Of Returning to My Roots

mental health awareness month THUMB 4.19.18

Not to be confused with the song, “No Roots” (which I absolutely adore even though that metaphor is inaccurate, as the one in my life is that I AM planting my roots deep, deep into the ground)

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To quote myself from my Youtube channel (RecoverytoWellness): It’s been a while.

I just rediscovered a lovely goldmine of videos (filmed with my laptop’s natural webcam) that I will have the lovely and graceful task of editing, snipping and tidying up for the next month, which is great ’cause I need more content output. ūüôā To be frank, from what I glanced over they involve:

  1. Fidget toys for trichotillomania (inspired by this lovely person, Trich Journal AKA Beckie Jane Brown) (Duration: 1 hour and 5 minutes) (This will be cut down in the editing process, I’m hoping to 45 mins as my Mom has suggested LESS is more for me for editing and there were some pauses in there that I can totes edit out later, so, yeah).
  2. An art in progress (AiP) about an expressive therapy drawing that I had sketched out that I watercolored in real time so the current duration is about 1 hour and twenty minutes but I’ll be time lapsing a good chunk of that so it should come down from there.
  3. A fanfiction talk through (from April) which is about 50 mins long.
  4. A general life update talk through which is about 36 mins long
  5. A sharing of coloring pages loose leaf (vol. 1) that is about 30 mins long.

So, clearly, all my lengthy videos are my webcam ones, which, honestly makes sense as I have more space on my laptop than what my camera will give me. Although, I have been able to film on my camera lately too, which is awesome!

My next few video ideas also include:

  1. A slime/thinking putty ASMR-like video (camera) Duration: (20 mins)
  2. Some form of functioning film/book review (webcam) Duration (30 mins)
  3. A spring compilation video (featuring spring videos and spring photography) ūüôā Duration: (30 mins all together, and that’s being not modest but not likely to be more than 30 mins) (camera)
  4. More IOS videos (AiP’s) Duration: (5-10 mins each) (camera)
  5. Life updates Duration: (30-45 mins) (webcam)
  6. Photography Challenge per day of the challenge (December 2017 and any updates to this that I engage in this year) Duration: (10 mins each) (camera)
  7. General art in progress videos Duration: (1 hour+ raw that will be reduced to time lapse) (webcam)
  8. Lessons Learned Lectures (L3) Duration: (20 mins max) (camera)
  9. Coloring pages (webcam/camera) Duration: (25 mins)
  10. Article reading (camera/webcam) Duration: (15 mins)
  11. Journal entry reviews (webcam/camera) Duration: (20 mins max)
  12. A Celebration for the Mokeys (camera/photos/webcame) Duration: (20 mins?)

I think that’s about allllll I can think of for right now, but hey, that’s a pretty lengthy list!! Good to see I’ve got loads of video ideas. ūüôā

Also, SNEAK PEEK that I also shared on Twitter this evening of my thumbnail for the video that I’ll be uploading for tomorrow:

walking vlog THUMB - 5.23.18

THE PHOTO IS NOT MINE, SURPRISINGLY AS I LIKE TO EXCLUSIVELY USE MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHY WHEN CREATING THUMBS BUT THIS TIME I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE SEARCHING THROUGH DOZENS OF FOLDERS, SO PICTURE IS PROVIDED FROM CANVA. THAT IS ALL.

Speaking of fanfics, I want to write about them soon (here). Here is where I’m at in terms of future blog posts:

  1. Film reviews (“Get Out”, “Marley & Me”, “Thor: Ragnarok”)
  2. Book reviews (“Cut”, “Fog heart”, *”Without Tess”, *”Call Me Hope”, Susan Beth Pfeffer’s trilogy, “Before I Fall”, countless others that are too many to name. More on this later)
  3. My Reasons for Using Social Media (Why I blog/vlog/etc.)
  4. #RecoveryHome comeback
  5. Recovery Restoration
  6. Recoverytowellness dreams of becoming a nonprofit organization
  7. Some newer articles and some old but re-envisioned (StWS, treatment 101…)
  8. ART posts (drawings, photography, new layouts, bracelets..)
  9. Haul posts
  10. Stationery, all of it!
  11. Fanfic/original character creative writing explorations (there are a few, actually!)
  12. Life updates in general
  13. Journal entries
  14. L3’s
  15. SADI’s (song a day’s)
  16. A – Z challenge resurrected
  17. Picking up old semi-written blog posts and reviving them and giving them new life.
  18. A post on a collection of my art ideas (that I write everywhere else)
  19. My novel idea
  20. Mokeys Anniversary of getting her (with video compilation)

Yeah, that’s a good sized list, for sure!

I think I will try to tackle the fanfic related topic first. Man, as a run down of things that have been happening lately….

