Friday, June 22, 2018

My Trip to Pueblo: Sunshine and Syringes.


 My trip to Pueblo. A Story of heat, fights, and rehab. 


My trip down to Pueblo was a long drive. I left my parents’ house where I was poorly detoxing. (basically, I was high and drunk my entire detox) I had cancelled all my accounts and said goodbye to my friends. I was going to a 6 to 9 months rehab, my 12th rehab in 10 years. I wasn’t excited to go but like every decision I made in my life it was impulsive and not well thought through.

I said goodbye to Cheyenne and Fort Collins and drove to Pueblo. The drive wasn’t bad I have driven much further to treatment. I don’t know what I was expecting, I guess I thought I would be cured in 6 months’ time. I didn’t know much about the place or what I was getting myself into. We booked a hotel in Pueblo at the Comfort inn. The heat there was already unbearable, but I had air conditioning. I had no idea how much hotter literally and figuratively it was going to get in Pueblo.

I was going to a treatment center or rehab facility let’s call it Sunshine Rehab. I left the hotel reluctantly and we looked for the place of hope that would cure all my mental and behavioral ailments. It was a small place I got in and everything seemed fine to begin with. I got there, and they did your typical intake. I went outside to smoke with all the women there and the first question I was asked was: "Did you come from jail?' I was taken aback because I am not the jail type. My response was: "Err...I came from my parents’ house?" they looked at me weird and I knew maybe I wasn't in the right place. 

After a short intake I went back to the 'Orientation Room" where yet again people were asking me if I came from jail. People were talking about gangs and prison time. I was a little shocked. I realized I didn't belong there, so I went to the case worker and begged to go home. (which would be a pattern of mine for the 8 days I was there) I couldn't stop crying which apparently made me a "Pussy" I tried to relate to people there. I made up lie after lie about me stealing and shooting up meth every day. 

While I was there I tried my best to not be myself as much as possible. I did have fun for a good 3 days acting silly and having fun but then things seemed to go downhill rather quickly and strongly. The girls started fighting a lot which didn't bother me until I was involved. I am not the fighting or confrontational type and they basically forced you to be. I got in a fight with some crazy lady who till this day I think just smoked too much meth. I couldn't handle everything that was going on.

I ended up in the hospital twice begging the nurses not to take me back to Sunshine Rehab. I even attempted suicide which no one really seemed to care. The E.R. staff said I did it for "Attention" and told me to, "Pull up my big girl panties and suck it up." Wow life changing advice, right? I was treated horribly at the hospital, so I went back to Sunshine, 

My last day at the rehab. I kept asking to get my stuff and leave they told me to call my Probation Officer and Therapist, but they never called back I had been trying to reach them the entire time I was there. I couldn't do it anymore, so the following happened. 

One girl was picking fights with everyone. I heard screaming and arguing my last few days there. The treatment centers solution was to have a group called. "Game" which was basically putting you in a "hot seat" and having everyone yell at you, which til this day I have no idea what that ever accomplishes. We did game, and everyone was screaming in each other’s face. I could feel my anxiety rising and boiling underneath the surface. After two hours in an extremely hot room screaming at each other and not getting anywhere we went back to our "Orientation Room"

I went inside the room saw the sad excuse for dinner waiting for me. I said I was going to "Monad" which was basically time out facing the wall. Which I had done all day to try and calm down, but it wasn't working, I left the room put on two shirts, filled my water bottle, put on my sunglasses and running shoes, and walked out the side door setting off the alarm. I will never in my life regret what I did, it was a good decision.


I ran away listening to the distant alarm going off the farther I got. I ran the wrong way at first, so I had to run back in front of the treatment center. I saw one of the girls there and tried to be inconspicuous whispering “Shit” multiple times as I ran by. I went the right way got to Spradley Bar motors and used a nice gentlemen’s cell phone. I called my mom crying begging for her to not let me go back. I walked a mile in 98-degree heat to the closest hotel. It was the Super 8 the sign seemed like a beacon of hope my ticket out of that dreadful place.  I got a room and a nice lady who sold weed pipes gave me a whole pack of cigarettes. It’s amazing how beautiful people can be.

I stayed there and called everyone I could to let them know I left and that I was sorry I left the way I did. I called and called and called. I was very lucky that people responded and wanted to help me out. I stayed at the hotel for two days then bought a bus ticket to Denver where my parents picked me up and brought me home.

