This is dedicated to Stephany's daughter. You do have the strength, and if you forget it for a moment, let us gently remind you. We will hold the hope for you, and the love, and the power. This video is for you, darling. Merry Christmas.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
This is dedicated to Stephany's daughter. You do have the strength, and if you forget it for a moment, let us gently remind you. We will hold the hope for you, and the love, and the power. This video is for you, darling. Merry Christmas.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I still can't believe I am getting into the holidays this year, but this is simply magical. I wish you could be here in person and feel the amazing energies surrounding this entire house. I feel so much love for each individual who walks through the door. It's incredible, just incredible. I wouldn't trade my life for anything.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I've gone to the Georgia Mental Health Consumeer Network's Christmas Party every year since I became their web designer in 2004. This one was extra special because all the staff from the Peer Support and Wellness Center were invited. It was the first time I brought my video camera, too! Nobody was camera shy, which is heaven for me, and the food was incredible. I ate too much, then my sister and I went to the movies and had popcorn, then we went out to diunner. I have been fasting today because I woke up this morning still full. I hate when that happens. Ahhhh the holidays .. then the diet. I'm sure you can guess what my New Years Resolution is for 2009. I totally blew it in 2008.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
pete carroll night j...
man throws shoe at b...
oregon department of...
bush in iraq
Anyway, it's Sunday, and I have spare time to do something utterly meaningless. Oh, and here's a video to boot. I called this art, but really only two pieces are considered art - the one titled "Abandoned" and the one titled "Rejection" which was my first sale years ago. The rest are just experiments with Photoshop filters. Well, I guess the sunset is original, too. As a side note the one titled "Abandoned" is actually Karla at age three. It took me three weeks to draw that in Photoshop. I don't know if any of you are into Photoshop, but there's a free program called Gimp that is just like it. Try it out! You will be surprised at what you can create.
Oh and I almost forgot! The Peer Support and Wellness Center now has a video blog! It's at http://peersupportandwellness.blogspot.com/ . Now all our videos are in one place. Things are going great, btw. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. I am actuially getting into it this year.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
This video was so much fun to make. It was a great event, too! It poured down rain the night before, and we were worried it would be canceled. But it turned out to be a beautiful day, just perfect. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed making it.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
The first night of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network conference, attendees told their recovery stories on camera. The four people in this video are Sherry Olvey, who participates at the Peer Support and Wellness Center, Steve Morgan who is an excellent writer and advocate, Maureen Mayer, a full-time employee at the Wellness Center, and Pricilla, who we met that evening.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
The woman interviewed in this story is Nancy Jensen, a friend and colleague of Beth Filson's. You may remember Beth from some of the videos I have posted here. Here is one and another one.
Kansas is the state where I spent a year in their state hospital. It could easily have been me in this story if I had stayed in Kansas after being discharged. I'm so sorry it happened to Nancy. I'm so sorry it happened at all.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I have been so busy. I can't believe how much I can get done in a day. I used to get the same amount done in two weeks. Life is a whirlwind, and every day is different. There is no time for ruts or comfort zones.
The Center is full most of the time. During the day, we have 15-25 people, and during the night we have three respite guests. I love the respite guests. It is fascinating to have three new roommates every single week. It's always a new house dynamic. Sometimes we have respite guests who become lifelong friends after the week is over, and other times we have guests who really don't like the other guests and keep to themselves. Other times we have lively debates and other times we have sheer silence. I swear, some of the best chefs come through here, and I am the lucky recipient of their cooking.
During the day we have so many people and activities going on, I can't keep up. The dynamics during the day are different every day too. We always have new people coming, and soon we will be turning people away. We were warned about this in the beginning when we only had a small handful come every day. We wanted more people! So we did presentations and handed out packets and invited everyone over for tours. We got what we wanted.
