Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Big Apple

In the spring of 2008 I took a trip to New York City! The guy I was dating at the time whom I was infatuated with, found out I had never been to New York. He wanted to treat me to a visit to the Big Apple. This was my first time flying on a plane. Going on this trip was the most exciting thing I had ever done!

We spent the night at the airport hotel. It was my first time finding chocolates on the pillow. There was a balcony where we sat and drank wine. I took a luxurious bubble bath.

The next day we boarded the plane in the morning. Having never been on a plane I felt it was a bit crowded. My mate gave me some gum. He told me to chew on it as we were taking off so my ears would not hurt. The attendants showed us how to put on oxygen masks and life vests. I remember how our flight attendant made me a mixed drink! They put on a movie but I was too excited to pay attention!

There was so much to see and do! People were all around me! We went to see Broadway shows. It was AWESOME! The tickets were about one hundred dollars a pop!

I remember having the most delicious cheesecake I had ever eaten in my life! It was so smooth. Then there was the subway. You can go just about anywhere in the city on them. It was fun!

I had the chance to walk around the campus of NYU. It was huge! We had coffee at Starbucks. I thought about how much fun it would be to attend this school.

We walked through Chinatown and Little Italy. People would try to persuade us to eat in their restaurants.

Later we ate at high rise restaurant right across from Ground Zero. That place looked like a construction zone. I also remember seeing some tents. Then we walked around Wall Street but I was not really impressed with it. Haha. 

This was a trip I will always remember! Flying on a plane. All the sites and sounds of New York. It was amazing to say the least! I definitely want to visit sometime soon!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Big Brother

I have talked about my support group of family and friends. For those of you enduring a mental illness, you know how truly important these people are.

Today I want to talk about one of my family members that made it possible for me to be here today. I plan on talking about other family members in future blogs.

My big brother who has loved, encouraged, instructed and scolded me sometimes, with my best interest in mind. From my earliest memories he has always been there for me. He has made me feel safe. He has been my protector. The best big brother a girl could ever want!

When I was about ten my mother left us due to a mental illness. We were both devastated but he buried his pain to take care of me. He put up a front for me, not thinking about his feelings to be there for me.

When we were teens my older brother worked in the hotel. He usually brought me dinner to make sure that I ate well. When my body was changing he would take me shopping for under things and feminine products. That had to be embarrassing for a teenage boy, but it did not stop him.

When it came time to learn to drive he was there teaching me the difference between the gas and brake pedals. I think I scared him and a mailbox once, haha. However he continued to teach me. When my older brother left for the military he gave me his car. Unknowingly I let the car run out of oil and damaged the car. His response “ No big deal.” He knew I did not do it on purpose.

After he got out of the army he went to live with his friend. On the weekends I would come visit him. We would just relax and have something to eat. We did not always talk a lot. Being around each other was comforting.

At the time we did not know that my mental illness was starting to take a hold of me. One time I got several traffic tickets in one sitting. It was so bad that they even took my driver's license! My older brother was trying to explain how serious the situation was. In my starting state of euphoria I did not see what was frustrating him.

When I was delusional and ran from him I thought he was a clone trying to harm me. I can not even imagine how hurt and worried he was for me. I remember being in the emergency room with him. He held my hand and I could not look at him. I did not believe it was really him.

After I arrived in Alabama my older brother stayed in touch with me. Sometimes he would get on me about decisions I made but he always wanted me to better myself. He wanted me to do something with my life. I was not good at communicating how I felt. At times I gave up on myself but my big brother never gave up on me!

I know being a blogger was not his first choice but I believe he is happy for me. I found something I am good at and I am helping others!

Big brother I love you and am so thankful for you being there. Even when you were out of the country I never could have made it without you! Thank You!!!! <3 <3

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Support Groups

Since I have started this blog I have been more involved in mental illness. I began to realize that I could help others and that there were support groups to help people struggling with mental illness.

During my research for my blog I found SOMI (Survivors of Mental Illness) and SA (Schizophrenics Anonymous). Both groups help many people dealing with schizophrenia.

When I first went to the SOMI club, I knew I was in the right place. The people who run it are genuine. They are there to help. The director and activities director make everyone feel at home. Some things that are available are arts and crafts. We even blew big bubbles one day. I am so excited, they are teaching me how to play the piano!

The best part is I get to spend time with people who have a mental illness. We talk about daily living and paint or draw. There is never any pressure on doing anything. We talk and laugh while doing our projects. It is very soothing and relaxing.

On Wednesdays we do support groups. The members get together and talk about their lives. Both good and bad things happening in it. It helps to hear and talk about daily life. Coping skills are taught to handle rough days.

I love snack time! It is when we sit down and enjoy juice, cheeses, nuts and other healthy snacks. Again it is the interaction with people with a similar condition.

SOMI club is a refuge place to recharge your batteries. This group of people have made a difference in my life. It is my place to go when things are not going well, or when I have a great day and want to tell people about it.

Another group I have taken advantage of is SA. They have a conference call where you can talk to others with schizophrenia from all over America. We talk about our day and how we cope with our illness. It is comforting to know that I am not alone.

I met Sister Lucindia who is a star in the mental health field. She has schizophrenia just like me! She is my inspiration! She wears many hats in mental health. She graduated college with honors, has been in several articles and has published a book! I am learning so much from her.

There is so much more to these groups than what I have shared above! Please feel free to get in touch with me if you want more information on these groups. They are life savers. Like a calm refuge in the storm that surrounds people dealing with mental illness.