What did this incident teach me? That I have had a crazy life regardless of being homeless or in jail. My experience has made me strong so much stronger than a facility which yells at you in group can make you. I’ve survived overdoses, suicide attempts, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I want this experience to teach me that I need to change my life. I’m tired of moving here and there then screwing up and ending up in a place like Sunshine Rehab. I am ready to change, and I know I need my past strength to help me build a better future. 


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Blue October Mishawaka


Blue October at the Mishawaka in July 2017 was amazing. I had a beautiful view on the bus ride down (which is my favorite) and the music and venue were astonishing. The acoustics in this area are quite good as well. I got some pictures of the venue, its surroundings and the concert itself. I'm not going to do a review because we all know Blue October is the shit and they sounded great so no review on that just maybe a little education on the Mishawaka (and maybe a small review lol)

This is the Mishawaka stage. It has a beautiful view and a huge area for 
the awesome music lovers.

The Mishawaka is about a mile into Poudre Canyon in Bellvue, Colorado. There's a great restaurant to grab a bite to eat during the show, and a great view of the Poudre River. Their signature brew was The Mish which I did love. There is transportation like I suggested before. It's located in a great area as you can see. The indoor venue seats about 150 and outdoor about 950. Even though I said seats, there are none and it is nice to bring some chairs and a blanket and just sit back, relax, and enjoy the music. 

Poudre River View from Restaurant.


I got to meet a lot of awesome people on the ride to and from, I also met some amazing people at the concert itself. This is why I enjoy concerts you're always going to find interesting people with their own story. Not to mention the music! The Mishwaka Restaurant is open all year round and they venue is open from late May to late September. 

Here is Justin Singing his opener.

I have to take a minute to talk about Justin Furstenfeld. I really admire his struggle with mental health and substance abuse. His music really speaks to me in a way another addict can relate. I cried at this concert just because of how beautiful this moment was for me. I know I drank at the concert but am now sober and I love musicians who can show you how much they've been through and how I can live sober. It's truly inspiring to see him and listen to his heart wrenching and honest lyrics in person.


So there you have it: awesome band and awesome venue. 

Here is the link to The Mishawaka there is a list of concerts: http://www.themishawaka.com/
Also check out Blue October and Justin on Instagram: #blueoctoberband

Side note: I know this is late but I don't care I mostly do this blog for me so I don't mind the judgement. 

The band was amazing, the beer and food was great. I would definitely go back and recommend this place highly to people.

Go and listen to some mountain music!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Art Therapy




I for one love art therapy. It is a great way to express how you're feeling. Especially for those who have a hard time verbalizing. I go to Art Therapy every Wednesday evening. It is a great way to be mindful and to also connect with others who are in Recovery and love art.

There are so many things you can do with art therapy. Whether it be music, dance, acting, drawing, painting etc. It's a non-verbal form of therapy which helps with a lot of people with autism, Alzheimer, schizophrenia, and a range of people with mental health or brain disorders.

Research shows that art therapy can reduce anxiety, stress, and help with depression. Cancer patients and others struggling with medical issues benefit from art therapy as well. It gives the mind something to focus on. A lot of times we are talking or thinking but when you get those expressions down on paper it can reduce the stress of having to talk about it. Some people have a hard time verbalizing and art therapy can be helpful in this aspect.


Here are some Art Therapy Activities.
http://intuitivecreativity.typepad.com/expressiveartinspirations/100-art-therapy-exercises.html


Friday, June 9, 2017

Why I Just Came Out as Aromatic/Asexual

                                                                    Asexual Flag


Since this month is pride month I thought I'd come out as an Aromantic Asexual. If you don't know what Asexuality of Aromanticsim is: it is someone who does not feel sexual or romantic attraction to another person. Now I know I've always been partly asexual. I even thought kissing was repulsive, because come on lets be honest sticking each others dirty tongues inside ones mouth is kind of gross. I never saw sex as a way to connect to someone just as a kind of thing neanderthals did in order to reproduce and survive. I also don't see relationships as this amazing thing. I love my family and my friends but I wouldn't go out of my way to be in a relationship or "Die" if I'm without a certain person emotionally speaking.

