Where the wind flows: A new direction on the horizon?

Well as I said before in my last post, I wanted to try and write more regularly.  I think that in the almost 7 years that I started keeping a personal blog, I think that I have grown to love writing a bit.  As you may know, I actually at one point wanted to become a writer, but that didn’t really come to pass, or maybe not yet?

Let me tell you about the reason that I haven’t been able to write.  It is surprising to say this because, I shifted the focus of this blog to informing folks about mental health issues, all while being a log for me to have an outlet to sound off about them, and maybe other things in my life.  Heck, I even have a job in the field that I am receiving services in….right….about that.

That is what I wanted to air out today in this post.  I have worked for a year this month in the mental health field, while being a mental health patient myself.  I even started full time this past summer, and that is when the troubles started.

If you remember a post I posted back then, when I started full time work, I had a lot of issues with things then, and it caused me to go into near crisis state of depression, and I started to isolate (more on this word later).  As the months went by, I did what I could, but something still wasn’t right.  And then there was this past January, when I went to the TEDxAugusta conference here in my town.

I looked at all of the speakers, and they were so passionate about what they were proposing to all of us in the audience. I completely felt really excited about just networking, and talking to other people who were as passionate about just improving themselves.  Then, two weeks later, I rented a car, and went to Macon and WHAM! Training, and again, I was in a situation where everyone was completely into absorbing all of the information they could to apply it in their lives, and in their respective agencies.  After that, I went and visited people.

Then, I came back to work.  Do not get me wrong when I say what I’m about to say.  I am extremely grateful, and thankful that I have a stable job, and I do work really hard.  However, picture yourself with a serious mental illness, which, while it has a good remission period, you will always have symptoms.  You work in a place where you are always having to talk about your past, to people, who also have serious mental illnesses, and you have to teach them how to get to an elevated state of recovery.

One of the things that I have never liked to this day is to be consistently be reminded of my past.  As a matter of fact, if something happened in my past and I haven’t dealt with it, I try and deal with it to the point, and learn what I can from it.  I’ve done this for years, and it has helped me to get through a lot of things.  However, I lost that when I was going to through my worst years when I was in my mid 20s.

And that is the reason why I will have to eventually leave the mental health field as a profession.  It melds together in two ways.  The first, is that there is this impression that you always have to be this model of “recovery”, all of the time.  That, in and of itself, means that you have to be on a pedestal, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I’ve come to find over these years that I really don’t like the spotlight anymore, and that being put on this “pedestal” of modeling recovery, I can’t live at all.  I guess I feel like this because, I’m lucky in a sense when it comes to my recovery.  I have always had a good support system around me.  My mom worked in the field for 10+ years, and I have had a lot of support in my community, and I lucked out on who my gives me services during me increasing my state of recovery.  In that sense, I do not relate to the majority of the people I serve, at all.  In contrast, a lot of them come from worse environments than I came from, and a lot of them didn’t get a lot of the chances that I got, or, if they did, they did not take advantage of them like I did.

The second is that, I think it is in these past 3 months, that I have honestly thought about what I see as a patient and a provider.  I do try my best here, and I think for me, if I’m going to do something, I’m going to commit to it, and try and improve it the best I can.  There are too many egos, grandstanding, unaware, and uncaring people in this industry.  While I got lucky and got people who do care about where I’m going and want me to reach greater heights, there are too many that do not get access to quality folks like that.  And perhaps it isn’t just on them.  The reality of it is, that it goes both ways from what I’ve seen.  The people with the illness have essentially given up, and since it was easy to just give up, they did that.  Because it was easy, they want more easy things.  So they manipulate, they lie, they cheat, putting themselves into worse situations than before.

At one point I was like this too.  But I wanted more.  I’ve always wanted more.  I’ve been reading a book from Dr. Carol Dweck called, “Mindset, The New Psychology of Success”.  It helped me to remember things that I lost.  I remember when I learned how to play percussion instruments, I worked and worked at it.  When I learned fighters, I worked.  It helped me to learn to enjoy the challenge more.  I use the word “yet” a lot now, because I’m never where I want to be yet, and there are new challenges to be faced.

