Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tuesday Support Group

Tuesday Support Group
Sealed With A Kiss Designs Lulu Chiffon Skirt in Black, Lane Bryant V-neck Tee in Navy and White Stripe, Chaco Sandals.

Last Tuesday, August 26, I facilitated an outpatient support group at the Partial Hospital Program with my friend, Dwight.  I was feeling a nautical vibe that day, so the navy and white striped top and flirty black skirt seemed appropriate.  I had to wear sensible shoes, because I wasn't sure if I would have to take mass transit home again.  It's important to be prepared!

I like to dress up a little for the support group, because the people there are going through a difficult time in their lives, and I like to bring a little cheerfulness, eye-candy, if you will, to the proceedings.  Not that I'm all that to look at, but what's the sense of dressing like you don't care how you look, when you can bring a little levity and joy to the day by dressing like you're having fun?  It makes me feel better, people respond to me better ... it's a win-win! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Haircare Triple Threat

Haircare Triple Threat
Conair Mega Ceramic Boar and Nylon Bristle Brush, Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Smooth Conditioner, Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Conditioner. 

 My vacation so far?  Monday I had therapy.  I wore all black with no accessories to emphasize the fact that I was depressed, and it worked - I had a good therapy session.  Tuesday?  I must not have done much, because I don't remember what I did.  Today my big trip was to the local shopping plaza to get ant traps from the hardware store (cute guy at the counter, I must say) and haircare supplies from Duane Reade.  I had manufacturers' coupons (WOOHOO!) and a 20% off coupon from Duane Reade, so I made out like a bandito!  The total was $20 and some change. 

I've been having trouble with frizzy hair, and I know, I know, I need a trim, but I don't have the money for a haircut at this point.  My hair's not incredibly frizzy, so I'm hoping the conditioners and the new hairbrush help. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Facilitating a Support Group

Facilitating a Support Group
Top Row:  J. Jill Ankle Pants in Black, Lane Bryant Navy and White Striped V-neck Tee, LL Bean Trench Coat.  Bottom Row:  Propet Walking Sneakers, Canvas Totes.


Yesterday, Tuesday, August 12, 2014, I led a support group along with my friend Dwight.  We've been facilitating this support group for about a month now.  It's at an outpatient clinic, and it's called the Partial Hospital Program.  The people in the program are transitioning from being in the hospital and back to their lives.  It can be a rough transition, to go from being in a psychiatric inpatient unit, to going back to your day-to-day life in the community.  Often a person has to return to facing and coping with the same situations that put them in the hospital in the first place.  

Considering the late Robin Williams' tragic passing, I have to say that's one of the main reasons why I do the volunteer work that I do with the National Alliance on Mental Illness ... support, advocacy and education.  I've known people who have completed suicide, and it's heartbreaking.  You always wonder if there wasn't something that could have been done or said that would have made a difference.  There really isn't.  When someone is that depressed, they usually believe that they are a burden to the people they love.  Depression is the Great Dissembler - it makes you believe things that aren't true, like no one loves you, your family hates you, all your friends are against you, there's no hope, there is no end in sight to your problems, and you can't imagine an end to the pain.  None of that is true - situations change, an hour or a day or a week may make all the difference in your situation if you can just hang on.  

Here's a suicide hotline, in case you or anyone you know is suffering:  1-800-273-TALK.  Reach out, talk to someone, get help.

Take care, and be well! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tuesday Evening Presentation

Tuesday Evening Presentation
Top Row:  Sealed With A Kiss Designs Lulu Chiffon Skirt in Black, Ulla Popken Shorts, J. Jill White V-neck Tee, Amethyst Heart Necklace.  Bottom Row:  Birkenstock Arizona Birko Flors in Silver, Black Leather Shoulder Bag. 

On Tuesday, July 29th, there was an event, "Schizophrenia Review" at the Regina McGinn MD Education Center of Staten Island University Hospital.  The speakers were Dr. Timothy Sullivan, Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at SIUH, and my friends Dwight and David.  I learned a great deal that evening, not only about schizophrenia, but neuroscience, and the latest findings in brain research.  It was a very interesting evening, and I enjoyed hearing what each speaker had to say.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Big Apple Vacation!

Big Apple Vacation!
Top Row:  Lane Bryant Neon Pink Striped V-neck Tee, Pink and White Striped V-neck Tee, Black and White Striped V-neck Tee, White V-neck Tee.  Woman Within Violet V-neck Tee.  Middle Row:  J. Jill Tried & True Slim Fit Ankle Jeans, Black Linen Pants, Rose Crinkle Scarf.  Ultrafino Panama Fedora,  Bottom Row: Propet White and Blue Athletic Shoes, Chaco Sandals, Pink and White Canvas Tote. 

I'm planning a stay-cation in New York City, from Monday, August 18 to Sunday, August 24.  I know it sounds ridiculous to say I need a vacation, when I'm on disability, and theoretically I "don't work," but the fact is I'm doing some kind of mental health advocacy work on a daily basis, and I'm "on call" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

On Mondays, I write the events article for the following week for NAMI NYC Staten Island, for the local paper, the Staten Island Advance.  Then I have to make sure it gets into the paper (sometimes despite my best efforts, it doesn't, which is always disappointing).  I also plan and arrange the monthly information meetings for NAMI NYC Staten Island, so on Mondays I try to make my initial contacts for the upcoming month's information meeting, and then the rest of the week I follow through on that with phone calls and e-mails, and personal meetings, if necessary (which are rare).  

I also do outreaches with my friend Patty and other volunteers, where we go to different events in the community, set up a table with our literature, and talk to the public.  We also refer people to different resources in the community, and other tables at the event which can help them with their particular concern.  Patty's really good at what she does, and I learn a great deal from watching her in action.  We also meet with elected officials at these events, which is why I try to dress neatly and respectably, even though they are usually casual outdoor events.  

My friend Dwight and I also run a support group every other Tuesday at a partial hospital program.  Partial hospital is a day program for people who have just been discharged from the psychiatric inpatient units of the local hospitals, and it runs from 10 AM to 2:30 PM.  It gives people structure to their day, and helps with support and education after being in the hospital, while transitioning back into their role in the community, whatever that may be.  

Then I sometimes get calls from people who are in crisis, or just want to talk to someone, and that can happen anytime of the day or night.  So ... yeah, I have my hands full, even though it's not a full-time paying job.  

But!  For one week I'm going to be on vacation - no calls, no articles to write, I will not e-mail anyone, I will not run any support groups - I will be free, free, free!!!  I will also be poor, poor, poor for the first two days of my vacation, so I won't be going very far.  I hope to do the following things, though, when I do get some money:

  1. Visit the Fashion Institute of Technology's Museum exhibit, Exposed: A History of Lingerie
  2. Visit the National Museum of the American Indian
  3. Visit the Staten Island Botanical Gardens at Sailors' Snug Harbor Cultural Center
  4. Visit The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  5. I'd also like to visit some friends, too, if they'll have me.  

I think I'll need a vacation to recover from my stay-cation!  As you can tell, those sneakers and sandals will come in handy.  As will the hat, to keep the sun from baking my head.