Good Morning & Happy Pride

Good Morning and Happy Pride!!! I just wanted to wish everyone a good morning and happy pride. I’m looking forward to what is to come today. If you read my post from yesterday, you know I will be volunteering at my local Pride Parade by helping out with crowd control.

As much as I am looking forward to today events, I have to be prepared that it’s going to be a long day.  Granted a long day that will be a good day or at least I’m going to attempt that today will be a good.

The part I am most looking forward the most is making new friends through volunteering and seeing current friends along the parade route. For me friends are a key to my recovery even if they are unaware of my mental health condition. Having a good support system such as friends are key to anyone’s recovery.

Being in recovery is extremely important to me which is why I have chosen to volunteer for Pride this year. It will help me get out of my head which leads me to needing to end this post. I need to eat breakfast and make sure I have everything for the day. I hope to post about my experience of today later on this evening. Have a wonderful day. Have fun 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!!!

Love Wins In The United States; Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in All 50 States

As many people in the United States (and around the world) are aware of by now, the United States Supreme Court ruled yesterday that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states. Yes, all 50 states. I, like many around the country shed tears of joy when I heard the joyous news.

I shed tears of joy because this means that many people are now able to marry the person of their dreams, just like I am able to do so. I may be madly in love with Junior and engaged to marry him, I consider myself pansexual. For those of you that don’t know what pansexual is, the definition is as follows: not limited in sexual choice with biological sex, gender or gender identity. Yes, Junior knows I’m pansexual and he is fine with it. For me falling in love with the person of my dreams has nothing to do with the persons gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, it has to do with the persons personality. I fell in love with Junior because of who he is on the inside. I am thrilled I am able to marry Junior and just as thrilled same-sex couples are able to marry now.

Unfortunately, many people aren’t exactly thrilled with the Supreme Court ruling. It seems that the people who aren’t thrilled with the ruling happen to be people of faith and not just any faith; Christianity. The reason I say this is because I’ve noticed that on many social media sites (including WordPress) that Christians were being out right hateful. For example, I had posted on my the Facebook account I have for my given name, that I was beyond thrilled that same-sex marriage is now legal. Many people who are Christians on that particular account started messaging, texting, calling and emailing me saying they were offended and that I was “going to hell” because I support “gay marriage.” I even had a handful of people block me. I’m fine with that because if they are going to get offended for something I support then I don’t need them in my life. I just cant comprehend why a particular religion that preaches love and compassion can be so hateful when it comes to people getting married to the person they love even if that person is the same gender as they are. I am trying so hard to not be so judgmental toward that particular faith because I know many kind-hearted Christians out there and some of them even support same-sex marriage.

The ruling of same-sex marriage couldn’t have come at better time. It’s not only came in Gay Pride Month but the biggest weekend for the LGBT community; pride weekend. Yesterday, was a historical moment in United States history. I am beyond happy that this happened in my lifetime. I am sure that there are going to be many people and various types of groups that are going to try to get this ruling overturned. No matter how hard people may try to get the ruling overturned its never going to happen. Too many people will fight just as hard if not harder to keep the ruling in place.

I need to get going. I am heading out to pride festivities before I go and volunteer at the Warm Line. I know that the pride festivities will be more giddy than they have been in previous years because of yesterdays ruling. I love going to pride festivities. I hope to be able to blog after I get home from pride events and volunteering. Have a good day everyone and stay safe. Peace out!!!!

A Lazy Friday

Happy Friday!!! Today has been a lazy Friday for me. Thankfully, the weather cooperated with it being a rainy yucky day out. It gave me an excuse to read most of the day. Of course I had music playing in the background as I read. I of course did other things besides read and listen to Christmas music all day. I worked on a Jigsaw puzzle with my boyfriend while listening to Christmas music. We also had some very intimate moments and no we weren’t listening to music. The best part of the day was when my boyfriend fixed me biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs. I love biscuits and gravy. My boyfriend and I baked chocolate cake, an apple pie, a pumpkin pie and baklava. Of course we had the Christmas music blaring the entire time baking. As you can tell I didn’t get much accomplished today and that’s fine with me.

