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!!!

A Relaxing Hump Day (Wednesday)

Hello World!!! This morning I woke up with Junior kissing me on the cheek after coming home from work. I couldn’t think of a better way to wake than having my partner wake me up than the way Junior did this morning.

We decided to have a low key day which started off with breakfast. I fixed Junior an omelet with a side of fresh fruit and chocolate milk. Like I suspected Junior was famished due working his regular 24 hour shift that was more challenging than usual.

A shift we ended up discussing. Junior needed to discuss what his shift about for a multitude of reasons. One of which was that he dealt with a child abuse case that included six children. Junior is a firefighter and if you ask any firefighter out there anything that includes a child is one of the most difficult calls they go on especially if it includes child abuse. As we discussed the child abuse call, Junior couldn’t help but tell me that once his crew was done with the call he thought about the “shit” I went through which helped him have that much more compassion and empathy for the children he helped. Junior also went on two separate calls that involved two separate women who were the victims of “brutal sexual assaults.” He and all firefighters have a difficult time dealing with calls that involve both children and/or victims of an assault of any kind especially sexual assault.

As Junior and I discussed the difficult calls he was noon, the topic of sex came up. Junior brought up the fact that he finds it quite difficult to have sex and be intimate after shifts that include child abuse and/or sexual assault. As we discussed the difficulties he had with sex and intimacy after a shift like yesterdays, Junior stated he always seems have better understanding of how I must feel regarding my PTSD symptoms even though he will “never fully understand.” As we finished our discussion Junior realized how exhausted he was from his shift and went to bed to get a few hours of sleep.

As Junior slept, I decided to start reading a book I bought at Emerald City Comic-Con (ECCC) back in March of this year (2017). The book I started reading is Green Rider by Kristen Britain. I, in fact was able to get this book signed by the author after attending a panel she was on at ECCC. A panel I almost didn’t attend but happy I did. I’m in fact looking forward to attending ECCC in 2018 and hope that Kristen Britain is a guest as I will most likely will attend a panel if she speaks on one. The reason being is that when she signed my copy of Green Rider she took fifteen minutes of her time to talk with me even though she did not have to do so.

Looks like I got on the to topic of Emerald City Comic-Con when I was wanting to discuss the book I am reading. So, on that note let get back on back to the topic of Green Rider. So far I am really enjoying the book. I’m only on page 48 and starting the sixth chapter yet I’m finding myself having difficulties putting it down and wanting to get back to reading it. When I find myself having difficulties putting a book down and wanting to pick it back up as soon as possible then it must be a good book.

In fact after Junior woke up from his nap I told him about Green Rider and now he is wanting to read it. After telling Junior about the book we ate a lite lunch and then went rollerblading around a local lake at t local park. As we rollerbladed we discussed a great deal of stuff. Most of it was regarding plans for what we want to do the rest of the day as well as rest of the week before he goes back to work on Sunday for his regular shift as well as an overtime shift on Monday.

After rollerblading at a local park we decided to rent a couple of movies at a local mom and pop video store. Since we were already out and about we decided to pick up my meds from the pharmacy. When we arrived home we ended up watching one of the movies we picked up from the video store. We then fixed and ate dinner. After dinner we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. Now we are home watching the nine o’clock news.

As I near the end this post after telling you about my day, it turned out to be a relaxing hump day (Wednesday). Having a relaxing day is extremely helpful for my recovery as well as decreasing the symptoms of my mental health diagnoses. In fact everything I brought up in this post is quite helpful for me and my recovery.  As many of you know my recovery means the world to me and wouldn’t give up the path of recovery for all the money any in the world.

Something else that means the world to me is my time with Junior and with that being said, I want to spend time with him. That means this is the end of this particular blog post. I hope everyone has a good evening as well as good nights sleep. Peace out!!!

Ted, Through Thick & Thin

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Good Morning, World!!! I think it’s time that I introduce the world to my best friend; Ted. Ted is pictured above and YES, he is stuffed Teddy Bear. Ted is a 38 year old stuffed animal that I’ve had since the day I was born.

This means he has been with me in both the good and the bad times. He has seen me through the trauma’s I’ve experienced as well as witnessed the triumphs in my life. For me Ted has been there when no human has. So, I guess you can say Ted has been with me through thick and thin.

I bring up Ted because he is the one thing I do to self soothe. As I mentioned in a previous post (https://gertiesjourney.com/2017/09/05/poor-air-quality-therapy-challenging-day/) my therapist and I talked about self soothing and how I feel like I don’t deserve to self soothe. During the discussion about self soothing, I brought up Ted and how he is the one thing I self soothe with. According to my therapist, as I talked about Ted, my body language changed to “being relaxed and comfortable.” She also brought up the fact that it was the first time she had seen me smile when discussing a part of my childhood. I can’t deny the fact that when discussing Ted, I’m relaxed as well it is most likely the first time she had seen me smile while talking about my childhood since she has been my therapist for only five months.

