Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Good Morning, World!!! I am tired as hell as I didn’t get any sleep last night. I wish I could have slept however it was quite elusive. I think the no sleep thing is related to my depression but that is something to discuss with my mental health treatment team this week as I am meeting with my new clinician tomorrow and new psychiatric nurse practitioner on Thursday.

I am debating if I should go to Art Group later on today. It is in the early afternoon. I know I am when I don’t get sleep and I don’t want to snap (yell) at anyone today. I need to rest but I also know that Art Group is quite helpful for me. So, I need to make some decisions on what I need to be doing today and what is best for me.

Thank you for reading. Peace Out, World!!!

Rambling About Recovery

Good Morning, World!!! It appears that my new clinician cares. He called me yesterday to do a “check-in” and to inform me of some idea’s he has about my treatment.  The one obvious one is having a face to face, one hour, weekly appointment with him. He read some of my chart and realize that weekends are difficult for me. It is because of him figuring thing out he wants to do Friday and Monday check-ins with me. He is just attempting to be a preventative measure at the moment. Something I think is a great idea.

Another idea my new clinician threw out there was to discuss the workbooks I am doing. He likes the idea that I am doing workbooks to help my recovery along. He thinks it would be beneficial to discuss with him what I have done throughout the week with the workbooks. I like this idea and am willing to do this as it could be beneficial for me.

Speaking of recovery, I am think I should end this post for now and work on a workbook. Thank you so much for reading my blog. It is much appreciated from my end. Peace Out, World

Just Another Rambling From Me; Gertie

Good Evening, World!!! Today, I went to therapy and saw Gilbert. We worked on both on my crisis plan and treatment plan. We spent about an hour and a half  working on both. On a sad note Gilbert is going to be working on a different team starting April but he will make sure that there will be a soft (or warm) hand off when my new clinician starts in April. As sad as I am that Gilbert is going to a different team, I am grateful that he will make sure I’ll have a good clinician.

I also went to DBT group. Only four of us showed up to group including myself. I am a little disappointed that only four people showed up today as I tend to learn better by hearing what others have to say.

Even though today is not quite St. Patrick’s Day, I celebrated it with friends a day early. We had corn beef, potato’s and cabbage. I love an authentic Irish meal especially when it’s celebrating my heritage.

Thanks for reading. Peace Out, World!!!

Not Liking Being Bullied

Good Afternoon, World!!! I am sitting here at my laptop frustrated with what is going on in a situation I rather not get into yet have to accept the reality that the person is going to get a way with shit. Long story short I am being bullied by another client at the mental health agency I go to and unfortunately, staff “can’t do anything about it” because they “haven’t witnessed it.” Same shit I experienced as a kid in school is now happening as an adult seeking treatment.

On a plus note members of my treatment team have witnessed some of the bullying regarding my gender identity and sexual orientation. They have seen enough that this individual was asked to not interact with me and was “barred” for two days for his bullying.

I am just frustrated with the fact of the shit this individual gets away with due to staff not being a witness. Some of the shit is disrespecting my pronouns. I just have to find a way to not be reactive to this. It’s my responsibility on how I don’t get reactive so he doesn’t get a rise out of me.

My response or reaction to others is something I will be working with the members of my treatment team. Hopefully, I can just learn to let go of things such as how I respond or react to things such as bullies.

Thank you for reading. Have a great day. Peace Out, World!!!!

Feeling Unheard by Those In My Corner

Good Evening, World!!! Today, was not as productive as I was hoping it would be. Or at least in regards to being heard by my treatment team. See, I two appointments today with my mental health treatment team. One was with my new psychiatric nurse practitioner and the other was with my case manager.

