Not Maybe, But Definitely

Daily Prompt = Maybe

The world has gone on long enough

Treating the mentally ill awful and rough.

From mocking our symptoms

To dismissing us as self-proclaimed victims.

We huddle in our corners

Isolated and grieving like mourners.

Cut off from the world

Our damaged souls frayed and furled.

We want to come out

And shout all about

“Look at me! Look at me!

I exist, don’t you see?”

Why do you choose

To turn your back on us like we are an unlit fuse?

“Can’t you see? Can’t you see?

All that you are doing to me?”

Your eyes are glued to the skies

The clouds not parting, muffling our cries.

“How can’t you hear me? How do you not care?”

“No!” You snap back. “I do care–I just cannot bear–“

“Bear what?” We reply. “This is our burden to carry.”

“Maybe,” you mutter, “but it is too often scary.”

“It is scary because you do not understand!

The light that scatters through us, falling like sand!”

“And how am I to know,

If you are strong enough or to fall like snow?”

“Because we are mighty and strong!

We sing our beautiful survivor song!”

“A song you sing? What is this you speak of?”

“Listen well, and you will see our love–

We sing of courage, of strength and light,

We sing long into the prowess of night!

We are human and we feel

That our experiences are very real.

We may cry, we may linger

We may stumble along like a make believe figure.

But we are tough–in body and in mind

And we will stand no longer for you to be unkind.

We demand our powerhouse to be seen.

Our voices linger and they are not keen

On being silenced and hidden for any longer

Maybe this is something you should ponder

We are ill in mind

And while you may be blind,

It does not make us broken,

Rather allows us to be spoken–

That we are not alone

And that we shall be known

As gladiators. As warriors. As fighters.

Some of us may even be writers.

We are strangers no more,

Doctors, artists, professionals galore!

We have degrees,

This we shall decree!

We are just like you,

Similar, but with a different view.”

“I–I see,” you stammer “there is more of you than just one.”

“Why, but of course, my friend. Why ever would there be none?”

“I…still do not completely understand what it is you see

How you can live this life and just be.”

“It is through time

And much patience that we develop our climb

Yet it is worthwhile for us to find our hope,

To believe in a better tomorrow and positively cope.

Our journeys may be chaotic,

But to some of us, we smile and say ‘exotic’.

And with resiliency we manage to live,

With meaning and purpose we choose to give

To those in our community who still struggle

And for those of you who have yet to juggle

What it is like to be sick,

With no choice allowed to pick

What it is that inflicts us,

So thus,

We ask to be shown patience in kind,

For us to learn and find

What it means to be happy to be alive,

For we may always strive

To live a life worth living,

For you to be forgiving,

And for us to be proud,

That we’ve been allowed,

To bring life to another day

Where eventually we are okay.

A Summary of Recent Accomplishments | #WWRRM

Journaling THUMB

(Interlude: I just found out that WordPress has changed so that images in the uploading to post section if deleted are deleted from every post beforehand, and since with the free plan we only get 3GB of space, we’re gonna get fucked. Great. So, if you see disappeared images from posts in the future, that’s why, because I’m not upgrading my shit when I can take the cost of not having a photo or something. This is not so congratulatory but I just found out about it (so my recent stationery haul kinda got fucked) And now I’m kinda bummed because this post is going to be all photos of my new stuff. D’ohhh!).

Any who, this post is about congratulatory things, so let’s jump in!


Last Stint of Daily Blogging:

11 days

Current Stint of Daily Blogging:

46 days

Or, 1 month, 15 days

THAT IS AMAZING PEEPS!!!!!! *insert a whole bunch of happy, partying emoticons here*


Current Stint of Daily Planning:

41 days

OR 1 month, 10 days

This is all those little daily structure, filling in my hours stuff. LARGELY HELPED BY TARGET DOLLAR SPOT! And my own snazziness. *bows*


And of course, there’s what came in the mail today!! MY NEWEST PLANNER!

IMG_00004686

Before I broke through the plastic wrap.

IMG_00004687

The planner itself!

(I’ve been writing this post over the process of a few hours so I’m just jumping back in again now, around 8:30p)

I decided to get this Tools4Wisdom planner theme versus the other ones because I thought it would be nice and symbolic to have a planner showcasing better days at the end of the tunnel and being able to imagine getting there in the future and working towards it. 🙂 I think I made the right choice!

Here are the OTHER pictures that are in the planner, changing by season, which I did NOT expect AT ALL:

IMG_00004703IMG_00004707IMG_00004708

IMG_00004709

I would love to draw this one!!!

IMG_00004710

Seriously, it’s amazing!

