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A New Chapter

Hi TurningPointCT  Welcome to the next chapter!

I haven’t been on here in some time, so I think you’re all due for an update! I have some new blogs on the way, so stay tuned for my normal style of writing.

So it was a bit of a bittersweet good-bye to my position at TurningPointCT… I’m still involved, but I’ve ventured onto a new chapter! I am now the Recovery Liaison for Recovery Network of Programs (RNP). RNP has 19 different programs and several levels of care for people seeking recovery for addiction and/or mental health disorders.

What’s really cool about my new job is that I’m the first of this project that I am a part of. RNP partnered with Optimus Health Care to bring more services to their clients and patients. Basically, I’m mainly stationed at one of the Optimus Health Care locations and when a patient comes into the facility to receive general medical care, they are given a set of questions and depending on their answers, I get involved. Once someone indicates that they are in need of either mental health care and/or substance abuse treatment, I engage them and try to get them enrolled in treatment.

It’s really exciting because I have so much flexibility with my job role. RNP supports the involvement I have with CT and local communities, so they are encouraging me to still do public speaking and be on committees and whatnot. One thing I love about RNP is that the leadership are inspirational women that have had a huge impact on my life, as well as members of my family. Sometimes I get to bounce around to other agencies and site locations and spread the news about our new “Primary Integrative Care Team” aka the PIC Team 🙂 So if you see me all around Bridgeport – I promise I’m there for good reasons 🙂

But here’s a little secret: I was once a patient at RNP. I used many of their services throughout my active addiction years and still utilize their services. I went from being a patient to an employee! A blog on that is in the making!

So that’s an update on my professional life. My personal life has had some major changes as well:

1. I moved into an apartment with my best friend Jen earlier this summer!
2. I graduated college – check out the blog on that here
3. I changed churches & am shifting my spirituality pathway- stay tuned for a blog on that
4. I found out I’m not as weak as I thought I was

Wait, can we just go back to number 4 … I found out I’m not as weak as I thought I was.

This summer, I’ve learned that the weak, broken, bruised woman I thought I still was; is not me. Since so many big changes happened in such a short time, my mental health was starting to be neglected. I was becoming so absorbed in everything and I had quickly labeled myself as some awful things. I couldn’t be happy for myself because I was allowing other people, places, and things be the decision-maker of my emotions and thoughts. For someone living with PTSD, having no control is one of the worst feelings and can trigger a spiral in my thinking process.

So long story short, it bubbled to the surface and the only word of defense I was able to come up with was: No.

Little did I realize, this was going to be the beginning of using a word I was afraid to use my entire life.

Once I saw that I CAN say no, it was a ripple effect. I was “no this” and “no that” for everything. E V E R Y T H I N G.

It felt so empowering. I felt in control. I felt peace. It started off with little things, then the big things came. I said no to men. I said no to helping someone when I mentally couldn’t. I said no to pushing myself when I knew it wasn’t safe to keep pushing. I said no to plans that I couldn’t uphold. And ready for this… I said no to things that I simply just DIDN’T FEEL LIKE DOING.

I may seem cold, but it was the best way that I felt I could shake my fears and insecurities and start becoming my own woman.

So anyway, that is some updates for now. I’ll be posting some cute apartment pictures soon! Jen and I living together is literally a constant sleepover with my best friend. Plus, Luca basically lives with us too, so it’s nice always having them with me. There’s never a moment that we aren’t laughing – or eating lol

I love you all and to the one that’s reading this that is struggling at saying ‘no’ — start with small, manageable things and then keep going– you will be surprised how it will create a ripple effect. I hope you all keep watch for my upcoming blogs about: my new spiritual path, becoming an employee at a place I was a patient, more about my PTSD, and lots more!

<3

In Everything Give Thanks

Thanksgiving: A holiday where most families get together and share what they are thankful for while breaking bread. When I was using, Thanksgiving and many other holidays were awful. I would be rushing around trying to meet drug dealers and put myself together enough to show up for my family. They all would know that something was wrong with me, but would just give me a gentle reminder that I am loved and that they hope everything will be ok.

I don’t think the chaos of those holiday mornings are described well enough with the word ‘awful’. I would wake up in deep withdrawal.. vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, chills, aches, and extreme anxiety. Most of the time I would wake up with no money in my pocket because it was spent the day before on bags of dope that I would swear to save for the holiday morning. But once they were in my hand it was, “I can do these now and I’ll figure out the morning”. The morning was NEVER figured out and I knew this, yet I kept doing it.

