Monday, March 28, 2011

Growing in Recovery

I wanted to think I was proud of myself after spring break, yet before the fall of my own ego. My self esteem had risen as had my grades and acquaintances could care the more or less. There are many episodes we face in life. Life itself, death, joy, heartbreak and there are others which cause us to break away from one emotion to the next. It’s as if we are watching a movie and with our own eyes, relating to one emotion to the other. At most when people interact, in our contact, we become not only judgmental of one another; we also define one another sometimes without pity or respect. During the regrouping (Recovery Stage) we find ourselves lost in defining how people look at us. Old acquaintances, “new friends”, even family members, as well as fellow employees, even strangers, we have been judged, yet while we are growing, we are defining what we see of life, how we see ourselves. This is the time people who have handicaps need strength and truth to build their hopes, so that they are unafraid with the same regard. Believing in different techniques to change and do the best you can is being motivated and willing to accept the challenge of conquering attitudes of failure or actions which are impulsive. Acceptance has more than one meaning as well and in the methodologies of the concepts of behaviorism it means you can accept yourself in the world amongst other human beings. Being aware mindfulness means we should look back and on the inside of ourselves and about us and understand at that instant not yesterday or the future. Belief is the key word which forms a relationship between itself and knowledge accepting your philosophy and what is relative to you-truth. Written by Donald Sammons

Friday, March 25, 2011


Recovery is like anything that you would like to achieve, you have to put your mind to wanting to recover. If you want to make a good life without mental distress, it is more than will power although will power does help. You have to put in the work to get better. One way to start is by identifying your triggers that bring on your mental distress. Like when I was drinking one of my triggers was Friday night when I was paid. I’d go out and drink. For mental distress it might be stress that brings on your symptoms. I use to write out my triggers on a piece of paper and carry them to remind me what they were. I found for myself that going to school and work helped me a lot to feel normal, and not always think of my mental distress. When my granddaughter was born and I started watching her on weekends, which took away a lot of loneliness. I could have just hung around the clubroom in the building I lived in. Although to care for someone else and feed them was a lot better. As for anything including recovery you have to find what works for you. I found by borrowing different parts of other peoples stories and incorporating them into mine it helped me. When you are finally recovered and feeling well it is great. There will always be down days and times. Just look for what is good about a situation, it cannot all be bad.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Individualism: How we choose our lives

Princeton University defines individuality as “a belief in the importance of the individual and the virtue of self-reliance and personal independence”. Basically this is a term used to describe those who hold themselves accountable for what they want in life. They go after what they want, and pursue their goals and priorities with little irrelevant intervention. It can also be followed that their decisions in life are directly made on the probability of personal gain. In other words, they make decisions based on what they can get out of them. It is upon this realization that our lives become much clearer.
Our lives are, and have been, based on the decisions we do, and have made. Everything in your life is a direct result of your decisions. This decision, as Peter McWilliams in Do It! Let’s Get Off Our Butts! States is “not a single, monumental choice, rather, they are the decisions made daily, hourly and minute by minute”.
This may be a big pill to swallow. If you think about it, I’m saying that everything in your life, even if seemingly unrelated to your interests, is there because YOU made the decision to let it be. (OUCH) As hard as it may seem to believe, it’s true. We make decisions based off what we want out of them, it is this want we must look at further to understand why we live the lives we do.
If you want to change your life, what you do for a living, whom you’re surrounded by, what you may have or not have, then you first must change within yourself. You need to stop looking to others for answers and begin to look at yourself—the one who has been responsible all along.
An obligated life, is a life you can’t enjoy, it’s a life created by false pretences’, and frequently accompanied by stress and depression. It’s a life that belongs to someone else. It’s a life lived by someone who makes decisions based on what others want or for the “greater good” and sacrifices their own welfare.
Some people feel they need to sacrifice some of their time or resources for others as a way to feel better about themselves, but if this is the case the problem is more internal then you may know. Instead of making decisions and wandering through your life based on what others want, or what organizations or belief systems want from you, it’s time we began to examine ourselves—what we want. Don’t worry, this is not selfish, it’s merely living the life you’re given, and making the most of it.
Excerpts by Devon Ford
Submitted by Donald Sammons

