Friday, December 17, 2010

New Moves for Lady Amanda

Well, everyone I been quite busy over the last couple of weeks. Mostly with Christmas things, you know buying presents, sending out Christmas cards, and I even went to a Advent Penance service to clear my slate. Well, Christ came to make the world anew! My world is defiantly coming around to being anew. On January 3rd my Mom is getting back surgery and the next day, January 4th, I am moving into my own apartment. It won’t be totally my own because I will share it with a roommate. Her name is Karen and I remember her as being a quite, docile, and kind person when I was with her in Friendship House. Friendship House is a day treatment facility for the mentally ill. So I guess another thing I know about her is that she takes care of her illness!

I wrote before about how I am worried about so many things involving my apartment. However, I realized in Stress Management Group, my life will be a whole lot worse if I remain where I am. I can face the challenges of living on my own because it is healthy and gives me stability to do so. Another thing, is this guy I totally have a crush on in Stress Management Group (not the one I wrote about before, boy I am using that group to pick up guys), while he said I am taking a huge step. I didn’t realize it was a huge step. I guess I just thought it was normal for a thirty year old to move out on her own, no problem. However, it opened my eyes to realize it doesn’t matter how old you are, to go from the safe and predictable environment of my parents’ home out into the real world is scary. It is defiantly something that takes adjusting. It will take a while and you will all come on the journey because you know I am going to write about it!

It seems everything is set up. My apartment, my roommate, my Uncle helping me move, and even the telephone service is being set up. One problem, I don’t have is my day program set up! What I would like to do is volunteer at the hospital that is a fifteen minute walk from my apartment. I put in the application ten days ago and called the volunteer director twice to check up on it. The director seemed very nice and seemed to think she would call me for an interview as soon as her co – worker looked over the application. However, I am scared. The days to when I move in are not that long and I don’t want to be sitting all day in my apartment with nothing to do. Why does it frighten me so much? Do I really think they will find something in my application that they won’t give me the position because of? I think it frightens me so much because they are taking so long. I am not a very patient person. I ask God to give me patience, but sometime people say to be careful for what you pray for. Sometimes God gives more patience by giving one trials in which one needs to be patience in! My parents said why wouldn’t the hospital take me and I just read an e – mail from my friend Amber (who also has blog on this site) who said basically the same thing. It made me realize maybe it takes so long because maybe they are deciding where to place me and set everything up. I just have to be PATIENT. And my Deacon friend couple back in Chicago said in an e – mail, “God will bless me with it, if it is what is right for me.” So I am thinking if God doesn’t allow it then he’s got something better!

I have to focus now on packing for my new apartment. So while I wait patiently for an answer from the Hospital, I can concentrate on getting my stuff together. Also I need to do some shopping because there are more necessary things that I need for my apartment. God is so good; he had my Uncles give me awesome gift cards for me to stock up on things for the apartment. God always takes care of me and I have to remember that. He has a bigger plan. And speaking of that, I have to remember His birth. I can’t forget to get caught up in the Holiness of Christmas. Well, please all send good thoughts and prayers during this anew period of my life.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Christmas present

This is a poem, I written for my therapist for her Christmas present. I wanted to share it with all of you!

Have you ever had someone
You could tell all your secrets to?
By Amanda Robin

Have you ever had someone
You could tell all your secrets to?
I haven’t always,
Which seems deathly
Strange
Considering the fact
That I have been
In therapy
Longer than one
Wishes to think about.

Have you ever had someone
You could tell all your secrets to?
Four years ago
Which flew by like leaves
Blowing in the wind,
Coming straight out
Of a safe secure hole
Of a day treatment facility,
I meet the most wonderful
Therapist I think
I will ever met.

Have you ever had someone
You could tell all your secrets to?
This therapist taught me
A lot in those four years.
She taught me to trust
Woman again.
She taught me to trust
Myself again.
And she taught me
How to trust God.

Have you every had someone
You could tell all your secrets to?
I have!
And I will treasure
Her longer than
She will grace this
Green, wonderful, exciting world
She taught me to enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Life is changing for the better for me! Scary


Life is changing for the better for me and I have to admit, I feel a little scared. Sometimes it’s easier to face the demons of our present situation than to move into the beautifulness of a better life. Well, you may have guessed my apartment in take went well. Yes, my Mom went with and did get excited at certain points. However, she even told me that I handled myself with maturity. I went out of that meeting feeling really good and my Mom wasn’t upset when she left. My Mom did make the comment about the fact that I told the apartment director I won’t be going home as much as did last time, saying that she only saw her parents twice a year when she became a Navy wife at twenty. That was a little extreme and I reminded her I can sleep at their house once a month. You see last time I was in the same apartment program I was going to my parents’ home every weekend. That is just not healthy because I am supposed to have friends (which I have now) and I need to do stuff with them on the weekends too!

It’s just all so scary for me. I keep thinking these weird thoughts like what if my roommate has digital cable hooked up in our living room and aspects me to pay half of it. Now I do want cable, but I don’t need four hundred channels. I am also worried if she has high speed internet hooked to the cable and wants me to go wireless on my computer. I am planning to get dial up when I move because I need to able to afford everything. I worry if I will want to use the computer when she wants to use the phone. I also worry about what if I want to use the phone when she wants to use it. However, looking at it and writing it down it all seems so silly. These are really minor things that I don’t think will happen. Maybe the part about me wanting to use the phone when she does, but everyone has that problem when they live with other people in a dwelling. I know that happens here at my parents’ house so what’s the difference? Also all of these things can be easily solved like the digital cable thing; I could get regular cable in my room and just chill there. And which is really stupid anyway because I really don’t watch that much T.V. The reason I am leaving my parents home is a more serious problem. I can’t handle the emotionally draining fights with my mother. There are only two solutions to that problem. I can move out or I can go to therapy with her! And being that I am going to turn thirty – one on the twenty – first of January, I would rather move out. Don’t get me wrong I will still work on my relationship with my Mom, but it will be easier if sometimes I can say, “O.K., Mom I am going to my apartment to let us both cool down!” I do totally believe that relationships in your family sort of influence they way you react in other relationships. However, realizing when someone is toxic is also valuable.

I am also a little nervous because I am going to start my volunteer work at the hospital. This is my dream. I did go eight years to get a four year degree in Literature, but to work a full time job in that field (being a teacher) is just too stressful for my mental illness. I could work part time somewhere, but by me going to college that long I built up a debit big enough that if I worked a part – time job I would be paying it off for the rest of my life. Anyway, I have a lawyer (who’s an Episcopalian priest) who took my case pro – bono (I don’t have to pay him anything) and proved to the government I can’t pay my loans because I can’t work. So my chosen profession is volunteer work. I do get government benefits so it’s not like I am going to be homeless (but obviously now you know why I can’t have digital cable). Anyway, my dream is to volunteer in the ER at the hospital I go to. I would help patients by getting them blankets and such. I also found out I would help the ER staff with clerical work. Now the scary part! The hospital said they have openings. I even have an application. I don’t know what there going to say about me waiting until January to start, but it looks like I will actually be able to do my dream! That’s scary to me. The biggest thing for me, is what if I do this and fail? What then? However, we can always have new dreams and ideas and I think if I was eighty years old, never having followed my dream, I would be more upset with myself than if I tried and failed.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on with me! My new life is starting and I have all these little worries. Although, failing at my dream is not a little worry. However, sometimes you have to experience something in order to know if it's what you want.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where am I going to be?

Hello, everyone. For my avid followers and those that occasionally stop by I would to ask for forgiveness for my absence from the blog world. I just didn’t feel like blogging. I’ve been sleeping a lot. First it was because my thyroid levels were off and it was making me sleepy. Then I got into this pattern of sleeping away my day. This brings me to my topic. I am going to be moving out of my parents’ house so I will have way more to do and I won’t be sleeping my day away.

It started because I had a fight with my Mom over getting something to drink out of the kitchen. She thought I had wanted water, juice, or milk and didn’t want me to have any of those. I was trying to explain to her I wanted the soda. Her reasons were the water was still filtering and there wasn’t much juice or milk. However, my therapist says I shouldn’t have to ask for food. I give all my food stamps which pays for two out of four weeks of groceries and there is three of us in the household so I pay more than my share of the food. To me, it freaked me out because after we started yelling, I sat on the kitchen floor crying. My therapist and psychiatrist just said that I had a strong reaction to my Mom’s reaction. However, I have noticed a pattern that my symptoms, about eighty percent of the time, are triggered by fights with my Mom that are often useless.

Well, I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I had been waiting for an apartment in the highest level of a program for my county of New York State that teaches mentally ill people how to live on their own. The highest level is for the most functioning, can take care of themselves people! It’s the permanent step and for this reason has a very long waiting list. I was at the bottom level of the apartment program from 2005 – 2006 and felt I was being too supervised. Well, there is an in between level, lower than what I have been waiting for, but higher than what I was in. I have chosen to sign up for this level and wait for the higher one there because I can’t wait at my parents’ home any longer.

