Greetings

Hi everyone! I apologize for not posting for awhile. I’ve been adjusting to working full-time. I love my job and feel like I’m making a difference…I hope I am. Hope each of you are doing well. Thanks for all of your support! 

Moving On…

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Hello everyone. Just a quick update on the job front. I interviewed for a case manager position at another company and got the job! I start the new job on February 13th. It saddens me that I am leaving my job but I feel that several negative things have happened since I’ve been there…and I’ve only been there a month tomorrow. First, the case manager that I was hired to replace decided to stay amd I was moved to a lesser paying position with a second shift schedule. Second, I was lied to about not working overnights and weekends. I learned this week that I will be working every other weekend.

I am excited and nervous about the new job. They seem nice and welcoming. I look forward to the new adventure ahead…

A Step Backwards

This week I experienced some disappointment. The case manager that I was going to replace decided to stay. This meant there wasn’t an opening for me as case manager. I’ve been transferred to another job as a Residential Sepcialist which pays less. I was hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed by this occurrence but not deterred from my goal. I came home, cried and decided to accept the new position. My goal is to work my way back to case manager.

Sometimes, life throws us a curveball that knocks us down. Don’t let this keep you down. Stand up, cry (mourn the loss), dust yourself off, and keep moving forward. I refuse to be defeated!

Progress…

Good morning! Just a quick update on how I’m doing at the new job.  I am doing well. Next week will be a true test because I will no longer be shadowing anyone…I will be on my own. It is scary but I have confidence that I can do it. I need to remind myself that I am a beginner and be patient with myself. 

It feels so good to be working again in mental health. It is where I belong. I have the personal experience to help others. That is what I want to do.

Wishing everyone a smooth and fast-moving week. 

Never, Never Give Up…

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First of all, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! It is a time of fresh starts and saying goodbye to what hasn’t been working for us.

Well, tomorrow is the BIG day! It is the first day of my new job. Why is this important, you ask? It is my first full-time job since going on disability in 1998 for Major Depressive Disorder. I am grateful to finally be in a place to not only work in the field that I have dreamed of working in but to also give back…to help others navigate toward their own mental health recovery…to provide hope in an otherwise dark, and discouraging place.

As I begin this new and exciting endeavor, I hope to also write more on the blog about mental health and encouraging words. Our world is full of negative and disouraging messages. These messages do not help us or encourage us. I want to do my part to add some positive, realistic, workable messages to the world. It was difficult for me to find those when I needed them over the years.

If you are going through a rough time and things seem hopeless, all I can say is to not give up hope. If you are feeling hopeless and tired, please reach out to someone. This can be God, a relative, friend, your therapist, the internet…whoever it is…reach out. If you do not have anyone, which there were times when I didn’t feel I had anyone to talk to, there are Warm Lines out there where someone will listen. To find a Warm Line close to you or a toll-free one, visit http://www.mhselfhelp.org/warmlines-index/. A Warm Line is a non-crisis phone line where you can call and talk to someone. To learn more about what it is like to call a Warm Line, check out https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/06/warm-line-expect-call-one/.

I want you to start believing in yourself. Living with a mental illness can be so overwhelming that some of us have been bedbound for days. The secret is to start out simple. What is one simple thing you can do for that day? When I was bedbound, I wish someone had told me this. No, I don’t mean pushing me to do something…that would just make me feel worse. I mean someone who had lived through it themselves, providing me with support and encouragement…start very simply. It is okay for the goal to be as simple as sitting up in bed for five minutes. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. This is how I had to begin my journey toward recovery. I took it slow when I was extremely depressed and I cheered myself on when I made a simple, single step forward. I want you to do the same, if that is what you need to do. Don’t give up…allow yourself to take the time you need. Recovery is not a competition…it is the walk of your life…at your pace.

If you have lived with mental illness, what are some things that have helped you? I’d love to hear from you. Please share.

Turning Fifty

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Today is my birthday and I turned fifty years old. Yes, as I have told my loved ones and friends, I turned a half century old today. Lol! I am an antique, covered in flaked gold (like older dishes and vases). I have long worried how I would react to this number. Would I break down? Feel old and get depressed? The answer is no, I haven’t. Instead, I am happy and it feels more like I have reached a milestone in my life, than a dead end.

In previous posts, I have mentioned my struggle with major depression and anxiety. I lost all of my thirties due to this dreadful mental illness. I missed out on having a child of my own and so many other things that those in their thirties embark upon…it is like I was non-existent for that decade of my life.

My forties was a time of recovery and moving forward. I worked through many life pangs, trauma, and heartache (including a very painful divorce) during this decade. I mourned the loss of my thirties and what that meant (no biological children, lack of career, etc.). I mended a lot of things to, including returning to school to get my Master’s degree in social work, having a social life again, and obtaining and keeping a part-time job.

Today, I am celebrating all the milestones that I have crossed and goals that I have accomplished in just the past decade. I am extremely grateful for mental stability. I am thankful to have such a loving, caring, husband, his family and my family, and close friends who support me in my endeavors and accepts me in my limitations. It is a wonderful feeling (for the first time in my life), to feel unconditionally loved and accepted…not just by others in my life but by myself. Yes, I feel that I have started to finally care about who I have become and what I have accomplished.

I recall all those years of my life that I wasted on literally hating and criticizing myself for everything that I did or felt I was doing wrong. I constantly felt out of place, unloved, and as a nobody. I covered my insecurities, self-loathing, and pain through humor. I am not sure where I’d be without my sense of humor. But, today, I embrace myself in all my glory and flaws and take pride in the journey I have taken to become who I am.

Today, as I turn fifty, I look forward to what the next year holds for me. I am hoping that I will transition from part-time work to full-time employment in the profession I am passionate about…mental health. I went on a job interview yesterday and I feel that it went well for they sent me out for a drug test and criminal background check. I also have a job interview on Wednesday.

I am moving forward and beyond the struggle of my mental illness and all the things that have held me back in my earlier years. Today, I am celebrating me, those who love me unconditionally, my journey, my future, and what I can contribute to society while I am here.

I may have turned fifty today but fifty is just a number. My life is definitely not over yet.