Let’s start with the first appointment which was with my new nurse practitioner. I was informed on Friday to show up 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork. I show up to my one o’clock appointment 20 minutes early realizing that the program I am a part of goes to lunch at 12noon and well, I had a one o’clock appointment so how was I suppose to fill out this “paperwork” they wanted. Turns out the dude calling me “miscommunicated” with me because he is “new and a fill-in” for the regular admin. asst. So, when the office opened back up after lunch, I informed the admin. asst. (who was a fill-in) that was there to see the psychiatric nurse practitioner. She didn’t inform him till 1:17pm when he walked through the front door apologizing for being late. The admin. asst. failed to call earlier saying the ARNP was going to be running late and failed again to communicate this with me when I checked-in. I was noticeably upset and told him that being late is not a great first impression. He then informed me that I was suppose to be notified about it. Long story short he is a no nonsense person and this is what I need for my treatment and recovery. The appointment ended on a positive note.

I then saw my case manager and it started on a positive note while it ended on a negative note. It end on a negative note because of not what my crisis plan says regarding not being able to use Mama Bear or Junior as part of my safety planning. I was trying to understand why I am unable to use them yet able to use others. Her response made me even more confused yet I know she was only abiding what the “supervisors” informed her on why its there. She really is trying but I’m feeling like I’m not being heard. I may feel like a lot of my treatment plan and crisis plan is crossing my personal boundaries but I understand why some what’s in my treatment and crisis plans are in place and that is boundaries. Its just that when it comes to not being able to use Junior or Mama Bear as part of my safety planning, it crosses too much over my boundary lined when it comes to my recovery. I literally asked “Why is it that I’m not allowed to cross your boundaries or the boundaries of other staff but you guys are allowed to cross mine?” The look she gave me when I asked that question was priceless. It showed of great point, empathy and compassion. I was upset that she said that if her supervisor was available that I could talk to him about it. She checked and he was not available due to dealing with an emergency. I left him an angry voicemail and then came home.

I’m still fairly angry over the situation and am grateful that I have friends that give me reality checks. Reality checks that helped me realize that my case manager’s look was that of her hearing my point even in the slightest. Having friends that care and partner that loves me is helping me get through this feeling of being unheard.

Despite feeling unheard my treatment team I know that my both my case manager and relatively new therapist are in my corner. The both have proven this to me by advocating for me. Advocating me in different ways for me but still advocating. If it wasn’t for my case manager I would have gotten stuck with a female psychiatric nurse practitioner instead of a male. I have nothing against female prescribers, I just want a male prescriber so I can start trusting men in a therapeutic relationship. My therapist has advocated for me regarding something regarding my treatment plan. So, I may feel unheard and unsupported by a couple of things at the moment by my treatment team, I know they are in my corner.

As I end this post, I hope it doesn’t sound like I am bad mouthing my treatment team because that’s not my intent. My intent is to share my frustration of not being heard and not being about to comprehend a couple thing right now. Peace Out!!!

Happy 4th Of July!!!

     Happy 4th of July!!! Today is Independence Day here in the United States of America. I am grateful for our Military Personal because if it wasn’t for them fighting for my freedom’s I wouldn’t be living in one of the best countries in the world. Thank you all for your service!!! 

     I worked today. Yes, that’s the unfortunate thing about working at a grocery store, having to work holidays, even Christmas and Thanksgiving. At least I get paid double time for working today. Today at work we weren’t just busy with our regular customers and customers preparing for their holiday celebrations but busy with a Jehovah Witness convention at a near by college/university football stadium. I guess it is a 3 day event. I didn’t realize this until I wished one of them a Happy 4th of July and it offended them. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. Sometimes I get frustrated with Political Correctness. See Jehovah Witness’s don’t celebrate holidays or birthdays and I can respect that because its a part of their religious beliefs. In fact I told on myself to my manager when I was told that I offend the person I was helping. My manager told me not to worry about it because we cant make everyone happy and that we cant know everyone’s religious beliefs unless they tell us or they wear a sign someone on their person.