I will have a regular apartment, whereas the lowest level I lived in a building that this program owned. All the apartments where together and it had an office where I had to go and they watched me take my pills. I also had to check in with them as to my whereabouts during the day. Also they would come into my apartment tell me what needed to be cleaned. The level I signed up for, it much similar to HUD in which the progam would make a deal with landlord that they pay my rent. So no one would know, it would just be a regular apartment. I take my pills on my own, I go where I want, and I clean when I want. However, I will still have an apartment counselor come once a week and count my pills (which they don’t do at the highest level). At all levels the apartment counselor will do therapy on living on ones for an hour and at the same time be in the apartment so if it is overly messing she will say something. The other difference between the highest and this level is I will have a roommate which in the highest level I would have a very own, by myself. I will still get into the highest level as soon as it’s available, but it could be another year or more. This middle level has openings as it is temporary because the point is to get to the highest level. Some people go from this middle level straight to HUD, I will decide later if that’s what I want to do.

The reason it will give me more freedom is because I will be in the larger town. I told my Grandma Flossie for those of us living outside of New York City, in New York State, it seems like its own city. However, growing up in Chicago I know it’s not a real big city it just seems that way. Anyway, there is more stuff I can walk to because I don’t have a car right now. Most important is I can start my volunteer work. I want to work in the hospital ER. At the hospital near my home, which will actually be in the same town as my apartment and in very close walking distance, there are many volunteer positions. However, because of my many medical problems I would like to give back to the ER. What I would do is visit patients in their room ask them if I could get them stuff like an extra blanket or water. I would also ask their families (if they had them there) if they would like soda, food, extra chairs to sit, etc. I am planning to do this three days a week so no more sleeping all day! Also I could walk to things like my doctors, group therapies, grocery store, library (which is about four times bigger than the one that’s near my parents’ home), some neat restaurants, and the pharmacy. So you I wouldn’t be trapped in my home all day.

I am really looking forward to this move. I can deal with people counting my pills once a week because I always take my pills and I have many people praying I will get a Christian roommate. And eventually, I will move to the top of the list of the highest level of the apartment program. Tomorrow I have an in take appointment for the middle level. I am very nervous because my Mom’s going to come with me. I don’t know what’s going to happen with her there. Pray for me everyone. And I am back to the blogging world. Yea!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

You confuse me


You confuse me
By Amanda Robin

You are beautiful,
Smart,
Non – smoker,
Take care of yourself,
And are very sweet.
This is why I like you.

You have periods where
You don’t want to talk
And that hits me
Like a thousand tiny
Knifes

You are secretive
Like a ghost
In the night
About whether
You have a girlfriend.

I wait for you e- mails
Like in those
Old movies where
The girl is waiting
By the phone.

However, you are
My friend.
Maybe you will
Become more one day.

I will see if there
Are more things
To like about you.
I'll make sure I know
You inside and out
Before I give you
My Heart.
I fear, though,
You may already
Have it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What happens when I am not fat?


O.k. maybe I didn’t choose myself. The guy in my Stress Management was just too cute. Since my last blog, I had decided to get his e- mail address because in group he talked about how he liked to use the computer. I thought two things: it’s not his phone number so it won’t be like admitting I like him so it's less risky and two it’s not his phone number so it’s not like totally going against my therapist because again it’s not like saying I like him. Well, I was so nervous the day before. However, I went to Yoga and that really calmed me down! Yoga is wonderful. I am getting side tracked so I ask him right! And he gave it to me. After my hands shook as I gave him the paper and dropped the pen I was handing to him to write it down. Anyway, I wrote him two days later and he wrote back the next day. So I am all excited and I wait a day to e – mail him. Well, five days later no response. You know what I do? I e – mail him again to ask him if he got my e – mail. Nothing for over week! Today I go to group, no words exchanged. The simple answer is in my second e – mail to him I asked him if he had a girlfriend. Maybe that was just as risky as asking for his phone number. Well, you know what? I keep thinking in my head, “What if he does want to encourage me because I am still over weight?’ Which by the way, I weighed myself at the clinic today because a wise person told me you should always use the same scale and I lost two pounds in two weeks!

Now everybody is either saying, “Amanda, that might not be the reason.” Or if you agree with me, “What a jerk?” Well, here comes my question. “What happens when I am not fat?” I mean eventually I will get to my goal weight, right? And I plan to stay there! What if I don’t find anyone until then, will I ever know if the person would like me if I was fat? I have been the fat girl now for eight years! I know what it’s like. Also there are not that many medicines for schizophrenia that don’t cause weight gain. What if something went wrong and I needed to be put back on a med with a side effect of weight gain. I mean yeah, I still work out and eat good, but what if I can’t maintain a healthy weight. I was over at my friend’s house watching “Fat like Me.” And the main character, after posing as a fat girl, asked her boyfriend, “What if I was fat, would you still like me?” He said, “You and I are athletes. We like being physically fit that’s just who we are!” So I say the real jerk will be the one who likes me when I am skinny.

Now I want to say something here. Most of the men I have been attracted to have been skinny. That’s just what my psychical body wants. Maybe that’s the way the kind of men I am attracted to feel about their women. However, I learned a very valuable lesson when I was just nineteen years old. I meet a guy first weekend at college before classes even started. He was the sweetest and gentlest guy I’ve ever known (maybe besides my Dad). I ate lunch every Friday with him for about three months. I had pledged a sorority and while I was still a pledge we had our first formal in December of 1998. I had to ask someone so I asked this sweet and gentle guy. NO, he wasn’t fat. However, to me he was not psychically attractive. He just didn’t look hot. But you know what? He became my first serious boyfriend. He was the first boy I ever frenched kissed and the first person to ever see me totally naked besides family members. And at nineteen I fell in love with him. Even when I was in love with him I would admit to my friends he looked ugly to me, but I loved him for who he was and how he treated me. There is still a nineteen year old girl inside of me that loves that nineteen year old boy. If we meet today, the two thirty year olds would have to get to know each other before we could start anything. So no, if I meet him today I wouldn’t be in love with him. But I think that holds my answer in it. I will date a couple of guys over the next few years and have crushes on a few more that I probably won’t ever date. But in the end I will find someone who loves me. Not Amanda skinny or Amanda fat. Not Amanda with the high check bones. Not Amanda with the fair skin and dish water blonde hair. No someone who loves Amanda the funny, sexy, understanding, smart, and, as my best friend puts it, sweetheart. Now maybe that will never happen, but I feel it will. I believe that if you believe it’s possible it will happen. And if it doesn’t, I am not going to marry someone who just likes me because I am skinny!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I choose me, is it the right decision?


Well, I choose me. I don’t know if you all got that from my poem. My poetry is not always about me, but that last post was about me. I have always been obsessed about love. I can remember being thirteen and thinkging a young boy in my Sunday school class was the only one for me. It continued for as long as I can remember. I mean that should have taught me something, there must have been at least ten people in my life already that I thought were the only ones for me. God keeps placing people in my life. And you know what I do? Instead of getting to know them, I jump off the deep end and start fantasizing! The qualities I want in a person just seem to magically appear in this person. When, if I actually listened to them or really got to know them without thinking about what my wedding dress was going to look like, I would realize I was just seeing what I wanted to see.

So there is this guy in my Stress Management Group. It’s a group therapy, I attend on Tuesday evening. And I would feel all flustered and make little plans to talk to him after wards. And I talked to my therapist about it two weeks ago and she said I really am getting a lot out of the group. You know, like besides Mr. Hottie, I was learning stuff that would help me deal with stress. Just so you know most groups run at the clinic I go to, you’re not allowed to date people in the group. So essentially what the topic turned to was shouldn’t I just be good friends with Mr. Hottie and stay in group? I thought about it for a whole week and decided that I choose me, that me getting something out of Stress Management was more important than some guy. I mean I still want to be his friend and learn more about him and maybe in the future pursue a relationship that is deeper. However, for now I just want to focus on the group not what I am going to say to him when we walk from the group room to the outside.

Today was my first group since I made this decision. I didn’t really feel sad that I decided not to be flirty. I did feel an attraction still, but I realized it was more of a physical thing. And the only thing I keep thinking now is “Did I miss my chance?” Which is really stupid because I said at beginning of this post I should have learned by now there are many people in which I have felt were the only ones for me, so in theory another person will come along soon enough. I feel sometimes like I am too old to be looking for someone, that I should already be married by now. And the thing that fuels this fire is a lot of my friends, that are the same age as me, are already married.

However, the thing is thirty isn’t old. I just talked to my therapist Monday about wanting to see who’s out there and dating different people. She says I am not too old and generally she knows what she is talking about. My best friend is forty and she’s still looking. She told me her sister got married for the first time at forty. I also have another friend who didn’t get married for the first time until she was thirty - six and she’s pretty happy. I remember once I asked one of my friends who was in her late thirty if she ever felt sad that she wasn’t married yet and you know what she said? My friend said, “I dated a lot of jerks in the past so I am happy I am single and not married to a jerk.” I really need to work on this whole, it’s all or nothing thing!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I choose me


I want to apologize to my avid blogger readers. I should have posted last week, but my Dad’s been on vacation now since the second. We’ve been doing a lot of fun stuff. However, I did miss you guys. Just wanted you to know I wasn’t sick or anything bad so no worries.

