Pending

February 27, 2015

Every now and then I toy with the idea of archiving this blog and starting a new one. This blog has been around for a while, neglected and sometimes I feel like it just isn’t relevant to me anymore. Then I remember that my life is constantly changing and this blog has given me the gift of seeing the growth over the last six or so years. This blog captures the dynamic changes in my life and how I have grown as a person.

So here I sit. I feel that I need to take the next step. Move on to focus on something that means something to me, something that maybe will reach others, and honestly, something that I can commit to.

Whether this means archiving this blog or linking it to a new one, I don’t want to let go of it completely. I have put my heart into some of these entries and I never want to lose that or forget those memories.

A new chapter has opened in my life and many unexpected opportunities surround me. I want to channel those new experiences into a new space. So, with as much ambivalence I can muster, the status of the specific blog is Pending.

Until we meet again,

Skylar

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Nomad

July 7, 2014

I always joke about being a nomad because I have never stayed in one place for an extended amount of time. I moved around a lot while growing up and I know that the “nomadic” tendencies of my childhood have carried over into my adult life. I remember learning about nomads in elementary school and I was fascinated by them because I could actually relate to their lifestyle.

Until recently, I embraced the idea of being my own sort of “eternal nomad”. I loved the idea of being on the move-constantly finding my next big adventure. I had never had a true “home base” and I wasn’t ever going to be interested in having one (or so I thought). If you were to ask me now if I would choose the nomadic life, my answer would be ‘no’. I learned that I was so comfortable with moving around frequently because I didn’t think I would ever find somewhere that feels like home. I didn’t even have a clue what “home” meant to me. I was watching Once Upon A Time this spring and Neal described what home meant to him:

“It’s how you know you really got a home. When you leave it, there’s a feeling you can’t shake. You just miss it.” (Neal, S3:22)

When I moved to Topeka, I did not imagine that I would develop a foundation or a connection here. I thought that this was just another stop on my ongoing adventure. I was surprised to find myself feeling sad when I even began making plans to move on. For me, Topeka is home. I know I probably won’t stay in Topeka for forever, but I am content being here now.

 

If you could live like a nomad, would you? Where would you go? What would life be like without a home base?

Charts

January 9, 2014

I have a pretty varied medical history, but I am not just a patient with a chart.
I may have symptoms, coughs, aches and pains.
I may have struggles and obstacles.
I may even be a challenging mystery at times, but I am not just a patient with a chart.

I may be another person, coming in with the current ill.
I may have bronchitis and need a prescription,
Or I may have depression or bipolar or some other mental struggle.
I may not even get an answer, but I am not just a patient with a chart.

I know that there are many of us persons coming in and out of the office.
I know that there may be a lot of similar diagnoses.
I know that it is hard to figure out the illness in such a short amount of time.
I know that sometimes you don’t have an answer, but I am not just a patient with a chart.

Thank you for taking the time.
Thank you for listening and talking.
Thank you for being there to care.
Thank you for not treating me like just a patient with a chart.

Will

January 6, 2014

I don’t believe in accidents. I believe that things happen for a reason.

I know you are probably shaking your head right now. It is just a cliche, right?

That may be true for you, but for me it is a reality. I would not be standing right here, in this point in time if certain things hadn’t happened. I would not be in a different city, with a new life, with a new self if there had not been moments and experiences that brought me here. I don’t think God has every moment of our lives mapped out, but I do believe that he brings people and opportunities in and out of your life when they are supposed to be there.

I also am a very strong-willed person. I try to will things to happen and often it isn’t what is going to get me where I am supposed to be. It is funny how powerful will is. It isn’t funny how it can cause frustration and pain. I have to constantly challenge my will to back down and let me just exist.

Are you willful or willing?

Pancakes

January 4, 2014

Day 3 of the Zero to Hero 30 Challenge- What’s on your mind?

