Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Well thanksgiving is over and it was a nice one. I was able to see family I only see on holidays. Now it is time to think about Christmas and another new year. It should turn out to be a good year I hope. I will continue exercising and doing things the same way I have started in the last six months. Also to have hope it will turn out even better or the same as this year. I believe hope is needed every new year.
If you are struggling with something this year you can only hope it will be get better this New Year. You might have to take small steps to achieve something that you would like to change and have the hope to. Just set goals that you can achieve. That way you do not give up or lose focus or hope. When you achieve those small goals it feels great and you have even more hope that your long term goal will be easy to achieve.
That is the focus I have on losing weight. I know every time I go to a doctor I get weighed and I just want it to show less weight than I had the last time I weighed. So far it has worked out and I have lost enough to show what I am doing this time is finally working. Now when I look in the mirror I see myself slowly changing. I have come to enjoy my walks and exercising.
When I was younger, I would walk across town and only take the bus on the way back home. That is the shape I set my long term goal to be. I hope to do the same amount of walking as I did then. The weather has been great so far this time of year to walk in. I hope the holidays and the New Year will be great for everyone.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Forgiveness is a Part of Sanity

For many years a brown cloud hung over my head after my mother passed way. I was in treatment then, with medications and I found that it hard to accept that I had unfinished work to do. I never got the chance to explain anything about how I gave up drinking and make amends to mother for my drug use or how I began to take classes to secure work. I never made amends for interfering in her life as she had aged, begging constantly for many years just acting a plain idiot about my life. Being irresponsible is a dog’s life she would always say and inside I didn’t want to understand that I was irresponsible or doggerel towards others. I for many weeks on end had conceived the thought that her passing was my fault and that this passing was my lesson. I couldn’t forgive myself and had thought so many responsibilities were now mine and life was going be become tougher. I wasn’t ready. Again I slipped into a morose attitude, as I hardly listened to her then, I began at this time looking inside my mind for the things she said, for the ways she cared, for the understanding she bore. I needed to make my life work and many other things as well. I needed to forgive myself, and I needed the forgiveness of many other people —how?
In so many ways, people apologize, to be forgiven. They give material objects, talk out their reasons, sing, go to church, seek the reverence of God, yet I found that a quiet place and the understanding of those I seek forgiveness of comes from understanding of what is most spiritual between myself and the memory of those I seek amends of . In a sense I am using certain key steps in Recovery, A.A, N.A and those thoughts learned in Psychotherapy to reach inside and know how change with understanding and forgiveness is greater than the brown cloud of nothingness. To be forgiven is to be understood, it’s a two way street with the horizon awaiting to give you comfort. It’s not something you can force yet you give thought and you give faith because you understand that you or I are not self centered and that reaching that medium is having faith in the spirit between you and those that have been hurt. The idea of spirit is not just some misty cloud or entity unseen, but the energy you carry with you as every else to move thought and awareness with the senses you possess to convey ideas and to make those ideas work. Belief is as spiritual as faith and hope is the material aspect of movement. Forgiveness is parting away from the sorrow and pain and seeing that all those aspects are a part of Recovery and of the self.

Written By Donald Sammons

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I am looking forward to the day. I will get to spend time with my family that I do not see all that much during the year. Also to eat some good food and I can eat without worry this year. I went to the doctor yesterday and I lost six more pounds in three months’ time that is how long before I see my doctor and weigh myself. I am slowly achieving my goal. It is slow in achieving this goal, although I am sure this way the weight will stay off.
I still exercise and take my long walks on weekends. I still will be careful not to put the weight back on this holiday season. I believe recovery is the same way as achieving anything like stopping drinking. It is better done slow so you will understand what is happening and like the changes in you. I know my stopping drinking did not happen overnight. I believe it was twice they put me on antibuse.
I just waited for when my time was through with probation and antibuse and I could start drinking again. There were no A.A. or alcoholic groups for me. I just saw a counselor which is a long story in itself. I saw him for a half hour a week and we never talked about why I should quit drinking what kind of life I would have dealing with problems sober.
He did not like me so I was free to live my life as long as I took antibuse. When my time was up the first night I drank. Quitting drinking and recovery both are better if taken slowly. That way when you achieve them, they will be very satisfying.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another realm of Being

I came across a word I had not heard for many years, and then only on television as I was younger. It involves both mind and body. Psychosomatic illness can be defined in 3 different classes.
(1) People who have both a mental illness and a medical illness, and these complicate one another
(2) People who have a mental illness that is the result of a physical illness, an example is having depression because of cancer, and
(3) A somatoform disorder being a mental disorder caused by physical symptoms related to psychological reasons.

