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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saturday Centus – One Loss Leads to Others

The prompt this week is:  "PLEASE REMIT YOUR PAYMENT PROMPTLY!'
Number of words: 100 words PLUS the five words of the prompt. 
105 maximum word total.
Style of writing: Any
Pictures: Any 
So here goes…

She sat out the window, watching her small children playing in the backyard.  Looking down she saw the words leap out of the paper, “PLEASE REMIT YOUR PAYMENT PROMPTLY!”

Tears began to fall as she again watched out the window.  The death of her husband and the loss of his income was now the loss of her children’s security of knowing they had a home.  She wondered why they never got around to buying the life insurance.

In slow motion, she brought her laptop closer and typed in, “apartments Edison NJ.” Her only hope was that her own income could provide enough money for rent.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Alphabe-Thursday – Justme

Alphabe-Thursday through Jenny Matlock’s blog.  Today’s letter is J. So here goes…

I am Justme.  It is funny really for me to choose this for my entry.  When I first started online I made all my screen names justme6790.  At the time I was quite depressed all the time and when I chose that screen name I meant just what it said.  Justme.  Like I was no different than anyone else.  Like there was no reason to care what I do anywhere in my life. 

Well here I am quite a few years later and well I am still Justme, but it is a better just me than previous.  I say I am unique and different as anyone is. So now when I think of my old screen name I think that I am Justme being who I am and I am OK!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guided Imagery – Seasons

For years I have enjoyed writing guided imageries and recently I played around with one of my previous writings and well I decided that I would share it here.  It is not as good as when it is read to you, but if you make sure that you have a quiet space while reading, you might have an enjoyable trip.  Let me know what you think. So here goes…

 You feel the wind as it circles around you while walking through a forest in the mid-afternoon.

You can see the vivid colors of yellow, gold, orange and red moving in the trees above you.

Beneath your feet you can hear the crunching of the fallen leaves.

With each step you take you can hear the faint but noticeable crunching.

As you look above at the large tree above you, you can see one bright maroon leaf has left its host.

Your eyes follow this leaf as it circles up and down as the wind carries it.

It finally lands on the ground next to a dull yellow dandelion, which grows between the cracks of large broken rock.

You reach for the dandelion and pick it, noticing the white liquid that quickly forms at the breakage point in the stem.

Though you know the dandelion has no scent, you bring it up to your nose and can feel its petals tickle your nose as you inhale deeply.

Bringing the flower to your cheek, your eyes close as you feel the valor blanket touch your face.

Your body begins to warm as this valor feeling begins to envelop your body, and you realize that this flower has become a blanket wrapped tightly around you, nice and warm and comforting.

Looking toward your right you see a small cottage with leaves all around the yard.
You walk closer to this cottage, hearing the faint crunches of the leaves and little cracks of the small twigs beneath your feet.

Without hesitation you reach for the round cool doorknob of this welcoming cottage.
As you turn the doorknob you can feel the click of the lock opening.

You can feel the warmth of the fire in the fireplace before you, as you open the door.
The smell of burning pine fills your nose

Your exposed face feels the instant dryness of the fire and brings warmth down your spine and up your scalp.

Light popping sounds are heard from the fire and they travel through your ears as if playing to a melody.

On the small table to your left you see a mug steaming.

You reach for the mug with your right hand and bring it toward your face.

You are greeted with white billowy whipped cream.

The aroma of cocoa surrounds your nose.

Your head falls slightly to the cup and you lightly blow and take a sip.

You find that it is hot, but a perfect hot.

You let the cocoa rest in your mouth allowing all your taste buds to taste the rich sweet chocolate.

You take a swallow

Letting the warmness of the chocolate travel down slowly, keeping your warm, even down to your toes.

You bring your tongue to clean your whipped cream lips

A slight tap at the window brings your attention to it.

As if by magic, fall has turned into winter.

Walking closer to the window with the mug between your hands, you can see light puffy snow has taken over the forest.

The trees that held such beautiful leaves just moments earlier, now housed small mound of puffy snow on its branches.

In one branch you notice a small bird with a black cap and bib with white sides to the face. 

The smell of apples and cinnamon fills your nostrils

You look down at your cup instinctively

The mug in your hand has changed to a clear tall tea cup

There you see a cinnamon stick sticking out of the steaming yellow brownish liquid that you know to be apple cider.

The smell gets stronger as you bring the tea cup closer to your mouth.

