I was away from home and my parents for one year and two days. I can’t say anything specific about where I was but I will say this: I am very thankful for the experience because I finally have realized I will be okay without my parents. I made some tough decisions while I was there on my own without consulting them. The final decision was to admit myself into the university hospital for a few days without telling everyone right away except for one staff member who provided transportation. It was a very nice hospital and made me want to stay in the area but I can’t afford the rent prices without a roommate and I had two roommates where I was and they didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. I had a part time pre-vocational job, my relationship lasted a few months, and my boss was my best friend.
With assistance from staff and medical professionals, I discovered one of my meds was at a dangerously high level so I had to have a major medication adjustment. Now to top off all of my mental health issues my kidneys are off too. I now have mild chronic kidney disease. I really liked my kidney doctor there and I hope I can find a good one here.
I love my psychiatrist and therapist here and I can’t wait to go back to them and see them again.
So, I decided that my last blog blamed my lack of motivation to work on my research for my online presentation on my breakup and that was not the right attitude to have. I did an hours worth of work yesterday and today and it feels so good to have time for it again. I really hope that they give me a little more time to do it but no one has contacted me yet. They were supposed after last conference we had online this month some time. Maybe it’s taking them a long time to get the cues and crcs sorted out because more people showed up than last year. I hope they don’t forget about me I did reach out to them once to find out how long the content was going to be available. My work is not going to be perfect (I am nor used to power point on my Mac) but maybe I will get lucky and the folks that said I could do it will offer to look it over before I submit it. I have met two people who are very interested in it so I can show it to them but I need some good objective feedback. I have decided just to disclose my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social anxiety, driving anxiety, and Asperger’s. I am too scared to share the bipolar and psychosis. Some people know about my blog from LinkedIn because I had it on there for a while but I have no idea who actually reads this on a regular basis. I have currently been having trouble sleeping and it’s a big problem. I take so much medication I shouldn’t have this problem. My ex is trying to be my friend to some extent. And it’s not his fault…I just have some decisions I have to make soon that are very difficult and my thoughts are racing like a freight train. I went to see him because I was worried because when I tried to call him the call failed. I thought I shouldn’t have just shown up but I figured he probably rarely checks his email. That was the only other contact information I had. Sometimes I wish I had other numbers in case of an emergency. I gave him my parents number. He called them when I was in the hospital. That’s why it was so hard to let him go because my last hospitalization we talked almost every day. He was a good listener and he wasn’t judgmental and I felt safe with him. Will I ever feel that way again? Sigh…I think my next post is going to be about the enneagram also stay tuned.
Online support groups can be a big help. Encouraging words from others can help us get through our biggest struggles. I recently got out of a relationship that meant a lot to me and I was trying to be friends with the other person but it was not working out for me. I miss him every day and I wish I could do something about it. I have learned to appreciate the friends I have and my family even more. I should be focusing on this preparation I am doing for this webinar. Sometime this year I am presenting my research on concurrent severe mental illness and autism and how to improve employability for this special population of consumers. I have lost my passion for the subject because I have been so focused on my issues. I have a lot of great resources but I struggle with putting together my research in ways that are easy to present to others and make it interesting. I can’t help but wonder if I would still be passionate about it if I hadn’t just gotten out of a relationship.
I’ve been healthy for the most part for a couple of months. I got to see one of my best friends a couple weeks ago. It was hard to say goodbye. But she’s not too far away from where I am living so I will probably see her again. I talked to someone who also had an atypical college experience today. It was interesting hearing about it from someone else who has issues. I didn’t give her details I just told her I was also diagnosed when I was in college. She went to a liberal arts school when she had her first breakdown. I love hearing college stories from people. I can’t write anymore about the individual here but it reminds me that sometimes we don’t choose the obvious plan in life. Sometimes we have to let go of what we think we are [or what we really want] in order to become who we are meant to be.
My favorite poem is Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. “Two Roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all of the difference.” I quoted that poem when I gave my valedictory address in college. It took me about four years to accept my diagnoses. I had my first breakdown in the fall of 1999 but I didn’t get the right diagnosis until the fall of 2002. I used to think why didn’t they let me finish the school I started? Why didn’t they accommodate me better? But now I know it wasn’t meant to be.
So many wonderful things in my life happened during college. Sometimes I dwell on the past too much. It was still a very difficult road and I experienced some discrimination but I don’t have any regrets except that I didn’t keep in touch with some of the friends I made. I only have some contact with a former professor. Life has taken us in all different directions. My first chapter of my book is about prom and graduation then it dives right into the heart of the stories, the ways my illness unfolded in the four and a half years I was in college. Maybe I could put some of my book up here but I don’t want my ideas to be taken. I’ve worked on this book for ten years. I changed it to fiction because there are so many memoirs.
The second is that 988 will be up and running in two months. It is just for individuals in crisis or have severe mental illness. I think it’s a great thing. Some folks are not sure about it but I am. Two different times when I was sick, I called 911. I promised my parents I would never do it again but both times I was psychotic and not sleeping enough. There really is no other place to call except for the national suicide hotline and a few warm lines scattered around. You may remember my past post about warm lines saving my life several times.