                                                      The Newest Aromantic Flag


 Relationships have always been foreign to me. I would date someone get bored and break up with them after a couple weeks. I would actually feel so relieved when I broke up with someone, instead of devastated. I remember breaking up with my boyfriend and actually feeling extremely happy that I didn't have to deal with another person in a personal manner.

 I was very much into relationships and sex from the time I was 13 to 17 and a little bit at 18 and 19 but the older I got the more I started seeing that relationships really can get in the way of things, and for me (not all) can make things worse. At first I thought it was because I was gay. I realized I wasn't sexually attracted to men then little did I know I was attracted to women either. I like being friends and having a platonic relationship but other than that I just see you as a friend.

From what I know your sexuality and gender preference can change at anytime. I absolutely do not think being gay is a choice. I just think people grow and change and so do the ways they see other people. A lot of people come out later in life. I use to be quite a sexual person but I have changed completely and love being by myself. I never get bored by myself. Some Asexuals are asexual their whole life and that is okay. I know a lot of people who have always been that way and some people that grow out of relationships. As a society we no longer need sex to survive.

Things to not say to an Asexual:
"Oh you just haven't found the right person yet."
"You just need to have sex then you'll start to like it."
"Do you at least masturbate?"



I really think LGBT and Aro/Ace and many others are the future of sexuality. As a society we are becoming a little more accepting of different genders and sexual orientation. I honestly blame evolution and it's way of transforming into a new type of way to look at how we view sex or sexual preference. Sorry crazy religious people but gay/bi/trans/asexual are the future of our society.

Visit: http://www.asexuality.org/ For more information and to chat with people in the Asexual community.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Family Trip to Poudre Canyon

                                                          At Hewlett Gulch Trail
                                  Michael Shay Blog:   http://hummingbirdminds.blogspot.com/

I went for a Family Adventure Hike for Memorial Day Weekend at Poudre Canyon. It is a great hiking, picnic, fishing, camping etc place in Fort Collins. Our hiking trip was at Hewlett Gulch Trail. A great, close place with a wide open trail and a great view of the mountains.



                                              River Rafting at Poudre Canyon River.

We stopped to have a nice picnic at Picnic Rock River where we enjoyed the many people River Rafting. We drove up to Ansel Watrous but it's closed for the summer.

                                           I snapped this great pic up to Ansel Watrous Trail

Butterflies were soaring that beautiful day. It might of been all the nats around the creeks and river. I'm sure Poudre Canyon has great wildlife but I didn't see much of it up there. (I'll make another blog about that.)

I love this sign because it is just so Colorado.
Us Coloradans love our nature and beer.

                                                          Cache La Poudre River

The Cache La Poudre River or Poudre River runs eastward through the mountains, through The Roosevelt National Forrest in Poudre Canyon. It's a long stretch and it's a popular sight for fishing, rafting, tubing etc.
                                                         The Hewlett Gulch Trail

The Hewlett Gulch Trail is a 7.6 mile back trail. It's located near Bellvue Colorado. It's a back trail that allows dogs as long as they are kept on a leash. A lot of people take this trail. I met some pretty awesome dog walkers on my way through the trail. It's got wide open spaces and a great view.

More Family Fun Pics:








Poudre Canyon is a popular sight but still amazing none the less. I would suggest it highly if you live in the Larimer County Area.

I hope you had a fun Memorial Day!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Why Colorado is the best.



 
                                                 Why you should move to Colorado.


Now I've been all over from Chicago to Florida, and California and I have never been in a better state than good ol' Colorado. It's green and smells amazing. There's so much to do whether you like rock climbing, hiking, swimming, bar hopping it's got it all. Oh and of course the greenie good stuff. Colorado has amazing weed and the money goes towards things like fixing pot holes, paying for students college, and even for the police force. Take that coppers! Most people move here for the weed but there are so many more things Colorado is great for.

City life of Colorado:
Denver is the Mile High City! It's not as big as Chicago or New York. I actually remember coming back from Chicago and seeing Downtown Denver and laughing at the difference but it is a working progress and they have so many great things downtown. From bars, clubs, concerts, street performances it's great. They hold Gay Pride and a lot of marches like the Women's and Science March in downtown Denver mostly they are held at Civic Center Park. https://www.denver.org/

                                                      DENVER ART MUSEUM
                                                 http://denverartmuseum.org/

We have the Denver Art Museum which is the largest Art Museum between the West Coast and Chicago. There are a lot of things you can do at the museum whether you're a college student or have a family. They have a kids section which I love because we need kids to get interested in the arts!
 I went to the Star Wars exhibit a couple weeks ago and it changed my life. They always have great exhibits and occasionally offer free days to roam the place. I would go if I were you.


