On Thursday January 20th, our DBSA meeting began with Facilitator Miriam giving us a presentation on “ Workin for a Living “
Miriam began by going over the stressful parts of the working world, such as finding or getting that desired job, keeping your job, and possibly sometimes losing your job.
Miriam was very helpful in reminding us of the basics of getting a new job, such as putting together a resume’, and to make sure if you already have a resume’, that it has been recently updated. You should also do some research on the company you are applying to, and go through the job description to make sure you understand the job you are applying for. Rehearse the interview with a friend or family member, and try and put together some practice questions you can use during the interview. Before you head off to the interview, know the exact location of where the interview takes place, and also know the name of the person who will be interviewing you.
During your interview ask questions about the company, and truly show some interest in the job you’re applying for. And don’t forget to ask questions about benefits, including health insurance. Some companies’ health insurance plans have mental health coverage, however not all do, or the coverage is sometimes limited.
If you find there are times when you need to schedule a mental health appointment every week, or maybe even every other week, sometimes scheduling that time off can be tricky at the workplace. However if you should have any difficulty scheduling that time off for an appointment, the ADA ( American with Disabilities Act) will allow this needed appointment with a Doctor’s note from your provider. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. So be comforted that assistance is out there if needed.
As always, Miriam gave us a fantastic and informative presentation. Tonight’s topic gave us valuable information to hold onto, should we be looking for a new job anytime soon.
Be sure to join us next Thursday January 27th at 7pm, when our topic will be;“ The Four Agreements”
I need a someone
I just need to quit talking about it and do it
I need something to look forward to
I need a reason to leave my apartment
I so look forward to Thursday night, it is about the only thing I do all week
Every week we hear members saying these things. The last couple of months, they have been my topics that I have talked about.
But actions speak louder than words. How can this group really help? Yes we talk each week, but there has to be more. There has to be.
We are more than our illness. We are more than our problems. Much more. Every one of us. Much more.
What if we could get to know each other for more than our problems…
So, what is the answer? What can this group do to most help it’s members in their darkest hour?
The answer is simple.
It is the group itself. Not as a group, but as individuals.
To that end, and using a recent gift the group has received, we are going to try something new. Thursdays will remain Thursdays. No change there.
But once every few months there will be something more. Something positive, something fun. Something entirely different.
This is what the Friendship Project is all about, making friends with each other and knowing each other for more than just our problems.
Below you will find a link to a survey of proposed activities. Please take the time to vote!
Select all activities you would participate in, select as many as you would like !
Isolation is our enemy. That front door is our enemy. Yet we all do it from time to time. We all isolate ourselves.
And when we isolate, our favorite buddies, anxiety, depression, shame and guilt come out to play instead of us.
So how do we stop it?
How do we take that step out the door that we know will end up helping us?
The first step is acknowledging that there is a problem. It is not something that can be fixed overnight but taking one step at a time will eventually get you out of isolation.
You must identify why you are isolating. Why can’t you get out that door?
Make a list
Take little steps. Tiny steps. Make a list of what you hope to do today. Then check off each thing you have done.
Ask for help
Reach out to a friend or family member and be honest with them about what is going on. Let them know that you are tired of isolating yourself and would like to do more things with others. You might be surprised to find that the person you are talking to is also suffering and you could help each other.
Some things that will get you out of the house:
1. Join a Class or Club
3. Find Support Online
4. Keep Busy
5. Do the things you used to love doing
When you are depressed or suffer from social anxiety, the door is your enemy. You know that just going through it will set you on your path. You know that, even if it is scary, it is better on the other side. The voices tell you not to do it, but grab that knob and twist. Step through your door into a better tomorrow.
Wisked off a plane and right to our meeting, guest speaker Josh spent the evening explaining what the medications we take are actually doing inside our brain. Taking a lecture prepared for college bound, high achieving high schoolers and modifying it for our group, Josh clued us in on the science behind what many of our doctors tell us the meds are doing. Thanks Josh for a very cool presentation!
Last Thursday we closed out 2021 with a party! Coffee, Hot Chocolate, cookies, brownies, and breakfast pastries from Panera were provided by a generous gift to the group.
Our discussion revolved around reviewing and learning from 2021. Some of the questions were:
We ended our meeting with the question:
Regardless of how 2021 went for you, how are you going to make 2022 better than 2021?
But rather than talk about it, or make yet another new year’s resolution about it, we encouraged members to simply do it.
To Take action. Actions that will make your life better in 2022!
On Thursday December 9th, our DBSA meeting began with guest speaker Kris giving us a presentation entitled; “ Feeling the Feels “
Kris began by discussing the different aspects of “ Emotional Regulation “She advised that people who have over the top actions do not have emotional regulation. The definition of emotional regulation is “ taking an action to alter the intensity of an emotion, so as to effectively control your emotions”.
However Kris reminded us that feelings are not wrong , but more often other people invalidate our feelings due to their own discomfort. Invalidation of your feelings from others says that your feelings are wrong or bad, which can make it hard to seek and receive support. Loss of support can impact your emotions most. Validation of your feelings is important and makes it much easier to feel connected. There are several ways that people can deal with their feelings in a positive way, such as journaling, self care, or even calling a friend.
Kris went on to present five emotional regulation skills we should master:
1) Create space– PauseEmotions can happen fast, and we don’t have time to think “ now I will be angry”-sometimes the anger just happens. The number one skill in regulating difficult emotions is to pause. Take a breath, and slow down the moment between trigger and response.