I choose me
By Amanda Robin

In span of my life
I have always picked
From the bucket
Of choices
Love of another person.

I am still hopelessly
Romantic,
But sometimes
The romance
Lies with in
One’s own self.

Those people we’ve
Looked up to
From far away
Say you have to love
Yourself first
And I do.

However, sometimes
In the bucket
You have to continue
choosing you.


Just because I am
In the right state of mind
Doesn’t mean romance
Comes without torns.

Sometimes the choice
In front of us
Is what is best for me
Not am I ready.

Sometimes even though
It might be a healthy
Relationship
It comprises something
For me.

I was faced with that
Choice from the bucket.
I could choose a healthy
Relationship and
Lose something important,
Or I could choose me.
And I choose me!

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Helper

You know the thing that helps me the most in my dark hours of my mental illness? My Jesus. When I was a teenager I had a thing for Jewish guys. I remember the first hot Jewish guy, he was my actual first crush. Pauly Shore! I can remember coloring Easter Eggs at my Grandma’s house in the kitchen and she had a T.V. in her kitchen. Now a little aside, when I got to be about thirteen, around the time of this Pauly Shore revolution, I hated Easter. I would color Easter Eggs on Good Friday all by myself so that on Easter I could eat Easter Eggs all by myself. Now back to my story. There was hot Pauly Shore in Speedos on “Totally Pauly” talking about being Jewish. Well, the perfect Jewish man, that I could actually date, didn’t come until about ten years later. I learned something. A Jewish guy wouldn’t want his kids to know my BESTEST FRIEND, my Redeemer, my Lord Jesus. I mean if I just married a Jewish guy and it was just us, it would fine. He could practice what he wanted and I could practice what I wanted, but I always wanted kids in the equation.

Well, how about this Jesus? How about Yeshua? My Jewish man come to do his Father’s will. Well, way back in 1999. Before I felt suicidal, I did know there was something wrong with me. I had to fix it. I hadn’t been going to church my whole time at college. Well, maybe sometimes, but I would go hung over and half asleep. So I went to Reconciliation. And after what I told the priest and how he forgave me through Jesus, I cried. I walked out the confessional and cried some more in front of the Blessed Sacrament. There were no other people for Reconciliation so the priest came and asked me if I needed to talk. I was embarrassed and said no. I got up and left the church and cried all the way back to my dorm. Then came when it got really bad and I was going to end it all. I felt like I could trust no one. I saw a middle aged black man coming down my dorm hall. It was really weird because I went to a college in Southern Indiana where there isn’t very many African – Americans. And he told me that I could trust my father. I knew at that moment I needed to talk to my Dad, but after I went my dorm room I pushed the thought aside. Later that night, I got in my car and was ready to start it up and find a wall and crash my car! Then I got a feeling that wasn’t my own. I had heard others talked about this phenomenon before. My mother always described, when she was taking communion to the hospital, that when many people did not wish to receive that she would walk the halls and feel a great sadness that wasn’t her own. Well, I felt this feeling and it felt like strong warning not to go through with killing myself. Later I was court ordered to a mental health unit and I remembered what my Guardian Angel (for I believe that was what the middle aged black man was) had said to trust my Dad. I put him as my emgerency contact and he was there for me during my stay. For example I tried to escape three times from the mental health unit. Which was really just me going on the elevator that needed key to go anywhere so all it really did was close and open doors, the nurses witnessing this called my Dad. He talked to me and helped me. He still helps me when I get panic attacks.

Now you all know I was in the hospital about two weeks ago. Well you know what my Yeshua did? He sent all three priests from my parish to visit me. One every other day! On Thursday the twelfth he sent Fr. Michael. Father Michael asked me if I ever received the sacrament of the sick. In the old days before Vatican Two it was called Last Rights. Fr. Michael said I have a serious illness and it could help me so I agreed. He forgave all my sins, anointed me, and laid hands on me. I didn’t have any racing thoughts after that. And after he was all done, I asked Father Michael if I could have a hug. Now I have hugged lots of priests, but I am always embarrassed with Fr. Michael because he is young and cute. Anyway, he hugged me and I mean he REALLY hugged me. I felt it was my Jesus saying that everything would be o.k. I thought about that hug all day and when I was saying my prayers before bed, which by the way I could say better because there were no racing thoughts, and just felt Jesus' love

Now those are two examples of how my bridegroom, Yeshua has been there for me. He is always there. I love him. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan to become a bride of Christ (a nun). However, Yeshua will always come first.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weak points


We all have our weak points, our good days and bad days. At least that’s why my therapist told me! I just felt like everyone expects me to be the healthy, strong one all the time. Well, two Mondays ago I wasn’t strong. I felt like leaving this earth. My Dad took me to the ER and I had to wait an awfully long time! The crisis nurse asked me what I wanted to do. She said there is only two choices in the ER, go home and sleep then wake up and call my therapist and ask for an earlier appointment. Or she said I could stay on the mental health unit of the hospital. For about fifteen minutes we went back and forth with me saying that I didn’t know what to do. Finally, I said that I guess I am saying that I don’t feel safe enough to go home, but I can’t say that because everyone expects me to be the strong, healthy one!

Well, I spent a week in the inpatient mental health unit of the hospital. It was quite relaxing. I think when you have a mental illness sometimes you just have to admit you are not the strong, healthy one and just be. We had group therapies and I did a lot of coloring. I used to color in coloring books when I got nervous. Well, the unit had all these neat pictures to color. I also listened to music. I just laid and listen. I haven’t done that in a long time. I also dove into my library book that I actually just picked up from the library earlier in the day before I went to the ER. Also it’s hard for someone to understand this who is not mentally ill, but other mentally ill people are just nice to be around when you can’t handle so called normal people. My stay was quite good for me. It was a good thing I decided to admit my weakness, even though I beat around the bush to do it!

I think life is a lot like that. I think even if one is not mentally ill, everyone needs some time away to admit there weakness and focus on themselves. I know that after I first was diagnosed, way back when I was nineteen and I choose to go back to school, I had to change the way I did my school work. I mean ever since I was five years old, I went to school and did my work the same way! I left everything to the very last minute. I realized real quick, when I starting going to school while dealing with a major mental illness, that I couldn’t do that anymore. Only having the night before to work on a project that was given a month ago was just too stressful and too hard to concentrate on for an all nighter. I had to plan my project out and work on them a little each day.

I missed the blog world while I was gone. That’s really the only thing I missed was the computer. I know some of you wrote comments about my last post and I didn’t write back right away, but that’s because they don’t allow computers in the unit. I have written back to the nice comments. And don’t feel bad when you have a bad day. There is always tomorrow. I know that everyone says only worry about today, but sometimes they day is crappy and all you can do is cuddle up in bed and admit your weakness. I promise there will be a tomorrow with sunshine and if there isn’t, I believe there is a special place that God has prepared that will be better than all the tomorrows anyone ever wish for! Hugs to all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baby steps
By Amanda Robin

Jesus I hear you whispering
Softly in my ear.
You’re telling me
My answer,
That I have waited
My whole life to hear.
You say, “Take baby steps.”

I look back on the vastness
Of my life and think,
“Yeah, baby steps
That’s how I achieved
All I have.”

“When I was so sick
With my mental illness
That I didn’t know if I
Would live to see thirty
You helped me with
Baby steps,
Get through eight years
Of college.”

“When I wanted to come out
Of my island of loneliness
Known as isolation,
You helped me with
Baby steps,

make more friends
than I have ever
Dreamed possible."

Now oh my Jesus
I want to connect
With a handsome man
And your answer is
“Baby steps.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Variables


Life is kind of funny. You think all I have to do is have a positive attitude and take care of myself and everything will be o.k. But you know what? Life is full of uncertainty! I mean we don’t get to choose when we are born or when we die. However, that not the only variable. Take for instant this guy in my group therapy. He is super hot and I like him because he doesn’t smoke, but for the life of me, I can’t get him to talk to me! Maybe it’s some weird cosmic karma. I mean I used to be only a hundred and fifteen pounds in high school and I had long blond hair down my back, but I was so shy. I find guys on Facebook from my high school and they usually say, “Amanda I had a crush on you way back when, but I could never get you to talk to me.” So no matter how much I like this hot guy Jason there is this variable of him choosing to talk to me that I can not control.

Another example is my apartment, I want to be in it sooooo bad. It’s not like living with my parents is horrible or anything, it’s just that I want a place of my own with my own stuff and privacy! However, I can’t control when I get to the top of the waiting list. Maybe that is some kind of weird cosmic karma. I always wanted to stay with my parents. I mean I really wanted to go to college and I thought going in another state would be fun, but I dreaded the day my parents pulled away from my dorm hall parking lot. I tried to spend every minute I could with them. I still have this feeling like if I don’t sit and watch a movie with them at night than thirty years from now when they have Alzheimer’s, I am going to wish that I had watched the movie with them on July, 28th, 2010. However, that too is a variable. I mean my parents could live to be a hundred and have all their faculties or they could both get heart attacks tomorrow. I have no control over that and I shouldn’t worry. You know why? Because if I spend every waking hour with them, then I am going to be seventies years old and my friends will be gone and I will wish I would have went to dinner with them instead of spending time with my parents! Anyway, now that I finally want freedom from my parents, I have to let the universe deal me the luxury of enough people moving out of TSA for me to get into it!