The best part about this Center are the miracles and transformations I get to witness every day. The stories are endless, and we are writing a book titled "Crisis as Opportunity: Stories of Personal Transformation at the Peer Support and Wellness Center." As I wrote in an earlier post, I am making a DVD about the Center. We'll be using it as a general introduction to the Center. I wanted to catch the spirit of this place, and after watching the first draft the other day, the people who were watching were in tears. They said I captured the spirit.
I have been experiencing much transformation in my own life. I never knew I could supervise, schedule, and delegate to 8 staff 24 hours a day. I never knew I could handle so much responsibility. I have always been the epitome of irresponsibility. I've always basked in my comfort zone and required enormous amounts of time alone. Now I am rarely alone, except at 5:00 in the morning.
I don't even recognize myself.
I can't really make any promises, but I think it would be wonderful to start writing here more often. I will try. Really. I want to keep a journal of my life now. There's too much going on to just let pass by without writing about it. Too much has already happened. I think it will be worth the effort. It's really just a matter of finding the time, and even then, the energy. My heart and soul is in my work now. Everything I do is all about this Center. It is my baby.
I never knew I could work like this, so consistently and enthusiastically. I never knew something so challenging could be so worthwhile.
I hope I still have readers! I hope everyone is thriving!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
But I found a great site that I want to share with all the seekers of Naltrexone. It's called River Pharmacy, and it's based out of Canada. The shipping is very quick -- maybe two weeks, and the price is so low I still can't believe it. I have about two years worth of pills. Of course, I take one 50MG pill, disolve it in 50ML distilled water, and take 4ML every night, so one pill lasts nearly two weeks.
Naltrexone goes under the names Revia, Nodict, Depade, Vivitrol, and Naltrexone. The direct page to order it is at https://www.riverpharmacy.com/drugInformation.php?ActiveIngredient=638
So there it is. I hope I just saved someone two days worth of searching!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
This fundraiser cost quite a bit of money just to attend, but the Peer Support and Wellness Center participants were able to attend as guests. The food was unbelievable and the atmosphere was relaxed. We were the loudest ones there! Here's a short video of us hanging out with each other at the fundraiser.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
I'll be presenting at my first workshop at the Georgia Mental Health Consumer conference this August. It will be about the Peer Support and Wellness Center and what we're all about. I decided to make a video showing what we do rather than just talking about it and passing out literature. We'll do that, too, of course, but I think a video will give people a much better idea. I will be showing segments on this blog as I finish them. I'll also be making a DVD and passing it out with our literature as we promote the Wellness Center in the community.
This video is the segment on our cooking class. We cook every Friday evening, and it has become a warm, inviting event more than a class. Becca, a peer staff at the Center, is the main facilitator, and it was her project from the beginning. We also have a chef, Donna, also a peer, come in to instruct the class.
Needless to say, it is one of our most popular activities!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Breathtaking photography by Jeremy Harris. Very provocative.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
I used to be in the victim role. It was how I got the attention I craved and the help I needed. I would attract people with an empathetic personality and a compassionate heart. I needed empathy and compassion like I needed food, and I would feed on people who were like this toward me. It was how I emotionally survived in life. It was the only survival tool I had.
The Universe gives you the desires of your heart, and the intensity of the desire, the depth of it, is the loudest voice you have. It is your Universal power.
My deepest desires were to receive empathy and compassion from others. I could taste them and feel them and savor them before I ever received them. They were first and foremost on my mind nearly every waking moment. They were the hope and the reason to keep living, just to know that the reward would be so incredibly sweet, even if short-lived. A moment of compassion would sustain me for a week. A morsel of empathy would encourage me to keep striving for the next scrap.
It's a dramatic way of life, rarely boring, full of tears and loneliness and intensity, and it gave me a sense of identity that I would not have had otherwise.
Eventually, the pain of this role began to outweigh the pleasure, and I needed to find a different way. I needed to learn how to give myself the things I needed. My dilemma was that I was not good enough to be in that role for myself. I was inferior to the type of person who had the capacity to show compassion. It seemed ludicrous to even consider it.