  • *’s = two books that I took out of the library legit a year ago that I kept in my possession because I never book reviewed them but now I have until next Th at 2p (great SMART goal!) to do so so that I can get $35 back from what I had to pay to reimburse them (’cause I was paying full price for those books for them to replace at that point) so, yay, money returned!
  • I went on the NAMI Walk! Walked all 3 miles!
  • “Brother” by Kodaline is heavily influencing me to write fanfic tonight, which is what I’ll soon be doing after this is uploaded.
  • Being stable for 4 months now.
  • Getting involved in my day program 3x/week
  • And getting into the DBT-Intensive side of things which is helping a LOT and having homework all the time in it XD
  • Going by the library to get new books (6)
  • Writing a lot and doing photography, coloring and other forms of art sprinkled in here and there
  • Applying for jobs
  • Attending bi-weekly family therapy appointments
  • Starting chores around the house
  • Shoving in time to write this blog post
  • Been falling asleep, beginning to write posts and then getting distracted or taking a break from my computer all together (something I still want to implement in my life further) and often forgetting to write up another post, all that jazz
  • And, having a spectacular day with Mokeys!!
  • Oh, that reminds me…*adds a video idea*

So, yeah, you know, been all up in that life. I’ve been on Twitter more as of late but blogging will always be my first home. I’ve actually managed to update my deviantART page a bit and write journals there too, so that’s awesome! I might start tinkering with my photography on my blog, i.e. change some of my backgrounds, soon too. Keep your eyes peeled!

Anywho, it is 9p now and I’d like to write, so I shall end this lengthy bit here. Essentially this was:

My To Do List THUMB 11.26

I’ll try to come back again sometime soon…maybe I can even structure it in or something! I have a NAMI presentation on Saturday but this weekend is a longer one, so maybe some time between Sun-Mon I’ll see you all again! ūüôā I still have to structure into my planner my day today (SotD), my accomplishments (MANY) (I wanted to write about Mokeys and all the fun we had today…let me do that for a moment at the end, I’ll compromise), my diary card, my time spent on things and so much more! GWAH! I’ll be getting my NEXT PLANNER soon, which features a PHOENIX on the front and is oh so amazing, pictures to come when I get it for sure!!! ūüôā


MY AMAZING DAY WITH THE MOKEYS:

Maybe I will include this blurb in my video I’ll be dedicating to the Mokeys, but Mokeys if you’re new is my doggo, who is a year and a couple months old now and she’s a labrador retriever, blue tick heeler mix, runt of the pack, used to be named “Pocket”. But she IS the Mokeys now. Mocha is her official name though, I just like shouting “MOKKKEEEYSSS” from the top of my lungs when I see her, EVERY. TIME. anyways. ūüôā

She has beautiful markings and GORGEOUS gray eyes, LOOK AT HER PUPPY SELF:

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Mokeys in her cage, which she soon outgrew, on the way home from RI

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LOOK HOW TINY SHE WAS!

Mocha 1

THOSE EYES!

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In case you missed THOSE EYES, here they are again! She was soooo small!!! GWAH.

This is a recent snapshot of her now (I just realized I probably never talk about her anymore on my blog as I moved more towards Twitter, but she totes deserves her own blog post as well as a VIDEO which I will be working on soon because I want to release it on the anniversary of the day that we got her, which if you were following back then, was June 3rd 2017. :)) I apologize for not ever having updated photos of her and her antics and me just talking about her in general (I definitely have on Twitter though–so follow me there! @RecoveryRaquel) But, that’s what this space is for RIGHT NOW. I’ll make a blog post dedicated to her around the same time next month when I have the video uploaded. ūüôā That’s a promise, gotta add it to the TO DO now!

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Here she is babysitting her (older, 1.5 years) but smaller brother (Chinese hamster) Galaxy. ūüôā

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SHE IS SO BIG NOW!

Mokeys turned one years old March 4th…I think it was the 4th. BONUS PHOTO: I lied, it’s not on my computer yet but remind me of a picture of Mokeys and her cupcake when she celebrated her birthday. ūüôā

Any who, Mokeys is THE UTMOST OF SILLY.

And today she was SUPER SILLY. What happened was…

I was on the floor in the living room and Mokeys jumped on my back, literally, and started humping me then she started biting at my sleeved arms like the Officer Mokeys she is (she legit will take my arm and pin it behind my back, hence the law enforcement name), and then she started jumping on me, and she’s like 50 pounds and I am now about a hundred, but man, she still pushes me down and I struggle to get her off. Then she proceeded to lick my face ferociously, around my mouth and nibbling on my ears, nose and chin and kept jumping on me and pinning me down and then trying to steal my socks off my feet (she’s pulled them off multiple times before and this time was no exception because she pranced around the house with her prize afterwards (and it was tough to get it out of her mouth and by the time I did it was slobbered over)) and then jumping on me again and she doesn’t like it when I put my head down on the floor ’cause she shoves her face into my hair and pushes my face up and then proceeds to lick it all over again. She nibbled on my arms, both of them but my left the most, and I kept laughing aloud so much that she would stop licking me (all over my glasses, mind you), and I would make a sound like “Pwah!” and she would jerk her head back in alarm and then stick her nose back at my mouth and it was HILARIOUS.

My Mom said I hadn’t laughed like that since I was a toddler. IT WAS AMAZING. Made my day an 11 for sure which is the SECOND time that’s happened to me ever (at least in the last year). So, yeah.

It was awesome.

I love my Mokeys. Okay, it’s 9:30p now, I need to do some writing and hug my Mokeys. ūüôā

Do you have a Mokeys character in your life? And if you do (or if you don’t!) how could you increase the happiness and silliness in to your life otherwise?

Stay safe, friends. ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

Why Use Trigger Warnings? Part 1 | Article

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What are these things we call ‚Äútrigger warnings?‚ÄĚ And what does it *really* mean to be triggered by something? These are the two questions that I would like to explore the explanation of in this article.

