mental illness, NAMI Convention

Three weeks! Three weeks! Three weeks!

If you couldn’t tell from my title. I’ll be heading to Denver in three weeks! 
The National NAMI Convention 2016 has kept me going the last few months. I know I’m going to meet people who get it. Who don’t judge me for my metal illnesses. Who want to learn more and make a difference. It’s going to be hard to deal with my anxiety in public but armed with my numerous coping skills (and perhaps a tad bit of Ativan?), it’s going to go swimmingly. My dearest friend Johanna is awesome and I’ll be staying with her and Hawkeye (and maybe Brad. Who knows?) in Ft Collins…an hour and a half ride from Union Station in Denver. So that’ll be interesting. Heh. I can do it!!!!!

Thanks again to both of my church families for their support for this trip. I can’t wait to come back and tell you all about my experiences. I’ll be updating this blog at least daily. The Bustang (the commuter bus to and from Denver) has outlets AND interwebs. Whaaaat? So I’ll have plenty of time to keep you all up to date! 

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mental illness, NAMI Convention

Well, I wanted to let everyone know…

That the NAMI National Convention 2016 IS A GO!

 

Thanks to the support of my friends at both my churches put together with the (little) money I’ve been able to save, I was able to cover my train transport out and back, a NAMI membership (to make the convention fee less), and the full convention fee!  Wowza.

 

And of course, I have to thank my dear friend Johanna (and her accomplices Brad and Hawkeye) for opening up their home to me for the week.  They live in Fort Collins, Co…which is about an hour north of Denver.  There’s a commuter bus that goes from Ft Collins to Denver during the week called the Bustang (ha!).  So that’s  how I’ll be getting to Denver.  Without Johanna’s generous home opening (does that make sense?), I was able to actually attend the convention this year because I didn’t have to worry about outlandish hotel fees (and the tax on hotel rooms in Denver is like 25% or something ridiculous like that!).  She’s saving my butt!  It also doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty much the coolest person ever and I love her with all my heart. ❤  What a good egg.

 

 

So yeah, in five weeks right about now, I’ll be rolling into Denver’s Union Station.  How ridiculous is that?!! Thanks to all of you for your support and love. I really wouldn’t have made it this far without it.

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I’ve been asked when I was going to write another blog post.

By my psych clinician nonetheless.  But it’s true, I have kind of let this blog go accidentally. I was doing the 21 Days to Happiness thing and then I forgot about it.  Well, I didn’t really forget about it, it just wasn’t a priority to me.  We all know how that goes.  Life gets going fast and then we just let things drift out of our memory.  

 

I thought however that I would start this blog up again because of my trip I’m going on to Denver.  I’m leaving on the train to Denver tonight and getting there tomorrow morning.  I’m visiting a dear friend of mine Johanna and we’ve got lots of things planned.  Plus just spending time with each other since we don’t see each other very often.  I miss having movie nights with themed snacks with the girl.  It’s hard to do that when you live half a day away.  

 

Anyone who knows me a little more than a little knows that I can be a little anxious when it comes to travel.  I think I’ve made that pretty clear in this blog.  But thankfully, I have a group of people in my life that make sure I’m safe and know what to do.  In preparation for this trip, I made a crisis plan for traveling on the train with my staff.  It outlines how I know I’m slipping into being unwell and what I should do at that point.  The first reaction in all of my crisis plans is to breathe.  When I look at that paper, I’ll be reminded to breathe and that is so important when you can feel yourself slipping into anxiety.  It’s so simple and makes a world of difference.  

 

So armed with my luggage, phone, kindle, and crisis plan, I plan to travel across part of the country on a train to visit my friend.  If I wanted to do this a year ago, it wouldn’t have happened.  A lot has happened in a year with the state of my whole body health.  My mind, which was addled by my severe mental illnesses last year, has cleared up a bit and I took control of my life.  My body, surprised by severe blood clots, has built up strength since last year.  I’m the same person I was, only more determined and free.  My mind is still addled; I still struggle with my mood and anxiety problems on a daily basis.  But I know how to live an adapted life and choose not to let it take control.  That’s the biggest thing.  I’m making a concerted effort to control my life and not let my thoughts take over.  That’s pretty big for me.

 

I’m thankful for anyone who has made it to the end.  I just typed what was in my mind and let it out.  I’ll be blogging more about my journey that is life.  And I’ll try to make it as interesting as possible for you all to read!