It is because of this that I can tolerate what I do, and it is because of this that I will change professions.  One thing I learned is to really stay true to myself.  I can’t be somewhere where I have to be reminded of my past all the time.  And I don’t want to be around anyone who don’t want to work to move forward around their pasts.  Also, I can’t work on my current biggest flaw, which is my isolation issues.  I want to actively work on this in earnest.  Perhaps it will enhance my view on this job, perhaps not.  But, I want to really be able to open up and share my feelings with a few people.  I don’t want to hold things in, or shut myself out while trying to figure out things myself.  I learned that, from going out and doing things, is very important to me, and I think that this job hiders me from doing this.  I go home and I sleep for 12 hours because I’m so physically and emotionally drained from this work.  I’m 30 years old.  That is not supposed to be at the prime of my life.

So there is where I am.  I need to write this because I didn’t want to hold back anymore.  I can’t express my feelings verbally yet, but I am working on it.  This is the only way I can really do that, and that is getting harder because since my phone got stolen, I can’t find my back up codes to disable my authentication stuff.  But, I will say this, I am formulating a plan that will get me to a place where I can do some good work, do what I want for mental health (which is really blogging about the main issues), and have the freedom of living I want to have.  But yeah, this is 7 months of frustration that I wrote about here, and I’m glad I did.

There is still ignorance, maybe there will always be ignorance.


This is a host on Fox News responding to a call from a woman that is suffering from bipolar disorder.

I want you guys to listen to this.  This type of ignorance is still very prevalent when it comes to mental health today.

If you can, spread this.  Educate yourself about your mental health diagnoses or your close one’s struggles.  The main reason I wanted to post this, is because to beat ignorance, we need facts.  From those facts, we can see what the impact of mental health is doing in a more objective way, and perhaps we can find more solutions to getting people who have diagnoses into more positive situations so that they can function and flourish in society

Just when is it okay to open up????

This is a portrait of Ned Vizzini. If you read a few posts back, this is the author of some teen novels. Most importantly, he is the author of, “It’s Kind of A Funny Story”. He also suffered from depression, and he also committed suicide just before New Year’s of last year.

He was an advocate for depression, and if you read a lot of his books, some tended to deal with depression. A lot of people would come up to him on book signings and speaking events and say how much just reading his books changed their lives. And even though there was an outpouring of this for him, in the end, he couldn’t deal with what was eating away with him inside.

I wanted to bring him up because there is something that really wanted to touch upon, but I really couldn’t until now. What happens to those who suffer from a mental health diagnosis, when you are in the point in your life when you are consistent with your treatments, and doing well with yourself, but you find yourself in sort of a limbo? What I mean by that is, what do you do when you everything you do is under a microscope, and any little thing you do could be a turning point into you either ending up in a hospital, or you ending up like a Mr. Vizzini?

I’ve been thinking about this question for a long time since I got hired at the day treatment program that I work at now. I look at the consumers that I serve, and then I take a look at myself. There is a big difference between where I am, and where the consumers are. Some of them, it’s like they don’t get it, and never will perhaps. Some are just fine with having just a place to come and get breakfast and lunch up to five days of week, and then just go to their proverbial personal care homes where they do nothing for themselves. For those like this, they are just fine with this. For others, they are soaking in every opportunity. Keeping their head down and making moves to better their lives despite having the diagnosis they may have. Then I look at myself who has pretty much entered a category that you see a lot of advocates, actors, singers, and other successful people have come into. The people in here all pretty much while they are probably famous or really popular, they have to really limit themselves and the behavior. One wrong publicity stunt or negative press coverage could mean tough times for their careers.

So that’s where I am. Over he past three months I’ve gotten a lot of offers from people out there who said if I need to talk, then they are there. Let me tell you as someone who is always living in recovery, this is extremely, and very difficult. The main reason, I feel like, is that as someone with a serious mental illness and who struggles with it very often, you have to decipher what is a character problem, and what is a problem that has to do with the symptoms of your diagnosis. This is a hidden thing that a lot of people don’t get from those who actually suffer and are prisoners of their symptoms, even those that are the family members, spouses, friends, or coworkers would not see, and even those in the medical model won’t even pay attention to on many occasions. There are a lot of instances where you just don’t know what you are feeling at the moment. Not to mention, that situations in where your flaws as a person are exploited can even trigger symptoms. I’ll give you an example.

A couple of weekends ago, my phone got stolen. Had it been a few years back, I would have beat myself up about it. Because I would have beat myself up about it, I would eventually get triggered into a deep depression. Because I would get triggered into a deep depression, I would eventually get into a crisis state. Now, it’s like I have to think about everything I say and do because one wrong move, and it is curtains for any progress I would have made at all.