I would like to give just one more example. The success of my poetry, I have no control over that. And of course, that too is some weird cosmic karma! I remember my really good friend in high school. She was the president of the creative writing club and I was the vice president of the creative writing club our senior year. I asked her if she had one wish what would it be and she said, “To live in a world where we wouldn’t have to worry about money. Where I could just spend my time writing.” Now I have my life all figured out where I don’t have to work. I get disability benefits from the government. I do volunteer work and group therapies to keep my life in balance, but I don’t have to wake up a six – thirty in the morning or worry about a presentation for my boss or anything. So I can use my spare time to write. And that’s why I like blogging, it gives me an audience! However, I have no control over the fact that if I send my poetry into a publisher that she will like it! I still talk to my friend from high school, she is getting her Ph.D. in creative writing right now, but she has to work at the college with a classroom full of people who don’t know if they even want to take a class in poetry. I mean they could just be doing it because they heard that it would be an easy credit for an elective! And here I am writing a bunch of shit on a computer to people when I could be writing a master piece that would change the world! Well, maybe this so called “shit” might change someone’s world. That I guess is another variable!

Anyway, all I am saying is don’t get discouraged because life is not all ours to control. We still may have shitty days because dogs will crap in the house, people we love will get sick, or we miss the five fifteen train going home. Just because you eat right and take all your medicine doesn’t mean that you get to live to a hundred and three. And just because you love your parents doesn’t mean that they will always do what you want them to do or be. I guess the same goes for children. I don’t have any yet and that is another variable. My goodness, I didn’t realize all the variables there are!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Moving On


Well, I’ve been really busy which is why I haven’t blogged in almost two weeks! The most exciting thing I did was go to a Bon Jovi concert. I've never been to a live concert of someone famous enough to be on Saturday Night Live. I mean that’s what I thought two weeks before the concert when I saw Bon Jovi on SNL. I’ve been to concert before, but they were Christian local bands that I don’t even think get air time on the radio! Now I have a little crush on Bon Jovi because he is even cuter in person. However, if you told me five years ago that I would be in line for an hour waiting to get a good seat (my best friend and I had lawn seats), then I would crush through a ton of people to the stage, listen to a rock concert, and then crush back through a crowd of people. I would tell you that you’re crazy. Mostly because I had a hard time handling crowds!

You know what else I’ve been up to? I joined a Yoga class. Today was my third class. Five years ago, I had just had a bad experience with Albify and said that I would rather be fat and have diabetes than hear voices. Now that still is true, but in October I decided to give Geodon a try. Now I am not promoting or telling you not to take certain pills. Everyone’s brain chemistry is different so unless you happen to be my long lost twin; you have to find the medicine that is right for you. Anyway, it was a little scary at first. And there were points when I have had delusions and the medicine had to be adjusted, but for the most part everything is o.k. So I decided if my medicine is going to help me lose weight, I am not going to let it do it all on it’s own. I’ve been exercising two to three times a week at the Y. Then, I would say about February, after being encouraged by the scale, I started eating better. So far to date I have lost thirty – one pounds. Anyway, I finally feel comfortable enough to join a class at the Y and I choose Yoga because I still get panic attacks. I thought Yoga would relax me and it does! I am getting better at the stretches each time I go. And it’s a wonderful feeling to be fit.

I am also thinking about the future. For example, I am going to compile a body of work of my poetry and submit it as a book of poetry to a publisher. Also I am thinking beyond the apartment that I am on the waiting list for. I have two possibility for my midlife years. One I don’t get married, save money to buy my own mobile home, and get a little puppy. The other to find a man, get married, and go through an adoption agency for a son between the ages of two and five years old. I really don’t care where I live if I get married (of course I want to stay in the North Country of New York state, I meant if my husband wants a house and he can afford it, then it’s all good with me). I don’t have a boyfriend at the moment so I tend to think of being by myself, but now that I am doing more I do meet more guys! I guess will have to see. I still live one day at a time, but there was a time when I just couldn’t think beyond a year or two. I just didn’t see hope. I thought I would muddle through life the same way for the rest of my life! I thought a good day would always be just because I didn’t have an episode and I got a hamburger at a burger joint that made me feel good.

Now my question is: I am I better? Did I move on? I have moved on to a “life worth living.” However, a schizophrenic is never “better.” Tomorrow, my Mom’s CA125 could come back that she has cancer and I could get so stressed out that I don’t go to that Yoga class and instead I just sit in my room and draw lines on my arm with scissors or talk to voices that no one else can hear. Although, I would like to think I would handle it better than that. I’ve got have a lot of coping skills. All I am saying is there is always unforeseen stress, but there is hope at the end of the tunnel. Right now I am not going to worry about the unforeseen stress and live my “life worth living.” I am going to be happy with more than a burger and I going to see hotties both in concert and working out at the gym. I am going to look forward to my little puppy or my beautiful son. I am going to live each day as “normal” as possible because I have moved on!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Life is crazy

Life is Crazy
By Amanda Robin

You think I am crazy?
Check out life!
It will throw you
For a roll coaster ride.
One minute things
Are up.
The next there down.
You thought you didn’t
Have many friends
Then you lost them
And realized you
Had way more than
A handful.
So you tried to change
That and guess what!
You have way more
Than a handful again.
Boys seem to come
And go.
You think well,
“I always have
My girls.”
Then a really fly
Guy who
Just happens not
To smoke
Shows up right
In front of your face.
Your dreams fall apart
And you decide to
Dust yourself off!
You do things
Little by little.
Then you realize
You have created
A life for yourself
That makes
The old dream
Pale in comparison.
Yep, that’s life
And in a really nice
And exciting way
It’s pretty screwed up!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Irony


I started my stress management group yesterday. That is partly why I haven’t blogged yesterday. As my followers know, I try to blog once a week! Anyway, it was in the evening. It was a very interesting group. It is actually run by a psychiatrist, which is unusual, all the other groups run, at the mental health clinic I go to, are run by therapists. Being a group running psychiatrist is also unusual because the clinic is a government run clinic (I am on Medicare and Medicaid) and there is SOOO much work they put on the docs! I found this doc. to be very insightful and caring. And you know what else there is more men that go to this group. There is one my age and he looks really cute, he doesn’t say much, though. I have decided to first try to become his friend before I jump to day dreaming stuff!

Anyway, I am getting side tracked here. Let me back up a bit. From 2004 to 2006 I went to a day treatment facility for the mentally ill. I think I wrote about it in my last blog. Anyway, about a year into going there I made this friend Catlin. She actually sought me out and I felt special. However, something was always off and I didn’t quite put my finger on it. She did do little things that annoyed me. I have friends that smoke and I used to smoke so I respect their need for a cigarette. I don’t condone smoking, but I can not judge as I can honestly say an over eater’s anonymous group would do me some good. Anyway, a lot of times I will be in a mall or restaurant with one of my smoking friends (in New York State you can not smoke in public places) and they need a cigarette. Most of the time I will let them go outside by themselves, but sometimes I accompany them so we can keep the conversation going. My smoker friends will politely only smoke one cigarette if I am out there with them, but Catlin will smoke three or four. Also she told me before that if someone can handle their weed then they can smoke marijuana. I know these are minor things, but they bothered me. And to me there was something bigger that was bothering me that I couldn’t figure out. So I stopped calling her and returning her phone calls and I had already graduated the day treatment facility so I wasn’t in regular contact with her.

Now here comes the irony. I went to my stress management group and she is a member of it too (which I didn’t know until my first day which was yesterday). And you know what we talked about in Stress Management group? Toxic relationships! Most of the things we were talking about applied to her. I know she is a nice, smart, and interesting person. However, she brings me down, I don’t feel my morals are validated in the relationship, I don’t feel comfortable in the relationship, and something feels wrong in my gut. So what the heck is this gut feeling?

I thought about it today. Yes, it was still bothering me once I got up this morning. Not like bothering me where I couldn’t function because worry is a symptom of my mental illness when it effects my daily activities. And I can tell you that I didn’t lose any sleep over it. I just thought about it because she is this nice, smart, and interesting person. Well, I finally put my finger on it. Some of you may know, and for those of you who don’t I will go into it a little, I had an abusive relationship with a woman just before I was diagnosed with my mental illness. One of my axis of my diagnosis is that I have a sexual identity issue. This means my sexuality and thought of what I am bothers me. And I have learned through therapy that I may never know my sexuality. The best label I can tell you is that I am bisexual preferring men. I can not see myself living the rest of my life with a woman. There really are only three women in my life that I have ever been sexually attracted to and I have fallen in love with one, my abusive ex – girlfriend.

