Everyday Inspiration; Day 9: Writing and Not Writing

Good Evening, World!!! I’m struggling to do today’s assignment for some unknown reason. A reason I am unable to come up with at this moment in time. Today’s assignment more or less ask what I do when I am not writing.

I perceive the assignment as a way to think about my self care and the focus I must have to continue on with my recovery that doesn’t include writing. Writing is a form of therapy for me however I know it’s not the cure all for my therapy needs.

When I’m not writing, I am primarily doing something regarding my mental health treatment. I attend appointments with my case manager and therapist. I also attend group therapy. The groups I attend are Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Healthy Sexuality, and Art Groups. In fact if I really wanted to, I could write about the various topics brought up in all the groups I’ve been in as well as topics brought up in my sessions with my therapist and case manager.

When I’m not participating in my mental health treatment, I am spending time with friends. Most likely my friends and I are having a dinner get together or out enjoying the outdoors. Many of my friends and I love the outdoors and love to hike as well as camp.

So, basically when I am not writing, I am doing good self care by seeking mental health treatment as well as spending time with friends. Preferably, my friends and I are spending time outside.  I think this assignment just gave me an idea or two to write about later on.

As, I end this blog post, I want to thank you for reading. You guys are my inspiration on why I continue to write. Thanks for being awesome. Peace Out, World!!!

Everyday Inspiration; Day 8: Reinvent the Letter Format

Hello, World!!! Today’s assignment for Finding Everyday Inspiration, is to write your blog in a letter format. I’m having difficulty do this because it appears to me that the only people I can think of righting a letter or letters to, can and will bring up some major pain to me.

The first person I thought of righting a letter to as part of this assignment was the person who abused me as child. The person in this particular case would be my brothers dad. It brings up a great deal of pain and anger. Both emotion’s that I really don’t want to deal with at the moment.

The second person I thought of writing a letter to as a part of todays assignment was to Diana. The therapist that departed the agency I am client of unexpectedly due to a cancer diagnosis. This brings me much pain and grief as I was unable to say goodbye to her. A goodbye as in a final session however this was unable to happen because she needs to focus on getting better. I am unsure how she is doing or if she is even still alive. I’m still grieving over the loss of her as my therapist especially it was all of sudden and quite unexpected.

The third letter I thought about writing was to the two sets of twins I lost in two miscarriages. As expected that brought up a great deal of sadness and pain. Pain and sadness I really don’t want to acknowledge. As any parent or expectant parent will tell you is that the greatest pain a parent can endure is loosing a child. I can say this without a shadow of a doubt because I’ve endured a great deal of pain in my life due to various traumas and the greatest pain I’ve endured is loosing my children via miscarriage. Loosing a child is quite difficult.

In fact WordPress suggested to write a letter to someone about a joyous time. I attempted to do so when I started this post by writing a letter to Diana. Unfortunately, it was bringing up a great deal of grief and sadness for me as Diana has helped me with a great deal in my recovery.

It is my hope that maybe someday, I can do this assignment when it doesn’t seem so overwhelming for me at this moment in time. Sometimes it difficult to acknowledge to others when things can be hard and/or overwhelming for me. So thanks for being  understanding.

As, I end this blog post, I want to thanks you for reading. I appreciate you for your readership. I hope everyone has a great day. Peace Out, World!!!

Weekly Check-In

Good Evening, World!!! It’s that time of the week where I check-in with you, my reader. As some of you may know, this past week has been dragging on for me. As you may not know its been a week of high anxiety for me. Anxiety that is most likely due to the recent trauma I experienced.

Anxiety that was extremely high at times this week yet lessened by the things I did. One of the things I did throughout this week was art. I did a lot of art. The type of art I did this week was coloring and collaging. In fact I made an effort to do some art everyday this week as I missed attending Art Group on Monday. I really dislike when I miss any group and I feel like I need to figure out a way to attend Art Group every week or at least on a more regular basis. This is something to discuss with my therapist about.

Speaking of my therapist, I saw her this past week. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I was full of anxiety in during my session with my therapist. Anxiety that was (and is) trauma related. In fact the trauma is what was being discussed or at least how the recent trauma is affecting my life. Therapy is never easy and am grateful to be able to be in it as it’s helped me become a better person. A person in recovery.

A person in recovery that is now not a hundred percent afraid to discuss sexuality. In fact I am now attending a Healthy Sexuality Group. My case manager is one of the co-facilitators of the group. As difficult as the topic of sexuality is for me because of my trauma history, I am glad I’m in place where I able to discuss it. Not just in group but with my partner and close friends.

Since we are on the topic of groups, I also attended Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group. As usual attending DBT group was quite helpful. It was helpful as it normally is. Yes, practicing the skills are difficult yet most of them have become second nature to me. Fortunately yet unfortunately, I have extra homework to do for DBT group. I have extra homework regarding self-validation because of the difficulties I have with validating myself. My therapist is in agreement with this. I may not want to do the homework for DBT group and/or my therapist regarding the self-validation, I realize it’s going to be helpful for me in in the long run.

Another thing that will be helpful for me is something regarding my blog. That is to start getting back in the regular habit blogging. Getting back in the habit of blogging will help me get back the structure I desperately need at the moment. The other reason why I’m attempting to get back in the habit of blogging is to keep you the reader interested in following my blog. One way of getting back in habit of blogging is something I started this week. That thing is I started a course that WordPress puts on for free. The course I am taking is Finding Everyday Inspiration. In fact my last three post were part of the course I am taking.

Before I end this post, I want to update you on my friend who was a victim in the Las Vegas shooting. They are still in critical condition but slowly improving. They are now breathing on their on. Something that myself and many others are thrilled about.

As, I end this post I want to thank you for reading my blog. I hope you all have a wonderful evening and a good rest of your weekend. 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!!!

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.

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!!!

The Woes of Not Being In a Good Space

I have been struggling with the symptoms of my mental health conditions for quite some time. Things start improving yet I end up having another set back. Some of those set backs are caused for reasons I am unsure of and working with my treatment team to help me figure out. Some set backs I cause myself or at least not doing what I’m suppose to be doing to help prevent some set backs.

With all the set backs that have happened I’m getting frustrated with myself. I feel like I have failed as I’m bouncing back like I have in recent years. This is where I think some of the set backs that I’ve had in the recent two or so months could be due to old behavior creeping back in. Behavior that I worked hard to not do.

Behavior that I need to discuss with my treatment team about especially my therapist. I don’t want to continue on the path I am on which is me going backwards. I’ve worked to damn hard in my recovery to continue to go backwards.

All I want is to bounce back to where I was when I was doing well.  I want to be working. Hell, I want to feel like I am being a productive member of society. Right now, I’m not a productive member of society or at least I think I’m not being productive.

Oh, fuck I am now wallowing in self-pity. Self-pity is something I don’t need to be doing right now. I just want to get back to doing well. All I want right now is to be back to how was when I was doing well and succeeding with life.

I think it would be a good idea for me to end this post. I feel that my emotions are getting the better of me and I don’t want that. I hope everyone has a good evening and night. Peace Out!!!