It’s rough. And for those who suffer like I do periodically, You just don’t know what to do. Living with bipolar disorder for 17 years of my life, the way my symptoms affect my reality is that the cycles from a moderate hype, to a severe low becomes so overwhelming that I can’t function. For those with Schizophrenia, they hear and see things which distort their view on reality. For those with Borderline Personality Disorder, the inability to regulate their emotions causes them to do inexplicable things which destroy boundaries and relationships. But, when you are making a conscientious effort to get better, to recover in a way to where you are functioning just like one without one of these illnesses would, when is the time where you get to know yourself? When is the time where it isn’t just the symptoms, and when is it just you, the person.

That is why it is important to just be a human being. Yes, I do suffer from a serious mental illness. But it is just one part of me, the person. I would say that one big thing that has helped me out is to just be objective when I can…to look at everything with open eyes. I mean, let’s be honest, I am human, and I react to things just like any other person would. However, I think just because I do react, I don’t want to be looked at as some freak, or that monster, or that crazy person, or that psycho. That’s also why I don’t open up as much as I should, because of these things. This is also why a lot of my consumers do not open up to my coworkers or myself. They want to get away from the stigma from being a psycho person and find some type of routine or, “normal” in their life.

I think I can speak for a lot of people who suffer from serious mental illness when I say that when you first learn of your diagnosis, you understand that there is a part of you that will always say in the shape of the symptoms that you won’t get the same types of things that others will. I guess somehow that is partially false. If you don’t do the right things to keep your symptoms under control, and let them run amok, then yes, that will happen. But if you do the right things, things will happen, pieces get put together and such.

I guess it’s just when you do put these pieces together that I am struggling with. It’s like, you are damned if you and damned if you don’t. But I guess there’s one good counter to it: just to live. Somehow, though, I’ll find an answer, cause I do want a good life like anyone else, and I really want to help people. I guess what I’m trying to find is that when you find a little bit of success as someone living in recovery from a serious mental illness, when is it okay to just open up? Perhaps finding the answer to this, will prevent a lot of successful people, like a Ned Vizzini or a Robin Williams from suffering a cruel fate, and then help a lot more who aren’t as famous but struggling just as much.

Facing the words of the past.

In episode 12 of my old blog, I put the following quote inside of the entry from Bruce Barton:

Great men suffer hours of depression through introspection and self-doubt. That is why they are great. That is why you will find modesty and humility the characteristics of such men.

Back then I did not know what it meant. I was two months away from being 24 years old. I think the best way to think of it is that I was way too lost and blinded by the symptoms of my mental illness to actually be able to really think clearly. But, it’s hard to explain. I felt like that someday, even though I was the severity of my symptoms affected me severely, and there was not people in my life that understood what I needed at that time, I felt like that one day, that this quote would be important someday.

For the past several hours, I’ve been here reading every word of my old blog and writing down the words that speak to me now. I’ve done this for two reasons. The first is that I’m going to take some of the things that I’ve said in this blog, and make it into a session for those individuals that I serve. The second, is for me, and you, and everyone who reads this entry. This is the dream that is my recovery, and the best way I can contribute to this special day of Suicide Prevention.

I think that all of the key things that happened to me are when I was 25. I think that in this year, I was probably at the peak of my symptoms. I probably felt the very lowest of myself then. I had suicidal ideations but no real attempts at that time. I think that I got into crisis states of symptoms very often. I was reckless, wasteful, and I guess back then I really wanted to die badly. I read an entry from September 2009 that was the crux of the beginning of my actually journey in living in recovery.

I think reading through all of those entries, I felt like that even though I was a good person for the most part back then. I felt like I had to lie all of the time…to protect myself, or rather, them from me. I felt like no one back them really knew how to deal with me from that standpoint of my symptoms. Also, I didn’t know how to deal with me.

As I look through the entries and up to the final entry to the that blog, I was surprised to see that there were 60% more positive entries than negative ones. As a matter of fact, I actually wrote about what those entries did for me in a semi-blinded light in September of 2011. I think that since then, now having a job that allows me to pool my experiences from those years, and use them to save lives, is the end result of all the struggles I’ve come from.

I want to go back to the quote above now from Bruce Barton. Even now, I will suffer from depression as I have been diagnosed with a disorder that I can’t control when the cycles are. The best I can really do is to identify what cycle is coming and to reduce the frequency of the symptoms. Back in my past entries, there was a lot of confusion in my words, and that confusion led me to panic. The panic I felt made me think about death a lot. That panic made me do horrible things on occasion just like anyone else with a diagnosis. However, this panic was caused by not knowing my illness. By not knowing the nuances, and the knowledge that bipolar type 2 has periods where you feel like you are “normal”.

