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, August 17, 2012

Updates in General

It has been a while since I have blogged about what is going on with me, so today I decided to and well here I am writing a “what’s going on kina blog.”  School starts in eighteen days and I am really excited about it.  I will be taking three classes, World Lit to 16th Century, Human Anatomy & Physiology, and Jazz History.  I will only have classes on Tuesday and Thursday’s during the day and Monday nights.  At first I was only going to take the Lit and Anatomy, but Denny decided that he was going to join me in Jazz History.  So well anyways that is my classes list and well I am pretty good with it.  What is exciting about this semester is that it is the second to last one at the community college and then I am off to the second part of earning a bachelor’s degree in Social Work at the state college.  It is so great to know that I have followed through so far already, even with the semester I took off in the spring. 

Ok so other news.  I have finished the training for Peer Specialist and Peer Wellness Coach and finally have a job.  I will be working at one of the mental health agencies in the area.  I got the call on Thursday and am really happy about that.  When I interviewed I brought my school schedule with me in case they asked for it and well they did and they proceeded to tell me that the encourage education and are really pleased that I am a Social Work student.  They actually said that it was an added bonus and are very excited to work with me and help me to maintain my high grade point average.

So starting on Monday I will be an employee over there and in fifteen days I will be working and going to school.  I honestly hope that I can stick with my recovery plan and not have any drawbacks.  The good thing is that last year I learned how to deal with my symptoms better and know how to look out for them and not let them get out of control.

In New Jersey Dad is slowly declining but still hanging on.  He is really weak and barely eats.  Honestly I think that he is fighting because he is worried about my brother.  Each time I go there, dad reminds me to take care of my brother when he passes away.  I will have to say that I am a bit worried about my brother as well right now.  It is summer and him being a roofer, it is his busy time, but he has not been going into work that much.  I asked him yesterday if he was feeling more depressed than his usual and he told me that he wasn’t.  I made him promise that if he was to let me know, and he said he would. 

Also another indication that there is something going on with my brother is his migraine headaches.  He has been suffering with them since he was around ten years old.  Usually he gets like two a month and the whole neighborhood knows he has them because he screams on the top of his lungs.  When he does this it can seem scary to someone who doesn’t know.  Anyways, those headaches have increased to around five to seven times a month.  I have begged him to go to a doctor, but he refused.  So that increase in headaches really scares me.

I have talked with the Hospice social worker about my concerns with my brother and described what he was like as a child and she told me she would do her best to work with my brother, but if he was not willing to work with her, there was nothing that she could do.  She has been working her way to talking with him now and hopes that he will want to talk to her when dad passes away.  She figures that right now he will talk to her with dad and after he will have enough trust in her to continue to work with her. 

What concerns me is how he is with death.  When my sister died there was discussion about maybe getting him some serious help, but honestly at that time I was in my own personal hell, I never really knew what happened.  I am pretty sure that all of us were messed up at that time and no one actually did anything to help my brother and he is still in a state of just existing. 

About three years ago my brother had a cat that he loved.  She got sick and died, and he basically locked himself in his room for months.  It was so bad that dad would put food up by his door, just so my brother would eat something.  What bothers me the most about that situation is the fact that my father didn’t think to get my brother any kind of help; instead he just placated the issue, until my brother came out of it.

I have way too much going on in my life right now that I know I am not going to be able to do anything like that for him and honestly I have no problems finding outside help for him.  It just scares me that there is only one human on earth that my brother truly loves and that is my father and when he is gone my brother will have no one in his life.  Honestly right now I can’t do anything more than I am doing right now and I really have to keep my focus on me, because in the end, I am the only one who can take care of me.

So here in Rhode Island, my concerns are with Denny.  He is back to drinking and I am slowly distancing myself from him.  It is something hard for me, because I love him so much, but if he is not going to do anything to help himself, I can’t be around that so much.  I have talked to him and reminded him how well he was doing while sober and how he she seriously consider quitting again.  So far since he has started drinking again, he has depleted the savings that I had worked so hard to establish for him and he has been suspended from his work because of absentness.  One more time he is absent, he will lose his job.  I guess there has to be a bottom that is hit, before he will learn that drinking is not a good thing for him.

Well this has been long enough and well I think I am pretty caught up for now.  Time to find a picture for today…

Ok this picture was taken when I was about eight or nine with my brother.  The reason I decided on this picture is because it is a true representation of the distance that is between us, even today.  Though I have tried to get closer to him, there is always that space between us.  It is funny actually because in all the pictures that my mother had taken of us kids back in the day, my sister was always in the middle, and this shot looks like she is just missing.  I wonder if it is in some way a clue of how it was going to turn out, my sister is missing.  So anyways that is why I decided to use that picture. 
Ok you all, TTFN……………

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