 

Firstly, to be triggered by some form of stimulus is *not* synonymous with being offended. The Internet, especially, tends to confuse these two terms as the term ‚Äútriggered‚ÄĚ became equivalent to being offended by something online and, as a result, was turned into a meme.

 

But really, being triggered by some either external or internal stimulus is a term most often related to mental health issues. Triggers can be literally anything. Our amygdala’s are the center house for associations, as in, if I experienced some form of trauma by someone in a yellow jacket, my amygdala may form an association between yellow and being harmed and therefore make me very uncertain and triggered by seeing yellow again in the future (because I would be gearing up to being injured again). Triggers, like mental health conditions, do not have to make sense. I may be able to logically understand that the color yellow was coincidental in my experience of being harmed, and I could still get incredibly triggered by it.

 

Triggers can be words, phrases, objects, colors, experiences, topics, and the whole shebang. Triggers elicit some type of response; for a while I associated snow to my crises, so when I saw the snow falling outside I would be mentally transported back in time to crises I had that just so happened to involve snowfall. Triggers are pretty common place for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and still can be affecting people without that specific condition. Some of my own triggers involve night-time, not being able to fall asleep within ten minutes of going to bed and, a little specific, veins because my brain in the last two months has linked that with suicidality which results in me getting urges.

 

And urges can arise from triggers themselves, too. Urges are like cravings, like when you are on your period and you’re craving chocolate. Urges can be like wanting to misuse substances, self-harm or act out in other self-destructive ways. For me, it is almost like an internal build-up of excitability, something I really want to have (or think I do) and act on even though in the long-term it’s a very bad idea. Equally important is knowing that having urges does not mean you are inevitable in acting on them and, technically, it is an opportune time to test out your coping strategies (I know, probably not what you want to hear) so as to practice them and hone in your skills.

 

But back to triggers! Triggers are legitimate, valid reasons that a person may, if they encounter them and it’s likely you will at some point in life, act out with an old behavior that may not be healthy or self-preserving. Triggers are different and unique to each individual and their psychiatric history, someone I know at my day program has issues with swear words, and time of day and anniversaries can be particularly difficult.

 

So how do we prepare for an instance where our trigger may come up? First, it’s important to know what your triggers are, so I would suggest making a list of them either on paper or in a digital format. I would also encourage you to have a physical copy with you wherever you go.

 

Second, know your safety or relapse prevention plan. Spend time with your outpatient provider (therapist, psychiatrist, etc.) to come up with both a list of your triggers and more importantly your specific coping strategies for combating those triggers, your resources available to you (your therapist, hotlines, friends, family) and what you can do if the situation overwhelms you and you no longer feel safe (which is a crisis that may lead to hospitalization).

 

Another way to prepare for coming face to face with a trigger is if the content you are about to observe contains a trigger warning itself. This is synonymous with a ‚Äúcontent warning‚ÄĚ; picture one of those black screens that come up before a TV or film that has little abbreviations for violence or adult content. It‚Äôs the same thing but for psychiatric hot potatoes.

 

I actually believe that more content should have a trigger warning attached. I’d say ninety-five percent of the time my articles have a trigger warning and books should have them too. The amount of times I’ve been triggered because some book wanted to explicitly discuss suicide without having pre-warned me about it is absurd. Two of the most recent books were actually ironically from a psychiatric unit of all places.

 

This is the moment where I would complete my circling back to the start of this article but I ran out of room. So, stay tuned for part 2!


This piece was written February 27th 2018.

I had a lot of things to say ūüėÄ Please consider sharing this around with your social media platforms! I’ll probably put up Part 2 tomorrow, unless after I take my midterm I feel frisky enough to upload it here today, too. :3

Hope you’re doing well! I will have more articles to come soon ūüėČ

Stay safe, ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

PS I forgot to add that I totes used my brain to write this article and the amygdala portion was inspired from my DBT group at the day program I’m going to–which is awesome because it shows I was actually paying attention! Ahaha, ūüôā

Say the Word Suicide: The Allure | Article | #WWRRM

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Trigger Warning: Explicit mention of suicide.

 

It was the end of August and I had a problem on my hands, in my heart, and troubling my soul. I had been going downhill for a few days and I couldn’t shake the mood swings from invading my mind. One lingering crisis after another and I was spent.

 

The lies in my skull became truths. The glorification of suicide heightened. I was becoming nothing and no one in a sea of nothingness. I stopped wanting help, my own or others, and I catalogued my thoughts and feelings via Twitter–for better or for worse.

 

It was time for me to say goodbye. It was time for me to bleed out and hopefully die. It was time to get the details of my plans in order–where would I put my stuff? Where would I do the act? Who would I warn–or who would I keep the secret from?

 

There are so many details involved. I fantasized over and over about the act, the response, the release.

 

I wanted freedom. I wanted the taste of it.

 

And just when the anguish and the pain of crisis reached its climax–I was stable. My mood had swung from crisis to stable just when I had made the preliminary decision to harm myself at the next available opportunity. Just when I had decided I had intent to act when school began again, it was gone.

 

To say I was irritated is less than true. I didn’t really feel anything.

 

Even when I tried to scratch myself–I wasn‚Äôt really in it. The built up pain had dispersed. I was something again in a world of something‚Äôs.

 

Caught off guard by the sudden change, I yearned and willed for the crisis to return.

