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Monday, March 25, 2013

Wellness in the 8 dimensions

Wellness in the 8 dimensions 

I recently attended a one day conference presented by Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, , and the Institute for Wellness and Recovery Initiatives,  living in New Jersey with a mental illness I never new both these existed and was happy that this year I was able to attend via my 2012-13 Voice Award Fellowship.

Before the conference I experienced most of the eight in the diagram but never understood the over all connection.  One of the questions on the "2013 Wellness Conference Evaluation form," 2. Name 3 ways in which you will apply what you have learned from this conference in your life and or work." One of my responses was to add it to my blog and share it with my readers.

Emotional, "Coping effectively with and creating satisfying relationships."

Intellectual, "Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills."

Physical, "Recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep and nutrition."

Social, "Developing a sense of connection, belonging and well-developed support system."

Environmental, "Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being."

Financial, "Satisfaction with current and future financial situations."

Spiritual, "Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life."


CSPNJ and Wellness and Recovery Conference 2013

Million Hearts
"Million Hearts™ is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts™ brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke."
"Improving employment outcomes for people with psychiatric disabilities."

SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative
"Through its Wellness Initiative, SAMHSA pledges to promote wellness for people with mental and substance use disorders by motivating individuals, organizations, and communities to take action and work toward improved quality of life, cardiovascular health, and decreased early mortality rates.
* Source Peggy Swarbrick (2006). A Wellness approach, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 29(4), 3311-3314"

Monday, March 11, 2013

Don't let your illness define you


Don’t let your illness define you.

 A recent boy friend and I started to date, he found me through my website as he noticed me at the closing ceremonies of Braking the Cycle AIDS ride last September and without talking to him, exchanging numbers, we met, it was a fairytale story in that I found myself consumed with him, texting, calls, dates, dinners, shopping all the magic when two people are attracted to one another.
It ended between Christmas and New Years, it was hard, it sucked, there was no closure, I knew he had friends visiting him for the week so I didn't bother him, I wanted to as I just wanted to talk about it.  You see he feels my work on AIDS is good, but not the Bi Polar portion on it and he said this to me over the phone and I said something not nice because I was angry at him.   What did he say, I couldn't quote it to you then, but it was about tme walking away from my story telling, this website, the blog and that it's not good for me.  For the life of me I don't know what made him go there, the only mention of the website was him finding me throught it and that I had won a fellowship for all this work and we celebrated it over dinner at one of his favorites Land. 
I considered taking this website down but didn't and I'm happy I haven't as I recently received an email as I gave it a five weeks and mailed him a homemade card of something that is a big part of his life as he's a triathlete and the card was a photo of 1000 plus swimmers in the water at the 2012 kona-triathlon in Hawaii , it moved him to write me and what he wrote that I couldn't quote above was:

I think, you should step away a little and live your life as normal as possible!  I don't see any positive thing about sharing your story, remembering past events in your life.  You have done plenty for the community!  Its time to close the blogs, emails, seminars related to you and step away, let others do the sharing and speaking.

I wrote back that he wasn't the first to tell me that, and that he was wrong as the bipolar portion is what keeps me going, that it's a big part of my recovery and that I have added swimming to my gym workout and work on balancing my website, my job, all of it.   But it sat with me, weeks after still trying to figure out where did all that come from, so I do what I do with everything, try and figure it out and only recently did, and it came from a friend  whom I hadn't spoken to in awhile and shared that I finally heard from the old boyfriend and shared what he said, her reply was he's right but said it wrong, in that what I need to do is not let my illness define me as a person.  

Wanting to learn more on this I  read a blog post titled, Don't Let Chronic Illness Steal Your Sparkle -- by Ashley Boynes.   In this article it talks about regaining your sparkle in life and with my friends advice and Ashley's article I've been doing just this.

To read Ashley Boynes blog post click here.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Isolation Isn't Fun

After all that worrying my trip was a good one. My dear friend of thirty plus years and host were heading to his car and I asked if this trip I appeared any better at which he replied, yes. It wasn't easy, but therapy and new cocktail of medications since 2010, one needs to make an effort and I did. I pushed myself each day, I took my medications within the full limit of the prescription to make it through each day and night. Part of me wanted to let all my friends and family know that I'm doing better, and the other part of me just needed to try.

Now the hard part, if I could do it while on vacation then I should be able to do it back home, back out into a life as a gay man who so much wants to continue to meet people. Isolation isn't fun.

One of my readers just wrote the very root of coping with all of this, breathe, or even better breathing exercises for when you feel the world is caving in on you, when you feel a panic attack coming on, remember to breathe, then if you have medication take them, if not call a doctor and have yourself evaluated.  If you are LGBT, living with HIV and depression or possible mental illness please visit my website bipolar bear, here you will find a comprehensive list of LGBT affirmative centers and clinics in your State.

Here are some links on coping skills, these coupled with therapy and medication, exercise, sleep, we've read all of these, it works, but it takes a lot of work. Can you fall, yes! Can you get up and start over again, yes! I have and continue to struggle, but like this last trip, I keep getting back up.

Calm clinic

Audio - Coping Skills

HIV-AIDS Treatment: Increase Body-Oxygen Levels