     Yes, I will be celebrating the 4th of July. In fact I’m at my boyfriends parents house for a 4th of July party they are putting on. Their a lot of people here. Lots of food, fun, games and swimming. In fact my boyfriends parents house has a great view of where the fireworks are going to be shot off. My favorite part is always the fireworks. I do have to say that the firework show in the city I currently reside in is not as good as Disneyland’s fireworks. I grew up in Anaheim and was able to watch the Disneyland fireworks from my backyard, roof and even my front yard. I miss being able to watch the Disneyland fireworks every weekend. Disneyland’s firework show for the 4th of July is always their best firework show. Like I said I’m at my boyfriends parents house at the moment. I’m just taking a break from the crowd. It gets overwhelming at times especially since the symptoms of my PTSD are acting up. I figure that blogging will help ease the overwhelming feeling I am having at the moment. I am enjoying the food. I’m all about being All American when it comes to food on the 4th of July. Just give me a hot dog and I am happy. I had 3 hot dogs and plan on having a steak later on. I cant wait for the fireworks.

     Enough about the 4th of July for moment. I want to discuss the Co-Occurring Disorders training I attended for 3 days. We (me and the other trainee’s) learned about the science of the effects of addiction on the body and brain. I found the science part of it interesting. We also learned a new skill in the training called OPA. OPA stands for Organize. Prioritize. Act. It was created and copyrighted by Martin K. Abdo. To learn more about OPA I encourage you to go to his website http://www.opamentalhealth.com. I  have to say a disclaimer and that is if  that you want to do an OPA group in your practice or mental health agency that you contact Martin K. Abdo yourselves so he can train you to do it properly. In fact I can see myself doing the OPA skill in my everyday life. I learned so much from the training that I’m still trying to process everything I have learned. I guess you can say that I’m still on information overload. I’m grateful that now I can put the training on my resume’.

     Now that I have bored you with my day at work and celebration of the 4th of July as well as the 3 day training I attended, I’m going to end this blog for now. I hope I didn’t bore you with the events of my day and week. I am going to apologize for not blogging yesterday. I feel bad when I don’t blog everyday because I feel like if I don’t then I’m not helping fight the stigma of mental illness nor am I helping those who I struggling with a mental illness. I want to show those who struggle with a mental illness that there is hope and recovery is possible. I also want to show “normies” (normies is just term that means normal people) that people with mental illness live productive lives and are people just like them. I want to eliminate the stigma of mental illness. Well I better end this blog entry for now because I need to go show my face at the party again. Happy 4th of July everyone. Peace out and enjoy the fireworks.

Enjoying Training

     Happy Wednesday!!! I want to apologize for not blogging yesterday. I got busy yesterday. I went to the training yesterday then went to a barbeque at friends place with my boyfriend. It got warm yesterday and was more than grateful that the barbeque my boyfriend and I went to had a swimming pool. It got warm yesterday and I loved the warm weather.

      Well I’m learning a great deal in the co-occurring disorders training I am attending. I feel like I’m on information overload. I am enjoying the training a great deal. I’m making new friends as well. I am grateful that I am able to go to this training. Yesterday we learned about the science of addiction as well as how it effects the brain. Today we learned a good way to help those with co-occurring disorders. Tomorrow I think we are learning group techniques.

      I’m a little tired and want to share more about my training but like I said I am on information overload regarding what I am learning in the co-occurring disorders training. Plus the way the change to the way it looks when you are typing the blog has thrown me for a loop and I’m not sure why. Maybe its cause I am so tired. Anyway, I don’t have much more to say. I just hope that all the tags I put in appear. I’m still trying to get a hang of this blogging thing. Have a good night all. Enjoy the last 2 hours and 14 minutes of your Wednesday. Peace out!!

Speaking Of…..

     Well, it another Monday evening and am reflecting on my day. Overall, it has been a good day. Today was my first day back to work after being on vacation for a week. I realized walking through the doors of my job this morning on how much I desperately needed my vacation last week despite the lack of structure. I guess maybe that lack of structure every once in awhile is a good thing.

