Welcome to My Bumpy Ride.......

Before you all read on, I guess it is best to introduce myself to you and let you know a bit about myself. I am Susan, and first and foremost, I am a mother to a wonderful young man. Though he is grown, he will always be that three year old little boy, that asked all those questions and expected answers to them all. Though I will tell you much about myself in this blog there is no one or nothing that is as important to me as him, even if I don't discuss him much, because he kina likes to remain private.

For years I was actively trying to find myself, but that was a big waste of time, since by doing so I was not living. All my life I have always known that I was "different", but was unable to know why that was. I first thought that perhaps it was because I was adopted, but that was not the case. Turns out, I am bipolar and pretty much have been all my life. This was explained to me about nine years ago when I had a major melt down. I tend to be more on the depressive side, but have on occasion been quite manic. My last episode was early thru mid 2008, with full blown depression. For five months, I bearly left my house, let alone my bed. Why am I telling you this? I just want it out in the open and let you understand that I discuss my illness from time to time.

Present day, I am currently a full time student, studying social work. At the end of 2011 I was approached by a mentor of mine, who mentioned a new program that was going to launch here in Rhode Island. This new program called the Peer Wellness Coaching, was something that I had always wished would become a reality and to add even more excitement was the fact that this mentor was inviting me to train for a position as one of the Peer Wellness Coaches.

So currently (spring 2012) I am part of the three phases of training and should be employed by the fall of 2012. What is even more excellent about this program is that they are aware of my education goals and are willing to work with me on maintaining those goals.

Also you might hear me mention NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), because I am actively involved with them. I am a facilitator and state trainer for the NAMI Connection groups (peer run support group) here in Rhode Island, and I also help teach high school and college students about mental illness through NAMI RI's Inside Mental Illness program.

So with all that being said...I hope you read on to my daily activities and thoughts and such.

Friday, June 3, 2011

June 3, 2011 Program Rundown

So like today is Friday and I have been in the program for four days.  I was only late the one day and left slightly early one day.  For me that is really good considering the amount of work that is done there.  Those of you who do not understand how being in groups all day can be exhausting, I am about to explain how it can be, at least at this program.

First we start the day relatively easy with a check in group that asks how we are doing and what kind of goal we have set for ourselves.  The goal might seem easy and in many cases it is, but sometimes it is hard to pick one because you want to make it easy, but you know that for that day you really want to get something done.  Now no one actually checks to see if you reached your goal, but the person who made it knows and believe me, it is a major let down if it is not carried out.

Next we have a group that is more of a learning type of group that focuses on existential therapy.  In one group this week we had to write our own eulogy.  I personally thought this was a bit on the morbid side at first.  I mean think about it, someone is suicidal and is asked to write their own eulogy.  At first I thought that it was counterproductive, until we were asked the last two questions.  The last two questions asked about relationships and how they would be affected whether we lived or died.

The third group to me is the hardest for me.  It is an interpersonal group where are split up into smaller groups and sit in a circle and discuss things on our mind and get feedback from the others in the group.  What makes this hard is that we as a group seem to ask the hardest questions to each other and when we don’t, it seems like the facilitator chimes in with even more difficult questions.  This group is the longest of them all at one and a half hours.  Sometimes when you are all done it feels like you got hit by a semi and you were only in a Yugo. (if you know this car, you have lived for a while…LOL)

After that group we have lunch.  Great time to rethink all that transpired in the last group.

The last group of the day is another type of learning group.  Today for example we discussed our own personal purpose of life.  It was broken down a bit and we answered a few questions before coming to our own purpose.

Now during these time and our breaks is when the various therapist can call you to join them for a half hour for individual therapy.  We have a half hour a day with a therapist.  They don’t however; interrupt the interpersonal group at all.  There is no distraction what so ever for that group.

For those of you who are not used to therapy, might be thinking that this is no big deal, but believe me, the shit you don’t want to deal with is basically thrown in your face and you have no choice but to look at it and when you are done for the day, it doesn’t go away. 

Ok so that is about it.  For today’s picture I have a shot I took this week at the program.  It is a beautiful tree taken like I take most of my tree shots.  Hope you like.

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