There are many disorders associated with the somatoform disorder, and no one knows the exact reason for them. Some physicians think the disorders exist because of very strong emotions and those who are suffering from it cannot understand what emotions are involved because of the physical symptoms. The patient is not pretending the symptoms are real; being caused by a psychological reason, in relation to a physical symptom, the same as having a migraine headache, you don’t know the reason why you feel so bad, yet the pain exist.

Women are more susceptible than men to have a somatoform disorder. The symptoms can be digestive, headache pain, lethargy and other problems, and there is no cure for this form of disorder. The symptoms can be managed, yet the treatment may be more difficult; while people who suffer from such a disorder can live normally. The somatoform disorder is not a threatening illness although it may lead to major depression or even suicide.

A somatoform disorder seems to run in the family and is speculated to be genetic. It can be a coping mechanism or something learned, or a personality characteristic, or another kind of disorder. The disorder can be seen to be associated with nerve problems in particularly false signals to the brain and learning to control stress is to become involved in cognitive behavioral therapy which can help reduce the symptoms.

Using stress management may also relieve some of the symptoms yet; medications have also been used to help people control such a disorder.

Written by Donald Sammons

Friday, November 18, 2011


I am a recovering alcoholic. I do not write much about this part of my life to often. The reason is because I do take my sobriety for granted. It has been twenty three years since I touched a drink. I do not miss it. All I have to do is remember the destruction it caused in my life. Like a DUI and losing my construction job because I had totaled my car. That is one reason I do not drive nowadays.
All the bad memories of drinking and driving, I never hurt anyone but myself. I was never trying to get in trouble it just always found me. I am now able to watch other people drink and it does not have an effect on me. A year into my sobriety, I went into a bar that I use to frequent when I was drinking. I had no intention of drinking when I went into that bar. I just wanted to see what I was missing.
My old drinking buddy was there so I sat with him and few friends. I had a seven up. There was nothing happening so I told my friend goodbye. I remember walking home and thinking there is no attraction for me in a bar and drinking anymore. I knew then that I could be around people who drank and I would not have an effect on me. It was a turning point in my life. My friend who was at the bar that night quit drinking about two years later.
Although it was too late for him to have years of sobriety, because the alcohol had already wreaked havoc on his body. He died about a year into his sobriety. He was the second of my friends that tried to quit but it was too late. I can only imagine all that I would have missed out on if I had stayed drinking. I might be dead or in prison. I would not have the joy of watching my grandkids grow up.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Living with Recovery in Mind

I sat around the apartment for two days, pacing the floors, washing dishes, drinking sodas and sleeping. Why? I couldn’t find a topic for this week’s blog. I am not a doctor, or a policy maker of any sorts and I am not a party player. So what I suddenly see in my life is independence, becoming free of my responsibility, my obligation, my respect. These are symptoms of my manic phase and I am ready to quit and run for some other distant place. My mind had grown tired of the routine I was living and I didn’t want to do anything but prove to the crowds I had run with that I can be my “old self”, in other words I was losing touch with the space I had created which gave me freedom and peace.
I rested for a while thinking, “why would I want to destroy my well being”, after coming this far without relapsing, or backsliding on my responsibilities, what is so important that I would want to live as I had in the past, without understanding, without security. I began to understand many people run into the “wall” of despair, which causes disorientation, even failure, which are ready to surrender because they don’t have the stamina or motivation to continue on, in their endeavors. There are people in very well paying jobs, who have given up because the pressure was just too much, husbands, wives even children have become attached to that “wall”. I understood that because I have an obligation that demands my understanding and the knowledge of others, I was ready to “thumb the road”
This is not the wind of Recovery, which is facing your illness and downfalls and placing yourself in the hands of others who can guide you with reassurance, out of such turmoil. What I saw was a part of me judging myself through the words of others, and their ideas when I was at my weakest. Pulling myself through, was a matter of a pencil and the strength to face my problem, with reason, without going beyond the veil of ignorance, denying myself as I had done in the past and jeopardizing my mental health, well being and belief in others who have held their hand out to me.
Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