Even though today was not an accomplished day, yesterday felt like one after I attended a training that my volunteer job put on. In fact its one of the perks of volunteering at the Warm Line is being able to take various types of training that they offer. I guess its a plus that the Warm Line is under the umbrella of the local Crisis Line because of the free trainings. The training was about how Social Justice and what types of things get in the way of how we view ourselves and others and how people cope. I thought is was going to be more geared toward the LGBTQ but it wasn’t and I was disappointed with that. Yes, there was a discussion in the training on LGBTQ but the trainings focus wasn’t entirely on LGBTQ like I was hoping it was going to be. Oh well. I did enjoy it a lot and learned a great deal about myself and others as well as how others may view me. I believe this training will not only help me in my volunteer job at the Warm Line but my current employment as Consumer Aide.

Since we are on the topic of my current employment I am really enjoying it. Its nice to finally have a job that I love with every cell of who I am and knowing that I am making a difference in someone’s life. It’s nice to actually show other’s that recovery from a mental illness is possible.

Recovery for me is so much more fun than not being in recovery. I say this because I am able to enjoy days like today. Through recovery I am learning how much I am able to handle through the holidays. For many people the holidays are extremely difficult especially for those who struggle with a mental illness. I know for me that the holidays will never be easy however I can learn different ways to cope with them as well as to enjoy them and make my own traditions. A tradition that I have started is that I want my Christmas tree to tell people my story or who I am through the ornaments I have on it. Of course most of them are Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. My grandparents started that when I was born. In fact I get an ornament or two from them every year. One happens to be in a series and started the year I was born. I think that tells a part of who I am. I usually buy between 2 to 4 ornaments a year for my tree plus the one or two my grandparents get me. My tree always looks empty due to the fact of the lack of ornaments it has. I really want my tree to tell people on who I am. Another thing I do is volunteer at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. See, being in recovery means dealing with the pain of your past with new traditions.

The holidays are not easy for me because I was severely and horrifically abuse as a child my moms (now ex) boyfriend. This (ex) boyfriend happens to be my little brothers father. Anyway, this dude did unthinkable and disgusting things to me. I guess that’s why I tend to struggle during the holidays. I am just happy that I haven’t had a major issue in three years.

I’m grateful that my boyfriend and others have helped me out the last three years. In fact I’ve had many people on my side to make sure I haven’t had a major issue the last three years. These people were there for me when I did have major issues three years ago. Having a great support system is key to being in recovery.

Well its no longer Friday and my boyfriend who happens to be part of my support system wants to have some intimate time. Intimate time usually means sex. I am really happy that I am able to trust him and feel safe with him to have sex.

Since its no longer Friday and my boyfriend and I want to have an intimate moment, I best be going. Have goodnight and don’t let the bed bugs bite. I would say enjoy the rest of your Friday but its now Saturday so enjoy your Saturday as well as your weekend. Peace Out!!

Late Night Hump Day (Wednesday) Ramblings

Happy Hump Day!!! Or what’s left of Hump Day. Can you believe that people are unaware that Hump Day is actually Wednesday?

It may still be just another Hump Day (Wednesday) and I have a lot on my mind. At this point in time I am not sure how long or short this blog may be tonight. My mind is full of stuff that I want to discuss with you all but not sure if I will be able to convey it the way I want or if I’m going to be too tired to continue blogging once I get going. I guess I will just go with the flow with this particular blog entry due to the fact of I’m wanting to blog more in hopes to get more followers and/or readers because I want to educate people on mental illness as well as show people who due struggle with a mental illness that recovery is possible.

I might as well as update you all on my new job. I am still loving it. This past Monday (November 17, 2014) I started a Coloring Group. I only had three clients in attendance but it was more than I thought I was going to have. Cool thing about the coloring group is that coloring is one of my Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills. I am hoping that it will eventually become an Art Group. Can you believe it’s been almost three months since I found out I got my current job as a Consumer Aide? Even if you can believe it, I’m still having a hard time believing it and I’ve been working as a Consumer Aide for two and a half months now. I really wasn’t sure I was going to get the job but I am so happy that I got the job for many different reasons.