A letter the President of The Bank:

Dear Bank President, 
I am writing you to express my concern for the continued success of your bank. As a customer, I  usually only have time to come to the bank in the morning or at lunch and that seems to be when everyone else can as well which creates lines. I am concerned because the lines get so long that several of us start looking around for food (mints) because we are beginning to get hungry. 
Here is my proposal: You have that fairly decent sized area off the the side of the room that does not really seem to be used for much. Let’s get a table and some griddles and serve pancakes. Not only will your customers have full stomachs, but it could be entertaining as well.

Thank you for your consideration,

Hungry Customer

Truth and Dare

January 3, 2014

Day 2 of the Zero to Hero 30 Day Challenge- Check out the new ‘About Me’ section!

***

Truth or Dare? Play it safe or take a risk? I remember playing this game a lot when I was younger. You sit in agonizing silence until someone choose you as their next gameplay victim. Depending on who it is, you may know immediately that you will say (if not scream) “Truth”. Choosing truth is the easy way to go, right? Until they ask you that one question you would never want others to know the answer to. The one that makes you blush and sometimes wish you would have picked the dare.

In most cases, truth is important. Honesty is integrity. Blah, blah, blah. What happens when you don’t like the truth? What happens when the truth hurts? Do you say it anyway or keep it inside?

I believe honesty is important. Trust has to be earned and even though we may not want to hear it or say it, sometimes it has to be done. The truth can be set you free. It can help you become closer to someone important to you. The truth can also help if you are testifying in court, in case you were wondering.

Sometimes, even when the truth is out there, you want to wheel it right back in. The truth can change things. It has an amazing power to make you feel. And when it comes to telling the truth about matters of the heart, it can get messy. When that truth makes you feel so anxious and sometimes even sad, the changes it brings can make you feel worse. It can create loss, relationship shifts, broken hearts, embarrassment, and so on.

Basically, truth is a tricky little devil and unpredictable. It’s up to you. Truth or Dare?

Today’s post was inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt (link below)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/daily-prompt-truth/

Who and Why

January 2, 2014

Another year, another challenge. I have taken on the WORDPRESS.com Zero to Hero 30 Challenge. As part of this challenge, I am supposed to tell you who I am and why I am here.

Isn’t that the age old question, though? Do we not constantly ask ourselves who we really are? I know that as a 20-something, I am just now trying to figure that out. There are a few things I am certain of:
1. I am a girl.
2. I have a cat.
3. My favorite food is bacon.
4. I attempt to do roller derby.
5. I work in the mental health field.

I would like to think that I am witty, adorable, enthusiastic, and agile-but those can neither be confirmed or denied as they are not concrete. I do know that I care a lot about others and enjoy making readers/friends laugh, I can be a little bit of a pain in the ass at times, and I am definitely not a morning person.

Now that you know a little bit about me, I guess it is time to tell you why I am here doing this blog thing. I could easily keep my thoughts to myself in a journal or something, but I really enjoy writing and I want to share it with others. Sometimes I try to be funny and sometimes I try to talk about the serious stuff. I often get ideas for off-the-wall posts and other times I want to talk about current events or things I learn while working in the mental health field.

Basically, you never know what you may find here and I hope that you enjoy that.

Image

My friends and I at a Christmas celebration this year.

Today is Christmas Eve and it really doesn’t feel like it. Despite the chill in the air and the snow on the ground, I am in denial. There is no way that it is possible that the year is almost over. I feel like it is early fall and I have plenty of time to accomplish the things I resolved to do on my 2013 agenda. Looking back, yes I have accomplished some things-but not everything I wanted to! 

It is funny how we set ourselves up for failure. We come up with 50+ New Years resolutions (most of them ridiculously not practical) and expect to fit them into our already maxed out daily lives. Most of the time these resolutions are made with the best of intentions, but that doesn’t make them attainable. I know I am sounding like a hater of this yearly NYE Resolution trend, but I know I am not the best at following through. 