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sick and Recovery

I am just getting over being sick with a sinus infection. I get them once a year, because of my allergies. I was only home for two days and was getting bored with TV. I was not up to doing my recording or anything else, like talking on the phone to family and friends. All this and Donald’s blog had me thinking about my old friends in the building I use to live in. I first moved into that building back in 1994, it was still mostly elderly residents. Although they had to open it up to people with disabilities, because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A lot of people who were there when I first moved in have died or moved away. I still go there twice a year to keep in touch with the friends and learn about friends who have moved away like me. When I first moved there I was going to college and everyone who worked there does not now. I had no plans on moving from there. I was kind of forced out by the new manager who also was a friend or so I thought. I do not believe she learned the lessons me and my friends did about friendship and helping others. I watched her start there as a receptionist and work her way up to manager. As a manager she changed. She has since quit after I left. That is the only reason I am allowed to go visit my friends. I hope I never change, because good friends are hard to come by.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Promised Myself

I had been on home work assignments from college since Saturday afternoon. I didn’t know how to do it any other way; close the door and curtains and wish myself the best of everything. As I had finished one chapter of a class, someone outside made a very disturbing remark about how, “square and stupid I must be, and everyone else thinks so too”. I have been taking two college courses since mid-January and I almost let my feelings become shallow pools of stagnant water. Fortunately I thought about the remarks people were making about me, and I thought, “I just completed a chapter on Spreadsheets, and composing functions, without help”. I wondered on about the remarks, why would anyone care to think I would get angry or change my mind about what I was doing. Standing around making noise, drinking and just being under the sun and pulling someone else’s attitude into the ground is not what I cared to be doing.
In Strength Finders, I found “Consistency” a need in my daily life. I read about “consistency” for a moment and knew I could not predict my way through life believing in others who wish to show the upper hand and take advantage of others therewith time, space, materiality, etc. When you are diagnosed with a mental illness, it’s hard to find consistency or connectedness in your life, it’s too overwhelming at times and depressing at others. You would find it more pleasing to turn your eyes another direction than look the way which would cause you discontentment even trouble.
We use “Strength Finders” for ideas in self improvement of our attitudes and stability, not to mention our own work ethics. We use these ideas in improving relationships and I can honestly speak on the ideas which lift me from depressive moments or manic episodes. Since I had been given the book, my fear factor has dropped, and my ability to keep in stride with whatever project I am working on, even my own attitude and responses have become better, opposed to my past. In your recovery, take notes if you can of what is good, what would be the better, and understand what brings you “down”, and what makes you smile. It’s not all in a book, yet you can find a clue to uplifting your spirit when the chips are down.
Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Family and Recovery

What I’ve been thinking about lately is my family and recovery. My aunt told me recently that one of the reasons I recovered and changed my life around was because of my mom, dad and the rest of my family. She said my uncle who is dead did not have his mom and dad around when he was young. He did not have a good shot of turning his life around even though he tried. I also always wish he was still around to see how I made it. My family has been there for me through the ups and downs that I have gone through. The same holds true of my grandchildren, they have been staying with me most weekends since they were babies. They not only provide me with company. They also get me up doing things like cooking big meals. It is something I like to do if I know people enjoy what I make. When my grandkids come over I get to cook big meals and their favorites. I also get to keep busy doing other things when they are around. I am going to start cooking big meals again at least once a month from now on. Until you stop and think you do not realize how much your family means to you or even thinks of you. Two of my grandchildren just had a birthday party and my aunt showed up even though she was not feeling a hundred percent, because she did not want to disappoint me. If my family had not been there, I do not know if I would have recovered to the extent that I have. There were a lot of people who told my family just let him sink or swim. Do not help him anymore. As you can tell they did not.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just Another Problem

I was sitting in my front room Saturday evening, thinking about how shallow my college assignment was. I wanted to quit, and just watch TV, stretch out somewhere and forget it. A thought suddenly came to mind, and I would have cried real tears if I hadn’t of thought a bit deeply about how I felt and what was expected of me.

I am a high school drop out with a GED and two semesters of college. I work, ¾ full time, rent an apartment and have a mental disability. Sounds strange, yet part of my disability is to quit, just give up when I don’t understand anything about what I am doing. At such a point, I began to fear; I was afraid and I knew I had to keep going to keep myself in check, without failure, without letting the symptoms of my disability overcome reality, without taking me away from my endeavors.

Backsliding, manic phases, hallucinations or episodes of fear; they all cause catastrophe in a person’s life. When there’s no one to examine the thoughts then and there, that’s when quiet time helps ease the conscious mind, not TV, not radio, drink or drug; just quiet time, to sort the problem out from reality and get in motion with life again.

In Recovery, we are given tools to utilize time to get in time with ourselves, ways to check reality and use the abc’s of psychotherapy to overcome our problems. Give yourself a chance it’s new to you, your thoughts don’t cause you to be alone to say you can’t overcome a part of your disability because you’ll find it’s your heart that wants to succeed.

Written by Donald Sammons