Anyway, I hope that is a good explanation of my sexuality, but back to how this relates to Catlin (who is straight by the way). When I first met my ex (I am not going to tell you her name because she doesn’t deserve to be immortalized on the internet at least not by me) she sort of picked me out of the crowd. I was actually at my first open rush event in my sorority, after pledging my sorority, and this woman came out of no where and paid attention to me like I was the only person in the whole room. And thinking about it, when I meet Catlin she picked me out at the day treatment facility and acted like I was the only person in the whole room. Now some of my followers have spouses and lovers and will tell you when someone swipes you off your feet that’s one of things they do. However, in a healthy relationships someone doesn’t do it manipulate you. They don’t do it so you don’t see their flaws and have you just focus attention they are giving you. Well, at least I hope not. Also when I came to know my ex, she constantly gave me attention like I was the only person in the room. Now those same swiped off your feet people will tell you that healthy relationships have space. You invite people on double dates, you have friends you go do stuff with, and you have hobbies that you do that you later share with your lover, but every waking moment is not spent with that person. I realized that, looking at when after the group therapy was over; Catlin, who hadn’t seen me in three years, jumped across the room to ask me to go to for coffee with her like we were close still, was focusing just on me. It was creepy. I know that she isn’t after a love affair. However, she is trying to manipulate me back into that toxic relationship where she brings me down, my morals aren’t validated, and I am uncomfortable.

You see my irony? The psychiatrist led a group discussion about toxic relationship and here I was in the room with someone who wants a toxic relationship with me! No, I am not going to quit the group. Knowing Catlin, she probably won’t show up half the time and quit in a couple of months. Also I have a right to be somewhere that is going to help me. I also want to venture into a friendship with a hottie! However, for now I will tell her I am too busy to hang out and if she stats callng me again (she hasn’t called me since I broke off the friendship before) I just won't take her phone calls . Like I said, she is smart. If she doesn't get the idea, I will tell her that I have stuff I have to work on with myself and can’t be around her right now. Maybe that’s still giving her hope. I just don’t want to be rude or put her down. I would like some thoughts on this. I appreciate my readers and do read your comments. I always respond, I don’t know if you check back after you write something, but I do. Thank you my on – line support buddies!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A common FEAR!


O.k. This is the thing! I go to my therapist today and I want to talk about something I feel weird about. I had talked to another therapist about this when I was at the day treatment facility for the mentally ill. I don’t know if my followers and those reading this know, but from 2004 to 2006 I was at a day treatment facility where we did three one hour group therapies three days a week! On top of that we saw our individual therapists for an hour a week. It was pretty intense. However, I learned a lot! The most important being was that I don’t have to LIVE with my PARENTS for the rest of my life, which can’t happen away because they will eventually leave this world. Anyway, the therapist at the day treatment facility, she said I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, which is true about this fear. However, my therapist now, said that what I had was a common fear! I am thinking finally. Something that didn’t just happen because my uniquely screwed up family or the shafted genes I got.

What is this fear you ask? Simple! It’s that my best friend Chrissy will get pissed off at me and we won’t be friends anymore. I mean I would really miss her now that I am beginning to trust her. We have three big things in common, we are both paranoid schizophrenics, we are both single over thirty women, and we hold bachelor’s degrees (which is special because most schizophrenic don’t finish college). We talk on the phone everyday almost. And we spend at least two weekends out of the month together. I would be lonely without her. I do have other friends that I do stuff with. I actually have three other friends here within thirty minutes of me. Also my friend Robin, who used to live here, calls me at least once a week from Virginia. To add to that, my followers know that I have friends back in Indiana and Chicago, but e – mail is kind of stale. Of course, I have all of you. It’s rather interesting this blogging thing. It’s kind of like an on – line support group. I can tell you guys anything, mostly, because I would probably never meet you in the real world, but more because you are all so understanding.

Well, anyway. I told my therapist that I was afraid that I would piss Chrissy off and she’d go away. My therapist told me that this is a common fear because little children can be hurtful! I have to realize that it has to do with my past and that it wasn’t anything I did when I was a little girl or a teenager that pissed off my friends, it was them! My therapist said that plus I had a low self esteem when I was young and she had the beautiful water description. She said that when you have low self esteem you’re at a lower level and you seep less water in a relationship. When you have a normal self esteem you seep way more water for healthy relationship to be filled. Also I guess I am at an advantage because my therapist is Chrissy's therapist so she knows Chrissy is healthy. My therapist even made the comment that she can’t reveal personal information to me, but she would say that Chrissy is a good person.

Anyway, if anyone feels like somebody is too good to be true, you know what? You might be wrong! You may have come to a place where you are healthy enough for lots more water to seep in for a healthy relationship. I just say this because if this truly is a common fear then more people need to be told. I often wonder sometimes when people say that they wish they could be a little kid again. I don’t want to be one. When I was little the other little kids where nasty, my parents scared me shitless, and I couldn’t wait to grow up! Right now as I live and breathe, I believe the best age is thirty. I love it. When I was a child, life was pretty messed up as I said, as a teenager my life was turned up side down with new pressure like boys and getting into college, and my twenties were trying to settle into my adult body. Now I finally feel comfortable in my own skin and know what the heck I am doing! I am not saying that everything is going to be perfect and there won’t be sadness, but I think the torture is gone.

Monday, June 14, 2010

For Nina


It’s one of my good friends and sister in Christ has birthday on the twenty – eight of this month. So I am dictating this to her. Nina has battled bipolar for many years and now her medicine just is not helping her! Her old psychiatrist retired and she is trying to get used to a new one while going through another low. Anyone of you that pray on this site, pray for Nina. And those who don’t send good universe energy out to her.

For Nina
By Amanda Robin

Nina loves her Savior with a love
That the devil can’t touch.
He is lifting her now
Into His mighty chest
And holding her
Saying Nobody is going
To hurt you
Not today.

Nina has friends that love her
Friends that won’t go away
Just because they can’t see
Her right now
Because we remember
The graceful love
She has for us.

Nina is beautiful
Like a butterfly.
Nina is kind
Like mother Angelica.
Nina is sweet
Like honey straight
From the comb.
Nina is smart
Like me.
Nina is caring
Just like Jesus.
Nina is creative
Like Pablo Pasco.
Nina is understanding
Like my first grade teacher

Nina is all this and more
That why I love her.
And why the great Almighty
Is delighted in His child
Nina.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What I am proud of!


I am becoming more independent! Something trivial as being able to take care of ones owns money is a big step for me. You see when the government decided to grant me my social security; they decided that I couldn’t handle my own money so for the past nine years my Mom was my payee. What that means is my checks got directly deposited into an account that said Phyllis (our last name) for Amanda (last name again). My mom was responsible for making sure I spent my money wisely. Every year she had to fill out a Payee report on how much I spent for food, clothes, and entertainment. Now this doesn’t make sense because my parents are the ones going through bankruptcy, but that’s the way it was.

Now I think social security did this because when they accessed me to see if I was really disabled enough to receive social security benefits they had to talk to my psychiatrist. At that time I was going through my second mini schizophrenic break. My delusion at that time was that I was going to fly to Las Vegas, get off my meds. so I could be skinny, and become a prostitute. Now that doesn’t really seem logical because one my one month of social security might get me a plan ticket and maybe food and shelter for about three or four days! And second if, even now, I went off my medicine I could not focus enough to handle a job even it was being a prostitute. However, I can see this now because I have matured enough in my illness (after ten plus years of having it) to realize these things and it is probably one of the reason my doctor agreed to tell the government that now I can handle my own money.

I am trying to lose weight, but not in taking myself off my medicine. What I did was request to be put on a medicine for schizophrenia that doesn’t cause weight gain and am exercising and eating better (mostly not as much as I used too). And nope I don’t want to be a prostitute anymore. I am a person that is fascinated but sex. However, when I have sex, I want it to be more like making love that just an act! And I think the only reason I wanted to go to Las Vegas was one my parents wouldn’t find me and two prostitution is legal! Now to get away from my parents I go by one my friend’s house and turn off my cell phone and as you all know I am getting my own apartment. And no they won’t have a key!

Anyway, about a month ago I requested to become my own payee and like I said I had to have my psychiatrist tell them I could handle my own money. And therefore, since she agreed to do that for me, I feel more independent. The waiting on social security was hard. My American readers now how SLOOOOWWW our government is. Today I got a call from social security asking me if I had a personal account that I would like my social security checks to be directly deposited into and I was like am I my own payee. And I found out I was. It made me feel so proud.

No more waking up the day of the first and third of month to deposit money into my personal account for bills that are being taken out that day! My check will automatically go there! No more my Mom being able to borrow money without asking. I am free to do with my money what I want. Well, social security does tell me that I can’t save more money in the bank than two thousand dollars, but to me once I get two thousand dollars in the bank I am going to put a down payment on a car! For a normal person when you’re eighteen you either go off to college or get your first full – time job and you can spend your money however you want. But for me, I had to wait until my illness was stable, I had have a handle on my delusions, and my doctor had to feel that she agreed that the with my assessment of those two things had occurred. So maybe I don’t have a high paying career or a kid that just graduated kindergarten, but darn it, I am happy today because the government said I can handle my own money!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Growing, really?