IMG_00004690

My fall schedule! 🙂 Glad I thought of using this sheet rather than making my own!

IMG_00004692

The BEST decorations!!

IMG_00004693

How I filled out each school week. 🙂

And yes, the week days are scheduled out hour by hour from 5am – 10p. With goals at the bottom, gratitude thoughts, priorities and secondary priorities.

The weekend is from 7am – 6pm.

IT IS THAT GOOD.

GOAL SETTING SECTIONS:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So the slideshow above shows that there is this goal defining section and various areas of life that are described (2 pages). A goal mapping section. A goal sheet that challenges you to think of the main objectives of the goal and steps to get there and the deadline for it.

Then there is the section about ‘where am I now’ to ‘where do I want to be’ to ‘how to I get there’ planning steps. And personal goals/ideas, professional goals/ideas, top priority goals for the YEAR, meaningful goals for the year and other goals for the year.

There’s also a monthly priorities list for each month, for work and personal, high value, notes, biggest goal, other goals and why they are important and the essential steps to achieve them.

Seriously, this planner is THAT good.

I like that almost soft touch of the front and back cover, and it’s lightweight versus the Live your Life with Purpose planner I got last year. I also feel this one is MUCH more approachable and I am genuinely ready and excited for it, and I think I will actually utilize it more.

The only down side for me is that it’s spiral bound, because if I go to the hospital again I won’t be able to have it with me. So that sucks.

But overall it is AWESOME.

I’m still a little intimidated by all the goal sections, but maybe I will fill them out in pencil first and as I gain more confidence up it to pen. 🙂

I think this is a much better planner than my last one, I think my last one is more for expert level planner’s and this one is more for beginner’s. 🙂

Welp, I hope you enjoyed reading/seeing this post!! Until tomorrow!!


Additionally, I would also like to celebrate:

314 posts on RecoverytoWellness

194 followers on RtW

~95 followers on Twitter

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!! I don’t know where I would be without your support. ❤ ❤ ❤

 

In Which I’ve Written Out | #WWRRM

Stationery Haul THUMB

I’ve written myself out in a frenzy! I wanted to write some fanfic today for “A Little Unsteady” but the Muse never struck 😦 Poo!!

Instead though, I’ll work up this post and then maybe do a little more coloring before I head to sleep tonight. 🙂

For now, here is a little mini stationery haul from Christmas Tree Shop!


IMG_00004672

Got this little guy which is a blue pill container. :3

IMG_00004673

Fall styled tissues, because when crying you gotta wipe your eyes with something nice!

IMG_00004681

A little jar and a lotion pump! 🙂

Not sure what type of lotion I’m going to be putting in there just yet, but I have it now! Never knew they sold these before. I got a green one in part for mental health awareness 😉

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A cute Halloween themed candle holder. :3

IMG_00004674IMG_00004678

IMG_00004679

IMG_00004680

So basically I also got some cute sticky notes, a big planner weekly pad and the page flags, accordion envelope and weekly pages in that adventure awaits elephant one. 🙂

 

Sorry the post isn’t more than usual! Pretty tired and been avoiding writing it for the last hour, but it’s bedtime for me now so I’m going to head off! Tomorrow will be better. 🙂

 

Thank you everyone!!

Resources List | Article | #WWRRM

Articles THUMB

First things first: I want you to copy this article, print it, read it, let it become you and put it everywhere. I am serious. Put this article on the walls of your room, or in a pocket sized style in your wallet or inside your coping box. Put it everywhere. Share it, spread it, and make it accessible. Do this if not for yourself, then for someone else.

 

This article is all about resources available to us both on-campus and off-campus. Please, before you act on any self-harm or suicidal thought, consider these options first. It will save you a lot of regret, and may even save you entirely.

 

I know it is difficult to tell the truth apart from the lies that your brain may be telling you. I know I am asking a lot for you to be brave and reach out to someone. But you are worth it. You could do this alone, but it would be so much better to do it with people cheering you on. You are worthy of recovery and you can get better. This crisis will not last forever. I know it is hard and it will not come easy to you, but do it anyway; for yourself, for your loved ones, for me.

 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24/7 phone call away. They can be there for you, to acknowledge the pain that you are in, wherever you lie on the spectrum of a crisis. I will be writing an additional article about them and what it is like to call a hotline. If nothing else, they have been helpful to me as a stepping stone. After talking to them, I found I could reach out to someone closer to me. Their number is: 1800 273 TALK (8255). They also have an online chat service, where you put in your zip code and they ask for a name or alias and a little about your situation. They have a ‘safe space’ area on their website to watch calming videos if you experience a wait.