One of those reasons why I am happy I got my current job is because the holidays are coming up. See my previous employer was at a grocery store. Grocery stores are pure hell to work in during the holidays due to all the food people are buying. The worst time to work at grocery store is the week of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving week is what we call hell week. Hell week usually begins the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The worst day to work is usually the Wednesday before Thanksgiving because its so freakin busy. Working Thanksgiving sucked but at least the customers show gratitude unlike the day before Thanksgiving. Working Black Friday was hell as well because grocery store are usually dead (extremely slow) because everyone is either sleeping in or at retail stores getting “major deals” on items that they may want.

Since we are on the topic of Thanksgiving lets discuss it. Thanksgiving is going to be a little different this year. My boyfriend and I are going to host it at his place. So both his family and my family are going to be in attendance. Mainly because my family (particularly my dad’s side) were trying to make it an “obligation” for me to be in attendance. I highly dislike when both sides of my family do this to me. I’ve been dealing with the issue of what side I’m going to spend what holiday with since I was 3 years old. I am now in my mid thirties. It was much easier when I was under the age of 18 because at least I could say what do the custody papers say. The only reason why I am looking forward to Thanksgiving this year is because I get to spend with my boyfriend, his family and my lil brother.

Another thing I am looking forward to is training I am going to tomorrow. The training I am going to has nothing to do with my current employment but it can help me with future employment opportunities. In fact it is a training that my volunteer job is putting on. Actually, its the local crisis line that is putting it on. See, I volunteer at a local peer run Warm Line and the Warm Line is under the umbrella of the local Crisis Line. The training is available for all the volunteers and staff. In fact the training is on Practicing Social Justice and the topic or discussion will be on the LGBTQ community and mental illness. I’m looking forward to this training for my own reasons. Those reasons aren’t just because it will be helpful but because I consider myself part of the LGBTQ community because I am bi-sexual. Actually, I think I am more pansexual than bi-sexual. I am looking forward to the training tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, tomorrow is almost here.

One thing I am also hoping to do tomorrow is to start reading the book “Catch 22.” I am putting “A Tale of Two Cities” on hold for a moment because I’m having difficulty getting into it. The reason why is the how it’s written and it is triggering my dyslexia. I was finding “A Tale of Two Cities” enjoyable but wanted to put it down for a while. I will pick it back up after I read “Catch 22.”

I have a great deal more I would like to discuss with you but I am getting tired. I am hoping to blog again tomorrow. It is still Hump Day (Wednesday) and am going to call it a night. Enjoy the last two minutes of Hump Day (Wednesday).  Good night and don’t let the bed bugs bite. Peace Out!!

1,000 Days

     Happy Monday, Everyone!!! Today, marks 1,000 days since I was last discharged from a inpatient psych unit. Hence, the reason why I titled this blog entry 1,000 Days. For me 1,000 days is a major accomplishment. This is the longest that I have been out of the hospital for psych reasons since I was a teenager. Being out of the hospital for 1,000 days just shows on how much I have accomplished in my recovery and of course I had many people who have helped with this process.

     I guess if I really look back my recovery process started back in 1999. Yes, my recovery process started 15 years ago. I may have not been in recovery with my mental health for 15 years but I have been in recovery from the eating disorders for that long. In my late teens and early twenties I considered myself a Christian. In fact I was highly involved in the Christian community. I share this with you because its part of my story of how I am in recovery with both Anorexia and Bulimia. Being active in the church I was attending and being a huge “Christian” music fan at the time, I had heard of this place called Mercy Ministries. Mercy Ministries is a place for “troubled young women” with all sorts of issues including eating disorders. The thing that drew me to Mercy Ministries at the time was that it is Christian and free. At the time it was the best choice I made. In fact to this day I don’t regret making the decision to go all the way to Nashville from the West Coast of the United States. I did graduate from Mercy Ministries and it is one of the greatest accomplishments in my life. I as a thirty-something may not consider myself as Christian anymore and am happy that as a twenty-something Christian, I made one of the best decisions in my life. I may not agree that I was healed from Anorexia and Bulimia but I do believe that because of Mercy Ministries I am in recovery from both eating disorders. I haven’t had any relapses with either eating disorder but I do struggle on occasion with the urges of the eating disorders. I believe that both eating disorders are a life long struggle and it is a choice I make to give in to those urges or not. I choose to not give in to those urges.