In life there is a growing process. I am actually reading a book about heaven and how purgatory is not a place of punishment, but of growing. And I am all like, I want to stay in purgatory then! Anyway, that’s not what this is about. I am becoming more independent. Today my Mom must have said like six times why don’t we take the dog to Petsmart! I told her I wanted to go to the Y and work out. You see my goal right now is to lose another twenty – five pounds so that I can start fitting into the clothes at Old Navy again! And I can’t do that unless I exercise at least three times a week! So instead of doing what my Mom wanted to do, I did what I wanted to do. I mean a lot of times I just go with her because I like to talk to someone. However, since I am not isolating anymore, I have four friends that live near me that I can talk to anytime I want. Well, they have to be free to talk. I also wrote about my friend that is slowly becoming my best friend! She is one of the four, but more importantly I talk to her the most. And it’s not like talking with my Mom about relatives who put her down or who are better than her or whatever. We also don’t talk about how sucky the government is running things. I know some of my blog followers like to talk about politics, but it’s different with my Mom. It’s like there is no hope for America at ALL. You know I am actually going to call my almost new best friend tomorrow when I get out of Anxiety group while she is at the train station just to say goodbye because she is leaving for Memorial Day weekend to see her best friend from High School. I mean she is only going for four days and we are calling each other to say goodbye!

My Mom also, as I was eating dinner, kept saying to me the dog looks hot. Now we have air conditioning and if you stay in the living room (which the dog does when he is by himself because he watches PBS) then it’s really not hot at all. I mean if we had no air conditioning, when my Dad got home from work, I would have been all like let’s grab a hamburger and get that dog to some air conditioning. But I wanted to work out for me! No one else, but for the satisfaction of going to a normal clothing store, not Fashion Bug PLUS or the Avenue (Plus size store). I am not saying those stores aren’t normal. However, for one thing they rip overweight woman off. I saw a shirt at Fashion Bug Plus for about twenty – four dollars that, if I could get into one size smaller, I can get for about nine bucks at Old Navy! I mean I used to have a credit card to the Avenue and maxed that sucker out. I guess you know by now I love my clothes. Now I can go to the Salvation Army and get plus size clothes really cheap and it’s just a section not an ostracized store in the mall. However, sometimes a girl just wants the latest fashion cheap.

So you know what I did? Sorry gentlemen if I was losing you there! I told my Mom to drop me off at the Y and she could take our dog to Petsmart. We were both happy when we were done. I felt good from a workout. For those trying to get into working out, at first your muscles will scream, but after about a month it feels REALLY good when you work out! Just don’t do it too much! Know your limits. Anyway, my Mom had fun with our dog! Just to clear things up, my family only has one car. I mean I could have totally driven myself to the Y if I had my own car or if my parents didn’t share a car. But back to the story, my Mom talked and talked about Petsmart. Better than the world’s going to hell in a hand basket like usual.

What really shows that I am independent is I didn’t have to go to the Y with her. I thought about it when I was done with the bikes. I go to the Y with her and we sit and talk while we ride the stationery bikes. However, after that our routines differ. I mean at the end of the workout sometimes we are lucky enough to get a tread mill close to each other and talk, but most of the time their way across the room! Anyway, I much rather watch the big screen T.V. while I am on the tread mill. It’s hanging on the wall at the Y. I was able to workout all by myself. Now it’s not just a big deal because I don’t like going places by myself, but because I feel self conscience. I feel like the fat girl at the Y. And when my Mom is at the Y with me, then I don’t think about it. However, when I caught my mind wondering over to the fact that the skinny girl on the next machine probably is wondering why I haven’t had a heart attack yet, I would say to myself that maybe that skinny girl may have started out like me. Maybe she’s been going to the Y for awhile and just goes now to keep the weight off and get that great feeling you have after you work out. And you know what? I also distracted myself by checking out the guys in the weight area that I can strategically see with the help of the mirrors around. Just so you gentlemen know, it’s not the muscle men that make me self conscience! It’s those skinny chicks!

Anyway, I am proud that I accomplish a long term goal all by myself. Maybe you can say that I accomplished several long term goals in one night. Independence is a beautiful thing. I think it’s important for anyone trying to live with a mental illness. We don’t live in asylums anymore. God gave us this wonderful meds, that the psychiatrist is not even sure of why it works, so that we can get up from the couch and go watch animals in the park or have jobs or go work out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Zen Place


My Zen Place
By Amanda Robin

No one every explained
Or maybe I should have
Got off my sorry butt
And looked through
A book.
I didn’t know that
My Zen Place
Could be my
God center of Being

You see last Monday
Was in my book
One of the best days
Of my life!
I went to a program
Where I really didn’t
Pay much attention.

But then like an angel
From Heaven
This ordinarily beautiful
Nun informed me
My God Center of Being
Could be my Zen place!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Passionate Blogger Award!

Hello my followers and guest stopping by,

This is a first for me. I am either blogging once a week or later than that. This is going to be the first time I blogged six days apart, but I am just so excited and wanted to pass the joy around! My blog buddy Lil, Bowling Borderline Lil (borderlinelil.blogspot.com), gave me a special award that means a lot to me. She also said something really nice about me that touched my heart! I wanted to pass it along because Lil says I get to pick five people. Thanks again Lil, you don’t know how much this means to me!

This is who I choose: I want to honor: Amber, Gaining insight (gaining-insight.blogspot.com). She is the one that got me started blogging and gave me great tips and advice on how to get my blog read by all the wonderful people that read my blog and make my blog worth reading. Right now Amber just had her first child (Lucas Joshua) so she hasn’t been blogging for a while, but Amber is passionate about helping the mental health community. She also has awesome artwork, check that out!

I also want to honor: Ashley, Overcoming Schizophrenia (OvercomingSchizophrenia.blogspot.com). She is so passionate about being active in the mental health community. Ashley has started support groups and been on a local radio station to promote mental health awareness. She uses her blog to tell us about all the exciting stuff going on in her journey to help others. Ashley is also special to me because she is a paranoid schizophrenic just like me!

I also want to honor: J.B.R., Just Be Real (justbereal77.blogspot.com). This person is one of my favorite religious bloggers. J.B.R. struggles with an abusive past and is in therapy. However, this person uses Jesus in a big way. J.B.R. inspires me to be myself and let Jesus heal me. Also with all the followers J.B.R. has this person always answer my comments and I am being a little selfish here, but this person always reads my blog too!

I also want to honor: Charlie, Professor B. Worm (thefirstbookoftesticles.blogspot.com). He makes me laugh. I also get to indulge in my next love only second to Jesus and that’s literature! Some of you may not know, but I have a B.A. in Literature. Charlie reviews great books and some not so great (so we don’t have to waste time reading them). Also when he is passionate about something he will blog about it. Check out his most recent one about Arizona and racism going out there.

Finally I want to honor: The Soulmate Guide (thesoulmateguide.blogspot.com). This is one of my new followings. I don’t know if it works, but I am sure finding the steps interesting. When your thirty years old and never been really in love with a good person, you need all the help you can get!

Sorry everyone, I don’t know how to put links on my page like Lil did so that’s why I wrote the addresses for you, because these are some passionate bloggers you should check out. And if Lil hadn’t given the award to me then I would have given it to her! All those awarded could copy the picture and put in on their post and honor five other deserving passionate bloggers! Thanks.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

One little thing makes all the difference in the world!


It’s really funny how life works, but one little thing makes all the difference in the world. This past Friday I got paid so I went and got my hair cut (holla’ at you Charlie;) Anyway, I got my haircut and I was sitting in the chair with my long light brownish - blondish hair thinking to myself, “What could I do to change my look.” I didn’t want to cut it more than the typical dead ends because every time I do I got to bed that night crying because I miss my over the shoulder length hair. It just blurted of me to my hair dresser, “What about bangs?” I haven’t had bangs since I was in high school and my ten year reunion was two years ago this summer. My hair dresser said that it would look nice to have something on my face. Well, I had an appointment with my therapist the same day and she all like “Your hair looks beautiful!” And I went to Saturday evening mass yesterday and got some compliments on my hair. All I did was get bangs. Now it is true that when I get the dead ends cut off the rest of my hair, my layers become more pronounced and my hair is softer because it’s healthier. However, I get this done every two months and I don’t get quite the response I got this time with the addition of the bangs!