This year, I am resolving to (hopefully) work towards the 4 Agreements:

Agreement One:

Be impeccable with your word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Agreement Two:

Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Agreement Three:

Don’t make assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Agreement Four:

Always do your best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

(From author Don Miguel Ruiz)

I know I won’t master these in a year, but it is certainly something to work towards in 2014!

 

With all of that being said, go and enjoy your holiday festivities and spend time with those you love!

Merry Christmas!

Risk

December 12, 2013

This is me when I was afraid to take the risk of getting on a rollercoaster

This is me when I was afraid to take the risk of getting on a rollercoaster.

Sometimes life throws you curveballs. Sometimes these curveballs suck because the force you to make a decision on whether or not to take risks. Risks are a necessary part of life. Relationships, career paths, education decisions, and many other areas of life challenge us.

To speak frankly, I must admit that I hate risks. They confuse me and cause great anxiety for me. I always end of questioning all aspects of taking the risk and sometimes even catastrophize. What if I ruin the good things about the present? What if it ends up working out and it isn’t the outcome is different than I expected? What if there is a small success that is only temporary?

The answer to all of these questions, in the end, typically end up being “What would happen if I don’t take the risk? Will I be missing out on something great? What if these risks would have improved the quality of my life?”

I understand that “What if?” questions usually end up making the risk-taking decision a lot more difficult than it needs to be. But how do you avoid the stomach churning feelings that surface when the risk word becomes a present thing in your life.

My challenge to myself and the readers of this blog post is to take that leap. Make those decisions to take risks. Be okay with accepting to possible (good or bad) consequences that will come from taking these risks.

Challenge: Don't be afraid. Take the risk.

Challenge: Don’t be afraid. Take the risk.

Skylar Gott signing off.

 

Say What?

August 14, 2013

When someone finds out that I have bipolar, I often hear “You will beat this!” That’s when I cue the “What the heck?” face. Bipolar (along with many, many other health conditions) is not something that you wake up one day and say “I have been healed!”. Another response I typically get is the “I am sorry you are sick” mentality. Sick? No, I am fairly certain I feel fine today. And tomorrow. If I am “sick”, I have a cold or the stomach flu. Bipolar is not something that requires the well meant “taking care of”/coddling that often occurs when someone you love is puking their brains out. Living with bipolar is, for me, like living with asthma-you learn to adapt and care for yourself a little differently than others. The world keeps spinning, I go to work and eat meals and have hobbies. Sure, sometimes I get a little symptomatic and feel the need to impart my divine wisdom upon innocent bystanders, but who doesn’t spaz out from time to time.

Still of Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

(Image from IMDb.com)

There is a stigma around mental illnesses. Many think about them and a mini clip from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. A large percentage of persons who live with a mental illness do not need hospitalization or heavy doses of medications. The recovery process is skewed by the assumption that if one has a mental illness, then something must be terribly wrong with them. It has been described to me like this: someone who struggles with a health condition (diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, etc.) has to make life changes and maybe see a few extra doctors than the next person. They do not have a third arm, or a second head growing out of their neck. Persons living with mental illnesses are no different. Sure, I may take medications and work with a therapist, but I tie my shoes and put on pants just like anyone else. So why the stigma?

Working in the mental health field is a beautiful thing. While we are completing the duties required of our job titles, we are constantly striving to eliminate the stigma around mental illnesses. Before I started working for our county’s community mental health center, I was afraid that I would not be allowed to study and work towards becoming a therapist. Who would let someone like me try to fix someone else’s brain? What if I fell off my rocker? Well, that fear was completely unnecessary. I realized that someone who is in recovery and trying to manage their own symptoms or has someone in their life that has struggled with symptom management and the likes is a lot more effective in assisting with the recovery process and empathy is more effective than sympathy. One can have all of the credentials in the world and could have graduated top of their class from the most prestigious schools, but if they do not have some sort of insight as to how difficult it can be to manage symptoms and perform necessary tasks to get through the day how effective can they be?

I hope to continue writing about my experiences in the recovery process on this blog and to help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness.