In Loving Memory of A.R. Fleming.

A.R. Fleming, USMC, VietNam, better known by his VA family as, has passed away.  I don’t know the details of his death, just that he passed.  Visitation was today.

He was an all around great guy.  He knew how to make people listen to him, and as my friend Gary said, he even saved lives by imparting his wisdom through his own recovery.

He was a jovial, optimistic guy who never had anything bad to say about anybody.  He adored his family, especially his children and grandchildren.  For a long time, he talked about going to California to visit his daughter.  I am glad to report that he did make it to California.  Every day above ground is a good day, he would say.

How did he impact my life?

He was my Pachuco.  We often talked and laughed and sometimes even danced.  He encouraged me to write, and to do so often.  He also encouraged me to keep coding, but more than anything, to write, and in great part, Recovery Voice was born because of his supporting my writing.  He greatly encouraged me to share my recovery story, too.  If you’re reading this, it is in great part because of his encouraging me to write.  Chief, he would call me, his editor-in-chief.

He will be sorely missed by his family and his VA family.  He looked so peaceful, like he was sleeping, like he was going to spring out and start dancing or hooting and hollering.

He used to say that every day above ground is a good one.  I think I understand now why, because his absence will be felt by the many whose lives he touched.  However, Heaven has gained another soul, and it is a happy day in Heaven, because my Pachuco has arrived in his pink Cadillac, nonetheless.

Mindfulness to stop the downward spiral.

Today in therapy I had an a-ha moment.  I guess it has been drilled in my head, that mindfulness helps depression and anxiety, but today it finally clicked!

I never really saw a connection as to how mindfulness can aid in symptom management.  But yesterday, I had a very frustrating day.  So frustrating, in fact, that I was crying from frustration. The voices I often hear went haywire, telling me how useless I am because nothing got done in the end. This could have been a terrible thing, because when the voices start going in a negative direction, it is hard to get them to calm down and they wear me and break me down.

That said, the voices were going and I just started by taking a couple of deep breaths and just noticing the voices, not judging, not listening.  They were annoying but they didn’t have any power too command me to do things. They just were… Until the end of the day, when I finally went to sleep.

Started 2017 in the psych ward

After all, it turns out that I needed to end 2016 with a bang.  The kind of bang that I don’t necessarily like but need.  New Year’s Eve wasn’t as terrible as expected.  I cooked a ham, and made beer bread for everyone.  Certain people we were expecting decided last minute to flake out on us, but that was okay.  I had Prosecco and red velvet bundt cake.  The night was going okay.

I had a minor spat with my boyfriend over text.  Unfortunately, the spat triggered me even further.  I couldn’t stop crying so I excused myself early from the New Year’s celebrations.  I realized that the triggering was all on me, even though some of it was triggered by a conversation.  However, I was already in a lot of pain.  The voices were commanding me to kill myself, and this was not the first time during the holidays that they had done this, so I lost control of myself and decided it was best to go to the emergency room.

At the emergency room, I learned that Prosecco triggers migraines for me (to top it all off).  The really ugly kind, with blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, and the worst head ache in the planet.  I had to be stabilized for the migraine first, then I was given a psychiatric evaluation and about 8 hours later, because yes, even with ER doctors and IV drugs at my disposition, it still took 8 or so hours to stabilize the migraine, I was finally admitted to the psych ward.

Rough thing to decide, but that’s what had to be done.  As a result of my 12 days at the psychiatric ward, I am now attending the Psychosocial Rehab and Recovery Center again.  I am pretty sure it will do me a lot of good, as it did me a lot of good the first time around.


2016 a year of “keep-going”

All in all, my 2016 wasn’t bad.  Yes, there was mourning the passing of beloved celebrities, far too many of them, but life goes on.  Yes, I ended up in the hospital for a couple of weeks or so, but I worked at what I needed and got better.  I started cosmetology school.  I fell more deeply in love with my boyfriend.  I spent more time with my son.  I adopted a new cat (my boyfriend’s). I learned more about myself.  I took care of me, even though it meant overspending a bit.  Yes, being I debt bites, but I did what I thought was best for me.  I reconnected with some cousins through Facebook. 

So all in all, the positives outweigh the negatives.

It did feel, however, like the year of “keep-going”.  I pushed myself to the limits a few times, and I might just start 2017 by taking a prolonged break from school, because life gets stressful and complicated and then I don’t know how to handle all the curves it throws, often resulting in a melt down of sorts.  I feel myself going in that direction and need to take care of myself first.  School can wait.  Life can’t.  And so it goes.  Keep pushing. Keep going.  And as long as I can put a few things on pause trying to figure out what’s next and how to handle everything, I just keep going.

Here’s to a more balanced 2017!  2016 was better than 2015, which was better than 2014.  I hope the trend continues!

But not just for me and mine, also for you and yours.

If I learned anything in 2016 is that a positive attitude and positive perspective helps a lot.  I also learned that in some cases, it best to run over the cute little squirrel, to put it in one of my doctor’s terms, as sometimes, people get in the way and you can’t or shouldn’t stop or deviate from your planned course.

Planning for the holidays.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I hate the holidays.  They remind me of all kinds of sad stuff, including the fact that I’m a lonely person who doesn’t want to be alone.

Today I went to the hospital for an EMG of my wrists with my boyfriend (he’s visiting right now).  I saw Ned, a fellow veteran whom I had not seen since he moved away from the city.  After exchanging pleasantries, he asked if I was ready for the holiday season.  I said I wasn’t, since it brings so much junk into my head.  He could relate, but we all the same wished each other a happy holiday season.

So, what am I doing to plan for the holidays? 

I’m doing my best to move it a few days and not give it as much meaning as I normally do.  

I’m making it all about others, instead of about me.

I’m concentrating on school (which is going great, btw.)

I’m not getting Christmas presents (except for my boyfriend and son), so I keep expectations about presents for myself low and fair.

As grinchy as it makes me feel, I’m not decorating my home, except maybe for a wreath on the door.

I am seeing my psych team to help keep myself in check, and get the extra support I might need, as winter holidays are a known trigger.

Will post more as I figure out more details, but this is how it’s looking for now.

Checking in.

I should know by now that I am not and probably will never be a regular blogger.  Sorry for the long periods of silence.

I have been really busy with life since I started school.  Yes.  I am going to school (again) but this time for cosmetology and I am pretty sure I can and will stick with it till I get my license.

Today, however, I blog from the ER.

Arm with IV

Arm with IV

I’m in considerable abdominal pain.  And I’m rocking the IV like a #chronicallyawesome patient.

  • I’m happy to report that in spite of all the stress I’ve been going through, my mental health is good.  I am happy to report that I haven’t been very depressed, and though my anxiety has been acting up, out it’s nothing I can’t deal with.

Most of this is good news.  I will elaborate more in a different post about what’s going on.

I hate the holidays.

Any kind of holiday, I hate it, and I hate it with a passion.  Why?  Very simple, it highlights the fact that I don’t have family local to myself or close friends to spend the holidays with.

Holidays usually mean spending them alone, and that is just not a good feeling.

However, I do hope you have a wonderful 4th of July and that you enjoy the fireworks.  I will be crawling under my bed, and hoping not to cry.