     Now that you know where I my recovery started or at least with the eating disorders, now let me tell you about my mental health recovery. My mental health recovery is much more of a rollercoaster ride than my eating disorder recovery. My mental health recovery started October 2003 when I entered an intensive two year out patient Dialectical Behavior (DBT) program. At the time I entered the  DBT program I had been in and out of inpatient psych wards and hospitals more than 40 times. That’s more times than my current age. While being in the DBT program I was required to get a job which I am beyond grateful that I was required to do. In fact the job was a requirement for the second year of the DBT program I was in. If it wasn’t a requirement for me to get job I wouldn’t haven’t gotten a job and I am forever grateful that it was a requirement because I have been employed with same employer now for 9 years. The two years I was the program I only ended up in an inpatient unit once. I graduated from both years of the DBT program (first and second years).

      After I graduated from the DBT program in November 2005 I decided to go back to the current mental health agency I seek services at. Since going back to the current mental health agency in February of 2006, I have had a high turn over of clinicians and many more hospitalizations. In fact if it wasn’t for my last clinician switching to a different team in the agency, I wouldn’t have gotten my current therapist. I have had my current therapist since December of 2008. In fact Diana is the therapist I have had the longest in all the years I have been in therapy. Diana has helped me a great deal in the last 5 1/2 years. In fact if it wasn’t for  Diana helping me through the pain I have struggled with and still struggle with I wouldn’t have been able to stay out of the hospital for 1,000 days. Diana is one of many people who have helped me in the last 11 years. 

     Over last the last 11  or so years of mental health recovery I have found out a lot about myself. For instance when I was in DBT I realized that I am passionate about politics and got involved with it. I stopped for a long while when I started working and now I am wanting to get back into it. I also realized with one clinician I had that I am bi-sexual. I thank the universe that I figured out I was bi. Yes, my boyfriend know I am bi. I have also realized how much I love music and collecting comic books. I love Wonder Woman comic books. I got into collecting comic books. I am not only collecting Wonder Woman but Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and X Men. When I was in the height of my mental illness I stopped playing the flute and decided about 2 years ago to pick it back up and to start teaching myself to play the harmonica again. I also realized that I not only love rap and alternative music but country music as well. I also enjoy jazz. I also realized that I really enjoy reading and that I love reading Classic Literature. I tend to read memoirs and autobiographies of those who struggle or have struggled with mental  illness. I also enjoy reading mysteries, horror, sci fi and fantasy. I am telling you all this because when you are struggling with a mental illness you don’t realize what you like or enjoy and if you do know what you like or enjoy you forget about it because mental illness sucks the life out of you. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to educate myself about my particular diagnosis as well as the latest research regarding mental illness, therapies and meds. Another major thing I have learned or come to realize is to depend on my natural support system.

     Speaking of my natural support system they are throwing me a barbeque because of being out of the hospital for 1,000 days. They know its a big deal for me. I just wish they weren’t making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. This small barbeque is turning out to be a party. I just wanted it to be about 12 or so people. Apparently there are more than twenty people coming because they want to celebrate my success of 1,000 days. I know its a big deal but I wish they weren’t making it out to be a big deal.

     I better get going. I need to get ready for the barbeque. I am suppose to be there at 5:30(pacific time) and its now 4:22pm. I should get going and allow my support system to celebrate this day with me. Peace Out Everyone!!