 

There is something about the crises that I experience that brings me certainty. Certainty that dying by suicide is what I am meant to do. Certainty that I am not as significant as I once believed–as though in crisis that is when I see the most clearly.

 

But these are just the lies of the illnesses. And while this thought may enter my mind–it weighs little in the swarm of darkness. Somehow the shadows win. I stare off blankly into space–focused in on one or two objects–before my vision is engulfed in the fantasies of death and harm. I‚Äôm there physically but nowhere near there mentally. I don‚Äôt feel my heart beat, I don‚Äôt notice my breaths coming and going–I‚Äôve just mentally checked out.

 

In a way, I think this may be a distorted manner of coping with not experiencing all of that crushing mental pain.

 

But there has to be another way out of it.

 

And that’s what I’m working on discovering. My biggest obstacle is when I begin to isolate, staying in my room where a lot of the fantasies occur, and when I stay within my head. I have to work on finding a way OUT; a way of re-embracing life on the outside and choosing instead to engage in all my adaptive coping strategies.

 

It‚Äôs been helpful for me to have re-framed cognition’s on my wall: thoughts that say I control my actions, I can take care of myself, I always have a choice, if I were fragile I wouldn‚Äôt have made it this far. It may prove lifesaving to continue keeping more of these notes around spaces where I will begin to occupy when doing unwell. I could create and artwork based on them, have a list on my phone and in my Coping Box.

 

Additionally, there is a new drawing I’ve begun that features all the helpful texts a friend of mine has sent me when I communicated that I was in crisis. I plan to have the texts in the background and a woman’s top half featured in it. I’m still debating on what pose she’ll be in and whether she’ll be in grey-scale or color.

 

Similar to this, I plan to ask a bunch of my friends to write me a letter or card–or something creative–that I can collect and reference when I‚Äôm doing ill well. This may allow me to shatter some of my brain‚Äôs lies and to remind myself that I do matter to people. I could even create a piece where I voice people I have yet to meet‚Äôs input.

 

Another thing that helped me was reminding myself that if I can come up with negative self-talk, I can also come up with positive self-talk–two can play at that game! This is what actually brought me out of my downfall.

 

Plus, writing this article. My articles for this semester have taken on a problem-solving nature, and I feel much better about that….


Article written August 27.2017

If you’ve come here from Twitter as a friend trying to help me in need, thank you. *hugs and bows* I will be writing a part II/separate piece further exploring that aid in another article. I want to write more about where I’m at NOW in recovery and how that transition came about. In it, I can also describe ways I can be helped better. Mainly, just listen to me actively and let my voice be heard. Easier said that done, especially if I’m not talking, but stick with me. Don’t give up on me. Even when I say I’m giving up on me, don’t give up. ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

Resources List | Article | #WWRRM

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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 ‚Äėsafe space‚Äô 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 ‚ÄúSTART‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúHELLO‚ÄĚ. 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 ūüôā

I Survived Part II | Article | #WWRRM

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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 ‚ÄúResources List‚ÄĚ 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. ūüôā

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!! ūüôā

 

Generalized Coping Strategies List Part I | #WWRRM

#WWRRM THUMB(1)
Hey everyone!! This post is brought to you by:

Around the Clock 1: General (Positive) Coping Strategies List

Taken From: http://fav.me/d9cwkes published October 12th 2015

sigh This post has been heavily edited to be done to the bare minimum of general coping strategies, a list of things that I’ll be converting into my new journal notebook so that I can have a resource/reference for them physically with me in one place, as well.¬†

This main post of #WWRRM is a general list of coping strategies I pulled a long time ago from my pages from partial. This series will be approximately five parts long. I will be covering general coping strategies, my old coping strategies, my current coping strategies, coping boxes, coping treasures bag and portable coping strategies. So, maybe a little over 5 parts long ūüėȬ†

Thank you for tuning in! I may have a life update post soon, depending. ūüôā


A lot of these coping strategies that you will find linked, spoken of or featured here, will be repetitive as you explore more on your own (if you so choose), or go through the links or what have you. There are legitimately HUNDREDS of coping strategies in existence in this world. You CAN and WILL find what works for you. It‚Äôs a lot of just trying it out and seeing how it works. There are strategies you can use in particular moods ‚Äď such as for anger, anxiety, depressed. There are ones you can infiltrate into every day life ‚Äď art, for¬†instance. And others you can use on fancy days. Fancy Dance PLZ

The big things to keep in mind: It will take you time and practice to work on these coping strategies ‚Äď and to master them, most definitely practice them when you are feeling WELL. We all know how difficult it can be to unlearn negative behaviors, and by engaging in more adaptive coping strategies, particularly when you are feeling WELL, will help you to reach FOR those adaptive strategies when you direly need them.
There will be relapses and lapses in Recovery. In terms of self harm, a relapse in recovery is where you re-engage with the negative behavior (whatever form of SH that is) and say ‚ÄėAh, fuck it, I‚Äôll just keep doing this‚Äô and continue to self harm again.
In contrast, a lapse in recovery is where you slip up, you have a moment of intense emotion, you self harm, then you say ‚ÄėOkay, I had a bad moment there, it‚Äôs not something I want to do again, I‚Äôm getting rid of the tools I used, I‚Äôm continuing with recovery‚Äô.

That difference can be huge.