     Speaking of structure, this current week is full of it. Today, worked and went to see my therapist. Tomorrow (Tuesday), Wednesday, and Thursday I am going to be in a training regarding Co-Occurring Disorders. I then work again on Friday and Saturday. I am looking forward to the training that I will be going to the next three days. I’m looking forward to it because it’s a subject that I am passionate about. Anything that has to with mental health and/or alcohol & drug addiction is something that I am passionate about. Maybe its because of my own issue with mental illness and witnessing my parents struggle with both metal illness and drug & alcohol addictions. My parents have co-occurring disorders. The difference between my dad and my mom is that my dad is seeking treatment and unfortunately my mom is not. It is tough on a family member when the person is choosing to not seek treatment especially when the family is in recovery themselves.

      Speaking of recovery, I saw my therapist today. We worked a little on my treatment plan. I wish the mental health system as a whole would change the wording from treatment plan to recovery plan. I wish this because it makes recovery more real to those who don’t think recovery is possible. When I was a teenager and young adult I struggled with the fact that recovery was possible. I struggled with working with my treatment today because of how I was feeling today. I was being hard on myself and felt like a failure because of where I am in life and where I think I should be in life. Diana (my therapist) being the stubborn woman she had me dig deep into myself which is quite difficult for me to do. She had me dig deep within myself because she knows I am capable of doing so. I am so grateful that Diana is just as stubborn as I am because I need that stubbornness at times such as today. She also has a fierce sense of humor like I do. I don’t know if my humor is as fierce as hers but I’m grateful non the less. Diana used that fierce sense of humor today during our session. Diana has been extremely invested in my recovery. It’s always nice to have a therapist invested in your recovery. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a therapist invested in your recovery especially in the community mental health system. In fact my therapist and I talked about my blog today. She doesn’t follow my blog but reads it daily even on her days off. In fact I was shocked when she said she read it everyday including her days off. I had asked her if she could read it every once in while to see if she can see how I am doing. We had talked about me starting a blog for a few months because I was so hesitant to start one. We talked about why I was so hesitant and how blogging could not only help others in their recovery process but could help in my recovery process as well. If it wasn’t for her encouragement as well as the encouragement of others I wouldn’t have started this blog.

     Speaking of blogging I think I should end this particular blog entry for now. Before I end this blog for now I want to say a few things regarding blogging. I am truly hoping that this blog is reaching the people I hope its reaching. I hope its reaching those struggling with mental illness because I want them to know that there is hope and recovery is possible. I also hope that it’s reaching “normal” (whatever the hell “normal” means) people because it is my hope that this blog can show them (“normal” people) that people with mental illness are living productive lives like they are. I hope that when “normal” people read this it lessens the stigma of mental illness. Well, I need to get going. I need to get up at 5:30 am pacific time to get ready for my training tomorrow. Enjoy the remaining 1 hour and 24 minutes that is left of your Monday. I hope to blog again tomorrow. Peace out and enjoy the summer heat.

Becoming an Advocate For Mental Illness

     Today, I’ve been thinking a great deal about advocacy and mental illness. How does one become an advocate for those who struggle with a mental illness. Usually it’s because the person themselves struggles with mental illness or has a friend or loved one with a mental illness. Then their are those people who choose to be advocates for the mentally ill out of the kindness of their hearts. Most of those who do it out of the kindness of their hearts are usually the professionals like Social Workers, Therapist, Psychologists, etc.. Advocacy for mental health has been out there in world for a while now

     I’ve always been an advocate for myself and my mental health struggles even if I wasn’t aware of it especially in the early years of the diagnosis’s as well as in the height of my struggles with mental illness. It wasn’t until the last two or three years that I’ve realized that I was advocating for other with mental illness and was good at it. In fact the being good at it part was pointed out to me. The realization of advocating for those with mental illness is part of the reason why I started volunteering at a homeless shelter that specializes in those who struggle with mental illness and/or drug & alcohol addictions. Plus the advocating realization is the reason why I got my Peer Counselor certification. Being a peer counselor is basically being an advocate for them and showing your fellow peer who is struggling how to advocate for themselves. I may not be employed as a peer counselor yet but that doesn’t mean I cant still advocate for those who are not able to advocate for themselves yet.

