Here’s Hoping The Will Help Me w/the Year of Change

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Good Morning, World!!! The above pictured items are four of the six items I ordered from Amazon and received in the mail yesterday. The items above include a gratitude journal, colored pencils and two workbooks. One workbook is about dealing with insomnia while the other is on resilience and being Queer and/or Trans. The two items I have not received yet are a mindfulness workbook and a coloring book.

Last night I started the Gratitude Journal which I think will be quite helpful for me. I think it will be helpful for me due to the fact it will help me turn my mind from my negative thoughts into positive one while accepting of and letting go of the negative thoughts and emotions. It even has a few coloring pages in it that will be quite helpful in times of stress.

I also started The Queer & Transgender Resilience Workbook last night or at least started reading it. I actually started working on it earlier this morning when I woke up from a nightmare. I’m finding it challenging yet helpful. I’m sure as time goes on, the workbook will become more challenging and I am up for a challenge and the hard work.

As for the Quiet Your Mind & Get To Sleep I’ll wait to I’m done with the current workbook I am doing. As for the workbook on Mindfulness, I have yet to receive in the mail, I’m not sure if I’m going to do that in conjunction with any other workbook I may or may not being doing at the moment.

I am hoping that as challenging as the current workbook is, so far, that the other workbooks I do this year will be as challenging and helpful to my recovery. For me my recovery is quite important to me. Plus, I am hoping that I can count on my resiliency to bounce back from this really long and prolonged bump in the road.

Thank you so much for reading. It is much appreciated. I hope everyone has a wonderful day full of gratitude. Peace Out, World!!!

 

A Year of Change

Good Evening, World!!! It has been two weeks and three days since 2018 started and have decided that this year will be a year of change. A year of positive change. In fact in October of this year (2018) it will mark fifteen(15) years since I made an active choice and decision with being in recovery. Yes, fifteen years. It’s difficult to wrap my mind around that I chose to be in active recovery back in 2003.

As I look back at 2003, I wasn’t where I wanted to be at in my life when I was 24 years old and am finding myself in a similar spot at almost 39 years old. The difference between now and then is that I have the skills and insight to know what to do to help and advocate for myself. Knowing how to help and advocate for myself is why I am making the decision to make this yet another year of change.

As many of you know, 2017 was not the easiest of years for me which is why I am wanting to make an active choice and decision to make an effort in my life regarding my recovery. I am making this year, a year of change in the positive direction with my recovery. I am planning on doing this in various ways which I plan to tell you how I’m going to this.

Many people have various ways on they get help for their mental health. Without sounding redundant, I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing with going to see my psychiatric nurse practitioner, (temporary) therapist, case manager and attending groups. On that note, I’m going to add on somethings that will be yet a year of positive change for me. Some of what I’m going to mention are things others around the world have done to better themselves and their mental health.

One of the various ways I’m going to do to make this year a year of change is to set out a time to do mindfulness and/or meditation. I am doing this because I have found it quite helpful in the past as well as in the present. It helps me refocus what needs to be done when I’m dealing with an anxiety attack as well as help me focus on the day to come.

Another way I’m going to make this a year of change is to journal. I’ll continue to free write journal however I’ve decided I’ll do guided journaling. It is my hope that the guide journaling will help me remain positive or get me in a positive mindset. Yes, I know being positive or in a positive mindset isn’t going to happen every moment of everyday however I don’t want to be the one who bring negativity into this world.

The last thing I’m going to be doing to help myself make it a year of change is something many around the world have done. That something is doing self-help workbooks. Yes, I know that sounds corny and maybe even superficial however if it is something that has helped me in the past then it can’t hurt to try again.

In fact I ordered some self-help workbooks and a guided journal from Amazon and received most of the items I ordered today. I plan on starting on of the workbooks as well as the guided journal this evening.

Before starting on a working book and the guided journal, I need to make dinner and eat. I also need to do laundry however I can do laundry and workbook and/or guided journal at the same time.I hope that you found that me making an active change in my recovery refreshing from many of my past post over the last year. It is my hope to tell you more about the guided journaling and workbooks I am doing as I am doing them. Have a great evening, everyone. Peace Out, World!!!

2018; People Have Been Waiting For You

Happy New Year, World!!! 2018; You’re finally here and people have been waiting for you. 2018, people have been waiting for you because 2017 wasn’t the best of years for many of us; myself included.

As many of you know, 2017 wasn’t the best of years for me. It was a year of trials for me. I am attempting to look back at 2017 to look at any successes or triumphs I may have had and unable to find any. As much as I wish I had some sort of success or triumph in 2017, I realize that 2018 is a New Year.