2) Noticing what you feel-NoticeAnother important skill involves the ability to become aware of what you’re feeling. Dr. Judson Brewer, MH Ph.D. recommends practices for becoming more curious about your own physical reactions. Tune into yourself and consider: in what parts of your body are you noticing sensations? Is your stomach upset, heart racing, or tension in your neck or head?Physical symptoms can be clues to what you are experiencing emotionally.
3) Naming what you feel- Name ItAfter noticing what you feel, the ability to name it can help you get control of what’s happening. Ask yourself, what would you call the emotions you are feeling? Is it anger, sadness, disappointment or resentment? Being able to name your emotions will help you get one step closer to sharing your emotions.
4) Accepting the emotion – Accept you feel this way Emotions are a normal and natural part of how we respond to situations. Rather than beating yourself up for feeling angry or scared, recognize that your emotional reactions are valid. Recognize that experiencing emotions is a normal reaction.
5) Practicing mindfulness – Let go of the feeling Mindfulness helps us “ live in the moment “ by paying attention to what’s inside us. Use your senses to notice what is happening around you in nonjudgmental ways. These skills can help you stay calm and avoid engaging in negative thought patterns.
Be sure and join us at our next DBSA meeting on Thursday Dec 16th, when our topic will be “ I don’t have to Live like this “
On Thursday December 2nd, our DBSA meeting began with facilitator Becki giving us a presentation entitled; “ Cooling Off “.
Becki started out by discussing how the colder temps of the upcoming Winter season can influence our bodies, possibly slowing us down and even sometimes making us sadder. However, we can utilize cold temperatures to change how we think and feel.
According to Becki there are benefits of cold, or as she presented to us as the acronym BOC, which stands for “ Benefits of Cold.”. The cold weather temps can actually help you think more clearly. There are also sleep benefits of the cold temps, as a healthy recommended sleeping temp is 60-67 degrees. The cold can also increase our metabolism in the Winter.
During Winter you can also gain a new appreciation of nature, by taking a walk on a cold Winter night, which is one of the best times to see the stars.
Becki also advised that inflammation in our body can cause physical and mental health conditions to worsen, and inflammation can sometimes be linked to depression. But she advised we can embrace the chilly Wintertime , as the cold temps will help to help release that inflammation. And Becki advised with better sleep, appetite and cognition the cold months can be very good for our bodies.
According to Becki, gratitude is the right attitude in every season!
Please join us next Thursday for our topic “ Feeling all the Feels “
Most of us have a fire. The thing we fear the most. The most dangerous thing in our life. Thursday night we talked about our fires, how to prepare for when they rage, and the most important thing to do to prepare.
Facilitator Don took us on a journey unlike our normal meetings. Starting off with a dedication to those no longer with us, through music and stories, we talked about our personal fires. We talked about the need to practice focusing your mind so when the moment comes, you can reach out for help. The need to have someone in your life that you can trust. Someone that will unfailingly be there for you. Someone who understands you and what is at stake in that moment.
For some of us, we continued the theme into the second hour, allowing those amongst us that needed to, to tell their stories of dealing with and surviving their fires.
On Thursday November 4th, our DBSA meeting began with Facilitator Steve giving a presentation on“ Dealing with Family and Friends “.
Steve started out his talk by advising when we are feeling depressed or anxious, unsupportive friends and or family can be challenging. He went on to mention that if friends and or family are unsupportive, and possibly blame you for your illness or maybe even by making thoughtless statements, that can be discouraging.First, and most importantly, recognize not everyone will understand. There may be a reason for their feelings that has nothing to do with you. Their thought process might be from growing up in an environment where they learned it was wrong to show vulnerability. It very well may be possible that the reason they are unable to support you is that they are dealing with their own mental health issues. Steve advised sometimes the best way to feel better is to help someone else!It takes the focus off of you! And learn to treat yourself well! Possibly one of the best ways to find the support you need is to start with yourself. Learn to be your own cheerleader!Practice being kind to yourself, and keep the self-talk positive.Steve mentioned if you realize friends and family aren’t giving you the support you may need, consider joining a support group, such as DBSA or NAMI. At first it may seem a little intimidating to open up when attending these groups, but you may discover that others who have a common struggle or experience may be great support.A few things to remember if you are dealing with unsupportive people:Not everyone is going to like you, which has nothing to do with you!Your job is not to please everyone, or to be understood by everyone.You must live your life for yourself, and not for other people!The most important thing I learned from this presentation, is to learn to trust your intuition, and to never second guess yourself.And try to stay true to what you know is real. If needed, write it down and come back to it whenever you feel uncertain.And above all, learn to forgive others. If you can learn the importance of forgiveness, you will free yourself!
Our most recent DBSA meeting started out with a most contemplative presentation, made by our facilitator Don. Entitled “ The Masks that we Wear”, a most appropriate topic for the upcoming Halloween season. We learned from Don that one of the origins of Halloween is an ancient Celtic holiday, which began with the wearing of masks as protection from evil spirits.
The more conventional definition of a mask is : a covering used to protect ourselves, but we also explored the mask as a false front.
There are different types of masks we wear:
1) an identity mask may be used to hide who you really are.
2) an emotional mask to hide what you are feeling
3) a situational mask to help you fit into a given situation.
There are commonalities between these masks. All are good in small doses, but overdoing them can lead to unintended consequences. They all have a function, and can help protect you against ill natured people. Also wearing a mask can be a way of setting boundaries.
There are practical reasons to shed a mask. By shedding your mask, you may live more to your potential. It may be a relief to shed a mask. To fully heal, one must shed the mask you are wearing. When you are wearing a mask, we aren’t always being your authentic self.
Be sure and join us on Thursday October 28th, when facilitator Becki will be presenting the topic “Fear”