Thursday, April 17, 2014

Celebrate Love


     I recently posted a video about some of the most annoying misconceptions I've encountered about bisexuality. This isn't a subject I usually talk about in my videos but I was compelled to speak out after checking out the Bisexual Resource Center's website and being inspired by their mission:

     "
The Bisexual Resource Center envisions a world where love is celebrated, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. Because bisexuals today are still misunderstood, marginalized and discriminated against, the BRC is committed to providing support to the bisexual community and raising public awareness about bisexuality and bisexual people."

    Celebrate love... that sounds beautiful! ^_^

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Understanding Backward, Living foward - 2013 Review, Planning for 2014

Wooo hooo so far I have put out a video every day of the new year!!! ...okay sorry I know that was corny. :-P Anyway I haven't made a video in almost six months so I thought a good topic would be my end of the year review so that I can give you guys some tips if you would like to do your own review and so that I could update everyone on what's been up with me. You can check out the video below. In this post I am going to go over more specifics of the review process and show examples. :-D



The format I followed for this review was straight out of my DRA (Dual Recovery Anonymous) workbook. This review has been one of the most helpful for getting me on track in all areas of my life so I go back to it often. I believe that this kind of review can be beneficial to anyone even if you don't live with any kind of mental health or addiction issues. I am actually just going to show you all the straight copy of the chapter here. Of course you can adjust anything in the process to meet your needs. Also if examining this stuff is very difficult for you right now it may be helpful to go through this with a therapist or a trusted friend.



(CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE)






The categories and the format of the review are on page 33. You will also see that throughout the chapter there are questions I highlighted in orange. I wrote out detailed answers to all of these questions as well.

Here is an example of a category of my life that I examined that I mentioned briefly in the video.

"Getting Proper Rest"
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE



Thoroughness is vital for this process. Try to view each category from many different angels. As you can see on the "Things that I am/or can do that work" I put everything from having a more accepting and committed attitude to taking melatonin if I am having trouble falling to sleep. 

Once you are finished you can go over everything you have written and come up with an immediate action plan to handle the most urgent issues. Next you can set longer term goals and plans for achieving them. For example the first review I did like this with my sponsor in DRA glaring immediate action items came up under the "Manage Transportation" section. My windshield wipers hardly worked and my car was making weird noises. At the time I was so anxious about money (and life in general) that I had been procrastinating on taking my car in to even get looked at! My sponsor pointed out to me that it was dangerous to drive around like that so the first step I took as far as immediate action was to stop avoiding and take the car in to be looked at. This is also a good example of why it is helpful to get an outside perspective with this review. It's pretty much common sense that it is dangerous to drive if your car is not functioning properly. I had just been so anxious, and so in my rut, that as things gradually became worse with my car I was in denial that it was even a serious issue.

Hopefully these examples have been helpful. I did some research online to find more yearly reviews that would be helpful and this was one of my favorites "How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review". I think the key to any review is thoroughness in the review and how specific you can be in the follow up action plan. 

Feel free to leave any questions or comments below. I appreciate all the support and all the concern I received about not making a video in a while. It means a lot to know that people care. This year has just been wild adjusting to the move, focusing on work, school and staying sane. I am looking forward to the new year and I wish all of you guys the best! <3

Thursday, November 14, 2013

One with the Universe

The wind is blowing, it's getting dark, the weather has been getting colder. I enjoy sitting outside at night, looking at the stars and listening to the wind and the bugs. The sky has been so much clearer lately. I sit out for as long as I can until my fingers and nose get too cold or until I am discovered by too many mosquitoes.
observing nature

It's beautiful to think about how infinitely vast space is... not that I can truly comprehend it. I also like to think about how infinity intricate all of life is here on this planet. Biology is a new passion of mine. It's almost spiritual or transcendent to me. The more I learn the more my eyes open to see how interconnected all of life is. We really are all one with the universe. Some might think it is strange to come to that conclusion through science but that is whats happening for me. I am still undecided as far as what I want to do for a career but since I found something I'm passionate about studying I would like to find a job in the field. One thing my eyes have become open to is how rapidly us humans are destroying nature and hence ourselves. I think a career that would allow me to help make the biosphere a healthier place and educate others about what is going on might be the right path for me.

