Weekly Check-In

Good Afternoon, World!!! If you been reading my blog on the regular basis you know that I have been struggling with the symptoms of my mental health condition. You may have noticed that I have making an effort to blog on the more regular basis. I’m doing this for a multitude of reasons. One is to keep you, the reader, interested in continuing to read my blog. Two, is more of the selfish part of me blogging and an unexpected bonus I didn’t realize was going to happen when I started is that its helping me with my recovery. I have many other reasons I am making an effort to blog more regularly however I am sure those reasons will bore you.

As you are aware that this past week has been a challenging one for me. Challenging in many ways yet I managed to get through some of them with creativity. Creativity in the ways of art and poetry. The main way I did both my art and poetry this past week was collaging and I really enjoyed it. I think its something I’ll continue to do on the regular basis.

Something that appears to be happening on the regular basis for me especially over the last two weeks and I haven’t even been trying is advocating. I’ve had several people inform me in the past two weeks is that I am really good at advocacy including self-advocacy. I don’t know about being good at advocacy especially when it comes to self-advocacy, I just do and say what I think needs to be done. If that’s advocacy then so be it.

I bring up the self-advocacy up because I was signed up to take a continuing education training for peers. A continuing education course I signed up for several months ago. I was informed yesterday (Friday) that I was waitlisted due to the fact that I’m not employed as a peer currently and priority goes to employed peers. I understand this full well and would have let it go and not advocated for myself if I was informed sooner. See, the continuing education training is this Monday and I made arrangements and rearranged appointments to be able to attend it. So, since I was informed on such short notice I thought it would be best to email the folks putting on the training. Since I advocated for myself and the training ending up in a “slightly bigger room” the folks doing the training said I could attend. I realize they couldn’t do this for everyone on the waitlist and won’t be able to this for me in the future however I am grateful that they made an exception for me. In fact the folks putting on the training informed me on who was doing the training happens to be someone I did a continuing education training with a few years ago. A person I have become friends with. I am looking forward to seeing them on Monday.

Now that we are on the topic of friends, two of my friends decided that I needed a girls night out. Or in this case a girls night in. They decided this because I’ve been isolating myself due to an increase of symptoms in my depression. I’m thrilled that they were persistent in their efforts to get me out of my apartment. We ended up at one of my friends places to watch the Seattle Mariners play against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I did have a good time with my friends even though they were rooting for the wrong baseball team. Actually, I’m just living in the wrong city but I love this city I’m living in. I just have to deal with getting a hard time on occasion when I root for particular sports teams.

Looks like I’ve pretty much told you how my week has gone. That means I’m at the end of my blog post. I hope to blog again tomorrow however if I don’t, I’ll make sure I do on Monday evening. I want to share with you how the continuing education training goes. I hope that everyone has a good rest of their weekend. Peace Out!!!

 

Nightmares Suck Shit; In Need of Being Creative

Ugg!!! Its 1:59 in the morning and I woke up from a stupid ass nightmare. A nightmare that scared the shit out of me.

After the nightmare I made me some tea and decided to blog. Blog about the struggle of having a nightmare. In fact I hope that blogging helps me get into a creative space.

A creative space that helped me several times in the last twenty-four hours. Creativity that helps me get into a better head space that I am currently in. I think I’m going to be collaging once again. Collaging pictures and words. Words that end up in poems. I’m really enjoying the collaging aspect of art.

As I create art and poetry I will of course be listening to music. Music that helps soothe me. Music that helped save my life. In fact if it wasn’t for music, I would have dropped out of high school. I was in the marching and concert band in high school. If it wasn’t for band I would have dropped out. As you can tell, music has helped me in many aspects of my life. Its helped me stay in school so I could graduate as well as helped me stay alive by not dying by suicide and to stay in recovery.

On that note, I should get going  so I can be creative. Hopefully,  I will be able to get some sleep. I hope everyone is sleeping well or at least did sleep well. Have a good night. Peace Out!!!

Creativity Fights Off Dissociation

Good Morning, World!!! I am sitting here tired as hell. I’m tired because I had several intense nightmares last night. The severity of them was so intense, I feared dissociation. I still fear the dissociation however I am thankful that I have therapy today.

Knowing that I have therapy today helped somewhat with the dissociation however it was the creativity that ultimately helped me fight off Dissociation. In fact Junior was the one that suggested doing something creative. Junior even helped me in the creative process despite having to work a 48hour shift as a firefighter today and tomorrow.

As I created new poems as well as art I listened to music. Music helps me get the creative juices going. The piece that I am most proud of is a collage I created with cut out picture and words. Words that ended up creating a poem. A poem that helped me realize that I am still depressed yet have some hope.

As depressed as I am, I’m thrilled that I have some hope left in me. Hope that helps me accept the love my partner has for me. A love that I never thought I would have due to having a mental health condition. Love doesn’t have limits nor does it see the flaws in people. A love that I am happy Junior has.

I just wish that I could be surrounded by Juniors love today however he is working a 48hour shift for the next. Knowing that he is helping others as well as the love he has for me helps me through the next two days.

As much as I would love talking about the love I have for and receive from Junior, I need to end this post. I need to get going as I have an appointment with my therapist. An appointment I don’t want to be late for. Have a good day all. Peace Out!!!

