Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pink Hi-Top Adventures



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Pink Hi-Top Adventures is my first blog ever. Started back in January 2013, it's a chronicle of my ongoing recovery from depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. 

About ten years ago, I entered treatment for alcohol addiction; and at the time, I thought this was the source of all my problems - that this was the thing holding me back. Though alcohol played a very, very LARGE role, I discovered that addiction was only the tip of the iceberg. Recovery drained the pond, and exposed the real disease at the bottom.

Growing up, I was always anxious and often depressed, but I thought this was the normal state of things. I certainly didn't think I had a disorder. I just assumed I was innately flawed, abnormal, weird, and didn't fit in. This self-concept stuck with me through adulthood.

Then, three and a half years ago, I finally imploded. I spent three weeks in bed - unable to work, unable to shower, unable to function. My thoughts were turning darker too. I fantasized about death and hurting myself; and for the first time ever, it felt comforting and logical.

Fortunately, I shared this with my husband {in passing}. He reached out to my therapist; and after an ER visit, I was whisked into a partial hospitalization treatment program {PHP}. There, I was diagnosed with major depression, dysthymia {long-term, low-grade depression}, and generalized anxiety disorder. I was {am} very lucky to have a very supportive husband; and at PHP, the doctors and therapists were wonderfully caring guides as I started down the path to wellness.  

A few months later, I started this blog to chronicle my continuous recovery and progress toward achieving my goals - one of which is graduating from college with a psychology degree and substance abuse counseling certificate. Writing is part of my ongoing therapy, but I also hope it will inspire and inform you, dear reader, along the way with personal stories, education, and wellness tools.

The blog title, by the way, is inspired by my favorite pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s that I wore at one particular time in my youth when I felt happy and free.

Also, about two weeks ago, I opened an etsy shop - an offshoot of this blog: PinkHiTopAdventures In addition to earning some cash for college, the goal is to "Encourage mental wellness through creativity." Check it out. Note that I'll be adding more craft and art supplies every week, and later this year, I'll release a wellness tool of my own.  

Finally, it's my hope that Pink Hi-Top Adventures becomes a place for you to share too. Please feel free to comment and discuss - either here or on the blog's Facebook page. Connect with me on Twitter - @pinkhitops84, or by email at pink.hi.tops@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!

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HEY!!!
***It is important to note that I write as a person with mental illness and as an undergraduate, psychology/addiction counseling student. I am not a professional. This blog should never be a substitute for psychological or medical help, although in it, you'll find some resources and links to organizations who can help.*** 


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INDEX OF SOME OF MY FAVORITE POSTS:

LOVE, Goddammit!

World Domination Plan (March something, 2016) ;)

ADD:


One Step at a Time (9/28/13)


Addiction:

Alcoholic or problem drinker? (10/14/15)
READ THIS BLOG POST - IF NO OTHER!!!! (10/7/15)
Crossing the bridge and letting go... (9/29/15)
The Anonymous People (9/14/14)
The Raging River (3/13/14)
Thoughts from my addiction (2/27/13)
How do you help and addict (6/19/13)
Take me out to the ballgame! (8/12/13)


Anxiety:

Carousel in the Crazy House (4/12/15)
Thoughts (7/7/14)
Obstacles (5/22/13)
Social Anxiety (5/29/13)



Depression:

KC's Top 10 (11/11/15)
Depression (10/7/14)
Depression Sucks! (11/24/13)
Symptoms of Depression (10/28/13)
Notes from the Vortex (2/11/13)
Life (3/7/13)
Lifeline (3/8/13)
Grey veil...again?! (3/16/13)
Overcoming...inertia! (3/19/13)
Can't sleep (4/23/13)
Do the next right thing - part II (4/25/13)
The daily struggle (6/6/13)
Taking down the wall (6/7/13)
Contained emotions (6/13/13)



Schizophrenia:

Schizophrenia (10/9/14)


Stigma:

It IS an Illness (10/7/14)
Medication Stigma (4/29/14)
"Nervous breakdown" (3/6/13)
Depression is not a character defect (3/27/13)



Wellness:

KC's Top 10 (11/11/15)

Renew and Refresh (4/5/15)
New Hobby (10/3/14)
CBT (6/29/14)
Physical Wellness - Getting Back on Track (5/3/14)
Pet Therapy (3/24/14)
Coming Out! (3/14/14)
The 7 Habits of Mental Wellness (about Stephen Covey's, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People):
 - Introduction to (1/25/14)
 - Habit 1: Be Proactive (2/2/14)
 - Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind (2/12/14)
 - Habit 3: Put First Things First (6/23/14)
Trip to Roanoke, Virginia:
 - Rain Clouds (10/12/13)
 - Roanoke (10/12/13)
 - Heading Home (10/14/13)
Never underestimate your own power! (2/26/13)
Acceptance (3/1/13)
Recovery step #2: sleep, damn it! (3/5/13)
Rebirth (3/30/13)
Wellness part I: physical (4/26/13)
Change is possible part II (6/27/13)
Seven steps to mental health (8/2/13)
Take me out to the ballgame! (8/12/13)
Climbing back up (8/18/13)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The "I Don't Know What to Call It" Post for Spirit Sunday, First Edition



I do love this quote, but...

when I've been in the throws of depression, and when I was an actively using alcoholic, I felt (and sometimes still feel) like I had (have) very few talents. I felt like I didn't fit in - that the world would be better off without me, that I've been a liability to my family and a drain on my friendships, and that perhaps God* may have made a mistake letting me slip by on the assembly line. 

In addition, now that I'm in recovery and six months away from turning 50, very, very often I feel like I've wasted any talent I was given and wonder if it's too late to start applying it. 

I know intellectually, that this is not true. If someone else told me this about themselves, I'd say that it's nonsense and I'd do my best to help them see things more clearly.

Easier said than done, though, when these thoughts are on auto replay in your own head. 

Yes, I do realize how flawed thinking like this, negative rumination, and self-deprecation cause one to spiral downward and inward and away from connection with God and Life. And I do truly believe that, just because my spiritual antenna is malfunctioning, doesn't mean God isn't broadcasting. 

If only I could fix this damn antenna for good. I can't help but feel that I'm running out of time.

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*For writing ease, I'll use the spiritual terminology with which I'm most familiar. I'm fully aware, however, of the diversity and breadth of human spirituality. Please replace "God", for example, with Creator, Allah, Hashem, Great Spirit, Universal Power, etc. as suits your philosophy or beliefs. :)