Then, through my spiritual awakening, I began to feel all the things I was terrified of feeling. I began to feel the desperate loneliness, the incredible rage, the unbearable sadness. And through these same feelings, I began to feel Compassion revealing itself to me from within the depths of my soul.
The intensity of all these feelings was the truest indicator of my Power within.
When I feel victimized today, helpless and hopeless, desperate and lacking, I know that I have given away my power to a situation or person at some point. I may not be consciously aware of who or what or how, but it is not necessary to know. It will come in time. What is necessary, however, is that I reclaim my power as soon as I realize that I have given it away. This can be as simple as saying out loud, "I reclaim my power NOW!"
It's the proverbial "shaking the fist" at God scene. Loud, dramatic, intense. Or quiet and meditative. The method doesn't matter, only the intent.
When I do this, the magic begins. Incredible insights flow in from seemingly nowhere and solutions appear where there weren't any before. It's usually at that point when it becomes clear to me where and how I gave my power away. It is a true "duh" moment, too, and I have to laugh at myself for being so blind.
Most people reclaim their power and have no idea that's what they just did. The Universe responds to your deepest intent, even if you aren't fully aware of it. That is the Law of Attraction. But when you are fully aware, the whole process becomes a conscious creation, a miracle. There's nothing like it.
That means "thank you for taking back your power."
Monday, March 03, 2008
I realize it is a rather broad topic, so I'll narrow it down to something manageable. I'll also write more on spirituality in upcoming posts if there is an interest.
I believe that Truth does not exist, only Resonance.
I know a woman who was raised in a very strict Pentecostal religion where fundamentalist Christianity is taught. She passed her beliefs onto her children, who grew up and kept those beliefs for themselves. This woman surrounds herself with people who believe exactly the same way she does. Everywhere she turns, people are talking about Jesus Christ and salvation and sin and redemption. Hell is real, as is heaven. She is one of the happiest people I know. This is what living in your Resonance feels like.
I surround myself with people who believe that the mental health system is a broken system that needs to be fixed. We see the flaws in the system and are quick to point them out for the rest of the world to see. If they don't see them, they are blind. They will see the light one day when psychiatry bites them in the ass. I surround myself with people who believe that there is much more to mental illness than diagnosis, medication, day programs, and hospitalization . People with mental illness are actually hopping dimensions. I resonate with this, but does that make it true?
People assume that Resonance and Truth are the same thing.
I believe the Afterlife is filled with Resonance. The woman I described will see angels playing harps on clouds. She will surround herself with other souls who see those same angels and clouds. They will all walk the glorious streets of gold.
I will be hopping dimensions. Freely.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I just couldn't let a season of American Idol go by without sharing my top pick. This kid is amazing. He will win the whole thing and become a mega star like Kelly Clarkson and Chris Daughtry. I remember watching David Archuleta around 2004 (?) during the Star Search finale. Of course he won 100 grand. Then his vocal chord went paralyzed, and now he's back. Watch out for this guy. He sings from the depths of his soul, unlike the other contestants this season. Unfortnunately. Maybe in time a few of them will grow on me, but for now, David is the only reason to watch.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
But maybe if I write this post, I'll get back on track.
I lost a lot of weight last year. I don't know how many pounds but I went from a size 12 to a size 6 jeans (which are awfully tight right about now, lol).
I didn't mean to lose weight last year. I just needed to change my diet due to being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The weight loss was a side effect. I'm not complaining.
Anyway, I used Food Combining. This can get pretty complicated, so I won't go into it that deeply. I just used very basic food combinations. It is very simple, but not easy. It goes against the American diet of meat and potatoes.