Well, thanks for reading guys and gals. Have a blessed day.
I sometimes still get depressed when I hear certain songs or watch movies that are sad. I have found that I am particularly vulnerable if I have trouble sleeping. Someone can say something critical and I will want to cry. I have been doing well lately for the most part but there are some things that still really bother me. I just wish I didn’t keep moving forward in life but feeling like I’m going backward at the same time.
Charity March 22, 2022
Big Dream & Hopes For A Stronger Healthier Me
I started another draft for my dream presentation. My focus is Concurrent Severe Mental Illness/es and Autism: Improving Employment Opportunities for this special population. Unfortunately, when I told someone I met at a conference about this idea, I got sick. I was sick for a long time. So now I’m just doing it for me and trying to make it less personal in case I ever have enough sources to present it in a formal setting. A friend in a dream warned me I shouldn’t put my life on display. I have got a lot of great resources but I don’t know where to start. I like to think my friend would be proud of my book. He said keep writing just be careful. My book is about my atypical college experience. I made it fiction and added a few scenes that never happened. It was going to be a memoir but I changed my mind.
It’s just that life got so complicated after I graduated college. Some things I will never be able to write and share with the world. They are still thorns in my side. I also have had many blessings. I really am fortunate it just seems like lately I’m taking a lot of big steps into trying to be my best self mentally. But even though mentally I am better, physically I’m messed up because I am overmedicated. I have even less confidence on the stairs than I did and I used to just have trouble going down. I need help getting off curbs unless I go out of the building the handicapped way. It’s really frustrating. Also I am very overweight and every day is a struggle of hiding my bulging stomach.
Have you ever heard of the song Brave By Sara Bareilles? It is an encouraging song and it’s on my Let Go Let God list on my Spotify account. ./~ “Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do when they settle ‘neath your skin. ./~ Absolutely true!!!!! I hope that everyone is well. I will continue more on this topic another time.
I will continue to pray for Ukraine. I wish I could do more. I am hopeful.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the best source I know for individuals who are considering committing suicide, survivors, and loved ones. It is a non profit. I apologize if I have talked about this before but I think it’s so important it’s worth mentioning again. If you are suicidal you should contact AFSP and they will direct you to call the National Hotline 18002738255. If you’re just looking for a patient listening ear or to get more resources, or want to get involved in walks and fundraisers, AFSP is the right place for you to contact. The website is https://afsp.org/. You can use this site to obtain links to contact individuals in your state. The walks are really encouraging and fun place to meet inspiring encouraging people. Check out these two sites within ASFP. They are excellent. https://afsp.org/im-having-thoughts-of-suicide and https://afsp.org/about-afsp. AFSP helps researchers too! Check out this great free resource. You’ll be glad you did.
Some quotes by famous people.
Demi Lovato said, “I wish that people could understand that the brain is the most important organ in your body. Just because you can’t see it like you could see a broken bone doesn’t mean its not as detrimental or devastating to a family or an individual.”
A. A. Milne, Winnie The Pooh
Here is more information I recently looked at the National Suicide Hotline’s website. I did not realize you can actually talk to counselors there online and text counselors. They have a lot of great resources including how to find a good therapist. I am searching again because I like mine but I haven’t seen her that much. I’ve decided to keep her as long as she doesn’t get really sick again for like a month or so. She and I both have had health issues. She just recently told me that she has a lot of anxiety. This is the site for the national line that has links to many important resources. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/.
This is just a fraction of information what is available from the national hotline. When you call they can give you more resources. You can also call 211 and 411 for more. Just remember if you call the national hotline tell them you’re not suicidal you just need resources. Because if you really are suicidal, they have to take action right away to getting you to the hospital. This is why AFSP is important because sometimes the national line will put you on hold forever. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people much worse off that need intervention. That’s why when I’ve wanted to give up in the past but didn’t have a plan, I always have contacted AFSP first. Sometimes that means you’ll only get to talk for five minutes to the national line so be prepared for that. I had a nice online chat with one of the counselors but it was hard because I’m not suicidal, just stressed and frustrated about some of the issues in my life.
I have been very fortunate but there are so many things in my life that I will always struggle with no matter how I feel. Even when I feel my best, it doesn’t take much to get me to get triggered and fall apart again. One resource that has helped me a great deal is American Foundation For Suicide Prevention. They have walks called Out Of The Darkness. Some universities have walks too. I did two walks in northern CA when I still lived there and I enjoyed them very much. I still have my t-shirt and I’m hoping it will spread awareness. They also have a lot of great resources for supporting family and survivors.
Broken shells teach us not to look at our imperfections…but to look at the beauty…the great beauty…of what is still left.
Help me to truly accept myself just as I am, Lord, so that I may sing the song in my heart…for no one else has my song to sing…my gift to give.
