Saturday, May 23, 2009

a Poem for Sanity

By Amanda Robin
Who is sane?
Is my best friend sane?
She works like a dog,
At a hospital.
Only to see her
Patients dead
In the dark.

Who is sane?
Is my high school teacher sane?
She still teaches kids
To pillage the dead
Bodies of cats,
Only to have her students
Later ask a doctor,
“Exactly where is my

Who is sane?
Is a solider sane?
Sharing with the man
On the other end of
His scope,
The idea that
God is on their side.

Who is sane?
Is my psychiatrist sane?
She gives me a sea
Of pills.
Blue, grey, and green.
Not knowing how they work!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Group Therapy

Friends are important. Some of my best friends I have met through group therapy. Now many of you know that in a lot of group therapy rooms you can't date fellow member so no I have never done that. However, when I say something really moving to people in group and the tears flow it's nice to have a hug from a special friend.
When I was first diagnosed with my mental illness, I thought OMG I am not doing this group therapy thing! There was no way this rebellious, social anxiety disorder gal is going to sit and share with strangers. Well, mostly what I did for the next three years was sleep. I did have connections with the outside world, but nothing like what I would find in the rooms. You can say I isolated.
Then when I was twenty - four and had no where else to turn, I decided to be admitted into a day treatment facility for mental ill in my county. You would never believe that I was going to do three hours of group therapy, three days a week! All while I was still finishing my last two years of college. I went to a non - traditional college so I didn't have to go to class. I did my work at home so it fit. I mean I could try to get more skills to fight the voices and I could finish my education. It was scary at first going into a room with strangers. I left two years later with more friends than I could ever imagine. It's one thing to talk to a therapist. It's a completely different thing to pour out to your peers. My fellow groupers saw me as inspiration with going to school and responding so well to the therapy I was receiving
I like group therapy so much that even though I am discharged from the day treatment facility and only see a therapist every three weeks for individual therapy that I attend two group therapy session twice a week. I go to a modify DBT course and an anxiety group. Again there is nothing like support from other mentally ill people. My therapist wants me to also make friends in the "real world" and admit that's scary, but I have and I couldn't have done it without my group therapy friends.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I am dedicating this post to my parents. I believe without them I wouldn't be where I am today. I am today a happy almost thirty something woman handling my disability better than most. I know that some say with age mental illness gets better. I think this is true because I noticed with age that I am more mature in handling the signs of my illness! Last time I wrote about my beginnings. That had ending so horribly with me court order to a mental health unit basically because I didn't know what the symptoms of my disease were. It's getting easier over time, but I did crash again in 2001 because again I ignored the signs. I didn't go into the hospital that time mostly because of the support of my family. They may have not understood it at first, but they embraced it with loving support. At nineteen, court order to the mental health unit, I found my Mom had ridden a plane from Chicago to Indianapolis, Indiana and then rode the hour to Muncie, Indiana. My father was the one, the staff at the hospital, was communicating with and he was on a business trip in Guadalajara, Mexico. When my parents brought me home to Chicago after a three day stay in the hospital and a week in the recovery house on campus, my parents support didn't end there. I would often see visual delusions in the form of eyeballs in the wall. My first three years after being diagnosed, I must have called my therapist once a month My parents endure me crying, pulling my hair, and often times trying to pull my skin off my arms. I truly believe I couldn't make it without their help. Still to this day sometimes I need help from them.
I have seen many people with mental illness as I am very active in my mental health community in my county. I don't know any statics on support. However, I know through people's personal experience that when they have loving people in their life they do much better. It could be parents, a very close best friend, or a spouse. We all need life lines on this earth. Humans as a species are very social animals. I can't tell you how good it feels to have a hug once in a while, a tender smile, or encouraging words. We were not meant to be alone. It is very hard with this illness because often times we isolate, wanting no one around us. This is something we must endure to get out of. We need people. The only was to survive with this invisible disability is to make ourselves visible.