3rd mentoring apt

mentoring today was really good. we had a very productive session. we mostly discussed work, and entitlements. basically, my dream would be to work part time, or even full time if my mental healthallowed it. I really just want to go back to work at some point. But the last time I had a job coach a few years ago, he basically told me it wouldnt pay me to work, actually, he was a bit of an ars, he really was useless. Even today when I told Aisling about him, she was able to say to me, is it so and so insert his name, she knew who he was without me even telling her, so he must have a reputation for this sorta thing. But anyway, he told me that I should not look for a job because it wouldnt pay me to work, but actually thats not true. Today Aisling and I looked up about my medical card, we didnt really find an answer to the question I had about losing it or whether I would, but we did find out that I can earn 120 euro before any of my payment is stopped. If I earned 120 euro, that would mean I would be able to work about 15 hours. Then we also found out that if you earn between 120 and 350, that 50 percent of your payment is then means tested, and taken into account, and as well as earning the 350 euro, I’d get 88.50 from my benefits, so that would mean I’d come out with over 400 euro a week, double what I am earning now. That all sounds good to me. Of course I’d be taxed on it. But I wouldnt be on a very high bracket of tax. Anyway its just a dream right now, I’m not going back to work just yet nor will I be any time soon. But I am seriously looking into it. I want to try a job coach again. I think I’m going to do that, see if I can work with someone again on looking for work, etc. That was mostly our apt today. Aisling is going to email a contact she has about the job coaching, and next time we are going to call the medical card office and ask about my medical card, and also we’ll ring the community welfare office and ask them do I need to change over my payment from blind pention to disability, would that be better? I said I’d make those calls while I am with her. Then if it turns out I need to fill out any paperwork, Aisling can help me do that. I’m seeing her again in two weeks time.

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Mentoring apt this morning

I am seeing my mentor this morning. Its good to have that extra bit of support. I am not sure what our apt will be about yet. What we’ll discuss during it I mean. I am just going to go in with no agenda and see what happens.

I really like my mentor. She’s really nice. She’s very open about her own struggles with mental illness too which is nice as it means I can relate to her better. I am glad she’s not afraid to talk to me about her own history. That allows us to bond more I think.

I hope our apt today is good but I am pretty sure it will be.

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Supported recovery, my first session with Aisling

So I had my appointment with my new mentor, Aisling, and it went really really well.

We started off by doing some paperwork. We talked about the limits of confidentiality, data protection, and I gave her dr. Barry and Eileens contact details, just in case she needs them in the future.

I told her I hadnt gone in there with an agenda. I told her my mental health was suffering lately. That I needed to discuss some things, including sleep, starting work, anxiety, dissociation. She was very kind, and asked me what she could do to support me in accessing information, so I asked her if she’d email me on any details, details of things going on in shine, also she said she’d email me on notes about our sessions which I think is going to be very helpful.

I decided to be very honest with her, so I told her upfront that I am an abuse survivor. I told her I had did, I told her that I’ve had a lot of trauma in my life up to now and she was really great about all of it.

I think I’m going to like working with her. She was very open with me also. She told me in our conversation that she used to struggle with bad anxiety, and depression and she shared what works for her in regards to a bed time routine. She told me she’d share it with me and I could take what was helpful from it and leave the rest.

That was mostly what we spoke about. She said in regards to working with younger alters, she shared with me that for her, she likes to work from a more childish frame of mind, as she feels very young at heart. So she said perhaps we should make a chart, put stickers on it, stars or some other sort, and every time we achieve something from our bedtime routine that we’d stick a star on the chart. The kids loved that idea. They wanted to try it right away. I think that will work for us. So she wrote up some notes for me and I am going to implement some of the stuff we talked about into my night time routine over the next week until we meet again next week.

She wrote down a list of helpful things, and not so helpful things that I am currently doing at night, and I will have that for reference now going forward which will be good I think.

She is training to be a therapist, and I think she’ll make a fantastic psychotherapist. She’s really good with people, with talking things through, finding a solution, and working out where to go and what to try out. It was a really helpful session. She also told me that I can talk about suicide with her, and not to feel like I cant bring that up in case she’d need to break my confidentiality. That she wants our space to be a safe place to discuss anything that comes up for me, even if I feel suicidal at times.

I’m very very happy with my session. I feel we discussed a lot and now I have a plan to go on. I will work in some things we talked about at night over the next few nights, and see how I go. She told me there might be nights where nothing we’ve talked about works, she said thats ok, we’ll keep working on things until we get somewhere with the sleep hygiene.

Here is a bit of her email to me regarding what to try and how to go about getting a good nights sleep.

Session One

Night Routine

Discussed tailoring a night time routine to suit the younger alters

Unhelpful things:
– drinking tea and coffee
– using my phone at night
– going to bed at different times
– napping during the day

helpful ideas:
– lavender oil in diffuser
– lavender bed spray
– lavender hand cream
– breathing exercise
– magnesium spray
– same time every night
– phone away
– audio book before bed
– warmth
– showering before bed
– sleep sound app
– star charts to help build habit

I think I’m going to beat this and get some type of routine finally going and maybe just maybe I’ll begin to sleep better!

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Back at the basement club

So yesterday I went back to the basement club. I hadnt been there in a while. In a few months actually. I decided I needed to go back in there, show my face, catch up with staff and with the members.

It was lovely being back in there again. Everyone was so welcoming. At least 3 members said they were pleased to see me. They were all asking why I hadnt been in there in so long.