I, of course avoid talking about me like the plague. In fact, I rather have the plague than discuss my childhood. My therapist picked up on this quite quickly am grateful for it. She just like Diana, doesn’t push to talk about things I’m not ready to discuss. She might ask me questions but she respects how much or how little I tell her, just like Diana did.

I miss Diana and hope that she is getting better however I am happy with my new therapist. In fact I think my new therapist is realizing how beneficial stuffed animals are for me regarding therapy just like did. The reason I think this is because she saw how “relaxed and comfortable” I was when I talked about Ted. I’m hoping that when I have my next session with my therapist that she will be okay with me bringing a stuffed animal to therapy as it helps me discuss painful memories of my childhood.

As, I finish up this blog post, I realize that I’m holding Ted as write. If I think back to the start of my blog, I’ve held Ted during most of my blog post. So, yes, Ted has been a part of most aspects of my life including blogging. I hope that everyone has a great day and Peace Out all.

Remembering 9/11, 16 Years Later

Sixteen years ago today, the United States experienced a sad reminder of how cruel this world is. As cruel as this world is the people of this country, quickly realized how we can come together. A togetherness many Americans have seemed to have forgotten especially in the current political climate.

A political climate that is dividing this wonderful country. As politics divide this country one can only hope that we are one nation. A nation that can come together especially in times of need.

A time of need that people a remembering today. As we remember what happened 16 years ago, I hope we can come together as a nation.

As I end this blog post, I ask that you take a moment of silence in remembrance of all the people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. It just didn’t effect our nation, it effected the world. I hope everyone has a good day. Peace Out!!!

Not Exactly The Best Fans In All Of Baseball

Good Afternoon, World!!! Right now, I’m watching the Seattle Mariners versus Los Angeles baseball game on television with Junior. Watching the game on television is a much better experience than I had last night when I watched the Angels play against the Mariners on the Mariners home turf at Safeco Field.

Last night I attended the Mariner versus Angel game at Safeco field. I went by myself as Junior had a prior engagement. Attending a baseball game by myself is nothing new for me. Its something I’ve done for years. I make an effort to attend a Mariners game when the Angels are in town as I am from Anaheim and a big Angel fan.

With that being said, I was sitting in my seat when the lady sitting next to me got irate with me. She asked me if I could move my soda to the other cup holder so she could put her drink in the one I was using as the other one she had access to was being used by the person she came with. I informed the woman “no as the other cup holder was being used by the person sitting on the other side of me.” The woman got upset with my answer and got the seating host who came to where I was and asked for my side of the story. The seating host asked if I would be willing to hold my soda and I declined. The seating host informed the Mariners fan that since the other cup holder was being used and I already moved my soda for the other fan she couldn’t do anything more. The fan got upset and poured her beer on me and stated “You a fucking retard. Seattle doesn’t want you here.” At this point in time the seating host then called for the police who arrived shortly there after being called. The police decided to not arrest the fan and warned her if she caused any more issues she would be ejected and trespassed for a year. I was then switched to a different seat as it was “easier to move one person versus three people.” They moved me two row ahead of where I was sitting and was still being harassed by this individual. The other fan that I was sitting next to before I was moved stuck up for me and ended up getting hit. Only then was this unruly fan got ejected. I feel like the person sticking up for me wouldn’t have gotten hit if the police and Safeco Field staff would have ejected the fan when she poured the beer on me.

I guess, I’m feeling responsible for all this because if I would have just moved my soda and held on to it, none of this would have happened. Some of the fans told me it was not my fault. I realize its not my fault but it feels like it. I guess, I’m angry over all this because the Mariners organization and Safeco Field pride themselves as having “the best fans in all of baseball.” I disagree with that because of the multiple experiences I’ve personally have had and/or witnessed while at Safeco Field. I know I shouldn’t lump all fans with a handful of bad apples but when I’ve either been the victim or a witness to poor fan behavior it difficult to not lump all fans together.

I have experienced the best in Mariners fans as well. For instance the fan who got hit last night by the other fan was sticking up me. I’ve had other fans, both last night and at other games that ended up buying me a hot dog or something to make up for “the bad behavior” of other fans. I’m happy that other fans are stepping up to the plate.

I’m not exactly happy how Safeco Field staff or the Mariners origination handled last nights ordeal. It would have been nice for them to have ejected the unruly fan. I was offered to five tickets for games next season since the season is almost over with for this year. I’m not sure if I’m going to take them up on as I don’t want to have another experience I had last night. I would rather have seen the fan ejected after having the beer thrown on me and not after having the other fan being hit. If they would have ejected the fan after the incident with me the other fan would have not gotten hit.

I am trying to not be angry over the situation and I know by the time next season comes around I will be “over it” and wanting to go to a game. Not sure if I will attend a game next season after what happened but I will think about it. I just hope what happened last night doesn’t happen to other fans of opposing teams.

As I end this blog post, I want to thank for reading and allowing me to vent. I hope that one day fans of opposing teams can be civil with each other while having fun. I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday afternoon. Go Angels and Peace Out!!!