Even then, I get depressed more than I get mania. Then, I think, and I get frightened, and I feel like I can’t do anything, even to this day. And I think it’s because of this very thing, that I feel like I’m humble. Yes, I will live in recovery for life, and I’ll have these symptoms for as long as I live. But I think it’s because of my symptoms that on this day, I won’t take my life for granted, and I am humbled at the fact that people see a human being beyond the diagnosis. That’s what that quote means to me.

On this day, where suicide awareness is put on the map, I want you all to take a look at the things that aren’t said. Take a look at that eye that looks like it is infinitely sad…that slight tremor when you touch someone’s hand. Also, take a look at those who say all too much, but never the right thing. Perhaps just asking one piercing, sincere question, one open heart, or one clear ear could be the difference in breaking someone’s world, or saving it.

I’m going to save a lot of people eventually because of the struggles that I faced today. It was probably the toughest thing in the world to go back and face those words of a me that was lost. To cut through the fluff and to see what is really going on. However, I am thankful for those words that I wrote in that blog, and I will continue to be thankful. I truly believe that it was those words, back in April of 2008, that shaped me into the person I am today, and I’m not just another statistic.

Introduction to the new you.

“Make more promises
and don’t let fear keep you from
always keeping them.”– Tyler Knott Gregson

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve written in here, or shared anything. As you guys know who have been following this regularly, June was my birth month. Normally, it is almost always usually a bad month for me. These could be for various, selfish reasons of mine, or legitimate ones for me. This time around, I think back on this birth month, and I find it a victory.

As I said in the last entry, I have kept consistent with everything that I had said. I have been adapted a light workout, went to the CPS training, and continuing to plan for a comeback in the fighters that I do play. This is also being done while also reshaping how I want to spend my time.

Also, this month, I attended one of the new premier recovery models in Georgia for training: The CPS Project. CPS stands for Certified Peer Specialist. This is an individual with a mental health or dual diagnosis that is trained to go into mental health and/or medical facilities to work with those people that have severe mental health or dual diagnosis (individuals that not only have a severe mental health diagnosis, but also a substance or drug abuse problem).

There are many roles for this this position, but the main purpose of this position is to be a guide to those that have severe diagnoses. Think about some of the things that I’ve said before as I was volunteering and now employed at. The types of people that I see on a daily basis have been completely broken by the aspects of life in some way, shape, or form. It’s the CPS’s job to guide theme back to a reality that they want, so that they can lead fulfilling lives.

As I entered the training, I looked at the schedule to when and what we were learning on what day and what time it was. I was delighted to see that a good bit of the material on the second week of this was already covered in my paraprofessional courses that I took prior to coming here. There were people from all over the state here. All these people at some point in their lives were once broken, like myself. Hell, you could say that they were broken multiple times with the ages of some of the people in there. I truly think that for everyone who attended that training, they got something out of it. It didn’t matter what their comprehension of the material was, or if they were a good reader or not, even if they didn’t know all the answers, everyone got something out of it.

I actually had a tough time in the second week of the training. I was really close to 30 years old, and as a 20 something, it was so strange. Here I was, about to start a new career, in the mental health field, when last year, I was broken, and not really ready for it. Also, on my actual birthday, I got an email from someone that I have not heard from in a good amount of years, and that triggered some thoughts in me that stuck through me not only through the end of the training, but also into the birthday weekend. I don’t really want to go into it here (maybe another entry I’ll go in depth in it), but in short the impact of that email really messed with me.

And as I entered the week of the 4th, I had something still bothering me, but I couldn’t just place it. As the week went on, I just started having serious feelings of loneliness. It came to ahead on the weekend of the 4th. It seemed that everything made me that lonely. And because of this, I went back to some of my past behaviors.

And this is where this training helped me. A lot of the core concepts of this training revolve about a consistent path to recovery. In my job, and thanks to the help of this blog, I’ve pushed myself to a level of functioning where I can help others. However, I think that I wasn’t really continuing with mine fully. I sort of felt like this throughout the training and after it. Personally, I think you have to have the time to be able to process the emotions and feelings that come about when symptoms or feelings come about. After all, feelings are very natural to all people, thus they have to process and then ultimately move on from them.

