Monday, January 31, 2011

What is Faith

Faith alone can be nothing. Everyone would like faith to be in motion, a verb instead of a noun, being of loyalty of great unquestioned belief.
Many people today believe that faith is trust and that all attitudes of life will work out for the better for everyone by itself. What we don’t know is that in faith is realization that everything is working and though at times we may not like it one way, with faith, our strength and desire builds our trust which moves faith even more.
Faith is putting us to the test and our beliefs placing it in motion. Having faith is enacting; watching a tree move a sidewalk apart, or greater even still moving a mountain. Faith is an attitude, which requires an action and with it all things follow in order and turn out just right as if a mustard seed was planted and grew. Work with faith and you will realize your recovery.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stigma Again

It seems that people with a mental illness cannot get rid of stigma. When you think things might be improving, something in the news or a movie always brings it back to the forefront. I know what Jared Loughner did is a bad crime and wrong to me and the eyes of society to commit. Is it the mental illness to blame? In the article “Jared Lee Loughner – Is Mental Illness the Explanation for What HE DID?” It says in the coming weeks that all the media will blame is his mental illness. I am a paranoid schizophrenic who is not violent without alcohol in my system. I have a record and not a nice one at that. Although all my offenses are alcohol related. I would not have a record if it were not for alcohol. I have not been stopped by the police in the last twenty years since I stopped using alcohol. When I first became mentally ill all I did was lie in bed and try to figure what was wrong with me. I would have hurt myself before anybody else. I think Jared Loughner was obsessed with what he thought were politics. If he did not have a mental illness I believe he would have committed the same crime regardless. Another article says, Jared Loughner appeared to be more driven by a delusional mind than a real interest in politics”. People want to put the blame on a mental illness. When not all people with a mental illness are violent and want to hurt someone. In the first article, it says, “What’s fascinating is why his mental health was seized upon, rather than his political extremism, history of drug use, lack of involvement with social institutions, the bullying he claimed to suffered from school, or the alleged aggressiveness of his father”. I believe because of those reasons it was him that did the crime not his mental illness.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Becoming A New Being

Have you ever watched a building being constructed? A plot of land is excavated within the earth, a frame is built within as a premise to the building itself, in short a foundation is set. The structure begins to take shape, concrete is poured, bricks are laid, and beams of wood and steel arise. Our lives are like this! We take a step, we look, we think and proceed on the premise we get to where we are going, and we will accomplish in short what we set out to do.
When it comes to mental health, being consumers, (clients) we have to make, build a foundation, in order to overcome our disability. We must excavate the thoughts, ideas, attitudes and characteristics which may cause our illness. Fear, envy, strife, jealousy, delusions, illusions, all of these and more must be moved in order to build a new life.
Part of building a new life is adding onto those abilities which not only give you strength to overcome your abilities, yet also bring new ideas of which you can share. I began attending classes recently, and even though I had some fears concerning work and schooling and my ability to maintain both endeavors, I began to relax after the first day, though I still had not so very good an idea about success in either direction. I accepted the fact that I can learn, not only to build my self esteem, yet also to give back to my employer and company, so that they know I want to become a better employee as well and become self sufficient at my job.
To grow is to nurture the self and accept new ideas, letting stagnation become replaced with a working faith which you will want to share. We want to accomplish something in life by building a foundation which relies on our strength and our abilities with the realization that we may be helping someone to become a better person, with our belief. That is showing integrity, with hope as part of your recovery.
Written by Donald Sammons

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Follow the Directions

I am a data entry clerk. I enter numbers from patient surveys into spreadsheets and pass that data into storage for further referencing. Last year I was introduced to database, this is not only entering data into working forms and tables, yet it is constructing those tables and forms as well as charts and reports to place the data within. My Mental Health Recovery program has been altered; I am seemingly reaching for the outer limits, where I am no longer being guided, yet given the opportunity to reach out express myself in my endeavors with new tools.
I don’t mean I have lost control; I am still on earth, yet this database excursion requires a whole new set of directions. In recovery, you are given a case manager, a nurse, a clinician and a whole new set of rules aside from dereliction, destitution, drunkenness and paranoia and the likes of the mean extremes, if you want to go beyond what besets you mentally and physically. At MHCD, your guidance comes from those who can help you walk in the light of your needs, if they are medical, physical or mental as well; you are following directions to overcome the debilitation bought on by an illness.
What does this occupation of computer database (data entry) have to do with Mental Health Recovery? Nothing. Yet, this occupation has terminology which guides me in my everyday life since I am becoming used to working in it. Words like, objects, instances, control source, records, fields and references of which I am confronted with everyday help me to understand what I must do with my personal life, where I should be, whom I should trust. They are not of course psychiatric terms used in Recovery, yet they are attitudes to set me on the right course when constructing a database; forms or tables, as well as my life, because they are that similar to the objectives I am reaching for in my recovery.
I am guiding myself and following directions to overcome my boundaries to enhance my well being. Artist do it with their medium, psychiatrist, mechanics, lawyers, they all have a medium of definition that they can follow to get themselves through the tough times, they all follow directions, try it and see, the advice is in what you perceive, in what your are working with; it’s your language to overcome that instance of your disability which brings you down, its following the directions which is uplifting.
Written by Donald Sammons

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More on Stigma

I know I just wrote about stigma, although what I’ve read on the news lately has taken mental illness recovery back three steps. I believe it is hard enough for people with mental illness. You do not even want to mention you have a mental illness even if you are recovered and doing well. An article like this one called: “Don’t Look Away” has brought stigma back to the fore front. The article states don’t look away or the stranger next to you might kill you if they have a mental illness. The article says one of the reasons that there are these random acts of violence is because of underfunding. Who wants to fund places that serve people who are represented so unfavorably? This article is talking about California. In the state of Washington they printed an article similarly titled the same thing “Don’t Look Away”. One of the articles in that says: “State pays in Blood for Flawed Mental Health System”. If I were to read this and not have a mental illness I would not see the underfunding. I would see that the mentally ill are dangerous. I believe like anything else that does not make the news. Are there articles or new stories about people who have recovered and are doing well in society? That kind of news does not sell as well. I was thinking about that with all the news about this shooter in Arizona, which I will be writing about in next week’s blog. We need to hear about good stories of recovery and not just on blogs, but the news.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A World of Responsibility

Our world and the universe itself changes from second to second. This is change is material and spiritual and is a part of the physical and emotional change we live, day to day. We have to be willing to change if we care to live, our ideas, our friendships; nothing is greater than the alternation of our lives. With this change is courage and honesty, to know the reality of ourselves, our needs, and of this is responsibility; owning up to our decisions.
Responsibility is such, causing us to take the obligation to what we are entrusted to; whether it is work or play, we are entrusted to understand through to completion what we are capable of doing, or what we want done.
I find myself always, when in a bind with a project whether at work or at home with an excuse that I cannot complete the project or have forgotten what I need to know, to make things work, in short I am always apologizing because I was not responsible. I think of running at this stage, yet some one always says this is ok, it only means I need space to carry out my mission.
A phrase written by Tom Rath in Strength Finders says, “Apologies are not enough. Excuses and Rationalizations are totally unacceptable. Your will not quite be able to live with yourself until you have made restitution.” Does the world or the universe turn its back and go another way, I don’t think so.
Think of responsibility while you are in Recovery, you must make the choices to become an earnest person again. Think of your life as needing a change, a need to grow beyond the square box you have been living in without shelves. Know you want to understand where you are, to whom you will give and how you will grow especially with others and with determination.
Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When to have Hope

Hope is something you need if you want to recover. It is hope that that situation will get better. How do you have it when you have been in prison for thirty years? That just happen in the news yesterday and I heard this morning he said what kept him going was hope. Hope has always been around and will continue to be. It can start with hoping you will recover from mental distress. You start by setting goals. The first can be stabilizing with consistency. Then you can decide what you would like to do with your life. It might be school or work. Some people can start full-time and others may have to go part time. Others may not want the challenge at all. That is O.K whatever hope brings will be for the best. I like doing something every day it helps me stay recovered. I do not have to think about my mental distress all the time. There are other things to think about. By exercising, music and reading as well as work help my mind in a lot of ways. Also I like watching comedy shows that make me laugh and release stress. I do my best to eat healthy and exercising has really helped. When I am done exercising if the mail is there, I take a walk around the pond in my apartment to pick it up. All of what I have today though started with a lot of hope. I can remember being at the State Hospital and wondering if I would ever get out of there. I can relate to the guy who just did thirty years, because without hope he would have told them what they wanted to hear just to get out of prison. Nobody would have then believed he was innocent. There were a lot of obstacles along the way. He could not get paroled until he went through a sex offender program and admitted he was a sex offender. I can relate I remember one counselor at the State Hospital that kept trying to make me say that I was a danger to myself and others. If I did not say those words, he said he would keep me there until I did. If I was still insane at the time I would have but I was not. I never said it and tried going to court instead. I lost in court really because I never even seen the judge. Although when I came back to the State Hospital they told me the ward was closing and I would be the first to move and have a new counselor. So sometimes you just have to hope when things look like they will not change they will. I think it is sad it takes so long sometimes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Accepting Recovery

The first principality of being is acceptance. It is happiness and personal growth; we say, do we accept it, and in doing so we go forward and not; we turn our backs to find what we seek. When we refuse to accept it, there is usually frustration or anxiety, and we struggle within and this is where the pain becomes a part of our reality; non-acceptance.
Acceptance is seeing the way things are and realizing how you feel, if we do not accept something which is to our liking, we try to control the situation, we become demanding. Have you tried to stop the world from being? One thought cannot change its existence! Maybe you just want to control life around you; can you control yourself?
Singularly we are the one part of the universe we have authority over, ourselves, and if we can’t control our thoughts and feelings how can we control others; through our willingness to accept what we cannot change.
To change something is to accept it; much as an artist with a blank canvas. He begins to change the canvas with paint, and slowly it becomes a scene or a portrait or something of feeling or conveyed thoughts. Something unacceptable to the artist; a canvas, becomes something acceptable, not only to the artist, but to others who behold the changed medium.
We begin by accepting ourselves and to remember we are a part of the world; accepted. We think and we feel, and this we accept. We have to practice acceptance, much as we accept ourselves, to learn of what we want to accept, realizing that being ourselves we are bound to make mistakes yet with change there is acceptance.
I left my aspirations for what others dream,
Why am I alone?
To perceive another’s fancy
Or to say I am sorry.

Written by Donald Sammons