Poor Air Quality + Therapy = Challenging Day

Good Evening, World!!! Today, hasn’t been the easiest of days for me but overall its been a good day. I have two main reasons why it hasn’t been the easiest of days and plan telling you about it in this post.

Let’s start with what is hitting close to home for a lot of folks here in the Seattle area; the air quality. Or maybe I should say poor air quality. The air quality is the worst I’ve personally experienced here in Seattle. I’ve had personally experienced worse air quality due to the fact I spent the majority of my childhood in Southern California however today was bad even for California standards. The poor air quality is due to the wild fires from across the state.

The wild fire smoke is so bad here in Seattle that many across the city have experienced their first time seeing it “rain ash” instead of actual water. It is an eerie experience seeing “rain ash” here in Seattle. I’ve experienced it before when I when I grew up in California but never here in Seattle. The picture below is suppose to be looking south at Downtown Seattle but you can’t see it because of all the smoke and ash in the air. On a clear day you would be able to see Downtown Seattle. I wish I had a picture to show a comparison however I don’t. So, I guess you’re going to have to take my word on that you can see Downtown Seattle from this vantage point. No, its not the usual “Seattle Gloom.” Yes, it is all ash and smoke from the wild fires from the wild fires.

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As difficult as it was for me with my breathing due to asthma because of the poor air quality, therapy was just as difficult for me. See, at my request from my last session my therapist and I discussed today about the Self-Soothing skill of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The Self-Soothe skill is not an easy skill for me. In fact its one of two skills that aren’t second nature to me yet in regards to DBT skills. In fact its the skill I find the most difficult to do at the moment. Actually, its the skill I have found most difficult for me to do throughout my experience with DBT.

While my (relatively) new therapist and I discussed the self-soothing skill, it brought up a lot of other shit. Shit I don’t necessarily want to discuss on my blog or even am ready to discuss on it but shit that was difficult to talk to my therapist about. While discussing all the shit, my therapist decided to give me homework. My homework is to come up with five to ten affirmations. She let me set the number of affirmations I could write and I chose five to ten because I sort of wanted to challenge myself. Little did I know that this was going be an on going assignment. My therapist informed me that there is a second part to this assignment however I won’t get the second part of the assignment till our next session in two weeks. In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of homework as part of therapy but I have found it quite helpful to me. Therapy homework has helped me with my recovery which is why I attempt to not complain about it much.

I have found throughout the years that many of the “assignments” that I have received from therapist its to help me. Most of the assignments have ultimately helped me. I’ve had a handful that haven’t helped but that’s because I wasn’t exactly in the right space to have them assigned to me at that time. I do have to say that this assignment of having to write five to ten affirmations will help me. I might even share them with you when I am done with them. It won’t be easy for me to do but am looking forward to doing the assignment.

I’m looking at the time and realize that I’m a little hungry and am needing to eat. I also looked at how much I have written thus far and realize it might be getting a bit long for some of you. So, this is the point of my blog post to tell you, thank you for reading. I am truly grateful that you read my blog. Peace Out!!!

An Opportunity I Couldn’t Say No To

It’s been just over two weeks since I last blogged. I have usual excuses as of lately, which are: my symptoms were acting up or I was not in a good head space. Both of which are true but there have been times where I could have blogged.

One of those times I could have blogged was last Monday at this time. I was at the train station waiting for a train and I arrived three hours early by accident. I arrived three hours early because I thought my train left two hours earlier than it was scheduled to be. I was bored and I could have blogged as I waited for my train but didn’t.

I bet you’re wondering where I was going on the train. I know I would be wondering where someone was going if they were writing (or talking) about arriving at a train station two hours early. I will tell you where I was going.

I was offered a scholarship to attend a conference at the last minute. Not just any conference but conference specifically geared toward peer specialist here in Washington State. As badly as my symptoms were acting up I knew if I turned down the scholarship of attending the peer conference that I would regret it. I am beyond grateful that I attended and the only thing that it cost me was the train ticket to get there and back.

Attending the conference was just what I needed. It gave me the hope I need to help me with my recovery. Hell, not just my recovery but my career as well when I go back to work when things improve. It helped me a great deal with me getting refocused on what I need to, to get back on track. Things to help with my recovery and career as well as maybe some educational opportunities. In fact attending the conference was educational in it of itself.

We all know education can help with ones career. I hope that one day I will be able to get more of education to help with my career but that’s not what today is about. Today is about those who worked their asses off to get what they need to help themselves and the rest of us get better working conditions. Those people are the individuals that were apart of the Labor Movement. With out those fine individuals in the Labor Movement we wouldn’t have today; Labor Day. To those individuals working this Labor Day, thank for working today.

As I go and enjoy my Labor Day and end this post, I hope that I will post at later time about the peer conference. I learned a great deal there and would like to share my knowledge. I hope everyone has a good week. Happy Labor Day. Peace Out!!!