The tastes of apple, cloves, cinnamon and brown sugar hits your tongue and the juices of your own saliva and cider join together, creating a blast in your mouth.

You find yourself stirring the cinnamon stick and taking a sip again and again, slowly and methodically as you watch the bird singing its tune of its various outbursts of notes.

With the last sip you close your eyes and bend your head back to capture the last drop.
As your eyes slowly open you can see that the large window before you has created a new picture of vivid greens and bold colors of spring.

You drop the blanket at your feet and head for the door.

Rain drops could still be seen on the leaves, grass and flower buds back outside.

You see that the bird has found a small puddle and is vigorously cleaning himself under his wings.

As you come closer to a tree you are drawn to one leaf with a larger rain drop hanging on and you see your own reflection in the water.

You watch as this drop slowly descends from the leaf and watch as it drops to your feet in a puddle and disappears.

Your eyes become fixed on the puddle below.

Again you can see your reflection

You bend down slowly.

You place your forefinger in the center of the puddle and slowly move your finger in a side to side movement.

You watch as the ripples grow larger and larger.

The feeling of the sun has grown warmer against the top of your head.

You begin to feel the warmness on your exposed skin.

Looking up you see the flowers have grown and opened with the bright sun.

Our eyes are drawn to a bush of blue dots in the distance

You walk toward it and realize that the bush is full of ripe blueberries.

You reach for one and pop it in your mouth and bite down

Letting it pop in your mouth

You begin eating more until you see that there is just too many for you to eat them all

A nice breeze hits your cheek and you close your eyes as you bring your face to it.

Opening your eyes now you see that you are where you began, with the dandelion, now brightened against your cheek.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Alphabe-Thursday – Inkie

My first attempt at Alphabe-Thursday through Jenny Matlock’sblog.  So here goes…

Growing up we had many pets.  Some we only housed until another home could be found for them.  We had those that remained their whole lifetime.  One remained most of my sister’s childhood and the beginning of mine.  She was the best beagle ever.  Her name was Inkie.  The name, like many of the name we chose, came from the mind of a really young child.  Tammy, my sister, was quite young when my parent got her.  Tammy and Inkie shared one common factor.  Both of them were firsts. Tammy was the first child and Inkie was the first dog of the household. 

Everyone in the house knew that Inkie belonged to Tammy and Inkie knew she belonged to her as well.  With so many beds in the house, it was always Tammy’s bed you would find Inkie on at night. 

For every baby animal we found in the field across our house, Inkie became its adopted mother.  Since we children were all adopted we felt as though in some way she also adopted us younger kids.  She fit into the role so easily and we didn’t need to tell her to do it. 

So when I saw that the letter was I, it only took me a second to think of Inkie.  I know this is short and there is so much more to say about this wonderful dog, but I wanted to keep this entry brief. 

Hope you all enjoy the photos Inkie in no particular order... 

She was so much part of the family that she was included in portraits 

First day at home

That is a bird on my sister's nose

Same photo shoot

In color

With Gram and Gramp and Tammy and Tommy

All pictures with my sister

There is that bird

There she sits, the always watchful mother

Last one

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

45th Birthday

Today is my 45th birthday and here I am wide awake at 3:30 in the morning.  Not sure why I can’t sleep, but I figured that I would write a blog and perhaps the clicking of the keys will lull me to sleep. 

So I am 45 and just about half way through school.  Ok that is not too bad really.  I keep on thinking, at least I am doing it and besides I could be a 50 with no degree or 50 with a degree, either way I am going to be 50, right?
I am almost done with the last training for a Peer Wellness

Coach and I feel really good about that.  I feel as though I have really accomplished something and I am not even done yet.  We started with a group of 28 and now we are down to 24.  That is actually not too bad considering that we all have various mental health problems. 

I am worried about myself though.  I feel a constant sadness, even among the positive moods.  I know this feeling and it usually doesn’t have a great outcome.  I am wondering how I am going to deal with it in a healthy way.  Funny thing is I think this is really the first time that I decided that I am going to figure out how to deal with it rather than ignoring it and hope it goes away.  I am pretty sure that I have to let my emotions out and well I really don’t do that all too well. 

There is just too much riding on my wellness right now that I have to make sure I remain that way.  I have school starting in September and my internship beginning within two weeks and an upcoming training that I have to facilitate and these areas leave me little time for me to do what I need to do for my wellness.  I don’t have the luxury to take another semester off of school and in order to work I can’t wait on my internship. 

