Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, World!!! I’m stating the obvious here; it is St. Patrick’s Day. Today is where most of the world thinks they are Irish even if they are not. I am fifty percent Irish. In fact I am third generation born here in America from Ireland. That means my great grandparents immigrated from Ireland.

That’s why when it comes to immigration, I am all for it. All people are looking for, when they immigrate is for a better life. That is what both sets of great grandparents did on my mothers side did. They made a better life for themselves. Granted life was not easy for my great grandparents yet at least it was better than living in Ireland at that time. I’m not saying America is better than Ireland, I am saying that my great grandparents were making a better life for themselves.

Thank you for reading my blog. Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Peace Out, World!!!


How I became Gerties Motherly Figure

Gertie has an endearing way about them that has one’s heart accept them as who they are even at their most challenging times. On that note, I quickly realized what Gertie needed the most in their life was a motherly figure. A motherly figure so desperately needed when they were growing up and still craves as an adult even seventeen years later after I met them.

Gertie has the sweetest heart that has a hint of childlikeness to it. This most likely why they are so enduring. I chose to become their mother figure after we start becoming friends realizing that’s all they ever wanted in their life. I think with me stepping up to the mother figure role in Gerties role it helped them with continuing their recovery a process. A process that Gertie as worked long and hard for. Yes, they have had their ups and downs in recovery however with my help and the help of many others Gertie has thrived. Thrived in a way that a great deal of others never thought possible.

It is because of Gertie’s resiliency I have stuck by them and be a motherly figure to them. A figure that neither one of us expected would happen till it happened. A figure that both of us have cherished ever since.

Hello, It’s Me Again; Mama Bear

Hello! I am the motherly figure in Gertie’s life that they fondly refer me as “Mama Bear.” I haven’t posted in quite sometime and was asked by Gertie to do a brief reintroduction of myself.

I have known Gertie for over 17 years and have seen her grow as person as well as in their recovery. Yes, Gertie has been struggling the last year however I still see them making strides as a person and in their recovery.

As Gertie stated in their post yesterday, they want Junior and myself to post every other week and alternate the weeks we post with the excepting of this week. From my understanding Junior will be posting tomorrow. My post will mainly consist of what its like to be a motherly figure to someone who has lived experience. That shouldn’t be too difficult for me to convey as I am a mother of four children and my two youngest deal with their own mental health struggles. In fact Gertie is a role model and example of what recovery looks like to all four of my children especially my two youngest.

Thank you for reading.

A Painful Holiday Called Mother’s Day

I am struggling to write this particular post as it has to do with the topic of mothers. In most of the world, today its Mother’s Day. A day that can be quite painful for may individuals out there.

I know for me, Mothers Day has been a source of pain for the last 35 years. I say 35 years because my mom abandoned me and my dad when I was just the tender age of three. As difficult as it was growing up with out my mom being an active participant in my life, I am beyond grateful that I have a loving father in my life that made sure I had a positive woman influence in my life. I call her grandma. My grandma went above and beyond the call of duty and am thrilled that she took on the motherly role.

Even though my grandma played the motherly role in my life as best as she could it didn’t really fill the whole I needed from my own mom. To this day, my mom hasn’t played much of a role in my life. Well, she has played a role but it has been the role of negativity. My mom blames me a great deal with how her life ended up. I realize that having a child changes things however don’t blame the child for your life decisions. Especially decisions beyond anyone control.

Things beyond one’s control is another reason why Mothers Day is so painful for me. I miscarried two sets of twins. As much as not having a loving and caring mother around, loosing a child or in my case four children hurts like hell. When today comes around it makes me acutely aware on how difficult it is to deal with the pain of the loss of miscarrying. Pain I haven’t dealt with and really need to deal with. Pain I hope that someday I can deal with and hopefully sooner than later.

At this point in time, I realize that I’m needing to stop this particular post as it is getting difficult to continue at this moment in time.  I hope each and everyone has a good Mothers Day despite how painful it can be. Peace Out!!!