We all have good days and bad days. When the bad days come, know your warning signs and when you absolutely need to bust into coping strategies, get professional help, be hospitalized, or what have you. If you don’t know your warning signs, look through warning sign lists online or ask around with other individuals you know who struggle or from Youtube videos or treatment staff and look at the common hits (if you’re sleeping more or less, if you’re eating more or less, if you’re more stressed out, is there structure to your day or do you have a lot of unstructured time, etc.) and begin journaling and paying attention to what your own warning signs are. A pattern will emerge in time, trust me.

If mental illness is a part of your life, you may know how important it is to gather support from the community, to have professional help that helps you, to surround yourself in positive vibes and having hobbies, coping strategies, work, volunteer work, etc. Some of you may not have a mental illness, but we ALL have mental health. Learning additional coping strategies and packing them into your list of resources is just as important as anything else. We’ve all had different sorts of experiences through our lives, and one thing that works well for me may not work for you, but I do believe wellness, recovery and betterment does exist and can exist in our lives. It takes a lot of work, and even I know that my recovery is only just beginning. And, that’s totally okay. Let’s jump into this, shall we?

Candycorn Line Right Candycorn Line Right Candycorn Line Right Candycorn Line Right Candycorn Line Right

 

Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet Right (Outline) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet Left (Outline) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet Right (Outline) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet Left (Outline) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet Right (Outline) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet Left (Outline) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet Right (Outline) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet Right (Outline) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Right) - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet - F2U! Lady Bug Bullet (Left) - F2U!

:gwahplz: Gwah MSN emoticon Gah

How can DA help you? Le Coping Strategies Swingin' On a Star _revamp_

:brainstorm:

LIST #1: Called 20 Sober Leisure Activities ‚ÄĒ

Bullet; Pink Acting/dramatics. Bullet; Pink Aerobics Bullet; Pink Archery Bullet; Pink aquariums Bullet; Pink  art appreciation Bullet; Pink arts and crafts shows Bullet; Pink astrology Bullet; Pink auctions
Bullet; Pink backpacking  Bullet; Pink Barbecues Bullet; Pink bicycling Bullet; Pink playing bingo Bullet; Pink bird-watching Bullet; Pink board games Bullet; Pink calligraphy Bullet; Pink book club
Bullet; Pink bowling Bullet; Pink camping Bullet; Pink canoeing/kayaking Bullet; Pink sports: basketball, soccer, football, etc. Bullet; Pink card games Bullet; Pink ceramics, pottery
Bullet; Pink¬†child related organizations Bullet; Pink¬†choir Bullet; Pink¬†coffee houses Bullet; Pink¬†collecting ‚Äď coins/antiques Bullet; Pink¬†community organizations Bullet; Pink¬†concerts
Bullet; Pink crossword puzzles Bullet; Pink word searches Bullet; Pink jigsaw puzzles (physical or on your phone) Bullet; Pink dancing Bullet; Pink designing clothes Bullet; Pink dining out
Bullet; Pink driving Bullet; Pink education Bullet; Pink electronics Bullet; Pink exercising Bullet; Pink exhibits Bullet; Pink fishing Bullet; Pink garage sales/yard sales Bullet; Pink gardening Bullet; Pink genealogy
Bullet; Pink gymnastics Bullet; Pink hair styling Bullet; Pink hiking/walking Bullet; Pink home decorating Bullet; Pink organizing Bullet; Pink horseback riding Bullet; Pink hot air balloons Bullet; Pink  house plants
Bullet; Pink ice skating Bullet; Pink swimming Bullet; Pink going to the beach Bullet; Pink going outside Bullet; Pink having picnics (with friends, family, etc.) Bullet; Pink observing wild life
Bullet; Pink karaoke Bullet; Pink flying kites Bullet; Pink knitting/crochet Bullet; Pink listening to music Bullet; Pink mini golf Bullet; Pink mountain climbing Bullet; Pink movies Bullet; Pink museums
Bullet; Pink musical instruments Bullet; Pink parks Bullet; Pink going to parties or Planning parties Bullet; Pink people watching Bullet; Pink Pets Bullet; Pink ping pong Bullet; Pink plays/lectures
Bullet; Pink quilting Bullet; Pink debates Bullet; Pink reading Bullet; Pink fanfiction ;) Bullet; Pink religious organizations Bullet; Pink roller skating Bullet; Pink school clubs Bullet; Pink shopping Bullet; Pink sight seeing
Bullet; Pink singing Bullet; Pink stargazing Bullet; Pink stenciling Bullet; Pink sunbathing Bullet; Pink string art Bullet; Pink supernatural Bullet; Pink Support Groups Bullet; Pink talking on the phone
Bullet; Pink teaching a skill Bullet; Pink television Bullet; Pink tennis Bullet; Pink touring Bullet; Pink traveling Bullet; Pink video games Bullet; Pink visiting friends Bullet; Pink volunteer work Bullet; Pink weight lifting
Bullet; Pink window shopping Bullet; Pink woodworking Bullet; Pink yard work Bullet; Pink yoga Bullet; Pink doing homework =)

 

blooming emote (CP)

LIST #2: PLEASANT EVENTS SCHEDULE

‚ÄĒ
: Being in the country / driving, walking, being along the country side, farms. : wearing expensive or formal clothes
: taking tests when well prepared : planning trips/vacations : talking to yourself :talking with a friend : buying things for yourself
: giving gifts :hugging someone :rearranging or redecorating your room or home : creating a sensory room/space for yourself
: going to a sports event : reading a how to book or article : reading stories, novels, plays : writing stories, novels, plays xD
: driving skillfully. Biking skillfully : go to the library : breathing clean air : thinking about something good in the future
: completing a difficult task : Laughing : problem solving : baking cookies from scratch : baking in general : cooking
: being at weddings : having lunch with friends : taking a shower : Taking a bath : writing positive affirmations