Never eat meat and potatoes together in the same meal. In fact never eat any kind of carbohydrate and protein in the same meal. Eat fruits by themselves, always. Make sure they are not cooked fruits or processed fruits. Just fresh fruits and juice before noon. Nothing else before noon, and notbing at all after 8:00pm. The rest of the day you can have carbs and veggies in a meal or protein and veggies in a meal. Just not carbs and protein in the same meal. Avoid dairy as much as possible. Or if you use dairy, consider it protein. It's best to avoid it though.
For example, for brerakfast, have a fruit salad or a banana. Whatever fruit or fruit juice you like. For lunch eat a salad with a beef patty or peice of chicken or fish or even beans. Or if you want carbs and veggies for lunch, I personally LOVE veggie wraps. Soups and salads of course are a good combination, just make sure there's no meat in the soup if you include crackers or noodles. Dinner is with the same rules. Either carbs and veggies or protein and veggies but not both.
If you must have dessert, have it with your carb meal, not your protein meal.
One more rule -- it's okay to combine carbs, like rice and bread, in the same meal, but it's not okay to combine proteins, like beans and franks or cheese and sausage.
This diet goes against the typical American diet, but as we all know, the typical American diet has all of us fat with chronic digestive problems. So going against it is a good thing.
That's the diet in a nutshell. I used the concepts in the book titled "Fit for Life." Sorry, I can't remember the author's name, but you can get it at Amazon.com for (usually) a penny plus shipping. There are tons of recipes in it. I highly recommend the book for the recipes and meal planning alone!
My sister Jody uses this diet when she has an appointment with the beach in Jamaica and needs to drop a few pounds before she packs her bikini.
Then she goes back to her old diet when she comes home.
I like getting requests for blog posts, so if you have a request, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I can honestly say that we are now in a routine at the Peer Support and Wellness Center. We've had two overnight guests so far, and our daytime activities are becoming more and more full of newcomers and even some regulars. I never thought this time would arrive, but we are HERE! I have a schedule. I have days off. I can leave the house. I got a scooter this weekend, and my friend Huntley is assembling it for me. He'll come back next Sunday to finish the job and take it for a test ride. It should be fun. I'll shoot videos.
I hope everyone is doing well. Life is good. It really is.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Here is a short clip of the Peer Support and Wellness Center's Grand Opening. I didn't spend too much time behind the camera, so there's not much footage to work with. The celebration was a huge success, and it far surpassed what any of us imagined. I don't know how many were there during those three hours, but about 80 people signed in.
The Center opened the very next day, so we have been opened three days so far. It was slow at first, but today we had a house full. We'll be having our first overnight guest next weekend. I can't believe how quickly this is taking off. It's as if we've always been here. It feels incredibly familiar. I have never felt such a sense of belonging in my life. My search is over. I really do have a place in this world. I've never been able to say that before.
I don't have the kind of time I used to have, though, and there's a sense of loss there, especially when it comes to my friends. Jodie from MN and I used to have "marathon" phone calls on the weekends, but those are getting few and far between if they exist at all. She knows I love her, though. I hope all my friends know I love them as much as ever. I just can't be there for them like I used to. Oh man, I used to drop everything at a moment's notice if a friend needed to talk. Maybe things will settle into a routine soon. I hope my friends don't forget me.
Don't get me wrong, I really really love my new life. It's just far more time consuming than I ever imagined it would be. That part of this job is probably the only downside. I used to have all the time in the world, plus some. I knew what I was walking into, though, and I'm glad I did. I have no regrets, and I would not trade my life for anything.
I look back on the last two months and I think, wow. I can't believe this just happened. It just happened. How the did this happen?
*twilight zone music*
Sunday, January 27, 2008
In the spirit of Intentional Peer Support training, it's a tradition for everyone to have dinner together one evening of the week. This was our dinner. It was also our first house party at the Peer Support and Wellness Center!
Things are flying over here. Our Grand Opening is this Wednesday, and we are ready! I am hoping to be able to shoot videos during that time, and if I get the chance, I will definitely be posting them here!