Gertie Asked For A Different Perspective

It has been a while since my first contribution to Gertie’s blog. Before I go on, let me re-introduce myself. I am a friend and motherly figure to Gertie. Gertie lovingly refers to me as “Mama Bear” and that is what I will go by on their blog.

As I mentioned in the introduction I have taken Gertie under my wing. Gertie so desperately needed a motherly figure that I was willing to take that on. I didn’t meet Gertie till she was 21 when she was near death due to a serious suicide attempt. Over the years Gerties attempts on her life as well as self harm behavior became less and less. One day my crew and I were shopping at the grocery store where she use to work and that is how myself and Junior slowly got to know her and befriend her. As frustrating as Gertie can be at times it has been one of my greatest pleasures in my life being able to see her grow. Grow into the person she is now.

Yes, Gertie has had her struggles recently but I really think that the support system she has created has helped a great deal. I also think that Gertie’s new job position at work has helped as well.

I hope that over time I will discuss with you what it is like to not only be part of Gertie’s support system but what it is like to be a mother of two children who have a diagnosed mental illness. I also would like to talk about my role as a firefighter and the role mental health plays on my job description and the encounters I have experienced dealing with folks with mental illness. I have a many different views of mental illness in my own personal life that I hope I can bring to Gertie’s blog. I am part of her “journey” and can give you view that she is not able to give.

As I end this post, I would like to thank you for reading. I am giving a perspective that Gertie is wanting on her blog. I am glad to be able to give that perspective. Thank you for the willingness to read my perspective and read from someone else other than the main person who write on this blog.

Mama Bear

Introduction: Mama Bear

Hello! Let me introduce myself. I am who Gertie refers to as Mama Bear. As you know, Gertie has asked me to be a contributor to her blog. I will be sharing my personal experience on what it is like to be a support system to someone who struggles  with a mental illness.

I have been asked to also share my experience on what it is like to be a parent of two children who are diagnosed with a mental illness. I may consider Gertie like a daughter, I have four other children. Two of which I had biologically and two of which I adopted. It is my adopted children that have a diagnosed mental illness. Not only will I be sharing my experience of what its like to be the support system of someone who struggles with a mental illness and being the parent of two children with a mental illness, I will be discussing what it is like to be a first responder who deals with the mentally ill.

I have known Gertie for nearly 16 years and have seen her grow. Grow in ways that many of us didn’t think could happen. We didn’t think it could happen because Gertie was so close to death due to multiple suicide attempts that we didn’t think should would make it. Gertie’s will and determination to start recovery and to remain in recovery is what has helped to get to the place she is in now. She is doing awesome. She is following her dreams of being in a romantic relationship with my colleague, Junior as well as working as a Peer Specialist to help show others recovery is possible.

I thank you for reading. I hope to post as often as I am able with being a working mother to four children and a motherly figure Gertie needs.

Mama Bear

Daily Prompt: State of Your Year

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “State of Your Year.” How is this year shaping up so far? Write a post about your biggest challenges and achievements thus far.

It’s the third day of July and that means the year is half over. The year now being officially half over is why I decided to do this particular past daily prompt.

The year didn’t start off on the happiest of notes. If you are a regular reader and/or follower you are aware that I had miscarried a set of twins in January. It was a devastating start to the new year. I was looking forward to being a mama. Needless to say the miscarriage has had me wanting this year to end two weeks into it.

As January turned into February, I realized that I not only wanted the year to be over, I wanted to end my life. I wanted to end my life due to miscarrying. That is when I realized I needed to get help by putting myself into the hospital twice. The first time for two weeks and then a week after I was discharged had to go back in for another five days. I was disappointed in myself that I needed to be hospitalized for psych reasons because it had been nearly three and half years since my last discharge from my last psych hospitalization. The miscarriage hit me harder than a bag of bricks hitting the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Despite being hit by a bag of bricks, I realized that this particular crisis was different from the rest; I didn’t harm myself in any way. Yes, that means I didn’t attempt suicide nor self-harm. If one thing could come from the sadness of loosing a set of twins and the crisis that came after it, is that I don’t need to self harm nor do I need to go through it alone.