So from the loneliness I felt, it lead me to withdrawal, and from there, it lead to an unshakable anger. I never vented my anger like in a completely serious fashion before, and I decided to do such for once. I’ve always held back when it comes to anger, and not so much when it came to my depression. I know in the past, I would have serious tantrums and on occasion become extremely violent. So as a result, I would just always suppress it.

So I vented out, how lonely I felt, and why I felt that way. And it got better, then, yesterday, I figured out the product of where those feelings came from. I had a problem with narcissism when I was in my late teens and early 20’s. I could actually make an argument that this manifested a lot sooner than that in my early teens, back to when I was initially diagnosed. For some of you that aren’t familiar with narcissism, it’s a severe interest in yourself. Some of the things that can stem from being narcissistic is a bit o sociopathic behaviors. I’m not proud to admit this, but I feel like that I have not addressed this very thing before yesterday. It’s not like I’m a bad person or anything like that, because I’m not. It’s just that the correlation from how I act when I do have symptoms and this very thing I failed to seriously address will keep me from the next levels of a good life that I want. It keeps me from the future bonds, hopes, and dreams that I am now going to pursue.

I would have just continued how I was doing, but the training taught me that there are many people like me, who are leading successful, fruitful lives. Sure, they have their struggles, and symptoms along the way, but the thing is that mental illness is just a small part of then, and ultimately a small part of me. Something else that this has taught me is that this training, in using your own struggles of recovery to change lives, is that this can be used in everyday life. Take a look at this blog. This is one example (though at the time I can’t write as much as I used to) of this. This weekend, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about mental health and recovery itself. Also, you meet people where they are is a big thing in this training. Some people are at the point that they just aren’t ready to accept that they really need help to get their life back together. So, a big part of my job is to hold on the hope for them, until they can hold on to it themselves.

This is not just in the places I’m employed, this is also in everyday life. People all over suffer somehow. I think the ultimate thing about this training is that I get a chance to show the world that people with mental illnesses CAN recover. They can lead great lives, and they can be productive people in the community from being broken. Just by my experience alone, because of this training, I can now counter the one thing I hate being: inconsistent. People in my fighting game circles say this, friends, and probably family say this. However, while I am fully aware of my parts in it, I also don’t think they understand why things were like this. I was generally ill, just like someone with cancer or the flu. I wanted to do things and in a consistent manner, but I wasn’t there mentally yet.

Now I am at that point. I want to say that this training is a big part of that. Sure, I can’t really fix all that the past that I’ve messed up, but realistically, I don’t want to. It has all been a part of my experience. And, it is that experience, that will change a life or two. The quote that I put up is something that I will be doing big time moving forward. I hope you continue reading too!

To become a hero.

I haven’t written or shared any content since the end of April.  This is because I’ve been really busy in every aspect in my life.

However, here, 24 days before I turn 30, I would like to say that I’ve almost caught up to where life has been leading me.

As you know, at the time I wrote that last post, I was in the process of getting hired by my psychiatrist’s office at their other facility.  That has since happened.  Now, I am on the way to getting my Paraprofessional and CPS certifications.  In the middle of June through my birthday, I’ll be heading to a wonderful training course with the CPS program in Georgia, and I couldn’t be more excited!  Even now, a lot of the consumers that I work with really look up to me.  It was a learning process too.  I’m not the one who is the best at discerning situations, and now I’m getting the hang of it.  I have a very good boss who is leading me in the right way, and all of the other staff are very helpful.  I couldn’t be happier where I landed.

I have to say that now that I have three months under my belt working and volunteering where I’m at, I understand the other side of the mental health world a little better.  I now understand that there are some people who do fail their consumers.  I also know that there are people who will always look down on people who have mental illnesses as well.  It really doesn’t matter to me what they think now.  I would like to take you back to last year.  I was going after the 30 day writing challenge, and on one of the days, I got a really negative comment.  It was someone who perhaps I had talked to in my area a bit, and this person called me a mooch, and made ignorant assumptions that I wanted to date some of the people in the entry that I made, which I’ve since deleted.  I think about that scenario, and I tie it into what I hear and see on a daily basis.  Like me, some of these people need an honest chance, and someone to believe in them.  I don’t think someone deserves to work with people who from the start have a preordained judgment on you, and sadly, for those who are a lot more broken, that is their reality.