    That is why I have decided to embark on a new journey. Well it’s not so much a new journey but a continuation of the journey I’m already on. I mailed in a volunteer application to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). I also emailed a volunteer application to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). I did this because I want to speak up for those who are not able to speak up for themselves. I know it might sound like I am taking a lot on especially since I got an email about an hour ago saying that my volunteer application for a local peer run Warm Line was received and asked to attend a training for it in late July through August but all this feel right for me at the moment. Yes, I’m working at a job I don’t like and am looking for a job as a peer counselor however all this that I am doing feels like its what I am suppose to be doing. Maybe it is a lot to take on at one time and its something to think about as well as discuss it with my therapist and other people in my life that support me. Yes, my boyfriend thinks I’m doing what is right for me and what is right for those who struggle with mental illness.

     Another thing I am going to be doing is writing the politicians who represent me and the area I live in. I’m hoping that the politicians I write or email will listen to what I have to say in regards to mental illness and treatment or in a lot of cases the lack of treatment. Lack of treatment is a big issue. Boarding in E.R’s have become a major issue for those who have been involuntarily committed because there are not enough beds. See, now I am getting on a soap box. This is why it is my hope that someone listens to people like me who want better mental health care for those struggling with mental illness.

     Now that I have bored you with my hopes regarding becoming an advocate for those who struggle with mental illness I am going to end this particular blog entry. I am sorry it is so long. It is my desire that some day the stigma that goes along with having a mental illness with be eliminated. Well, have a good rest of your Thursday evening and hope to blog again tomorrow. Peace out all.

Blogging With Burned Fingers

     Well its another Wednesday and unfortunately was unable to go to my volunteer job today. I was unable to go because I accidently burned three fingers last night cleaning my stove. The attending physician that saw me last night in the ER called me to see how my fingers were. I told her that they hurt like hell but seem to be doing well. Even the nurse that took care of me last night called to see how my fingers are doing and I told her the same thing I told the doctor. Speaking of doctors I made an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow for a follow from the ER visit regarding my burned fingers.

     Since I didn’t go to my volunteer job today, I continued reading A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. I am really surprised that I am enjoying the book. I have to admit that I am a little disappointed with the school district that I graduated from because they didn’t require the students in Special Ed English to read the classics like the rest of the students. I was a mainstreamed Special Ed student. That means that most of my classes were regular classes. The only Special Ed class I was in was English because of my dyslexia and other “reading issues.” Don’t get me started on the lack of education I got from the school district I graduated from. The school district I spent most of my school years in was absolutely great but the school district I ended up graduating in was lacking quite a bit. Getting back on topic of reading, I am really enjoy A Tale of Two Cities.

     I also read some comic books. I read four Wonder Woman comics, two Superman comics, two Batman comics, two Spiderman comics and three X-Men comic. . I love comic books. Just like reading “normal” books, reading comics distracts me from a lot of things. It distracts me from the every day stress of life and at times distracts me from the symptoms of my mental illness. I collect all sort of comic books but I mainly collect Wonder Woman. I am a big Wonder Woman fan. I don’t discriminate between the comic book universes because both universes have there great characters.

     After I am done blogging for the evening my boyfriend and I are going to watch documentaries on homelessness. If you have been reading my blog you know that I volunteer at a homeless shelter and that I am passionate about ending homelessness. I really missed going to my volunteer job today at the homeless shelter. I can relate a great deal to most of the clients in the shelter because most of them have a mental illness. Plus at one point in time I was homeless. Thankfully it was only a short amount of time. Yes, I have my favorite clients even though we are not suppose to. A lot of the clients do seek out mental health help as well as help with addictions from alcohol and/or drugs. Unfortunately, some don’t get treatment. Getting treatment or not getting treatment is an entire different blog entry in itself.

     I better get going. My fingers are hurting like hell at the moment. I wasn’t expecting to blog so much today. Word to the wise make sure your burner is completely off when you clean your stove. I really thought I turned the burner of all the way last night when I started cleaning the stove. Well, I need to get going.

     Have a great Wednesday evening everyone. Now it’s time spend time with my boyfriend. Peace out and enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.