: being adventurous (especially with friends!) : having a frank and open conversation :working on your job : making snacks
: being helped : helping others : wearing informal clothes : combing/brushing your hair : taking a nap : being in the city
: singing to yourself : making food or crafts to sell or give away : being with cousins :: playing chess or checkers
: putting on makeup : taking off makeup : treating yourself (a dessert, a hobby, etc.) :designing or drafting : visiting people who are sick or shut in : getting in touch with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while : cheering :reading academic or professional literature : wearing new clothes : sitting in the sun : Just sitting and thinking : seeing good things happen to your friends/family

: going to an amusement park, zoo, carnival : listening to nature sounds : introducing people you think may like each other
: watching the sky, clouds or storms : getting massages/back rubs : getting letters, cards or notes : writing letters, cards or notes (this reminds me of you, Sage :heart:) : Giving  speech : Reading maps : Gathering objects from nature : being in the mountains
: getting a job advancement, promotion or raise (good job! Celebrate it!) : hearing or telling jokes : enjoying beautiful scenery
: improving your health (diet, exercise, wellness) : writing papers, essays, articles : doing a job well (like a boss!) : having spare time : being noticed in a positive/expressive way =D : counseling someone : learning something new! : going to a drive in
: complimenting or praising someone : thinking about people you like : have daydreams : seeing famous people: being alone

~: budgeting your time ~ being praised by someone you admire ~ having religious faith ~ exploring your own spirituality ~ doing a project in your own way ~ Crying ~ Being told that you are needed ~ seeing or smelling a flower ~having plants ~Using perfume or cologne ~ having peace and quiet ~reminiscing on good times ~ getting up early in the morning ~ saying or repeating mantras
~meditations ~ doing favors for people (and also being assertive and say no to things if you need to!) ~ being relaxed ~being asked for your advice or help ~keeping in perspective other people’s struggles ~ sleeping well at night ~being in a therapy or other support group ~ dreaming at night ~ brushing your teeth ~ walking barefoot ~cleaning things ~amusing people ~ being with someone you love ~ going to the hairdresser ~ reading magazines

# sleeping late #starting a new project # giving yourself challenges that you can complete # building or watching a fire # confessing or apologizing # being with happy people :giggle:
# asking for help or advice # smiling at people # watching the stars at night # playing in sand, a stream, the grass # having people show interests in your thoughts # expressing your love to someone # talking about your hobbies or special interests # having coffee, tea with friends #  going to your local cafe #  taking a walk #  playing in the snow #  visiting the cemetery #  being told you are loved #  being proud of family/friends #  thinking about an interesting question #  defending someone #  winning a competition #  making a new friend #  reading cartoons, comic strips or comic books #  looking at the moon #  jump those puddles! #  being aware of your surroundings #  learning about other cultures/countries #  just being with yourself.

Stampede

Teachable Moment #7 | Art Therapy Series

Who remembers THIS series? Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, I know, it’s been a long while, but I’m set on finishing this series and continuing my others! (This is totes a bonus post I found in my drafts section).

Number 7:

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In this art therapy assignment, we were asked to draw our shield and then asked a bunch of questions that I have my responses to and will have to use these as ways to decipher what the fuck it was I was asked to begin with XD

So here’s what I did, and what it all means!

First I drew a shade of red to symbolize the graduate student I was seeing at the time. ūüėÄ

Then I drew the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D symbol as best as my memory allowed–because YES MCU! (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Then I drew my teddy bear/doggo bear that I hold onto tightly when I go to sleep or when I used to be in the fetal position.

For the writing portions, here is what I have written down:

We’ll just assume it makes sense, by the way.

  1. I had a goal of improving myself and my life and getting into recovery.
  2. Overcome OCD & Depression, put them in their places and rise above them. To live again.
  3. Favorite food: Mango sherbet
  4. Biggest achievement: being president of the photography club at college
  5. Best qualities: I’m caring and dedicated
  6. Things I enjoy: photography and bracelet making
  7. Qualities I look for in others: compassion and empathy
  8. Phrase that speaks to you: Stay safe
  9. Music: Ingrid Michaelson – Keep Breathing, It’s gonna be all right by Sara Groves, Home by Phillip Phillips
  10. When I’m happy I…. have a camera in my hands
  11. What inspires me: People who have gone through or are struggling with mental illnesses …. and I can’t read what the rest of that says. XD

All of this art therapy series was from March 2015. I believe I have ONE more left to complete this hospitalization’s series which is from my second one. THEN I CAN DO ALL THE OTHER TEACHABLE MOMENTS. ūüėÄ

I will go to creating more cards for these posts, too. ūüôā

 

I hope you’ve found this interesting and if you’d like some nostalgia with this series, check out the ‘Teachable Moments’ folder at the bottom of this blog’s page! ūüėÄ I’ll be on the hunt for finding out which is the last picture in the series, too.

I’ll have another life update post maybe after this, too.