 

You can also use a text service at 741-741 by sending either “START” or “HELLO”. I would recommend trying this out beforehand in case your phone is like mine and does not support the function.

 

Additionally, the Counseling Center is located in Quinn Administration building, second floor, all the way down the hall past general medicine. You can check the UMB website for their office hours, and their phone number is: X. They can also be reached at an after-hours emergency phone number: Y.

 

One of my newest preventative measures as of the last six months has been to physically stay put when I reach crisis. This is equivalent to me sitting on my hands, a demonstration my therapist has engaged in multiple times, until I can resume my activities. In some ways, staying put helps because if I just sit there and notice the world around me, I get bored and naturally will go towards an alternative action (looking through folders at home or browsing my phone). Staying put can get tricky if I need to be somewhere thereafter–say the Counseling Center or going home.

 

Here are some alternatives I could engage in the next time this happens: I can tell someone what I need and be walked there, such as Craig Bidiman, a friend on campus or a professor. I can also send out a text message to friends and have them talk with me as I walk there. I could also contact Public Safety (I think) or if it’s not urgent, get in touch with the Dean of Students.

 

If I am at a train station and reach a crisis, it is possible for me to talk to a crisis trained MBTA officer. One time I was at South Station and needed someone to walk me to the subway (otherwise I would have bought a method), and so I asked for an officer trained in crisis and explained to them what I needed.

 

Additionally, when I joined Twitter in May 2017, I found a couple of Twitter accounts that are beneficial. One of them is called Project Buddy, which is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention organization that aims to spread its message across school systems.

 

Tiffany Lewis, founder of the Pens for Pals Organization, is also a great resource; her campaign is about suicide prevention and anti-bullying, where she and volunteers write letters to at-risk individuals worldwide either weekly or bi-weekly. She holds a radio show on Tuesday’s at 8pm EST on Clear Source Radio. I am hoping to do a full article separately on her non-profit in the future, as well as share how she has helped me in the past.


This will be article #5 in order of submission. Written 8.14 & 8.15.17

I don’t think I have much else to say! I’m scheduling this post for later this evening, it’s nearly 1p now as I’m making this. I’m going to be hanging out with Kaiden later, and I’ve got the shopping bug, but am not sure I will investigate on it. ^^’

Hope you guys are doing well!!!

Now for me to start working on I Survived Part II 🙂

I Survived Part II | Article | #WWRRM

IMG_00004640

By Raquel Lyons

From Part I: Instead of falling asleep though, another crisis began. At this point, it was about four in the morning on Monday August 14th. As I continued to catalogue what was happening to me on Twitter, the thoughts and suicide plans entered my mind. I do not actually recall, now, what the thoughts were specifically about, but they centered on ways to hurt myself and reasons why I should do so. They were cruel, cruel thoughts. I finally made a tweet saying that I thought it was time for me to go.

 

Before acting on that, I remembered the phone number I had included in my “Resources List” article, put it into my phone, and at five in the morning I brought a bag of gel pens and myself down to the darkness of my car in the garage (no keys, of course). I called the crisis line.

 

For half an hour, I spoke to someone on the phone, explaining my situation. I talked about these articles that I had been writing and they were actually the one to point out that I had been finding fault in suicide plans which hadn’t occurred to me. Because of the lull of the summer, they said they would have someone check on me later in the day, and I agreed that that was all right.

 

At six, I crawled my way silently back up to my room and fell asleep for another hour and a half. When I awoke again, I was tired and in a depressive mind set. My friend, whom I had vented to the night before, had returned with a message suggesting I needed to go to the hospital. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear.

 

At some point, I gathered the strength to get out of bed. I remained standing because I had my earphones in and was blasting music (which blocked out the thoughts). I made my bed, colored in a cute seahorse, called my providers about appointments. I decided I would act as though I were in the hospital: which meant I would read, color and make artwork throughout the day.

 

I made it down the stairs after my parents were shouting at me to come down, at about ten o’clock. They were in the dark about what was happening and it irritated me that they were trying to rush me when I was in no state to be messed with. Unfortunately, I snapped at them before I could communicate my friend’s advice to lay low. I was just beginning to eat breakfast when a slower, sad song came on my iPod and my friend communicated displeasure at my response to my parents.

 

All the negative, cruel thoughts came rushing back, and I abruptly picked up my gel pens, my phone, a book of coloring pages and wordlessly hurried down to the garage to call crisis again.

 

This time I was inconsolable. I was sobbing profusely and could barely talk. I communicated that I didn’t want to live anymore if life was going to be like this. I couldn’t even leave my house to take a walk if I wanted to, because I wouldn’t be safe. It was the deepest dark day of my life.