The major thing I have learned this year is that I am not alone and most importantly I know who is truly in my corner. Don’t get me wrong, I have known who has been in my corner for quite some time, I just fully realized on who is in my corner. I also realized that, those of who I thought were in my corner when it came to me being in a crisis weren’t able to do so, like I once thought. Now I know that it doesn’t matter how long you have known someone or how you met that person, it matters that they step up to the plate when a crisis arises.  Sometimes it’s a person you don’t necessarily expect.  An example of someone like that is my friend Susan over at https://bravelybipolar.wordpress.com/.

As the year continues on and the help of many people like Susan, my fiancé, Junior and many others, it is slowly but surely better. Yes, I still have my difficult moments but realize that the initial crisis of the miscarriage is over. It has taken quite some time for it to be over however I have accomplished the fact that I not only not harmed myself in the crisis, I was able to allow others in my life to help me in one of the most darkest hours of my life.

Looking back on my year thus far, I would say that one of my major accomplishments is continuing to live my life as I would have before miscarrying. That means, I continued on going to work, going to my volunteer job at the Warm Line and most importantly spending time with friends and select family members. I also allow myself to grieve over the loss of my children. Amongst the major accomplishment of living my everyday life in the middle of a crisis, I decided to volunteer other places.

Yes, I’m now volunteering not only at the Warm Line and the Mental Health Clubhouse I am a member of but a young adult shelter. I’m doing this because, I not only miss volunteer at the main shelter of the mental health I agency I am now employed at but I want to eventually work with young adults struggling with a mental illness. The reason being is because, I’ve been there. I was a young adult seeking treatment and felt like nobody understood because everyone else to start getting treatment till their late twenties and early thirties if not older. Volunteering at the young adult (18-25) shelter is a way to make sure I want to work with particular age group in the profession sense. What’s the worse thing that can happen? I realize its not the age group I am meant to work with and another thing to put on my résumé. So far I’m loving the fact that I am not only volunteering in a homeless shelter but volunteering with the age group that I am wanting to work with professionally.

As the year continues on, I am looking forward to what it brings professionally. I love my job as a Consumer Advocate however I want to be a Peer Support Specialist. I have been looking at Peer Specialist positions within the agency I work for as well as other agencies however I realize I am more likely to get hired on, if it is at another agency, if I have been at my current employer for at least a year. My one year anniversary at my current employer is September 8, 2015. Since my anniversary is in September, I have decided to wait to late November, early December to apply for Peer Specialist positions due to the fact that I will have been employed for an entire calendar year (January to December) by the time I find out if I get hired for a job. The longer you are at an employer the better it looks to future employers. Not only that, I also need to do a few things done to ensure I will able to get a job as a Peer. They are to get my teeth fixed as well as to get a drivers license. Yes, you read right, I don’t have a drivers license. I have always lived in area’s that have pretty good public transit. Another reason why I want to get a drivers license is because many positions require one. Not only will having a drivers license be helpful to me professionally, so will getting my teeth fixed. People do tend to look at ones smile when it comes to an interview as well as in everyday encounters and that is why I want to get them fixed. Plus it will make me feel better about myself.

Overall, I am feeling better about myself as 2015 continues. Yes, it has not been the best of years so far however, I am going to make sure it ends on a higher note than it did when it started or at least try. We all know that there are things beyond our control. The year may have started badly but I know as it continues, I am making sure there are positives in it. One way I am making it positive besides professionally is by hanging out with awesome people. That is what I am about to do after I end this particular post. I do apologize for it being so long. I hope to blog again tomorrow for the 4th of July. If I am unable to do so, have a Happy 4th of July. Be safe and Peace Out!!!