Currently I am in school part time, studying biology and my basics. I also have two jobs I do. I make my own schedule for the most part, one of my jobs I am a movie extra so I book my own gigs. The classes I'm taking this semester are online so plan my own studies. I am also babysitting a three year old girl. The movie extra stuff is interesting to say the least. I meet all kinds of people, from all walks of life. I get to see how TV and movies are made... goddam there is so much that goes into it no wonder it costs so much! There is a lot of downtime on set. It's often described as a "hurry up and wait" kind of a job because when they are ready to roll you better be in position. It has been a new experience interacting with so many people. Sometimes I can be very social. I have fun talking to everyone in the group I'm with and I can occasionally be the center of attention. Other times I just want to sit by myself and read until they need me to do anything. I'm learning a lot about how I relate to the world.
play dough rose

The babysitting thing has been truly incredible. I think a more accurate description would be a nanny. I find it so fulfilling in a way that I've never experienced at a job before. Most of the time it doesn't even feel like work. I feel like my job is to spend time with a little girl, keep her safe, teach her things, play games, go for walks and to the park, read stories and be able to witness this child experience the world through fresh eyes. It is so bizarre because abut two years ago I really didn't care much for kids. I thought they were irritating. My sister and I lived together when she had her baby two years ago and for about the first 9 months after she was born. I feel in love with that baby and she caused me to see children in a whole new way. Still not sure if or when I will have any of my own. I am defiantly open to the idea now and I am constantly told how "good I am with kids". Typing that just now made me laugh since it was so unlike me before.

It is challenging for me to manage all these things and have time to spend with my boyfriend, and maintain my own physical and mental health. My boyfriend and I live together, it's been about 10 months since I moved in. We went from a long distance, online relationship to moving in with each other a little quick I will admit but it felt like the right thing to do and things are working out. This relationship has been different from any I have had in the past. We are more honest and direct with each other, no games. Almost like I'm kind of a grownup now. :-P He is the smartest person I have ever known. He is one of he most authentic, the most honest and also one of the most... unique people I have ever known. ;-) I love our philosophical conversations and talking to him about books and movies. I like that he likes that I am weird. I don't want to go into much detail about us to be respectful of his privacy, so I will leave it at that.

I am coming up on my two year "sobriety and recovery" date on Christmas. It's pretty wild how much life can change. I'm more "stable" than I can ever remember being. I still struggle sometimes though. I don't always deal with stress well, since I tend to worry and wind myself up. There have also been a couple times this past year where I had difficulty getting the meds I need and it sent me into a tailspin of depression. Caring for my mental health, for myself, is something I continue to work on in my daily life and I am sure I always will. (If you would like more information about how I came to this place in my recovery please check out my guest blog post on healingfrombpd.org.)
the yin and yang of play dough

I read recovery related books almost every day, preferably when I wake up to start the day. I like to write and reflect on my day and my life to become aware of what I do well and what I would like to work on. Three of the most influential "recovery" related books that I have read this year are 1) Awakening the Buddha Within By Lama Surya Das, 2) Mindful Recovery by Thomas and Beverly Bein 3) Zen and the Art of Making a Living by Laurence G. Boldt. I am in the middle of the last book and it is already helping me to have healthier views towards work and the way I approach life.

I am not Buddhist but I became interested in learning more about Eastern philosophy and thought after learning mindfulness in dialectical behavioral therapy. The skill of mindfulness has been essential to my healing and growth. When I am more aware of my own thougts and emotions I am able to slow down or prevent destructive automatic responses to situations. Also by learning stay present in the current moment I am less worried about the future, less depressed about the past and I am able to appreciate life as it is right now.

That is life at the moment. I've had some requests for updates since I haven't posted a video in a while. Time flies...