 

After hanging up with crisis, I tried to also call another crisis number, but the wait was too much for me. I then started to form a preventative action plan otherwise known as a safety plan. I called back the first crisis number and spoke with them about my newest idea; in the meantime, I got a call back from check-in.

 

Check-in advised if I were that in need of hospitalization, it would be better for me to go local rather than go elsewhere to get evaluated. I felt deflated then, and discouraged that a hospitalization might be needed. It would be my tenth, my fifth this year. We set up another check-in for a couple hours later.

 

Maybe it was my strong desire not to go back into the hospital or the light of a check-in a few hours later, but I began to turn around. By one, I had taken a shower, laid outside and felt better. A few hours later, I had gotten frozen yogurt and watched bunnies eating greens.

 

All in all, I was stabilizing out. I wondered into the next day whether I should have gone to the hospital, but for the first time, I had wade through severe crises without hurting myself. I learned I cannot listen to music when obsessive.

 

But, most of all, I learned I could survive and radiate badassery. I would later attend my therapy appointment and my psychiatrist and use what I had written to guide the session.

 

Stay safe, out there.


Decided to just put this up today as I’ve finished writing and editing it. Felt I could go on to another article myself with this piece, but I think I covered all the major grounds.

I also want to briefly reflect on the fact that I’m pretty sure all my articles this time around are more positive and focused on problem solving than they have ever been before. That makes me proud and happy. 🙂

Hope you enjoy this piece! It was definitely more emotional to write.

And, with the BPD traits, this is probably understandable as to how I could get kickstarted out of crisis and into more stable ground. I’m definitely stabilized now. I have been more preventative too, and calling up crisis lines sooner than how I acted in this weekend. Here’s to more positivity ahead!! 🙂

 

Rescue Me? | Article | #WWRRM

Articles THUMB

“You do not need someone else to save you, because you can save yourself.” – From my article on ‘Crisis Text Etiquette.’

 

In my article on Crisis Text Etiquette I explained that an individual does not need someone else to save them when in a crisis because they are capable and able to save themselves. I realized I could say more on the topic so I decided to further explore it in this article. What I did not realize, is how much of a problem I have with this, until I examined it and took a step back saying, “Whoa, there. Crap.” I believe I opened up Pandora’s Box, because my denial shriveled away and the issue for as big and large as it is is staring me in the face now.

 

I am not quite sure how I feel about that. This article, therefore, is very personal and I will refrain from using any actual names, as per usual.

 

My issue is not so much with being ‘The Rescuer’ (although I also harbor that problem in the sense of needing to be needed) but wanting other people to rescue me when I am in a crisis. I have been aware that I have produced this pattern with two previous individuals. All, of course, during the time where my mental health took a nose dive.

 

There is one current friend in my life that I still perpetuate this needing others to rescue me phenomenon (although I will engage in this type of interaction to a few people). Which is why I considered bringing it up to begin with.

 

When I get into a crisis, either beforehand, during or after, I want this one friend to rescue me. Only. Them. No one else. Problematic, is it not?

 

It is problematic because they are often busy and even if they were not, it is not a healthy attachment. I tend to joke that I have stinging jellyfish attachment issues. When I have expressed the darkest bits of myself to someone, it is almost like it gives me free range to express those bits again in the future. And then, mixed with my brain wanting to re-experience previous crises and how that person helped me before, then I want them to help me again now. Because, I do not believe I can keep myself safe, even with the knowledge and the past experiences I have had in keeping myself safe. Essentially, I do not trust myself in that way yet and at the same time, I can re-learn that only by moving through crises safely.

 

This means that, in order to move through my crises safely, I go into them with preventative measures, steps and safety plans to act accordingly by. This helps so that I am not at risk of acting impulsively on my thoughts and am more likely to act in line with my values and what my future self will be thankful for. These are measures that I come up with both on my own and with my therapist. My therapist is really good at pointing out when I could have gotten help sooner or done a different action by letting me fill in the blanks. She uses a lot of hand mannerisms too, so that helps me to remember what she says.

 

It is quoted that Robert Frost once said: “The only way out is through.”

 

Feeling distressing emotions is the way I have to go in order to tolerate those distressing emotions. At least, that is my take on my own treatment. Feelings are meant to be felt, I truly believe that, and we cannot pick and choose which ones we get to experience. To numb out from one, is to numb out from them all. Tolerating emotions does not mean enjoying them; it means we learn to co-exist with them. We move from Emotional Mind to Wise Mind (a practice observed through dialectical behavior therapy).