As you all know, I do watch anime.  However, the type of anime I watch mostly are ones with an average person going in and doing something extraordinary.  I’m really drawn to them in the sense that I feel like I’m like that.  I used to be so flashy and flamboyant and such, but in reality, I just felt like I had to be like that in order to feel average.  Now, I think with how many people are on my side now, I have to think that some how I touched them in some way.  Just like those average heroes in those animes who gain a lot of followers as the episodes go on, I feel like that has happened to me today socially.

Maybe I should let them in a lot more.  I’m not really the best at that.  Isolation is a big enemy of mine. Maybe it’s more of I don’t know what to do, now that in a societal view, I would be called normal.  I don’t know, it just seems so new to me I guess.

Now, I go into the next phase of goals for myself.  As I’ve said, I want to make a splash in the fighting game community in the next few years.  Also, I have been doing an okay workout, and I would like to do some more with it.  So, I’m going to study a bit of Bruce Lee’s workout regimen.  He always spent a lot of time on fine tuning his body for fighting.  So, I’m going to be adopting some of his stuff.  I think in an overall sense, I just want to be a bit more consistent in my life moving forward.  I feel like, that with the way things were going, I didn’t really have a lot of control of what I was doing.  Now, I have a lot more, and it feels good.

But, I think that with the things I’m looking into and this blog, I can maybe be a hero to one or two people.  So hopefully, all these things will rewrite someone’s future!  Keep reading guys!  I got some more stuff on the horizon!

Proclamation fo…

I wanted to touch on this briefly.  April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).  In most people’s minds, you would normally think about sexual assault with women.  However, assault can also be in males.  According to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 10% of victims are male in 2003.  One out of every ten males is something that could be alarming, and also missed by a lot of people.

Males will have a lot of problems after they are assaulted.  Some of those problems could include:

  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression
  • Alcoholism and drug abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts
  • Problems in intimate relationships
  • Underachievement at school and at work

Something that I have never revealed in any of my blogs (or at least to my knowledge) is that I was assaulted when I was a child.  I have had those bullets all happen to me.  Thanks to some counseling this year, I was able to tackle this head on.  I can actually gladly say that I am a survivor.  I also work with a lot of victims of assault, as well as those who are assaulted.  Maybe with more advocacy, and awareness, some of these individuals can be rehabilitated into the community, and not shunned.  I think that with a lot of males, because the societal tendency to make males not voice their feelings, a lot of things get hidden.  I’m thankful that I was able to come to terms with my own issues with what happened to me, and I hope with the people I work with on a daily basis I can help them.

I invite you to take a look, if you haven’t already, at the below quote. This is the proclamation for a healthy future from the SAAM site.  If you or someone you know has been assaulted, male or female, give it a look, and remember that you are a survivor.


Proclamation for a healthy future

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s campaign is dedicated to healthy sexuality and young people.

Your Voice. Our Future. Prevent Sexual Violence.

Healthy sexuality means having the knowledge and power to express sexuality in ways that enrich our lives. It’s about every person being able to make consensual, respectful, and informed choices. There is no room for pressure, violence, or control.

Healthy sexuality is a vision for sex, relationships, and growth supported by positive skills, helpful information, and open communication.

We proclaim our right to information and resources to empower us and our communities to build healthy relationships and a healthy future.

We will use our voices to share information and skills to support healthy sexuality.

We will connect with adults in our lives that support and listen to us. We will show others the positive role young
people play in changing the future.

We will engage with our peers, learn from one another, and model the respect we all deserve.

We will connect with resources in our communities to be involved in projects that promote healthy sexuality and public awareness about sexual violence.

We will challenge unhealthy messages and stereotypes in our culture and the media. We will use our voices to counter misrepresentations and promote respect.

Healthy sexuality is a vision to end sexual violence. We can all create positive change for the future and prevent
sexual violence.

My voice promotes a healthy future for all. I am an agent of change.

The changes that have to come. (Happy One Year Post!)

As I promised, I finally am ready to write this.

I was hired by my psychiatrist’s office 4 weeks ago to train to become a Certified Peer Specialist.  I was kind of shocked at the whole process.  I had just come off of the biggest breakthrough of my recovery thus far, and I just mentioned this to my mentor about it.  He then talked to the head person in my clinic, and the rest is history.

Because this all happened so fast, I’ve had to adjust a lot of things on the fly.  While I have been doing well, I know that there are more things to adjust, and more things to manage, and deal with.  Maybe my intelligence will carry me a long way, and I can keep my composure very well, as I improve in using the skills that I’ve learned from my counseling and reading myself.  The thing about it is, is that one of my triggers is getting overwhelmed.  Depending on my cycles, I know that keeping a good, balanced schedule will be key moving forward.