An important free advocacy event is going to take place starting this Tuesday. It’s running from November 15-18th. I’m very hopeful my friends, former colleagues, important acquaintances. Next summer there is going to be another # people with mental health issues can call in crisis or suicidal emergency. It’s 988. It should be live in July 2022, https://lnkd.in/g8i4QcT2. I don’t know if I will be able to attend this event so I am sharing this on Linkedin and here. #advocacy#mentalhealthawareness#event Please help me spread the word.
Last Sunday I was inspired by the assistant priests sermon. This was the story. A young man is in a concentration camp with his father and all they get to eat is bread that’s almost stale and lard. The father takes the lard and uses it for candles so they can celebrate the Sabbath. And the son says, “Dad why did you take our food?” And the father says, “Son, without food we can live several days but without hope we can’t live more than an hour.”
The article appeared in the 2009 August issue of Synthesis and is attributed to the Managing Editor Isabel Anders.
I finally got a new puppy a few months ago and decided to name him Zukee Kind Heart. I searched everywhere for another rescue mini schnauzer but I never found one that would work. Some were incontinent, others did not get along with other dogs. It was a very difficult decision to get a puppy because they are hard work. Some people told me that puppies were worse than kids. Now, they are entitled to have their own opinion but I have to respectfully disagree. I don’t have any children of my own but I do have two nieces and two nephews and a lot of my friends have kids that I have watched grow up. It is so much harder to be a parent because it’s forever. You can’t just abandon a child for hours at a time unsupervised. I put my folks through a lot when I get sick. So I can only imagine how hard it would be to be responsible 24 7 for the care of a child.
Zukee is a handsome, smart, loving, loyal dog and I am grateful he is in my life. Zuke just needs to learn not to bite and has to get along better with my mom’s dog. When I bend over to get something for him under the couch he jumps on my head. And he doesn’t like the word bad, it makes him growl. Just like Jubee, he is very protective of me when I am walking him somewhere and when he sees someone walking in our neighborhood he barks and howls exactly like she used to. One of my friends said the biting and aggressiveness is just because he’s a puppy and he will grow out of it. I have no idea what Jubee was like as a puppy because when she was born there were lots of hurricanes. She was probably very similar to Zukee when she was a puppy. SAFE did not tell me about her history. I didn’t want to know. Meet the new love of my life, Zukee.
I live with Bipolar 1, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, Driving Anxiety, and Social Anxiety. I take all of my meds as prescribed. I am well educated, I have a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and I am a certified rehabilitation counselor. I am looking for a job that needs me—the unique me. One of my best friends has a successful career and lives with Bipolar and Anxiety. He has offered me hope and encouragement at times when I needed it the most. I have not found my niche in a career yet.
I had a full time job helping other people get jobs. I was rejected for the job I initially applied for partially because of my poor eye contact. I knew that was part of my Aspergers so I asked for help. I did a mock interview and two weeks later I was offered a temporary position. I told them before I was hired about my Driving Anxiety and my Aspergers. I was really blessed with how I got that job. But some of my coworkers were less accommodating than others. Sometimes I worry that I will never be financially independent. I am forty and I still live at home. I have a dream to be an author. But that seems like a selfish dream. I want to help others with disabilities in any way I can that does not involve driving on the interstate or other excessive travel. I believe with the right combination of medications and therapy, individuals with mental illness can succeed in today’s world, especially if we are given a chance!
I haven’t had a lot of good job opportunities yet and sometimes feel like I am being discriminated against. I was offered a job in 2013 and there was a lack of funding so I could not take the job. When I tried to reapply for another job in 2014 one month after my hospitalization I was told that the job I had originally been offered was given to someone else and the job I was applying for was the same kind of job only ten times more driving. They knew that I had driving anxiety. This was a job helping people with disabilities so it seemed hypocritical. I think that my disabilities make me more empathetic and a better counselor. I wish employers could see that.
At a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance conference in Miami, I met a young Muslim woman who just published her second book, this time about her experiences with Bipolar. I got to see a Canadian woman doing a funny one woman show. But for me the highlight of the conference was meeting Patrick Kennedy. Dr. Kay Jamison is one of the most famous individuals with Bipolar. Her book An Unquiet Mind changed my life. I met her in 2008. She has been my hero since 2002 (my initial diagnosis and hospitalizations). While it was fabulous to meet this kind, gracious, eloquent lady who is hero to millions of people around the world, some of my peers became my heroes too. One fellow consumer and friend is a therapist. I have been told by therapists that I will never make it because I have too many issues that I don’t have under control. It’s so sad when the helping professionals do more harm than good. That is why we need to help each other get the resources we need to be the best we can be.
I am very thankful for my family. Lots of people have inspired me to go on when I wanted to give up. I was in a pubic speaking group for nine years. There were times that I’ve given speeches at my worst when I can barely stand but their support has meant a lot to me. Everyone in the public speaking group always made me feel validated. We have to advocate for ourselves. We always have to use our coping mechanisms and we can’t be ashamed to ask for help when we need it. We always have to see the person first and then the disability/ies. I picked the degree I did because I have wanted to help people with disabilities since I was in high school. I want to give other people hope and encouragement the way that others have helped me.