Now life is sort of like that. About two or more years ago I decided to apply for housing so I could move out of my parents home for yet the third time in my life! It’s nearing the time when my apartment will be ready and let me tell you as a thirty year old living with dysfunctional parents it can’t come fast enough. Well, I would say in the past eight months it’s been very difficult. I wrote you all about the bankruptcy piece, but there is other little things that annoy me and are in fact things that are unhealthy for my emotional well being that my parents do. I have had friends before and I have hung around them. It true when I get very sick, I isolate. However, for longer than the last eight months I have been doing stuff with my friends like my mommy to be friend, Amber who is responsible for helping me get on blogspot. However, I haven’t really had a best friend since the woman who raped me. I wrote a whole blog on that maybe a month ago. Well, I am happy to report I am slowly becoming best friends with my friend Chrissy. We talk on the phone at least every other day. We tried to spend at least one day a week doing something fun together. And then there is the most important piece, I am actually confiding in her! It will take some time, but I think she will probably be the only one who knows all my secrets that are worth telling outside of individual therapy! It’s like one little thing, having a best friend to call up and drive over to her house when my parents are getting on my nerves, has made all the difference in the world. Also May is Mental Health Month and every year I go to the Citizen Committee dinner. However, Chrissy also convinced me to go to one of my old psychiatrist’s retirement dinners. So there will be a night when I just get dressed up and go with my best gal pal to a fancy dinner. And this one little change, having a best friend, has made all the difference in the world with waiting on my apartment.

My Spiritual life is like that too! I can remember growing up believing in God, but not really understanding or having a personal relationship. Then when I got into college I just knew God was there, but I didn’t have much interaction with him. Sometimes a bed time prayer, but that was about it. Then I got diagnosed with my mental illness. I was actually court ordered to a mental health unit in the state of Indiana, five hours away from my family. And you know what? I had no one else to turn too. My mind was playing tricks on me. For example, I almost blow up the organic chem. Lab. I felt my friends really didn’t understand. I mean really? How can nineteen and twenty year olds relate to something as big as a major mental illness? I mean I was going through it myself and I couldn’t understand it so how could I expect my friends too? And the doctors and nurses on the mental health unit, I didn’t really know, so how could I trust them? When someone tells you that hearing voices is normal for your illness, how can you wrap your mind around the fact that they are telling the truth? So there I was in the common area of the unit and tears just started streaming down my face! I called of the name of Jesus and ever since then my life has been different. Just one little difference, believing that Jesus the Nazarene died for my sins, has made my whole life different. Never after that point have I made an elaborate plan to meet my own demise. I am not going to lie, just like anyone with a major mental illness, there are times when I seriously thing about it. However before I can get to the point where I think, “O.k. I am going to do this, this, and this, and I will meet my end,” I go to the ER and talk to the crisis nurse. Having a personal relationship with Jesus, that one little thing, also makes my life brighter. When I face a decision, I can go and talk to my creator and see what His will is. I don’t have to take on big things alone.

So, I have found that sometimes it not major milestones that make our lives better. It the simple little things like getting bangs, a best friend, or calling to my redeemer, that makes life living more bearable! You don’t have to climb Mt. Saint Helen or circumnavigate the globe, just make a little change in your life and world just might seem a little brighter!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Out of confusion comes Clarity


Clarity, Really?
By Amanda Robin

I wonder through the vast
Streets of life and wonder
Where the heck is this
Going?
Should I turn left?
Maybe I will meet my end
That way?
Should I turn right?
Maybe happiness lies
That way?
I trudge on keeping
The same pace and path.

If I do the same thing
All the time,
Won’t I end up with
The same result?

I am scared,
Confused,
Imaginative,
Lonely,
Heart broken,
Distraught,
And defiantly
Not going the right way.

Yes, I choose the Lord
To guide me,
But He gave me
This funny thing.
You may have heart of it!
It’s called Free Will.

Yes, eventually all my paths
Will lead to exactly the same
Spot.
However, with this funny thing
Called free will.
I have a choice.

A choice to be happy,
A choice to struggle for
What’s right,
A choice to go and live
My life.

From this moment on
With the Lord at my side,
I am going to make life better.
I am going to truly live.
If someone asks me to dance,
I will dance.
If someone invites me to
Fight for a cause
I believe in,
I am going to take it on
With my whole heart.
If someone ask me
To be there friend,
I will be to the end.
I am going to laugh more,
Cry more,
And live more.


Because you know what?
This is the only life we got!
Yes, one day I will be
In heaven with my Lord
And it will be beyond anything
Here.
However, God put me here
For a reason!
And I intend to find out
What that reason is.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What about a soul mate?


First of all, I don’t know if I believe in the idea of soul mates. It comes from a Wiccan idea that there were people of one soul living on some planet not our own. Then they were placed on earth, but separated. A male and female soul and the only way that a person could go on to the next life would be to find their other half of their souls. I don’t believe this for the obvious reason I am a Christian and even lesser obvious that right now I am practicing Catholicism which means would unmarried priest go to hell? In my heart the real reason I don’t believe this is because, as I have shared before, I am bisexual! If I found a woman who I really loved and thought was my perfect partner than could she be my soul mate, even though she wasn’t the other male half of my soul? I mean the chick that will always have my heart, but I never date because I know how commitmentophobe she really is, is VERY BUTCH! However, my “best lesbian friend” as I like to call her is still a woman! If she wasn’t a woman, I don’t think I would find her quite so sexy! And just an aside, when I tried to kill myself in November of 1999, she is the one I wrote my suicide letter to!

Now having said all that, I think I really need a life partner! It could be a woman or a man. It’s just that I am very lonely. Now I know I have to be happy with myself first and I think I am. I stayed in DBT long enough to conquer my final “frontier” of being able to say no to my Mom. My DBT homework was on how I didn’t help her with the bankruptcy case. And may I add another aside? I think my parents did quite well. I mean they aren’t officially done, but they went to court yesterday and the judge approved their right to file! Anyway, I still want to get my own apartment and be a little more independent before some guy wants to put a ring on my finger or some really sweet butch wants to take me to a state where we could get married. However, I think I really need a man or woman in my life.

Why do I say this? I am playing a stupid game on Facebook called Sorority Life. I mean it’s a fun game, but what makes it stupid is that I look forward to my “date night” with my sweetheart! Now for those who have never played the game, my sweetheart is a computer character, in no way is he a real live person! Also date night is just me picking one of three activities and then waiting to see if my computer character gets a chocolate bar or something from my sweetheart! Also my last sweetheart told me he was going off to grad school and then the game said he left and broke up with me. And you know what? I spent a good half hour in my bed feeling bad because this computer character broke up with me! Now if that doesn’t scream, “Amanda needs someone special in her life,” then I don’t know what does!

Now maybe I am a little sad about this computer character because my first love broke up with me my freshmen year of college right before finals! I am thinking some kind of PTSD type flashback. He was the best boyfriend I ever had and last functional relationship I have ever had. I did date the stupid b*$#h who raped me my sophomore year and after that I been on dates with a string of losers! However, Trevor was the last good, healthy relationship I was in. Now that’s why I need someone too! That was eleven years ago since I was in a good, healthy relationship.

Now having said all this, I totally need to let the universe bring this person to me! Now your like, “What minute Amanda, I thought you said you didn’t believe in soul mate?” I don’t, but I do believe in destiny and God’s will. I have made a total a ## of myself the past eleven years going after people that I thought would be potential mates. One of my followers on this blog is a lady named Maddie. We met when we were both freshmen in high school and I still call her Emmies! Anyway, Emmies said to me one time that I was way too intense when I liked someone and I could totally see that. It’s like all somebody has to do is have nice eyes, have a sense of humor, and is available and I quickly think, “OMG, this is the one!” I think perhaps I need to have a couple of functional relationship before I have THE relationship with that person meant for me. And I don’t have to go looking for this person; I just have to live my life. I have talked before about isolating and I think if one stays in ones room all day and just goes to group therapy, then one will not find anyone. However, if I have friends and go out where there are other people, then an opportunity might present itself! Now I am not saying that I wouldn’t flirt with a handsome man with nice brown eyes or encourage a hot, sensitive butch to ask for my number. All I am saying is that I don’t have to plot every detail of how my perfect mate is going to find me.

I know many people struggle with this and I am wondering if anyone could relate? I know Mrs. Amber has found THE relationship! She should write a post for us on how to find that relationship. Her man is good too and she is having another little man to be in love with pretty soon. Amber’s due date is fast approaching! For my Christian blog buddies, pray for me. For Easter I put other people’s petitions for the priest to pray for when I wrote out the check to the mission that supplied my Easter cards. However, for my address labels, that where also by a mission, I put the petition for me to find the kind hearted, person with the soft touch, and beautiful soul to share my walk with Jesus. My last aside, yes, I do believe that two woman can share a walk with Jesus! And for the rest of my blog buddies, put some good energy out in the universe for it to send me this person. Thanks everyone for listening.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Angry

I am so angry right now and I don’t know how to deal with it. I been raised my whole life to believe that anger is negative emotion. In therapy, I learn that anger is trying to tell me something. So I got to figure it out. I am angry because my friend won’t do her share of a project we are working on. I need to find the function of this emotion. Agggh! It hurts to be angry. I feel all the angry stored up in me coming out. I am angry because my parents aren’t perfect. I am angry because my monthly friend hasn’t come yet. However, I am not pregnant. That’s something to be angry about. I am a freakin’ virgin at thirty. I am angry because my apartment isn't not ready. I am angry because sometimes I lie to make people so that will not feel sorry for me. I am angry that life sucks in general.