Well, since I’ve been “volunteering” at the peer center I’m at (the paperwork hasn’t been processed yet for me to get on this payroll), I’ve been asked to go to a big dinner with all of Georgia’s big names in mental health.  There are also some politicians that will be there, as well as probably every mayoral candidate in the city of Augusta (we have a big race coming up in November).  I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to hob nob with higher ups in Augusta.  It’s even a bonus that they are in my field that I want to excel in.  Thinking about the opportunity, and then talking to my mentor today really put something into perspective.

I’m no longer just a patient anymore.  Well, maybe I still am, and will always be to some degree.  However, I now also have patients, colleagues, and a boss to answer to.  I’ll have to set an example for not only this psychiatrist’s office, but also the ones that are struggling worse than I am with their illnesses.  Therefore, a lot of changes have to come in my social life.

The first change, is that I am going to completely stop dancing altogether in the terms of bars.  The one thing that has made my name in the nightlife scene, I’m going to walk away from.  Also, I will have to take a harder, and more discerning look at who I hang out with currently.  I know that I have made great strides in this, and I know that I must have the positive people in my life.  Those who love to dream, and those who are consistently trying to improve themselves or their lives.  I can’t waste time on those who want to wait for the weekend and party all of the time.  Sure, that is nice to do a bit if you are doing this responsibly.  The fact of it is, is that many people do not.  I cannot tolerate that anymore.  I will still go out frequently, however, I know that I have to be more aware of my surroundings, and be sure to do nothing that will sully the names of the people who have giving me a new chance at life.

At the same time, I want to seriously make a dent into the fighting game community.  I feel like that in today’s circles, a lot of the people who you see in streams are really not for trying to make the community better as a whole when it comes to American game play.  I’d like to try to travel a bit more and compete in some tournaments in the future.  I feel like that right now, with my newly acquired coping skills, I can make a bit of a splash in the community, and leave it as good as I can make it.  As a matter of fact, I am even putting on a huge training session in May where people from two other states are coming to play each other.  To learn strategies, share experiences, and to just have fun at a great hobby.

I know that in everyday life, it will be absolutely difficult to implement and make the right moves every time.  This line of work is also going to be the most difficult one I’ve every faced.  Everyday, it is like I’m looking at a mirror image of myself now six years ago.  The patients here have different illnesses than I do, yes.  They all share one thing that I know all too well, as well as the other staff, and some of my bosses:  They are all have broken in some sort of way.  The only thing I can think to do is to do the best that I can.  I also think that with everything that is going on with me, it would be an injustice to them, and myself to keep things the way they are.  If I really want people to leave me looking at their life better than what it was before they met me, then I must embrace the changes, and keep growing.

Also, today it has been a year since I have written in this blog, and six years that I have been blogging in general!  Who would have thought that in six years of writing, I would find the tools, and the people who would lead me to find the revolution in my life that lead me to where I am today.  I want to do more than this, and perhaps it is amazing in and of itself that I am now in a position to do what I wanted to do with this blog in the first place.  Do you remember what that is?

To constantly do amazing things.

Empathy: The Great Equalizer.

Empathy: The Great Equalizer.

This is a great read about how empathy can affect a lot of lives, including our own.  One of the things that is not in abundance in this world are people that can look at a given situation through another person’s point of view and take that into their lives to make their life better.

One of the things that I pride myself on and has been a big help in my personal recovery, is being as mindful, and empathetic to others’ situations.  Because of this, I feel like that perhaps there I have changed a handful of lives, and ultimately, I changed my own life because of this.  So, if you are suffering from any mental illness, I invite you to take a few minutes and read this.

There are also links to a test that I guess measure how empathetic you are as well as how sympathetic you are.  I invite you to take these and see where you stand!  

Expect a new entry with how I’ve been doing in the next week or so!

The Lunar Elysium. (A post of hope, courage, and as always, jumbled thoughts.)

This has been one hell of a summer for me. I thought that I wanted to be a writer. However, I feel like that I am too emotional of a person and I have rabbit ears to actually pursue a career in writing.

You may remember that I attempted to pull off the 30 day writing challenge. I didn’t get to complete it, because of a hurtful comment from an anonymous source that actually misconstrued the words that I said big time. This person also personally attacked me. It was damaging to me because it was the first time anyone has done anything like that in a long time.