Out I would go to steal something or rob someone. Scrambling to not get caught, usually outside in the cold, all while still experiencing withdrawal symptoms and only intensifying as minutes pass. Once I would finally score some money, the next mission was to find a drug dealer that was ‘around’ on a holiday. See, drug dealers are not always these guys that just sit in a house all day selling drugs. Many of them have families that need to see them too. I can’t explain the feeling of doom that takes over when all phones are off when you are trying to score. So then you have to go into neighborhoods that you know have people available and hope you score something that isn’t completely fake. All the while, your family members are blowing up your phone asking where you are and you’re already an hour or two late.

Today is the third Thanksgiving in a row that I will be celebrating while in recovery. This morning I have woken up healthy, besides a slight cold. I woke up with my best friend at my house after a sleepover. My mom is cooking and preparing the Thanksgiving meal. My dad is making breakfast and my brother is on his way over. I’m not reaching over for a needle. I have money in my bank account. I know that everyone in my family is in good health. I will be spending the afternoon surrounded by my loved ones and will be arriving on time.

Three years ago today I went upstairs in my bedroom while my entire family was over for Thanksgiving to complete a suicide attempt by a heroin overdose. As raw as that is, it was reality for me. So this morning I wake up with slight panic because it still feels real. I can feel all of the terrible emotions I had felt that day, I can literally feel them. But then I realize.. I’m not there anymore and that day has passed. I can’t believe that it has been three years. I’ve never had this long of recovery before. I’m in awe every day of God’s mercy and grace in my life.

I’m thankful for three years.
I’m thankful for my family.
I’m thankful for my best friends.
I’m thankful for my boyfriend.
I’m thankful for my cats.
I’m thankful for my career.
I’m thankful for my education.
I’m thankful for my co workers.
I’m thankful for my boss.
I’m thankful for my church.

& I’m thankful for so much more.

Today, I am also thankful for me… the courage that sparked inside me to stop that suicide attempt and ask for help. I’m thankful for making the call to treatment centers despite the immense amount of humiliation, fear, and shame that comes along with it. I’m thankful for the counselors that didn’t let me quit.

Little did I know that what I planned to be the end of everything, was the start to a journey of hope I’d never imagine.


In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Embracing My Turning Pointe

At such an integral turning point in my life, I find myself struggling

majorly.

I find it exceptionally difficult to transition out of “teacher mode” and back into “regular person” mode.
The end of a school year is always challenging for me. This is the second year in a row that I have had to say goodbye to a group of kids that mean a whole lot to me. (These have been the first few years of MANY more “goodbyes” to come.)

When I am in front of a classroom, I feel very similarly to how I feel when I’m on stage. I am fearless. Nothing can touch me. I feel like it is my

purpose.

180+ days of being “Miss”; you get used to that. You get used to someone relying on you, you get used to someone needing you. I compare hearing a child call out my name to putting on a warm sweatshirt.

Additionally, this time of year is another transition, as the dance year has ended, and we are on our own summer vacation. They say “Distance makes the heart grow fonder”, and time away from dance makes me love it even more. 8 months out of 12, I get to live out my ballerina dreams, dancing in a studio I love with people I love. But the 4 months that we have off allow me to ground myself, and think about how much I love dancing.

In this time, I struggle with my identity. I struggle with my purpose. Who am I? What do I want to be? How do I want others to see me? This brings me back to my winter thoughts on who I am and how my identity affects me daily.

So, to conclude my rambling brain dump, today I am going to take a step back. I am going to embrace my struggling and embrace this turning point. And today, I am going to identify as the following: Cat Mom, drinker of tea, Bones™ Binge Watcher, girlfriend of an Airman, teacher of small humans, reader of Harry Potter, living with Anxiety and Depression. And surviving each day.

(Side note: rereading “This is from me to you. This is the truth.”, my own writing, gave me that validation I was looking for. Highly recommend reading your own writing when you are looking for comfort from someone who knows your struggles. After all, who knows you better than you?)

10 Stress Relief Songs

1. Happy – Pharrell Williams

2. Jason Mraz – I’m Yours

3. Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song

4. Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved

5. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire

6. Ella Henderson – Ghost

7. Survivor – Eye of the tiger

8. “Beautiful Day” — U2

9. Bob Marley-Don’t worry be happy

10. Beyoncé – Run the World (Girls)

Geometry – Accidental Art

Geometry – Accidental Art – Geometry may remind you of math class, but this is far from that! This piece was designed to show accidental art in a sophisticated and beautiful way.

Patchwork

Patchwork – This is a collective piece that looks like a quilt of ideas.

Each square is designed by Kim, Val, Shelby, John, and Nanii in 3 minutes.

 

Kim, Val, Shelby, John, and Nanii