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!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My experience with Electric Convulsive Therapy.



When I was 23 I had Electric Convulsive Therapy or (ECT) and it helped tremendously. I am now 100 plus days free of self-harm and have been out of the hospital and living life like a healthy person should for the past couple of months. Needless to say I am very happy with my life.
Now I know when you hear ECT you think of the old 1930's treatments where they pretty much would try to shock the normal into you, but that is not how it is like today.
They wouldn't still be offering it if it didn't work or if it was not an effective treatment for certain types of mental illness.

I was in the hospital at the time so a ECT nurse came to see me and asked me a series of questions. She asked me how many medications I had been on and I listed a good 20 (that I could remember). She also asked me how many hospitals and treatment centers I had been to. At the end she literally said "Well I think ECT would be perfect for you." I was pretty excited.

First what they do (depending on where you're at) is have you wait in a waiting room then they call you in to give you an I.V. (I believe they put saline in it at first.) Then you wait to get a bed, after a while you get wheeled into the ECT procedure room and proceed from there. Now my doctor was awesome, for my first ECT Treatment he let me pick a song that will calm you down the most (since I hadn't gotten anesthesia since I was 5) this was very helpful because I was scared. I picked Vance Joy's Riptide because that song was helping me through my depression and honestly was just an upbeat song. They gave me oxygen and then put anesthesia and pain medicine in my I.V. it took two second for me to pass out.

I woke up and they fed me and gave me a drink because you can't eat or drink a couple hours before the ECT. I felt fine just a little tired. There are very few side effects of ECT they include:
Headache
Memory Loss
Tiredness (usually due to the anesthesia)
Nausea
Jaw Pain
Muscle Ache

The only symptoms I had were the slight headache and memory loss. I honestly till this day cannot tell you most of what I remember from that time getting surgery.

The side effects seem like a lot but if you compare it to side effects of lithium and Prozac it is quite tame.

Basically what ECT does is help produce more serotonin in your brain, just like what Prozac or Zoloft does but quicker and in a shorter period of time. Depending on the place you go you will have a series of 9 to 15 treatments to start out with. Usually these treatments are done two to three times a week then once a week, once a month until you're feeling better. I heard great news from the staff saying they've seen catatonic patients start to talk after ECT treatment so I was pretty hopeful and obviously it worked out for me. I actually started showing signs of improvement after 1 to 2 treatments which they said was rare. It was a great experience I was scared and first but it was worth it.

Here is a link from TED about a man who went through and is describing how ECT works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEZrAGdZ1i8

How ECT works:
They apply small shocks to the brain inducing a seizure. They start off with a small shock then work their way up until you respond with a small seizure. The seizure basically forces more serotonin in the brain making it so patients who don't react well to medicine will have a better time with ECT.

Here's a great article with a lot more information:
https://theconversation.com/electroconvulsive-therapy-a-history-of-controversy-but-also-of-help-70938?gclid=Cj0KEQjwgODIBRCEqfv60eq65ogBEiQA0ZC5-d3qs5u_jmOV-LhvWocUT-LnpPCYfZjFDgRo__ef-VsaAg0T8P8HAQ

From what I understand this came about when doctors noticed patients who were having seizures recovered more quickly from depression. They wanted to find a way to induce seizures so that patients could recover quicker. Now there was some misuse in the past but now it is used safely and effectively with a qualified doctor.

Electric Convulsive Therapy has changed my life and I'd like to stop the stigma around it so other people with severe depression can pursue it without hesitation. My friend is doing ECT now and she is already feeling better. I also know a lot of people who's lives have been changed because of this simple procedure.

(SIDE NOTE: The information I have given is from internet and self research not all of it may be correct please ask your doctor about Electric Convulsive Therapy and how it can help you)

For more information ask your doctor or psychiatrist and see if you can get the help you need :)

EDM and Vodka.

On May 4th 2017 I went to the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins Colorado. 
I saw a great EDM show featuring:
Unlimited Aspect w/ Ryan Viser, Miss Jaedha, Krushendo.

It was an amazing show. The dance floor vibrated with the stampede of electric music it was a great show.


                                          Above is some people spinning poy.
                                          They had a dancer who was very sweet and talented.
                                          Here's Miss Jaedha (love those EDM ladies!)
                                            Here's Unlimited Aspect, he was amazing.
                                          Here's some nice ladies I saw spinning, they were
                                         very sweet and let me take a picture.
All in all the show was good. I met some amazing people and got to see some very talented EDM artists.

http://www.aggietheatre.com/ If you live in the Fort Collins and would like a good venue to see music for cheap here is a link. Also they have a bar which I enjoyed very much. They also have cool local artists you can buy from and clothing available to buy during shows.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Self-Harm Recovery



My friend asked me if her friend who self-harmed should wear a bathing suit and I tried to answer to the best of my ability.
Self-harm is such a taboo subject a lot of people do not understand it. I have people stare at my scars all the time and I'm imagining either they're judging me or feeling sorry for me which both isn't that great.
I haven't self-harmed in over 100 days which I am very proud of. I still get a lot of people telling me I should cover up (and for work mostly I do) but I don't feel a need to either show off or hide my self-harm scars.
My advice to anyone in recovery from self-harm who have obvious scars is to just be honest with people you've met. I tell people I'm in recovery or it's something I did in my past. I have to clarify I don't tell children or younger people about my self-harm for obvious reasons.

I think it is fine to wear a bathing suit as long as you're not triggering anyone. There's a different between glorifying and sharing your recovery.

My friend also told me her friends were complaining about her self-harm and I just think that is ridiculous. It's kind of like someone telling you, you shouldn't drink if you're an alcoholic when you have no experience with it and don't understand how hard it is to stop drinking.

I had a lot of friend who weren't supportive of me when I was going through self-harm and depression and I don't talk to them anymore. If someone isn't going to be there for you at your lowest then what's the use in having them around?

Comment and tell me what you think about self-harm recovery and how it's portrayed in society. I'd love to hear how you handled judgement in your self-harm recovery and if it's okay to wear certain things when you have self-harm scars.

 You can recover it is possible.