“World Mental Health Day is promoted by the World Health Organization to help raise awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and what the world’s governments and health organizations are doing in prevention, promotion and treatment services. This year’s theme is living with schizophrenia.” – PsychCentral
Crochet for Schizophrenia
I’ll have a post up today on Crochet Concupiscence about the ways in which one woman has used crochet as part of her total wellness plan in living with schizophrenia.
A Recent Setback
For my post here, I wanted to talk about depression instead, because that’s what I personally deal with. And I wanted to be open about a setback I had recently that was hugely frustrating and reminded me how difficult it can be to get adequate mental health care when you need it.
I just started the process of applying to be a Pet Therapy volunteer at SF SPCA. I’m planning to be a pet/person team with Lucy. I went to the initial orientation yesterday and am really excited about it.
The orientation went really well. The main woman who is my coordinator seems to be really skilled at finding the right matches for the people/pets and the facilities for volunteering. She assured us that there are all types of dogs with all types of demeanors and that she’s able to get a good sense of environments where the dog will do best. Some places want big dogs, some small, some playful, some calm so it seems like there’s a place for every dog. She did note that we shouldn’t come in with too many assumptions about what’s going to be right for the dog because even a very playful dog can sometimes take on a much calmer demeanor in certain settings. She said that they really seem to all know that they are there to do a job.
That said, as I work with my coordinator over the next couple of months, we’ll be trying to figure out the different settings that are best for both Lucy and I. There are SO many different choices: Hospitals of all kinds including pediatric, psychiatric and end-of-life care, shelters for battered women, group homes for foster youth, transitional housing, after school programs … it’s a big list. One of the things I’m personally interested in is their therapy groups where the dog can play different roles ranging from sitting by people and getting pet as they talk to getting involved in playtime as a way to bond the group (playing ball with her, etc) but we’ll see as we move forward what the best places end up being.
Lucy will be going to an evaluation and then some classes with me to make sure that we’re a good match for this type of work. I have no doubt that she will really enjoy doing this and will make a lot of people really happy. In the meantime, I’ll be doing some shadow visits with other volunteers to get a sense of what the locations are like, what the dogs do when they are there and see if I have any more questions about the volunteer work.
I think that this is going to be a great new way for me to help my community while enjoying my own puppy time.
Yesterday I wrote about my graduate school intensive retreat week in which I took a Gestalt course
. I’ve written a full paper about what I really learned in the class but I’ve also written this top ten list of things I learned, which I thought I’d share here on the blog today:
- Oh, wow, I live inside a body, not just a head.
- Beware of the word “should”; it signifies an introject that might be worth giving back to its owner.
- If you want to still look youthful after years of being a therapist then you should probably consider being a Gestalt therapist.
- Confluence isn’t always bad. There are orgasms, after all.
- All of those times that I’ve tuned out the world around me in order to rejuvenate were actually excellent self-care practices using the technique of shuttling.
- My ears still glaze over when someone starts talking about their dreams.
- How I eat may reflect the way that I take in information.
- The only dogma of Gestalt is that we work in the here-and-now.
- I am in a constant process of imploding and exploding in order to become self-actualized.
- I am not the same me that I was a moment ago.
It’s been about two weeks since I said that I’d be gone from the blog for a week because I was going on a week-long retreat intensive for school. I should have known it would take time to acclimate again to normal life including blogging and dog walking and seeing friends and basically anything else except napping. School is wonderful and this retreat wasn’t nearly as emotionally tough on me as last year’s retreat but it’s still draining and it seems that when I return I always need to just sleep and sleep and sleep to integrate everything that happened while I was there.
The Annual Retreat
Things I enjoyed imbibing and ingesting recently, at home and in various San Francisco restaurants.
The summer is flying by. It’s just a few weeks until I go to my intensive week-long retreat to kick off my second year of grad school. Hard to believe! We’re taking a Gestalt class first so I’m reading up:
Things I enjoyed ingesting and imbibing in June:
Farmers Market fresh peaches, Snowed Spinach omelette breakfast at Sweet Maple
Japanese grill cooking in Japan Center West Mall, stuffed bell pepper from Mollie Stones, Chipotle chicken bun sandwich at Streatfood, salad from a FiDi pizza place, pork buns and fruit tartlet at California Academy of Sciences Nightlife, steamed broccoli and white wine at home
Sauvignon blanc at Source SF. I also had meatless buffalo chicken, lemon Brussels sprouts and black bean soup but my dinner photos came out blurry, grapefruit mimosa at Sweet Maple.
Five years ago, when this blog was relatively new, I wrote an article titled My Favorite Carbonated Beverages. At the time I was doing a lot of writing on HubPages and had posted an article about the best flavored water.
In that article, I’d named the #1 option to be Clearly Canadian. I wrote:
“I fell in love with this brand of bottled water more than ten years ago, long before the shelves were filled with so many brands of bottled water and long before I’d given up drinking soda. I think that’s why I liked it so much at the time. It’s a carbonated flavored water beverage so it tastes a bit like soda but it’s fruitier and fresher. And I think there’s something to the fact that they’re using pure Canadian water because it really does taste clean. They’ve now launched a non-carbonated version of their water which I haven’t tried yet but am interested in testing out.”
The truth is that I felt really nostalgic about this brand. We used to take these long summer road trips from Arizona to visit our grandmother in Ohio, and there was one summer when I was a teenager when I fell in love with Clearly Canadian and drank it during the whole drive. Additionally, I was involved in pen palling back then and would decorate beautiful pages in friendship books – my early stabs at art … Clearly Canadian and Snapple and other drinks were part of the ephemera I included in those pages. So I just have this fondness for those cold glass bottles and their yummy drinks. I’m sharing this now because I just received a Facebook message letting me know that Clearly Canadian is making a comeback. Note: they aren’t a post sponsor or anything; I just found the message interesting and thought I’d share. Their website says:
“To all of Clearly’s loving, thirsty, demanding fans, this is where you come in to bring Clearly Canadian to life! With your help, work and commitment, Clearly Canadian will be coming to a store near you and into your hot little hands even sooner. Your pre-orders will be literally pushing Clearly Canadian into production. Please order today and please keep campaigning like its 1994!”
They are running a campaign right now to spread the word that they’re back, and they’re offering opportunities to get free cases either by purchasing some to get the free one or by spreading the word to enough people. Looks interesting. Anyone else a fan of this drink?
Some of the things I enjoyed food-wise in May:
Sweet Maple deep fried Dixie bacon
Crepe Florentine with sides of fruit and bacon at Honey in Tendernob
Brie and garlic with apples and baguette at Liverpool Lil’s
Kale salad (above) and pepper/potato flatbread (below) from Fat Angel off of Fillmore
Drinks and Desserts
Amazing ice cream at Pauline’s Pizza in Mission for a friend’s birthday
Chardonnay and Lemon Poppy Scone from Munchery
Wine at Fat Angel
That Bai5 you see in the background is one of my current favorite soda alternatives
White ginger tea at Sweet Maple