 

In the past there was a crisis I had that at six in the evening I realized I needed to contact a hotline for further help, except I made excuses, and kept putting it off. By ten I was in a crisis, reached out to my friend to reiterate to me what I knew I needed all along.

 

When I relayed the story to my therapist, she told me that I had set myself up for failure in that instance. Because, I knew what I needed at six in the evening and I could have called a hotline in my room, and told them I needed to be in a more private location or anything to that effect. I agreed with this as true, and did not realize until later how much this insight would help me…


Hey everyone! This is yet ANOTHER (:D) article for the fall semester. It’s all about how I often struggle with needing or thinking I need other people to rescue me when I’m in a crisis, because I don’t trust myself to do so or think that I can take care of myself (which I CAN!).

This is one post of two for today, as I am planning on finishing part II of I Survived and uploading that tomorrow, before my therapy appointment (THANK GOD!)
So yeah! Hope you enjoyed it!! I may be updating this in the future with a picture, just so you know. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Written 8.11, 8.12 & 8.15.17 (in order of submission, this is article #3)

I Survived Part I | Future Article | #WWRRM

Articles THUMB

My therapist has told me on more than one occasion that mental health professionals weigh the concept of progress differently than most people. Most people look for BIG changes as progress; therapists look for the smallest of changes as progress. If you got up today whereas in the past you could not have done that, a lot of professionals would call that progress. You made a change, you chose something different, it may have seemed small maybe even insignificant to you, but it was HUGE in their eyes and they will often praise you accordingly for it.

 

That is what progress is like in recovery from mental health conditions and substance use disorders. The smallest of changes each moment add up to the big changes that impact your life, your mental health and the lives around you.

 

In the third week of August 2017, the time of which I was writing this article, I experienced my small steps of progress blooming and illuminating into a breakthrough. A breakthrough, may I add that I survived.

 

It began with opening Pandora’s Box in my article “Rescue Me?” as it dawned on me more and more that I had a problem that for the longest time I had been in denial about. A chip formed on my shoulder, though I did not realize it.

 

It really plowed me over when I had a nightmare about dying from suicide on campus multiple times all with the same method and I woke up the next morning feeling rattled. At the time, the Charlottesville events were taking place and hearing the non-stop news from downstairs settled worriedly into my bones. I thought about not wanting to live in this world anymore.

 

A crisis peaked. I worked through it on Twitter with the aid of a friend and actually was able to use a perfume that in other crises I never get to. I eased back on my bed, even as the obsessive thoughts started to rage on.

 

The next day, I re-entered crisis after another nightmare. The obsessive/ruminative thoughts were relentless. I sat outside in the neighborhood street and cried while texting a friend. I thought about calling a hotline. A neighbor stopped by asking if I was all right. I said I would be.

 

I held on to each text from my friend. It actually worked out better that the messages came in slowly, it gave me time to wait five minutes, ten, twenty, to put distance between myself and acting on the self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

 

I canceled plans that day, not being safe enough to even step outside my house, let alone drive. I could not put on a brave face, I was in hell. I felt guilty for canceling on another friend, and my other friend Kaiden reminded me that I was doing it out of self-care–which is more important.

 

I struggled onwards. I got out of obsessiveness and slid into depressive. Then I would circle the drain feeling okay only to dive back into the ground of a crisis.

 

I genuinely lost track after my fourth one.

 

At one point, I sat on my bedroom floor staring at my cork board, rearranging the items on it in my mind (getting up and doing so would have been unsafe). I thought about all the ways I could kill myself. Then in my stillness, I grew bored, so I started rummaging through old folders in my nightstand.

 

By my seventh crisis it was twelve hours since the first one that day. I still hadn’t called a hotline because when depressive I couldn’t get the words out, when okay I felt I had nothing to say and when obsessive it just didn’t hit me. It had been twelve hours and I still hadn’t acted on my thoughts to hurt myself. I realized in that moment, if I could make it through twelve hours, I could make it through another twelve safely. I vented to my friend over text message, and that also helped to let it out. I didn’t know it at the time, but this would open me up to being able to talk more in the future. Interestingly enough, I recognized in that moment that were the situation different, I would have been in the hospital.

 

I even thought about my “Crisis Text Etiquette” article and what I had said about being able to take care of myself and that I could keep myself safe, that I had choices and I controlled my actions. In that moment, for the first time in three years, I was in a crisis and I felt safe.

 

On Twitter, I received a DM from Tiffany Lewis (whom you may recognize as the founder of the Pens for Pals organization) that another volunteer, Amanda, would be contacting me that evening. Having vented already, I was able to continue talking with Amanda for about half an hour.

 

Then, I was tired enough to go to sleep, so I did.