Fighting Off A Ton Of Bricks

I’m feeling frustrated with myself. I’m feeling frustrated because anytime I see any type of progress or improvement it appears that I fall and fall hard. Depression is hitting me like a ton of bricks and with a vengeance yet people in my life are helping me fight like hell to make sure it doesn’t win the fight.

The reason why my friends as well as my treatment team are fighting like hell along side with me against the depression is because two weeks ago, I attempted suicide on two separate occasions. The scary thing in all of this is that I haven’t attempted suicide in nine years which is of course is why everyone is concerned. For whatever reason, I didn’t end up on an inpatient psych unit which if I really look back on it, is concerning in itself but am grateful that I didn’t end up on an inpatient unit.

I’m grateful that I didn’t end up an inpatient unit for many reasons. The main reason is that it helps me, help myself without having someone readily available to depend on at all hours of the day and night.  Being able to not have people readily available in an instant has me focus on my DBT skills. Skills, I know that will help me and able to do not being on an inpatient unit because if I was on an inpatient unit I wouldn’t be able to use some of the skill most useful to me due to “safety” which I understand. Being part of an inpatient unit is to learn new skills as well as to practice the healthy skills you already have. If one cannot not practice healthy coping skills due to safety reasons how can one be able to practice them.

One such skill is listening to music on my  smart phone or Discman because both will require headphones. Headphones can be use to strangle yourself or someone else and understand why it’s a safety issue. Listening to music is one of the most helpful and useful skills I have. Listening to music helps me get myself in a better head space especially if I am highly escalated. If I’m highly escalated, listening to music puts me into a better head space to where I can come up with other skills that help me. In fact those other skills are usually are skills that bring out the creative side of me.

One such creative outlet also involves music. I play the flute and have been playing it since I was 12. I have never been the best at playing the flute nor have I claimed being a good flautist but its something I love to do. Playing the flute gives me a sense of self-confidence, I normally don’t have when I’m not playing it or any other musical instrument. In fact learning to play the harmonica and recorder also gives that same sense of self-confidence the flute does. Granted, learning to play a musical instrument is challenging but if it helps me get outside of myself as well as help with my self-confidence, then I’m going to accept the challenge.

Art is another creative challenge I take on as yet another skill that helps a great deal. My art form right now is collaging and coloring or combination of both. There is something soothing about looking through magazines, news papers and such searching for the right picture or word to cut out. Pasting the chosen cut outs onto a piece of paper and seeing it come into a piece of art is a thrill in of itself. Another thrill I get is seeing a finish coloring page. Looking at a colorful piece of art and knowing you created gives a person a sense of accomplishment.

On the topic of accomplishment, I get sense of accomplishment whenever I write. Whether I write via blogging, journaling, or a newsletter, its another outlet for me to be creative. I love to write. My love for writing is what helped me make the decision to start my blog. One of my favorite genre’s to write is poetry. Poetry helps me get what I need to get out emotionally. Since it helps me emotionally and I didn’t finish the Intro to Poetry course WordPress offers. The poetry course will not only help me emotionally, it will help me get back into the swing of things regarding blogging on the regular basis. Blogging on the regular basis will also keep you the reader more interested in checking on my blog more regular to see what I have to say. Another thing I like to do in regards to writing is to do writing prompts. Writing prompts can help one be more open with what is going on emotionally as the prompt can be one that has you write about something in real life. Prompts can also cause one to be creative and imaginative. Something that I am highly considering to do again is to start my weekly writing prompt as part of my blog.

As you can tell being creative is what ultimately helps me and being on an impatient unit can hinder me be creative for a number of reasons and most of them are legit. I am not condoning needing to be on an impatient unit as they are helpful and maybe I should have been hospitalized especially after the second attempt in matter of three days but am grateful I was not. In the last two weeks since the second attempt I’ve done a lot of thinking and soul searching. I found that I need to start being more creative and honest with myself.

Since I’m needing to be honest with myself, I realize I’m needing to end this post to start my going to bed routine. That includes watching the eleven o’clock news and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with a cup of hot tea. Have a good night everyone and peace out!!!

SIDE NOTE: I want to make it clear that I am NOT currently suicidal. I also want to make it clear that I am currently NOT experiencing any suicidal thoughts or suicide ideation.

Poetry, Day Four: Journey

Fork in the Road

by Gertie

There is a fork in the road

Which way to go.

Continue on the miserable journey you already know

or choose the one less traveled one.

What the hell?

It couldn’t be any worse than the journey,

I’m already on.

Turns out that fork in road changed

my life I would have never imagined.

A life worth living.

A life in recovery.

Something that wouldn’t have happened if

I didn’t have that fork in the road

to choose what recovery journey I wanted to take.

Poetry, Day Three: Friend

Untitled Poem

by Gertie

Looking back on life,

its the friends that helped me through the rough moments.

Friends that have become family

and accepted me as me;

no matter what life throws at us

our friendship will always

be strong.

Poetry, Day Two: Face

Face Full of Pain

by Gertie

Look at their face,

you wont see the pain that they hide.

Look at their arms full of scars,

you might get a hint of the pain,

they deal with everyday.

You don’t care

as you fear they might

harm you.

Look at their face,

deep inside their eyes,

then and only then

you will see the pain

they are really in.