Love Is A Beautiful Thing

     Love is a beautiful thing. Today, I was the Best Woman (instead of the Best Man) in one of my closest friends wedding. She got married to her long time girlfriend. They are now Wife and Wife. My friend wore a white tux with a purple vest and bowtie while her now wife wore a white wedding dress. They were both beautiful. I was in a black tux with a purple comber bun and bowtie. Even though wearing black in 86 F degree weather is quite hot, its better than wearing a dress. I’m not a big dress fan. I’m a “tom boy.” Anyway it was a beautiful wedding. The reason why my friend and her now wife chose to get married today was because of the date, 7/7/14. They not only think its lucky but they are both math teachers. They chose today because 7+7=14 or if you look at it date wise 7/7/14. They said their I dos at 7:07pm and 14 seconds. I am so happy my friend was able to get married to the woman of her dreams.

     Well, I worked this morning and it wasn’t a very good day at work. It wasn’t a good at work because I found out that one of my favorite elderly customers passed away. Her daughter came into the store this morning and told me and my co-workers. In fact I went to her 91st birthday back in May. I was told by this customer that I’m part of her family. That’s why her daughter and other children want me to give the eulogy at the funeral. I said yes. It’s going to be tough on me. Let’s get on a happier topic. I may not like my current job and it has nothing to do with death. I don’t like it because its not a career that I want to be in. Since I feel like I am in a dead in job, I’m going to review my resume’ tomorrow as well as look at jobs in the field that I want to be in. If I find a job opportunity to apply to I will not only apply but write a cover letter for that particular job.

     Speaking of a job opportunity I finally heard back for an organization I applied to, to become a volunteer. That particular organization is American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). I’m hoping things go well with becoming a Field Advocate for them. Not sure what’s in store. I’m still waiting on more information. They do a lot of work regarding suicide prevention as well as try to get laws passed to help those who struggle with mental illness. I’m now waiting to hear back from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). I’m wanting to volunteer for them as well. In a couple of weeks I’m suppose to start training for a local Peer Support Warm Line. In all honesty, I fear that I might me taking too much on too quickly. I just want to not work a grocery store anymore. Nine years just seems way too long to be working at one and I feel like if volunteer in the mental health field then I’m more than likely to get a job as a Peer Counselor. You would think that volunteering at homeless shelter that specializes in mental illness is enough but I don’t think so. I’m hoping that I will be able to give of my time because I don’t have money to give. Plus giving of your time means much more than giving money a great deal of the time.

     Any way another thing I did was go and see my therapist. I of course got there an hour early like I do a lot of the time. While waiting to see my therapist I read A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. I’m enjoying the book immensely. Diana (my therapist) and I talked about the 5 year anniversary of the trauma I experienced. We talked about the increase PTSD symptoms and the self harm urges I’ve been having. We also discussed the minor urges regarding the eating disorders. Diana is a little concerned about the self harm urges as well as the eating disorder urges and we discussed ways on how I can continue to NOT harm myself my cutting or starving myself or binging and purging. We discussed on what skills I could do. We discussed what could help in conjunction with my DBT skills. I told her I can look over my WRAP. WRAP stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan.  Thankfully she has enough confidence in me that I wont relapse with the cutting or the eating disorders that we didn’t have to do a safety contract. Diana says that I am making “Wise mind” decisions and that I don’t have to worry about becoming Borderline again. She says I’m still a recovered Borderline because I’m far from meeting the criteria again. She tells me just as long as I am doing what I am suppose to be doing in my recovery I don’t have to worry. Plus I am far from being Borderline again or least that’s what she tells me. I am extremely fearful of becoming Borderline again. Diana keeps reassuring me that I don’t have to worry about it. She also told me that she was proud of me for all the hard work I am doing with my recovery process. Its difficult to hear someone tell me that they are proud of me but its cool to hear at the same time.(Side Note: Diana is a pseudonym for her protection and the protection of her other clients.) Oh boy its 11:00pm pacific time.

    Speaking of what time it is I better end this blog entry for now. I am a little tired. I’ve been up since 4am pacific time because of work. I hope I didn’t bore you all with this extremely long blog. Enjoy the last hour of your Monday. Oh yeah Happy 7/7/14. Goodnight and don’t let the bedbugs bite. Peace out everyone.