 

At two in the morning I awoke being thirsty. That was all well and good and I spent the rest of the hour listening to music. At three I began to write my article “Resources List” which carried me on to four in the morning where I felt tired again.

 

Instead of falling asleep though, another crisis began…. Continued in Part II.


Hey everyone! This is the first part of my chronicling what happened this past weekend. I am also going to be writing a Part II as the ending describes, because I realized I couldn’t fit it all into one article, and it’s important to provide all the little steps of progress I made so that I can have something to refer back to later (as apparently these articles are really helping me out!!) Even if sometimes they aren’t. 😛

Either way, think of them as a snapshot of my recovery process right now. I have two others, “Rescue Me?” and “Resources List” (which I may have to split up, too), that are still in the works.

Let me know what you guys think! 😀

 

Stay safe! ❤ ❤ ❤

End of Summer Organizing | #WWRRM

Daily Prompt THUMB

Saturday’s Prompt ~ Organize

Wanted to make this post sooner, but have had a lot of struggles lately. Wasn’t sure what to submit for today, but I figured I could write for this piece and share the photos I have just made about it, plus some extra photogenic photos.

If I sound off, it’s because I am. I’d go into detail but, basically my Tweeter tells the story. I’d rather not talk about it much right now, just know that I’d been in crisis for self-harm/suicidality for twenty-four hours on and off, and it only ended (for now?) around noon today.


So, while I was doing well in the last week, I had been organizing a lot. Here are the preparations I’ve already made for the new semester: (Which I feel I’m ready for month 1 and less so for the months thereafter)

First, I organized through my backpack and threw out stuff I no longer need (and congratulated myself on the candy I have in various pockets and various coping supplies littered throughout my bag, that’s awesome, Recovery Raquel!!).

Then I went through my gel pens and designated this pencil pouch to them:

IMG_00004644

It’s a pretty blank pencil pouch, so I am thinking of painting over it to liven it up. 🙂

Then I found through an old folder about structure some monthly planner sheets:

IMG_00004645

These I will use as reading assignment due dates for all my classes, to help organize me and keep up with what I need to do and have a visual for doing so.

Then I have the monthly designated sheets which I will use for recording major deadlines.

Here are two classes of books (waiting on another two to come in the mail):

IMG_00004653

Here are my subject notebooks: (I decided to use two composition notebooks as I don’t have many more full sized notebooks and I figured instead of buying more I can use them and if I want future ones, well, then I can buy them. As of late, I haven’t used them!)

IMG_00004654

Then I have my homework folder and my new agenda planner I got:

IMG_00004646IMG_00004648IMG_00004647

This will help to keep me organized and writing down my assignments so I can remain on top of them and keep structure in my life. I haven’t used agendas or writing out assignments in three years.

Then, I ordered this planner from Amazon called Tools 4 Wisdom which comes in a large size and a smaller one. I was leaning more towards the smaller one but I didn’t like that it was from 7 – 7 only, whereas the larger one is 5 – 10. It has the times written out so I can easily fill in each day during the week of what I’m up to. This will also help to keep me structured and using planners to keep me organized and more in control of my life and my time management.

I’m a little wary of using this planner since my last one was so big and heavy that I was able to ignore and avoid it, but because I’ve been keeping up with daily planning and goal setting for each day since about July, I think I’m doing well.

I have even transitioned to using 8.5″ x 11″ printable sheets of planners this week so I can get more accustomed to it. Maybe I will even use one of my more weekly ones before I start using the planner once I get it at the end of this week. 🙂

Here’s what those printable planners look like:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have another couple too that I already used but I’ll refrain from showing them today.

Any who, that’s the organizing I’ve been up to, except for the last few days.

I hope you all enjoyed this post! I would add those artsy pictures now but I have to feed my hamster and want to go to sleep early (I only slept 5 1/2 hours broken up). Night, guys!!

Labels like Soup Cans | Future Article | #WWRRRM

Articles THUMB

If you have been reading my articles since the beginning, or even somewhere around the middle, you may recall that I lived with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on self-harm and suicide obsessions. Well, in this installment, I might just boggle your mind.

 

In the last academic year, I think I have moved away from the label of OCD. In fact, during my eighth hospitalization it was suggested by both my outside psychiatrist and the psychiatrist assigned to me there that I may be dealing with more than the OCD. Granted, I have been aware of the secondary depression, but it was more than that, too.

 

You may have noticed my sudden absence in writing for the paper last semester. Things, well, they hit the fan for me. I had accepted a new job offer that incidentally was not such a good fit for me, and took time off of school to attend the orientation. Including the orientation, I was good for about three weeks. Then, there was the fan.

