recovery.

One such controversial topic is one’s faith, spirituality, and/or religion. One thing that is in agreement among those who have a mental health diagnosis is that one’s faith is key to one’s recovery. Yes, faith or religion can be a controversial topic however spirituality is a topic that needs to be continued to be discussed. Discussed so those who don’t have lived experience know that it plays a major role in recovery and the treatment they may need and/or desire.

Another such controversial topic is politics. Politics play a major role in mental health. Maybe not directly to one’s diagnosis but in other ways. Ways that it could and have effected those with a mental health diagnosis. In one such political topic related to mental health is health care. Having the proper health care and insurance is key to one’s recovery and treatment.

Since we are on the topic of health care someone did bring up the topic of it and how both mental health and physical health can effect each other. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. It’s near and dear to my heart for many reason and I am more than sure that when the physical health topic is brought up again, those reasons will be more clear.

As I end this particular post, I want to remind you that if you have any suggestions on any topics or educational topics related to mental health you will like me to bring up, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I want to thank you for reading. I hope everyone has a great rest of their day. Peace Out!!!

Everyday Inspiration; Day 7: Let Social Media Inspire You

Today’s assignment for Finding Everyday Inspiration is to let social media inspire me. WordPress gave about a handful of tweets to choose from, so I decided to choose the one above. I fear that what I might say about the tweet above, may came across as and if it does, that’s not my attention.

First and fore most, I’m not sure why the person who tweeted the above tweet deleted tweet to make a decision that should never get a tattoo. Maybe its because of moral reasons. Maybe she has seen tattoos that weren’t the wisest of choices or tattoos that didn’t come out correctly and whatever the reason why she chooses to not get at tattoo, I find her comment judgmental even if that wasn’t her intention of doing so.

I know for me, I made the decision to get tattoo’s. I only have two tattoo’s and have thought long hard on what tattoo’s I want to have. They are something that will be on your body till the day you die. My tattoo’s have meaning for me and both are related to my recovery.

My first tattoo is a semicolon. My semicolon tattoo is a reminder have far I come in my recovery. It’s also a reminder to me that when things get tough, that my story isn’t over yet. It reminds me to carry on with my life no matter how difficult life is at times.

The second tattoo is that of a butterfly. I’m wanted a butterfly tattoo since I was sixteen years old and didn’t find the right butterfly for me till I was thirty-seven and got it as birthday present to for myself. I got the butterfly tattoo as it is a symbol of hope for me. It represents hope for me because the butterfly has to go through some difficult times of being in a dark and lonely place to become a butterfly. For me a butterfly represent the hope I have as well as all the difficult work I have put into my recovery.

Yes, I am planning on getting more tattoo’s Its matter of what exactly I want. I do want the word Hope tattooed on my right wrist. It’s just I have to make sure I find the right font and design I want.

I want to thank you for reading my blog. I greatly appreciate you my reader and/or follower. I hope to blog later this evening about the town hall I will be attending today. It’s the town hall I discussed in my last post Have a great Hump Day (Wednesday). Just think that day is half over with. Go out and make someone’s day bye giving someone a smile and simple hello. It could save a person’s life!!! Peace Out, World!!!

Everyday Inspiration; Day 2: Write A List; Things I’ve Learned (& Why)

  1. To play a musical instrument. – When I was in sixth grade I started playing the flute because my best friend started playing it. I stuck with it and played through to my senior year of high school. I was in the junior high and high school band. Being in band is what kept me from dropping out of high school. In fact I am teaching myself to play the harmonica and the recorder.
  2. To have sense of humor. – I learned to have a sense of humor about myself and the world as whole from my dad. My dad told me that the world can be a harsh place and without a sense of humor life would be a lot more difficult. Having a sense of humor has helped make life a lot easier to deal with.
  3. Recovery. – I learned about being in recovery from a number of individuals in my life. One person who gets more credit teaching me about recovery than others is my dad. If it wasn’t for his example of what recovery looks like, I don’t think I would have listened to or looked to the other individuals about recovery. If it wasn’t for being in recovery, I would be completely miserable. Being miserable twenty four hours a day, seven days a week isn’t a way to live life. A part of recovery I learned is that it is non-linear.
  4. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills. – I learned DBT skills as part of my recovery process. I personally think DBT is what saved my life. Without learning these skills, I wouldn’t be in active recovery today.
  5. Meditation & Mindfulness. – I learned about meditation and mindfulness through my friends and DBT. I learned about them to help me be more aware of the present. Being aware of the present is what helps me be more effective in everyday life.
  6. Hope. – Hope is something I learned about throughout my life. In fact the above mentioned items in this list are not only some of the ways I learned about hope but things that help me continue to have hope. Without hope I wouldn’t be in recovery.

I want to thank you for reading. I hope you learned a little something more about me. As you can tell my recovery is highly important to me. Have good day. Happy Friday!!! Peace Out!!!