See ya guys! ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

6. The Origins of Badassery – #Blog4MH

If you’ve recently come across my blog, you may notice the little slogan that I parade around shamelessly: That of badassery.

My new about the blog says “Journey to Survivor Badassery”. I talk often about how I am a survivor radiating badassery. Of how badass I am, that I’m a badass motherfucker (it’s part of my identity *hair flip*) and everything anything related to badassery. I’m EVEN a badass unicorn. Can’t get any more badass than that (though I’ll try!)

But you may wonder, where did this origin of badassery take place?

Well, now I will finally tell you all.

So this ship of badassery really set sail when my lovely blogger friend Imani Summer saw my badassery sign (it’s practically a plaque, but really it’s a card) tacked up on my framed billboard overlooking my bookcase (of badassery) in a vlog I shared with her.

Here it is for ALL to see:

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And really, where did THAT originate from?

Well, let me tell you, child. (and I mean that in a wise old lady fashion ;))

Back in October 2015 I stayed for five weeks at the OCD Institute in McLean Belmont. I live in the state, so it’s not so bad, but it’s one of three national OCD places in the USA, and it’s kinda a big deal. People from around the WORLD go to get treated at McLean. It’s top shit. I still go there each month for the OCD support group they have. Which is something I highly recommend to people, going to support groups can be very, very helpful. I started going there when I was at my stay.

Any who, each day much like in psych units anyway (it was an UNlocked unit as well) we had to come up with our goals for the day. They couldn’t be anything particularly simplistic like ‘staying positive’ (I fucking did it anyway) but something doable and constructive.

The first full day I was at the OCD-I my goal was literally:

“To tell the OCD to F* off”

That is the BADASSERY I brought to the table. It was awesome.

During my stay there I really felt I could be my genuine, authentic self. It’s where I first made little positive messages, something I would go on to do the entire year of 2016. (Well, except January).

Now comes the real bread winner. One day I said as my goal:

“Today I’m going to radiate badassery”

Or something along those lines. I remember one of the workers looked with confusion, not understanding what a badass meant, but it got some laughs and some metaphorical pats on the back for me. It was a great moment.

I also began painting while I was there, and before I left I featured the work I had created in a little art show on the unit (totally got the idea from someone else). It was really cool. And before I left, everyone would get a card that people could sign, and I got mine, and one of my friends put that quote on there.

In reference a tad to a painting I had made that said “Go forth and frolic”.

And that peeps, is the story of how I radiate badassery. I’m working still on being the survivor part, but I think I’ll nail it one day. ūüôā

Thanks so much for reading!!

Oh wait, one other thing! I also made this drawing about my badassery:

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“It’s The End of the Line”

Today’s Prompt <-> Unseen

 

“Have a hard time letting go…

It’s the end of the line for you and I…

Was lost in limbo long enough for two,

But my Identity was Wasted on You”

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This is my new theme song for the second part of my recovery. Be prepared, for we are going on an unseen mission, from one pole of recovery to the next pole of wellness.

It will be a rocky journey, and I can only promise that I will strive to balance my unhelpful pleas for help with actual sayings of help in real life. I can only promise that while I may-no, will-struggle, that I’ll do my best to go down fighting. I’ll be spitting in the face of my adversaries and I’ll be gathering all my strength and wisdom to keep plowing on.

I will not do this alone, I understand, and I too, hope you know that as well. We ARE all in this alone, TOGETHER. We are on separate paths able to see each other from afar. The fog may be strong at times, and we WILL persevere.

Here is one of my newest hallmark drawings for this new journey. Consider this my Volume 2 of Recovery to Wellness.

The drawing is very conceptual in nature. It was heavily inspired (thank god I was able to use my iPod eventually while inside!!) by the song above, “The Line” by The Dear Hunter. Some of the lyrics I’ve highlighted especially in the quote box. (I’m actually planning on doing another drawing inspired by the second part of the lyrics in that box).

The concept came to me when I spoke to a nurse for a lengthy (impressively) amount of time while I was in the hospital (I got out on Wed). He advised me on many things, some involving working hard in school and making that my number one priority (which I slightly disagree with as my health and wellness should be number one but same difference) while I’m there as it won’t be forever and people listen more to peeps with degrees. XD

He also spoke with me about mindfulness and self-disclosed his own struggles with anxiety and such.

Any who, the point I’m trying to get at (and I’ll get back to that other stuff in the future, someday, trust me) is this person conveyed the idea that if I am to move on into mental wellness from my mental illness, I am ought to move on entirely. That means no keeping any little boxes of mental illness in my life. It means getting rid of it ALL.

Which is…daunting and intimidating and necessary. Because only when it is all gone can moving forward occur. There can’t be any left for you to ride on as a crutch (“I’m too depressed, I can’t go out today”) or for you to keep for shits and giggles. It’s ALL gotta go.

So that made me link up to this song. So, it’s hard to let go of what I’ve used as an escapism of twisted sorts for the last couple of years. It’s not happening over night, but it’s a process. The self-harm, suicidality, OCD and depression have run their course, is what he advised me. I needed them then, and now I do not. They served their purpose and now it’s time for me to move on without them.

It’s just like what I said about a month ago, I’ve got to move 11 blocks up the street. I can’t spend the next five years or more years stuck in this rut.

It’s time I dig my way out again.

It’s time for the wall to come down.