 

I wound up making my fourth suicide attempt and heading to the hospital the same day from the Counseling Center. I wrote an article about this experience in “Say the Word Suicide: The Mistake.” A week later, I went back to a different hospital because the Arbour system is atrocious; at least, I find it so.

 

There was some article progress I made while inpatient, but largely I found I could not write the same for the paper as I had done previously. So time moved on, classes were taking a dip for the worse, and I was wading through uncertainty.

 

What was brought up in my hospitalization was that I may be dealing with borderline personality disorder traits. Now, this was not the first time I had heard this suggestion, however it was the first time I approached it with cautious acceptance.

 

Even now, I still find myself trying to shove my symptoms into little square boxes, to acquire the label of BPD so that I can rest assured that there is a name for what I am going through, and more so, a following treatment for it. But, within the realm of mental health, these answers are not so easy to find–if they can even be found at all.

 

It is easy to get caught up in the label of our diagnoses. However, it is important, if you, too, like me, are struggling with identity issues: to remember that you are not your diagnosis. You may live with, struggle with, co-exist with, or whatever adjective-best-appeals-to-you with the diagnosis you have and you are so much more than that diagnosis.

 

You have skills, talents, favorite colors, a spirit animal, preferences, sexualities, gender identities and much more about you than tossing a self-label on your forehead as depression, OCD, BPD or bipolar. Changing our word choice goes a long way; I know for me it helped me tremendously when I was still dealing with OCD to separate myself from the disorder.

 

But even then, I clung to the label. But as I read over OCD reference pages I felt I had about two symptoms to what was once everything on the list. And then I lay in exasperation–where on Earth did the OCD go? How did I get rid of it? What was I dealing with now?

 

I may never know for sure, and that will bug the crap out of me, and maybe that is a good thing. At the hospital they informed me that I could call it OCD if I wanted to, but I did not have to. They agreed that I live with obsessionality on self-harm and suicide and for that that is what I refer to as what I live with now. They also agreed that there are some depressive elements to my experiences and they suggested looking more into the BPD. If not the full diagnosis, I qualify for traits of it.

 

I also live with trichotillomania, or the hair-pulling disorder. It is an OCD spectrum disorder in which for me I pull out my eyelashes and eyebrows. I have had this since I was about twelve, it just so happens that this summer I lost my left eyebrow twice, completely. So, it got more severe and I had to finally sit down, recognize it and accept it as another factor involved. (I’m doing better with it thanks to a med increase and a coping treasures bag!)

 

Above all, my message is: Do not cling so tightly to your diagnosis. You can and will make it far without it. Diagnosis is a fluid concept; it can start as one thing and dissolve into something else later. Be open to the process, and stay safe.


Written August 12th and 13th 2017.

[[I’m having a very hard time but luckily wrote this up last night so I can upload it here now for you guys and for today’s post. Still working on the Rescue Me? one, too. A couple more hundreds of words and it’ll be all set. Thank you for sticking with me, guys.]]

Just Gimme Another Day | SADIA2 Day #17 | #WWRRM

Song a day THUMB

**FEATURED SONG REQUEST FROM KAIDEN**

Chosen song:

Still Alive by Social Distortion

Video:

Chosen Lyrics:

“I was back up on my feet
I was fighting the same old wars
Had to even up the scores
And I’m still alive and I will survive
I can take what life’s got to give
Just need a little time
And I’m still alive, talking that same ol’ jive
I can handle what comes my way
Just gimme another day

And I’m here to make my stand
With a guitar in my hand”

[KAIDEN’S] Relation:

For me, it’s a message of hope. I have been through so much in my life and I’m still here. For a long time I didn’t think I could make it but with the changes of time and the skills I’ve learned through hospitalization and partial program, life hasn’t really changed, but I have. I know I can do this. I can make it, like the song says ‘I can take what life’s got to give just need a little time’ and ‘I can handle what comes my way just gimme another day’. It won’t always be easy but a moment at a time, I can do this. With every day is a new opportunity to make my world a little better of a place. ‘I’m still alive and I will survive’ it gives me so much hope that I have made it this far and I can keep going no matter what, with my efforts in recovery and the support I’m building. ‘I’ve been to hell and back, I ain’t falling off this track.’

[MY] Relation:

This is a new song to me so I haven’t yet formed a connection with it, yet I like the gist of it, the concept behind it, and all that jazz. 🙂 I like that the artist is taking his stand by using the guitar in his hand, I think musicians have more power in their words and musical talents than they may realize. So it’s cool to connect with and hear another band in a host of other bands and music that perpetuates such nice things. 🙂

It reminds me that I’m not alone in what I’m going through and someone else has been there, just as they’ve been there in the past and will be in the future. There’s a common human connection in that that’s appreciated, even if and when it sucks! ^^’

Chosen emoticon: (apparently I forgot to do this last time, whoops!)