A New Year to focus on what I need to do to continue on my road to recovery as well as to have the success and accomplishments I so desire to have. That’s why my goals for 2018 are simple or at least simple sounding. My goals sound simple in theory but in reality not so simple to do.

My goals for 2018 are as follows:

-Do a meditation or mindfulness exercise daily. (Preferably in the morning.)

-Do guided journaling daily. (This is on top of the free write journaling I do. The guided journaling is to help me focus on what is challenging me at the moment.)

-Do self-help workbooks. (This is to help me with my recovery and not take the place of what my mental health treatment teams helps me with.)

-Read books that are related to the mental health field. (This is to help me keep up to date on the field I choose to work in. I of course will still read books for fun.)

I do have other goals for 2018 but the above goals are the ones that I feel like that will help me the most to have a more successful and accomplished year than last year. I will have the help of my mental health treatment team as well as my friends with my 2018 goals.

Thank you for reading. As we begin 2018 I hope that this is a year that we are able to have a year of improvement and accomplishments we all can be proud of. I hope you continue to read and follow my blog. Happy New Years. 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!!!

Ramblings About Therapy & Other Things

Hello, World!!! As I sit here on my couch with my laptop on my lap I can’t help but think how this week is dragging on. I’m not sure why this week seems so slow but it does.

Despite it being a slow week, thus far, I still went to my appointment to see my therapist. Todays session was not an easy one as we discussed what happened to me two weeks ago. I was noticeably “high anxiety” according to my therapist which is something I can’t deny or argue with her over. We discussed a little about what happened. We mainly talked about how it’s effecting my life at the moment. My therapist saw me react to a flashback for the first time even though I’m 99.5% sure she was (and is) unaware of it. I’m not sure what she was thinking because I’m unable to read minds however I’m sure she thought I was reacting to something by showing some anger by punching the pillow. She noticed me with my slight “anger” with hitting the pillow and she stated “Let’s take three deep breaths” which we both did. The thing that shocks me is I didn’t react the way I typically do when someone says “deep breath(e).” Yes, I did have a flashback and body memory however I just flowed with the flow. Taking nice good breaths helped a great deal. We continued with the rest of our session. We ended the session with me not holding the pillow and my therapist having me take “a few deep breaths.” Yes, this triggered me however, once again, I went with the flow.

I owe me not reacting to my therapist telling me to “take a deep breath” to the Calm app and it’s meditation. The lady that does the meditation practice’s I’ve done thus far says “take a deep breath.”  I feel this has been a type of exposure therapy for me. It’s something, I think I need to bring this up to my therapist as it’s a big deal for me and my recovery.

Now that we are on the topic of this particular app. I used it on my way home from therapy to help me get in a better head space. It helped a lot more than I thought it would. I am grateful to the person who informed me about the Calm app.

On that note, I’ll end this post for now. I realize that I need to attempt to eat something even if nothing sounds appetizing. I hope everyone has good rest of the evening. Peace Out!!!

Weekly Check-In

Good Afternoon, World!!! It has been a while since I last did a weekly check-in and have been encouraged to “make more of an effort to blog on the regular basis.” I agree with the multiple individuals who have pointed this out to me. The one way I can “blog on the more regular basis” is by doing the weekly check-ins.

In fact one of the individual’s that have encouraged me to start “blogging more” is my case manager. I saw her this past Monday (September 25th) for our regularly scheduled appointment. My case manager checked-in with me about what happened to me and am greatly appreciative for it. We spent most of our half hour session discussing ways to use my skills to help me through the not so good moments. One of those skills is blogging and that how the topic came up. We also discussed me doing some art work after I showed my case manager some of the art the I did in art group before our session. We also discussed how I can use other skills that I have in my tool box which I will bring up one that I’m surprisingly enjoying later on in this post. Before the session ended my case manager wanted to make sure I was going to attend my doctors appointment the next day (Tuesday). I reassured I would.

In fact as mentioned in my previous post, I did go to my doctors appointment. My doctor and I discussed how I was doing as well as checking in with me regarding my mental health. She is “concerned” that I’m “not receiving the proper mental health” that I need. I reassured my doctor that I am. I informed her that I am not only receiving both therapy and case management services but attending three groups. She inquired more about the groups and I happily obliged. My doctor appeared to be content with all this at least for a moment.

Since I’m on the topic of groups, I attended all three groups this past week. The first group I went to is held on Monday’s and is an Art group. I love attending the Art Group however I don’t attend every Monday but I did this past Monday. I highly enjoy attending it and both my case manager and doctor would like me “attending every week because being creative appears to be of help” to me. I can’t argue with that.