This was around my the time of my birthday, and going through with the events of that week was insanely more difficult than it should have been. That week should have been more legendary than it was, but I got through it. Then, in July I started to really get depressed, still having the words of that comment really turn in my head. You see, I AM a Cancer in the zodiac, and also, I am born under the first week of Cancer, which is deemed the Week of the Empath if you follow super deeply into it. If you think about the actually day I was born, June 25th, that day is deemed the day of the sensitive receptor.

I mentioned all of this because I pretty much have an attribute which can make me great at times and bad in others. This attribute is absorbing feelings of one into thinking they are my own. So, the comment in question in the month of July was all I thought about. Because of this, the little voice that I did have kind of died for a bit. I was lost for the whole month of July, and a good bit of August. I broke a total of five times mentally through this stretch, reaching a dangerous point of depression two times in those five times.

September rolled around. In my city they have a festival to celebrate the Georgia vs. South Carolina game. So anyway, that next night the game happened, and then I ended up heading to a party. Then, that next day I did something completely different. A few hours after I did this one thing, I got some flack about, but after explaining my situation to the person giving me flack, for it, he respected it, albeit him disagreeing with it. Then, something clicked. I felt a bit better defending my stance. A week after this, I had a huge lucky streak. Things felt like they were falling into some sort of place, though I don’t know what that was. I renewed my lease then, had a great meeting with my psychiatrist, and my social services worker in my apartment building. Seems like now, a foundation is forming to make a new life for myself.

There are some people out there that kept me from going over the edge, and I thank them greatly. There’s also some things that I started reading, like liking the ManKind Project, which linked an article about suicide that helped immensely. I now read a lot of content from that site, and it has also helped me heal. I started making better choices in foods, exercise, and all that to help heal.

Maybe part of the issue back then was I didn’t treat my illness properly. Yes, I took my medicine throughout all of this, but it really isn’t enough. I have to also make choices to make sure I avoid serious triggers like the one that plagued me all this summer. I have to make sure to do things to keep my mood stable. And more importantly, to keep my voice fresh. I feel like, that if I don’t take my illness seriously, things like those two months will happen again, and that I will die ( like I keep saying throughout this blog) eventually from it.

The important thing now, is that I’m still breathing. This is something that has really stuck with me throughout late last month into this month. If you really suffering, you just need to focus on that second. Yes, you have to deal with whatever you need to eventually, but if you are at risk, you do need just think, “just keep breathing”. As long as you can breathe, you have at a chance at hope. If you have a chance at hope, you can turn around any situation, no matter how small.

Another thing that resonated with me is that something that the TWOHA people keep putting up, “You cannot be replaced”.  I always thought about how I didn’t fit in with anyone.  I didn’t listen to the same music that everyone I know does.  I also feel like that a lot of people who I happen to know, just really just enjoy me dancing than just honestly hanging out with me.  I think that a problem was that I mistook my popularity gained by dancing to think that everyone wanted to hang out with me, when in reality, I think the majority of people probably think I’m a puppet for their entertainment.  This was not a problem exclusive to dancing.  I have had this problem since I turned 15.  I believe this is the first day that I actually acknowledge it.  However, I would like to think that I’ve touched a bit lives even if some think of me as a puppet.  I’m glad if that is the case.

Now, I need to find something to invest in, a career that will ultimately allow me to do good-by the people.  I need to find something to supplement the enormous empathy that I have for humanity.  I’ve said this before, I don’t care anything at all about being a man.  I only care about being a great human being in the end.  I don’t really care about money, or power.  I just want to be able to help others in some way, maybe in a way of healing the damage that the past has brought them.  Something like that.

I know that I’m now able to grow stronger everyday in some way, so that is something new that I can proudly say about me.  I could not say that about me in the past.  Now, perhaps I can make a dream come out of this, and change more lives with it.

Closing this long post, the song accompanied to this entry is a remix of a song that I bought last year.  Love, is the last component I feel that I lack.  I always say that I would lack three things in the past:  hope, courage, and love.  I think it’s safe to say for at least this point, I have hope, and to actually write something with the contents in this post, I have some sort of courage somewhere building.  And I guess you can say that while I can’t exactly profess my love for another human being just yet, I can say that I do fall in love with music a whole hell of a lot.

I mean, that has to count for something, right?  So this song is something that I will add, to that utopia under the moon, which I’ll now call, the Lunar Elysium of my life.