I approached one of the staff, Aisling, to ask her if they were still doing mentoring, and they are, but its not called mentoring now, its called supported recovery. I decided that I’d start doing that again. I used to go to mentoring before and I found it helpful. I asked Aisling if I could start back again, and she said of course. So I have an appointment with her for May 21st.

I am excited to start back. I’m not sure yet what I’ll work on with her but I’m thinking maybe symptom management and some other stuff. We’ll see. I’m glad I am starting back with her. It will be some extra support, and I can definitely use that.

I spent the whole morning in the basement club yesterday. There was a wellness group on but I didnt go to that, as my friend Denise and me needed to sort out our college stuff, which we did. We have a meeting with the coordinator on Monday to talk about our project, so at least it looks like we’ll be able to get that sorted and present it next wednesday.

It feels good to be back at the basement club though. I’m so glad I went in.

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Big brother big sister

So a couple of months ago, I emailed the big brother big sister programme to ask about volunteering for the organisation. At the time no one got back to me. It was way back in March when I emailed them. I forgot about it after a while, thinking they werent recruiting any new volunteers. Then this morning someone from there sent me an email asking if I was still interested in volunteering. I am. She sent me the FAQS and told me to read them and told me in the email that if I was still interested after reading them to give her a call to arrange a meeting. So I did. She didnt pick up so I am awaiting a call back from her to arrange the meeting. For those who dont know what big brother big sister is it is a programme for vulnerable young people, where a volunteer is matched with a young person and they become that young persons big brother or big sister, like a sort of mentor to the young person. They meet with the young person once a week to do an activity like art, going for coffee, to the movies, etc. Basically whatever the young person wants to do. I really liked the idea of doing this and now its looking like I might be able to. I’m really chuffed cant wait to meet the organiser to chat about it. I feel I’d have a lot to offer a young person, especially a young person with a disability or with mental illness. So we will see where this goes.

I had mentoring this morning

just finished a mentoring session with colette. it was a really good session. we talked about lots of things. we talked about my sleep. i decided i am going to try to get a bedtime routine in place. usually i just go to bed whenever. but this coming week i am going to go to bed at 11 PM every night. I will take my meds at 10 PM. then I will have a herbal tea, I am going to stop drinking cafinated beverages after 7 PM. I will drink the tea, and watch some tv from 9 PM to 11 PM. Then I will try to sleep. At least then I can say to dr. Barry I am not sleeping, I tried the bedtime routine, and it failed or it worked. Hopefully it will work. We talked about my mood being up and down. I tried to describe to colette how I was feeling. Did not do a good job of that though. Its hard to describe the way my mood is. Its like up and then all of a sudden it plummets. I hate when it happens. We talked about anniversary dates, and I told colette that lately there has been a few dates related to my abuse and she told me to try and think of days when I was strong and did something good, so then I thought of the day I spoke out, the day I told about the abuse, it was in december, and she said I need to celebrate that day. I also told her about the day I decided that I was going to publish my story. She kept saying how strong i am and how i am a hero to so many people. Thats probably not true but it was nice of her to say so. i felt validated. We talked about my inner child. That was a kinda weird conversation. I didnt think she knew about inner child stuff. But we talked about my inner child and she told me that I need to try to keep her safe and protect her. She asked me what do I do when I am having a flashback. I told her I try to talk myself down try to tell myself that its not then and I am safe and its 2017 and I am ok. She said keep talking to your inner child. Tell her she is safe and you will protect her. So that is what I am going to do, except its not just one child, its many kids because of the did. So yeah mentoring was good today.

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Had mentoring and talked to my OT

I have had a busy morning with making phone calls and appointments. i called my OT mark and talked to him. we decided we are going to meet up next week. i will see dr. barry next wednesday and so mark said he’d see me at 8:30 next wednesday morning. we’re going to have a catch up and see what we can work on for the next couple of months.

I was meant to meet my job coach today but I rang him earlier this morning and told him I wouldnt come in. I didnt see the point in going in if he’s exiting me from the service. He agreed. He said he’d email me and confirm by email that I am exiting the service. He said he’d send a form that I need to fill out. I’m good with that. Its a pity things didnt work out better than they did but it is what it is.

I had mentoring with Colette. We talked about volunteering. She had been looking up positions for me to apply for. She had emailed a couple of youth justice projects but they said they had their volunteers for now but they’d keep us on file if something else came up. She also went on a couple of websites but she said the only position she was able to find was for a fundraising volunteer for age action, who work with the elderly. A lot of the volunteer positions are in dublin, and of course I live in cork so thats no good. I said I’d look at the position in age action but I am not really interested in fundraising. I did go on the volunteering cork website and I did find a position as an admin office worker for post natal depression ireland. So I may apply for that one.

We talked about me publishing my poetry. I said I’d like to do it and wanted to work on that. So we talked about ringing the arts council of ireland and asking them if there are any grants available that I can apply for. So today I need to call them and ask them and get them to email me on the info. Then colette said she’d help me fill out the application form. She’s experienced at filling out forms and so she will know what I need to put down on it to make my application successful.

I asked her if she wanted me to write a piece for the shine newsletter about the funding I recieved for singing lessons. She’s having a couple of us write up a little piece each about how recieving the funding has impacted us and helped our recovery. So I said I’d do that later today and email it on to her.

She said I am inspiring everyone by losing weight and making changes to my life that enable me to be more healthy. That was nice to hear. I am working hard and it was nice that she noticed and I felt really good and confident that what I am doing is good and worthwhile. We talked a little about my family and my mood and she told me I’ve been going through a rough patch and its good that I am coming out of it now. And man does it feel good. I feel positive and happy and able to make improvements in my life now which is great.