There is also the issue of my father and because of his illness I was unable to do what I needed to help get a handle on my underlining sadness.  Maybe he is the reason for it in the first place.  Maybe it is the fact that my mom died in January and I think that I have dealt with it, when in fact I really haven’t.
All I know is that I am a pretty resilient person and like always, I will prevail and I will go on and I will get done what needs to get done.  Guess this is actually going to be a rather short blog for me today.  Guess I just needed to type this out and see for myself that I am over extending myself and I really need to rethink a few things.  No picture today.  TTFN

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday Centus - Slowly Losing Him

I found Jenny Matlock’s blog and saw that she has a weekly challenge called the Saturday Centus and decided to take part in it.  I used to do this sort of thing back when I was active in Yahoo 360 and have missed it.  So here it goes…

The prompt this week is:  Wait!  There's more!' 
Number of words: 100 words PLUS the three words of the prompt. 
103 maximum word total.
Style of writing: Any
Pictures: Any 

Slowly Losing Him

She could hear the door slam shut as her son’s backpack hit the floor, followed by small feet running in the house to her.  She could see his excited face as he said, “Guess what happened today!”

She never got a chance to answer, “Mark lost his…” She heard his voice, but she was lost in her own head. 

“How did it get this way?” she wondered as she tried to show interest.
As she tried to get him to stop, he yelled, “Wait!  There's more!”

She smiled at him, with her tears hiding painfully behind her eyes, knowing she was losing him.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pitfalls and Goals

Starting Monday I will be starting my second training for the Peer Wellness program.  I have not started my internship yet but have an interview on the 26th.  I was really hoping that I could do my internship at the mental health center that I go to, but they are not letting anyone who goes there to do their internship or work there.  That makes no sense to me at all, after all, isn’t it a good thing to show peers that you have used their services and such and found a way to enter into recovery.  Their reason for not allowing current clients there is because we will have access to our own records.  Now that gets me to thinking, what is so bad about that?  Makes me wonder what is in my record that they want to keep to themselves.  Now because they are being that way, I am going to be asking to see my records, because after all, I can.

My son came up this way last weekend to visit with me.  I could not believe when he called me that Wednesday to ask if he could visit.  He didn’t give me much chance to find some interesting things for him to do, but he did tell me that he really liked it up here.  He came with his girlfriend.  About four months ago he moved in with this girl, and let me tell you first, I really like the girl, but they are so young (21) that it is hard for me to take at this time.  All I have to say is what I told him, I can’t be a grandmother until I am fifty.  OMG just to type that out is crazy.  I will be 45 in four days.  I don’t know what my age is supposed to feel like, but I doubt I feel it.

Ok so what is bothering me at this?  Denny has started drinking again.  Makes no sense to me that after fourteen months to begin again, but he did.  I want to scream at him and beat the crap out of him, but I have decided that I will sit and wait and see what happens.  He says that he felt pressured to quit in the first place and that he felt it was not his decision.  All I have to say is whatever!!!!  I asked him if he was thinking of getting sober again and he said it was a high possibility, but I think that he is going to wait until he totally sinks to the lowest possible place he can. 

I guess what bothers me the most is the talks we had and how he said that he loved me and that he chose me instead of drinking and shit.  So what is he saying now?  Is he saying that I am not worth it any longer?  I know logically that his drinking is a disease and he really doesn’t have complete control over it and all, but it still hurts mega.  I have decided that I will go back to the original deal I made with him before he quit.  I will not be around him if he is drinking or be around him if he has drunk.  Guess that means that I will be alone quite often.  All I know is love fucking hurts and there is nothing that I can do about it.

I decided that I am going to try and get myself out of my funk of isolating and being all depressed.  I began to feel this way before Denny drank and of course it got worse after.  I decided that I will get out and do things and focus on my internship, school and training.  These are things that will keep my mind on my goals and not help me to remain isolated.  It just would be really nice if I had close friends here, but I have yet to find that friend.  I have a few friends, but not that special kind that really listen and talk and go out to do things even when I don’t want to.

Above is my schedule for the fall semester.  I am so excited because if everything goes right, I will be done at the community college and on my way to the state college in a year.  I only have 7 classes to complete to have an Associate’s degree by May.  I will take three of them in fall and the remainder in spring.   This is the kind of stuff that I have to focus on and as long as I do I should be alright.  Ok that is all for now.  TTFN