🤠🤠🤠 = cowboy hat smiley faces.


PS Yes, you can request songs for me to cover in SADI_ 🙂 There’s also a Twitter page user’s campaign called Project Buddy that is doing a similar mental health related song choice thing, so if there hasn’t been overlap already, there will be in the future. 🙂

Crisis Text Etiquette | Future ARTICLE Fall 2017 | #WWRRM

Articles THUMB

“I’ve been praying for someone to save me, but no one’s heroic.” — Lyrics from “1800 273 8255” by Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid.

 

Newsflash: I am not a superhero, and I cannot read other people’s minds. In fact, it is probably the same for you reading this. I mean, it would be so much more helpful if other people could read my mind when I am in a crisis, but unfortunately we do not live in that kind of world (and how weird would that be if we did?).

 

This is why it is so important to communicate, advocate, communicate and advocate for one’s self when in, or preferably before, a crisis.

 

But, how do we do that? And, what is the etiquette for doing so?

 

Yes, you read that right; there IS etiquette for handling a crisis situation over text message. First, it depends on who we are talking to.

 

I would not always disclose hefty, heavy details to my parents when in a crisis, but I would be more likely to discuss those details with a friend.

 

Essentially, it is important to know your audience. Know how much you can get away with saying that will not alarm them so much that they cannot help you and not so little that they do not have a clue what is going on. Of course, this is under the premise that you are comfortable reaching out to them to begin with.

 

It is also important to find out before a crisis occurs who you can contact in the first place. About a year ago with my previous therapist, I sent out a group text message to several friends asking if they would be all right with my contacting them if I were in crisis. This allows them the option to say no, if they are not comfortable with that (for whatever reason that may be) or they know they are often too busy and would hate to miss the red flare.

 

After setting aside who I could contact in a crisis, my current therapist suggested the etiquette that inspired this article.

 

Back in March 2017 I sent out an ill-advised text message to multiple people. I said something to the line of ‘Hey, if you could contact me back there is a high probability that you will save me rather than if you do not intervene, thanks, bye.’ Essentially, I put all the responsibility on them, which was irresponsible of me.

 

Refer back to the song lyric at the top of this post. It is not fair for me, or anyone else, to put all the responsibility of my own actions and choices on someone else. If you also struggle with this, repeat after me: I can take care of myself. I can trust myself. I can keep myself safe–and if I cannot, I can communicate this need to others so I can be in a safe place again. I am responsible for my actions. I control my actions.

 

I have been on the flip side of this scenario, where a friend reached out to me and I was terrified. I can only imagine how much worse that could be for someone who has no experience in the realm of mental health conditions and therefore has not a clue on how to respond or what to say.

 

Instead, my therapist worked with me to take it down a few notches. I could text my group of friends a message along the lines of ‘Hey peeps, this is going out to multiple people and I am having some trouble right now so if you could chat with me that’d be great. If not, I will call a hotline and do some coping strategies, thanks!’

 

In this scenario, if people are busy on the toilet or not around their phone (it does happen) they do not run the risk of freaking out when they see my message of help. They can be more rest assured that someone else, if not myself got extra support.

 

All in all, remember this: Text multiple people, not just one person. Have a back-up plan if friends cannot respond. Use your adaptive coping strategies. Call a hotline. And know you do not need someone else to save you, because you can save yourself.

 

Also: it takes bravery to open up to people and you are much stronger than you think, realize or feel right now. It will get better and this crisis will pass. Go out there and radiate badassery.

 

If you or someone you know is in an immediate suicidal crisis off campus, call 911. Other resources include the Counseling Center, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1800 273 8255, and Craig Bidiman.


Hey everyone! I was GOING TO DO A LIFE UPDATE I SWEAR but then I finished this article, so ploot! *sticks tongue out* We’re just going to leave this up here, for now! 🙂 I don’t know for sure if this will have a picture for it or not, depends on a few of my future articles.

I am also going to be doing a part 2 to this post under a different title called (for now) ‘Rescue Me?’ because I think that plays a part in this article but wasn’t something I could expand on in it. So yeah!

We’ll see how everything else goes! I’m pretty happy, this is my second completed article this week! 🙂 Also, the paper has added in the Health & Wellness section again, which makes me even happier!

UPDATES TO COME SOON I SWEAR!

Thank you guys so much!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Written August 9th and 11th 2017.