It’s time I start shining and start thriving. And to help inspire you all out there, who read my ramblings, to do the same. ‘Cause we can do this!! I’m with you til the end of the line ūüėČ

So back to the drawing!! (And may I interrupt myself to say I don’t believe there’s a version of recovery that’s a cure all for mental health conditions, however, if you read on my explanation of the drawing you may see what I mean when I say getting rid of ALL of it.)

The balloon is meant to signify the mental illness or whatever it is that afflicts you (the stick figure).

The collar is where the balloon is attached (save from the last frame) at the neck because that’s your life source (and it has taken over your life).

There are chained hands at the beginning but those fall away.

A happy mask that also leaves next.

The collar breaks (changing from gray to blue dotted to blue).

And the end of the line comes, where it’s time to let go of the mental health conditions and live YOUR life again. The balloon, as you can see, is still present. It is shriveled and broken down, yet still it exists. This is to convey that mental health conditions will still be there in your life, YET the shining power and inner strength and beauty of RECOVERY will OUTSHINE THEM.

Here are these elements in closer forecast:

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Also, you may have noticed, I’m changing my artistry signature!! I am moving on from HMD (in reference to my DA page) to RtW! For RecoverytoWellness, of course!!

I also made two other WIP’s during this hospitalization. I am behind on uploading artwork for you peeps, so you can see that changing in the future. I finished reading “The Shadowkiller” tonight which is awesome and got in more orders of mental wellness books as well as my DBT workbook!! ūüėÄ

All of this and more will be shared with you all soon.

I have to be writing my returning article of the semester soon, and with that essay I want to finish it up tomorrow to send it off for the deadline.

I’m also discovering, just before the semester, that the Internet has become unfulfilling for me. I think I will be narrowing the time I spend online in response, as reading books feels fulfilling and working on myself feels fulfilling too.

I’ll figure out the details later though. That’s all I have for now, folks!!

I have another fabulous art idea that I can’t wait to share with you all, and see if it’s possible we can all make it happen!! I think you’ll all like it, too. ūüôā I just gotta come up with a catchy name for it….

OH! And I have a NAMI presentation on Wed. And going up to school on Tuesday for a Mass Media meeting and Monday hanging with friends AND DOGGGGSSS TOMORROWW!!!

I also have incentive for the next 4 months to self-care and manage well on in life, because then my Mom may consider us getting another doggo! ūüėÄ But, I’m getting all a bit ahead of myself… ūüėČ

This is enough for one evening.

Thank you ALL for your kind support and amazing, compassionate selves!! ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧ I’ll see you in the next one.

In Which an Anonymous Reader wrote an Article About Me

I have the video of me reading this article here (but I will also be writing out the text here too):

 

It’s titled:

In Response to Campus Advocate Raquel Lyons

Dear Mass Media,

For over a year I’ve read the column of your writer Raquel Lyons as she chronicles her life with obsessive compulsive disorder and suicidal ideation, a personal journey she leverages to encourage wellness on campus. Besides Craig Bidiman from University Health Services, Raquel is probably the most prominent mental health advocate in our student affairs.

Significantly, she explains the counseling services specific to the University of Massachusetts Boston, thereby drafting an action plan for any student afflicted with a disorder, or stretched too thin by lack of sleep and stress of deadlines. Because Raquel shares her experience, she provides context to more comprehensively understand the nature of the different support services.

Over the course of many installments, Raquel has broadcast that recovery is a process and not an outcome; therefore, her column works to dispel unrealistic and damaging expectations. There is no permanent or total cure, but people can get better. Furthermore, she expands awareness about the treatment toolkit, crucial because an individual’s needs fluctuate according to their recovery status, and because comorbid disorders interact uniquely.

But the most powerful aspect of Raquel’s work is the simple fact that she braves the public eye to vocalize her issues, breaking with a media tradition and overall discourse that caustically vilifies this type of candidness, thereby keeping mental health in the shadows, not only preventing healing, but compromising it through the perpetuation of stigma.

Yet in this changing era when people publically identify as being in recovery, there are also new questions we must consider. When does lowering one’s filters to become a role model ever come at the cost of personal recovery? How can we as a community help keep these pioneers safe?

I’ve read Raquel’s column passively for over a year, but something I saw recently at South Station inspired me to respond. Fellow commuters flitted in every direction. A homeless woman sat against a far wall, ignored by everyone except for another crouching woman. The homeless woman’s eyes were wide and wet, and her face bore an expression of catharsis that only comes from finally being heard after living invisibly for too long. I walked closer and saw that the listener was Raquel.

The greatness of a public leader is measured by how they act in plain view, and by the good they engender when no one is looking. Because of people like Raquel, there are leaders in recovery that we now measure in both of these ways. During that moment in South Station, I realized that beyond our university, the whole city of Boston should be grateful she is here.

Sincerely,

  • A Reader

 

*sly, slow grin spreads across my face* Now, if this doesn’t stroke my ego I don’t know what will!! XD

Truly though, I am as flattered reading over this anonymous writer’s article just as I was the first day I read it!!! It was such a pleasant surprise that I was not expecting, a true little gift for the holidays and especially during the rough times of finals. ūüôā

I’m glad to be able to fully share it with you all now. Both through the vlogging format and through the BLOGGING format, as this is my first home, for sure.

Stay tuned for some further posts about well, you know what. ūüėČ

‚̧ Thank you everyone!!! ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

PS This is my congratulations twice over for this is my 200th post!! ūüėÄ