The State of Mental Health in America 2016.

Mental Health America released their findings about the State of Mental Health in the United States.  These findings are for youths and adults.

I live in Georgia, and I’m really glad about the improvements that happened with mental health from last year to this year.  While they still really need a lot of work, there is some progress somewhat being made in some areas.

Anyway, take a look at this guys.

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/sites/default/files/2016%20MH%20in%20America%20FINAL.pdf

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An excerpt from an opinion of mine from Facebook.

I haven’t written in awhile, but I wanted to share this excerpt from Facebook that I posted.  I hope you all enjoy.

I’m going to go out on a limb with what I am about to say.

As someone who’s life has been affected with a mental illness, and has made great strides in living with it, I made a huge distinction the other day.

I remember during my worst depression cycle of this year back in April, I remember saying that everyone doesn’t recover from mental illness. Now, I was in a cycle that was like a serious black hole of despair for a good bit. I got fed up, which incidentally that led to the meteoric breakthroughs that lead me to tonight.

I actually am going to now explain what I couldn’t back then. This is something that, perhaps we all know about in one way or another in our lives, but it is something that is a recurring factor with anyone who struggles with mental illness.

It has to do with time. Mental illness impairs one’s ability to think in a myriad of ways. Therefore, it takes time away from someone. Those outbursts, the disorganized speech, those mood swings, that anxiety, they keep a person from producing in the real world, destroying relationships and property in the process.

Then, if things get severe enough, one goes to the hospitals, the prisons and what not. Losing more time because they did something that in the court of public opinion, they are monsters. Then they lose time from being in those facilities, and even more should they get out because the world is DRASTICALLY different to them.

Then comes the part where one has to make sense of all this, which costs them more time because coming back into the real world, they aren’t equipped with the capabilities to even function in this world that has changed so much. Poor comprehension, communication, and less opportunities are available to them. Most are stuck for a long time.

Some, no, most stay stuck. People with serious mental illness die 14 to 32 years younger than the general population. Take a look at what I just wrote again. Don’t you think, that it is a lot of time gone by the impact of mental illness on one’s life? I don’t mean years either. I MEAN DECADES OF A PERSON’S LIFE IS TAKEN AWAY BY MENTAL ILLNESS ON AVERAGE.

That is why it is that serious. Some people really are not strong enough to go through all that and come out stronger than they were before. My favorite author Haruki Murakami said, “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

What I’m saying to you all who read this, is that not everyone is going to come out of that storm stronger. Some just kind of give up in a sense. Some people run from the storm of losing all that time and end up losing even more time. Maybe I got lucky because I never want to settle.

I do realize by writing these words, it sounds like a complete contradiction to what I do every weekday. However, I do believe in these words, because it is someone like me who could write these words and understand the struggles of mental illness from someone who has taken that time.

And, because I understand this, I can maybe work on something to make sure people who suffer don’t lose anymore time, so this world can see a lot more beautiful minds.

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

http://http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/01/30/fox-host-tells-caller-her-bipolar-disorder-is-m/202349

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

The somewhat late, but insightful recap of my 2014.

You know, I meant to do this all the way back on New Year’s Eve, but because of work, I got derailed until today.

Anyway, comparing the beginning of this year to the beginning of last year, it is still kind of shocking.

Let’s recap a bit.

This time last year, I was starting counseling and learning how to come to terms with being someone who suffers from bipolar disorder. It plagued me coming from the end of last year to no end. As a matter of fact, this actually triggered many episodes with the majority of them being severely depressive ones. Like, thinking back on those days, I want to say that there was something, albeit miniscule at this time, that there has to be more to life than the one I was living. You see, I would just do the same things on most weeks. Take medicine, have an adventure or two in the downtown area, go fulfill my obligations during the week, and maybe go to a tournament or two. Even though it could have been better, technically I was living super comfortably.

However, I knew I wasn’t really happy, so to counseling I went. Somehow, I got through a lot of the issues and difficulties of the past. Though that month of February, progress kept getting better. I had a severe depressive episode in the beginning of March. I think that back then when I had this episode, it was like the first time that I was completely aware that I felt like I was not good enough to do anything. Somehow, I recovered enough. Then that week after, I get hired on at where I work at now at this day treatment facility for mental health patients.

Well, then I get through trainings and not being able to celebrate my birthday because of said trainings, but that was okay. However, socially, I started to feel like how I did back in the beginning of March. I started to feel like I really wasn’t enough even though I had a decent job, above average looks, and a good upside and head on my shoulders. When August rolled around and I started full-time hours, it was associated with a crisis at work (what a way to start full-time work). I guess after all that was with that crisis, I went and hung out with people, and I knew, that there were some people who I had to really let go of, or if not let go of, at least distance myself from them. So over that fall, I kind of succeeded. I think that as I went to these months of fall, and as I went through them, I started to feel that little miniscule feeling in the beginning of the year start to grow. As that grew, my decision-making got better, I became a bit more disciplined, and also got a lot better hold on my illness.

So now, let us fast forward to today. I’m sitting here established at my job, and I have an amazing future ahead. I want to talk about what I am going to work on as I move forward through this year.

The first thing, is that now that I am more established and better at dealing with the stressors of my illness, I want to invest in me. When you are active in symptoms in any mental health diagnosis, you lose time. While I can’t get that time back, I can make the time I have now count. That is why, I’m headed to the Tedx event in my city in a few weeks. Also, I enrolled in a course that will enhance my capabilities during the various cycles I face. This way, I won’t be completely helpless when I am experiencing a hypomanic or a major depressive cycle. This will increase my capabilities and also, get me more into what is going on with this city.

Also, I’m gonna try to compete a little more often, but first I have to get back into playing shape. So, I’ve been playing online a lot more. It is a struggle, but I think in the long run, this will benefit by learning how to be disciplined. Something I lack a bit.

Also, I’m learning how to just enjoy the moments. I think a lot of last year, I wasn’t really appreciative or thankful for the moments that I got to experience in the year that passed. I think that it is important that I don’t get caught up in how I feel, and romanticize or get caught up in grandiose thoughts in my head. It’s more important to just experience them in person. That is the way bonds are formed, through those experiences. I have shied away from those, and a lot of them for good reason. But now, I think I have the objectivity to discern between what is a good and bad situation to be in.

And finally, this has been a year of transformation for me. I have changed immensely from the struggling person I was, to a confident member of society. This journey I went on is one that I truly appreciate big time. There is something that I want to leave you with that read this blog. Something that I heard today that really hit home is this:

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Look out for more content from me sporadically! I’ll TRY to write in here more often. Anyway, take care!

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!

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.

Quick read on Mindfulness.

Quick read on Mindfulness.

I’ve been on the DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) form of treatment for quite sometime now.  Even though that it was primarily used to treat those with Borderline Personality Disorder, it has helped me very well in taking my coping skills to the next level.  

This article from TWLOHA slightly touches of the foundation of DBT, which is Mindfulness.  Think about taking a subject, and being able to just accept it.  You don’t have any reaction to it, thoughts, opinions, or anything of the like.  This something that is easy in saying.  This is hard to master, as I’m finding out.

I hope you enjoy the read!  I know that I said that I would have a big update post ready, but I got hired by my psychiatrist’s office!  Therefore, my time is stretched thin.  However, I will find some time to write about what has happened since that last huge post that I made!