I saw Karla yesterday. She is adjusting to motherhood and doing a wonderful job. She loves her little baby so much, you can just tell. It's a beautiful thing. I forgot my video camera, though, and I kicked myself for the whole time! If you are a long time reader of this blog, you may remember a video with Karla's little brother, Alex, where he is yelling violent things that you later find out is his video game. Yesterday he was doing the exact same thing, except he's 3 years older and is playing a Wii! It would have been a wonderful follow-up video. Oh well, use your imagination just like I did.
His father, by the way, was a very good friend of mine. He is the one who got me involved in mental health advocacy back in 1995. He died a few years ago. Alex looks exactly like him.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Karla stopped by for a visit. I hadn't seen her in a while. Whew! Very interesting surprise. You won't want to miss this video. Meanwhile, an update on the Low Dose Naltrexone. This stuff really works! No more pain at all!!! I feel almost like I did before MS. It's just amazing. I know I will be on this drug for the rest of my life, but it is sooooo worth it. I can't believe how well it works, and I HIGHLY recommend it to all my MS readers. At this point, I can't imagine not taking it. Hopefully this is the last time you'll hear about my MS. I will post if anything changes.
Friday, January 04, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I made it.
Weeks before the move, I would feel a strong sense of dread. It's unsettling to have all your belongings in boxes and be uprooted like that. I am giving myself the standard "three weeks" to fully adjust. I doubt it will take that long, though. I'm truly settling in without too much hassle, if you don't count the incompetent folks at the new AT&T. But we won't go there. Grrrrrrr.....
Moving day was a breeze. I used Mark the Mover, and they came at 8:30 am. We were done by noon. It was a treat to use actual movers! After they left, my sister took me to the Famers Market to get some food for the week. I spent the next few days unpacking.
The birds aren't faring as well, I hate to say. New turf, fresh fights. Their violence is truly getting on my nerves. I've decided to find Rozee a new home before he gets too settled here. It's time. They are never going to get along. It will be sooo sad to let Rozee go, but I know it's the right thing.
I put an ad on Craig's List and I have been getting calls all day. I am choosing a woman named Melinda who just melted at the sound of Rozee's cooing over the phone. She'll be coming to get him in the morning.
I'm not going to think about it right now.
Christmas was incredible. I had a channeling session with Jean Tinder. The energy poured through the phone -- yes, through the phone -- and was so powerful and intense, I ended the call much sooner than I had to. Spirit is a powerful force. I was blown away. I hardly remember what she said. I will be getting a recording, which I am really looking forward to. I know we discussed the Peer Wellness Center a lot. I remember asking if it was going to be successful, and she said "It already is. You will simply be walking through its manifestation."
Yesterday we got all our basic furniture for the house (except the office and laundry room). We have furniture for the dining room, living room, and three bedrooms. The bedrooms have their own names and personalities, even with just a bed, dresser, and nightstand. One is The Forest Room, one is the Wellness Room, and the other is The White Room.
Sunday I set up the basement with my spiritual belongings. all the ingredients of a Wellness center. One room is for meditation. It has some yoga mats, books, crystals, and meditation CDs. Another room is for art and music. It has my art table with art supplies and some drums and books about art and music. The third room is the Reading room. It has a rocker with shelves full of some of the most impactful books I have ever read. Neil Donald Walsh, Stephen Covey, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, plus an array of self improvement and healing books. It's a cozy setting. All the shelves throughout the basement have angels and doves on them. I have a feeling the basement will be a popular place.
OH I almost forgot. The Low Dose Naltrexone is working! No kidding! I am feeling closer to pre-MS than I have all year! I cannot believe the difference. If this is a placebo effect, bring on the placebo! This is incredible!
After I finished setting up the basement, it hit me. I am here. I did this. It really happened.
The feeling was overwhelming. In a good way.
Welcome to 2008, the year of new beginnings.