The second group I am attending is on Thursdays and about Sexual Health and Relationships. Primarily it’s about sexual health. In fact my case manager co-facilitates this group.  I’m not quite sure about this group yet because of what happened. I’ve only attended once and it has only been a group in existence for two weeks. My case manager recommended this group to me before I got sexually assaulted. I’m toying with the fact if its a good idea to continue with this group however it’s something to discuss with my therapist as well continue discussing with my case manager.

A group that needs no discussing for me to continue for me to attend is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) on Fridays. In fact attendance is a requirement of DBT and is one that has a waitlist to for is which why once I finally got into it, I make it a priority to attend DBT. I did attend yesterday. In fact I admitted to group and will admit to you that I was willful with not doing part of my homework. In fact I don’t want to do part of my homework that is due next Friday. I will however do the homework as I know it will ultimately help me. Validating others is easy. Self validation is not so easy and it’s something that would hopefully help me. In fact I am pretty sure self validation will be helpful.

Another thing that is helpful and a major part of DBT is mindfulness. In fact I mentioned earlier in this blog post that I would bring up a skill that I have found surprisingly enjoyable which is mindfulness and meditation. In fact a fellow peer (specialist) suggested an app that I have found quite helpful and is how I found out that mindfulness and mediation is enjoyable. The app is called Calm and I highly recommend using it if you have a smart phone. I have found it quite helpful. The longest stretch I’ve used the app is seven days in a row. Unfortunately, that stretch ended when I was assaulted. That’s why my case manager encouraged me to start using it again since I have found the app helpful and enjoyable. In fact she informed me that she will let my therapist know about the app. In fact I have a two day stretch as of today. Hopefully by the time I see my therapist it will be a five day stretch. I’m hoping that I can make mindfulness and meditation a daily habit.

Speaking of habits, I need to make blogging a habit. Which is why I am planning on making an effort to put it into my schedule to blog. That’s why I want to make I at least do my weekly check-in post.

As I end this post I want to thank you for reading. I hope that everyone has a great day and Peace Out!!!

Finding A Peaceful Way To Have Daily Structure

Hello, World!!! It’s just after eleven o’clock at night in my part of the world. Even though I haven’t accomplished much the last few days in the eyes of what society calls accomplishments, I feel like I have made some significant accomplishments.

Accomplishments that are a major deal for me. Lets start with something that is difficult for me to do and that is taking time out of my day to do a mindfulness meditation. A fellow peer specialist introduced me to an app called Calm. So I decided to get the app however I didn’t start using it until about ten days ago. I’ve been using the guided mindfulness meditation of the Calm app. In fact I’ve done it for, four days straight now. I’ve noticed over that last ten days especially the last four days straight that I’ve had a sense of calmness and peace I haven’t felt in a long while. I am making a conscience effort to do a guided mindfulness meditation each morning to start off my day in a good way.

Another way that I am starting off after my morning mindfulness meditation is having a nice cup of hot tea with honey and half & half in it while reading the local news paper. Yes, the news can be quite depressing at times however, I find that reading the news paper helps me with being less traumatized by the news. I can always put the paper down when it gets overwhelming and pick it up at a later time during the day. I do end up reading the entire paper without needing to put it down and I have both the mindful meditation I do before hand as well as what I do next.

What I do next is take a two mile walk while listening to my favorite music or my favorite podcast. Right now the podcast I’m listening to is Philosophize This. Its about philosophy as well as philosophers. I am finding listening to Philosophize This extremely educational for me.

Another thing I am finding educational for me is teaching myself how to play the musical interment the recorder. It is quite similar to playing the flute and since I know how to play the flute, I’ve decided to teach myself how to play the recorder. Part of the reason I’m teaching myself to play the recorder is its not only similar to playing the flute but my flute needs some major repairs to it and will take some time to get it repaired. Learning a new musical instrument also helps bring a peace and calmness that many other things are unable to do. Playing an instrument is also a type of mindfulness and a form of meditation for me.

I hope that when I see my therapist tomorrow that I can tell her what I am doing to help myself with all the mindfulness and meditation I am doing for myself. In fact I consider all what I discussed with you a form a self care for myself. Most of which is a new form of self care for me.  I just help that I can continue this good self care with the help of both the professionals in my life as well as the people in my natural support system (aka my friends).

As I end this blog post for the night, I hope this is a start that things are starting to look up for me in regards to my recovery. It’s going to take a great deal of effort on my part but am extremely hopeful that I will stick with it.

As always thank you for reading. I hope that with what I discussed in this post helps others realize that recovery is possible and that those who don’t struggle with a mental health condition or challenge that we  who do struggle want, desire and work hard to be well. Thank you for reading. Peace Out, World!!!