                                                  https://www.denver420rally.org/

4/20 is the shit in Colorado from marches to show your support to just nice places where you can hang out, support your views on marijuana, and smoke with some strangers. You get great deals on munchies and fun psychedelic events. I would definitely travel from far away just for this rally. They had Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne in 2016. Oh and did I mention it's FREE at Civic Center Park?! What better way to celebrate 4/20 than eat, enjoy music, and smoke with some friends on 4/20 in Denver. So make your way down for the free rally April, 20th 2018 at Civic Center Park and have the highest of times.

                                                 http://redrocksonline.com/

Colorado has given birth to so many great musicians such as: The Fray, The Lumineers, The Flobots and I could go on. Basically music is the best in Colorado. With its affordable shows and great venues. It is the perfect place for that funky good stuff, The most popular of venues is Red Rocks 10 miles west of Denver. It is an outside venue with open grassy areas and a great amphitheater. There's constantly shows and a lot of great popular or underground music is played here. I would definitely visit this if I were you.There are also a lot of great music festivals in downtown Denver with affordable hostels near by. In good old Fort Collins there is a lot of music as well. Hodi's Half Note and The Aggie Theater are affordable ways to see some great shows with cheap tickets and a great place to see music. If you're in Fort Collins I would highly suggest going. Enjoy the Colorado music.
 http://www.hodishalfnote.com/
http://www.aggietheatre.com


The outdoors in Colorado are just simply elegant. Rocky Mountain National Park is the most popular of outdoor sites. It's got great Wildlife, nature hiking, rock climbing, camping, skiing, cliff diving, swimming, fishing you name it, I would highly suggest going to a Colorado Information Center and getting a couple maps and try finding the best nature adventure for you.No matter what city you're in there will be a camp site near by so load up that S.U.V. and get started. The coolest thing about Colorado nature is it's everywhere you can see the mountain just driving to work. Mother Nature has blessed Colorado.

                                           COLORADO WOLF AND WILDLIFE CENTER
                                                 
The best thing about the Midwest (in my opinion) is the wildlife. In Divide Colorado they have the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. Which is a great way to educate people on Colorado Wildlife and how Wolves especially help our ecosystem and tourism for people coming all over to see these beautiful creatures. There are different tours you can do and you can even interact with the wolves themselves! You get up to 15 photos taken of you and the wolf that you can show off to friends. What these people do for these animals really inspires me and makes me want to go there even more! It really is an amazing place get your tickets today at the link below.
http://www.wolfeducation.org/

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST

                                                        http://www.voodoodoughnut.com/

YES!!! We stole Voodoo doughnuts from Portland! It really is a great place. They have menu options like Voodoo Doll Doughnut, Penis Doughnut (with any name you want written on it) and doughnuts with bubble gum, M&M's, pentagram doughnuts to share with your fellow priest. The doughnuts are delicious and I would highly recommend going there.

Colorado really is an amazing place. I've lived all over and it truly is the friendliest, most open minded, eventful, adventurous, green place there is. Enjoy Colorado!




Monday, May 15, 2017

The Old Book Project.



A fun thing I found out in Recovery and did in my art class is we received old books and drew and wrote in the fraying pages. I've always loved the idea of art being a way of healing. It's a way to express what you're truly thinking without saying the words. This is not only a good way to get the attention of authors but to also create and express something that is your own. Words and art tell the truth.
Here are some examples:
,

                                            Here is an example of what I did. You can take the title
                                          and make it into whatever you want but isn't that why
                                          books are the best?


                                                       Here's kind of an example of a way you can make
                                                       a poem drawing as well.


You can either make poems, draw, make a story or paint. It is a great use of an old decaying book. I love old books and love even more making them into a continuing piece of art. You've probably already heard of it but if you haven't it's a great project for your students, art patients, etc.

Here's a link of some great book artwork that hopefully will inspire you: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/217087644515530355/

It's easy and fun to do just grab a sharpie and make yourself a piece of art with a piece of art!