I am tired of pretending to be miss happy all the time. The world wants me to be happy because that’s who I am. I am the person that makes everyone else feel happy. I feel like just going on the unit and forgetting about everyone. However, I know the minute I go on the unit everyone and their dog will be calling me and visiting me. I need to go where no one knows who the heck I am and doesn’t care if I care about jack diddly.

We talked in DBT (one of the group therapy classes that I am in) about how if people mistreat me, but I don’t tell them that they are hurting me, then they might not know. So maybe what I have to do is tell my friend she has to stop playing stupid and do her fair share of the work. I KNOW that’s what I have to do. But it sucks. I hate telling people how I feel. I am glad that people can’t read minds, but sometimes I wish they would pick up on the fact that they are being a lazy a$% bum. I can’t be for all people all of the time. I feel like I am everyone support and no one is supporting me.

I wish my life had turned out different. I wish I could have a least finished college in four years at the first college that I went too. But you know what part of the problem was is that I didn’t tell people when I was angry. The only person that I leaned on back then was my abuser. I thought when she spoke that she knew my mind. I did some crazy stuff back then because I thought it was the right thing to do. I had to learn that I have to figure out stuff for myself. However, somehow I have to learn how to lean on people without letting them think for me! Maybe that’s the problem maybe I feel like if I let someone in again they will hurt me again.

It’s been so long since I had a best friend and I need one so bad. I need a best friend that I can just tell all my garbage to and they will listen. Of course, I have my therapist. However, I would really like someone that I can talk about stuff with that wouldn’t make me think, “Well, how does that make you feel?” I want someone who can say that life sucks with me. I need someone who I can tell my hopes and dreams to and they will dream with me.

Thanks for letting me get this out. Life sucks, heaven can’t come soon enough, but with friends, hanging in there is worth it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Is life to difficult?

I want to apologize to my loyal follwers for not posting in such a long time. This time I have no good reason why I didn't. I hope you enjoy this poem and I would like feedback, but y' all do that anyway.

Life
By Amanda Robin

Life is hard
As nails.
It will punch
You right in the jaw.
They say, “The Early
Bird gets the Worm.”
I wanna know who eats
Worms?

Life is a big dog
That will bite you
In the butt
Every time.
Life will kick
You to the curb.
They say “A Penny Saved
Is a Penny earned.”
I say wouldn’t
That suck
If you only got
A penny in your
Savings account?

Life will jump you
From behind.
Life will make
You eat dirt
And laugh at you
Later.
I heard it said,
“Life is too important
To be taken seriously.”
And I would have
To agree!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Feelings change

This is something new I just learned. I had always wondered why they only keep you in the mental health unit seventy - two hours when they court order you there for trying to commit suicide. I thought, “God you could go home and do it again.” Well, in anxiety group we talked about this very thing. Now a lot of you in group therapy know that you are not suppose to discuss what goes on in group and that’s not what I am going to do. I am going to tell you what I learned. Did you know that most places that will assist you with suicide won’t assist someone who has a mental health issue? It’s because your feelings can change. Unlike someone who is asking for death because of stage four breast cancer or who is totally paralyzed, people with mental illness will NOT ALWAYS want to die! Isn’t that kind of comforting? I talked about in group how I go through periods where I feel like killing myself and I never do it. I always ended up in the ER with those damn P.J. pants on. My goodness I could write a blog on those P.J. pants. And the therapist that runs the group told everyone that what Amanda pointed out is that she feels differently every time. My therapist for anxiety group said, “You are not going to wake up today and feel the same way you did yesterday.” I know this is true because every time I feel like doing myself in, it’s different. The desire to die is less and less; also it takes me less time to pull out of it.

Now you probably thinking, “Geez this is a depressing blog.” Well guess what? What I really want to talk about is that you don’t feel the same way about ANYTHING. I have talked about before isolating. I used to do it a lot. Well, you know what? I don’t feel the same way about it. I was stressing over this baby shower I was going to have to go too. I pictured sitting alone and listening to people laugh. It brought back memories of being in high school and sitting at the lunch table with ten other sweet girls who would have talked to me if I opened my mouth! I told myself it’s not going to be like that at all. Just talk Amanda, damn it! So I was psyched about going and guess what? My parents’ car broke down. It is still in the stupid shop! And I don’t own a car. Five years ago this would be my perfect excuse to call my friend and say that I couldn’t go. However, I psyched myself up so much that I actually was disappointed. And you know what, I did feel different! I put myself on a mission to find a ride. I even called up my poor friend who just had surgery to ask if she was going. She wasn’t. I called a cab company and they wanted $21 one way! Well, my Mom said to ask our neighbors. Now our neighbors started being friends with us because our dogs get along. But over the last three years we lived here: my Dad has cut their grass A LOT, we were invited for social events, and we went to the wake of their mother. So we are kind of close, not just somebody you wave to when you pull in the drive way! And my neighbor said sure. I couldn’t believe it. I was not only NOT using the perfectly good excuse the car was busted, but I was going to ride with someone I normally don’t depend on for favors!

So I want to tell everyone there is hope. And it’s very true that tomorrow when you wake up you will not feel the same way. Now no matter if it’s complementing your own demise or isolating, it’s not going to happen over night. I didn’t just last week, not go out even for coffee and now am going to baby showers. This happened over a ten year period of immense struggle. So please don’t get down on yourself if you think you are still failing. It’s all about baby steps. Then one day you will be like me and find yourself in a room full of women who are genuinely interested in knowing all about you! That day it will feel like only yesterday you were stuck at home Friday nights because you didn’t want to bother anyone with your dullness!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Why do I get too emtional?

Hello Everyone! To my faithful blogging buddies and the occasionals that stop by I would like to ask your forgiveness on how long it has taken me to write this blog. My computer was down (still is) and I have bronchitis. Please keep stopping by, though.

What I would like to talk about to today is my emotional reactions! I don’t know if it’s because I “stuff” my feelings, I am an overly passionate person, or if it has something to do with my mental illness. I can totally see the stuffing of emotion. Most of the time, in life, when something bothers me I don’t show it. This causes me to feel abused by people when they don’t even know they are hurting me. I really need to speak up! I know a lot of my followers know what DBT is (and if you don’t I can do a blog on that). Anyway, I been through it now, I believe, seven times. In short it teaches a person to express their emotions and do what is best for them, not the other person. However, it does it in such a way that you are getting heard not criticizing someone. I sit in DBT and everyone says I know it like the back of my hand. I just have to put it into practice. One of the reason I can see this happening is because when I don’t say anything it builds and builds, finally just blowing up. My body can’t take all that stored emotion. It’s not healthy. I think what I need to do is ask God to give me courage to speak up. Will you all pray for me to do that?

I can also see it being because I am a passionate person. When I love, I love with my whole heart. When I take on cause, I see it to the end. I don’t help someone half way. I can still remembering being a little girl and balling my eyes out because my parents’ friends told me point blank animals don’t have a soul (I am not here to argue that so don’t write me about animals and souls). Anyway, I was so crushed. I thought the whole world dependent on the fact that they believe me that my little doggies were going to heaven. I can say that I have grown a lot because just a year ago I saw the same couple, now in their sixties, on a day trip with my parents. This sixty something year old couple has grown close to us over the years and I feel like they are my grandparents which is why I came with. However, I think they like to argue with whoever, wherever, and they said point blank to my face that Obama was a communist (again this is to illustrate a point, my blog is not political so please don’t make that your focus). You know what I did? I just looked at the two of them and said that I plead the fifth (which is freedom not to comment). I didn’t feel like they are going to get half of America to not reelect Obama. They are just two older people that are very much loved by my family. It did hurt, and learning from what I just wrote in my pervious paragraph, I should have said how it hurt me. Not anything to do with Obama, but that they would attack a certain political figure because they know it would hurt me. However, maybe because I didn’t say anything is why they didn’t know they were hurting me. So I guess I answered my first question about if it was because I was “stuffing” it or being passionate. It seems the two are tied together.

Now about my mental illness. Why I can see this is because I just had a toxic conversation with my Mom. Before I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, I could just yell back at her and get all my feeling out, but today I cried. However, as I am writing this I am wondering is yelling really all that much better then crying. I do have to tell you all that early in my diagnosis when I would get in fights with my Mom, the crying would turn into me wanting to hurt myself. That’s just not right. My Distress Tolerance Skills (see I use some of my DBT) helps me to calm down once the moment passes so I don’t stay in emotion mind. I am just wondering if yelling is all that good either. I mean what if I didn’t carry a diagnosis? What if I graduated my first college with my B.S. in genetics going on all the way to get my PhD, married my “dream man,” and had already popped out a couple kids. Would when one of my kids did something inappropriate, would it be appropriate for me to scream at my children? Now, I know some of you are parents and I know that is very proper to raise your voice to a child. However, discipline and going “nuts” with an emotional scream feast are two very different things.

Maybe this gets to another point? Maybe it’s how I was raised. To live in a pretend world where you’re pretending to be happy until it gets too much and then you scream or cry! Mixed with my mental illness and the fact that I am passionate doesn’t not do well for me “stuffing” my emotion. Courage. Let’s try that.