This was something I was thinking about yesterday. Long before I read this article, I was thinking about how I am out of school and doing pretty good in my recovery. I am still setting goals to achieve. The goals give me a reason to exercise and achieve what I would like to have happen in the future. To take my walks on the weekends and stay motivated. It also gives me hope for the future. I believe goal setting is important for anything you would like to achieve.
Motivation gives you something to look forward to. In this article it says: “That motivation can change from one time to another.” That is so true at first you are really motivated and then if it does not happen fast enough or say you did not lose any weight if that was your goal. It is easy to get discouraged. What if you achieve your goal of getting an apartment and then you do not set any more goals. I believe that motivation and hope go hand in hand. You hope that you may be able to achieve any goal you set. When you achieve your goal you are more motivated to try and set another goal.
I like that they also say in the article: “That looking at a person’s strengths and how one can help them set personal goals.” That helps a person a lot more to achieve your personal goal. I read a lot about people that are dealing with schizophrenia and dealing with this disease on a daily basis can be hard. To set a goal is not something they can deal with every day. I believe they would have to set little goals at first.
I think the article says it best “It may take a lot of hard work and love, but one can still have a really good life.” I believe that is all we can all ask for is to have a good life no matter what problem you may have. To have hope that you will at least achieve that goal.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Looking Glass

After many years of an association with MHCD (Mental Health Center of Denver), I began seeing a side of me they had noticed years before. I saw that I really had an illness which kept me from understanding what reality was about and which had kept me without respect not only for other people, yet for myself as well. I began to understand what my life was all about, my well being, the shambles of my mind the destitution I was living in; it was enough to shake my head in shame. I asked myself a question, “Where have I been?” Many people haven’t had the chance to see themselves, others only through glass and others haven’t the ability to make the change from what causes the debilitating blow because of an illness. There are many emotions to sort through when you are living with a mental illness, that’s one of the reasons I came to respect those who work in Mental Health in the fields of psychotherapy, and cognitive therapy. They are guiding the forlorn into that other majesty called reality, without faltering; without shame, without disrespect.
Psychotherapy is made up of a series of techniques which are used for treating emotional and psychiatric illness’ in other words your mental health. It is used to help the client, patient or consumer, understand what makes them feel weak or strong, positive or negative. Clients involved in psychotherapy can identify their feelings and their way of thinking in order to “deal” with the difficult aspects of reality. As a consumer in Recovery, I began reaching for reality, realizing my weakness and through many methods of communication and the use of psychotropic medications; I was able to alleviate some of the stress and negative emotions I was having without the use of street drugs or alcohol. Reality became a picture of motion and words through the sessions I had with my therapist and others associated with my recovery through the mental health system, by means of psychotherapeutic methods which have been in development since the 19th century. Many practicing psychologist and therapist agree to an extent that the most effective treatment for mental illness and other problems involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy as well as cognitive therapy. “We feel by what we think”, and with the in depth conversations and sincerity a person is able to live as an individual with strength of mind, overcoming the draught of negativity they have associated with during their illness.
Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Snow Day

Well it is snowing today and it is the second storm of the season so far. It is wet and bad outside. It is hard to be cooped up on days like this. It is time to go to the mall and take a walk around. That is if you do not have to work. The holidays are approaching very fast. It is now time to get together with family and friends, now that Halloween is over, and it was good seeing my grandchildren in their costumes.
What I have been thinking about lately is stigma. Donald wrote about it in an earlier blog this month. Lately I have not read that much about stigma. I do not know if that is a good thing or bad. Although we all hope that it is getting better. There are movies out now about mental illness like the new one called "Taking Shelter” I have not seen it. Everybody that has seen it is saying it is good.
It is good to hear they are portraying mental illness without someone slashing or killing someone because they have a mental illness. I know there are a lot of people with mental illness that have recovered and are working or going to school or just being productive with their lives. You just do not hear about them as much as the person with a mental illness who has hurt someone.
Although I remember a professor who when they found out I had a mental illness, told me her cousin who was a lawyer also had a mental illness. That was quite a few years back. I believe there are a lot more by now that have succeeded. After I tried to rent an apartment and told the apartment manager that I had a mental illness. She stopped talking to me. It was hard for me in college to mention I had a mental illness. Also it was a fact that I was and older student.
Different professors were mixed when they found out I had a mental illness. Some like my economics professor really went out of his way to see that I succeeded in his class.As I close for today I will leave you with an article on professors on TV who you would like to be professors in real life.